Patterico's Pontifications

4/21/2009

Pres. Obama’s fantasy foreign policy

Filed under: General,Obama — Karl @ 9:49 am

[Posted by Karl]

Asked to describe the “Obama doctrine” for foreign policy, Pres. Obama could not help but get a bit defensive:

And the — as a consequence of listening, believing that there aren’t junior partners and senior partners in the international stage, I don’t think that we suddenly transform every foreign policy item that’s on the agenda. I know that in each of these meetings the question has been, well, did you get something specific? What happened here? What happened there?

Countries are going to have interests, and changes in foreign policy approaches by my administration aren’t suddenly going to make all those interests that may diverge from ours disappear. What it does mean, though, is, at the margins, they are more likely to want to cooperate than not cooperate. It means that where there is resistance to a particular set of policies that we’re pursuing, that resistance may turn out just to be based on old preconceptions or ideological dogmas that, when they’re cleared away, it turns out that we can actually solve a problem.

Clearly, Obama does not want to answer questions about the overall results of his “doctrine” because those answers are not pretty. Pres. Obama would prefer to blame his predecessors, especially former Pres. Bush. However, the Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl — hardly a raving wingnut — addresses that ploy’s expiration date:

Now comes the interesting part: when it starts to become evident that Bush did not create rogue states, terrorist movements, Middle Eastern blood feuds or Russian belligerence — and that shake-ups in U.S. diplomacy, however enlightened, might not have much impact on them.

Diehl surveys the results of the Obama doctrine to date, with devastating effect. North Korea rejected Obama’s diplomatic overtures to test a missile designed for a range that could strike Hawaii or Alaska. Neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority were impressed by Obama’s intervention — or willing to offer even token concessions. Russia ignored Obama’s diplomatic overtures of appeasement (as comical as they may have been) on NATO and missile defense, and is blatantly violating its cease-fire agreement with two Georgian republics. Iran rejected Obama’s overtures, announcing its plan to expand its uranium enrichment and trying an American journalist for espionage.

Top White House adviser David Axelrod claims that Obama’s apology tours to Europe and Latin America have made anti-American sentiment “uncool” and “created a new receptivity” to US interests. In the real world, Nicaragua’s Communist president Daniel Ortega can spew anti-American agitprop to Obama’s face for an hour straight without any defense from Obama. And Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez can use Obama to popularize anti-American propaganda, as Obama proclaims it “a nice gift.”

As for Europe, the reality is that our allies are equally taking advantage of the Obama doctrine. On issues as diverse as the global recession, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Europe and NATO have almost entirely rejected Obama’s agenda.

Diehl concluded his column with this:

Obama is not the first president to discover that facile changes in U.S. policy don’t crack long-standing problems. Some of his new strategies may produce results with time. Yet the real test of an administration is what it does once it realizes that the quick fixes aren’t working — that, say, North Korea and Iran have no intention of giving up their nuclear programs, with or without dialogue, while Russia remains determined to restore its dominion over Georgia. In other words, what happens when it’s no longer George W. Bush’s fault? That’s what the next 100 days will tell us.

Actually, the immediate problem is that Obama, Axelrod & Co. are either unwilling to admit the Obama doctrine is an abject failure to date, or are in denial about it. So the real question is what parade of horribles will be so severe, public or prolonged that Obama will be forced to come to grips with — and act on — that reality.

–Karl

72 Responses to “Pres. Obama’s fantasy foreign policy”

  1. Whether there is an Obama Doctrine or not, no doubt Katie Couric will use it as a question when interrogating a Republican candidate.

    Mary (1dc631)

  2. You presume O&Co consider these results failures.

    Richard Aubrey (a9ba34)

  3. After listening whenever Obama answers a questions, I’m always inclined to ask “is this guy saying something or just talking”.

    jdflorida (21be29)

  4. Why don’t you all just get out your bedsheet and pillowcases, bleach and starch them up, and dance around a campfire?

    DsCSA's Unicorn (e59ffa)

  5. Yes, when you campaign on “change” and cannot define what that “change” is—other than not GW Bush—you have a problem.

    Don’t worry. He’ll continue to blame GW Bush as long as possible.

