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"Washington appears weak, rudderless and frequently confused"

Nile Gardiner:

Just a few years ago the United States was genuinely feared on the world stage, and dictatorial regimes, strategic adversaries and state sponsors of terror trod carefully in the face of the world's most powerful nation. Now Washington appears weak, rudderless and frequently confused in its approach. From Tehran to Tripoli, the Obama administration has been pathetically slow to lead, and afraid to condemn acts of state-sponsored repression and violence. When protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against the Islamist dictatorship in Iran in 2009, the brutal repression that greeted them was hardly a blip on Barack Obama's teleprompter screen, barely meriting a response from a largely silent presidency.

In contrast to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, President Obama fails to see the United States as an exceptional nation, with a unique role in leading the free world and standing up to tyranny. In his speeches abroad he has frequently found fault with his own country, rather than projecting confidence in American greatness. From Cairo to Strasbourg he has adopted an apologetic tone rather than demonstrating faith in America as a shining city upon a hill, a beacon of freedom and liberty. A leader who lacks pride in his own nation's historic role as a great liberator simply cannot project strength abroad.


The White House's painful navel-gazing on Libya last week, with even the French adopting a far tougher stance, is cause for grave concern. The Obama administration's timid approach to foreign policy is the last thing the world needs at a time of mounting turmoil in the Middle East, including the growing threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, and Islamist militancy on the rise from Egypt to Yemen. US leadership is now needed more than ever, but has embarrassingly gone AWOL on the world stage.

And some of us are far from surprised.


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Comments (16)

Sigh. Just another in an ev... (Below threshold)

Sigh. Just another in an ever growing line of supposedly insightful people who are expressing a disappointment in the performance of our president. Too bad they didn't catch on when it mattered, but they probably didn't want to catch on at that time anyway.

We tried to tell the squish... (Below threshold)

We tried to tell the squishes that voted for this clown that he was a weakling. Did they listen? Hell no!!! Now the squishes are seeing what they have wrought by voting this incompetent fool in to a position he had no aptitude for. He wouldn't have even made a good dog catcher.

"Weakness invites attack."<... (Below threshold)

"Weakness invites attack."

The limpness of Professor O'Barry is stunning. By the time he's done, the world's craziest people will have the world's deadliest weapons.

The real irony here is that... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

The real irony here is that the people who voted for Obama are so mind-numbingly idiotic they won't be able even to learn the basic lesson.

TsarThe real irony h... (Below threshold)
retired military:

The real irony here is that Hillary has balls a million times the size of Obama's

Tsar - I don't think they'r... (Below threshold)

Tsar - I don't think they're idiotic. I think they voted for Obama for what seemed to them at the time good and sufficient reasons.

He was supposedly capable, competent, and ready to lead from day one. He was seen by some as an almost Messiah-like figure, able to 'redeem' the US from all the sins that Bush and previous Presidents had committed.

But even a cursory examination of his background gave the lie to that. He's not terribly competent, and not terribly capable, and as far as leadership goes he doesn't seem too effective.

He's the perfect Peter Principle example - a man who kept getting promoted far beyond his abilities, who used the office he was in to springboard to the next level before his bad decisions caught up to him. But now - he can't leave the job, he can't cover up his mistakes, he can't hid his capabilities or lack thereof.

He's not up for the job, at all.

Why? He can't make hard decisions, (Support Libyan freedom or the dictator? Support Iranian dissidents, or the hardliners? Support Mubarak, or the people who are looking to oust him? Open up US drilling and anger his green supporters, or watch oil/energy prices rise, which raises the cost of everything and keeps us in a recession).

He doesn't have competent advisors(Seriously, bowing to foriegn leaders? giving back the Churchill bust? Along with DVDs that won't play in the UK to one of our oldest allies? Was that supposed to be a joke? 'cause I ain't laughing.) in even the smaller duties (if the White House protocol office is so clueless, what about the REST of the folks he's appointing?)

And he acts like a man who never considers anything he does might have an adverse reaction down the line. (Cash for Clunkers? Stimulus borrowing? Running deficits at least triple Bush's worst years, and looking at trillion-dollar deficits for a decade to come?) The only decisions he'll make are those which make him look good, which carry a minimum risk of him being proven wrong in the short term.

That's why I think he's not competent.

And I think he's gone so far out of the way to NOT be like Bush - who DID make hard choices, who DID tick off countries who weren't disposed to like us in the first place - that he's going exactly opposite the way he should be going.

But the folks who elected him - all they heard was 'Hope and Change!', never thinking about what 'Change' meant. Hell, you didn't dare ask it or you'd be accused of racism!

Barry and his crackerjack f... (Below threshold)

Barry and his crackerjack foreign policy team led by Hillery have created one foreign policy failure after another.

We no longer provide leadership for the free world in anything except having a buffoon for president with his clown posse of Ivy League intelligentsia sailing the ship of state into the abyss of disaster.

I feel terribly sorry for the people that are going to suffer for his lack of leadership and innate ability to screw up everything he touches.

No surprises. We're gettin... (Below threshold)

No surprises. We're getting exactly what one can expect from an empty suit.

I hope we can at least get ... (Below threshold)

I hope we can at least get the obligatory cigarette, when Barry gets done ........ us.

Even an inexperienced empty... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Even an inexperienced empty suit could have taken stands on these foreign crises. Even a complete incompetent would have had some policy team ready for the next flare-up after the Iran debacle - well, maybe he just didn't have a price to pay for that one at all, and so learned nothing.

Even an idiot could figure out the strong rebuke of the 2009-10 elections, and try to strike a moderate pose (even if just for political purposes) at least through the 2012 vote, to maximize his chances of reelection.

So I believe it is far more than that, although these things are quite evidently true. Obama is a true believer, born to radicals who hated capitalism and blamed America for most of the world's wrongs, raised by radical grandparents, educated/mentored by similar folks, helped along in his career by others, spiritually guided by another, without a dissenting note in the whole symphony of his life.

He is also a complete narcissist who thinks he smarter and better than everyone else, even with no reason in reality to imagine this. He hates to make decisions unless they are clearly dictated by his ideological background - mainly because he isn't smart enough to think for himself or figure out practical problems.

It is the combination of unqualified incompetence, radical indoctrination, and abnormal self-absorption which combine to bring us the utter disaster which is the Obama regime.

But, I thought that when we... (Below threshold)
Brett :

But, I thought that when we were weak, non-threatening, and ever-so-contrite, everybody would love us and respect us. No?

What is sad is that sooner ... (Below threshold)

What is sad is that sooner or later he will pull some B.S. stunt to try to prove he is not weak and it will likely not end well. Weak people acting tuff seldom end well.

What is sad is tha... (Below threshold)
Brett :
What is sad is that sooner or later he will pull some B.S. stunt to try to prove he is not weak and it will likely not end well. Weak people acting tuff seldom end well.

Most likely. One recalls the aborted hostage rescue attempt from the *first* Carter adminstration.

Yeah but....Obama ... (Below threshold)

Yeah but....

Obama is a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Well, after all, this is th... (Below threshold)

Well, after all, this is the guy who tapped Biden for his foreign policy "expertise."

Once a generation or so Ame... (Below threshold)
John S:

Once a generation or so America has to relearn the lesson of preserving peace through strength. This is the current generation's lesson. If you think this administration is weak and effeminate now, wait until they start lobbing nukes around the Middle East.






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