It may come as a surprise to President Obama, but he has actually proved that when it comes to foreign policy and the war on terrorism, President George W. Bush and America have been right all along. After years of an Obama foreign policy that existed simply to be the opposite of whatever Mr. Bush did or would do, Islamist terrorism and Middle East turmoil have exploded. As Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has noted, the Islamic State is “a force and a dimension that the world has never seen before.”
The left, led by Mr. Obama and his sycophantic supporters, truly believed all the world’s ills were the result of America’s arrogance and intrusion. The left’s juvenile solution was to remove America from the scene and cut her down to size. Their theory presumed that if the world saw how Mr. Obama, the messianic Anti-Bush, was punishing America and removing her caustic influence, all balance would be restored, love and peace would prevail, and unicorns would once again fly over the rainbow.
Oh, yes, and Islamist terrorism would stop and the Middle East would prosper — so long as America was on her knees.
Instead, we are seeing the opposite. Islamist terrorism has increased; with our absence, Iraq has fallen apart; with Mr. Obama’s promised retreat, Afghanistan is in turmoil. The isolationist weakness telegraphed by Mr. Obama to the world has, shall we say, not ushered in “peace in our time.”
In the midst of the chaos now sweeping over the Middle East and knocking at the door of Eastern Europe, there is one critical revelation: The rotten fruit of Mr. Obama’s Anti-Bush doctrine has proved that America has never been the problem. Instead, it has everything to do with a sociopathic commitment by Islamist savages to the notion of a worldwide Islamic caliphate.
Our problem as a nation is that Mr. Obama and his administration appear actually overwhelmed by world events, perhaps because their own worldview has been based in a fantasy
Many political observers are struggling to ascertain a smidgen of an Obama foreign-policy doctrine, but they need not look far. Mr. Obama the anti-Bush was established even before the beginning of his presidency. Mr. Obama’s mission, his very raison d’etre, was and is simply to be “Not Bush.” This was the argument for his run for the presidency. It was his fundamental campaign message in 2008, and has served as the only consistent doctrine throughout his presidency.
In a December 2006 article, The Los Angeles Times gave us one of our first glimpses of the “He’s Not Bush” construct as the singular argument for embracing Mr. Obama. In an article bluntly titled “Obama, the Anti-Bush,” the recipe for an Obama candidacy (and current disaster) is detailed: “[T]here is another factor, one that argues for an Obama candidacy that has nothing to do with Obama and everything to do with George W. Bush. I call it the Attraction of the Opposite … Bush has revealed himself to be so deficient in so many regards that it’s possible that several candidates can just choose a Bushian shortcoming and become its opposite .”
In March 2009, in another article, this one titled “Obama as Anti-Bush,” Dan Froomkin at The Washington Post coos about “how much the Obama presidency has turned out to be, at heart, all about fixing the mistakes of the Bush years .”
While Mr. Bush made many mistakes, which I regularly railed against on my radio program and on television, we had victory in Iraq, and Afghanistan had a future without the scourge of the Taliban. All of that is now lost. The Islamic State is running rampant and beheading Americans, just as terrorists would if their enemy had, ahem, no strategy.
Mr. Obama became president, as he reminds us quite often with some variation, as “the guy who was elected to end wars, not start them.” Every choice he makes is rooted in not doing what Mr. Bush did or what Mr. Bush would do — the details of events be damned.
The problem of becoming president with pre-conceived ideas is, the world always has a different plan. Presidents are presented with unique and usually unexpected sets of circumstances to which they must respond. This is why it’s a good thing to elect people to office who articulate a specific overall vision (beyond “hope and change”) and make clear a set of principles that can then be applied in a specific way to whatever unique crisis may present itself.
Mr. Obama’s fixation on not being Bush is the only thing the Obama team knows or understands. It is also keeping them from being able (or willing) to admit the truth about a world spiraling out of control. No matter who is standing behind a podium these days, you get the distinct feeling that no one in our federal government knows what’s happening, and all their energy is spent trying to keep their stunning ignorance a secret.
The results of Mr. Obama’s anti-Bush doctrine have not only confirmed the rightness of his predecessor, but confirm the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of his own worldview. There is now a threat against civilization itself unfolding in the Middle East. It’s time for our government and perhaps even the military to make clear to Mr. Obama that his way of doing things must change.
By Tammy Bruce, a radio talk-show host, author and Fox News contributor.