Americans unhappy with how Obama has managed the conflict in Gaza

posted at 9:21 am on July 30, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Like it or not (and most do not), American presidents have a legacy responsibility to manage the frequent conflicts which regularly erupt in the Middle East. So far, the public thinks the president and his administration have handled the crisis in the Gaza Strip poorly.

According to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, the public is sour on Obama’s failure to contain that conflict.

“When it comes to Obama’s handling of the increasing tensions in Gaza, the poll shows 39 percent approve and 52 percent disapprove, with one-third disapproving ‘strongly,’” The Post reported on Wednesday.

In fact, the poll shows that Obama gets lower marks for his handling of the crisis in Gaza than he does for either his approach to the downing Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 or his management of America’s foreign affairs overall.

“The reason Obama is weak on the Israeli-Palestinian issue? Subpar support within his own party and among younger people — a key Democratic Party constituency in recent years,” The Post report read.

Sixty-five percent of Democrats approve of Obama’s efforts, but this falls significantly below the number approving of him on foreign policy overall (77 percent). Likewise, while respondents aged 18 to 39 split evenly on Obama’s general handling of foreign policy (47 percent apiece), this age group disapproves of his efforts in the Middle East by a 21-point margin, 54-33. Separate surveys from the Pew Research Center and Gallup have found younger Americans are significantly more skeptical of Israel’s actions than are older Americans.

Yet even amid the myriad crises overseas, this poll found approval in Obama’s handling of foreign affairs jumping by 5 points from 41 percent in June to 46 percent in July. 50 percent of all adults disapprove of Obama’s management of foreign affairs. Among registered voters, however, only 45 percent approve of the president’s handling of foreign policy while 52 percent disapprove.

What is incongruous here is the disconnect between the average American who, while he may dislike the state of affairs around the world, is steadfastly committed to an American policy of disengagement, and the American political class which largely abhors the precedents Obama is setting overseas.

Take, for example, an op-ed by Fred Hiatt who recent wrote a scathing rebuke of Obama’s policy of “disengagement” in the pages of The Washington Post:

To be sure, there are no true laboratory experiments in international relations. Even with different U.S. policies, the Arab Spring might have fizzled and the Iraqi army might have crumbled. No one can say for sure what would have happened if the United States had not signaled its exhaustion with foreign affairs, downgraded its interest in Europe and the Middle East, abandoned Iraq and stayed aloof from Syria.

But we can see what followed each of those strategic choices. Obama thought he could engineer a cautious, modulated retreat from U.S. leadership. What we have gotten is a far more dangerous world.

Hiatt is merely the latest elite opinion maker to denounce the path toward retrenchment which Obama has set the nation down. The polls suggest, however, that the public does not agree with him.

For as much as the president seems aloof and out of touch with the public in the waning days of his presidency, at least on his commitment to reduce the United States’ role in the world, he seems more in tune with the American people than do the nation’s editorialists.


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Americans unhappy with how Obama has managed the conflict in Gaza

FIFY

SoRight on July 30, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Another dog-bites-man story.

Akzed on July 30, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Americans unhappy with how Obama has managed the conflict in Gaza

FIFY

SoRight on July 30, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Americans unhappy with how Obama has failed to manage…anything…

workingclass artist on July 30, 2014 at 9:26 AM

“Managed?” no, he is not managing anything, nor does he have the vaguest idea how to lead.

That leadership thing is more than issuing edicts, fiats or barking orders.

dogsoldier on July 30, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Americans unhappy with how Obama has managed the conflict in Gaza

Managed? You mean he’s been doing stuff in the region?

Happy Nomad on July 30, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Obozo’s unhappy with Americans for not seeing how totally awesome he is at playing 3D checkers.

Flange on July 30, 2014 at 9:30 AM

That leadership thing is more than issuing edicts, fiats or barking orders.

dogsoldier on July 30, 2014 at 9:28 AM

But he is clean, articulate, and speaks with a neutral American accent.

Happy Nomad on July 30, 2014 at 9:30 AM

The world has failed Dog Eater, that’s what happened, he is simply too smart for the rest of us.

Bishop on July 30, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Me thinks most Americans don’t know much of what is going on in the world otherwise 99% would not approve of President (Muslim Brotherhood) Obama’s action.

albill on July 30, 2014 at 9:31 AM

“Too big for his britches, too small for his job.”

albill on July 30, 2014 at 9:37 AM

My bet is that the 18-39 crowd is split, with a good portion of them being unsatisfied by O’s refusal to rein in Israel. The media is on HAMAS’ side, apparently, and those young knuckleheads are following the leader.

Conservative Mischief on July 30, 2014 at 9:38 AM

But we can see what followed each of those strategic choices. Obama thought he could engineer a cautious, modulated retreat from U.S. leadership. What we have gotten is a far more dangerous world.

