The World Series is over, so it's a bit lame to use a baseball metaphor as the basis for a post. But I’m going to do it anyway.
It seems that all we (the USA) can do lately in the vast expanse of foreign relations is swing and miss. I recognize that the MSM tends to spin US interaction with any foreign country (military, political or otherwise) as negatively as possible. I realize that one political party is so obsessed with its hatred of the Bush administration that it provides little bi-partisan support for anything. I’m well aware that segments of the government (e.g., State, CIA, and the executive branch) are at each other’s throats and seem to be working at cross-purposes.
But still, it seems like all we do is swing and miss. Few hits and lots of strikes.
Where to begin? How about 1979? Iran invades our embassy and takes 400 plus American hostages. President Jimmy Carter is feckless in his feeble attempts to gain their release. The US is perceived by the Muslim world as a paper tiger that radical Islam has tamed. Strike 1.
The marine barracks in Lebanon is bombed by Hezbollah during the Reagan administration, killing 200+ marines, and we do absolutely nothing (except withdraw from Lebanon). Strike 2.
Saddam invades Kuwait and Bush 41 takes a strong stand. He expels Iraq, but doesn’t finish the job, bowing to Arab pressure and the correct assessment that overthrowing the dictator will lead to chaos. Infield single.
We experience a number of clear-cut terrorist attacks during the Clinton administration (1990s), including a deadly attack in Somalia in which US servicemen’s bodies are dragged through the streets. We do nothing except withdraw. Strike 3. One out.
The Clinton administration tries to negotiate with North Korea and believes its own nonsensical claims that negotiations have worked (strike 1).
The current Bush administration responds to 9/11 (Strike 2) with heavy military action in Afghanistan, overthrowing the Taliban and giving the Afghan people a chance at a better life (ground rule double). But then it miscalculates badly in Iraq and ensnares us in a civil war that cannot be won. Strike 3. Two out.
The current Bush administration insists on multilateral talks with the NoKos (foul tip) but a nuclear test occurs anyway. Strike 1. At the same time, Iran thumbs its nose at the US and the EU and proceeds in its attempt to build a nuke. Strike 2.
And Islamofascist terror lurks in the shadows, waiting for an opening while many in the media and most on the Left delude themselves into thinking that the real problem is the United States and its foreign policy. Strike 3. 3 out. No runs scored.
Democratic or Republican – it really doesn’t matter. Every administration keeps swinging and missing. I know the world is a complex place. I know that we can’t always win. But if you look at past history, the only reasonable conclusion is this: No balls, lots of strikes.