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What is U.S. foreign policy anyway?

Cal Thomas's picture

If there were an award for stating the obvious when it comes to the Middle East it would go to The New York Times. On its front page last Friday, the newspaper ran a story headlined, “Muslim Group is Rising Force in New Egypt.”

What group would that be? Why, the Muslim Brotherhood, of course. We have been repeatedly assured by certain pundits and members of the Obama administration that the Brotherhood are a small minority with no major influence in Egypt and that those Cairo protesters clamoring for “democracy” that led to the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak would be the ones to chart the country’s future. Each time another myth is busted, the deniers of what is happening throughout the region simply create a new myth, one they desperately cling to against all evidence to the contrary.

It would be well for the willfully blind to memorize the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood: “Allah is our objective, the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” Got that?

The London Daily Telegraph interviewed Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, leader of the rebellion in Libya. He admitted some of the rebels have ties to al-Qaeda, but not to worry. Hasidi claimed that even members of al-Qaeda “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists.” Sure they are. We should take them at their word, even though they have been known to lie. At what point do we begin to wake up to this nonsense? Is anyone at the State Department paying attention? How about the White House?

President Obama has been forced by growing criticism to better explain his non-policy in Libya and his reasoning behind bombing the country without deposing Moammar Gadhafi. The president went to the United Nations Security Council for a resolution, not Congress, for constitutional approval to launch air strikes on Libya. Perhaps this is an extension of his stated belief that America is no more exceptional than any other country. “While regime change in Libya is the U.S. policy,” reports ABC News, “Gadhafi’s removal is not the goal of the operation.” No, President Obama tells us the U.S. is in Libya “to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.” Huh?

What about Syria where security forces are shooting civilians in the streets on the apparent orders of President Bashar al-Assad? Under the new “humanitarian” rules of engagement, shouldn’t president Obama send bombers to Syria? Will the U.S. seek authorization from the U.N. for military air strikes there? And then there is Bahrain where thousands of protesters spilled into the streets last week after Friday prayers and were confronted by security forces firing tear gas and pellets. Can live ammunition be far behind?

If humanitarianism is the new standard for U.S. military intervention, what about bombing North Korea, liberating Tibet, strafing The Congo, Darfur and scores of other countries where authoritarian regimes deny basic human rights to their people?

In last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) wrote that what is taking place in the Middle East “could be the most important geostrategic shift since the fall of the Berlin Wall.” That’s the wrong analogy. When the Berlin Wall fell, people were liberated. What is happening in the Middle East could be the most important geostrategic shift since communists came to power in Russia and China, oppressing and killing millions.

This is just the beginning. Saudi Arabia is next and already the fault lines in that creaking monarchy are visible. The hand of Iran is behind much of this turmoil and behind Iran is al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’s vision for the toppling of every regime in the region, each to be replaced by the most religiously fundamentalist and politically repressive of leaders.

While President Obama fiddles, the Middle East burns.

At a private dinner last week in Washington, attended by a group of conservative journalists, someone said if a Democrat must be president, he would rather it be Hillary Clinton than Barack Obama. There was general head nodding. Mine was among them.

[Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist, appearing in more than 600 national newspapers. He is the author of more than 10 books and is a FOX News political contributor since 1997. Email Cal Thomas at tmseditors@tribune.com.] ©2011 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

Comments

JeffC's picture

Cal is so desperate to undermine Obama that he’s siding with Qaddafi. It’s predictable, but sad to see. Perhaps his thoughts on Middle East politics would be more persuasive if he knew the difference between Sunni al-Qaeda and Shia Iran.

No. Probably not.

Mr Qaddafi is not hurting us here in the good old USA. I really dont care if he has a war with his own people. We should keep our nose out of it. Now good old obama has increased spending 25 percent. I guess we can file for bankruptcy due to government ignorance. Therefore who is the bad guy here. I voted for Barack. But nothing he promised has come true. Just financial destruction of the country. When will Americans start marching in the streets of washington. Enough already.

kevink's picture

I've found the blogs uninspiring lately due to reasoned argument coming here only to die. No one supports their opinions; just bluster and one-liners. A good place to farm bumper stickers, but not much else. But you may be a break from that mold. You may be onto something I happened to miss. You said this above:

" I voted for Barack. But nothing he promised has come true. Just financial destruction of the country. "

<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Fidelity-Survey-Finds-bw-2919030665.html?x...® Survey Finds Millionaires’ Outlook for Economy at Highest Level since 2006
</a>

<a href="http://www.nyse.com/">The NYSE closes above 12,000 AGAIN</a>

<a href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/03/27/111113/strong-corporate-profits-am... profits are at historical highs, and their tax burdens historically low.</a>

My question is this: When you say "economic destruction of the country," What in the bejesus are you talking about? Comments such as yours which are unfounded in reality make looking out of a rain-fogged window seem intellectually fulfilling.

