Barack Obama : the president as spectator to the world’s democratic uprisings

Obama mouth taped shutFrom the time he hit the campaign trail in 2007, Barack Obama made it plain that he considered America to be too big for her britches when it comes to international matters.  Looking at imperfect nations, you could see him mentally scolding America — “Haven’t you done enough already?” — for bringing so much pain and suffering to the rest of the world.

In the years since his election, Obama has reacted strongly to only three international issues:  climate change, gay rights, and Libya.  The first two are pet issues of the Left.  As for Obama’s enthusiasm about invading Libya . . . well, that continues to mystify me.  Obama’s silence has been most pointed and damaging when it comes to naturally occurring democratic movements within a despotic state.

It’s one thing (usually a stupid thing) for America to waltz in and take out a tyrant; it’s another thing entirely when the nation’s own citizens are yearning to be free, and are willing to face their own government’s guns to gain that freedom.  Under those circumstances, every person who believes in individual liberty should speak up — especially the president of the nation that has long represented itself as the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Obama, however, will not speak.

When brave Iranians challenged the mullahs, Obama was silent.  The mullahs tightened their hold.

When the Muslim Brotherhood filled the power vacuum in Egypt, Obama was silent.  A year of repression ensued.

When brave Egyptians challenged the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama was silent.  The country is now once again under a military dictatorship.

When brave Syrians challenged the tyrannical Assad regime, Obama was silent.  Had he spoken up sooner, a violent, bloody civil war — violent and bloody even by civil war standards — might have been avoided.  When the civil war took a chemical turn, Obama spoke up, only to retreat quickly when called to make good on his words.

When brave Turks challenged Erdogan’s increasingly totalitarian, Islamist rule, Obama was silent.

Today, Obama continues this familiar pattern.  Ukrainian citizens, horrified at the realization that their government is trying once against to drag them back into the Soviet orbit (we know how well that went for them in the 1930s and beyond) are battling in the streets.  Obama is silent.

And in Venezuela, citizens worn down by the repression and poverty of Chavez’s and Maduro’s hard-core socialism are rising up in the streets.  Obama is silent.

Since WWII, people around the world knew that if they sought freedom and called upon America for help, America would help.  Sometimes the help was military, sometimes financial, and sometimes it was moral.

This aid wasn’t for America’s benefit — at least it wasn’t directly for America’s benefit.  To the extent that democracies tend to be the most peaceful form of governments, it was always to America’s benefit to encourage democratic governments around the world.  Nevertheless, America’s first motive was often altruistic.  Because we were the world’s most powerful free nation, we believed that we had a moral obligation to wield that power beneficently.  Sometimes America’s road to Hell has been paved with those good intentions, but our craven retreats from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have all revealed that the post-American vacuum is often infinitely worse than the American occupation.

We’ve learned from our experiments in Iraq and, especially, in Afghanistan, that countries that have always had dictatorships, especially tribal and/or theocratic dictatorships, do not benefit from removing the existing dictator, because another one will always come along.  I therefore wouldn’t recommend interceding directly in a Muslim country ever again. Instead, we should be doing what Saudi Arabia did for Wahhabism:  establishing and funding institutions throughout the Muslim world that are dedicated to teaching the principles of freedom.  This generation may be lost, but perhaps we can save the next one and, along the way, save ourselves too.

Things are different, though, when the cry for freedom (or at least for less tyranny) originates within a country.  Had Obama immediately given moral support to internally grown democratic movements in Iran, Egypt, and Syria, he might have been able to turn the tide.  American moral support in Venezuela and Turkey would have fallen on especially fertile soil, because both are countries that have known some form of democracy.

Obama, however, considers that there is no such thing as beneficent American power.  To him, America’s strength is, by definition, malignant and destructive.  He truly believes that the Iranians are better off under the mullahs, the Egyptians under the Muslim Brotherhood, the Syrians under Assad, the Turks under Erdogan, the Ukrainians under Putin, and the Venezuelans under Maduro.  Judging by his complicit silence, there is no tyranny worse than that of being behold to the United States.


