Friday, September 14, 2012

Cheney: Cairo, Benghazi and Obama Foreign Policy

In too many parts of the world, America is no longer viewed as a reliable ally or an enemy to be feared.

It has certainly been a terrible 48 hours. In Libya, violent extremists killed American diplomats. In Cairo, mobs breached the walls of the U.S. Embassy, ripped down the American flag and replaced it with the al Qaeda flag.
In response to the attack in Cairo, diplomats there condemned not the attackers but those who "hurt the religious feelings of Muslims." The president appeared in the Rose Garden less than 24 hours later to condemn the Libya assault and failed even to mention the attack in Egypt. The message sent to radicals throughout the region: If you assault an American embassy but don't kill anyone, the U.S. president won't complain.
Though the administration's performance in the crisis was appalling, it wasn't surprising—it is the logical outcome of three-and-a-half years of Obama foreign policy.
In March 2009, at an Americas summit meeting in Mexico City, President Obama listened as Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega delivered a venomous diatribe against America. Mr. Obama stood to speak and accepted Mr. Ortega's version of history. "I'm very grateful," Mr. Obama said, "that President Ortega didn't blame me for things that happened when I was three months old."
In April 2009, in France, Mr. Obama proclaimed that America must make deep cuts in its nuclear arsenal because only then would the country have "the moral authority to say to Iran, don't develop a nuclear weapon, to say to North Korea, don't proliferate nuclear weapons." Embracing the leftist fallacy that the key to world peace is for the U.S. to pre-emptively disarm, the president has reportedly begun reviewing options to take our nuclear stockpile to levels not seen since 1950. These are steps you take only if you believe that America—not her enemies—is the threat.
In June 2009, Mr. Obama went to Cairo and said, "The fear and anger" after 9/11 "led us to act contrary to our ideals." But the men and women who led this nation then, and the military and intelligence professionals who interrogated Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others, did not act contrary to our ideals. They kept this nation safe.
Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Sept. 11.
Mr. Obama didn't thank them. He slandered them on foreign soil, and he revealed to al Qaeda the techniques we used to interrogate terrorists—techniques that generated intelligence that saved lives and prevented further attacks on the nation. And he failed to put any alternative interrogation program in place. When Nigerian terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (the "underwear bomber") was captured on Mr. Obama's watch, he was read the Miranda rights.
The president wrapped up his 2009 world tour with a speech at the United Nations, where he explained: "No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed." He has worked hard these past three years to ensure that the U.S. is not "elevated" above others, and he has succeeded.
In too many parts of the world, America is no longer viewed as a reliable ally or an enemy to be feared. Don't take my word for it. Ask Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Even as his country faces an existential threat from Iran, he can't get a meeting with President Obama. Ask the Poles and Czechs, two allies we abandoned when we canceled missile-defense systems that the president feared would offend the Russians. Ask the Iranian people who took to the streets to fight for their freedom, only to find Mr. Obama standing silently with the mullahs.
Nor do our adversaries any longer fear us. Ask the mobs in Cairo who attacked our embassy, or the Libyan mobs who killed our diplomats at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Ask the Iranians, who make unhindered daily progress toward obtaining a nuclear weapon.
The Obama administration has been unable or unwilling to stop the Iranians. The one apparently successful cyberwarfare effort against Iran was leaked to the New York Times—leaked, according to the Times journalist, by "members of the president's national security team who were in the room" for the key deliberations. Did members of the president's inner circle really walk out of the White House situation room and brief a journalist on one of our most highly classified programs? No one has been held to account, and the American people still don't know if Mr. Obama approved this leak.
If you really want to know whether our adversaries fear us, ask the Russians, whose thuggish President Putin essentially endorsed Mr. Obama recently. Perhaps Mr. Putin is banking on the missile defense "flexibility" Mr. Obama promised he would have after the election.
The president says he "ended the war in Iraq" and is "ending the war in Afghanistan." If only wishing made it so. A better description of what Mr. Obama is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan is rushing for the exits. On his watch, we walked away from years of battle and sacrifice in Iraq, leaving no stay-behind force and an Iraq mired in violence under the heavy influence of Iran. In Afghanistan, the president gave hope to our enemies by announcing a date certain for withdrawal. He has ignored many of the most important recommendations of his commanders on the ground. He is so busy retreating that we are likely to leave in a our wake a failed state where the Taliban and terrorist organizations like al Qaeda can once again operate.
While the threats to America grow, the president prepares to make devastating cuts to America's military. Cuts that would be "a disaster," in the words of the president's own secretary of defense. The president has said he would veto any attempt to stop these cuts.
Apologizing for America, appeasing our enemies, abandoning our allies and slashing our military are the hallmarks of Mr. Obama's foreign policy. The Obama economy, with its high unemployment, massive debt and out-of-control spending, has rightly demanded our attention. As we head to the polls in November, we cannot ignore what is an even more dismal national-security record. An America already weakened by four years of an Obama presidency will be unrecognizable after eight.

Ms. Cheney is chairman of Keep America Safe, a nonprofit organization focused on national security issues and education, and was a principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs in the George W. Bush administration.

No comments:

Post a Comment