Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) was harshly critical today of President Obama’s nationally televised address about Syria this week, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “The President’s decision to think before attacking another country flies in the face of American foreign policy.”
“The stakes for America couldn’t be higher right now,” he said. “Our global reputation for rushing into war with no advance planning is hanging by a thread.”
It clearly no longer credible for Balls to claim that Osborne is out of the mainstream or that the Obama administration proves that there’s an another way to address this problem.
Ed Balls has dug himself a nice little hole. The US are now shifting their approach to an almost identical one to what the UK Coalition are doing in terms of deficit reduction. It doesn’t make the Coalition right of course, but it does take away what Balls has been using to legitimise Labour’s stance.
Twitter may be the home to the chattering classes, Foursquare is the thing amongst twenty-something New Yorkers with great social lives, whereas Facebook, in the disparaging words of the digital prophet John Perry Barlow is “the suburbs”. But that is where most people live - so no wonder Barack Obama thinks it is the place to win an election.
I can see that on many levels focussing on Facebook makes a lot of sense. That said, I think Facebook is losing its edginess and more and more people are getting bored with it. And since young people have been such a key to Obama’s electoral strategy, I wonder if we might see something new emerge in the coming year or so that captures the younger audiences.
War is not a theoretical exercise in a seminar room: things go wrong, civilians die. There are myriad unintended consequences that are not mitigated simply because the initial intentions were noble. Even if Cameron and Barack Obama are acting from the purest humanitarian motives, it takes just a few stray missiles and this will come to be seen as yet another western pounding of a Muslim country.
Interesting post by the BBC’s North America editor Mark Mardell.
The way he has worked will give plenty of ammunition for those who see him as an indecisive, weak leader. It may still be that what has been voted on is not too little, but too late. But by hanging back President Obama has forced others to take responsibility. This is not some abstract moral point. It has real consequences. The Arab League would have been loath to back a call that America had already made. It would have made them look like patsies for the US. If the Arab League hadn’t called for a no-fly zone it would have been easy for Russia and China to veto any resolution.
Mr Obama’s reticence, deliberately or not, has helped make the United Nations relevant again. Of course there are American conservatives who will see that as a betrayal in itself.