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Obama’s Foreign Policy: The Next Three Years

January 11th, 2010 by Myrhaf · 15 Comments · Uncategorized

John Bolton has written a good piece looking at Obama’s next three years in foreign policy. As Bolton explains, Obama has been concerned so far with issues left over from the Bush years, such as Afghanistan. He hasn’t even got to the policies he wants to enact.

And what does he want to do? It’s an all-out leftist agenda: disarmament, global warming treaty and binding America to international law. What makes this particularly worrisome is that a president has more power in foreign affairs than he does domestically. There are ways for a president to enact his will without worrying about Senate filibusters and angry town hall protests.

Whatever damage Obama does in the next three years, it is imperative we make him a one-term president in 2012. I don’t know if America’s security would survive two terms of this man.

15 Comments so far ↓

  • Rachel

    Which would be worse: Severely compromised military security or long term religious-based slavery in our own country?

  • Myrhaf

    If your point is that the Republicans might nominate someone as bad or worse than Obama, yes, that could happen. In that case I would be forced to abstain as I did in 2008. It would be a depressing turn of events.

  • C.T.

    I’m not sure we can survive his single term.

    Until O’ists actually take over, this nation is doomed. Only we know the political remedies for our fundamentally corrupted culture.

    And I’m not seeing any O’ists getting into politics so far.

  • Rachel

    I’m saying that I have not yet seen a completely convincing argument that the looming threat of theocracy not the greatest threat to freedom. If our military defenses are compromised, true, we may face millions dead. But the shock of such tragedy might induce a response from a non-quite-dead American sense-of-life. “Hard times call for hard ways.”

    If Americans are slowly indoctrinated into accepting religious totalitarianism, then the only thing a strong military defense will serve is to perpetuate an internally imposed slavery.

    The following is not part of my argument. But consider that Ayn Rand was strongly opposed to Reagan, despite his strong foreign-policy stance. Specifically, she disapproved of his anti-abortion rights stance.

    Now, I’m not the most insightful person in the world so I’m loathe to make a final judgment, especially considering the strength of your argument, but Rand’s personal opinion has weight with me when I’m in doubt.

    I’m just sayin’…

  • Andrew Dalton

    Rachel –

    I think that the 2008 elections marked the point at which the idea of strategic voting — however uncertain and controversial it had been — became largely irrelevant. Both parties have become too awful.

  • TW

    “If Americans are slowly indoctrinated into accepting religious totalitarianism, then the only thing a strong military defense will serve is to perpetuate an internally imposed slavery.”

    But there is no evidence I know of that we are. I have lived through the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II years, and if I have not been as free as I could be, I am nonetheless sure that I am more free now than I have ever been in my life, and more free in more ways than anyone in any other country. We are less a theocracy now than when I was a child, for sure.

    Is there any important difference between the parties? I think there may be one: we are now facing a *real* theocracy which seeks to be a nuclear-armed theocracy. They militantly seek the destruction of freedom everywhere. They will develop nuclear capabilities soon. Someone MUST stop them somehow. It won’t be the democrats, you can be sure of that.

  • madmax

    I think the fear of theocracy is overblown – at least in the short run. We have far more to fear from the left and complicit Republicans than we do from theocrats. I see no evidence that America is becoming more religious. It seems like it is becoming more secular. This is upsetting the hard cored religious conservatives to no end.

  • Andrew Dalton

    “I see no evidence that America is becoming more religious. ”

    How about our increasingly Christian foreign policy?

    The problem with many of the debates among Objectivists regarding the dangers of religion is that there is often an implicit premise that either we’re headed for a Falwell/Robertson type of fundamentalist theocracy, or else religion is no threat at all.

    To me, the most distressing thing about our political climate is the degree of synergy between the Left and Right in shaping the direction of the government. In many areas such as foreign policy, the religionists give a veneer of alleged virtue (e.g., humility and self-sacrifice) to policies that the angry leftists can defend only through nihilistic hatred (e.g., anti-Americanism and cultural relativism).

    This is why I don’t think that there are any good options for voting in the foreseeable future. However, I do favor cutting down or reversing the Democrats’ majority in Congress in 2010, just to keep the branches of the government busy fighting one another.

  • Roger Theriault

    I don’t think we need an Objectivist in office before things start turning around. I think it’s sufficient, to start, to have an nationally elected official, from any party, freedom-loving enough to seek advice on policy decisions from an Objectivist. If I ever hear of that happening, I will breathe a great big sigh of relief, and then eagerly await a future with more and more freedom.

