"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

VDH on Obama's Foreign Policy Leadership

I'll give you a hint... it's not a positive assessment:

Whatever critics thought of George W. Bush, there was no question that he was both a decisive and at times an unpredictable leader that enemies were not comfortable testing.
In contrast, fairly or not, Obama has earned a reputation for predictable equivocation, rhetorically eloquent, but not decisive, sermonizing without consequences, judgmental but not muscular — as we saw from serial but meaningless deadlines to Iran, simultaneous surges and withdrawal dates in Afghanistan, pink-lines in Syria, leading from behind in Libya, unpunished killers in Benghazi, flip-flop-flip in Egypt, failed flirtations with the Muslim Brotherhood and the new Ottomanism, and reset reset with Putin — all at a time of massive defense cuts, the so-called pivot, Anglo-American dissolution, and loud proclamations about a new, reduced U.S. profile abroad.
The result is that our rivals and enemies seem more rash than at any time in the last 15 years, our allies never more bewildered.

I'll add... Bush's unilateralism involved getting Congressional authority, getting U.N. approval, and assembling a 40 nation coalition before he invaded Iraq.   Obama, whose 2008 campaign was largely built on his criticism of Bush's warmongering, has done none of these things.  

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