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December 11th, 2009 3:47 pm
Professor Obama Goes Back to School
Posted by Print

Foreign Policy Initiative’s Abe Greenwald does an excellent riff on President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptace speech today on National Review’s website. The upshot: Greenwald wonders whether Obama’s stark articulation of evil’s presence in the world (and its impact on international affairs) shows a president who’s starting to rethink some of the first principles of his foreign policy.

Greenwald sees some promising signs, but still wonders whether Obama can ever fully turn the corner. In one bravura passage:

“Irving Kristol said, almost too memorably, ‘A neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality.’ With that definition in mind, an eminent national-security personage put this perfectly phrased query to me over the summer: ‘Is Obama too arrogant to get mugged by reality?'”

“An excellent question. What the president calls his “philosophy of persistence” looks increasingly like the vice of conceit. The new White House imperiousness explains Obama’s inability to offer full-throated praise for the Iraq War — an undertaking he staunchly opposed. It also explains his devotion to de-fanging Iran through the voodoo of his personal allure (and to his correspondent obtuseness on Iran’s democrats).”

Today’s best piece on foreign policy (apart from this one). Read it here.

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