Posts Tagged ‘Kim Jong Il’

International Scholar Ajami Explains How Obama Is Failing Re: Iran

June 23, 2009

There is no question that Barack Obama has been widely criticized for offering weak statements on a developing Iranian situation with demonstrators literally risking death to protest what they view as a

While women are being gunned down in the streets, Obama has said he doesn’t want to “meddle” in Iran.  While such women and hundreds of thousands of others are demonstrating and even dying for their vote of Mousavi to be counted against the man whom the Iranian mullahs put in power (Ahmadinejad), Obama has publicly claimed that there is no difference between the two.  And while the Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a progressively harsher and more lethal crackdown on his people, Barack Obama has taken the Ayatollah’s side, claiming:

President Barack Obama says he believes supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has deep concerns about the civil unrest that has followed the hotly contested presidential election there.

Obama repeated Tuesday at a news conference his “deep ir own, concerns” about the disputed balloting. He said he believes the ayatollah’s decision to order an investigation “indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns.”

The Iranian Ayatollah really isn’t that bad of a guy.  You heard it from Barack Hussein first.

It’s not a question as to whether Obama has been tepid in his response to the mass demonstrations in Iran; it is OBVIOUS he has been tepid.  To date, he has delivered three statements on Iran — having been forced to make the third, somewhat more strongly-worded statement, as a result of Congress’ display of unity in its resolve to stand with the Iranian people.  His first statement delivered on June 15 was simply pathetically weak.  Pure and simple.   And even the French and the Germans have shown more moral backbone and more moral indignation than Barack Obama.

When a French president displays moral outrage, while an American president displays political appeasement, it is more than a shame: it is an absolute abdication of leadership.  And, even worse, when an American president is behind Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in exhibiting moral courage, it is truly a sign of the last pathetic gasps of a fading republic.

No, the question isn’t whether Obama is being tepid; it’s merely a matter of asking why he is being so incredibly tepid.

The reason, from all accounts, is that Obama (cynically if realistically) expects the Iranian leadership to prevail in this current struggle, and he doesn’t want to antagonize the Iranian regime in a way that might undermine his subsequent efforts at the direct negotiations he campaigned on.  That, and he doesn’t want to be accused by the Iranians of “meddling” when that has already been proven absurd: the Iranians have ALREADY accused us of meddling whether we have been or not.

I would argue that Ronald Reagan’s “meddling” when he called the Soviet Union “an evil empire” and when he  said, “Mr. Gorbachev: tear down this wall!” are what is in order.  It isn’t “meddling” to call a spade a spade.  It is hardly “meddling” to decry in the strongest of terms the absence of liberty and freedom in support of a demonstrating people who clearly yearn for them.

We can never know what would have happened had we only done something that we were too timid to do.  It is right to stand with the Iranian people against an evil and unjust system; it is wrong to cynically play realpolitic in the faint hope of having that same evil and unjust system offer a diplomatic bone down the road.

But, getting back to the main point, are Obama’s concerns that he might undermine future negotiations with Iran valid?

I would argue that Obama’s whole project of attaining success through diplomacy with Iran was a fool’s project to begin with.  We are talking about a regime that has based itself for over 30 years on conflict with and opposition to “the Great Satan”, America.

At no time during the Obama presidency have they demonstrated any willingness to cease their efforts toward nuclear weapons.  They simply have no reason to do so.  And there is virtually no reason to believe that Barack Obama will be able to give them one.

By any realistic expectation, Obama’s policy of diplomacy and negotiation with Iran has ALREADY FAILED, as even the New York Times recognizes.  There is nothing left in terms of hopes of future negotiation breakthroughs to hope for.  If nothing else, how is Obama going to personally meet with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or the Ayatollah Khamenei, when the fundamental legitimacy of their government is in such open question?

An insightful article by one of the premier experts on Iran offers insights on precisely how and even why Barack Obama has failed on Iran:

JUNE 22, 2009

Obama’s Persian Tutorial: The president has to choose between the regime and the people in the streets.

