CRoss-posted by Gary Fouse
The latest developments in American foreign policy being carried out by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can only leave me shaking my head. It makes one wonder who are friends really are and who our enemies really are. Our new administration doesn't seem to know the difference.
In Latin America, we witness tiny Honduras remove a would-be Hugo Chavez from office for trying to circumvent the Honduran constitution as it pertains to election law in order to set himself up as a dictator. The Honduran Supreme Court and Congress followed the constitution and ordered the military to remove Manuel Zelaya, who was flown to Costa Rica. Here in North America, we may not like the method, but it was done according to Honduran law. Yet, what do we do? We join hands with the likes of Chavez in supporting Zelaya. We condemn the removal of Zelaya, call it illegal, recall our ambassador, meet with Zelaya and finally, cut off all aid to Honduras. In other words, we are working to re-install Zelaya to power.
That leads me to wonder; what if the North Koreans had a coup and overthrew Kim Jong Il? Would we declare it illegal and demand that Kim be returned to power? What about the restive Iranians? Suppose they managed to rise up and overthrow Ahmadinejad and the mullahs? Would Obama and Clinton demand that they be returned to power as well? And what about Hugo Chavez? If he were thrown out by the Venezuelan military/people, would we also rush to his defense?
In the old days (meaning from the birth of the republic till today) we would be happy. Granted, if the US were involved in the overthrow, that would invite international condemnation. However, let's assume that the above three revolutions were carried out strictly by the North Koreans, Iranians and Venezuelans-without any US involvement. Normally, we would quickly recognize the new governments and re-establish normal diplomatic ties. Under this administration, who knows what we would do?
Another controversial development was the administration's decision to cancel defensive missile shields in the Czech Republic and Poland. Now I am no defense or weapons expert, and I would not deign to argue about where such defense shields should be located in the world. We are taking the position that such a defense system is not intended as a defense against Russia, rather against rogue regimes that get their hands on nuclear missiles (like Iran). Yet, it is clear that this move was done to appease Russia-for whatever agreement they may or may not have quietly made to help the US in other areas, such as Iran. Aside from mere practicality, there was a symbolic importance to having those defensive shields in the Czech Republic and Poland. In the eyes of the Czechs and Poles, the defense shield was valuable to them due to their fears of an irredentist Russia. So now we have two former East-bloc countries who were very receptive to good American relations now being slapped in the face by the US.
In the case of Libya, again, the US (and the UK) are behaving quite strangely. We still don't know if our country quietly acquiesced in the release of the Pan Am 103 bomber. It appears that our State Department has demanded that the Scottish authorities not release any correspondence between our two countries. Obviously, we know the cowardly British Government was anxious to make an oil deal and try to somehow placate its restive Muslim population. The American public has an absolute right to know what the role of our own government was in this shameful episode. To add insult to injury, at the same time that Moammar Ghaddafi is standing on US soil and addressing the UN, the administration has now announced a grant of $2.5 million dollars to Libya as well as $400,000 to foundations owned by the Ghaddafi family-all in the name of supporting democracy!
Finally, no matter how much Obama and his followers assure Israel that we are still committed to her defense, does any serious observer really believe that should Israel be overrun or hit with Iranian nukes that we would go to war to save her and her people from another Holocaust? I don't. Should that come to pass, I believe Obama, Clinton and the whole gang in Washington would stand by, wring their hands, call for peace and cry crocodile tears as that "inconvenient nation" and her "inconvenient" people (Jews) were wiped off the face of the map-just as Ahmadinejad, Hamas and Hezbollah all promise as we speak.
I'm all for using diplomacy to improve relations with our adversaries, but throwing our friends and allies overboard to appease the tyrants and terrorists of the world strikes me as abject weakness. We will pay for it down the road.