Obama’s scorched earth policy

The outgoing President is using executive (alias prerogative) powers to try to stop many of the main changes Mr Trump wants to make to US policy. He has excelled himself with his intervention with Russia at the very moment Russia brokers a ceasefire in Syria without the US being involved. If he wanted to stand up to Russia he could have chosen a more appropriate time and Russian action to oppose. He is also out to stop cheaper energy and the development of the  US industry.

 

Imagine the outrage of the establishment if it had been an outgoing President Trump using executive powers in this way. It looks like the swan song of a President who messed up his policy in the Middle  East and was outwitted by Russia most of the time. After years dithering Mr Obama at last knows what he wants to do -thwart his successor.

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49 Comments

  1. E.S. Tablishment
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Obama is a bit of an oxymoron

    • hefner
      Posted December 30, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      a comment received in deafening silence and with silent screams.

  2. Cyclical Democrats
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Cameron and Obama are much the same with mardiness. One wonders if Obama enjoys trashing restaurants. Guess who’s not coming to dinner.

  3. Mark B
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    He was not known in some quarters as, President Narcissus for nothing you know.

    When President Obama came into office there was much hope and rejoicing. He has been nothing but a disappointment and this anti-UK POTUS will not be missed. Let us hope therefore that our new PM, Chairman May, does not cock things up like she has done so far. Expensive energy, pointless white-elephant projects and endless dithering. This coupled with some of the worst advice given by the Civil Service since they told Neville Chamberlain, allegedly, that Hitler would back down and leave Poland if we threatened war. That’s how bad it looks to we the plebs. Not pretty.

    • matthu
      Posted December 30, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      But he did win the Nobel Peace Prize!

      • Qubus
        Posted December 30, 2016 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but why?

      • Mark B
        Posted December 30, 2016 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        So did Henry Kissenger and the EU. Neither a popular choice.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      As you say when President Obama came into office there was much hope and rejoicing. Certainly there was at the dire BBC, they were virtually orgasmic with delight, mainly this was just because he was of the left and blackish (as they saw it anyway). Being the first black man or the first woman seemed to be sufficient in itself for our moronic BBC.

      I tend to prefer selecting people who are rational, have sensible policies that can actually work and the ability to deliver. This regardless of colour, gender or any other superficial and irrelevant characteristics.

      Mrs May. with her gender pay gap reporting agenda. is alas clearly a PC “BBC think” person. There is actually no gender pay gap that is not entirely explained by the choices the genders make, the subject they choose to study, the different careers/jobs they choose and work life balances the genders choose. This is very clear indeed from just looking at the figures, but I assume May has just not bothered to do this.

      Women without children and younger women already earn more than men.

      Concentrate on real issues Theresa, instead of these idiotic, political and childish distractions.

  4. The Great Ear
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    In point of fact it is really hard to believe what Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Democrat Party are doing. Casting doubt on first the Count in the Election, now somehow Americans taking their brief from Putin.

    I hear Obama is only going to move down the road from the White House because his kids wish to stay in the “center” of things, he says. The First Lady said the White House was built by slaves. It wasn’t. But she said it in Election-time with teary eyes and a frog in her throat, so that’s ok.
    Looks like in 4 to 8 years time Michelle Obama will be up against Ivanka Trump for the first woman President of the USA. “The First Gentleman” as opposed to the The First Lady” will sound odd. Who is supposed to do the cooking and cleaning and stuff???

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Whether the White House was or was not build by slaves it was a typically pathetic thing for Michelle Obama to say with a teary eye and frog in here throat. Politics so often now seems to be mainly about pathetic acting and dog whistles.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I thought the passing of power to the next in charge in a so called democracy, was supposed to be almost seamless with co-operationbetween the outgoing and incoming President/Prime minister

    Looks like Trump’s first 100 days will be even more interesting.

    Guarantee he will not take 9 months to write a simple letter.

