November 8 2012
The World: Still a Dangerous Place
Most Americans didn’t regard foreign affairs as of paramount importance when they voted Tuesday. But it is in the arena of foreign policy that a president has the most latitude, and there are some alarming possibilities as a result of the outcome of Tuesday’s election.
The British journalist Melanie Phillips, author of the book Londonistan, wins the prize for pessimism (as is her wont) today in a column headlined “America Goes into the Darkness.” I wish I thought Phillips’ take overwrought, but I don’t:
With four more years of Obama in the White House, Iran can now be sure that it will be able to complete its infernal construction of a genocide bomb to use against the Jews and the west. World War Three has now come a lot closer….
A report last month that Obama was secretly negotiating with the Iranian regime took on an even more incendiary aspect a few days ago with a claim that these negotiations were being led by his close friend and adviser, Valerie Jarrett.
If Jarrett was indeed involved, that should strike a deep chill into anyone who has not joined the lemming-like leap over the edge of the western cliff. For Iranian-born Jarrett – who Obama has admitted he consults before he takes any decision and who has been said to act as his ‘spine’ -- is a far-leftist with roots deep in the corrupt Chicago Democratic machine. Indeed, Jarrett has been credited with originally smoothing Obama’s entry into Chicago’s political elite, and is now said to be – despite her background of incompetence and corruption -- the most influential person in his circle.
There have also been claims that she advised Obama against killing Osama bin Laden, which although unsubstantiated are all too credible. If this wholly ill-equipped and sinister individual really has been leading secret negotiations with Iran – raising the fear that far from preventing Iranian nuclear terrorism Obama intends to allow the regime a face saving compromise under cover of which it will finish building its nuclear weapon – then Obama’s perfidy against the west really is as bad as some of us feared from the start.
Where will the president go for his first trip overseas in his second term?
Michael Rubin has some interesting thoughts on this in a post on the Commentary blog:
Today, Frank Ricciardone, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, announced that Obama’s first trip of his second term will be to Turkey, a country which has witnessed under its increasingly Islamist government an unprecedented roll back of basic freedoms. The Turks are looking at Obama’s choice as an endorsement. They are probably right. On top of this, Ricciardone’s announcement comes right after Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he would soon travel to Gaza, in recognition and support of Hamas.
Oh, and don’t forget the Chinese, whose premier, Wen Jiabao, recently made an inscrutable “technical” stop on the island of Terceira, in the Azores. Greeted by Alamo Meneses, the regional secretary of environment and of the sea, the premier spent four hours touring the island. Odd, the Chinese usually don’t pay much attention to the Atlantic Ocean. Gordon Chang explains:
Terceira, however, has one big attraction for Beijing: Air Base No. 4. Better known as Lajes Field, the facility where Premier Wen’s 747 landed in June is jointly operated by the U.S. Air Force and its Portuguese counterpart. If China controlled the base, the Atlantic would no longer be secure. From the 10,865-foot runway on the northeast edge of the island, Chinese planes could patrol the northern and central portions of the Atlantic and thereby cut air and sea traffic between the U.S. and Europe. Beijing would also be able to deny access to the nearby Mediterranean Sea.
And China could target the American homeland. Lajes is less than 2,300 miles from New York, shorter than the distance between Pearl Harbor and Los Angeles.
Lajes is certainly the reason Wen went out of his way to win friends in Terceira. For years his country has been trying to make inroads into the Azores and waiting for opportunities to pounce. There is nothing the Chinese can do if the U.S. stays, but Pentagon budget cutters, according to some observers, are planning to make Lajes a “ghost base.”
Meanwhile, George Weigel has heard from European friends who don’t buy the newly-popular meme among conservatives that nothing has changed as a result of the election:
Europeans understood this, immediately, even if large swaths of the American punditocracy didn’t. One e-mail from Poland, the morning after the election, expressed real fear for the future (as well my correspondent might, given President Obama’s craven whisperings to Dimitry Medvedev that a reelected administration would pull the final plug on missile defense in Europe, as Vladimir Putin has long sought).
I have a friend who is what we call in the South a “yellow dog Democrat” (as in, “If the Democrats ran a yaller dog, I’d vote for it”). I hear that he was tempted to vote Republican this time but didn’t. He remarked to a mutual friend that he couldn't vote for a Republicans because they are always getting us into wars. Mitt Romney was, of course, terrified of being labeled a war monger. He isn't. But he did recognize that weakness and naivete often prove far more provocative than strength.