Sunday, May 23, 2010

From Cowboy Diplomacy to Bull...

Remember when Democrats belittled George W. Bush's "cowboy diplomacy" in dealing with foreign countries who wish to do us harm? Remember when Democrats heralded Barack Obama's Presidency as a chance to restore respect for us in the world?

Now, take a look at the news. South Korea reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il may have authorized a torpedo attack on a South Korean warship. Even with the long-standing problems between these two countries, this is an act of war. With South Korea being our allies and North Korea being one of the countries involved in international terrorism, the question becomes how America under Obama will react.

My guess? Not so well. For all of his vaunted intelligence and the foreign policy expertise of Hillary Clinton (or maybe it's because of it), I don't see Obama casting that wide a berth on the world stage. As I've stated in a previous blog, the world seems to regard Obama as a little boy playing dress-up in his daddy's clothes. At a time when our allies need to know that we have their backs, having a President that seems to be fresh out of new employee orientation isn't all that reassuring.

For all the knocks against "cowboy diplomacy," you have to admit it worked. Our allies and our enemies knew where we stood. With Obama, I get the impression that he's trying to placate our enemies and inconvenience our allies as a means to level the playing field for everyone. That's the kind of diplomacy that kept the Cold War escalating for decades until another "cowboy," Ronald Reagan, decided to treat the Soviet Union like enemies, not as an entity that deserved to be on equal footing with us. That shift in approach, which the Left incorrectly said would usher in World War III, ultimately worked. The Soviet Union fell, the threat of global nuclear war diminished greatly, and the Left still didn't learn the lesson of diplomacy without consideration to our interests.

And now, we're going back to making the same mistakes we made prior to Reagan. The world doesn't respect us; it either mocks us or turns us into the source of all evil. Obama isn't changing the hearts and minds of anyone except our allies, and it's not going to end well. With a more forceful tone towards North Korea, could Obama have made Kim Jong Il think twice? Absolutely. It's only when America shows weakness that people like Kim Jong Il push the envelope as they do, and as long as we have leaders who are willing to put up with it, they'll continue to push. But when we show we're willing to push back hard, they get quiet fast.

So, tell me again why cowboy diplomacy is bad and the Obama style of diplomacy is good.

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