Poland Kerry AP

A liberal friend recently asked me about Iraq’s implosion, as well as comments by Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski about America: 2014’s “worthless” ally.

My response via gmail June 24:

Poland knows that it does not have a reliable ally in the United States these days. It is under no illusion. They’re still smarting from president Obama’s NEW Start Treaty. He threw them under the bus pretty darn quick, so it’s no surprise they’re annoyed. Then our Polish friends had to watch as Crimea was gobbled up by Putin…and now eastern Ukraine while the U.S. just sort of mumbles “diplomacy…durrrm…durrrm..Putin…consequences…durrrm.” If I were Polish I’d be pretty livid with America right about now. They’ve been great friends to us and they’ve been dumped on quite handily since 2008.

While it is sad that Iraq didn’t have a George Washington to step up to the plate when the nation needed it, and much of the blame for losing the gains made during the surge does fall on them, the president also bears a huge chunk of responsibility. My most recent blog entries cover the reasons why and I’d be happy to talk about them at length in the comments section. We left troops in Germany, Japan, South Korea … but then yanked the rug out from Iraq. We gave them a bunch of weapons (that ISIL is now running around with) and said, “Good luck!” Probably not the best move.

Here is the key takeaway from his response June 26:

Your tantric screed is nothing less than misbegotten hindsight and nothing more than some failed pundit’s speculation. How disappointing. I cite here one of Santayana’s lesser remembered utterances: “Only the dead have seen the end of the war.”

As I’ve said before, the liberal obsession with playing Professor X with me never ends. Deep down I feel “powerless,” so I write an incendiary blog geared towards “career advancement,” which is really just a Hail Mary pass to make up for being a “failed pundit.” Genius!

As chance would have it, a new piece by Foreign Policy magazine showed up in my Facebook feed today.

Kori Schake (no doubt another “failed pundit”) writes:

The Obama administration has achieved a landmark heretofore considered impossible: they are making America’s allies homesick for the administration of George W. Bush. This week, news broke that Poland’s foreign minister was caught on tape earlier this year disparaging the United States. Radek Sikorski bitterly said Warsaw’s ties to Washington were “worthless,” …  The indiscretion will probably cost Sikorski his prospects for the job of EU foreign policy chief. But he’s not wrong about America. The United States has become an exasperating ally, and even countries that are inclined to support us are hedging against because of the Obama administration’s conduct. Neither our threats nor our assurances are believed. …

The president’s supreme indifference is among the foremost complaints of our friends; they no longer believe we care enough to help solve their problems. That was the heart of Sikorski’s complaint: that the United States was doing nothing about Russia’s growing threat, was in thrall to the idea of a pivot to Asia at the expense of long-time allies in Europe, and was leaving those countries that support American policies the most exposed. …

President Obama fundamentally misunderstands the nature of alliance relationships. He believes that weak, poor, war-torn societies emerging from repressive governments should be judged by the same standard as we are — that they should make brave choices and expansive political compromises. But that is not the nature of frightened people in dire circumstances: they go small, not big. Their societies are characterized by a lack of social trust and institutional constraint. If we want outcomes of brave choices and expansive political compromises, we need to stand by and steady the people making these decisions. We need to strengthen them with our involvement and help build a leadership capable of making tough choices. The administration instead threatens allies with abandonment: choose fast, because we are leaving. And the Obama White House completely misses the irony of this brittle president who can’t broker congressional deals but proselytizes about inclusive government.

Boom. Read the entire piece if you get a chance. It’s excellent.

The Obama administration has had no coherent foreign policy, unless by “foreign policy” you mean telling West Pointers they’ll be officers in the fight against Global Warming.

The U.S. supports the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt — except when it doesn’t. The U.S. will bomb Libya under Muammar Gaddafi for “humanitarian” reasons (a few thousand people died), but generally sit on its hands as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad oversees the death of over 150,000 individuals (just kill them with bullets, bombs and chlorine gas and no one will mind, Bashar).

I’ll let Ms. Schake take it away on Afghanistan:

So when the president says “Afghanistan is a sovereign country that is going to have to deal with its own security,” countries around the world hear the limits of our interest. All the more so when the White House hinted that another mangled election in Afghanistan would be cause for America to pull its troops from the country; then, when the election was held with a minimum of violence and fraud, he used it as the reason we could draw troops down further and faster than military commanders recommended. Countries reliant on U.S. power understand that they’re being played. It is a luxury of the strong to be ignorant — but weak states can’t afford to trust us when we’re this unreliable.

