Marks of Weakness, Marks of Woe

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The William Blake poem from which this column takes its title lamented the effects of syphilis on London’s population—but the lifted line also describes the wasting disease of strategic incompetence with which the Obama administration has infected our foreign policy.  The primary difference seems to be that Georgian Londoners at least had some fun early in the process, while this administration’s performance has been excruciating from the start.

Is there a single world leader remaining who respects President Obama?  Certainly, none fear him.  He established himself as a strategic pushover more swiftly than any president in history—even allowing for the near-record times clocked by Presidents Carter and Clinton (to be fair, Clinton at least had the slickness to wheedle the occasional advantage from his foreign counterparts).  Right up to the final days of the Bush administration, rogue states stepped lightly, casting a careful eye at Washington over their hunched shoulders.  Today, the world’s worst actors are playing Dictators Gone Wild.

With the ratification late last year of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), the administration hit its lowest point thus far, giving the Russians everything they wanted, while getting nothing in return that Moscow wasn’t happy to discard.  Obama got to wave a signed treaty, declaring it a diplomatic triumph.  For his part, Russia’s new czar, Vladimir Putin, gained recognition for his two-bit dictatorship as a superpower equal to the US.  Instead of measuring our arsenal against the sum of global dangers, No-Nukes Obama reduced it to the size of Russia’s, pretending that China and the growing number of nuclear rogue states don’t exist as additional threats—and even letting Russia keep 1,500 tactical nuclear weapons for which we no longer have equivalents.  Obama also gave away dual-use systems that would be essential in a conflict with Beijing.  This particular strip-tease was all strip on our side, all tease on Putin’s, a mortifying example of unilateral disarmament by a president who still despises the military.  Mere days after the Senate foolishly ratified this treaty and Obama signed it, Putin—howling with delight—mooned Obama by imposing a fresh prison term on political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky.  Some re-set.

As for China, one fears that Obama’s upcoming head-of-state meeting will reach new heights of appeasement.  While claiming that he’s concerned about American job losses, this president will do nothing to halt Beijing’s myriad trade abuses.  He will not take a stand against currency manipulation that’s bankrupted countless US manufacturers and swelled our jobless rolls.  He will not take a stand against Chinese industrial (and military) espionage.  He will not take a stand against extensive Chinese dumping of goods on our market.  He will not take a stand against Chinese piracy of intellectual property.  And he certainly won’t stand up for Chinese dissidents, Christians or grass-roots reformers.  The Chinese will toss him a few stale fortune cookies—and our president will return home delighted, holding in his hand a piece of paper that looks suspiciously like a Chinese menu.

But China’s a big player, and Russia does still have a strategic arsenal.  A president does have to handle them gingerly.  The humiliating thing is that even the likes of Hugo Chavez have pegged Obama as a narcissistic weakling.  With this administration adamantly unwilling to criticize abusive leftwing regimes in Latin America, we now have the looming destruction of Nicaragua’s democracy; family-mafia rule in Argentina; an incompetent demagogue ravaging (what little is left to ravage in) Bolivia; and Chavez running his murderous dictatorship with Cuban intelligence personnel, while flirting with Iran’s offer to provide him with missiles that can strike US soil.  There will be no replay of the Cuban Missile Crisis, either, because Obama would not send our Navy to prevent a missile transfer—it might be against the law.  Oh, and Chavez just contracted for $5-billion in arms—a record for Latin America—from Russia: Yet another re-set benefit, one supposes.

Even Sub-Saharan Africa doesn’t take Obama seriously.  The bloodstained chieftain of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has given up his pretense of power-sharing, while China bribes the continent’s power-brokers to let Beijing rape the continent of its minerals and rob its people of even primitive justice.  And when Muslims slaughtered Christians in Nigeria on Christmas Eve, the White House had no comment (which, of course, is better than yet another repetition of the mantra that “Islam is a religion of peace”).

Then there’s the greater Middle East, which Obama expected to win over with his groveling, dishonest, destructive Cairo speech praising Islam, attacking Israel, and re-writing American history.  Muslims were, indeed, flattered that an American president would kiss the soles of their feet.  But they also knew that Obama was full of ca-ca.  Lack of a Harvard or University of Chicago degree does not mean hundreds of millions of Muslims are stupid.  They knew Obama didn’t know what he was talking about.  They know the historical score.  They even know the real deal regarding Israel, although they dare not admit it publicly.  Obama offered them strategic baby-talk.  And they nailed him as a strategic baby.

What grand results has Obama obtained across the Middle East with his gushing praise for a religion in moral retrograde and his refusal to couple the words “Islamist” and “terrorist?”  Iran is more aggressive than it’s been in decades—and pursuing nuclear weapons.  Iranian influence in Iraq and interference in Afghanistan have burgeoned.  Sanctions complicate the lives of the average Iranian, but the country’s leaders are doing just fine, thanks.  And Iran’s surrogates have grown bolder again, with Hezbollah launching a political coup in Lebanon and terrorists in Gaza quietly building their arsenal.

