Photo Credit: TownHall President Obama’s recent foreign policy speech, delivered at this year’s West Point graduation ceremony, was a disappointment to anyone who hoped the president might be changing course. The failure of each U.S. intervention thus far in the 21st century might have inspired at least a bit of reflection.
However, the president made it clear that interventionism and American exceptionalism would continue to guide his administration in its final two years. The president said, “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being,” adding the dubious claim that “because of American diplomacy and foreign assistance, as well as the sacrifices of our military — more people live under elected governments today than at any time in human history.”
It’s funny he would mention elections. Last week the Syrians held their first multi-candidate presidential election in 50 years. Almost three-quarters of Syrian voters participated, giving President Assad 88 percent of the vote. After three years fighting a foreign-backed insurgency, voting conditions were not optimal. However, despite State Department claims to the contrary, it can no longer be stated that Assad enjoys no popularity in his country. Even former CIA chief Michael Hayden not long ago envisioned Assad winning a fair election in Syria.
But the U.S. government completely rejected the vote in Syria, with Secretary of State John Kerry calling it “a great big zero,” because, as he put it, “you can’t have an election where millions of your people don’t even have an ability to vote.”
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