Which One of Us Is Delusional?

 

I don’t believe that the geopolitical instability we’re seeing now is entirely Obama’s fault. There is a limit to what American power can accomplish. But I found his interview with Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes terrifying. If you haven’t watched it, I don’t quite have the right words to describe it, so I suggest you do.

That the administration doesn’t realize how terrifyingly out-of-touch he sounded — and is promoting the most-ridiculed moment of it — is likewise terrifying: Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 12.40.39 Chris Christie summed up a few — only a few — of the reasons to feel puzzlement about this comment:

Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) assailed the foreign policy of President Obama in an interview Friday, calling the commander in chief “delusional.”

“I mean, Syria is on fire, Iraq is on fire, Egypt is under martial law, Yemen is on fire, Lebanon is on fire with Hezbollah and Hamas shooting rockets into Israel, and he has put Iran on the path to nuclear weapons,” Christie said on Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends.”

“That’s leadership?” the 2016 GOP presidential candidate added. “That’s success?”

“If he thinks that’s successful foreign policy then maybe he should do all of us a favor [and] start building his library now and leave office early.”

Christie added that he finds Obama’s repeated defense of his decisions in Syria disheartening, given the deteriorating situation there. “It’s a success that 250,000 people have been murdered at the hands of their own government?” he asked, citing Syrian President Bashar Assad’s fight with rebel factions.

“It’s a success that millions of people are running for their lives to other countries in the Middle East and Europe?” Christie also asked, referencing the ongoing flood of refugees fleeing Syria.

And that’s only a part of it, isn’t it.

“Success” may not be a reasonable way to put things: It’s not at all clear to me that the United States could put all these fires out; it is certainly not the fault of the United States that 250,000 people have been murdered in the Syrian civil war. But Obama’s intimation that none of this is really cause for American alarm — and that we should be glad he’s leading on climate change — really does sound actively delusional.

I’m looking at the news with my hands over my eyes these days. Either I’m out of my mind, or the President of the United States is.

I hope it’s me.

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    DrewInWisconsin:This thread makes me want to retreat into a cozy room with a stack of puppy videos.

    I understand. Where did you get your liberal arts degree?

    • #91
  2. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    Man With the Axe:

    DrewInWisconsin:This thread makes me want to retreat into a cozy room with a stack of puppy videos.

    I understand. Where did you get your liberal arts degree?

    DrewTheEnglishMajor  :)

    • #92
  3. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    DrewInWisconsin:Obama’s response to Putin’s actions — that he’s making a mistake and will get stuck in a quagmire — feels like so much whistling past the graveyard.

    (And it’s a very populous graveyard.)

    Plus he totally mispronounced quagmire.  lol

    • #93
  4. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Chris Christie summed up a few — only a few — of the reasons to feel puzzlement about this comment:

    Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) assailed the foreign policy of President Obama in an interview Friday, calling the commander in chief “delusional.”

    “I mean, Syria is on fire, Iraq is on fire, Egypt is under martial law, Yemen is on fire, Lebanon is on fire with Hezbollah and Hamas shooting rockets into Israel, and he has put Iran on the path to nuclear weapons,” Christie said on Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends.”

    “That’s leadership?” the 2016 GOP presidential candidate added. “That’s success?”

    “If he thinks that’s successful foreign policy then maybe he should do all of us a favor [and] start building his library now and leave office early.”

    Christie added that he finds Obama’s repeated defense of his decisions in Syria disheartening, given the deteriorating situation there. “It’s a success that 250,000 people have been murdered at the hands of their own government?” he asked, citing Syrian President Bashar Assad’s fight with rebel factions.

    “It’s a success that millions of people are running for their lives to other countries in the Middle East and Europe?” Christie also asked, referencing the ongoing flood of refugees fleeing Syria.

    Obama is pursuing a Billy Joel foreign policy.  He didn’t start the fire!

    • #94
  5. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Titus Techera: I think these people are neither malevolent nor stupid.

    Titus, probably I should read all 90+ comments so far before replying.

    But really I believe Obama and a good number of his Leftist fellow travelers (Pelosi, Reid, Rice, Powers, et. al) are in fact malevolent and if not stupid, at least invincibly willfully ignorant.

