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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Evolution of a Foreign Policy

For John, BLUFEvery President has a learning curve.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is an article from Defense One, authored by reporter George E Condon.  He reviews the evolution of President Obama's speeches to the United Nations General Assembly.

"The Evolution of a War President in Six Speeches".

Here is the beginning of the article:

There may be no better way to track the evolution of Barack Obama's presidency than his annual address to the United Nations General Assembly, and no better way to assess where his foreign policy stands today than to watch Obama speak in New York Wednesday morning.

Both the man and the message have matured since he first took to the U.N. podium.  In that first address, on Sept. 23, 2009, the still-new president described himself as "humbled" to be there and his message was of "a discontent with a status quo" in the world.  As he had done in his campaign domestically, he urged other world leaders that day to join him in a global vision he said was "rooted in hope, the hope that real change is possible."  He spoke of ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and talked of "extremists" rather than "terrorists."  Russia was a partner, Guantanamo Bay would soon be emptied, and negotiators would find a way to close the Israeli-Palestinian divide.  Overhanging all else was the need to pull the world back from the economic abyss.

That was the start.  And, today, 28,000 words and five U.N. addresses later, "hope and change" has taken a step back; realpolitik has stepped forward.  There was no more talk of partnerships with Russia.  Instead, there was tough talk for the Kremlin of the type not heard in more than a decade.  In a rhetorical throwback to the days of the Cold War, the president coldly called Russia a "bully" for its actions in Ukraine as television cameras zeroed in on the stony-faced Russian delegation to see if they would storm out of the hall.  The words could have been said by any Cold War president from Truman to Reagan.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Mr Condon led the team that garnered a Pulitzer covering former Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham and his corruption.

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