    The problem is that the world is not actually American. Our new President is discovering that, and it doesn’t sit well.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  6. The B. Hussein Obama Doctrine (so far):
    Bow to his Muslim superiors
    Apologypalooza
    Hump the legs of Marxist tyrants
    I fear that yet to come is the implementation of Carter’s dream of unilateral disarmament.

    He’s “Jimmy Carter without the raging testosterone.”
         –Lt. Col Ralph Peters (ret.)

    Dave (in MA) (037445)

  7. This is actually worse than the Carter foreign policy, because at the very least Carter’s emphasis on human rights forced his administration to push the Soviets on their internal treatment of dissidents such as Andrei Sakharov and Natan Sharansky. Long-term, Carter may have never met a dictator he didn’t like, but at the very least his people offered up a modicum of criticism of the U.S.’s enemies.

    Obama’s meetings so far with people like Chavez, Ortega or King Abdullah have produced not one whit of public pressure for any reforms of their restrictive policies. He and his administration mouth platitudes about their concern for the treatment of people around the world, but their actions show they care for the people in oppressed nations as much as they care for the kids in D.C. schools with their moves to eliminate school choice. Words mean everything, but only as far as they can help fool the home voters — deeds are of no interest if it doesn’t help “The Cause”.

    John (692c5c)

  8. Karl:

    So the real question is what parade of horribles will be so severe, public or prolonged that Obama will be forced to come to grips with — and act on — that reality.

    I honestly do not think that he is mentally capable of grasping that his appeasement approach can, and will, fail.

    Therefore, I don’t expect any change in the conduct of foreign affairs over his tenure, no matter how bad things get.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  9. What do you expect of the neophyte who has never run anything but his mouth, and for that he needs assistance in the form of a teleprompter. One wonders who is behind the curtain feeding the information to the lacky. Obama is full of himself, however he is not as capable as he thinks. He has not shown he has what it takes to be President of the United States. This is the guy who hung with Davis, Ayers and Wright. What did anyone expect? Leadership? Quit it.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (e461c0)

  10. Obama does not seem teachable but there are a few adults in his administration who, when the train definitely appears headed off the track, may either speak up or quietly resign. I suspect the test will come around the next Congressional elections.

    Mike K (8df289)

  11. I am somewhat suprised no leftist trolls have stepped up to defend the indefensible. A bow to a King that was not a bow. The acceptance of a book from a south american dictator which blames the U.S. for the ills of latin america and the ability to listen to Daniel Orgtega demean the nation of which Obama is President without walking out shows what this pretender is made of. But then he listened to Jeremiah Wright for 20 years say the same sort of thing. May Obama’s term be short. Impeachment after 2010.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (e461c0)

  12. Obama will not learn from his mistakes. Things will only change when the Islamofascists treat Obama as an apostate under Sharia Law.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  13. But you haven’t even give the man a chance, how can you be so unfair! And also – BushCowboyUnilaterismWarMongerHalliburtonRoveInarticulateRedneck!

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  14. J. Ray, I think if we do not do anything about the situation, we will be screwed. The deal about a screwing session is there is always a screwer and a screwee. I would like to think there are enough people who are very very tired of being the screwee and that they will do something about this before irrepairable damage is done to our way of life. Hopefull that would be by legal means but if not. We must preserve liberty for our children to enjoy.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (e461c0)

  15. in essence, the Obama doctrine is to ‘bow’ (a euphemism for smiling, kissing up and dissing America) in hopes that other countries will be so impressed with him that they either won’t notice or object that the substance of his foreign policy is pretty much the same as with Bush.

