The Obama Watch

Enemies of Arizona

Will Obama ever defend America and her borders?

By 5.21.10

When he was running for president, Barack Obama presented himself as a man who could restore America's reputation in the world. Since becoming president, though, Obama has given the impression that he is working overtime to tarnish it.

Let's grant for the sake of argument that Obama was right and President Bush's cowboy swagger made non-Americans dislike our country. Even if that were 100 percent true, it doesn't follow that the best way to correct that is to have a president badmouth his own country at every possible opportunity.

Speaking in Strasbourg in April of last year, Obama said to the people of Europe, "Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive."

The Telegraph of London wrote, "His speech in Strasbourg went further than any United States president in history in criticising his own country's action while standing on foreign soil."

Also in April of last year, Obama spoke before the Turkish parliament, saying, "The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history. Facing the Washington Monument that I spoke of is a memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed those who were enslaved even after Washington led our Revolution. Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans."

Now he is returning to that theme, strongly hinting to China and Mexico that overt racism is raising its head in America again.

At a recent "human rights dialogue" between State Department officials and Chinese officials, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner bashed Arizona's new immigration law as a civil rights violation. He didn't even wait for the Chinese to bring it up. "We brought it up early and often," Posner said, "as a troubling trend in our society and an indication that we have to deal with issues of discrimination or potential discrimination.t;

This week, in the discussion over the Arizona law, Obama took Mexico's side. Even though the law simply allows Arizona police officers to do exactly what U.S. Border Patrol officers are supposed to do (arrest illegal immigrants), Obama called it "misguided" after earlier saying it would lead to racial profiling. Worse, he let Mexican President Felipe Calderon call the law a racially motivated human rights violation.

Calderon has previously said, "Criminalizing immigration, which is a social and economic phenomena, this way opens the door to intolerance, hate, and discrimination. My government cannot and will not remain indifferent when these kinds of policies go against human rights."

Speaking before Congress on Wednesday, he attacked the law again, saying it was "a terrible idea using racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement."

But the law a) doesn't criminalize immigration, and b) specifically prohibits racial profiling. No American president should let such a gross distortion of his own people's motivations and behaviors go unchallenged. But Obama let it stand -- because he agrees with it.

This is not the behavior of a politician who is proud of his country. It is the behavior of one who is ashamed of his own nation and its history.

On Wednesday night, Calderon received a state dinner. The only other recipient of a state dinner with President Obama was Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. That was not by accident. Obama refused a state dinner for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a snub that the British correctly took as a deep and deliberate offense. The president is signaling a switch in America's view of the world. It is a shift of profound importance.

America's old alliances are out. Her old way of perceiving the world is, too. We are no longer part of a Western alliance of nations unified by shared cultural and political ideals. We are no longer leaders of the world, guiding others forward to modernity and liberty. We are merely one cluster of humans among a planet of equals.

In this view, all cultures, all beliefs, all viewpoints are equally valid. And if none is better than any other, why should one nation treat the people of another any differently than it treats its own? Why even draw borders separating one people from another?

In Washington, Calderon, still attacking the people of Arizona for daring to defend their border from a flood of illegal immigrants, said we should have a border that unites instead of divides. But borders divide by definition. What would a border that unites our people look like? It would look like no border at all, which is the ultimate goal.

At the state dinner Wednesday night, the White House dangled models of Monarch butterflies above the tables. As Agence France-Press noted, "The Monarch butterfly migrates from Canada, across the United States each year to Calderon's home state of Michoacan in Mexico."

That is, the Monarch travels completely unmolested from Canada to Mexico.  It observes no borders. What a fitting symbol for the new, enlightened foreign policy Obama wishes to pursue.

But the joke is on Obama, as usual, for as Calderon bashes Arizona for kicking out illegal immigrants, his country's immigration policies are nearly identical to those in the Arizona law. Mexico doesn't really want open borders, it just wants its people to have open access to the United States and the abundance of jobs created here. But if Central Americans slip into Mexico for the same reasons Mexicans slip into the United States, adios!

Obama, though, is too naïve to understand that. While he is pursuing some Utopian vision of world harmony, Mexico, China, Russia and others are taking full advantage of his delusions. Obama, desperately seeking the approval of foreigners, is systematically weakening America and lowering her status as a world power. No wonder non-Americans have a more favorable opinion of us since Obama took office. Their chances of overcoming America as the world's greatest power are greatly improving.

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About the Author

Andrew Cline is editorial page editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader. You can follow him on Twitter at @Drewhampshire.