Juan Williams on Obama’s Foreign Policy

Plastic President Struts and Puffs

To hear most conservatives tell it, Obama’s foreign policy is a complete and utter failure…

The fly in the smelly, rotten conservative ointment is the fact that President Obama has managed to succeed, despite the conservatives own very best efforts – sometimes treasonous – to make him, and thus America fail.

  • Obama has cut the number of troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq by half. From 180,000 when he took office to 90,000 today.
  • Obama has an exit strategy for Iraq, and the US should be out by the first of next year.
  • Obama succeeded where Bush failed for 8 years and brought the architect of the greatest terrorist attack in history on the soil of the US to Justice – Osama Bin Lauden.
  • Obama has succeeded in killing more Al Quaeda terrorists in his first 3 years of office, than Bush did in 8 years with the help of 350,000 troops on the ground.
  • Successful negotiation of a new START Treaty.
  • Staying the hell out of Egypt, and not sending troops in to protect a dictator.
  • Ghadaffi has met his end, and without a major force of American troops ever landing on Libyan Soil.
Even conservatives who aren’t blinded by their racism are beginning to figure it out. Had this been a conservative President, undoubtedly we would have been treated to the sight of an American President in tight, sock stuffed pants prancing around on the deck of a Carrier thumping his chest.

Can’t Argue With American Policy Now, Qaddafi’s Dead and the Results Speak for Themselves

Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi is dead. The news from the Middle East is vindication of the Obama administration’s policy in Libya. A man who was an enemy of the American people, someone who killed Americans aboard Pan Am 103, someone who was taking out Americans and acting against our interests in the Middle East for decades has finally been eliminated from the scene.

And all this talk about “leading from behind” needs to be put in context. First of all, President Obama never said anything about “leading from behind.” What the president said was he didn’t want to put additional American troops in the Middle East in the middle of a Muslim country.

We are already fighting not only in Iraq but in Afghanistan. We have tremendous troubles in Pakistan. President Obama allowed the multi-national force to be in a position where they could act with tremendous American support.

The American public would never have supported pouring additional troops into Libya. By building an international coalition, the president managed, nonetheless, to make Americans part of the fight and oust Qaddafi. Critics on the right have flip-flopped on this issues from the beginning on whether or not America should have played a role, any role, in supporting the anti-Qaddafi forces. Today’s events are another reminder of how pure political concerns can blind people to America’s best.

Essentially America has been at war in Libya. And tonight or today, this morning, what we’ve seen is that that policy has led to the ouster and also the death of Muammar Qaddafi.

That’s good news for America. I don’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. This is good news.

For President Obama, after the death of Bin Laden, Al-Awlaki and now, indirectly, Qaddafi, he’s left with a terrific narrative in terms of making the case that Democrats aren’t weak on national security and that he has pursued a number of President Bush’s policies in terms of being aggressive. This has been in service to America’s national interest and the best outcomes for every American.If you look at the president’s use of drones, for example, he decision to keep using Guantanamo Bay to house detainees, these are things that have absolutely antagonized the left in this country.

But if you’re looking at results, you can’t argue with the results. A man who was America’s enemy, who was a destabilizing force in the Middle East and a supporter of anti-American forces has been removed from the stage.

Movin’ On Up! DC School Reforms Gets Some Traction

This has been a long time coming. The DC School System’s performance has been the fodder of conservative racial grist for years, ignoring the fact that for a number of those years Republicans controlled the House which controls the City’s Laws and Budget. Mayor Adrian Fenty, one of a new generation of black elected politicians, made a controversial choice to hire a releative unknown, Michelle Rhee as Superintendant of the City’s Schools.

Rhee has shaken things up, and that is beginning to pay dividends…

DC School Superintendent Michelle Rhee and Mayor Adrian Fenty

Test scores suggest the new D.C. school model is working

Analysis of the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress, better known as the national report card, showed significant progress during the past two years in student reading skills. Fourth-graders — and this does not include those in public charter schools — gained about six points on a 500-point scale, and eighth-graders gained four points. Of the 11 urban school systems that administered the exam, only the District registered significant improvement at both grade levels. The eighth-grade growth outpaced the average growth in the nation, while fourth-grade growth trailed only that in Houston.

D.C. schools still score well below the national average. “We still have a ridiculously long way to go,” Ms. Rhee said. But the changes she is bringing to the troubled system are beginning to make a difference.

Some who questioned Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s takeover of the schools or his selection and steadfast support of Ms. Rhee are beginning to reconsider. Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, had reservations about mayoral control, but — as he writes on the opposite page today — his careful study of the past three years convinces him that the gains achieved under mayoral control are not accidental. Ms. Rhee has been controversial, in some cases gratuitously and in some cases inevitably, given her commitment to change. But, as Mr. Casserly writes, she has made a positive difference for children, which is in the end what matters.

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