Even The Brits Notice How Weak America Is Under Obama

Over at the UK Telegraph, Niles Gardiner does the heavy lifting in showing just how weak Obama’s foreign policy is

The débacle of Washington’s handling of the Libya issue is symbolic of a wider problem at the heart of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. The fact that it took ten days and at least a thousand dead on the streets of Libya’s cities before President Obama finally mustered the courage to call for Muammar “mad dog” Gaddafi to step down is highly embarrassing for the world’s only superpower, and emblematic of a deer-in-the-headlights approach to world leadership. Washington seems incapable of decisive decision-making on foreign policy at the moment, a far cry from the days when it swept entire regimes from power, and defeated America’s enemies with deep-seated conviction and an unshakeable drive for victory.

Just a few years ago the United States was genuinely feared on the world stage, and dictatorial regimes, strategic adversaries and state sponsors of terror trod carefully in the face of the world’s most powerful nation. Now Washington appears weak, rudderless and frequently confused in its approach. From Tehran to Tripoli, the Obama administration has been pathetically slow to lead, and afraid to condemn acts of state-sponsored repression and violence. When protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against the Islamist dictatorship in Iran in 2009, the brutal repression that greeted them was hardly a blip on Barack Obama’s teleprompter screen, barely meriting a response from a largely silent presidency.

Isn’t this why Obama picked Joe Biden to be his vice president, because of all the vast foreign policy experience? How’s that working out? So far, Obama generally seems to spend as much time as possibly demeaning our allies and working to alienate them, while either ignoring our enemies or looking for dialogue with them.

It has also become abundantly clear that the Obama team attaches little importance to human rights issues, and in contrast to the previous administration has not pursued a freedom agenda in the Middle East and elsewhere. It places far greater value upon engagement with hostile regimes, even if they are carrying out gross human rights abuses, in the mistaken belief that appeasement enhances security. This has been the case with Iran, Russia and North Korea for example. This administration has also been all too willing to sacrifice US leadership in deference to supranational institutions such as the United Nations, whose track record in standing up to dictatorships has been virtually non-existent.

That’s simply the way Obama rolls. And it highlights exactly why Joe Biden stated that being President does not lend itself to on the job training. A few years as a Senator, some time spent in the Illinois legislature, and a few years as a community organizer did not prepare him for actually being the person in charge of the most powerful nation on Earth. Now, is any president actually ready for the burden placed upon him? Of course not, but, some are more prepared than others, and have a staff that understands what to do, which is why Qaddafi’s Libya is in a much weaker position to use WMD

Senior administration officials and Pentagon planners, as they discuss sanctions and a possible no-fly zone to neutralize the Libyan air force, say that the 2003 deal removed Colonel Qaddafi’s biggest trump card: the threat of using a nuclear weapon, or even just selling nuclear material or technology, if he believed it was the only way to save his 42-year rule. While Colonel Qaddafi retains a stockpile of mustard gas, it is not clear he has any effective way to deploy it.

While it is unclear whether he might have ultimately succeeded in building nuclear weapons, as part of the deal (Qaddafi) gave up thousands of shells filled with chemical weapons.

The NY Times does everything it can to avoid giving any kudos and praise to Bush, but, this highlights the difference between Obama and Bush: one made the United States feared by most enemies, the other makes those same enemies bold, while pissing off our allies.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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