Quotes of the day

posted at 8:01 pm on May 4, 2014 by Allahpundit

President Obama encountered setbacks to two of his most cherished foreign-policy projects on [April 24], as he failed to achieve a trade deal that undergirds his strategic pivot to Asia and the Middle East peace process suffered a potentially irreparable breakdown.

Mr. Obama had hoped to use his visit here to announce an agreement under which Japan would open its markets in rice, beef, poultry and pork, a critical step toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the proposed regional trade pact. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was not able to overcome entrenched resistance from Japan’s farmers in time for the president’s visit…

The setbacks, though worlds apart in geography and history, speak to the common challenge Mr. Obama has had in translating his ideas and ambitions into enduring policies. He has watched outside forces unravel his best-laid plans, from resetting relations with Russia to managing the epochal political change in the Arab world.

***

America’s allies are nervous. With Russia grabbing territory, China bullying its neighbours and Syria murdering its people, many are asking: where is Globocop? Under what circumstances will America act to deter troublemakers? What, ultimately, would America fight for?

The answer to this question matters. Rogue states will behave more roguishly if they doubt America’s will to stop them. As a former head of Saudi intelligence recently said of Vladimir Putin’s land grab in Ukraine: “While the wolf is eating the sheep, there is no shepherd to come to the rescue.”…

So much for America’s formal commitments. When it comes to other countries and regions, insiders worry that Mr Obama sees the world as a jungle full of thugs, forever causing crises that America cannot fix. His failure to enforce his own “red line” over chemical weapons in Syria gravely damaged his credibility.

Team Obama is divided, with an unhappy State Department under John Kerry desperate to see more help for anti-Assad forces in Syria, while the Pentagon has spent months explaining why extra weapons shipments cannot work. Meanwhile, Mr Obama is described as analysing every option to exhaustion before concluding that inaction is the prudent course.

***

[T]he U.S. often finds itself with an uncomfortable choice: Either it must back off its declared goals, which makes America look weak and encourages widespread defiance, or it has to make good on its aims, which requires enormous investments in blood, treasure and time.

The Obama administration has largely opted for the former, i.e., feckless approach. The most egregious case is Syria, where the president and others declared that “Assad must go” only to do little to bring about his departure…

Meanwhile, large areas of Libya are increasingly out of government control and under the authority of militias and terrorists. Egypt is polarized and characterized by mounting violence. Much the same is true in Iraq, now the second-most-turbulent country in the region, where the U.S. finds itself with little influence despite a costly decade of occupation. Terrorists now have more of a foothold in the region than ever before…

The challenge for the Obama administration is not just to ensure American strength and continued internationalism in the face of growing isolationist sentiment. It is also a case of sending the right message to others. We are witnessing an accelerated movement toward a post-American world where governments make decisions and take actions with reduced regard for U.S. preferences. Such a world promises to be even messier, and less palatable for U.S. interests, than it is today.

***

But it has now become equally puzzling why he has not become more sure-footed in foreign affairs. He is one of the brightest men ever to occupy the office, and yet his learning curve has been among the flattest. Talking to players on the world stage — most of whom still want him to succeed — one finds them genuinely rattled, worried about a lack of national will and operational competence…

Most Americans still want him to succeed, but when television executives put him on the air, audiences often melt away. Even before the midterms, voters are looking over his shoulder at who comes next. “Waiting for Hillary” is a bigger story than “What Happened to Obama?” And there are few prospects for home runs overseas…

The world needs strong, effective American leadership as well; for all our mistakes like Iraq, the U.S. is the one nation that still has the power to keep world order. But in the twinkle of an eye, we have gone from being indispensable to indisposed.

There is no obvious game plan for Obama to bounce back.

***

Sometime in late 2013 Barack Obama seemed to sense that his foreign policy had failed, and that in almost every area of the globe things were more dangerous than when he entered office — and scarier because of his own initiatives.

