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A New America
That's the message that the Rev. Jesse Jackson conveyed to participants in the first World Policy Forum, held at this French lakeside resort last week.
 

He promised "fundamental changes" in US foreign policy -- saying America must "heal wounds" it has caused to other nations, revive its alliances and apologize for the "arrogance of the Bush administration."
 

The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where "decades of putting Israel's interests first" would end.
 

Jackson believes that, although "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" remain strong, they'll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.
 

"Obama is about change," Jackson told me in a wide-ranging conversation. "And the change that Obama promises is not limited to what we do in America itself.  It is a change of the way America looks at the world and its place in it."

Ay Mi Cuba
Calling for a new direction when it comes to Cuba, Obama today said as president he would allow unlimited family travel and remittances to the island.

"It's time for more than tough talk that never yields results.  It’s time for a new strategy," he said. "It's time to let Cuban Americans see their mothers and fathers, their sisters and brothers.  It’s time to let Cuban American money make their families less dependent upon the Castro regime."



Obama on Cuba (01:37

        

Cowtowing
For an entire week, Americans watched as Senator Barack Obama took his act on the road, courting the European elitists and cowtowing to an endless array of foreign politicians.  At this point it may be easy to take Obama’s "celebri-plomacy" lightly.  Yet, his trip highlights a dangerous threat to America’s national sovereignty in the form of his globalist policies that will diminish America’s role in the world and outsource decisions of vital national interest to the United Nations.

Obama's Global Poverty Act, currently under consideration in Congress, is just one such policy.  Despite its seemingly innocuous title, the Global Poverty Act would force America to adopt the U.N.’s "Millennium Development Goals" as official U.S. policy.  This means outsourcing to the United Nations all important decisions concerning the use of U.S. foreign aid dollars.  Not only that, but the fee for allowing the U.N. to play the "middle man" in our global war on poverty would be a tax of .7 percent of the U.S. Gross National Product.  That’s right.  Barack Obama and his liberal allies such as Senator Biden have signed on to a bill that would allow the U.N. to tax America (and Americans) an estimated $845 billion over the next 13 years.  Obama’s plan represents perhaps the greatest affront to our national sovereignty since the War of 1812.
How’s That Apology Thing Working Out?
Ken Blackwell says that as a candidate, Barack Obama wowed the world.  He went to Berlin and gave a speech at their victory monument.  It was a curious venue for such a speech.  But a million Germans came out to hear him.  It was a phenomenal scene.  No one remembers what he said there, but it was quite a show.  A year later, when he returned to the continent, he spoke at Normandy.  No one can quite recall what Obama said, but everyone remembers what Newsweek’s Evan Thomas said: "I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above -- above the world, he’s sort of God."

If you are hailed as a "sort of God," it’s no wonder that your head gets turned.  You don’t want to seem puffed up, or succumb to the sin of pride.  So you start apologizing.  Not for yourself, but for your country.  America has been arrogant, you tell the world.  America has tried to go it alone.  America has not sufficiently respected the rest of the world.  And you bow.  You bow a lot.

You decide you should "re-set" relations with Russia.  Back in America’s sinful past, those evil days B.O., Before Obama, the U.S. objected to Russia’s invading neighboring Georgia and ripping of a piece of South Ossetia.  Well, who really cares who runs South Ossetia, or North Ossetia, for that matter?  What a little Ossetia between friends, anyway?

So you send your defeated rival, Hillary, out to face the press with a misspelled Russian "reset" button.  She humiliates herself and her country in front of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by apologizing for that late unpleasantness over Russia’s naked aggression.  Then, to make nice even more nice, you ditch the Anti-Ballistic Missile system that had been promised to the Poles and the Czechs because it annoyed the Russians.

Not to worry, though, all this apologizing is going to bring the Russians around on the really big thing: Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  They are going to express their gratitude for all the apologizing, re-setting, and abandoning of our East European allies by helping us out with Iranian sanctions.  The Russians will line up for "smart sanctions," "sanctions that bite," even, if we’re really nice to them, "crippling sanctions" against Iran.

Not so much.  Russia has just poured cold water all over Obama and Hillary.  Read it and weep:
    

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the United States and other Western nations on Thursday against imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, Interfax news agency reported.

    
Lavrov issued this cold blast while awaiting the arrival in Moscow of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil. Lula, a South American leftist, was apparently unimpressed by Obama’s embrace of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez at last year’s Latin summit.  Brazil’s vote on the UN Security Council will now go against the Obama administration’s No. 1 priority -- Iranian sanctions.  Just to put an exclamation point after his resounding vote of não, Lula is headed from Moscow -- to Tehran.

There, Lula will buddy up with the anti-American mullahs, the rulers of the leading terrorist regime on Earth.  He will certainly not meet with any of the Iranian dissidents, the green movement of democracy advocates who were shot down in the streets last June.

What we are seeing is a nation standing into danger.  We are watching as the United States is publicly and internationally humiliated.  Our idol worship of an inexperienced and ill-equipped leader has blinded us to the mounting dangers in a world of dangers.

It would be hard to say which specific foreign policy of the Obama administration is worst.  Iran sanctions?  Russian relations?  Attacks on Israel for Jewish settlements in Jerusalem?  Trashing the special relationship with Britain?  Insulting the Canadians in their own capital?  Failure to secure the border with Mexico?  We have an entire menu of foreign policy disasters to consider.  Maybe if your perspective is from above it all, standing up there as sort of God, it looks better.  For those of us with our feet firmly on the ground, it looks less heavenly.
Israel Is An Infection
In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg for The Atlantic, Barack Obama presents himself as the best friend Israel ever had.

Then he proceeds to call Israel a "constant sore" that "infects all of our foreign policy:" Obama on Zionism and Hamas.

JG: Do you think that Israel is a drag on America’s reputation overseas?

BO: No, no, no. But what I think is, that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy.
Obama’s Global Failure
Daniel Greenfield says our allies hate him.  Our enemies are laughing at him.  Nearly two years after Obama’s World Tour in which he did his best to convince voters that he understood global challenges with a high profile tour of a lot of foreign countries (a approach that if it worked should convincingly make every internationally famous rock star a foreign policy expert), his biggest global accomplishment is still his ability to travel around the world to high profile destinations on the taxpayer’s shrinking dime.

His attempts at diplomacy consisted of delivering vicious slaps across the faces of longtime allies, from England to Israel, and pathetic love notes to tyrants in Iran, Russia and Venezuela, who responded by openly mocking him.

Last week, in a scene almost worthy of the Godfather, Russia decided to stage a coup in Kyrgyzstan at the same time that Obama was signing a nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia’s Medvedev.  While Obama was exchanging good wishes with the titular head of the regime backing Iran’s destabilization of Iraq and Afghanistan, Russia was recognizing their own coup’s takeover, with their newly installed puppet leader, Roza Otunbayeva, a Moscow educated Soviet diplomat and top ranking former member of the Kyrgyz Communist Party.

A few hours later, the second secretary of the Lenin regional council, thanked Russia for its "significant support" in the takeover.
    

Kyrgyzstan’s self-proclaimed interim leader thanked Russia on Thursday for its significant support in exposing what she said was the nepotistic and criminal regime of President Kurbanbek Bakiyev.  Separately, a senior Russian official said Bakiyev had not fulfilled a promise to close a U.S. base in Kyrgyzstan and Moscow would advise the new government there should be only one military base in the former Soviet state, a Russian one.

    
Which of course is exactly how it will be.  And though Kyrgyzstan may be nothing more than a series of odd letters to Obama, it’s home to one of the US bases that serves as part of the shrinking supply line for the Surge in Afghanistan.  And Putin has just drawn a knife over one more artery feeding supplies to Allied soldiers on the front lines, while Obama preened and posed for the cameras with Medvedev.

The same Administration which threw a global tantrum over the menace of Israeli houses, had nothing to say of course.  Just as it had nothing to say when after that, Hillary Clinton was humiliated by the Russians by being subjected to extensive public tirade.  It is of course just one of those things that the media can’t be bothered to report when faced with truly important stories, like what Michelle Obama wore on her latest foreign trip.

Continue reading here . . .
Obama's Fantasy Foreign Policy
CNSNews.com is reporting that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich characterized this week’s nuclear summit in Washington as a "charade" that reveals the Obama administration’s "fantasy foreign policy."

"When you can give a speech on nuclear disarmament while the North Koreans are proving on the same day -- deliberately -- that they have no interest in your policy" -- that’s fantasy, Gingrich told journalists at an Americans for Tax Reform gathering in Washington on Tuesday.

"When you can have a big, giant summit in Washington while the Iranians hold a press conference laughing about the concept of sanctions" -- that’s fantasy, Gingrich said.  He also mentioned China’s reluctance to go along with another round of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Since leaving Congress in 1998, Gingrich has been an outspoken advocate for Reagan conservatism.  In recent months, his name has surfaced in connection with a possible presidential run in 2012.

On Tuesday, Gingrich described Obama’s emphasis on diplomacy as reminiscent of U.S. foreign policy leading up to World War II.  While U.S. diplomats were meeting in Geneva to sign an anti-war pact, Adolph Hitler took the reins in Germany, he said.

"It’s hard to believe how disengaged the diplomatic world was from reality in the period leading up to World War II," Gingrich said.  "You’re seeing a similar pattern.  This entire charade this week (the nuclear summit) is an absurdity in terms of the real world."

Gingrich said the Obama administration’s approach to the Middle East also reflects a misguided foreign policy.

