I've been observing President Obama over the last few weeks, especially on his trips and speeches abroad. One thing I suspected during the campaign, which seemed evident by his troubling history of nurturing long time friendships and associations with the most virulent anti-American types, is that Barack Obama really doesn't believe in the America that I do.
He doesn't believe in the IDEA and IDEALS of America. He doesn't believe in America's exceptionalism, in its role in the world as a force of good, nor that it has a moral argument to make against regimes it has opposed like Soviet Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
It is evident in the speeches he makes abroad, where he constantly fails to stand up for our principals.
Lynne Cheney wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today that really encapsulates my discomfort about Obama's apparent disdain for America. Talking about Obama's recent trip to Russia, she wrote:
Speaking to a group of students, our president explained it this way: "The American and Soviet armies were still massed in Europe, trained and ready to fight. The ideological trenches of the last century were roughly in place. Competition in everything from astrophysics to athletics was treated as a zero-sum game. If one person won, then the other person had to lose. And then within a few short years, the world as it was ceased to be. Make no mistake: This change did not come from any one nation. The Cold War reached a conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years, and because the people of Russia and Eastern Europe stood up and decided that its end would be peaceful."This isn't just a one-time thing; it's a pattern. As Cheney points out, in Cairo, Obama said there was an equivalence between America's support of the Iran coup in 1953 and the Mullah takeover (and three decades of tyranny) since 1979. He also sat idly by and listened as Daniel Ortega ranted an anti-American screed in Mexico City, refusing to defend America against his attacks, and saying only he was glad Ortega didn't blame him since he was only three years old at the time.
The truth, of course, is that the Soviets ran a brutal, authoritarian regime. The KGB killed their opponents or dragged them off to the Gulag. There was no free press, no freedom of speech, no freedom of worship, no freedom of any kind. The basis of the Cold War was not "competition in astrophysics and athletics." It was a global battle between tyranny and freedom. The Soviet "sphere of influence" was delineated by walls and barbed wire and tanks and secret police to prevent people from escaping. America was an unmatched force for good in the world during the Cold War. The Soviets were not. The Cold War ended not because the Soviets decided it should but because they were no match for the forces of freedom and the commitment of free nations to defend liberty and defeat Communism.
It is irresponsible for an American president to go to Moscow and tell a room full of young Russians less than the truth about how the Cold War ended. One wonders whether this was just an attempt to push "reset" -- or maybe to curry favor. Perhaps, most concerning of all, Mr. Obama believes what he said.
Is anybody else troubled by a commander in chief who doesn't really seem to believe that America is worth defending? If he can't even defend our country rhetorically, why would it be any different when it comes to the far more difficult decision to use arms?