We've returned to the Carter era

I have lost that confidence since watching the new White House destructively criticize Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai, congratulate Venezuelans on constitutional changes that will enable Hugo Chavez to be president-for-life, deliver an entirely gratuitous apology for American behaviour towards the Islamic world, and send George Mitchell off to the Middle East to strike a more “balanced” posture between Israel and Hamas. This, after decisions on Guantanamo that signal a new “catch and release” approach to the world’s most dangerous terrorists…

And we will see. Meanwhile, my most sanguine impression, in a sweeping view of the economic, social, and foreign prospects of the new American executive — which embraces also the chaos we have seen in cabinet appointments and the like — is that we have already returned to the Carter era. I hope it won’t be worse than that.