And what now? Blaming Bush had a shelf life of four years, proved nihilistic, and can’t be continued for the next three. No one abroad cares that Obama is either leftwing or the first African-American president or that he speaks well from a teleprompter. Hope and change have become a sort of embarrassment. Another Cairo speech would earn guffaws. More loud reaching out to Turkey, Cuba, and Venezuela would earn eye-rolling. China has heard it all before. Iran is calibrating how to time its nuclear acquisition with the ending of Obama’s second term. Israel is politely tuning out. Putin is wondering: Can all these gifts be for real, or might there still be some elaborate ruse?

But mostly, our enemies now are ready to test us, and our friends will soon consider distancing themselves from us. So much so that even Obama’s occasional wise initiatives, like a trade deal with Japan, will go nowhere, given that there is no upside in supporting America, and no downside in opposing it.

We had a bad foreign policy and now we have no foreign policy — and sadly, we can only hope that is an improvement.

***

I’ve been at the White House when it has been taking a pounding from all sides. The inner circle gets smaller, and the rest of the staff tries to either put on a brave face or acknowledge the problems and quietly point fingers. Democratic insiders tell me the Obama inner circle now only consists of the president, Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough — and not everyone agrees on McDonough. Whether or not the president takes any criticism to heart and tries to change course seems unlikely based on what we have observed so far.

Every president experiences periods when he is unpopular or facing difficult decisions. But I don’t remember another president in my lifetime who has reached such a diminished state with so much time left in his term. We have more than two and a half years left under President Obama. We have to realize we will pay a price for this president’s lack of leadership. No one knows what the headlines will be next week, next month or next year, but nothing this president does seems to be shaping the world in a way that makes America stronger.

***

We understand that it’s frustrating. You’re dealing with some really evil guys and some really nutty pols, and the problems roiling the world now are brutally hard. As the Republican strategist Mike Murphy says, it’s not like the campaign because you have “bigger problems than a will.i.am song can fix.”

But that being said, you are the American president. And the American president should not perpetually use the word “eventually.” And he should not set a tone of resignation with references to this being a relay race and say he’s willing to take “a quarter of a loaf or half a loaf,” and muse that things may not come “to full fruition on your timetable.”…

An American president should never say, as you did Monday in Manila when you got frustrated in a press conference with the Philippine president: “You hit singles; you hit doubles. Every once in a while, we may be able to hit a home run.”

Especially now that we have this scary World War III vibe with the Russians, we expect the president, especially one who ran as Babe Ruth, to hit home runs.

***

Obama’s impatience with history has left him patient with evil. It is not a pretty sight; but his broken foreign policy is riddled with such ironies. Here is another one: Baker reports that the president has elected to revise his Russia policy into “an updated version of the Cold War strategy of containment.” How twentieth century! Never mind that containment was a policy with many interpretations, and not quite the formula for moving on that Obama is seeking. The grim fact is that Obama’s containment is not containing Putin, whose “green men” and “peoples’ republics” and Big Lies and Russophilic incitement and covert operations and military deployments are undeterred by it. While Obama pitches the “off-ramp,” Putin revels in the on-ramp. Geneva is now the world capital of failure. The only country that American containment is containing is America

But the richest of the ironies about Obama’s foreign policy is this: the world that in his view wanted to be rid of American salience now longs for it. It turns out that Obama’s Iraq-based view of America’s role in the world, according to which American preeminence is bad for the world and bad for America, is not shared by societies and movements in many regions. They need, and deserve, support in their struggles. (In Syria, for example, the tyrant enjoys the significant support of Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, the Islamist rebels enjoy the significant support of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and the moderate secular rebels enjoy the significant support of nobody.) There are many places in the world where we are despised not for taking action but for not taking action. Our allies do not trust us. Our enemies do not fear us. What if American preeminence is good for the world and good for America? Let’s talk about that.

***

Obama’s woes are complicated by a sense — denied by the White House — of American disengagement. “The perception of American withdrawal is palpable,” says Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser to George W. Bush.

“The Europeans and the Gulf states think that we’re leaving,” says Bill Cohen, who served as defense secretary under President Bill Clinton. “The Asian countries think we’re not coming.”

Moreover, the president is caught in a contradictory, and unfair, squeeze. On issues such as Syria and Russia, he’s depicted as insufficiently aggressive or tough. At the same time, the American public, turned off by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, wants no part of more aggressive foreign entanglements. Even some Republicans are taking cues from Senator Rand Paul’s quasi-isolationists stance.

