I guess the Post has finally had enough of ignoring reality. President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy – The Washington Post.
The chattering class of the academy – of which Obama is one – has a theory for everything. And in theory, there is no difference between theory and reality. In reality, there is a difference.
FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in which “the tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past. Secretary of State John F. Kerry displayed this mindset on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday when he said, of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, “It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century.”
Except of course that Putin is in fact a leader of a major country in the 21st Century. And he hasn’t adopted that point-of-view.
Neither has China’s president, Xi Jinping, who is engaging in gunboat diplomacy against Japan and the weaker nations of Southeast Asia. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is waging a very 20th-century war against his own people, sending helicopters to drop exploding barrels full of screws, nails and other shrapnel onto apartment buildings where families cower in basements. These men will not be deterred by the disapproval of their peers, the weight of world opinion or even disinvestment by Silicon Valley companies. They are concerned primarily with maintaining their holds on power.
The Obama White House seems to be unable to accept that and formulate a policy in response to any of this, aside from platitudes about “stable countries” and astonishment – like we got from Kerry on the “This Week” show. Astonishment that the whole world isn’t exactly like them.
[Hat to the Ink Well.]