In a post so brief (172 words) that it risks going unnoticed, the nation’s premier analyst of the global threat of radical Islam, Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, perfectly distills the essence of Obama’s leftist dilemma in The National Review Online:
Barack Obama suffers from an inherent policy contradiction, especially in foreign affairs.
On the one hand, as a leftist he despises the United States and sees it as a force for ill in the world. On the other, as president, is judged by how well the country fares during his tenure.
Logically, he cannot reconcile the contradiction of these two imperatives: If he wants to be reelected and celebrated as a great leader, he has to forward American interests; but if he wants to implement his preferred policies, he subverts the country and fouls his nest.
Ideology vs. interests — this leftist conundrum goes far to explain why Obama’s leftist comrades despise his time in office, for he has on occasion ditched his worldview to try to make things work (the base at Guantanamo) or has adopted a muddled middle ground that pleases neither side (the war in Iraq, Arab-Israeli diplomacy).
No one has said it better, more succinctly, or more clearly: there you have Obama’s deeply-conflicted, bobbing-and-weaving foreign policy in a nutshell.