WaPo: Say, this President doesn’t seem terribly competent at foreign policy, huh?

posted at 10:01 am on August 30, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The “no strategy” gaffe caught many by surprise on Thursday, calling into question for many critics two questions about Barack Obama’s competence. First, how could the White House have no strategy to deal with a threat that had been rising in the region even before Obama’s dismissal in January of ISIS as “jayvees”? Second, what possessed Obama to not just admit that the White House had no strategy, but declare it in a press conference?

The Washington Post editorial board stresses today that this particular gaffe should be the least of our worries. Not for the first time, they accuse Obama of being so far into a fantasy world that he’s not even listening to his own Cabinet members about the seriousness of the threat — and keeps talking so much about what the US can’t do about it that it seems like Obama’s arguing for his own incompetence:

The president’s goal, to the extent he had one, seemed to be to tamp down all the assessments of gathering dangers that his own team had been issuing over the previous days.

This argument with his own administration is alarming on three levels.

The first has to do with simple competence. One can only imagine the whiplash that foreign leaders must be suffering. They heard U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power denounce Russia as “today . . . they open a new front . . . Russia’s force along the border is the largest it has been . . . the mask is coming off.” An hour later, Mr. Obama implicitly contradicted her: “I consider the actions that we’ve seen in the last week a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now . . . it’s not really a shift.”

Similarly, his senior advisers uniformly have warned of the unprecedented threat to America and Americans represented by Islamic extremists in Syria and Iraq. But Mr. Obama didn’t seem to agree. “Now, ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] poses an immediate threat to the people of Iraq and to people throughout the region,” he said. “My priority at this point is to make sure that the gains that ISIL made in Iraq are rolled back.” Contrast that ambition with this vow from Secretary of State John F. Kerry: “And make no mistake: We will continue to confront ISIL wherever it tries to spread its despicable hatred. The world must know that the United States of America will never back down in the face of such evil.”

The discrepancies raise the question of whether Mr. Obama controls his own administration, but that’s not the most disturbing element. His advisers are only stating the obvious: Russia has invaded Ukraine. The Islamic State and the Americans it is training are a danger to the United States. When Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. says the threat they pose is “in some ways . . . more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general,” it’s not because he is a warmonger or an alarmist. He’s describing the world as he sees it. When Mr. Obama refuses to acknowledge the reality, allies naturally wonder whether he will also refuse to respond to it.

They wrote that editorial before Obama spun this fantasy, too:

Rick Perry echoed the WaPo’s sentiment in our interview yesterday, emphasizing that the President seems totally disengaged with reality. He also worried about what allies thought of American support in this vacuum of leadership:

This “is a disengaged administration, Perry said. “This is a president who seems to be disengaged from what’s going on in the world. When you stand up in front of the international — the global press,” he continued,” and talk about a photojournalist who’s been beheaded by an absolutely brutal terrorist organization like ISIS, and thirty minutes later be on the golf course — you’re disengaged with what’s going on in the world. … That I fear more than anything.”

So does the Washington Post editorial board, which almost can’t believe how bad it’s getting at the White House. Almost six months ago, they warned that Obama’s foreign policy was “based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality,” and the headline on it declared, “President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy.” At that time, they scoffed at the tiresome Obama cliche that such-and-such development was “on the wrong side of history” or not 21st-century behavior. Now they seem much more alarmed than before … and so does everyone else outside of Obama’s inner circle.


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Not competent in Foreign Affairs? Really!

Do they mean as compared to his competence in any other aspect of his presidency? Or, could they be comparing his competency in Foreign Affairs to lets say Ronald Reagan?

If WaPo is comparing O’BoutMe against his own presidency, then I’d have to argue that his Foreign Affairs competency is at least average.

WestTexasBirdDog on August 30, 2014 at 5:38 PM

The dirty little secret is OBAMA IS NOT ALL THAT BRIGHT.

