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Obama says U.S. must lead globally but show restraint

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By JULIE PACE and JIM KUHNHENN

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"But a centerpiece of Obama’s address was a defense of his preference for acting as part of an international coalition instead of pressing ahead alone. He challenged skeptics who see that approach as a sign of weakness and argued instead that it instead highlights America’s ability to lead on the world stage."

I’ve read President Obama’s highly polarized West Point speech. It occurred me that he tries to define his Foreign policy for the rest of his tenure. His vision appears based on reality-based and candid assessments without many gimmicks.

For past decade, our foreign policy have been always reactive and trigger happy rather being cooperative and constructive in dealing with world affairs Many warmongers such as Dick Cheney and John McCain are eager to bring the US to anywhere they see fit to show off American military might, yet blood and money have been squandered with little to none of positive results.

Some of hawks in the hill constantly blame Obama for his failure of American foreign policy in his admin; To me, those shooting-from-hip styled pundits apparently have collective amnesia, they forgot what have a so call strong foreign policy brought to America today ? clue: the wars initiated by Bush still looms as the largest American foreign policy blunder of the post-Vietnam era.

Success is a relative term. For many Americans including me, Obama’s new foreign policy vision is a good one (even he did not mention Asia Pivot in his speech at all) because fighting for peace and co-existance is way better to fight for a war.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Obama cleans up the two failed wars created by the republicans. Of course he is doing the right thing by the country. He is a great President and will be seen by history as not just ending failed stupid wars that amounted to nothing but also moving the USA out of the Bush depression. All this while being fought ever turn by the republicans who still cannot accept that a black man has been elected in landslides twice to become President of the USA. He is a cautious man but he is doing the right thing. We do not need another shoot first and do nothing afterwards President ever again.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

“I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm’s way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed fixing, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak.”

Spot on. The Republicans, led by Bush, Cheney and his looney-toon bunch of neo-cons started wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the latter clearly being ill-advised to put it mildly. But now these same folks are critisizing Obama for not making the same mistakes. Give me a break. What possible justificaton would there be for U.S. boots on the ground in Syria or Ukraine?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

zurcroniumMAY. 29, 2014 - 09:16AM JST Obama cleans up the two failed wars created by the republicans. Of course he is doing the right thing by the country. He is a great President and will be seen by history as not just ending failed stupid wars that amounted to nothing but also moving the USA out of the Bush depression. All this while being fought ever turn by the republicans who still cannot accept that a black man has been elected in landslides twice to become President of the USA. He is a cautious man but he is doing the right thing. We do not need another shoot first and do nothing afterwards President ever again.

Do I read this right? Obama WILL go down as one of the worst. Using the race card shows no class. It has been done by this administration w/o any evidence whatsoever. This is the most DIVISIONAL administration I have ever seen. Clearly present in the above post. If you call that success, Yes he succeeded!

Afghanistan was needed. 13 years was not. 5 of those belong to Obama. Iraq- was not needed as I saw it. I'll give you that one.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

"Dictators gone wild" under community organizer's limited understanding of foreign affairs. Are there peace in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Venezuela, China's bullying in Asia......well, the world is neither academia class room, nor Chicago's inner city. From reset button with Putin to Iran to nowhere, and China flexes its aggression; simply keep on talking. America will pay the prices for the failure of Obama's deceptive practices.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I really wish that the US would give up "leading" altogether, firstly because they can not afford to, other than by printing.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

America will pay the prices for the failure of Obama's deceptive practices.

Will that price approach the $3 trillion for the failed Iraq war? Not countering the cost for the failed Afganistan war. Or the hundreds of thousands that died for nothing.

Mark G, fact is still half of republicans think Obama was born in Kenya. What is that other than racism? Wake up and see your party for what it is. Old, tired, broken and for whites only basically. Obama could be the second coming of JC and still many if not most republicans would hate him because of his skin color. By ever measure, including ending the failed wars by the republicans, Obama has been able to become a huge success despite the republicans fighting him on everything no matter what. Like Obamacare, a huge success that is driving down the costs of healthcare and saving lives.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

He should have lived by this credo as soon as he took office.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why every body is so blind in this?

Obama administration is doing a fairly good job, in rebuilding, healing and restoring all the things George Boy did in his 8 year rampage....

It is easy to destroy (as Bush did), it take a whole lot of time to rebuild and heal.... but blind angry people not able to acknowledge any thing...

