One of the lead AP stories this morning includes the statement by President Obama that the U.S. "is not and never will be at war with Islam." This is presented as some startling change in policy, never mind that President Bush bent over backwards to make the same point. Mona Charen notes some of the ways Bush reached out to Muslims http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NmZlOTc3OWViZWI3MzA0OWEwMzVmOGMxYWM4MDQ1NTQ=
"Bush made the Feast of Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan, an annual White House celebration with prominent Muslim guests. He arguably saved more Muslim lives through the African AIDS initiative than any other world leader could claim. Mrs. Bush made improving the lives of women and girls in Afghanistan her special project. In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, when this was not an obvious move, President Bush visited the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. to telegraph to the nation that anger toward American Muslims would be a misplaced response to the atrocity."
Meanwhile, Obama will continue carrying on another Bush policy (one not well advised) with nuclear wannabes Iran and North Korea. That being appeasement diplomacy, favoring carrots over sticks. In today's WSJ, John Bolton (again) excoriates this approach. He points out that yesterday's missile launch by North Korea was an unambiguous political success and will inevitably lead to material and political benefits for Kim Jong Il's regime. He notes that Iran, Israel, Russia and China are all watching Obama's response to the launch and will be emboldened to carry out their own agendas. Iran to continue to develop its nuclear program and threaten Israel (and the West) with annihilation. Israel, with new PM Benjamin Natanyahu warning that his country will defend itself if the global community fails to deter Iran. (Meaning a pre-emptive attack). Russia to reestablish it's lost empire. China to replace the U.S. and Japan as the dominant powers in Asia.
As I write this, I'm watching Obama on TV giving (yet another) speech. In this one he's calling the U.S. arrogant. It's like listening to fingernails scratching a chalkboard. What Obama calls arrogance is actually much needed global leadership. Whatever peace and stability there exists in the world today is due to our willingness to project our military power abroad. That willingness fills the void left by nations (I mean you, EU) abdicating their own responsibility to defend freedom and democracy. So we incur the costs of this defense while those nations use the money saved to support their crumbling welfare states. Such is the nature of our arrogance.
The world is full of dangerous nations and ideologies seeking to expand their power and influence. The only credible power to counterbalance these forces is the U.S. and we now have a President who believes in the mushy, why can't we all just live together approach to managing crises. This is an approach our adversaries don't subscribe to and engage in only to achieve their own ends.