Washington Needs to Give Obama His Due

Pundits too often advocate outdated 'imperial policy'
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2009 2:07 PM CDT
In this June 4, 2008, file photo Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference 2008, in Washington, and spoke about Iran.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – You just can’t please the Washington establishment, Fareed Zakaria observes in Newsweek. Beltway pundits almost universally blasted former President Bush’s foreign policy as arrogant and incompetent. But now that President Obama is charting a decidedly different course—closing Guantanamo, nixing torture, and signaling openness to talks with Syria, Iran, Russia, and elements of the Taliban—commentators still aren’t happy.

“The conservative backlash has been almost comical in its fury,” Zakaria writes, adding that “The problem with American foreign policy goes beyond George Bush.” Washington “has gotten comfortable with the exercise of American hegemony and treats compromise as treason and negotiations as appeasement. This is not foreign policy; it's imperial policy. And it isn't likely to work in today's world.”