Vacuous Foreign Policy

What does this administration believe? What is its foreign policy?

That America has done wrong, and our ally Egypt did wrong, but despotic and anti-American Iran killing its people warrants silence, and Libya, finally, has done wrong after wantonly killing its people, and Israel has done wrong by building in a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem?

What does this administration stand for? Forthrightly declared the president before a group of Jewish donors:

  • We must be “sober” about the current transformation in the region.
  • “We can’t be naïve about the changes that are taking place in the Middle East.”
  • But “we should not be afraid of the possibilities of the future.”
  • “There are going to be some bumps along the road.”
  • We’ll have to have the will “to seize the moment.”
  • “We’re going to have to be engaged and we’re going to have to be involved and we’re going to have to reach out.”
  • “But I’m actually confident that 10 years from now we’re going to be able to look back potentially and say this was the dawning of an entirely new and better era.”

Could a statesman be more vacuous? Our foreign policy, says our commander-in-chief, should be sober, not naive, and not afraid of possibilities of the future? And oh yes, please be sure to seize the moment? And reach out? This is the foreign policy of the United States of America?

This is an embarrassment.

This is an administration learning on the job, and not well. But “potentially” it’s “the dawning of an entirely new and better era.”



5 Responses to Vacuous Foreign Policy

  1. jeff veazey says:

    Ken- I hope you get this! Your blog has clearly been taken over by someone sinister and confused. It sounds like Rush Limbaugh and he may have been drinking or possibly had three pieces of cheesecake after dinner. Check your computer for viruses! This is terrible. They’re trying to ruin your motto of moderation in all things and steal your reputation for more than occasional good sense.
    Good luck-

    • Paul Grubbs says:

      Jeff- Sinister, confuse, drunk, fakir, sick with virus, terrible? Anything you left out?

      • That’s Jeff. But in this case, it was pretty funny.

  2. Paul Grubbs says:

    Evil triumphs when good men choose to do nothing. Once again BO finds himself “damned if i do, damned if I dont.” Curiously our president continues to realize that being in the middle is not a good strategical position. The far left and the far right are equally displeased with BO’s inability to find his stride. Peaceniks are outraged to watch Qaddafi murder his countrymen during mealtime broadcasts. The hawks are eager for the USA to assert her military might and give this brutal dictator a good ole American ass whoopin’! Meanwhile BO ponders the country wit of LBJ who remarked “being President is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. All you can do is stand there and take it.” Its time for him to come in from the storm and ask for help from the wealth of experienced diplomats. Most of us all want the same thing; we disagree how to get it. It must come from a power greater than a teleprompter. Semetic cultures have historically looked with disdain toward the American way. Maybe now is the time to let them nuke it out. We cannot continue to police the world and impose our democratic model on people that dont seem to want it. God have mercy on us all.

    • Cheers Paul. Yes, it is typical of presidents to find themselves “damned if I do, damned if I don’t.” But my point in this short post was not to question Obama’s attempted occupation of the “middle” (as he is doing in domestic policy), but to question the basic coherence of his foreign policy, quite apart from whether it is left, right, or middle. I was stunned when I read the speech that was the subject of the post. It sounded like a 12-year-old’s stringing together of cliches gathered from the internet, and failed to make any actual point about the appropriate direction of American foreign policy in the Middle East. Is the president that uncomfortable in a group of Jewish donors? Or did his speech writer take the day off? I was sympathetic to the circumspection with respect to Egypt. Circumspection can be a good thing in foreign policy generally, and particularly in the Middle East. But how do you square noisy and belligerent about Israel building in a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem and circumspect about Iran murdering its protesting citizens? And then how do you square that contradiction with the empty pablum of the speech at issue? Again, I ask sincerely, what does the administration stand for? What warrants the prestige of the United States? I disagree that we should let them “nuke it out,” or take any sort of isolationist approach. That is confusing, as I have noted in other contexts, our inability to do everything good with prescribing that we attempt nothing good.

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