President Obama continues to get high marks in all public opinion polls on foreign policy. Much of that, doubtless, is due to his crisp dispatch of Osama bin Laden last year.
The latest dust-up about that raid is a mere tempest in a teapot. Some ex-SEALs are saying that Osama was not armed when he was taken down, that he was shot while looking out the window of his residence in Pakistan.
This really should not matter in the least. Under centuries of international law, Osama bin Laden would have been defined as hostis humani generis—an enemy of all mankind. He should be so defined still. The international law of outlawry applied with special force to pirates and slave traders. Osama the mass murderer, the terrorist bent only on more slaughter needed no Miranda Warning. He could legitimately have been shot if he were ordering at Baskin & Robbins.
We have praised President Obama for getting Osama bin Laden. And we respect how the president consigned Osama’s body to the deep. Ironically, Winston Churchill, whose bust he pitched out into the snow, would have approved, too. It was young Churchill who sharply criticized Britain’s Lord Kitchener for desecrating the body of the Mahdi, an earlier Muslim fanatical leader.
If we remember the rapturous reception of Barack Obama in Berlin in 2008 and the tingle that went up the leg of nearly every foreign reporter at the sound of Mr. Obama’s voice in that long-ago campaign season, the events in Tehran this week must come as a shock.
The terror masters of Tehran, hosted a meeting of 120 nations, members of the so-called Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). That these 120 nations are all also members of the United Nations should give us the deepest concern.
Iran has been designated by the UN itself as a persistent violator of international nuclear arms treaties. Iran’s rulers openly and defiantly call for the eradication of Israel—and of the United States. Israel and the U.S. are members of the UN. To call for the destruction of fellow members of the UN is a flagrant violation of the UN Charter.
So, does the international community unite and boot Iran out of the UN? No.
A majority of its members traipse off to Tehran for a conference. Are they sitting there as human shields, determined to stave off an Israeli preventive strike? How can they possibly justify their presence in Tehran?
President Obama disapproved of the 120 nations sending representatives to the Tehran conference. His State Department spokespersons bleated their opposition to this attempt to normalize the regime. They mean well, feebly.
But how can the Obama administration object to the Tehran confab? This is the administration, after all, that offered an olive branch to Iran’s terror masters when it first came into office. Mr. Obama pledged “an open hand instead of a closed fist.” He even sent Persian New Year’s greetings to the murderous mullahs. All he got in his open hand was spit.
The Iranian dictators clamped down on their own people, shooting pro-democracy demonstrators in the streets of Tehran. They continued to export terror by supplying Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. And they kept right on with their nuclear program.
We were told that merely by electing Barack Obama President, America would be loved in the world. Blogger Andrew Sullivan gushed that a young man in Pakistan needed only to see Mr. Obama’s handsome visage on TV and he would give up his anti-Americanism.
What nonsense all that hype has proved to be. In the hard, cold dawn of reality, we see Iran on the verge of a nuclear breakthrough and 120 member states of the UN invited to the birthday party.
How galling it must be for Mr. Obama to see Ban Ki-Moon, the UN’s Secretary-General, cutting the cake in Tehran. Ban Ki-Moon is a South Korean. South Korea would long since have disappeared had it not been for the sacrifice of tens of thousands of American lives. The U.S. led the efforts of the UN to prevent South Korea from coming under Communist control in “the Forgotten War” of 1950-53.
Could there be a better example than this Tehran conference of the total failure of Obama foreign policy? He has been publicly rebuffed by the heads of 120 states. He sought to win their support by his endless Apology Tours. They treat him and his bowing with contempt.
In 2008, it was often said he was a citizen of the world running for president of the world.
In his first days in office, Newswseek’s Evan Thomas said “he hovers over the nations, like a sort of god.” Surely, he is a god who failed. Now, he can thank his lucky stars that only Americans can vote in the election to come.
Editor's Note: Bob Morrison co-authored this column.
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