A tiny post-Christmas LinkSwarm:
Posts Tagged ‘Russia’
Or rather I would, if it were available anywhere in Texas, and it wasn’t made in a country currently occupying parts of Ukraine:
Yes, Red Army Vodka in a bottle shaped like an AK-47. It’s much classier than their previous bottle:
A Friday LinkSwarm after a very eventful week…
Can You Hear Us Now? pic.twitter.com/nvaSsMe78n
— Bryan R.. (@youthpastorbry) November 6, 2014
Illinois: only state in Midwest in which food-stamp enrollment outpaces job creation since recession ended pic.twitter.com/yKyIdoOHMv
— Corey Brooks (@CoreyBBrooks) October 24, 2014
This piece in Foreign Policy has been making the rounds. It talks at length, in an inside-baseball manner, of how the Obama Administration’s feckless and incompetent behavior has damaged America’s interests around the world.
The problem is that in seeking to sidestep the pitfalls that plagued Bush, Obama has inadvertently created his own. Yet unlike Bush, whose flaw-riddled first-term foreign policy was followed by important and not fully appreciated second-term course corrections, Obama seems steadfast in his resistance both to learning from his past errors and to managing his team so that future errors are prevented. It is hard to think of a recent president who has grown so little in office.
That’s why many in the right wing of the blogsphere have been singing its praises. And indeed, many of the criticisms leveled are devastatingly on-target. However, I have a somewhat orthogonal take on the piece, and what it’s actually trying to do.
Consider all of the foreign policy debacles either not covered by the piece at all, or else only mentioned in passing:
Broadly speaking, two viewpoints run through the piece, each of which acts, in their own way, as exercises in blame-shifting:
As an example of the latter, take this sentence:
“Concentrating power in the White House increases the likelihood of groupthink, especially in second terms like this one, when many of the stronger and diverse voices in the administration have left and have not been replaced by equally strong and diverse successors.”
Hear that, John Kerry? That’s the sound of Hillary shoving a shiv right between your ribs.
The groundwork for most (if not all) of the foreign policy failures of the Obama Administration’s second term were laid in its first. Clinton’s emphasis on “soft power” over the military, the premature withdrawal from Iraq, the failure to obtain a status-of-forces agreement there, the counterproductive-to-disastrous regime change in Libya, the lack of any strategy for the “Arab Spring” (and subsequent failure to stem the entirely predictable turn toward radical Islamization several Arab Spring countries took), the failure to foresee a post-Mubarak Egypt, the asinine embrace of Morsi’s obviously despotic Muslim Brotherhood government, the obvious failure of the “reset” with Russia; all occurred or had their seeds planted when Hillary was Secretary of State, and all have contributed mightily to America’s global loss of prestige and respect.
But the whitewashing of Hillary Clinton’s record is no surprise, given that the author, David Rothkopf, “joined the Clinton Administration in 1993 as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Policy and Development.”
I’m also guessing that Susan Rice was among the sources for the piece, given that he follows criticism of her for calling the German Foreign Minister a “M@therf@cker” with the softball “It is a particularly frustrating Achilles’ heel for someone who is well known among her friends as having the capacity to be very warm, humorous, and engaging,” which just reeks of assuaging a source. (Really, has any serious policy profile of any high Republican administration official every used the phrase “very warm, humorous, and engaging”?)
I also get the impression from this and other bits of Hillary apologia that she really, really has it in for former Deputy National Security Adviser and current White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough (he’s the guy that looks like Lurch in that “watch us kill Bin Laden” photo). Note that I’m not taking sides in this dispute; it’s entirely possible that both of them suck…
The piece is worth reading for showing that even the long-time deep state apparatchiks at Foggy Bottom feel embarrassed at the Obama Administration’s gross foreign policy incompetence. But it also needs to be taken with several grains of salt as yet-another piece of battlespace preparation for Hillary 2016…
A Monday LinKSwarm to kick off your week with:
“Obama says what he has to say to make reporters stop asking about it.”
#ExplainAFilmPlotBadly Respected archaeology professor has secret life where he indulges his taste for wearing leather and using whips.
— BattleSwarm (@BattleSwarmBlog) September 6, 2014
Russian forces in two armored columns captured a key southeastern coastal town near the Russian border Thursday after Ukrainian forces retreated in the face of superior firepower, a Ukrainian military spokesman said.
The two Russian columns, including tanks and armored fighting vehicles, entered the town of Novoazovsk on the Sea of Azov after a battle in which Ukrainian army positions came under fire from Grad rockets launched from Russian territory, according to the spokesman, Col. Andriy Lysenko.
Well, thank God for Hillary Clinton’s reset button, and Obama’s “flexibility” and smart diplomacy. Who knows what sort of mess that bungler Bush would have made of the situation.
And the UN Security Council is meeting. Since Russia still has a Security Council veto, don’t expect even the usual strongly worded letter.
Just making it to Friday coming back from vacation to Texas in the middle of August seems like it’s own victory condition…
His bored-bird-in-a-gilded-cage attitude, the article said, “has left him with few loyalists to effectively manage the issues erupting abroad and at home and could imperil his efforts to leave a legacy in his final stretch in office.”
The extraordinary candidate turns out to be the most ordinary of men, frittering away precious time on the links. Unlike L.B.J., who devoured problems as though he were being chased by demons, Obama’s main galvanizing impulse was to get himself elected.
The sad part is that this is an ugly, confusing and frightening time at home and abroad, and the country needs its president to illuminate and lead, not sink into some petulant expression of his aloofness, where he regards himself as a party of his own and a victim of petty, needy, bickering egomaniacs.