Last week at the Heritage Foundation, Former Ambassador John Bolton delivered a speech titled, “Protecting National Sovereignty in the Age of Obama.” The focus of the speech laid emphasis on the importance of maintaining American sovereignty in order to ensure the preservation of freedom. In this context, Bolton reviewed Obama’s policies on national security, charging the President with a worldview that demonstrates “stunning naiveté.”
On one side of the debate are the Americanists who believe, as the Founding Fathers intended, that the Constitution of the United States is “the supreme law of the land.” On the other side of the debate are the globalists who advocate that “customary and international law,” international organizations, conventions and resolutions should take precedence over national sovereignty. In this worldview, nations which constitute the beacon of liberty and human rights would hold no sway over those which snuff out freedom and human dignity.
Bolton pointed out the near-theological weight that Obama places on treaties, international organizations, and multi-lateral collaborations. He is indeed a “post-American President.” As Evan Thomas from Newsweek explained, Obama is “standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God….He’s going to bring all different sides together.” Central to Obama’s worldview is his obvious rejection of American exceptionalism, made clear in numerous prior statements. This view maintains that the US is merely one of 192 UN members, with no special role over that of other countries.
Obama’s positions stem from the false assumption that all countries, cultures and religions share common values, interests and goals. This gross misconception has led the President down the dangerous path of advocating treaties and policies which will drastically weaken America’s national security and reduce her ability to defend herself. The President’s ultimate vision is that of a nuclear-free world. His “stunning naiveté,” as Bolton phrased it, has led the President to believe that if America takes the first steps toward disarming herself, she will set a virtuous example for the rest of the world, and her enemies will then follow suit. This misguided belief has inspired Obama to pursue the following national security goals:
- Become signatory to the International Criminal Court ceding prosecutorial jurisdiction to the international community. Countries that may themselves be human rights violators would be able to prosecute Americans for alleged violations of human rights to which their countries have no connection. For example, Obama has refused to promise that he would disallow former Bush officials to be criminally tried in foreign courts for implementing enhanced interrogation techniques in the War on Terror;
- Sign the new bilateral Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), thus “re-setting” American-Russian relations. This treaty will obligate Russia and the US to reduce their number of nuclear warheads by 30%. Obama hopes that Tehran will follow America’s lead in nuclear stockpile reductions.
- Become signatory and ratify a number of multi-lateral treaties including the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty, the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty; and the Landmines Convention.
Additionally, though not mentioned in Bolton’s speech, Obama has already cut the American national security defense budget substantially, and impeded our ability to update expired nuclear weapons.
There is no doubt that contrary to the President’s assertions, enemies of freedom who seek the demise of America will view America’s reduced ability to defend herself as weakness, not virtue. They will likely seize the opportunity to gain military advantage. This puts America’s safety and national security at greater, not lesser risk.
Additionally, it places America in a position where it is more difficult to achieve success in diplomatic negotiations, a tactic which Obama seems to place as high priority. The President advocates meeting with terror states, rogue states and hostile states without pre-condition in diplomatic efforts. However, without a healthy national security system in place, the leverage he needs to attain his goals is substantially reduced.
President Reagan had it right: the maintenance of a healthy military, an effective missile defense system, and cutting edge weaponry is not tantamount to an invitation to war. Rather, these can be used as leverage in diplomatic negotiations in addition to serving as protection against enemy forces, should the need arise. In the age of Obama, Americans must stand their ground and insist that the policies set forth by elected officials will produce “peace through strength.” After all, it is “we the people” to whom they must answer.