President Obama’s general foreign policy record has not been too much of a success. He’s been gutsy in some areas and naive and stupid or even dangerous in some others, especially in the long term.
Even to those eager to defend the President’s policies and the President’s overall conduct in handling American foreign affairs – it’s a difficult task. Justifying his record remains shady to a degree that they are left with no choice but to break up analysis into regional, specific areas, in a way that dismantles the overall understanding or argument that President Obama has a strong, commanding lead on foreign policy issues.
The best example is David Brooks opinion in the NY Times, in which he starts off praising President Obama’s overall conduct in implementing a new, flexible foreign policy approach. Nonetheless, he points out the significant failures that may have an impact on US national security, the stability of the Middle East region and the future of democracy in the Arab World.
In the op-ed titled – “Where Obama shines” – Brooks starts of by praising the new approach Obama brought to the table. “It should be noted that Barack Obama has been a good foreign policy president. He, Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the rest of his team have created a style of policy making that is flexible, incremental and well adapted to the specific circumstances of this moment.
Following a foreign policy hedgehog, Obama’s been a pretty effective fox,” he writes.
All well, until the details are reviewed.
Here’s where even Brooks comes to the conclusion of “OK, but…”.
“No one knows what will happen if Israel or the U.S. strikes Iran’s nuclear facilities. Confronted with that shroud of ignorance, Obama has properly pushed back the moment of decision-making for as long as possible, just in case anything positive turns up. This has meant performing a delicate dance — pressing Israelis to push back their timetable while, at the same time, embracing their goals….”
“There have been failures on Obama’s watch, of course. Some of these flow from executive hubris. Obama believed that he could help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. He proceeded clumsily, pushed everybody into a corner and now peace is farther away than ever.
“Some failures flow from excessive politicization. An inexcusable blunder by Obama was to announce the withdrawal date from Afghanistan at the same time he announced the surge into Afghanistan. That may have kept the Democratic base happy, but it sent thousands of soldiers and Marines on a mission that was doomed to fail…“
As a consequence of Obama’s foxy foreign policy approach, the possibility of a Mideast regional war in the summer, and Iran capable of threatening Israel with nuclear weapons is no longer theoretical, rather demonstrable.
Events and tragedies speak for themselves. No spin or argument will cover up for the rise of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and in Libya, the horrific situation in Syria, the resurgence of Hezbollah, and the Iranian proxies reaching the moment of obtaining chemical weapons and dirty bombs.
It’s time to wake up.
It’s Mitt Romney’s time. [tweetable]
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