"You have an administration which is angrier about Israelis building apartments in Jerusalem than it is about Iranians building nuclear weapons," Gingrich said.

Ronald Reagan was successful in ending the Cold War and the nuclear threat from Russia by standing firm against giving up ballistic missiles as part of an arms treaty, Gingrich said: "What Reagan wanted was to be able to stop nuclear weapons rather than sign a paper document.  Reagan had lived through the '30s.  Reagan had lived through World War II.  Reagan understood that when democracies lie to themselves, dictatorships take advantage of them."

When asked the role the Tea Party movement would play in upcoming elections, Gingrich praised the grassroots group as a "very healthy and very powerful" movement made up of mostly educated people who are loyal to the U.S. Constitution and limited government.

Gingrich said the attempt to demonize the movement reveals the mindset of liberal politicians and members of the media.

"Every time the left attacks the Tea Party, it reminds you of how alien the left is from most Americans," Gingrich said.  "If you go to the average American and say, 'Doesn't the Tea Party people frighten you?' they will tell you, 'Not nearly as much as big government.'"
Obama Is Building A Post-American World
James G. Wiles says two different pictures come from the recent nuclear summit in Washington, and they perfectly sum up the success of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy of building a post-American world.

One shows Obama speaking with Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister and a Conservative.  Mr. Obama is gesticulating and pointing his index finger in the PM.  Mr. Harper is frozen in place, staring at the finger.  Eloquently, however, his right fist is clenched.

Thus to our allies.  See also Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s gestures to Britain’s Gordon Brown and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.  American allies whose national security interests and status as American allies, which the Obama Administration has deliberately dissed, now include India, Honduras, Poland, Japan, Czechoslovakia, Georgia, Australia and Ukraine.

The other image, flashed around the world, shows Obama bowing to the Chinese President.  We have, of course, seen this before.  Obama is a serial bower.

But only to America’s adversaries.  So far, by the standards of FDR, Harry Truman, Jack Kennedy and LBJ -- Democratic presidents all -- the results of the Obama foreign policy are nil.  Obama’s offer of an open hand to our enemies has so far left him holding only a bloody stump.

Let us spin the globe . . .
Russia Tells Obama How It's Gonna Be
Reuters is reporting that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the United States and other Western nations on Thursday against imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, Interfax news agency reported.

The European Union has said it may impose unilateral sanctions if a U.N. Security Council resolution fails.

Obama's administration has been lobbying Western companies not to do business with Iran, but has not imposed sanctions against them.

Countries facing Security Council sanctions "cannot under any circumstances be the subject of one-sided sanctions imposed by one or other government bypassing the Security Council", Lavrov was quoted as saying by Interfax.  "The position of the United States today does not display understanding of this absolutely clear truth."

Russia is in talks with the United States and other U.N. Security Council members on a fourth round of sanctions.  Moscow has indicated it could support broader sanctions but has stressed they must not harm the Iranian people.

Washington has not publicly warned of unilateral sanctions but has made clear it wants tougher measures than veto-wielding Security Council member Russia is likely to accept.

Permanent Security Council member China has joined Russia in opposing Washington's plans to impose tough, wide-ranging sanctions on the Islamic Republic over its refusal to suspend sensitive uranium enrichment activity and open up fully to U.N. nuclear inspections.
You’ve Got To Be Kidding
Jay Nordlinger, commenting on the United States human-rights talks with China, says our side is apparently led by Michael Posner, an assistant secretary of state.  I will quote from an Associated Press report:
    

Posner said in addition to talks on freedom of religion and expression, labor rights and rule of law, officials also discussed Chinese complaints about problems with U.S. human rights, which have included crime, poverty, homelessness and racial discrimination.

He said U.S. officials did not whitewash the American record and in fact raised on its [their?] own a new immigration law in Arizona that requires police to ask about a person’s immigration status if there is suspicion the person is in the country illegally.

    
I hope I have read that incorrectly, or am interpreting it incorrectly.  Did we, the United States, talking to a government that maintains a gulag, that denies people their basic rights, that in all probability harvests organs, apologize for the new immigration law in Arizona?  Really, really?

And that is to leave to one side, for the moment, the question of whether issues of crime, poverty, and so on truly belong in human-rights talks.   You remember the old line, taught to us by our dear Marxist professors: "Here in the West, we have political rights: of expression, worship, assembly, etc.  But you can’t eat those!  In the East Bloc, they have economic and social rights: to food, shelter, health care, and the like."  Of course, free countries do better by material measures, too --  better than those countries that have "economic and social rights."  Infinitely better.

A month ago, Obama told the leader of Kazakhstan that we were still -- you know: working on our democracy.  An Obama national-security aide, Mike McFaul, said, "[Obama has] taken, I think, rather historic steps to improve our own democracy since coming to office here in the United States."  "Historic steps"?  I suppose he meant national health care, socialized medicine.  I suppose, by "democracy," he meant social democracy.  Hard to tell.  I don’t think he meant that the Justice Department was going to make the New Black Panthers stop intimidating voters.

Do you ever get the idea that our government is a bunch of left-wing undergraduates come to power?
Obama's Domestic War On Democracy
Noemie Emery says Obama kicked off his reign as the Free World's main honcho by dissing the British, which was an unpromising start.  First, he sent back the bust of Sir Winston Churchill.  Then there were the tasteful gifts to the queen and prime minister, dug out of a sale bin at Wal-Mart.  So much for Churchill and Roosevelt, Reagan and Thatcher, JFK and his sister's relation-in-law, Harold Macmillan -- see why.

Special relationship?  What special relationship?  You must be out of your mind.

He dissed Poland and the Czech Republic -- to make Russia happy.  He dissed Israeli -- to make Hamas happy -- making its prime minister cool his heels somewhere while he stalked off to have dinner.

The outlines of the emerging Obama Doctrine had begun to be obvious: He would engage, indulge, and look kindly on the likes of tyrants like Iran and North Korea, who armed to the teeth while threatening to eviscerate Israel and South Korea.  But when it came to democracies and political, strategic, and historic allies of this country, their welcome and luck had run out.

Having run out of allies to annoy or embarrass, it seemed only a matter of time before Obama turned on his country, and began aiming at one of its states.  This would be Arizona, which tried to check a crime wave caused by illegal immigrants, setting off a flood of outrage not heard since Tea Party members held their last peaceful rally, and were blasted for hoped-for but unperceived violence while walking around bearing signs.

Obama said that his administration was studying Arizona's law "very carefully," just before Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano (Arizona's governor until fairly recently) said they hadn't read it, but opposed it on general principles.  Mexico's president blasted the state from the floor of Congress, while Obama nodded in assent, and Democrats burst into cheers.

Arizona joins Britain, Israel, Poland and the Czech Republic on the list of democracies dissed by Obama. "Arizona might as well be an enemy nation," says columnist Debra Saunders.  And so it does seem.

Not only is Obama now in a war against his own people, he seems to be abetting a species of civil hostility not seen here in 145 years.  Some states -- or some neighborhoods, which consist of your brie-nibbling Metro-Americans -- want to wage civil war in the form of a boycott of the state's hospitality, and/or of its goods.

A boycott is perfect for this demographic, as it provides the maximum amount of self-satisfaction at the minimum amount of effort required, and no cost at all to themselves.  Los Angeles wants to suspend economic relations.  To show they mean business, they are now wearing bracelets: Red and blue bands designed by Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., who refuses to travel through Phoenix while flying to and from Washington.

Next, they'll roll out the big guns, and don lapel ribbons, like actors on Oscar night.  Unless all the best colors are taken, of course.

Fortunately, in Civil War II, Arizona is not without weapons, one, it would seem, being polls.  By substantial margins, Americans support Arizona's laws and its governor: As November draws near, some Democrats may come to regret their members' cheers for Mexico's president.

Outside Metro America, this may not play well.  And, Arizona supplies Los Angeles with about 25 percent of its energy.  A surprise power cut might make the lights go out in a numbers of neighborhoods, and go on in a number of heads.

As for Los Angeles, Arizona should pull the plug, pronto.  Let them sip warm chardonnay in the dark.
Obama's Islamic Poll Dance
The Washington Times says Obama's Middle East appeasement policy has failed.

Obama took office with a mission to transform America's image around the world.  In particular, he was determined to extend the hand of friendship to Muslims whom he felt had been slighted during the George W. Bush administration.  Some of his efforts were substantive, such as his attempt to close down the terrorist detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay.  Others were symbolic, such as removing all references to Islamic extremism from U.S. national security strategies and refusing to use the word "terrorism" when referring to jihadist attacks on the homeland.

Despite his best efforts, Obama has failed to woo the Muslim world.  After an initial burst of enthusiasm in 2009, America's favorability ratings sagged.  A Gallup poll on opinions of the leadership of the United States released last week shows declines in each of six Muslim-majority countries surveyed.  Approval in Lebanon is 25 percent, a 5-percent drop back to 2008 levels.  Approval in Egypt fell by about half since last fall, from 37 percent to 19 percent.  Approval in the Palestinian Territories is 16 percent, a drop of 4 percent and just three points better than it was under the Bush administration.  In Iraq, approval is at 25 percent, compared to the 35 percent rating in 2008.

Polls in Israel show confidence in Obama's policies in single digits, and American Jews are deserting him at a rate seldom seen for a Democratic president.  A McLaughlin & Associates poll released last month showed that Obama's support among Jews plunged from 78 percent in the 2008 election to around 40 percent and that a plurality of 46 percent would consider voting for another candidate in 2012.  Two weeks ago at an emergency White House meeting with Jewish-American religious leaders, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel admitted that the White House had "screwed up the messaging" about its support for Israel.  He said Obama was a friend of the Jewish state and urged the assembled to "watch what the administration does."

