Addison Gardner: Always Right
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Conservatives like Dick Cheney just don’t get it: It’s not that the president is “dithering” while Americans are dying in Afghanistan; it’s that the president has other “wars of necessity” to fight, simultaneously, and he can’t be everywhere at once.
Take, for instance, the president’s Cairo pledge, back in June, to help correct “under-investment” in Muslim nations. Last Friday Obama announced that the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation would commit between $25 million and $150 million to fund investment “throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa.”
This president is politically aware of the U.S.’s 10 percent unemployment rate, but he can’t resist the grand global gesture to under-funded Muslim entrepreneurs in Damascus and Tehran.
Then there’s the United Nations and nuclear disarmament: In a precedent-shattering lunge, Obama grabbed the U.N. Security Council gavel last month, denying Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, an assignment that befell her office. Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi was so mesmerized by the president’s magnetism that he embraced him as “my son,” and suggested that Americans make Obama “president for life.”
Obama has bigger ambitions.
With non-proliferation of nukes his stated goal, Obama’s first order of business was to table any discussion of Iran’s or North Korea’s nuclear programs, while simultaneously laying the groundwork for Secretary of State Clinton to host Russian inspections of American nuclear sites.
Don’t try to noodle out how this makes America stronger or safer: International diplomacy is above your pay grade.
There’s no point in antagonizing the Russians and Chinese by demanding Iranian sanctions, while we’re busily devaluing their dollars to pay for Congressman John Murtha’s empty airport.
As a U.N. chairman, Obama can’t fixate, narrowly, on defending America. Sometimes, as a global-minded Democrat, you’ve got to block the deployment of defensive missile systems in Alaska and Eastern Europe in order to achieve broader planetary goals – like, say, diverting defense dollars to fund the Edward M. Kennedy Educational Institute in Boston, or to build a new World War II museum at the University of New Orleans.
It’s all about “resetting” relations with Russia, and winning Moscow’s agreement to inspect our missile sites next spring.
Secretary of State Clinton summed up the Obama reset strategy best: “We want to ensure that every question that the Russian military or Russian government asks is answered; missile defense is another area for deep cooperation between our countries.”
In other national security news, Kathleen Sebelius testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee last week. Obama’s Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary apologized for the lag in production of H1N1 vaccine, while announcing to stunned senators that HHS will begin donating 10 percent of available vaccine to developing countries “… as soon as we have 40 million doses.”
HHS has ordered 250 million doses, so only 16 percent of eligible Americans will have been vaccinated, before the administration begins shipping vaccine to Africa.
Two days later – on Friday – President Obama declared H1N1 (aka “swine flu”) a “national emergency.” Health authorities pointed to 1,000 deaths, nationwide, including 100 children, and identified widespread flu infection in 48 states.
If you hold the narrow-minded, jingoistic view, you probably believe Americans should be vaccinated, first (since we paid for the vaccine), but that ignores the larger, planetary imperative, and it ignores President Obama’s commitment to “redistributive fairness.”
We’ve got to “level” Earth’s flu-mortality playing field.
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) channeled President Obama when he asked Sebelius, “Why should we be more entitled – the U.S. be more entitled – to that vaccine than some other country in the world?”
Questions like these keep liberals awake at night. Conservatives simply inoculate the next American in line.
If you want to be President of The Planet, you adopt international movements, and you eschew narrow national causes. You fly to Copenhagen to seek the Olympic Games in October, but you avoid trips to Berlin, Nov. 9, that celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Gratuitous support of freedom movements will win you no friends in Moscow or Tehran, and it damned sure won’t excite the committees who pass out Nobels, Pulitzers, and Oscars. Speaking of which, President – err, “Chairman” Obama – will be traveling to Oslo on Dec. 10 to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize.
His December trip won’t offend any tyrants, nor will it advance North American interests ahead of Europe’s, South America’s, Africa’s, Asia’s or Australia’s. And don’t imagine that Chairman Obama has overlooked those threatened penguins in Antarctica.
“He’s got the whole world in his hands.”
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