The Obama Doctrine: Brilliance or Incompetency?


Right From the Start


Here’s a test for the left. Do you support the Obama doctrine on foreign policy? Can you describe or define the Obama doctrine.

Last week Dana Milbank of the Washington Post Writers Group wrote yet another bizarre rationalization for President Barack Obama’s herky-jerky foreign policy. He set the table as follows:


“Nearly everybody puzzles over Obama’s ad hoc response to Egypt, Libya and Now Syria, grasping for a still elusive Obama Doctrine. Seeking a template to understand the enigmatic president, I consulted three leading academics in the fields of psychology and behavior.” 


Now, if you want to get a rosy picture of Barack Obama, where is the first place you would go? That’s right, the cloistered, ivy covered halls of academia. And there you would select three academics who have never met Barack Obama, never interviewed him, never subjected him to any form of testing, never examined any detail of his life, but are more than willing to opine on his psyche.

Having selected an ignorant and biased panel, Milbank then goes on to give us their deepest insights:

With their help, I put Obama on the couch and came away with a reasonable coherent diagnosis: There’s too much going on in the poor guy’s head. ‘What distinguishes Obama particularly is the depth and carefulness of his thinking, which renders him somewhat unfit for politics.’ Said Jonathan Haidt, a professor social psychology at the University of Virginia.’”In other words, Mr. Obama is just too smart for us to understand. That’s precisely the line of bull that Vice President Joe Biden keeps trying to feed us.

Let me give you an alternative explanation. When it comes to international affairs, Barack Obama is the most poorly qualified person to ever hold the office of President. There is nothing in this background – not his education, not his work experience, not his time in public office – that provides even a shred of training for the complexities of international relations. More importantly because he himself believes that he is brilliant, he lacks the intellectual curiosity to even become a student of foreign affairs. (And quite frankly, there is nothing in the public domain that validates his “brilliance” – particularly his academic record which I have previously demonstrated is sketchy at best.)

Yes, his mother dragged him around from one country to another as she chose this beau and that, but early childhood in Africa and Indonesia hardly constitutes an education in international relations.

But the real test of these alternatives is whether his actions to date demonstrate brilliance or incompetence.

So what are his successes? Okay, the Navy Seals finally got Osama bin Ladin. That’s a phenomenal achievement for our armed forces but it doesn’t have a thing to do with foreign relations. By all accounts our relationships with our allies have cooled and our enemies routinely mock and defy us.

North Korea continues to build nuclear weapons with several warheads already produced and is working to improve the range and accuracy of its missile delivery vehicles.

Afghanistan is run by a corrupt politician who continually whines about the lack of aid while dallying with the Taliban, criticizing virtually every military campaign and demanding that we leave.

Pakistan’s spy agency created the Taliban and continues to provide it information and support. Pakistan’s government is so rife with sympathizers that Mr. Obama could not even inform the president of Pakistan of the military operation to kill bin Ladin. Most of the government continues to protest our use of Predator drones and any “boots on the ground.” There is a small cadre of the military that isn’t particularly friendly to the United States but continues to keep Pakistan’s nuclear weapons secure from the extremists.

Iran, like Korea, continues to build its nuclear program and provides funding to Hamas, Hezbolah and other terrorist groups. Former student terrorist and now president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, never misses an opportunity to defy, castigate and humiliate the United States in general and Mr. Obama in particular.

We are clueless as to what is going on in Egypt but it is just as likely that the government will wind up in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood as any other faction.

Syria, Libya, and Yemen are on fire and Mr. Obama is clueless. The only thing that he knows is that none of the factions battling for control have any loyalty towards the United States and, in fact, our wishy-washy response has heightened everyone’s displeasure with both Mr. Obama and the United States.

All of these are signs of incompetence. None of these are signs of the brilliance that the Washington Post expects us to believe.

Apparently Dana Milbank and the Washington Post are trying to steal a line from Groucho Marx who said in A Night in Casablanca:

“Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?”