This week, the United States broke 40 years of precedent to back a United Nations resolution calling for a nuclear-free Middle East that singles out Israel as a problem without even mentioning Iran.  It is one of the worst diplomatic blows the United States has ever dealt to Israel, and it will be hard to explain away as simply more incompetent messaging.

Obama's weak response to the crisis over the boarding of the Mavi Marmara is symptomatic of the leadership vacuum Obama has created.  He issued no strong message of support for Israel, no criticism of NATO ally Turkey for its threatening language and bellicose attitude, no condemnation of the attempt to run supplies to Hamas through the Gaza blockade, and no suggestion that the United States would take any action to prevent future such flotillas from fomenting other crises, which the Free Gaza Movement has pledged to do.  Obama seems to be watching the crisis unfold as helplessly as he watches oil leak into the Gulf of Mexico.

Niccolo Machiavelli counseled that it is better for a leader to be feared than loved because love is fickle and can change but fear will endure.  Obama wanted the world to love him, and the world did, seemingly, for awhile.  But love is turning to disappointment and contempt as the world realizes that Obama is just a charming empty suit.  As he grows weaker, America's adversaries are realizing that there is no need to fear him, either.
Palestinian Aid Package
Breitbart is reporting that Barack Obama said Wednesday the United States was to unveil a $400 million civilian aid package for the Palestinians, as he called the situation in the Gaza Strip "unsustainable."

That's your money.  It's reparations to foreigners -- and many of them are terrorists.

Related: Obama pushes Israel to limit Gaza blockade.
The Most Unpopular Man In Britain?
Niles Gardner says what a difference 18 months and an oil spill makes.  In January 2009 Barack Obama was hugely popular on this side of the Atlantic, and could have walked on water in the eyes of the British media, the political elites, and the general public.  In June 2010 however he probably qualifies as the most despised US president since Nixon among the British people.  In fact you can’t open a London paper at this time without reading yet another fiery broadside against a leader who famously boasted of restoring "America’s standing" in the world.

When even Obama’s most ardent political supporters in Britain, including Boris Johnson, are on the offensive against the White House, you know his halo has dramatically slipped.  It’s hard to believe that any politician could become more disliked in the UK than Gordon Brown, but Barack Obama is achieving that in spades.  And as Janet Daley noted of the British press, the love affair with Barack is well and truly over.

The key catalyst for rising anti-Obama sentiment in the UK has been his disastrous handling of the BP issue, and his relentless desire to crush Britain’s biggest company.  There is no doubting BP’s responsibility over the Gulf oil disaster, and it is right that the firm is being held to account for its failures.  But the brutal, almost sadistic trashing of BP by the imperious Obama administration, which has helped wipe out about half its value, threatens its very future, as well as the pensions of 18 million British people and the jobs of 29,000 Americans.  There is now the very real danger of the bankrupting of a great British enterprise, and the prospect even of a Chinese or Russian takeover.

Instead of adopting a constructive, statesmanlike approach, Barack Obama’s decision to launch a "boot on the throat" campaign, while adopting a thinly veiled Brit-bashing agenda, has generated significant bad blood in America’s closest ally.  At the same time, Obama has inexplicably rejected offers of help from the UK and an array of European countries, no doubt out of both pride and protectionism.

As I wrote previously, we are witnessing one of the worst exercises in public diplomacy by a US government in recent memory, one that could cause significant long-term damage to the incredibly important economic and political partnership between Great Britain and the United States.  And for those who say this is minor storm in a tea cup, I would point out that it is highly unusual for a British Prime Minister to have to stand up to an onslaught against British interests by an American president, as David Cameron has just done.  In fact the prospect of a major confrontation between Downing Street and the White House grows stronger by the day.

But this is not the whole picture. Obama’s handling of BP is part of a far bigger problem.  This is an administration that has consistently insulted Britain, and has even sided with her foes in some cases, most notably in its wholehearted support for Argentina’s call for negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falklands, a position that has been strongly backed by Venezuelan tyrant Hugo Chavez.  Time and time again, the Obama team has undercut America’s key allies, from London to Prague to Jerusalem, while kowtowing to the enemies of the United States in the name of engagement.  It is a disastrous foreign policy that not only weakens American global power, but generates resentment and anger in nations that have traditionally stood shoulder to shoulder with America.

The Anglo-American Special Relationship, the most successful partnership of modern times, will survive long after Obama departs the White House.  It is far bigger than any one president or prime minister.  But there can be no doubt that it is being significantly damaged and weakened at this moment by Obama’s sneering approach towards Great Britain, at a time when British and American soldiers are fighting and dying alongside each other in a major war in Afghanistan.  Obama needs to see the big picture and understand that his anti-British posturing is hugely counter-productive and highly offensive.  He is already one of the least popular US presidents of modern times, not only in the eyes of the American people, but now the people of Britain as well.
Obama To Host 18 Leaders In August
Kemo Cham, is reporting that Barack Obama has invited 18 African leaders to celebrate the 50th anniversary of independences of their countries.  An anonymous senior U.S. administration source, speaking on the sidelines of the just concluded G8 Summit in Huntsville, Canada, that the Marxist gathering is scheduled for August in Washington.

A report by French magazine, Jeune Afrique, said that Obama embarked in an extended engagement during the first day of the Summit in Canada, holding sessions in the afternoon with several African heads of states, including the presidents of Senegal, Malawi, Algeria and Ethiopia.

Alongside those of Nigeria and South Africa, the leaders of these African countries were among other non G8 member countries invited to the Huntsville meeting of the 8 most industrialized nations in the world.

It is at this meeting with African leaders that Obama reportedly made the invitation announcement, Jeune Afrique said.

Obama, who is said to be looking for a "fresh start", was quoted by a second Jeune Afrique source as saying since independence, "there were many disappointments, much frustration, and now 50 years later, we want to make a fresh start."

The G8 Summit saw a number of key issues discussed, among them the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), maternal, newborn and child health, food security as well as aid to Africa.

"...maternal, newborn and child health, food security as well as aid to Africa" -- there goes billions more from the American treasury.
What Are You Going To Do About This, Obama?
Breitbart is reporting that Venezuela's legislature has voted to nationalize 11 oil rigs owned by the US firm Helmerich & Payne.

The rigs, located in Monagas, Anzoategui and Zulia states, will be taken over by state oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the official news agency AVN said.

PDVSA had asked the legislature controlled by supporters of leftist President Hugo Chavez to take over the rigs after the US firm declined to negotiate a new service contract, unlike 32 other foreign firms.

The oil giant is South America's top oil producer.

Since 2007 Caracas has nationalized companies in industries from oil to utilities, to telecoms, cement, steel and banking.
Obama Chases His Tail
Paul Mirengoff says Syrian president Bashar Assad has declared that the Obama administration's failure to facilitate change in the Middle East shows that it is weak.  Assad made this statement during a visit to Latin America, which has become a region of interest to both Assad and Iranian president Ahmadinejad.

Assad's statement provides further evidence of the dangers that arise from Obama's obsession with forcing Israeli concessions in the name of "peace."  Try as he might, Obama will not be able to force enough concessions to satisfy the Palestinians, and by extension Assad.  Thus, he enables Assad and other enemies of the U.S. to portray Obama as weak and ineffectual.  And the claim is plausible because Obama is failing to meet his own objectives.

Weakness, or even just plausible claims of weakness, can only make Obama an object of contempt in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Nor can Obama cure this perception by pushing harder on the Israelis.  First, once the Israelis perceive Obama as placing demands on them in response to criticism from the likes of Assad, he loses whatever credibility he might retain with the government.  Obama can succeed in inducing Israel to make concessions only if the government somehow believes he's urging these concessions based on Israel's interests, not his own desire to save face.

Second, as already mentioned, each concession Obama extracts from Israel under pressure from Arab states will lead to pressure to extract new concessions.  This puts Obama in the position of chasing his tail.  There are few surer signs of weakness than that.

Assad is playing Obama, and who can blame him?  Why should he treat Obama better than Putin, Ahmadinejad, Chavez, etc., do?

RelatedObama has declined to publicly affirm commitments made by President Bush to Israel in 2004 on the final borders of the Jewish state.
Obama's Trip To India Will Cost $200 Million Per Day
Press Trust of India is reporting that the US will be spending a whopping $200 million per day on Barack Obama's visit to Mumbai, India.

"The huge amount of around $200 million would be spent on security, stay and other aspects of the Presidential visit," a top official of the Maharashtra Government privy to the arrangements for the high-profile visit said.

About 3,000 people including Secret Service agents, US government officials and journalists wil accompany Obama.  Several officials from the White House and US security agencies are already here for the past one week with helicopters, a ship and high-end security instruments.

"Except for personnel providing immediate security to the President, the US officials may not be allowed to carry weapons.  The state police is competent to take care of the security measures and they would be piloting the Presidential convoy," the official said on condition of anonymity.

A billion dollars -- and for what?
Obama Chan

    
One of our members, who is known on FreeRepublic.com as Candor7, is a serious man who has spent years in Japan, and has family there. 

He explains the various terms of address that reflect Japanese attitude.

"Samma" is a term for a highly respected man.  For example, Ronald Reagan would be "Reagan samma."

Equals in station are called "San" -- "Lucy san" for example.

