In an impromptu conversation with Joe the Plumber during the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama famously and unintentionally acknowledged his support for redistributing the nation's wealth. And he has been hard at it ever since.
Mr. Obama has yet to cop, however, to another, arguably even more radical agenda: redistributing the nation's power. We are, nonetheless, beginning to witness the poisonous fruits of his efforts to enhance the relative might of America¹s adversaries while degrading our own. Call it Obama' s global makeover.
The most obvious example is in the Middle East, where each day brings fresh evidence of how the Obama administration's disastrous policy of embracing Islamists is transforming and destabilizing the region. Of particular concern is the Muslim Brotherhood's accelerating domination of the Egyptian government, which is turning the Arab world¹s most populous nation, one that sits astride the strategic Suez Canal and wields a formidable, American-supplied arsenal, into a shariah-adherent, Islamic supremacist state. This is a formula for mass repression in Egypt, war in the Mideast and increased jihadist terror elsewhere.
Less obvious, but potentially even more problematic, is the effect of the Obama-facilitated redistribution of power on Communist China. The Chinese have not been fooled by the President's putative strategy of 'pivoting' to Asia. They understand that his administration is eviscerating American military power ¬ a process that will become even more draconian (and perhaps substantially irreversible) as a result of Mr. Obama’s determination to impose the so-called sequestration round of half-a-trillion dollars more in cuts on a Pentagon already reeling from early $800 billion in previously approved reductions.
As one wag put it, the PRC views us more of a pirouetting paper-tiger than a formidable foe, whose pivot represents a meaningful strategic redeployment.
The ominous repercussions of such a perception are already beginning to manifest themselves:
Last week, police in the Chinese province of Hainan Island announced that they would stop, board, search and possibly seize vessels hey deemed to be ‘illegally’ plying areas of the South China Sea that Beijing has declared to be its sovereign territory. That could apply to as much as half the world's oil tanker traffic that passes through those waters. Some observers believe this may be a feint, designed to test American responses and resolve. If so, the U.S. response has been negligible and the Chinese can only be further emboldened by our irresolution to stand up to their aggressive behavior.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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