Memo Question for March 18: The Atlantic Economy
A Note on Friedrich Hayek and Lionel Robbins in the Great Depression...

Washington Post Crashed-and-Burned Watch (Foreign Policy Edition)

Fareed Zakaria:

Why Washington Worries: As George W. Bush's term came to a close, he had few defenders left in the world of foreign policy. Mainstream commentators almost unanimously agreed the Bush years had been marked by arrogance and incompetence.... Even Richard Perle, the neoconservative guru, acknowledged recently that "Bush mostly failed to implement an effective foreign and defense policy."...

[T]he Obama administration has... made some striking moves in foreign policy... initial, small steps but all in the right direction--deserving of praise, one might think. But no, the Washington establishment is... dismayed....

The conservative backlash has been almost comical in its fury.... Charles Krauthammer.... [The] normally intelligent... Leslie Gelb... "Power Rules," says that Hillary's comments about China's human-rights record were correct, but shouldn't have been said publicly. Peter Bergen of CNN says that "doing deals with the Taliban today could further destabilize Afghanistan." "It's change for change's sake," Gelb writes ruefully. Ah, if we just kept in place all those Bush-era policies that were working so well.... The Washington Post... worr[ied] that Obama might be capitulating to Russian power. His sin was to point out in a letter to the Russian president that were Moscow to help in blunting the threat of missile attacks from Tehran, the United States would not feel as pressed to position missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic—since those defenses were meant to protect against Iranian missiles. This is elementary logic....

The problem with American foreign policy goes beyond George Bush. It includes a Washington establishment that 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.

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