Children and those who act like children are addressed as "Chan."  Candor7 calls his daughter-in-law "Misato chan."

He says, geriatrics, who act like children, are referred to as "Ojia-chan."

Ones social station and mode of address is related to outward appearance but also is related to one’s conduct as well.

Candor7 explains that what you see in the above photo are the Japanese patronizing Obama as a child.  They have their "Obama chan" faces on, much as you would if you had to sit beside an Irish setter in church that was noisily slobbering on an ice cream cone.

Kamakura is a sacred place, and Obama's behavior was so out of context, it was beyond ludicrous.

So it's "Obama chan."  He will never amount to anything in the East.  The South Koreans will hardly talk to the man child.  The Japanese treat him as child, literally.  This can be clearly seen in the green tea popsicle photo, it is subtle, but very evident to any Japanese person.  Obama was tolerated in Japan, as a child.  South Korea would not even tolerate him diplomatically -- nor would the Chinese.

The only fans Obama has internationally are Muslims (who see him as a weak chump), and his own leg tingly fans at home.  Everyone else in the world does not want to be in the same room with him.  They see him responsible for the destruction of America and her ability to stabilize the world through her strength.  They know it means WW III eventually.

Candor7 says he is ashamed of Obama more than he's angry at him, reference Japan.  Modern Asians cannot stand dogma because it reminds them of totalitarian society from which all have historically suffered in Asia, and Obama is a walking dogma machine.
Obama's Message To The World
Scott Johnson says the Obama administration has a message for the world.  The message is something along these lines: The United States is very bad, but Barack Obama is very good.  He seeks to redeem America from its evil.

Eye on the UN has compiled the disgusting video below of the United States abasing itself before some of the most reprehensible regimes in the world.  I believe this is what goes under the name of "smart diplomacy" in the Obama administration.

The video depicts in condensed form the three-hour appearance of the United States in the dock at the UN Human Rights Council to present its first-ever universal periodic review report and receive recommendations for improvement from council members.  Eye on the UN's Anne Bayefsky explained at the time that 56 countries lined up for the opportunity to have at the U.S. representatives, many standing in line overnight for the opportunity to be near the top of the list.  Making it to the head of the line were Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, Iran, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and North Korea.

Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner made an appearance to play his designated role demeaning the United States on behalf of the Obama administration. The weasel Posner replied "thanks to very many of the delegations for thoughtful comments and suggestions" shortly after Cuba said the U.S. blockade of Cuba was a "crime of genocide," Iran "condemned and expressed its deep concern over the situation of human rights" in the United States, and North Korea said it was "concerned by systematic widespread violations committed by the United States at home and abroad."

Carl in Jerusalem aptly comments: "The key foreign policy goal of the Obama administration is to destroy the notion that America is an exceptional nation, and to cut it down to the same size as brutal dictatorships around the world.  Trying to cut down America's most feisty ally by forcing it into a situation where it will have to fight for its very existence is part of the same
    
    
It should be noted that the formal response of the United States to the constructive criticisms tendered by the likes of Cuba and Iran is posted here, and will make your head explode.

Update:  Steven Den Beste thanks Obama almighty and comments: "When I read about this, it reminded me of the movie Becket, which begins with Henry II submitting himself to a ritual flogging by Catholic priests, as penance for the murder of Thomas Becket."

And Allahpundit tweets: "Stick with [the video] at least until North Korea starts to speak."  Good advice, if you're not struggling with anger management issues!
Surrendering Our Sovereignty
Wayne LaPierre says that for the first time in history, the United States government has bowed before the United Nations with the Obama administration cravenly asking U.N. officials to question our great nation on what a State Department report confesses to be domestic "human rights" violations.

In submitting what amounts to an American guilty plea to the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Obama administration has effectively unsealed the protections of our Constitution to the predations of the United Nations.

Add to that the Obama administration's agreement to aggressively pursue participation in the creation of a U.N. gun-ban treaty. In reversing President George W. Bush's opposition to U.N.-mandated international gun control, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared, "The United States is committed to actively pursuing a strong and robust treaty that contains the highest possible, legally binding standards. …"

Included in the August 2010 submission of what the Obama-Clinton State Department considers America's affronts against "human rights" is Arizona's effort to enforce federal immigration laws -- laws negated by the Obama administration's refusal to seal our porous borders against the flow of criminal aliens, terrorists and international drug traffickers.

Until the "change" of the Obama administration, the U.S. has consistently refused to participate in the farce of U.N. "human rights" bodies that are comprised of rogue states like Syria and Cuba.

Remember Obama's 2008 victory promise: "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America."  With this single step, he has shared that destructive effort with the United Nations.

The fire sale of our sovereignty came with the Aug. 20, 2010 "Report of the United States of America Submitted to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights In Conjunction with the Universal Periodic Review."

A fact sheet posted on the U.S. State Department website explaining the "Universal Periodic Review" should chill the heart of every citizen who believes in the sanctity of our shores and the freedom of "We the People."

It says the second step -- following submission of the "human rights" report -- is what the State Department reverently refers to as "The Review":
    

"The review of a national government takes place in a working group of the [U.N. Human Rights Council]… Each country under review undergoes a three-hour Q&A session webcast on the U.N. website, in which any U.N. member is able to ask questions and make recommendations."

     
Any U.N. member can question the United States of America on our human rights; Zimbabwe, perhaps, or how about Sudan, Iran, the Democratic Republic of the Congo or whatever they call the brutish regime in the former Burma.
    

"The reviewed national government is entitled to use one hour of that time to present its report, respond to any written question it may have received prior to the day of the review, respond to oral questions, comments and recommendations from the floor and present its conclusions."

    
I can give my conclusion right now.  Why are we letting these people do this to our country?

Continue reading here . . .
The Universal Periodic Review
How much worse things can get under Barack Obama?

Well, here’s an answer to that question -– a nine-minute video of portions of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of the United States that was held on November 5, 2010.

You will probably be very angry after watching this kangaroo-court humiliate of our nation in front of the world, by representatives of some of the most despicable and repressive despots on the face of the Earth
    
    
Barack Obama not only signed on to it -- he sent America-despising ambassadors Esther Brimmer and Michael Posner to participate in allowing outrageously false accusations of the most gross violations one could imagine a government committing against humanity.  Brimmer was positively beaming at the opportunity to see her own nation flogged, drawn and quartered.

Watch the whole thing.  The end is a killer.  The message?  America bad.  Obama good.
White House Statement On Leaks
(AP) We anticipate the release of what are claimed to be several hundred thousand classified State Department cables on Sunday night that detail private diplomatic discussions with foreign governments.

By its very nature, field reporting to Washington is candid and often incomplete information.  It is not an expression of policy, nor does it always shape final policy decisions.

Nevertheless, these cables could compromise private discussions with foreign governments and opposition leaders, and when the substance of private conversations is printed on the front pages of newspapers across the world, it can deeply impact not only US foreign policy interests, but those of our allies and friends around the world.

To be clear -- such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government.  These documents also may include named individuals who in many cases live and work under oppressive regimes and who are trying to create more open and free societies.

President Obama supports responsible, accountable, and open government at home and around the world, but this reckless and dangerous action runs counter to that goal.  By releasing stolen and classified documents, Wikileaks has put at risk not only the cause of human rights but also the lives and work of these individuals.  We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information.

This will show 'em who's boss!
The Lunatic Who Thinks He's Barack Obama
Spengler says that Napoleon was a lunatic who thought he was Napoleon, and the joke applies to Barack Obama with a vengeance.  What doesn't Obama know, and when didn't he know it?  American foreign policy turned delusional when Obama took office, and the latest batch of leaks suggest that the main source of the delusion is sitting in the Oval Office.

From the first batch of headlines there is little in WikiLeaks' 250,000 classified diplomatic cables that a curious surfer would not have known from the Internet.  We are shocked -- shocked -- to discover that the Arab Gulf states favor an invasion of Iran; that members of the Saudi royal family fund terrorism; that Pakistan might sell nuclear material to malefactors; that Saudi Arabia will try to acquire nuclear weapons if Iran does; that Israel has been itching for an air strike against Iran's nuclear facilities; that the Russian government makes use of the Russian mob; that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tilts towards radical Islam; or that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi mixes politics and business.

American career diplomats have been telling their masters in the Obama administration that every theater of American policy is in full-blown rout, forwarding to Washington the growing alarm of foreign leaders.  In April 2008, for example, Saudi Arabia's envoy to the US Adel al-Jubeir told General David Petraeus that King Abdullah wanted the US "to cut off the head of the [Iranian] snake" and "recalled the king's frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program".

Afghani President Hamid Karzai warned the US that Pakistan was forcing Taliban militants to keep fighting rather than accept his peace offers.  Pakistani government officials, other cables warn, might sell nuclear material to terrorists.

The initial reports suggest that the US State Department has massive evidence that Obama's approach -- "engaging" Iran and coddling Pakistan -- has failed catastrophically.  The crisis in diplomatic relations heralded by the press headlines is not so much a diplomatic problem -- America's friends and allies in Western and Central Asia have been shouting themselves hoarse for two years -- but a crisis of American credibility.

Not one Muslim government official so much as mentioned the issues that have occupied the bulk of Washington's attention during the past year, for example, Israeli settlements.  The Saudis, to be sure, would prefer the elimination of all Israeli settlements; for that matter, they would prefer the eventual elimination of the state of Israel.  In one conversation with a senior White House official, Saudi King Abdullah stated categorically that Iran, not Palestine, was his main concern; while a solution to the Arab/Israeli conflict would be a great achievement, Iran would find other ways to cause trouble.