3 ( +8 / -5 )

@zurcronium-- Where do you get your facts? To answer the birthing issue, is he a legitimate candidate. Obama did not willingly early on offer his birth certificate. That raises red flags! Not because he is half black! Weather you know it or not a US president MUST be born a US citizen.

More presumptions in your statement. I am not a Republican. It's not my party. And you have no clue what race I am. Assuming I am white is reckless.

As for your praises for Obama, I will wait patiently and you will see someday this failed administration for what it is. Nothing I could write or anyone for that matter will change your mind. Only time will.

This admin is full of problems. Non-phony scandals, terrible foreign policy, and the most divisional administration in recent history. I suspect that divisional USA approach may be international also. The latter being speculation.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

@zurcronium

Obama cleans up the two failed wars created by the republicans.

Sorry, Obama didn't clean anything, he left Iraq and Afghanistan with no SOFA agreement, Taliban and Al Qaeda are on the rise again. If you want to play politics, be fair. We traded one problem president ( talking about the war ) for another.

Of course he is doing the right thing by the country. He is a great President and will be seen by history as not just ending failed stupid wars that amounted to nothing but also moving the USA out of the Bush depression.

More like, he'll go down in history as the worst President, surpassing Carter, Wilson and Hoover.

All this while being fought ever turn by the republicans who still cannot accept that a black man has been elected in landslides twice to become President of the USA.

It was mostly White people that got him into office, unlike Bush who had a lot of Blacks working in his admin. Obama does not. In fact, Obama has greatly benefitted from his race, as well as Eric Holder, but this admin. have used RACE as a wedge and narrative to challenge and attack anyone that disagrees with his failed policies. So for liberals, the only way you can get out of any confrontation with the blunders of the Obama admin. Inject race and that will take the argument out of everything. By the way, had Obama came forward on the Benghazi issue during his campaign, I wonder if he would have won a second term.

He is a cautious man but he is doing the right thing. We do not need another shoot first and do nothing afterwards President ever again.

That's why his foreign policy is off the charts horrible and let's not dive in his domestic policies.

And like MarkG, I too, am not a Republican, I don't care about either parties, I lean more conservative, but I will not tow that political party line, even if you are a staunch Dem or liberal, you can't honestly admit that Obama in General has done a good job, quite the opposite. That is why Dems are about to lose the House and I guarantee you it will get worse.

Why every body is so blind in this?

Flip it around, why are Dems and libs blind to the fact that Obama and his policies were mostly astronomical failures? Not to mention are willing to jump off the cliff with this guy?

Obama administration is doing a fairly good job, in rebuilding, healing and restoring all the things George Boy did in his 8 year rampage....

The ME, nope, the economy, nope, corporate businesses are leaving by the hundreds, black and Latino unemployments are at an all time high. Once he's gone, will be lucky if we even have anything close to an America.

It is easy to destroy (as Bush did), it take a whole lot of time to rebuild and heal.... but blind angry people not able to acknowledge any thing...

So that means, the next president will have to work overtime to clean up the mess of both presidents, he might not even have enough time govern in that case.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

You are living in the bubble. No one asked McCain for his birth certificate although he was born outside the USA. Look it up. Facts. Only when the black guy wins is his citizenship questioned. Racism. McCain never released his birth certificate.

The Obama administration is full of phony scandals created by Fox News and the Republican propaganda machine (same thing). But the wars ending cannot be lied away. He is cleaning up after Bush ruined the country. As Clinton did after Reagan. As FDR did after Hoover. See a pattern there Mark?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

'Terrible foreign policy'

What do the US right actually want? I keep hearing the US right saying we need a stronger, more muscular foreign policy ( usually backed up with completely pie-in-the-sky hypotheticals ) Just a simple question - what should Obama have done differently about say, Syria or Ukraine? Just for once, please try not to use hypotheticals starting with something like 'Well, if we had a stronger leader, Putin may not have....' or similarly meaningless groping for a point.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

On many fronts Obama has done a good job. There hasnt been a major terrorist attack in the U.S. and he has shown allot of restraint in the world. He is trying to put a leash on the cat thats been out of the bag for so long. It means the US is all over the place in the world. The US needs to care more for its domestics than its globals in China etc. He will never get the cat back into the bag, its been out for 100 years or more.. There has been allot of technological advancement under Obama. Overall, I think he is doing OK.

Gieger helped him save the auto and financials. Of course Obama could do more but he works within the restraints of his party.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sadly rhetoric is used to misdirect and misinform while playing upon the emotional thoughts, ideas and issues rather than the realities of the world.