Most of the “Leaders” in the ME with few exceptions are just Punks. There is really only one way to effectively handle them, and that is to smash them flat or keep up the threat you are going to come in and smack them around some. Once that threat is gone, they are going to do what naturally comes to thugs like them, and that is what we see happening in the ME. Remove any stability and things will implode.

Obama has either forgotten that lesson or never learned it. I suspect it is the latter because back in his Community Organizing days his victims never really backed off because he was the Thug then. The shoe is on the other foot now and Obama refuses to use the tools at his disposal to fix the problem he helped create.

Johnnyreb on July 30, 2014 at 9:38 AM

He sent Kerry down there to save Hamas.

ConstantineXI on July 30, 2014 at 9:42 AM

King Barack has an agenda and two more years. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about “public opinion”.

GarandFan on July 30, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Who wanted WWII? What would the world look like today if we had stayed disengaged? We, the American people, may be very tired but it is a presidents’ job to see the pitfalls ahead and guide us. If this means we must engage in a distasteful task then he must be a leader and rally the people to do what is best for our country and world. But Obama is not a leader. All he is doing is leading us to the next sand trap or burger joint while he entertains us with speeches touting himself.

Herb on July 30, 2014 at 9:43 AM

I kid you not, CBS Morning News on Tues was trying to depict his leadership by displaying a phone call chart of his different calls with intl leaders this year. #pathetic

hillsoftx on July 30, 2014 at 9:50 AM

“The reason Obama is weak on the Israeli-Palestinian issue? Subpar support within his own party and among younger people — a key Democratic Party constituency in recent years,” The Post report read.

Great. So a major portion of the low numbers comes from him not cracking down hard enough on Israel.

Doomberg on July 30, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Hiatt is merely the latest elite opinion maker to denounce the path toward retrenchment which Obama has set the nation down.

The “elite’ opinion makers” were the ones demanding “disengagement” the loudest, partly from their Chamberlainesque desire to “fundamentally transform America” and partly from their Hoareish dream of seeing a primitivist, mystical Triumph worldwide.

The “transformation” has failed to create Utopia out of thin air. And the “mystical, enlightened” primitivists who they expected to be sitting in a full lotus, chanting mantras, are instead running around with their eyes bugged out, screaming incoherently, raping, looting, pillaging, killing, burning, and convulsing with orgiastic glee at the results of their rampage.

Which was pretty much what the rest of us expected to happen, on both counts. Which was why they sneered at us as “reactionaries”, “stupid”, “nativist”, and of course “racist”.

They probably sneered at Kipling, too.

Now that it’s all falling to hell, the “elite’” are less concerned with their supposed Triumph than they are with avoiding the pitchforks. Hence Hiatt.

It’s time to throw their latest Messiah onto the pyre, they conclude.

Rather than go down with him.

This isn’t “moral clarity”. It’s the usual progressive alibiing plus deflection. “He did it! Don’t blame us!

Sorry, I do. He’s your f**king Messiah.

I sure as hell never voted for the dimwit.

clear ether

eon

eon on July 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM

No cease fire yet… so I’m happy with Bibi. Who is this Obama guy and what the hell does he have to do with… well, anything?

rhombus on July 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Why not poll on how many Americans think it is our responsibility to “manage the conflict in Gaza.” Does the poll account for which Americans know that we bankroll Israel’s military, and which don’t? Does it account for which Americans know that we sell all the weapons Hamas uses to other nations who then donate them to Hamas? In other words, given Americans profound ignorance of our role as arms dealer to the entire region, does this poll actually mean anything?

libfreeordie on July 30, 2014 at 10:01 AM

The world has failed Dog Eater, that’s what happened, he is simply too smart for the rest of us.

Bishop on July 30, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Yeah, he must tire of being surrounded by so many simpletons. He must know exactly what Christ felt like when having to explain stuff to the disciples.

Happy Nomad on July 30, 2014 at 10:02 AM

libfreeordie on July 30, 2014 at 10:01 AM

So, we’re selling weapons to North Korea?

Who knew?

Resist We Much on July 30, 2014 at 10:06 AM

I’m unhappy, you’re unhappy, he’s unhappy, she’s unhappy…we’re all phucking unhappy on a daily basis with whatever this clueless(actually not)d!ck is doing…yet, people put this phuckwad in office twice. Rise up as a nation, demand he be removed…70-80 percent demanding removal, or shut the phuck up. You got what you voted for. We’re all going to be unhappy the next two years.

msupertas on July 30, 2014 at 10:06 AM

I kid you not, CBS Morning News on Tues was trying to depict his leadership by displaying a phone call chart of his different calls with intl leaders this year. #pathetic

hillsoftx on July 30, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Connect the dots

Shy Guy on July 30, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Obama manage? That’s an oxymoron if ever there was one.

sadatoni on July 30, 2014 at 10:08 AM

libfreeordie on July 30, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Hey asswipe…there’s been illegal lawyers, journalists, etc. Wait until where you teach decides they want an illegal as a prof..and as you’ve been the dumbest prof they’ve ever had…you’re being replaced with said illegal.

msupertas on July 30, 2014 at 10:10 AM

It think this exchange is true.