***

Let me start by asking a question I’ve asked about other countries: Is American foreign policy today the way it is because Obama is the way he is (cerebral, cautious, dispassionate) or is Obama the way Obama is on foreign policy because America is the way America is today (burned by two failed wars and weakened by a great recession) and because the world is the way the world is (increasingly full of failed states and enfeebled U.S. allies)?…

I’d argue that a lot of what makes America less active in the world today is a product first of all of our own diminished leverage because of actions taken by previous administrations. The decisions by the Bush I and Clinton teams to expand NATO laid the seeds of resentment that helped to create Putin and Putinism. The Bush II team not only presided over two unsuccessful wars, but totally broke with American tradition and cut taxes instead of raising them to pay for those wars, weakening our balance sheet. The planning for both wars was abysmal, their execution worse and too many of our “allies” proved to be corrupt or used our presence to prosecute old feuds…

Most presidents make their name in foreign policy by taking on strong enemies; but most of what threatens global stability today are crumbling states. Exactly how many can we rescue at one time? I’d love to help Ukrainian reformers build a functioning democracy, but the reason that is so daunting a task is because their own politicians wasted two decades looting their own country, so the leverage required to foster change — $30 billion in bailout funds — is now massive.

***

The problem is that even though the public clearly thinks the United States is slipping under weak, disengaged leadership, it too is disengaged from foreign affairs and holds very conflicted views on the subject, especially regarding what to do about world trouble spots. This is not only true for the public at large, but for the rank-and-file Republicans who are so critical of Obama…

Most notably, the same public that criticizes Obama’s lack of assertiveness is now saying in record numbers that the United States should mind its own business and let other countries get along as best they can. A 52 percent majority of Americans subscribes to that view, up from 30 percent in 2004. And the same Republicans who fault Obama for global disengagement increasingly come to the view that the United States should focus on domestic policy (71 percent) rather than foreign affairs (14 percent)…

So now we see the problem: The GOP’s difficulty with exploiting public discontent with Obama’s handling of foreign policy is that the president’s unwillingness to be more assertive in Syria or Ukraine reflects the public’s mood—including Republicans.

***

But as foreign policy scholar Robert Kagan noted recently, there’s a paradox in those polls: The same public that wants to stay out of foreign entanglements also thinks the president isn’t doing a very good job on international affairs. A recent NBC-Wall Street Journal poll found that only 38% of those surveyed approved of Obama’s handling of foreign policy; that was fewer than approved of his handling of the economy…

I think the explanation is a little simpler: Yes, Americans want to stay out of foreign messes, but they also want to see their country’s foreign policy succeed. And at the moment, Obama is suffering from a shortage of successes. Whatever he’s doing, it isn’t working. Russia is still threatening Ukraine. Syria is still mired in bloodshed. Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s thankless mediation between Israelis and Palestinians seems doomed…

This is a president who used to say we could swing for the fences. We could repair America’s relationships with its allies, enjoy a “reset” with Russia, embrace the Muslim world and make peace just about everywhere.

The failures call to mind the question a famous Alaskan foreign policy analyst once asked: “How’s that hopey-changey thing working out for ya?”


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Schadenfreude

KOOLAID2 on May 5, 2014 at 2:18 AM

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:13 AM

lol! You’re doing fine. :)

I’ve been sitting poolside working tonight. I’m afraid it’s a little overcast here off and on, and it got a little windy so I just moved back into the house. I must have missed Jupiter. :(

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:18 AM

KOOLAID2 on May 5, 2014 at 2:18 AM

:)

KOOLAID2

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:18 AM

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:11 AM

I think they will do someone part time for now and build up as necessary. That way she can get used to it

PaperGirl on May 5, 2014 at 2:19 AM

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:18 AM

…you do keep…the weirdest hours…
there is no set time for inspiration!
(:->)

KOOLAID2 on May 5, 2014 at 2:21 AM

PaperGirl on May 5, 2014 at 2:17 AM

COL and I chatted caregiving for hours..
so maybe there is a idea or two that might help..
I think I went thru half a box of tissues…
the stories bring back the memories…
I am sure you will welcome your families help..
support is a wonderful thing..