Egypt staged a phony election that would have embarrassed the Cold-War-era Soviets and responded weakly and reluctantly to attacks on Coptic Christians.  Tunisia is wracked with riots as I write.  Al Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) haunts a vast region from Algiers to Timbuktu.  And Somalia is a chamber of horrors, whose top exports are terrorists and pirates—both of whom this administration insists should be dealt with in civil courts on American soil.

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  • BUTSeriously

    Blimey! Can't think of a thing that was forgotten. Glad someone's making a list. Osama, oops I mean Obama, fooled every one with a two bit copywrter's YES WE CAN bytes. America, its a disgrace to the sacred office – throw it out!

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    Oh please tell me what did he hides in scull cavity!!.From mr Carter I knew
    that there are peanuts inside instead of brains,because every time he shakes
    his head you hear a ratling sound of the peanuts.But if you hear mr Barack
    Hussein Obame speaking he shakes his head from left to right,like a former
    Italian dictator,and you don't hear no nothing.Is that because there are no brains
    inside??.Well it's not for nothing I call him Mr no brains.Normaly there is nothing
    wrong with that,there are thousands who walk around with no brains,but when
    you are the president of the U.S.A. you're putting the world in dangers that might
    well lead up to the third world war.

  • ApolloSpeaks

    America is rudderless and adrift in a dangerous world headed toward chaos and war.

  • SHmuel HaLevi

    The third comment sums it up. I dread what is brewing in the cauldron the completely incompetent and ill intentioned Mr. Soetoro has cooked.
    Mr. Carter and the saxophone player with a stain vastly pass the present flop in the WH.
    Living hardly 20 kilometers from the Lebanese border I can hear Iran and Hezbollah laughing.
    Iran is moving on in Iraq and Lebanon while Gaza is already theirs. Pakistan is totering just as Egypt is. In the Magreb things could not be worse with Islamic clergy on its way to take over in Tunisia.
    Still the mental basket cases at State and at the WH troop to sell ‘peace” so Iran can also grab Jordan and then some.
    Russia and China must be ecstatic.
    The US military must thank the WH since they will soon have Malta as the only staging spot in the Med.
    If Egypt tumbles, even the Suez Canal wil be off limits.

  • jacob

    And this is the President 80% of American Jews, knowing beans about him but just
    because he was the candidate of "THEIR" party voted for….

    Definitely, this country is also, like many Third World's, a country of consecrated
    reputations and conceited nullities…

    And this article pjts in straight words, when many nof us knew already…

    • AnimalFarm

      I'll never understand why Jews overwhelmingly vote liberal (democrat). Their motto seems to be "The friend of our enemis is our friend". Go figure.

  • jacob



  • Andres de Alamaya

    An excellent and comprehensive piece about the contemporary American tragedy. Two items of sadness might be added to it. Obama inherited some of the stupidities as opposed to having initiated them but, of course, he continued them. And something that most folks overlook, he has set back America's race relations by four to six decades.

    • Spider

      Obama didn't inherit anything. He campaigned and therefore asked for the job. He knew what he was getting into and got exactly what he asked for. Stating as fact that he inherited anything is a canard that allows him to blame all his failings on Bush.

    • AnimalFarm

      Every new president inherits whatever is there from the previous. Bush could easily have blamed 9/11 on Clinton's ineptitude and his dismantling and gutting the intelligence agencies, to name one thing. But this is the nature of the job, you ask for it, you don't get a blank slate. I'm sick to death of hearing the puerile whining of the little brat in the white house. And don't think for a minute that the rest of the world isn't seeing it either, no matter how much hatred they have for Bush.

  • davarino

    Maybe the next generation can make up the difference. Remember, the bad guys never win.

    • tanstaafl

      They can still scare us half to death.

    • Spirit_Of_1683

      History tells us the bad guys win at least as often as they lose. And thanks to political correctness and moral relativism, we now live in a West that can no longer tell the difference between the good guy and the bad guy.

  • Bing Torres

    We had a Republican president, and just what did he do about Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, or the other extreme left types rising to power in Latin America? And what exactly did he do about Russia, China, etc.? What did he do about North Korea? Pakistan? etc.
    He did invade Afghanistan and Iraq – and those two countries are stretching our armed forces to the limit. Iran was helping its goons in Iraq kill American soldiers. And he did nothing about Iran either.
    American power is limited!
    Thats not to say that Obama's policies are not disastrous, of course they are.

  • Bob Cotten

    This problem is far less political than psychiatric. With Clinton it was about 50/50 but with Obama it is textbook pathology. Carter and Bush both were too stupid to be crazy.

