There’s a saying: You’ve got to be good to be lucky, and you’ve got to be lucky to be good.
When you’re good, certain things tend to fall into place. And then you attract some luck to make you even better.
The saying occurs to me as we behold the kaleidoscope of President Obama’s foreign policy failures.
He has, since nearly Day One, presented to the jackals that roam the world a stance of weakness: an over-solicitousness of our enemies; trust doled out to the untrustworthy; hesitancy to act; mixed and changing signals; headlong retreat to the exits from out military engagements; and half-hearted measures taken from a position of leading behind.
And Obama, not being good, has incurred bad and dangerous consequences. Which seem to be driving him away and making him worse.
Around the world, like predators sensing a weakness in the herd, our enemies are growing bolder. The respect the United States holds is no greater than it was under Jimmy Carter.
As Dan Henninger writes today in the Wall Street Journal, there were a series of events last week highlighting U.S. weakness and the Jimmy “Carterization” of Obama – that didn’t get the headlines of the more obvious ones in Eastern Europe:
The consequences of Mr. Obama’s Carterization overseas are coming so fast it’s hard to keep track. Ukraine, though important, is the tip of the iceberg. Here’s what else happened in the week Mr. Putin captured Crimea.
Israel on Wednesday intercepted in the Red Sea an Iranian shipment to Gaza of dozens of Syrian-made surface-to-surface rockets. These are our new Iranian negotiating partners.
North Korea last Thursday test-fired four short-range ballistic missiles and another this Monday. Then on Tuesday it deployed a new multiple-rocket launcher that fired four missiles with enough range to hit American and South Korean military bases near Seoul.
In Moscow last Wednesday,Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia plans to use military bases in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua for its navy and to refuel strategic bombers. Three months ago, Secretary Kerry ostentatiously announced in a Washington speech, “The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.” Naturally the Russians took this as a green light to return to one of the Soviet Union’s favorite playpens. The next day, a Russian spy ship, the Viktor Leonov SSV-175, slipped unannounced into Havana Harbor.
Then this Wednesday, a news bulletin: “China announces 12.2% increase in military budget.” That boost comes within 24 hours of the Obama budget proposing a decline in U.S. defense spending.
This is all in one week!
Not only is Obama lacking the iron needed to intimidate our enemies into not messing with us, he lacks the interest.
Where’s his head at? Well, yesterday he went on a fundraising spree, and he was slated to go on vacation tomorrow, again, though this may have to be cancelled.
I get that Obama is not suited to deal with these issues. But at least, he could try. Carter, for all his faults, was tireless, and seemed to really care.