    Bush never took on North Korea, Obama didn’t either. Bush didn’t force Iran to stop producing nukes, neither has or will Obama. Bush reserved the right to keep terrorists incarcerated indefinitely, so too is Obama, albeit at Bagram and not at Guantanamo. Bush huffed about Russia’s antagonism with its neighbors but didn’t do anything about it, a pattern Obama is more than willing to follow. And Bush never got China to open up and stop mistreating its citizens, Obama isn’t going to either, he just came out and said he wasn’t going to waste the time.

    But Obama is naive if he thinks anyone is going to pay more attention to the way he conducts foreign policy than the substance of what he is doing. No country is going to go along with us on an issue that they don’t like because Obama said America hasn’t played nice with others. And contrary to Bush’s critics, no country was going to not do something in its interest because Bush came across as a jerk.

    In fewer words, style doesn’t matter, substance does and in substance there ain’t a lot of difference between Bush and Obama.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  16. Dave (in MA), ouch, Ralph Peters ( no fan of George Bush by the way ) really nailed it there.

    SPQR (72771e)

  17. Steve, the problem here is that President Obama has been followed around by people who never criticize what he does or think. Look at the incredible “halo” photography during the election.

    To be sure, some folks on the Right have criticized (but not all of them, for fear of being called uncool and possibly racist) him. But they are from the Right, and don’t count so far as Obama sees it.

    As more and more journalists, previously dealing with leg-tingling, start to criticize his actions (like Krugman, recently), we will see how the new President deals with not being feted.

    I predict a season of pouting. And a Twenty First Century “malaise” style speech.

    Welcome back, Carter.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  18. Bush was criticized by the usual suspects right off the get-go after 9/11 for his “our way, or the hi-way” anti-terror policies; he was practising Cowboy Diplomacy, etc.
    So, on Iran, he went multi-lateral, relying on the EU nations to negotiate with the Mullahs and report back to the UN.
    On NorKor, he pushed China for the 6-Party Talks, and got that instituted. Again, multi-lateralism!
    But, dealing with the Mullahs, and the Dear Leader, is a lot like trying to push a string: You spend a lot of energy, but there is no way to move the other end (or, as my farmer uncle would say: It don’t do no good to mud-wrestle a pig; all you do is get dirty, and the pig enjoys it!
    So, since multi-lateralism hasn’t worked with either of these problems, what is Duh-1 going to do?
    Go Cowboy?
    He doesn’t have the (eggs).

    AD (57cf22)

  19. Three months is all he had, karl, and it’s all over. Off-shore, the Iranian and Venezuelan invasion boats bob with the waves, while Kim Jong demands our surrender…

    Karl, you need to calm down a bit. You have 3 and 3/4 years of this to go. After awhile, don’t you think even you will tire of “Obama choose eggs at breakfast — Epic Fail for World peace” or “Obama wears a Blue Coat and Not a Gray one, stock market collapse, black hole appears in Lafayette park, whole world to be destroyed.”

    In the end, I think he has more than three months to stare into people’s eyes. After all the opposite tack didn’t seem to work on either the Israelis, the Russians, or the North Koreans (or are we to believe they just started building that rocket on January 21?).

    I know you need traffic and all to the green room, but give me some analysis and not some partisan hand-wring. How about how Senators up for re-election in 2010 feel about Obama’s budget (I know mine, Evan Bayh, seems less than enthused).

    Seriously, if all you have to complain about is handshakes and Anglea Merkel back-rubs and vomiting on Prime Ministers, then you’ll have to do better than that. These public appearances are not substantive.

    timb (a83d56)

  20. Eric and AD together: by no means am I defending Obama, but did Bush really listen to the liberals who criticized him? I doubt that Bush wanted to go solo with Iran but was persuaded to let Europe (not) handle it because of pressure from the left, he did so because he thought it would work better. Bush always struck me, for good and bad, as someone who didn’t much care what others thought about his foreign policy, he was a man on a mission from God and armed with his sunglasses and a full tank of gas, he was going to fulfill that mission no matter what the critics and non-believers said about him (and I contrast that with domestic policy where at times he seemed way too willing to bend to pressure).

