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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jennifer Rubin rewrites David Brooks: Barack Obama has been an awful foreign policy President

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

Jennifer Rubin has rewritten a David Brooks column that used to laud President Obama's foreign policy. The brackets are Brooks, the bolds are Rubin.
Obama has shown [a good] no ability to combine a realist, power-politics mind-set with a warm appreciation of democracy and human rights. Early in his term, he responded poorly to the street marches in Tehran. But his administration has embraced a freedom agenda no more aggressively since then, responding fairly [well] incoherently to the Arab Spring, neither fully embracing nor rejecting those who wanted to stand by the collapsing dictatorships and using American power in a mostly successful humanitarian intervention in Libya.


Obama has also dealt with uncertainty pretty [well] poorly. No one knows what will happen if Israel or the U.S. strikes Iran’s nuclear facilities. Confronted with that shroud of ignorance, Obama has [properly] irresponsibly pushed back the moment of decision-making for as long as possible, just in case anything positive turns up. This has meant performing a delicate dance — pressing Israelis to push back their timetable while, at the same time, embracing their goals. The period of delay may be ending, but it’s been [useful] confusing so far.


There have been failures on Obama’s watch, of course. Some of these flow from executive hubris. Obama believed that he could help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. He proceeded clumsily, pushed everybody into a corner and now peace is farther away than ever.
Read the whole thing.

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