President Obama on Wednesday delivered one of the most bellicose foreign policy speeches of his presidency.
Promising more, not less, US interventionism overseas, the president told the graduates of the US Military Academy at West Point:
[T]he question each of you will face, is not whether America will lead but how we will lead, not just to secure our peace and prosperity but also extend peace and prosperity around the globe.
Translation: US will continue to use force overseas to remake the world in the neocon and “humanitarian” interventionists’ image. But, considering the results of each and every intervention over the past 14 years, where is the “peace and prosperity” he promises. Afghanistan? Iraq? Libya? Syria? Ukraine? Mali?
Is anyone vacationing in a newly peaceful and prosperous Tripoli this summer?
He also turned to the offensive jingoism so familiar during the Bush years:
So the United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century past, and it will be true for the century to come.
But that means that all other nations are dispensable. Did his speechwriters not even consider how insulting that is to the rest of the world? If you are a “dispensable” nation, that means you can be dispensed with without moral qualm.
And more interventionism under cover of the NATO alliance:
NATO is the strongest alliance the world has ever known but we’re now working with NATO allies to meet new missions both within Europe, where our eastern allies must be reassured, but also beyond Europe’s borders, where our NATO allies must pull their weight to counterterrorism and respond to failed states and train a network of partners.
What the president would not dare to say is that NATO’s big mission in Libya literally unraveled as he spoke, with a CIA-affiliated former Libyan general bombing parts of the country and running the elected parliament out on a rail. Chaos, murder, and terrorism are the order of the day in Libya, thanks to NATO’s disastrous intervention.
But when in doubt, pour more good money after bad. The president announced the creation of
…a new counterterrorism partnerships fund of up to $5 billion…
…will step up our efforts to support Syria’s neighbors — Jordan and Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq — as they contend with refugees and confront terrorists working across Syria’s borders.
But those neighbors have been to a large degree facilitating the very terrorists they are now going to be paid to “contend with.”
As Antiwar.com’s Justin Raimondo points out in an excellent column today, every terrible problem that the president seeks to use more force to confront has been caused by his interventionism in the first place.
[E]every concrete example proffered by the President only underscores the degree to which the problems we supposedly face are of our own making. Those nukes wandering around the former Soviet Union wouldn’t be so footloose and fancy free if we got together with the Russians – who have even more of an interest in securing them – and rounded them up. Yet this isn’t happening because of the anti-Russian campaign that has been ongoing at least since the Bush administration and has been accelerated recently by the US-sponsored “revolution’ in Ukraine. And for this President to complain about the capacity of “battle-hardened” jihadists to come after us after arming and training these same folks in Syria defies reason.
But the president did manage to stumble on some truth in his speech. He admitted that Americans are not with him when it comes to his bellicose fantasy of indispensability, regime change, NATO, bombs, and remaking the rest of the world in his image:
Today, according to self-described realists, conflicts in Syria or Ukraine or the Central African Republic are not ours to solve. And not surprisingly, after costly wars and continuing challenges here at home, that view is shared by many Americans.
You could actually say it is shared by most Americans. As we discovered in yet another poll, taken last month, America is not with Obama when it comes to foreign policy. As the Wall Street Journal discovered, the percentage of Americans who want their government to be “less active” in world affairs has quadrupled over the past 13 years. Additionally, as the Washington Post reported, that feeling is shared more or less equally among political party membership:
The party breakdowns on the questions are even more revealing. Nearly half of all Democrats and Republicans (45 percent for each) say that the U.S. should be less active in world affairs. A whopping six in ten political independents feel that way.
Raimondo summarizes Obama’s loser of a speech:
Anyone who thinks this speech represents any significant change in an administration that has intervened as capriciously as its predecessor will be shocked and saddened by the news Obama is stepping on the gas in the Syrian civil war, determined to arm and give diplomatic support to mythical Syrian “moderates.” He’s still playing ball with Hillary Clinton: this was her big project, along with the Robespierre-like Samantha Power and the sinister tyrant-hugging Susan Rice.
Indeed, Obama is stepping on the gas of the interventionism express. But the American people are heading in the other direction, to the non-interventionism of Ron Paul and his Institute for (real) Peace and Prosperity, and to the other pro-peace organizations!