B+ for Obama Foreign Policy, F for Not Owning It
New prez is doing fine in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, but no one notices
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2009 11:17 AM CDT
President Barack Obama.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Despite the howls of protest over President Obama's Nobel Prize and the administration’s "dithering" on Afghanistan , the fact is that the new president’s foreign endeavors deserve good marks, says Juan Cole. Cole gives Obama an A for his Iranian statesmanship, a B for pulling out of Iraq as promised—albeit coordinating poorly with the Iraqis—and a B for making Pakistan own “the problem of the Pakistani Taliban.” Not bad for eight months.

“Far from accomplishing nothing,” Cole writes on Salon, “Obama has been a whirlwind of activity and has already gained a place in the Iraqi, Iranian, and Pakistani history books.” The real problem is that all eyes are elsewhere, and Obama “receives his lowest grade for his failure to force America 's chattering classes to take notice.” The Obama administration has made an admirable about-face from Bush policies in most areas, but when it comes to the tooting of the horn it “has gone too far in the opposite direction, hiding its light beneath a bushel.”