In the previous post I took swipes at both British and American foreign policy efforts. 'Dim Dave' bombed Libya to a ruin and appears slightly miffed that the scallywags and rascals took over the ruins. On the other hand, 'Ol Big Ears' pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan as fast as he could and now looks decidedly sulky at the disastrous results. His policy towards Syria, backed, God help him, by 'Dim Dave', has had two definite results. First, Assad is still there dishing out mass murder on his population. Second, the Russians are now well and truly in with boots on the ground in support of their 'nbf' (new best friend), Assad. So how's that intellectual foreign policy working out for you, Mr. President?
The Streetwise Professor draws back some of the veil in an excellent post entitled "An Innocent Abroad: Fred Hof and the Intellectual Failure of American Foreign Policy". Rather than tipping a bucket of excrement over the head of Mr. Fred Hof, a policy 'wonk' in the higher reaches of the State Department, I would like to congratulate him for searing honesty way above the call of duty. In an article in Politico, he offers up a massive mea culpa for the disaster that has overtaken Syria, a country he loves. He simply could not believe that President Obama could say one thing and do another. The Streetwise Professor sums it up, thus:
A recurrent theme-implicit, not explicit-is Hof’s incredible naiveté. He was repeatedly fooled by the man he was supposedly working with -Bashir al-Assad-and the man he was working for -Barack Obama. He was fooled because he romantically projected his own beliefs on them, and because he engaged in wishful thinking, when he would have been better served to live by Lily Tomlin’s credo: “We try to be cynical, but it’s hard to keep up.”
As I say, Mr. Hof is both honest and honourable in this mea culpa and perhaps, just perhaps, there may be a budding statesman in him. In the meantime, and apropos the possible stand off in the South China Sea, see post below, it makes me shudder to think of the dummies running American policy vis-à-vis China.