<a href="http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0oGdWafzZNNwQMAEalXNy... cerebellum hurts.
</a>

Thanks a lot.

Vote Mytmite in 2012!

Don't despair. As the unreasoned remarks continue, it doesn't hurt those who are working hard to make sure that America 'rises' out of this mess whole. Look at Wisconsin, recalls being considered. Look at what has been found to be the reality of 'Tea Party Tax Reform' - the burden being shouldered by the middle class - and breaks for the 1% considered 'wealthy'. Citizens are taking advantage of an open press - and reading ALL media - not just conservative or liberal - and gaining a true insight into what is/is not going on in local government as well as the federal government. Thank heavens we have leadership that is able to multi-task - not since World War II have we had more problems on the table at once. There appears to be some solutions that are worth considering coming from both sides of the aisle. Let's hope that those 'secret' meetings will benefit the American people. I'm sorry that the Tea Party was co-opted by some extremists. It has thrown the Republican Party into the 'fight for our life' mode rather than 'fight for America'.

That I know has never moved and still stands for personal responsibility and individual freedom. This so-called war with R's is pretty much wishful thinking by some although I will admit a RINO cleansing will probably occur in 2012. The TP is not waning as the left would love and will be there strong in 2012!
I think it was Mark Twain that said "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated!"
Why don't you check out this http://www.teapartypatriots.org/Mission.aspx and then report back what you have a problem with? -GP

Observerofu's picture

The Teaparty is over or it's corrupted or it's been co-opted yada, yada, yada.

Anyone who thinks the economy is on solid ground right now looks for bridges to buy. This administration has been inept from day one. Events wag this dog.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Few, if any, will take time to read the mission statement as they do not want to give up their bias against the tea party movement.

NUK_1's picture

There are several groups calling themselves something with Tea Party in them so it's kind of difficult to say exactly what the TP stands for or doesn't. The Tea Party Patriots(the above link posted) is probably the biggest and also does mean it when they say they don't take a position on social issues. Same with New American Patriots....the focus is on fiscal conservatism, liberty and limited govt. Not a word on abortion, gays, DOMA, etc.etc. That thinking is not shared with some TP groups at all.

Contrast that philosophy with Tea Party Nation that is a group that loudly despises GOProud, the conservative gay faction and sort of "competition" to the existing Log Cabin Republican group. The TPN being very outspoken against GOProud to the point of condemning them to the media and calling them a "disturbing group" and "Not conservative" shows that social issues are big to them. Heavily-backed by various TP groups were the very anti-gay and very awful candidates Angle and O'Donnell. Same with bozo Joe Miller in Alaska whose campaign chief ripped into Rush Limbaugh of all people for associating with gays like Elton John. These factions aren't for limited government or anything else besides the usual fundie agenda.

It's pretty tough to say exactly what the "Tea Party" stands for or doesn't when the whole movement was sort of designed in parts by the usual Repubs along with a mix of people who shared the same focus and didn't really organize nationally but locally instead.

For the first time EVER, I agree with Farrakhan: http://www.blacknews.com/news/farrakhan_slams_president_obama_libya_atta... -GP

He can't help it if he is nothing but a pustule that doesn't have a clue as to how to lead a country. He's just Jimmy Carter II - completely worthless and will definitely be a one termer. The Republican party could nominate a tree to run against Obama and it would win.

<a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/52208.html">Poll: Obama's approval hits new low</a>

Hard to make the right decisions eating what O is having -LOL http://morallowground.com/tag/obama-turd-sandwich/ Not very presidential, but about what one would expect from a community organizer. -GP

LOL! THANKS FOR SHARING. That really put Newt and Palin in proper perspective. Where were the answers to the 'unanswered questions' in 2003? Yea Colbert!!

