November 20, 2013 |
It could be many years before history will judge the decisions former President George W. Bush made in the White House, the 43rd president told Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" Tuesday night. For now, though, he'll paint. In a rare TV appearance, the former president shared his new hobby with the late-night personality, even presenting Leno with a portrait of himself. In the past, Bush has painted everything from cats and dogs to a scene of himself taking a shower . Bush, 67, explained to Leno that the artistic streak began after reading "Painting as a Pastime," an essay by Winston Churchill, who himself produced several portraits and landscape pieces.
September 18, 2013 |
In the wake of his dizzying reverses over chemical weapons in Syria, President Obama has been blasted as inconsistent, impulsive and amateurish in his conduct of foreign policy. But when you look at his actions rather than his words, there's more consistency than meets the eye. Consider the evidence. In 2009, when Iranians rose in rebellion against the mullahs in Tehran, Obama gave their ill-fated "Green Revolution" rhetorical support. But he also went on negotiating with the Tehran government, because his first priority was making a deal over Iran's nuclear program.
September 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In the last two weeks, President Obama has brought the United States to the brink of another military operation, then backed off unexpectedly. He went abroad and tried to rally international partners to join his cause, but returned empty-handed. He launched one of the biggest public relations and lobbying campaigns of his presidency, then aborted the mission. He called the nation to its televisions to make the case for using force, but made the case for more diplomacy. The White House's stop-and-start response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria three weeks ago could at best be described as deftly improvisational and at worst as impulsive and risky.
August 28, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The apparent poison gas attack that killed hundreds of Syrian civilians last week is testing President Obama's views on military intervention, international law and the United Nations as no previous crisis has done. The former constitutional law professor, who came to office determined to end what critics called the cowboy foreign policy of George W. Bush, now is wrestling with some of the same moral and legal realities that led Bush to invade Iraq without clear U.N. consent in 2003.
July 9, 2013 |
Who says President Obama isn't a unifier? Last week, this newspaper's Edmund Sanders reported from Cairo "As rival camps of Egyptians protest for and against the toppling of President Mohamed Morsi, there is a rare point of agreement: America is to blame. " Both the Muslim Brotherhood and the coalition arrayed against it believe that the United States is against them. And, amazingly, both sides have a point. Obama supported Hosni Mubarak, our geriatric dictator-client, right up until the moment Mubarak needed us most.
July 6, 2013 |
President Obama's most important foreign policy initiative is his attempt to "pivot" away from the Middle East and toward Asia. Yet in Asia, some are starting to wonder whether the pivot was last year's story. The new secretary of State, John F. Kerry, is rarely sighted in the region. The military elements of the rebalance are underwhelming. Some of the main proponents of the pivot have left government. And U.S. policymakers are still drawn to the Middle East like iron filings to a magnet.