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The last decade of war and the sour economy has left many Americans unwilling to engage in foreign-policy much as it was during the 1930s when isolationism took over.
This was partly evident in last week’s foreign policy debate when domestic issues such as Obamacare and the national debt took center stage.
Now is not the time to withdraw from the world. Russia and China remain significant threats to our national security through their proxies in Iran, Venezuela and North Korea. And they are more than eager to fill the void left by the appearance of America’s decline.
As Jeffrey Bosco reported in The Weekly Standard, China has used American distractions in the Middle East to build up its power in East Asia:
Washington policymakers managed to convince themselves that on counter-terrorism, as well as on counter-proliferation and the growing North Korea nuclear threat, China was a committed, reliable, and essential partner—a “responsible stakeholder.” What China was doing to prepare for war against Taiwan, and against the United States should it come to Taiwan’s aid, largely became a back-burner issue. The same was true of China’s complicity in proliferating dangerous weapons and materials to the world’s most dangerous states, including North Korea and Iran.
And the Obama administration’s coddling of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, Egypt and Syria should be a cause for alarm where the GOP presidential candidates should be building an alternative message and strategy for confronting this thorny problem.
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton told me last September that:
My feeling is that we ought to be pursuing a very active policy of regime change in both Iran and Syria going back to my time during the Bush administration. These are regimes that are not going to change as long as they are in power.
It was foolish of the Obama administration to ever believe that Bashar al-Assad was ever a reformer as they kept saying over and over, and over again.
We can see now how far from the truth that is. We can’t live in a world of illusion, and that is as much as we hoped for the best as a result of the Arab spring, we can’t make policy according to our hopes and aspirations for how it’s going to turn out.
We have to make our policies in a very realistic fashion and base our policies on what’s actually happening, not on what we wish would happen.
Last week, former NATO Supreme Commander Gen. Wesley Clark defended the Obama administration’s inaction during the 2009 Persian Spring on the grounds that the president was trying to “reset” our relations with Iran.
How has Iran repaid Obama’s kindness?
In the past few days we’ve seen a near repeat of Iran’s 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy by Iranian “students”. Sunday’s AP report said:
“Iranian students stormed the British Embassy in Tehran Tuesday, breaking down the door, throwing around papers and replacing the British flag with an Iranian one. Iran's state-run Press TV reported that police had the incident under control, but Britain's Foreign Office called the situation ‘fluid’ and said ‘details are still emerging.’”
If Jimmy Carter had been re-elected in 1980, we’d still be confronting the Soviet Union today.
So far, only Newt Gingrich has enunciated a coherent strategy for confronting Iran, which has been the nexus of global terrorism and regional instability since the late 1970s.
Gingrich was correct to advocate cutting off Iran’s ability to refine gasoline, which would crush the Iran’s economy. A blockade of Iran would be seen as an act of war by the Iranians, but it’s a necessary evil because the Islamic Republic has been in a state of war with the United States since 1979.
If we do nothing to help Iran’s dissidents to stand up against the mullahs, we will have a nuclear Iran to deal with that likely would act with impunity because it views the United States as a paper tiger.
The GOP presidential candidates cannot afford to put Iran, China, or Russia on the back burner because they pose a mortal threat to our nation.
Obama’s Carteresque policies have only destabilized the world with live in and have done nothing to help us to regain our national prestige.
Whomever becomes the eventual GOP nominee must be ready to confront Iran and our other adversaries on Day 1. We can't have someone who has to learn on the job.