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The Agony of Obama’s Middle East Policy
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  • Anthony

    For related and supplementary thoughts concerning subject matter, see Robert Kaplan’s Obama’s Foreign Policy Record: TBD.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “The Obama administration up until now has consistently put the goal of reaching an accommodation with Iran ahead of its relationship with traditional allies in the region.”

    This is a stupid goal, as Iran is only using a negotiation strategy to gain time. It also illustrates just how foolish and incompetent Obama and his administration are, that he damages relations with friends and allies for a pipe dream. It’s like he never heard the saying “A bird in the hand, is worth 2 in the bush”.

  • lukelea

    Ultimately it means giving the Sunnis their own state (after wiping out Isis).

  • lukelea

    History has handed President Obama one great opportunity after another, but he keeps throwing them away.

    True domestically too, particularly in the area of race relations. If only he hadn’t taken sides in the Skip Gates and Trayvon Martin episodes or thrown his white grandmother under the bus.

  • “History has handed President Obama one great opportunity after another, but he keeps throwing them away.” Is that because he is incompetent or that he has willfully chosen those paths? People keep giving him a pass, aided and abetted by a compliant pass; so it is always someone else’s fault.

    But what is the reality? Incompetence? Lack of leadership skills? Not understanding the essence of America?

    Or is he “playing the long game” and knowingly taking the country on an extreme leftward march, where the Government is the benefactor for all, where the intelligentsia tell the people what to do, where America is just another ho-hum country, and where the American dream is an illusion of the past?

    Place your bets.

    • Anthony

      Here’s a bet (sans Obama bashing, which is both easy and fashionable in some quarters): liberal internationalist and neoconservative identifiers incline towards visible/touted action (optics). As you infer President Obama certainly has fundamental problems (in this instance coherent foreign policy), however “Obama’s legacy is only partially written” (it could get better. But it could also get worse).

      • If I were to take a bet, it would be that it would get worse. He does not seem to be a man who wants to learn, reassess; rather, as has been reported, he has “checked out.” He was only “checked in” when there was the roar of adulation. This is not a man who had actually done anything substantive in life except giving a wonderful speech in 2004 about bridging the divide – a speech that, in hindsight, did not reflect his true colors.

        • Anthony

          Nothing amiss in above reply; yet, Illinoisans and majority of those voting in last two presidential elections ignored obvious.

    • Duperray

      We all know that Obama is extremely intelligent.
      So, why “…. is the reality? Incompetence? Lack of leadership skills? Not understanding the essence of America?” this kind of questions arise?
      I am afraid Obama’s ultimate targets have nothing to do with US wealth and reputation, preparing its Future, improving wealth of society lower class.
      Who knows? But the dangerous seeds put in earth will flower next decades…

  • DiaKrieg

    “Had he moved hard against Assad early on,
    Iran would have been under tremendous pressure to reach a compromise
    with the US—or watch its entire regional position collapse.”

    This is taking a lot for granted. Had Obama “moved hard against Assad early on,” how do we know Syria wouldn’t have ended like Libya? Or Iraq? Or Afghanistan? (The only reason Egypt isn’t on that sorry list is because the American-backed Egyptian police state stepped in to oust its Islamists — no thanks to Obama.) One of the lessons of the current ME mess is that little good can come of sending in the Marines unless we have the stomach for installing a puppet govt and the patience to stick around for a generation or so of nation building. I’m no Obama fan, but I doubt a President McCain or President Romney could have found the will to do what’s necessary to crush the Islamists completely and rebuild the ME the way we rebuilt Japan and Germany.

  • Curious Mayhem

    The belief that Obama is highly intelligent is questionable at best. He’s America’s biggest affirmative action gamble, and so far, it’s not paying off. This is not to say that there are no intelligent African-Americans. It does say, they aren’t in politics. (Try entertainment of sports.)

    Really, he’s a “community organizer,” a second-rate machine politico who got a fancy patina of legal education at Harvard. Compared to Carter, Obama is not as well educated, less experienced, and more provincial.

    Various people (Valerie Jarrett? Daniel Axelrod?) are feeding Obama bad ideas that he is stubbornly fixated on. Being what I call a “weak ideologue,” he’s not willing or capable of rethinking these bad ideas when they keep failing, as he didn’t originate them. It makes it very hard to change course.

    This profound inadequacy, which many sensed in 2008, was hidden in Obama’s first years in office because he was surrounded by experienced people from both the Bush Jr. and Clinton years. But by 2011 and 2012, they were leaving, and the “real” Obama — fixated weak ideologue, floundering, panicked and reactive — started to come out. More and more, his approach was reduced to crude domestic partisanship. He’s obviously not capable of much more.

  • teapartydoc

    Using the words “War on Terror” is an acknowledgment of a reality, not an imposition of an ideology. The reality is there. Anyone with eyes can see it. If we are going to survive as a civilization we are going to have to defend our way of life. If it is not worth defending, then let the administration come out and say so.

  • Beatrix17

    Obama was mentored by adoring fans into the presidency and he doesn’t have a lot of self
    activation. He needs adulation to get going.

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