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Monday, June 28, 2010

Obama thinks his expertise is in foreign policy

For those of you who think that President Obama's real love is domestic policy and that the only foreign policy issue that interests him is the 'Palestinians' (which is what I thought too), this may come as something of a surprise: President Obama considers foreign policy to be his expertise.
A few weeks after Barack Obama’s 2008 election win, I had a chance to talk to someone who had spent a lot of time with the candidate. I asked: In Obama’s own opinion, what is his expertise? What does he think he knows a lot about?

This Obama observer answered: “Foreign affairs.”

He saw the shocked look on my face and laughed. “You may think Obama has no reason to think himself an expert, but believe me: he does.”

My informant proved exactly right.

At home, Obama has been a largely hands-off president. The major domestic initiatives of his presidency were designed by others with limited presidential input.


But in international affairs, the big decisions are the president’s own. It was Obama who decided to surge 30,000 fewer troops into Afghanistan than his commanding general requested, while telling the Taliban the president’s deadline for U.S. withdrawal.

It was Obama who decided to pooh-pooh Iran’s brutal crackdown on democracy protesters last summer in hope of enticing the Iranian government into talks with the United States.

It was Obama who cancelled the European missile-defense program in hopes of winning Russian help on Iran sanctions.

It was Obama who cold-shouldered Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and he who is quietly acceding as the Palestinian Authority moves toward a unilateral declaration of statehood.

It was Obama who tilted against the Honduran Supreme Court and in favor of Honduras’ Chavezista president.
It gets worse. Read the whole thing.


At 3:56 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The attention paid to foreign policy is only going to increase if the Republicans manage to take over Congress later this year. Foreign policy is one of the few areas where a President can pretty much do anything he wants without interference from Congress.

Here is the real Obama imprint upon America and its effects are likely to be lasting.


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