Free Markets, Free People

Obama’s Foreign Policy Is Dangerous

Caroline Glick, writing in the Jerusalem Post, seems to have as good a measure of Barack Obama’s “foreign policy” as anyone I’ve read. Discussing that in the context of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Sunday speech (two state solution/demilitarized Palestine), Glick writes of Obama and his advisors:

To be moved by rational argument, a person has to be open to rational discourse. And what we have witnessed over the past week with the Obama administration’s reactions to both North Korea’s nuclear brinksmanship and Iran’s sham elections is that its foreign policy is not informed by rationality but by the president’s morally relative, post-modern ideology. In this anti-intellectual and anti-rational climate, Netanyahu’s speech has little chance of making a lasting impact on the White House.

If rational thought was the basis for the administration’s policymaking on foreign affairs, North Korea’s decisions to test long range ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, send two US citizens to long prison terms and then threaten nuclear war should have made the administration reconsider its current policy of seeking the approval and assistance of North Korea’s primary enabler – China – for any action it takes against Pyongyang. As Nicholas Eberstadt suggested in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, rather than spending its time passing UN Security Council resolutions with no enforcement mechanisms against North Korea, the administration would be working with a coalition of the willing to adopt measures aimed at lowering the threat North Korea constitutes to regional, US and global security through its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and its proliferation activities.

But the administration has done no such thing. Instead of working with and strengthening its allies, it has opted to work with North Korea’s allies China and Russia to forge a Security Council resolution harsh enough to convince North Korean leader Kim Jung Il to threaten nuclear war, but too weak to degrade his capacity to wage one.

Similar to Obama’s refusal to reassess his failed policy regarding North Korea, his nonreaction to the fraudulent Iranian election shows that he will not allow facts to interfere with his slavish devotion to his ideological canon that claims that no enemy is unappeasable and no ally deserves automatic support. Far from standing with the democratic dissidents now risking their lives to oppose Iran’s sham democracy, the administration has reportedly expressed concern that the current postelection protests will destabilize the regime.

Obama has also refused to reconsider his decision to reach a grand bargain with the ayatollahs on Iran’s nuclear weapons program that would serve to legitimize their continued grip on power. His refusal to make a moral distinction between the mullahs and their democratic opponents – like his refusal in Cairo to make a moral distinction between a nuclear-armed Iran and a nuclear-armed America – makes clear that he is not interested in forging a factually accurate or morally clear-sighted foreign policy.

At that point in her article, she brings it home to Israel and points to why, given her assessment of Obama’s foreign policy tendencies, Netanyahu’s speech will not be met with the approbation it deserves, in her opinion, by the US. And she makes a good case for her point which you ought to read.

But I was far more interested in the general analysis than how it specifically applied to Israel because it is one of the best and most clearly stated I’ve seen yet. While she doesn’t say it directly, the path the administration is taking is an extremely dangerous path in dealing with these problems she points too.

Regimes like NoKo and Iran see any conciliatory or ineffective moves toward them as signs of weakness to be exploited. And NoKo is presently in the middle of doing precisely that. Iran, caught up in its own internal difficulties at the moment, will soon follow once those are resolved (and they will be resolved).

To bring it back to the Israeli question, the same sort of policy is at work there – lean on Israel to come up with the solution and make the concessions while mostly ignoring the Palestinian side of the equation. Netanyahu made a point, in his speech, to remind the Obama administration of the very first thing which must be done before any meaningful peace process can begin:

Netanyahu demonstrated that through their consistent rejection of Israel’s right to exist as the Jewish state, the Palestinians – not us – are the side responsible for the absence of Middle East peace.

Until that is done, nothing will change. Instead of trying to get Israel to accept Palestine and make concessions, this should be the focus of the US effort there. Without it, nothing changes. But, as Glick points out, that isn’t the focus of he US effort and thus, it is doomed to failure (and she assumes when it failure is finally admitted, it will be Israel that is blamed).

A very interesting and disheartening read. Like I said, I think Glick has nailed it, and, to quote someone close to the Obama administration, in a few years, unfortunately, these foreign policy chickens are going to “come home to roost”.

~McQ

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14 Responses to Obama’s Foreign Policy Is Dangerous

  • I have said it before – many, many times – but I will repeat it again: Obama is too dangerous, too dangerous for words. He makes Neville Chamberlain skilled in diplomacy, and we all know (at least I hope we do) what old Neville did when he kissed Hitler’s fanny in 1938 and sold Czechoslovakia down the river, sort of the same way The Clown™ is selling Israel, Poland, and the Czech Republic down the river now.

