On The New Foreign Policy
I watched MSNBC during the Republican National convention and, I must say, it was an insightful and illuminating experience. Perhaps animated by the state of inquiry the imperative of which is to “know thy enemy”, I sat in amused incredulity watching a rabid Chris Mathews proclaim everything, including the “white” piece of paper he read from, is “racist.” The term slipped off his licentious lips with such regularity that one wonders whether Mathews is capable of having a discussion about global warming or other innocuous topics without relating it to racial stratification. But this kind of behavior is nothing new. Forced to deal at one time with the village idiot, conservatives are assured that if they are being called racists that they have said something to elicit such a reaction that conforms to reason and reality. That is, the more times we are labeled racist, the closer to the truth we are approaching. But it is not Chris Mathew’s fascination with his own white complexion that I will here be concerned, but of issues beyond our borders, the hinterlands of which the entire liberal media has not a clue.
The other paragons of liberal anti-intellectualism, Rachel Maddow and Al Sharpton, were in a state of apoplexies after Mitt Romney’s address to the Convention. The only substantive thing that Maddow could express was her coming to terms with the fact that even a Clint Eastwood approaching senility was able to make a convicting statement with more clarity and lucidity than herself. “I am Done,” she declared as she passed the torch of inanity to Al, which was met with applause and considerable enthusiasm. Al, whose only qualification for political commentary appears to be that he has a pulse, reacted with agitation that Mitt Romney had suggested that Obama has “thrown Israel under the bus.” Nods of approval were passed around the table like a salt shaker. Mathews, after muttering something about racism, finally composed himself, and enunciated that he was concerned about the cold war tone of the speech in relation to Putin and Russia, marking a point where Mathews was absent significant justification for claiming slavery or race baiting were involved. For those Russians are as white as the snow in which they live. But, it must be observed, that the etymology of the word “slave” derives from the ethnic term Slavs, of which the Russians are considerable members. If Mathews were a man of letters, perhaps he would have been aware of this historical fact and would have constructed a way in which Romney’s indictment of Russian behavior could include racial overtones. Of course, we are only left with our speculations.
Now, there are undoubtedly some reading this that believe that Israel deserves to be thrown under the bus; that Russia is an impotent meddler, nothing to be concerned about; that an ascendant China, to whom 40 percent of our national debt we owe, is not a power to be contended with, or one that we need now to cater and at whose feet we are obliged bow. This is not a battlefield of those particular ideas, and thus this will probably mean nothing to you. Here we will be traversing the state of foreign policy qua policy if you believe that Israel doesn’t deserve to be thrown under the bus, Russia is problematic, and China is a nation of which we need to be aware. I can do nothing for you but entreat you to read some foreign affairs journals.
Maddow, Sharpton, and Mathews — all of whom decided, quite coincidentally it must be assumed, that Romney was again taking upon a Cold war us/them, fear the other, tact in referencing a foreign policy stance that has a substance to it more than “lead from behind,” a refrain of moral cowards — not once dared to suggest that the Commander in chief abroad, is an idiot abroad, and has left the state of the world in a post-modernist ruin. That this was the animating force behind Romney’s speech in relation to foreign policy went unnoticed. It is ignorance that enlivens liberal foreign policy pretensions along with a great deal of misguided education and an agitprop of multiculturalism.
That Pristina is a city absent of Serbs but has a resplendent statue of Bill Clinton is not a subject of consideration for liberal policy makers and pundits. That Nicosia is a city divided is of little historical relevance when rebuking Israel over Jerusalem apartment buildings.
The Russians have been, at every turn, thwarting even the spurious attempts of the Obama administration to isolate Iranian dictators from pursuing nuclear weapons. Instead of stern rebuke, this action by the Russians was met with an Obama so diplomatically idiotic that he told a Russian official, in a candid moment caught by a live mic, that he will have more negotiating room to end our nuclear missile deterrent systems in Poland and other former satellite states after his re-election. “I will tell Vladimir” replied the stolid Russian official. This admission by Obama left a feeling of helplessness in former eastern Bloc states who are dealing with an ever expansive Russian bellicosity in Georgia in what appears to be, for those that deal with the Russians at their doorstep, an attempted reconstitution of the old Russian hegemony in the region, which was the only thing that was Unionized in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
In other events, specifically in Syria, the Russian recognition of American weakness has resulted in a Russian flotilla of warships entering and traversing the Bosphorus strait in order to prop up and support Assad’s reign of terror. A Turkish military F-4 was shot down near the Syrian border while on a reconnaissance flight, leaving many observers of the area to suspect that it was in fact a Russian attack, and a display of their seriousness in preventing any NATO intervention in Assad butchery. While we leave a hysterical Turkey to deal with Russian belligerency, Qaddifi’s regime, because of its proximity to nothing and its ease of intervention was a target where the White House could display its ostensible strength while not having to get its hands too dirty. Turkey, though, is a member of NATO, and as a condition of that treaty we are obligated to intervene if there is any threat to a member state. That NATO was invoked and utilized in Bosnia and Kosovo under Bill Clinton at a time when no member nation was in threat of attack provides a glimpse into the soul of liberal foreign policy: it is for political purposes and political purposes only. To assuage our client states and oil producers in the Middle East we helped Muslim radicals kill Serbs by the thousands. When Muslims kill Muslims, liberal policy is to allow it. When Muslims Kill Serbs, Christians or another people, it is in our interest to encourage it, making one wonder if liberal foreign policy is really animated by a fetish with multiculturalism or can better be explained by an appeal to Marxist interpretations of economic interests. As evidence, Saudi Arabia financed the butchery in Bosnia and Kosovo. Turkey, however, has little oil, and is in extremis when dealing with both the Russians and the Syrians. That there has been remarkable silence on the part of the Obama administration is evidence in support of Romney’s claims of diplomatic and strategic impotence at the Obama State Department.