Should any of you understand what communication is and the power it holds, you should be able to visualize rationally by what is NOT said and acted upon by the President of the USA. The power and key to communication is in what was LEFT OUT and inferred and referred by both what was in and without that controls people and their actions.

Do any of you have any rational and realistic analysis and evaluation of what happened, and give us your opinion?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@zurcronium

You are living in the bubble. No one asked McCain for his birth certificate although he was born outside the USA. Look it up. Facts. Only when the black guy wins is his citizenship questioned. Racism. McCain never released his birth certificate.

And I have always said, that was a stupid thing for the Republicans to step into. I said that time and time again and U never for once believed that Obama wasn't a U.S. citizen.

The Obama administration is full of phony scandals created by Fox News and the Republican propaganda machine (same thing).

No, it's just that Fox doesn't carry Obama's water like MSNBC does. The media is not....well should never be in the pocket of the politicians. Why is it that Sharpton and all of Hollywood are always partying at the WH? This president cares more about his celebrity status than fixing the country.

But the wars ending cannot be lied away. He is cleaning up after Bush ruined the country. As Clinton did after Reagan. As FDR did after Hoover. See a pattern there Mark?

So who will clean up after Obama leaves and that will take some serious time :-(

@Jim

What do the US right actually want?

A strong decisive leader.

I keep hearing the US right saying we need a stronger, more muscular foreign policy ( usually backed up with completely pie-in-the-sky hypotheticals ) Just a simple question - what should Obama have done differently about say, Syria or Ukraine?

Send and positioned troops along the border, don't have to engage them, but at least let them know that we are right here and NOT moving, just some visual physical presence. We could have sent weapons to the Ukrainians and to the other Baltic states. Rebuild the missile defense shield, let Putin know that you are serious. With Assad he went back on his own RED LINE policy. Oh, and Iran with the help of the Russians are now back on line with building a bomb and Putin was the one that vouched for Iran saying they have given up pursuing building a nuclear weapon. Obama policy in a nutshell or as I call capitulate.

Just for once, please try not to use hypotheticals starting with something like 'Well, if we had a stronger leader, Putin may not have....' or similarly meaningless groping for a point.

You mean, you just don't want to hear the truth is what you're really trying to say.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Bass You gave an example of what Obama should have done. Fair enough. It is worth pointing out that the majority of Americans opposed any intervention, no doubt partly due to seeing US soldiers coming home in body bags after an absolute debacle in this part of the world not too long ago.

'Just for once, please try not to use hypotheticals starting with something like 'Well, if we had a stronger leader, Putin may not have....' or similarly meaningless groping for a point.

You mean, you just don't want to hear the truth is what you're really trying to say.'

I'm sorry, this isn't a Fox News audience here. The less intelligent rightwingers have tried the 'Putin wouldn't have moved against Ukraine if we'd had a strongman in power' to excite the bobble-heads. It's not 'truth'. It's pure conjecture which is impossible to prove or falsify, feeding the right with any possible angle from which to attack Obama. It's desperate and pathetic and to call this 'truth' is utter tripe.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm sorry, this isn't a Fox News audience here.

I have no idea as to what that was supposed to mean....

The less intelligent rightwingers have tried the 'Putin wouldn't have moved against Ukraine if we'd had a strongman in power' to excite the bobble-heads. It's not 'truth'. It's pure conjecture which is impossible to prove or falsify, feeding the right with any possible angle from which to attack Obama. It's desperate and pathetic and to call this 'truth' is utter tripe.

Well, Obama's way has proven NOT to work and that's a fact, but again, the left doesn't even want to try and scare Putin, so this is left wing politics in action, how's that working out? Evidently, Not good at all.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

'I'm sorry, this isn't a Fox News audience here.

I have no idea as to what that was supposed to mean....'

Slack jaws who think pure conjecture is truth provided it is directed at people they don't like.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

That is why Dems are about to lose the House and I guarantee you it will get worse.

Bass4funk, sadly your facts are wrong once again. Please check and see who controls the House today. This is what comes from living in the fox news bubble and just repeating talking points. Sadly misinformed it seems.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Jimizo: Just a simple question - what should Obama have done differently about say, Syria or Ukraine?

Why do you keep asking silly questions? All I know is that Obama should have done something differently that I can't define and if you can't understand that then so be it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@jim

Slack jaws who think pure conjecture is truth provided it is directed at people they don't like.

Then you're describing the Obama cheerleading network known as Msnbc, my former employer of liberalism echo chamber.

