For a long time I have been trying to figure out what the “Obama doctrine” would look like. The Jerusalem Post’s Michael Wilner was grappling with the same thing and came up with a few snippets.
The Obama Doctrine: Right is might
“Some things are more important than partisan differences,” Obama said from the White House. “Now is the time to show the world that America keeps its commitments.”
Commenting briefly and unscripted from the White House on Friday, Obama repeatedly mentioned that the murderer of “innocent children” must not go unpunished.
“This is our first task— caring for our children. It’s our first job,” Obama said last December in Newtown, Connecticut, after the mass shooting of twenty school children. “If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.”
In the fifth year of his presidency, we now have a foreign policy doctrine from Obama: that principled decisions, driven by fundamental good and contrasted by stark and evident evil, serve to reinforce the core national security interests of the United States, even when crippled by practical difficulties.
“Right makes might,” he said Saturday on Syria, from the Rose Garden, “not the other way around.”
“Fatigue does not absolve us of our responsibility,” Secretary John Kerry said from the State Department on Friday. “It is profoundly about who we are.”
Perhaps that, to Obama, is another core governing principle in American foreign policy: that partisanship should end at the water’s edge.
After moving warships and shouting threats, inaction could deliver a steep cost to American credibility around the world. The question Obama wants answered is whether America will adopt the Obama Doctrine: that right is might, and justifies the use of force.
This was the best possible viewpoint the reporter could muster regarding the Obama doctrine.
My take on the Obama doctrine is more: On the one hand…On the other hand.
On the one hand Obama will negotiate with all world leaders without preconditions
On the other hand he will not meet with Putin, goes to Sweden instead.
On the one hand action against Syria is of utmost urgency.
On the other hand there is no need to call in congress early. Take your time.
On the one hand the murderer of “innocent children” must not go unpunished.
On the other hand, if a baby survives an abortion attempt, it is o.k. to let the baby die if the original intent was to abort.
On the one hand, drone strikes are good, even if there are collateral deaths of innocent children.
On the other hand, guns are bad, since the wrong use of them could kill innocents.
On the one hand we will do no military action without the consent of U.N. or at least our allies.
On the other hand we must intervene without international buy-in.
I could go on with rich vs. poor, Muslims vs. Christians, white vs. black, etc. but I refrain.
This is my best take on the Obama doctrine.
Contrast this with the Palin doctrine: A five Point approach to Foreign Policy, presented by Governor Sarah Palin Aug. 27 in a speech at Colorado Christian University
First, we should only commit our forces when clear and vital American interests are at stake. Period.
Second, if we have to fight, we fight to win. To do that, we use overwhelming force. We only send our troops into war with the objective to defeat the enemy as quickly as possible. We do not stretch out our military with open-ended and ill-defined missions. Nation building is a nice idea in theory, but it is not the main purpose of our armed forces. We use our military to win wars.
And third, we must have clearly defined goals and objectives before sending troops into harm’s way. If you can’t explain the mission to the American people clearly and concisely, then our sons and daughters should not be sent into battle. Period.
Fourth, American soldiers must never be put under foreign command. We will fight side by side with our allies, but American soldiers must remain under the care and the command of American officers.
Fifth, sending in our armed forces should be the last resort. We don’t go looking for dragons to slay. However, we will encourage the forces of freedom around the world who are sincerely fighting for the empowerment of the individual. When it makes sense, when it’s appropriate, we will provide them with material support to help them win their own freedom.