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Right Turn
Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 07/23/2012

Friday question answered

Foreign policy is not a top concern in the presidential election, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t important.

Will foreign policy be a positive or negative for President Obama in the election? Kvom sums up where many voters are: “Neither positive or negative [for] the election, as undecided voters will be focused on jobs and the economy. Personally I give him a passing grade on foreign policy.”

MickeyKovars writes in part: “Romney can’t count on foreign policy being a negative for Obama. Americans are generally happy with Obama’s calculated winding down of Iraq and Afghanistan, regardless of whether these things are being done right.”

And others think that, aside from Israel, Obama hasn’t done too badly. FoothillWebDesign contends: “Other than the Israel issue, Obama’s foreign policy has been satisfactory. He’s ‘led from behind’ and tried to chum up the Arab nations. So I give him credit for trying. Failing, but trying.”

Not surprisingly, the critics of Obama sharply disagree.

HeywoodJabuzov argues: “Is the reset with Russia improving Moscow’s behavior vis-à-vis Syria? Is the administration’s willingness to intervene on humanitarian grounds in Libya but not Syria a function of pragmatism or election-year opportunism?”

DMTyler writes, in part:

The Obama foreign policy has consistently bolstered our geopolitical foes and disrespected our longtime allies. From sending the Churchill bust back to the U.K., to the shabby treatment of Prime Minister Netanyahu in the White House, President Obama has diminished the dignity and prestige of the United States internationally to a degree unmatched since the dark days of Jimmy Carter.
From bowing to despots like Hu Jintao and the Saudi king to throwing our loyal allies in central Europe, the Poles and Czechs, under the bus, for the sake of a non-existent “reset” with the Russians, has garnered us contempt and a reputation for weakness and lack of resolve.
This trend of fecklessness was set by Obama early on by his mid-east apology tour and the embarrassing Copenhagen expedition, failing to get the Olympics for Chicago.

On this one, I think ClaudiaMonteverdi hits the nail on the head:

Obama’s Foreign Policy is abysmal. Not owing to any misadventure or any unforeseen turn of events but thanks to his own intentions, his own belief system. Every awful deed, from the return of the bust of Winston Churchill, through the Russian reset, the unilateral disarming, the horrid Cairo speech, the Libyan “Leading from Behind” fiasco and his ugly path of crushing Israel; as evidenced not only by his shabby treatment of Netanyahu but more specifically his call for “the 1967 lines” were of his own design, his own free will.
That soliloquy stated, to the great mass of voters, he’s “The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden” ....and that appears to be sufficient to earn him laurels in their eyes.

There are several months yet to go, of course. Events in Syria and/or Iran may provide openings for Obama to appear presidential, or may confirm the shortcomings of his policies. In any event, I don’t expect national security to play the decisive role in this election.

By  |  10:45 AM ET, 07/23/2012

Categories:  foreign policy, Friday question

 
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