Just yesterday I posted an excerpt from Obama's big foreign policy speech as he began his campaign for President in 2007. In light of North Korea's detonation of a nuclear device yesterday, Obama's words from 2007 are worth repeating. In his address at the Woodrow Wilson Center then Senator Obama said:
OBAMA: And I won’t hesitate to use the power of American diplomacy to stop countries from obtaining these weapons or sponsoring terror. The lesson of the Bush years is that not talking does not work. Go down the list of countries we’ve ignored and see how successful that strategy has been. We haven’t talked to Iran, and they continue to build their nuclear program. We haven’t talked to Syria, and they continue support for terror. We tried not talking to North Korea, and they now have enough material for 6 to 8 more nuclear weapons.In a companion article in the journal Foreign Affairs Obama went one step further saying he would put together the "strong international coalition," that would "eliminate North Korea's nuclear weapons program." He couldn't help blaming Bush for the current problem "our first measure must be sustained, direct, and aggressive diplomacy -- the kind that the Bush administration has been unable and unwilling to use."
I will work with our friend and allies, but I won’t outsource our diplomacy in Tehran to the Europeans, or our diplomacy in Pyongyang to the Chinese. I will do the careful preparation needed, and let these countries know where America stands. They will no longer have the excuse of American intransigence.
All those fine sounding words cannot cover up the massive failure from the last four years of Obama's indifferent, inconsistent and incompetent foreign policy.
Let's "go down the list" again and see where we are. Iran is five years closer to building a bomb. Early in his first term Obama ignored the Persian "spring" as protesters in Tehran called to him for help in overthrowing the theocracy that continues to fund and fuel terror around the world. In Syria, Obama does nothing while the Syrian government continues to slaughter it's citizens by the tens of thousands. And North Korea continues without pause it's missile and nuclear weapons programs.
Obama: North Korean nuke test "a threat to U.S. national security "
Obama did have some strong words in the White House statement released following news of the latest nuke test:
North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs constitute a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in our defense commitments to allies in the region.More empty words. Especially so when you consider that in his State of the Union address Tuesday Obama will propose further cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. This on top of earlier drastic cuts to missile defense.
The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community. The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies. We will strengthen close coordination with allies and partners and work with our Six-Party partners, the United Nations Security Council, and other UN member states to pursue firm action.
Since Obama's foreign policy can be summed up by the words of one White House aide as "leading from behind" there's little likelihood more empty, recycled rhetoric from Obama will change the dangerous downward trajectory that "international peace and security" is on. That "strong international coalition" hasn't materialized. Perhaps because there has been no "sustained, direct, and aggressive diplomacy" that would bring it into being.
Obama hailed Hillary Clinton as a great Secretary of State as she stepped down last month. But even a great Secretary of State, which Mrs. Clinton was not, is not enough to lead the world in dealing with these complicated problems. It takes direct, personal engagement and leadership from the President of the United States and that's something we have not got. We shouldn't be too surprised. After all, Obama wasn't engaged as Americans were being murdered in the Benghazi September 11th attacks. He's done nothing to lead on the world stage. Nothing but empty words and recycled speeches.
I have no doubt we would all be better off if President Bush were still in the White House!