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Director for University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research: Ebola Should Give You Nightmares | Main | Neil DeGrasse Tyson Seems to Make Up Quotations Which He Then Attacks For Being Stupid
September 12, 2014

Foreign Policy Magazine DESTROYS Obama

Sorry for the HuffPo style headline, but I thought it was funny.

It is a pretty apt description of the article, however.

Before getting to that, I have to link Allah's post, from which I stole the FP link (sort of; I had started to read it yesterday).

So you can go there to hear Susan Rice explaining that there is a difference between a "war" and a "major counter-terrorism operation," even though the war we've been fighting for twelve and a half years is in fact a War on Terrorism.

This is like saying the US War in the Pacific wasn't a war, it was merely a major counter-Japanese-Naval-Harassment operation.

But now back to this long FP article which DESTROYS and OBLITERATES Obama's fecklessness and inability to learn.

They even take time to contrast Obama unfavorably with Bush. As regards the ability to learn:

"You're still a superpower," a top diplomat from one of America's most dependable Middle Eastern allies said to me in July of this year, "but you no longer know how to act like one."

He was reflecting on America's position in the world almost halfway into President Barack Obama's second term. Fresh in his mind was the extraordinary string of errors (schizophrenic Egypt policy, bipolar Syria policy), missteps (zero Libya post-intervention strategy, alienation of allies in the Middle East and elsewhere), scandals (spying on Americans, spying on friends), halfway measures (pinprick sanctions against Russia, lecture series to Central Americans on the border crisis), unfulfilled promises (Cairo speech, pivot to Asia), and outright policy failures (the double-down then get-out approach in Afghanistan, the shortsighted Iraq exit strategy).


The problem is that in seeking to sidestep the pitfalls that plagued Bush, Obama has inadvertently created his own. Yet unlike Bush, whose flaw-riddled first-term foreign policy was followed by important and not fully appreciated second-term course corrections, Obama seems steadfast in his resistance both to learning from his past errors and to managing his team so that future errors are prevented. It is hard to think of a recent president who has grown so little in office.


If the nation is to recover fully, Obama must not only identify and attempt to reverse what has gone wrong, but he also must try to understand how he can achieve new gains by the end of his second term. That is to say that huge challenges remain unaddressed and rising to them requires a hard look at himself -- his responses, his messages, his management, and his team.

Yeah that won't happen. The man is not characterized by "integrative complexity," which was some daft punk's neologism for the ability to simultaneously hold two contradictory thoughts in one's mind at once.

The man is characterized instead by intellectual fragility -- his thinking is not resilient and flexible and strong like metal, but brittle like glass.

If you trouble him with a single discomfiting thought he puts his head down and begins crying "Wapner on at four, Wapner on at four."

The article narrates the events of the infamous "Red Line" comment and the spasmodic bellicosity and passivity in its aftermath. I can't quote anymore, but it's actually worse than you think; chickens were running around with heads cut off, and Obama did not bother himself to get his own story straight.

Here's Obama's "smart power" in action, by the way.

The tensions around the Syria crisis had other knock-on costs that were themselves symptomatic of a misfiring process and team. For example, on the edges of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, which took place Sept. 5 and 6, 2013, Washington continued to push for international support of military action as it had been doing ineffectively since late August. In one meeting, Rice pressed the German delegation relentlessly for leadership within the European Union. The Germans sought more time and consultation with other EU member states, frustrating Rice to the point that she lost her cool and reportedly launched into a profanity-filled lecture that featured a rare diplomatic appearance of the word "motherfucker." Germany's national security advisor, Christoph Heusgen, was so angered that he told an American confidante it was the worst meeting of his professional life.

Then, in a parenthetical, the article goes on to note that Rice routinely "talks like a longshoreman" to major political players. And not joking around, either: Cursing them out, treating them like underlings who have angered her.

This is the A-Team, guys. This is the Expert Class firing on all cylinders. These are the people who thought they would just change the world with by force of their intellectual vigor and by the hypnotic power of their personal charisma.

Red Line babbling and "motherf***er."

Smart Power, baby.

If you can't get to the article through my link, go to it from Google (googling National Insecurity Obama Foreign Policy). It's worth it.

digg this
posted by Ace at 02:21 PM

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