On whether President Obama is handling any of our foreign policy challenges well, some readers suggested that the American people just don’t care. DonaldELJohnson writes: “I’m not convinced that Americans care about Syria or Chen [Guangcheng] in China. So I think Obama’s getting a free pass on both disputes. If so, he’s handling those disputes perfectly so far as his political future is concerned, and that’s all that matters to him.”
Others are convinced Obama is a disaster all around. ClaudiaMonteverdi writes:
Try as I may I cannot find a suitable response to “Which is Obama handling the most adeptly?”..please accept my feeble “none of the above”. As to which is the most significant, I am sorely tempted to cite the horrid manner in which he maltreated Mr Chen and the very morality of the Nation he purports to lead, but I must opt for his too tricky by half actions in Afghanistan, as they most assuredly will affect and possibly endanger the lives of Americans for generations to come.
For others Afghanistan is a low point. BrianJohnson1 writes: “No matter what the situation is on the ground, the US has ceded power to the Taliban and its sponsors who only have to wait for the promised withdrawal to regain power.”
Obama got the highest marks from several commenters on China.FoothillWebDesign argues: “I think he handled the Chinese incident pretty well. I hope he learned his lesson about counting chickens before they’re hatched. Well, China comes out looking good and [Hillary] Clinton looks like the Keystone Cops but at least we’re having some kind of dialog with China. We need to address their human rights abuses and not merely kowtow for their yen.”
On this one, I think, Jafco has it right: “The important thing is Osama bin Laden.” It is a shame it was marred by his egregious partisan overreach, but if every president gets a line in history, Obama’s will be: “He successfully ordered the assassination of Osama bin Laden.” That coupled with his reluctant embrace of even an extension of certain George W. Bush-era policies (military tribunals, use of drone weaponry, maintenance of Gitmo) are the few highlights in an otherwise troubling pattern of reticence and conscious diminishment of U.S. influence.