We are not the world’s policeman, but…

| July 28, 2014

In the Washington Post today, Editorial page editor Fred Hiatt writes “Obama’s foreign policy reveals the effects of disengagement“. Hiatt lists the scant foreign policy of this administration. While the world begged for leadership, the president, instead focused on transforming domestic policies to suit his own politics. The results of that disengagement from the world, according to Hiatt;

Obama’s determination to gear down in Europe and the Middle East, regardless of circumstances, guaranteed that the United States would not respond strategically to new opportunities (the Arab Spring) or dangers (Putin’s determination to redraw the map of Europe).

When ordinary citizens in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world unexpectedly began agitating for democracy, the West might have responded as it did after World War II (with the Marshall Plan) or the fall of the Berlin Wall (with a commitment to a Europe whole and free). If the United States had taken the lead, Europe and America together could have offered trade, investment, exchange and cultural opportunities to help bring the region into the modern, democratic world.

But for Obama the tumult in Egypt and elsewhere was a distraction, not a once-in-a-generation opportunity. The West responded timidly and inconsistently, and the moment was lost.

For Russia, Obama offered Putin a “reset” strategy of improved relations. But when it became clear that Putin wasn’t interested — that he wanted to re-create a Russian empire while blocking the achievement of a Europe whole and free — the West again had no strategic response. Obama could have bolstered a unified Europe with military, diplomatic and trade measures. Instead, as Putin wrecked democracy in Russia, annexed Crimea and fomented war in Ukraine, Obama and his European counterparts were reactive and divided.

In Iraq and Syria, Obama’s predictions proved wrong. Without the 15,000 or so troops that U.S. generals hoped to station in Iraq for training and counterterrorism, the United States had no leverage as Iraq’s armed forces devolved into sectarian militias. When challenged by al-Qaeda, the army and the state itself quickly shattered.

Without Western backing, the moderate rebels in Syria are in retreat. Assad did not fall, and extremists — with a far more capable arsenal than the moderates have — established a state that Eric Holder finds “more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general.”

Libya’s government, until recently spurned in its requests for help, gradually lost control. The country is now so dangerous that on Saturday the United States had to evacuate its embassy.

I’ll concede that we have no money left to be the world’s policeman, but, if your own hometown’s policemen all quit one day before there was a period to adjust to the new scenario, your hometown would look much like the world today.

Leadership and the lack of leadership are the subject of many op/ed pieces these days. The US could be a leader in the world without spending a lot of money on defense, unfortunately, we have a leaderless country in a leaderless world. Our own Secretary of State is a national punchline, soon to be an international punchline. Even Hillary Clinton took an opportunity this weekend to criticize the Obama Administration for being rudderless in regards to foreign policy, according to the Washington Times;

She then seemed to take another jab at Mr. Obama’s White House, saying that America spends a “lot of money and a lot of time and effort” to exert influence around the world.

But “I think we would be able to succeed more effectively if we were clearer about who we are and what we stand for and the values that we hold,” she added during the CNN interview.

We continue to pour money into foreign governments trying to influence them, but that’s not working. numbers are flying around today about the amount of money that the world poured into Gaza would have rebuilt the entire infrastructure of that state, but Hamas used it to buy missiles and build tunnels into Israel instead.

Leadership is harder, and therefore not the chosen path for this administration. leadership on the border would have been nice, but the solution from this administration was more spending instead – and it was the same lack of leadership that caused that crisis in the first place.

I like to toot my own horn, so I’ll mention that I predicted this chapter of our history unfolding before us back in May, 2007 when I warned about electing someone from Congress instead of someone with actual leadership experience.

By the way, when someone in the Washington Post decides to criticize a Democrat President, the White House needs to take a look at the way they’re doing the people’s business.

Category: Barack Obama/Joe Biden, Foreign Policy

Comments (12)

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  1. FatCircles0311 says:

    limp wrist sissy in chief.

    America voted for him, twice!

  2. Hussar says:

    Hiatt completely misses the mark. The Obama administration hasn’t been holding back. It’s been actively funding and supporting Al Qaeda and it’s offshoots in Libya, and especially in Syria. Iraq is just a huge fuck up of spillover that they didn’t count on.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      God help me, I agree with Hussar. Many, if not most, critics point to incompetence when critiquing The Emperor and his administration. I have not seen it that way for several years. He knows damn well what he is doing, what he is not doing, and the likely, if not assured, consequences of both.

      • Hussar says:

        It’s more than coincidence that right around the time the SEALs who were looking for “missing” MANPADS in Libya were murdered, that Syrian Air Force planes and helos started dropping from the sky.

    • Pinto Nag says:

      I agree.

    • Sparks says:

      Hussar…I have to agree with you sir. Obama has made some very bad foreign policy choices. But then again, his foreign policies like his domestic policies seem more like stuff I hear at our local city council meetings, rather than from the office of the, suppose to be, most powerful leader in the world. He has definitely created a leadership vacuum in the world. Everybody and their brother is stepping in to fill the void left and he seems blind or ignorant to it as does Kerry. Unfortunately it is not the folks we want in a world leadership role. It will take a lot of years for the next administrations to overcome this. That is, if they do not continue on his coat tails of failure, perceiving he had a “good foreign policy”. I can only hope and pray.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t matter, as long as Democrats get to turn America into a socialist tyranny where they rule and live in luxury. (The should ask what Stalin did with Trotsky and other revoltionaries who outlived their usefulness, however.)

