The last few days have demonstrated that the world no longer takes America very seriously. We are impotent, as was written in the Wall Street Journal. We lack the geopolitical juice to get things done on the world stage. With each day that passes, I'm afraid we are looking more and more foolish.
Vladimir Putin has gone from thumbing our eye to basically flipping America the bird. In the Where's Waldo search for NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the latest we've heard is that Snowden is in the transit zone of the Moscow airport and will not be extradited. Putin says that Snowden has not committed any crimes in Russia and that he is free to travel wherever he likes. Earlier in the day, Russia's foreign minister called America's demands for extradition "ungrounded and unacceptable."
Then there's the Chinese who defied the United States' request for extradition and allowed Snowden to slip out of Hong Kong. White House propagandist Jay Carney labeled it “a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive,” and said it was a “major setback” for relations between the countries. While it was the United States that failed to alert Interpol, issuing a “red notice” for any of Snowden's movements, the administration maintains that revoking Snowden's passport should have been enough to prevent him from leaving Hong Kong.
Of course these nations are publicly rebuking the United States – They know that the have nothing to lose, so long as Barack Obama is in the White House! Time after time, Obama's appeasement strategy has gained us nothing in terms of strength, credibility or cooperation. Just take the Eastern Europe missile defense shield, which Obama canceled early in his first term. The shield, to be built in Poland and the Czech Republic, was canceled in order to appease the Russians and gain their help in convincing the Iranians to stop their nuclear aspirations. Look at how well THAT has turned.
Victor Davis Hanson has an excellent column out today: If Only Our Foreign Enemies Were Republicans. He's absolutely right. If you take a look at the rhetoric Obama has been willing to use about Republicans or conservatives in his own country, you'd think that some of that vigor would translate on the world stage when we are dealing with bad actors like Iran or North Korea or even China and Russia. But no. For countries trying to undermine us or even destroy us, Obama rolls out the red carpet and sugar coats his messages. He saves his talk of “enemies” for law-abiding Americans who are upset with the size and scope of the federal government.
So that's the foreign policy side of this international hide-and-seek game we're witnessing. But let's talk for a moment about Edward Snowden. I am torn on Snowden because I am glad that the American people are now aware of the Prism program and the government’s efforts to essentially spy on us. While I am glad that we know, I am not so thrilled that he has gone to China and Russia with this unbelievable amount of data and who knows what kind of information he has shared or is planning to share with these other nations. But that leads to my real frustration, which is this: How did a 29-year-old tech analyst manage to get his hands on the most classified documents within the United States government? How is that possible? Something is wrong with a system that allows that to happen, and I've yet to hear anyone explain the real, concerted efforts to fix that and make sure it can't happen again.