The United States has announced that it will report its own human-rights failings to the United Nations, in particular the UN’s Human Rights Council, half of whose members are degenerate dictatorships.
Last Friday the secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, phoned the Israeli prime minister to berate him over the ill-timed announcement of some housing in East Jerusalem. The secretary’s language was reported to be severe, even unprecedented.
A few weeks ago, Clinton insulted the British by suggesting that the United Kingdom and Argentina negotiate over the future of the Falklands, even though it is established British policy never to negotiate over the sovereignty of those islands. The fact that the secretary would place Argentina on the same level as Britain stunned Whitehall, which has generally assumed the United States to be an ally.
Early last year, President Obama made plain his contempt for Britain by returning a bust of Winston Churchill that had rested in the Oval Office.
Last year Mr. Obama also refused to have dinner with the French president, one of America’s best friends in Europe, during D-Day commemorations.
The Obama administration also threw sand in the faces of our East European allies by withdrawing support for the anti-missile system that they’d accepted, although that acceptance risked their relationship with Moscow.
And when pro-democratic forces in Honduras legally ousted that country’s pro-Chavez president for trampling over the Honduran Constitution, the Obamans sided with the pro-Chavez president.
The president will be in Australia next week. Let’s see if he shows the slightest affinity for the country, which has always stood at America’s side.
Of course, this is the same president who took four days to saunter up to a microphone and denounce, mildly, the Iranian regime for shooting its citizens in the streets. And this is the same president who has yet to denounce Hugo Chavez.
What is the problem here? The problem is that the foreign policy of the United States, under Barack Hussein Obama Jr., can be summarized as follows: Punish our friends, reward our enemies. We have seen this now for more than a year, and the resulting gain for the United States is…nothing.
It would be bad enough if this policy were simply the result of the latest realpolitik theory. This is not the first era, after all, in which being a friend of the United States has had its dangers. In 1956, President Eisenhower, of all people, turned on Britain, France and Israel for their attempt to secure the Suez Canal in Egypt. (He later expressed some regret over his action.) And Jimmy Carter did not inspire confidence among our West European allies.
But there is a difference between those episodes, and others like them, and today. Some administrations have occasionally distanced themselves from traditional allies for reasons, often misguided, of policy. The Obama administration is distancing itself from American allies for reasons of culture. This president barely tolerates his own country. He has little use for its allies, many of which share Western values and ideals. The president, despite his denials, is a man of the Third World. He sees countries like Britain as colonialists, even though the colonial era ended many decades ago. While he is not a Muslim by religion, Obama is a man with a Muslim cultural background, giving him an affinity for nations that have traditionally been hostile to the United States. His speech last year in Cairo contained more groveling than Neville Chamberlain’s remarks at Munich.
This cultural change is far more dangerous to us than temporary shifts of policy. The president’s culture is ingrained. No facts or events will change it. He has an aloofness toward Western ideas, and democracy is one of those ideas. His lack of interest in democracy has been evident since his term began. Ask the demonstrators in the streets of Tehran who held up banners inquiring, “Obama, where are you?” Obama never answered.
It was hoped that some of those around Mr. Obama would moderate him. Hillary Clinton is known to be more hawkish, as is his secretary of defense, Robert Gates. But, in the end, it is the president who calls the shots. So far, those shots appear to be terrifying our allies, many of which have clearly lost faith in America’s ability to lead and to protect them. The British contempt for Obama is evident in the British press.
What is the solution?
There is none, except the passing of this administration into history. We’ve seen in the health-care debate that Obama is not a learning man. He’s a stubborn ideologue. My fear is that our foreign policy, despite some occasional smartness, like the sending of more troops to Afghanistan, will continue to descend into the kind of mush popular on smug college campuses, ruled over by “scholars” left over from the 1960s.
The cure is victory at the polls. I’m afraid it’s the only cure. The 2012 presidential election will be fateful. I don’t know if the American position in the world can hold if Obama is reelected, forcing us to wait until 2016. We can’t afford the risk of finding out.
URGENT AGENDA (WWW.URGENTAGENDA.COM)
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here