Obama’s predecessors understood—innately, intuitively, inherently—that the free market is what works. It’s not a preference or an opinion. It’s not something that has to be tested or tried out. History proves it works. Empirical evidence proves it works. And both history and empirical evidence prove that socialism does not work.
Can anyone imagine Truman or Eisenhower, Johnson or Reagan responding in a similar manner if Stalin, Khrushchev, or Brezhnev complimented them? Did they praise Moscow for blockading Berlin, for crushing Hungary, for snuffing out the Prague Spring, for smothering Poland, for being strong, for killing terrorists, for keeping restive peoples in line?
The Marrakesh Declaration is a good—albeit late—start. Political and religious leaders in the Middle East’s Muslim-majority nations have much ground to cover to protect religious minorities. Shiites are targeted in Sunni-majority nations, Sunnis in Shiite-majority nations, and Christians virtually everywhere in the Middle East.
If Gitmo is “contrary to who we are,” to borrow Obama’s language, if EITs “caused immeasurable damage to the United States’ public standing,” to quote the Senate report, then what exactly is a drone war that metes out punishment based on guilt by association and amounts to execution without trial?
There are consequences to a foreign policy that is less committed to promoting democracy and less interested in buttressing an international system built on democratic ideals. It stands to reason that when the world’s strongest exponent of democracy and freedom pulls back, the democratic tide will lose momentum.
Some lament the fact that we live in such a violent world, but that’s precisely the point. Because we live in a violent world, governments must take steps to deter those who can be deterred—and neutralize those who cannot.