Barack Obama the Pessimist

Dispatches recommended by Fouad Ajami:

[Obama’s] lack of faith in American exceptionalism has dashed any hope of a ‘transformational’ presidency.

[…] Events would supply evidence of Mr. Obama’s break with the history of America’s faith in liberty in distant lands. The herald of change was at heart a man who doubted the ability of political freedom to skip borders, and to bring about the emancipation of peoples subjected to brutal tyrannies. The great upheaval in Iran in the first summer of his presidency exposed the flaws and contradictions of the Obama diplomacy.

A people had risen against their tyrannical rulers, but Mr. Obama was out to conciliate these rulers. America’s support wouldn’t have altered that cruel balance of force on the ground. But henceforth it would become part of the narrative of liberty that when Iran rose in rebellion, the pre-eminent liberal power sat out a seminal moment in Middle Eastern history.

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Peter Robinson interviewed both Ajami and Charles Hill on his most recent “Uncommon Knowledge” show – click here and scroll down to watch part 1 – or start on the screen below. It’s a very interesting conversation.