Nigeria

Should We Blame Obama's "Teenage" Administration or Failed Neocon Foreign Policy for Failed U.S. Foreign Policy?

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Hot Air links to Eliot Cohen's Wall Street Journal op-ed attacking the Obama administration for its supposedly "teenage sensibility."

Teenagers expect to be judged by intentions and promise instead of by accomplishment, and their style can be encouraged by irresponsible adults (see: the Nobel Prize committee) who give awards for perkiness and promise rather than achievement.

If the United States today looks weak, hesitant and in retreat, it is in part because its leaders and their staff do not carry themselves like adults. They may be charming, bright and attractive; they may have the best of intentions; but they do not look serious. They act as though Twitter and clenched teeth or a pout could stop invasions or rescue kidnapped children in Nigeria. They do not sound as if, when saying that some outrage is "unacceptable" or that a dictator "must go," that they represent a government capable of doing something substantial—and, if necessary, violent—if its expectations are not met.

Read the whole piece here.

Oh please, already. If the United States' status in the world is dipping, let's not spare the previous administration for all it did to show that America was not only incapable of winning wars but incapable of admitting when it had massively screwed up. Have you thought about Donald Rumsfeld lately? There's a guy who acted like a pre-teen, for god's sake.

None of this is to let Barack Obama off the hook for his disastrous foreign policy. It's to point out that there's a nearly perfect consistency in foreign policy between Bush and Obama. And you know what? Starting dumb wars and then prosecuting them incompetently is no way to earn respect from around the globe. Throw in ongoing drone attacks of dubious legality and various sorts of secret spying programs and more, and well, there you have why the U.S. is tough to take seriously.

As I wrote last week at Time, I don't think the U.S. should be particularly involved in rescuing the kidnapped Nigerian school girls. But virtually all Republicans and Democrats in Washington think we should be. Not much difference there, is there? And no Republicans or Democrats actually say we should be doing "something substantial—and, if necessary, violent" in the Ukraine, are they?

The Obama administration isn't immature because it won't follow through on threats of violence (it did by dropping bombs on Libya and droning the hell out of Yemen and other spots), it's that it made them in the first place. The ultimate teenaged fantasy is that the U.S. can actually be globocop.#mce_temp_url#

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  1. “Hot Air links to Eliot Cohen’s Wall Street Journal op-ed attacking the Obama administration for its supposedly “teenage sensibility.””

    I would have went with “supposed,” since you appear to be modifying the phrase and not the adjective “teenage.”

    /pedant
    /adhd
    /dickhead

    1. I would have gone with “I would have gone,” instead of “I would have went,” which is simply incorrect.

      /beatinguponmyself

      1. “I don’t think! I KNOW!”

        “I don’t think you know, either!”

        /unrelated, but WTF

  2. Shriek, zat you?

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

  3. The ultimate teenaged fantasy is that the U.S. can actually be globocop.

    I thought this was the ultimate teenaged fantasy.

    1. I am at work and I am NOT going to touch that link.

      1. It’s just a Katy Perry album cover. I wish it was racier.

        1. Sorry Epi, but not all teenagers lay awake at night dreaming of goatse like you did.

          1. Look, I had a vivid imagination, ok? Plus I could only dream of stretching my asshole out that much. At that point I could only get the fist of a person with small hands up there.

            1. ATTENTION INTERNET SLANG NEWBIES:

              Do not – I REPEAT- DO NOT GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH THE TERM “GOATSE”.

              You’re welcome.

              1. Why must you ruin our fun, Tman? Everyone should experience goatse at least once. It’s kind of like an internet requirement.

                1. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the occasional “hey, can you google “lemon party” for me and let me know what you find” bit, which is always classic, but the GOATSE is just so wrong on any visual level altogether.

                  Of course, someone is know going to google both of these.

                  DONT SAY I DIDNT WARN YOU.

                  1. NEEDZ MAOR TUBGIRLZ!!1!

                    1. (googles TubGIRl-…..AHAHAHA NO YOU DON’T PATHOGEN. I’M NOT FALLING FOR THE BANANA IN THE TAILPIPE.)