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:22 AM

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:15 AM

lol!:)

I do love a fine champagne. :)

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:22 AM

KOOLAID2 on May 5, 2014 at 2:21 AM

lol! That’s true. :)

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:23 AM

I must have missed Jupiter. :(

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:18 AM

Jupiter was right next to the moon… just right..
is the moon still up at your house??
I saw all 4 moons thru my lil telescope before we got clouded in..

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:24 AM

Karise Eden – Nothing’s Real But Love

non-nonpartisan on May 5, 2014 at 2:25 AM

Willow Weep For Me – Jeanie Bryson

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:26 AM

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:09 AM

Excellent post..Thank you for the support..I just did not want to come across as “crazy” or seiing things..:):)

Dire Straits on May 5, 2014 at 2:26 AM

I will definitely go find it. I am just one of the team. It will take many to drive this train, but it should be a hell of a ride!

I pray for more patients though, it’s very hard sometimes, especially after a long weekend

PaperGirl on May 5, 2014 at 2:26 AM

thatsafactjack on May 5

should I go thru the five Premier Cru wines at once
that way you only have to go formal one time??
you shouldn’t have to keep pulling out dressing gowns nightly..

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:27 AM

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:24 AM

It’s clear enough at the moment, but no moon. :(

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:28 AM

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:09 AM
Excellent post..Thank you for the support..I just did not want to come across as “crazy” or “seeing things”..:):)

Dire Straits on May 5, 2014 at 2:26 AM

Sorry..Fixed..:)

Dire Straits on May 5, 2014 at 2:30 AM

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:27 AM

lol! No. I like to take my time and savor the good things in life. :)

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:31 AM

Dire Straits on May 5, 2014 at 2:26 AM

you are spot on…
the France Family has never been the sharpest pencil in the box..
Sr was a bully… Jr a business man ..
and the youngster now.. well you cant account for gene pools..
high science was never the families strong suit..
they need a consulting board of thinkers..
like CART had with 10 owner/board spots
which they will never do..
more minds and ideas is always better..IMO

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:33 AM

I’ve been sitting poolside working tonight. I’m afraid it’s a little overcast here off and on, and it got a little windy so I just moved back into the house. I must have missed Jupiter. :(

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:18 AM

….okay, jackie – being a writer, you Realize that you’ve set things up so that SOMEONE has to ask this:


“What are you wearing?”

williamg on May 5, 2014 at 2:34 AM

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:24 AM

We clearly saw jupiter. i asked if it was venus, but no one at the river seemed to know…

OmahaConservative on May 5, 2014 at 2:34 AM

Ok nite all…time to crash!

PaperGirl on May 5, 2014 at 2:34 AM

g’night darlin’

OmahaConservative on May 5, 2014 at 2:34 AM

Am I Blue – Jeanie Bryson

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:35 AM

williamg on May 5, 2014 at 2:34 AM

lol! Good evening, williamg. :)

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:36 AM

PaperGirl on May 5, 2014 at 2:26 AM

you can do it…!! of that I am sure…
hell I did it…twice… and im just this side of a dolt..
so I am sure you can…
“I pray for more patients though”
just remember..its all about her..everything..
time for you and your wants will come for you later..
or you’ll sneek moments with your husband and child..
but
this time is for her..

you’ll be fine…not to worry..

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:37 AM

lol! Good evening, williamg. :)

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:36 AM

….Happy Jupiter!……..or, something…….maybe it’s the planet between Saturn and Neptune……

williamg on May 5, 2014 at 2:39 AM

lol! No. I like to take my time and savor the good things in life. :)

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:31 AM

well there are only 5 Premier Cru wines
so I wont make you go formal forever..
besides that dress looks great on ya.!!

and yes we will cover Bubbles…I like bubbles too..!!

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:40 AM

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:33 AM

Agreed..:)

Dire Straits on May 5, 2014 at 2:40 AM

All Or Nothing At All – Diana Krall

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:41 AM

sleep well PG…and be safe..
smooch that g’ma plenty..!!

