Foreign Affairs

Obama’s Hopeless Foreign Policy

“An insult unpunished is the parent of many others.”—Thomas Jefferson

The single most important function of government is the protection of its people. Since the very first tribe to today’s modern mega-governments, security of the group has been the paramount concern. Modern America provides no exception to that rule.

American historian Will Durant wrote in 1968, that “War is one of the constants of history, and has not diminished with civilization or democracy. In the last 3,421 years of recorded history only 268 have seen no war.” The years since have seen no serious exception to that constant of history.

Even so, in every age, there have been pacifists who believed that such statistics can be avoided if we turned the other cheek toward our enemies and acted with greater humility. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain famously hoped as much and his error before World War II, and those of the others who were want to believe in the same, led to the greatest war man has ever known. The Obama Administration is repeating the same errors of old, if not in detail, certainly in kind but perhaps of a greater magnitude.

Obama’s errors started with campaign comments about meeting with Iranian leaders without pre-condition and then continued in office when he began cutting back on defense including missiles that could defend Eastern Europe and America. Those unilateral actions and others yielded few, if any, concrete results as witnessed by Iran’s continued bellicose statements and actions.

Iran, however, is hardly our only security concern. Obama sold many Americans on the notion that he would begin a new day with the Islamic World and in doing so America would be safer against terrorists. The echoes of Chamberlain could not be more distinct in the face of the four high-profile attacks on America during the Obama Administration: the Christmas Day bomber, the Fort Hood attack, the attack on the Pakistani Embassy and now the Time Square bombing.

During the Clinton Administration, there were at least nine such attacks plus the planning for 9/11. Clinton treated the first bombing of the World Trade Center as a criminal affair and did not even visit the site in the wake of the attack. Obama has done nearly the same with the attacks during his watch including the Time Square bombing.

First, Obama appears willing only to respond definitively to “successful” attacks much like an attempted murder charge. That soft position is consistent with treating these nearly successful bombings, not as acts of war, but as criminal acts for which they Mirandize the culprits in a prelude to their ill-conceived criminal trials. Second, beyond not responding with overwhelming force to such attacks, let alone a presidential address on the gravity of the subject, Obama merely send outs his surrogates to announce that America, and New York in particular, was attacked again by the Taliban and al Qaeda.

To all but those so blind that they refuse to see, Obama is repeating the same mistake as Clinton and Chamberlain before him. Obama cannot accept, as Durant said, that “Peace is an unstable equilibrium.” Nor does he understand, as Jefferson warned that, “An insult unpunished is the parent of many others.”

We have had four major attacks against our country during just 15 months of Obama’s reign, replete with a hopelessly flawed foreign policy of naiveté and appeasement. As long as Obama ignores the likes of Durant and Jefferson, sadly and ominously, we are more than at risk for more.

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