Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Combining Mush And Steel

At "The National Interest," Jacob Heilbrunn liked what he heard about foreign policy in President Obama's inaugural address:

Obama’s remarks about foreign affairs, by contrast, were noteworthy for their sobriety. America, Obama announced, “must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.” Obama sounded a familiar theme when he stated, “Our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.” Exactly. The swaggering braggadocio of the past eight years boomeranged, creating the very coalition of antagonists that realist thought had predicted. Obama wants to unravel it by making American an example to the world, not a hectoring bully. Damascus and Tehran must realize that their salad days of profiting from America’s PR missteps are coming to an end.

Maybe. But I wish he'd managed one stern, look-them-in the eye wartime vow to those hostile to our interests that any move to take advantage of our good intentions by attacking the United States or its friends would be met with withering and relentless fury.

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