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A New Disorder

Aug 4, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 44 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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In Obama’s telling, the chaos Americans see on their television screens every night​—​more than 150,000 slaughtered in Syria, a terrorist army taking over major cities in Iraq, dozens of rockets daily targeting citizens of Israel, nearly 300 innocent travelers dead after a surface-to-air missile downs a passenger plane, and continued Russian aggression​—​is just part of a natural evolution. In the old world order, the United States played a dominant role. In the new one, we will not. With a rhetorical shrug of his shoulders, Obama says that these things may be unpleasant, but better days are ahead​—​a new order based on a “different set of principles” with “economies that work for all people” and a “sense of common humanity.”

These views are a radical departure from decades of bipartisan U.S. national security and foreign policy, and they can’t be dismissed as just the careless ramblings of a president who has checked out. He’s said much the same thing before. In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2009, Obama declared: “In an era when our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero-sum game. No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold.”

This is naïve and dangerous. There are serious consequences to the United States relinquishing power and influence. We’re living them​—​and so are people in the rest of the world.

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