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  21. BHO is doing precisely what W did with Putin and Russia. W decided there really was nothing he could actually do about Russia, so he tried the personal engagement, going so far as to proclaiming Putin was a good man. The ultimate personal diplomacy.

    W was excoriated by Democrats for being so naive.

    Where is the outrage on the left today whilst BHO does the very same things across all spheres of influence, not just Russia? By the by, can anyone articulate for me BHO’s Georgian policy? Ukraine? Anyone? Bueller?

    Ed from SFV (f274d1)

  22. Steve – That is quite the caricature of Bush you erected there.

    JD (7642d2)

  23. a caricature? perhaps, but aren’t good caricatures based on reality?

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  24. There was a big difference between Bush’s first and second terms in foreign policy. The whole point of the first term policy was to deny NK a one-on-one relationship with the US. That was accomplished and China was brought in. Only China can do anything with NK and both China and SK want to keep NK going to avoid massive refugee problems. NK holds Seoul hostage with a million artillery pieces that are within range.

    Iran is different but the leverage is minimal. The leaders are crazy. Achmadinejad had some major streets in Tehran widened to make it easier for the 12th Imam when he appeared. I don’t think even Obama can charm nutjobs like that one. The one point of presure may be the Russian scientists who are building the Iranian bomb. The Mossad may be assassinating them, like they did with the Germans in Egypt in the 50s and 60s.

    Mike K (8df289)

  25. he was a man on a mission from God and armed with his sunglasses and a full tank of gas,

    Well, that certainly sounds like reality to me – or maybe it’s one of Jon Stewart’s jokes that got cut at the last minute.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  26. ” Asked to describe the “Obama doctrine” for foreign policy ” For all of the wordiness of the above comments, nonetheless an interesting read, for all of the hesitance and avoidance of “the one”, his doctrine can be easily distilled to a single word. A word which more accurately describes the “doctrine” than any other. Surrender.

    Edward Lunny (331570)

  27. Here are two potentially major departures for Obama regarding the Bush policies over the past 8 years:

    First, we had the unprecedented disclosures of the CIA memos regarding their interrogation methods, despite pleas from past CIA directors (and the current one, Panetta) explicitly not to do such an action – now Obama’s actually considering whether to prosecute those in the administration that wrote the memos, another unprecedented politicizing of the intelligence agencies:

    http://static.cqpolitics.com/harman-3098436-page1.html?docID=hsnews-000003098436&cpage=1

    Next, we have the sliming of Dem. Rep. Harman, who was one of the few serious Dems that understood the intelligence issues and sometimes sided with the Bush administration regarding their actions:

    http://static.cqpolitics.com/harman-3098436-page1.html?docID=hsnews-000003098436&cpage=1

    This one has Obama’s thug – in – charge Emmanuel written all over it, and further politicizes and intimidates anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with Obama’s ideas regarding national security.

    If anyone can come up with anything remotely similar to these actions during the Bush years, I’m all ears.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  28. He is just talking, talking in lies.

    Obama doesn’t have a doctrine, he has a plan, to morph the USA into a big Venezuela modeled after the narco-terrorist Chavez. Obama wants to rule for life, his God complex definitely proceeds him.

    bill-tb (26027c)

  29. Obama’s disclosure of the memos pale in comparison to the contents of the memos disclosed during Bush’s two terms… and while some have blamed Bush’s enemies for the leaks, Bush did remarkably little to identify and punish the leakers.

    and Obama going after Harman and some CIA agents is off point to whether Obama is really doing anything substantively different than Bush in dealing with our foreign enemies and our (so called) friends… and since you like demanding your opponents to provide backup for their statements, I’m eagerly awaiting your proof that Emmanuel is behind the Harman kerfuffle… clock’s a-ticking….

    steve sturm (3811cf)

  30. “I’m eagerly awaiting your proof that Emmanuel is behind the Harman kerfuffle… clock’s a-ticking…”

    Sheesh, I am still waiting for the Libs to prove Bush did not win in 2000.

