Author, conservative thinker and university professor Bruce Herschensohn has been a voice in conservative thinking on American foreign policy for some 50 years. After a career that includes working with William F. Buckley, Jr. at U.S.I.A., serving as Deputy Special Assistant to President Nixon, and as a member of President Reagan’s transition team, Herschensohn gets it.
From his position teaching at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy, Herschensohn surveyed the first 1200 days of Barack Obama’s presidency in his new book, Obama’s Globe, and came to the conclusion that “the foreign policy changes he initiated would be difficult to imagine” under the administration of any other president all the way from Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the most recent Republican administration of President George W. Bush.
And the primary reason Herschensohn sees for that vast deviation from our post-World War II leadership in world affairs is that under Obama, we no longer treat friends as friends and adversaries as adversaries – or even seem able to distinguish which is which.
While Herschensohn literally covers the globe, from Britain and Europe to the Middle East to China and the Far East, this is a particularly useful insight to keep in mind as one tries to figure out exactly what Obama’s policy is in the Middle East.
To Obama, Egypt is not our ally. To his State Department Egypt is our ally. To the American taxpayers, who have pumped billions of dollars in aid and loans into Egypt, Egypt sure as heck SHOULD be our ally.
In the chapters on the Middle East in Obama’s Globe, Bruce Herschensohn explains how Obama set in motion the present mess in the Middle East by abandoning Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and other U.S. allies, for the completely unknown consequences of the “Arab Spring.”
Herschensohn’s argument is not that Mubarak was all good, but rather that the alternative, being completely unknown, was the riskier choice – especially given that Mubarak was a staunch ally of the United States in the war against radical Islamists.
Of course, supporting democracy is a long-standing American foreign policy principle. However, in Herschensohn’s analysis, the disaster in the Middle East we face today, including the recent killings of American diplomats in Libya, were set in motion by trading the imperfect ally in the war with radical Islamists – Mubarak – for the complete unknown.
In Herschensohn’s view, this is a strategy that no other wartime president, not FDR, not Truman, not Reagan or Bush 41 or 43 would have chosen, because they would have understood who the real enemy in Egypt is – radical Islam.
Those of a libertarian bent might find Obama’s Globe to lean a little too heavily toward neo-con interventionism for their taste. We disagree. Bruce Herschensohn’s Obama’s Globe isn’t a pitch for interventionism; it is a reminder of exactly who our enemies are and how much Barack Obama has done to embolden them.
Bruce Herschensohn’s Obama’s Globe is available online through Amazon or at your favorite book seller, it is definitely a must read for anyone wishing to understand why America seems more alone in the world now than it has ever been.