February 11, 2011

ROGER KIMBALL: Ouch! More “Smart Diplomacy.” “That smart diplomacy, it turns out, wasn’t ‘smart’ as in clever. It was ‘smart’ as in how your cheek feels when it’s been slapped hard. The bigger issue here concerns the place of the United States on the world stage. We just sent a message to our friends and allies about how they should value our professions of friendship and our commitments to help them. President Obama has mastered a certain rhetorical schtick. It revolves around the communication of a certain emotion of righteousness. You look out a crowd, eyes raised, and turn your head slowly to the the left, then to the right, then to the left again. It requires a certain arrogance, which Obama certain commands. To work, however, it also requires competence, an understanding of the way the world actually works, which he has once against demonstrated he lacks utterly.”

UPDATE: A reader emails: “I point out that the Obama supported the ‘young people’ against our ally Mubarak, but did not support the young people against the Iran regime. It almost makes you wonder what this man really wants.”

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