The Associated Press should win an award for its latest piece on President Obama, titled ‘For Obama, world looks far different than expected.’ In short, author Julie Pace finds the nicest way possible to say that Mr. Obama is in way over his head and failing miserably.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly five years into his presidency, Barack Obama confronts a world far different from what he envisioned when he first took office. U.S. influence is declining in the Middle East as violence and instability rock Arab countries. An ambitious attempt to reset U.S. relations with Russia faltered and failed. Even in Obama-friendly Europe, there’s deep skepticism about Washington’s government surveillance programs.
In some cases, the current climate has been driven by factors outside the White House’s control. But missteps by the president also are to blame, say foreign policy analysts, including some who worked for the Obama administration.
Among them: miscalculating the fallout from the Arab Spring uprisings, publicly setting unrealistic expectations for improved ties with Russia and a reactive decision-making process that can leave the White House appearing to veer from crisis to crisis without a broader strategy.
Rosa Brooks, a former Defense Department official who left the administration in 2011, said that while the shrinking U.S. leverage overseas predates the current president, “Obama has sometimes equated ‘we have no leverage’ with ‘there’s no point to really doing anything’.”
President Obama’s track record offers the world further proof that conservatism will never perish. Like the wise father we rebel against in our youth, its lessons may not always be in style, but they will always be ready and waiting for us to accept.
In 2008, Mr. Obama actually said that history would record his election as the moment in time the oceans began to recede. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for, essentially, not being George W. Bush — and then promptly created the “Terror Tuesday” kill list (also known by the much creepier name: The Disposition Matrix). He became the Marshall Applewhite of modern American politics. He and his supporters seemed to believe that through his sheer awesomeness he would convince former KGB agents (i.e., Vladimir Putin), Islamic extremists (e.g., Iranian mullahs) and brutal dictators (e.g., Bashar Assad) to change their ways. His Awesomeness has failed at bringing forth utopia, and it is only now that the Associated Press feels comfortable cluing independent voters in on the news.
“The president has not had a long-term strategic vision,” said Vali Nasr, who advised the Obama administration on foreign policy in the first term and now serves as dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. “They’re moving issue to issue and reacting as situations come up.”
Boom. When you try and be all things to all people — when you stand for everything — you stand for nothing. When you promise the people utopia, you soon find yourself willing to go to places you once defined as the depths of hell in order to bring it to them. When you invest all your hopes and dreams into one man, he will let inevitably let you down.
President Obama sat back and issued red lines and yellow lines and orange lines while 100,000 people were slaughtered in Syria, and now seems poised to act militarily with a “coalition of the willing” because Russian and Chinese thugs at the United Nations don’t care if your name is George W. Bush or Barack Hussein Obama — they will do what is in the best interests of Russia and China.
The president has found out that whether he acts or not, nations around the world will blame the United States for the world’s ills because blaming America is easier than dealing with their own cultural rot and social detritus. It’s just sad that the Associated Press waited until the end of August, when people are at beaches and barbecues and family gatherings, to publish something resembling a true assessment of President Obama’s time in office.