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Friday, October 19, 2012

Vacillating Obama: Washington Post's Jackson Diehl zeroes-in on fundamental weakness of Obama's dithering Mid-East policy and multilateralism: Obama’s greatest failure - "His miscalculations on Syria have led to a wider war" that threatens to bring in more dangerous players and more unpredictability, NOT more stability and democracy; @JacksonDiehl, #syria

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I've been wanting to post this excellent analysis by The Washington Post's veteran foreign policy hand Jackson Diehl since reading it online early, early Sunday morning, while listening to some hard news online via the BBC.
Soon thereafter, I sent it out to a couple dozen well-informed friends and acquaintances across the country and around the world, who follow U.S. foreign policy as closely as I do, and who also like me, shake their head at what President Obama is doing. 

Though we all disagreed on lots of matters whenever we were together, we're all in agreement about this Diehl column -it's spot-on analysis from the get-go about Barack Obama's unwillingness to stop digging the foreign policy hole he has put the United States in.
He just keeps digging, utterly convinced that he's right and that everyone else is wrong.

I suspect that in about a dozen years or so, people who voted for Obama in 2008 will actually shake their head in wonder that they ever allowed themselves to willfully ignore his inexperience and weaknesses and elect someone as president who was foolish enough to convince himself -and them- that his carefully-constructed personal/media narrative would somehow allow him to solve longstanding problems.
It hasn't and it doesn't and it won't.

Despite all the accumulated evidence on U.S. foreign policy that shows he has made already bad situations worse, sometimes, much worse, Obama still remains utterly convinced that the sheer star power of his personality will lead to positive results.
It's the ultimate act of -and sign of- his amazing hubris.

The Washington Post
How Obama bungled the Syrian revolution
By Jackson Diehl
October 14, 2012
Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans are doing their best to portray the assault on the U.S. mission in Libya and its aftermath as a signal foreign policy disaster for Barack Obama. But my bet is that when historians look back on Obama’s mistakes in the last four years, they will focus on something entirely different: his catastrophic mishandling of the revolution in Syria.
The deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi were a calamity — but those losses were mainly the result of poor security decisions by mid-level State Department officials, not policy choices by Obama. The president’s handling of Syria, on the other hand, exemplifies every weakness in his foreign policy — from his excessive faith in “engaging” troublesome foreign leaders to his insistence on multilateralism as an end in itself to his self-defeating caution in asserting American power.
Read the rest of the column at:

Read previous Diehl columns at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/jackson-diehl/2011/02/24/ABccMXN_page.html
I subscribe to his RSS feed and get his columns as sson as they go online.

Also see his Twitter page: https://twitter.com/JacksonDiehl

The National Journal
Obama’s Quagmire: Syria and the Islamist Arc, Hammered on leadership, the president struggles for a Middle East policy.
By Michael Hirsh
Updated: September 21, 2012  1:55 p.m., 
September 21, 2012  1:07 p.m.
U.S. and Western diplomats are concerned that the longer Bashar al-Assad hangs on to his failing regime in Damascus, the more likely it is that the aftermath of the Syrian rebellion will be dominated by Islamist elements, completing an arc of newly empowered radical groups along the southern half of the Mediterranean from Libya to Syria. 
Read the rest of the column at: http://nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/obama-s-quagmire-syria-and-the-islamist-arc-20120921?mrefid=site_search

As I've noted here several times over the past two years with videos of him speaking forthrightly about Syria, Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been much more realistic than Hillary Clinton's dog-chasing-its-tail State Dept. on the reality of what has been going on the Middle East and what is likely to happen if President Obama's dithering foreign policy is given four more years to make things worse.

And seriously, how does U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice still even have a job? 
Is there no penalty for her abject failure, serial lying to the American public and Congress and her calculated and willful ignorance?
Rice's performance the past month has validated all the criticism of her as nothing more than a political hack with foreign policy pretensions, not a serious foreign policy professional, no matter what her actual experience is.
Susan Rice is the female version of Rahm Emanuel -a fixer.
And a Grade B fixer at that.

How can we reasonably expect representatives of other countries to trust her and take her seriously if average Americans have learned from watching her for themselves, after paying attention to her own words and actions, NOT to trust her?

SenatorMarcoRubio video: U.S. Senator Marco Rubio on Foreign Aid to Libya, Egypt and Pakistan and what America and American taxpayers have a right to expect from these countries in exchange for U.S. dollars. Uploaded September 20, 2012. http://youtu.be/SFOBW7xkz7g Reminder, this video is a month old.

Articles and columns on Syria in The Washington Post, in chron order:

By the way, if anyone reading this post knows anyone at Foreign Policy magazine, tell them that their YouTube Channel is the very picture of irrelevant.
One original video in the past nine months during a presidential election year?
That's embarrassing!

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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
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Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.