    Talk about a moving goal post.

    HeavenSent (637168)

  31. memos pale in comparison to the contents of the memos disclosed during Bush’s two terms…

    Fine – and let’s see some proof of this statement. Agreed?

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  32. memos pale in comparison to the contents of the memos disclosed during Bush’s two terms…

    VALERIE PLAME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Frankly, I would have had no problem with Barcky declassifying this information, had he released everything, rather than that which helped him. Cheney is spot on that if he was going to release the memos that he did, the results should have been released as well.

    DSCSA's Unicorn (2e8bd8)

  33. The Dems have shown, vis a vis Harmon, what happens when you dare stray from the party line.

    JD (2e8bd8)

  34. “These public appearances are not substantive”

    timb – Read the post. The results of the public appearances seem to be substantive – strikeouts and surrenders.

    Did you ever explain what “income gap” meant and why the government needed to fix it in the other thread?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  35. Here are two sources that give strong indications of Emanuel’s machinations – the NYT reported today that the leak may have been payback for Harman’s possible influence of a top Dem donor to withold campaign contributions for Speaker Pelosi if she did not appoint Harman Chair of the House Intelligence Committee:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/us/politics/21harman.html?_r=1&hpw

    The story also mentions that AG Gonzalez had halted an earlier leak concerning Harman, due to his wish to have her support in persuading the NYT from publishing the article that revealed the NSA domestic eavesdropping program. But suddenly, the leak is now revealed – wonder why?

    This article details the events leading up to the leak – namely, that Emanuel and the Obama administration wants to discredit any and all supporters of Israel (of which Harman is a staunch backer) in order to advance the Palestinian State:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/04/a_rahm_bomb_for_jane_harman.html

    Here’s the detail that stuck out for me:

    Last week Rahm Emanuel came out in the press, telling the media that Israel would have to withdraw from Jerusalem and the West Bank in order to get US cooperation on the Iranian nuke threat

    This is nothing but pure, simple payback – and no one does this better than our boy Rahm. He was my congressman here for the better part of 4 years, and I witnessed this kind of stuff continuously during his time in office.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  36. Did Rahm really say that?

    JD (2e8bd8)

  37. Dmac, your comment means that we’ll see the Obama administration’s foreign policy descend a lot more in the near future.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  38. The barbarians are inside the walls.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  39. Does anyone know of what happens when an American president apologizes to the Socialist Party thug “leader” of Venezuela ?

    We end up with the leader of the opposition party in that country (Mayor Manuel Rosales)- today fleeing to neighboring Peru…which effectively and entirely establishes one party rule in Venezuela. Are we proud of our President yet, America ?

    “The fundamental problem is that there’s no credibility in the judicial system, which is a system that’s been completely politicized,” Leopoldo Lopez, a member of Rosales’s Un Nuevo Tiempo party and former mayor of the Caracas borough of Chacao, said in a telephone interview. “This is retaliation and selective repression.”

    Sounds just like here at home…as we enjoy the same one party rule here in America. Long live the Party !!

    DaveinPhoenix (9b506a)

  40. JD – yup:

    http://snuffysmithsblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/emanuel-says-obama-insists-on.html

    This hostility towards Israel will make Carter’s dealings with Begin look like child’s play in comparison. By sliming Harman, they get to kill two birds with one stone.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  41. Now we’ll wait for Steve’s efforts regarding sources for his wide – ranging claims against the Bush administration.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  42. I guess we can chalk the whole Barcky is a friend of Israel as another idea that ceased having meaning the moment it passed over his lips.

    JD (2e8bd8)

  43. What it does mean, though, is, at the margins, they are more likely to want to cooperate than not cooperate.

    Oh, yes. Such a clever, socially aware way of dealing with socio-cultural (and political) matters, both foreign and domestic, and domestic and foreign.

