Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Obama embraces nationalism, ignores jihad.

For Obama, Churchill was a bust.
Barack Obama said at the outset of his presidency, "I believe in American Exceptionalism just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." Obama’s anti-jingoism seemingly identifies him with one-worldism, the opposite of nationalism that unites a country against its foreign enemy.

In truth, Obama is a nationalist. The “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence” (Panchsheel, Sanskrit for “five virtues”) came from the 1954 peace treaty between India and China, and were enshrined at the 1955 Bandung, Indonesia conference of non-aligned nations hosted by Indonesia’s President Sukarno. Bung Karno’s Bandung speech substituted the old Javanese term pancasila (also from Sanskrit) for the original.

The pancasila of “mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and cooperation for mutual benefit, and peaceful co-existence” were really about allowing each nation to run itself free of outside interference. Pancasila provided an ideological blanket over insecure, first-generation nationalists who having won independence from colonial domination, feared the threat Western power plus internal opposition in the name of democracy posed to their rule. Pancasila meant primacy of the nation-state over both external and internal dangers. And what’s nationalism if not a strengthened nation-state?

Obama’s foreign policy respects each nation’s territorial integrity, opposes interference in another nation’s internal affairs, and wants all nations treated equally, all cooperating for mutual benefit and peace. Obama’s not an enemy of Israel as long as Israel treats Palestine and Iran in line with pancasila, and he’s not opposed to Iran, Shia Iraq, Taliban Afghanistan, Syria, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, or any other dictatorship. Obama is a child of the non-aligned movement, reserving his hostility for American imperialism sold as “nation building,” and hostile to any Western empire-restoring efforts, however disguised.

So one of Obama’s first presidential acts was sending back to Britain the bust of Winston Churchill that country gave the White House. Churchill was indeed “Biography’s” #1 person who changed the 20th century, but Churchill was also a staunch defender of a British empire that included the Kenyan birthplace of Obama’s father. Furthermore, Britain gave Churchill’s bust to George W. Bush when Bush became president. For Obama, it's nationalism over imperialism; Barack over Bush.

Trouble is, Obama’s strong identification with pancasila doesn’t fit today’s world, where our greatest threat comes from Islamic extremism that scorns national borders. As with progressivism which has led at home to an ossified Big Government blocking economic progress, Obama’s foreign policy nationalism is out of date; hurting both America and the world’s people.

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