America’s Standing in World Reaches New Low
Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 16, 2013
Jeff Jacoby, a writer for The Boston Globe published a piece titled From the Iraqi pullout to the disaster in Syria, by this past weekend that tells the unfortunate tale of America’s standing in the world since the election of Barack Obama as president. Jacoby’s words require no clarification with his excerpt posted below.
As Jacoby points out, during his 2008 campaign for the presidency Obama had the audacity to stay: “One of the things I intend to do as president is restore America’s standing in the world.” As the saying goes; with friends like this who needs enemies.
From the Iraqi pullout to the disaster in Syria, by Jeff Jacoby, September 15, 2013 (Excerpt)
DEMOCRATS JEERED when John McCain told a New Hampshire audience during the 2008 presidential campaign that he would be glad to see US troops remain in Iraq for decades, even a century, once the war was over. “We’ve been in Japan for 60 years [and] in South Korea for 50 years,” he said. A similar long-term stay in a postwar Iraq, buttressing allies and providing stability in a volatile region, would “be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.”
McCain’s political foes had a field day with that. Though he had plainly been speaking of a friendly peacetime presence, Democrats hammered him as an insatiable warmonger. Then-Senator Barack Obama claimed the Arizona Republican was “willing to send our troops into another 100 years of war in Iraq.” Howard Dean, the Democratic Party chairman, declared: “McCain’s strategy is a war without end.” In a TV ad aired by MoveOn.org, a new mother, playing with her baby boy, told McCain that if he was counting on using her little Alex as cannon fodder in Iraq, “you can’t have him.”
Yet McCain was right. Having won a difficult war in Iraq, the United States should have settled in for the long haul, just as we did in Japan, Germany, Italy, and South Korea, where tens of thousands of American troops remain to this day. Instead President Obama pulled the troops out, as he had always made clear he would. Iraq’s fragile constitutional democracy, so hard-won, was left to fend for itself. Al Qaeda in Iraq, all but wiped out, gained a new lease on life. Now a new generation of Americans, including young Alex, is learning that the loss of US influence makes the world a more menacing place.
“One of the things I intend to do as president is restore America’s standing in the world,” Obama vowed as he pursued the presidency in 2008. Abandoning Iraq wasn’t the way to do it. America’s standing in the world has reached a new low. So low that even Bashar al-Assad can thumb his nose at an explicit presidential “red line” – then laugh as Vladimir Putin effortlessly suckers Washington into doing nothing about it. . . .