With gratitude to Carolien Roelants in the Dutch Daily NRC on March 21, 2016 for drawing attention to a long interview in the Atlantic, I attach the full text of interviews of President Obama by Jeffrey Goldberg. The four conclusions at the end of the interviews are:
"Obama has come to a number of dovetailing conclusions about the world,
and about America’s role in it. The first is that the Middle East is no longer
terribly important to American interests. The second is that even if the
Middle East were surpassingly important, there would still be little an
American president could do to make it a better place. The third is that the
innate American desire to fix the sorts of problems that manifest
themselves most drastically in the Middle East inevitably leads to warfare,
to the deaths of U.S. soldiers, and to the eventual hemorrhaging of U.S.
credibility and power. The fourth is that the world cannot afford to see the
diminishment of U.S. power. Just as the leaders of several American allies
have found Obama’s leadership inadequate to the tasks before him, he
himself has found world leadership wanting: global partners who often
lack the vision and the will to spend political capital in pursuit of broad,
progressive goals, and adversaries who are not, in his mind, as rational as
he is. Obama believes that history has sides, and that America’s
adversaries—and some of its putative allies—have situated themselves on
the wrong one, a place where tribalism, fundamentalism, sectarianism,
and militarism still flourish. What they don’t understand is that history is
bending in his direction."
In an earlier entry in this sector, I already discussed the decision not to strike but to seek removal of chemical weapons from Syria. Don't do stupid shit stands for: seek a negotiated solution first rather than resorting to the use of force.