By FOUAD AJAMI

President Barack Obama did not “lose” Iran. This is not a Jimmy Carter moment. But the foreign-policy education of America’s 44th president has just begun. Hitherto, he had been cavalier about other lands, he had trusted in his own biography as a bridge to distant peoples, he had believed he could talk rogues and ideologues out of deeply held beliefs. His predecessor had drawn lines in the sand. He would look past them.

Thus a man who had been uneasy with his middle name (Hussein) during the presidential campaign would descend on Ankara and Cairo, inserting himself in a raging civil war over Islam itself. An Iranian theocratic regime had launched a bid for dominion in its region; Mr. Obama offered it an olive branch and waited for it to “unclench” its fist.

It was an odd, deeply conflicted message from Mr. Obama. He was at once a herald of change yet a practitioner of realpolitik. He would entice the crowds, yet assure the autocrats that the “diplomacy of freedom” that unsettled them during the presidency of George W. Bush is dead and buried. Grant the rulers in Tehran and Damascus their due: They were quick to take the measure of the new steward of American power. He had come to “engage” them. Gone was the hope of transforming these regimes or making them pay for their transgressions. The theocracy was said to be waiting on an American opening, and this new president would put an end to three decades of estrangement between the United States and Iran.

But in truth Iran had never wanted an opening to the U.S. For the length of three decades, the custodians of the theocracy have had precisely the level of enmity toward the U.S. they have wanted — just enough to be an ideological glue for the regime but not enough to be a threat to their power. Iran’s rulers have made their way in the world with relative ease. No White Army gathered to restore the dominion of the Pahlavis. The Cold War and oil bailed them out. So did the false hope that the revolution would mellow and make its peace with the world.

Mr. Obama may believe that his offer to Iran is a break with a hard-line American policy. But nothing could be further from the truth. In 1989, in his inaugural, George H.W. Bush extended an offer to Iran: “Good will begets good will,” he said. A decade later, in a typically Clintonian spirit of penance and contrition, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright came forth with a full apology for America’s role in the 1953 coup that ousted nationalist Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh.

Iran’s rulers scoffed. They had inherited a world, and they were in no need of opening it to outsiders. They were able to fly under the radar. Selective, targeted deeds of terror, and oil income, enabled them to hold their regime intact. There is a Persian pride and a Persian solitude, and the impact of three decades of zeal and indoctrination. The drama of Barack Obama’s election was not an affair of Iran. They had an election of their own to stage. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — a son of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolutionary order, a man from the brigades of the regime, austere and indifferent to outsiders, an Iranian Everyman with badly fitting clothes and white socks — was up for re-election.

The upper orders of his country loathed him and bristled under the system of controls that the mullahs and the military and the revolutionary brigades had put in place, but he had the power and the money and the organs of the state arrayed on his side. There was a discernible fault line in Iran. There were Iranians yearning for liberty, but we should not underestimate the power and the determination of those moved by the yearning for piety. Ahmadinejad’s message of populism at home and defiance abroad, his assertion that the country’s nuclear quest is a “closed file,” settled and beyond discussion, have a resonance on Iranian soil. His challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, a generation older, could not compete with him on that terrain.

On the ruins of the ancien régime, the Iranian revolutionaries, it has to be conceded, have built a formidable state. The men who emerged out of a cruel and bloody struggle over their country’s identity and spoils are a tenacious, merciless breed. Their capacity for repression is fearsome. We must rein in the modernist conceit that the bloggers, and the force of Twitter and Facebook, could win in the streets against the squads of the regime. That fight would be an Iranian drama, all outsiders mere spectators.