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:41 AM

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:40 AM

Besides, I’d like a glass of each, not a formal tasting, so we don’t want to get completely tipsy drinking all five at once. :)

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:43 AM

williamg on May 5, 2014 at 2:39 AM

And happy Jupiter to you, too, my friend. :)

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:44 AM

All Or Nothing At All – Diana Krall

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:41 AM

….you devilish muse, you……..

williamg on May 5, 2014 at 2:44 AM

OmahaConservative on May 5, 2014 at 2:34 AM

evening ..how’s the hand??
Jupiter was about the width of your hand to the right of the moon tonight..
this might help..
http://stellarium.org/

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:45 AM

williamg on May 5, 2014 at 2:44 AM

lol!;)

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:46 AM

Karise Eden – Threads Of Silence

non-nonpartisan on May 5, 2014 at 2:46 AM

Besides, I’d like a glass of each, not a formal tasting, so we don’t want to get completely tipsy drinking all five at once. :)

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:43 AM

drinking ‘in flights’ is nice to compare different years, regions, locations..
you wont be just tipsy
you’ll be swacked..!!!

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:49 AM

we have meteor showers coming this week..
so if you like shooting stars…look up..

http://www.space.com/skywatching/

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:52 AM

East of the Sun and West of the Moon – Diana Krall

Sadly, I have work to finish tonight. I’ll leave you with this tune. :)

You realize, Mr. Mars, I’m going to go broke buying these fine wines. :)

oh, I never drink enough to get ‘swacked’ or even ‘spiffed. :)

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:56 AM

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:52 AM

Thanks for the link..:)

Dire Straits on May 5, 2014 at 2:57 AM

Joss Stone – Son of a Preacher Man

non-nonpartisan on May 5, 2014 at 2:59 AM

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:56 AM

laffs.. you just haven’t drank with the right ppl yet..
your young… there’s still time..
but ..yes on the broke part..
you’ll be tasting the finest wines in the world.
so you have that going for ya..
please be safe…and sleep well…cheers

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 3:01 AM

Dire Straits on May 5, 2014 at 2:57 AM

if you are a serious star watcher..
JPL has three programs here in their
“eyes on” series (scroll down a tad)

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 3:03 AM

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:45 AM

hand still hurts. driving is a bitch, but good thing truck has an automatic tranny…

OmahaConservative on May 5, 2014 at 3:05 AM

“so we don’t want to get completely tipsy drinking all five at once. :)

thatsafactjack on May 5, 2014 at 2:43 AM ”

this might be the first time I ever disagreed with that woman..laffs

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 3:07 AM

Duke Jupiter – I’ll Drink To You

non-nonpartisan on May 5, 2014 at 3:11 AM

non-nonpartisan on May 5, 2014 at 3:11 AM

evening…
I see what you did there…nicely done…
all in one tune… wrapped it up…nicely..

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 3:16 AM

Leningrad Cowboys – Jupiter Calling

non-nonpartisan on May 5, 2014 at 3:19 AM

evening…
I see what you did there…nicely done…
all in one tune… wrapped it up…nicely..

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 3:16 AM

Hey g2m.

non-nonpartisan on May 5, 2014 at 3:23 AM

I can’t play this

I try, though.

Viola is better. Metallica.

wolly4321 on May 5, 2014 at 12:29 AM

This is better… and what are the odds of finding beautiful brunette quadruplets that are all fantastic violinists…?

It’s like Lou Gehrig getting Lou Gehrig’s disease… what are the odds…?

PointnClick on May 5, 2014 at 3:25 AM

your not drunk if you can lay on the floor without holding on..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfsXKyvaeyA

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 3:32 AM

PointnClick on May 5, 2014 at 3:25 AM

evening
did you notice she has her shirt blocked out I two spots?
I wonder what it says she doesn’t want us to see..

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 3:38 AM

It’s late at night and my mind is shutting down, so somebody help jar my memory. How does that old saying go now? A second rate break in and cover up is a high crime and misdemeanor, but abandoning 30 Americans to die (only because of two of them did the rest live), furnishing thousands of guns to Mexican drug gangs to murder hundreds [that’s just from the ObamaGuns recovered, so it could be thousands) of innocent Mexican men, women and children, and two Americans, is a statistic? Is that the right word – statistic? Statistic isn’t racist, is it?