Barack Obama: I demand that Israel agrees to an immediate, unilateral ceasefire and halt all offensive activities, in particular airstrikes.

Benjamin Netanyahu: And what will Israel receive in exchange for a ceasefire?

BO: I believe that Hamas will cease its rocket fire — silence will be met with silence.

BN: Hamas broke all five previous ceasefires. It’s a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

BO: I repeat and expect Israel to stop all its military activities unilaterally. The pictures of destruction in Gaza distance the world from Israel’s position.

BN: Kerry’s proposal was completely unrealistic and gives Hamas military and diplomatic advantages.

BO: Within a week of the end of Israel’s military activities, Qatar and Turkey will begin negotiations with Hamas based on the 2012 understandings, including Israel’s commitment to removing the siege and restrictions on Gaza.

BN: Qatar and Turkey are the biggest supporters of Hamas. It’s impossible to rely on them to be fair mediators.

BO: I trust Qatar and Turkey. Israel is not in the position that it can choose its mediators.

BN: I protest because Hamas can continue to launch rockets and use tunnels for terror attacks –

BO: (interrupting Netanyahu) The ball’s in Israel’s court, and it must end all its military activities.

Oil Can on July 30, 2014 at 10:13 AM

For as much as the president seems aloof and out of touch with the public in the waning days of his presidency, at least on his commitment to reduce the United States’ role in the world, he seems more in tune with the American people than do the nation’s editorialists.

Is this the same public that when polled says it wants lower taxes, and more government spending? That wants less government intrusion into their lives, and then votes for politicians vowing to increase the size and scope of government? That wants more government aid to education, and then seems mystified that the cost of education rises ever faster?

The problem with polls like this is that now, as ever, there is a profound disconnect in the public mind between the desired ends and the means to achieve them.

America wants a world at peace, full of free citizens everywhere, where America is respected, and where no American soldier is deployed and no American money is spent to maintain world order. Given human nature and the actual state of the world, these elements are not mutually achievable.

In the end, however, what the public really abhors is a dangerous world where America retreats and is not respected. Carter is remembered badly because he failed to meet that standard. Reagan, though excoriated at the time, is now remembered fondly because he did.

Zumkopf on July 30, 2014 at 10:21 AM

So, we’re selling weapons to North Korea?

Who knew?

Resist We Much on July 30, 2014 at 10:06 AM

We sell them to Qatar and Saudi Arabia who both supply Hamas.

libfreeordie on July 30, 2014 at 10:30 AM

If these people “hate” how Obama has managed the conflict in Gaza, it’s probably because they side with the Palestinians and want Obama to help them more.

Walter L. Newton on July 30, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Among registered voters, however, only 45 percent approve of the president’s handling of foreign policy while 52 percent disapprove.

Hiatt is merely the latest elite opinion maker to denounce the path toward retrenchment which Obama has set the nation down. The polls suggest, however, that the public does not agree with him.

Where did Noah get that conclusion? This poll shows majority (52%) disapproval of Obama’s handling of foreign policy. Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock the last two years can see that America’s enemies are running roughshod in Iraq and Ukraine, and all Obama and Kerry do is wag their fingers and beg the bad guys for peace, and play golf.

While Obama might have fooled the electorate in 2012 with his “Bin Laden is dead” campaign, people see Russia attacking with impunity in Ukraine and wonder whether just maybe Mitt Romney was right about Russia’s being our “greatest geopolitical foe”, and that maybe we do need some 1980′s foreign policy back.

Which doesn’t look good for Hillary Clinton, whose claim to fame is leading the foreign policy that has led to a more violent world than in 2008.

Steve Z on July 30, 2014 at 10:38 AM

“The reason Obama is weak on the Israeli-Palestinian issue? Subpar support within his own party and among younger people — a key Democratic Party constituency in recent years,” The Post report read.

Yes, they are upset that Obama didn’t impose sanctions on Israel, cut off all aid, and remove Hamas from the terror list.

It’s like those polls that show a majority of the public disapproving of Obamacare, where a significant number of the disapprovals come from people who would prefer single-payer.

