Though Barack Obama is widely regarded as a weak president, is the new world disorder really all his fault?
Listening to the more vocal voices of the GOP one might think so.
According to Sen. Lindsey Graham, Vladimir Putin's move into Crimea "started with Benghazi."
"When you kill Americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this type of aggression," said Graham. Putin "came to the conclusion after Benghazi, Syria, Egypt" that Barack Obama is "a weak indecisive leader."
Also blaming Obama for Crimea, John McCain got cheers at AIPAC by charging, "This is the ultimate result of a feckless foreign policy in which nobody believes in America's strength anymore."
This "blatant act" of aggression "cannot stand," said McCain.
How McCain plans to force Putin to cough up Crimea was left unexplained.
Now Marco Rubio seems to be auditioning to replace the retired Joe Lieberman as third amigo. His CPAC speech is described by the L.A. Times:
"[Rubio] said that China is threatening to take parts of the South China Sea ... a nuclear North Korea is testing missiles, Venezuela is slaughtering protesters, and Cuba remains an oppressive dictatorship. He added that Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons and regional hegemony and Russia is attempting to 'reconstitute' the former Soviet Union."
What all these countries have in common, said Rubio, is "totalitarian governments." Rubio proposes a U.S. foreign policy of leading the world to "stand up to the spread of totalitarianism."
Not quite as ambitious as George W. Bush's "ending tyranny in our world," but it will do.
Where to begin.
First, it is absurd to suggest Putin felt free to restore Crimea to Russia because of Obama's inaction in Benghazi. And while Castro's Cuba and Kim Jong-Un's North Korea are totalitarian, Putin's Russia is not Stalin's. Nor is Xi Jinping's China Mao's China.
Russia and China are great power rivals and antagonists, not the monster regimes of the Cold War that massacred millions. We must deal with them, and they don't take direction from Uncle Sam.
As for Iran, 17 U.S. intelligence agencies say it has no nuclear weapons program. Moreover, Hassan Rouhani is an elected president now presiding over the dilution of his 20-percent-enriched uranium in compliance with our November agreement.
McCain points to Obama's failure to enforce his "red line" in Syria with air and missile strikes, when Bashar Assad used chemical weapons, as the reason Obama is not respected.
But a little history is in order here.