Monday, July 13, 2009

Obama doesn't really believe in America

I've been taking a hiatus from my blog since the session ended. Not that there wasn't plenty to write about over the last two weeks - there most certainly was. But sometimes the muse just doesn't sing to me.

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."

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.
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.

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?


Roadrunner said...


The trouble with American "conservatives" is the inability to recognize and deal with America's failings.

And yes, American support for military coups in Iran and Guatemala in the early 50s (and in Chile in 1973) are failings of our country, failings that had dire consequences for millions of people.

There is a dark side to "American exceptionalism"--the view that actions made to further the interests of a few in this country are right, no matter the consequences (usually born by poor people) in other countries.

Conscience of a Moonbat said...

I now regret voting for Obama.

Roadrunner said...


Do you believe that the country's actions should be defended even when they're wrong?

Or do you believe that it was right for our country to back military coups that overthrew democratically elected governments?

Anonymous said...

I read that piece, too, and felt just about the same way, just as strongly. Thank you for posting it.

Rob Kremer said...

No, it is just fine to criticize our government when it does something wrong.

You miss the point. Obama apparently believes in some kind of moral equivalence of Soviet Russia and the Unites States.

And as for the U.S. overthrowing "democratically elected governments" - you mean like Iraq? I believe Hussein got more than 90% of the vote in his last election.

Roadrunner said...

Obama apparently believes in some kind of moral equivalence of Soviet Russia and the Unites States.

Rob, you're just being silly, as is Lynne Cheney. At this point, I'd say that Dick Cheney's wife is not such a good source when it comes to freedom.

Did Obama say anything untrue?

I realize that in right-wing fantasy world the Soviet Union fell only because Ronald Reagan's arms build up bankrupted them (and nearly us, too, though they tend not to mention that part).

The reality, though, is that there were complex factors at play. Sure, U.S. military spending played a role. So did the union movement in Poland (funny, unions in Poland seem to get much more right-wing support here than unions at home). So did the changes brought by Mikhail Gorbachev.

As for the U.S. backing the military overthrow of democratically-elected governments, are you really trying to say that the governments of Mossadegh, Arbenz, and Allende, which came to power in elections that are recognized as being free and fare and were overthrown by military coups aided by the U.S. government, are equivalent to Saddam Hussein?

Of course, along with supporting military coups, the U.S. also supported terrorists in Nicaragua, as well as governments in Guatemala and El Salvador that waged war on their citizenry. No much protest from "conservatives" about U.S. support of repressive governments in that part of the world.

Anonymous said...

Obama's anti-jobs, anti-investment policies are turning out to be quite oppressive, especially if you are underemployed. His foreign policy blunders are making Jimmy Carter look like a genius. But I'm really sick of his rejection of the 'tired, old' ideas of the past like economic growth and the private sector. The folks who still love Obama are blind.

Me said...

You could not be more of a fool.

Your inflating America's relative few missteps by calling it a "dark side" while minimulizing "American exceptionalism" is the lesson Kremer was obvioulsy raising.

Your protrayal suggests there's two equal sides.

So you're just like Obama.

An anti-American left wing fool.

Your examples of our dark side
do not represent what you wish them too.

Moreover you're a local blue lefty in ignoring the Dark side of your own backyard Oregon. Your typical blue inability to recognize and deal with Oregon's failings is a far greater demonstration of ignoring failure than you suggest conservatives commit.

You're just a routine BlueOregon jerk who can't honestly assess anything Democrats control.