VorDaj on May 5, 2014 at 3:52 AM

Happy Birthday b9!

. . . I didn’t know! But now — I think we should all be dancing.

I shall go dance for you, b9, though my cat will likely be taken aback. This is sudden — he might even run.

Axe on May 5, 2014 at 5:24 AM

America’s allies are nervous. With Russia grabbing territory, China bullying its neighbours and Syria murdering its people, many are asking: where is Globocop? Under what circumstances will America act to deter troublemakers? What, ultimately, would America fight for?

America is a people with a government that represents them, not a Party that acts as the head of a body of slaves. The question is what would the American people fight for, and the answer is, wisely or foolishly, the well being of any other people on earth. If they can.

But they can’t. The current American government would fight and is fighting for control over the people with two hands, too busy to play at empire over the earth. And the American people are in a fight for their freedom. They can’t take their eyes off their own government one moment; if they do, another bad thing might happen (enough bad things are happening even with their attention fixed).

Globocop

FU.

Axe on May 5, 2014 at 5:50 AM

It can all be summed up in Obama Doctrine – just three words: “I don’t care.”

Turn MD Red on May 5, 2014 at 5:50 AM

Good morning HA
Morning joe panel loving dear leader trash everyone but himself as he should have

Thin skinned whiner

cmsinaz on May 5, 2014 at 6:07 AM

Dems not happy with latest pew poll showing a big wave for the gop

Don’t look nationally look locally
-dems spinning already

cmsinaz on May 5, 2014 at 6:19 AM

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Sorry I missed Paper Girl. I was wondering how things went for her yesterday. I’ll have to go back and look.

G2, before you leave for Mars tell me what direction to look for Jupiter assuming the clouds ever clear out here. There are so many trees here it’s hard to see anything that is down low in the horizon.

Thunder here now.

crankyoldlady on May 5, 2014 at 6:41 AM

Obama is a reactive, defensive ideologue with regards to foreign policy. He sees the US as the predator and has sought to diminish US presence globally – that is isolationist in case you wanted to know.

In many regions the US has been the one that has put some stability in place via military agreements, enforcement of the laws of the sea and via shifting Nations over time away from tyrannical systems. That latter is the hard one and usually doesn’t work out so well as they imply large cultural problems beyond what influence from the outside can achieve.

With that said Obama was handed one pre-made success and decided that, as he disagreed with the conflict he could toss it away: Iraq.

If there was a decent SOFA agreement with Iraq he could:
- play his game of drones along the Syrian border
- have a counterweight to Iran, Turkey and Russia
- work to stabilize the internal conflicts inside Iraq by reinforcing its training systems for a better internal policing and military system
- have a stabilizing force in the ME that was multi-ethnic and multi-cultural

Instead of being a hard-headed foreign policy hand he is a committed ideologue and sought to place his anti-American ideology ahead of crass geopolitical interests. The result?

- The ‘Arab Spring’ running amok and back-firing on all of those who backed it.

- An Iran that is emboldened when only a few words of support for the Green Uprising would have made some difference there in support of the freedoms of individuals.

- Russia emboldened by American weakness and inability to formulate a survival-based foreign policy. Of course he also had to leave the Czechs and Poles out in the cold and unilaterally end anti-missile agreements with them for Putin to feel that way.

- China has noted this, as well, and decided now was the time to start stepping up pressure. China has longer term plans, no doubt, to use Putin’s words against him in the future, but to do that they need to back him now. That and the void left by the waffling of Obama since he came to office leaves China great leeway in its actions. But the dismal outcome Obama wanted in Iraq was duly noted in China. China is no great power and internally unstable, but they have a semi-coherent and self-serving foreign policy which is more than Obama has so something trumps nothing.

- A US Ambassador left hung out to dry to die along with his bodyguards, and that put an entire INTEL and CT operation at risk all towards the end of supporting a weapons shift to AQIM in Syria.

