Do We Even Have a Foreign Policy?
By: Craig Chamberlain
I’m not surprised when there are foreign policy changes when we have a new administration. Each President is different in his outlook of the world, each President has different challenges to face, and each political party emphasizes different ways of dealing with problems. The GOP, for example, tends to be more assertive, while the Democrats tend to be more conciliatory. There are exceptions. President Ford was something of a dove, and President Truman was more hawkish, so these rules are not iron clad rules of nature.
But what seems to be constant about our foreign policy, no matter who is in office, Republican or Democrat, is a lack of a foreign policy. Most nations set out to protect the interests and rights of their country. The tactics might change based on which political party is in charge but the strategy remains constant. The United States seems to react to events rather than shape them. The only thing that seems to differ is how the administrations react.
Can anyone imagine a President Gore trying to handle 9-11? He would have sent the Taliban a copy of Earth in the Balance and expected that to the be end of it. Democrats just tend to react badly. Maybe they’re naive about human nature, maybe they’re too confident in their powers of persuasion, or maybe they consider foreign affairs to be beneath their notice. It’s probably a combination of all three. President Carter couldn’t stop gushing his praises about Ayatollah Khomeini, and when he did decide to stand up for America it was in such an ineffective manner that our prestige still has not completely recovered in the Middle East. This is the same man who has nothing but nice things to say about Castro, Kim Jon Il, and the Palestinian leaders.
President Obama came to power completely convinced that no one would be able to withstand his diplomatic blitzkrieg. All he would have to do was turn on the charm, extend the hand of friendship, and America’s enemies would be eating out of his palms. When he extended the hand of friendship to the Iranian regime(throwing the Iranian people fighting for freedom under the bus) the Iranian leaders bit it clean off and President Obama recoiled back nursing the bloody stump where the hand of friendship used to be. His administration calls Syrian President Assad a “reformer” while he is busy killing his own people. It begs the question: why intervene in Libya, but not Syria?
President Obama throws American allies in Egypt and Yemen to the curb. The new regimes in these countries will undoubtedly by Islamist and anti American, and Pro Iranian. You would think that anyone in Washington, Republican or Democrat, would be against the creation of Pro Iranian regimes, and recognize that the expansion of the Iranian hegemony in the Middle East is dangerous to American interests and dangerous for the world as a whole. This administration doesn’t seem to be all that concerned about it. Never mind that by the time this “Arab spring” is over Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya could find themselves in the Pro Iran camp.
Why isn’t America more proactive in seeing to it that Pro American, and authentically democratic regimes, are set up to block Iranian ambitions? It would seem that we are looking at the administration that is going to lose the Middle East. Perhaps American governments are more interested in ideals than they are in interests. Under President Bush the ideals and interests were combined when they realized that supporting democratic governments doesn’t betray American ideals, and serves American interests. It’s highly unlikely that we’re going to have serious trouble with the Iraqi government(which is, by the way, one of the few Arab nations not to have violent uprisings. I wonder why that could be?)
Then there is the tendency of Democratic regimes to side with America’s enemies. They do this to receive absolution for what they perceive to be America’s sins. It’s pretty obvious that President Obama falls into this mindset. One of the cornerstones of modern progressive thinking is that America is evil. It was founded by evil men, and on evil principles. Oddly, it’s only when it comes to America that leftists believe in evil at all. To the President is no better, and probably a lot worse, than our enemies. Therefore we have no real reason to combat them. There line of thinking is that if we apologize enough, appease enough, and denounce ourselves we will turn enemies into friends without firing a shot.
Someone forgot to tell the Iranians and the Syrians that it was supposed to work that way. Instead the more we hesitate, and appease, the more aggressive they become. If we want peace in the Middle East it is the Muslim world we have to change, not Israel. The Muslim world with its violence, and pathologies, stands in the way of the modern world. Foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog, and violently insistent that the world bow to its demands and desires.
If we want to stop this, if we want to really help the people in the streets, then we will develop a real policy. One that doesn’t sit by passively while people are slaughtered, one that doesn’t allow the Iranians to spread their influence even further, and one that protects people who are really seeking liberty and democracy and not just those who hide behind those words to create the next generation of Arab police states.
It’s time to give aid and support to those people who want real change, and combat those who want Anti Americanism to spread even further.