Friday, January 08, 2016

Yadda Yadda


For the purpose of this exercise let’s look at parts of The Washington Post‘s 2008 endorsement of Obama. I am using the Post as an example of what we saw so frequetly because even though the Post is a liberal paper, its editorial position regarding foreign policy is generally responsible. However in the Post’s enthusiasm for Obama, all caution was disregarded and they promoted a man who did not really exist.

... in describing the paper’s expectations of Obama’s foreign policy, the editors wrote:

But Mr. Obama, as anyone who reads his books can tell, also has a sophisticated understanding of the world and America’s place in it. He, too, is committed to maintaining U.S. leadership and sticking up for democratic values, as his recent defense of tiny Georgia makes clear. We hope he would navigate between the amoral realism of some in his party and the counterproductive cocksureness of the current administration, especially in its first term. On most policies, such as the need to go after al-Qaeda, check Iran’s nuclear ambitions and fight HIV/AIDS abroad, he differs little from Mr. Bush or Mr. McCain. But he promises defter diplomacy and greater commitment to allies. His team overstates the likelihood that either of those can produce dramatically better results, but both are certainly worth trying.

I do not see a single thing here that has been proven correct. (The Post later expressed concern over Obama’s intent to withdraw troops from Iraq. He did that in defiance of their concerns, but they still endorsed him for a second term.) In particular it is hard to see that Obama’s diplomacy has been defter or that his commitment to allies has been better that demonstrated by President Bush.

For a comprehensive look at what the president has done wrong in foreign policy read Abe Greenwald’s On His Watch in the January issue of Commentary. This is a devastating critique of the multiple mistakes the president has made contributing to even wider spread instability over the past seven year. Greenwald correctly identifies how Obama viewed and views himself. (The full deal)

Why was this written now?  Why am I posting it now?  I don't know, but it's like watching the innumerable accounts of Nazi defeat on the Hitler channels; we know how it ends but it's just too sweet to stop. Even as we watch it happening again.