That ambivalence at the heart of the Obama diplomacy about freedom has not served American policy well in this crisis. We had tried to “cheat” — an opening to the regime with an obligatory wink to those who took to the streets appalled by their rulers’ cynicism and utter disregard for their people’s intelligence and common sense — and we were caught at it. Mr. Obama’s statement that “the difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as had been advertised” put on cruel display the administration’s incoherence. For once, there was an acknowledgment by this young president of history’s burden: “Either way, we were going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States, that has caused some problems in the neighborhood and is pursuing nuclear weapons.” No Wilsonianism on offer here.

Mr. Obama will have to acknowledge the “foreignness” of foreign lands. His breezy self-assurance has been put on notice. The Obama administration believed its own rhetoric that the pro-Western March 14 coalition in Lebanon had ridden Mr. Obama’s coattails to an electoral victory. (It had given every indication that it expected similar vindication in Iran.)

But the claim about Lebanon was hollow and reflected little understanding of the forces at play in Lebanon’s politics. That contest was settled by Lebanese rules, and by the push and pull of Saudi and Syrian and Iranian interests in Lebanon.

Mr. Obama’s June 4 speech in Cairo did not reshape the Islamic landscape. I was in Saudi Arabia when Mr. Obama traveled to Riyadh and Cairo. The earth did not move, life went on as usual. There were countless people puzzled by the presumption of the entire exercise, an outsider walking into sacred matters of their faith. In Saudi Arabia, and in the Arabic commentaries of other lands, there was unease that so complicated an ideological and cultural terrain could be approached with such ease and haste.

Days into his presidency, it should be recalled, Mr. Obama had spoken of his desire to restore to America’s relation with the Muslim world the respect and mutual interest that had existed 30 or 20 years earlier. It so happened that he was speaking, almost to the day, on the 30th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution — and that the time span he was referring to, his golden age, covered the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the American standoff with Libya, the fall of Beirut to the forces of terror, and the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Liberal opinion would have howled had this history been offered by George W. Bush, but Barack Obama was granted a waiver.

Little more than three decades ago, Jimmy Carter, another American president convinced that what had come before him could be annulled and wished away, called on the nation to shed its “inordinate fear of communism,” and to put aside its concern with “traditional issues of war and peace” in favor of “new global issues of justice, equity and human rights.” We had betrayed our principles in the course of the Cold War, he said, “fought fire with fire, never thinking that fire is quenched with water.” The Soviet answer to that brave, new world was the invasion of Afghanistan in December of 1979.

Mr. Carter would try an atonement in the last year of his presidency. He would pose as a born-again hawk. It was too late in the hour for such redemption. It would take another standard-bearer, Ronald Reagan, to see that great struggle to victory.

Iran’s ordeal and its ways shattered the Carter presidency. President Obama’s Persian tutorial has just begun.

Mr. Ajami, a professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is the author of “The Foreigner’s Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq (Free Press, 2007).

It is more than fitting that, in an article that is ostensibly about Barack Obama’s poor handling of the Iranian election opportunity, Dr. Ajami should begin and end with Jimmy Carter.  Because we truly have seen much of Barack Obama’s native and failed policies before in the person of Jimmy Carter.

The biggest problem facing Barack Obama is that he is viewed – and I believe very rightly – as weak.

Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire” – and he defeated it without even having to fire a shot simply by forceful and continuous confrontation.  George W. Bush called Iraq, Iran, and North Korea “the axis of evil” – and he defeated one of its members and replaced it with a stable democracy (over Barack Obama’s opposition, by the way).

Barack Obama is viewed by rogue regimes as being unwilling to go to war to stand up for American policy or American values.  He will pursue negotiation and diplomacy come what may – and in so doing allow tyrants to take advantage of the United States.

That is why “North Korea’s Kim Jong Il has challenged President Obama more in four months than he did President George W. Bush in eight years.”

Bottom line: with a Reagan, or with either Bush, dictators knew that there was a point beyond which they dared not go, lest the U.S. unleash its might upon them.  They have no such fear about Barack Obama, and for good reason.

