American Liberals Experience ‘The Great Reset’ of Foreign Policy

by Jim Geraghty

From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt:

The Great Reset: Liberals Suddenly Realize Their Ideas Don’t Work After All

Suddenly, we’re experiencing the “Great Reset.”

No, not this one…

We’re experiencing the one where America’s largely liberal political elites suddenly realize a lot of hard truths that many voices on the Right were saying all along: a U.S. troop presence in Iraq could help prevent chaos and genocide. Islamists want to reestablish a Caliphate. Vladimir Putin is not a reasonable guy. The United Nations is useless. The worldview and policy solutions expressed by Barack Obama during his rise in 2007 and 2008 were hopelessly naïve.

Any day now, they’ll suddenly realize Iran wants nuclear weapons and isn’t likely to give them up at the negotiating table!

Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times breaks it to his readers that no, the Iraq War didn’t really end; it just went on hiatus, and the American sabbatical just ended:

The Obama Doctrine, which has evolved through painful trial and error (see Libya and Syria), says the United States won’t use military force except when vital U.S. interests are threatened. But the “vital interest” exceptions Obama has cited include international terrorism, other threats to U.S. citizens and genocide — and all three are present in Iraq…

Indeed, the stakes in this war are immeasurably larger than the safety of Americans in Kurdistan (they could have been evacuated) or even the lives of thousands of Iraqi Yazidis on a mountain (although, yes, they deserved rescue too)…

Even without American boots on the ground, Obama has entered the United States in its fourth Iraq war. It won’t be over quickly. As the president said, this is going to be a long-term project.

So if a U.S. presence in Iraq does turn out to be vital to U.S. national security and the basic human decency requiring us to do more than just stand by during a genocide… then maybe George W. Bush wasn’t such a crazed warmonger after all, huh, liberals?

Ali Khedery attempts a pep talk for the president:

As a U.S. official, and now as an executive doing business in the Middle East, I have heard the same sentiment echoed privately by regional leaders for years. The reality is that your intended policy of benign neglect has actually proven to be one of malignant neglect and only strengthened our foes. But you still have 30 months left in office and there are vital American interests that need to be safeguarded—and not just on a remote mountaintop filled with desperate, fleeing Yazidi civilians. It is time to put the pivot to Asia on the backburner and to refocus on the unfinished business at hand. It is time to reengage in the Middle East, lest its widening chaos destroy what is left of your presidential legacy.

Here’s the problem: the Democratic base is functionally isolationist. Large swaths of Democratic primary voters do not want money spent overseas or troops deployed anywhere near Iraq. All of the Democrats officeholders’ opportunistic demonization of the Iraq War from 2003 to 2008 has caught up with them; their base actually believed all of that stuff about neocons and oil companies and Hallburton and “Imperial Hubris.” For the better part of a decade, Democrats insisted U.S. troops could leave Iraq and things would turn out fine for American interests.

As Ace put it, “Obama is essentially now in the position of fighting a war while pretending to not be fighting a war, because of The Base. That should go well for all of us!”

Here’s Khedery’s comments to Jake Tapper:

They don’t take the threat of transnational jihad seriously enough, as demonstrated by President Obama’s assessment of ISIS a few months ago, calling them the JV team,” said Ali Khedery, referring to comments Obama made to The New Yorker magazine, comparing the militant group to a junior varsity basketball team.

“In reality, ISIS represents the most virulent form of Islamic jihad the planet has ever seen. These folks are not Muslims, they are animals, frankly. They are a group that is so vicious, and so blood-thirsty, and such a death cult, that even core al Qaeda leadership – bin Laden’s successors namely – have disavowed them,” Khedery said in an interview with CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”


“And by doing nothing about it for months now, despite repeated warnings from the American intelligence community, what’s happened now is the cancer has metastasized, and we have a major problem on our hands, a problem that threatens regional stability, and thus threatens global stability,” he says.

“You don’t need access to CIA and NSA (intelligence) to know that they are coming, and that another 9/11 is imminent unless we act decisively, quickly, and do it right now with our allies,” said Khedery.

Well… damn.

Oh, and even the French appear to be cracking jokes about Obama’s vacations:

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has a message about Iraq for Barack Obama: Get back to the White House and do something.

’I know it is the holiday period in our Western countries,’ Fabius told a radio interviewer Tuesday in France,’ but when people are dying, you must come back from vacation.’

Full-time workers in France are guaranteed a whopping five weeks of paid vacation every year, making his plea all the more urgent.

Obama is on a family and golfing holiday in a ritzy neighborhood of Martha’s Vineyard but says he will come back to Washington briefly on Tuesday before returning to fun, sun, and more golf.