                2. Everyone should experience goatse at least once.

                  Googling goatse is not a right of initiation. One must gullibly follow the link from an IRC channel, and spectate with growing horror as the image gradually feeds through the 56k modem and onto the screen.

                  1. Ahh… What is seen, and what is *cannot be* unseen…

              2. I did. Because I think like a teenager.

                Now I regret…like a teenager.

        2. I wish it was racier.

          You and that damn meatspin video, Epi.*

          *Do not google ‘meatspin”.

        3. I find Lily Allen rather prettier than Perry, however much more buxom the latter is.

          1. She’s definitely attractive. Did you know that she’s the real life sister of the actor who plays Theon Greyjoy in GoT?

            1. How does that affect her THAC0?

              1. She’s much too cosmopolitan to play by your second-edition manual.

                1. Hugh only plays second edition, dude. It makes him feel closer to Gary Gygax.

                  1. So wait, is Game of Thrones based on the 3rd Edition or the 4th?

                    1. Duh, Hugh, it’s based on RuneQuest.

    2. No, it’s this –

      http://cdn2.thegloss.com/wp-co…..dBowl1.png

    3. According to Denmark, this is the ultimate teenaged fantasy.

      1. Voting? No wonder Denmark is the lamest of nations.

        1. Wait, I thought the Netherlands were the lamest. Those fucking Dutch!

          1. You leave the Dutch alone.
            It’s the Welsh that smell.

            1. Those ostensibly perfect Norwegians.

              /narrows eyes.

    4. I clicked on that link so fast my eyes watered.

      Fuck, a completely SFW picture of Katy Perry.

      1. Yeah, I mean, what’s the point? At least put up one of her in one of her rubber dresses.

      2. There are no NSFW pictures of Katy Perry, that’s the issue. She is massively uncorruptible.

          1. god i loved that dress.

  4. So basically Cohen is complaining that the Obama administration is letting other countries not respect TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE’s authoritah.

  5. Also, that picture represents a disturbing sequence of incompetent – and deadly – derp.

    I think Clinton’s probably the best Pres out of that bunch. THINK about that….

    *shudders*

    1. I understand, but don’t forget that his admin’s bombing of Serbia is a huge part of Russian antagonism towards the US today.

  6. None of this is to let Barack Obama off the hook for his disastrous foreign policy.

    Iraq was a disaster (still is). 9/11 was a disaster.

    Obama’s foreign policy is disaster free.

    1. Unless you are Libyan, Egyptian, Syrian, Ukranian, etc…

    2. I’m not comfortable faulting Bush or Clinton before him for 9/11. An attack of that coordination, scope, and destruction was previously unimaginable outside of cinema.

      Iraq was a disaster, albeit less disasterous than the absurd nation-building role pursued in Afghanistan. As for Obama, Libya has been a similar disaster insofar as the overthowing of a stable, albeit awful and unfriendly regime, has led to a growth in al-Qaeda affiliated organizations emanating from it.

      1. Libya was no US military disaster nor was it a financial disaster.

        And Iraq was a huge tactical disaster now that they are an annex of Iran.

        1. Libya was no US military disaster nor was it a financial disaster.

          Tell that to the people stuck there. Or better yet, tell it to the people that are buried there because he thought it would be a good idea to arm a bunch of islamofascists.

          1. Also, Chris Stevens was not available to comment on the outcome in Libya.

            Because they murdered him.

          2. Small shit on a relative disaster scale. Syria is far more unstable and Islamofascist and Obama deftly sidestepped involvement there – much to John McCain’s chagrin.

            Iraq was the king of disasters post Vietnam.

            4600 US soldiers killed, $2 trillion cost, and permanent terrorist haven.

            Libya = 4 US lives lost, small cost, and TBD on terrorist HQ.

            1. Don’t do it sloop, not worth it.

            2. Syria is far more unstable and Islamofascist and Obama deftly sidestepped involvement there

              A thousand poets working for a thousand years couldn’t describe one-tenth of your retardation.

              This administration was dead set against starting a full scale “kinetic military action” with Assad’s government and arming those very Islamofascists you cite to the teeth, all over the objections of an overwhelming majority of Americans both left and right, and only avoided such a catastrophe due to Putin finding him a face-saving way out of his ridiculous red-line threat.