The funniest part was Newt's "open fly zone" and his divorce -LOL. Bottom line is, here we are, once again, wasting money nation building. It ALWAYS turns out bad. -GP

The US is damned if they do intervene and damned if they don't. (Rawanda).
This alliance of nations to assist the 'freedom fighter' in Libya is interesting and historical because it includes Arab nations.
The next steps will be interesting. If Kadahfi makes an acceptable deal this week to step down . .then NATO was correct and the US was in good company..

PTC Observer's picture

"If Kadahfi makes an acceptable deal this week to step down . .then NATO was correct and the US was in good company.."

"Nations don't have friends they have interests." B. Franklin

If this happens, it remains to be seen whether or not is was in the USA's interests.

kevink's picture

Guess downward trends are a wee bit contagious aren't they. The Tea Party has lost 20 percentage points in recent polling and now are more unfavorable to independents than favorable. Why didn't you mention that? And just one serious question:

Which republican is the "tree" that will unseat President Obama? Give us a name. And you probably don't want to say "Herman Cain" :-O

Vote Mytmite in 2012!

You ask why I didn't mention the Tea Party's poll?

Because I was talking about the Republican party, you insignificant dimwit!

kevink's picture

WHO is going to unseat President Obama, Joe?

And what is the difference between the Tea Party and the Republican party? Does the Tea Party support Democratic candidates now? I'll answer for you since you are a bit of a "Dodger" as usual. The Tea Party and The Republican party are peas in the same pod..... a pod who's polls are going down the tubes just like our President's... a pod who has NO VIABLE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE in 2012. And you know it which explains why you don't want to answer the question.

Why so angry, Joe? It's just politics

Vote Mytmite in 2012!

I did answer the question - you just didn't like the answer.

Your boy Obama will definitely be a one termer

kevink's picture

You brought it up, mate. Is it that hard to be a man and answer a question for which you yourself provided the text? Who is your "tree" Joe?

Vote Mytmite in 2012!

BHH's picture

He's poised to run and I think he's our best shot so far.

pyramidman

Robert W. Morgan's picture

All much better Presidents than Prezbo. All would mesh well with a Republican-controlled House and Senate. All would make a real effort to kill Obamacare and end the crazy socialist spending and getting rid of the whacko liberal czars who help Prezbo come up with his crazier ideas.

But we will never know because none of those are electable and as long as the young and stupid and non-productive are allowed to vote - so get used to 4 more years of Mr. Hope and Change.

Better to concentrate on House and Senate where a Republican majority can muzzle the big dog until 2016. That's when Christie and Jindal get elected just before the country is bankrupt.

Live free or die!

BHH's picture

For your optimism. Little as it is.

pyramidman

Robert W. Morgan's picture

In fact it would help if the Republican Party were realistic as well. It is as much their fault for the mess we are in as the mindless libs trying to transform America. Nominating McCain because he is the next old white man in line and then attaching Palin as the Hillary antidote - and expecting to win? Are you kidding me?

And they will probably do it again. Newt being the logical next old white man and Michelle Bachman as the token minority and a nod to the Tea Party. Great. Another loss.

And you need to remember, McCain lost rather than Obama winning. He lost the old-fashioned way - failure to impress the centrists - meaning financially conservative, socially liberal voters. Newt and Michelle can do that as well. Somebody in the Republican Party needs to realize the centrists outnumber the Bible and gun crowd (the bitter clingers as Prezbo likes to call them) at least 5 to 1.

Live free or die!

JeffC's picture

Mitt is the next old white guy in line for the Republican nomination. And Michelle Bachmann is a nut case. How about Palin/Bachmann? Dumb and dumber.

PTC Observer's picture

I expected better from you than this.....I suspect you didn't learn this from your father.

We shall wait for the return of our rights and the demise of the poltical parties, Mr. Carter. The only hope for mankind.....freedom.

JeffC's picture

The thread is so far down I cannot connect it to what it is you object to.

PTC Observer's picture

That's ok, I was simply objecting to you name calling. Generally, based on what I have read of your posts, it's not like you.

Even if we disagree on politics, I still respect your input and will defend to the death your right to say it.

Even if it's name calling.

Mike King's picture

Gingrich is as close to being next in line as the chance any of the 'probables' of the GOP have to winning in 2012 against an individual who has done more to unite his party since Reagan. The problem is that there is not one individual other than perhaps Hillary who can unseat him despite all the issues that can be used against him.

I wonder if Secretary Clinton runs, would Hannity restart the "Defeat Hillary Express"? An unlikely scenario, but interesting.

