By Chinedu Ezeocha for Ezeocha Post Originally Published on Wednesday April 30, 2014 at 1:37 AM CT
There used to be a time, not too long ago, that if an American walks into a bar in a foreign country and introduces himself as such, that people naturally warm up to him. There existed a happy combination of feelings of awe and affection towards the person, not because of the person’s built, beauty, or flamboyancy, but simply because he represents America, a global force for good; America, the beacon of hope for the world; America, the publicly dismissed but privately acknowledged world police that guarantees global stability and protects the vulnerable. Imperfect and often accused of pursuing realist’s national interests anytime it stages humanitarian intervention in any foreign land, yet there existed no doubt in the mind of majority of the world’s population what America stands for because America projects, protects, and defend the Universal Human Rights.
In Nigeria of the 90s, at the peak of the human rights abuses and violence that plagued the country at the hands of the military junta, people, of which I was one, hopefully believed that America will intervene with its unrivalled military might, salvage the situation and steer the country on the right course. America didn’t intervene militarily in Nigeria. The deciders determined that apples served on a plate by Brazilian models would rid Nigeria of a dictator. But that hopeful believe in America as agent of democracy and in America’s compassion towards the oppressed was shared among citizens of most troubled spots worldwide.
But gone are the days. America now seem ordinary. And no longer exceptional. Gone are the days.
Days when the words of the President of the United States carried strong weight and unequivocal resolve, assuring our friends and allies of a dependable ally while guaranteeing to our foes of a strong-armed enemy they will reckon with. Hence the aphorism ‘when America sneezes the rest of the world catches cold.’
President George H. W. Bush demonstrated this resolve during the Gulf War when he led a coalition of willing nations to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation and never gave in to any of Saddam Hussein’s demands. Demands that were pretty tough and far-reaching compared to the present day demands of Assad’s regime on President Barack Obama or the demands on him by the Ayatollahs from Iran. Yet in the face of war that was going to cost America in both blood and treasure, President H.W. Bush never wavered on what America stands for and he committed America’s military to fight a good cause and thereby enhanced America’s global leadership position.
The Kuwaitis celebrated their liberation from Saddam Hussein and his occupying Army by the all-mighty American military.
At the height of the famine and civil war that ravaged their country, the Somalis heaved a sigh of relief when America came calling with a helping hand. Bush 41 was still the president.
And even though the 2003 Iraqi invasion was poorly executed, the mere fact that President George W. Bush, for the implied reason of ridding the world of a tyrant with genocidal tendencies authorized the war, demonstrated something of strength of character of which is a necessity in whoever occupies the Oval Office. Both father and son understood the relevance to the world and the authority of the Presidency and they always meant what they said. With these men, either for good or bad, the world understood America’s position on global issues. Tyrants and rogue states knew where they belonged. There was order because everybody from Russia to Australia were cognizant of the fact that a man with balls who will not bat an eyelid to do what is necessary to maintain order lives in the White House.
When President Obama said to the world that there will be consequences if Assad ever uses chemical weapon on his people, the world believed him. And when that ‘red line’ he set was finally crossed and he chickened out, he diminished the authority of the presidency and sent out a distressing message to the world that people can act out their whims and caprices with reckless abandon and there will be no consequences because the Police Chief has caught flu.
And Russia understood that message loud and clear. They have invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. And despite our dear president’s promise of costs to Russia should they annex Crimea, the annexation of Crimea is now a forgone conclusion. Yet we are still to see the costs to Russia. In short, President Obama’s fecundity at empty promises has done nothing than to embolden Putin and his next move is to re-acquire Ukraine into Russia, one of his many planned moves to rebuild Mother Russia.
And it is not just Vladimir Putin that is relishing in our President’s banality. For the first time in history, reports have emerged that Iranian warship is 200miles away from the coasts of the United States. Doing what?
Our traditional allies who depended on us for security are now on the self-service lane on their national security concerns having lost confidence in the U.S. willingness to have their back. Oppressed people globally are dismayed after the Syrian mgbamgbakwility because they have someone in the Oval Office who lacks both compassion for their situation and the courage to make a tough call or live up to his words. The Middle East peace process is back in shambles. Israel have zero trust in this administration’s alacrity to discourage a nuclear weapon Iran.
A fallout of President Obama’s foreign policy blunder on Syria is that a more dangerous world is unfolding out there and it requires strong and courageous leadership of the good old days to fix it. I am simply reminiscing the good old days when a Republican president was in charge of our foreign policy. It had a manly grit to it.