  4. Pinto Nag says:

    We stand for something? We have values? Who’d o’ thunk it?

    /sarc off

  5. Atkron says:

    Who didn’t see that one coming..Hillary knowing she had no chance of winning the 2008 Primary held out until B.O. offered her a top Cabinet post in exchange for her dropping her candidacy. Fast forward through one term in office and a few eff-ups…she resigns, distances herself for a bit, and then starts to criticize the current administration to further distance herself in order to run a campaign based on her ‘vast’ experience on the international front. I almost hope they put Warren up instead of H.C….we need another Clinton in there like we need another Bush, no offense but the legacy shit needs to stop.

  6. Thunderstixx says:

    I concur with the article and am aghast at the level of both incompetence and malice together as a “great big shit sandwich, and we’re all gonna have to take a bite…”
    I only hope that all of us remember that the libs right now understand that this will be their last hurrah’s and that goes on both sides of the aisle.
    Even demonrats that have a history of actually working for a living are absolutely beside themselves at the level of malcompetence coming from every single member of this administration.
    It will fall to the states to straighten this out and we have 30+ states with conservative leadership as it stands right now.
    Remember, even though the libs are screaming and throwing a huge pussy wussy fit fewer and fewer people are listening to them as evidenced by the ratings of all MSM news shows drops into the basement.
    Even Milwaukee is looking at electing a conservative mayor in David Clarke. He, by the way, would be a great mayor of Milwaukee.
    Have faith friends, God is still in control and everything that is happening is all poart of his plan. Much of the stuff happening is man made by choices, but his plan is to give us the things we need to fix it.
    I would venture to guess that in 5 years we will be in a lot better condition than we are now.
    Something is bound to break, when it does, we will be called upon to fix it, and we will gladly step up to the plate and fix it.

  7. royh says:

    We need leadership at home, not pandering. Let the rest of the world handle their own problems.

  8. Sparks says:

    I have thought about the isolationist view of America. It seems we are at a time in history and our economic well being when we seriously need to consider this. Not pre-WWII fashion. But in the act of telling the world we are not their police department. There is the UN, as worthless as they are and every other democratic, first world country who can step up and it is high time they did. Most every one of them are free and democratic because of American blood and lives in generations past that saved and made them so. Japan, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and many others. They are more than happy to sit back and watch America send troops hither and yon to stop this or that bad guy from kidnapping girls or you name it. They sit back and say, your money, your blood and lives, your economy paying for it, great. Want our help? No thanks, we’ll sit this one out. Since terrorists around the world are zoomed in on Israel and America as the “great Satan”, those others can stay under the radar, though they represent the same democracy and freedoms as America. I believe their mindset is, “If we step up and help against terrorism, we become a bigger target to them”. An act and decision of fear. But they do not understand they are as vulnerable as we are. Hypothetically, in the event the terrorists had their way and America fell to their terror and dictates, they would not stop here. Not at all. Their next targets would be those nations mentioned for the same reasons. Unreasonable people cannot be reasoned with. I feel it is time to pull back, secure our own borders and make sure we have a capable, manned and equipped military to respond to direct attacks against us or our citizens where ever they occur. We need to send a swift and strong message to the world of terrorists that we will kill them and their producing and harboring nations if we are harmed. They have a love for killing civilians, yet the UN and the world decries America for every civilian who dies as a result of harboring and or aiding and abetting those terrorists. “Want to hide out in our home and neighborhood and dress like us so you’re indistinguishable from a civilian, great, come on. It is after all, Allah’s will”. You play with a snake and take it into your home, you can’t complain when it multiplies and bites you. We will reach out with our capabilities and rain terror down on them the likes of which they have not imagined. One or two lessons like this will do one of two things. Make them rethink their positions or drive them farther in their Holy Wars. If it drives them farther to the extremist side than they are, which is hard to believe possible, then the next lessons are much worse and more devastating. The UN and the other nations who love to criticize us at every turn, but fail to support us when we bleed and die to stop them, can pitch in for the benefit of their own future and that of the world at large, or sit down and shut up. I am older now and perhaps my patience is thin about these things anymore.

    All of the above are just my thoughts and feelings. In order to do such as this we would need a President far stronger and far less less self absorbed than we have. That is why I fear greatly that before we can take these needed steps to protect and defend ourselves, due to the lack of leadership in our nation, we will be forced into a decision. We will be forced by an open door policy to the south that is seeing terrorists enter and has for some time. They will find their choice place and time for their “zero hour” and strike America again. I fear greatly, it will make 9/11 look tame in comparison. I fear it will be the only thing that changes this nation’s cares and thoughts from what the Kardashians are doing today to what and how are we going to survive and live in the coming generations. Yes, I am saying America first, foremost and always in essence. These are just my humble opinions from one person. My hopes and my fears. I love this country more than I can say. Therefore I look to the future and want the best for us. In all respects. Help ourselves now, before we are forced to defend ourselves and recover from some devastation later. God bless and keep the United States of America. Protect and defend us from all enemies both the foreign ones and unfortunately the misguided domestic ones as well.

    Rant over. Sorry for the long soap box session.