EDITORIAL: Dictators back Barack

Overseas authoritarians prefer a U.S. president willing to bow to their will

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The Russians, Chinese and Iranians would vote for Barack Obama. That’s a good reason for Americans to select someone else.

Polls and informal surveys from around the world show that if foreigners could vote in the U.S. election, President Obama would win hands down. “The One” may have lost some of the luster he had four years ago, when simply showing up was good enough for him to land a Nobel Peace Prize, but he’s still popular overseas. That’s because many countries resent a robust White House, and adversary states chafe when their designs are foiled by American might. Mr. Obama is the perfect president for both factions. His diminutive stature on the global scene incites no envy among our friends and offers frequent opportunities to our adversaries.

Russia’s pugilistic President Vladimir Putin sees in Mr. Obama a pushover who caves to Moscow’s whims while promising even more flexibility after the election. In Mitt Romney he sees a clear-eyed leader vowing to show more spine. His choice is obvious.

It’s also no contest for communist China. When Mr. Romney said he would take on Chinese currency manipulation during one of the presidential debates, Mr. Obama weakly responded that this was a bad idea because China would start a trade war. Mr. Romney then correctly pointed out that such threats from Beijing were meaningless because they would wind up hurting the People’s Republic more than us. Mr. Obama’s meek posture would never put China in the position of having to make hard choices, and that’s how Beijing likes it.

The mullahs in Tehran would much prefer to see Mr. Obama’s ineffective policies continue than face Mr. Romney’s more robust approach to countering their nuclear program. Iran is four years closer to building the bomb, and the development of long-range delivery systems is well under way. Iran’s view of Mr. Obama’s re-election is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Islamic Republic definitely would not want to face a Romney administration, in which all options to counter Iran’s nuclear program would be on the table — including military intervention.

Israel is an exception to the global pro-Obama consensus. Israel’s voice is small but significant. No country suffers more than the Jewish state from America’s declining power, making Israel the ideal barometer. If the Israelis are convinced the United States has become too weak, then it undoubtedly is. Israel’s security depends upon a vigorous United States. When an American president seeks to “put daylight” between the two countries, fails to take a hard line against Iran, cheers on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, calls half of Jerusalem a “settlement” and endorses the “Auschwitz border” with the Palestinian Authority, Israelis have good cause for concern.

The world benefits from strong, dynamic U.S. leadership. Barack Obama doesn’t believe this, which is why America’s adversaries are rooting for four more years of his leading from behind.

The Washington Times

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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