  • Gil Solnin

    As world leader Obama is the weakest and most ineffective U.S. President since the end of World War II. In his first two years he has no accompishments and a litany of failures and mistakes.

    Key among them is the Middle East where he ignited tinder as you indicated with his Cairo speech which reflected his ignorance of history as well as distaste for Israel. While he has walked back his bad behavior and treatment of Israel (mostly as a result of Jewish leaders in in Congress) he already left in its wake an even more unstable Middle East.

  • AnimalFarm

    Crikey! Not a very rosey picture is it? I don't hold any real hope of it getting any better, seeing that Obama is truly a pathological case – narcissistic and delusional. You just can't fix it, and when (hopefully!) we get rid of him in 2012, it will take years and years to undo the damage, if indeed it can be undone. Lord help us.

  • Nick Shaw

    When Mr. Peters speaks (I see he's not using his former rank in his byline) It may not always be right, though very infrequently I disagree, but he is often enough on the money to put elected officials to shame. Let's hope some of the new crop have the sense to listen!

  • Dan

    A few days ago there was a lengthy piece or speech from Stanley Kurtz about what he researched and is contained in his latest book Radical In Chief. Of concern was Kurtz's presentation regarding his findings about Chicago's Midwest Academy (school for hard-core Socialists) and it's connection to Obama through various personalities and seminars (in New York in the 1980s when Obama was at Columbia. As I understand what Kurtz was trying to say, what he found was the revolutionary Socialists idea of not having a dynamic foreign policy, but a policy that was not provocative to the American masses. A sort of "tread water" (my description) or satisficial approach. In the meantime, the Socialists would concentrate on their domestic change agenda. Problem is, as they transform America to their vision, how can their vision last with barbarians at the door and missiles coming through the window? Literally. Talk about immaturity (in addition to other intellectual and psychological pathologies).

  • Raymond

    The Quran Dehumanizes Non-Muslims
    and Says that They are Vile Animals

    The Ayatollah Khomeini, who dedicated his entire life to studying Islam, said that non-Muslims rank somewhere between "feces" and the "sweat of a camel that has consumed impure food." Small wonder. The Quran dehumanizes non-Muslims, describing them as “animals” and beasts:

    Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures. (98:6)

    Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve, then they would not believe. (8:55)

    Verse 7:176 compares unbelievers to "panting dogs" with regard to their idiocy and worthlessness. Verse 7:179 says they are like "cattle" only worse.

    Verse 5:60 even says that Allah transformed Jews of the past into apes and pigs. This is echoed by verses 7:166 and 2:65.

    A hadith says that Muhammad believed rats to be "mutated Jews" (Bukhari 54:524, also confirmed by Sahih Muslim 7135 and 7136).

    Verses 46:29-35 even say that unbelieving men are worse than demons who believe in Muhammad.

    According to Islamic law, non-Muslims may be owned as property by Muslims, but – in keeping with Islam's supremacist message – a fellow Muslim should never be (unless they convert to Islam after enslavement). Even Christians and Jews are not considered fully human in that the penalty for killing one of them is limited to one-third of the compensation due for unintentionally killing a Muslim.

  • Raymond

    Once Upon a Time a Muslim Broke into a House

    A muslim burglar broke into a Christian home one night. He shone his flashlight around, looking for valuables, and when he picked up a CD player to place in his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from the dark saying "Jesus is watching you." He nearly jumped out of his robe, clicked his flashlight out and froze.

    When he heard nothing more after a bit, he shook his head, clicked the light back on and began searching for more valuables. Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard, "Jesus is watching you." Frightened, he shone his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice. Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.

    "Did you say that?" he hissed at the parrot.

    "Yep," the parrot confessed, then squawked, "I am just trying to warn you."

    The muslim relaxed. "Warn me, huh? Who among the Jinn of the underworld are you?"

    "Moses," replied the bird.

    "Moses" the muslim laughed. "What kind of stupid infidel would name a parrot Moses?"

    "Probably the same kind of infidel that would name their Rottweiller Jesus," the bird answered.

    • qsome

      i enjoyed that, thanks for the laugh!

  • Gary Hagland

    How much of Obama's foreign policy is ineptitude and how much is a result of a world view shaped by a radical upbringing and years of associations with those on the far left?

  • USMCSniper

    Obama is like a fence post turtle. If you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'post turtle. You know he didn't get up there by himself, he doesn't belong up there, he doesn't know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb ass put him up there in the first place.

    • hijinx60

      Sniper, great analogy. If this just like Obama I don't know what is!!!

    • tanstaafl

      Too true.

