Saturday, May 31, 2008

Obama's Heel.

John Fund writes in the Opinion section of about Obama's embarassing gaffes (beyond the most recent on Buchenwald) and goofball statements that would be a pillory for him in the hands of a less servile press. Fund writes: "He has large gaps in his knowledge base, and is just as likely to dig in and embrace a policy misstatement as abandon it".

Nathan Thrall and Jesse James Wilkins opine in the New York Times that Obama's enthusiasm for unconditional summits with tyrants indicates a naivete about how such high-level meetings work and the disasterous consequences that can ensue. Case in point: the Kennedy-Khrushchev Vienna Summit of 1961. There was no real agenda, no agreement nor understanding that needed to be formalized at the highest levels. It was just a "getting to know you" meeting at which Khrushchev bullied JFK and concluded that the United States was "too liberal to fight". JFK admitted that the meeting was a disaster and that the Soviets would assess that he was weak. What followed was the Berlin Crisis and the Cuban Missile Crisis, Soviet provocations that were based on their Vienna observations.

One could also discuss Jimmy Carter's numerous blunders in this manner, both official and post-official, but that is a treatise. It is sufficient to say that Mr. Carter is an addict of feel-good foreign policy gestures. Mr. Obama appears to likewise suffer this malady.

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