    Closer to home, our society must take a lot of blame and responsibility for the creation and existence of hardened criminals in our midst. So when we as a people try to understand the sad, heart-wrenching childhood of any number of convicted felons throughout America — including rapists and murderers — and create programs that provide to the mothers of such felons better healthcare, nutrition and after-school activities, crime rates will plummet and inner-city America, in particular, will be among the safest environments in the world.

    Now let’s all gather in a circle and sing kum-bah-yah.

    Mark (411533)

  44. “I’m grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old.”–Our so-called president

    Pardon me, while I vomit. And, people thought Neville Chamberlin was an appeaser. This guy is so far down on his belly, that he has to look up to see a snake going by.

    Dave Surls (de249f)


  45. “I’m grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old.”

    I think I might hurl.

    JD (2e8bd8)

  46. Dmac – With all the pro-Palestinians in Obama’s Administration, those comments certainly do not seem surprising. I wish they had gotten more play, though.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  47. Dmac: you are just in such a hurry to try and score some points you don’t stop to think.. or even Google, do you?

    plenty here

    steve sturm (3811cf)

  48. I’m not sure where the surprise is coming from here. Obama is the dream candidate of the Left. Of course they are overwhelmed with how he is meeting expectations. I’m terribly serious by this: Obama’s performance is the greatest of performances of the ideology he represents.

    Obama is the Messiah of post-modern, narcissistic nihilism. Sitting dormant before Ortega as a diminished and neutered man showed the Left the great Lion has been bound. They performed a ritual of great perversities upon him, a proxy for the Great America that is now tied, humiliated and prepared for the ritual slaughter. It is why he has humiliated himself before Kings and Dictators. Don’t think for a moment that this was not planned.

    Soros seeks a sitzpinkler state; a diminished and neutered America. He has nightmares over American economic, militaristic and cultural hegemony. He will end this nation and Obama is his Messiah. Just as good Germans found the talk of the execution of millions of Jews to be “crazy talk” (read Hitler’s Willing Executioneers to understand), Americans right and left are writing off the current state as something other than it is. The way to kill any further hegemony is to create a economic burden that enslaves the nation in perpetuity, create an internal police force that causes the nation to fight itself, create dissetion internally, and make the state so weak that existential threats will occur.

    The first step to dealing with an existential threat is to stop treating it as a normal threat. Normal strategies no longer belong here.

    HatlessHessian (cca288)

  49. This circled back to Libby/Plame? I called it :-)

    JD (2e8bd8)

  50. Dmac: you are just in such a hurry to try and score some points you don’t stop to think.. or even Google

    You asked me to come up with sources to back up my speculation, and I did what you asked. But in your world, that’s “scoring points?” But never mind, your beclownng continues apace.

    “Plenty here.”

    Gosh, that’s an excellent “objective” source, eh? Really, that’s the best you can do? Scooter Libby? That’s some brilliant work there, Steve.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  51. Does anyone seriously believe we could militarily take on Pakistan, Russia, North Korea, and Iran while fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq? That pretty much leaves the only option as negotiating with them.

    Of course, if Bush hadn’t invaded Iraq, our military wouldn’t be quite so tied up, would it? Maybe then a viable military option would exist and Iran and Korea wouldn’t be thumbing their noses at us, confident we can’t respond with any degree of force.

    I’ve read a lot of reports that the military says they’re stretched too thin as it is, and taking on additional fighting would push them to the breaking point. You can say ‘be hard line’ all you want, but it might not be practical.

    JEA (53fe4f)

  52. Uh, can we stop this quarrel from developing any further?

    Let’s save the thunder for our current favorite troll, whose spin keeps getting more ridiculous. Its latest was to call construction at Camp Pendleton a “bailout”.

    Of course, it was wrong.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  53. JEA – Who here has advocated military action against North Korea, Iran, and Russia? Or, did you feel like arguing with a position not held and not advocated by anyone?

