Change: The Establishment Cools Toward Obama’s Middle East Policy
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  • qet

    Is it conceivable that anyone outside HRC’s personal entourage would think that she can be presented as a better foreign policy alternative to Obama given not just the Benghazi debacle itself, but her “does it really matter” attitude afterwards? More generally–I know it is early, but do serious people really believe a viable HRC candidacy is a possibility?

  • USNK2

    Obama’s USA has no coherent foreign policy; just reacting to whatever CNN and the Gulf monarchies decide is an issue.
    The Democratic Party has no bench, just deluded into believing they can re-create the 1990’s job machine.

  • wigwag

    It’s not just the establishment media which is having second thoughts about the Obama record on the Middle East; former members of the Obama Administration are going public with their disgust as well. Perhaps the best example of this is Vali Nasr, a former deputy to the late Richard Holbrooke, who recently penned a book absolutely excoriating the Administration’s foreign policy. Even the title of Nasr’s 2013 book is damning; it’s called, “The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat.” I would not be surprised if Nasr’s book has something to do with the decision of main stream media elites to reconsider Obama’s record. Nasr is now the Dean of the Fletcher School at Johns Hopkins.

    Another well respected former Obama Administration official to publicize her second thoughts about the Obama foreign policy apparatus is Anne-Marie Slaughter. From 2009-2011 Slaughter was Director of Policy Planning, at the State Department (unless I am mistaken, a job made famous when it was held by George Kennan).

    Slaughter, now safely ensconsed back at Princeton (from which she took a sabbatical to serve Obama) fell all over herself to praise Nasr’s harsh critique of Obama. In blurbing Nasr’s book she called it an “important wake-up call by a thoughtful, astute and deeply knowledgeable scholar and policymaker. Anyone interested in the Middle East, China, or the future of American power should read it immediately and think hard about its message.”

    When former Administation officials like Nasr, Slaughter and Samantha Powers (who Via Meadia referred to in an earlier post) all feel obliged to publically lambast the Administration, it isn’t surprising that establishment types begin to take notice.

    Yes, we have a really dumb and decadent elite in this country, but even they must realize that with the Obama White House, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel steering foreign policy and national security, things aren’t exactly in capable hands.

    • rheddles

      Did Hopkins acquire Tufts?

      • wigwag

        Hopkins acquired Tufts in a leveraged buy out in partnership with Bain Capital; hadn’t you heard?

        Just kidding. Nasr is at Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. Sorry for the mistake.

  • roc scssrs

    I don’t see how Hilary Clinton escapes criticism for a good deal of Obama’s foreign policy–wasn’t she, like, Secretary of State?

  • Andrew Allison

    With all due respect, the suggestion that the blatantly partisan WaPo, New Yorker and NYT are of the center is ludicrous.

  • Frankly, this is good news. This is the very same set of wound-up interests that have wrecked U.S. foreign policy since 1991. I hope that they are even more uncomfortable for the remainder of his term and that they loath his successor even more. Whatever establishments feel, the population does not want another Middle Eastern war, and that will mean a certain quietening of criticism by 2016.

  • Lorenz Gude

    “this is about humanitarian interventionists opposing the stay-at-home realists: a classic Wilson vs. Jefferson battle.”

    Using this vocabulary I think I am better able to distinguish between Obama’s humanitarian interventionism and Bush’s classic liberal interventionism. Duty to protect versus spreading democracy. But both seem to me essentially Wilsonian and interventionist. Again in your terms I can see Obama as Jeffersonian but not at all Jacksonian, while I would see Bush as a combination of Wilsonian and Jacksonian.

    What I have difficulty seeing is the Jeffersonians being stay at home realists so I am probably missing something.

  • Lorenz Gude

    I view Hilary as to the right of Obama and don’t think she would have had the same foreign policy as Obama had she been president. I also have always thought – rightly or wrongly – that she was to the left of her husband and therefore had little enthusiasm for her. I think she will run in 2016 and have to be beaten by a better candidate unless Obama manages to ruin the Democratic brand. Without some significant progress by the Republicans in the area of foreign policy I think Hillary can convince a lot of voters that she is the safer candidate. Same if the economy is not hurting people too much. In any case when it comes to foreign policy, we need someone who can unsentimentally learn from the many mistakes of both the current president and his predecessor.

  • RealHarshTruth

    Jimmy Carter must be pleased that he may wind up only the SECOND WORST foreign policy President if Obama continues bumbling along in fiascos like the backfired “Arab Spring”, failed Afghanistan policy, ineffectual Iran and North Korea anti-proliferation policies, and general loss of American clout and diplomatic power under the “Amateur” in the the White House and Mrs., Clinton. The “reset buttons” have all failed and shown the naivete and frank stupidity of the Obama/Clinton/Kerry foreign policy approaches.

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