    • zorro
      Posted December 30, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      I am trying to think of a more petulant POTUS in his last month in office trying to screw his successor, and am struggling at the moment….. Anyway, Putin has shown him up for what he is with his refusal to play pathetic cold war politics. It is USA which is the regressive power in that respect……

      Anyway, as the Russian FM spokeswoman said,,,, ‘Obama’s coming out’….

      zorro

  6. Mark Watson
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Good to see the back of Obama,total waste of time,abs anti UK to boot.Why he decided that Germany was more important to the US than the UK us astonishing.
    Let’s hope Trump uses his time to do what he can to hasten the break up of the EU into something more democratic and in tune with what the people want.

    • A different Simon
      Posted December 30, 2016 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      It’s not an uncommon view that the real “special relationship” is between the U.S. and Germany .

      Peter Hitchen’s makes a good case for it on youtube .

  7. Peter Stroud
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Obama was incredibly stupid regarding the anthropogenic climate change panic. He boasted before he took office that he would close down coal mines and restrict CO2 emitting factories. He has been as good as his word and has transferred the ‘pollution’ to developing countries, and ruined great swathes of American heavy industry. Clinton would have continued in the same manner. Thank goodness she was not elected.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2016 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and Cameron was yet another faux green dope, exporting jobs and CO2 ‘pollution’ for what he totally wrongly perceived as political advantage. Such are scientifically illiterate PPE graduates it seems.

  8. Iain Gill
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Back home in the UK the politicians cannot even fix the out of control dog poo problem, or sanction people allowing pit bulls to play in children’s playgrounds properly. Far too busy making sure anyone pulling into a bus lane or through a red light to allow an ambulance through safely gets a ticket.

    We are truly run by a bunch of clowns.

    Cannot deal with the simple stuff no the wonder the complex stuff just panders to big multinationals.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2016 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Exactly.

  9. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Obama is a community organiser and agitator. This is what he does. He will continue in this vein for the next 4 with the aim of getting Trump impeached. Bit like the anti-Brexit crowd.

  10. oldtimer
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The initial word that comes to mind to describe Obama’s response is petulance. It reflects poorly on him.

  11. Iain Moore
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The suave , cool , genial , generous Obama has shown us his true colours of being a nasty , vindictive, partisan , poor loser. But I doubt those who worship at his feet will admit it.

  12. acorn
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Sadly, the fifty states of the USA have lost control of the US federal government; it may as well be on another planet. The situation is just as bad in the now, quasi, federal UK, and it has only four states.

  13. Leo Savantt
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    This act by the President, most probably one of his last, is hard to understand. If, as the President claims, the Russian Federation did interfere with the US election there will need to be an inquiry and a long lasting process, if there was no interference the incoming President can easily reverse this decision.

    Either way it is hard to fathom what President Obama hopes to achieve. At best this is a strategic error, at worst it is a fit of peak by a feckless politician. Either way it is not the mark of a statesman and simply adds to a legacy of dubious valve which in terms of foriegn policy has, without hyperbole, been a complete failure.

  14. turboterrier
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Truth always out.

    What further proof does one need to see Obama as the poor, sad, pathetic president that he turned out to be. History quite rightly will not be kind to him, that is if he is remembered at all.

    Hopefully Mr Trump will be able to raise the respect and confidence that the office of President is due.

  15. alte fritz
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Mr Obama is at the back of the queue for our best wishes on his retirement.

  16. fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    The more I hear about Obama the more I see I was right to think he would end up being useless. His election was more to do with colour than anything else. Michelle Obama can think of nothing new to say other than to go on to other mixed race children (that is all I have seen on the tv) about how they can do anything they want to. Not always so but good to have aspirations anyway. Obama promised a lot but delivered nothing in real terms. It will be unforgiveable of Obama to stop any attempts to thwart the efforts being made by Trump to undermine the great global warming scam and renewable energy which is so anti business. Trump will be going into office with his hands tied behind his back and without a fair crack of the whip to show us what he is really capable of. Love him or loathe him, the man deserves a fair chance. Just another load of people who cannot accept the vote just like the remainiacs in the UK.