- Syria destabilized but also coming back as the terrorists can’t compete with a terrorizing police State and a battle that is artillery based, not aircraft based. All the arms Obama got smuggled to Syria are useless there as they are not in a modern formulation of civil war.

- Afghanistan reverting to form. Actually this was going to happen no matter who was in office, but do note that it was the ‘right war’ for the Left, the one the Left supported, the one the Left backed and now it is failing beyond anything they dreamed would happen because their pie in the sky dreams include no harsh dose of reality and true multi-ethnic conflicts. To get Afghanistan right would have required examining history, executing on basic logistical concepts and then using both of those to understand that you don’t put a modern military in Afghanistan on thin supply lines and expect a good outcome. Never happens that way. Ever. And that was my criticism of Bush, also.

It isn’t that Obama has a weak foreign policy – he just has one that believes America is all that is wrong with the world, and if we would just be humbled then everything would be peachy-keen. Just like the 19th century was and the lead-up to WWI. Or any prior century where there was no predominant power to shift events by just being minimally present and somewhat pro-active.

Obama can’t even achieve THAT.

Thus, after the wanting America out of everything deal, what is left? The return of savagery in the world because basic sea laws are not upheld. Crass power-plays by Nation States feeling they have nothing to worry about and can start to encroach wherever a vacuum is left.

Obama can’t even be honest enough to say ‘You are on your own, guys’ and then help a few places to stand up something local so that they can protect themselves. That is dishonesty and cowardice, both. And it shows.

That means there is no foreign policy agenda beyond getting America out of places. The true isolationist has shown up from the Left and the Left, so wanting to cover his behind are now stuck in the dirt and shat upon: their rewards for their loyalty is the smell they get and it is disillusionment. That is a hard thing to take when your whole idea of how the world really works is blindsided by how it actually does work and falls apart in the face of that reality.

The main cause of Obama’s problems?

Obama.

And the Left and even the MFM are finding that the blame cannot be shifted to Bush, to the Right, to anyone but Obama. Hear their defensiveness, at least those that still try and support him. It is always someone else’s fault. Yet the ground zero for failure is at his feet as he is the cause. And that reality is coming from the blindside and HARD.

ajacksonian on May 5, 2014 at 6:47 AM

Good Morning, Patriots! And, Trolls.

Obama is bipartisan. He is willing to working with both kinds of Democrat: Liberal and Progressive. – KJ

My take: Obama Launches Into Vicious Diatribe Against Enemies at WH Correspondents Dinner. Minions Laugh.

kingsjester on May 5, 2014 at 6:52 AM

ajacksonian on May 5, 2014 at 6:47 AM

+1 AJ
spot on

just listening to the morning joe crew criticizing his weak foreign policy and mika still defending him to the bitter end….

cmsinaz on May 5, 2014 at 6:54 AM

kingsjester on May 5, 2014 at 6:52 AM

excellent take KJ and the picture for your post is perfect :)

cmsinaz on May 5, 2014 at 7:06 AM

ajacksonian on May 5, 2014 at 6:47 AM

kingsjester on May 5, 2014 at 6:52 AM

…nice…one-two punch!…both uppercuts!

KOOLAID2 on May 5, 2014 at 7:09 AM

cmsinaz on May 5, 2014 at 7:06 AM

Thank you, ma’am. All I did was Google “Obama and Minions” and there it was. :)

kingsjester on May 5, 2014 at 7:10 AM

KOOLAID2 on May 5, 2014 at 7:09 AM

Thankyaverymuch!

kingsjester on May 5, 2014 at 7:15 AM

Good one King. He didn’t write those jokes you know. His handlers are the vindictive ones. Although I’m sure he agrees. What a bunch of low-lifes these people are.

crankyoldlady on May 5, 2014 at 7:17 AM

kingsjester on May 5, 2014 at 7:15 AM

…funny at that dinner…that one of the biggest jokes of all…Harry Reid…was never mentioned…by anybody!

KOOLAID2 on May 5, 2014 at 7:18 AM

LOL KJ
:)

cmsinaz on May 5, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Morning COL and early risers. Woke up at 0538 instead of my usual 0430. Just more off my game than my usual slightly off.