President Obama isn’t a statesmen — he’s a run-of-the-mill politician who was great at selling himself as the guy who would reverse the rise of the oceans. “Leading from behind” was supposed to garner us respect and yield diplomatic dividends. The verdict: Our allies call us “worthless,” and the the world has Islamic radicals calling a giant region of the Middle East under its control a new caliphate.


  1. You’d expect missteps from a new administration regarding diplomacy/allies but it’s been over five years; and it seems to be getting worse. Sadly, can you imagine how excited Poland was at the fall of the iron curtain; when they could finally establish ties to the west….and now this is how we are viewed.

    1. I’m glad you mentioned the fall of the Iron Curtain, Patrick. I was thinking along very similar lines. Poland “gets it” as it pertains to living in tyranny. Obama would be wise to learn from the Polish people, but “eh” — he’d rather hit the “reset” (or was that “overcharge”?) button with Russia. How’d that work out? D’oh!

  2. Great article, for some reason I feel I can guess who the gmail was from…hmmm…but I could be wrong.
    What will our allies response be now if we ever need them? Especially since we have shown them that we are “worthless”.
    We have drawn the line in the sand and allowed it to be jumped over.

    1. Sorry, Truthwillwin1, but that email is from someone else. 🙂 But yes, there does seem to be a pattern developing any time I interact with individuals of a certain ideological persuasion. Another friend of mine contacted me and was laughing at “tantric screed.” He said it was as humorous as Lightbringer’s “Pyrrhic victory” comment awhile back.

    2. I guess they all seem to have the same technique for discussion! I have no problem admitting when I am wrong but if I was a liberal I would say they were the same person so I was right.

    3. To me, the email almost sounds as though it were written by a certain bringer of light who hasn’t showed up here since I gave him a verbal thrashing last month or so. I’m probably wrong, though.

    4. Nope. It wasn’t Lightbringer. 🙂 My thing is this: if someone is going to lecture me, then they should do it where everyone can see. If I sought out Lightbringer, or the writer of this email, and lectured them on what they believe, then it would be one thing. It bothers me when someone sends me “x” message, knowing that I will respond in a predictable way, and then takes me to task for essentially being me. It’s weird.

      It always boils down to the same message: “Doug, I know that you’re conservative, but do you mind if I just bash you for being conservative?”

      Yes, actually, I do mind.

    5. @Carl

      Jeez, is Lighrbringer really still here? Where did you post that verbal putdown anyways? I wanna see it!

      Speaking of verbal putdowns, are you gonna make a response post to Linkara’s review of Holy Terror?

    6. @Carl

      Yeah. And I think he might have compared Levitical Law and Ceremonial Law to the Moral Law and Christ’s doing away with the ceremonial laws.

    7. Just watched the review, Emmanuel. Linkara’s analysis of the story made me shake my head. So did him flipping out about the Fixer torturing a terrorist. I’m done with Atop the Fourth Wall. It really hasn’t been funny since shortly after the “One More Day” review two years ago.

  3. so the US and NATO took out Gaddafi and created a failed Libyan state where the PM gets kidnapped and militias steal oil tankers. weapon caches flow to extremists. then the US tries the same thing in Syria, but Russia won’t go along at the UN security council, so instead of no fly zones and NATO airstrikes, Obama has to settle with arming jihadists like al-Nusra through proxies, like Saudi Arabia. troops leave Iraq after Obama failed to keep thousands of boots on the ground (due to Maliki holding the US to the Bush negotiated SOFA) and jihadists and disenfranchised Sunnis (who Paul Bremer dismissed when he dissolved the Iraqi army) fill the vacuum. go figure

    meanwhile, the US used neo-Nazis in Ukraine to topple the government and the billionaire chocolate king now in charge is busy bombing his own people to try and bait Russia into intervening. the same hypocrite Democrats who exploited R2P in Libya are now silent. go figure.

    yep, it’s a mess alright. and Obama is a disaster, on that we agree. for example, here is another sign of craven submission to a foreign government: it appears Obama’s state department is powerless when an American teenager is nearly beat to death and held without charge and denied medical attention. the reason? the foreign government responsible is Israel.

    go figure.

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