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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Charles Krauthammer's analysis of Obama's ineffective & wrong-headed foreign policy; Blue Valentine's Michelle Williams as Jean Seberg? A big YES!

My comments follow the excellent column by Charles Krauthammer.

----------

Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/20/AR2010052003885.html

The fruits of weakness

By Charles Krauthammer
May 21, 2010


It is perfectly obvious that Iran's latest uranium maneuver, brokered by Brazil and Turkey, is a ruse. Iran retains more than enough enriched uranium to make a bomb. And it continues enriching at an accelerated pace and to a greater purity (20 percent). Which is why the French foreign ministry immediately declared that the trumpeted temporary shipping of some Iranian uranium to Turkey will do nothing to halt Iran's nuclear program.


It will, however, make meaningful sanctions more difficult. America's proposed Security Council resolution is already laughably weak -- no blacklisting of Iran's central bank, no sanctions against Iran's oil and gas industry, no nonconsensual inspections on the high seas. Yet Turkey and Brazil -- both current members of the Security Council -- are so opposed to sanctions that they will not even discuss the resolution. And China will now have a new excuse to weaken it further.


But the deeper meaning of the uranium-export stunt is the brazenness with which Brazil and Turkey gave cover to the mullahs' nuclear ambitions and deliberately undermined U.S. efforts to curb Iran's program.


The real news is that already notorious photo: the president of Brazil, our largest ally in Latin America, and the prime minister of Turkey, for more than half a century the Muslim anchor of NATO, raising hands together with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the most virulently anti-American leader in the world.


That picture -- a defiant, triumphant take-that-Uncle-Sam -- is a crushing verdict on the Obama foreign policy. It demonstrates how rising powers, traditional American allies, having watched this administration in action, have decided that there's no cost in lining up with America's enemies and no profit in lining up with a U.S. president given to apologies and appeasement.


They've watched President Obama's humiliating attempts to appease Iran, as every rejected overture is met with abjectly renewed U.S. negotiating offers. American acquiescence reached such a point that the president was late, hesitant and flaccid in expressing even rhetorical support for democracy demonstrators who were being brutally suppressed and whose call for regime change offered the potential for the most significant U.S. strategic advance in the region in 30 years.


They've watched America acquiesce to Russia's re-exerting sway over Eastern Europe, over Ukraine (pressured by Russia last month into extending for 25 years its lease of the Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol) and over Georgia (Russia's de facto annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is no longer an issue under the Obama "reset" policy).


They've watched our appeasement of Syria, Iran's agent in the Arab Levant -- sending our ambassador back to Syria even as it tightens its grip on Lebanon, supplies Hezbollah with Scuds and intensifies its role as the pivot of the Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas alliance. The price for this ostentatious flouting of the United States and its interests? Ever more eager U.S. "engagement."


They've observed the administration's gratuitous slap at Britain over the Falklands, its contemptuous treatment of Israel, its undercutting of the Czech Republic and Poland, and its indifference to Lebanon and Georgia. And in Latin America, they see not just U.S. passivity as Venezuela's Hugo Chávez organizes his anti-American "Bolivarian" coalition while deepening military and commercial ties with Iran and Russia. They saw active U.S. support in Honduras for a pro-Chávez would-be dictator seeking unconstitutional powers in defiance of the democratic institutions of that country.


This is not just an America in decline. This is an America in retreat -- accepting, ratifying and declaring its decline, and inviting rising powers to fill the vacuum.


Nor is this retreat by inadvertence. This is retreat by design and, indeed, on principle. It's the perfect fulfillment of Obama's adopted Third World narrative of American misdeeds, disrespect and domination from which he has come to redeem us and the world. Hence his foundational declaration at the U.N. General Assembly last September that "No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation" (guess who's been the dominant nation for the last two decades?) and his dismissal of any "world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another." (NATO? The West?)


