President Obama’s State of the Union speech focused mainly on minor proposals and second-tier issues like college tuition tax credits and the like. The president, fresh from his “outreach” to Iran, doesn’t seem to understand that he’s engaged in his very own Cold War, and that’s where his attention must lie.
The enemy in Obama’s Cold War is not Communism, but Islamism. And Obama’s misunderstanding of the enemy’s intentions – the destruction of the West – threatens to sink his presidency in the same way Jimmy Carter’s misunderstanding of Russia and miscalculation on Iran sunk his.
Carter thought the Soviets, who sought no less than world dominiation, could be reasoned with, and was shocked when the country invaded Afghanistan. Obama was naive in his outreach to Iran, whose leadership will not rest until Western culture is destroyed and supplanted, and he must be similarly shocked that his outstretched hand has been spit on.
Today, Islamists are eying all sorts of exciting opportunities, and Obama must draw his attention from boutique “investments” in America’s future that he spent most of his State of the Union wallowing in and turn his gaze toward the nation’s survival.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the fall of Iran to the Aytoallah’s are among the most significant foreign policy events – and failures – of the last half century, because they both played a critical role in launching the wave of Islamic radicalism we face today.
Like all extremist insurgencies, from the Bolsheviks in 1917 to the Nazis in 1933, Islamists are lying in wait, willing to abide by the prevailing, civil rules of play before emerging to brutally assert themselves and seize control.
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is carefully avoiding taking a prominent role in the alliance opposing Mubarak, knowing that to do so risks alienating the broad segment of Egyptians who oppose it. It will seek to join a coalition government, and then start dominating and eventually killing off its partners.
In Tunisia, the long exiled Islamist leader has just returned to a triumphant welcome. He’s claiming to be a moderate. That’s to be expected. In Lebanon, Hezbollah is completing its takeover of he government.
A sweep into power across the Middle East of Islamists backed by Iran’s Mullahs is not yet assured. It is Obama’s mission to fight his Cold War, and prevent it from happening.
But from the early outreach to Iran to the unwillingness to meet the military’s request for troops in Afghanistan, there’s little evidence he has the stomach for the fight or even the understanding he needs to do it.
Hopefully he does, because the battle is enjoined now, and will not wait until 2012.
There’s a great piece in the Wall Street Journal today by Paul Kengor, author of the marvelous book “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.” He writes of Washington’s shock when Reagan, during his first press conference, casually confided that the Soviets were as bad as THEY said they were.
Reagan calmly explained that the Soviet leadership had “openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is what will further their cause, meaning they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat.”
Reagan continued, explaining that the Soviets considered their relativistic behavior “moral, not immoral.” This was something that the United States needed to “keep . . . in mind” when doing “business” with Moscow.
American voters outside the Beltway were not shocked. They put Reagan in office for a reason.
If Obama fails to understand, confront and abate the evil that we now face, Americans will replace him with someone who gets it, just like they did Carter.