Quarterback Barrett Trotter #14 of the Auburn Tigers holds a sign depicting President Obama during the game against the LSU Tigers, October 22
Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): Hey, suddenly “leading from behind” is looking pretty good, isn’t it? This instantly infamous phrase, spit like rusty nails out of the mouths of neocons and other foreign-policy bigwigs ever since it appeared in that New Yorker article …. described a way of conducting multilateral foreign policy that has achieved electrifying results.
…. a truly multilateral intervention to rid the world of one of its most tyrannical dictators, undertaken with no loss of American life? This is a first. It’s a very big deal….
…. let us note how the Obama record on Libya compares with the neocon record. Libya was the great case of neocon hypocrisy in the Bush years. The neocons were supposed to be different from the Kissingerian realists, right? The neocons cared about spreading democracy and freedom. But all they spread in Libya was more tyranny…..
…. The Republican electorate may eat up potshots at Obama for being weak, but I doubt the broader public is buying it. A president who iced bin Laden and has overseen the ousters of two leading autocrats (and a couple of other minor ones) is not weak. Leading from behind, the sneerers forgot, is still leading.
Full post here
Jill Lawrence (Atlantic): The Republicans aiming for the White House might be well-advised to pack it in on foreign policy for a while and cede the field to President Obama…..
…. In a world ever more complicated, dangerous and economically fragile, he can make a strong argument that he deserves re-election based on his record as commander in chief…..
…. Obama has an unmatched record of targeting and killing terrorists and helping others to do so ….. What’s more, whether it’s killing terrorists or navigating the Arab Spring, Obama has been for the most part quiet and judicious and has avoided igniting anti-American sentiment across the globe….
…. Obama has taken enormous incoming for saying that pre-1967 borders with land swaps should be the foundation for Mideast peace talks … yet he recently intervened to help rescue six Israelis during an attack on their embassy in Cairo and opposed the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Obama deserved a “badge of honor” for his stand at the U.N. and told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Obama is as much a friend to Israel as Bush and other presidents.
…. in looking at him as commander in chief and leader of the free world, the GOP would prefer that people ignore what’s been going on in the real world. It brings to mind the old Marx Brothers joke: “Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”
Full article here
Taking a break from dictator-toppling:
President Obama leaves Joint Base Andrews outside Washington after playing golf, October 22
Michael Williams (The Guardian): President Obama’s latest foreign intervention in Libya reflects an evolution of the American way of war and the crystallisation of the “Obama Doctrine”. Gone are the “shock and awe”, trillion-dollar campaigns of the Bush era – right on cue, the president has followed Thursday’s news of Muammar Gaddafi’s death with Friday’s announcement of the final pullout of US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. In this age of austerity and public fatigue with foreign exploits, the Obama White House has diligently combined military force, technology, intelligence assets and patience to rack up an unassailable list of “wins” for the president on foreign affairs.
The success and strength of the the president’s doctrine lies in the fact that it is not doctrinaire. The Obama Doctrine is based upon the very pragmatic concept that the United States should defend primary and secondary interests when it can, but that there is no hard-and-fast rule on intervention. There is no “off limits” zone à la the Monroe Doctrine, no Truman-esque hard line such as the containment of the USSR that led to the Vietnam war. The Obama Doctrine is also a far cry from the Bush Doctrine’s “you’re either with us or you’re against us” mentality, which held that democracy promotion could be achieved via direct regime change – so saddling the US with $1tn of debt and an unwinnable war in Iraq.
The Bush Doctrine played right into Osama bin Laden’s hands; the Obama Doctrine killed Bin Laden…..
Full article here
BobCesca.com – Thanks Marlz