"Iran's goal is to cause problems," Abdullah added.  "There is no doubt something unstable about them."  There never has been a shred of evidence that an Israeli-Palestinian agreement would help America contain Iran's nuclear threat.  The deafening silence over this issue in the diplomatic cables is the strongest refutation of this premise to date.

How do we explain the gaping chasm between Obama's public stance and the facts reported by the diplomatic corps?  The cables do not betray American secrets so much as American obliviousness.  The simplest and most probable explanation is that Obama is a man obsessed by his own vision of a multipolar world, in which America will shrink its standing to that of one power among many, and thus remove the provocation on which Obama blames the misbehavior of the Iranians, Pakistanis, the pro-terrorist wing of the Saudi royal family, and other enemies of the United States.

Never underestimate the power of nostalgia.  With a Muslim father and stepfather, and an anthropologist mother whose life's work defended Muslim traditional society against globalization, Obama harbors an overpowering sympathy for the Muslim world.

Continue reading here . . .
Obama Has Lost The World
Daniel Greenfield says that after the 2010 elections, it's not exactly news that Obama has lost America.  But in a less public referendum, he also lost the world.  Obama's cocktail party tour of the world's capitals may look impressive on a map, but is irrelevant on a policy level.  In less than two years, the White House has gone from being the center of world leadership to being irrelevant, from protecting world freedom to serving as a global party planning committee.

Even the Bush Administration's harshest critics could never have credibly claimed that George W. Bush was irrelevant.  He might have been hated, pilloried and shouted about -- but he couldn't be ignored.  However Obama can be safely ignored.  Invited to parties, given the chance to show off his cosmopolitan sophisticated by reciting one or two words in the local lingo, read off a teleprompter, along with some cant about the need for everyone to pull together and make the world a better place, and then dismissed for the rest of the evening.

As a world leader, Obama makes a passable party guest.  He has a broad smile, brings along his own gifts and is famous in the way that celebrities, rather than prime ministers and presidents are famous.  On an invitation list, he is more Bono than Sarkozy, Leonardo DiCaprio not Putin.  You don't invite him to talk turkey, not even on Thanksgiving.  He's just one of those famous people with a passing interest in politics who gets good media attention, but who has nothing worthwhile to say.

The only countries who take Obama seriously, are the ones who have to.  The leaders of Great Britain, Israel and Japan -- who have tied their countries to an enduring alliance with America based on mutual interests and values, only to discover that the latest fellow to sit behind the Oval Office desk no longer shares those values and couldn't give less of a damn about American interests.  It's no wonder that European leaders ignore him as much as possible.  Or that Netanyahu visited America, while Obama was abroad.  Or that Japanese politics have become dangerously unstable.

On the enemy side, the growing aggressiveness of China, North Korea, Iran, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda can all be attributed to the global consensus that no one is at home in the White House.  And if no one is at home in the White House, then that's a perfect time to slap the big boy around the yard.  China is doing it economically, the rest are doing it militarily.  They're all on board with Obama's Post-American vision of the world.  But unlike him and most liberals, they have a clear understanding of what that means.  The America of some years back, which actually intimidated Libyan dictator Khaddafi into giving up his nuclear program, without lifting a hand against him is long gone.  So is the Cedar Revolution.  Syria and Iran are back in charge in Lebanon, and in Afghanistan, the Taliban are laughing at our soft power outreach efforts.

Obama's soft power approach emphasizes the "soft" and forgets the "power."  It neglects even Clinton era understandings about the role of America in the world, and reverts instead to a Carter era sense of guilt that bleeds into hostility toward American interests and allies.  While the rest of the world puts their own interests first, they act like a cog in some imaginary global community, turning and turning toward the distant horizon of international brotherhood.  While China, Russia and most of the world walk down their backs and up their jellyfish spines, laughing all the way.  And America's allies gird themselves and prepare for the worst.

From the first, this administration has curried favor with America's enemies by betraying and humiliating its allies.  But these hideous acts of moral cowardice have not won Obama the approval of America's enemies, only their contempt, and a Nobel Peace Prize from a committee of elderly left wing Swedes, awarded not for any accomplishment, but for the lack thereof.  For being a man without a country, a leader without a spine and a representative of America who gives no thought for the interests of that country.

Continue reading here . . .
Obama Eases Travel Restrictions To Cuba
Lesley Clark says the Obama administration said it will allow for more U.S. travel to Cuba, making it easier for schools, churches and cultural groups to visit the island.

A senior Obama official told The Miami Herald the much-expected move to expand cultural, religious and educational travel to Cuba is part of the administration's continuing "effort to support the Cuban people's desire to freely determine their own future."

Barack Obama is also restoring the amount of money ($2,000) that can be sent to nonfamily members to the level they were at during part of the Clinton and Bush administrations.  There will be a quarterly limit on the amount that any American can send: $500 per quarter to "support private economic activity.''

The administration also will restore the broader "people-to-people'' category of travel, which allows "purposeful'' visits to increase contacts between U.S. and Cuban citizens.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, the new chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, assailed the revision, saying they "will not help foster a pro-democracy environment in Cuba."

"These changes will not aid in ushering in respect for human rights,'' Ros-Lehtinen said.  "And they certainly will not help the Cuban people free themselves from the tyranny that engulfs them.  These changes undermine U.S. foreign policy and security objectives and will bring economic benefits to the Cuban regime.''

Continue reading here . . .
Obama Acknowledges Decline Of US Dominance
The Times Of India is reporting that Barack Obama implicitly acknowledged the decline of American dominance, and said the US was no longer in a position to "meet the rest of the world economically on our terms".

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Mumbai, he said, "I do think that one of the challenges that we are going face in the US, at a time when we are still recovering from the financial crisis is, how do we respond to some of the challenges of globalization?  The fact of the matter is that for most of my lifetime and I'll turn 50 next year -- the US was such an enormously dominant economic power, we were such a large market, our industry, our technology, our manufacturing was so significant that we always met the rest of the world economically on our terms.  And now because of the incredible rise of India and China and Brazil and other countries [and Obama's policies], the US remains the largest economy and the largest market, but there is real competition."
    

"This will keep America on its toes.  America is going to have to compete.  There is going to be a tug-of-war within the US between those who see globalization as a threat and those who accept we live in a open integrated world, which has challenges and opportunities."

    
The US leader disagreed with those who saw globalization as unmitigated evil [of course he did].  But while acknowledging that the China/India factor had made the world flatter, he said protectionist impulses in US will get stronger if people don't see trade bringing in gains for them.  Obama said:
    

"If the American people feel that trade is just a one-way street where everybody is selling to the enormous US market but we can never sell what we make anywhere else, then the people of the US will start thinking that this is a bad deal for us and it could end up leading to a more protectionist instinct in both parties, not just among Democrats but also Republicans.  So, that we have to guard against."

    
He pointed out that America, which once traded without bothering about barriers put up by partners, could not promote trade at its own expense at a time when India and China were rising. "There has to be reciprocity in our trading relationships and if we can have those kind of conversations -- fruitful, constructive conversation about how we produce win-win situations, then I think we will be fine."

Obama's remarks at the town hall meeting exposed his tremendous anxiety over the failure of his policies to spur the US economy fast enough and create jobs for Americans facing nearly 10% unemployment rate.

Continue reading here . . .
Silence, Speeches, And Strategy
Rick Richman says that last year, Barack Obama said nothing as mass demonstrations against an evil regime took place in Iran.  This year, he said and did nothing as Lebanon was taken over by a Syrian/Iranian proxy.  He had no comment on Tunisia while events were occurring -- his secretary of state announced we were not taking sides.  It got a shout-out in his State of the Union address ("America stands with the people of Tunisia") once the dictator was gone.

It seemed as if Obama’s guiding principle in foreign affairs was to avoid confrontations (unless someone announced Jewish housing in Jerusalem).  He ignored human-rights issues in China, reset relations with Russia, outstretched his hand to Iran, went to Cairo to issue a message of peace to the entire Muslim world, and endlessly courted Syria even as it rejected him.  It was a hazardous time to be a U.S. ally: Poland, Georgia, the Czech Republic, Columbia, Honduras, South Korea, Britain, and Israel all saw their interests slighted or subordinated to Obama’s other concerns.

Obama’s initial response to the mass demonstrations in Egypt was also silence.  Ironically, this might have been the appropriate strategy.  Dealing with an important U.S. ally, in a tense and uncertain situation, with repercussions affecting U.S. interests throughout the Middle East, required private efforts.  Calling publicly for the overthrow of a leader who had allied himself with the U.S. for decades might simply energize U.S. enemies and demoralize allies; even Jimmy Carter never publicly called for the Shah’s resignation.  At 82 years old, Hosni Mubarak was likely to be leaving soon in any event; the transition to a different leader, or a different regime, called for quiet diplomacy, not a speech.

Getting rid of Mubarak and holding an election within a few months, where the only organized political group was an ally of Iran, was not necessarily the best way to promote freedom in Egypt -- as the 2006 Palestinian election demonstrated.  The outcome of the 1933 German election is not an argument against democracy -- but having seen what happened in 1933, one might not necessarily make it a central goal in 1938 to hold an election in a neighboring country and risk transforming it into another ally of Hitler.

