‘stop searching for an obama doctrine’

Fareed Zakaria (Washington Post): …Obama has a worldview, a well-considered approach to international affairs. His views have been straightforward and consistent. From the earliest days of his presidential campaign he said that he sees the basic argument in American foreign policy as “between ideology and realism” and placed himself squarely on one side….

….beneath the rhetoric you can see a pragmatism at work again. After being caught unawares by events in Tunisia and Egypt – as was most everyone, including the leaders of those countries – the Obama administration saw that the protests in Egypt were going to succeed and acquiesced in the inevitable. It took Ronald Reagan two years to turn on Ferdinand Marcos. It took Obama two weeks to urge Hosni Mubarak to resign.

The fashionable criticism is that Obama does not have a consistent policy toward the Arab Spring. But should he? There are vast differences between the circumstances in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Saudi Arabia; American interests in those countries; and our capacity to influence events there…..

In Libya, the administration confronted a potential humanitarian crisis in which Moammar Gaddafi’s domestic opposition, the Arab League, the United Nations and key European allies all urged international action. It found a way to participate in a multilateral intervention but has been disciplined about keeping its involvement limited…..

In all these cases, what marks administration policy is a careful calculation of costs and benefits. The great temptation of modern American foreign policy, from Versailles to Vietnam to Iraq, has been to make grand declarations – enunciate doctrines – that then produce huge commitments and costs. We are coming off a decade of such rhetoric and interventions and are still paying the price: more than $2 trillion, not to mention the massive cost in human lives. In that context, a foreign policy that emphasizes strategic restraint is appropriate and wise.

Full article here

71 Responses to “‘stop searching for an obama doctrine’”

  1. July 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    its a sad commentary on how lazy our media has become. They want a canned response to every problem and Obama won’t give them that.

  2. July 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Love fareed, I think he is friends with the president.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm


    July 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm


  5. 15 Fred
    July 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Amen brother Fareed Afreakingmen!

  6. 16 utaustinliberal
    July 7, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    The media is always searching for a doctrine, a moniker, a headline so they can run with it. They are always trying to pin President Obama with one characterization or another and it frustrates them to no end that he can’t be pinned to a corner. He is an intelligent and complex human being and in today’s shallow and superificial media, he is a giant amongst men.

    I’ve gotta go tweet Fareed on this brilliant article. Hope CNN aka Fox News Lite heed his advice and stop trying to court the crazies on the right. Fareed is pretty much the only person I can stand on CNN when I remember they exist.

  7. 17 GGail
    July 7, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    The President is consistent in his long range visions and intellectual thinking – such as the NASA plan. He wants NASA to look into upgrading the space shuttle to reach other planets. We’ve been sending the same shuttle model into space since it’s inception – it’s time to take the time to improve on the shuttle and research how to get beyond where we’ve been. He uses the same vision where the Arab Spring is concerned strategic restraint is appropriate and wise. He takes each instance as an individual situation and plans accordingly.

    • 18 Puddin
      July 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      But when you hear msm talk about NASA…it’s the end…no more…the last…never again…President Obama shut down the space program!

      • 19 GGail
        July 7, 2011 at 8:16 pm

        Exactly. Unless you hear the explanation from POTUS, you’d think he just shut down NASA without regard. I was perplexed until I heard his thoughts yesterday at the Twitter-thon. Astronaut John Glenn was on tv the other day saying it was a sad shame…I hope he heard the President’s full explanation too.

        • 20 Chi
          July 8, 2011 at 7:36 am

          Unfortunately, John Glenn happens to be one of those perpetually unhappy, disapproving and myopic Hillary Clinton supporters for whom President Obama can never do or be right…

  8. 21 lmrj
    July 7, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    A thoughtful, intelligent, independent-thinking journalist. What a concept!

    • 22 lmrj
      July 7, 2011 at 7:25 pm

      I have to let the TOD family know how thankful I am to have found this blog. I’ve virtually given up on finding any real truthful news about our President via the MSM. Lately I spend most of my time online searching for the truth. Thank God for Chipsticks and this group. I check this site and whitehouse.gov when I get up in the AM and when ever I can during the day. Thank you VERY MUCH for being a beacon for those of us searching for truth.

