Mona Charen
President Obama's weakness in foreign policy is a contributor to the events of the last several days in the Middle East. Though he gave the order to take out bin Laden (who wouldn't?), and though he attacks suspected terrorists with drones, this president has nevertheless conveyed to the world that he believes in a diminished world role for the United States.

He believes in a more modest United States -- remember those bows -- because he comes from an intellectual tradition that is hostile to American power. His pastor and mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, expressed a common leftist view when he said after 9/11 that the attacks represented "America's chickens coming home to roost." Mr. Obama's one-time green jobs czar, Van Jones, was of the same school, showing up at a radical leftist rally on September 12, 2001 and, amid the drum circles and curses, heaped on the nation that had just suffered an attack of unprecedented savagery and joined in the denunciations of the victim. "It's the bombs that the government has been dropping around the world that are now blowing up inside the U.S. borders."

As if the U.S. were in the habit of bombing nations just to throw its weight around, or for the sheer joy of dominating and hurting others. In fact, of the last six wars in which the United States was involved (Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya), four were undertaken to rescue Muslims and the other two (Afghanistan and Iraq) had the side benefit of liberating Muslims -- to what end remains an open question.

President Obama, the so-called fact-checkers' indignant denials notwithstanding, did apologize for the United States. The Washington Free Beacon reminds us that he told a French audience that, instead of "celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times when America has shown arrogance and been dismissive -- even derisive." In Turkey, he said that America was still "working through" some of the darker periods in our past.

At the Summit of the Americas, Mr. Obama confessed, "While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have … at times … sought to dictate our terms."

Speaking at the National Archives, the president offered that "Unfortunately … all too often our government made decisions based upon fear rather than foresight, and all too often trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, too often we set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford … In other words, we went off course."


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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