Obama Enraging Enemies And Alienating Allies

May 27, 2009

Remember how the left kept screeching that Bush had alienated our allies and enraged our enemies? Remember how they said that Barack Obama would make the world love us again? Well, the Democrats get to wear their soiled underwear over their own heads, now. Because now we get to see on a nearly daily basis just how truly full of pure partisan garbage they have been for years.

N. Korea Says It Conducted 2nd Nuclear Test

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea announced Monday that it successfully carried out a second underground nuclear test, less than two months after launching a rocket widely believed to be a test of its long-range missile technology.

North Korea, incensed by U.N. Security Council condemnation of its April 5 rocket launch, had warned last month that it would restart it rogue nuclear program, conduct a second atomic test as a follow-up to its first one in 2006, and carry out long-range missile tests.

And North Korea just test-fired a missile. “The Yonhap news agency report Monday comes just hours after the communist nation declared that it successfully conducted a nuclear test.”

And what is North Korea saying today?

N. Korea threatens to attack US, S. Korea warships

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea threatened military action Wednesday against U.S. and South Korean warships plying the waters near the Koreas’ disputed maritime border, raising the specter of a naval clash just days after the regime’s underground nuclear test.

Pyongyang, reacting angrily to Seoul’s decision to join an international program to intercept ships suspected of aiding nuclear proliferation, called the move tantamount to a declaration of war.

But, but, but we’ve got OBAMA now. And the world is supposed to be wonderful again. Maybe Kim Jong-Il hasn’t heard that we’ve got Obama now?!?!

Obama did his “no preconditions appeasement offer” to Iran. And Iran responded by testing ballistic missiles in what is widely regarded as an open act of contempt and defiance of the United States.

We learned in March of this year that Iran can make 50 nukes with the material they’ve produced so far.

Iranian forces recently crossed into Iraq to launch attacks on Iraqi Kurds. In open defiance of the United States.

Obama wants to dialogue ad infinitum while “Iran vows to continue [it’s] nuclear program.”

And how is Obama responding to this Iranian resolve? Headline: “U.S. may cede to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”

Israel – an alienated ally of the United States – is well aware that it has been betrayed by Barack Obama. And when Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear program – and it will – that will be a crisis that Barack Obama will have caused due to his own weakness and lack of resolve.

And the whole planet will erupt into “enraged enemies” and “alienated allies.”

As an additional plus of Obama’s weakness, the net result of an Iranian nuclear program will be that Sunni Muslim countries – who have worried over Shiite Iran’s nuclear ambitions – will develop their own nuclear weapons programs.

I’ve been SAYING that an Obama administration would allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons ALL ALONG. Back in April of last year, in urging support for McCain over either Obama or Clinton, I wrote:

A President John McCain can assure the Iranians, “We attacked Iraq when we believed they represented a threat to us, and we will do the same to you. You seriously might want to rethink your plans.” A President John McCain can say to Sunni Arab states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, “We have stood by Iraq even when it was difficult, and we will do the same for you. You don’t need those weapons; the United States will be there for you.”

And Obama, who can’t say ANY of that, is already blinking.

But let’s leave the unpleasant future that will be caused by Barack Obama and continue our present tour of enraged enemies and alienated allies under his current rule.

Russia just warned Ukraine and Georgia (remember Obama’s pathetic and appeasing message to Russia following its invasion of Georgia?) over moving toward the West by joing NATO. They won’t stand for it. And they clearly aren’t even the least bit afraid of any American response.

Russia took Obama’s measure back in August 8, 2008. And they know his response will be to shrink back and conceal himself behind meaningless “citizen of the world”-speak that will enable Russia to do whatever it wants.

CNN reported on April 30th that “Terror attacks have spiked dramatically in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

And, goodness gracious, Pakistan and its 100 nuclear weapons are in very real danger of falling into the hands of the Taliban. A top adviser to the US Central Command has warned of the very real possibility of Pakistan collapsing within six months.

Well, that aint good. Wasn’t Obama supposed to make all our problems go away as he overcame all of Bush’s evilness with his magnificent wonderfulness?

