Topic: foreign policy

Grading Obama on Foreign Affairs

If you had to give President Obama a grade in International Affairs for these past three years, what would it be?  A plus?  B minus?  “Incomplete”?  For my part, I give him (and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, key architect of his foreign policy) an A minus, for a job well done, with room for improvement. It’s been interesting to watch Republicans try to find fault in every foreign policy decision Obama has made, without much of a coherent theme or a credible … Read More

Clintonian Counterfactuals

[above: President Obama prepares Egypt remarks (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)] The Times added a fascinating new layer to the Egypt story with today’s discussion of the divergent messages that emanated from the Administration throughout the crisis. We first witnessed this painful cognitive dissonance in late January, when Vice President Biden made the outlandish statement that he “would not refer to [Mubarak] as a dictator.” This about a 30-year autocrat who claimed 88% of the vote in the … Read More

The Siren of Stability

Watching hundreds of thousands of Egyptians celebrate their victory yesterday was profoundly uplifting. Many open questions remain.  But, for the moment, it’s worth pausing to simply celebrate the drive for human dignity. Unsurprisingly, polls suggest that Americans support the Egyptian protesters.   But I’d guess that this support is “thin” in the sense that it’s a reflexive support for “democracy” without a deep understanding of the underlying context — or the directions in which a new democracy might turn.  As such, … Read More

Americans Heart Democracy

Like most of America, it seems, I’ve been heartened watching the last couple weeks of protests play out in Egypt. It’s amazing to watch history unfold in front of your eyes and know you’re watching these moments live and breathe, second by second, that generations after you will read about in history books (or history iPads or whatever…). But there’s an aspect to the last couple of weeks that I’ve also been particularly buoyed by, and that’s the fact that, … Read More