The Obama Doctrine

George W. Bush had a doctrine. His dad didn’t but Ronald Reagan had one. So did Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon. Also Lyndon Johnson, and John Kennedy. Gerald Ford did not last long enough to have one. Eisenhower had one. So did Truman.

No doubt Barack Obama wants one. Some say he has one but they are quick to say they are not sure what it is. There is now a six-year debate about what it might be.

I say he has one and it is clear. His number one foreign policy priority is the promotion of lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals, and transgenders around the world. It is the thing he is most consistent about and the thing he consistently backs with the might and muscle of the United States no matter what.

He issued a presidential memorandum in 2011 making LGBT rights a major foreign policy priority. He directed every part of the Federal government that does business beyond our borders to make this a priority issue including, inexplicably, the Department of Agriculture. Perhaps there are, after all, transgender farms in Sweden like there are in California.

He directed all Federal agencies to “to expand efforts to combat discrimination, homophobia, and intolerance on the basis of LGBT status or conduct.” Homophobia and intolerance are not defined but you can expect they will be defined broadly enough to get you and me.

Don’t think the Obama Doctrine is not serious or that he treats LGBT issues like he treats America’s traditional leadership role in the world, that is, with regret and disdain. No, for this he punishes. In March he withdrew greatly needed financial assistance to Uganda because Uganda passed what many see as draconian laws restricting LGBT activity, both public and private. I happen to agree that the Uganda laws are draconian but the withdrawal of development aid from such a poor country over this issue simply does not make sense except in the context of the Obama Doctrine.

Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world. Thirty-seven percent of its population lives on less than $1.25 per day. Life expectancy at birth is 54 years. It has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world.

Barack Obama withdrew financial support from this poor country as a sop to his rich gay friends at the Human Rights Campaign. He even withdrew money from a program to combat HIV/Aids.

Last Friday twenty-five Democratic Senators, led by Ed Markey of Massachusetts, proposed legislation that would place into law that LGBT is a foreign policy priority for the United States. Their bill goes much further than Obama’s memorandum. This bill even mandates the training of foreign soldiers in the promotion of LGBT rights. It creates a new Special Envoy, appointed by the President, who may roam the world as he sees fit to ensure that this favored group’s favored desires get the full backing of the most powerful nation on earth.

Let’s keep in mind that right now the world is on fire. The Iranians work ever closer to nuclear capability. Russia expands into Crimea and Ukraine. Somali terrorists raid Kenyan villages killing dozens. Egypt teeters on chaos. Libya is in chaos. Syria has a hot civil war going. Thailand had a military coup. Terrorists kidnap Israeli teenagers. Baghdad is about to fall to a new group no one heard of a few news cycles ago.

And what does Obama do? Besides dithering on the big things, he hoists the gay rainbow flag over embassies all over the world. We are relieved the gay flag flies not over but under the US flag, but give them time. The US holds gay pride events, including dances, in our embassies, even in countries we need as allies in our fight against Muslim extremism but who are guaranteed to find such events deeply abhorrent. We appoint otherwise unqualified men as ambassadors but who qualify because of their same-sex attraction.

There is evidence of pushback against this ideological encroachment. The president of Uganda said he opposed the new draconian law until the US government, left-wing media and NGOs brought intense indeed global pressure. He was angry, called it imperialism, and signed the bill.

In recent days, the Organization of American States issued a document explicitly saying the LGBT issue is properly left to the member states of the OAS and could not be mandated from on high. This is seen as a stick in the eye to the US and the gay ambassadors Obama has appointed in Latin America.

There is no doubt that those with same-sex desires are discriminated against in places all over the world. It is also true that life-sentences or even death for homosexual encounters is deeply wrong. Any fair person can say these things without equivocation, even at the risk of angering our brothers in Africa.

But the showboating of Barack Obama in order to gain the applause of the deep-pocketed gays in Hollywood and Wall Street and every other power center they dominate is probably causing more harm that good.

What’s more, continuous attempts by the radicals at the UN and the European Union to force this issue into the global human rights paradigm will only harm genuine human rights in the long run. Existing human rights treaties already cover those with same-sex desire. To try and foist a new category of non-discrimination for “sexual orientation and gender identity” into international law will only tell the thug states that human rights really do not exist or that they may be ignored.

Most of the world does not want this. It’s like most of Africa does not care about so-called reproductive rights. They care about basic medical care, which they cannot get because we in the rich west spend our money on reproductive rights.

Most of the world rightly sees this LGBT business as the work of American and European elites, and so it is. One billion people live on a buck a day. One billion people cannot get a clean glass of water and who pee into the river they drink from. These people have real concerns and they do not align with the sexual fashions of those in Malibu, Tribeca and DuPont Circle.

The Obama Doctrine is to support and promote the rights of an elite few at the expense of the rest of the world.

Editor’s note: Pictured above is the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv during the city’s so-called Gay Pride week this month.

Austin Ruse


Austin Ruse is a contributing editor to Crisis Magazine. He is the author, most recently, of No Finer Time to be a Faithful Catholic (Sophia Institute Press, 2021).

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