Free Markets, Free People

Obama’s Contradictory Foreign Policy

Melanie Phillips points to an interesting contradiction:

As the world watched events unfold in Iran, Obama’s double standard over Israel was illuminated in flashing neon lights. How come he’s saying it is wrong for him to tell the Iranians what to do, people asked themselves, when he is dictating to Israel its policy on settlements?

It’s an excellent question. So what is the policy of the United States qua Barack Obama – strict hands off concerning the “internal affairs” of a country, or, in the case of Israel, what can only be considered “meddling” in internal affairs?

Just wondering …


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15 Responses to Obama’s Contradictory Foreign Policy

  • Perhaps the billions of dollars in military and other aid that Israel graciously accepts from us every year, not to mention the security guarantees and other benefits, gives Obama and others the idea that the US can try to influence Israeli foreign policy. If Israel is willing to forego all the benefits it gets from the US and have the same relationship with the US that France, Australia, etc. do I am sure the Obama administration et al. would be more than willing to restrain their interventionist tendencies.

    • So your interpretation is that any country that takes any money from us under the category of military or foreign aid is subject to our “meddling” and should just keep quiet about it or return the aid?

      If so, that’s a pretty darn interventionist foreign policy and certainly not the stated foreign policy the Obama administration claims to desire.

      • Yes, I think that if we give someone money, weapons, etc. we have some right to say how it is used.

        It puzzles me how you and others can urge Obama to speak out about the internal affairs of Iran, for example, yet seem to disapprove of his speaking out about Israel’s actions. Obama does not seem to have a monopoly on contradiction.

        • Every American president I know of has spoken out about Israel’s internal doings, so I don’t have any problem with him speaking out about that – but I’m not the one saying that the US shouldn’t be meddling in the internal affairs of another country (not that he shouldn’t be meddling in the internal affairs of another country unless it gets US aid), he is. Which is it?

    • Odd that Iran’s terrorist support and efforts at obtaining nukes does not lead to American intervention, but Israel’s acceptance of American aid does.

      It’s a stupid policy, punishing those that ally with us and not those that oppose us.

  • Everything The Clown™ does is contradictory; foreign policy is not the only area. He tells people that CRAP AND TRADE will make their energy bills “skyrocket,” but then pushes for it in the midst of a near depression. He is for releasing terrorists but when his bluff is called by low poll numbers for that policy he now is going to issue an Executive Order allowing for the permanent holding of terrorists.

    I know that I sound like a broken record, but I have said that this is what happens when you elect a naïve, inexperienced, unheard-of hack politician who served only 2 years in the US Senate as President of the United States. You get an administration whose policies are naïve, irrational, inexperienced and not well thought out, and run by hacks. That is how you can fairly describe the maladministration of The Clown™.

  • Goes both ways.  Them taking out Saddam’s nuke back in the 80’s saved us a LOT of grief.

  • If we give money, we should be able to say that we only give massive amounts of money under particular circumstances.  Israel wouldn’t care about what the US says if they didn’t rely on us.   Moreover, practically, almost every expert on Iran, including most Iranian moderates, say that since the US can’t really do anything concretely to help the reform movement, talking tough would only hurt the process.  The US is still hated by many, and those in the countryside and not protesting could easily be swayed to more radically support the hardliners if the US played into their hands with impotent tough talk.   With Israel, we believe we can do some good if we are more involved, and we have both carrots and sticks, something we lack in Iran (which is why Condi Rice didn’t want to open relations with them, she said we had nothing to offer, we’d be a supplicant.”)
    Also, some students here in “Summer Experience” (a week for incoming first year students) read a bit about the Kent State massacres, and the public backlash against the protesters.  They very quickly noted the double standard — we sympathize for protesters somewhere else when violence is used against them, while nationalism drives many Americans to side with the violent government actions when it happens here.   It was a bit of serendipity that the Kent State reading (an incident most had never heard of) coincided with protests in Iran.

    • Dolt. The actions of a few members of the National Guard at Kent state were not official, premeditated actions whereas those against the Iranian protestors were. The ‘backlash’ against the protestors was against the violent actions of the protestors and disagreement with their positions, something that would have happened even without the shootings. If your students think the governments of Iran and the US are equivalent they are mistaken, but I am sure you did nothing to correct this idiocy since it fits your idealogy.

      And, while there may have been a few morons who approved of the shootings, your use of ‘many’ and blaming such approval on ‘nationalism’ shows, once again, your ignorance, bias, and dishonesty.

  • Shorter Erb: We don’t get to tell the Iranian leaders to quit killing people unless we give them money first.

  • So because Israel made a agreement with the US under Carter, we have the right to meddle?
    From Wiki Camp David Accords

    The agreement also resulted in the United States committing to several billion dollars worth of annual subsidies to the governments of both Israel and Egypt, subsidies which continue to this day, and are given as a mixture of grants and aid packages committed to purchasing U.S. materiel. From 1979 (the year of the peace agreement) to 1997, Egypt received military aid of US$1.3 billion annually, which also helped modernize the Egyptian military.[6] (This is beyond economic, humanitarian, and other aid, which has totaled more than US$25 billion.) Eastern-supplied until 1979, Egypt now received American weaponry such as the M1A1 Abrams Tank, AH-64 Apache gunship and the F-16 fighter jet. In comparison, Israel has received $3 billion annually since 1985 in grants and military aid packages.[7]

    • Depending on the definition of ‘meddle’, the answer is of course. Parties to an agreement always heve the right to insist that the agreement is honored.

  • And who broke the Camp David Accords?
    It was Arafat and still Obama refuses to meddle with them, so …

  • Timactual, you’re missing the point.  It’s the way that people in the US turned against the protesters and blamed the victim, while having sympathy for protesters elsewhere.   That was, in fact, the piece we read — looking at how people turned against the protesters, even the peaceful ones.   Also, the students brought it up, I didn’t — but I praised their ability to make connections.    You need a history lesson, though.

  • We’ve already told them not to kill people or use violence.   A bunch of people who don’t understand politics seem to think that if Obama talked tougher that would be ‘strength’ and would somehow in a magical way help the protesters.   Tough talk is really cheap, easy, not at all a sign of strength, and in this case would hurt the people we want to help.