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Thursday, September 04, 2014

The failure of 'don't do stupid stuff' as a strategy

In a devastating piece, Rich Lowry rips what's left of the covers off President Hussein Obama's 'don't do stupid stuff' strategy (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
What we have been witnessing the past few weeks, in real time, is the intellectual collapse of Obama’s foreign policy, accompanied by its rapid political unraveling. When Al Franken is ripping you for lacking a strategy against ISIL in Syria, you have a problem.
Obama’s view was that Al Qaeda was holed up in the badlands of Pakistan and you could drone it into submission. Then, if you stopped stirring up hornets’ nests in the Middle East, and demonstrated your good intentions, and pulled entirely out of Iraq and stayed out of Syria, you could focus on “nation building at home” and not worry about places like Mosul and Aleppo.
This, in a nutshell, was the theory of the “don’t do stupid stuff” doctrine.
Every particular was wrong.
Our good intentions, as Obama defines them, got us nothing. We elected a president with the middle name of Hussein who did all he could to liquidate George W. Bush’s foreign policy and made outreach to the Muslim world one of his top priorities — yet the terror threat has grown.
We pulled out of Iraq and assiduously stayed out of Syria, and now there is a caliphate stretching across the border that, in the words of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, represents “an imminent threat to every interest we have.”
The hoary hawkish clichés about the stakes in Iraq — repeated over and over again by Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham over the years — proved correct.
The political worm has turned so completely that Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who the day before yesterday was scolding interventionists for their simple-mindedness, now evidently supports war in Iraq and Syria. He told The Associated Press that as president he would seek “congressional authorization to destroy [ISIL] militarily.”
The most prominent figure who is out of step with this new zeitgeist is President Obama. The other day he explained that things aren’t as bad as they seem because social media is amplifying events. He has gone from blaming George W. Bush to blaming Instagram.
Does anyone really believe that if we were reading about a radical terror group of unspeakable savagery sweeping through the Middle East in the print editions of newspapers instead of on Twitter it would seem any less alarming?
The social media excuse is another evasion by a president who wants to avoid speaking too forthrightly about the threat of ISIL, lest he commit himself to the forceful action necessary to defeat it.
When the only tool you have is a hammer, President Obama has said of President Bush’s alleged approach to the world, every problem looks like a nail. By the same token, when the only tool you have is retreat, every problem looks “manageable.”
Read the whole thing.

From Rand Paul to Joe Biden, Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren - a pretty wide range there.

Israel isn't even mentioned here and that's actually the right thing. Where Israel does deserve mention is to point out the gross miscalculation by Obama and Kerry (and to a lesser extent by Clinton before Kerry) that the key to resolving the world's problems was to set up a 'Palestinian state.' The focus on Israel and the 'Palestinians' was nothing short of a messianic obsession (Boogie Yaalon got that right), and while the media gets some of the blame for putting the 'Palestinians' on the top of the agenda, most of the blame goes to Obama himself.

I sure hope it's clear to all of you that a 'Palestinian state' wouldn't have made a bit of difference to ISIS or al-Qaeda.

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At 9:11 PM, Blogger MKBAR said...

If by messianic obsession you mean an obsession to get his own Nobel Peace Prize, Yaalon got it in one.

Don't forget -- Kerry is Secy of State to make Hilary look good by comparison.

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

Have a laugh!


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