From the time he first started running against the policies of Bush 43, Barack Obama promised that the era of “cowboy” diplomacy would come to an end. Sadly, this silver-tongued city slicker of a President remains true to his word on this lone issue.
The days of scoundrels everywhere fearing the U.S. as the fastest gun in the West have vanished. Ever since Sheriff Barry rode in to DC on his high horse, the drawn six-gun of American supremacy has been replaced by a holstered Nobel peace prize and a bandolier of red dry erase markers. When this President yells, “DRAW!” he means draw a meaningless red line that no enemy should cross…or else! (Or else he’ll draw another one or deny he drew the first one.)
Gone is the threat of a high noon showdown in the town square or gathering a “posse” of nations to hunt down an evil-doer. Welcome to the mild West and strongly worded letters of possibly, maybe, after considerable thought, few sanctions against a handpicked group of oligarchs. I will readily admit that I had to Google “oligarch,” since high school government was a long time ago, and my Cold War edition of Risk was donated to Goodwill a few years back.
High-brow social studies vocabulary words aside, who cares about sanctions? Sanctions? We’re talking about sanctions? How effective is this threat in a poorly lit parking lot: “Step back sir, or I’ll have no alternative but to impose sanctions!” In today’s political scheme “sanctions” merely means, “Behave the way we want you to or we’ll stop buying your love with billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.”
Moreover, not only are our threats more hollow and less hollow point, our international posse is out to pasture as our longtime friends are dropping like horseflies. Monitoring our enemies with skillfully-placed spies has been replaced by tapping the phones of our allies and shaking down domestic groups in powdered wigs who oppose higher taxes. I’ll take, “Misplaced Priorities” for a $1,000 please Alex.
Most depressing at this point is John Kerry who has turned into the administration’s Barney Fife. Deputy Kerry travels around the world with his only bullet tucked in his pocket, mimicking Sheriff Barry’s words in a tone that gives new meaning to the word “drone.”
From bowing to our adversaries to returning the cherished gifts of our best friends, this has been the most confusing era of foreign policy I can remember. While there might not be much we can do but wait for the next election there is one thing to suggest: hope. Let’s hope that when the President claims he will have more “flexibility” in the future, it won’t be the flexibility to bend over and kiss our great nation goodbye.