"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Friday, February 11, 2011

Obama's Ideological Foreign Policy and its Collision with Reality

Not long after posting on The Washington Post's story about Pakistan's rapidly growing nuclear arsenal, I came across Caroline Glick's terrific op-ed on the same subject and it references the same WaPo article. Anyway, she connects the dots between Pakistan, the not-so-great foreign policy the US enacted with it in the past, and Obama's ideological stances that endanger the US, the Middle East, and more. It's an excellent piece of work, and I highly recommend reading the whole work at the link below.

From Glick's essay:

"The Obama administration has been silent on Pakistan's nuclear proliferation activities. As ISIS President David Albright said to the Washington Post, "The administration is always trying to keep people from talking about this knowledgeably.

"'They're always trying to downplay the numbers [of Pakistan's nuclear warheads] and insisting that "it's smaller than you think."'

"Pakistan's nuclear growth goes on as its economy is in shambles, its government is falling apart and a large portion of the country's territory is controlled by the Taliban.

"Pakistan is the largest recipient of US foreign aid. In 2009 Congress approved a five-year $7.5 billion civilian aid package. Last October, the Obama administration proposed supplementing the aid with $2b. for Pakistan's military.

"The administration requested the supplemental aid despite criticism that economic assistance to Pakistan indirectly funds its nuclear project, since Pakistan is in an effective state of bankruptcy.

"Moreover, a US Inspector-General's Report published this week concluded that the $7.5b. in assistance has achieved little.

"For their part, the Pakistani government and military adhere to a radically anti-American line, and Pakistan's powerful ISI intelligence service and large sections of its military continue to maintain intimate ties with al-Qaida and the Taliban.

"Last month, Pakistani police arrested US diplomat Raymond Davis in Lahore after he killed two gunmen who were reportedly about to rob him at gunpoint. Pakistani law enforcement officials have charged Davis with murder and refuse to release him to US custody, despite the fact that he should enjoy the protection of diplomatic immunity. Rather than attempt to quiet passions, the Pakistani government is fanning anti-American sentiments by among other things, releasing a videotape of Davis's police interrogation.

"To date, while members of Congress are beginning to threaten to curtail aid to Pakistan pending Davis's release, the administration has limited its response to this de facto act of hostage-taking by Pakistan to refusing to hold high-level exchanges with Pakistani leaders. And even this limited response has been inconsistently implemented."

Glick then really hits the nail on the regarding the danger that Obama's ideology has put the US and the world in.

"Since taking office, the Obama administration has failed to conceive of a strategy for contending with the situation. One of the main obstacles to the formation of a coherent US strategy is the Obama administration's move to outlaw any discussion of the basic threats to US interests. Shortly after entering office, President Barack Obama banned the use of the term 'War against terror,' substituting it with the opaque term 'overseas contingency operation.'

"Last April, Obama banned use of the terms 'jihad,' 'Islamic terrorism' and 'radical Islam' in US government documents.

"Given that US officials are barred from using all the terms that are relevant for describing reality in places like Pakistan, it is obvious why the US cannot put together a strategy for contending with the challenges it faces there.

"Imagine an intelligence officer in Peshawar trying to report on what he sees. Imagine a defense attaché in Lahore trying to explain the problems with the jihad-infested Pakistani military to his superiors in Washington. Imagine a USAID officer trying to explain why the jihadist-mosque attending public refuses to work at US-funded highway programs.

"The Obama administration's decision to ban relevant language from the official US policy discourse was ideologically motivated. And in choosing ideology over reality, the Obama administration has induced a situation where rather than construct policies to deal with reality, at all levels, US officials have been charged with constructing policies to deny and ignore reality.

"Against this backdrop it becomes fairly clear why the Obama administration's handling of the political turmoil in Egypt has been so incompetent.

"Upon entering office, Obama made a determined effort to ignore the political instability percolating under the surface throughout the authoritarian Arab world. US government officials were instructed to curtail programs aimed at developing liberal alternatives to authoritarianism and the Muslim Brotherhood. The justification for this behavior was again ideological.

"As the world's biggest bully, the US had no moral right to judge the behavior of tyrants like Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

"Once the dutifully ignored long-repressed popular discontent boiled over into the popular revolts we have seen over the past month in Tunisia and Egypt as well as Yemen, Jordan, Algeria and beyond, the Obama administration rushed to get on the 'right side' of the issue. To avoid criticism for refusing to contend with the problems bred by Arab authoritarianism, Obama went to the other extreme. He became the most outspoken champion of unfettered popular democracy in Egypt.

"Of course, to occupy this other side of the spectrum, Obama has had to ignore the danger constituted by the most powerful opposition movement in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood's hostility towards the US's most fundamental strategic interests in the Middle East has been swept under the rug by the Obama administration and its supporters in the US media.

[...]

"From its slavish devotion to appeasing Iran, its single-minded insistence on withdrawing from Iraq, its announced commitment to withdrawing from Afghanistan, to its tolerance of Hugo Chavez, and its infantile reset button diplomacy towards Russia, the Obama administration's foreign policy is on a collision course with reality."

I really wish that Glick was way off base here, but I'm afraid she isn't. Obama's rank amateurism coupled with his American counter-culture ideology have destabilized much of the world, turning many parts of the underdeveloped world into a very chaotic, and dangerous place. Hope and Change...

2 comments:

  1. The Obama administration will go down in history as an "unprecedented" disaster for the entire world. I don't think there is a single grown up in his entire cabinet.

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  2. They're all grown-ups and they're all highly educated. They're also wedded to an ideology which is self-centered and highly destructive.

    ReplyDelete