Monday, July 13, 2009

Obama—The 60s Peacenik

Cartoon source

Obama’s worldview and foreign policy are that of the 1960’s peacenik (as was his mother’s — his father was an acquaintance of mine at the University of Hawaii where I met the girl who became Obama’s mother). His pronouncements have been carefully scrubbed to align with those of liberal Democrats and the professional foreign policy establishment’s realist theory, but are radical nonetheless. He fails to promote democratic freedom and the idea of the democratic peace. He ignores the fact that democracy is a method of nonviolence and the way to world peace and human security.

As a peacnik, Obama’s underlying theme (as it is in professional peace studies) is social justice, whether in foreign or domestic policy. That is, one should promote social justice (a key Obama word)—equality, and thus socialism at home and abroad. “Justice” comes first, before democracy, before freedom, before human rights. He also is a firm believer in the moral equivalence of governments, and thus not particularly unhappy with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Honduran President Manuel, and Evo Morales of Bolivia, who are all social justice, socialist promoters over democratic rule.

For Obama, there exists a moral equivalence between liberal democracies and socialist governments. After all, the latter use power to ameliorate poverty and underdevelopment.

As did the 1960s peacenik, Obama views previous presidents as having employed power to create an American empire—a military and capitalist empire that has cruelly dominated the world for profit and power. So he peppers his foreign policy speeches with apologies for what America has done to the world. In this he is not necessarily anti-American. He is simply a child nourished by the academic leftist culture.
It follows then, Obama the peacenik is antiwar. Never mind that we have sworn enemies bent on destroying us. He inherited the Afghan and Iraq Wars. He is withdrawing from Iraq and had to compromise with supporters of a surge in Afghanistan, but he has made it a limited and perhaps self-defeating one. He has severely cut the defense budget, refused to allow an upgrading of our nukes, and despite North Korea’s nuclear and missile developments, as well as Iran’s upcoming nuclear weapons, he has cut expenditures on our missile defenses and development. He is not hardening our military capability or civilian structures against a possible EMP attack. And he rejects the notion that we are war with Islamofascism. In his administration, the War On Terror is an “Overseas Contingency Operation”. Terrorists are merely another kind of freedom fighter with the possible exception of Al- Qaeda. They are “violent extremists”, if they are mentioned at all, which is rare.

Then there is our nuclear deterrence. He espouses antiproliferation and elimination of nukes as a global policy. He fails to recognize the importance of deterrence to our security and to our democratic allies. Elimination of all nuclear weapons would be disastrous for the democracies that then would have no nuclear deterrence against rogue nations or terrorist groups. This is where the fact of the democratic peace also is critical to policy. Democracies do not make war on each other, and so nuclear weapons in their hands only deter nondemocracies. They are no danger to other democracies. Nuclear weapons in the hands of Great Britain, France, and Israel are not the same as in North Korean or Iranian hands.

In sum, Obama not only endangers democratic freedom domestically, as shown in here (see ”Tyranny Closing In—Nationalizing Health“, ”Tyranny Closing In—Nationalizing Food”, ”Tyranny closing in—Illegalizing Dissension”), but he profoundly jeopardizes American security. Thus, these questions? How long will our threatened democratic freedoms survive Obama? How long before our enemies realize our vulnerability under him? When will the Sword of Damocles fall?

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