      • 23 desertflower
        July 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm

        🙂 Welcome…any site on that blog roll will fill your soul.

      • 24 utaustinliberal
        July 7, 2011 at 7:50 pm

        You’re most welcome lmrj. I too feel the same. I was getting tired of all the nonsense and misinformation from the fourth estate: the media, who are supposed to report facts and not make up asinine stories and generate mass hysteria. I actually found TOD from huffington post, yeah that huffington post that has now become as bad as The National Enquirer. Everyday I thank the commenter at huffpo who left a link to TOD in the comments section a couple years ago. Sanity thy name is TOD and the family we have become.

        • 25 Me4obama
          July 7, 2011 at 7:58 pm

          Welcome Imrj to the TOD family. Ut, it’s funny that I also found TOD through a comment on DU. I was going crazy at the time during the healthcare debate because it was Obama bashing 24/7 on DU that I though the whole world is against this Great President.

      • 26 Fred
        July 7, 2011 at 7:53 pm

        welcome LM.You’re going to love it here 😀

      • 27 nintendowii10
        July 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm

        To quote Bruce Willis, “Welcome to the party pal!” 😀

      • 28 isonprize
        July 7, 2011 at 8:27 pm

        lmrj Welcome!!! Your among friends!

        Check out “The People’s View” Love that site for lengthy, well written pieces.

        “Smarypants” and “PM Carpenter” are also very good, thoughtful blogs.

        “Stonekettle Station”, when he’s not woodturning or fishing, is a straight talker who does not suffer fools gladly.

        “What is Working” has GREAT details on, you guessed it, what’s working.

        “W.e.e. See You” is great for varied opinions of black folk in America (and has absolutely fabulous little known history facts — Like Paul R. Williams, a black architect, designed the Beverly Hills Hotel among many other fancy Hollywood digs back when he could have been lynched in many parts of this great country)

        Again, welcome.

        You’ll find that Chica (that’s Chipsticks’ nickname) is AMAZING for the stuff she finds. And she’s got a wicked sense of humor.

        • 29 lmrj
          July 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm

          Thanks to all for the welcome. This is truly an oasis for PBO supporters. I’ve been following since PBO’s glorious Moneygall trip, just not making many comments until today. Between yesterday’s Twitter Town Hall and today’s debt limit summit, guess it just got to be too much for me to be silent. The Blogroll is AMAZING! Checked out some of it over the past week. LOVED Smartypants’ article today.
          Thanks again! 🙂

          • July 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm

            Welcome lmrj!!!! I only saw your comments now, didn’t get a chance to read most of the chat today, but thrilled to see you here – thank you for coming here, the warmest of welcomes to you!

            • 31 lmrj
              July 7, 2011 at 10:09 pm

              No…..Thank you Chipsticks for creating this wonderful environment. What a pleasure 🙂 Over the past month or so, I think your posts have appeared on my Facebook wall more than I have!…. lol… The kids in my family are probably getting really tired of it, but I feel it’s my job to educate.

          • 32 isonprize
            July 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm

            oh, and how could I forget Black Water Dog. You’ll often see it as BWD, She (I’m pretty sure she’s a she…) writes “The Only Adult in the Room”

  9. 34 HZ
    July 7, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    I have one of Fareed Zakaria’s books in my summer reading basket: “The Post-American world.” The book looks like it will be a good read. I have liked him more often and not, so I am willing to give this book a try. Our President had it in his hand one day when he was going on a trip. I felt that , if our President had it in his possession, it must be worth a look. We will see.

    • July 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      You have a ‘summer reading’ BASKET, HZ? Okay, speak the truth now, are these books for an EXTENDED summer? I USED to be a reader, but can’t seem to find time anymore as all my free time is now spent reading the blogs. In fact my not-so-free time is also spent on the blogs, and when CHIPSTICKS GET CARRIED AWAY I don’t even have time for any other blog. 🙂 (I’m not complaining, Chips. I enjoy your exuberance 😉 ) HZ, You wouldn’t believe how long ago I bought ‘The Promise’ on Dorothy R’s recommendation and still haven’t read beyond the first two chapters, even though I keep it by my bed!

