In an MSNBC interview with Alex Wagner, Jane Harman of the Woodrow Institute blamed the current chaos in the Middle East on Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.
Harman also blamed bush for the current “bad foreign policy narrative” and stated her belief that idealism can still play a major role in American foreign affairs.
Wagner discussed recent accusations of America’s role in current global instability.
“The breadth of global instability now unfolding hasn’t been seen since the late 1970s, U.S. security strategists say, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, revolutionary Islamists took power in Iran, and Southeast Asia was reeling in the wake of the U.S. exit from Vietnam,” the article reads.
Since the article’s release on Monday, the conversation in Washington has turned towards the cause for this instability. When Wagner asked the global expert from the Wilson Center if the current White House administration—an administration which has been in power for over six years—is to blame for this crisis, Harman patronized the liberal talk show host.
“Oh, dear. Obama came into power in the worst economic crisis since the great depression,” Harman said. “The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan certainly were not started on his watch. And he, one of his big campaign things, he never would have voted to go into Iraq. In hindsight, that was the correct position.”
Harman went on to essentially pass off any foreign policies woes of the Obama administration on George W. Bush and his years in the White House, placing an emphasis on the crisis in Iraq. But despite these previous leadership woes, the foreign policy expert believes that Obama is still to blame for a few policy errors.
“Anyway, you can’t roll back the videotape. He inherited a very dangerous world and I think there’s more we can do,” Harman said. “Let me not say this is static and we can blame everybody else. he’s the president. He’s the commander in chief and he’s been there 5 1/2 years. i don’t think we have a good foreign policy narrative.”
But do not be fooled, this foreign policy narrative only appears flawed. According to Harman, those in the Middle East do not like the United States’ polices in the region due to the overuse of force and drones. In order to fix this flaw, the Obama administration should outline clearer goals for their pursuits abroad.
“It’s very important for this administration to be clearer about what our objectives are. And I actually think the effort, the heroic effort, that John Kerry and Martin Indyk made in the Middle East is commendable, and I think many people there would agree with that. Some would say it was impossible to succeed. But hey, I think idealism does have a place in foreign policy.”