A Policy of Words

The Washington Post reports on President Obama’s West Point graduation speech:

President Obama on Saturday offered a glimpse of a new national security doctrine that distances his administration from George W. Bush’s policy of preemptive war, emphasizing global institutions and America’s role in promoting democratic values.

That’s the first paragraph of the Post summary, and already it’s clear Obama’s national security doctrine stretches no further than whatever was programmed into the teleprompter yesterday. How has America promoted democratic values on Obama’s watch? By waiting months before even paying lip service to Iranian dissidents dying in the streets? By criticizing Arizona to the hapless Mexican president, the Communist government in China, and anyone else who will listen? By betraying the Poles, Czechs, and Israelis at every opportunity?

“Yes, we are clear-eyed about the shortfalls of our international system. But America has not succeeded by stepping outside the currents of international cooperation,” he said. “We have succeeded by steering those currents in the direction of liberty and justice — so nations thrive by meeting their responsibilities, and face consequences when they don’t.”

This is, to apply my favorite British phrase, bollocks on stilts. The currents of international cooperation are flowing nicely for anyone President Obama fears may not support toothless UN sanctions against Iran. If you’re wondering what sort of consequences nations face for failing to meet their responsibilities, just ask the Iranian mullahs.

And yet, as he calls for global cooperation, Obama has intensified the U.S. war in Afghanistan. And his administration has repeatedly confronted the dangers of Islamic terrorism on U.S. soil, including unsuccessful attempts to down a Detroit-bound airliner and explode a car bomb in New York’s Times Square.

Emphasis mine. The Obama administration has done everything in its power to avoid confronting the danger of Islamic terrorism. The Attorney General is scarcely willing to utter the phrase “radical Islam.” Based on the Post’s summary, Obama’s West Point speech was an exercise in revisionist history and empty rhetoric.

Turning to the full transcript, one sentence in particular stands out:

“But more than any other nation, the United States of America has underwritten global security for over six decades — a time that, for all its problems, has seen walls come down, and markets open, and billions lifted from poverty, unparalleled scientific progress and advancing frontiers of human liberty.”

This is absolutely true, and incredibly important. And President Obama, whose domestic goals guarantee America will no longer be able to afford anywhere near the military might necessary to assist allies and deter enemies, does not care.

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