It certainly seems Obama is a pragmatist, given how he careens from crisis to crisis. Yet, there is an internal consistency to his positions — all of them hard Left — that suggests there is indeed a driving "ideology" behind them.
In foreign policy, it's simply Obama trying to be "a realist," an extremely unrealistic position and a form of pragmatism that the Left always invokes whenever it wants to rationalize not taking a principled stand for justice.
Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post eviscerates this claim to "realism" with ease. She shows just how often Obama in fact ignores reality to pursue his foreign policy ideology, just as he does domestically.
After paying lip service to the Iranian dissidents, Rice and Axelrod quickly cut to the chase. The Obama administration does not care about the Iranian people or their struggle with the theocratic totalitarians who repress them. Whether Iran is an Islamic revolutionary state dedicated to the overthrow of the world order or a liberal democracy dedicated to strengthening it, is none of the administration's business.That ideology also leads inevitably to hypocrisy. Here's more evidence, if any were needed that, despite his claims, Obama is not at all interested in remaining neutral in order not to be seen meddling in the internal affairs of "sovereign states."
Obama's emissaries wouldn't even admit that after stealing the election and killing hundreds of its own citizens, the regime is illegitimate. As Rice put it, "Legitimacy obviously is in the eyes of the people. And obviously the government's legitimacy has been called into question by the protests in the streets. But that's not the critical issue in terms of our dealings with Iran."
No, whether an America-hating regime is legitimate or not is completely insignificant to the White House. All the Obama administration wants to do is go back to its plan to appease the mullahs into reaching an agreement about their nuclear aspirations. And for some yet-to-be-explained reason, Obama and his associates believe they can make this regime -- which as recently as Friday called for the mass murder of its own citizens, and as recently as Saturday blamed the US for the Iranian people's decision to rise up against the mullahs -- reach such an agreement.
IN STAKING out a seemingly hard-nosed, unsentimental position on Iran, Obama and his advisers would have us believe that unlike their predecessors, they are foreign policy "realists." Unlike Jimmy Carter, who supported the America-hating mullahs against the America-supporting shah 30 years ago in the name of his moralistic post-Vietnam War aversion to American exceptionalism, Obama supports the America-hating mullahs against the America-supporting freedom protesters because all he cares about are "real" American interests.
So too, unlike George W. Bush, who openly supported Iran's pro-American democratic dissidents against the mullahs due to his belief that the advance of freedom in Iran and throughout the world promoted US national interests, Obama supports the anti-American mullahs who butcher these dissidents in the streets and abduct and imprison them by the thousands due to his "hard-nosed" belief that doing so will pave the way for a meeting of the minds with their oppressors.
Yet Obama's policy is anything but realistic. By refusing to support the dissidents, he is not demonstrating that he is a realist. He is showing that he is immune to reality. He is so committed to appeasing the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ali Khamenei that he is incapable of responding to actual events, or even of taking them into account for anything other than fleeting media appearances meant to neutralize his critics.
Rice and Axelrod demonstrated the administration's determination to eschew reality when they proclaimed that Ahmadinejad's "reelection" is immaterial. As they see it, appeasement isn't dead since it is Khamenei - whom they deferentially refer to as "the supreme leader" - who sets Iran's foreign policy.
While Khamenei is unarguably the decision maker on foreign policy, his behavior since June 12 has shown that he is no moderate. Indeed, as his post-election Friday "sermon" 10 days ago demonstrated, he is a paranoid, delusional America-bashing tyrant. In that speech he called Americans "morons" and accused them of being the worst human-rights violators in the world, in part because of the Clinton administration's raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas in 1993.
Perhaps what is most significant about Obama's decision to side with anti-American tyrants against pro-American democrats in Iran is that it is utterly consistent with his policies throughout the world. From Latin America to Asia to the Middle East and beyond, after six months of the Obama administration it is clear that in its pursuit of good ties with America's adversaries at the expense of America's allies, it will not allow actual events to influence its "hard-nosed" judgments.
TAKE THE ADMINISTRATION'S response to the Honduran military coup on Sunday. While the term "military coup" has a lousy ring to it, the Honduran military ejected president Manuel Zelaya from office after he ignored a Supreme Court ruling backed by the Honduran Congress which barred him from holding a referendum this week that would have empowered him to endanger democracy.