              1. How did it turn out from our perspective?

                Fine is how. Maybe Assad will take a bullet in the brain – even better!

            3. So his foreign policy is kinda like a Turd Slider instead of a Turd Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese?

              That’s fucking great.

              Now, let’s talk about murderdroning thousands of innocent foreigners on their soil without an AUMF or Declaration Of War and some American citizens that haven’t even been charged with a crime, shall we?

              1. Blowback possible. Still no disaster.

            4. Obama deftly sidestepped involvement there

              By sidestepped you mean Rand Paul shoved him off his red line….much to Obama’s chagrin by the way.

              1. Of all of Buttplug’s howlers, describing Obama’s actions regarding Syria as “deft” may take the cake.

          3. The problem was that Qaddafi had given up supporting terrorism. He was a huge scumbag, but he was not part of the current problem. Now Libya is very much part of the current problem.

        2. The financial cost of Libya hasn’t been near Iraq because the scope of the mission was more limited. But this is one of those episodes that may well serve as fodder for another 9/11 a decade or two henceforth (see: Mujahadeen; Afghanistan).

          At least with the Afghan situation, Reagan made a choice to arm a force that was the enemy of our biggest enemy within the context of that time. Here, Obama specifically chose to support Islamists (our biggest enemy within the context of the current times) in overthrowing not merely a stable dictator, but one who had agreed to give up his nuclear program shortly after the Iraq invasion. He did more damage to nuclear non-proliferation than a thousand stray suitcase bombs ever could. And then to cover his own bumbling incompetence, he blamed the Islamist takeover of a US embassay that occurred on the anniversary of 9/11 on a fucking youtube video.

          1. Everyone in the Middle East (ex Israel) is Islamist – just different flavors.

            Them killing each other is just so PERFECT. Give them the ammo and enjoy.

            1. Yeah, that’s what we should support: further destabilization, taking a principle role in the rhetorical support, if not always with actual arms, for insurgents, and spectating as thousands of civilians are, predictably, butchered.

              Remind me why I should be celebrating.

              1. Well obviously more dead Arabs are a good thing, no explanation needed. It’s like explaining bacon. Dead Arabs are the bacon of the foreign policy world.

                Duh.

                1. Progressive compassion, thy name is Buttplug. So long as a Democrat’s at the helm, civilian casualties are a necessary component of realpolitik.

        3. Hey, progtard, now that you’ve admitted to being a progtard and always lying about being libertarian, why would anyone take anything you say seriously?

          You get 5 pinocchios right along with your master, retard.

      2. Qaddafi wasn’t unfriendly. He actually agreed to give up his WMDs after Iraq.

        For that, he paid. And we taught everyone else a lesson – never give up your WMDs.

        1. Libyans killed him. Good for them.

    3. Obama’s foreign policy is disaster free.

      What foreign policy, sticking a wet finger in the air and seeing which way the wind is blowing?

      Obama had the chance to support people clamoring for freedom in Iran and he didn’t utter a peep. His voice alone would have pushed the regime to help their citizens gain some liberty. A couple of years later he’s giving Stinger missiles to Islamists in Libya.

      Yeah, a real fucking genius we’ve got at the helm.

      1. You support US military intervention in Iran? Awful idea.

        Obama Doctrine = quick and dirty terrorist leader kills with little cost.

        Very efficient policy – unless you’re a pacifist.

        1. Totally not worth it sloop.

          Seriously, just look at the way he twists your point.

          Arguing that Obama say something in the affirmative to the green revolution= SUPPORTING MILITARY INTERVENTION.

          He’s a disingenuous fuck who lives to annoy everyone.

          What a terrible, shitty life.

          1. There can be no freedom in an Islamist country. They are mutually exclusive ideas. We “freed” Iraq and the idiots put Sharia in their Constitution.

            1. We “freed” Iraq and the idiots put Sharia in their Constitution.

              That would be the same Sharia constitution that Obama supported with US troops for 5 years.

        2. You support US military intervention in Iran? Awful idea.

          I said “support”, I never said use any military. I reiterated the point when I said “his voice alone”. You disingenuous cockface. You know what I said and tried to twist it anyway.

