Since Jeremiah Wright has been the president’s pastor for 20 years, Barack Obama should understand the concept of chickens coming home to roost. The chickens took up roosting in the Crimea in the past week. The Russian invasion is the logical outcome of an American foreign policy rooted in unseriousness.
Only three weeks ago our unserious secretary of state called “climate change” a threat to national security. This came less than two years after the then Chairman of the Joint chiefs of staff did the same and suggested we could repurpose our military for a “sustainable future.”
This past week, after pledging to cut the American military to pre-World War II levels, our unserious secretary of defense claimed effects from climate change are “threat multipliers.” Integrating openly gay soldiers and placing women in frontline combat positions are greater priorities for the Obama Administration than winning wars.
While Obama and his unserious advisors in a western world, grown too unserious about reality, focus on unserious topics, other nations of the world continue to jockey for national interest and Kremlin tanks continue pouring into Ukraine.
Until last week, we lived in a world where the West had grown comfortable that Francis Fukuyama was right and history had ended. Events would still happen, but the world would inevitably evolve toward liberal democracy. We all learned in college that liberal democracies were more stable and least prone to violence of all forms of government. Barack Obama, the British prime minister, the French president, and the rest of the West could sit around tables fretting about the environment, income inequality, unisex bathrooms, gay marriage and other issues. The West had concluded there were no longer national interests, but global interests where we would all win or all lose together.
It is the foreign policy view of the naive elite in comfortable times detached from the real world. The Aspen and Davos sets can tut-tut at world events, but their worldview and foreign policy have brought us to this point. That worldview both fostered and fed off of an unserious foreign policy press and analytical corps that saw the world through global issues and global interests.
Many of those within the foreign policy community with the biggest media platforms eschew the military, support progressive social views and generally think the world can get along if only the bully United States let others lead. They transition in and out of government — a fourth estate that works in and around the first and second, whispering in ears, holding salons, and attending cocktail parties where worldview is more important than the wine selection.
And they all nodded approvingly when Barack Obama declared his intention to lead from behind.
While liberal diplomats from New York to Washington to London to Brussels came up with exciting new ways for nations to work together, some national leaders in some countries had other ideas — they’d work for national interests. The West turned their militaries into test tubes of progressive social experimentation. Other countries maintained their militaries as blunt force instruments of death and destruction in defense of a nation state.
Now, China is more and more allied with Russia with both countries lusting after previously lost territories. China may soon risk war with Japan over some islands and Russia, knowing the West will do nothing to stop it, has invaded Ukraine.
Therein lies the problem. The West’s unserious leaders still govern. The East knows this and knows it can continue unabated because the weak slaps of governments more concerned about gay marriage and global warming than national geopolitical interests are no deterrent to national interests.
The United States and Europe may be in a drum circle singing Kumbaya, but Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping intend to beat the West like a drum. We have moved back into a serious age. Western leaders too young to remember global war and ideological sympathetic to the losing side of the Cold War now find themselves staring at the losing side of history — a more real and documented place than the left’s so called “wrong side of history.”