Defense & National Security

Looking the other way: President Obama’s dangerous foreign policy

Looking the other way: President Obama’s dangerous foreign policy
Photo credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

President Barack Obama has built a foreign policy on trying to appease and make friends with America’s enemies, rather than facing them head on with strength and clear consequences for their actions.  The president’s approach, marked by his belief that he could transition from a community organizer to a global organizer, has been an utter failure.  The president has diminished our nation’s international influence and stature, and most egregiously, has put the lives of all Americans in peril.

In the days since the attacks on our embassies and consulates on the 11th of September, we have seen a president and his administration demur, deflect, and mislead the American people.  Vice President Joe Biden says on the campaign trail that “GM is alive, and Osama is dead.” Tragically, so is our Ambassador to Libya.

President Obama’s community organizer roots have given him a naïve assumption.  He believes he can get everyone in one room and with time, they will all eventually get along. Anyone who studies history and understands the global threat America faces today, understands that in order for “peace, love and happiness,” not only do all parties involved need to be willing to try, but they actually have to have the same goal.

America’s enemies are emboldened

This president’s foreign policy failure has made America’s enemies ever more emboldened and our allies feeling even more abandoned.  In his recent speech to the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama repeated six times that the recent attacks on Sovereign United States territories across the Islamic world were caused by a Youtube movie. He refused to use the words “terrorist attack” in referring to the events in Benghazi. He also warned to the assembled nations “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”  He is either incapable or unwilling to acknowledge a radical fundamental Islamist enemy that will stop at nothing to destroy our way of life.  

These statements, and others like them, play right into the hands of our enemies. When President Obama infers America deserves blame for unprovoked attacks, our enemies see their horrendous actions justified, making them ever move brazen.

The fact that a U.S. Ambassador was in such a thinly guarded, unsecure facility on Sept. 11demonstrates an administration completely disengaged from the reality of the world and his own foreign policy.   Several attacks leading up to this incident should have provided a last minute warning. Documented reports show Egypt knew an attack was being planned and alerted the Obama Administration days before, yet this President ignored it and looked the other way.

“Looking the other way” seems to be the cornerstone of President Obama’s approach to foreign policy. Russia continues to grow its nuclear arsenal as the president gives in to Moscow on missile defense and the Strategic Arms Treaty.  The president has offered a “reset” with Russia at a time when a Russian attack submarine was stationed in the Gulf of Mexico, undetected for two months. President Obama’s response is to whisper to Russian President Medvedev that after his reelection he would have more “flexibility.”

Iran, a sworn enemy to the United States and Israel, is on a path to developing a nuclear weapon. When the pro-democracy movement in Iran began to stir, the Obama Administration could have taken steps to help ignite that spark. Instead, President Obama looked the other way. Now as a consequence, we see Iran funding the bloodshed in Syria and continuing to support the growing radical terrorist organizations in Iraq and around the Middle East, including Hamas, Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, some of the very organizations that have been responsible for killing Americans over and over again in terrorist attacks in America and around the globe.

Both Russia and Iran have made it no secret they see America and Western democracy as their enemy, while President Obama has yet to outline any strategy to address this obvious danger to the American way of life.

China is a growing threat

President Obama also refuses to acknowledge China’s growing threat as it continues to expand its Pacific Rim hegemonic dominance threatening Taiwan and Japan, two of our closest allies in the Far East.

Instead of embracing our allies, the president “looks the other way” toward our enemies, with hopes of being a global organizer. The president publicly supported Marxist and Socialist President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia and delivered an apology speech at the University of Cairo.  Yet he has refused to visit our closest ally in the Middle East, Israel, and refused to a support missile defense shield for Eastern European allies, in particular, Poland.

The president’s lack of understanding and expertise in foreign policy has perhaps never been more evident as it has been when it comes to his dealing with the Arab Spring in the Middle East.  When you rid a nation of its leader, you must always anticipate who will fill the void. History clearly shows us Radical Islamists are always looking to fill that gap.  That is what happened in the 1970’s with the Shah of Iran, and that is precisely what is happening in Libya and Egypt today.

With the fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has flexed its dangerous muscle and is now in total control.   The Muslim Brotherhood’s Explanatory Memorandum has a very clear, ultimate goal of destroying America with hopes of turning the United States into a nation of Islam.  Does President Obama and his Administration have any idea how dangerous this faction is and how much of a serious threat they are to America?  Does he simply look the other way because he has no foreign policy solutions, or because he has no objection?

Killing Osama bin Laden did not end our conflict

Contrary to what the president would have you believe, the elimination of Osama Bin Laden was not a foreign policy and did not end our conflict.  It was a tactical success.   A sound foreign policy is defining America’s strategic goals and objectives throughout the world.  A sound foreign policy is defining and setting the terms of your relationships with your allies, and drawing a line in the sand with your enemies.  Most importantly, a sound foreign policy defines  “What is America’s role in the world?” A sound foreign policy never looks the other way.

How many more attacks need to happen, how many more lives lost, before President Obama calls the enemy what it is— a radical Islamic fundamentalist movement determined to destroy America and its way of life.  This enemy only understands and respects strength. President Obama’s constant apologies show only weakness and provide a window of opportunity these groups will continue to exploit as evidenced by the eleventh anniversary of 9-11 attack on our consulate.

President Ronald Reagan described his foreign policy as “Peace through Strength.”  Reagan applied this policy throughout his presidency, leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the liberation of millions of people under Communist rule.

President Reagan knew what it meant to be the Commander-in-Chief and confront our enemies head on. Our current President would rather be a Global Organizer-in-Chief, and avoid the inevitable by looking the other way. This kind of approach makes things worse for America and her allies, as in the end, the enemy always has a vote.

President Obama stood before the United Nations and statedIntolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”  When tolerance becomes a one-way street, it leads to cultural suicide. America shall never be tolerant of the intolerant.  Our foreign policy must show the “intolerant” there will be consequences for their actions, and that America will defend its people and freedom at any cost.

America was once respected for its strength. Today our enemies attack, and in turn they receive taxpayer funded apologies.  The radical Islamists who killed our Ambassador do not fear retaliation from America, and as a result, we must brace ourselves for more of the same. Our nation and our allies will never be safe until we have a President of the United States who no longer looks the other way, nor leads from behind.

Allen West represents Florida’s 22nd district, serving Broward and Palm Beach Counties. He is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

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