Overmatched and overwhelmed.
The Barack Obama foreign policy team from the top down has found itself outplayed on Syria. Susan Rice, our woman at the UN, allowed a vote to go forward to the Security Council against the ancien regime in Damascus. Was anyone surprised that China and Russia slapped it down?
This is amateur hour diplomacy. Nothing this important should go forward with our blessing until we have secured at least abstentions from countries in disagreement. How do we secure abstentions? Hard nosed behind the scenes diplomacy. Obama has hard nosed, crooked Chicago style politics down pat. However, he cannot translate that to the international stage. Putin is an even older hand at such games than Obama.
Regarding the emerging instability across the Middle East, Team Obama has not outlined a consistent vision of how to handle these outbreaks. Sure he won popularity points by intervening against Ghadaffi. But this raises the question of why Libya and not Syria? I am not arguing for intervention in Syria, but it would be nice if the American people and the international community knew where we stand from one day to the next.
Love or hate Bush, you knew exactly where he stood. You knew who the evildoers were. You knew what would get them into trouble with him. And you knew what we would do. Obama has no consistency. In foreign affairs, inconsistency is the sign of foolish minds.