The Obama Doctrine


With gratitude to Carolien Roelants in the Dutch Daily NRC on March 21, 2016 for drawing attention to a long interview in the Atlantic, I attach the full text of interviews of President Obama by Jeffrey Goldberg. The four conclusions at the end of the interviews are:

"Obama has come to a number of dovetailing conclusions about the world,
and about America’s role in it. The first is that the Middle East is no longer
terribly important to American interests. The second is that even if the
Middle East were surpassingly important, there would still be little an
American president could do to make it a better place. The third is that the
innate American desire to fix the sorts of problems that manifest
themselves most drastically in the Middle East inevitably leads to warfare,
to the deaths of U.S. soldiers, and to the eventual hemorrhaging of U.S.
credibility and power. The fourth is that the world cannot afford to see the
diminishment of U.S. power. Just as the leaders of several American allies
have found Obama’s leadership inadequate to the tasks before him, he
himself has found world leadership wanting: global partners who often
lack the vision and the will to spend political capital in pursuit of broad,
progressive goals, and adversaries who are not, in his mind, as rational as
he is. Obama believes that history has sides, and that America’s
adversaries—and some of its putative allies—have situated themselves on
the wrong one, a place where tribalism, fundamentalism, sectarianism,
and militarism still flourish. What they don’t understand is that history is
bending in his direction."


In an earlier entry in this sector, I already discussed the decision not to strike but to seek removal of chemical weapons from Syria. Don't  do stupid shit stands for: seek a negotiated solution first rather than resorting to the use of force.

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Frans A.M. Alting von Geusau


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Footprints of the 20th Century - Third Edition


The peaceful collapse of the Soviet totalitarian, communist system has been a watershed of historic proportions in Europe and the world. In 1989, unexpectedly, Communism and the Cold War were behind us, they were bad and should be forgotten. The immediate post-1989 world presented itself as a new era of organised forgetting, as neither East nor West were interested in examining the prolonged period of acquiescence in absurdities.

The Illusions of Detente

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Since 1989, we refer to the whole post-war period as the “Cold War Era”. Such was not the case in 1968. At the time, the Cold War – in our perception – was behind us. We no longer felt to be in the midst of it. Europeans on the Western side of the Iron Curtain0 felt relatively at ease with Europe’s division. The era of Détente as we called it, was0 considered to be a fairly stable and long-lasting political condition, even after Soviet tanks crushed Dubcek’s socialism with a human face in Pragu