Liberalism, when applied to international affairs, is often described as the naïve belief that you can pick up dog poop by the clean end. For many well-meaning liberals, it is the rudimentary belief in the goodness of man. For the far left, represented by people like Barack Obama and Eric Holder, it grows out of a dismay that the United States cannot possibly be right – particularly in the aftermath of a Republican administration. That most of the evil in the world stems from an overbearing, overreaching United States. And that the pursuit of the American dream has left the rest of the world ignorant, impoverished and helpless.
And that brand of liberalism is usually expressed passionately by those who are not responsible for the outcome of such nonsense – particularly congressional members. Thus Sen. Obama and candidate Obama, and even early President Obama, conducted international affairs, as if the United States must enter a twelve-step program to rectify its “sinful ways.”
There were the commitment to close the terrorists prison at Guantanamo, to end rendition, to try terrorists in civilian courts, to withdraw from Iraq and to engage foreign enemies such as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venzuela’s Hugo Chavez. And there is the ongoing apology tour in which Pres. Obama seems compelled to start every speech by stating that the United States has not always been a good neighbor.
But now Obama is President. He is responsible for the outcome of his beliefs. And he is finding that those beliefs are foolish and impractical in a world littered with tin horn dictators, blood thirsty religious zealots and truly evil men. The only surprising thing is that a man can grow to the age of nearly fifty and fail to understand that tyrants, madmen and fanatics, like schoolyard bullies, never respond to anything other than the threat of superior force.
As a result, Obama has been forced to accept reality. Thus rendition still occurs. Guantanamo is still open and will remain open indefinitely. Attorney General Eric Holder has been forced to grudgingly announce that the terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo will be tried in military courts as war criminals. Obama was forced to use military might to protect Libyans from Gaddafi. And Obama continues to be scorned and ridiculed by the likes of Ahmadinejad, Chavez and Nicaraqua’s Daniel Ortega.
Grown ups – responsible grown ups – at a point in time acknowledge when they are wrong. But not Obama nor his administration. Obama has accepted without question the information obtained from rendition without acknowledging his acquiescence in its use. He has sent Holder out to acknowledge that military courts will be used while criticizing “politics and ideology” for his consent to their use. He has refused to acknowledge the successes of the Bush administration through its surge and pacification program while claiming victory in Iraq at the very moment that he may preside over its undoing because of premature withdrawal. He has escalated the conflict in Afghanistan while imposing more restrictions on the fighting men and women to prosecute the war. In the end he will withdraw in defeat and humiliation. He has failed in every diplomatic effort involving rogue nations and regimes.
Even in Libya, he resisted the use of force after calling for Gaddafi’s removal and allowed the Libyan resistance movement to suffer brutal attacks. He lied about our nation’s involvement by denying the commitment to “boots on the ground” while simultaneously signing an order authorizing covert operations by the CIA and their favorite weapon – the Special Forces units.
Shortly after Obama’s election, Vice-President-elect Joe Biden, noted that the world would test “this brilliant man” and that it is “not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right, in how we deal with whatever it is.” Biden was correct that the world would test Obama and they have done so repeatedly and the world has universally concluded that he is weak, indecisive, irregular and that he lacks vision and resolve when it comes to international affairs. By any measure short of the far left’s agenda for a non-dominant America, the Obama administration has failed.
Diplomacy is nice among civilized nations seeking a reasonable solution to a mutual problem. But for rogue regimes like North Korea, Iran, Syria, Libya, the Taliban, Hezbolah, Hamas, and a variety of African tribal governments hell-bent on genocide of rival tribes, diplomacy is a game to be played to stall while they carry out their murderous intents.
Mr. Obama, it’s time to grow a pair and accept America’s role as a super power with an agenda to support freedom everywhere – not just where we can throw former allies under the bus and back down from belligerent third world tyrants.