    JD (33d9a9)

  54. Dmac: you are just in such a hurry to try and score some points you don’t stop to think.. or even Google, do you?

    plenty here

    Comment by steve sturm

    Let me get this straight, Steve. The NY Times leaks critical national security info that damages our ability to defend the country and, when Bush declassifies some info that rebuts the Times’ slanders, it’s a crime.

    Did I get that right ?

    By the way, the same DoJ chick that got caught railroading Stevens in Alaska was in charge of the Libby case. Of course that is a coincidence.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  55. First of all, our foreign policy should be based on our national interests and the maintenance of our international agreements.

    Second, a nation must use the full range of its diplomacy to protect its national interest, including moral argument, economic and military force.

    Third, Obama objects to nuclear weapons, but from 1945 until today, nukes have deterred major conflicts. Some current states developing nukes are much less rational. We still need deterrence but we also need ballistic missile defense.

    Finally, a major part of the job of President of the United States is national defense. He (twice) swore to protect and defend the Constitution. If Obama is unable or unwilling to protect America and our national interests, he should resign.

    arch (73a848)

  56. […] Yesterday, after noting that Pres. Obama’s foreign policy has been a failure with adversaries and allies alike, one commenter suggested it was much too early to lodge such criticism. The Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl did not seem to think so, but it is a question worth addressing on its own. […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » Why jump on Obama’s fantasy foreign policy? (e2f069)

  57. RE: 55

    “Who here has advocated military action against North Korea, Iran, and Russia?”

    It’s not about advocating any military action, but whether our adversaries in their calculations believe it’s possible or not for us to act if we need to. Put yourself in Iran’s shoes. Do you think they believe we’d attack them (either now or during the Bush administration)? They know how stretched our military is–that’s my point– which effectively takes it off the table, whether we want to believe it or not. They’re not likely to view any statements of possible military actions as threats if they believe we don’t have the capacity to act on them. So it becomes a moot point in any negotiations and they know that. You can’t shake a big stick if you don’t have one.

    JEA (53fe4f)

  58. “Who here has advocated military action against North Korea, Iran, and Russia?”

    I didn’t say anyone here has advocated military action. My point is that the leaders of these countries, not being stupid, understand that the military of the United States is overextended right now and can’t take on more. Don’t you think these guys are figuring that into their calculations? It’s also unrealistic to believe our military would be able to take on much more than it already has; I’ve read several reports from generals to that effect over the past two years. (For God’s sake, we had two fronts in WWII and even with all our military effort it took four years.) And since that is the case, we need to negotiate. Perhaps our position won’t be as strong as it should be (you need to have a big stick to wave one), but we still have things like economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure we can bring.

    It’s a matter of being realistic rather than shouting we shouldn’t negotiate with these countries.

    JEA (53fe4f)

  59. “Who here has advocated military action against North Korea, Iran, and Russia?”

    I didn’t say anyone here has advocated military action. My point is that the leaders of these countries, not being stupid, understand that the military of the United States is overextended right now and can’t take on more. Don’t you think these guys are figuring that into their calculations? It’s also unrealistic to believe our military would be able to take on much more than it already has; I’ve read several reports from generals to that effect over the past two years. (For God’s sake, we had two fronts in WWII and even with all our military effort it took four years.) And since that is the case, we need to negotiate. Perhaps our position won’t be as strong as it should be (you need to have a big stick to wave one), but we still have things like economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure we can bring.

    It’s a matter of being realistic rather than shouting we shouldn’t negotiate with these countries.

    As for nuclear weapons, wasn’t it Nixon and Reagan (both Republicans) who negotiated treaties to reduce nuclear missiles?

    JEA (53fe4f)

  60. “Does anyone seriously believe we could militarily take on Pakistan, Russia, North Korea, and Iran while fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq?

    With respect to Pakistan, it was in fact Obama himself who raised the prospect of military intervention into Pakistan, our ally.

