Obama’s grovel-ready foreign policy
President Obama began his term badly. He went to London and bowed low before King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. The infamous red “reset” button he told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to present to the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, was little more than an attempt to give Moscow a pass for its aggression against the neighboring Republic of Georgia. The button was even spelled incorrectly. How do you spell “appeasement” in Russian?
Not surprisingly, our secretary of state has been left sputtering three years later about the Russians’ “despicable” behavior in the United Nations. What exactly did the administration expect?
Madame Secretary also went to Beijing and made a point of not making a point of talking to the Chinese about forced abortions or their suppression of Christians. Now, amazingly, she thinks the Chinese, too, are uncooperative at the U.N.
The Obama administration’s actions towards what it calls “the Muslim world” are most troubling of all. Candidate Obama sharply criticized President George W. Bush for “taking his eye off the ball” by invading Iraq. Fair enough. So, as president, Mr. Obama instead doubled down on Afghanistan. First, he had the late Richard Holbrook give the thumbs up to Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s meeting with the Iranians. Second, he nodded as President Karzai publicly acknowledged taking bags of cash from the murderous mullahs in Tehran. This is our ally in the war on terror?
Scratch that. We no longer have a war on terror. It’s called an “overseas contingency operation.”
Third, President Obama groveled before the Muslim world — as he insists on calling it — when he delivered his major address to Al-Azhar University in Cairo in June 2009. His speech was a confused jumble of bad history and even worse diplomacy.
Here’s a paragraph from that speech:
I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second president, John Adams, wrote, “The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims.” … And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers — Thomas Jefferson — kept in his personal library.
Well, yes, Islam has influenced our history. One reason for the Constitutional Convention was to forge “a more perfect Union” to take action against the Barbary pirates then preying on American commerce. President Obama’s reference to Jefferson’s copy of the Koran was especially muddled. Jefferson bought that Koran to see for himself if it could possibly be true what a North African diplomat had told him in Paris. The Muslim envoy said that that book justified kidnapping, hostage-taking and holding American sailors for ransom. Jefferson found, to his amazement, that it did, and he immediately resolved to fight the pirates.
In 1785, Jefferson tried to enlist John Adams and the French in an earlier “coalition of the willing” to bring fire and sword to the Barbary States until they stopped molesting our ships.
The French foreign minister, the Comte de Vergennes, was the same man who had so liberally financed our American revolution. Vergennes told Adams and Jefferson that the only things that mattered to the rulers of the Barbary States were fear and gold, gold and fear. Does that sound familiar?
How did President Obama’s listeners react to his speech in Cairo? They quickly combined to overthrow America’s only reliable ally in the Arab Middle East, Hosni Mubarak. And the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated regime in Egypt has begun actively persecuting that country’s 10 percent Christian minority, the Copts.
The president has yet to visit the only real ally we have left in the region — Israel. Lucky Israel. It’s the only friend of America that that has not been destabilized by this president’s feckless policies.
Now that Afghanistan has exploded into anti-American, anti-NATO riots, can someone in this administration give us a compelling reason why we should be supporting this regime to the tune of $457,000 per hour?
The Obama administration’s announced policy is withdrawal from Afghanistan. Any Afghan who thinks of helping the Americans now knows he is renting rooms in a house built on sand.
If Afghan forces trained and paid by the United States are using weapons we gave them to murder our soldiers, how can we ever trust them to “stand up” against their brothers in the Taliban? Their brothers will command their loyalty long after we are gone. Now, it seems clear, the Taliban has their loyalty long before we are to depart.
All of this is the bitter fruit of our apologist-in-chief. So much for Mr. Obama’s “grovel-ready” policies.
Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior fellows with the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.