Saturday, August 13, 2011
The Obama Doctrine Defined
Douglas J. Feith & Seth Cropsey in Commentary
"...Two large ideas animate the Obama Doctrine. The first is that America’s role in world affairs for more than a century has been, more often than not, aggressive rather than constrained, wasteful rather than communal, and arrogant in promoting democracy, despite our own democratic shortcomings. Accordingly, America has much to apologize for, including failure to understand others, refusal to defer sufficiently to others, selfishness in pursuing U.S. interests as opposed to global interests, and showing far too much concern for U.S. sovereignty, independence, and freedom of action. The second idea is that multilateral institutions offer the best hope for restraining U.S. power and moderating our national assertiveness.
President Obama promoted this perspective of American history in his June 2009 speech in Cairo, which remains his presidency’s most important foreign-policy pronouncement. In that carefully crafted discourse, Obama explained the poor relations between America and Muslims generally by citing “colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims.” He contrasted his own all-encompassing view of humanity with the parochialism of his countrymen in general, lamenting: “Some in my country view Islam as inevitably hostile…to human rights.” Americans’ response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, Obama noted apologetically, “led us to act contrary to our ideals.” Suggesting that long-standing American efforts to establish standards of acceptable international behavior amount to no more than a self-interested and doomed attempt to impose our will on others, he proclaimed that “any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail.” He was here condemning what he perceives as overweening and unrestricted American power and declaring independence from America’s record of bad behavior..."
"...The main ideas in the Cairo speech were foreshadowed in an article Obama wrote for Foreign Affairs in 2007. He associated the words “freedom” and “democracy” with Bush administration rhetoric: “People around the world have heard a great deal of late about freedom on the march. Tragically, many have come to associate this with war, torture, and forcibly imposed regime change.” Fighting terrorism, Obama said, requires “more than lectures on democracy.”
Obama expostulated that America “can neither retreat from the world nor try to bully it into submission.” And so he called for a strategy against terrorists that “draws on the full range of American power, not just our military might.” Reform of multinational institutions, he declared, “will not come by bullying other countries to ratify changes we hatch in isolation.” What is more, “when we do use force in situations other than self-defense, we should make every effort to garner the clear support and participation of others...”
I agree with them on what Obama's vision is. Though I don't believe he is capable of expressing it like that, on his own, without a ghost writer, or a team of advisers. I don't believe him able to articulate it. He is clean, he is intelligent, but he is not a creator, a doer, and he is not a leader.
This man's world revolves around his wants and desires, where people tell him he is smart and great, where his struggles have been small and imagined, and his accomplishments are empty and hollow...his shortsighted lack of perspective from history and true events has put this nation in a position of vulnerability, and in that area his work is unfinished.
America was smacked on September 11, 2001. President Bush and others took action to get us off our heels, lower our center of gravity, shake it off and move in the right direction. With blinders on, the opposition focused on the imperfections, willfully distorted the intentions, and basked in the safety and security provided by the men of action they derided.
What doesn't kill us, may make us stronger. But first, it has to not kill us.