Barack Obama is enthralled with the power of his own rhetoric to point of narcissism, but why not – he rose to the presidency of the United States while being entirely unblemished by accomplishments (that one is on us, the voters). He took a bath dealing with our allies in Europe for all of his groveling (he got none of the items on his wish-list). And now, dealing with people who make our hard-liners look warm and fuzzy, he was punked by Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and excoriated by Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega while he sat smiling in the room. Stalin had a term for Obama-like sycophants – “useful idiots”.
Too harsh? Well, let’s take him at his word. By being humble (Blame America First Syndrome) and declaring (the fiction) that there are no senior partners in our international relationships, previously hostile states may be more willing to engage us in serious dialog. Two things: first, does he really think that his eloquence can persuade a nation to act against its own interest?; and second, I’ll ask the now famous Democrat question of George Bush – what’s the Exit Strategy? How will we know when the effort has failed?
The former is sophomorically naïve and the latter is the curse of chattering class – dialog never fails. Both are indistinguishable from what our enemies would have us do: they buy time to continue objectionable behavior, provide domestic cover (i.e., propaganda), and elevate asymmetric actors to respectable parity. Useful idiot.
Example: DPRK launched an ICMB test and then re-opened its heavy water reactor in response to the UN’s do-nothing protestations. Why? So they can start the “negotiations” all over again, getting concessions all over again (plus buying time to work on their missile and nuclear programs).
Example: Iran created a crisis (convicting an Iranian-American journalist of espionage) so they can later “solve” it and claim a unilateral “good will” gesture for which Obama will thank them (or not). Net effect: two to six months of diplomatic activity not centered on Iran’s nuclear activity (read: two to six months of unimpeded progress).
Something to watch: Russia does not want Turkey to delve any further into the West for fear that Ankara will provide an alternate route for Caspian and Central Asian gas and oil to Europe, negating Moscow’s stranglehold on European energy. They will do something to sandbag the Washington-Ankara rapprochement started during Obama’s European mea culpa tour.
Something to watch: Hizbollah and/or Hamas will commit some atrocity against Israelis basing it on some perceived slight of political correctness (toward “Palestinians”) in an attempt to deepen the schism between America and Israel. The isolation of the Netanyahu government is a no-loss situation for the mullahs. If Israel blusters but does nothing (the reigning Islamist view of the West), Netanyahu is discredited; if Israel strikes Iran, the mullahs are more than willing to sacrifice a thousand or so of its citizens for world condemnation of Israel (which would surely follow).