Thomas Brewton opines that Obama's foreign policy "is depressingly flabby compared to the approach of our first liberal-progressive President, Teddy Roosevelt.":
Yes, Reagan talked with Gorbachev. But he resisted the Soviet advance from Nicaragua to Grenada to Afghanistan. He put Pershing missiles in Europe. He launched the Strategic Defense Initiative and said "nyet" when Gorbachev wanted us to deal it away. When Reagan said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," the end of the Cold War already was a fait accompli.
Would Obama have done or said any of this?
...Obama dislikes being called an appeaser. But would he say to Iran: No deal unless you disown and disarm Hezbollah? We doubt it. More likely he'd sacrifice a country such as Lebanon to Tehran's ambitions in a modern-day Munich.
In his book, "Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons," Obama adviser Joseph Cirincione, director of nuclear policy at the center for American Progress, says he favors Israel giving up its nuclear weapons to ensure Iran doesn't obtain nukes. That's called appeasement.
Cirincione also was quoted in 2006 calling Israel's 1981 raid on Iraq's nuclear reactor a "failure." But the raid on Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear reactor was an unqualified success that kept the Iraqi dictator from having a nuclear weapon when he invaded Iran a decade later.
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In his 1904 State of the Union message, Teddy announced the “Roosevelt Corollary” to the Monroe Doctrine: “Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society…may force the United States... to exercise an international police power.” In various Latin American trouble spots, Teddy didn’t hesitate to send in America Marines to quell revolutions and to take control of local government operations to protect what he conceived to be American interests.
While such conduct is hardly recommendable, it is decisively true that the rest of the world, for the first time, began to take the United States seriously in foreign affairs and to tread lightly whenever their actions might infringe upon our national interests.
An enduring effect of his activism was that Teddy became the model for his young cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Both had been marinated in the exhilarating and then novel doctrines of socialism while at Harvard. According to liberal-progressive historian Samuel Eliot Morison (The Oxford History of the American People), Teddy had long been radical in his domestic policy views.
In his 1912 Bull Moose Party campaign for the Presidency, Morison wrote:
"[Teddy's] ideas, clarified and systematized as the “New Nationalism,” included…the relatively new conception of social justice - the reconstruction of society by political action…He declared that the rich man “holds his wealth subject to the general right of the community to regulate its business use as the public welfare requires,” and that the police power of the state should be broadened to embrace all necessary forms of regulation."
Teddy would have approved Senator Obama’s socialistic program of higher taxes, greater regulation, price controls, and deficit spending to redistribute income. But Teddy would have taken one look at the foreign policy sensitivity of Senator Obama and his liberal-progressive colleagues and dismissed them as a bunch of spineless namby-pambies.