I have been greatly impressed by the foreign policy of the U.S. over last few months under the new administration. My pre-election fears of what i’m calling Diplobamacyn would resemble was based in the fact that he promised wide and sweeping divergences from Bush-era terror policy. Remember that candidate Barack Obama simply and blindly said
1 I’m closing Guantanamo
2 The Era of Torture is over, and I may investigate it
3 I will negiotiate with the Mullahs, Ayatollahs, and strong men of the Mideast without conditions
On the first promise Obama has held steady that he wishes the institution based in Cuba to be put to a quick death, but the reality of what closing the prison would entail has placed a wrench in Obama’s plans. I’m not one who believes the US can’t handle terror in its domestic prisons, because we have international terrorists in our prisons as you read this, and the world has not ceased to exist. But the variable that Obama’s Administration has yet to decipher is what will happen when a Gitmo terrorist–being tried in a US Court– requests information and intelligence that lead to their capture/jailing. Will the Administration hand these classified and very sensitive files over to the enemy? Will we let the enemy know who exposed them, what they told us, where they are currently living, and when they may expose terror activities again ? That would lower America’s ability to undermine and wage war against those trying to kill us, and President Obama has thankfully understood this and delayed ending Gitmo as we know it. It shows the man is the realist and has the safety of the American people as his paramount objective.
Obama has also done a suprisingly effective job of protecting American troops. Cooks and Loons in the ACLU have for months tried to win the right to obtain photos showing US Troops abusing Iraqi prisoners in the vain of the atrocities at Abu Ghraib during the Bush Administration. This issue is simple—-Show Iraqis photos of their bretheren being demoralized by Americans and those same Iraqis will want retribution and attack US Troops and inflicit significant casualties. Obama sees no reason to inflame public opinion in Iraq and has joined with Senators Joe Liberman and Lindsey Graham to ensure that these photos never see the light of day….ever. Again, Obama has prioritized the safety of Americans over the calls and pressure put on by the Left of the Democratic party. When any American President bucks his natural political base to ensure that we are safe he is serving his county–not those who solidify his power.
What those on the right including myself most feared about Obama was that he would go cap in hand to radicals like the President of Iran (Ahmadinejad) and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and beg for better relations. These members of Bush’s Axis of Evil have been embolden by America’s apparent decrease in military and economic hedgemony and have challenged us on many fronts at an increasing rate in the past few months. The Administration responded by trying to extend an olive branch to the Middle East and more specifically the Muslim World in his address in Cairo, Egypt. I hope you have seen that speech because it was simply breathe-taking. President Obama displayed all of his rhetorical skills in being able to relate people of Islamic faith like no US President ever. Obama admitted the mistakes of past American incursions into Middle East politics *e.g. our overthow of the Mossedeq Government in the 1950s) and the need for Israel to soften its stance and begin to come to terms with the idea of a strong and vibrant Palestinian state. The speech dealt radicals in the Muslim World a decisive blow. They calls for more death, carnage, and hate were laid to waste by Obama’s limitless hope of what the Middle East and America can accomplish going forth with a new sense of friendship.
The speech was hailed by some Muslims and trashed by others (see Al Qaeda) but in the immediate aftermath of the speech the Pro Western Coalition in Lebanon defeated the political party supported by the Shiite Militants Hezbollah. The people of Lebanon said “We hear you Obama and we want to build with you on this”. Unfortunately I doubt George W. Bush could ever have inspired this political result and because of that reality I have become intrigued by the possibilities of what change Obama can really bring about. As I type young adults and students are rioting and demonstrating in the streets of Tehran, Iran because the Mullahs and Revolutionary Guard over there have made a mockery of democracy threw the election results they claim have given Mr. Ahmadinejad another term.
Note to Iran, when elections are free and fair, you usually don’t experience loss of internet, cell phone, and text messaging service. When elections are free and fair, you usually don’t have candidates losing their home towns by margins of 10 to 1 or police shooting citizens simply expressing their right to protest their government. I won’t say that Obama is soley responsible for the encouraging signs of revolution in Iran as I believe most of the credit lies with those risking their lives by taking to the streets to express their outrage over the gutter politics of the hardliners in their country. I have to believe though that those demonstrators know that somewhere in America there is a leader observing there actions and hoping that they will lead to the New Beginning Obama asked for when he spoke in Cairo.
Obama is developing his diplomatic swimming legs so to speak, and it is truly exciting to watch.