October 16, 2012

rEALISM FAILS AGAIN:

How Obama bungled the Syrian revolution (Jackson Diehl, 10/14/12, Washington Post)

[H]is serial miscalculations have had the consistent if unintended effect of enabling Syria's Bashar al-Assad -- first to avoid international isolation, then to go on slaughtering his own population with impunity.

Obama's Syria policy began in 2009 with the misguided idea of reaching out to the dictator. Within a month of his inauguration, Obama reversed the Bush administration's approach of isolating Assad. He later reopened the U.S. Embassy and dispatched senior envoys, such as George Mitchell.

The problem with this policy was not just the distasteful courting of a rogue regime but the willful disregard of the lessons absorbed by George W. Bush, who also tried reaching out to Assad, only to learn the hard way that he was an irredeemable thug. Yet Obama insisted on reversing Bush's policy of distancing the United States from strongmen like Assad and Hosni Mubarak -- a monumental miscalculation.

Posted by at October 16, 2012 3:56 PM
  

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