By denying the U.S. role as the only superpower, Pres. Barack Obama is creating a vacuum in the international dialogue that further threatens peace and stability.
Not only does Aristotle’s hypothesis – nature abhors a vacuum – apply in physics, art and culture but it is also applicable to geopolitics.
Pres. Barack Obama and his foreign policy experts are now putting it to a test in geopolitics.
The essence of Obama’s activities has been to ignore reality. That reality is that however wounded by the worldwide economic crisis and two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. remains the world’s only superpower. That is easily provable with statistics on economics, military prowess, or even the pervasive influence of its popular culture.
Sniping by Washington’s foes –the incredible and often incoherent screeds of Ahmedinejad and Chavez and their ilk – do not disguise that fact. That the Americans, despite Obama as the most popular international political figure in a generation, were still the main target of their tirades proves the point.
The problem – for friend as well as foe – is that Obama has chosen to abnegate that power, to apologize for real and perceived former U.S. mistakes, to attempt an artificial complete rupture with the policies and problems pursued over the past half century. Damming the former Bush Administration neither adds nor subtracts from U.S. accomplishments and failures but creates more confusion abroad as to the real American national intent.
Whether repeated cowering appeals to Iran’s mullahs which have strengthened a weakened dictatorial regime or placing specific requirements on Israel-Palestinian negotiations before they got underway, Obama and his advisers are creating failure and a vacuum of U.S. stratagems. Announcing that human rights would not be am issue in U.S. China relations as Secretary of State Hillary did in Beijing tosses cards away before they are played.
Just as nature abhors a vacuum, skillful politicians/statesmen fear more than anything else an unpredictable opponent or an ally. Obama, with his amateurish attempts to reinvent the wheel on every subject – international disarmament is a vivid example – is doing precisely that. Whether it is canceling near-treaty obligations with Poland and the Czech Republic or tossing out a non-performing ban on cheap Chinese tire imports, no one can predict where the frenetic decision making on international affairs will lead next.
That is creating virtual — in the old fashioned definition of the term – chaos in the international dialogue, essential to preserving peace and stability.