Obama failed to win any support from European allies in Afghanistan, something he and his liberal allies repeatedly criticized Bush for failing to deliver as they promised that they would. The U.S. in Afghanistan is as much on its own as it ever was under Bush.

And so, while Obama sits atop the throne, the “security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating” under his rule. The U.N. says “Human rights in Afghanistan are worsening, marked by setbacks for women, attacks on freedoms and seeming impunity for perpetrators.”

Obama has called for the same sort of surge strategy in Afghanistan (see also here) that he himself personally demonized Bush for pursuing in Iraq.

Reporters in Iraq note “a dramatic increase in spectacular attacks against Iraqi civilians and increasing attacks against occupation forces” by al-Qaeda.

We are facing a growing problem with pirates off the coast of Africa. And Obama is facing a particularly significant threat from Sudan and its dictator, Omar al-Bashir.

Clearly, our enemies haven’t become our friends. Not even a little bit. In fact, they are more hostile and more aggressive than ever. Not that the propagandist media that spent years writing about how Bush creating unrest all over the world would ever point that out.

How about our friends and allies? Surely they love us more, now that Obama is president. Surely the days of alienation are over, right? RIGHT?

Not so much.

You remember me telling you that the EU isn’t giving Obama any help in Afghanistan? Well, they’re not giving Obama any help in closing down Gitmo, either. As much as they like to rail against America for the evils of Gitmo, they won’t take their own people back which would enable us to close it down. Just like they wouldn’t under Bush. And the same countries that won’t take their Gitmo detainees are using our other terrorist detention facility in Bagram as their reason.

That’s not very helpful. I feel alienation.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy basically thinks Obama is a turd, calling his policies “‘utterly immature’ and comprised of ‘formulations empty of all content.’” That rather sounds like a heaping dose of alienation talking, to me.

The EU president called Obama’s stimulus spending “the road to hell.” Mirek Topolanek further said that President Barack Obama’s massive stimulus package and banking bailout “will undermine the stability of the global financial market.” The ABC News article already cited reports on “simmering European differences with Washington.”

Doesn’t that kind of sound like “alienation”? Doesn’t it?

Obama had previously ignited fear of a trade war with Europe with his “buy American” policy. The EU trade commissioner warned Obama that Europe would fight back. Obama also ignited the threat of a trade war with our third largest trade partner, Mexico, after he tried to renege on a trade deal in order to reward US unions.

Obama also inspired a great deal of British outrage toward America when he casually snubbed Prime Minister Gordon Brown and insulted our greatest ally.

Obama then proceeded to insult and undermine our relationship with our second greatest ally, Israel, with an inexcusable gesture of cold indifference for a top Israeli general.

Perhaps liberals believe that Obama’s disgrace America tour was a step in the right direction. I think he made a fool out of himself and undermined the prestige and respect of the once-great United States of America.

Russia and China have similarly sounded, well, VERY ALIENATED toward Obama and his policies.

Russia has warned Obama about what they view as his ruinous socialist policies.

Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin has said the US should take a lesson from the pages of Russian history and not exercise “excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence”.

“In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute,” Putin said during a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.”

Luo Ping, Director-general for the China Banking Regulatory Commission, is on record saying, “We want some kind of a guarantee that your money is going to be worth something if you keep spending so much over there and devalue not only your currency but the currencies throughout the world.” He went on to say, “We hate you guys. Once you start issuing $1 trillion, $2 trillion, or more dollars, we know the dollar is going to depreciate.”

And, yeah. Don’t think I didn’t notice from the above link that the mainstream media truly doesn’t want us to know what China thinks about the ruinous course we are pursuing under Obama.

And all the while, we’re warned that “an economic storm with China is still coming for Obama.” In other words, in terms of alienation with China, you aint seen nothin’ yet.

Pardon me for pointing this out, but I’m just not feeling the love.

