There’s little the Washington Post news staff won’t do to shill for President Obama, but his speech yesterday to the U.N. proved that even the Post has its limits. Reporters Dan Balz and Michael Shear leave it late, until most readers have no doubt stopped reading, before offering this gem of an understatement about the prospects for the rest of the world heeding Obama’s abject appeal for “global cooperation”:
Part of Obama’s success on these fronts will be determined as much [sic] by the steadiness of his leadership and the respect he is able to command as by his appeals for cooperation.
Having thus ventured into the unfamiliar realm of skepticism about Obama, Balz and Shear can scarcely contain themselves. They proceed to describe Obama’s unsteadiness regarding Afghanistan and then dismiss the administration’s pretext for it:
They cite a new set of conditions, including the messy aftermath of the recent election in Afghanistan, as a cause for reassessment. The election certified rather than exposed what administration officials have long known — that President Hamid Karzai is an unreliable partner in the battle against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Balz and Shear then offer the real reason for Obama’s wavering on Afghanistan – his initial hard line was the product of political requirements:
When he was running for president, Obama found the war in Afghanistan a convenient policy foil for his opposition to the Iraq conflict, though one to which he seemed genuinely committed. Opposed to the war in Iraq, he was able to demonstrate muscularity on foreign policy by arguing that Iraq was consuming resources better focused on Afghanistan.
I couldn’t have said it better myself, though I’ve been trying to for a few years.
By the end of the story, Balz and Shear sound almost like neo-conservatives:
At the United Nations on Wednesday, Obama sought to rally the world to act on challenges as diverse as the economy, nuclear proliferation and the environment. But Afghanistan is an example of how the United States must set its own course before other countries will follow. The rest of the world will be watching to see how the president responds.
Frankly, it is inappropriate to opine this way in a news story. But for once, the Post’s opining actually constitutes news – our wimp of a president has served up mush that offends the intelligence of even part of his MSM cheering section.