Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly declared that “a world without America is not only desirable, it is achievable.” While that sentiment won’t be embraced in President Obama’s inaugural address next week, all other things being equal, it seems likely to be the practical effect of his second term.
Of course, Iran’s regime seeks a world literally without America. More to the point, Mr. Ahmadinejad and the mullahs in Tehran are working tirelessly to secure the means by which to accomplish that goal. Specifically, they have or are developing the ability to engage in devastating electromagnetic pulse attacks, biological warfare and other asymmetric terrorist strikes.
For his part, President Obama seems to have in mind bringing about a world without America in a geostrategic sense. As Mark Steyn notes in a characteristically brilliant essay in National Review Online, that would be “Obamacare’s other shoe.” It would amount to a “fundamental transformation” of America’s place in the world, evidently intended to be the president’s second-act counterpart to the socialist transformation of this country that dominated his first term.
This agenda is strongly evident in Mr. Obama’s choices for key national security positions: John F. Kerry at the State Department, Chuck Hagel at Defense and John O. Brennan at the CIA. The three are, like the president, imbued with a post-American, post-sovereignty, post-constitutional, transnationalist outlook. In his administration, it would appear that their mission would be, as the American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka puts it, to manage the United States’ decline.
Having addressed previously in this space the serious problems with the judgment, records and policy proclivities of Mr. Hagel and Mr. Kerry, let’s consider those of John Brennan to further illustrate the syndrome.
Mr. Brennan is a textbook example of a U.S. official who has “gone native.” He speaks Arabic and was formerly the top CIA officer in Saudi Arabia. He has shown himself to be deeply sympathetic to Islamists — for example, excusing and dissembling about their commitment to jihad and the necessity of not offending them.
After President Obama himself, Mr. Brennan is, arguably, the single most important enabler of the Islamic supremacists’ agenda in government today. In his role as homeland security adviser to the president — a position that does not require Senate confirmation and that he was given as a consolation prize when it became clear that he might not be confirmable as CIA director back in 2009 — Mr. Brennan has helped legitimate, empower, fund, arm and embolden them abroad, and embraced and appeased them here at home.
Of particular concern is the fact that Mr. Brennan has presided over the policy of engaging the Muslim Brotherhood, which has consequently been portrayed by a politicized intelligence community as “largely secular” and “eschewing violence”; the shredding of training briefings and the proscribing of trainers that might upset Muslims by telling the truth about Shariah and the jihad it commands; the penetration of U.S. agencies by Muslim Brotherhood-associated individuals as employees or senior advisers; and misrepresentations to Congress about the true, jihadist character of the attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi this past Sept. 11.
Also of great concern is the prospect that Mr. Obama’s second-term team will, if confirmed, be even more insistent than its predecessors on engaging Iran. Make no mistake about it: The practical effect will be to buy the regime in Tehran the last few months it evidently needs to achieve what it has sought for decades: the means to have the world not only bereft of America’s leadership and stabilizing force, but to neutralize and perhaps eliminate the United States as a 21st century society.
Ordinarily, a president should be given wide latitude by the Senate to appoint those he wants to staff his administration. This is no ordinary time, though, and this is no ordinary president or administration. The circumstances are such that a Team Obama that is pursuing so dangerous a policy course must be challenged and impeded, not encouraged and abetted.
The Senate’s constitutional responsibility to confirm senior executive branch appointees is one of the few it hasn’t compromised or allowed the president to expropriate. It must exercise its authority to assure “quality control” with respect to his picks for top national security Cabinet posts.
Indeed, the fact that Mr. Obama seeks not one or two but three individuals who share his determination to achieve the radical and dangerous national security transformation he seeks in his second term demands that senators defy him. After all, should the Senate fail to object to this trajectory by rigorously debating and defeating any — and preferably all — of these problematic choices, its members risk not only allowing but becoming party to the realization of a world without America.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on WRC 1260 AM.