Don Roach: Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is Obama Diplomacy
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Obama’s foreign policy has all of the hallmarks of a bully and the hypocrisy that defines bullies. Obama can’t figure out what he wants to do or who he wants America to be. Countries are standing up to America and this administration hasn’t figured out how to act consistently across a number of situations.
America has always been the bully, but recently we’ve taken a few licks to the chin and we’re lost.
Don’s encounters with bullies
I’ll give you two stories from my formative years that fall into the category of things-you-didn’t-know-about-me-and-probably-didn’t-care-to-know to illustrate what I’m talking about.
The first story finds our hero, that’s me, a young kid of about ten. I was in the 5th grade and picked on mercilessly because I was a bit of awkward child, had a last name that reminded people of a bug or a narcotic, and worst of all, I had difficulty applying a comb to my bushy head. Every morning, as I waited outside my teacher’s classroom many kids would walk past me calling me all kinds of names such as “Napps”, “Roachman”, and “African bush boogie” amongst others.
I took this abuse – and it was abuse – pretty quietly. It didn’t stop until the school year ended. The following year many of the kids who had picked on me moved on to high school so the following years weren’t as bad (repeat, not as bad stressing “as”). But, the point is I was the perfect target because I didn’t fight back in any way.
Fast forward to 9th grade, I was entering high school with a serious chip on my shoulder. I didn’t want to be known as any of the names that dogged my experience in middle school. A little less awkward but still not the smooth operator I would become in college (you had to be there) I set out to make sure that if anyone tried to bully me I’d fight back and with as much force as possible.
I was determined not to be called “Roach” and towards the end of my freshman year a kid called me “Roach”. I snapped that he needed to apologize for calling me by last name. He didn’t. I challenged him to a fight at the end of the week. He accepted. I went to the fight with a baseball bat praying to beat the kid up so that my “rep” would be established as someone you couldn’t bully. I didn’t really care about losing the fight but I was committed to do one thing – inform the rest of the school that Don Roach wasn’t the same patsy he was in elementary school. The result? The kid didn’t show but I had begun the process of leaving my punching bag elementary school reputation behind.
We’re lost because we can’t bully the world anymore.
These stories came to mind when reading about the Obama administration’s “pressure” on Russia to send Edward Snowden, the man who likes to tell our dirty little secrets, back to America. Russia isn’t “Roachman” by any stretch and rebuffed the President’s calls to release Snowden. Did Obama respond with vitriol? Nope. Instead he said, “It is probably appropriate for us to take a pause, reassess where it is that Russia is going, what our foreign interests are and calibrate the relationship.”
Huh? Even “Roachman” wouldn’t have been afraid to address our President.
And what about the Obama administration’s handling of the coup – yes, I called it a coup – in Egypt?? Where was the outrage? Just a few days ago, Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated “We’ve concluded that it is not in the best interests of the United States to reach a determination on a coup.” Really? Click this link for the definition of a coup. It’s basically the sudden removal of a nation’s government by some faction, usually the military.
What we have in Egypt is the overthrowing of the democratically elected government by, guess who, the military. If you’re wondering why we aren’t calling the events that have occurred in Egypt a “coup” it’s due to the fact that if we call it a coup we have to stop providing aide to the party that pulled off the coup.
What does America stand for within the international political context?
I cite these stories to show that we no longer have such a big stick and we’re not getting our way as we may have been able to in the past. This is for a number of reasons but we haven’t adapted. We’re mostly bluster and no substance except when we take on pipsqueaks. We talk out of both sides of our mouths, changing protocol depending on the situation in order to fit what we want or our “best interests” as Earnest would have us believe.
Let me simplify by asking you this – do you feel confident that you know what we stand for on the foreign stage? If you have confidence take some time in the comment section to inspire some in the rest of us because I don’t have a clue what America wishes to be on the world stage. Are we the policemen hunting down Osama bin Laden but essentially ignoring other atrocities (hello, Benghazi)? Are we moving towards a more “live and let live” approach?
I don’t have a clue and from how the Obama administration executes their foreign policy aims it seems they don’t either. Just like me in 9th grade, the bullied have shown up with their baseball bats willing to fight – win or lose. And just like the bully I faced, will the Obama administration show up, or decide that this isn’t a fight worth fighting?
Don Roach can be reached at email@example.com. He still likes to stand up to bullies.
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