Continuing the hot 2009 Obama tour in Oslo, Norway, the president again reached out to the world to let them know that the United States would reserve the right to act unilaterally to defend our country, but mentions again that we have not followed the rules ourselves.
To begin with, I believe that all nations — strong and weak alike — must adhere to standards that govern the use of force. I — like any head of state — reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation. Nevertheless, I am convinced that adhering to standards strengthens those who do, and isolates — and weakens — those who dont.
The world rallied around America after the 9/11 attacks, and continues to support our efforts in Afghanistan, because of the horror of those senseless attacks and the recognized principle of self-defense. Likewise, the world recognized the need to confront Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait — a consensus that sent a clear message to all about the cost of aggression.
Furthermore, America cannot insist that others follow the rules of the road if we refuse to follow them ourselves. For when we dont [sic], our action can appear arbitrary, and undercut the legitimacy of future intervention — no matter how justified.
Hot Air has more about today’s speech in Oslo, and brings up a good point about Obama’s recent big speeches. What is America’s – and the world’s for that matter – expectations when it comes to the quality of his delivery and theme? For George W. Bush, expectations were always extremely low and after many pundits gave him good marks. Bush even impressed European leaders when many on the left were certain he would embarrass himself and the United States.
We heard a lot about expectations when it came to Bush. What are we hearing about expectations now? My gut is telling me there are extremely high expectations, and The One is not delivering.