The only thing missing from Barack Obama’s defense of his stumbling foreign policy was the word “inherited.” Fox’s Ed Henry asked Obama earlier today to explain the “Obama Doctrine” that drives foreign policy in the wake of the disarray in Ukraine, Syria, and the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, among other flops. Obama responded that he didn’t have the time in the presser to detail an “Obama Doctrine,” but he took the time to declare that his predecessor’s was all about military intervention:
CNN’s Jake Tapper was among the few who picked up the exchange, and his panel scoffed at the strawman argument from Obama. No one’s arguing for military intervention in Ukraine, Maeve Reston points out, laughing at Obama’a accusation. His critics want a stronger response on sanctions and diplomacy, and aren’t getting it:
“It’s interesting that he would take it that far to deflect the criticism,” Reston says. Er … not really. Obama has made a habit of building phony straw-man arguments about his critics in order to ridicule them without addressing the actual criticisms themselves. Reston rightly recognizes that in this instance. Jonathan Martin does note that this is a long-standing pattern for the White House — declaring that the issue is a form of “Sydney or the Bush,” with the latter term a little more literal.
And oh, by the way — which President used military force to decapitate a dictator without having boots on the ground to control the outcome, and did so without Congressional approval? I don’t think the last name was Bush, and the outcome turned out worse than the one Obama’s complaining about in this presser.
Six years later, Obama’s still blaming everything on Bush. But it wasn’t Bush that gave Sergei Lavrov a reset button and then canceled the missile-shield program in eastern Europe, and it wasn’t Bush who asked Dmitri Medvedev to transmit a promise to Vladimir Putin of “more flexibility” after his next election. It seems the only people Obama will challenge are Republicans and straw men.