Somehow I got on the John Bolton email list and one thing I know from the experience is the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations doesn’t care for the way foreign policy is going these days. This guy was the poster child for the problems with recess appointments, because no way was the U.S. Senate going to get him through any reasonable process of consent, and Bush 43 must have known it. Among Bolton’s dubious work was an attempt to get the U.S. out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
We should realize it’s part of his tactics to rile up the wingers with his diatribes against Obama’s foreign policy to raise yet another sum of PAC dollars to defeat Democrats. But stop right there.
Those who think Obama is a weak president, think again.
When he first ran for president, Obama was asked what was his favorite movie. First choice was Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, and second choice was The Godfather Part II. Stephan M. Walt looks at Obama foreign policy through the lens of a Godfather fan, and it’s not what one might think.
“This president isn’t weak and waffling. He’s calculating, coldhearted, and decisive when it counts,” wrote Walt.
What is Obama doing with Israel now that they rejected his early entreaties regarding a two-state solution? “He’s letting Netanyahu do pretty much whatever he wants— including pummeling Gaza to no real purpose— even when these actions damage Israel’s legitimacy and hasten the arrival of the one-state solution that most Israelis oppose,” wrote Walt. “In other words, Obama seems increasingly willing to watch Israel drive itself off a cliff, even though this policy necessarily entails further suffering by the residents of Gaza. He has to pretend to be sympathetic to Israel’s plight in order to placate its lobby back in the United States, but I wonder whether what’s really going on is a devilishly subtle form of payback. If so, Don Corleone would probably approve.”
Read all of Walt’s article at the link where he covers not only Israel and Gaza, but Ukraine, Russia, Iraq and more.
While those of us in the peace movement had high hopes for Obama, we never expected him to be as cold and calculating as he appears to be in the conduct of foreign policy. This is a man who appears to be doing what needs to be done in foreign policy and not bragging about it. He can because he has the undeniable strength of the largest, best armed military in the world, and doesn’t need to show his swagger. He’s no peacenik either.