  10. 36 hopefruit2
    July 7, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Maybe the jobs report tomorrow will be positive, which is why the MSM is pushing distractions today?

    • 37 Me4obama
      July 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm

      If the job report is good tomorrow, trust me they will instead cover Will and Kate aka the royal couple. Wall to wall coverage.

      • 38 utaustinliberal
        July 7, 2011 at 8:04 pm

        Which is so FUCKING annoying because when PBO and FLOTUS were on their overseas goodwill and working trip, you could hear crickets make noise from the American msm. Nothing against Will and Kate, wish them the best of luck, but they are and will never be as important as President Obama. He is a 21st century leader of the world and his policies have worldwide effect. President and Mrs. Obama push issues and agendas that are worth something. They will go down in history because of the change they have and continue to enact. They use their bully pulpit to champion domestic and worldwide causes and when they sneeze it has greater cache and ripples than Wills and Kate. For example: when Mrs. Obama went to Africa, she began a worldwide discussion on women empowerment, AIDS, education and youth activism. She used her education and breadth of experience to call worldwide focus on these issues. This is also what Diana did and why both women are well respected. What the heck has Kate done? She champions no causes. She walks two to three steps behind Wills as protocol demands and is constantly smiling like a stepford wife. She received an excellent education from one of the best schools in Scotland, yet she never put it to use, because she was lucky that her parents are wealthy. We broke away from the monarchy for a reason. We wanted a democracy and we didn’t want to wear those batshit crazy hats and fascinators 😉 so please msm spare us and cover the people who matter and trying to make this country and the world better: PBO and MO

        • 39 Me4obama
          July 7, 2011 at 8:13 pm

          Ut girl you are on fire. I lived in London for many years when Diana was still alive and the Media fascination of her really scared me until they took her precious life. May she rest in peace and now they are hounding Katherine like crazy, commenting how she sells every outfit she puts on, blah, blah, blah. Enough already. Sorry chipsticks for hijacking your blog to discuss the Royal visit.

        • 40 Fred
          July 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm

          lawd have mercy UT 😆

          thank gawd for you Wills and kate will be gone by Sunday or ya might just lose it 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

          goodnight ya’ll and thank you 😉

        • 41 isonprize
          July 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm

          “those batshit crazy hats and fascinators”

          UT, YOU COULDA WARNED ME!!!! OMG, I just missed my computer keyboard!! fascinators… Is that what they call those “creations” that the ladies prop on the sides of their heads? OMG, me and a good girlfriend had the best time laughing at the foolishness that was called fashion at the “royal” wedding. I mean, really. They take those things seriously? REALLY? Stop playing.

        • 43 Eleroy
          July 8, 2011 at 1:52 am

          Great post UT!!!

          This breathless coverage is about knocking President and Mrs Obama off the front pages!!!

          Sorry to say but there has been a hunt for the desirable great white hope to take the attention away from the Obamas, hence the exaggerated and ridiculous coverage of a pair of young people whose only claim to fame is the family they were born into and the family they married into!!!

          It has been pathetic to watch the attempt to whip up any sort of interest and frenzy about this very unimpressive and frankly typical and generic story about the british royal family!!!

          I must say that Prince charles’ media guy has done a helluva job propping up these two and turning a wasteful, mindless vacation at a difficult time for the U.K into some alternate universe story where they are here to cheer up a depressed world with their “royal presence”!!!

          William turning tricks in a plane is now front page story for heavens sake in the midst of a depressed world economy!!!

          Funny story: I bought this blazer from Saks fifth Avenue like 3 months ago and at the time, the store was already down to a few pieces and then completely sold out of it a month ago; This is one of those clothing lines that typically make just a few pieces and not the volume production type. There were only barely 60 of these blazers at the 4 or 5 stores that carry them to begin with!!!

          But wouldn’t you know it, Kate wears the same exact jacket a few days ago and they went wild with this story of how the blazers “sold out” within hours of Kate wearing it. What a load of crock!!! I almost choked with laughter when I read it!!!

          This is again about mimicking Michelle Obama including Mrs Obama’s unwitting but REAL success in moving markets when she wears a brand!!!

