Quite frequently it seems that if there is any principle guiding President Obama’s foreign policy, it is the desire not to do what his predecessor did. He and his national security advisors and officials, in public at least, have acted as if Mr. Bush’s foreign policy were an absolute disaster, needing, in their view, a “reset” in relations with Russia and requiring them to distinguish their policies from his.
They would exercise “smart power,” a term which implies that Bush’s team acted without consideration for the consequences of its actions. Yet, much as Democrats faulted that team for a supposed “go-it-alone” foreign policy, George W. Bush and his top national security advisors did take time to cultivate relationships with a great variety of world leaders. And when they failed, the problem wasn’t entirely (and sometimes not even remotely) related to their efforts, but due instead the posturing of other nations.
In short, Obama and his team critiqued Bush’s foreign policy not as it was, but as it was depicted in the editorial pages of left-leaning newspapers and in their own party’s talking points. Despite France and Germany’s refusal to join the coalition to liberate Iraq, Bush and his team did succeed in building a coalition of forty nations to enforce United Nations resolutions and to hold that then-rogue nation to account for violating the terms of the 1991 cease-fire ending the Gulf War.
Obama and his team may have “reset” relations with Russian and operated under the assumption that they were using “smart power,” but they have failed to build the kind of coalition in response to events in Syria than Bush’s team built in response to Iraq’s violation of international agreements. And President Obama is now blaming the international community for his failure to muster a coalition to act against the Syrian regime:
Obama said Wednesday that “my credibility is not on the line — the international community’s credibility is on the line.”
He framed the question for the United Nations and the global community at large as: “Are we going to try to find a reason not to act? And if that’s the case, then I think the (world) community should admit it.”
Via Drudge. He wants an international response to Syria, and yet, has not, as his predecessor did in responding to Iraq’s repeated violation of U.N. resolutions and the 1991 ceasefire agreement, assembled a broad-based international coalition.
Perhaps, now, he and his team — as well as their allies in the news media — will reconsider their critiques of Mr. Bush’s foreign policy, realizing it was based not on the actual record of that Republican, but their own partisan aversion to that good man.
RELATED: Glenn Reynolds reports that Democratic National Committee Chairman “ Debbie Wasserman Schultz says ‘dozens’ of countries stand with US on Syria, can’t name them.“
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