If to govern is to choose, then to govern badly is to not be able to make decisions, as Niall Ferguson writes:
Grand strategy is all about the necessity of choice. Today, it means choosing between a daunting list of objectives: to resist the spread of radical Islam, to limit Iran’s ambition to become dominant in the Middle East, to contain the rise of China as an economic rival, to guard against a Russian “reconquista” of Eastern Europe—and so on. The defining characteristic of Obama’s foreign policy has been not just a failure to prioritize, but also a failure to recognize the need to do so. A succession of speeches saying, in essence, “I am not George W. Bush” is no substitute for a strategy.
Bismarck knew how to choose. He understood that riding the nationalist wave would enable Prussia to become the dominant force in Germany, but that thereafter the No. 1 objective must be to keep France and Russia from uniting against his new Reich. When asked for his opinion about colonizing Africa, Bismarck famously replied: “My map of Africa lies in Europe. Here lies Russia and here lies France, and we are in the middle. That is my map of Africa.”
Tragically, no one knows where Barack Obama’s map of the Middle East is. At best, it is in the heartland states of America, where the fate of his presidency will be decided next year, just as Jimmy Carter’s was back in 1980.
At worst, he has no map at all.
And note the cover of the latest edition of Newsweek, aka, “The Daily Beast On Dead Tree:”
If Obama’s lost Newsweek, then he’s lost anti-America, to paraphrase a great line by Stacy McCain.
Related: Clarice Feldman at the Tatler: “Newsweek actually publishes something worth reading.”
Meanwhile, an Instareader notes:
Last week I had to take my mother to close on a house she sold. While we were waiting for our lawyer I spied a pile of magazines on a table. I grabbed the Newsweek on top but thought it was an advertising insert. Nope, it was the whole magazine, just a few pages.
It sounds almost thin enough to be safely flushable at this point.