I agree with Mr. Gardiner’s assessment of Obama’s SOTU speech
State of the Union 2011: Barack Obama gets another F for world leadership
by Nile Gardiner
Tonight’s remarkably dull State of the Union address was dominated by President Obama’s heavily flawed vision for reviving the American economy, with plans that remain overwhelmingly mired in an outdated Big Government mentality, and which spectacularly failed to include a coherent strategy for eliminating America’s massive $14 trillion debt.
But the State of the Union is also traditionally a major opportunity to project US leadership on the world stage, and once again Obama has fallen short.
In 2010 I gave the president an F for the foreign policy section of his lackluster first State of the Union address. His 2011 address was certainly no better. For the second year running, President Obama has demonstrated that he is no world leader, and frankly has little interest at all in foreign policy.
The war in Afghanistan was barely a blip on the president’s teleprompter. With over 100,000 American troops on the ground fighting the Taliban in defense of the United States and the free world, one would have expected the president to have dedicated more than a miserly 132 words to the war effort and the stakes involved. There was no sense from the president of a plan for victory in Afghanistan, or the wider importance of the conflict within the context of a global war against Islamist terrorism, which he resolutely refuses to even identify.
Similarly, the Iranian nuclear crisis, arguably the biggest foreign policy challenge facing the Obama administration in 2011, was barely mentioned, meriting a single, rather pathetic line in the speech. Nor was there any declaration of support for dissidents in Iran, or a clear signal that the United States stands with those who are being brutally suppressed by the Islamist dictatorship.
Again in a major speech, Barack Obama has shied away from taking a clear stand on human rights issues, in marked contrast to predecessors including George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. The plight of hundreds of millions living under tyranny, from Burma to Zimbabwe to North Korea, was ignored altogether. No US administration in living memory has paid less attention to the spread of liberty and freedom across the world than the Obama presidency, and this was glaringly apparent in Obama’s State of the Union address.
Nor was there any sense tonight of America as a great, unique superpower, that has made huge sacrifices in the defense of liberty across the world, from the beaches of Normandy to the battlefields of Afghanistan. For Barack Obama, American exceptionalism has been a meaningless concept, rather than a central part of US strategic thinking.
In every respect, Barack Obama’s leadership is the antithesis of Ronald Reagan’s. Reagan’s leadership was driven by a fundamental belief in American greatness on the world stage and a clear vision of a superpower standing up to tyranny and threats to US security. Instead of projecting US power and values abroad, President Obama has been content to engage and appease America’s enemies, while paying scant attention to traditional allies. Tonight’s State of the Union address was simply the latest in a string of weak-kneed statements on foreign policy – statements that increasingly resemble the words of a European Union bureaucrat rather than the leader of the most powerful nation on earth.
via: The Telegraph
- President Obama’s State of the Union 2011 (VIDEO, FULL TEXT) (blippitt.com)
- Obama Signals That He Wants To Be Compared To Reagan: MSM Eagerly Complies (nicedeb.wordpress.com)
- Reagan Centennial: What the Gipper Could Teach Obama (thedailybeast.com)