Friday, March 18, 2011

He Can't See Russia at All

Searching for Foreign Policy
In the presidential campaign for 2008, we were warned of the danger Sarah Palin posed as a potential vice president. She was painted as a lightweight with no experience who couldn't be trusted one heartbeat away from leader of the free world. The media went so far as to ridicule her, with Katie Couric asking inane questions in an interview, much of which was left on the cutting room floor.

Tina Fey did such a good job - right down to the stunning resemblance - that the phrase, "I can see Russia from my house!"  is generally attributed to Sarah Palin, even though she never said such a thing. It was misconstrued from her answer to a question in another interview with Charles Gibson, who never even attempted to conceal his utter disdain for the woman.

In September of 2008, I wrote about why Sarah Palin was a credible candidate with enough foreign policy experience to handle the job. I quoted from an article that speculated that she may have been more qualified than Joe Biden at the time, based on her tenure as Governor of Alaska and its proximity to Russia, and as Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard. I never had any doubt that she was more qualified than Obama, yet a fawning press convinced far too many that I was wrong.

Combined with the aid of an adoring media, Obama brought a slick campaign style and shiny veneer to the battle, wowing crowds who were already receptive to him simply because they thought it was time for a Black president. None of the substance ever mattered in the campaign, and the result was what we see now. And the veneer is proving very thin and vulnerable to corrosion.

The fact of our economic anemia, high unemployment rates, and out-of-control debts and deficits aside, we are starting to see the absolute ineptitude of this man in the arena of foreign policy. Some wonder privately - and others are beginning to do so publicly - whether Obama is actually engaged in the happenings around the globe. I simply maintain that he is completely out of his league.

Libyans Under Seige
As the people of Libya fight their dictatorial leader for freedom, Barack Obama picks his March Madness NCAA brackets on TV, and plays golf on the weekends. As Japan struggles with the horrendous aftermath of an earthquake, a resultant tsunami and several nuclear reactors on the precipice of meltdown, Obama is planning to jet off to Rio, where he will give some meaningless speech about something while his family enjoys the sights.

And it's getting harder for his allies in the media to cover for him. As Joshua Hersh adroitly points out in an article in The Daily, even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on her last nerve with this administration, announcing near the end of her Libya mission that she will not return even if Obama wins a second term. In dealings with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Clinton's exasperation was clearly evident, repeatedly and cryptically responding to Sarkozy's urging more action from the White House, "There are difficulties".

Hillary's passion for pressure on Gaddafhi was obviously one of those "difficulties", in that Obama never took them very seriously. In fact, at the Gridiron Club Dinner last week, Obama joked that His Secretary of State's passion made it difficult for him to sleep "for the past few weeks", quipping that she was "out there on Pennsylvania Avenue shouting, throwing rocks at the window".

North Korea defiantly fired ballistic missiles toward our shores, Iran thumbs its nose at our insistence  that they cease attempts to acquire nuclear weapons, leaders of strong allied countries are embarrassed and rebuked by this administration, and China treats us like their little brother. Meanwhile, the saplings of liberty struggle to break the surface of the soil in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Bahrain, and now Iran, while President Obama dances at the White House.

Yet the same media who fretted over the unlikely prospect of a President Palin seem to not even notice that we currently have an actual President who not only can't see Russia, but probably doesn't even know in which direction to look for it. Nor does he care.

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Edisto Joe said...

It seems like yesterday we watched as Obama embarked on his "Apologize for America Tour" in the Muslim world. His ego swelled with the Nobel Peace Prize awarded for what accomplishments in foreign policy and peace no one knows. Now he is faced with destroying his self created Nobel image on the foreign scene by ordering air strikes into Libya. The veneer as you say, is pulled back to reveal to the Arab World just another bully in the White House. Worse, an inept one at that. You can't salvage what never was. It's the reason our plan for Libya seems ill-conceived, timid and confused. And a big reason, as you say, Hillary wants out. Obama will always approach foreign policy decisions as a personal image issue first, rather than a national interest issue. It's the sign of a man who is not comfortable with his convictions in that role. Hopefully by 2012 enough people will understand that.

Woody said...

EJ, how I wish the elections were sooner. I believe more than enough people understand what they did in 2008 now. I'm more afraid that by 2012, Obama will find a way to stabilize his footing and secure another term, which would be the death knell for America. People have a propensity to forget all too quickly.