Disappointed? Don't Blame Obama

President was victim of unrealistic expectations: Gideon Rachman

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 2, 2013 11:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – Amid concerns over surveillance and drone attacks, liberals at home and abroad have lately been making their disappointment with President Obama clear. And it's true that "when it comes to foreign policy, Mr. Obama campaigned with the human rights rhetoric of Jimmy Carter but has governed like Henry Kissinger," writes Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times. But stop before you call Obama a "fraud." First of all, some of his moves despised by the left are simply a means of adapting after making decisions they approved.

Take the drones: They follow Obama's decision to deescalate the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "If you are not going to go after your enemies on the ground, you may need other methods," Rachman notes. As for surveillance, Obama renounced waterboarding, "but the need to gather information on terror threats remains." And the US isn't the only country to eavesdrop on allies: The UK has considered spying on the US but feared getting caught; Israel's spy on the US was convicted. While Obama's enthusiastic backers dreamed, "Obama was living in a real universe, full of hard choices. It was his overheated critics who lived in a fantasy world." Click for Rachman's full column.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a joint press conference with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete after meeting together at State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Monday, July 1, 2013. Teeming crowds and blaring horns welcomed President Barack Obama to Tanzania's largest city, where the U.S. president's likeness...
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a joint press conference with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete after meeting together at State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Monday, July 1, 2013. Teeming crowds...   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
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