Good writer and smart man Richard Cohen is taking Obama to task for forgetting one important lesson that smart people like Richard Cohen know: the United States of America must be at war with lots of countries at all times.
That is the only conclusion possible to draw from Richard Cohen's column today, which excoriates the president for not applying the famed "Broken Windows Theory" of policing to, like, the entire world. All of it. Richard Cohen, in fact, writes the words, "What works for the subways or a city works as well in international relations."
Well. That's certainly one theory.
President Obama eschewed a broken-windows approach to foreign relations. He treated every crisis as an isolated event or problem unrelated to anything bigger. He did not understand that, by doing so, the world's bad guys felt that no one was watching...
The broken windows started to add up. In Syria, Bashar al-Assad paid Obama little heed. Obama wanted Assad gone, but he didn't go. Instead, Assad escalated his violence step by step — as if each step of the way he was looking over his shoulder to see whether anyone was watching. By now, he has shelled and gassed civilians and massacred his enemies. The Chinese, too, seem woefully unintimidated, and Japan has started to feel awfully alone out there in the Pacific. In Ukraine and Crimea, Vladimir Putin has done pretty much what he wants, unfazed by NATO, a capon posing as a rooster.
Every single bad thing that happens in any nation on earth outside the U.S. is a broken window, you see, and it is the responsibility of Barack Obama to fix all those broken windows, with force, if necessary. Cohen concludes, "This does not mean American boots on the ground. It does mean, though, that it's time to sweep up the broken glass."
What's so hard to understand, Obama??? The countries are the windows, and the various geopolitical crises are the glass, and American cruise missiles are the broom, and every single day you gotta be "sweeping" that "glass" with war, war, and more war, because you can't let anything happen anywhere in the world, or else these bad guys start getting ideas in their heads.. It is just the common sense that god gave a rat. Richard Cohen is a good writer and a smart man.