Is Obama Another Jimmy Carter?
Bahukutumbi Raman, writing in Forbes , asks the same question AT writers and readers have been asking for months. "Is Obama another Jimmy Carter?"
The defiant action of North Korea in testing a long-range missile with military applications last month, and its latest act of defiance in reportedly carrying out an underground nuclear test on May 25, can be attributed–at least partly, if not fully–to its conviction that it will have nothing to fear from the Obama administration for its acts of defiance. It is true that even when George Bush was the president, North Korea had carried out its first underground nuclear test in October 2006. The supposedly strong policy of the Bush administration did not deter it from carrying out its first test.
After Obama assumed office in January, whatever hesitation that existed in North Korea's policy-making circles regarding the likely response of U.S. administration has disappeared, and its leadership now feels it can defy the U.S. and the international community with impunity.
A series of actions taken by the Obama administration have created an impression in Iran, the "Af-Pak" region, China and North Korea that Obama does not have the political will to retaliate decisively to acts that are detrimental to U.S. interests, and to international peace and security.
Read the entire piece at the link. Raman has some choice words about Obama's AF-Pak policy that are spot on about India being the loser in how that policy is shaking out.
The real dig here by Raman is the application of what Obama calls "smart power" and what the rest of us are seeing as "soft power." This is the way Jimmy Carter viewed the world (and most liberals since) and it breaks down into 3 basic assumptions about the world that are so naive, so extraordinarily dangerous, that the only way America elected a liberal president prior to Obama was when they were sure the Russian bear was dead and buried and not able to harm us as a result of the stupidity of the Democrats.
Those assumptions are:
1. America's policy of protecting its own interests in the world is selfish and self-defeating. It is better to subsume those interests in the name of international comity and to reassure the world that we will never use our power to thwart those who seek to undermine those interests but rather go through "channels" by utilizing the UN and "consulting" with our allies.
2. We have no enemies, only diplomatic misunderstandings that can be alleviated if we apologize for our past sins and appease those who would do us harm by unilaterally giving them what they crave; international recognition through dialogue with the United States and an end to the threat that a smart bomb might find whatever bunker they are sleeping in at night. Guaranteeing the legitimacy of the Iranian, Chavez, and Kim regimes (and a few others) by foreswearing the use of military force to affect change in government is all our enemies need to walk all over us.
3. America is the source of most of the trouble in the world and therefore, acting "humbly" in international forums and recognizing the illegitimate gripes against us by thug regimes around the world will bring about "peaceful co-existence" with all.
By 2012, Kim will have a nuclear arsenal, the Iranians will either have the bomb or have been dealt with by Israel (with unknown but almost certainly troubling consequences), Chavez will have added more nations to his Marxist orbit in South America, Syria and their gangster regime (as well as Hezb'allah) will be stronger vis a vis Israel, Iraq may or may not be a failed state, ditto Pakistan, ditto Afganistan, and depending on how badly the Obama administration harms the world economy - as well as our own - the US position as a financial superpower may have been eroded beyond fixing.
All of this basically because of those three assumptions that undergirds the Obama foreign policy.
Jimmy Carter? I think a better presidential template would be James Buchanan's administration (1856-1860). If there was ever a chance to avoid Civil War in America, that opportunity was lost through a series of wrong headed, stupid, miscalculating moves by President Buchanan in the lead up to the election of 1860. The overarching problem with Buchanan was a sense of weakness that emboldened Southern states to secede in the aftermath of the election. Obama is repeating that weakness overseas (and at home with his inability to make the tough choices that would avoid catastrophic deficits) and the question we should all be asking is:
How much damage can Obama do to America in the 3 1/2 years he has left?
Source: American Thinker
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