Joseph K on July 30, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Choomie doesn’t manage, he leads from his behind.

formwiz on July 30, 2014 at 11:15 AM

https://twitter.com/i24news_EN

i24news_EN @i24news_EN · 58m

#OPINION: Defying Obama is the right thing to do►►http://www.i24news.tv/en/opinion/38669-140730-defying-obama-is-the-right-thing-to-do …

canopfor on July 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM

http://news.yahoo.com/obama-eats-ribs-4-kansas-city-letter-writers-015931053–politics.html

Meanwhile… the world burns, but hey! A guy has to eat, y’know?

dogsoldier on July 30, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Like a garden that goes to weeds absent the gardner’s tending, civilization is not the natural state of human affairs absent rule of law backed by force. In our large cities, while the police may not be popular with those who denounce the forces of order, they would likely find disorder much worse and miss the peacefullness of rule of law. So it will be with the Pax Americana that the world has prospered from over the last 80 years. The world will miss it now that it is going away.

KW64 on July 30, 2014 at 11:43 AM

We sell them to Qatar and Saudi Arabia who both supply Hamas.

libfreeordie on July 30, 2014 at 10:30 AM

The Saudis hate Hamas.

Your President loves the Qataris.

Resist We Much on July 30, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Americans unhappy with how Obama has managed the conflict in Gaza

Admittedly, Israel *is* one of the most notorious terrorist states out there, can you really blame Hamas?

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2014 at 12:31 PM

So doing nothing or throwing gas on the fire is managing in the age of Obama?

jukin3 on July 30, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Nancy Pelosi is certifiable on Hamas alone.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2014 at 12:48 PM

HOW OBAMA HAS MANAGED THE GAZA SITUATION

1. Wrote an editorial praising HAMAS’s President for his ‘restraint’ (over 2,000 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel since 8 July, fired from rocket launchers embedded in hospitals, schools, and housing complexes – using civilians/children as Human Shields) while completely ignoring Netenyahu…and then placing that Editorial in an Israeli Newspaper (evidently to make sure he stuck the insult squarely in the Israelis’ faces).

2. Orders the FAA to stop all flights going into Israel, an ‘economic punishment’ for Israel for not agreeing to a Cease Fire as Obama wanted. (Fortunatelty smart people saw this for what it was and the media coverage was swift, forcing the ban to be lifted after 24hrs.

3. Despite Kerry being caught on microphone (when he didn’t know it was on) mocking Israel, Obama sent him to try to negotiate a Cease Fire with Israel. Before Kerry stepped off the plane he was ‘personna non grata’ – they weren’t going to listen to him.

4. Kerry demanded that Qatar (who finds HAMAS – the terrorist organization firing thousands of rockets and diggin tunnels into Israel) and Egypt (who also supports HAMAS) be part of the Cease Fire Negotiations. (Col Custer, we demand that Indian Chiefs from 3 other tribes be part of the Cease Fire Negotiations here at Little Big Horn…)

5. Kerry plops down beside an Israeli mom whose son had just been killed, ‘So, how is your day going?’ (And YES, he knew her son had just been killed.) She responded back angilly, ‘How is YOUR day going?’ Kerry responded back, “Not as bad as yours from what I hear.’ SERIOUSLY? I would have kicked his @$$ out of the country!

6. Obama now demands a permanent Cease Fire from Israel…

I don’t think he could possibly F* this up any more…unless his intention was to abandon Israel as an ally and send the message his administration does NOT support them in any way.

easyt65 on July 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM

We sell them to Qatar and Saudi Arabia who both supply Hamas.

libfreeordie on July 30, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Really? Do you understand ITAR? Are you claiming King Putt’s Administration is violating ITAR and DDTC (Directorate of Defense Trade Controls)?
I’m certain King Putt has no idea what ITAR is all about and would not care in the least if he did. He is Putt, President Prescedent. Master of the singular pronoun “I”.

Missilengr on July 30, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Hiatt is merely the latest elite opinion maker to denounce the path toward retrenchment which Obama has set the nation down. The polls suggest, however, that the public does not agree with him.

For as much as the president seems aloof and out of touch with the public in the waning days of his presidency, at least on his commitment to reduce the United States’ role in the world, he seems more in tune with the American people than do the nation’s editorialists.

That’s an asinine conclusion. Who actually EANTS to be involved with foreign enemies? Pools will always reflect the American distaste for sending soldiers to third world hellholes to handle conflicts we had no part in starting.

A leader who can’t call his people to do what has to be done, even though no one is happy about it, just isn’t a leader.

When leadership is needed, a leader knows he can’t hide behind polls. That’s the cowardly way out

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 30, 2014 at 8:06 PM

I have an idea! Bibi should “open mic” the next call from BO or JK.
Let the real ridicule begin!

We have fielded a team that is being embarrassed by JV teams from
around the world.

I know a conservative who didn’t vote in 2012. (He doesn’t like LDS.)
I know a libertarian who threw away his vote in 2012.

I told them what I think of them. We don’t interact much.

ha_tspc on July 30, 2014 at 8:28 PM