    SPQR (72771e)

  61. JEA – My temperment is that of a rattlesnake right about now, as I am trying to quit smoking, so we are going to agree to disagree, as I do not recall anyone saying we should not try diplomacy or negotiation either. The whole point of this article is that all of the concessions and apologizing have got us nothing.

    JD (b5a4c1)

  62. Hang in there with the quitting, JD. Luckily I was a young guy when I finally stopped, but even then it was hell. I think you’ll really appreciate when you don’t stop at the door wondering if you have enough smokes for how long you’ll be out. I’ll admit I still love the smell of a freshly lit one, but it is remembering the butt ugly taste of my last cigarette that kills the urge every time. And the jacked up tax-fueled prices just as much. Quitting was so liberating.

    allan (e91882)

  63. Did you ever explain what “income gap” meant and why the government needed to fix it in the other thread?

    How many times do we discuss whether you are my organ grinder, daley? You are not. If you don’t know what policies help close income gaps, then go read a book. I am not here to help you create strawmen, so you can argue income gaps equal to 1928 are good things. Make your argument without my help, surely no one on this board will be disagreeing with you.

    I’m here to tease Karl for his breathless comments on nothing.

    P.S. Karl, I heard Obama had ham for lunch! Is that a deliberate insult to our Israeli allies (whose agents charged with spying on us yet AGAIN starts soon…who needs enemies when you can run an entire counter-intelligence service on your allies?) or was it just a lunch? And, do you think war was barely averted when George Sr threw up on the Japanese Prime Minister?

    Why is St. Ronaldus a saint when, after six years of saber-rattling, he agreed to destroy our nuclear arsenal for the Russians nuclear arsenal only to be over-ruled by Cold Warriors? Surely, us trading away our nukes to the Evil Empire was worse than Obama taking a book or chatting politely?

    3 months of panting down and 45 months of breathless anticipation of doom to go. I hope you guys make it.

    timb (a83d56)

  64. Timb, if you want to help cut the income gap down, send me half your paycheck.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  65. …and send me the other half.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  66. Timb, if you want to help cut the income gap down, send me half your paycheck.

    Comment by John Hitchcock —

    John, unless you’re out of work, you will sorely disappointed by the 180 dollars I send you each week!

    Now, half of Pat’s check? Now, we’re in business!

    timb (a83d56)

  67. […] Obama been a game-changer on the world stage? Obama’s diplomatic overtures have been rejected by the European Union, NATO, Russia, North Korea, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Iran and much […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » 100 days: What Obama does not want you to read (e2f069)

  68. The beauty of the Bush doctrine was that it could produce virtually instantaneous results that our impatient electorate could latch onto, for better or for worse. It takes much more courage to go down a path of negotiation and reconciliation that could take months or years to produce worthwhile results. In the meantime, policy-makers are forced to listen to critical voices such as those on this forum demanding answers right now. Indicators just don’t happen with negotiation and diplomacy in the same way as they do with military action and big sticks, but very often they are vastly more effective in the long run. The US is not bargaining from a global position of strength any more but from a position of global weakness, necessitating negotiation and diplomacy. Unfortunately, no matter what advantages the long term strategy of Obama may have, I fear it will not provide enough indicators of ‘progress’ for most on this this forum.

    Arguing that the right or the left or whomever would have done this or that is essentially counter-productive since policy is a strategic, practical reality where ideology is merely a means to attack or defend it, not an actual policy or decision. Bush preferred the get tough course of action followed by virtually instant results. His prerogative. Obama prefers a different approach that may take time to yield results. It’s that simple and only time, not ideology, will tell if he made the right decision or not.

    Spaniel (1bb605)

  69. […] noted this, though the failure of Pres. Obama’s “soft power” approach has been failing for some time already. Despite the prospect of arms races in Asia and the Middle East, Obama remains bent on appeasing […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » Obama: I, sir, am no Jack Kennedy (e2f069)


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