American Elephants

Sanctions, Strategic Pivots, Peace Processes: Nothing’s Working! by The Elephant's Child

From the front page of the New York Times:

TOKYO — President Obama encountered setbacks to two of his most cherished foreign-policy projects on Thursday, as he failed to achieve a trade deal that undergirds his strategic pivot to Asia and the Middle East peace process suffered a potentially irreparable breakdown.

Mr. Obama had hoped to use his visit here to announce an agreement under which Japan would open its markets in rice, beef, poultry and pork, a critical step toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the proposed regional trade pact. …

In Jerusalem, Israel’s announcement that it was suspending stalemated peace negotiations with the Palestinians, after a reconciliation between the Palestine Liberation Organization and the militant group Hamas, posed yet another obstacle to restarting a troubled peace process in which Secretary of State John Kerry has been greatly invested.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. and the European Union imposed more sanctions on Russia Monday and both the ruble and Moscow stock index rallied, the latter up 1.5% The markets didn’t take this response to the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine seriously, and neither will Vladimir Putin.

The Journal added:

Sanctions only make sense if they cause enough economic pain to make Russians begin to question the wisdom of Kremlin imperialism. Otherwise they make the West look weak and disunited. This is exactly what Mr. Putin is counting on, and so far he’s been right.


2 Comments so far
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Nothing is working because throughout the world, people have taken their measure of Barack Obama as a man and a leader, and found him quite seriously wanting.

The leaders of the ASEAN countries know that his word is worthless. Putin knows that Obama speaks loudly and carries no stick. Israel knows how Obama has treated Netanyahu, and by extension, Israel as a whole. Assad in Syria and Khamenei and Rouhani in Iran know that there is nothing to fear from Obama’s “threats”. Al-Qaeda knows Obama for the boastful loudmouth that he is, and that he will (for purely partisan political reasons) deny their very existence, giving them plenty of time to rebuild and regroup.

The very fact that neither Obama nor anyone in his administration are able to articulate an “Obama Doctrine” simply and directly speaks volumes to those who would depend on him for aid and support. Everyone who has dealt with Obama has discovered that political expedience alone rules his actions. He can be trusted to do nothing else.


Comment by Lon Mead

You would think that if “sanctions” were as far as he’s willing to go, he would grasp that they can’t be little teeny timid steps. He endangers our nation.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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