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Monday, February 23, 2009

Jimmy Carter's second term

Back in January 0f 2008, I wrote a post in which I compared then-candidate Barack Hussein Obama to Jimmy Carter, one of America's least successful Presidents. I was particularly concerned with Obama's lack of foreign policy expertise.
Why does Carter matter? Because in many ways, Carter is the archetype for Barack Hussein Obama, now the front runner for the Democratic nomination. Like Carter, Obama is an unknown who has come out of nowhere. Like Carter, Obama is a creature of the leftist media. Like Carter, Obama is relatively young (he's 47 years old - Carter was 52). Obama is a first-term Senator from the State of Illinois. That's right - he was elected to the Senate in 2004 and started serving in January 2005, just three years ago. But here's the key to why Obama is like Carter: Three years in the Senate, even as a member of the foreign relations committee, does not give one the experience to run the country's foreign relations. So Obama, like Carter before him, will be dependent upon his foreign policy advisers at a crucial time for both the US and Israel. Without his advisers, Obama has no clue how to set a foreign policy agenda. As former Israeli ambassador to the US Danny Ayalon wrote in the JPost last week:
Since early on in his campaign he has said that he would meet with the President of Iran - but we are left in the dark as to what agenda he would pursue on this issue. With the exception of promoting American divestment from Iran, an idea he adopted during a meeting with Bibi Netanyahu, Obama has largely avoided highlighting what specific demands he would make of Ahmadinijad and any timetables he would establish for the Iranians to dismantle their nuclear program. The threat of Islamic terrorism and the expanding scourge of fanaticism are also concepts which have been addressed by Obama in only the most ambiguous of terms.

As far as Israel is concerned, Obama has yet to suggest specific measures he would enact regarding the Jewish State's Qualitative Military Edge that allows us to defend ourselves against our current and future enemies. Given the increasingly tense security environment Israel is confronting on all sides, now is not the time for American leaders to shy away from such fundamental questions.
Who are Obama's foreign policy advisers? That's the most troubling question of all.
At Real Clear Politics, one month after Obama took office, David Warren has already labeled his administration "Back to Carter" and with good reason (Hat Tip: Hot Air). Here's what Warren had to say about areas of particular concern to Israel.
Likewise, foreign affairs were suddenly thrust into the back trunk. I argued last year that it was hard to take seriously a foreign policy that seemed to consist of punishing America's friends, and encouraging her enemies; that offered, for example, threats to Pakistan but dialogue with Iran.

I did not at the time expect that it would ever come into play, however, for I assumed that even if Obama won the election, more sober influences within the Democratic Party would prevail, and in the end he would find himself with something that secretly resembled the Bush doctrines.

I have lost that confidence since watching the new White House destructively criticize Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai, congratulate Venezuelans on constitutional changes that will enable Hugo Chavez to be president-for-life, deliver an entirely gratuitous apology for American behaviour towards the Islamic world, and send George Mitchell off to the Middle East to strike a more "balanced" posture between Israel and Hamas. This, after decisions on Guantanamo that signal a new "catch and release" approach to the world's most dangerous terrorists.

While I doubt Americans intentionally voted for any of that, they did sign a blank cheque for unspecified "hope" and "change," and they did endorse a candidate whose popularity was not only greater abroad than at home, but especially high among anti-Americans. They now have a President who is taking lectures from such as Desmond Tutu. He warns that Obama will squander the world's goodwill if he does not immediately apologize to the Iraqi people for the "unmitigated disaster" in which George Bush freed them from Saddam Hussein.
Read the whole thing. Four years is an awfully long time and all we can do is hope and change pray that the Midterm elections in 2010 at least return Congress to sanity and Republican control.


At 3:39 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I do not share your optimism, Carl. Obama is the most Far-Left President America has ever had but the Republicans are listing in a way they weren't in the 1970s and the media is even more ideologically hostile to conservatism and American exceptionalism than it was back then. Things are just going to go from bad to worse and I doubt much can be done about it. This is not the Barack Obama many Americans thought they voted for but they had plenty of advance warning of his radical policies and chose to ignore them.

That's why Hopenchange looks very different here today.

At 6:29 PM, Blogger LB said...

I'm sorry to say I don't see much reason for optimism either. Unless something enormous happens before the elections (midterms or 2012), I don't think the average American really cares about anything that happens outside the US - leaving the netroots, far-left, etc to push everyone against Israel and against sanity...


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