LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A streetcar named failed policy

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Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize pickers were as mesmerized by Barack Obama as we were. Wow, they thought, a community organizer from the hard streets of the Windy City, just the ticket to tame global hard streets. They awarded the coveted prize to the newly inaugurated United States president based on his promise of a foreign policy that was cast as a sure-fire antidote for gauche cowboy diplomacy.

This choice rests on the idea that America’s exceptionalism should be muted, that our policies in the foreign arena should always be vetted by our allies and international organizations (many of which entertain goals inimical to our own) and should be voiced in a timorous fashion lest anyone get the idea that our interests should animate our policy.

In simple terms, choosing to award President Obama was the apotheosis of wishful thinking as foreign policy and it emanated from the Blanche DuBois school of foreign affairs — often relying on the kindness of strangers. In our desire to become best friends with our enemies, we should remember that Blanche arrived on a streetcar named Desire and left on the arm of a psychiatrist.



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