  17. Newmania
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    John Redwood and Jeremy Corbyn usually seem to agree on Foreign Policy aims, which are to support Vladimir Putin. One chiefly hates America, the other Europe. I stopped listening to Corbyn a long time ago.
    When Mr Redwood opposed the West `s actions in saving Libya from an extermination of the “cockroaches” I also, with some regret , stopped caring what he thinks in this area..
    I appreciate this was merely regretting ‘the absence of a plan’ but support contingent on impossible outcomes is opposition.
    Overall, Obama’s half-baked isolationism was a bad thing but Trumps fully baked withdrawal and alliance with his fellow ultra Nationalist are worse . The new anti-Western Liberal axis ,Putin Trump Brexit European Fascism and is the key to Redwoodism abroad.
    At home he is conflicted between barbarian Nationalism and Free-Trade Liberalism and one may appeal to some sense of guilt.
    Syria is what happens if the West will not export power and it is clear that it no longer possesses either the will or the institutions with which to do so. Across Eastern Europe the willingness to accommodate Putin will send a shudder of fear. Some distant Gibbon will document these events as the broad outlines of the Wests decline become clearer.

    • Thats Edward Gibbon barbarians

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 30, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      I know who Edward Gibbon is. I have read his work. You share a character flaw many other bad losers on the liberal left of thinking you are cleverer than people who have a different view to you. You aren’t. For a start you are labouring under the misapprehension that abuse is the way to convert people to your view.

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 31, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Gibbon’s highly prejudiced (albeit for a long time highly influential) account of the great power in the East-the Byzantines-is widely condemned by modern scholars.I suspect your views on it’s successor-Russia-fall into the same category.

      The Byzantines kept virulent Islam out of Europe for centuries;it may now be too late but it is distinctly possible Russia can help us tackle the same problem in the modern age.

  18. Bert Young
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more .Obama was a poor President ; he had only one thing at the back of his mind – racial equality . He was not a friend to this country ; he resented our “colonial” past . The USA was made to look very foolish in its foreign affairs and equally ham – fisted in its domestic policies . Trump has many personality features that do not go down well with many at home and overseas , however , he is straightforward and forthright . He needs to quickly dismiss the last minute Obama moans and groans .

  19. NickC
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I hope I am proved wrong, but I regard Theresa May as being as much a ditherer as President Obama. They both seem to have promised a lot, implied more, and then not delivered.

    The core problem for both is that they have not got the right sort of intellect to analyse and then establish principles. Instead they are both good at acquiring power but don’t know what to do with it when they’ve got it. Then when they finally do something it is almost a random decision.

    The fact that Mrs May was a luke-warm Remainer confirms this. For example she should have established early on after the Referendum that our independence was not negotiable. That is a principle. Instead she hides behind the view that even stating a principle is tantamount to giving away our negotiating position.

  20. Little Englander
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Obama is a goner – some fellow Academic or ”Expert'” will write him up favourably in the history books – same old, same old…

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 30, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      I bet he isn’t gone – I bet we’ll be hearing from him ad nauseam for the next 4-8 years at least.

  21. APL
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    The US under Obama is behaving like Zimbabwe under Mugabe. Coincidence?

    The idea that the Democratic party *is* the US state, and thus alleged hacking against the democratic party is an attack on the US State is actually corrosive of Democracy.

    Another parallel with a third world one party state.

  22. rose
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Scorched Earth is exactly the phrase which came to my mind too.

  23. Robert Christopher
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    It’s not cricket but then, Kenya isn’t renound for their cricketing knowledge.

  24. ian
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I remember him on tv before he got elected for the first time standing behind a soup kitchen table for the homeless, that worked out well for the people.

  25. Dennis Anthony
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    “The First Lady said the White House was built by slaves. It wasn’t. ” Wrong or ambiguous.

