President Barack Obama reached out to the Arab world last week with his worldview.
The silence that met his remarks from the Arab Capitols was deafening.
Hat in hand, he made it clear the United States wants to engage with newly formed governments.
The problem is that since he has thrown leaders that were American allies for decades under the bus, we now face new Arab leaders who distrust and don’t like the United States. Past agreements are likely to be altered or trashed.
It’s yet another miscalculation that Arab countries will gravitate toward America as the world’s leading democracy. It hasn’t happened so far.
To mollify a teetering Palestinian state that has condemned America’s action against Osama bin Laden, he has planted the seeds for the destruction of Israel, America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East and its only democracy.
By suggesting that Israel move back to pre-1967 borders, he openly supports a plan that will end the Jewish state and destroy its people and technologies. It is another example of how the Obama administration treats its friends while kowtowing to those that wish us harm.
But the Middle East isn’t the only area where Obama has dissed our friends and misplaced his loyalties. In a shocking turnaround, last week U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced that Obama will not be sending the pending free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea to Congress for a vote.
That’s right. After all, these three nations are important allies with stable governments that have bent over backward to comply with the whims of a confusing American administration. They are allies that are ready to enact agreements that would create hundreds of thousands of desperately needed U.S. jobs. Yet, once again, the United States is reneging on its commitment.
What happened to Obama’s call to double exports in five years and why the flip-flop on these agreements that are the only hope to achieve this goal?
More misplaced loyalties. Obama is holding the three trade agreements hostage until $2 billion is provided for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program. This is the federal program that provides employment opportunities for U.S. workers (read: union members) who have supposedly lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade.
It is obvious that Obama is in full re-election mode and is aggressively courting trade unions to pour money into his election coffers.
For Obama to win in 2012, he must run the table of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. He can’t do this without labor support that is highly energized and willing to go all out. Union membership of the private work force has shrunk to an all-time low of 8 percent.
This is down from nearly 60 percent in the late 1950s. The unions are in deep decline. Obama is willing to sacrifice the good of 92 percent of the American work force to mobilize union support in the Midwest for his re-election efforts.
This administration is on a dangerous course. We simply cannot afford to alienate our allies, who are dwindling in number. If we expect to gain cooperation from other world leaders, we need to demonstrate that we support our friends, not compromise their trust and allegiance.
Congress must not allow itself to be blackmailed over trade agreements that are vital to revitalizing our economy. If Obama wants to ensure that he loses the next election, all he has to do is continue to block job creation.
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