I agree with Mr. Sharpton; the Obama administration has not thrown Israel under the bus. Rather, I would argue, the Obama administration has tied Israel to a railroad track and proceeded to drive a 100 ton locomotive over them. Obama has not visited Israel since his election, has excoriated them over a few apartments in east Jerusalem, propped up and funds an emerging Islamic state in Egypt, and has utterly failed to deter Iran from anything with his new reset foreign policy button and declarations of American “arrogance.” Bowing to Saudi princes, however, is the avante garde of liberal foreign policy. Jimmy Carter once said before his defeat to Reagan that if he is re-elected that he will “fuck the Jews.” Thankfully for the Jews of Israel, Jimboy was never re-elected. The problem is that Obama appears to have taken up Carter’s position towards a small nation the size of New Jersey with great enthusiasm.
The situation with Israel is so egregious that the Israelis have noted the writing that is clearly written on the wall. The Israelis have come to the realization that the United States, in this new Obamaland fantasy world, is not a reliable partner, that they can no longer engage in any meaningful dialogue about security, and that the United States is going to soon wash its hands of the middle east and again return to the policies that characterized Israel’s early days — a languid United States more concerned about cheap gas prices from dictatorial regimes than with advancing any sort of reform in the region. We can be assured that many more bows to Saudi princes will be followed with a tapering of the price of crude.
The recent revelation that the U.S. does not want to be complicit and will not back up the Israelis if they deem it necessary to attack Iran is all the evidence that is requisite to conclude that Israel has been tossed right in front of an oncoming bus. This has put the beleaguered state in a bind and has driven them to seek other partners to help them restrict Iranian aggression . With Obama’s radiant weakness, they have turned to our rival Russia. The Saudi’s, too, fear a belligerent and nuclear capable Iran, and have promised to fire up their centrifuges if Iran were to obtain a nuclear weapon. Under the Obama administration we have been bequeathed a nascent arms race in the Middle East. President Bush may have had trouble pronouncing ‘nuclear” but he understood the dire consequences of the word.
Obama has not visited Israel; but our friend Vladimir has. Putin attended a ceremony in Israel that gave tribute to the Red Army’s liberation of Auschwitz and the crushing of the Nazi regime under T-34 tread. Faced with an existential threat and an impotent and incompetent White House, the Israelis have calculated that the Russians are better partners. Circumstantially, they are better partners. The Russians are not idealistic but pragmatic and coarse, rich in oil and rich in audacity. The Israelis have offered to allow the Russians their market share of natural gas in Europe if the Russians cease their support of Iran. It remains to be seen whether this will work, but it is a sign that “lead from behind” means to our allies, “we are going to leave you behind to provide for your security by means of an ever expansive Russia,” and to our enemies “those petrodollars will keep coming and we will weaken Israel so that you may finally extinguish her flame, because, frankly, us liberals are tired of that “shitty little country””, as one leftist French minister ferociously opined.
The Obama administration has treated Israel so poorly that it has led many Israelis themselves to see a somewhat Neiztchean optimism in these circumstances. Obama, they claim, has been so malevolent to Israel that for the first time we Israelis have the right to tell the U.S. to go to hell, granting us some more autonomy from the United States that never really had our interest in mind in the first place. This may be true, and I wouldn’t blame Netanyahu if he said as much in a speech tomorrow. Obama’s perfidious behavior in relation to Israel may in fact be good for her. But our abandonment of her is a lasting indictment of Obama’s moral pretensions and ideological outlook. That she may benefit should give supporters of Israel hope. That she benefited from our evil should not be argument to continue it.
To conclude, it is certain that Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow, and Chris Mathews have not a clue even where the Bosphorus is, much less the implications of Russian warships in it. Liberal reactions to world affairs are predicated on ignorance and idealistic enlightenment notions that all peoples and culture seek freedom, rather than the fact that many cultures seek its precise opposite. Why Bosnia was a cause worth fighting for but Iraq and Afghanistan are tedious and useless they have no ability to explicate. Why Libya was easily toppled when Assad’s regime represents a clear and direct threat to two allies but only silence emanates from the administration is a nuance that is barely noticed. This nuance is precisely the reason why cold war rhetoric is needed now more than ever, and the absence of stern rhetoric is precisely the reason why the blood of Israelis, Syrians, and the minority Coptic Egyptians is on the hands of this administration. To quote Saul Bellow, “I will believe in multiculturalism when a Zulu writes ‘War and Peace.’” We should not let such a pernicious and vapid multiculturalism or a selfish pragmatism inform our foreign policy. And we should not reelect a president who is thus informed.