Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cowboy Diplomacy Vs. Community Organizer Diplomacy

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I couldn't go more than one post without reverting back to rebutting the Inquirer.

Today the editorial board tries to explain to us how much better a world we live in with Obama's diplomatic efforts versus Bush's "cowboy diplomacy". They fail miserably:

While the rest of the world is enjoying the refreshing return of diplomacy as the preferred tool for U.S. foreign policy, partisan snipers back at the ranch are pouting for a return to the dangerous cowboyism of the past administration.
If by "rest of the world" they mean Kim Jung-Il, Hugo Chavez and Ahmadinejad, yes, they would correct in that assertion.

President Obama is naïve, they say, for not pointing a judgmental finger in the face of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin when they met two weeks ago. Those critics must have forgotten that it was the previous president who, like a charmed schoolgirl, said he looked into Putin's eyes and got a sense of his soul.
While that was truly embarrassing for Bush, it pales next to Obama's abasement in front of the Saudi king and his backing of an ousted dictator trying to spread communism throughout South America.

Too bad President George W. Bush didn't see the manipulative nature of the former KGB operative whose Stalinist tendencies are increasingly in evidence. Putin technically plays second fiddle to President Dmitry Medvedev. But he handpicked Medvedev, and Putin is believed to be preparing to reassume the presidency in the next election.

There was no naïveté by Obama in Russia. He neither idolized Putin or treated him with disdain. Obama was pragmatic, forging an agreement where one was possible, on nuclear proliferation, while stating clearly his different views on a U.S. missile shield in Europe and Russia's harsh treatment of Ukraine and Georgia.
Pragmatic? He sold out Poland and it's leaders who expended much political capital to push through the missile shield plan. Is Russia now leaving Ukraine and Georgia alone due to the mere words of The One?

A cowboy might have drawn his six-shooter, at least rhetorically, when two American journalists were jailed in March for entering secretive, repressive North Korea. Obama has instead tried to maintain perspective, working to secure the women's release, while keeping open the possibility of future nuclear talks with the wildly unpredictable Kim regime.
The two women are still languishing in a hellish prison for a crime they didn't commit. The Inquirer cites this as proof that Obama's brand of diplomacy is superior. Think about that for a second. Kim Jung-Il will not listen to diplomacy, he laughs at us when we try. He understand one thing: power and the ability to project it. He's a rogue with nukes and one who is playing Obama like a fiddle much as he did Jimmy Carter and Madeline Albright in the 90's.

But wait, the next example is even more telling:

This practical approach to foreign policy was also seen in Obama's restraint in the aftermath of the disputed Iranian election.

The cowboys were screaming for Obama to encourage a rebellion even though the American people, already eager to quit Iraq, would be loath to support Iranian rebels with more than lip service. Obama instead criticized the way President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected, but left open the possibility of U.S. diplomats one day sitting down with Iran's to discuss its nuclear ambitions.
Obama didn't even offer lip service until he saw that the nation wanted him to say something...anything. This is a bit of revisionism by the Inquirer as anyone paying attention when the events were happening saw Obama as weak and wavering. All that was needed was a word of support and perhaps some basic guidance covertly to opposition organizers to open the floodgates of freedom. Obama likes the status quo because he'd rather deal with an entity that is evil but known than a newly freed nation that may require some American assistance. Freedom is far less important than diplomacy in Obamanation.

Obama's pragmatism was again on display when his administration symbolically assumed the mantle of broker for Middle East peace. In his groundbreaking speech in Cairo last month, Obama argued that the Palestinians should eschew terrorism and follow the nonviolent example of the U.S. civil-rights movement. But he also criticized Israel for continuing to expand settlements.
And that speech possibly was read by the Iranian opposition as a clarion call to uprise. They felt empowered by his speech and he left them at the altar of more freedom. As for the Israel-Palestinian situation, I've not seen one report that would make me believe the situation has improved.

Obama must now let pragmatism take the reins with the very complex situation in Honduras. He, along with the United Nations, and the Organization of American States, quickly decried the June 28 ouster of democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. But there should be a limit to support for Zelaya, a power-hungry protégé of U.S.-hating Venezuela President Hugo Chavez.

In fact, Honduras illustrates the fallacy in touting democracy as the best gauge of a nation's freedom. Giving people the right to vote must be the goal, but the world has seen too many democratically chosen despots to say that alone is enough. Even Hitler was democratically elected.
"Pragmatism" is another way of voting present. Any tough situation can be solved by taking the easiest rout and calling it pragmatism. You have to be nuanced in diplomatic affairs you see and Obama is the king of nuance.

With regard to Zelaya, the man was attempting to change the constitution of that nation for his benefit ala Chavez. The army may have acted roughly but were well within the constitution to remove him when they did. (Update: Is this the kind of democracy the Inquirer likes?)

As for Hitler being democratically elected, so was Ahmadinejad (according to liberals who feared rebellion) and Chavez. Hell, Saddam got 100% of the vote prior to his untimely removal and subsequent demise.

So in closing it's imperative to note that this is exactly the type of diplomacy liberals love. It's diplomacy in which nothing really ever happens. Nothing except for our enemies growing stronger, more emboldened and feeling no constraints when spreading weapons and ideology.

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