In his weekly Washington Post column Charles Krauthammer provides a useful summary of the Obama administration’s comprehensive foreign policy failure. This week gave us the vivid depiction of American decline. Hail Lula (a Marxist), Erdogan (an Islamist) and Ahmadinejad (a Muslim terrorist fanatic):
The real news is that already notorious photo: the president of Brazil, our largest ally in Latin America, and the prime minister of Turkey, for more than half a century the Muslim anchor of NATO, raising hands together with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the most virulently anti-American leader in the world.
That picture — a defiant, triumphant take-that-Uncle-Sam — is a crushing verdict on the Obama foreign policy. It demonstrates how rising powers, traditional American allies, having watched this administration in action, have decided that there’s no cost in lining up with America’s enemies and no profit in lining up with a U.S. president given to apologies and appeasement.
They’ve watched President Obama’s humiliating attempts to appease Iran, as every rejected overture is met with abjectly renewed U.S. negotiating offers. American acquiescence reached such a point that the president was late, hesitant and flaccid in expressing even rhetorical support for democracy demonstrators who were being brutally suppressed and whose call for regime change offered the potential for the most significant U.S. strategic advance in the region in 30 years.
One wonders if failure — failure traditionally conceived — is not the objective:
This is not just an America in decline. This is an America in retreat — accepting, ratifying and declaring its decline, and inviting rising powers to fill the vacuum.
Nor is this retreat by inadvertence. This is retreat by design and, indeed, on principle. It’s the perfect fulfillment of Obama’s adopted Third World narrative of American misdeeds, disrespect and domination from which he has come to redeem us and the world. Hence his foundational declaration at the U.N. General Assembly last September that “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation” (guess who’s been the dominant nation for the last two decades?) and his dismissal of any “world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another.” (NATO? The West?)
Given Obama’s policies and principles, Turkey and Brazil are acting rationally. Why not give cover to Ahmadinejad and his nuclear ambitions? As the U.S. retreats in the face of Iran, China, Russia and Venezuela, why not hedge your bets? There’s nothing to fear from Obama, and everything to gain by ingratiating yourself with America’s rising adversaries. After all, they actually believe in helping one’s friends and punishing one’s enemies.
Thus the new world order brought to us by President Obama and his “smart diplomacy.”
To quote Saul Bellow’s aunt (courtesy of Norman Podhoretz in My Love Affair With America), after listening to Bellow and his fellow undergraduate radicals argue politics in her apartment near the University of Chicago: “Smart, smart, smart…stupid!”
UPDATE: Ralph Peters comments further in “Nukes gone wild.” And see also the Bill Gertz/Eli Lake report “UN sanctions loophole: Russia can send missiles to Iran.”