    Obama himself I believe is a malevolent narcissist bordering on sociopathy. He doesn’t say things he thinks are true, he thinks things are true because he says them. He’s made up his mind he’s going to wrench the America in the direction he thinks it should go, consequences be damned. I believe he actively wants to take America down to the level of every other nation by weakening us in every domain he can get his hands on. I believe he is, in fact, an evil person. He doesn’t care what carnage he wreaks because he knows he’ll be an alrightnik no matter what (betting he won’t get caught up in a massive WMD attack).

    Yet the American people have what they have, and will get what they get, because they vote the way they vote, electing Obama twice in spite of most of what he was saying being complete BS including the examples in the Whittle video:

    • The claims Obama was making about Obamacare could be known to be false at the time because they were simply impossible, yet people believed the claims, and continue to believe and defend them.
    • What hurt Romney in the 2nd debate was not that Crowley interjected herself with a false narrative, what hurt him was he just stood there with a deer in the headlights look and lacked the fortitude to push back right on the spot.

    We are coming up on a very dangerous span of time where America’s enemies are going to grab for whatever they can before laying low for a couple months in 2016 to avoid buggering the election for the Democrat. Then the time between 11/9/16 and noon 1/20/17 Obama is going to act entirely without restraint, and G*d alone knows what outrageous acts he’ll perform.

    No Claire, it isn’t just you.

    • #95
  6. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Claire & all,

    Seawriter started the comments with a Bill Whittle “Firewall”. Given the current topic of Obama as Commander in Chief, the concurrent topics of the Benghazi investigation and Bowe Bergdahl’s get out of jail free card, I thought that there was another Bill Whittle “Firewall” that would be relevant.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #96
  7. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Titus Techera:I give up–apparently, no one else will take issue with the opinion that your president is insane.

    Insane is another word for “disagrees with me”.  Glad to have helped, please don’t mention it.

    • #97
  8. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Titus if I remember is in Romania – and in comparison to what Eastern Europe has experienced, and what Romania has for a government, Obama may not seem too bad.

    My aunt who raised us used to frequently say “God behaves in mysterious ways”.  My sister went out of town to her friend’s farm on the NY / PA border. While out in the boonies, she found at one yard sale, everything for her son to set up housekeeping on her list, including some items on her own wish list including porch furnishings – total $66.00

    She and her friend were limited by the Direct TV channel pkg., but one evening a channel beyond the “paid” for came on – a complete history of how Hitler got into power, the countries affected, how fast it happened… which led to a discussion of today’s events. I told her about this thread.  Claire and Kozak’s comments of “something’s coming that is yet to be named” came up in conversation – the book I found and am reading written in 1939 about events in Austria…..someone mentioned in this thread dropping leaflets over Syria to tell people not to lose hope – I just read 2 nights ago in my book where they dropped leaflets over Czechoslovakia to not despair – My sister said she felt the message of the weekend is to bless people around you where you are – don’t worry – make some preparations – God will provide – I understood what she meant.   Have hope.

    • #98
  9. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Zafar:

    Titus Techera:I give up–apparently, no one else will take issue with the opinion that your president is insane.

    Insane is another word for “disagrees with me”. Glad to have helped, please don’t mention it.

    Zafar,

    Aside from your usual appeal to a jaded sophomoric nihilism (as if it is a great piece of wisdom) you and Titus miss the point of my original comment. I didn’t say Obama was insane. It was more that I hoped Obama was insane. When he is delusional and manufactures fantasy problems like the idiocy of global warming he is the least damaging and the most ridiculous. When he gets clear headed he betrays his twin sympathies for Marxism and Jihadism. Then he does real damage.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #99
  10. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    No offence intended, Jim.  Imho delusional is insane.  Believing in stuff that isn’t there is nuts, right?

    • #100
  11. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    James Gawron:

    Zafar:

    Titus Techera:I give up–apparently, no one else will take issue with the opinion that your president is insane.

    Insane is another word for “disagrees with me”. Glad to have helped, please don’t mention it.

    Zafar,

    Aside from your usual appeal to a jaded sophomoric nihilism (as if it is a great piece of wisdom) you and Titus miss the point of my original comment. I didn’t say Obama was insane. It was more that I hoped Obama was insane. When he is delusional and manufactures fantasy problems like the idiocy of global warming he is the least damaging and the most ridiculous. When he gets clear headed he betrays his twin sympathies for Marxism and Jihadism. Then he does real damage.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Right. Titus and Zafar are intentionally confusing being delusional (an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument) with insanity (the state of being seriously mentally ill; madness).