That’s why we can’t see his college records (or, one of the reasons). Gore, Bush, and Kerry all released theirs and they were all C-students as undergrads – Gore clearly demonstrated he was not postgraduate material, too. How bad could Obama’s be? You know Ivy League schools don’t give poor grades to black students.

It would show he only got in either by cheating, or was pure Affirmative Action his entire life. Never accomplished anything, an unbroken record of failures followed by new opportunities opening up.

But all this was evident to anyone who bothered to look, even in 2007.

Adjoran on August 30, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Just a few years ago, a white dude who was about to graduate from Harvard got busted by a sharp-eyed prof for plagiarism.

As this case unfolded, it became apparent that Adam Wheeler had cheated his way into Harvard with forged transcripts and forged references, and he had cheated his way thru almost 4 years there, without getting caught once.

In the case of Dear Leader, I think your AA theory is the correct one. But there has been mention of him claiming to be a foreign student in order to get into college, and his literary agent claimed for years that he was born in Africa.

As for his alleged high IQ, here’s a fun read.

Del Dolemonte on August 30, 2014 at 5:40 PM

DC do you even read? Even if he did not cheat he hardly did that himself. Once again, you prove yourself not too bright.

CW on August 30, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Just the latin script, kanji/hanzi, katakana, hiragana and devanagari. How about you?

DarkCurrent on August 30, 2014 at 5:42 PM

No Obama fan here, but he did manage to get elected President of the United States of America.

Unless the Puppet Masters just put him there…

DarkCurrent on August 30, 2014 at 5:12 PM

He didn’t do that, the Democrat Party and their State-Run Media did that…

Del Dolemonte on August 30, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Obummer isn’t competent at anything. No, not even electioneering. He had other people do that while he read speeches off a teleprompter.

Obummer is nothing. He’s garbage. He’s an idiot fascist wannabee, a progressive utopian dreamer, where in his progressive utopia everyone in the world that isn’t obummer is in chains working for obummer.

Oh, and thanks you idiotic morons that voted for freebies with an obama label. Thanks a bunch. May you rot in hell eternally.

Diluculo on August 30, 2014 at 5:43 PM

He didn’t do that, the Democrat Party and their State-Run Media did that…

Del Dolemonte on August 30, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Of course. We agree.

DarkCurrent on August 30, 2014 at 5:43 PM

weedisgood on August 30, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Why couldn’t the dummy just say that the US was discussing strategies with the strategic partners/allies? He has only himself to blame for all of this controversy. The White House is run by morons.

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Still waiting on the neo-con strategy.
I’m sure on the sunday shows some neo-con will advocate boots on the ground somewhere in an Islamic hellhole with my tax dollars.
 
weedisgood on August 30, 2014 at 5:37 PM

 
One would almost think someone with an ailment serious enough to require a medical marijuana prescription wouldn’t be putting too many tax dollars into the system.

rogerb on August 30, 2014 at 5:46 PM

DarkCurrent on August 30, 2014 at 5:42 PM

I’ll take that as you’re embarrassed by your stupidity and your inability to comprehend the English language. Thanks for playing!

CW on August 30, 2014 at 5:46 PM

There’s no possible way Obama could have been elected by the general population of Americans

/s

DarkCurrent on August 30, 2014 at 5:47 PM

No Obama fan here, but he did manage to get elected President of the United States of America.

Unless the Puppet Masters just put him there…

DarkCurrent on August 30, 2014 at 5:12 PM

He didn’t do that, the Democrat Party and their State-Run Media did that…

Del Dolemonte on August 30, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Of course. We agree.

DarkCurrent on August 30, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Do YOU even know what YOU think?

For such a pompous a-hole you’re totally failing(and flailing). Thanks again!

CW on August 30, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Of course./

Too friggin funny. Why is that those that think they are so much more educated tend to be the dimmest? See Obama and DC. It never ends.

CW on August 30, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Too friggin funny. Why is that those that think they are so much more educated tend to be the dimmest? See Obama and DC. It never ends.

