RUSH: Peter Beinart: “America Doesn’t Matter Anymore.” By the way, just to give you more details on who he is. He’s a senior political writer for the Daily Beast, associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York, senior fellow at the New America Foundation. He first rose to national acclaim being an editor at New Republic, and he’s had a couple of books, and of course you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. And of course he’s a leftist. “America Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” is the title of his piece. “As Europe takes the lead on the Libyan intervention, it’s a powerful signal of America’s weakening global influence. Peter Beinart on Obama’s Jeffersonian turn — and the end of an empire.” And they’re happy about this, even calling it Jeffersonian.
“In the summer of 1995, when the Clinton administration — after more than two years of deference — forced the Europeans into a humanitarian war against the Serbs, then-Lieutenant General Wesley Clark exulted ‘The big dog barked today.’ Back then, the big dog was not fighting any other wars. It was unchallenged in East Asia; its economy was beginning to boom and its fiscal problems were melting away. And even then, Americans only supported the Bosnia war, and its kid brother Kosovo, on the condition that no Americans died. Today, by contrast, America’s fiscal condition is terrifying and the Pentagon is fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, trying to stay out of one with Iran, and keeping one eye on a rising China. I don’t know what it took to convince an obviously reluctant Robert Gates to permit American involvement in the Libyan no-fly zone, but it’s a reasonable bet that had Barack Obama not been able to promise that it would be a mostly European affair, Gates would now be a military analyst on Fox News.” Meaning Gates wanted to do it. Obama didn’t want to do it. Gates would have been canned, and so forth and so on.
Once again here, somebody is saying, it’s Gates’ idea; it’s not Obama’s.
“The American public’s appetite for humanitarian war has always been meager. And now the American government’s capacity for waging it is meager, too. … Whether they’ll be able to — whether they have the capacity and stomach for what it would take to push Gaddafi from power — is another question. But it’s not surprising that Barack Obama is giving them a chance to try,” meaning the Europeans. “Obama is what you might call a roundabout Jeffersonian. Jeffersonians, to borrow Walter Russell Mead’s phrase, believe that preserving America’s economic and political solvency requires reining in American empire.” Mr. Beinart, do you actually believe that is what this is about? Do you actually believe that Obama’s reluctance to get involved here is to save our economy? Where do these people live? Intellectually, where do they live to come up with this idea that Obama’s reluctance is to save our economy? It’s an economy that he has under assault. Obama’s boys read this, “America Doesn’t Matter Anymore, the end of an empire,” that’s victory for them.
Thomas Jefferson fought the Barbary wars. Thomas Jefferson was the first American president to recognize the dangers posed by militant Islam, for crying out loud. And to call Obama Jeffersonian on the basis that he realizes we can’t do all this foreign policy stuff ’cause we don’t have the money. Why don’t we have the money? Who is it that’s bankrupted us, or has played a large role in it? “So Obama is trying to do it on the sly, to reduce the costs of American foreign policy without reining in our ambition. … Will it work? Beats me. But it’s an illusion to believe we could have done this the old way. One of the crucial questions of our age is whether America’s liberal ideals can flourish despite the decline of American power. Libya will be one of the places we find out.” America doesn’t matter anymore. We can’t do this. We had to pass this off to Libya. We can’t afford it. Obama knows it. We don’t have the power we used to have. Our economy has just bankrupted us and so forth. I swear, these people, the smartest people in the room.
RUSH: The Barbary wars, Thomas Jefferson. The Barbary wars were fought because Jefferson would not go along with the European powers and just pay tribute to the pirates in Tripoli. I mean for Beinart to sit here and compare this to Jeffersonianism, I guess somewhere we’re gonna find that Thomas Jefferson wanted to tax the mileage of your horse and buggy, and then somewhere we’re gonna find that Thomas Jefferson had this amazing plan called Jeffersoncare that was gonna provide health care and health insurance for every American. You haven’t heard about Jeffersoncare? Oh, look it up, Google Jeffersoncare, and then find out all the tax increases Thomas Jefferson came up with, particularly the mileage on your horse and buggy. Oh, yeah. It’s all there. And then you’ll read about the Barbary wars were fought because Jefferson would not go along. The European powers just wanted to pay tribute, pay the pirates in Tripoli, Libya, just pay ’em, keep ’em off our back. Jefferson said, no way.
“Millions for defense, not one cent for tribute,” was the slogan of the day in Jefferson’s day. And we have to sit here and read a piece, America’s over. America’s finished, the decline of the United States of America. America doesn’t matter anymore. Thomas Jefferson was the first US president to call for a standing army. You want to compare that to Obama? Mr. Beinart is a former senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Policy or Foreign Relations or some such thing and he doesn’t know the basic facts about Jefferson’s foreign policy? You think Obama cares about whether we could afford anything? If he cared about whether we could afford anything, we wouldn’t have Obamacare. I mean this is silly. Yeah, we’ve handed it off to NATO, America is in decline. America can’t handle it anymore. America doesn’t matter anymore, Obama realizes, yeah, just like Thomas Jefferson, yeah, you gotta shore up your own economy before you go out there in the world.
The idea Obama cares about what something costs. (interruption) What do you mean I’m not supposed to blow the cover on it? What nice sounding words? America doesn’t matter anymore? America doesn’t matter anymore sounds grand? Powerful signal of America’s weakening global influence, sounds grand? Right. Well, if I’m blowing the cover on it, I’m happy to blow the cover on it. The bottom line is Barack Obama wants us to be second fiddle in the world. Barack Obama is happy to play second fiddle. Thomas Jefferson sent the Marines to Tripoli, that’s how the Marine Corps hymn was born. Jefferson did it, while he was also doing Jeffersoncare, and Jefferson tax increases on horse and buggy mileage. I remember this now, Peter Beinart’s last book argued the only way for America to distinguish itself from the predatory imperial powers of the past is to acknowledge our own capacity for evil, which sounds just like Obama. We must admit our own capacity for evil. And that’s why US negotiators with the ChiComs say, “Yeah, well, we have our own problems oppressing people here.” Remember all that in the first year of the Obama regime?
RUSH: By the way, did you know what it was that ultimately caused Jefferson to wage war against radical Islam and the Barbary pirates? Do you know what it was? Jefferson and John Adams, as envoys of President Washington, went to the UK, and they visited Tripoli’s — which is now Libya — Tripoli’s ambassador to Britain. And his name was Sidi Haji Abdrahaman. Name doesn’t matter. Jefferson, Adams go see Tripoli’s ambassador to Britain. They were trying to stop the piracy. The ambassador gave them a lesson in Sharia law in explaining why the piracy was permitted. They’re infidels. They either pay a tribute or we can legally take what they’ve got. And Jefferson wrote about this. “The ambassador answered us that [the right to piracy] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman (or Muslim) who should be slain in battle was sure to go to paradise.” So the Tripoli ambassador told Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, “You either pay us or we’re gonna keep robbing you and killing you. It’s in our Koran.” And that’s when Jefferson decided to go to war. And Peter Beinart writes at the Daily Beast today that Barack Hussein Obama is Jeffersonian.
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