In March President Obama fired the U.S. commander in Afghanistan,
replaced him with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and announced "a
comprehensive new strategy."
"So it was a little startling to hear Mr. Obama suggest in several
televised interviews Sunday that he had second thoughts," the Washington
Post said in an editorial Tuesday.
"Until I'm satisfied we've got the right strategy, I'm not going to be
sending some young man or woman over there," the president told NBC's
Mr. Obama is waffling on Gen. McChrystal's urgent request for more
troops because Democrats worry that if he provides them, Mr. Obama may
meet the fate of Lyndon Johnson, whose ambitious domestic agenda was
overshadowed by the war in Vietnam.
But it's a more recent president Barack Obama more closely resembles.
On March 14, 1980, Kirk Scharfenberg of the Boston Globe wrote a mock
headline over an editorial the Globe was planning to run on a speech
President Jimmy Carter had made, planning to replace it with a serious
headline before publication.
To Mr. Scharfenberg's horror, the mock headline was inadvertently
printed in 161,000 copies. The headline was: "More Mush from the Wimp."
The headline resonated with millions of Americans because of Mr.
Carter's perceived weakness on foreign policy. Iranian militants were
holding Americans hostage in our embassy in Tehran, and Mr. Carter
didn't seem to be able to do anything about it. He said he was
surprised by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and he didn't seem to
be able to do anything about that, either.
The Carter administration, Henry Kissinger said, had achieved at one and
the same time "the worst relations with our allies, the worst relations
with our adversaries, and the most serious upheavals in the developing
world since the end of the Second World War."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) said in a radio interview last week Jimmy
Carter was the worst president in the 20th Century, perhaps ever. In
six months to a year, that may no longer be true.
The hallmarks of the Obama foreign policy have been craven and thus
far futile efforts to appease America's enemies, and callous
treatment of our allies.
The most recent outrage was the administration's unilateral abrogation
of treaties with Poland and the Czech Republic to put anti-ballistic
missiles (ABMs) and radars in their countries. The announcement of the
capitulation to Russian demands came, ironically, on the 70th
anniversary of the Soviet Union's invasion of Poland.
The ABMs were no threat to Russia. They were to guard Europe against
the threat of nuclear blackmail from Iran. Russian strongman Vladimir
Putin railed against them in part because he needs an external enemy to
divert Russian attention from deplorable economic conditions at home, in
part because he has dreams of reabsorbing Eastern Europe into a new
"The U.S. sold us to Russia and stabbed us in the back," said the Polish
newspaper Fakt in a front page editorial.
"An ally we rely on has betrayed us, and has exchanged us for its own,
better relations with Russia, of which we are rightly afraid," said the
Czech newspaper Hospodarske Novine.
President Obama received exactly nothing for selling out America's
friends in Eastern Europe. Russia continues to oppose sanctions on the
mullahs in Iran, to sell advanced weapons to them.
Nothing is also what the administration received from North Korea for
agreeing to North Korea's demand to scuttle the six party talks on North
Korea's nuclear program in favor of the direct talks the Norks have long
The hostile tone the Obama administration has taken toward Israel has
not made the Palestinians or the Saudis more willing to recognize the
right of Israel to exist. Peace in that region remains as chimerical as
"Regimes in Moscow, Pyongyang and Tehran simply pocket his concessions
and carry on as before," wrote Edward Lucas in the London Telegraph
Monday. "The picture emerging from the White House is a disturbing one,
of timidity, clumsiness and short-term calculation. Some say he is the
weakest president since Jimmy Carter."
In Afghanistan and elsewhere, we need decisive leadership. But all we
get is more mush from the wimp