          This painfully contrived William and Kate tale been force-fed the American people just so folks back in the U.K will be convinced of their relevance is sickening!!!

          The manipulation of Americans by a staged and executed media blitz seeking validation of a couple we still don’t know exactly what they do and why they matter!!!

      • 44 nintendowii10
        July 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm

        Either that or they’ll get back to covering Casey Anthony 24/7.

      • July 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm

        Something tells me it will be good because PBO has scheduled interviews with local media in the morning.

  11. 46 Bobfr
    July 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Excellent article, thank you for sharing it Chipsticks.

    Actually, I do think an “Obama Doctrine” has emerged – “In all matters domestic and foreign – think, think harder, think even harder, make as informed a decision as possible, act decisively, and move on to the next problem.” 🙂

    Yes.We.Can. … DO.More.Together!

    • 47 utaustinliberal
      July 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm

      Bobfr I love your definition of the Obama Doctrine, since the msm is looking for one. May I please tweet this?

    • July 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm

      I was just thinking the same thing Bobfr. President Obama does have a doctrine. I think the definition you have given is fine. I would just add that he approaches every decision with a “conscientious and moral” respect for humanity, always cognizant of the long-term outcome of his actions.

      • 50 Bobfr
        July 7, 2011 at 10:16 pm

        Agree. His empathy is abundant and explicit in everything I’ve ever seen him do. It’s not trivial that a crying child becalms in his arms.

        Thank you!

        Yes.We.Can. … DO.More.Together!

    • 51 JojoRaze
      July 7, 2011 at 11:43 pm

      Great synopsis! I can see why Chips and UT was fighting over you!

    • 52 Chi
      July 8, 2011 at 7:41 am

      Spot on Bob…

  12. 53 isonprize
    July 7, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I just heard my president say “Nothing is decided until everything is decided”

    So all the flipping out, all the “sky is falling” talk, all the hand wringing is useless. He’s got this, really. He does.

  13. 54 hopefruit2
    July 7, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    No wonder the left & right-wing media are outraged…

    PBO has picked up an additional 30,000 twitter followers since his Twitter Townhall!! He’s now passed the 9 million mark – probably has one of the most followers on the TWITTER!!


    • 55 nintendowii10
      July 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      and cue the faux media outrage about President Obama “spending more time on Twitter than fixing the economy”

      He got it damned right a week or so ago when he said that Congress needs to do their damn jobs!

    • 56 utaustinliberal
      July 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      Awesome. He’s catching up to Lady Gaga and might soon overtake her. Sweet!

      • 57 nintendowii10
        July 7, 2011 at 8:22 pm

        Good, maybe Lady Gagme will finally cease allowing the popularity to go to her head.

      • 58 hopefruit2
        July 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm

        Justin Beiber is first at 11 million, so our president has a ways to go before he can be #1 on Twitter. Pres is 3rd.

        However, he’s #1 in my book!

  14. 59 nintendowii10
    July 7, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Fareed gets it. BWD and Chip get it, we all get it.

    The Ed Shultz’s, Keith Olbermann’s, Rachel Maddow’s, Joan Walsh’s, Jane Hamsher’s, Glenn Greenwald’s, Dan Choi’s don’t get it. They care more and more about inflating their own egos and wallets as opposed to getting ANYTHING meaningful accomplished, which is why they rally against President Obama like he’s the Great Satan.

    And now they’re whining about him “caving” once again. Yeah, he wouldn’t be forced to “cave” if you hadn’t rallied against him last fall and gave the House back to the Republicans, stupid fucks! 👿 👿

  15. 60 Ceb
    July 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Ditto to Fareed’s ideas. I have long felt this way.

    Bobfr, I like your description of Obama’s doctrine.

  16. 61 Me4obama
    July 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Did anyone here see a clip on hardball of Timpalintea talking about his love for Lady Gaga? He looked like he rehearsed the whole thing word for word. Do they have to fake their pop culture credentials to impress the young teapots? We’re in for a big ride of faksters trying to win over young voters.