An important concept is the one acknowledging, "no strategy is applicable in every circumstance."  The danger is very real that Egypt might follow the path of revolutionary Iran.  If that is true, promoting regime change when regime change might produce a significantly worse regime is not self-evidently the right strategy.
Obama's Handling Of Egypt Like Carter's Handling Of Iran
The Examiner.com says that Newt Gingrich compared Obama handling of Egypt to Carter handling of Iran.  Talking about the increasingly volatile developments in Egypt last night, Gingrich communicated what he thought so far of the Obama Administration's handling of the crisis. And he had only disparagements to hand out in his description of Obama and company's series of blunders.  Citing the very real potential for great harm and risk to emerge in Egypt if the Muslim Brotherhood takes power (as many expect it to), Gingrich declared that Obama's performance has been as bad as Jimmy Carter's performance in the late 1970s regarding Iran, which saw the American alliance there collapse in the face of a hostile, Islamic takeover.

Appearing on Sean Hannity's show last night, Gingrich was brought on to analyze, first, the embarrassing comments of the so-called Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper.  Late yesterday, Clapper's office had to retreat from his self-incriminatingly ignorant statement and, essentially, spin that Clapper really knew all along that the Muslim Brotherhood was not secular -- just that he chose to make it look like he didn't know while in front of Congress!!

Citing that massive gaffe by the very inept-sounding Clapper, Gingrich then went on to present another, recent example of Obama Administration idiocy regarding the Egypt quagmire.  As a matter of fact, his next example occurred yesterday, too, making it a double shot of Obama bungling on the Egypt mess! To underscore the verified lack of knowhow in the administration, Leon Panetta, the "brilliant" and very "smooth" CIA Director, let another errant statement fly out of his mouth, just like Clapper did.  Only this time, Panetta proved that Obama Administration members are as inept at making predictions as they are about familiarizing themselves with radical Islamic groups.  Panetta's failed prediction, you ask?  The utterly laughable claim that under-pressure Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak would step down later on in the day!

However, we all know what happened instead: Mubarak refused to step down, merely giving some power to his vice-president, General Omar Suleiman, in a largely symbolic and devious move.  So that clearly meant that Panetta suffered a massive case of having egg on his face, because he could not have made his bone-headed prediction at a more inopportune time.  Coupled with the failure by Clapper to also get things right with regards to identifying what the Muslim Brotherhood is all about -- it takes only two seconds to Google it, Mr. Clapper! -- the Obama Administration was showing off its incompetence like a worse-than-usual episode of the slapstick comedy, the Benny Hill Show.

In light of all of this, Gingrich is not only right to denounce Obama's (mis)handling of Egypt to be as incompetent as Carter's was with Iran, but he is also warning of what, sadly, may just be another Middle Eastern country officially lost to anti-American forces of barbarity and fanaticism.  Aside from the gaffes yesterday, Joe Biden still expressed support for Mubarak in late January, even when mass protests where already occurring, so it is really verifiable that the Obama Administration is in total screw-up mode with regards to Egypt.  The most repugnant part of their screw-ups, however, is that the world will have to suffer another country that may be a bastion of Islamic terror attacks.
Obama's Wishful Thinking
Robert Spencer says in Barack Obama’s statement on the uprising in Libya Wednesday, he asserted somewhat counterfactually that "throughout this period of unrest and upheaval across the region the United States has maintained a set of core principles which guide our approach."  He added that "these principles apply to the situation in Libya" -- and as he delineated them further, it became clear that he was siding strongly with the Libyan people and other Middle Eastern protesters, and that he was assuming that the recent Middle Eastern uprisings were all idealistic, humanistic pro-democracy movements.  In reality, they’re anything but.

Obama condemned "the use of violence in Libya," declaring that "the suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable.  So are threats and orders to shoot peaceful protesters and further punish the people of Libya."  He affirmed that "the United States also strongly supports the universal rights of the Libyan people," and enumerated several of those rights: "That includes the rights of peaceful assembly, free speech, and the ability of the Libyan people to determine their own destiny."

That phrasing itself suggested that Obama envisioned the crowds thronging the streets of Tripoli, crying out for Gaddafi’s blood and holding up pictures of him with Stars of David drawn on his forehead, as something akin to the Founding Fathers of the United States of America in Congress assembled.  He saw Jefferson and Madison elsewhere, also, as he added that "even as we are focused on the urgent situation in Libya," his Administration was working to determine "how the international community can most effectively support the peaceful transition to democracy in both Tunisia and in Egypt."

Obama expressed satisfaction that "the change that is taking place across the region is being driven by the people of the region.  This change doesn’t represent the work of the United States or any foreign power.  It represents the aspirations of people who are seeking a better life."  And he quoted a Libyan who said: "We just want to be able to live like human beings."  In conclusion, he vowed that "throughout this time of transition, the United States will continue to stand up for freedom, stand up for justice, and stand up for the dignity of all people."

The one thing Obama didn’t explain was on what basis he believed that the Libyan (and Tunisian and Egyptian) people themselves were interested in principles and rights such as the freedom of speech and the dignity of all people, or held an understanding of freedom and justice remotely comparable to that of the American Constitutional system.

Unfortunately for him, there are numerous signs that they don’t.  It is not insignificant vandalism that protesters in Libya have marked Gaddafi’s picture with the Star of David; rather, it is an indication of the protesters’ worldview, and of the pervasiveness of Islamic anti-Semitism.  When Muslim protesters want to portray someone as a demon, they paint a Star of David on his picture.  This also shows the naiveté of Obama and others who insist that the demonstrators in Libya, Egypt (where the Star of David was drawn on Mubarak’s picture also) and elsewhere in the Middle East are pro-democracy secularists.  They may be pro-democracy insofar as they want the will of the people to be heard, but given their worldview, their frame of reference, and their core assumptions about the world, if that popular will is heard, it will likely result in huge victories for the Muslim Brotherhood and similar pro-Sharia groups.  Hence the ubiquitous chant of the Libyan protesters: not "Give me liberty or give me death," but "No god but Allah!"

Continue reading here . . .
The Obama Doctrine?
Andrew Roberts says that after two years in office it seems that Obama has finally found a foreign policy doctrine, but the trick will be sticking to it when the going gets tough like in Libya.

Obama has stated, in a telephone call with Angela Merkel on Saturday about Colonel Gaddafi, that "When a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now."  Could this be the long-awaited "Obama Doctrine," at least in outline?  It certainly seems to have the high-sounding tome of a presidential pronouncement.

Every president strives to have a foreign policy Doctrine -- note the capital D -- that gets named after him.  The Truman Doctrine prescribed the way to contain Communism, the Kennedy Doctrine the way to defy it, and the Reagan Doctrine the way to defeat it.  More recently, the Bush Doctrine defined how, in the War on Terror, states had to decide whether they were for America or against her, and explained unequivocally what would happen to those caught on the wrong side of the divide.  In this year of revolutions in the Middle East, Obama might now be stumbling towards an Obama Doctrine, in a foreign policy so far made in a vacuum.

It may be completely absurd in historical terms, but at least its overarching theme about legitimacy sounds good.  If it had been promulgated in 1861, of course, when Abraham Lincoln used mass violence against an insurrection of his own people for four years at the cost of 600,000 lives, Barack Obama might not have the vote today, but there's little advantage in pointing out such intellectual and historical inconsistencies.  Otherwise we might also wind up wondering why the then Senator Obama opposed a war to overthrow a certain Iraqi dictator who used mass violence against his own people as his only means of staying in power?

For Obama is a man who does not want to act when it's right to do so unless it also sounds right.  If the sound bite fits, do it, especially if it includes impressive words from international jurisprudence like "legitimacy."  The fact is, however, that were the pro-Gaddafi forces, which seem to include the all-important air force, actually -- God forbid -- to defeat the insurgents, and were Gaddafi to re-establish control in Libya, the United States and the West would quickly find that he had re-established his "legitimacy to rule" too.  We would be sending back our oilmen after a decent interval, all talk of "legitimacy" conveniently forgotten.  Legitimacy comes from different places in different countries at different periods of history, and in Libya since 1969 it has come from the barrel of a gun, which is where it very firmly remains today.

That is not to say that Obama should not stick to his newfound Doctrine, just so long as he extends it to countries beyond the Middle East.  Were the Chinese to use mass violence against their own people as their only means of staying in power, as they did in Tiananmen Square in 1989, can we expect Obama to call for them "to do what is right for their country by leaving now," or would it just apply to weak powers like Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe or the military dictatorship in Burma?

Or is this latest pronouncement, as I suspect, merely a high-sounding form of words that sounds good for the present Libyan situation, but which will be swiftly forgotten the moment they no longer suit the Obama Administration's immediate requirements.
Do Tyrants Fear America Anymore?
Nile Gardner says Obama’s timid foreign policy is an embarrassment for a global superpower.  The débacle of Obama’s handling of the Libya issue is symbolic of a wider problem at the heart of his 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 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.

In contrast to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, Obama fails to see the United States as an exceptional nation, with a unique role in leading the free world and standing up to tyranny.  In his speeches abroad he has frequently found fault with his own country, rather than projecting confidence in American greatness.  From Cairo to Strasbourg he has adopted an apologetic tone rather than demonstrating faith in America as a shining city upon a hill, a beacon of freedom and liberty.  A leader who lacks pride in his own nation’s historic role as a great liberator simply cannot project strength abroad.

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.