  • Spirit_Of_1683

    They say history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce, but I cannot help but see that we are revisiting 1979. Back in 1979, the US and the West itself was first exposed as a paper tiger, and little has been done about it in the following 32 years. Even leaders regarded as strong showed cold feet on an all too regular basis. And if what is happening in Tunisia and now Jordan is anything to go by, the next year or so will make 1979 look like a cakewalk. Sharia now looks as if it is well and truly on the march in a Muslim world still stuck in the 10th Century but with access to 21st Century technology. This is a potentially dangerous mix, and we all know that Muslims are like children playing with matches at a gas-filling station. We are about to be faced with the grim reality of an Islamic world one cartoon away from a world war, and we have 40 years of weak leadership, political correctness, moral relativism, a stubborn refusal to learn about the inherent wickedness of Islam, and cowardice to thank for that foreboding predicament.

  • noway2no

    This has to stop. It is as if we hired a crook and his cronies to run our casino or bank and now he knows all codes, combinations, procedures and security measures we have in place.

    Even if he is just voted out he and his followers will wreak havoc for a hundred years across the globe.

    Letting this continue is the most dangerous thing we have ever done. Possibly the most dangerous thing ever done for the free people alive now and yet to come.

  • Wesley69

    Obama isn't interested in promoting a powerful image of the US to the world. He wants one that is humbled and disarmed. To Obama, the US is the source of the world's problems. Where did he get this idea? In whose church did Obama sit for 20 years?

  • wizard1964

    Why do you say Obama is a blundering fool? I have a different opinion. I think he is highly intelligent, as also are his Marxist administration members.

    His agenda is to tear down, not build up, America. Neither he nor his Marxist friends know much about running a government, but they are highly effective at community organizing on a national level. Therefore, everything they do is a measured response to
    destroying America. They are smarter than we are; they are in the trenches fighting their battle, whereas we just sit here emailing each other.

    • Col. Bunny

      I don't see that intelligence. He's surgically attached to his teleprompter and often is halting and wrong without it. Remember the 57 states? Clearly his books were ghost written. He's a BS artist with mail order political opinions. He's being run by others. As someone has observed, "Do we really think he was able to take on and defeat the Clinton machine?"

  • A_pen

    The agenda is clear and the lies about it are also clear. What remains is only the struggle for power as the shift from west to east grows. In the end the only thing that will be certain is a world devastated by socialist dreams and would be dictators.

  • umustbkidding

    you can't even call him a traitor because he probably isn't American.

  • Jim

    He is quite like Carter in some ways. The real question is he like Carter because he has the same motivations..
    Carter never believed the Russians would not make aggression unless we had done something to cause it. When Russia invaded Afghanistan he got it right. Of course lost it later. Carter wanted to be a Saint.
    Obama is more like Ignatiev

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  • Voltimond

    Liberals want an America reshaped to their own specifications–see the rush in Congress to "redistribute wealth" via Obamacare–and if they can't have it, they want Anerica destroyed. We should not forget the history of the democratic party. Up until the Civil War, the democratic party was the party of slavery, because democrats believe they have the right to demand being supported by the sweat of other peoples' brows. After slavery was made unconstitutional, the democrats had to wait for FDR, who showed them that their true destiny was to support themselves by taking a cut out of redistributed wealth.

    Always liberal democrats are the enemy of this country because what they can't get out of this country, they will destroy the country for having denied them.

    In brief, "being a Democrat" equals "being a conditional American: do it my way or I will destroy you," They are in short "the enemy within."

    The fact that the country now understands this is the true message sent in the 2010 elections just past. Democratic liberals understand that the Republican victory all across this country except for the two coasts was a plebescite on the Democratic Party and its president, and it was a resounding vote of no confidence. With this result in their view 24/7, they have nothing they can do but rage, fulminate,and foam at the mouth–and try to destroy America as they once tried to do in 1861-1865. As of now, we have in essence "Civil War II."

  • qsome

    great article! whats even worse is all these folks that voted for the president thinking the world would love us if he occupied the whitehouse, they think do love us! try and talk about some of these conflicts going on, you will get a blank look. you don't even have to mention his name that don't want to hear anything, they just want so badly to think everything is ok now that he is president. my only hope now that the world remembers the spirit of the American people. that seems to be the only strength we have right now!

  • marat1

    Quite simply, a superb analysis of this dreadful administration. I cannot recall any previous individual who sat in the White House who exemplified more hypocrisy and more of a willingness to ignore the American people. Ah, his campaign brought the naive masses to tears, they ignored his empty past as well as his opaque rhetoric–he would be "The Great Uniter." And so, a mere day or two before the November elections he went on national media and spoke to the Hispanics of America, urging them to "get out there and Punish your Enemies." Their "enemies." This administration has been an enemy of America from day one and Americans soon will not be singing God Bless America, but God Help America.

  • Jim

    None dare call it sabotage.

    He even shot him self in the foot.

  • ciechocinek

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  • Twain

    Your notion that Blake's poem London is a lamentation about syphilis tells me all I need to know about the thought and insight that goes into your policy analysis.

    But if others buy your facile puffery, all power to you brother!