    On these middle east issues Obama is like Baghdad Bob, denying the reality that is obvious to anyone who looks over his shoulder at the reality on the ground.

    • #101
  12. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Titus Techera:I give up–apparently, no one else will take issue with the opinion that your president is insane.

    I think Obama isn’t insane or even ill intentioned. I think he is equal parts uninterested and unconcerned. He is uninterested in foreign policy outside of putting forth bold proclamations for the applause it will bring to him from domestic media. Giving a speech in which he declares “Assad must go” I think is the extent of what he feels he has to do. Actually taking steps to ensure that happens is for other people, and really whether it works or not isn’t that important so much so as it doesn’t lead to him having to answer any follow up questions.

    I think he is unconcerned because he can’t conceive of the fact that his international adversaries have anything but contempt for him, and that they could possibly calculate the value of physical confrontation and human life any differently than he does. He thinks that everyone ultimately must have the same benign goals that he does. That they all actually want peace, democracy, freedom and prosperity. Maybe they do to a certain point, but often what moves them are entirely different motives of pride, vengeance, and glory.

    He thinks we can all live together. They view the world as far more of a zero sum game. Obama thinks that is 19th century thinking, he is right, and their thinking will lead to 19th century results.

    • #102
  13. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Valiuth:

    Titus Techera:I give up–apparently, no one else will take issue with the opinion that your president is insane.

    I think Obama isn’t insane or even ill intentioned. I think he is equal parts uninterested and unconcerned. He is uninterested in foreign policy outside of putting forth bold proclamations for the applause it will bring to him from domestic media. Giving a speech in which he declares “Assad must go” I think is the extent of what he feels he has to do. Actually taking steps to ensure that happens is for other people, and really whether it works or not isn’t that important so much so as it doesn’t lead to him having to answer any follow up questions.

    I think he is unconcerned because he can’t conceive of the fact that his international adversaries have anything but contempt for him, and that they could possibly calculate the value of physical confrontation and human life any differently than he does. He thinks that everyone ultimately must have the same benign goals that he does. That they all actually want peace, democracy, freedom and prosperity. Maybe they do to a certain point, but often what moves them are entirely different motives of pride, vengeance, and glory.

    He thinks we can all live together. They view the world as far more of a zero sum game. Obama thinks that is 19th century thinking, he is right, and their thinking will lead to 19th century results.

    Val,

    You don’t feel that this level of narcissistic detachment is a sign of insanity in itself? He couldn’t tear himself away from his selfie with that Danish Pastry (I meant Prime Minister) long enough to notice the genocide.

    C’mon Val gimme me a break.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #103
  14. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    Valiuth: I think Obama isn’t insane or even ill intentioned. I think he is equal parts uninterested and unconcerned.

    Maybe. I don’t pretend to be able to look into his mind to know what he really thinks.

    But I do know that he says all kinds of things that are not true, and everyone knows it. So, as the old saw goes, “Is he lying or is he crazy?”

    When Hillary says things that are not true, which occurs every day, most people assume that she is simply lying. This is because when she is confronted with the truth she shifts to asserting something different. “I did not send or receive any classified information” becomes “I did not send or receive any emails marked ‘classified.'”

    When Obama is confronted with the untrue things he has said he denies he ever said them. Or he explains in obfuscatory language why it isn’t false, and everyone, Steve Kroft included, feels like they have been filibustered. So we don’t know for certain if he believes his false statements are true, or if he knows they are false but can’t admit he intentionally lied and is continuing in the lie.

    If it’s the former, that is he believes the untruth, we then don’t know if he is delusional or stupid. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that he has delusions, not that he is a liar or an idiot.

    • #104
  15. Chris Campion Coolidge
    Chris Campion
    @ChrisCampion

    Man With the Axe:

    Valiuth: I think Obama isn’t insane or even ill intentioned. I think he is equal parts uninterested and unconcerned.

    If it’s the former, that is he believes the untruth, we then don’t know if he is delusional or stupid. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that he has delusions, not that he is a liar or an idiot.

    Don’t sell him short.  He can be all three.

    • #105
  16. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Man With the Axe:

    On these middle east issues Obama is like Baghdad Bob, denying the reality that is obvious to anyone who looks over his shoulder at the reality on the ground.

    Well he’s a politician, ‘innit?

