Hillary Clinton breaks with Obama

Hillary Clinton played the role of a loyal soldier when she was Secretary of State, but now that she is not working for the administration and now that she is gearing up for a presidential run, she is harshly criticizing President Obama’s foreign policy, promising to be more forceful, proactive, and hawkish.  I wonder how the left wing of the Democratic party will take this. [Read more...]

Responding to Russia

The Obama administration has orchestrated sanctions against Russia for taking over the Crimea from Ukraine.  What we’ll do is target 11 individuals, freezing their assets and not letting them travel in the West.  That’ll  show ‘em!  These Russian officials won’t be able to come to Disneyland, and we know how much that means to them! [Read more...]

The consequences of weakness

Last week, President Obama gave a stern warning to Vladimir Putin not to intervene militarily in the Ukraine.  Whereupon Putin did just that.  We have had the “red line” that Syria dare not cross, dropping sanctions against Iran to encourage them not to  develop a nuclear weapon, “leading from behind” in Libya, dropping the missile shield in Eastern Europe at Putin’s request,  proposing cuts to the military, and on and on.  America today is projecting weakness, not strength, on the world stage.  The result is global instability and assertive authoritarians.

Even the Washington Post, that consistently liberal publication and a stalwart defender of the president, is exasperated at the administration’s foreign policy weakness.  An excerpt from an editorial on the subject after the jump. [Read more...]

The new isolationism

The Obama administration is throwing America’s weight around less and less on the world scene, and many conservatives are saying that America should just mind its own business and avoid, as George Washington recommended, “foreign entanglements.”  Is this revival of isolationism a good thing?  Consider Michael Gerson’s worries after the jump and see if you agree.  Or can we derive principles for when we should and should not get involved in  foreign entanglements?   [Read more...]

Victory in Libya

It looks like the Libyan rebels, with the help of NATO planes and American bombs, have overthrown the Gaddafi regime.  All that remains is to find the guy.   No Americans were killed, the Libyans themselves did the heavy lifting to free themselves, and the terrorist-supporting dictator who has been the West’s nemesis for decades is out of power.  Does this vindicate President Obama’s stated policy of “leading from behind”?  You would think conservatives would celebrate an American victory.  And that liberals  would celebrate one of the administration’s success stories.   But we aren’t hearing much from anyone.   Not even the British and the French, who were the ones who went into combat.  Is everyone afraid of another “mission accomplished” moment, after which everything turns very bad?  Is it that Republicans don’t want to give the President any credit, while the Democrats, being peaceniks at heart, are ashamed of President Obama’s war?  Or is everyone so sick of all of these post-9/11 wars that the martial spirit has died out?

We have no cynicism

Kathleen Parker, writing about diplomatic  fallout from the Wikileak documents, includes a poignant reaction:

Writing for the center-right Le Figaro, French journalist Renaud Girard said: “What is most fascinating is that we see no cynicism in U.S. diplomacy. They really believe in human rights in Africa and China and Russia and Asia. They really believe in democracy and human rights.”

Yes, we really do.

If Americans are guilty of anything, he said, it is being a little naive. Let’s plead guilty as charged and get on with it.

via Kathleen Parker – Can we become an America WikiLeaks can’t assail?.

I guess the rest of the world doesn’t really believe in all that stuff about democracy and human rights like we do.  So in our idealism we naively try to help the world and just get beaten around for our trouble.  I know that critics of America ascribe sinister motives to our policies–they are just in Iraq for the oil, etc.–but I think our real problem has been our good intentions, which just don’t work out the way our optimistic national character expects them to.

And yet I think it’s good not to be cynical about democracy, freedom, human rights, etc.  Is there a way to keep our ideals without being naive?


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