The White House’s painful navel-gazing on Libya last week, with even the French adopting a far tougher stance, is cause for grave concern.  Obama's timid approach to foreign policy is the last thing the world needs at a time of mounting turmoil in the Middle East, including the growing threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, and Islamist militancy on the rise from Egypt to Yemen.  US leadership is now needed more than ever, but has embarrassingly gone AWOL on the world stage.
Barack Carter-Obama Is Back
Ross Kaminsky is reporting that on Monday's edition of CNN's Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer and political analyst Gloria Borger discussed Barack Obama's response to the situation in Libya, bringing unwitting clarity to the issue of Barack Obama's projected and real weakness.

First, they wondered aloud how it could have been that Barack Obama would come out relatively quickly against Egypt's Hosni Mubarak who, while not a paragon of democratic virtue, was nevertheless an important and mostly reliable ally of the U.S. and partner in peace with Israel for three decades, but stay silent about Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi for nearly two weeks.  Gaddafi is a man who has been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and other westerners and who doesn't even have allies in the Arab world.

Instead of running a country, Gaddafi should have long ago been executed for murder.  He's unbalanced, apparently delusional, and murdering his own people.  But Obama said nothing against this dictator until who knows how much Libyans were killed in the streets.  The inconsistency and poor judgment of Obama that Blitzer and Borger point to is something that even the left, but especially the critically important independent voters, can't help but notice.

As Stephen Hayes said at an event in Colorado, the ferry boat that eventually brought hundreds Americans and other westerners to safety in Malta, first sat for several days in a harbor just outside Tripoli, bobbing in the waves, waiting for conditions to improve -- an all too fitting metaphor for Obama's reaction to the events in Libya.

In attempting to answer their own question of the administration's delayed reaction to the revolt in Libya, Blitzer said that perhaps Obama was worried that strong words against Gaddafi might put at risk about 150 American diplomats in Tripoli.  But the only way that would make sense is if Obama knows that he is, or at least is perceived in Libya as, the second coming of Jimmy Carter: a man who would let American diplomats be taken hostage and then not have the wisdom or courage to do whatever it takes to rescue them and cause great and permanent harm to the hostage takers.

After all, in the purely political world in which Barack Obama lives -- and I write this understanding how Machiavellian it sounds -- the taking of an American hostage by the Libyan (or any other) government could be as much a political opportunity as a political risk for Obama.  Of course, a rescue attempt could go horribly wrong, resulting in the death of those who we were trying to rescue.  That would indeed reflect badly on him, but not nearly as badly as doing nothing.  Implicit in Blitzer and Borger's comments is the all too believable suggestion that Barack Obama is too likely to do nothing, too afraid of a bad outcome, or too disdainful of U.S. military power to do something, and that therefore the risk of American hostages is indeed one he cannot take.

Unfortunately, his inability to take that risk jeopardizes far more than the slight possibility that Americans would have been taken hostage.  It risks every would-be Arab reformer-rebel who might, if they could expect U.S. support, try to topple their various dictators instead deciding that the US is all hat and no cattle when it comes to brave talk of democracy.  Well, to be fair, there's precious little brave talk from Obama, so perhaps you can't call him hypocritical; to the extent that U.S. policy has encouraged these rebellions, it's something for which George W. Bush can take far more credit that Barack Carter-Obama.  And, by projecting such abject weakness, Obama's actions actually increase the chances of Americans being treated badly by any tin-pot dictator trying to get leverage on the U.S.

When even CNN implicitly recognizes that Barack Obama probably is, and certainly is seen in the Arab world as, every bit as spineless as the worst American president in recent generations (until the current one), Barack Obama and Democrats who hope to get elected or re-elected in 2012 had better hope that foreign policy magically drops off the table as an issue before the elections.  The way things are going in North Africa and the Middle East, the Obama-Carter comparisons are likely to haunt Obama through the election and will increase the chances that his first term is also his last -- much to the chagrin of dictators around the world.
The Obama Doctrine
Victor Davis Hanson says the problem with Obama’s Middle East policy is that there is no policy, and that’s why we have heard nothing consistent or comprehensive from the administration that would try to explain our glee at Mubarak and Ali leaving but outreach to the far worse Assad, the monster Ahmadinejad’s enjoying exemption from "meddling" but Qaddafi’s being merely "unacceptable," talk of going into Libya as good but no talk of Saudi Arabia going into Bahrain as good or bad, reset diplomacy as not judging other regimes but human rights declared universal, no idea whether plebiscites without constitutional guarantees will bring governments worse than the pro-American autocracies that fall, and loud declarations of Bush’s policies as bad but also reset diplomacy’s quietly embracing most of them in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the not-to-be-named war on terror.

All this is in line with simultaneously establishing withdrawal dates and surging into Afghanistan, virtually closing Guantanamo, and regretting Iraq while claiming it as a possible "greatest achievement."  All that can be said for it is that the chaos keeps our friends and enemies guessing -- and that confused inaction is, I suppose, preferable to confused intervention.

What then is or was at the heart of U.S. bewilderment in the region?

Three flawed assumptions:
    

1) Not being George Bush meant that we should keep mum about "democracy" and "human rights" and not judge the culturally constructed practices of 'other' indigenous governments.  We saw that rhetoric early in 2009, and it was reified by our silence over the Iranian protests six months later.  Oddly, we were to assume that a right-wing Bush had been too idealistic, and that a left-wing Obama was going to return to realpolitik dressed up in multicultural platitudes of non-intervention.  The result is that we have become loud multicultural neocons who sermonize but are not taken too seriously;

2) We trumpeted multilateralism in the sense that we would follow the lead of the U.N. or the EU/NATO or the Arab League, all of whom are always waiting to follow America’s lead.  Apparently, the administration believed that the usual serial criticism from these international bodies meant that they don’t like U.S. leadership.  In fact, they both do like us to lead and even more do like to criticize us for leading -- and find absolutely no contradiction in that at all.  The result is that they are all unhappy that they finally got what they have always wanted and did not want.

3) As we saw in Obama’s first interview (with al Arabiya), his Cairo speech, and commentary from his advisers, the president as Barack Hussein Obama believed that his unique racial heritage, his non-traditional name, his father’s Muslim ancestry, and his left-of-center politics were all supposed to combine to reassure our former enemies and suspicious neutrals that we were now on the right side of progressive history-making -- as if a democratic, capitalist, wealthy military superpower could at last be seen as quasi-revolutionary, and therefore they should both like us and desist from inappropriate behavior.  It was almost the foreign-policy equivalent of a stuffy, big-city establishment organization cynically hiring a hip community-organizing liaison to go out into the neighborhood and convince suspicious locals that it was 'really' on their side -- and it has worked about as well as these things usually do for all parties involved.

    
So where do we go from here?  In the next crisis, I suggest that we can always boycott the Olympics.
After All Of Obama's Bowing And Scraping
Verum Serum is reporting that a protest against Barack Obama's visit to Brazil ended in confusion late on Friday (3/18) in the center of Rio de Janeiro.  It should arrive to the country tomorrow evening and stay until the morning of Monday (21).

According to the Reserved Service of the 13th Military Police Battalion (Tiradentes Square), the protesters threw a Molotov cocktail at the U.S. Consulate.  Part of the device reached a vigilante and his vest caught fire.  To counter the confusion, MPs threw stun grenades and tear gas.

The PM said at least 13 people attending the protest were arrested and taken to the police station the avenue Gomes Freire (Precinct 5) in the center.
    
    
According to the corporation, about 100 people attended the protest.  They are part of organizations like the CUT (Central Unica dos Trabalhadores), Sindipetro (Union of Oil), UNE (National Union of Students) and MST (Landless Movement).

The march began in front of the Candelaria church in downtown Rio, and followed by the Rio Branco Avenue until you reach the consulate.  Were displayed banners reading "Obama, go home" and "Imperialism no!  Obama, take the jaws of the pre-salt.  All the solidarity of peoples in struggle."

It’s no wonder that the White House announced earlier today that Obama will no longer be speaking at a public square in Rio.  It seems that Obama’s days of pontificating before enraptured foreign audiences may be over.

Many more pictures here.
Obama Regime Promises America Will Improve Its Human Rights Record
The Washington Posts is reporting that the United States disavowed torture and pledged to treat terror suspects humanely, but set aside calls to drop the death penalty, as the United Nations carried out its first review of Washington’s human rights record.

As part a groundbreaking "commitment to improvement" under the Obama administration, the U.S. joined the 47-nation Human Rights Council in 2009. And in doing so, submitted to more international scrutiny.

State Department legal adviser Harold Koh outlined nine key improvement areas Friday, encompassing about 174 of the 228 recommendations the community had urged on Washington in an initial report last November.  Nations are held accountable for what they agree to improve.

Koh said the U.S. would agree to improvements in areas ranging from civil rights to national security to immigration, including intolerance of "torture" and the humane treatment of suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba.

Cuba, Iran and Venezuela complained the U.S. was brushing too many recommendations aside, while China and Russia said the U.S. was not going far enough on Guantanamo, and called for it to be shut down as Barack Obama had promised.

Other nations urged the U.S. to reduce overcrowding in prisons, ratify international treaties on the rights of women and children, and take further steps to prevent racial profiling.  Koh said Obama also would push to ratify additional measures under the Geneva Conventions and add protections for anyone it detains in an international armed conflict.

However, Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s human rights program, said one of the biggest U.S. shortcomings is that it has still has not created an independent human rights monitoring commission as has been done in over 100 countries.  He said:
    

"While the Obama administration should be commended for its positive engagement in this process, in order to lead by example, this international engagement must be followed by concrete domestic actions to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards."

