Did Jumpin’ Joe Biden really just raise foreign policy as a supposed asset to the Obama campaign? Did he really imply that Mitt Romney would not have killed bin Laden? Did the gray eminence of Obama foreign policy really just say that “the president has a big stick,” hopefully referring to Theodore Roosevelt’s idea that the U.S. should “speak softly, and carry a big stick”?
Apparently he did.
Let us count a mere dozen of the many ways this is mendacious, looking at the record of Barack Obama. In four short years, our president:
1. Betrayed our NATO allies Poland and the Czech Republic, which had stuck their necks out to host U.S. missile defense systems Obama cancelled to curry favor with Russia.
2. Ordered a counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, but then refused to give commanders the troops they needed, and telegraphed his politically chosen departure date to our enemies.
3. Failed to stop or act seriously against WikiLeaks and its successive releases of stolen classified information, which undermined trust globally for U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers.
4. Attempted to close Guantanamo and treat terrorists like ordinary criminals in civilian courts — only to be stopped by a left-wing Congress then dominated by his own party.
5. Complained to the U.N. Human Rights Council about U.S. deficiencies in housing, jobs and healthcare for minorities — effectively adopting a collectivist view of human rights over the American model of individual rights.
6. Feted China’s unelected bosses at the White House as their government continued to wage cyber war on America, while letting Taiwan figure out how to defend itself without access to U.S. weapons it was promised by law.
7. Turned a cold shoulder on the Green Movement in Iran — a godsend movement that could topple a regime that everyone sane outside of the Obama administration understands to be developing a nuclear weapon.
8. Embarked on what became known as the “apology tour,” where he criticized his predecessors going back to Eisenhower, and lamented to the French that his country “has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” when France was doing things like organizing an international coalition against America.
9. Held a series of open mic nights as revolutions swept the Middle East and administration officials said whatever was more or less on their minds in the absence of a real policy — and dithering to this day as Islamists have gained the upper hand over reformers in that critical part of the world.
10. Bowed to the Saudi king inexplicably, gave the brother handshake to Venezuela’s anti-American strongman, rejected American exceptionalism and sided with a constitutionally deposed anti-American leader in Honduras over a pro-American alternative who stood for the rule of law.
11. Started a war in Libya with no exit strategy — and which might still be tying the U.S. down today had two Persian Gulf states not taken it upon themselves to arm the rebels and end the war.
12. Signed a treaty with Russia that gave away a major part of our nuclear arsenal in return for Russian promises to eliminate weapons they were already scrapping as they modernize their arsenal — while ignoring altogether the Russian advantage in tactical nuclear weapons.
The list goes on. Not much “stick” in there. There is plenty of “speaking softly,” but probably not of the sort that Theodore Roosevelt had in mind.
Mr. Biden’s only piece of evidence of Obama’s foreign policy virtue was that “Osama bin Laden is dead.” True enough, but that is largely in spite of Obama and Biden. Both fought against the human intelligence, terrorist detention and interrogation authorities that turned the tide on al Qaida. For example, it’s unclear how Obama’s launching of investigations of CIA officers ordered to interrogate terrorists did much to help the agency track down our most wanted enemy. Obama’s more recent declarations that the “tide of war is receding” show he refuses to accept that Islamism and terrorism are about much more than just al Qaida — or that there are other threats from places like China that are drawing ever nearer.
The veep was right on one thing. He said his boss has a “backbone like a ramrod.” Who can doubt this? To this day, Obama steadfastly refuses to acknowledge Iran is working on a bomb, with even the IAEA all but saying it is. He still wants to try pirates, terrorists and other unlawful combatants in civilian courts, voters be damned. There’s not a traditional ally anywhere in the world Mr. Obama wouldn’t mistreat to snuggle up with our adversaries. He still espouses the peacenik pipedream that nuclear weapons can or should be abolished — even amid the reality that the nuclear club looks set to expand.
When it comes to ideological zeal and an unflappable commitment to leftist orthodoxy, Mr. Obama is certainly no candy-ass.
Christian Whiton is a senior advisor to the Newt Gingrich presidential campaign and deputy director of national security staff. During the George W. Bush administration, he was a senior advisor at the State Department.