    • 62 nintendowii10
      July 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm

      Good lord, ANOTHER reason to hate Lady Gagme… stealing ideas from 80s and 90s popstars and claiming it as her own, bashing the President during the DADT battle, now she’s endorsed by one of the Republican CHUCKLEHEADS running for President!

      • 63 Me4obama
        July 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm

        Nintendowii10, I can tell you are not in love with Bad Romance, but don’t worry Timpalintea was born that way and he will never be President of this US of A.

        • 64 utaustinliberal
          July 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm

          Me4obama. I saw TPaw on Hardball Sideshow talking about his love of Lady Gaga music – or Gagme according to nintendowii10….. 😆 – He kept looking off camera as though there was a teleprompter telling what to say so that he sounds “cool.” Ooooh I loooove Gaga…. I’m hip… please vote for me vote for me!!! Then he said he doesn’t agree with the meaning and lyrics behind “Born This Way,” but he realllllly loooves the song. It reminded me of when Romney said he read Twilight so that qualified him as young and hip and in with it. They’re such idiots to think we; the young voters will fall for their fake attempts to be like us or “understand” us. PBO captured the youth vote b/c he is genuinely cool with his mastery of the blackberry, ipad, ipod, the tv shows he watches, his brain and smarts, his swagger and his overall GENUINENESS. He doesn’t have a fake bone in his body and that is the epitome of C-O-O-L.

          • 65 Me4obama
            July 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm

            Amen, amen UT, my man has Swagger. I want Mittens and crazy Bachman to talk about Lil Wayne and BIGGIE and TUPAC in a joke and they will end up being the joke. My president has over 9 million Twitter followers and how many does Tpaw has?

  17. 67 hopefruit2
    July 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    HA!!! Howard Dean just said on “The Last Word” that he’s actually pleased with what the President is doing, and there are ways of “cutting” Medicare, Medicaid and SS, without actually reducing benefits to the poor and elderly.

    I am going to see what the right-wing PL over at DKKKOS is saying.

    • 68 nintendowii10
      July 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm

      Howard is just CYA after bashing the President over the ACA… I’ll never forgive him over the “Kill the Bill” nonsense, talk about playing right into the Republicans hands!

    • 69 isonprize
      July 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm

      Yeah, Oh watch out. I’m about to agree with Howard Dean. There are cost savings to be had in Medicaid that won’t affecting reducing benefits or changing eligibility.

      I’ll give you a quick example in Pennsylvania. In the rare cases that respite care is available for a family who has a child with special needs, providers bill in 24 hour increments.

      So, if the child is in respite, and arrives at the respite site 4pm after attending school, stays over night in respite, goes to school the next day (thus NOT in respite) comes back to respite at 4pm, stays to have dinner at 6m and the family picks up the child at 8pm.

      That extra 4 hours is billed as a 24 hour day. (not to mention that approx 6 of the first 24 hours the child is in school, NOT in respite)
      In the example above, the providers gets paid for 2 days, when it was really one 24 hours period and 4 extra hours. Also keep in mind there is probably another person already to ‘take the bed’ of the person leaving at 8pm. SO the provider gets paid for the same 24 period twice.

      And the family has to use 2 days of preciously allotted respite days when really they only got one “overnight” break.

      If respite was billed in 8 hour increments, that would be more cost effective, still practical for the providers (easy to staff 8 hour shifts) and better for the family.

      • 70 hopefruit2
        July 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

        That makes perfect sense…a lot of waste goes into those entitlement programs – stuff that doesn’t benefit the people actually using them.

        I don’t always agree with Howard Dean, but it’s interesting that he is often touted as a hero of the PL, and to see them wailing and flailing about what the Prez said, and then to have him come and simply crush their silly talking points in 5 minutes is rather funny. I am waiting to see their reaction to what he said.

        • 71 isonprize
          July 7, 2011 at 9:17 pm

          But it’s a shame that I don’t usually bring that example, because they use it “against us”

          Equal if not MORE $ could be saved by putting the tax rate back to what it was when President Clinton was in office. Plenty of very rich people wouldn’t even blink if that tax rate was restored. I wish DEMCRATIC RICH FOLK would come out enmasse and say “RAISE MY TAXES”

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