Free Markets, Free People

Remembering the promises, looking at reality

You remember the grand promises a certain candidate made in 2008.  And in the area of foreign policy he told us how huge a mess it was and how he was going to clean it up and how the world would love us again.  He was going to “reset” relations with Russia and get us out of all these wars.  Oh, and of course, solve the problems in the Middle East.

Yeah, that was then and this is reality:

The [Middle East] is unraveling and American policy is in deep disarray. Our strategic options are getting worse, and the stakes are getting higher. When former President Bill Clinton is warning that his successor risks looking “lame” or like a “wuss” or a “total fool,” it’s a safe bet that the Kremlin and Tehran aren’t impressed by White House statements. Meanwhile the Obama administration seems to be locked into a sterile, short-term policy approach driven by domestic considerations; it is following the path of least resistance to a place that in the end will please no one and is increasingly likely to lead to strategic disaster.

An insightful article by the Democratic-leaning Bloomberg columnist Jeffrey Goldberg offers a deeply unsettling view of a Syria foreign policy process gone off the rails. If Goldberg has the story right—and he usually does—Secretary Kerry and the bulk of the White House security team want the President to authorize a no-fly zone and other strong measures in Syria, in part because they fear that American dithering in Syria is empowering the hardliners in Tehran and that by avoiding a small war in Syria now the White House risks a much uglier confrontation with Iran not all that far in the future. But the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs wants nothing to do with it, pointing to the difficulties and costs of the military mission.

And rightfully so.  It has also really “reset” relations with Russia … to the Cold War era.  Well done, Mr. President.   But that’s not the real problem is it?  It is how we got in this mess in the first place: Amateur Hour at the White House:

As Goldberg tells it, the biggest problem for the administration is that its early aggressive, poorly judged rhetoric that Assad “must” go now makes it impossible to avoid Obama’s looking like an irresolute bluffer if the Butcher stays put. This is the conclusion, anyway, that both Russia and Iran will draw, and they will respond by pushing the US along other fronts as well.

This is an entirely self-created problem; there was absolutely no objective reason for the administration to lay those markers on the table. There was no requirement in America’s foreign policy that the administration bounce in with the categorical demand that Assad step down.

That is absolutely correct.  But as is mentioned further on it was fighting for re-election and didn’t what there to be a wimp factor.  As usual, politics trumped what was best for the nation.

So in every real way, this administration has lived up to few if any of it’s grand promises of 2008.  In fact, if truth be told, the honeymoon is over with Europe.  The proof, as they say, is in the turnout:

When John F. Kennedy delivered his “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate on June 26, 1963, 450,000 people flocked to hear him. Fifty years later a far more subdued invitation-only crowd of 4,500 showed up to hear Barack Obama speak at the same location in Berlin. As The National Journal noted, “he didn’t come away with much, winning just a smattering of applause from a crowd that was one-hundredth the size of JFK’s,” and far smaller than the 200,000 boisterous Germans who had listened to his 2008 address as a presidential candidate.

As for the Middle East … well there’s no love lost there either.  This administration has fumbled everything to do with the region during it’s tenure and has no one to blame but themselves. They’ve totally and without any help, managed to bottom out our image in the area in the same way they’ve bottomed out the economy.  If this guy isn’t the worst president with the worst team we’ve ever had inflicted on us … twice … then I don’t know who might be.   And don’t even get me started on the “leadership” in Congress – from both parties.  They’re absolutely the worst yet.  That may come as small consolation to the administration, but the combination of the two is killing us.


31 Responses to Remembering the promises, looking at reality

  • President Obama’s words may well have pleased his German government hosts, content to see a United States whose ambitions as a military power have been significantly clipped since George W. Bush left office in 2009. But Barack Obama underscored again why he is no JFK or Ronald Reagan. In front of the Brandenburg Gate, Obama sounded more like the president of the European Commission than the leader of the free world. It is never a good sign when a US president parrots the language of a Brussels bureaucrat when he is supposed to be a champion of freedom. Obama’s distinctly unimpressive speech in Berlin was another dud from a floundering president whose leadership abroad is just as weak as it is at home.

    Yeh. Well.
    It IS the Obamic Decline, after all…
    Pres. Snoop-Dog is being kicked all over Europe.
    Just like Erp would want.  “Watch and learn”.  Nobody respects weak and stupid.
    And, obviously, the Arab Sprung has been a major disaster.  With FaceBook.

    • So what are you saying? You don’t get any respect?

    • The commentary on France 24 was that Obama’s star has been falling for a while now, this is just more more example that he is in decline

    • President Obama’s words may well have pleased his German government hosts, content to see a United States whose ambitions as a military power have been significantly clipped since George W. Bush left office in 2009.

      Yeah, until the Russians go back on the warpath…then listen for the shrill screams that the US has to “do its duty to protect the “volk”.

    • Ich bin ein Welpe, der Halbgott isst

  • bzzz… click… pssssst… anti-tea-party… clack… thinks like me… click… non-ideologicacacacal… good… bzzzzzz… necessary…. -~*###… no scandals…. clicklicklick… your time over…… bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…. pop.


  • The administration does not seem to recognize just what kind of superstorm is taking shape in a region that has been vital to global economic and political stability since the Second World War.

    Yah…  That “stability” stuff is SOOOOOooooooo Twentieth Century.  Just an anachronism.

  • Yes yes… but how is Bush to blame?

    • Because Bush LIED! That’s hardly something you could say of Obama!

