"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Obama's Recent Foreign Policy Embarrassments and the Self-Delusion They're Based Upon

Why is Putin so bold? Has he not seen Obama being depicted in the manner of an Eastern Orthodox Saint?

Because counting through all the foreign policy embarrassments in Obama's six years as president would fill a good-sized book.

From The NRO piece by Charles Krauthammer:

Barack Obama’s 949-word response on Monday to a question about foreign-policy weakness showed the president at his worst: defensive, irritable, contradictory, and at times detached from reality. It began with a complaint about negative coverage on Fox News, when, in fact, it was the New York Times front page that featured Obama’s foreign-policy failures, most recently the inability to conclude a trade agreement with Japan and the collapse of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Middle East negotiations. 
Add to this the collapse of not one but two Geneva conferences on Syria, American helplessness in the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine, and the Saudi king’s humiliating dismissal of Obama within two hours of talks — no dinner — after Obama made a special 2,300-mile diversion from Europe to see him, and you have an impressive litany of serial embarrassments.

Obama has lost popularity in foreign circles mainly for betraying allies. People and countries who hate you, do not change their views simply because you say "I'm a coward, and I never really liked Israel/Mubarak/Ukraine/Iraq/Honduras all that much anyway."

Does Obama really believe that such an attitude gains him friends in Iran, or China, or Russia? Does he believe that radical Muslims-- such as those in al Qaeda or Hamas-- will suddenly decide  that since America now has a president who is half-African-American and is acting 'nice' that they'll change their minds? These groups believe that America and the West are an evil worthy of both wholsesale murder and the sacrificing of their own lives to defeat. Can anyone truly believe that they'll be so easily persuaded by weakness and an American subtlety of race?

I hate to break this to people, but the rest of the world is not impressed that a half-African-American is president, and it's ridiculous to set foreign policy around the premise that enemies will change their beliefs because of a skin color and a Muslim-sounding name.

Obama’s first rhetorical defense, as usual, was to attack a straw man: “Why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force?” 
Everybody? Wasn’t it you, Mr. President, who decided to attack Libya under the grand Obama doctrine of “responsibility to protect” (helpless civilians) — every syllable of which you totally contradicted as 150,000 were being slaughtered in Syria? 
And wasn’t attacking Syria for having crossed your own chemical-weapons red line also your idea? Before, of course, you retreated abjectly, thereby marginalizing yourself and exposing the United States to general ridicule.

Hey Krauthammer, stop talking about such things. That whole red line thing was several news cycles ago, and I'm sure any fallout from it is long since dissipated in the world... Uh, right?

But the worst aspect of Obama's foreign policy is correctly pointed out by Krauthammer:

Or does Obama really believe that Putin’s thinking [or, I would argue, the leader of any other country such as North Korea, China, Iran, etc.] would be altered less by anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons in Ukrainian hands than by the State Department’s comical #UnitedforUkraine Twitter campaign? 
Obama appears to think so. Which is the source of so much allied anxiety: Obama really seems to believe that his foreign policy is succeeding. 
Ukraine has already been written off. But Eastern Europe need not worry. Obama understands containment. He recently dispatched 150 American ground troops to Poland and each of the Baltic states. You read correctly: 150. Each. [emphasis mine]

Yup. Obama really believes that his foreign policy is working. In much the same way that Obama believes that ObamaCare can work, and that shoving money into the pockets of thieves, such as Solyndra execs, saves the environment. All are based on an inability to recognize obvious reality. But where does this inability come from?

Obama's Leftist ideals and fragile ego are two key foundations that shape this administration. This presidency is based upon the core beliefs that American Leftism works, and that Obama is extraordinary. As both of these ideas continue to be proven incorrect, reassurance is given to both the American people and the Obama Administration with delusion, the invention of uber-powerful enemies to thwart him (Bush, Fox News, the Koch brothers, phantom racism permeating our culture, etc.), (self-)deceptive analyses, and outright lies.

This tragic cycle of narcissistic reassurance would be pitiable if Obama wasn't president. As it is, the situation is terribly dangerous to our allies, to the American economy, and ultimately to the American people.

It's quite sad-- and not a little ridiculous-- that we have to sit here and watch this pathetic form of '70s reassurance therapy unfold around us as the basis of actual presidential policies.

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