Obama’s Leading From Behind: The National Security Consequences

Obama’s Leading From Behind: The National Security Consequences
(Richard Miniter, May 18, 2016)

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About the speaker

Richard Miniter is the CEO of American Media Institute, a New York Times bestselling author, and a national security columnist for Forbes.

His seventh book, Leading From Behind, examines the consequences of Obama’s foreign policies. Miniter sheds new light on key decisions of the past eight years and the damage inflicted by America’s departure from leadership on the world stage. He is also the author of Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

He was editorial page writer for The Wall Street Journal Europe and was a member of the famed investigative team of The Sunday Times of London. As vice president of The Washington Times, Miniter turned around an ailing division and managed a team of 17 journalists. He appears regularly on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and hundreds of radio programs. He is the author of several New York Times bestselling books: Losing bin Laden, Shadow War, Mastermind, and Leading From Behind. Miniter has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, Forbes, New Republic, National Review and others.


Robert Reilly:

Our speaker tonight is in my opinion one of the finest journalists in the United States, one of the finest investigative journalists in the United States, and one of the finest writers. He is the CEO of American Media Institute. He is a multiple New York Times best-selling author. A national security columnist for Forbes, his most recent book is Eyes on Target: Inside Stories from the Brotherhood of U.S. Navy Seals. A book before that that pertains to our subject tonight is Leading from Behind, which obviously examines the consequences of Obama’s foreign policy.

I’ll only relate to you very quickly something Pope Francis said in an interview two days ago. You may not think of him as a foreign policy analyst. He did say he had heard related from a Libyan the following remark, “We used to have one Qaddafhi. Now, we have fifty.”

Richard Miniter was an editorial page writer for the Wall Street Journal Europe and a member of the famed investigative team of the Sunday Times of London. He was Vice President of the Washington Times. I won’t go into his multiple media appearances on multiple channels or the fact that he’s been published absolutely everywhere. Other books include Shadow War and Disinformation.

I hope you know that his outstanding book on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed it out there at special Westminster discount. Rich spoke here when that book first came out. We’re delighted to still have it out there for a special Westminster price for you tonight and I’m sure Rich would be happy to sign it. Please join me in welcoming Richard Miniter.

Richard Miniter:

Thanks, Bob. It’s good to be back here at Westminster. Looking out from the podium tonight, we see in every part of the world in every place once friendly and foreign and every place once fierce, it’s on fire. Every single place is markedly worse. The world is shockingly more dangerous over the past seven years.

And if it’s a time reminiscent, frankly, of the late 1970s, people like to say this is one of the worst and most dangerous times to be living in and I like to remind them of the late 1970s. Remember the economics. Remember the eleven percent unemployment, the twenty-one percent prime interest rates. Remember the gas lines, the hostages in Iran, fifty-two American diplomats blindfolded and beaten and held for 444 days to the humiliation of America before the eyes of the world, Jimmy Carter’s failed rescue effort, his failed ability to force the Iranians to free our diplomats illegally held for that long period of time. The inflation, the lost of American confidence… so it could be worse. It could be 1979 again.

But we don’t deserve to be here. We should have learned the lessons of 1979. Instead we have applied them. Our foreign policy has essentially two problems. One is a product of the Obama years and the thinking behind it. And the crises we’re facing – and I’m going to go through them quickly – are the fruits of the thinking of that clutch of insiders known as the Obama foreign policy establishment.

But the other cause is longterm and far more important to deal with and it is never discussed. It is such a powerful thing. It’s like the gravity from a blackhole. It effects all the stars around but is invisible to the eye. And that second thing is what I’m going to talk about after we talk about the Obama years.

Let’s look at the philosophy of the Obama years because ideas precede action and guide action. There is a philosophy. It is not ad hoc as much as it might appear.

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