Middle East crisis: World won't wait on Obama

  • Article by: William J. Dobson , Slate
  • Updated: August 22, 2013 - 7:34 PM

The president will run out the clock on the problems he likes least.

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crystalbayAug. 22, 1310:53 PM

Most Americans feel strongly that the US has no business messing in other nation's crises. We should not be the world's police or spend vast resources which are needed right here. Obama has no power over the culture wars of other nations, but I do feel that we should pull aid from both Egypt and Israel. Our money simply enables these countries to continue their age-old fighting.

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SnippetAug. 23, 13 7:10 AM

The world shouldn't "wait for Obama." I've heard for about, oh, 50 years that America is the root of all evil, including the not inconsiderable amount of evil in the Middle East. Yet... every time a part of the world goes pear-shaped, everyone looks to us to fix it. We either succeed and get no credit, or (more often) fail and get all the blame. It is now time - well past time - for the UN and other International Agencies of Peace and Love to show Uncle Sam how it's done.

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pumiceAug. 23, 13 7:56 AM

From the article: "Obama may be one of our foremost realpolitik presidents, but you get the sense that he’s just not very good at it." I have a quibble with use of the pronoun "you" in this statement. If this is William J. Dobson's opinion, he should own it: "I get the sense ..." If this is a more general opinion, Dobson should say "One gets the sense ..." and support his conclusion. Dobson praises Obama for "judiciousness" and reports that he made a "best-faith effort to try to convince Egypt’s generals to forestall the crackdown that began last week." Dobson goes on to say "Perhaps withholding aid would have caused Sissi to pause [before cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood]; we will never know."

Realpolitik's foundation in the practical rather than the moral or ideological deserves a full debate. What does Dobson see as the practical response for the US to take in Syria--should we embark on another long-term military action? Iraq and Afghanistan provide solid history on the outcome of that response. Dobson claims that the "world won't wait." If not waiting, what is the world doing? Who is "the world"--the UN? Russia and China? the Arab League? Saudi Arabia? Israel?

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kindaliberalAug. 23, 1310:58 AM

So what should we do "foreign policy expert" Dobson? You don't want us just going in and invading Syria. Should we throw arms into the equation so they end up in the hands of Al-Queda rebels? Eygpt, should we have cut off aid BEFORE the crackdown, since if we do it now it's too little too late? Unfortunately this is a very complicated mess. If obama is acting too cautious in throwing around US military might I prefer that to what Bush did in Iraq.

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jgmanciniAug. 23, 1311:19 AM

"Middle East Crisis: World Won't Wait on Obama"------And why should the world wait on Obama? Or the rest of the USA for that matter? We aren't the world's police and we shouldn't try to control every other country. Every time we step in, we are blamed (as Snippet pointed out)for any failures, and accused of American Imperialism. Even Obama's minimal involvement in Egypt has every side in the fight mad at him. And he's criticized for not helping the Muslim Brotherhood during the military takeover from Morsi, while simultaneously being accused of being a Muslim Brotherhood supporter. And while the situation in Syria is horrific, we have no right to go in and create more misery like we did in Iraq.

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davehougAug. 23, 1311:38 AM

IF lines in the sand like a coup or chemical weapons are NOT going to be acted upon. If lines in the sand mean a year of debate......then the world learns what Obama means when he draws the next line in the sand.

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firefight41Aug. 23, 1312:36 PM

He repeated his warning to Assad at least four more times, that the use of chemical weapons would be “a game-changer” for the United States. **************** It should not be a "game-changer." We need to step back and not get involved in another countries fight.

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endothermAug. 23, 13 2:03 PM

Blaming Obama for this is a bit like blaming the weatherman for the weather. The fact of the matter is that an overwhelming majority of the American people do not want to get involved in more civil wars in the Middle East. We have tried this multiple times, and it almost always ends badly for all involved. The only people who win are the arms manufacturers. Obama knows this, and he doesn't want us to get stuck in another no win situation. Most Americans support him on this issue.

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crystalbayAug. 24, 1312:52 AM

How refreshing to read all of the above posts - even Firefight's - and see that we all seem to be in full agreement about the US staying out of other country's endless wars.

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firefight41Aug. 24, 13 7:25 AM

How refreshing to read all of the above posts - even Firefight's - and see that we all seem to be in full agreement about the US staying out of other country's endless wars. ************* Even Firefight's???? I am and for 40 years of my life been against war. I was against going into Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, or Bosnia.

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