Ron Radosh

A Foreign Policy Wish for the New Year

Fouad Ajami has given us all the column of the year — required reading for all of us and, hopefully, for the White House on the day before the new year commences.  The academic and State Department “realists” — actually those oblivious to reality — have had their ideological depiction of the state of the world shattered this past year. The people of Iran are on the verge of revolution, and yet President Barack Obama gives out the signal that he hopes John Kerry’s proposal that he travel to Iran will save the administration’s policy of engagement. As Ajami writes:  “In the time of Barack Obama, ‘engagement’ with Iran’s theocrats and thugs trumps the cause of Iranian democracy.”

The diplomacy of freedom evident in the years of George W. Bush — a man so unjustly hated by the liberal political establishment — has been replaced by a trust in the tactic of diplomacy, to the exclusion of any support to the apostles of freedom. The Dali Lama is not welcomed in the White House, since deals with China stand above any support to the people of Tibet.

The Cuban people still suffer under the tyranny established by the Castro brothers. In place of any open support to the dissidents the regime continually beats up, imprisons, and tortures, feelers are put out by leading Democrats that now is the time to ease our pressure on the regime and to engage the Cuban oppressors. The dissidents throughout the world know that Barack Obama is not on their side. As the Iranian protestors continually ask him, “Are you on our side or that of the mullahs?” Unfortunately, they know the answer too well.  Ajami quotes the now famous statement made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “Ideology is so yesterday.”  It may be for her and the administration; unfortunately, it is not the case for the mullahs or the Castros and the rulers of Syria.

Ajami bemoans the fact that President Obama has “declared a unilateral end to the ‘war on terror.’” Perhaps — and I emphasize that perhaps — the events of the past week have given him pause, and those who termed it a simple opposition to “man-caused disasters” will be demoted or fired — but don’t put any bets on it. The administration just today released a statement attacking the recent comments of Vice-President Dick Cheney. Instead of ignoring him, their tactic of past weeks, they have responded — probably realizing that the public instinctively realizes there is more truth in his words than in the actions our president has taken.  It is almost as if, as Ajami says, he was the real enemy and not the terrorists.

We are in a war with radical Islam. Will President Obama accept this reality? Our nation’s future depends on the correct answer. Or will he bring his own administration and the Democratic majority in Congress to a crashing end, making him a failed one-term president?  Let us pray that this new year will bring new policies to the White House, and that American power and leadership will be restored.