    I can’t think of a single politician who’s flatly admitted being deeply and fundamentally wrong – whatever the facts.  There’s always a spin.

    The US’ policy in Syria has been shown up by Russia – Obama’s trying to avoid admitting that.

    • #106
  17. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Valiuth:

    I think Obama isn’t insane or even ill intentioned. I think he is equal parts uninterested and unconcerned.

    The US has been so dominant in the world since the end of the Cold War that domestic responses to announcements about the Middle East have been more important than on the ground reactions.

    US dominance is, naturally, waning – naturally because it’s relative and the other countries are recovering from devastation by war and socialism – imho it’s probably something that all Administrations (and maybe Americans) are going to have to adjust to.

    I think he is unconcerned because he can’t conceive of the fact that his international adversaries have anything but contempt for him, and that they could possibly calculate the value of physical confrontation and human life any differently than he does.

    I think his instinct is to be unconcerned because what foreigners think of US policy in the Middle East really has mattered very little over the last couple of decades.

    • #107
  18. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    President Obama is a narcissist and as Charles Krauthammer said as delusional as a Columbia undergrad. My take is he has made Jimmy Carter look like a genius.

    • #108
  19. Brian McMenomy Inactive
    Brian McMenomy
    @BrianMcMenomy

    I keep coming back to an Uncommon Knowledge interview with Andrew Klavan, where Peter & Drew explored a preference for unreality over reality.  Sadly, our President has been exhibiting this tendency for quite some time.

    As the Ricochetti can attest, I have been very careful not to ascribe motive to the President’s actions, at least in the sense of saying that he is trying to harm this country.  The scary thing about this situation is that it seems to matter less and less.   He thinks that he can tell the country and the rest of the world that we are safer now than we were on Jan. 20, 2009.  He thinks the standing of the US is higher now than it was then.  The world he comments on seems to exist only in his own mind and is buttressed by the syncophants that surround him.  They seem to be bent on running out the clock, pushing the day of reckoning off until it’s someone else’s problem.

    Jimmy Carter, tool that he was, actually learned from experience and boycotted the Moscow Olympics when reality slapped him in the face.  President Obama just keeps trying to slap reality in the face, pushing it to say what he wants it to say.   It cannot work over the long haul.  No, Claire, you’re not delusional (either that, or I’m deeply delusional too).

    • #109
  20. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    More evidence for delusion:

    The president criticizing his own policies from the standpoint of an outsider. So, so weird. From the 60 Minutes interview:

    STEVE KROFT: You have been talking a lot about the moderate opposition in Syria. It seems very hard to identify. And you talked about the frustrations of trying to find some and train them. You had a half-a-billion dollars from congress to train and equip 5,000, and at the end, according to the commander of CENTCOM, you got 50 people, most of whom are, are dead or deserted. He said you’ve got four or five left.
    BARACK OBAMA: Steve, this is why I’ve been skeptical from the get-go about the notion that we were going to effectively create this proxy army inside of Syria.

    From “Morning Joe.”

    WILLIE GEIST: It cost about $500 million for five trained fighters. And he said you know what, I didn’t really like that policy from the beginning. And Steve Croft asked him, well then why did you go forth with it? Are you surprised at the way the president has talked so openly about his own disdain for that policy?
    DAVID IGNATIUS: It was weird to me, Willie, in that he spoke almost like a man vindicated when a policy of his own administration had collapsed in failure. And he was, he took the line almost of, see, I told you so.

    • #110
  21. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    DrewInWisconsin: WILLIE GEIST: It cost about $500 million for five trained fighters. And he said you know what, I didn’t really like that policy from the beginning. And Steve Croft asked him, well then why did you go forth with it? Are you surprised at the way the president has talked so openly about his own disdain for that policy?

    DAVID IGNATIUS: It was weird to me, Willie, in that he spoke almost like a man vindicated when a policy of his own administration had collapsed in failure. And he was, he took the line almost of, see, I told you so.

    The importance of this cannot be overstated. I’ve been thinking he’s fulfilling his own prophecy.

    See? America isn’t so special or great. It’s just a waste of resources to interfere in these regional conflicts. Resources better spent on buying votes domestic issues and mitigating AGW. 

    For lefties, it isn’t about doing good, it’s about proving one’s intellectual and moral superiority. This is why evidence to the contrary must either be ignored or quashed. It’s personal to them.

    • #111
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