Thursday, April 01, 2010

Obama's "Imperial Hubris"? Gee, Do You Think It's Something That Obama Said?

Were you wondering if Great Britain was serious about questioning the special relationship it had with the US following Obama's failure to support Great Britain against Argentina in the current oil dispute over the Falklands?

Allow Niles Gardiner of The Telegraph to put that question to rest:
Barack Obama’s imperial hubris will usher in American decline

After reading the US and international press over the past week, one could be forgiven for thinking that the president had just won a world war. We’ve been bombarded with headlines on both sides of the Atlantic lauding a reinvigorated, all-powerful president, with a spring in his step who could no doubt walk on water if he deigned to do so. Indeed, in the last few days, Barack Obama and Joe Biden have strutted across the country with a vain swagger that would make a peacock blush, from the vice president’s classless, foul-mouthed victory boast at the White House, to the president’s contemptuous mocking of his political opponents at a rally in Iowa.

Both leaders have been beaming like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, living in their own Tim Burton-like fantasy. And what have they actually achieved? The passage of a massively controversial, divisive and hugely expensive health care reform bill via a Democrat-dominated Congress in the face of overwhelming public opposition, and without a shred of bi-partisan support. And a nuclear arms agreement with the Russians that works to the advantage of Moscow. The first of the two “victories” will add nearly a trillion dollars to the national debt, and dramatically increases the power of the federal government over the lives of ordinary Americans. The second is a feel-good PR exercise that does nothing at all to make the world safer in an era of rogue states and Islamist terrorism.

Looking past the smoke and mirrors spin wafting out of the White House, the future looks far more grim. Under Barack Obama the United States is drowning under $13 trillion of debt, with the health care bill likely to significantly add to that burden. The $787 billion stimulus package has failed to create jobs, and unemployment levels are at their highest in a generation, with one out of every ten Americans out of work. The housing market remains extremely weak, with little sign of a significant recovery.

On the world stage, Barack Obama has looked like a deer in the headlights in the face of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the biggest state-based threat to world security since the end of the Cold War. The president has no real plan in place to stop the Mullahs in their tracks, and seems content to live with a genocidal, Islamist, nuclear-armed Tehran. He has also shown little interest in developing an effective global missile defense system to protect the United States, or increasing levels of US defence spending. He has invested a great deal of his energy on the dream of a nuclear-free world, while all around him hostile states are developing their nuclear weapons programmes. As Nicolas Sarkozy aptly put it, referring to Obama’s stunning naiveté – “we live in the real world, not in a virtual one”.

At the same time, President Obama has weakened America’s alliances while kowtowing to America’s enemies. Great Britain and Israel, Washington’s closest allies in Europe and the Middle East, have been treated with sneering contempt, while hostile regimes have been greeted with the extended hand of friendship. When a great nation turns on its own friends and embraces its adversaries you know there is something fundamentally wrong with its leadership.

There is more than just the whiff of arrogance surrounding the Obama administration. It is shrouded in an imperial  triumphalism that is blind to criticism and failures of leadership while Rome begins to burn in the background. In reality, Barack Obama is ushering in a period of American decline, both economically and in terms of world leadership, a decline that is wholly self-inflicted.

President Obama’s dangerous emphasis upon big government solutions in a nation whose historic success rests upon economic freedom and limited government, is destined to fail. And his refusal to invest in America’s long-term security and her alliances, as well as confront her enemies on the world stage, will make the United States weaker and more vulnerable to attack. The damage inflicted now to American global power will take years, even decades to repair. It must eventually be reversed by future presidents, not only for the sake of the American people, but for the sake of the free world.
When Obama promised to restore good relations with its allies, who knew that the first step was going to be to first cut down on the number of our allies?

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