@zur

sadly your facts are wrong once again. Please check and see who controls the House today. This is what comes from living in the fox news bubble and just repeating talking points. Sadly misinformed it seems.

No, it's called, working and multi-tasking, I do have a day job and I meant to say "Senate" but thanks for pointing that out.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Just look at all the insults FROM the Obama supporters here.

I don't see the the insults from those who do not support Obama.

Excellent job! As I said the most divisional administration I have ever seen. And the transparency which was a platform in 08' was a bluff.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

And the world is a much safer place since Obama took office. Al Qaida all but extinct, Hillary presented Putin with a reset button and all is well with Russia, we have engaged in peaceful dialogue with Iran and N. Korea and they have given up on nuclear weapons, there is meaningful dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians.........so many accomplishments!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What a presstitute piece of pathetic propaganda.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Obama says U.S. must lead globally but show restraint

The way Obama sees the world the US has two choices, full out war or to simply do nothing. Restraint isn't an issue of concern. Leadership is.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

This is the music to China's ear , also to Russia 's ear. restraint too much

and people may forget about you altogether , that's the problem. With or without you, the world will move on.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The way Obama sees the world the US has two choices, full out war or to simply do nothing.

Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! - funny how that rhymes with 'inconsistency'. Oh, and let's not get started on the drones.

Evidence: For the first time in a over a decade, countries are asking America for help rather than viewing America as that drunk uncle who will ruin your TV and puke on your rug if you invite him in. When they want you more than you want them: that is from whence power derives. Obama is bringing America back to that place.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I'm not quite sure why America does need to lead globally, it will only result in more unjust proxy wars and more global animosity towards the United States.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm not quite sure why America does need to lead globally

Because No one else would or could or capable.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

bass4funk

So are you saying to me that no nation is capable of defending itself or taking care of its own internal affairs? Pax Americana is nonsense.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Send and positioned troops along the border, don't have to engage them, but at least let them know that we are right here and NOT moving, just some visual physical presence.

Bass -- LOL. Don't let the fact that we have no mutual defense policy in place with Ukraine and/or the fact that they are not a part of NATO, so have absolutely no valid reason to do so. And, in fact, "positioning troops along the border" would in fact be a violation of their sovereignty, which is exactly what the whole issue is about. That's what I love about you neo-cons, you want to shoot first and aim later. Which is exactly why the Iraqis hate us now. Actually taking the time to think things through before charging ahead is seen as "weakness". Wow.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

bass4funkMay. 29, 2014 - 02:15PM JST Send and positioned troops along the border, don't have to engage them, but at least let them know that we are right here and NOT moving, just some visual physical presence. We could have sent weapons to the Ukrainians and to the other Baltic states.

U.S. has little direct leverage economically or politically to use short of war. In essence, the Russians believe that since they were able lodge themselves in the Crimea without a shot and now have their goal for their plan, they can wait any international pressure out. The Russians believes that Europe, more specifically Britain and Germany are unlikely to do major sanctions against Russia as they are major banking and manufacturing partners. Additionally, the energy trade to Europe from Russia gives them a tool in any leverage of sanctions that may come about.

The Russian govt. have a paranoid view of the world around them in which they consider the world in a zero sum game against the U.S. and the west, which is likely due to the expansion of the EU and NATO plus the feeling of loss of power and influence after the Soviet Union’s collapse. In Ukraine, Russia has attempted to break pieces off of the respective states as a way to create frozen conflicts in those states that will deter EU and NATO expansion. Remember, to join NATO, there cannot be potential conflicts in states that are trying to join NATO. While oil, gas, and influence in the Black Sea are also important, they are minor players in the influencing of Russian foreign policy right now. The Russian arguments for supporting ethnic Russians in the surrounding countries are just a tool for domestic consumption, as almost a complete bogus argument.

The U.S. or the EU can't influence the Russian Govt. to back down as there is too much to lose in the Putin administration’s point of view either domestically where the goverment hold is increasingly weak do to the weakness of the long term economy and the national security perspective where they believe that the loss of Ukraine could influence Russia, and could bring the EU/NATO to their doorsteps. In essence, Putin's goverment fears a total loss of control at home and in the near abroad over the next few years.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@dylan

So are you saying to me that no nation is capable of defending itself or taking care of its own internal affairs?

In a nutshell, Yes.

