"I think that we've restored America's standing in the world."
- Barack Obama, November 18, 2009
Was this the simply the usual prevarication of a President with a massive ego, or something he truly believed? In any event, the panorama of the world today is far different as America is increasingly finding itself isolated, vilified, and ignored as never before in its recent history.
The heady days of "hope and change" have given way to cynicism and mockery within the international community. There is little hesitation among world leaders and even the left-leaning global media to be openly contemptuous of the President who campaigned on fortifying American image abroad by the sheer force of his personality and self-proclaimed ability to connect with the people of the world.
After twenty-seven months into the Obama Presidency, The Express (United Kingdom) avers:
Obama's campaign slogan was mesmerizingly simple and brimming with self-belief: "Yes we can." His presidency, however, is turning out to be more about "no we won't." Even more worryingly, it seems to be very much about: "Maybe we can...do what, exactly?" The world feels like a dangerous place when leaders are seen to lack certitude but the only thing President Obama seems decisive about is indecision. What should the US do about Libya? What should the US be doing about the Middle East in general? What about the country's crippling debts? What is the US going to do about Afghanistan, about Iraq?
Many German writers claim Obama has lost support of European leaders because he doesn't pay much attention to them. The reality is the American president doesn't have a single strong ally among the European heads of state.
The chief question numerous foreign pundits are asking: President Obama, you have lost the trust of the Arab world, destroyed confidence in American financial leadership due to your economic policies, and are forcing many Europeans and other allies to question the wisdom of relying on the U.S. -- what next?
The one constant thread running through most of Obama's decisions has been that America must act humbly in the world.
One of his [Obama] advisors described the President's action in Libya as "leading from behind."
It is a different definition of leadership than America is known for, and it comes from two unspoken beliefs: that the relative power of the U.S. is declining, as rivals like China rise, and that the U.S. is reviled in many parts of the world. Pursuing our ideals thus requires stealth and modesty.
President Obama is pursuing foreign policy as he once said: "to break free of the old ideologies and categories." Thus the United States is being pushed and swayed by events, instead of charting a course of stability and strength. Good policy is based on good principles which guide one's actions. In the case of Barack Obama, as the result of his upbringing in Marxist/socialist ideology, his anti-Western sentiment stemming from his father's anti-colonialism, and a virulent animosity toward capitalism, his guiding principle appears to be: America will not be able to compete with others, notably China, in the future, and its best course is to slink into the background in the hope that others will treat us kindly as we atone for our egregious sins of the past.
President Obama and his fellow leftists over the years fail to understand, while wallowing in a "blame America first" mindset, that global stability over the past 65 years has been due to the very policies and principles they are dead set on overturning. These are:
The defense and best interest of the United States are paramount.
Since the dawn of man there have always been powerful civilizations which held dominion over the then known world. In all cases these nations were determined to conquer and subjugate. The United States, alone in achieving super-power status, has because of its founding and adherence to the precept of life and liberty, chosen to not conquer by arms but by the spread of this philosophy as means of promoting peace and prosperity. Thus the defense and interest of America has been best served by the spread of individual liberty throughout the world.
This requires an understanding that peace comes from strength, both military and economic. Those nations who negotiate from a position of power are more likely to achieve their goals. Paying lip-service to peace while demeaning and denigrating one's country only serves to sow confusion, embolden despotic regimes, and put the United States at risk.
Democracy is meaningless unless based on freedom and prosperity.
The left in America dotes on the terms democracy and self-determination. However, people do not aspire to self-determination as an end in itself; they aspire to freedom and prosperity that democracy can potentially bring about. Today United States policy is to overtly or surreptitiously back any group that claims to be part of a "democracy movement" regardless of their stated goals or background. A case in point: tacit collaboration with the Muslin Brotherhood in Egypt (a known sponsor of terrorism) while ignoring those in Iran trying to overturn a hostile government bent on achieving hegemony throughout the Middle East.
Thus the present regime in Washington D.C. is helping to overthrow governments in nations once allied with the United States because of a sophomoric and naive adherence to the words and not who are behind: "democracy movements and self-determination. "
Capitalism and the free market are the only route to freedom and prosperity.
What President Obama and his fellow-travelers fail to understand in their headlong rush towards a socialist utopia is that only the capitalist economic system, which is anathema to a powerful central government, can produce sufficient wealth to underwrite a social safety net for the general public, promote upward mobility, and finance the security of any nation.
History has repeatedly shown that state control of the means of production is a monumental failure and inevitably results in accelerating the downfall of a nation. By their spending, taxing, and printing of money, the current Ruling Class in Washington has placed America squarely on this same course as the nation will no longer be able to finance its security needs.
By his determination to "break free of old ideologies" President Obama 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.
The Middle East has become the Balkans of the 21st Century as Egypt is about to be dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood; it is only a matter of time before radical jihadists control Yemen; Syria and Lebanon will soon become client states of Iran, and Libya, thanks to the indecision of the United States, has degenerated into a stalemate as the rebels become increasingly dominated by Islamic radicals. Iran, given a green light by President Obama when he did not back the anti-government movement over the past two years, will soon be the dominant power in the region.
Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and others once allied with the United States are looking to open ties with Russia and China as they can no longer depend on America's assurances. Israel, now surrounded by nations bent on its destruction and buffeted by outrageous demands from Washington D.C., is more isolated than ever. Will this region be the flashpoint in a repetition of 1914 when events spiraled out of control triggering a world war that set the 20th Century on the path of being the most deadly and devastating hundred years in the history of mankind?
Beyond the Middle East, China is 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 Asia, which is not surprising, as the US president begs the Chinese to continue buying American debt created by the incomprehensible fiscal policies of his administration.
Russia has succeeded in intimidating Obama into abandoning a crucial missile defense system while turning a blind eye to Russia's browbeating of its European neighbors. In Latin America, Chavez and his cohorts 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.
The killing of Osama bin Laden, while good for a week's worth of fawning press coverage by the American media, does not mitigate the fact that United States foreign policy is adrift on a sea of uncertainty as there is a narcissistic and dishonest occupant of the White House who is firm in his belief that American exceptionalism is a myth. The American people will suffer the ultimate consequences as their standard of living and national security will be sacrificed on the altar of the Obama "cult of personality" and his collectivist ideology.