Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Data Does Not Support the Theory

The Germans are noticing our perplexing failure to follow the normal rules of foreign policy where you help friends and punish foes. If only it was based on confusion.

The speech at the Victory Column is a dim memory for Germans, it seems:

These are difficult times for American foreign policy, which no longer seems to differentiate between friend and foe. At least, that is the unpleasant impression created by new allegations that the U.S. has been spying on its allies and even their heads of government.

If we were unable to differentiate between friend and foe, you'd think that there would be something of a random nature of rewarding friends and foes versus punishing friends and foes.

Sadly, with our policies running heavily toward punishing friends and rewarding foes, there is nothing to indicate we can't differentiate between friend and foe. No, the problem is that we've correctly identified them and our president decided to reach out to foes at the expense of our friends:

From the beginning of the Obama presidency, I've lamented his inclination to seek friends among our enemies at the expense of our friends. The former isn't the problem. But when it is attempted by paying the price of the latter, it is a big problem.

President Obama thought he was so unique that he could make friends out of enemies while keeping our friends (who often considered some of those future friends of ours their enemies).

Still, maybe the Germans have a point. After denying that it is even important to support friends, is the administration unable to distinguish between friend and foe?

So I have hope. If we truly can't tell the difference between friend and foe, we have a fighting chance of accidentally treating some of our friends well.

My, I really am an optimist at heart, aren't I?