    WHAT’S TRUE: Recent research has uncovered that the majority of laborers responsible for the construction of the White House and other buildings in the U.S. capital were slaves.

    WHAT’S FALSE: The White House wasn’t built exclusively by slaves, as other low-level laborers toiled on the project as well.

    • The Great Ear
      Posted December 30, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Dennis Anthony

      One should beware “”Recent” research”” in all things historical. Often such research is merely a political tool by those of a social or political agenda to either justify the status quo of the present or undermine what is perceived as something, now, that is thought should change.All very convenient. But dishonest. Manipulative. Anti-democratic.A violation of freedom. A lie.

      One could go through a list of such lies in our present life. Generally, George Orwell put it best in his book “Nineteen-Eighty Four” with “memory holes”

      Good grief, even our classic books, have been abridged, re-written, not reprinted, removing what “we” ( the powers that be ) today may find offensive, troubling or even against present laws.
      The narrative even here in the UK, today, that foreigners or persons not recognised as our citizens are responsible, almost exclusively, for building, running everything from the NHS, farming, engineering, scientific research, teaching, transporting, ….ring a bell? Despite, they being heralded simultaneously as “very small in number” and “a racist lie there are many”. The tens of millions of British, hundreds of millions of Americans, Australians, New Zealanders, Germans,French, Italians, Russians, Chinese ( yes it is even said of the hundreds of millions of Chinese in China, oh and the Indians in India )..all their great achievements “were accomplished by foreign migrants and slaves.” Hell, with such burning talent and work-ethic why didn’t those slaves and migrants build massive culturally advanced civilisations themselves? How come we , the lazy good for nothing exploitative British and Americans and Chinese as THEIR slaves not build their White Houses? Guess what? We did too!! But as free men and women.

      As to the building of the White House. Perhaps one may care to read the “recent research” by Trump supporters?. Or, the “recent research” by Irish historians? Or “recent research” by native American historians? Or, the recent research by “Mexican historians” ( Check out their “recent” history of Arizona and Texas! )But then again, no.
      Actually, my “recent” personal research shows my great-great -great grandfather and his extended family planned, built, rebuilt, re-re-built the White House, quarried the stone and hewed the wood. They were into glass-making too and carpet and paint making, also road making and, miraculously but absolutely true led the British army at one stage in burning it down, actually providing the original flame…and, before that “recent” research indicates they were first to invent fire and the wheel. Forget all the previous history and commonsense about the matter!

    • E.S Tablishment
      Posted December 30, 2016 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Dennis:
      It was Michelle Obama’s Qu’ils mangent de la brioche moment. “Let them eat cake” moment.
      Mr Trump never made an answer. He is a builder. From being a toddler he accompanied his father to building sites, speaking from that early age with building workers.
      Dennis, I feel you mean well, but please do not go to a pub say at lunchtime on New Year’s Eve perhaps outside a building site where the gangers and foremen, unknown to their bosses, have let their men go to the pub for the afternoon as a “ThankYou for your work!” Oh yes, I’ve been on such a do.
      If migrant building workers are also present as muslim workers were when I was there and, they were buying their British mates pint after pint ( “they try don’t they!!!!”! ) it still holds true …Building workers are tradesmen. It IS labouring work but highly skilled building labouring work. The skills are acquired over years. Not easy! Often academic education is required. Oh but they have years of state schooling before all that too.Houses/buildings are not for amateurs to build, even gifted amateurs.
      Uneducated, unskilled slaves did not build the White House. Insist on different in the said pub and your New Year celebrations could turn nasty. Be warned.Class Ignorance is tolerated. But beer gets angry sometimes.Very angry!