          Obama Doctrine = quick and dirty terrorist leader kills with little cost.

          Define “terrorist”. Now, jibe that with what is called “due process”.

          Very efficient policy – unless you’re a pacifist.

          Or unless you respect the rule of law, national sovereignty and the lives of innocent people that happen to live in the mud hut next door to the guy talking bad about America 10,000 miles from our nearest border.

          Fuck you.

          1. Obama’s verbal support would not have helped at all.

            Terrorists in the Middle East do not deserve or legally qualify for due process.

            1. Terrorists in the Middle East do not deserve or legally qualify for due process.

              Oh, so you’re OK with the CIA torturing people, the indefinite detention of noncombatants in Gitmo (they’re still there under Obama’s watch by the way) and the assassination of American citizens that have not been charged with (or had evidence produced that support) criminal activity?

              You are a vile piece of excrement.

              1. Of course he is in favor of torture and the abolition of due process. He’s a CLASSICAL LIBERAL after all!

            2. Obama’s middle east policy is a re-run of American policy in South America (McKinley – Reagan), but with drones.

        3. …with little cost.

          That’s what they said about our foreign policy in the middle east until September 10, 2001.

    4. “Obama’s foreign policy is disaster free.”

      You’re such a cocksucking goatse it’s frightening.

      1. I may have to adjust my opinion here. Above I said that calling Obama’s Syria actions “deft” was Buttplug’s worst howler ever, but “Obama’s foreign policy is disaster free” at least ties it. He’s got the start of a comedy routine that would crack up every gathering of diplomats and foreign correspondents on Earth.

        1. calling Obama’s Syria actions “deft” was Buttplug’s worst howler ever

          Maybe the “e” was a typo.

          1. we know it’s you Tulpa, you’re not fooling anyone

    5. And the “non-partisan,”libertarian” shitbird arrives right on cue to defend his tribe’s chief.

    6. Except we didn’t leave Iraq in 2009 as he promised on the election trail and nobody can explain wtf we are still doing in Afghanistan. By the way – more US casualties in Afghanistan under O than under W. Nice surge A-hole.

      1. Of course Iraq is a shit hole now that the US has left. It would have been a shit hole if we left in 2009…but the fact that Obama stayed for 5 years means it is his shit hole now. His disaster.

    7. Obama kept the US in Iraq for 5 years.

  7. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

    SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  8. The ultimate teenaged fantasy is that the U.S. can actually be globocop

    We kinda already are Nick. I would argue that this isn’t a good thing, and I’m sure you would agree but the UN, NATO and pretty much every other democratic organization based on liberty and the rule of law knows that the US is the only standing Army capable of backing up any threats with actual force.

    “When other countries demand a role in the exercise of global power, America can ask another fundamental American question: “You and what army?” – PJ O’Rourke

  9. Tangentially Related to Foreign Policy:

    Does anyone know if the Ruskies have altered their visa requirements for US nationals in light of the current tensions? I’ve decided I’m going to do a trans-Siberian trip from Beijing to St. Petersburg around this time next year and I’m in the early stages of planning everything out.

    Alternatively, if anyone has traveled to Beijing/Ulan Baatar/Irkutsk/Moscow/St. Petersburg, any tips, recommendations, or life-saving advice is greatly appreciated.

    1. any tips, recommendations, or life-saving advice is greatly appreciated.

      Here’s a tip*: go to the south Pacific instead.

      *-that probably counts as life-saving advice as well.

      1. Sloop, I’m in need of adventure. Something completely off the beaten path. Plus I want to really practice and perfect my Russian. And I absolutely must read Solzhenitsyn while visiting a gulag.

        1. And I absolutely must read Solzhenitsyn while visiting a gulag.

          Just keep speaking out against the governmental status quo and you’ll be there without the jetlag.

          1. kick a phrase or two in praise of Allah into your internet commentary.

        2. If its gulags you want, North Korea is doing tourism nowadays.

    2. Get a non-US passport. Dominica offers one for around $100k.

    3. Can’t imagine why you would ask that *here* and expect to get a usable answer. Lonely Planet has a whole detail-filled book on the trip. Going to the Thorn Tree website will give details, trip planning and up-to-the-minute info.

