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Is Obama's Foreign Policy Similar to Gorbachev's?

Steven Hurst, in an analysis at the AP, writes that Barack Obama's world apology tour is somewhat similar to Mikhail Gorbachev's efforts to "shed the ideological entanglements that were leading the communist empire toward ruin." It's a shocking comparison, one that is imperfect of course, but it's a frightening thing to consider, nonetheless. According to Hurst, Obama has outdone Gorbachev in his efforts:

--Admitted to Europeans that America deserves at least part of the blame for the world's financial crisis because it did not regulate high-flying and greedy Wall Street gamblers.

--Told the Russians he wants to reset relations that fell to Cold War-style levels under his predecessor, George W. Bush.

--Asked NATO for more help in the fight in Afghanistan, and, not getting much, did not castigate alliance partners.

--Lifted some restrictions on Cuban Americans' travel to their communist homeland and eased rules on sending wages back to families there.

--Shook hands with, more than once, and accepted a book from Hugo Chavez, the virulently anti-American leader of oil-rich Venezuela.

--Said America's appetite for illegal drugs and its lax control of the flow of guns and cash to Mexico were partly to blame for the drug-lord-inspired violence that is rattling the southern U.S. neighbor.

Obama's efforts to take the United States down a notch or two in the world is going to do harm to us. He's supposed to be the President of the United States and is, therefore, supposed to do what is in our country's and our citizens' best interest, but how is declaring America is just another country among other countries in our best interests?

At a news conference ending the three-day Summit of the Americas on Sunday, Obama was asked to explain what a reporter called this emerging "Obama Doctrine."

He said that first, he remains intent on telling the world that the United States is a powerful and wealthy nation that realizes it is just one country among many. Obama said he believes that other countries have "good ideas" and interests that cannot be ignored.

In other words, Barack Obama does not believe in American exceptionalism even though he says he does:

I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.

What Obama is saying here is that our belief in American is exceptionalism is not any different from any other country's belief in its own exceptionalism. However, saying every country is exceptional is just another way of saying no country is.


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Comments (16)

Said America's appetite ... (Below threshold)

Said America's appetite for illegal drugs and its lax control of the flow of guns and cash to Mexico were partly to blame for the drug-lord-inspired violence that is rattling the southern U.S. neighbor.

Yeah, America's demand for marijuana and cocaine have nothing to do with the epidemic of violence caused by the trafficking of marijuana and cocaine from Mexico into the United States.

The belief in "excep... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

The belief in "exceptionalism" is the same as believing in magic so perhaps Obama is making it clear that he's not as crazy as . . . some folks.

Actually, Adrian, "exceptio... (Below threshold)

Actually, Adrian, "exceptionalism" is defined as the justified ignorance of international law and convention, insofar as one is willing to reduce the entire nation's foreign policy to shouting "F*ck yeah!" whilst waving one's private parts at the U.N. General Assembly.

I don't think that the comp... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

I don't think that the comparison to Gorbachev really fits here. However, Gorbachev was a great man who attempted to advance his country's world reputation from it's past, end the Afghanistan invasion mistake, open up some free speech and market freedoms. Gorbachev's biggest regret was that he moved too slowly toward democracy like more bold democrats like Boris Yeltsin.

By comparison, this weekend's efforts by President Obama To possibly improve relations with Cuba might eventually mean billions of dollars of American agriculture sales to Cuba. A couple handshakes with the erratic leader of Venezuela hardly means much though. Venezuela sells a great deal of oil here and runs the huge Citgo gas station chain in this country. To at least be on speaking terms with such a huge trade partner seems at least normal.

The President of the United... (Below threshold)

The President of the United States is supposed to be the cheerleader and advocate of the country. Since Obama can't do this, he needs to be removed from office.

This is only coming about b... (Below threshold)

This is only coming about because Barry has no handle on what he believes. His naivete is so very obvious except for those who are in total submission to him

Hey! I can end the drug wars and the weapons issue. Wall off the border and really get serious about everything illegal that comes across our border either way. ww

What exactly do you mean by... (Below threshold)

What exactly do you mean by "American Exceptionalism", Kim?

There's the Toqueville definition, the British Israelitish definition, the Zionist brown-nosing war-monger definition, etc.

Feel free to use a fresh piece of paper/new post for your answer.

Adrian:The belief... (Below threshold)

The belief in "exceptionalism" is the same as believing in magic

Such an astoundingly well reasoned argument.

I do like how this site labels moronic comments with the tag "Adrian Browne"...

AP is in love with OBAMA an... (Below threshold)

AP is in love with OBAMA and GARBAGECANCHEVE

If Americans stopped spendi... (Below threshold)

If Americans stopped spending money on marijuana and other illegal drugs, there would be no Drug Cartel to inflict violence.

I agree with HB.

What's the use of the whole... (Below threshold)

What's the use of the whole "we're better than you" mentality anyway? Someone said the president is supposed to be a cheerleader. I guess if you believe that I can almost see how you could vote for a vapid, moronic, shallow, incompetent, but hot and cheerleadery boob like Sarah Palin.

I guess it was an inartful ... (Below threshold)

I guess it was an inartful way of saying that the President should be an advocate for the United States abroad, rather than a critic.

But yeah, Palin + pom-poms = a knuckledragger's foreign policy wet dream.

Sounds more like Ayers and ... (Below threshold)

Sounds more like Ayers and Wright to me ... But a failed Soviet Dictator works as well.

Hurst shouldn't be toking b... (Below threshold)

Hurst shouldn't be toking before he writes. But this isn't the first time.

Makes me just long for the ... (Below threshold)

Makes me just long for the days of that old rugged, don't mess with US or we'll kick your ass unless you have something we want diplomacy. Where's a good pseudo-cowboy when you need one?

Next...did Obama see Hugo's soul when he looked into hs eyes?

I don't know, groucho. Did... (Below threshold)

I don't know, groucho. Did Dubya see King Abdullah's soul when he lovingly held his hand on a stroll around the Rose Garden and then stared into his eyes and kissed him?






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