Over at the Washington Post, editorial page editor Fred Hyatt wonders about Obama’s lack of passion in supporting freedom around the world, something those of us on the Right noticed long ago, though we might term it derision of freedom
More than three years into his term, it’s possible to assess where the promotion of democracy and freedom ranks in President Obama’s foreign policy: not high.
It’s also possible to venture a theory as to why that’s so.
Mine would include several reasons: he’s incompetent. He had no real executive or legislative experience dealing with foreign countries (remember Hillary’s 3am ad?). His State department is run by boobs with nary a clue. It’s hard work. It gets in the way of golf and campaigning. He doesn’t control the media in those countries, so, he can’t bloviate, pontificate, and lie and get away with it. And, he really doesn’t care. He doesn’t care much for freedom here in the USA.
This was a matter of uncertainty before his election. Not surprisingly, Obama was eager to separate himself from his predecessor’s “Freedom Agenda,” which had been oversold and yoked to an unpopular war in Iraq. Obama talked more about “dignity” than “democracy” and warned that self-government couldn’t be imposed.
Because an agenda of freedom was somehow portrayed as a bad thing, despite pretty much every president over the last 100 years pushing for freedom.
Remember the Dalai Lama walking out the back door of the White House past all the garbage bags?
Overall, though, he has shown little passion for the cause.
Why should he? He has little passion for it here at home. A good chunk of what he supports would put ever increasing amounts of power in the hands of the Central Government while taking it out of the hands of the citizens. He installs czar after czar, people with no responsibility to report to the Legislative branch. His Consumer Protection Bureau will likewise have no responsibility to respond to Congress, or the People, and looks more like a federal shakedown organization than a way to protect consumers. His signature legislation, Obamacare, would fine citizens for not purchasing a product they do not want, puts enormous make it up as they go powers in the hands of the director of HHS, and puts student loans in the hands of the Central Government. He supports any and all gun control laws.
The biggest unpredicted event of Obama’s term has been the Arab Spring. He responded to it, case-by-case and overall, as if it were an unwanted distraction, not a historic opening.
Hyatt then goes through many of the cases. In Iran, he completely blew off the Green Revolution. In Egypt, he was all over the map with his support, and, after finally deciding that Mubarak had to go and pushing him out the door, Team Obama has done….very little to promote democracy and freedom. He launched a war of choice in Libya, and, then, what? Barely involved. All while ignoring what was going on in Syria for nearly a year.
He’s pretty much put the blame on Israel for any and all that happens, consistent with his far Left beliefs. He’s insulted Hamid Karzai, the leader of Afghanistan, multiple times. Karzai is not the best leader, but, he’s the guy in charge, and it makes it difficult to promote anything. Obama has been attempting to negotiate with the Taliban for years, a group not actually much in to freedom. He’s not been particularly supportive in Iraq. But, then, he hasn’t been particularly supportive of freedom at home, so, why should international issues been any different?