Taking a page out of his mentor Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez's playbook, Zelaya acted in contempt of his country's democratic institutions to move forward with his plan to empower himself to serve another term in office. To push forward with his illegal goal, Zelaya fired the army's chief of staff. And so, in an apparent bid to prevent Honduras from going the way of Daniel Ortega's Nicaragua and becoming yet another anti-American Venezuelan satellite, the military - backed by Congress and the Supreme Court - ejected Zelaya from office.
And how did Obama respond? By seemingly siding with Zelaya against the democratic forces in Honduras who are fighting him. Obama said in a written statement: "I am deeply concerned by reports coming out of Honduras regarding the detention and expulsion of president Mel Zelaya."
His apparent decision to side with an anti-American would-be dictator is unfortunately par for the course. As South and Central America come increasingly under the control of far-left America-hating dictators, as in Iran, Obama and his team have abandoned democratic dissidents in the hope of currying favor with anti-American thugs. As Mary Anastasia O'Grady has documented in *The Wall Street Journal*, Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have refused to say a word about democracy promotion in Latin America.
Rather than speak of liberties and freedoms, Clinton and Obama have waxed poetic about social justice and diminishing the gaps between rich and poor. In a recent interview with the El Salvadoran media, Clinton said, "Some might say President Obama is left-of-center. And of course that means we are going to work well with countries that share our commitment to improving and enhancing the human potential."
But not, apparently, enhancing human freedoms.
FROM IRAN to Venezuela to Cuba, from Myanmar to North Korea to China, from Sudan to Afghanistan to Iraq to Russia to Syria to Saudi Arabia, the Obama administration has systematically taken human rights and democracy promotion off America's agenda. In their place, it has advocated "improving America's image," multilateralism and a moral relativism that either sees no distinction between dictators and their victims or deems the distinctions immaterial to the advancement of US interests.
Here, Andy McCarthy (the man who successfully prosecuted the Blind Sheik and others for the '93 World Trade Center bombing) rips the facade cleanly off the Potemkin President.
Now that the president has decided it's okay to meddle in Honduras (where they are fighting to keep preserve their democracy against the Chávez-style thug who Obama wants to re-install) but not Iran (where thousands of Iranians who seek democracy are being killed, maimed and jailed by a regime which has been at war with the United States for 30 years), the president's tack is to say that Honduras's action in removing Zelaya is "not legal."This episode has a parallel with the Sotomayer-Ricci case, in showing the continuing hypocrisy of the Left, starting at the top. If a 'right-wing' judge were to show the kind of racial bias that Sotomayer brags about he/she would be dismissed in an instant as disqualified to sit on the Supreme Court. Instead, we have Jesse Jackson and his ilk proclaiming that the Court "ignores the greater good."
What on earth makes Obama think he knows better about what is legal under the law of Honduras than the Supreme Court of Honduras and the law-writing legislature of Honduras? The Honduran military acted after Zelaya defied an order by that nation's highest court which pronounced his coup attempt illegal; he has been replaced under a Honduran legal process by that nation's Congress, which essentially impeached him and democratically voted in a successor. That sounds pretty legal to me. I am the first to admit I am not an expert in Honduran law, but I'd bet the Honduran Supreme Court has a better grasp on it than President Obama. On the issue of what is legal in Honduras, as between Hugo Chávez and the Honduran Supreme Court, our president has decided to go with Chávez.
Secondly, as IBD notes, the Obama administration is now "threatening to halt its $200 million in U.S. aid, immigration accords and a free-trade treaty if it doesn't put the criminal Zelaya back into office." Can someone explain to me how it is that Obama is willingly giving $900M to Hamastan (i.e., the jihadist-controlled Gaza strip) but would pull back a comparative pittance of aid in order to penalize a poor country in our own hemisphere for trying to preserve its democracy against a would-be left-wing dictator?
None of this should be surprising by now. As a Progressive, it's inevitable that Obama and crew will be inconsistent on details because no form of Fascism can be consistently applied. As a political philosophy at odds with human nature, at odds with the need of individuals for liberty, the Progressive has to distort or ignore facts in the pursuit of some immediate goal, one that will only result in more destruction down the road. Yet, because that 'ideology' is as rigidly held by Obama as any other radical Leftist, he will always come down on the wrong side of reality, reason, and justice.