    
Some of the current and recent members of the United Nations Human Rights Council that are demanding the U. S. act humanely are:
    

Angola; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Chile; China; Cuba; Djibouti; Ecuador; Gabon; Ghana; Guatemala; Libya; Malaysia; Maldives; Mauritania; Mauritius; Mexico; Nigeria; Pakistan; Republic of Moldova; Russian Federation; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Slovakia; Thailand; Uganda; Uruguay and Zambia.

    
Related:  To really get your blood boiling, check out Today's ObamaFact.
US Funds $20 Million Remake Of Sesame Street For Pakistan
The BBC is reporting a new effort to win hearts and minds in Pakistan.

USAID -- the "independent" agency that funnels US taxpayer dollars to 150 of the world's 192 countries (video) -- is donating $20 million  (£12m) to the country to create a local Urdu version of the show.

The show is to be filmed in Lahore and aired later in the year.  The project aims to boost education in Pakistan, where many children have no access to regular schooling.
    

"The program is part of a series of ventures that is aimed at developing the educational infrastructure in the country.  Education is one of the vital sectors that need help in Pakistan."

   
The show will be set in a village in Pakistan -- rather than the streets of New York -- with roadside tea shop and residents sitting on their verandas.

The remake will star a puppet called Rani, the six-year-old daughter of a peasant farmer, with pigtails and a school uniform, according to Britain's Guardian newspaper.

Read more here . . .

It's bad enough that taxpayers' dollars support NPR, but this is ridiculous.

Producers would not comment on whether the puppet Rani will be costumed in a full burka and explosive vest or not.
Obama Not Yet Up To Handling Even A 3PM Phone Call
Barrack Obama, they told us, and keep telling us, is so nuanced.

James Eckert says Obama's idea of how to conduct operations in Libya is so nuanced that we may well soon be bombing both sides.

Sure, you're probably saying to yourself: "If we're bombing Muammar Gadddafi’s Libya, what's not to like?" and "Hey, if Obama has decided to attack one of our enemies rather than undermine one of our allies, could there be hope he’s changing?

But is there any reason to believe his decision-making in connection with the situation in Libya is part of a rational scheme, a plan, the dawn of an Obama Doctrine?  Certainly not that anyone else can seem to detect.  Or that he can explain.

Sorry, talking about Obama and foreign affairs is like talking about the weather.  You know, you talk about it and that’s pretty much it.  Obama can’t seem to do anything right about foreign policy any more than he can do anything at all about the weather.  He clearly prefers to simply watch things unfold just like the rest of us do.  He comments about it occasionally, but, of course, not as much as he likes talking about, say, basketball.  And the media gives him a pass.

There is no real thought process at work here.  Things just happen.  Things get said -- often opposite things one day to the next, just like some weather forecast.

Now I am not suggesting that Obama has it easy here.  It is probably difficult for him trying to guess what the "International Community" would really like for him to do.  Two weeks ago it was wrong to intervene in Libya.  Now it is right to bomb the place.  "Gaddafi has to go," Obama declares one day.  Another day he says we are not trying to achieve "regime change."  Never does tell us the magic formula he has in mind that doesn’t change the Gaddafi regime but yet Gaddafi goes.  Clearly what he thinks the situation calls for is non-change we can believe in.  At least he isn’t talking about hope.

One thing about Obama is very clear.  He is not even thinking about returning that Nobel Peace Prize that he received for being anti-war and hoping for peace.  Isn’t it brilliant how he ended this war so fast just by declaring that it was not really a war but rather something else whose exact meaning no one could figure out?

They should have called Obama’s non-war in Libya "Operation Rorschach Test" -- because I guess I'm not looking at it right.  But, then, neither is he.

Remember the Hillary Clinton for President campaign ad that suggested it would be a good idea to have a President who might have some faintest idea what to do if his phone rang at 3AM and he had to make a decision involving an issue of great importance to America?

That question about who we want answering that 3AM call was a good one.

The clear lesson of the events of recent weeks should be obvious: Barrack Obama is not yet up to handling even a 3PM phone call -- not if it’s about anything really important to the country.
Russians Too
Nikolaus von Twickel, writing in the Moscow Times, is reporting that amid growing anxiety over whose name will appear on the 2012 presidential ballot, lawmakers and pundits were quick to welcome the news that one president would certainly stand for re-election next year -- Barack Obama.

The U.S. president's announcement, made in an e-mail to supporters Monday, sent many in Moscow praising the achievements of a "reset" in relations that has become a hallmark of both Obama's and Dmitry Medvedev's presidencies.

"I will be very happy to see a second Obama term because this will mean a maximum in policy continuity regarding Russia," Mikhail Fedotov, head of Medvedev's human right's council, said by telephone Tuesday.

Fedotov said this was even more the case because there is no clear Republican challenger to Obama.

His comments were echoed by Alexei Malashenko, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center, who said a second Obama term would be the best possible outcome for Moscow because there was no more capable or promising leader in current U.S. politics.  "He is the first U.S. president completely free of Cold War thinking," Malashenko explained.

Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the State Duma's International Affairs Committee, also has enthusiastically embraced Obama as Moscow's obvious choice.  "Obama's global agenda is much better and more productive than what was proposed by his predecessors," Kosachyov, who is also a leading member of United Russia, said in comments published on the party's web site Monday.

But Kosachyov made it clear that what he liked about Obama's stance on Russia might seem a weakness to others.  Previous administrations, he said, defined U.S. national interests as meaning world dominance, while Obama accepts the concept of a multipolar world as being compatible with its national interests.

Fellow United Russia Deputy Sergei Markov put it more bluntly.  "We should support Obama because "he softened support for anti-Russian regimes in our neighborhood, like that of [Georgian President Mikheil] Saakashvili," he said by telephone.

Continue reading here . . .
Top 10 Obama Foreign Policy Flubs
Human Events says that Barack Obama brought to the Oval Office the foreign policy experience of a community organizer, that is to say, none.  And it shows.  If there is such a thing as an Obama Doctrine, it might be this: React slowly to a foreign crisis and, in a conflict, pick a side hostile to U.S. interests.  Here are the Top 10 Obama Foreign Policy Flubs.
    

1.  Libya:  NATO’s Obama-backed Libyan excursion is entering its third month with no end in sight, as Muammar Gaddafi and the ill-trained and ill-equipped rebel forces battle to a stalemate.  Without the U.S. taking the dominant military lead, NATO’s feeble effort is exposing a shocking weakness in the military alliance.  And Obama still hasn’t explained why Gaddafi’s troops shooting into crowds warrants retribution, while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad can do the same with impunity.  What an ill-conceived effort, with no real leadership and no clear goals.

2.  Iran:  In 2009, when Tehran protesters looked to Washington for help, Obama offered little support as he held on to the dream that his magical words could sway Iran’s Islamist leaders.  His naive stance snubbed the masses of people hoping for democratic reform while ensuring that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will continue his march to make Iran a nuclear power.

3.  Egypt:  First, Vice President Joe Biden says longtime U.S. ally Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is not a dictator, then the administration calls for him to step aside.  By withdrawing support for Mubarak, Obama sent shock waves to other U.S. allies in the Middle East -- including oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Bahrain -- and gave an opening for the Muslim Brotherhood to rise to power.

4.  The Dollar:  Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s policy of qualitative easing is eroding the dollar while encouraging inflation.  International holders of U.S. dollars are not pleased to see the drop, spurring talk of a different currency to dominate the world’s financial system.  Along with the Obama deficits, America’s creditworthiness is in question.

5.  Israel:  Obama's speech seeking a return to Israel's 1967 borders undercut America's only reliable ally in the region.  His attempt to broker any kind of accord between Israel and the Palestinians is in disarray.  His special envoy George Mitchell just resigned and Israel is rightfully concerned with Obama’s hard-line on Israeli borders and his fondness for the Arab world.  And with the "Arab Spring" possibly sweeping Islamists into power, Israel will be further isolated in the region.

6.  Global organizations:  By ceding power to the United Nations, International Monetary Fund and other international organizations, Obama is undermining America’s sovereignty.  The Libyan military action is a case in point, approved by the UN and not by Congress.  And with the IMF funneling billions of U.S. tax dollars to bail out debt-ridden countries, one wonders if the idea of a One World Government is becoming a reality.

7.  Brazil oil:  It was bad enough when Obama pulled the plug on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.  But after oil companies sent their drilling rigs to Brazil, Obama said, "We want to be one of your best customers," and announced plans to lend billions to the state-owned oil company to drill off the coast of Brazil.  Memo to Obama:  There are plenty of oil resources in the United States that, if tapped, could create jobs and lessen dependence on foreign oil.

8.  Pakistan:  This supposed U.S. ally has consistently undermined U.S. anti-terror efforts, as its intelligence service seemingly is supportive of anti-American jihadists.  Pakistan either allowed safe harbor for Osama bin Laden or was totally incompetent despite billions of dollars of U.S. aid.  The mixed signals from the Obama administration following the Osama bin Laden raid only further damaged the relationship with Pakistan.

9.  Russia:  Obama’s clumsy attempt to push the reset button with Russia had the U.S. making concessions on missile defense and nuclear arms without gaining anything in return.  Instead of moving closer to the U.S., Russia is aligning with China, Brazil, India and other developing nations on key issues.

10.  Apologizing:  Obama’s apology tour shortly after taking office sent the message that he didn’t really think all that highly about America.  Not only wasn’t America exceptional, but it was guilty of heinous offenses.  No thank you, Obama, for your apologies.  As Memorial Day approaches and we honor those who died for our country, we can be proud of the causes they served.

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