Bruce Herschensohn’s prescient survey of Obama’s callous foreign policy.
Obama’s Globe: A President’s Abandonment of U.S. Allies Around
By Bruce Herschensohn
(Beaufort Books, 182 pages, $24.95)
Bruce Herschensohn is a man with a clear-eyed view of how enemies and friends of the United States react to our government’s rhetoric and actions (or inactions). He is a man whose wise foreign policy analysis is based on years of thinking (and writing) about history and international relations. He is a man who understands the value of “treating the U.S.A.’s friends as friends and adversaries as adversaries.”
In other words, Bruce Herschensohn does not work for the Obama administration.
In his new book, Obama’s Globe, Mr. Herschensohn, whose résumé includes achievements in everything from politics and policy to film making to book authorship (largely on foreign affairs), explains how President Obama’s “abandonment of U.S. allies around the world” is reducing America’s influence and harming our national security.
Obama’s Globe, which was published a mere seven weeks ago and less than a month before the recent wave of attacks against Americans across the Muslim world, begins with Herschensohn laying out the current global strategic situation, particularly that the U.S. is at war against Islamic terrorism — whether President Obama likes it or not and even if his administration has banned the use of such terms by our diplomats and federal bureaucrats.
The book explains how Barack Obama’s obvious ignorance of the lessons of history, such as that “wars are not ended. Wars are won or lost,” underlies this president’s too-consistent-to-be-accidental record of terrible foreign policy decisions. Terrible, at least, if one believes the goal of foreign policy should be to advance American interests, power, and security.
As Mr. Herschensohn notes dryly, “the greatest accomplishment of the Jimmy Carter Presidency was that he provided forthcoming Presidents with the evidence of what tremendous damage could be done by choosing to abandon the nation’s friends.” Barack Obama must have been out with his Choom Gang the day they taught this lesson, as he has mistreated allies and cozied up to competitors and enemies as aggressively as Carter did with, not surprisingly to those who learn the lessons of history, terrible results across the globe.
After setting the stage by describing today’s dangerous world, Obama’s Globe takes readers around the planet, explaining how, time after time, this administration has made our world that much more dangerous.
The voyage takes us to England, the Czech Republic, and Poland, then across North Africa, into Iran and Syria, to neighboring Israel, east to Afghanistan and Pakistan, then into China and North Korea before returning to our own continent and visiting Honduras and Canada.
In each and every case, the president has refused to support — or proactively betrayed — our allies. At the same time, this administration has engaged in a foreign policy based on “softness and smartness” which our adversaries perceive clearly and accurately as weakness, while the needs of our position in the world, our relationships with friends and enemies alike, scream out for a realistic and strong approach. Unfortunately, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton seem congenitally incapable of considering, much less implementing, a strategy based on another clear lesson of history: peace through strength.
When it comes to dealing with tyrants, Herschensohn says that “‘peace talks’ are not worthwhile.” In the specific example of the Taliban in Afghanistan, with whom the Obama administration has been having futile discussions, Obama’s Globe asks the question: “What should be done regarding the Taliban if not negotiate?” The answer is short and precise: “Win.” It is a point made repeatedly in the book: American foreign policy must be about winning, not about feeling good or being liked.
In Pakistan, where the national intelligence service, the ISI, has long-standing ties to radical Islamists including the Taliban, Herschensohn suggests that unless the ISI and the Pakistani government “become true partners against both al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the United States should propose a Mutual Defense Treaty with India.” Few things would frighten Pakistan — and perhaps China — more.
In case it wasn’t already clear, Mr. Herschensohn’s is nobody’s dove. He opposes all cuts in the defense budget except those asked for by the Department of Defense. As he put it in a brief interview for this article, “Defense is not a Jobs Bill.” He also aggressively opposes the atrophy of our nation’s space exploration program, which he describes as “reversing Kennedy’s quest of space supremacy.”
So it is not surprising that while he compliments President Obama “for advocating and ordering U.S. forces to take part in the ‘No Fly Zone’ and air strikes over Libya,” he is scathing in his criticism of Obama’s leading from behind, noting that no other American president would have agreed to “become a part of a coalition of nations rather than being the leader of the coalition…”
While this view is widely held in conservative circles, it is increasingly common among Republicans, particularly in the Ron Paul wing of the party, to question the use of American military power around the world. Bruce Herschensohn has no such questions, wondering aloud “what the world would have been like if the U.S. hadn’t entered World War II and the Cold War and Kuwait and Bosnia and Kosovo and how the world will likely look if the U.S. chooses to reject that role. But better to imagine it than have the next generation live it.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?