American Elephants

He Had No Foreign Policy Experience But Promised Miracles by The Elephant's Child

Kim Jong Un, the young new dynastic dictator now filling his father’s and grandfather’s shoes declared that “Since the United States is about to ignite a nuclear war, we will be exercising our right to pre-emptive nuclear attack”  upon the “aggressor” America. And had just set off its most advanced-ever underground nuclear test to get our attention..

In 2007, in a widely read article in Foreign Affairs, Barack Obama said “Throughout the Middle East, we must harness American power to reinvigorate American diplomacy” which “could bring success even when dealing with long-standing adversaries such as Iran and Syria.”He further promised that he would “develop a strong international coalition to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.” How? Through “sustained, direct, and aggressive diplomacy — the kind that the Bush administration has been unable and unwilling to use.”

That’s working out well. It’s like an upside-down world where the movie is running backwards, starting with a Nobel Peace Prize, and then we slowly get less and less safe, and the world gets more and more troubled.

We are apparently moving towards helping the rebels in Syria, and John Kerry has officially changed his mind about Assad. But the question is do we know which rebels are associated with al Qaeda and which are not?

We approved deposing Mubarak in Egypt, and now we have a Muslim Brotherhood radical in charge, and we’re sending him F-16s and monetary aid, for unfathomable reasons, while the dissidents in Egypt can’t get any help. The  Arab Spring  did not lead to a blooming of peace., but a blooming of continuing rebellions.  The “sustained, direct, and aggressive diplomacy” went well. Hillary set records for mileage flown, but the foreign policy miracles that were promised never materialized. America is perceived as weak, and despots are encouraged.

We are undeniably less safe than we were, and if the movie is still running backwards, we’re in trouble.


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Ah, but remember, Obama having no real private sector experience and no proven track record of success in anything (except getting elected!) was supposed to be a big plus. Not connected to the political structure, not beholden to big business, not a part of the wheeler-dealer political circus… all of these things were supposed to work in Obama’s favor.


Someone I know who has occasional contact with the White House says that Obama’s lack of knowledge or interest in foreign policy and affairs is more than a little frightening. Obama hates the idea of international diplomacy because it distracts from his domestic agenda. One could possibly forgive for that attitude if he had competent people at State and Defense, but in Kerry and Hagel, Obama has two of the most insular, self-important, inexperienced and shallow thinkers he could come up with.

“…sustained, direct, and aggressive diplomacy — the kind that the Bush administration has been unable and unwilling to use”? Something that Obama doesn’t understand is that what makes diplomacy work is respect (Obama equates being “liked” with being respected)… and foreign leaders do not respect Obama. And Obama, a man who really doesn’t have a good track record with persuading (notice how whenever he talks about a subject – ObamaCare, for example- that subject’s favorability rating goes down?), combined with John Kerry, a modern day example of Oscar Wilde’s comment about George Bernard Shaw (“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends”) make for a political entity that doesn’t persuade or try to be diplomatic in the true sense of the word. They deliver edicts, and make speeches about the way things are “supposed” to be, but very rarely the way things are. The lack of depth in this administration is going to lead this country to a diplomatic disaster.


Comment by Lon Mead

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