  • madmax

    Andrew,

    I don’t disagree with you but the question of the growth of religion is not an easy way as it is difficult to measure. For example, you link to the Just-War theory article. While it is true that that Christian influenced approach to war dominates the land, isn’t it the case that it has since been secularized and is now accepted uncritically on both Left and Right? Also, how is it to be explained that during the 1940s the US fought a von Klauswitzinian type war when the culture at that time was far more religious and traditionalist than now?

    It is a fascinating question to me which exerts a stronger influence on Western culture right now – traditional Judeo-Christianity or secular skepticism / materialism. I think that it is the skepticism / relativism drenched Left which has total dominion of the intellectual and political culture. Traditional style religion is playing catchup right now and one could argue it is losing ground as Leftist nihilism advances. This is not to say that religion might not come to total power when the Left finally collapses as we all know it must.

    I could be wrong about all of this so I am very welcome to any counter arguments.

  • Myrhaf

    I find this argument increasingly frustrating. For years Objectivists have been arguing over the future. Who is right? We won’t know until the future comes.

    Dr. Peikoff’s warning of theocracy could come in 20 years or maybe longer. No one knows. In the meantime, we have avowed Maoists in the White House working to reshape America in the image of their altruist-collectivist-statist ideals right now, not in the future.

    The Republicans could nominate someone unacceptable for president in 2012 such as Huckleberry. Or they might come up with someone better. We’ll see. After four years of Obama, a Palin or a Romney might look good.

  • Andrew Dalton

    “I don’t disagree with you but the question of the growth of religion is not an easy way as it is difficult to measure.”

    True! I just want to make sure that nobody dismisses it out of hand just because America isn’t turning into Bob Jones University writ large.

    “While it is true that that Christian influenced approach to war dominates the land, isn’t it the case that it has since been secularized and is now accepted uncritically on both Left and Right?”

    Yes. In other words, it is victorious. The foreign policy doctrines of the Catholic Church are now “common sense.”

    “Also, how is it to be explained that during the 1940s the US fought a von Klauswitzinian type war when the culture at that time was far more religious and traditionalist than now?”

    Christianity is a tough case in general, because the explicit doctrine supports pacifism, while the logic of faith — as with any other religion — sanctions force. (Islam is much easier to predict.) The medieval Crusaders were either compartmentalizing or following the logic of their epistemology.

    America is also a tough case, due to our mixture of religious and secular elements from the start. I’d say that we have become less religious in overt ways (public piety, morality laws, etc.) but have accepted more fundamental religious ideas (self doubt, sacrifice, collectivism) to a much deeper degree today than in earlier American history.

    Once pacifism appeared, Christian morality had no rebuttal, and in fact by the nature of its own ideas joined the cause. Even most “hawkish” conservatives today will not advocate a foreign policy of real self-interest.

    The same phenomenon happened about half a century earlier with capitalism versus the welfare state. I suspect that our semi-rational foreign policy survived longer simply because Americans never entertained the notion that matters of war should be made consistent with Christian mercy. But it was only a matter of time.

  • Andrew Dalton

    Myrhaf –

    Given that a total government takeover of health care is one of the issues at stake now, I don’t see Romney as a good choice. Maybe that will change if this awful bill gets passed before 2012 (i.e., damage already done), and if foreign policy comes to the fore again.

    Huckabee definitely is the worst option, a Christian populist.

    Palin might be harmless, although I wouldn’t have said that a year ago. My bar for “harmless” relative to this administration seems to get lower with each passing month.

  • madmax

    Andrew,

    Excellent points as usual.

    Myrhaf,

    I find the debate frustrating too. I raised the issue because Rachel’s statements in her first few posts assume that a theocracy is imminent, something which there is no evidence of and a great deal of evidence against. I don’t think Peikoff is wrong here, just that his time frame may be early. And you’re absolutely right about the Leftists in power now who threaten the Republic *today*. This is another reason why I am growing frustrated with Objectivists that are constantly worried about theocracy at some possible point in the future. Yes the Christians could kill us tomorrow, but the Leftists are ready to kill us today.

  • Rachel

    Not sure how my words can be interpreted as “Theocracy is imminent”. My premise is that it is *not* imminent but that religion is such a powerful threat that the short-term havoc wrecked by nihilist liberalism may not compare to the long-term suffering theists can impose.

    Think: physical damage (nihilist policies) vs spiritual damage (religious policies). Is millions dead tomorrow really worse than loss of the entire country in 50 years?