HonestLib on May 5, 2014 at 7:34 AM

ajacksonian on May 5, 2014 at 6:47 AM

Thanks for taking the time to write all that.

HonestLib on May 5, 2014 at 7:37 AM

Morning HL
Go get some coffee in you :)

cmsinaz on May 5, 2014 at 7:41 AM

The Music Man is on TCM tonight. It’s entertaining but I also see it as a metaphor for marxism. Harold Hill uses their tactics. And cute little Ronnie Howard is in it.

crankyoldlady on May 5, 2014 at 7:57 AM

“He is one of the brightest men ever to occupy the office’….. your left out ” in his own mind”….

alQemist on May 5, 2014 at 8:11 AM

“He is one of the brightest men ever to occupy the office’….. your left out ” in his own mind”….

alQemist on May 5, 2014 at 8:11 AM

And in the minds of his enablers and cult followers.

crankyoldlady on May 5, 2014 at 8:20 AM

libfreeordie on May 5, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Not everything has to be negative and about politics. Why not just drop in and say hello. Did you do anything interesting this weekend. I watched my kids plant sun flowers and I ejoyed the day with them, made Ice Cream, and drank BEER. Note..they ate the ice cream and I drank the beer.

Hope my note finds you well.

HonestLib on May 5, 2014 at 8:56 AM

He has watched outside forces unravel his best-laid plans, from resetting relations with Russia to managing the epochal political change in the Arab world.

So these fellow nations of the world that the president is so eager to do some partnering with are “outside forces”?

Outside, man!

jbspry on May 5, 2014 at 10:11 AM

G2, before you leave for Mars tell me what direction to look for Jupiter assuming the clouds ever clear out here.

crankyoldlady on May 5, 2014 at 6:41 AM

morning COL
sorry I was napping.. this is a good star tracking program.

http://stellarium.org/

this one tells you in text what to look for..

http://www.space.com/skywatching/

and for hard core star information..
the complete known star maps in 3D..
3 programs called “eyes on” (scroll down a bit)

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/

last night I saw all 4 moons of Jupiter with a small telescope.. enjoy

ps. I saw PG briefly late last night and mentioned to her
that we had spoke about caregiving and I told her to go have a look,,
maybe something in there will help her..
hope you are having a wonderful day…cheers

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 1:18 PM

The Music Man is on TCM tonight. It’s entertaining but I also see it as a metaphor for marxism. Harold Hill uses their tactics. And cute little Ronnie Howard is in it.

crankyoldlady on May 5, 2014 at 7:57 AM

a great movie..ty
I was going to mention movies and music yesterday for caregiving..
old movies that they might have seen first run..
for Grams anything before WWII…
for my mom.. 40′s-60′s..
I bought DVD copies so they could watch them on ‘good days’
as they don’t always feel well when its on TCM..
yes I own a complete set of Shirley Temple movies..
I know more about Miss Temples movies than Star Wars..
they also loved Lawrence Welk and older television shows.

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 1:38 PM

libfreeordie on May 5, 2014 at 8:27 AM

CNN in the toilet, deep.

Schadenfreude on May 5, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Cinco de Cinco.

davidk on May 5, 2014 at 12:43 AM


Nope

Schadenfreude on May 5, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Schadenfreude on May 5, 2014 at 2:18 PM

afternoon Schad..
your post led me to this one..
it isn’t hard to see these fools were duped by a Compliant
Criminally Liable Media.. just listen to their answers..
all of them collectively had not one correct answer.. zero
this is who we are up against….
these people will vote for whoever the MSM tells them to..
not two brain cells in the whole lot..
we are so doomed..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_JJLLfTR8I

going2mars on May 5, 2014 at 2:58 PM

libfreeordie on May 5, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Not everything has to be negative and about politics. Why not just drop in and say hello. Did you do anything interesting this weekend. I watched my kids plant sun flowers and I ejoyed the day with them, made Ice Cream, and drank BEER. Note..they ate the ice cream and I drank the beer.

Hope my note finds you well.

HonestLib on May 5, 2014 at 8:56 AM

I admire your effort, but I say without hyperbole that libfree is more of a lost cause than Obama.

non-nonpartisan on May 5, 2014 at 9:48 PM

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