Trashing the Past, Pointlessly

As they travel around the world, the first thing that Barack Obama’s minions do–taking a cue from Obama himself–is to trash the policies of Obama’s predecessor. Most recently it was John Kerry in Beirut, speaking in anticipation of his meeting with Bashar Assad in Syria:

“But unlike the Bush administration that believed you could simply tell people what to do and walk away and wait for them to do it, we believe we have to engage in a discussion,” Kerry said….

This is false; it is also stupid. Can you recall any other occasion when an incoming administration has toured the world, insulting American foreign policy? I can’t. Obama’s foolish mea culpa–or America culpa?–Scott’s the Latin scholar–lets our enemies off the hook. Thus, Assad, a vicious tyrant, is in the luxurious position of welcoming America’s apology and awaiting more tangible concessions from the new administration:

Syria’s ambassador to Washington described the congressional visits to Damascus as being “of extreme importance and depth.” But he stressed he was still waiting to see if the visits change “the manner of dialogue between us and America.”

“Let us see what are the goals we all want to reach, where we agree, where we disagree,” Imad Mustapha told The Associated Press in Damascus. …

Assad has sent signals he wants to work with Washington. In an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian published this week, Assad said he was impressed by Obama’s friendly gestures and welcomed the U.S. delegations to Syria. But he also said he is still waiting to see results.

“We are still in the period of gestures and signals. There is nothing real yet,” he said.

Has American diplomacy ever been conducted so amateurishly?

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