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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

David Brooks, "I Miss Barack Obama": I Don't



In an editorial entitled "North Korea’s rocket launch shows that Mr. Obama’s ‘strategic patience’ has failed," The Washington Post responds to North Korea's recent launch of a long-range rocket by observing:

"The three-stage rocket launched Sunday, which supposedly put a satellite into Earth’s orbit, could also serve as an intercontinental missile. If North Korea has succeeded, as it claims it has, in miniaturizing a nuclear warhead, Mr. Kim could target Hawaii and Alaska, or perhaps even the western U.S. mainland. The threat is not imminent — and yet it is likely to become so if the United States does not devise a more effective strategy for containing and deterring the Kim regime.

President Obama’s policy since 2009, 'strategic patience,' has failed. The policy has mostly consisted of ignoring North Korea while mildly cajoling China to pressure the regime. As the supplier of most of the isolated country’s energy and food, Beijing has enormous leverage. But Chinese President Xi Jinping appears even more committed than his predecessors to the doctrine that it is preferable to tolerate the Kim regime — and its nuclear proliferation — than do anything that might destabilize it."

WaPo's conclusion: "'Strategic patience' is no longer a viable option."

North Korea is Obama's only overseas failure? What about Iran, which promptly engaged in ballistic missile tests in violation of UN Security Council resolutions subsequent to entering into the unsigned nuclear agreement with Obama and friends. The agreement unfroze more than $100 billion of Iranian assets, which, according to even John Kerry, will be used to finance terrorism.

And then there's also the Syrian mess. Remarkably, Roger Cohen, who supported the nuclear deal with Iran, did not mince his words when lambasting Obama's inaction in a New York Times op-ed entitled "America’s Syrian Shame,":

"Obama’s Syrian agonizing, his constant what-ifs and recurrent 'what then?' have also lead to the slaughter in Paris and San Bernardino. They have contributed to a potential unraveling of the core of the European Union as internal borders eliminated on a free continent are re-established as a response to an unrelenting refugee tide — to which the United States has responded by taking in around 2,500 Syrians since 2012, or about 0.06 percent of the total."

All of which brings me to David Brooks's Times op-ed of today's date entitled "I Miss Barack Obama." Brooks concludes:

"No, Obama has not been temperamentally perfect. Too often he’s been disdainful, aloof, resentful and insular. But there is a tone of ugliness creeping across the world, as democracies retreat, as tribalism mounts, as suspiciousness and authoritarianism take center stage.

Obama radiates an ethos of integrity, humanity, good manners and elegance that I’m beginning to miss, and that I suspect we will all miss a bit, regardless of who replaces him."

"[D]isdainful, aloof, resentful and insular"? Sounds to me like a narcissistic personality disorder.

Integrity and humanity? Pardon my French: Horseshit!

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