The Bush Doctrine. How often those three words were an object of scorn and ridicule over the past decade. From Sarah’s Palin’s interview with Katie Couric to the hyperventilated bleating of your neighborhood progressive over the water-cooler at work, few phrases have ever been castigated as vehemently as “the Bush Doctrine”. Ostensibly, it was the concept that if you want to change the political landscape of an islamo-fascist country, introduce their citizens to democracy and they will join the rest of the civilized world.
It would take a series of columns to discuss the merits and demerits of this concept, but suffice to say that it was naïve to assume that the islamo-fascists who have been manipulating these citizens for decades would not find a way to use “democracy” to their own advantage. John Adams warned about the perils of trying to govern an immoral people when he said,
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
With little fanfare and no political flak, President Obama has not only failed to rein in what his supporters viewed as the “imperialist fascism” of the Bush presidency, but he has seemingly redoubled efforts to increase our military’s boot-print around the globe. After campaigning relentlessly about the abuses at Guantanamo Bay, the President has decided to leave it open and fully-operational. He also presided over the re-approval of some of the Patriot Act’s most controversial tenets, which include “sneak & peek” searches where an individual’s home or office is searched by federal authorities without their knowledge. The use of these sneak & peeks has skyrocketed during the President’s first term, going from 1,291 in 2008 to 3,970 in 2010, despite the fact that less than 1% of them have been used in cases related to terrorism.
The truly alarming trend in the emerging Obama Doctrine is the willingness to spread our arms around the world, not to established allies but to dubious movements and groups. Under the President, we have armed Libyan rebels who subsequently have engaged in public beheadings, the desecration of corpses, and the murder of a U.S. ambassador and some of his staff.
It appears that we are also in the process of arming Syrian rebels in their fight against Al-Assad’s regime. Of course, the rebels of Syria are no more scrupulous than the rebels of Libya. They are also engaged in summary executions of groups of Assad’s soldiers and have been known to employ torture in their interrogations of Assad’s men and their families.
And of course, we have allowed weapons to leave the U.S. and flow directly to Mexican warlords in Operation Fast and Furious. These weapons have been directly tied to the deaths of hundreds of Mexican citizens.
And now the Obama administration has announced that a U.S. Army brigade will begin sending teams into as many as 35 African nations in 2013. There are only 54 nations in Africa. President Obama is proposing to have U.S. military personnel in 65% of the African continent. Supposedly these teams are tasked with combating the growing terrorist threats in the area, sent there by a President who campaigned on the premise that sending troops into Iraq had nothing to do with terrorist threats to America. And the lapdog media says nothing. Where are Ben & Jerry with their coast-to-coast burning Obama effigy tour?
The head-scratcher is trying to determine how and why the Obama administration picks who gets their support and who does not. Libyan rebels = support. Syrian rebels = support. Mexican drug lords = “Take these semi-automatic rifles from us, please.” Saudi Arabia = fighter jets. Iranian rebels = no support. European missile shield in Poland = “Nah, we’d rather take Russia’s side in this issue.”
One thing is clear. President Obama’s foreign policy has “evolved” from when he was Candidate Obama. He has quietly taken up the hated Bush Doctrine and then doubled-down. Yes, he has downscaled military operations in Iraq but he is ready to send troops into 35 more countries starting next year. There’s no doubt that there is a growing threat in Africa and elsewhere. The dubious conclusion is that sending American troops to these countries will prevent the Islamists from gaining a foothold. The more effective strategy would be to strangle these groups in the cradle by cutting off their cashflow. Obviously they are sponsored by some nations which are hostile to us. Putting pressure on those nations will make contributions fewer and farther apart, leading to the weakening of these non-state entities.
Unfortunately, President Obama continues to take the non-confrontational approach to foreign policy. Content to shake hands, bow, and accept books from dictators instead of calling a spade a spade, our President continues to alienate our allies, put our troops in unnecessary danger, and compromise our national security. All in the interest of spreading our arms around the world.
Image: Barack Obama and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez; courtesy of HO/AFP/Getty Images; Original Filename: DV_To_Getty_2668410_0.jpg