There has been a lot of grumbling, eye rolling and outright tumult on both sides of the Atlantic over the Quran burnings in Afghanistan and President Obama’s subsequent apology. The reaction from the Afghans themselves has been extreme and utterly undeserving of the kid-glove treatment from President Obama. GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich did not pass up the opportunity to rip into Dear Leader with this punctilious statement last Thursday, “There seems to be nothing that radical Islamists can do to get Barack Obama’s attention in a negative way and he is consistently apologizing to people who do not deserve the apology of the President of the United States period.”
It’s hard to find much disagreement with the former Speaker on this topic. Undoubtedly since ascending to the White House, Obama has seen it has his duty and prerogative to project – not American strength – but embarrassment and condolences for America’s “transgressions” against the rest of the world. Despite liberal predictions to the contrary, it has not made us anymore popular with our enemies overseas and has been illustrated starkly by this incident.
As Allen Fitzhugh noted, American casualties are over 1,900 in Afghanistan with thousands more wounded and suffering from the physical and mental scars of this conflict. Although Osama bin Laden ended up at the bottom of the Arabian Sea and the Taliban has taken it on the proverbial chin, Afghanistan, itself, is just as corrupt as when we initiated military operations in 2001 and becoming more devoid of democratic leanings by the second. A glimpse at news report footage of the war-torn country might be lead you to believe that you were viewing the streets of Egypt or Libya. So much for democratic nation-building – they’re burning the American flag and cursing our very existence in the streets of Kabul.
It should appear to the casual observer by now that Obama is about as adept at managing American foreign policy as Jimmy Carter was. There are those, such as Bill O’Reilly, who accuse the president of incompetence, but this is inaccurate and a rather blind assessment, if I may. Obama is very deliberate concerning domestic policy and equally as mensural in his handling of foreign affairs.
What he lacks is maturity and refinement, despite the media’s countless pronunciations of his brilliance and cunning. The time spent at Harvard and Columbia may have helped to cement his faculty-lounge theorem, but it did little to arm him with as much as a shred of real-world common sense. The global panacea he desires is unattainable and any such effort to attain this utopia will fail miserably.
Our world popularity is not dependent on any sole factor, and in turn, it can not be brought to fruition by a strict adherence to pie-in-the-sky neutrality nor pathetic pandering. In fact, it could be argued that world-wide, uniform acceptance of America will never occur simply due to the fact that American greatness is misunderstood abroad. If that is the case, which I believe it is, such panderings to the Arab world are a waste of time and will ultimately prove fruitless.
As to Newt’s point, Obama loves kowtowing to our detractors; especially when it involves bowing in the direction of Mecca. The Wall Street Journal noted that the burned “Islamic books” – including Korans – “contained ‘extremist literature’ and prisoners’ ‘clandestine communications’” according to the U.S. military, but this is of little consequence to Obama. The Dear Leader handles the military like a parent who chides a misbehaving child – as if our personnel are just haphazardly burning documents as a provocation in and of itself. Apologies are pouring forth from our side, but there isn’t the slightest peep of protest coming from Obama in response to the American casualties resulting from these protests. If these Koran burnings were unintentional as claimed by Obama and the military, then why must we scamper away – tail between the legs? This question is wholly rhetorical.
If Newt is holding out for Obama’s criticism of the Islamic world, he’ll be waiting indefinitely. The president has certainly succeeded in endearing himself to the Democrat base on this front, but his track record of bending over for despots and tin-pot dictators has not slipped along unnoticed by the bulk of the American electorate. He knows the appeal-factor of his actions continue to go over like a lead-balloon with Republicans, but if he thinks this is going to go over well with blue-collar Reagan Democrats, he is sorely mistaken. Republicans and Democrats clearly have their ideological differences, but the image of a strong America is supported by a broad swath of the electorate – more than Obama would care to admit.
Weak-kneed responses from this administration have been par for the course since 2009 and a possible shift in policy is not going to be forth-coming; no matter the climate on the world stage. Barack Hussein Obama is the most apologetic president in U.S. history – to the detriment of our standing in the world and to the quickly approaching detriment of his vote count at the ballot box.