Given Obama's policies and principles, Turkey and Brazil are acting rationally. Why not give cover to Ahmadinejad and his nuclear ambitions? As the United States retreats in the face of Iran, China, Russia and Venezuela, why not hedge your bets? There's nothing to fear from Obama, and everything to gain by ingratiating yourself with America's rising adversaries. After all, they actually believe in helping one's friends and punishing one's enemies.

-----


So, did you happen to notice as I did whose name is
NOT mentioned at all above: Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, who has helped make this foreign policy embarrassment possible.
Sh-h-h!!!

Keep it to yourself, so the
MSM can maintain their prohibition on public criticism of her a little longer.

Here's an actual Saturday headline from
Reuters:

Clinton avoids China disputes, hands out teddy bears

And if you think that headline is bad, wait 'til you read the first paragraph: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64L0X020100522

(Reuters) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton passed out teddy bears to Chinese children as she toured the Shanghai World Expo on Saturday and carefully skirted the United States' many policy disputes with China.
..

Reading some truly bracing criticism like Charles Krauthammer's reminds me of two things: why I voted against Obama in the first place, as well as that I'm not the only American who's been noticing all these negative things happening with American foreign policy under Obama.

As
Krauthammer correctly notes, seeing Obama perform this way -intentionally- only increases pressure on other countries we consider allies to make their own side deals.

For years under
Bush 43, the MSM constantly spoke about how unpopular the image of the U.S. was becoming overseas, as if that was really something we needed to either lose sleep about or could change.

Living in the Washington area at the time, one could hardly ever get on the Metro train in the morning without at some point hearing some rider who was no fan of
Bush complaining out loud to someone that Bush was personally responsible for how unpopular the U.S. was over in, well, for example, the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.

The Mouse that Roared


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7L7WLFBYR4

In this one-sided PR game where the point was never to ask any hard questions about the methodology of such polls, you never heard of corresponding polls of Americans on what they thought about the various government policies of France or Germany or whomever, but every other month brought forth some anecdotal news about what Greece thought about the U.S.

Question: Sixteen months later, can you name a single country where the U.S. is now
MORE respected than it was before his inauguration?
Yeah, that's what I thought, too.


Funny that the same folks who said that
Obama could be the foreign policy cure for Bush 43 haven't publicly acknowledged that the reality is that that he has only made our allies MORE nervous, NOT our legitimate adversaries.

-----


By the way, you'll notice in that trailer I included above of the
The Mouse that Roared, a few shots of the beautiful Jean Seberg, whom I had, of course, read much about, but first became genuinely aware of thru showings of Bonjour Tristesse and Breathless at the National Gallery of Art's film series on French New Wave directors, one of the most interesting summers of my film-going life, with weekends spent alternating between Camden Yards and
the NGA, depending on whether or not I had Oriole tickets for a game.
http://www.nga.gov/programs/film/


From the first time I ever saw actress
Michelle Williams, in Dawson's Creek and then Dick with Kirstin Dunst, I was absolutely convinced that if I could ever have anything to do with it, I'd do everything in my power to convince her to be in a well-written bio-pic on Seberg's interesting yet very tragic life.

Williams
, currently starring in Blue Valentine, could do wonders with that role and win an Oscar.
Michelle Williams
is scary talented, it's just that her attractiveness often disarms you into
forgetting how terrific an actress she truly is -one of the best around.


Jean Seberg
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0781029/
Michelle Williams http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0931329/

From last week in Cannes, with Ryan Gosling promoting Blue Valentine: http://www.popsugar.com/Photos-Michelle-Williams-Ryan-Gosling-Promoting-Blue-Valentine-Cannes-8496257

Sundance: Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams show you what acting is all about in the wrenching 'Blue Valentine'

by Owen Gleiberman
http://movie-critics.ew.com/2010/01/26/the-wrenching-blue-valentine/


Cannes 2010: The Euros love 'Blue Valentine' like Nutella; Sony Classics makes this not just another year

May 18, 2010

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2010/05/cannes-blue-valentine-another-year-mike-leigh.html

See also: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7FD6EARmLg




http://media.michelle-williams.net/videos/load/recent

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