Victor Davis Hanson, a philosopher of international relations from a neoconservative viewpoints, queries if the optimism about Obama and international relations is more hooplah and than reality. Here is an excerpt of his piece:
There is great hope that President-elect
Obama will change the course of U.S. foreign policy, create far greater
goodwill toward America, and thereby ease world tensions. Such optimism
is not based on former Sen. Obama’s foreign-policy experience. In
essence, he has none.
Nor does improvement hinge on Obama’s
past career in Chicago politics or his U.S. Senate tenure — the former
was problematic at best, the latter cursory.
Instead, our great expectations derive from four rosy, but heretofore unquestioned assumptions:
1) Most of the current Bush policies are not merely wrong, but inflammatory: ipsis factis
2) Obama’s singular eloquence, youth, charisma, and “presence” will win
over the world in the manner it swept the American electorate,
providing a welcome change from the “smoke ’em out” Texas global
turn-off of the past;
3) Obama’s exotic name, his4) The reemergence of
multiracial background, the Muslim faith of his father, and his
dalliance with hard-left politics as a student and community-organizer
will all coalesce to sort of “flip” the image (if not the reality) of
the U.S., as the world’s superpower transmogrifies from an oppressive
to a sympathetic international player;
Clintonites such as Hillary, Emanuel, Panetta, Podesta, Susan Rice, and
others will bring back successful advocates of “soft power,”
“multilateralism,” and “engagement,” who reflect Obama’s worldview, but
bring a gritty realism to the implementation of an often heretofore
What does Hanson think will happen?
All Americans in bipartisan fashion should hope that Obama will get
though successfully the perilous first six months at a time when the
U.S. economy is shaky, the Commander-in-chief unproven, and our enemies
eager to test our president’s mettle. Yet I suspect that conservatives
will more likely than liberals forgive the fact that Obama’s governance
at times will come to resemble just what he used to caricature in
George W. Bush.