Sunday, August 01, 2010

Obama's Policies on Iran, Sudan Reprehensible

Ben Stein

In ancient Chinese custom, the kowtow was a bowing motion,
followed by a kneeling so low that the forehead touched the ground. It was done as a gesture of respect and subordination by lowly people to higher-ups, and especially by anyone to the emperor of China.

The word has been on my mind lately because of our president, Barack Hussein Obama, whom I have come to think of as “President Kowtow.”
Let’s start with this: The president has had much written lately about his “realpolitik” foreign policy. Supposedly, this is a policy that has no moral content, but only a realistic regard for strength and for what advances the American national interest.

There certainly are reasons to favor a “realpolitik” approach. Some say that was the reason for my old boss, Richard Nixon, to have opened relations with Red China, a morally reprehensible regime, but one of great importance to the goal of checking the Russians.

But President Obama’s policy is not Kissinger/Nixon genius. As far as I can tell, his policy is the kowtow to the most reprehensible and the kick in the teeth to the decent, without regard to whether it helps the United States of America or not.

For example, by any standard, Israel is our best friend in the region, as well as being by far the most morally advanced. The citizens of Israel of Arab descent who practice Islam have more political and civil rights than do the Muslim citizens of any Arab country. Obama, of course, humiliates Israel.

The anti-Israel states, Syria and Iran (Iranians are not Arabs), have been relentlessly hostile to the USA. They have directed terrorist attacks at the United States, including the horrific Beirut Marine base bombings in 1983. They are cruel dictatorships.

Likewise, the Palestinians have been unremittingly hostile to the United States, sponsoring terror against us and glorying in the 9/11 mass murders. So, naturally, President Obama kisses the behinds of the nations and people who hate Israel . . . and the USA.

I suspect I know why Mr. Obama does this: He has inhaled with his early political breath the hatred of Israel that comes from certain Chicago-based blacks like Minister Louis Farrakhan and Mr. Obama’s former preacher, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

From his first appearance on the national scene at the Democratic convention of 2004, Mr. Obama made it clear that his sympathies lay with the Palestinians and not with Israel. This policy has not changed despite the genuinely tragic fact that 80 percent of American Jews threw away their votes by voting for Obama over John McCain, a genuinely devout supporter of Israel.

A worse problem is Mr. Obama’s almost unimaginable refusal to do anything meaningful to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. (Let’s be fair: Mr. Bush was pitifully weak and unhelpful on this issue as well.) To allow Iran to get the nuclear bomb is to pass a death sentence on Israel. But this is what Mr. Obama is doing.

And when Iran has the bomb, it will not be long before Hezbollah has it, and not long after that when al-Qaida has it, and then, goodbye to happy days here in the USA.

This is not all. It’s bad enough, but it’s not all.

Every decent person on the planet knows that the government of Sudan is aiding and abetting genocide and mass rape in Darfur. Mr. Bush took a strong stand against it. Mr. Obama is doing the kowtow to the thugs who run Sudan.

Amazingly, it gets worse in an area where you would least expect it: environmentalism. The Obama administration has been the first administration to side with Japan in opposing a ban on hunting whales.

For the first time since whales became seriously endangered, the USA has sided with the bloody murderers of the most magnificent species on the earth. There is no good reason for this. It is just a habit of siding with the vicious that’s in play here.

A similarly horrible gambit is going on about elephants. For decades, the USA has been fighting to stop the global trade in ivory, which is killing elephants. But under Mr. Obama, we are siding with the nations that favor the trade in ivory — consigning untold elephants to a grisly death.

Why? It could be to appease certain horrible African dictators. It is all extremely discouraging. If we are to judge Mr. Obama’s attitudes about this country and about Israel by his actions, we come up with a deeply alarming portrait.

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