I realize it's unfair and, according to some, even racist to hold President Obama accountable for his failed economic policies and cynical campaign promises, but could we at least raise a question or two about his foreign policy boasts?
Was it not President Obama who said that President George W. Bush had tarnished our image in the world and that he would restore it by reaching out to the Muslim world and not "engaging in the same sort of cowboy diplomacy as George Bush"?
Obama wasn't alone. The conventional wisdom on the left, both at home and abroad, was that America's policies were partially responsible for incurring the wrath of jihadists that led to the 9/11 attacks and that President Bush's aggressive response to the attacks had exacerbated the problem.
Shortly after Obama was elected, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and 1984 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Desmond Tutu said that Obama's very election had turned America's (abysmal) global image on its head. He wrote in The Washington Post, "A few days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, we had our first shock, hearing your president respond not with the statesmanlike demeanor we had come to expect from a U.S. head of state but like a Western gunslinger." Tutu then proceeded to list the many alleged sins of the United States under Bush: our abuse of prisoners, rendition, torture, "hostility to the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases," our refusal to assent to the authority of the International Criminal Court, and "the arrogant unilateralism (we have) employed in declaring to be enemies any countries (we) deemed 'against us' because they were not 'for us.'" The "Bush administration," wrote Tutu, "has riled people everywhere. Its bully-boy attitude has sadly polarized our world."
Reading this makes me wonder whether Tutu has been one of Obama's speechwriters. All the talking points are there. Could anyone read Tutu's words, which should be revolting to patriotic Americans, and deny that they mirror Obama's both on the campaign trail and during office? It's all there, from the cowboy references to torture to unilateralism to rendition and prisoner abuse to environmental wackoism to America's "arrogance."
The thinking clearly is that not only did America not have a right to respond aggressively to the unprovoked terrorist attacks on our soil but also doing so has been counterproductive and that reversing the Bush policies would strengthen our position and make us safer. That Obama fully embraced and implemented this philosophy cannot be disputed.