The same propaganda machine that undercut and undermined President Bush at every imaginable turn is going well out of its way to avoid reporting on just how much damage Barack Obama has done on the international front. They who routinely blamed Bush for everything won’t blame Obama for anything.

Whether liberals are honest about it or not, Obama has been a gigantic dud in terms of the glorious promise of overcoming all the bitterness in the world that Bush supposedly created. For one thing, Obama hasn’t actually “overcome” anything of the sort; for another, he has created a great deal of international bitterness all by himself.

Fearing An Obama-Kaine Ticket: The Foreign Policy Dynamic Duo

August 21, 2008

I must reveal my secret fear, hoping against despair that this won’ t get to Barack Obama.

Republicans must fear an Barack Obama-Tim Kaine ticket. John McCain simply cannot match the foreign policy powerhouse that these two men have demonstrated.

We saw it in action, and it was like a one-two knockout punch. First Barack Obama spoke to the world:

I reiterate my call for Russia to stop its bombing campaign, to stop flights of Russian aircraft in Georgian airspace, and to withdraw its ground forces from Georgia. The Georgian government has proposed a cease-fire and the Russian government should accept it. There is also an urgent need for humanitarian assistance to reach the people of Georgia, and casualties on both sides.

And then Tim Kaine declared the fait accompli (defn: An accomplished fact; an action which is completed before those affected by it are in a position to query or reverse it):

“It was a bad crisis for the world. It required tough words but also a smart approach to call on the international community to step in. And I’m very, very happy that the Senator’s request for a ceasefire has been complied with by President Medvedev.”

It was like Pharaoh from the Ten Commandments: “So let it be written. So let it be done.”

And bam. The war was over. Just like that.  The Russians left, slinking back to the corner to which Barack Obama had sent them. I have no doubt that Vladimir Putin cried like a baby.

How can Iran and President Ahmadinejab stand up to such a dynamic duo? How can North Korea and Kim Jong Il?

Some believe that Tim Kaine’s eyebrows – which may themselves have sentience – have a hypnotic power over anyone who looks at his face for too long.  Once viewers fall into a mesmerized stupor, they are easy prey for Obama’s stuttering oratorty.

If anyone believes the Russians continue to represent a threat – either to Georgia or to the United States – it is because they simply lack “the nuance” to think beyond simplistic concrete realities. Only Republicans would be so narrow-minded and limited. And thus Obama-Kaine transcend previous foreign policy constraints.

Barack Obama used the magic power of “Just Words” to overcome decades of mistrust, foreign policy impasses, and divisions of Russian tanks and men.

Barack Obama is right: “John McCain doesn’t know what he’s up against right now.”

Left Decries America, Ignore Global Evil Of Leftist Regimes

August 20, 2008

There are more slaves today than at any time in history. Yet blacks in America ignore that tragic reality and instead fiercely decry this country over its part in an institution that was ended – at great expense to whites – nearly 150 years ago. And even though it is Islam and Muslim countries that are the greatest perpetrators of black slavery on the planet, it is fashionable today to be black and Muslim. Barack Obama’s former pastor gave all kinds of accolades to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakan, and Obama himself attended Farrakan’s so-called “Million Man March.”

The people who so stridently blamed America for attacking Iraq stand silently – or even worse yet, actually defend – the Russian attack of Georgia.

These are just a couple of examples of the leftists in America and the world who routinely demonize the United States while pointedly turning their backs on shocking acts of evil being perpetrated by leftist regimes around the world.

As writer Victor Davis Hanson points out, it is forgotten that America is the model, not the villain. And when the United States wearies of the constant attacks and ceases to stand up for freedom in the world, you will see a reawakening of evil such as the world hasn’t witnessed since the 1930s.

