John Bolton

John Bolton

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Obama OK with U.S. as Second Rate World Power

His failure to lead when the world calls is at the core of his view of the U.S. as a Superpower.

Obama to World: Don't bother me, I'm busy!
People have been scratching their heads over Obama's leadership style since he took office but even more so now with his weeks long delay in backing a Libyan no-fly zone. God knows how many thousands of innocent Libyans were slaughtered while Obama dithered. The same happened when protests broke out in Iran in 2009. Images of people being murdered in the streets by government thugs went unanswered by Obama who was, once again, on vacation in Hawaii.

Instead of addressing these and other pressing concerns Obama has been seen having a good time golfing, on vacation, partying in the White House and on television picking out winners in basketball. It's almost a cliche that when a crisis breaks, Obama will be too busy having fun to do anything about it.

Too often in the course of any foreign or domestic crisis Obama pops up, probably in reaction to his falling poll numbers, gives a speech with some focus group tested language then goes off to another party. The problem is that a world crisis does not respond to Obama's rhetoric the same way the fawning liberal media in the U.S. does.

Obama seems to believe that a strongly worded speech is enough to get the job done when obviously it's not.

Ditherer in Chief? Or, the "Weakest President in History?"

In the wake of the Libyan no-fly decision British writer Niall Ferguson declares that the Obama strategy is to have no strategy. In a Newsweek article titled "The Big Dither" Ferguson says:
Obama, a novice in foreign affairs, is a president without a strategy. Once a critic of American military intervention in the Middle East, once a skeptic about the chances of democratizing the region, he now finds himself with a poisoned chalice in each hand. In one there are the dregs of the last administration’s interventions: military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan that he is eager to wind down. In the other is a freshly poured draft of his own making.
Another Brit, writing for the U.K. Daily Express had a different view. In an article titled "Barack Obama: Weakest President in History" Anna Pukas is looking for signs of forethought and leadership in the White House and not finding it:
What is the Obama administration’s position on the protests in the Gulf island state of Bahrain, which the authorities there are savagely suppressing with the help of troops shipped in from Saudi Arabia? What is the White House view on the alarming prospect of the unrest spreading to Saudi Arabia itself? Who knows? Certainly not the American people, nor the leaders of nations which would consider themselves allies of America.

The President has not really shared his views, which leads us to conclude that he either doesn’t know or chooses, for reasons best known to himself, not to say. The result is that a very real opportunity to remove an unpredictable despot from power may well have been lost. Who knows when or if such an opportunity will come along again?
Obama's Conscious Effort to Disengage!

But what Brits Ferguson and Pukas, as well as a great many Americans, including even some conservatives, miss is that Obama DOES have a strategy and a world outlook and it's one that runs counter to the basic instincts of many, if not most, Americans.

Sadly, during the 2008 presidential race GOP candidate John McCain steered his campaign away from the character questions that so many had concerning Obama. Had he not done so, we might have a better understanding of why Obama is doing, or not doing, what he is today.

The warning signs were clear for all to see if only they would. There was Obama's Chicago neighbor and fellow board member of the Annenberg Project Bill Ayers; the man photographed standing on the American flag and whose notorious quote "kill your parents" often distracts people from his even more insidious anti-American views. And who can forget Obama's long time pastor Rev. Wright with this "God damn America" rant [video]about how awful the U.S. government is? Surely these two men had an impact on Obama's way of thinking.

But it goes deeper than that. Obama's early life was a total immersion into the left wing ideology that sees the exercise of American power and leadership in the world as suspect. Columist Alan Caruba sums up that early experience this way:
Obama's grandparents were devoted to socialism, raising their daughter in schools known for it, even attending a church that reflected it. They were close friends with Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the CPUSA[Communist Party USA] and an Afro-American. Dr. Kengor noted that, during the 1970s, the period of Obama's adolescence, "His impact is profound because he mentored a young man who made it all the way to the White House."

Among the hints Obama drops in "Dreams of My Father" was a reference to his college years "hanging out with Marxist professors," attending "socialist conferences," and discussing "neocolonialism." Dr. Kengor quotes Dr. John Drew, a contemporary of Obama at Occidental College for whom Obama was "as a fellow Marxist" and said of the President, "Obama was already an ardent Marxist when I met (him) in the fall of 1980."
This isn't the background of someone who believes in American exceptionalism or places high value on U.S. leadership and accomplishments in world affairs. And even before these most recent examples of Obama's attitude to U.S. world leadership we got a taste of Obama's views from the first moments he arrived in the White House.

In his first interview with Arab televisions Al Arabiya, on January 27, 2009, less than one week after being sworn in as President Obama likened the U.S. over the past thirty years to some colonist power (very much like the anti-imperialist Marxist claptrap he learned as a younger man):
OBAMA: My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that.
On April 3, 2009 Obama began what many called his worldwide apology for America tour. He told French citizens gathered in Strasbourg that:
OBAMA: In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.[video]
Two weeks later at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad Tobago where he chummed it up with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez Obama told the assembled leaders:
OBAMA: I know that promises of partnership have gone unfulfilled in the past, and that trust has to be earned over time. While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms. But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership. There is no senior partner and junior partner in our relations; there is simply engagement based on mutual respect and common interests and shared values. So I'm here to launch a new chapter of engagement that will be sustained throughout my administration.
I could go on and on with Obama's apology tour but would instead direct readers to Niles Gardiner's post on that topic at the Heritage Foundation web site for much more.

A common thread from Obama's apology tour is his expressed desire to restore America's image in the world by being a better partner in international affairs. In Strasbourg he said that "in recent years we've allowed our Alliance to drift," and he promised in other speeches to restore our position in the world.

Instead, we've seen an abdication of leadership and the responsibilities that went with it. In case of Libya, France stepped into the vacuum. But what happens in another world trouble spot if nations like China whose motives are not so humanitarian seeks to exploit the situation? The problem with left wing bashing of  U.S. superpower status is the unintended consequences of our becoming a second rate power.

The same attitude towards leadership is true in economic affairs as well. In 2010 Obama told leaders at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh that they could no longer rely on the U.S. to be "the engine of world economic growth" because it was " important for us to rebalance" our economy. If the U.S. isn't the engine pulling the train down the tracks who is and where will that train be headed?

Our alliances are "adrift," to use Obama's own words, and much of that drift is due to the man in the White House who bitterly complained about how his predecessor exercised U.S. leadership during his time in office. Now, even the Libyan rebels call out for George Bush to save them as they realize Obama wants to restrict U.S. power even when it is the only thing that may be used to save lives.

To cite Obama's pastor Rev. Wright "America's chickens are coming home to roost." We are now seeing the first consequences of Obama's worldwide abdication of U.S. leadership. Let's hope that there is time to restore our position before much more damage takes place and something REALLY awful happens as a result!

1 comment:

Bill589 said...

Seeing Obama as an incompetent, book-smart, liberal politician as our president would be scary enough.

But I’m more afraid he IS competent, and he is fundamentally transforming the United States into a government run, and therefore unexceptional, country.

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