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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fareed Zakaria, "Obama’s 21st-century power politics": A Feckless Defense of Obama's Fatuous Foreign Policy

Plagiarist (see: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2012/08/fareed-zakaria-plagiarism-time-new-yorker.html), liar (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2013/04/fred-hiatt-editorial-page-editor-of.html) and Obama cheerleader Fareed Zakaria is back with a new Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Obama’s 21st-century power politics" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-obama-pursues-the-right-response-to-russias-19th-century-behavior/2014/03/27/a7b8dc2a-b5df-11e3-b899-20667de76985_story.html?hpid=z2), which seeks to counter stinging criticism of the president's foreign policy published by the Wall Street Journal (Obama believes in "a fantasy world of international rules") and the editorial board of his own newspaper (Obama misunderstands "the nature of the century we’re living in"). Zakaria concludes:

"The Bush administration largely pressured [Iran] bilaterally. The Obama administration was able to get much more effective pressure because it presented Iran’s nuclear program as a threat to global norms of nonproliferation, persuaded the other major powers to support sanctions, enacted them through the United Nations and thus ensured that they were comprehensive and tight. This is what leadership looks like in the 21st century.

There is an evolving international order with new global norms making war and conquest increasingly rare. We should strengthen, not ridicule, it. Yes, some places stand in opposition to this trend — North Korea, Syria, Russia. The people running these countries believe that they are charting a path to greatness and glory. But they are the ones living in a fantasy world."

Whoa! In fact, the Obama administration has diligently opposed efforts by Congress to enhance sanctions against Iran (see: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/12/01/menendez-iran-sanctions-obama-opposition/) and more recently dismantled much of the sanctions regimen in exchange for a "framework agreement" providing for idle chatter involving Iran's nuclear weapons development program.

The leaders of North Korea, Syria and Russia are the ones living in a "fantasy world"? In keeping with Zakaria's rationale, I suppose Hitler also lived in a fantasy world; however, that did not make him any less dangerous. Can you imagine the consequences if, following Hitler's invasion of Poland, the allies had simply dismissed his conquest as the product of irrational antiquated thinking?

Zakaria declares that "Putin’s behavior, in fact, does belong to the 19th century," as propounded by John Kerry, but regardless of the century to which it "belongs," does this mean that aggression no longer needs to be countered?

I can only hope that Obama is appreciative of this mindless effort to massage his ego.

5 comments:

  1. Jeffrey,

    I think you're subjecting yourself to a false equivalence here, weighing Fareed Zakaria against Commentary and the edit page of the Wall Street Journal. Zakaria is a thoughtful and well informed commentator. Commentary and the WSJ edit page are undergraduate whines form the Columbia coffee shop, and not really part of the game.

    Only such a false equivalence can lead you to thinking that Congress was doing anything serious in foreign affairs "efforts by Congress to enhance sanctions against Iran." It is the very nature of sanctions that they are a day to day administrative matter, carried out by police forces, banks and customs officials. Congress has very little to do with such a mechanism.

    It would have been useful if Boehner and his various disparate gangs of followers could have supported America in its role as part of the multi-national negotiation with Iran. Instead they did nothing but fracture the NTO/EU front, make America looks silly, and show themselves to be, as usual, idlers at play..

    -dlj.

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    1. Thanks, DLJ.

      You are of course aware that a "thoughtful" Zakaria recently was told by a "moderate" Iranian President Rouhani that Iran would not dismantle its centrifuges "under any circumstances," whereupon Zakaria acknowledged that the negotiations were a "trainwreck" (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2014/01/new-york-times-editorial-irans-charm.html).

      Moreover, it was WaPo (are their editorial board members also "undergraduate whines"?) which recently published an editorial entitled "President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy" (see: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/president-obamas-foreign-policy-is-based-on-fantasy/2014/03/02/c7854436-a238-11e3-a5fa-55f0c77bf39c_story.html).

      Jeffrey

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  2. Putin sends in troops and tanks to invade neighboring Ukraine and the Obama administration is coming to the rescue with . . . selfies!
    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bjv1dEpCYAERNMT.jpg:medium

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  3. According to DavidLJ "Zakaria is a thoughtful and well informed commentator." He also is decent and honest. Sure. And war is peace and black is white.

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  4. "Putin sends in troops and tanks to invade neighboring Ukraine and the Obama administration is coming to the rescue with . . . selfies!"
    I think he demonstrates his flexibility. You can't say that his response is not original and flexible. He is clearly not bound by old fashioned, restrictive rules of statesmanship and intelligence and ethics.
    Remember, he is no-drama Obama. There is slaughter in Syria, but our President is soooo cool, there is ..., but our President is soooo cool, etc.
    Coolness, coolness, coolness ueber Alles. This particular coolness is too freezing to me. And to the world.

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