February 3, 2011
Driftwood DiplomacyBy Steve McCann
The demonstrations and the genuine possibility of a radical Islamic state eventuating in Egypt are in part the result of President Obama's foreign policy being reactive and not proactive. The United States has placed itself in an era of driftwood diplomacy.
It is often said that when a person has no core and in its place exists a muddled and uncertain belief system, he tends to float along from one crisis in life to another. It is far easier to simply drift along with the current and allow it to take you wherever it may go. These people will ultimately fail in any endeavor.
When the leadership of a great country exhibits these traits, the consequences can be catastrophic. Barack Obama, the product of a lifetime of leftist indoctrination, has as the basic foundation of his muddled and uncertain belief system a conviction that the United States has been the epitome of oppression and arrogance throughout its history.
Beyond that one tenet, Obama grudgingly accepts only crony capitalism, European-style socialism rather than rigid socialist theory, constricted freedom of speech and assembly, and a modified version of self-determination. All of these are anathema to the hardcore left whence he came, but they are also far from the central rights and liberties as determined by the nation's founders.
In short, Barack Obama is a leader without a core. Thus, he is able to rationalize saying anything as long as the end justifies the means. An outright lie is not a lie, but "spin." Obama therefore cannot be trusted by other leaders on the world stage.
Coupled with his nonexistent executive experience and lack of accountability over his lifetime, Obama has placed the United States in a most precarious position in world affairs. In a century that has already been beset with economic turmoil, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, unprecedented terrorist activity, and a rapidly changing world order thanks to enormous advances in communication and information, the American people could not have chosen a worse leader: a man with no core who is incapable of understanding the importance of planning for and anticipating events.
Obama began his presidency by putting on the hair shirt and groveling before the nations of the world, begging forgiveness of what he perceived to be the sins of America's past. He did not understand that while other nations may have complained about past U.S. policy, it was more out of a combination of envy and grudging respect, as is normal when dealing with the world's only superpower. The world since the 1950s has looked to the United States for leadership and stability, not faux humility and a servile attitude.
This approach has projected an image of weakness which begets chaos, and chaos is what the international scene has become, whether in the Middle East, Asia, Russia, or Latin America.
Obama, determined to become the Muslim world's best friend, has in spite of his efforts unleashed the dogs of war in the Middle East. He has essentially told Iran that they are free to develop nuclear weapons and to meddle in the affairs of Lebanon with no consequences. He has given Hamas and the Palestinian Authority a green light to confront Israel, as U.S. policy is now to browbeat and intimidate the Israelis to accept any agreement. In his Cairo speech in 2009, Obama shamelessly blamed the West for all the problems with Islam and never once used the words "terrorism," "terrorist," or "war on terror." Earlier in the same year, he met secretly with the Muslim Brotherhood -- the progenitor of Hamas and al-Qaeda -- thus legitimizing the organization with a wink and a nod.
Once the riots began in Egypt and other North African countries, regardless of what may have triggered them, the Islamists knew they had nothing to fear from the United States, as the American president and his administration had made no meaningful overtures to the true democratic elements in those countries that were governed by despotic rulers. The Obama administration chose instead to appeal to the radical element, believing that by the sheer force of Obama's personality and persuasion, the Islamists would change their spots.
While playing the game with Washington, the radicals knew that if they could get the population into the streets, they could exacerbate the situation to their advantage. The worldwide food crisis -- spawned in large part by the Obama economic policies -- in North Africa and the rest of the Middle East became the catalyst for the riots. Today in Egypt, what began as student and middle class demonstrations has spun out of control at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood, while the United States aimlessly drifts, hoping against hope for a favorable outcome and relying on the Egyptian military to control the chaos.
Had Obama bothered to study history, he would have realized that this is the same scenario that was repeated throughout the twentieth century, from the initial Russian Revolution in 1917 (which eventuated the communist takeover) to the Iranian Revolution in 1979, which opened the door to the current despotic theocracy in Iran, the modern-day wellhead of radical jihad.
Beyond the Middle East, Russia and China are more emboldened than ever, openly mocking the United States and its leadership. China has begun acting as if it were already the preeminent power in the Pacific basin, which is not surprising, considering the abject deference shown by President Obama to the Chinese leadership as he begs the Chinese to continue buying American debt created by the incomprehensible fiscal policies of this administration. The other nations of the region are modifying their policies to deal with the reality of the vacuum created by U.S. uncertainty.
Russia has succeeded in intimidating Obama into abandoning a crucial missile defense system and into allowing Russia a free hand to effectively reconstitute the old Soviet Union while browbeating its neighbors in Europe. Chávez and his fellow travelers in Latin America have been given a tacit green light to continue their socialist rampage throughout the continent with no fear of any consequences from their neighbor to the north.
American fiscal and monetary policy continues to wreck havoc on the global economy through historically overwhelming spending levels and the subsequent necessity of printing money. As the dollar is the global exchange currency and the United States is the largest economy in the world, this country has a unique responsibility to keep the world economy stable. Instead, President Obama has myopically chosen to spread chaos as he promotes his profligate domestic programs.
Today, American foreign policy is adrift on a sea of uncertainty because there is a dishonest occupant of the White House who has no coherence in his personal beliefs and convictions except that American exceptionalism is a myth.