    • History
      Posted December 31, 2016 at 12:09 am | Permalink

      When I visited Arizona a few years ago I had much acquaintance with a nice old guy who was the Master of one Masonic Lodge. Perhaps he had even greater rank…one of his children told me beforehand.
      We never talked about it. I guess, had we discussed politics even remotely, he would have been slightly sceptical though not in even the slightest racist way of all but craftsmen building anything of import in those days. A study of the origins of the craft and history of Freemasonery reveals a certain position and utter respect for such skills as building.

  26. A different Simon
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    By resisting retaliation , Messrs Putin and Medvedev have let the outgoing Mr Obama isolate himself even further .

    He really is yesterday’s man .

    His rantings about being able to win another term if the constitution had allowed him to go for a third term betray an unbelievable sense of narcissism .

    What a pity the Republican’s didn’t give Mr Obama more rope .

  27. Bob
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Let’s just hope he doesn’t go too far with his scorched earth plan. Maybe better if he took some garden leave before thing get out of hand.

  28. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Obama is a failure; at last he seems to know it.

    However, he is not much of a man and now acts out of pure spite.

    And his attempt to seem tough against Russia has backfired. Mr Putin has made him look even more irrelevant by refusing to be drawn, saying he’ll ingore him and wait for Mr Trump.

    Mr Putin is a confident operator. We need someone like him; Mr Trump says he’ll drain the swamp; we have dead wood to clear.

    • stred
      Posted December 31, 2016 at 4:13 am | Permalink

      The US government system controls the president. The CIA and present defence chiefs don’t like Trump’s uncontrollable utterings and regard his proposals for an anti-jihad alliance with Russia as against their policy. Transformational diplomacy was invented by a previous Mz Rice, under a Republican president and continued by Mrs Clinton with Obama in tow. It has been disastrous in the Middle East and Ukraine. They aim to discredit and control Trump, covering mistakes and keeping their jobs.

      Trump has surrounded himself with military and businessmen with similar views to his own. They will need to watch their backs and battle to put new heads into the civil service. They need to avoid what Mrs May has done.

      Regarding the Russian hacking, it would be surprising if they had not hacked anything going, just as the Americans and British do. This is not to say that they supplied Wikileaks with the emails that Mrs Clinton has tried to conceal and these showed the dirty dealings to do with Mr Sanders and her involvement with the Libyan disaster. Her clumsy use of private emails and sending to very strange colleagues exposed them to multiple hackers and the leak may have come from a disgusted insider and not a hack. Why would the Russian expose themselves to charges of hacking? When, if ever, the truth is known, it may not look good. Trump will have to act quickly to put people in charge who will expose the truth about what went on.

  29. Dioclese
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Obama is behaving like a spoilt child throwing his toys out of the pram. He should be ashamed of himself…

  30. rose
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    For what it is worth, I listened to an account of presidential handovers in which it was said the Clinton team left a horrid mess for the Bush team with booby traps and nasty notes. The best incomer, i.e. the best prepared and most organised, was Bush. The handover from the Bushes to the Obamas was impeccable. It seems people learn from their experiences in different ways.

  31. A different Simon
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Only fair that the Russian construction companies will be getting the contracts for rebuilding rather than the usual U.S. ones .

    Our own Foreign Office has come out of this very badly with their insistence on regime change as a prerequisite for a ceasefire in Syria . What business of the U.K.’s is it anyway ?

    After the civil service’s disgraceful partisan performance leading up to the EU membership referendum , one would have thought that Jeremy Heywood’s position was untenable .

    I only learned a few days ago that HM Govt is getting carried away by it’s success in picking specific athletics disciplines to fund for maximum medal return and now believes it can do the same by picking which industries we can be winners in .

    Our own civil service is totally out of control and parliament doesn’t seem to be interested in doing anything about it .

  32. Jumeirah
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Roy: as you know America does not tolerate or accept “‘failure” -he’s a goner and will be erased from their memory in a nano second as the man who embarrassed his Nation – Trumpy will make sure of that. Over here no doubt he will be remembered for a little longer as ”Back of the Queue Obo”. Either way he is already ‘The Forgotten Man”.

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