Sullivan: That's Not Weakness, It's Confidence

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2009 5:06 PM CDT
President Obama leaves the Security Council meeting on nuclear weapons Thursday.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – The "usual suspects" in the neoconservative camp are apoplectic at President Obama's behavior at the UN, writes Andrew Sullivan. After all, he had the nerve to "engage foreign powers as equals rather than as subordinates." Obama's critics, of course, see America as always in the right—even after the Bush-Cheney years and the corresponding plunge in international stature. "Obama's promise was and is a rebranding of America," says Sullivan.

"What I'm seeing in American foreign policy, in other words, is less fear and more confidence," he writes in his Daily Dish blog at the Atlantic. "Confidence is not the same thing as weakness. It is better understood, I think, as a rational attempt to seek self-interest through international cooperation, to see the US less as the hegemon than as the facilitator. If it works, it will be a breakthrough. If it works. But isn't it worth trying?"