May 20, 2010

How’s that Apology Thing Working Out?

As a candidate, Barack Obama wowed the world. He went to Berlin and gave a speech at their victory monument. It was a curious venue for such a speech. But a million Germans came out to hear him. It was a phenomenal scene. No one remembers what he said there, but it was quite a show. A year later, when he returned to the Continent, as President, he spoke at Normandy. No one can quite recall what Obama said, but everyone remembers what Newsweek’s Evan Thomas said: “I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God.”

If you are hailed as a “sort of God,” it’s no wonder that your head gets turned. You don’t want to seem puffed up, or succumb to the sin of pride. So you start apologizing. Not for yourself, but for your country. America has been arrogant, you tell the world. America has tried to go it alone. America has not sufficiently respected the rest of the world. And you bow. You bow a lot.

You decide you should “re-set” relations with Russia. Back in America’s sinful past, those evil days B.O., Before Obama, the U.S. objected to Russia’s invading neighboring Georgia and ripping of a piece of South Ossetia. Well, who really cares who runs South Ossetia, or North Ossetia, for that matter? What a little Ossetia between friends, anyway?

So you send your defeated rival, Hillary, out to face the press with a misspelled Russian “re-set” button. She humiliates herself and her country in front of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by apologizing for that late unpleasantness over Russia’s naked aggression.

Then, to make nice even more nice, you ditch the Anti-Ballistic Missile system that had been promised to the Poles and the Czechs because it annoyed the Russians.

Not to worry, though, all this apologizing is going to bring the Russians around on the really big thing: Iran’s nuclear ambitions. They are going to express their gratitude for all the apologizing, re-setting, and abandoning of our East European allies by helping us out with Iranian sanctions. The Russians will line up for “smart sanctions,” “sanctions that bite,” even, if we’re really nice to them, “crippling sanctions” against Iran.

Not so much. Russia has just poured cold water all over Obama and Hillary. Read it and weep:

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the United States and other Western nations on Thursday against imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, Interfax news agency reported.

Lavrov issued this cold blast while awaiting the arrival in Moscow of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil. Lula, a South American leftist, was apparently unimpressed by President Obama’s embrace of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez at last year’s Latin summit. Brazil’s vote on the UN Security Council will now go against the Obama administration’s Number One priority—Iranian sanctions. Just to put an exclamation point after his resounding vote of não, Lula is headed from Moscow—to Tehran. There, Lula will buddy up with the anti-American mullahs, the rulers of the leading terrorist regime on earth. He will certainly not meet with any of the Iranian dissidents, the green movement of democracy advocates who were shot down in the streets last June.

What we are seeing is a nation standing into danger. We are watching as the United States is publicly and internationally humiliated. Our idol worship of an inexperienced and ill-equipped leader has blinded us to the mounting dangers in a world of dangers.

It would be hard to say which specific foreign policy of the Obama administration is worst. Iran sanctions? Russian relations? Attacks on Israel for Jewish settlements in Jerusalem? Trashing the special relationship with Britain? Insulting the Canadians in their own capital? Failure to secure the border with Mexico? We have an entire menu of foreign policy disasters to consider. Maybe if your perspective is from above it all, standing up there as sort of God, it looks better. For those of us with our feet firmly on the ground, it looks less heavenly.

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