Barack Obama has rescued the nation -- verily, the world -- from economic collapse. He stands on the cusp of achieving higher quality health care at lower cost -- for every American. Now he's moving to extend his magic to matters foreign.
-- At his direction, his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, is doing her best to compel the new leaders of Honduras to violate their own constitution, under which the Honduran Congress and Supreme Court have removed the Castro and Chavez acolyte who was about to impose Fidelism on the Honduran people. Secretary Clinton et al. wants the deposed president restored to power -- after the fashion of American practice in, for instance, Haiti.
-- At the UN this week, Obama once again pressured Israel to work with the Palestinians -- this time by freezing West Bank settlements (a Palestinian demand) -- so negotiations can begin on creating a Palestinian state. He also has warned Israel against any rash behavior regarding Iran's developing (now developed?) nuclear capacity.
YET THE particular genius of this presidential messiah shone most brilliantly in two actions during the past 10 days. The reasoning behind each is so stunning it defies the comprehension of mere mortals.
First, the president unilaterally broke treaties to place missile-defense batteries in Poland and the Czech Republic. The missile shield was intended by the dread Bush II administration to protect Europe from Iranian missiles carrying nuclear warheads. By extension, they were intended to enhance the security of the United States.
The missile shield incensed especially Iran and its benefactor Russia -- the latter, which still bristles over its loss of influence in Eastern Europe, deeming the shield not only a threat to Russia and Russian interests, but also a personal affront. Iran's ayatollahs probably gave a rip, yet did not publicly let on.
Questions abound, of course. Why did the White House announce Obama's decision on September 17 -- the equivalent of Poland's 9/11, marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's takeover of the Polish landmass? Why did Obama snub two allies -- the Poles notably having fought loyally with us in both Iraq and Afghanistan? How do our other European allies now regard America's dependability?
Indeed, why did Obama cancel the missile agreement without getting anything from Russia in return -- i.e., (a) a freeze on Russian nuclear assistance, (b) Russian agreement to stop helping the Iranians with the missile-defense system it has provided them, (c) Russian (and Chinese) concurrence on a gasoline embargo against Iran that could trash the Iranian regime within months?
And (d) why would the Obama administration cancel a missile shield in allied countries to appease historically unappeasable kakistocrats -- indeed, in the case of Iran, malign goons to whom Obama already has apologized a minimum of five times?
Einsteinian genius in but a single stroke.
SECOND, Obama has changed his mind once more about the Afghan-Pakistan border region where terrorism breeds.
Recall, please, that during his presidential campaign Obama declared the most pregnant bombing target for America to be...Pakistan. In the same campaign he termed the American enterprise in Iraq the bad war and the U.S. pursuit of al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan "the good war." Within the past month he has termed it a "war of necessity."
As a senator, Obama opposed General David Petraeus' surge of troops in Iraq -- the surge that turned the war there around. Two months after his swearing-in, Obama authorized raising the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by 21,000 -- to 68,000. Over the summer, Obama yanked the commanding general in Afghanistan and replaced him with Gen. Stanley McChrystal -- a Petraeus disciple. Warning of "mission failure," Gen. McChrystal has proposed a surge of as many as 40,000 U.S. troops for Afghanistan.
Obama says he may send drones instead.
McChrystal: "Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near term (next 12 months) -- while Afghan security capacity matures -- risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."
Obama, insisting that disruption of al-Qaeda remains his "core goal": "What I'm not gonna do...is put the resource question before the strategy question....We're not gonna put the cart before the horse and just think by sending more troops, we're automatically going to make Americans safe."
Contemplating these recent Obamanian words and actions, the mind recalls nothing quite so much as Jimmy Carter's marker for similar brilliance when he said, in effect -- regarding Afghanistan -- they never told me things were so nasty and mean.
Obama may understand the grim possible outcomes -- grim for America and what used to be called the Free World -- of the games he's playing in Honduras, with Israel and the Palestinians in the Middle East, regarding European missile-defense, and in Afghanistan -- or he may not. His mind may inhabit realms of genius vastly beyond the everyday rest of us. His high messianic brilliance may blind our low human comprehension.
Or the community organizer from Chicago may match in naivete -- and in laughable leftist idiocy -- the peanut farmer from Plains.