The Punditry vs. The Presidency

How the constant chorus of ‘do something’ Obama foreign policy critics gets it wrong

BY MICHAEL COHEN – NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – Sunday, August 31, 2014, 4:30 AM

obamatoreigntansuit

There is a fun foreign policy game making all the rounds in Washington D.C. this summer: Pin the tail on Barack Obama.

Its appeal is not hard to understand; it’s so easy to play.

Step 1: Pick a foreign crisis that touches even slightly on U.S. national security interests. This shouldn’t be hard, because the United States defines practically everything in the world as being an American interest.

Step 2: Make clear that this is no garden-variety problem but rather “the defining crisis of [OBAMA’S] presidency,” or a threat to the “very foundations of global order” or the answer to the question, “is this how World War III begins.”

Step 3: Bemoan the lack of “leadership,” “strategy,” “attention” or “fortitude” from the commander in chief. Note that the President is “weirdly detached” and “emotionally disengaged” (bonus points for a Churchill reference).

Make corny jokes about how Obama’s focus on golf is “turning into ‘a real handicap.'” Ask snarky questions like “what would it look like if America actually had a Middle East strategy” that wasn’t defined by “inaction” and the lack of a “clear vision.” Even suggest that if only a Russian strongman were running America, those terrorists would finally get their due.

Step 4: Insist that everything would be better if something had been done differently a few years ago (bonus points if you made that suggestion at the time).

Say things like:

“We should have ____ (“bombed Syria” or “supported the moderate rebels” or “bombed Syria and supported the rebels”)…

“If only we had ____ (“pressured Maliki” or “kept troops in Iraq” or “pressured Maliki and kept the troops in Iraq”)…

Continue reading here

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~ by katrinataylor44 on September 1, 2014.

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