I hope you read Jeffrey Goldberg’s all-too-revealing interview with the Professor, but of equal interest is what Elliot Abrams wrote in response to it. Abrams called the interview “scary,” and I’m not going to disagree with that assessment. Then there’s this:
Obama’s “arguments” about Syria in the Goldberg interview are insulting to his former (and, in Kerry’s case, current) top advisers, whose advice he rejected, and misleading about their advice. He describes a situation where ignorant critics seek “large scale military action,” which is akin to the administration’s claim that those who want sanctions on Iran are “warmongers.” But that is a false description, for what was recommended time after time was serious help to the rebels, and a one-time strike (“incredibly small,” said Kerry, not “large scale”) at chemical weapons assets. So we have the president deriding those who disagreed with him—who include his top aides and top experts—and refusing, even now, to understand that his policy of passivity in Syria has produced nearly the worst of all possible worlds: 150,000 dead, 6 million homeless, and a menacing gathering of perhaps 25,000 jihadists at the heart of the Middle East.
Even at this late date I can’t even feign much interest in “the President should do this” or “the President should do that” foreign policy articles. It doesn’t matter if the subject is Syria, the broader Middle East, the Asia Pivot*, or now Ukraine and the Crimea. You have to conduct your foreign policy with the President you have, and this one can be counted on to do the exact wrong thing about four out of five times. Professor Wiggleroom’s learning curve in these matters is asymptotic, but only because I assume he still knows factoids like the name of his current Secretary of State.
But his ability to see the world as it is, assess our needs and abilities and the wants and abilities of other countries, and from there to formulate a strategic vision — it’s clear the Professor just can’t or won’t do these things.
*Are we still pivoting to Asia? Asking for a friend.