Monday, 20 July 2009

Obama Abroad: Much to Worry About

Written by  John F. McManus

In recent weeks, Barack Obama has traveled across the ocean more than once and has been met everywhere not only as president of the United States but as a bigger-than-life Hollywood-type icon.

Much of his rhetoric in stop after stop could be classified as the customary platitudes one can expect in such circumstances. But many of his comments deserve careful analysis, for they bode ill for the world and for our nation. At Moscow’s New Economic School on July 8, Obama made special note of the presence in his audience of Mikhail Gorbachev. “We have President Mikhail Gorbachev here today, and I want everybody to give him a big round of applause,” said our nation’s chief executive.


Should a U.S. president lead the applause for Gorbachev? Isn’t he the man who served in the USSR’s Politburo beginning in 1980 and then rose to become the Soviet Union’s leader in 1985? Doesn’t he bear more responsibility than anyone for the 10-year rape of Afghanistan carried out by Soviet invaders? During the decade beginning in 1979, more than a million Afghans perished; six million fled to refugee camps in neighboring nations; tens of thousands of teenagers were kidnapped and sent to the USSR for indoctrination; and Soviet aircraft and ground personnel spread booby-trapped toys in the streets and villages that maimed and killed unsuspecting children, who picked them up and had their faces blown away and their limbs destroyed.


In 1987, Gorbachev told fellow communists at the 70th-anniversary celebration of the Bolshevik Revolution, “We are moving toward a new world, the world of communism; we shall never turn off that road.” In 1989, he told another Moscow audience, “I am a communist, a convinced communist.” While never retracting these statements, he managed — with an incredibly compliant media — to con many in the West into thinking he was something new and different. How different? He came to the United States and told a convocation at Missouri’s Westminster College that the United Nations should be “authorized to impose sanctions and make use of other measures of compulsion” to deal with his claims about ecological matters. No difference!

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The media have awarded Gorbachev the reputation of a praiseworthy environmental crusader because of his founding of the Gorbachev Foundation and the Green Cross. It was hardly surprising then when, at the U.S. president’s next stop in Europe, he followed Gorbachev’s lead while addressing a gathering of the G-8 leaders in L’Aquila, Italy. He spoke ominously about “the threat of climate change,” insisting that “the science is clear and conclusive” and it tells us that “ice sheets are melting; sea levels are rising; [and] oceans are becoming more acidic.” All of these global-warming weather patterns, he insisted, are affecting “our food and water sources, our health and our habitat.” To combat all of this, he and the other G-8 leaders pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent before the year 2050.


Editorialists at Investor’s Business Daily responded that doing so would wreck the world’s economy and lead to worldwide misery. In the United States, it would mean the loss of nearly a million jobs per year and a shrinking of U.S. productivity by $7.4 trillion in 25 years. And it’s all totally unnecessary, they insist, because the Earth has cooled over the past three years by .74 degrees F., the same amount that the pseudo-scientists at the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change claim the planet’s temperature had risen during the entire 20th century. Following Obama and the G-8’s lead would, assured IBD, amount to “economic suicide.”


In Ghana, Obama pledged substantial increases in U.S. aid to African nations, never explaining why so many Africans remain incredibly poor and backward after decades of pouring U.S. taxpayers’ money into them. He was totally incorrect in claiming that “the West is not responsible for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy over the last decade.” The West, especially the United States, made it impossible for the government in the former Rhodesia to survive in the face of the terrorism created by Robert Mugabe’s forces. The result? A nation that was a prosperous food exporter has been converted into a land of want and privation. Zimbabwe’s most pressing problem is runaway inflation, exactly what Obama’s policies will create in the United States if they are not reversed.


It was somewhat infuriating to learn of his praise in the Ghana speech for that country’s former leftist dictator, Kwame Nkrumah, and for Kenya’s bloody-handed Mau Mau leader, Jomo Kenyatta. He made no mention of a real Black African leader, the admirable Moise Tshombe of Katanga. Back in the ’60s, the UN that Obama so highly regards made war on Tshombe’s productive Katanga province because he insisted on going it alone.


Much more could be said of the president’s overseas performance. Summing up: his socialist and internationalist credentials were on display. His programs for our nation and the world must be blocked.

Photo: AP Images