Why Obama Scares Me

By: Mona Charen | Posted: March 21, 2014 3:55 AM
Mona Charen

Mona Charen

The most febrile of George W. Bush haters liked to claim during his tenure that the former president "scared" them. There is far more reason to be frightened by President Barack Obama, because fecklessness and inconstancy trigger wars.

The outstanding example of weakness inviting aggression was the conduct of the democracies toward Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. Though it has been retroactively tainted as shameful cowardice, the policy of appeasement grew out of a "war weariness" that was far more understandable than our own. Britain and France suffered millions of dead and wounded in World War I and were desperate to avoid a repeat. The Munich Agreement, which ceded part of Czechoslovakia to Germany (without its consent), was signed by Britain and France in hopes that Hitler's ambitions were limited, but in any case because they believed appeasement was the best way to avoid war. 

They couldn't have been more wrong. Hitler didn't, to put it mildly, share their abhorrence of war. He welcomed it (when he was sufficiently strong) and he interpreted their appeasement policy as weakness. They'd forgotten the Roman axiom: "If you want peace; prepare for war." In the end, they had to fight anyway, but only after permitting their enemy valuable time. Had the United States not been dragged into the war by Japan's attack and Hitler's declaration of war on us, the Axis powers would almost certainly have won.

In June of 1961, President John F. Kennedy met with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. The communist sized up the young president as callow and unimpressive. Kennedy said later that it was "the worst thing in my life. He savaged me." Eighteen months later, the world was plunged into a nuclear crisis as Kennedy was forced to respond to the USSR's placement of intermediate-range missiles in Cuba. Khrushchev had concluded that Kennedy could be rolled. The resulting showdown brought the world close to nuclear war.

In July of 1991, April Glaspie, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, met with Saddam Hussein and asked very politely why he had so many divisions parked on the border of Kuwait. Later in the same meeting, she said, "We have no opinion on your Arab/Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary (James) Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction ... that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America." A few weeks later, Iraq invaded and conquered Kuwait, prompting former President George H.W. Bush to launch a war to liberate it. Glaspie said later, "Obviously, I didn't think, and nobody else did, that the Iraqis were going to take all of Kuwait."

Obama and members of his administration are fond of lecturing Vladimir Putin that he is behaving in a "19th century" fashion, as if aggression has gone out of style like knee breeches. Actually, the second half of the 19th century was quite a peaceful one for Europe, particularly compared with the 18th and 17th centuries. That peace was largely maintained by the British Empire, that is, by overwhelming power in the hands of a peaceful country.

Nothing so encourages an aggressor as the perception of weakness in his antagonists. Obama hasn't even processed that he is an antagonist. Why, he means no one any harm (except perhaps Republicans). Didn't he reset relations with Moscow? Didn't he promise in 2012 to show "more flexibility" toward Putin after the election? Didn't he say, over and over again, that a "decade of war is ending" and that we are going to do some "nation building here at home"? Did he not maneuver the United States into "leading from behind" in Libya? Hasn't he pressured allies like Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians while permitting Mahmoud Abbas to skate? Hasn't he let bygones be bygones about the Edward Snowden unpleasantness? Hasn't he drastically reduced defense spending? Didn't he give Bashar Assad a third chance after drawing red lines? Hasn't he sought to ingratiate himself with China's brutal regime (his family is traveling there this week)? Didn't he permit Putin to oversee Assad's supposed surrender of chemical weapons? How could a leader be more unthreatening?

Remember all of those previous appeasers who were surprised that aggressors went further than expected? Consider this report from the BBC: "Russia signaled concern on Wednesday at Estonia's treatment of its large ethnic Russian minority, comparing language policy in the Baltic state with what it said was a call in Ukraine to prevent the use of Russian. Russia has defended its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula by arguing it has the right to protect Russian speakers outside its borders ... "

Estonia is a member of NATO. There was a time when that would have been dispositive. But Obama has demonstrated that his threats are hollow and his stated boundaries accordion-like. That's why Obama scares me. 

To find out more about Mona Charen and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

Tags: News, Columns

Comments (2)

more than pathetic
1:19AM MAR 23RD 2014
GHW Bush was partners with Saddam Hussein in Texaco. Why are the Texaco Bankruptcy files sealed? And don't kid yourself. President Barack Obama is a post turtle, he could have never got where he is today without the Bush family machine. He bypassed the Kennedy family and the Clinton family (who GHW Bush now calls his adopted son) even it's Bush's fault is scripted.For the better part of a century, everything goes straight back to a Bush, Samuel; WW! Munitions; Prescott Wall Street banker financed Hitler's buildup and even after the US entered the war. Congressional documents prove this. And starting with his WW2 youngest pilot whose act of ignorance cost the lives of his crew story and the literally hundreds of other lives whose blood is on a Bush's hands. Yea it's easy to see why there are so many so called Bush haters alright!
That is a famous 1992 quote by George Herbert Walker Bush to Sarah McLendon, a Texas journalist who Bush had known for years and who was the grand dame of the White House press corps at the time. McLendon had asked Bush: “What will the people do if they ever find out the truth about Iraq-gate and Iran contra?” to which Bush replied: “Sarah, if the American people ever find out what we have done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us.”

And now this bunch of war mongers is shoving their BushCare for education down the throats of the American people. They call it Common core and don't think Obama is not right in the sack with them as well. It was Obama who created the Race to the Top to reward the school districts that jumped right one the band wagon without resistance!

Anyone with brains had better darn well be scared of this whole bunch of New World Order Globalists. They are pushing us down the path of no return!
10:32AM MAR 21ST 2014
Incredible -->"Bush haters liked to claim during his tenure that the former president "scared" them. There is far more reason to be frightened by President Barack Obama, because fecklessness and inconstancy trigger wars" . . . . . now remind me WHO was it that started a war in Iraq with the only cause having any reality behind it being that "this is a guy that tried to kill my dad at one time" . . . . and remind me again WHO it was that ended that tragedy of a war . . . . . so, yes, yes, I'm sure you're right, we must nuke Russia tomorrow . . . . . rightwing war-mongering politics of the "Big Lie" . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .

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