We're all ashamed of Obama the dunce on Ukraine

There was a time when Obama was thought to be some kind of intellectual. Oh, dear. He's the quintessential dunce on foreign affairs. Who wants to put their name next to his now?

Not the brightest star in the sky
Taylor Dibbert
On 7 March 2014 17:37

Recent events in the Ukraine are just another reminder that Barack Obama’s naive and unrealistic view of world affairs is completely divorced from reality and wholly incompatible with any semblance of American global leadership.

So, let’s pause for a moment to process this. There are plenty of angles to consider, and we just want to be very careful and make sure that we’ve considered all aspects of what’s transpiring.

On Syria, North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and elsewhere, US foreign policy is more misguided than ever. Red lines don’t’ matter.

Power politics is a thing of the past. Can’t we all just get along?

If there was ever any doubt, it now seems clear that Obama truly believes he’s the smartest, most charismatic man in the world. Hence, his charisma and brains obviate the need for the United States to even have a foreign policy.

Leading from the front was never an option for the Obama administration, but – post-Libya -- it doesn’t even look like Obama’s capable of leading from behind.

Vali Nasr recounted some of this in his excellent book, The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat. He also spoke of the unyielding insularity in Obama’s inner circle and the fact that people with more experience (and interest) in polling and political campaigns appeared to be wading into the foreign policy and national security waters far too frequently.

Nasr’s book was published recently, but it looks like the subtitle is already outdated. This isn’t a foreign policy in retreat. It’s a foreign policy in utter defeat; we are currently staring at the graveyard of an American presidency.

This November, Republicans should take back the Senate --  making Obama a lame duck par excellence. But, in spite of that, he’ll still have two more years in the Oval office. The president does have far more latitude when it comes for foreign policy than domestic affairs. This is truly frightening.

It’s hard to believe that anything Obama says regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine matters. Both allies and enemies now fully understand that this isn’t a man who can be taken for his word. He is disingenuous, egotistical, a ditherer and a person who loathes the very thought of US hegemony.

Republicans have their own issues to sort out before 2016.  Yet, by that time they might have more room to maneuver than most people think. By 2016, the Obama brand will have become truly radioactive; it will represent a man and worldview that no sensible candidate on the left would want to touch with a ten-foot pole.

But that’s years away. Sadly, a lot more could happen between now and then.

From Beijing to Damascus to Pyongyang to Tehran, the enemies of freedom, modernity and human rights must be looking on with delight.

Elsewhere -- in Tokyo, London, Paris, Berlin and beyond -- perceptive policymakers must be aghast. How can one man undo so much? How can he get it all so horribly wrong?

This begs the obvious question: How much more damage can Obama do?

Right now, it would appear that the sky’s the limit.

Taylor Dibbert is an international consultant based in Washington, DC and the author of the book Fiesta of Sunset: The Peace Corps, Guatemala and a Search for Truth

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