Charles Krauthammer writes about the perils of being a philosopher-king:
When Austria is mocking you, you’re having a bad week. Yet who can blame Frau Fekter, considering the disdain Obama showed his own country while on foreign soil, acting the philosopher-king who hovers above the fray mediating between his renegade homeland and an otherwise warm and welcoming world?
Here are some of the side effects:
What “strong international response” did Obama muster to North Korea’s brazen defiance of a Chapter 7 — “binding,” as it were — U.N. resolution prohibiting such a launch?
The obligatory emergency Security Council session produced nothing. No sanctions. No resolution. Not even a statement. China and Russia professed to find no violation whatsoever. They would not even permit a U.N. statement that dared express “concern,” let alone condemnation.
Having thus bravely rallied the international community and summoned the United Nations — a fiction and a farce, respectively — what was Obama’s further response? The very next day, his defense secretary announced drastic cuts in missile defense, including halting further deployment of Alaska-based interceptors designed precisely to shoot down North Korean ICBMs. Such is the “realism” Obama promised to restore to U.S. foreign policy.
He certainly has a vision. Rather than relying on America’s unique technological edge in missile defenses to provide a measure of nuclear safety, Obama will instead boldly deploy the force of example. How? By committing his country to disarmament gestures — such as, he promised his cheering acolytes in Prague, ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Then there was the NATO issue:
And what did he get for this obsessive denigration of his own country? He wanted more NATO combat troops in Afghanistan to match the surge of 17,000 Americans. He was rudely rebuffed.
He wanted more stimulus spending from Europe. He got nothing.
From Russia, he got no help on Iran. From China, he got the blocking of any action on North Korea.
And what did he get for Guantanamo? France, pop. 64 million, will take one prisoner. One! (Sadly, he’ll have to leave his bridge partner behind.) The Austrians said they would take none. As Interior Minister Maria Fekter explained with impeccable Germanic logic, if they’re not dangerous, why not just keep them in America?
The Summit of the Americas is coming up next week. I fully expect that Obama will announce that he’s ending the Cuban embargo (even when he’d have to have Congress approve it).
What will that get the US?
You tell me.
Scott Johnson has more on the perils of being a philosopher-king.