THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Volume X, Issue # 183, July 25, 2008
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor
Government Committed to & Acting in Accord with Conservative Principles
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BARACK OBAMA IN BERLIN
By Dr. Michael Rubin

AMERICA IN THE REAL WORLD:  NATIONAL LEADERSHIP & GRAND STRATEGY -- THE LIMITS OF RHETORIC, PUBLIC OPINION POLLS, DISARMAMENT, & MULTILATERALISM
FULL STORY:   Obama's words are inspirational, but, if anything will be learned from the Bush administration, it is that leadership must run deeper than rhetoric. Berlin's freedom was won with blood and treasure. It was secured neither with withdrawals nor unilateral disarmament.

Consistency matters. Barack Obama has yet to recognize that grand strategy cannot be as ephemeral as public opinion. Polls measure shortterm desires, not longterm wisdom. After the devastation of World War I, Britons wanted no more war. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich convinced he had fulfilled their wishes, but his diplomacy only emboldened his enemies. The American public punished Harry S. Truman for sending troops to die in Korea. Today, he is remembered as among the greatest U.S. Presidents, and deservedly so, as any juxtaposition between North and South Korea attests.

We must work with our allies, but we also must recognize that multilateralism comes with a price. Coalitions can dilute effectiveness. The European concept of multilateralism is Washington's obeisance to European positions. Western Europe exists in a bubble of stability and affluence, unable to fathom how dangerous extremist ideology in Tehran and Pyongyang can be. Multilateral organizations are not the answer; at best, they are ineffective soap boxes, at worst cesspools of venality. Rose petals and well-digging have never stopped bombs, racism, or genocide. A strong military has.

Obama says, "Let us remember this history." Let us hope he first learns it. Leadership is about more than rhetoric.


LINKS TO RELATED TOPICS:
American Politics & Political Competition:
Elections, PACs, & Political Parties

American Government & the U.S. Presidency:
Presidential Politics & National Leadership

The American Political System:
Politics & Government in the U.S.A.

International Politics & World Disorder:
War & Peace in the Real World

   Page Two    Page One

Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three    Page Two    Page One

American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East

U.S. National Security Strategy



Dr. Michael Rubin, a Ph.D. in History (Yale University) and a specialist in Middle Eastern politics, Islamic culture and Islamist ideology, is Editor of the Middle East Quarterly, a senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School, and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Dr Rubin is author of Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami's Iran (Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2001) and is co-author, with Dr. Patrick Clawson, of Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). Dr. Rubin served as political advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad (2003-2004); staff advisor on Iran and Iraq in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense (2002-2004); visiting lecturer in the Departments of History and International Relations at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2001-2002); visiting lecturer at the Universities of Sulaymani, Salahuddin, and Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan (2000-2001); Soref Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (1999-2000); and visiting lecturer in the Department of History at Yale University (1999-2000). He has been a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Leonard Davis Institute at Hebrew University, and the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.


The foregoing article by Dr. Rubin was originally published in the Washington Post, July 24, 2009, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis--vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (Article URL: http://www.meforum.org/article/1936)


Republished with Permission of the Middle East Forum
Reprinted from the Middle East Forum News
mefnews@meforum.org (MEF NEWS)
July 25, 2008




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THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

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Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor

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Conservative Government Ensures a Nation's Strength, Progress, & Prosperity