CW on August 30, 2014 at 5:49 PM

I hope you’re not including me with those that think they’re particularly highly educated. I’m certainly not.

DarkCurrent on August 30, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Obama has Putin kicking his ass everyday…taking over countries to. It’s fair to say Obama is Jimmy Carter just dumber and over educated to the point of stupidity.

sorrowen on August 30, 2014 at 5:53 PM

I find it hilarious that the major networks keep interrupting regular programs to put Obama out there to make a fool of himself. They are so desperate to give their hero a platform on national tv in the hopes that he will act presidential. But every single time Obama either whines about something in an epic pity party, like a pitiful little wimpy victim of circumstances. Or he proves without a doubt in front of the world how dangerously incompetent he really is.

bailey24 on August 30, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Why couldn’t the dummy just say that the US was discussing strategies with the strategic partners/allies? He has only himself to blame for all of this controversy. The White House is run by morons.

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 5:43 PM

As far as I’m concerned they are bombing the barbarians with drones, that’s good enough for me.
Not interested in the politics ‘word’ game.

weedisgood on August 30, 2014 at 5:55 PM

weedisgood on August 30, 2014 at 5:55 PM

So you think that’s going to be enough? At least you have thought about more than Obama.

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 5:59 PM

DarkCurrent on August 30, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Dearest, it would appear the CW doesn’t think much of your opinion.

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 6:00 PM

There’s no possible way Obama could have been elected by the general population of Americans

/s

DarkCurrent on August 30, 2014 at 5:47 PM

All I can say is: Sigh…..

questionmark on August 30, 2014 at 6:01 PM

DarkCurrent on August 30, 2014 at 5:47 PM

He was/is historic.

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Dearest, it would appear the CW doesn’t think much of your opinion.

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 6:00 PM

I kind of got that sense ;)

DarkCurrent on August 30, 2014 at 6:06 PM

I used to think November could take its time getting here.

Not so much any more. Some people are wound way to tight.

cozmo on August 30, 2014 at 6:11 PM

cozmo on August 30, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Our side or their side or both.

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 6:13 PM

One thing for certain, now.

We will never get to see O’s Harvard or Columbia records.

The Boards of both schools are burning them in the bathroom right now.

“The fact we gave him a degree will haunt us forever….these grades? We won’t survive their release….”

BobMbx on August 30, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Yes

cozmo on August 30, 2014 at 6:20 PM

cozmo on August 30, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Maybe people will calm down after Summer is over and real life starts again.

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 6:22 PM

I’m certainly not.

DarkCurrent on August 30, 2014 at 5:53 PM

You didn’t need to, you bum :)

Schadenfreude on August 30, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Pro-tip:

When the First Lady and the kids take an “uplanned” vacation, and the Bidens’ change their schedule, you’ll know its about to happen.

BobMbx on August 30, 2014 at 6:27 PM

One thing for certain, now.
We will never get to see O’s Harvard or Columbia records.
The Boards of both schools are burning them in the bathroom right now.
“The fact we gave him a degree will haunt us forever….these grades? We won’t survive their release….”
BobMbx on August 30, 2014 at 6:14 PM
You my friend are funny!! but that is true they are likely trashing his grades which given his naive,academia world view would not be shocking. They must be bad indeed

sorrowen on August 30, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 6:22 PM

I’m not counting on it.

cozmo on August 30, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Our Dear leader is an Affirmative Action student, who decided to take advantage of AA, and skate through his academic years. He did not learn much. And is more aligned with the Rev Al school of black exploitation than with the scientific method. All well and good, its what you all voted for isn’t it ? But please Barry and your supporters, don’t jive me. Its condescending.

steveracer on August 30, 2014 at 6:46 PM

BobMbx on August 30, 2014 at 6:14 PM

sorrowen on August 30, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Grades are easy enough to change after the fact.

Its what he wrote down for father, religion and birth place is why they will never be released.

