How many stupid things do you have to do before they stop calling you brilliant?
If your name is Barack Obama, the answer is: a very large number.
Christopher Dickey has his eyes wide open. He takes the full measure of Obama’s failure to manage the crisis that is rolling across the Middle East. Yet, he continues to feel compelled to affix the label “brilliant” to Obama. Link here.
Yesterday, the Syrian tyrant, Bashar Assad, gunned down dozens of protesters. The White House put out a vigorous, and balanced call for peace: “We call on all sides to cease and desist from the use of violence.”
Dickey writes: “Surely President Obama can do better than that. Or perhaps not. The drama—the tragedy—increasingly apparent at the White House is of a brilliant intellect who is nonetheless confounded by events, a strategist whose strategies are thwarted and who is left with almost no strategy at all, a persuasive politician and diplomat who gets others to crawl out on limbs, has them take big risks to break through to a new future, and then turns around and walks away from them when the political winds in the United States threaten to shift.”
No, the real question is when will people like Christopher Dickey recognize that there is no brilliant strategist or persuasive diplomat in the White House? We are being governed by a man who is in over his head, who is out of his depth, who is doing a job for which he has no qualifications.
While we are on the topic, let’s add that the same applies to the current Secretary of State.
For my part I would like to hear how people like Christopher Dickey could ever have thought that Obama had a brilliant intellect? And, given the evidence that they so forcefully analyze, how can they continue to believe in his brilliance?
To his credit, Dickey recognizes that this does not all date to the most recent crisis. In his words: “They were evident from Year 1 of the Obama presidency in his excruciating deliberations over the Afghan surge, in the hand extended ineffectually to Iran, and the lines drawn in the sand, then rubbed out and moved back, and further back, in the dismal, failed efforts to build a Palestinian peace process. But in Libya the crisis of American tentativeness has grown worse almost by the day. Muammar Gaddafi holds on, despite Obama’s demand for him to leave, and the civilians that the Americans, their allies, and the United Nations vowed to protect are being slaughtered.”
Right now the situation in Libya seems to have reached a stalemate. This is not a good thing. Dickey explains: “But a protracted stalemate in Libya, which is where NATO’s noncommittal commitment appears to be headed, will be an unmitigated disaster, precisely, for American interests.”
I like the phrase, “noncommittal commitment.” It's an excellent way to capture intellectual incoherence.
I recommend that you read all of Dickey’s analysis of the situation. We can make it make some sense if we understand that Barack Obama does not much care about American interests.
Somehow, someone in the media ought to figure out that Barack Obama mostly cares about Barack Obama’s interests. Right now, he is out and around preparing for the next election campaign. If events in the world threaten to intrude on the campaigner-in-chief, then will have to wait.