John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Love and Respect

Posted on September 14, 2012

The Muslim world was supposed to love Barack Obama.

Obama supposedly understood Islam better than any Republican because his father was Muslim.  Obama had a more balanced view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He gave his first big international speech in Egypt, remember?

He constructed the strategy of leading from behind during the Arab Spring.  In fact, that is now the new Obama doctrine in Middle East politics.  Lead from behind.

Now granted, under Mr. Obama, the assassination policies of the United States have not deviated one iota from the Bush Administration.  In fact, President Obama has been pretty darn successful at killing terrorists, one at a time.

And that has its advantages, but not nearly as many as you might think.

Drone strikes strike fear and loathing and they are useful in taking out dangerous characters.  But they don't change minds or make people begin to like us.

Only consistent policies that reassure the local citizenry that we will be for them for the long-haul in providing security and a better way of life can change attitudes.  There is no evidence that the Obama policy of cut and run is working to provide that sense of security, especially in Afghanistan.

One of the worst jobs in the world is to be the number 2 guy in Al Qaeda.  It usually lasts only about three months and the job is terminated when you are terminated.

But despite the rather final nature of the position, Al Qaeda never seems to lack for finding replacements.

Obama was supposed to change all of that.  He was supposed to give Muslims a reason to love America.

Instead, he has given them plenty of reasons to not respect us.

Sure, he is taking credit for killing Osama Bin Laden.  But he has also given the Taliban and its allies a clearly broadcast exit date for our troops.  The Taliban expects us to leave soon, so they don’t respect our power.  They are just waiting for us to go so they can rush back into power.

In Iraq, because we left too early, thanks to Obama, the political institutions never had a chance to fully congeal.  That country is ready to collapse.

In Iran, they know Obama is doing everything in his power to keep the Israelis from attacking.  So, they continue to build their nuclear weapons as fast as they can with as much borrowed time as possible.

Obama undercut Mubarak in Egypt, and now the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization, is running the joint.

In Libya, as soon as Muammar Qaddafi become our ally, Obama threw him under the bus, and now we have complete chaos there, which of course gives Al Qaeda all kinds of opportunities to sow mischief.

By leading from behind, Mr. Obama has created uncertainty.  He thinks he is being clever, but as the drummer from Spinal Tap once said, there is a fine line between clever and stupid.   Things are getting stupid out there.

When a superpower doesn’t make it exactly clear what it is going to do in just about every situation, chaos ensues.   We are the only superpower in the world, and President Obama is our leader.

Do you have any idea what he will do if the Israelis decide to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities?  I don’t.

Mr. Obama may be loved in some quarters of the Islamic world, but it is hard to make the case that he is universally respected.

Leading from behind just doesn’t work.