He was speaking of Saddam Hussein`s
invasion, occupation and annexation of the emirate of
Kuwait as his
Seven months later, the Iraqi army
was fleeing up the
Death" back into a country devastated by five
weeks of U.S. bombing.
When Bush spoke, the world sat up
Consider the change.
"It`s time for
Gadhafi to go," said President Barack Obama
two weeks ago.
"So, let me just
be very unambiguous about this. Col. Gadhafi needs to
step down from power and leave." And did he go?
Receiving Obama`s ultimatum,
Gadhafi rallied his troops and took the offensive. His
army is now 100 miles from Benghazi.
Obama urged the king of Bahrain not
to crush the peaceful protest in Pearl Square and to
accommodate the legitimate demands of its Shiite
The Saudis, seeing a threat to
their oil-rich and Shiite-populated eastern province
should the Bahraini monarchy fall, sent 2,000 troops
across the King Fahd Causeway. Bahrain then
brutally swept the
from the streets of its capital, Manama.
Among the few things that may be
said with certainty about the
Arab revolution of 2011 is that it has revealed the
rising irrelevance of President Obama in that part of
With impunity, Benjamin Netanyahu
defied his demand that Israel cease to build on the West
Bank. The Palestinian Authority, despite Obama`s pleas,
then went ahead with a
U.N. resolution condemning Israel.
Caught flat-footed by the uprising
in Tunisia, the White House could only offer belated
congratulations to the demonstrators who had
deposed and driven out our longtime ally, President
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
After Tunisia, Vice President Joe
Biden insisted the embattled Hosni Mubarak was not a
dictator in Egypt. Obama sided with Mubarak and then
said he ought to go. Then, when the Saudis and Israelis
protested that we were abandoning a friend of 30 years,
Obama concluded Mubarak should stay.
When the army suddenly sent Mubarak
packing, the White House hailed the revolution as the
harbinger of an Arab spring.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
burbled that her
15-minute stroll through Tahrir Square was
"a great reminder
of the power of the human spirit and universal desire
for freedom and human rights and democracy."
Some of the young demonstrators,
recalling America`s 30-year friendship with Mubarak and
ambivalence over his ouster, refused to talk with her.
In denouncing Syria and Iran for
crushing peaceful protests, the Obamaites acted
consistent with the democratic values they preach. In
their muffled response to the brutal treatment of
demonstrators in Bahrain and Yemen, they put national
interests above national ideals.
Indeed, it is this clash between
our professed ideals and our perceived interests that
has produced the reigning confusion in Washington and
the near paralysis of American policy in the Middle
"Nations have no
permanent friends or allies; they only have permanent
Lord Palmerston. America lacks that kind of
certitude. She is conflicted. She cannot make up her
mind. Do our interests come first or our ideals? How can
they be in conflict?
From World War I to the Carter era,
U.S. national interests drove U.S. foreign policy. In
Wilson`s war "to
make the world safe for democracy," we partnered
with five empires. In World War II, we allied with
Stalin. In the Cold War, we accepted the friendship of
autocrats and dictators and caudillos and generalissimos
who shared our fear and loathing of communism.
When John Foster Dulles was the
face of U.S. foreign policy in the 1950s, the neutralism
of nations such as Nehru`s India and Sukarno`s Indonesia
was seen as immoral.
But with the end of the Cold War,
moral clarity vanished.
We are now divided over whether
kings, dictators and autocrats who share our interests
but regard democracy as lunacy or a luxury they cannot
afford can be America`s allies and friends.
There is a second cause of conflict
roiling the American mind.
Even as Moscow was abandoning
communist ideology and China was giving up her dream of
world revolution, the United States was converting to an
ideology of global democracy. At some point in the past
20 years, it became the historic mission of America to
make the whole world democratic.
And should we fail in this mission,
George W. Bush reminded us, the end of American freedom
would be ensured.
So, having defeated—or rather
outlasted—our enemies with a pragmatic policy of
accepting the friendship of any and all who would stand
with us in that great Cold War struggle, we set out to
remake the world in our own image, even as Moscow and
Beijing had sought to do.
As they failed, so will we.
As for Obama, with our foremost
Asian ally going through
the agony of its worst natural disaster and with
revolution raging through the Arab world, he
has given us his picks for the Final Four in the
"March Madness" of college basketball—and set off with Michelle
to party in Rio.
How relevant is he? And how
relevant are we?
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.