    • Because Bush didn’t leave enough easy problems for our puppy eating demigod of a President to solve.

    • I couldn’t say Obama lied?
      Shit man, if they illustrated that old saw about “knowing he’s lying because his lips are moving” they’d use Barry’s picture.
      His whole life is a lie.

  • Very uplifting McQ! I think I’ll go fix some hemlock!

  • Obama in Berlin .. a repeat performance from 5 years ago
    except 196,000 of the 200,000 there 5 years ago stayed home

  • Kinda ON/OFF topic…
    The documents showed the Treasury Department set up an additional “formal level of review” for requests for “sensitive information.” This category would cover everything from emails to memos to calendars to travel logs for top department officials, legal advisers, senior advisers and others.
    Once a request was deemed “sensitive,” it would then go before a “review committee,” made up of officials from several Treasury offices.
    Further, the document said a special report would be prepared for IRS requests from “major media.” This covers requests from traditional news media as well as bloggers, and according to the report covered information that “was likely to attract news media or congressional interest, involved large dollar amounts, or involved unique or novel issues.”
    He pointed to another memo, dated April 15, 2009, from then-White House Counsel Greg Craig that urged “executive agencies” to consult with his office “on all document requests that may involve documents with White House equities.” Craig said this pertains to everything from FOIA requests to congressional requests to subpoenas.
    Now, see, that is SOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo interesting…
    BECAUSE that use of the term “equities” is what we see in the Benghazi emails where State EXPRESSLY calls for a cover-up.
    That is a VERY singular use of the word.

    • I see the noise of Michelle Obama running against Mark Kirk for the Illinois US Senate seat.  The polls have her ahead 51-40.
      Frankly, I can’t think of a worse scenario for either party.  Michelle isn’t Hillary.  She never worked on the Hill.  She isn’t used to delivering anything.  Besides, Barack will never let her overshadow him.

      • I am on record saying that Mooochelle is the great danger in 2016.
        You get teh 3rd and 4th Obamic terms, and she is WAY stronger and meaner than Barrackah.

        • The great danger? She’s my great hope.
          Of course, I’m a firm member of the Let It Burn brigade.

    • So what is considered “sensitive information” at Treasury ?
      Is this fallout from the IRS thing or is this in response to the 500 point drop in the Dow the last two days ?

    • I knew I should have read the whole thing before posting.
      Reading this makes me believe that the White House is monitoring FOIA requests to see where there may be trouble brewing.
      If I were the media, I would start making requests for all kinds of strange things from the usage of toilets on national parks to what DOE new loan guarantees are be awarded .. just to make them a bit twitchy.

  • the biggest problem for the administration is that its early aggressive, poorly judged rhetoric that Assad “must” go
    I bet that rolled of his tongue with ease

  • I support Assad and hope he prevails. He might be a horrible killer but at least he is killing muslim fanatics. If the Al Queda rebels win then they will be killing Christians, Jews, Americans as well as other muslims.

    • I’m a firm believer in the “Death Blossom” approach.   Let them all starting shooting at each other and “Let Allah sort it out”

      • Hey. It looks like Allah is busy sorting it out …

        Amid fears of a new pandemic more deadly than Sars, 80 officials and doctors, including two from Britain, gathered in Cairo yesterday to examine ways of tackling Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, dubbed MERS.

        The coronavirus is casting a shadow over the annual Muslim pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia, where four new deaths were announced on Monday.

        The three-day meeting called by the World Health Organisation will look at developing guidelines for Ramadan. In October, more than two million people are expected to attend the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

        “Everyone is very aware of the fact that Ramadan begins next month and that there will be a large, large movement of people in a small crowded spaces,” said Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the WHO. “So the more we know about this virus before that starts the better.”

        There are also concerns that tourists could bring the virus back to their home countries. It appears to have an incubation period of up to 12 days and a fatality rate of 60 per cent.

  • On the topic of promises v. reality…

    WASHINGTON — Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.
    President Barack Obama’s unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of “insider threat” give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.
    Read more here:

    Pres. Snoop-Dog wants to assure that NOBODY talks.
    It is the Chicago Way, crossed with the Stazi.

  • Small business owners’ fear of the effect of the new health-care reform law on their bottom line is prompting many to hold off on hiring and even to shed jobs in some cases, a recent poll found.
    “We were startled because we know that employers were concerned about the Affordable Care Act and the effects it would have on their business, but we didn’t realize the extent they were concerned, or that the businesses were being proactive to make sure the effects of the ACA actually were minimized,” said attorney Steven Friedman of Littler Mendelson. His firm, which specializes in employment law, commissioned the Gallup poll.
    “If the small businesses’ fears are reasonable, then it could mean that the small business sector grows slower than what economic conditions otherwise would indicate. And small businesses have been a growth engine in the economy,” Friedman told CNBC.
    Forty-one percent of the businesses surveyed have frozen hiring because of the health-care law known as Obamacare. And almost one-fifth—19 percent— answered “yes” when asked if they had “reduced the number of employees you have in your business as a specific result of the Affordable Care Act.”
    Yep. Toldja…

    • So once the “fear” passes, should we expect more or less hiring ?   I say less in the near-term, until Obama is just a bad memory.

      • Depends on who we replace him with don’t it?
        Right now I can think of about 5 people in powerful positions who might inspire me, the rest?  Just more frightening stupidity.
        That, by the way, includes BOTH mainstream parties.