The Post-American President

As President Obama takes his victory lap abroad, the cheerleading media line up to shake their pompoms. The Huffington Post says “this is what real diplomacy looks like.” Slate calls it “the return of statecraft.” Here’s another way to describe it: dhimmitude, the demeaned and subordinate status of non-Muslims under Muslim rule.

Did you miss our President’s servile bow before the Saudi King in London? If you blinked you did, because the mainstream media have virtually ignored this significant gesture. The left, of course, on the rare occasion that they even acknowledge the incident, dismiss the bow as a stumble, a search for a dropped contact lens, a sudden bout of abdominal pain, anything but what it unmistakably was … a full-on deferential dip to the ruler of another country. And not just any country, but the home of the most active disseminators of the fundamentalist ideology that seeks our destruction. The left always got a big, derisive (as Obama might say) laugh out of George W. Bush’s hand-holding with the Saudi sheikhs, but while that may have been a distasteful gesture, at least it was not a subservient one.

Imagine how this symbolic obeisance will play out in the Arab media, which already feed distortions and ludicrous anti-American and anti-Jewish conspiracy theories to the Muslim world day and night (remember, it was media giant al-Jazeera, an organ of anti-Western disinformation that serves essentially the same function as the New York Times here, that promoted the insane but persistent rumor that all the Jews at the World Trade Center were secretly warned to stay home on the morning of 9/11). The American president bowed to a Muslim – this will confirm for Islamists everywhere that Islam is superior to the West, that America does not have the pride or resolve to oppose the Islamist tide, and that the Great Satan’s days are numbered.

The bow could not have been accidental. It is surely part of Obama’s determination to show the Muslim world R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and to compel our enemies to “like us” (I’ve written about this before on Big Hollywood). He believes that if we respectfully explain to the enemy that we’re not the enemy, then our enemy will stop trying to kill us. I’m no Victor Davis Hanson, but I’m pretty sure that that wartime strategy has never worked in the history of mankind.

“We will convey,” said Obama to the Turkish Parliament, “our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world – including in my own country.” Oh, it’s definitely done much to shape the world, and it certainly reshaped the New York City skyline, but somehow I doubt that Obama meant this as ironically as I do. (Scholar Robert Spencer demolishes the President’s strange claim here.)

Mark my words, it won’t be long before Obama refers to our “Judeo-Christian-Muslim heritage.” In his first interview as President, on the al-Arabiya network, Obama described America as “a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers. . .” Of course, he was addressing an Arab/Muslim audience at the time, but this was nevertheless a curious and revealing ordering of this list. It leads off with Muslims, who constitute barely over half of one percentage point of the U.S. population; then Jews, who are nearly three times more populous here than Muslims; then Christians, who in the broadest definition constitute over 75% of Americans; and finally non-believers. By listing Muslims first, the President endowed them with a demographic significance vastly out of proportion with reality (at least in the U.S.; Europe is another story) – which is exactly the kind of high profile the Islamists want for Islam in America.

But back to Turkey. Obama stressed that we are not at war with Islam (suggesting that this is somehow a different attitude from his predecessor; but Bush never wasted an opportunity to remind the world that Islam is “a religion of peace”). Why is it incumbent only on America and our allies to ease Muslim concerns? The issue is not that we are at war with Islam, but that radical Islam is at war with us – so why are there no Muslim world leaders publicly reassuring us that Islam is not at war with the West? Instead, in return what we get is Prime Minister Recep Erdogan of the supposedly moderate Turkey, who has said “there is no moderate Islam,” who told Turkish immigrants in Europe that “assimiliation is a crime against humanity,” and who stormed out of the Davos conference recently after lambasting Israel’s president over Gaza, making Erdogan a hero among militant Muslims.

But Obama didn’t go bowing and scraping only to the Muslim world. To Europe he reaffirmed his commitment to emasculate America into a European nation. Apologizing to the French, no less, for our arrogance and our derisiveness (pause for a moment to consider the mind-bending irony of that concept), he said, “In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world.” Wrong, Mr. President, it is you who has a failure to appreciate America’s leading role in the world. It is you who is not projecting American strength and will and power. It is you who are conveying to the world that we are now ready to abandon American exceptionalism and embrace a new “global regime” in a post-American world.

“America is a critical actor and leader on the world stage, and we shouldn’t be embarrassed about that,” he said in London. Excuse me, but the only ones “embarrassed” about American power, American sovereignty, American success, and American leadership are socialist trans-nationalists like Obama. No wonder he is the president of Michael Moore’s wet dreams (sorry for that image).

Wait, there’s more: “We exercise our leadership best when we are listening, when we recognize the world is a complicated place and that we are going to have to act in partnership with other countries, when we lead by example, when we show some element of humility and recognize we may not always have the best answer.”

Pardon me while I vomit. We exercise our leadership best when we are listening? Obama has now gone from believing that talk will solve everything, to believing that listening will solve everything. The only more passive step remaining is for America to stretch out like a doormat and let the rest of the world goosestep over us as they march toward the rosy post-American dawn.

When have we not recognized that the world is complicated? When have we not acted in partnership with other countries? Even in Afghanistan and Iraq, often considered the height of our so-called “arrogance,” we never acted alone. But working with partners does not mean that our partners get equal say. Why should American decisions and actions be dependent on the approval of Spain, for example, a country that caved in to terrorism at light speed after the ghastly Madrid train bombing in 2003, and which is now seeking to prosecute American leaders for war crimes?

In the picture above, our president is clutching – also not accidentally – Fareed Zakaria’s book The Post-American World, which posits that American preeminence is giving way to a gaggle of competing new superpowers. Zakaria himself said of Obama’s overseas tour: “For America to continue to lead the world, we will have to first join it” – a clever, cutesy soundbite that is as logical as a Zen koan. What he’s getting at, and what Obama seems to be actively pursuing, is that America must cease being America and become just another actor in an ensemble cast. This is a prescription for national suicide and international disaster, not global utopia. Maybe instead, as Mark Steyn said in America Alone, the rest of the world should join America.


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