One more on foreign policy for today. From VDH:
It would not have been costly to keep a small garrison in Iraq to prod the Maliki government to stay reasonable and Iran to stay out of Iraqi airspace, and there was no need to announce timetables of withdrawal from Afghanistan even as we surged troops. But Obama realized that Americans were war weary, and he wanted to be done with both of the so-called Bush wars. Ending the conflicts, rather than ensuring that they ended well, was Obama’s concern, a fact of interest to those in the Middle East. He was certainly no Harry Truman, who told Americans exhausted by World War II that they had another existential struggle on the horizon — and with their erstwhile wartime partner, Stalin’s Soviet Union, every bit as evil and dangerous as Hitler’s Germany.
[W]e are living in dangerous times not seen since Jimmy Carter’s disastrous last year in office, when a moralist kindred to Obama was widely praised for his ecumenical statesmanship — and when the Russians, the Chinese, and the Islamists began invading their neighbors and killing people.
Opportunists abroad — rightly or wrongly, fairly or unfairly — believe that if there was ever a time to readjust the regional landscape without too much risk, that time is coming…
The more unhinged on the world scene may move first to try to [test American], but even if they are only partially successful, the more rational will be emboldened to follow suit — convinced that the unhinged were not so unhinged after all.