I came across this article by Hanson. It deserves a wide reading:

August 19, 2008
Brave Old World
by Victor Davis Hanson
Tribune Media Services

Russia invades Georgia. China jails dissidents. China and India pollute at levels previously unimaginable. Gulf monarchies make trillions from jacked-up oil prices. Islamic terrorists keep car bombing. Meanwhile, Europe offers moral lectures, while Japan and South Korea shrug and watch — all in a globalized world that tunes into the Olympics each night from Beijing.

“Citizens of the world” were supposed to share, in relative harmony, our new “Planet Earth,” which was to have followed from an interconnected system of free trade, instantaneous electronic communications, civilized diplomacy and shared consumer capitalism.

But was that ever quite true?

In reality, to the extent globalism worked, it followed from three unspoken assumptions:

First, the U.S. economy would keep importing goods from abroad to drive international economic growth.

Second, the U.S. military would keep the sea-lanes open, and trade and travel protected. After the past destruction of fascism and global communism, the Americans, as global sheriff, would continue to deal with the occasional menace like a Muammar al-Gaddafi, Slobodan Milosevic, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-il or the Taliban.

Third, America would ignore ankle-biting allies and remain engaged with the world — like a good, nurturing mom who at times must put up with the petulance of dependent teenagers.

But there have been a number of indications recently that globalization may soon lose its American parent, who is tiring, both materially and psychologically.

The United States may be the most free, stable and meritocratic nation in the world, but its resources and patience are not unlimited. Currently, it pays more than a half trillion dollars per year to import $115-a-barrel oil that is often pumped at a cost of about $5.

The Chinese, Japanese and Europeans hold trillions of dollars in U.S. bonds — the result of massive trade deficits. The American dollar is at historic lows. We are piling up staggering national debt. Over 12 million live here illegally and freely transfer more than $50 billion annually to Mexico and Latin America.

Our military, after deposing Milosevic, the Taliban and Saddam, is tired. And Americans are increasingly becoming more sensitive to the cheap criticism of global moralists.

But as the United States turns ever so slightly inward, the new globalized world will revert to a far poorer — and more dangerous — place.

Liberals like presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama speak out against new free trade agreements and want existing accords like NAFTA readjusted. More and more Americans are furious at the costs of illegal immigration — and are moving to stop it. The foreign remittances that help prop up Mexico and Latin America are threatened by any change in America’s immigration attitude.

Meanwhile, the hypocrisy becomes harder to take. After all, it is easy for self-appointed global moralists to complain that terrorists don’t enjoy Miranda rights at Guantanamo, but it would be hard to do much about the Russian military invading Georgia’s democracy and bombing its cities.

Al Gore crisscrosses the country, pontificating about Americans’ carbon footprints. But he could do far better to fly to China to convince them not to open 500 new coal-burning power plants.

It has been chic to chant “No blood for oil” about Iraq’s petroleum — petroleum that, in fact, is now administered by a constitutional republic. But such sloganeering would be better directed at China’s sweetheart oil deals with Sudan that enable the mass murdering in Darfur.

Due to climbing prices and high government taxes, gasoline consumption is declining in the West, but its use is rising in other places, where it is either untaxed or subsidized.

So, what a richer but more critical world has forgotten is that in large part America was the model, not the villain — and that postwar globalization was always a form of engaged Americanization that enriched and protected billions.

Yet globalization, in all its manifestations, will run out of steam the moment we tire of fueling it, as the world returns instead to the mindset of the 1930s — with protectionist tariffs; weak, disarmed democracies; an isolationist America; predatory dictatorships; and a demoralized gloom-and-doom Western elite.

If America adopts the protectionist trade policies of Japan or China, global profits plummet. If our armed forces follow the European lead of demilitarization and inaction, rogue states advance. If we were to treat the environment as do China and India, the world would become quickly a lost cause.

If we flee Iraq and call off the war on terror, Islamic jihadists will regroup, not disband. And when the Russians attack the next democracy, they won’t listen to the United Nations, the European Union or Michael Moore.

Brace yourself — we may be on our way back to an old world, where the strong do as they will, and the weak suffer as they must.

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