PTC Observer's picture

Mr. Gingrich will not be selected or elected.

For one simple reason, money.

He doesn't have enough and can't raise it.

NUK_1's picture

Besides money, he also has consistently high negative polling from independents and of course is despised by the left and would certainly energize even some of the lazier Dems to maybe show up on election day. His "I committed adultery out of the love of his country" nonsense certainly isn't going to help and the fact that over time he went from being an intelligent conservative into another frothing at the mouth neo-con sure doesn't either. He's totally on the wrong side of the Libya attack, but neo-cons love sending troops all over and regime change.

The one guy the Repubs have that can raise money and has a lot himself is Romney, but he's been really "flexible" on every major issue he's ever faced and that can be perceived as a lack of principles. Since he's a Mormon, part of the Repub base that are intolerant fundies(the faction that hates gays and worships Huckabe) would never think of voting for him.

Huckabee? Can't raise money and isn't electable at all with his neo-theocracy BS. Doubt he runs.
Palin? Beyond damaged goods and simply kind of dumb. Doubt she runs.
Bachman? Will be the same as Palin once people start paying attention to what she says. A real glory-hound too. Definitely running.
Ron Paul? It will never happen for a guy who comes across as the grumpiest and angriest dude out there, no matter what his ideas are.
Trump? Joke.
Pawlenty? He might get some momentum going and seize the opportunity.
Guiliani? Needs to forget it.
Barbour? Please, NO. Terrible. All kinds of skeletons related to racial issues in his closet to go along with the fact that there's no way in hell a Gov from Mississippi is going to win the highest office in the land.

Not a real inspiring field and the idea from some that "anyone can beat Obama" is a new standard in total ignorance and separation from reality.

PTC Observer's picture

summed it up very well.....get ready for 4 more years of Mr. Obama and his socialist agenda.

Now, speaking of Congress......

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Ok, so make the next old white guy in line Mitt Romney. He'll get about the same number of votes as Gingrich would - 40% at most and Prezbo starts working on his next 4 years of really screwing things up. These clowns all get emboldened in their second term. Yes, that includes Bush and Reagan.

I don't think Romney would even win in Massachusetts.

I think the Republicans should shy away from women candidates like Bachman and Palin and concentrate on the new minorities - maybe Rubio or Jindal. And by that I mean for 2016.

Live free or die!

Bobby Jindal has great ideas but has the stage presence of a turnip. Marco Rubio and Chris Cristie can speak and chew bubblegum at the same time. The left-wing media is chomping at the bit to attack the republican nominee, let them demonize Newt and Mitt, we need to be patient and let this thing sort out. The nominee most likely will not be part of the old guard. -GP

Robert W. Morgan's picture

then at the last minute Christie emerges and says - Gee whiz, the country is bankrupt thanks to Obama and his socialists, so me and my token VP will ride to the rescue. This of course happens after he saves New Jersey, where all the lower-rung NY media people live, so they can't attack him over that. Can they?

Like that?

In 2012? Might work. He'd carry New Jersey, maybe New York, certainly Florida. Maybe even California will wise up to the liberals that busted them and vote for a Christie fix.

Live free or die!

at least that's what I think the fly boys called it, not sure, I was a ground pounder. Whoever to R nominee is better don his flak jacket and cast iron underwear, you know the left wing media will be in full attack mode. -GP

Care to explain your comment or is this just an exercise in name calling? -GP

NUK_1's picture

I'm sure JeffC has his own list, but here's mine on why I think Bachmann is a horrible candidate:

-Wants "intelligent design" taught in public schools and discounts evolution as just a theory
-Said Obama was "anti-American" and "holds anti-American views." Then, she apologized for saying that as misspeaking, only to a few weeks later say it again.
-believes the whole "death panel/forced euthanasia" BS that Palin trumpeted during the health care debate
-wants not only a constitutional amendment against gay marriage, but also even "civil unions" or any other legal equivalent
-said that gays target children specifically to recruit and to molest
-is heavily backed by Focus on the Family, a hard-right fundie organization that is 100% about social issues and could care less about conservatism unless it's their own brand
-wanted a constitutional amendment to ban the US from replacing the dollar with a foreign currency....I mean, what the hell? Its already the law that no foreign currency can be recognized
-tried to organize a national boycott of the Census until talked out of it later by Lynn Westmoreland of all people.
-said that Obama's Asia trip would cost over 200million a DAY and that 30+ warships were going with him. Bizarre and totally false
-said she thought Americorp would lead to mandatory servitude to the govt. Her son is a teacher in that program now
-showed she has no clue on American history by stating that John Adams the founding father was totally opposed to slavery when it was actually John Quincy Adams. Thinks Lexington and Concord are in New Hampshire instead of Massachusetts
-has so many similar public "misstatements" that even once-benefactor Palin wouldn't endorse and tout her for a leadership position in the Repub Party.

