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Obama's foreign policy lacks results

Feb. 22, 2013 @ 08:21 AM

Four years into the Obama presidency, what is the state of our nation’s foreign policy?

Those honest with the facts and cognizant of how other countries view the United States understand many nations believe America’s success is clouded by a presupposed arrogance and condescending nature of its people.

Certainly, this is no international epiphany.

But when the president of the United States, arguably the most powerful person in the world, validates this sentiment before other nations — the impact is potentially calamitous.

Shortly after Barack Obama took office he toured three continents apologizing for the sins of America and his predecessors.

He told the French that America “has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” toward Europe.

In Prague, he said America has a “moral responsibility to act” on arms control because we opted to use a nuclear weapon.

In Latin America, he said the U.S. had not “pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors” because we “failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas.”

Patriots like Ronald Reagan never made a single speech that didn’t invoke America’s greatness.

Reagan portrayed America as “a shining city on a hill,” and its promise, as well as its people’s, as boundless. For the “great communicator,” America was a “promised land” for which souls yearning freedom would “tear up their roots” and “travel halfway across the world” to kiss the shores of liberty.
Yet, Barack Obama began his presidency by offering a very different perspective of his country. 

He depicted America as working through “some of our own darker periods in our history.” His dour words empowered and emboldened our enemies and brought about a looming sense of discontent and uncertainty that diminished the value of the American spirit.

So after four years President Obama’s “seedlings of salutation” have begun to blossom.

According to North Korea’s state-run news agency, North Korea confirmed last Tuesday it had conducted its third, long-threatened nuclear test. Sources report the test was witnessed by an Iranian nuclear chief and the warhead was a “miniaturized and lighter device with greater explosive force than previously” could be delivered by a ballistic missile.

Iran continues to thumb its nose at U.N. sanctions, and has never been closer to a nuclear weapon. Reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency reveal Iran has already installed three-quarters of the nuclear centrifuges it needs to complete a deep-underground site for production of nuclear fuel.

Integral to the Iranian threat, Obama’s “reset” of Russian relations hasn’t prevented them from assisting their neighbors in building nuclear facilities and warning the U.S. and Israel not to intervene in Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran’s long-range missile technology is being supported by China, who in turn depends on them heavily for oil and gas in their quest to surpass the United States in economic prowess.

So as America moves from President Obama’s foreign policy initiatives the last four years, we can only hope and pray wiser initiatives prevail over the next four.

But it could hardly be worse.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.