Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
But in the rest of the world, allies feel (and rightly) snubbed by the President. Click on the title of this post to read Robert Kagan's take in the Washington Post. We liked the penultimate and ultimate paragraphs:
"This may be the one great innovation of Obama foreign policy. While displaying more continuity than discontinuity in his policies toward Afghanistan, Iraq and the war against terrorism, and garnering as a result considerable bipartisan support for those policies, Obama appears to be departing from a 60-year-old American grand strategy when it comes to allies. The old strategy rested on a global network of formal military and political alliances, mostly though not exclusively with fellow democracies. The idea, Averell Harriman explained in 1947, was to create "a balance of power preponderantly in favor of the free countries." Under Bill Clinton, and the two Bushes, relations with Europe and Japan, and later India, were deepened and strengthened.
This administration pays lip-service to "multilateralism," but it is a multilateralism of accommodating autocratic rivals, not of solidifying relations with longtime democratic allies. Rather than strengthening the democratic foundation of the new "international architecture" -- the G-20 world -- the administration's posture is increasingly one of neutrality, at best, between allies and adversaries, and between democrats and autocrats. Israel is not the only unhappy ally, therefore; it's just the most vulnerable."
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Click on the title of this post to read Steven A. Cook's article in Foreign Policy. Note the insular, bien pensant thinking mentioned at the outset. A revealing look into liberal foreign policy groupthink. Though we think he doesn't go far enough, Cook is to be commended for writing honestly about neoconservatism. This, among liberals, is what passes for bravery. We enjoyed the following:
"[T]he neocons' perspective on the nature of the Syrian and Iranian regimes were largely accurate, and their forceful advocacy of democracy and freedom in the Middle East may have grated on many, but it did much to advance those causes in a region once described as "democracy's desert." Any number of observers would surely disagree with these claims, but I suspect that has more to do with politics than a careful evaluation of what the neocons have to offer to the foreign-policy debate."
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
"The notion that the European common currency is based on nothing but a series of lies is now taking its toll. All of the founders of the euro knew that the new currency could only be stable if all member states committed themselves to sound financial policy and, in the long run, spent only as much as they collected in tax revenue. But many ignored this principle right from the start."
Hat tip: Fretbunny
Monday, March 8, 2010
The Telegraph (UK), has an enjoyable read about various aspects of Obama's first year and what it perceives to be current American political and cultural conditions. Click on the title of this post to read the article of the same name. MC certainly disagrees with its assessment of FOX News (one-quarter of its viewers are Democrats and it hardly spews "rage" 24 hours a day). Even so, we confess to enjoying seeing articles abroad with such a title even as we counsel caution until Obamacare is killed. We did like the following:
"A thrashing of the Democrats in the mid-terms would not necessarily be the beginning of the end for Mr Obama: Bill Clinton was re-elected two years after the Republicans swept the House and the Senate in November 1994. But Mr Clinton was an operator in a way Mr Obama patently is not. His lack of experience, his dependence on rhetoric rather than action, his disconnection from the lives of many millions of Americans all handicap him heavily. It is not about whose advice he is taking: it is about him grasping what is wrong with America, and finding the will to put it right. That wasted first year, however, is another boulder hanging from his neck: what is wrong needs time to put right. The country's multi-trillion dollar debt is barely being addressed; and a country engaged in costly foreign wars has a President who seems obsessed with anything but foreign policy – as a disregarded Britain is beginning to realise."
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Click on the title of this post to read Walter Russell Mead's take on both the NYTimes' belated admission of reality as well as the current state of the hoax. MC liked the following:
"The very idea that critics would have to use the Freedom of Information Act to pry back-up data from a scientist on a matter of great public importance is insane. That data should have been out there years ago, without anyone having to ask. If it’s considered ‘normal’ in climate science for researchers to keep their raw data under lock and key, and refuse to subject it to skeptical and hostile review, then climate science isn’t science."