Obama Doesn’t Understand Diplomacy


By: Craig Chamberlain

One of the talking points of the Democratic party has been, ever since 2001, that we need to restore our good name, mend fences and make friends. And they, the sophisticated masters of nuance are far more capable of this feat than the ignorant, provincial cowboys in the Republican party. Well, that’s their theory.

On the surface it looks as if President Obama is having great success in being a diplomat. He’s gone to the Middle East and made nice with the leaders of the region, except for Israel of course. They just get a stern talking to. He reestablished ties with Venezuela, and their dictator Hugo Chavez. Despite the bloody crackdown that the world saw in Iran he’s still determined to talk to the regime in Tehran, believing that he can negotiate some kind of deal. He’s hoping to restore a would be dictator to Honduras, and is off to the Kremlin hoping to improve our relations with Russia.

But let’s look at these a little closer. When it comes to dictatorships you can cozy up to the dictator, but you risk the hostility of the people. Or you can do as President Reagan and President George W. Bush did and build relationships with the people as you engage the regime. President Obama has decided to go another road and just talk to the dictators.

It’s easy to get along with dictators, just like it’s easy to get along with a bully. Just give them what they want and they’ll leave you alone. Appeasement always makes you popular with the unelected, secret police crowd. But there’s another reason that President Obama gets along so well with men like Hugo Chavez and Ahmadinejad. While he might disagree with their goals, and the brute force that they use, he admires them for creating systems in which the government is supreme. Being a man of the left himself, President Obama believes that the best way to run society is to remake it so that everything is controlled out of Washington. Since the people are weak and stupid nothing should be left to their control.

But what about Europe? It was always the mantra of the left that our relationships with the nations of Europe were wonderful until President Bush came along and ruined everything. We somehow suddenly went from being a titan to being the village leper. The Democrats have promised for years that they would be the ones to restore our relations and good name with Europe. Except the only countries that President Obama is paying attention to are dictatorships like Russia. The Democratic nations of Europe, all of which were supposed to be anti American hotbeds because of President Bush, either have pro American governments, or they are allies of the United States regardless of which party is in power. It was President Bush who got the Europeans to contribute, albeit not that much, to Afghanistan. It was President Bush’s diplomacy with Europe that put pressure on the Iranian regime. It was President Bush and the nations of eastern Europe that agreed to put a missile defense system in place to stop Iranians from launching missiles. So much for destroying ties and ruining our image.

President Obama, rather than having an effective foreign policy, wants to be popular instead. Get everyone to like us, governments and the people alike, and they will be hanging on our every word, and obeying our every command. Too bad it just isn’t going to work that way. Some people, whether in the street or in the halls of power, are anti American, and nothing is going to change that. The thing to do is ignore and marginalize those people rather than trying to kiss up to them so that they will be our friends.

Are there countries where most people don’t like Americans? Yes, but there really isn’t anything we can do about it. President Bush didn’t make the people of Turkey or France hate Americans. Anti Americanism goes back centuries, it’s not something that a Republican President created, and it’s not something President Obama can cure. All President Obama accomplishes on these diplomatic tours of his is project weakness to leaders who prey on weakness. He projects timidity that will ultimately make America less secure.

Given all that is President Obama the better diplomat than President Bush?

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