Robert Shrum (The Week): Judge the president’s diplomacy by the results — not by the critics
A president can bluster or blunder this country into a world of trouble. That was the tale of most of the past decade. But with skill and judgment, with a nuanced combination of restraint and initiative, Barack Obama has just zigged and zagged his way through a crisis in Egypt in which he successfully secured American interests and ideals.
The 18 days in Tahrir Square now belong to history. Soon enough, what happened behind the scenes in Cairo and Washington will be recounted in some insider-infused first draft. But in an age of impatience, some rushed to conclude that Obama’s administration had bungled the crisis or caught up to the revolution a little too late. The truth, like Obama’s diplomacy, is more subtle.
…in carefully modulated fits and starts, the president, the Pentagon, and his national security team facilitated a more democratic dispensation in Egypt while simultaneously achieving the best that was possible for the United States and its allies.
…That Obama had got it wrong was the instant verdict of commentators; see how ineffectual he is, how little influence the U.S. has. The next day Mubarak resigned…
…Obama understands that diplomacy is not one-dimensional … the saga is unfinished there, across the region, and for the United States. But the results so far are not bad. In 18 days, the White House advanced our values, protected our vital interests, and demonstrated the power of America’s reach and influence.
Full article here
(Don’t know how I missed this article, but better late than never!)