November 18, 2009
Hit the Reset Button on Obama's Foreign Policy AgendaBy Lauri B. Regan
With ObamaCare barely passing in the House of Representatives last week, a federal deficit hitting unprecedented levels this past month, and unemployment rates achieving highs not seen in decades, few Americans seem focused on the direction of this administration's foreign policy agenda. That is not to say that people across the globe are not tuned into American foreign policy initiatives, decisions, and foibles, but the average American is more concerned with pocketbook issues than long-term national security.
Clearly, we as American citizens need to prioritize the issues that have the biggest direct impact on our lives. But that does not mean that we only live in the moment and miss the forest for the trees. A country's domestic policies will impact its global standing, as we have seen occur in the former world powers of France, Great Britain, Germany, and the USSR. Whether it was the fall of Communism, in the USSR and much of Eastern Europe or the failure of socialist principles to which much of Western Europe has awoken, domestic policy can turn a superpower into just an average civilized nation in the historical blink of an eye.
What are we witnessing at this juncture in American history? Are we witnessing the involuntary rebalancing of power across the globe resulting from an inevitable decline in civilization (à la the Roman Empire)? Or are we witnessing the voluntary relinquishment of superiority by a people too awash in political correctness, too disaffected to understand the significance of their country's important role in historic human events, and too spoiled by freedom and success to understand the responsibility inherited from their ancestors?
My view is that the latter hypothesis is correct. If this is the case, the good news is that the projected course on which the U.S. government is taking the country can easily be corrected. It seems that the citizens of this great nation, who understand the lead up to America's superpower status as well as their civic duty in furthering that course, have woken up to assuming a role of protagonist, revolutionary, patriot, and freedom-fighter not seen since World War II.
Barack Obama -- socialist, conciliator, pacifist, and consummate bower -- is not a student of history, let alone a lover of his country. Much has been written about his past associations, his socialist upbringing, his Muslim connections, and his inexperience. Notwithstanding any of this, he was elected to the highest office in the land. He is the leader of the free world, in fact. These characteristics -- his inexperience, his passivity, and his ignorance of history -- permeate his foreign policy strategies to date. And it is freedom-loving people the world over who are and will continue to be the ones to pay the price for his misguided decisions.
George W. Bush made statements after 9/11 that illustrated the type of morality he had -- not only as a human being, but also as a world leader. Morality is a clear necessity in order to achieve greatness in the world. His recognition of Iran's, Iraq's, and North Korea's formation of an axis of evil and his statement to the world players that they are either with us or against us exemplified his decisiveness and cognizance of the malevolence facing the world.
To the contrary, in Barack Obama's vision of the world, rich people are the enemy. Individuals who have taken advantage of hard work, capitalism, and entrepreneurial opportunities epitomize evil in the eyes of the decision-makers in the White House. Thus Obama panders to America's socialist left by focusing on destructive policies to both Americans and the world's populace. Barack Obama does not care about the poor person in Bangladesh who wants only clean water -- not a green car or a light bulb blessed by Al Gore.
To Barack Obama, human rights abuses occur only in Guantanamo Bay and by CIA interrogators, not in the gulags of North Korea or the work camps across China. To Barack Obama, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad deserves the respect of an open hand without preconditions, yet Bibi Netanyahu must make concessions that may risk the survival of his people prior to being permitted a face-to-face with the US President.
On the one hand, Barack Obama views the illegal and fraudulent elections in Iran as fair and legitimate. Yet incomprehensibly, he views the lawful and constitutional removal of the Honduran president as criminal. The will of the people of free nations is of no concern to Barack Obama as right becomes wrong and the world is turned upside-down based on the opinion of a community organizer who happened to have been in the right place at the right time in history.
People are starting to notice that what Barack Obama touches does not turn to gold; it turns to rust and quickly fades away. When Barack Obama determines that he will instill peace in the Mideast on his own very naïve, uneducated terms, what will be the result? A prolonged conflict, greater levels of violence, and disruption to the elected government of Israel (perhaps his goal).
When Barack Obama determines that he will support the illegally elected government in Iran at the expense of the freedom-loving citizens of that nation, the result is the death and imprisonment of innocent civilians and popular resentment rather than support of America. The further result is the continued unhindered development of nuclear weapons, the abduction of United States tourists to be used as negotiating tools, and the continued shipment of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organizations around the globe.
When Barack Obama sends his minions into our peaceful ally in Central America in order to influence its sovereign constitutional determination to oust a power-grabbing dictatorial president, the result is an extended conflict and complete domestic disarray lasting months longer than it would have without our meddling. The further result is the increased confidence of dictators like Hugo Chavez and Raul Castro to continue to oppress their people with the full support of the United States.
When Barack Obama decides to renege on missile defense agreements with America's Eastern European allies in the Czech Republic and Poland -- which were agreed to by the previous administration -- the result is a lack of trust in America's word across the globe and the risk of further Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.
One of the left's biggest complaints during the Bush administration was that the world did not like us. President Bush snubbed the U.N., France, and Germany, and made decisions based on his determination of what was in the best interests of the United States of America. Yet George W. Bush understood his role as leader of the world's only superpower and freest country on the globe, and he stood by our allies. He also stood by the values on which this country was founded and acted in further those values throughout his presidency.
I have no idea what Barack Obama stands for other than a weakened America, based on his resentment of perceived inequities among its citizens. But he has a responsibility as our president to further the values on which this country was founded. While Bush hoped to export democracy, what is it that Obama is exporting as he canvasses the world apologizing for our greatness? This is not a popularity contest, and Americans do not need to be liked. America needs to remain strong, free, and supportive of civilizations that share its values.
It is time for Barack Obama to stop exporting failure and to recognize that his place in history begins only with becoming the first African-American president. I hope it will end with successes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Mideast, as well as ensuring human rights and freedoms around the globe. But that means shedding the baggage that he brought to the job and starting anew. It is not too late to push the reset button.