In his recent piece on Syria, Leon Wieselter of the left-of-Cneter New Republic writes that “Obama has exposed the timidity, the relinquishment of position, at the heart of the multilateralism fetish: when we cannot act with others, we will not act alone.”
Comparing the administration’s reaction to Syria to its reaction to the uprising last year in Libya, Wieseltier asks if the United States have a foreign policy:
Of course it does. It never doesn’t. But what is it, exactly? It cannot consist in the absurd peregrinations of Hillary Clinton’s plane. (According to the State Department’s website, where you can play “Where is the Secretary?,” the travel stats of the wandering icon as of this writing were these: Total Travel Time: 1,951 hours, or 81.3 days. Total Mileage: 897,951. Countries Visited: 110. Travel Days: 376.) Our foreign policy is doctrine-free, and maybe even concept-free. It seems to consist in a series of local and regional managerialisms, a lot of problem-solving in which not many problems are solved. It is thoroughly lacking in boldness and flair. I see mainly diffidence and drift.
Read the whole thing. “Even on the back burner,” the left-of-center pundit opines, “the world burns.”