The 23rd Pillar
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Mouse vs. Man in the New Cold War
Obama's critics on the left accuse him of being just like Bush. The reality is that he's only like Bush in the most superficial and unimportant ways. In terms of global vision and resolute defense of American interests, he's almost as different as any Blame America First president could be. He's a horrible "leader" of the free world.
Mouse vs. man in new Cold War
By MICHAEL GOODWIN
Last Updated: 3:36 AM, June 23, 2013
Posted: 12:54 AM, June 23, 2013
The photo of President Obama and Russian boss Vladimir Putin sitting glum-faced at the G8 summit sparked talk of a new Cold War. Let’s hope not, because we would lose this time.
Looking at them, I had one thought: In a showdown, my money is on Putin. In fact, whether negotiating over Syria or arm-wrestling, I want a Putin on our side.
He knows his country’s national interests and is prepared to pursue them. We, on the other hand, have a president who increasingly lives over the rainbow.
World disorder is growing by the day, and Obama seems not to notice or care. His big moment in Berlin — a speech at the Brandenburg Gate — was noteworthy for his profuse sweating.
News reports focused on the small crowd, which was a fraction of the rock-star-sized turnout he got there in 2008. But Obama’s topic struck me as the cause for alarm.
He proposed cutting Russian and American nuclear arms by a third, an idea so loopy it had the feeling of a bait-and-switch. He had to know Putin would say nyet, and the timing made no sense with chemical weapons floating around in Syria and the rise of new nuclear powers, including Pakistan, India and North Korea.
Even worse, Iran’s scramble for the bomb and the warning from Saudi Arabia and others that they will want their own nukes made Obama’s choice an embarrassment. It was as if he was trying to turn attention away from the present dangers by floating a tired vision of Hope & Change.
Forget the world as it is, let’s dream about the world we want. Maybe throw a little pixie dust in the air and wish for a pony, too.
Dreaming has its time and place, but it is no substitute for action that might make the world safer here and now.
His pathetic performance raises questions: Is our president giving up on containing the chaos? Have the world’s problems overwhelmed him?
Actually, I suspect something far more dangerous. He doesn’t have a clue about how bad things are.
Obama has never appreciated America’s unique standing in the world. Coming out of the blame-America-first faculty lounge, he believes the planet would be a better place if we took a smaller role in it.
That’s the vision he has followed by sounding the retreat across the globe. “Leading from behind” is how one aide described it, but it’s not leading at all, unless you call running for the exits leading.
The result hasn’t been a rise of the good guys who were supposedly held back by our heavy hand. Instead, the vacuum is being filled by Iran and its agents in the Mideast, assorted Islamists in North Africa and tyrants and sociopaths everywhere. Obama is so consumed with his own navel that he hasn’t noticed the world isn’t cooperating with his vision.
The bad guys have noticed.
Putin, for one, has Obama’s number. So do the Iranians, the North Koreans and even the Taliban, who think they can kidnap one of our soldiers and exchange him for five bloody terrorists at Gitmo. Maybe they are right.
Our allies must be shaking, knowing Obama won’t stand up to the bullies. And who can blame a Karzai in Afghanistan or an al-Maliki in Iraq for tilting away from us? We’re short-timers in their neighborhood.
Obama’s view is not new to history or unique with him. But somewhere between his dreamy talk of utopia and his policy of neo-isolationism, there are actual slaughters of real people taking place.
Yet the tens of thousands of corpses piling up in Syria don’t move him, nor do the millions of people displaced or forced to flee the country. And his passivity shows he fails to grasp the dangers to our national security of the war spilling into Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel.
Ah, but wait, the president does have an epiphany: The world needs to combat climate change immediately. Any day now, the White House promises, he’s going to set limits on carbon emissions from American power plants. It’ll be a bells-and-whistles speech, one for history, aides say.
That will certainly put a smile on Putin’s face. After all, America is surrendering another piece of its economic future and he doesn’t have to fire a shot.