Monday, May 31, 2010

"Gutless" and "Clueless"

Dilip Hiro and Ted Galen Carpenter respectively — Obama’s Gutless Foreign Policy and Obama’s Security Strategy is Clueless.

"By now," concludes the former, "from Afghanistan to Honduras, Brazil to China, global leaders large and small increasingly sense that the Obama administration’s bark is worse than its bite, and though the U.S. remains a major power, it is no longer the determinative one. The waning of the truncated American Century is by now irreversible.

Summarizes the latter, "Given the current incentive structure and the clueless U.S. policy that makes it possible, President Obama’s search for willing and capable security partners will prove even more futile than the famous search by Diogenes for an honest man in Ancient Greece."

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Blogger love the girls said...

And the problem is what? That Obama doesn't make good on his threats of dire consequences if they don't bend to Washington's will?

So it turns out that the problem is not that the US has taken on the duty of world policeman, but that it's not doing its duty?

Taking Israel out of the equation, the difference between The American Conservative and the Neo-cons is what?

3:49 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Dilip Hiro is neither a paleocon nor a neocon, but a progressive, if I'm not mistaken. I think the problem is the issuance of threats in the first place, that make America look ridiculous in the eyes of the world.

4:39 PM  
Blogger love the girls said...

Whatever he is, why is his position being pushed by T.A.C. magazine since the solution to his complaint is even worse than the problem he complains of?

12:45 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I don;t think he's calling for more bite, just less bark, and pointing out that we're incapable of bite anyway.

3:50 AM  
Blogger love the girls said...

From the T.A.C. magazine article : "Obama’s propensity to retreat at the first sign of resistance shows that he lacks both guts and the strong convictions that are essential elements distinguishing statesmen from politicians."

That doesn't come across as someone whose reason for writing the article is to complain about too much barking, but to complain about Obama's retreating, i.e. his not biting because of his lack of strong conviction.

His failure to bite is the distinguishing element of why Obama is a politician, i.e. someone lacking the essential element of a statesman.

Which brings me back to why is T.A.C. magazine complaining about Obama's lack of biting?

8:14 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I read the article as descriptive rather than perscriptive, offering "hard evidence to those who argue that American power is on the decline."

8:55 AM  
Blogger love the girls said...

And the description is that Obama is not a statesman because he doesn't bite.

Whether or not it's persriptive is not apparent from the article, but I find it rather doubtful that the writer and publisher does not intend that the error described should not be corrected because that is typically why political writings are written.

But let it be that it's not persciptive. Why does T.A.C. magazine think that Obama is a politician and not a stateman because he doesn't bite? Because if he was biting that would be a worse problem than his not biting.

9:31 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

It's not originally a TAC article, but a progressive site. (You and I know it was progressives that cursed us with Wilsonianism.) I'd give TAC the benefit of the doubt and suggest they just wanted to highlight the decline of American prestige angle.

9:40 AM  
Blogger love the girls said...

I didn't notice, what I saw was the T.A.C. magazine masthead. In fact, I had no idea who Tom Dispatch was until you just pointed it out.

And I did give them the benefit of the doubt by wondering why they would print an article which didn't seem to fit what I would expect from them.

And now that you mention it, your reasoning does seem to make sense given their previous printing of an article by Dick Lamm. Common sense doesn't appear to be their strong suite when it comes to who they print.

11:15 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I, too, had the same issues with the article.

2:28 PM  

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