John Bolton

John Bolton

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Friday, September 05, 2014

What's Wrong w/ Obama? Does He Really Believe the Hype About Himself? Can He Change Before it's Too Late?

Is he either incompetent, delusional or both?

The Editorial Page of the Washington Post is becoming increasingly alarmed by Obama's weakness in foreign policy. Here's a sample of recent editorials and columns:

There are big holes in Obama Mideast strategy

Yet despite the criticism coming from the Post and from Democrats (1,2,3) who are increasingly concerned about Obama's passive foreign and national security policy. (When you've lost Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), formerly one of Obama's biggest cheerleaders, you're in trouble).

But the president who won the Nobel Peace Prize for doing absolutely nothing doesn't seem to share the immediacy of concern that others do. He dismissed fears of ISIS by suggesting social media is to blame. After all, he's given several speeches on these subjects and his soothing words alone are supposed to be enough. Who cares if he heads to the golf course after he's done?

You might think that's a bit flippant but remember where Obama came from:

OBAMA 2007:I truly believe that the day I’m inaugurated, not only does the country look at itself differently, but the world looks at America differently. If I’m reaching out to the Muslim world, they understand that I’ve lived in a Muslim country, and I may be a Christian, but I also understand their point of view…
My sister is half-Indonesian. I traveled there all the way through my college years. And so I’m intimately concerned with what happens in these countries, and the cultures and the perspectives that these folks have. And those are powerful tools for us to be able to reach out to the world.
That theme was amplified by writers like Andrew Sullivan who said:
What does he [Obama] offer? First and foremost: his face. Think of it as the most effective potential re-branding of the United States since Reagan. Such a re-branding is not trivial—it’s central to an effective war strategy.
Consider this hypothetical. It’s November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man—Barack Hussein Obama—is the new face of America. In one simple image, America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. A brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy, is now the alleged enemy. If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama’s face gets close. It proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can.
And how did that work out? Well, we've just seen two videos of Americans being beheaded by another brown-skinned man who was calling out Obama by name.

Did Obama make them love us?
You might think that after trying the "give peace a chance" policy for over five years and seeing the danger grown exponentially, that a wise man might decide it's time to try something else. Some Obama defenders insist that he's just playing it cool in a sort of patient long game. Yet, as the situation continues to deteriorate, we are losing ground that will have to be made good later at significant cost in blood and treasure. Does that sound like a smart policy?

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