Last time I checked this was still America, but if I'm being honest, that was a while ago...The Onion
We can point to a large number of foreign policy failures by this administration (and I will shortly) but Obama's failure to send a high-level representative to Paris leads the list and perhaps the most disturbing.
As I've written earlier this week, this was one of the few moments in geopolitical history when symbolism and substance actually merged. And by Obama's failure to have the United States of America absent from such an important event is not only disastrous for his administration but one can argue for the nation as well.
That was the "icing on the cake" in my opinion. Let's take a closer look at the cake.
- Leading up to the 2012 Presidential Election, the administration proclaimed over and over again that al-Qaeda was on the run. At campaign rallies, Joe Biden repeated endlessly, "Bin Laden is dead. GM is alive." To some degree, Obama and Biden were right. Al-Qaeda was on the run---running roughshod all over the globe.
- The Obama administration backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The administration and his enablers in the media declared an "Arab Spring." We now know that was a myth, a fabrication, a failure.
- Add Syria to the big foreign policy fail. Yes, Obama drew a "red line," but then he erased it.
- Iran keeps moving ahead with its own uranium enrichment capabilities as is N. Korea. To be fair, the Carter and Clinton administrations fared no better with both of these threats.
- We watched as Obama's geopolitical weakness invited thugs like Putin to rattle their sabres in Crimea and elsewhere. Recall Hillary Clinton's attempt to "reset" our relationship with Russia. Another failure.
- It was just last October when Pres. Obama himself admitted the U.S. did not have a strategy to deal with the rise of ISIS. We've seen the outcome of that failure over and over again leading to the beheading of Western journalists and the spread of ISIS throughout Iraq and Syria.
- We've watched as a long relationship with one of our staunchest allies---Israel--be shredded to pieces in the last six years.
- John F. Kerry's numerous global road trips have generally ended in failure. Last July, even the left-of-center NY Daily News reported Kerry was the only Secretary of State to fail in getting combatants on either side of the Palestinian/Israeli to agree to a ceasefire n more than 20 years. He's the same U.S. representative to demean American exceptionalism when he admitted he gets a "little uptight when I hear politicians say how exceptional we are." But then again, this is the same guy who demeaned an entire generation of Vietnam Veterans.
And while there have been countless other examples of this administration's foreign policy failures, one fact is becoming increasingly conspicuous: our nation's foreign policy is in shambles.
America is not only facing an enemy of homicidal maniacs but the challenges in dealing with Russia, China, N. Korea, the Middle East and cyber-terrorism will continue. To borrow a phrase from the U.S. Navy, we have an administration that does not understand that America must not only to be a global force for good---it needs to be a bad ass global force for good. Right now, America looks weak especially to our enemies.
If any event showed how "leading from behind" can damage the reputation of a great nation such as ours, it was our absence in Paris last week. The damage caused by that absence could last decades unless we get strong leadership in Washington.