Friday, February 18, 2011

Obama's Upside Down Foreign Policy

Victor Davis Hanson writes:
In the Middle East, Obama seems not to grasp the central paradox, analogous to Jeane Kirkpatrick’s in the Cold War: The relatively pro-American authoritarians (in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, and the Gulf) are more vulnerable than the anti-American and far more savage totalitarian regimes (Iran, Syria, Libya, etc.), at least for now, because the latter are more willing to blockade the international media and to use brutal force to crack down on popular protests. Not only has the administration not appreciated how this paradox may change the strategic map of the Middle East to the detriment of U.S. interests, but it almost seems to consider the more anti-American regimes more sustainable, untouchable, and authentic, and their protesters tainted with Westernization. I don’t know how else to explain the administration’s otherwise inexplicable failure to support Iranian dissidents in 2009, or its harsh attitude toward Mubarak versus its mild treatment of Ahmadinejad, or its efforts to reach out to a rogue Syria while pulling back from a democratic Israel.
It's called civilizational self-loathing, I believe, a pathology afflicting Western hard-leftists/elites/the intelligentsia who love the frisson of danger/naughtiness they get from high-fiving/rubbing elbows with the odious. (Back in the day, Tom Wolfe wrote a famous essay about them.)


randi said...

great piece by wolfe! ca change...

scaramouche said...

It's one of my favorites.