While Bachmann has some views shared by old-school conservatives and even libertarians, her seeming lack of intellect, bomb-throwing gaffes and fringe thinking along with a hard right-wing fundie stance on social issues makes her very unelectable.

PTC Observer's picture

Thanks for the short list, now that's an analysis. I don't know if it is all true, but even if one or two are that's enough.

Let's be honest here, the Republicans have no candidate to field in the next election. That's why we have so many running (or not running, running). Stick a fork in them, they are done in 2012 for President, they are in a self-destruct mode.

She certainly has had quite a few gaffs but so has Obama(57 states/etc, I can maker a lengthy list if you want). Michelle Bachmann still has a LOT of support in the conservative movement and many share her beliefs. Time will tell if the liberal attack machine can damage her enough to make here unelectable. -GP

JeffC's picture

She's already unelectable. The liberal machine will not have to attack her. If she runs, she will self destruct like Palin did because she's to lazy to study the issues, just like Palin. Her Republican opponents will finish her off before the Democrats get a chance. Then the FOX viewers will have to endure her incessant whining about how everybody attacks her because she's a woman and not because of her frightening ignorance. Again, just like Palin.

Here's some of what Mike Murphy, Republican political advisor to Mitt Romney, John McCain, Jeb Bush, John Engler, Tommy Thompson, Spencer Abraham, Christie Whitman, Lamar Alexander, and Arnold Schwarzenegger said about her in Time magazine last month:

"Michele Bachmann is now threatening us with the idea of exploring a Presidential race..."

"The press will be delighted, with a new gaff-prone carnival candidacy to snicker at."

"...the vital swing voters who will decide the 2012 election will look at Michele Bachmann on the campaign trail and howl like villagers getting their first torch-lit glimpse of Frankenstein's monster. They will stampede quickly in the opposite direction, away from the GOP."

"...the election will not in any way be about the tiny sliver of voters that a Bachmann for President campaign would appeal to."

"Michele Bachmann makes Sarah Palin look like Count Metternich."

If she ever looks up the reference to see who Count Metternich was, she's going to feel she was insulted. And it wasn't by a liberal.

Go ahead and nominate her.

It's a long way from the primary, not sure who I will get behind. Whoever it is I am sure they can do no worse than the current organizer in chief http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administra... -GP

Since there seems to be no republican candidate worth voting for, why don't you work for one of the good democrat candidates against the President?

That way you wouldn't look like a "yellow Dog" republican working and votng for Palin or Bachmann or Paul or Huckleberry!

there wasn't one worth voting for, just said I wasn't going to tell you. Sorta like not grinning when you hit that inside straight. -GP

hutch866's picture

In celebration of your return to the boards, I made ribs, and covered them with a sauce, and drank beer while making them. I figure if I can harden enough arteries, we might have a meeting of the minds...... Naw, even senile I couldn't agree with you.

I yam what I yam

JeffC's picture

I'm very ford of ribs, sauce, and that other stuff you mentioned. And I'm an interesting dinner guest...

What do you mean, "return to the boards?"

I took off a few days and discovered that I never missed anything on here!
Is that what you mean?

I saw while I was gone that some women were recognized by their picture in the paper for good works! It is a good thing because I can't remember anyone on here who should be recognized.

JeffC's picture

Libya will be small change. The biggest ever October Surprise is coming in September. The UN is scheduled to recognize Palestine as a state. Obama better buy some more tap shoes for that.

he jumped so high, he jumped so high, ...then he lightly touched down....Mr. O-jangles, ...daanncce. You are correct Jeff. Israel's only friend in the world won't return calls, remember the Bibi snub? Remember O's Cairo speech, the one calling Islam "a religion of peace"? Well, as some down through history have learned, apologizing is seen as weakness. All of the Arab world is emboldened by the apologizer in chief and the united nations is preparing to sell out Israel,.... where is that valley of Armagedon located? -GP

Observerofu's picture

will slit her wrist and bleed her if she gets in.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

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