      Ignore the “safety” warnings; it’s a wonderful trip with friendly people the whole way. It is however a bit of a challenge for a neophyte overland traveler (as I’m suspecting you might be).

      1. I’m a year away from my expected trip, so I have plenty of time to research. And lonely planet will definitely be a much used resource during this time. And the extent of my overland travel has been trains and buses throughout Western Europe (mostly Benelux and the UK/Ireland) so I am a bit novice at such a thing. I’m considering working with a travel agent just to get everything in line (I know the Russians are already strict about not granting visas without a fully developed itinerary).

        That said, I’m up for the challenge. I’ve found that the most rewarding experiences traveling are when you do challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone.

        Have you done any southern Siberian trips?

        1. I’ve traveled all over China but that’s as close to SoSib as I’ve gotten. I plan to do the TranSib+ next year or the next. Learning Russian now. I’ve traveled through 90 countries though and know how to do it. Travel agent can surely help with the visas but most don’t cater to seat-of-the-pants travelers and that will be pretty much the extent of their usefulness. Again, Thorn Tree will be much more useful for the nitty gritty info you need. Start reading it now. You can ask questions on it to your heart’s content and get answers from people who are *there now* doing what you plan to do. Also, man, if you speak Russian you will be so far ahead of the game than anyone else doing this. Invaluable. Locals will help you whenever you need it and if you speak to them in their language they will fall all over you. Prepare to be invited to people’s homes and to parties, etc. Remember I told you this. It will blow your mind.

          1. Hardly proficient, but I’ve taught myself basic traveller’s Russian via Pimsleur. I’ll be delving more deeply into it (especially learning the alphabet) over the next year in prep for this trip. Living in L.A., I can practice in West Hollywood with native Russian speakers.

            I’ll definitely check out Thorn Tree and appreciate the tip. My target is around this time next year (late may/early June), so maybe we’ll end up on the same train at some point.

      2. Can’t imagine why you would ask that *here* and expect to get a usable answer.

        Wow. That just hurts.

        Stay away from krokodil. See? Advice you can use. Also, Horoshiya poyezdka, droog.

    4. A co-worker received a Russian visa a few weeks ago. In the Russian consulate in the US, though he’s Canadian. I don’t believe there were any recent changes.

  10. Kind of a silly response to a silly article. The original Op-Ed complained that America appears “weak, hesitant and in retreat”. That is completely on the Obama administration…And I’d add feckless and obsequious to the list.

    Bush’s foreign policy was bellicose, aggressive and intolerant- stopping just short of crack-addled monkey. It had no real merit, but it is not AT ALL to blame for Obama’s unique brand of blunder.

    1. Hence Bush getting the US involved in the Israel-Lebanon conflict, the Russia-Georgia war, etc.

      Oh wait that didn’t happen. Damn facts getting in the way of the narrative.

      1. we know it’s you Tulpa, you’re not fooling anyone

  11. They act as though Twitter and clenched teeth or a pout could stop invasions or rescue kidnapped children in Nigeria.

    Don’t know much about this dude, but I like this sentence.

    Having said that:

    None of this is to let Barack Obama off the hook for his disastrous foreign policy. It’s to point out that there’s a nearly perfect consistency in foreign policy between Bush and Obama. And you know what? Starting dumb wars and then prosecuting them incompetently is no way to earn respect from around the globe. Throw in ongoing drone attacks of dubious legality and various sorts of secret spying programs and more, and well, there you have why the U.S. is tough to take seriously.

    I haven’t read the full linked piece, and don’t have time to.

    I’m guessing from Nick’s response is that this Cohen dude is kind of a neocon warhawk who wants to send in the troops to solve world problems? Agreed, that’s bad.

    But going back to the comment above, seriously… serious question, what DOES it say about an administration whose first lady is posting pictures of herself extolling hashtagtivism? Do we read anything into it? And if we do, what do we read? If we don’t read anything into it, then is it truly an empty gesture? If it’s an empty gesture, what do we read into that?

    I’d say a grown woman who’s the wife of the leader of the free world, pouting in an instagram photo with a handwritten sign with a twitter hashtag DOES say something about THIS administration.