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    Interview with Retired Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson on Obama, Clinton and National Security – October 18, 2010  
    Full interview at link            


  • Matt_SE

    That Obama himself would refuse to speak out is only a little surprising. Sure, he regrets (and apologizes at every opportunity for) America’s past interventions, but can’t the man speak up for general democratic principles? Is it impossible for the former professor to give a vague lecture on values without a jingoistic appeal? Hardly.
    What’s more surprising (or more understandable, by turns) is the MSM’s refusal to cover Venezuela. There’s been a lot of blather about Ukraine, but the issues involved are impersonal and so very far away. And at any rate, the country is solidly within Putin’s sphere of influence so there’s the issue of practicability.
    But what about Venezuela? It’s in our own backyard. We already have influence over several surrounding neighbors. It’s situation impacts us measurably (I’ve heard that many of Canada’s petroleum experts that are busy utilizing the “oil sands” are of recent Venezuelan vintage). The heritage of those involved is much closer to our own than Ukraine’s.
    The obvious answer, which IMO is probably correct, is that Venezuela is a direct refutation of leftism. It is a showcase of the inevitable repression and economic collapse that accompanies going “full retard.” It is the sacred cow of too many leftist “elites.”
    Illustrating the problems of Venezuela hits too close to home.
    For such a story of obvious importance to be blacked out is unforgivable. This is only one step short of the treachery of Walter Duranty’s Soviet-era propaganda. God, how I loathe these people.

  • Ymarsakar

    “When the Muslim Brotherhood filled the power vacuum in Egypt, Obama was silent.  A year of repression ensued.”
    You don’t remember Obama’s Regime trying to get rid of Egypt’s leaders that were anti MB? He wasn’t silent.

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  • Ymarsakar

    I don’t agree with Book’s conclusions. I think Obama has been providing substantial support to the Islamic Jihad, not merely domestically via czars and ideological back up propaganda, but in the form of real munitions and weapons supplied to AQ in Libya, intentionally designed to destroy American allies and those who cooperate with the US, like Qaddafi, or anyone else that is at a conflict with the Left’s Islamic Jihad allies in the region such as Egypt’s Anti Muslim Brotherhood regime that “world pressure” took down, supposedly.
    For whatever reasons, Iran is supported because they are part of the Islamic Jihad and an enemy of the US, thus unlike Israel and Britain who are ostensibly allies of the US, Hussein had no reason to destroy them. Thus he preferred to see protestors in Iran executed, as it keeps things in that area quiet for the real job of overthrowing Egypt and Libya, to replace it with a more American friendly experiment. American friendly in this terms means the Leftist Islamic Jihad alliance.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I have to support Ymarsaker on his conclusions. The Obama administration has a pattern of supporting both Progressive Left and Muslim activist causes. Perhaps because both represent the demise of our values and way of life, which he openly despises.

    • Ymarsakar

      I remember when I heard about Obama’s conduct vis a vis Venezuella’s Chavez thug and Honduras, from Neo and other sources.
      It made perfect sense to me back then. One Leftist thug and killer (Obama calls himself a good killer btw in public), helping another member of his alliance do the thug life and the killing. What’s new about that? Not to me.
      The way the Leftist organization is structured in their alliance makes a working agreement that would normally collapse, come to fruition. Normally people wouldn’t expect atheists or anti religion people to work well with Islamic Jihadists. That is of course, changed when one realizes the Left is a Utopian death cult, a religion in its own right with its own heresy trials, dogma, and fanatics (Global Warming is a splinter of the larger terrorist cell). The Left has a long history of working with people whose ideologies are normally incompatible. Unions used to be harshly critical of low skilled labor, such as immigrants. Blacks once hated homosexuals, and still do, yet supposedly work hand in hand with feminists, Black panther racists, and GLBTeams.
      If the Left can have anti gay blacks work hand in hand with GLBT… anything is possible then. One’s mind and eye is opened to the unlimited possibilities of “tolerance”. This aspect of tolerance is a form of real politek and it gives some credence to their claims that they are tolerant. But it’s not a good (moral) kind of tolerance. It’s more of a pain tolerance and sadistic tolerance.
      The Left’s alliance will hold for quite awhile. At least until it’s time to divide up the sex slaves and the loot, that is. Then things will progress similar to Russia and Germany’s pact. Once the loot is divided… watch out.

  • Ymarsakar

    “Obama, however, considers that there is no such thing as beneficent American power.”
    To clarify something I wrote before: when I say I don’t agree, I mean that the examples lead me to a different conclusion. What Book said about Obama is not wrong. But I would consider it more accurate to pull a different conclusion based upon these events than merely that Obama is being silent and not interfering. He is interfering. And if he isn’t, his Regime is.