I cannot recall, in the last five years, Barack Obama ever identifying the Iranians, Hezbollah, or the late Hugo Chavez as among our “enemies,” in the fashion that he once urged Latino leaders to punish conservatives at the polls: “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.” If only the president would treat those who don’t like the United States in the same manner that he does those who do, he might bring great clarity to his now listless foreign policy. Indeed, why waste his rich vocabulary of teleprompted invective on fellow Americans, when there is an entire world out there that wishes the United States ill?
Imagine if Obama declaimed of the Iranians in Tehran that “those aren’t the kinds of folks who represent our core American values,” in the manner he once attacked John McCain for calling for border security in 2008. Could not a worldly Obama at least go after the intolerant Saudis for spreading Wahhabi-hatred worldwide and for sending subsidies to radical Sunni terrorists, in the detailed way he once deconstructed rural conservative voters of Pennsylvania? He might have taken apart these dogmatic religious absolutists in the following manner: “It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” All such invective seems to sum up current Saudi society far better than it does the people of Pennsylvania. Could not the president finish by noting that their madrassas encourage divisions and discourage cooperation, just as he boldly lectured an Irish audience about the problems with Catholic parochial schools?
As far as these hyper-rich Persian Gulf sheikdoms go, could not the fearless Obama urge these “fat cats” to share their riches with poorer countries, in the manner he once sermonized to Americans in no uncertain terms: “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody”?
When Obama deals with the Palestinians, could he not say of them, as he once did without hesitation of the Republican Congress, “Even though most people agree … I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right”? Of the Gaza flotilla incident that was used against ally Israel, Obama at least could offer one of his accustomed blunt retorts like “there is no there there,” as he did to his own domestic critics of Benghazi. Or better yet, he could have flipped it off as a “sideshow.”
Trouble in Syria? Tough Chicagoan Obama should warn Assad that America was bringing a gun to a knife fight, or that Americans were going to get in the faces of their enemies, just as the street-fighting candidate Obama once urged his supporters to confront Republicans.