    But, I do believe, that each passing day more and more people are coming to understand that a huge mistake was made last November. And, next November, they will make up for that mistake by driving the Democrats out of the majority in the US House, and cut into their majority in the US Senate. Don’t believe me? Watch the polls. See that more people consider themselves conservative than at any time since 1992, and that includes 1994. And Democrats are now less popular on many issues, including the economy and unemployment and government spending. And The Clown™ is becoming more divisive with each passing day. He may be personally popular, but his policies are driving people away from the Democrats. Only Nancy Shmancy and Harry Reid are too dumb to notice. Nearly 10% unemployment is not helping the situation; $3.00 a gallon gas will destroy it.

    The Clown™ will be a one-term President, like Jimmy Carter before him, because Carter believed that winning in 1976, when the GOP name was poison, as a mandate to destroy the government in his own mold. Ronald Reagan undid that nightmare in 1980. We have to coalesce behind another strong candidate, and we will send The Clown™ back to his crooked cronies, terrorists, and religious thugs and anti-Semites back in Chicago in 2013.

  • … what we have witnessed over the past week with the Obama administration’s reactions to both North Korea’s nuclear brinksmanship and Iran’s sham elections is that its foreign policy is not informed by rationality but by the president’s morally relative, post-modern ideology. In this anti-intellectual and anti-rational climate, Netanyahu’s speech has little chance of making a lasting impact on the White House.

    No, no, NO! Bush was the anti-intellectual, anti-rational cowboy who was moved solely by his ignorant, black-and-white view of the world! The Annointed One is the ultimate rational thinking machine, a living version of Mr. Spock!

    / sarc

    I feel so sorry for the Israelis: thrown under the bus by TAO. What must make it doubly galling is that he will kowtow to thugs like Chavez, Kim Jong-Poofy Hair, and Ahmadinnahjacket while lecturing them about how mean they are to the Palis.

  • From that famous neocon, Juan Cole, (LOL) …
    “Mousavi-chiha nadarim, hame ye Iran hastand!”
    We don’t have Mousavi supporters, it’s now all of Iran…
    … this is exactly what neocons have been hoping for many years now
    … and Obama is reduced to a spectator.

  • Moving just slightly to the, ah, left of the topic.

    I would ask regular readers here to review this piece on one Kendall Myers, late of the U.S. State Department:

    http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2009/06/14/home-sweet-home/

    Click on through from there to the story in the U.K. Telegraph.

    Anything sound familiar about this man’s thought and attitudes?

  • sort of the same way The Clown™ is selling Israel, Poland, and the Czech Republic down the river now.

    ***

    Fortunately, at least Israel has the wherewithal to get out of the river (or at worst need to make sure their enemies go over the falls in a barrel along with them) but the rest of these countries are going to have to go pound sand. If I was a baltic nation one of the small republics that bordered the Russians, I’d be very nervous about now.

  • Martin: The name Lee Harvey Oswald comes to mind.

  • Frankly, the Obama response seems a bit .. “anal”.
    It’s like once the election is over .. please clear the streets of this “chaos.”
    The politically savvy will savoy the “chaos” and use the “chaos” to advantage, but to Obama, this is just clutter.

  • As Nicholas Eberstadt suggested in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, rather than spending its time passing UN Security Council resolutions with no enforcement mechanisms against North Korea, the administration would be working with a coalition of the willing to adopt measures aimed at lowering the threat North Korea constitutes to regional, US and global security through its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and its proliferation activities.

    Estimated size of a “coalition of the willing” to confront N. Korea without buyin from China = 0. Rational?

    • I don’t think she means China has to be excluded from any such coalition – I think instead she’s saying you can’t put all your money on China, NoKo’s enabler, expecting them to do something about that regime while trying no other avenue (other than the useless UN route).

  • Caroline Glick is akin to a Jewish nazi.  She should not be taken seriously.   Obama has to be tough on Israel — they have humiliated and mistreated the Palestinians and share blame, recognizing Palestinian crimes as well.  Anyone who tries to say one side is good and the other side bad doesn’t understand reality.  Both sides share a lot of blame, and both have to make a lot of compromises.  And if they don’t — let them kill each other.   It’s not our business.  We have to be fair brokers or we should stay out.  If we take sides (either side), then we’re acting aganist our national interest.

    • “Caroline Glick is akin to a Jewish nazi. She should not be taken seriously.”

      Note to Scott Erb’s students: print out that response by him to Caroline Glick’s critique of Obama’s foreign policy and read it back to him the next time he tells you that “ad hominem attacks are a logical fallacy that inhibit honest discussion and debate.”

      And, Scott, I think that there’s a call on line one for you from Kendall Myers.

  • What exactly is a Jewish nazi?   Do they perform medical experiments on themselves before burning the synagogue they’re worshiping in?