Boondoggle

One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

Foreign policy? Nah, no need.

Newsweek‘s John Barry surveys the landscape of foreign policy issues that President Obama will be looking at through his Oval Office window, and concludes, rather pathetically, that there’s not much a new president can do anyway.  Sure, rashness could beget undesirable results, but there’s nothing endemic about foreign policy that makes it any more radioactive (no pun intended) than any other policy priority.

More disturbing than this instinctive advocacy of a hands-off foreign policy, though, is the reasoning Barry uses to justify it.  On the Israeli-Palestinean conflict, for example:

Obama is off the hook for months—time enough to decide if he really wants to embroil the U.S. in this quagmire yet again.

Taking the initiative to achieve peace in the Middle East is here reduced to the foolhardy decision of whether or not to stick one’s hand into a bees’ nest.  If Obama is “off the hook” — if his degree of participation in the process replicates Bush’s half-hearted, late-in-the-game, shot-in-the-Annapolis-dark — then his policy will have been misguided from its conception.  The U.S. should not play a lead role in the Israel-Palestine peace process because other countries have it “on the hook” to do so; it should invest its energies in bringing about a two-state solution because this is in the United States’  own interests.  Israel-Palestine is not inherently an irresolvable “quagmire,” and Obama will only “embroil” the United States if he enters into the process without a coherent plan…or sits and does nothing while the problem continues to fester.

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November 10, 2008 - Posted by | Middle East, U.S. politics | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] seven years to even try, then, with two months left, declare — officially — that it just isn’t […]

    Pingback by Bush administration: we officially failed in the Middle East « Boondoggle | November 10, 2008 | Reply


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