January 11th, 2013

Obama’s second-term foreign policy: not really like Ike

Here’s a riddle for you: How is Obama like Eisenhower?

My answer would be: they both love[d] to play golf.

David Ignatius sees a great many more similarities. Seriously, he does.

I repeat: he is serious.

After I wrote the beginning of this post, I noticed that Scott Johnson at Powerline mentions the Eisenhower article, and then points us to this piece by Barry Rubin about Obama’s “noxious nominations.”

Here’s Rubin speaking of the “four horsemen” of Obama, Kerry, Hagel, and Brennan:

Their ideas and views are horrible. This is especially so on Middle Eastern issues but how good are they on anything else? True, they are all hostile to Israel but this isn’t the first time people who think that way held high office. Far worse is that they are pro-Islamist as well as being dim-witted about U.S. interests in a way no foreign policy team has been in the century since America walked onto the world stage.

Brennan is no less than the father of the pro-Islamist policy. What Obama is saying is this: My policy of backing Islamists has worked so well, including in Egypt, that we need to do even more! All those analogies to 1930s’ appeasement are an understatement. Nobody in the British leadership said, “I have a great idea. Let’s help fascist regimes take power and then they’ll be our friends and become more moderate! That’s the equivalent of what Brennan does.

–They are all stupid people. Some friends said I shouldn’t write this because it is a subjective judgment and sounds mean-spirited. But honest, it’s true. Nobody would ever say that their predecessors—Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, and David Petraeus—were not intelligent and accomplished. But these guys are simply not in that category. Smart people can make bad judgments; regular people with common sense often make bad judgments less often. But stupid, arrogant people with terrible ideas are a disaster.

What do I have to say about that? I note that it is certainly no surprise. None whatsoever. Nor should it be a surprise to anyone. And most Americans aren’t paying attention anyway; the reason Obama was elected was that Romney was going to take away women’s right to abortion or birth control or tampons or that he wasn’t the kind of guy you’d want to have a beer with or that he looked down on the 47% or that he wasn’t conservative enough or some combination of those things.

The reason that Obama chose these particular people over all the other possibilities is threefold:

(1) He agrees with them on foreign policy, and they agree with him.

(2) They are basically non-entities in their own right (Kerry is the one who’s most his own man, and the only thing he’s ever really done, besides run a lackluster presidential campaign, was to throw away his medals and testify that American forces in Vietnam operated “in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan”). They are virtually certain to be Obama’s willing handmaidens and not threaten him in any way.

(3) As a side benefit, these nominations will outrage the right.

Even if somehow a Republican—or at least someone to the right of Obama on foreign policy—were to be elected in 2016, the damage these four people can and probably will have done is likely to be severe. And people the world over will have realized (in fact, they already do realize) that American foreign policy is more mutable than it used to be, that the range of possibilities and fluctuations has widened, and that America’s word cannot be relied on.

What a guy.

Just like Ike.

9 Responses to “Obama’s second-term foreign policy: not really like Ike”

  1. Dennis Says:

    Once again the old adage: “A’s hire A’s and B’s hire C’s).

    And, also, as regards C in your list, the only thing Obama seems to have learned since his initial nomination is that the actual puerile gesture of the midldle finger along the hidden side of his face should give way to implied middle finger.

  2. David Guaspari Says:

    Is my memory playing tricks? I thought that the medals Kerry threw away — or whatever gesture he made with them — belonged to somebody else. I don’t have the energy to track down the facts.

  3. M J R Says:


    Rubbing Our Noses in His Victory and Radicalism
    By David Limbaugh
    January 11, 2013


  4. neo-neocon Says:

    David Guaspari: no, your memory isn’t playing tricks. It’s Kerry who’s playing tricks.

    He threw away his medals before he didn’t throw away his medals. I kid you not.


    Contradicting his statements as a candidate for president, Sen. John Kerry claimed in a 1971 television interview that he threw away as many as nine of his combat medals to protest the war in Vietnam.

    “I gave back, I can’t remember, six, seven, eight, nine medals,” Kerry said in an interview on a Washington, D.C., news program on WRC-TV called Viewpoints on Nov. 6, 1971, according to a tape obtained by ABCNEWS.

    Throughout his presidential campaign, Kerry has denied that he threw away any of his medals during an anti-war protest in April 1971.

    Read the whole thing, as they say. It’s really too convoluted to summarize.

  5. Bob from Virginia Says:

    It really comes down to Let It Burn.

    This generation is in for an unpleasant learning experience.

  6. parker Says:

    Bob VA says, “…. Let It Burn.”

    The odds are good it will. The bond market will light the match as the FED can not feed the beast indefinitely.

  7. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    The Islamists are cheering but probably wondering if it all might be a trap. After all, who is stupid enough to believe that the Islamists are not an existential threat and will actually be our friends if only we bring Israel to heel? Obama, Kerry, Hagel, and Brennan that’s who. Especially Brennan. Some of his public statements sound like they could have been written by an imam. Obama likes him because they both spent time in Indonesia as young men and love the sound of the Muslim call to prayer. But they all lean that way. Make friends with the Muzzies and don’t be so millitant. Then those billions of people will like us.

    We can expect things to get more chaotic in the ME as our military power and reach contract. And expect the rest of the world (Especially China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea) to take advantage wherever they can. Uncle Sam is becoming Uncle Sucker. It will not be taken notice of by the MSM. As a result, the low information citizens won’t be informed. It is to weep.

  8. Don Carlos Says:

    ” ‘Eisenhower governed by indirection,’ explains Thomas. So, too, does Obama.” Thus endeth Ignatius.

    Ike singlehandedly enabled the present Middle East with his Suez decision in ’56. Why anyone thinks he was a good Prez is beyond me. He was the forerunner of the Colin Powell school of military command: dither, politic, schmooze, take few risks. His Normandy “Go” command was kinda like Obama’s Bin Laden kill order.

  9. southpaw Says:

    J.J. – you’re right of course and I think they also believe they have some special insight into Muslim culture, because they spent time in living in Muslim countries.
    But I don’t buy it- not from either Brennan or Obama. Having travelled and spent time in the same places, Westerners, particularly well off ones as those two are, have insular accommodations and their interaction with the average person isn’t more than handing them the keys to park their car, or let them in to do the house cleaning. They stay in areas for expats, send their kids to schools with other western kids, etc.
    They’re no more in touch with the average Muslim than you or I, and couldn’t point to a single friend they made, in spite of their “deep cultural immersion”.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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