@sfjp330

I think you're right. But the problem is, that paranoia is starting to spill outward from Russia emboldening it to possibly expand it's sphere of influence, enter China who is watching and learning from Russia is on from what it looks like a similar path. Both Russua and China don't fear Obama in any way and if you look at the current events that have been playing out between those countries, one has to take in consideration if Obama were a stronger president if these two countries would have gone this far, so far. Methinks, it would have been more difficult, but that is just my personal observation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Because No one else would or could or capable.

ROTFL! I can not imagine how a rather average black guy who often confuses Iraq to Iran in public speech could 'lead us globally'. We are not going to exchange our education on say, (C)rap "music" and begin to jump around trash cans on a street corner. Sorry.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

bass4funkMay. 30, 2014 - 06:19AM JST enter China who is watching and learning from Russia is on from what it looks like a similar path. Both Russua and China don't fear Obama in any way and if you look at the current events that have been playing out between those countries,

This is the reason Russia strategically sells gas at a below market rate to China by long term contract, presumably they would fix strategically by contract what they buy from China, possibly manpower and infrastructure projects. The Chinese are interested in Crimea health resort that used to be the most popular tourist destination during the times of the USSR. Chinese investors will come to the Crimea with a plan to build a deep-water port in the Black Sea for redistribution of the cargo coming from the East to Europe. Thus, the "Crimea" port will become a major hub on the route of the new Silk Road, bypassing Russia. Considering the geographical location of the Crimea that lies on the path of the Eurasian flow, goods coming from the east, and in particular, from the booming China, the importance of the autonomous republic in world trade. Thus, Crimea will likely see capital inflows and host a huge hub on cargo redistribution. Perhaps, it will be able to solve the problems inherent in most of the coastal towns and villages of the former Soviet territory, namely, shortage of jobs, poverty, fiscal deficits, and so on. Considering that over over one-fourth of the Crimea population lives below the poverty line, the major port looks like a goldmine.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm's way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed fixing, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak."

Refreshing that we have a president that is mindful of his duties toward our servicemen and women.

Wish some had had the intelligence and the courage to question the need to put our own in harm's way in Iraq. Now after that debacle they just sputter and rage about "leadership" having still learned nothing. Easier than coming to terms I guess. Sad.

So, keep shaking those lil fists. It is so much better to only have to endure silly hits about lack of "leadership" than to listen again to bleating agreement why others should go to war.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@gcbel

Refreshing that we have a president that is mindful of his duties toward our servicemen and women.

I guess you haven't heard about all of the veterans that are dying across America due to Obama's incompetence. He has been claiming for years how he is providing for veterans but like Obamacare, it's just another lie. Do you know that three out of four servicemen that have died in Afghanistan has been during Obama's presidency? If he were only as mindful of Al Qaeda he might have something to crow about.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Do you know that three out of four servicemen that have died in Afghanistan has been during Obama's presidency?

Source?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@sfjp330

Thanks for the clarification, appreciate it.

@super

Wiki

As of April 4, 2014, there have been 2,178 U.S. military deaths in the war in Afghanistan and additional 132 fatalities in the broader Operation Enduring Freedom outside Afghanistan. 1,802 of these deaths inside Afghanistan have been the result of hostile action. 19 964 American servicemembers have been wounded in action during the war.[1] In addition there are 1,173 U.S. civilian contractor fatalities.[2]

At the end of May 2010, the number of American fatalities was reported to have reached 1,000.[3][4] By September 2012, the total number passed 2,000.[5] More than two-thirds of those deaths have occurred since the American military presence in Afghanistan was doubled under President Barack Obama in 2009.

The highest number of American fatalities recorded in a single incident occurred on August 6, 2011, in which a transport helicopter was shot down killing 30 Americans, including 22 Navy SEALs.[6][7]

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/dennis-m-crowley/12-year-war-73-us-casualties-afghanistan-obamas-watch

And there's more...

And don't try to spin it Super, there are the sources you requested.

@gcbel

Refreshing that we have a president that is mindful of his duties toward our servicemen and women.

You ARE joking right?

Wish some had had the intelligence and the courage to question the need to put our own in harm's way in Iraq.

Do you feel the same about Obama's handling of Afghanistan and the aftermath of Iraq and not establishing a SOFA agreement that the previous admin. Already had put in place and that Obama didn't follow up on?

Now after that debacle they just sputter and rage about "leadership" having still learned nothing. Easier than coming to terms I guess. Sad.

Since when has Obama known anything about leadership, let alone governing? 5 years lack of it, we've had so far.

So, keep shaking those lil fists. It is so much better to only have to endure silly hits about lack of "leadership" than to listen again to bleating agreement why others should go to war.

3 more years until the nightmare ends.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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