I’m not one of those birther guys (American parent, American at birth), but I would bet real money that he committed fraud to get accepted into any school he attended.

cozmo on August 30, 2014 at 6:51 PM

cozmo on August 30, 2014 at 6:51 PM

It would be funny if he fibbed about where he was born to get admitted into school.

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 7:17 PM

I’m sure he did. We started at about the same time and even in my podunk Texas college there were many African, southwest Asian and Indonesian international students. There were all kinds of grants (foreign and domestic) available to them.*

* full disclosure, I found out about it because of affirmative action. There were no “needy” slots open for me at more prestigious schools. Nor grants. I’m not bitter, but I do remember. Many of my smart friends could not go to college because they did not know they were here illegally. I am a little bitter about that, the way things were back then and how they are now.

cozmo on August 30, 2014 at 7:38 PM

So does the Washington Post editorial board, which almost can’t believe how bad it’s getting at the White House.

I just saw pigs flying by my window.

If the Washington Post admits this, how bad is it?

cat_owner on August 30, 2014 at 7:46 PM

cozmo on August 30, 2014 at 7:38 PM

But but, he and Michelle were broke from student loans. You know, like Hillary and Bill! It’s always sad to see the truly gifted lose out. Take heart, now there are many people willing to let the young become grossly in debt for school.

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Still waiting on the neo-con strategy.
I’m sure on the sunday shows some neo-con will advocate boots on the ground somewhere in an Islamic hellhole with my tax dollars.

weedisgood on August 30, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Now why would you be waiting for a neo-con strategy?

Wasn’t academic liberalism going to solve all of the world’s problems?

Wasn’t withdrawing our troops from the world and downsizing the military going to make the world a less dangerous place?

Wasn’t being willing to negotiate with despots and terrorists going to make the world love America again and win over our enemy’s hearts?

Wasn’t extending them a hand going to make them unclench their fist?

Aren’t you the ones that you’ve been waiting for?

Star Bird on August 30, 2014 at 8:05 PM

I hear Obama’s released Taliban friends think he’s their foreign policy hero.

viking01 on August 30, 2014 at 8:05 PM

WaPo: Say, this semi-retired President doesn’t seem terribly competent at foreign policy, huh?

FIFY

Galtian on August 30, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Headline: World discovers what conservatives have been saying for 6 years is TRUE!

Mojave Mark on August 30, 2014 at 8:31 PM

Ed, please stop calling this a gaffe. It wasn’t a gaffe; it was an alarmingly rare, and honest statement from him. Also, if the world is not as dangerous as it was 20, 25, or 30 years ago as he claims – and he still can’t handle all the crises – then he isn’t exactly making himself look like the wizard of smart that we were sold six years ago.
Stray Cat on August 30, 2014 at 1:29 PM

If Ed thinks it’s a gaffe, shouldn’t we bring back the Obamateurisms?

Nutstuyu on August 30, 2014 at 8:45 PM

I had to stop teaching, not because of the students, I enjoyed working with them very much, but because I couldn’t stand being shackled to the union. I could even have tolerated faculty teas, but the union is incredibly oppressive, invasive, and heavy handed and, candidly, there is a general desire to ‘encourage’ conformity, particularly when it comes to ideology. Consulting allowed me to remain independent while making a good living, however, the trade off is the pressure of meeting constant deadlines and working very long and irregular hours and continually pushing one’s own work to the back burner in order to complete outside projects. I was fortunate in that I came to writing through working in production first, so I was able to make the necessary connections to make script consulting work for me.
thatsafactjack on August 30, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Coming into this late…what is script consulting?

Nutstuyu on August 30, 2014 at 8:57 PM

As I see it, there are 3 possibilities for the even more bizarre behavior from this (and I use the term loosely) administration:

1 Valerie the Iranian has taken over in a palace coup and is keeping Dog Eater out of the loop. But nobody bothered to tell him, so he continues to meander about and blither. or…

2 The Dog Eater has finally gone totally mad. or…

3 Both are happening simultaneously.

The world is burning and… WE. ARE. SO. SCREWED.