    1. Of course it does, Paul, and we’ve been pointing that out for years. I would venture that Nick’s point is that Cohen is only having a problem with Obama’s foreign policy when it isn’t muscular and respect-inducing enough, instead of noticing the entire time that it was completely unfocused and incompetent.

    2. It says that they’re the most tech-savvy administration in history.

      ok i can’t keep a straight face typing that

      1. we know it’s you Tulpa, you’re not fooling anyone

    3. It says that they’re the most tech-savvy administration in history.

      ok i can’t keep a straight face typing that

      1. we know it’s you Tulpa, you’re not fooling anyone

  12. “Teenagers expect to be judged by intentions and promise instead of by accomplishment”

    What about in India?

  13. Oh please, already. If the United States’ status in the world is dipping, let’s not spare the previous administration …

    Who has spared the previous administration?

    They may be charming, bright and attractive…

    And who in the current administration is any of these three things?

    1. “Who has spared the previous administration?”

      Neocons?

      1. Neocons?

        Oh, you mean the current administration?

    2. I hear Valerie Jarrett is a tiger in the sack.

      1. we know it’s you Tulpa, you’re not fooling anyone

  14. I’d love to worry about our fucked-up foreign policy, but the shit is getting so bad at home that I have no time. How about we get straightened out here first? You know, restoring a high-growth economy, with all of the money and technological advance that brings, by massive deregulation, the elimination of most government spending, and the restoration of some concept of limited government and free markets.

    Then, when we’re super-rich and technologically advanced, we can get our way around the world. Without even having to blow shit up all of the time.

      1. Mostly you can’t do that, because the American economy is extensively linked to non-American economies.

          1. Thought experiment: We withdraw all our ships and close all our bases around the world. Then Russia takes over naval primacy in the Persian Gulf and the PRC de facto takes over the Straits of Malacca.

            Not looking good for our economy anymore is it?

            1. we know it’s you Tulpa, you’re not fooling anyone

            2. Really, who is dependent on whom, economically? If the U.S. disappeared, the world economy would collapse, possibly for decades. Not true with any other country, not even China, which has only been handed consumer manufacturing fairly recently.

            3. Not looking good for our economy anymore is it?

              Pretty sure Russia would want to keep those trade routes open.

              Hell we might be better off if someone else was footing the bill.

    1. Then, when we’re super-rich and technologically advanced, we can get our way around the world. Without even having to blow shit up all of the time.

      Why do you teabaggerz always want to go back to the 1800’s?
      -progderper

      1. Let’s make it after the Civil War, then.

    2. I’m sure Russia, PRC, NK, etc will just leave us alone once we have a high-growth economy, and not try to dominate the oceans and the Middle East when we withdraw from that role.

      1. .

      2. Russia and PRC would not let NK anywhere near the oceans.

  15. Starting with Bush Sr we’ve basically had the same foreign policy through four presidents. Prior to that policy was driven by the cold war.

    1. In fairness to our last four presidents, our Cold War foreign policy was pretty retarded, too, on many levels…

      1. Yeah, there is a lot of overlap.

      2. our Cold War foreign policy was pretty retarded, too, on many levels…

        Yeah, too bad the good ol’ USSR isn’t still around. I miss having half the world living as helots under a regime pointing nuclear missiles our way…

      3. Hindsight is 20/20…

        1. we know it’s you Tulpa, you’re not fooling anyone

  16. How about we blame the “bipartisan consensus” that has led us to meddle in countries halfway across the world for no discernible reason for the past 50 years? The neocons’ and Obama’s incompetence is merely a symptom of the stupidity we’ve been suffering through for half a century.

  17. Give me a fucking break, Nick. An editorial-length column does not need to dedicate a litany against Bush in order to be valid in its critique of the Obama administration, nor does it need to adopt your (rather strained) viewpoint that Bush and Obama are identical. They are both failures; they both failed rather differently. Bush failed because his entire foreign policy Big Think was wrong and grandiose in its starting premises about how the world (especially the foreign policy world) works. This led to extremely poor results as observed in the real world, or — in the vernacular — utter failure.

