Saturday, October 10, 2015

Obama's Misunderstood Foreign Policy

Has a president’s foreign policy ever been more misunderstood than Obama’s? He came into office with the goal of restoring America’s reputation in the world.  Why did that reputation need to be restored? Because the U.S. was an ignorant hyper-power as anyone in Davos or other parts of Europe could tell you.

So now with things heating up in Asia and Syria looking like a modern replay of Spain in the thirties—heh, let’s get in a little preseason warfare before the big one—people are saying Obama either doesn’t have a strategy [false] or that it’s failing [really, really false].

Look Obama knew that America couldn’t cease to be a hyper-power any more than John Kerry could stop chasing after a Nobel Prize. The task was to make the world see the value in America being a hyper-power and for that Obama turned to history:

“A government of this sort doesn’t have to be regarded as the agent of a benign providence, as the custodian of moral law, or as the emblem of a divine order. What it provides is something that its subjects (if they are such people as we are) can easily recognize to be valuable…They scarcely need to be reminded of its indispensability, as Sextus Empiricus tells us the ancient Persians were accustomed periodically to remind themselves by setting aside all laws for five hair-raising days on the death of a king.”

See? The only failure here is that Obama assumed you knew more history than you do. Sure we might lose Israel in the hair-raising phase, and some U.S. cities might be no go zones for a while, but you know, eggs omelettes.

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