AppraisHer on August 30, 2014 at 9:44 PM

I would trust the military over the bunch of morons in the White House…

sorrowen on August 30, 2014 at 10:35 PM

Nutstuyu on August 30, 2014 at 8:45 PM

No we need a “Damn, Obama did something right” but I don’t think there is enough material for it to be daily.

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2014 at 10:45 PM

But please Barry BAMMSTTTTTAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU DA MANNNNNNN BAMMYYYY BABYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE YA BARRY OL BUDDY OL PALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

eracer on August 0, 2014 at =46 PM

cableguy615 on August 30, 2014 at 11:30 PM

Del, this was a superb article. Thanks for recommending earlier.

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2014 at 12:22 AM

It’s not incompetence. It’s not disengagement.

It’s straightforward arrogance, in which he truly believes he is above it all. So much so, that he is willing to accept the negative consequences of inaction on the world stage, because he truly believes that history will write him as some sort of Plato…way ahead of his time…it just took the rest of the world to catch up. Damn the consequences.

The point is that we are not dealing with a simple partisan or moron. Instead, we have a truly disillusioned ideologue. We need to call it out for what it is, not simply make stupid statements that he is evil and wants the destruction of Western Civilization, etc.

pjwal on August 31, 2014 at 2:18 AM

Or simply Occam’s razor. The man is still a pothead.

pjwal on August 31, 2014 at 2:29 AM

You didn’t need to, you bum :)

Schadenfreude on August 30, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Great video. Thanks for the link!

DarkCurrent on August 31, 2014 at 7:36 AM

On Obama, apart from hate, a given in his case, you are dealing with a person who has expressed distinct sympathies for islam, and as early as March 2009. No wonder the little beast is trying to draw it out, to stymie early and effective action.

arand on August 31, 2014 at 11:29 AM

So does the Washington Post editorial board, which almost can’t believe how bad it’s getting at the White House. Almost six months ago, they warned that Obama’s foreign policy was “based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality,” and the headline on it declared, “President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy.” At that time, they scoffed at the tiresome Obama cliche that such-and-such development was “on the wrong side of history” or not 21st-century behavior. Now they seem much more alarmed than before … and so does everyone else outside of Obama’s inner circle.

This mirrors another leaders fantasy comments from almost 78 years ago

“My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour.
I believe it is peace for our time…Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.”

Chamberlain 1938

They both lived in a fantasy world where what they say trumps what is..

JIMV on August 31, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Great video. Thanks for the link!

DarkCurrent on August 31, 2014 at 7:36 AM

Yw :)

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2014 at 2:14 PM

This preeze ain’t that competent on domestic policy either.

Wake up already. This dude figured it out.

Pitchfork Harry Reid and his goons, politically, in Nov.

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Thought requires effort, it helps to have intelligence, anther asset is honesty with oneself, etc.. So how does Obama measure up?

arand on September 1, 2014 at 10:18 AM

I am convinced this guy is going to get a bunch of us killed here.

Then he’ll sic the FBI on it, and go golfing because NONE of his people will be the victims.

Only the regular folks.

archer52 on September 1, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Tis the season of Baghdad Obama!

Sherman1864 on September 2, 2014 at 6:06 AM

You know … someone in Congress ought to be looking at Article II, Section 1:

“… or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office”

have Congress declare the Duffer-in-Chief to be unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

of course, the down side is that we get weird, awkward, “Uncle” Joe as the next in line … but is that really any worse?

WaldoTJ on September 2, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Testing:

Central New York’s Fayetteville-Manlius and Baldwinsville school districts are the latest to ditch the National School Lunch Program, which was revamped in 2010 under the guidance of First Lady Michelle Obama in an effort to fight childhood obesity.

Ah! Success… new browser. Thanks for your patience.

thatsafactjack on September 3, 2014 at 6:28 PM

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