BRUCE KESLER ON OBAMA’S SPEECH TO WEST POINT GRADUATES
Saturday, May 22. 2010
The New York Times report on President Obamaâ€™s speech today to West Pointâ€™s graduating class is headlined â€œPresident Lays Out Security Strategy Based in Diplomacy.â€
That â€œsecurity strategy based in diplomacyâ€ is actually based in both self-delusion and believing that other nations and foes can be similarly deluded.
â€œYes, we are clear-eyed about the shortfalls of our international system,â€ the president told graduating cadets. â€œBut America has not succeeded by stepping outside the currents of international cooperation. We have succeeded by steering those currents in the direction of liberty and justice, so nations thrive by meeting their responsibilities, and face consequences when they donâ€™t.â€
Mr. Obama said the United States â€œwill be steadfast in strengthening those old alliances that have served us so wellâ€ while also trying to â€œbuild new partnerships and shape stronger international standards and institutions.â€ He added: â€œThis engagement is not an end in itself. The international order we seek is one that can resolve the challenges of our times.â€
On the other hand of reality, as Belmont Clubâ€™s Richard Fernandez sums up the dysfunctional Obama foreign policy, that no one abroad wants much part of:
Itâ€™s easy to believe the dysfunction is real. Faced by the linked yet separate crises in the Middle East and in Northeast Asia the Obama administration is acting like it was shot through the central nervous system, acting in uncoordinated jerks. The alliances with Korea and Japan and the special relationships with Israel and Britain lie almost forgotten like neglected toys on the floor of a spoiled child distracted by his latest bauble. Gone are the heady prospects of Grand Bargains with the Muslim world kicked off by dramatic speeches in Cairo. Gone is the idea of a swift drawdown from Iraq; or of a comprehensive solution in the Middle East. Gone is the promise of catching Osama Bin Laden. Gone is the notion that Europe, which once hated America because of George Bush, would turn like a blossoming rose to Obama. In their place are half-finished begun threads without closure: a growing Hezbollah menace in Lebanon; a defiant Iran; a belligerent North Korea; a buffoonish but menacing Chavez; a drug war on the southern border; an Eastern Europe with the shadow of the Russian bear growing ever longer across it.
Good luck, West Pointers.
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