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Democrats Suddenly Realize What They Miscalculated About the World: Everything

LowDown

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Jim Geraghty writes:

As we await Congress's decision on authorizing the use of U.S. military force in Syria, Democrats are suddenly realizing that their foreign-policy brain-trust completely misjudged the world.

Being nicer to countries like Russia will not make them nicer to you. The United Nations is not an effective tool for resolving crises. Some foreign leaders are beyond persuasion and diplomacy. There is no "international community" ready to work together to solve problems, and there probably never will be.

You can pin this on Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Susan Rice, but most of all, the buck stops with the president. Those of us who scoffed a bit at a state senator ascending to the presidency within four years on a wave of media hype and adoration are not quite so shocked by this current mess. We never bought into this notion that getting greater cooperation from our allies, and less hostility from our enemies, was just a matter of giving this crew the wheel and letting them practice, as Hillary Clinton arrogantly declared it, "smart power." (These people can't even label a foreign-policy approach without reminding us of how highly they think of themselves.) They looked out at the world at the end of the Bush years, and didn't see tough decisions, unsolvable problems, unstable institutions, restless populations, technology enabling the impulse to destabilize existing institutions, evil men hungry for more power, and difficult trade-offs. No, our problems and challengers were just a matter of the previous hands running U.S. foreign policy not being smart enough.
Stupid is as stupid does.
 

zimmer

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Jim Geraghty writes:



Stupid is as stupid does.
Though they're proving to everyone they're not smart (but are devious), they're still too smart for themselves. What's that saying from physicist Richard Feynman ... The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. Of course, we have had fools in the so-called press endlessly propagandizing... which has resulted in a lot of foolish people voting for The Ship of Fools.

That "Reset Button" with Russia from Frau Felonious Bill Clinton... produced what exactly? Nothing. It has made matters are worse. The Russians must have pissed themselves laughing after that photo op. Their first words were probably... how far can we go in screwing these clowns? Can we get them to disarm unilaterally?

As for the UN... if The Ship of Fools hadn't figured it out beforehand (they hadn't), they should have learned what the UN is after the Oil for Food Program... a cesspool of unlimited depths.
 

NoC_T

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While it doesn't hurt to address the Left's turgid approach to world affairs, we can give credit where it at least acknowledges the wider world at all. The Right's interests begin and end with national sovereignty; with a restrictive approach that jars with a planet increasingly aware of affairs beyond individuals' immediate influence. What the Left requires is time to learn patience. To recognise that haste is as counterproductive as immobility.
 

LowDown

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While it doesn't hurt to address the Left's turgid approach to world affairs, we can give credit where it at least acknowledges the wider world at all. The Right's interests begin and end with national sovereignty; with a restrictive approach that jars with a planet increasingly aware of affairs beyond individuals' immediate influence. What the Left requires is time to learn patience. To recognise that haste is as counterproductive as immobility.
It is the President's hubris, his idea that the mere fact of his occupying the White House would improve our relations with the world, especially the Muslim world, that has brought him face to face with his nemisis, the increasing prominence of the Muslim Brotherhood, Russia, and Iran in the Middle East. Because he and his adminstration so fundamentally misunderstood the people of the Middle East, his apologetic approach only served to embolden the bad actors there by making himself look weak. Now even Assad is laughing at him and at us. His 'reset button' approach to Russia only emboldened the bad actors there. The President went against his own advisors on two matters, one was drawing a red line in the sand, the other was referring the issue of military action against Syria to the Congress. Both are set to turn into big honking ring-tailed disasters. Out of this kind of context I see little chance of improvement because it arises from a defect of character and a lack of appreciation of basic human nature.
 

NoC_T

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It is the President's hubris, his idea that the mere fact of his occupying the White House would improve our relations with the world, especially the Muslim world, that has brought him face to face with his nemisis, the increasing prominence of the Muslim Brotherhood, Russia, and Iran in the Middle East. Because he and his adminstration so fundamentally misunderstood the people of the Middle East, his apologetic approach only served to embolden the bad actors there by making himself look weak. Now even Assad is laughing at him and at us. His 'reset button' approach to Russia only emboldened the bad actors there. The President went against his own advisors on two matters, one was drawing a red line in the sand, the other was referring the issue of military action against Syria to the Congress. Both are set to turn into big honking ring-tailed disasters. Out of this kind of context I see little chance of improvement because it arises from a defect of character and a lack of appreciation of basic human nature.
Interesting post. I put Obama's dithering down to inexperience. He's woefully out of his league. Faced with the impromptu complexities at hand, he has no idea which course to take, so he reacts blindly with an emotional response. It's generally the case that, where people in authority have too many options during a crisis they have no comprehension of, they'll opt for what they believe to be a 'resolute' response. Problem is, he's surrounded by more capable people who aren't given to such clumsy blunders. So they stall him and go for damage limitation. Obama comes across as a boy trying to do a man's job. Heads of state usually mess up spectacularly when they're thrust onto the international stage. They're unaccustomed to it. They're more comfortable wrestling with issues closer to home.
 
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