Monday, June 1, 2009
Protect This Generation of Americans
Opinion columnist Peter Heck confronts President Obama on his weakness in foreign policy. Read from One News Now:
Time to be president, Mr. Obama
“It's not a scare tactic...it's simply a scary reality. The United States and the rest of the free world stand on the precipice of entering an age of nuclear blackmail, tension, and terror. Whatever allegiances our president feels to particular interest groups, whatever motivations he previously held, whatever his domestic agenda might entail, this issue deserves his undivided attention. It's time to be president, Mr. Obama -- and that means making your top priority protecting this generation of Americans, and those yet to be born.
For the purpose of achieving political power, the Democratic Party waged a successful six-year propaganda campaign against former President George W. Bush. They tarnished him as engaging in cowboy diplomacy, accused him of war crimes, suggested that he was urinating on the Constitution, and condemned him for destroying civil liberties in his maniacal quest for unlimited authority. It was a calculated political strategy to use the President's unwavering commitment to fighting threats to our country against him. And it worked. Bush left office with an incredibly low approval rating, and both branches of elected government are now completely dominated by those who opposed America's preemptive war strategy from the start (President Obama), or those who originally supported it but then changed their minds once it became politically expedient to do so (virtually every other Democrat in Washington).
But as news broke that North Korea belligerently defied the world again by testing nuclear weapons and missile capabilities, all while Iran rejected the softer approach of our new leadership to continue their own pursuit of nukes, you wouldn't be blamed for wondering if this change of power in Washington was really so great after all.
Regardless of how one might feel about the actions of former President Bush – whether they went too far or were too obsessive – there is no denying the motivation behind those actions: he vowed to protect the American people at any cost. If it meant going it alone, he would do it. If it meant allowing tough interrogations against murderous butchers, he would do it. And while liberals across the country publicly lamented his bullish behavior, they benefited from his relentless resolve. They were able to put their heads on their pillows at night knowing that the man they impugned was pacing the floors of the White House to ensure they could wake up safely the next day to resume their criticism.
But the cowboy who was once so easy to demonize is gone. And in his place we have installed an under-qualified Chicago politician who doesn't seem to grasp that radical Islamists and lunatic dictators aren't tempted by ‘peace,’ nor enticed by compromises. Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad aren't intrigued by Obama's new rhetoric, they aren't fascinated by his humble beginnings, they aren't captivated by his powerful oratory, and they certainly aren't impressed by his global celebrity. They will view Barack Obama just as they have viewed other American presidents: either an obstacle to overcome, or a pushover to manipulate.
To this point, Americans have reason for concern. President Obama has already spoken out against preemptive strikes even when intelligence reveals an imminent threat. He has condemned tough interrogations as beneath our dignity, even if it means saving countless American lives. He has ordered his defense secretary to slash spending on missile defense, even as the threat of a catastrophic electromagnetic pulse emanating from an ICBM has become real.
Bear in mind this new nuclear threat is not like the last. During the Cold War, Presidents from Kennedy to Reagan knew they were dealing with an evil, but rational regime. The Soviets were our ideological enemies, but we both benefited from the knowledge that neither desired a nuclear holocaust that would end all life on earth. That was the baseline that made negotiations, diplomacy, and compromise possible. We have no such baseline with North Korea and Iran.
Islamic scholar Fouad Ajami stated that for Muslims like Ahmadinejad, negotiations are ‘at best a breathing spell before the fight for their utopia is taken up again.’ George W. Bush seemed to understand that to some degree. The future of this country depends on Barack Obama swallowing his pride, overcoming his self-delusion, and grasping what columnist Clifford May perfectly articulated: ‘What they seek is not our friendship. It is our submission. We confuse the two at our peril.’”