(…)But some people, including Barack Obama, whose college thesis written in those years has never been made public, seem stuck in a time warp in which the United States is the bad guy.
That, at least, seems to explain Obama’s latest foreign policy moves, starting with Honduras, where the president was ousted by the Supreme Court for violating a constitutional provision that forbids any moves to seek a second term. (Other Latin countries, notably Mexico, have similar constitutional prohibitions.) The White House immediately interpreted this as a military coup and decided that, this time, the United States would come out on the side of “the people.” In fact, we find ourselves siding with a friend of the Iranian mullahs, Hugo Chavez, who swept aside similar constitutional limits in Venezuela, and opposing the elected Congress, courts and civil society of Honduras.
Honduras is not the only or, sad to say, most important example of where this administration has come out on the side of our enemies and against our friends. Israel has been told that it must stop all settlement construction, even the adding of spare rooms for newly arrived infants, while nothing is asked of the Palestinians.
In eastern Europe, Obama acknowledged last spring the importance of placing missile defense installations in our NATO allies Poland and the Czech Republic, then reversed himself this month and canceled the program.
The president of Poland, which has sent brave and effective troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, was given an after-midnight phone call, which he declined to take. The president of Russia, which has declined to aid our efforts to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons programs, expressed his delight — and pointedly made no concessions in return.
(…) The reaction to the most recent moves has been harsh, and from unexpected quarters. Leslie Gelb, former head of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the editorial writers of The Washington Post have expressed astonishment at Obama’s apparent switch on Afghanistan. Edward Lucas, Eastern European correspondent for the Economist, wrote in the Telegraph of London, “The picture emerging from the White House is a disturbing one, of timidity, clumsiness and short-term calculation. Some say he is the weakest president since Jimmy Carter.”
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