The View From 1776
Friday, July 12, 2013
Obama’s Olive-Branch Foreign Policy
The president’s olive branch is as useful as a fig leaf in a blizzard.
The generally left-leaning Fiscal Times explains Why Obama’s Foreign Policy Process Is Broken.
We shouldn’t be surprised by Obama’s feckless stabs in the direction of foreign policy. In July, 2008, when he was first seeking the presidency, I wrote:
There is a striking parallel between the naivete of Senator Obama and President Woodrow Wilson in their expectation of imposing a liberal-progressive model of peace upon a fractious world.
Senator Obama’s faith that his personal diplomacy with our sworn enemies will transform them into reasonable and peaceful partners is as old as American liberal-progressivism. Its most celebrated expression was in the policy of the Democratic Party’s progressive president Woodrow Wilson, pronounced in his April 2, 1917, message to a special session of Congress.
President Wilson, responding to Germany’s resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare and the sinking without warning of three American ships the previous month, declared:
The world must be made safe for democracy…we shall fight…for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and justice to all nations and make the world itself at last free…
That universal dominion of right and freedom was to be implemented, in President Wilson’s expectation, by the post-war League of Nations. When put to the test, the League of Nations stood helplessly aside as Japan ravaged China, Mussolini attacked Ethiopia, and Hitler began his European conquests.
In April, 2009, at the beginning of Obama’s reign, I wrote:
President Obama seems intent upon cramming stifling socialist programs down our throats domestically, while he relies upon pretty-word diplomacy with foreign nations that have vowed to destroy us.
In the field of foreign policy, to the immense pleasure of his liberal-progressive-socialist cohort, the President turns to the purported magical power of the olive branch to win the approbation of foreign nations, as if that were an equal substitute for defending our national interests.
The President’s most egregious formulation of the olive branch approach was his announced intention to meet face-to-face, without preconditions, in diplomatic discussions with our deadly enemies. Our enemies, liberal-progressives presume, will happily abandon their national interests and become our pals if we just talk sweetly to them and tell them that we respect them.
Judging from his recent overseas G20 meeting tour, respecting other nations means blaming the United States for the mischief of our enemies.