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Zakaria on the U.N. Speech


Fareed Zakaria takes on the conservative critiques of Obama’s U.N. speech, sort of. He doesn’t discuss its narcissistic quality, which has been one of the central themes of the conservative reaction. His evidence that “Obama’s approach has already produced remarkable results,” meanwhile, is wispy. But this comment is simply baffling: “For decades, it’s been thought deadly for an American politician to be seen as seeking international cooperation. Denouncing, demeaning, and insulting other countries was a cheap and easy way to seem strong. In the battle of images, tough and stupid always seemed to win.” For “decades”? Who took this tack against George H. W. Bush when he assembled the Desert Storm coalition? “Tough and stupid” isn’t just Zakaria’s verdict on the last several decades of American foreign policy: It’s a description of it.


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