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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nicholas Kristof, "Obama’s Weakness, or Ours?": Jackass

The IRS scandal? Shhh! As we all know by now, you're not supposed to write about it in The New York Times, and Nicholas Kristof is toeing the line. Ignoring the IRS scandal in his latest Times op-ed entitled "Obama’s Weakness, or Ours?" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/opinion/nicholas-kristof-obamas-weakness-or-ours.html?ref=opinion&_r=0), he instead directs our attention to Obama's foreign policy and would have us know that the 58 percent of Americans who disapprove of the way Obama is handling foreign policy (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/world/middleeast/sharp-rise-in-disapproval-of-obamas-handling-of-foreign-policy-poll-finds.html?_r=0) are fools.

Regarding the prisoner exchange for Bergdahl, Kristof writes:

"But the five Taliban prisoners have probably aged out of field combat, and, if they return to Afghanistan after their year in Qatar, they would likely have trouble finding American targets because, by then, the United States will no longer be engaged in combat."

If you "age out of field combat," you no longer pose a security threat as a behind-the-lines commander? In the age of global jihad, these released terrorists can only engage in terrorist activities within the borders of Afghanistan? Kristof is indeed a jackass. Needless to say, Kristof doesn't mention how Susan Rice, the president's National Security Advisor, shamefully went on television to inform the nation that Bergdahl served with "honor and distinction" and that he was "an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield."

Regarding Russia, Kristof would have us know:

"Russian aggression in Ukraine was infuriating, but it’s petty Washington politics to see it as emanating from Obama weakness.

. . . .

Be wary, but let’s hope the Bear is backing down."

Of course, Kristof doesn't refer to Obama's open microphone request that Medvedev convey to Putin his promise of "flexibility" during his second term. Why should Putin "back down"? He was promised flexibility.

Concerning the chaos in Iraq, Kristof explains:

"The debacle in Iraq is a political and humanitarian catastrophe, but it’s a little rich for neocons to blame Obama after they created the mess in the first place."

Well, I opposed the Second Gulf War, but there can be no avoiding the conclusion that the emergence of ISIS (alternatively ISIL) resulted from Obama's failure to support more moderate elements fighting against Bashar al-Assad. It's worth noting that Kristof himself wrote a Times op-ed entitled "Obama AWOL in Syria" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/09/opinion/kristof-obama-awol-in-syria.html), in which he asked Obama to become more proactive with respect to the rebellion in Syria. Syria? Kristof tells us today:

"Yes, Obama has made his share of mistakes, especially in Syria, where he doesn’t seem to have much of a policy at all. Partly balancing that, he helped to defuse the Syrian chemical weapons threat."

Obama defused the Syrian chemical weapons threat? Oh really? Earlier this week, in an editorial entitled "Obama’s wrongheaded reluctance to help the moderate opposition in Syria" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/obamas-wrongheaded-reluctance-to-help-the-moderate-opposition-in-syria/2014/06/22/efb0ff0e-f977-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html?hpid=z4), The Washington Post acknowledged that Obama's agreement with Assad, sponsored by Putin, for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal is not being honored:

"We welcomed the agreement that the United States and Russia reached last year to compel Syria to rid itself of chemical weapons after a horrific attack that killed more than 1,400 people in August. The plan was ambitious: It called for complete, verified liquidation of Syria’s chemical weapons stocks and production facilities no later than June 30. And the effort to move these hazardous weapons out of Syria has come a long way; an estimated 92 percent of them have been taken out.

But after the initial progress, Assad’s regime has turned truculent and unresponsive. Robert Mikulak, the U.S. representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), last week declared that Syria has missed 'a parade of timelines.' He pointed out that Syria’s production facilities were supposed to be destroyed by March, but destruction hasn’t started. None of the remaining 8 percent has moved toward the port of Latakia. Questions remain about Syria’s declaration of its stockpiles."

You see, Nicholas, Americans are not as stupid as you make them out to be.

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