Barack Obama's foreign policy disasters are about what one might expect from a leftist community organizer elected to be leader of the free world. So many of the countries this administration has touched -- Ukraine, Libya, Iraq -- have descended into acute civil war on Obama's watch. It's worth asking why, exactly, this has been the case.
It's not quite as simple as "the left sucks at war." French Socialist President Francois Hollande, for example, isn't too bad at it. He's been successfully running a series of ongoing foreign interventions in Africa.
So what does a French Socialist have that Obama doesn't? Two things: a French public that's relatively pragmatic in its views of military interventionism, particularly within their nation's sphere of influence; and an above-board public coupling of military and business interests, to the point where the French public fully accepts that there is no daylight between the two sectors. If France stages a military intervention, the president doesn't need to perform political gymnastics to justify subsequent corporate involvement. This clearly isn't the case in America.
It's childishly naive to think that conflict and interventionism are avoidable when you're a superpower. Especially in a time of economic crisis, the pressure is always on to enlarge your nation's slice of the global pie.
The problem is that leftists can't handle this reality, nor can they digest the idea that it's natural for humans to fight over the planet's limited resources. Unfortunately for Obama, leftists elected him and likely still comprise whatever is left of his support base. They thought they were electing a magic unicorn who would woo the world with hope, change and rainbows, because he didn't seem to have any oil, gas, and defense contractor friends.
But then the community organizer was mugged by reality. Not by "the military-industrial complex" or any other shady conspiracy entity; just plain reality.
Rather than be up front with the public about the cold hard facts of global competition, leftists like Obama feel compelled to get sneaky and invoke pretext to triangulate their non-interventionism with the real world. Ultimately, it doesn't work, because this is the era of social media and extreme transparency. The only pretext that can be employed discreetly is the initial one. For example, a president can convince the public that intervention is strictly based on humanitarian grounds, but other motivations -- notably economic ones -- will eventually come to light.