    Obama is a failure because he has no Big Think at all; merely sporadic, poorly thought out nonsense emerging from primal intent and political calculation. There is no strategy in Obama’s foreign policy. There is a lot of can-kicking, and yes — it is similar in a lot of ways to how a teenager operates. The reason has little to do with age; it is because both teenagers and Obama live in a world hermetically sealed off from real-life outcomes, and where neither is expected to produce anything of consequence. The good news is, most teenagers get slapped hard by the five-iron of life and grow up; Obama will not and cannot because he has never experienced ‘life’ in the sense of being held responsible for something with real-world outcomes.

    1. Excellent point, TIT.

      Bush had his own Putin Goes Wild moment in 2008 w.r.t. Georgia and handled it orders of magnitude better than BO has handled Ukraine. Obviously Bush’s invasion of Iraq and occupation of Afghanistan were disastrous but aside from those two failures (which BO continued for at least 3.5 years) he actually had a somewhat sensible and reserved foreign policy.

      1. we know it’s you Tulpa, you’re not fooling anyone

    2. I disagree. I think Obama has the Big Think of a left-wing undergrad of 30 years ago: the USA is a racist colonial power, and needs to be brought to heal. He’s a Blame America Firster. Part of that is making nice to our enemies, and ticking off our friends.

      (I see the drones as an exception: whether many here want to admit it or not, we are in a war with Islamic terrorists, so I see that as something Obama has to do to some extent, rather than something he really wants to do.)

      Overall, Obama’s foreign policy strikes me as a product of dorm-room leftism combined with a lefty State department and the grim realities of the jihadis.

      1. That doesn’t fit with the saber rattling over Syria, the invasion of Libya, or the continued aimless drift in Afghanistan.

        1. we know it’s you Tulpa, you’re not fooling anyone

      2. Or the toothless complaining about Russia right now…

        1. Well, some of that is just posturing that Obama has to do in order to avoid being run out of town on a rail. I think it’s of a piece with his religion: if he’s truly a believing Christian, I’ll eat my hat. So Syria is a combination of posturing, sincere concern, and an exaggerated view of his influence.

          Libya was partly an idealistic, legacy-building attempt to take credit for the “Arab Spring,” and partly some sort of failed CIA operation, probably involving arming Syrian rebels, and possibly attempting to infiltrate jihadist groups.

          Afghanistan seems like bet-hedging: he doesn’t want to be there, but he doesn’t want to be seen as losing, either. So it’s become a half-assed war like Vietnam.

          The toothless complaining about Russia fits Cohen’s diagnosis: it’s adolescent whining.

          1. To be fair, I don’t think there are more than a few believing Christians (or Jews or Muslims or Buddhists etc) in all three branches of the fedgov combined… if there’s a religion prevalent in DC it’s autotheism.

            1. to be fair, your sockpuppet is completely transparent Tulpa

        2. we know it’s you Tulpa, you’re not fooling anyone

      3. needs to be brought to heal.

        Another clever turn of…typo. Funnier would’ve been “hell”.

  18. Important difference. A willingness to bomb the shit out of things is a deterrent to people who have things. An inability to rebuild them is irrelevant.

  19. “I don’t think the U.S. should be particularly involved in rescuing the kidnapped Nigerian school girls. But virtually all Republicans and Democrats in Washington think we should be.”

    We’re handing the bad guys a new tactic on a silver platter–to make themselves famous and make us look feckless.

    Even if we rescue these girls, what are we going to do about the next batch? Why wouldn’t more bad guys do the same thing?

    It’s like sacking Rome. One Alaric did it, it became a rite of passage for every barbarian leader that wanted to make a name for himself. Rome had a reputation–if you wanted to make a name for yourself, why not sack Rome?

    If the U.S. gets hot and bothered every time some nutjob kidnaps some girls, then if you want to make a name for yourself, why not kidnap some girls and thumb your nose at the U.S.?

    And have you looked at the pathetic response? We’re sending “hostage negotiators” to Nigeria to deal with Boko Haram?! What are they supposed to do? Does the Obama Administration think Boko Haram’s problem is that the state of Nigeria hasn’t properly facilitated honest communication?

    What are the hostage negotiators going to do? Get all touchy-feely with Boko Haram?!

    Why can’t the Democrats or the Republicans learn from their own freaking recent mistakes?

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