Charles Krauthammer and Ralph Peters on Obama’s foreign policy

What will we do now?

Moderate conservative Charles Krauthammer summarizes Obama’s foreign policy in the Washington Post. (H/T Muddling Towards Maturity)

Excerpt:

It is perfectly obvious that Iran’s latest uranium maneuver, brokered by Brazil and Turkey, is a ruse. Iran retains more than enough enriched uranium to make a bomb. And it continues enriching at an accelerated pace and to a greater purity (20 percent).

It will… make meaningful sanctions more difficult.

[…]But the deeper meaning of the uranium-export stunt is the brazenness with which Brazil and Turkey gave cover to the mullahs’ nuclear ambitions and deliberately undermined U.S. efforts to curb Iran’s program.

The real news is that already notorious photo: the president of Brazil, our largest ally in Latin America, and the prime minister of Turkey, for more than half a century the Muslim anchor of NATO, raising hands together with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the most virulently anti-American leader in the world.

Krauthammer then explains what drove Brazil and Turkey to abandon US interests and side with Iran.

He writes:

They’ve watched America acquiesce to Russia’s re-exerting sway over Eastern Europe, over Ukraine (pressured by Russia last month into extending for 25 years its lease of the Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol) and over Georgia (Russia’s de facto annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is no longer an issue under the Obama “reset” policy).

They’ve watched our appeasement of Syria, Iran’s agent in the Arab Levant — sending our ambassador back to Syria even as it tightens its grip on Lebanon, supplies Hezbollah with Scuds, and intensifies its role as the pivot of the Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas alliance. The price for this ostentatious flouting of the U.S. and its interests? Ever more eager U.S. “engagement.”

They’ve observed the administration’s gratuitous slap at Britain over the Falklands, its contemptuous treatment of Israel, its undercutting of the Czech Republic and Poland, and its indifference to Lebanon and Georgia. And in Latin America, they see not just U.S. passivity as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez organizes his anti-American “Bolivarian” coalition while deepening military and commercial ties with Iran and Russia. They saw active U.S. support in Honduras for a pro-Chavez would-be dictator seeking unconstitutional powers in defiance of the democratic institutions of that country.

Now take a look at the words of moderate Ralph Peters in the NY Post. (H/T Muddling Towards Maturity)

Excerpt:

What Brazil and Turkey just did wasn’t intended to impede Tehran, but to make it harder for Western powers to impose sanctions. Both countries want Iran to run interference for them.Once Iran gets the bomb and takes the (slight) heat, Brazil and Turkey both intend to go nuclear.

Brazil wants vanity nukes to cement its position as South America’s hegemon, a regional alternative to the US. Turkey’s slow-roll Islamist government dreams of a new Ottoman age — as it turns from the West to embrace the Muslim states it ruled a century ago. After easing Tehran’s path to the bomb, Ankara will claim that it needs its own nuclear capability to maintain regional stability.

But the coming widespread proliferation of nuclear weapons will be profoundly destabilizing. Each Middle Eastern country, especially, that goes nuclear increases the probability of a nuke exchange exponentially.

As Western states fantasize about a “nuclear-weapons-free world,” their developing-world darlings are scrambling like mad to develop nuclear arsenals. And we don’t get it.

9 thoughts on “Charles Krauthammer and Ralph Peters on Obama’s foreign policy”

  1. The US has spent its capital, moral will, and energy on Iraq/Afghanistan and really doesn’t have the resources to fight any more elective battles, such as North Korea or Iran. The Muslim radicals in Iraq and Afghanistan can outlast any American/Western intervention (Canadians have suffered proportionally higher losses in Afghanistan than anyone) and the idea that if we just snuff out the radicals the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq will fall all over themselves to embrace western values, institutions, and freedoms is misguided.

    Prognosis: not good.

    Good thing we have a sovereign God.

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    1. I disagree with you. I think you have to go to war once in a while to let people know you mean business when you threaten to go to war.

      I don’t think war is the answer with Iran, Syria, North Korea, etc. I think there are other things to do, like aiding human rights and democracy groups in Iran, covert operations and broadcasting pro-West, pro-democracy, pro-liberty messages into places like Syria and Iran. A missile defense shield and economics sanctions would also help.

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  2. It wasn’t the war that “killed” the US; it was the peace. In the old days, you would go in, remove the dictator, and get out. “Nation-building” among people that are barely a nation and don’t wan’t to be “built” is a costly, wealth-draining exercise in futility.

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    1. I think in this case, killing the dictator solves little since the replacement in Afghanistan would be the Taliban or the Russians, and in Iraq it would have been a Sunni-Shiite civil war. The Americans did right. We should be parking our forces in Lebanon, and Colombia, too, if they would just ask us to help them. And we should be gradually pulling out of Europe, South Korea and Japan.

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      1. I think that the U.S. was right to stay in both countries after the wars because they were both in a situation where there was still armed opposition wanting to take control of the country either within the country itself, such as sunni and shia militia and terrorists in iraq and the taliban in afghanistan, or opposition in neighbouring countries.

        However, there is no denying that the follow-up plans by the U.S. were complete and utter failures, particularly in iraq. The whole follow-up reaked of incompetence and the Bush administration absolutely underestimated the effort and organization that was required.

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          1. Well they definitely broke the back of the Iraqi army resistance, but I’m talking about the sunni and shiite militia and terrorists who are still causing havoc to this day. They estimate that around 1 million iraqis have been killed since the beginning of the conflict, that is a huge, huge number which has to be accounted for. And those aren’t just people killed by the militia, a lot of civilians have been killed by the u.s. armed forces too.

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          2. Thanks for the link, WK. And fair enough, I did not know that it had been discredited and so I take that figure back, I apologize. Having looked around the estimates a bit more, though, I’ve found that the general consensus is that at least 100,000 iraqis have died violent deaths as a result of the invasion, which is still a huge number. And that’s with the 100,000 estimate, which seems to be considered an underestimate.
            See here, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/
            Here, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2008/pr02/en/index.html

            With quite a few others estimating much higher than those. 100,000 violent civilian deaths dwarfes the 4,000 odd killed in 9/11.

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