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Machismo vs. Diplomacy

Conservatives didn't much care for Obama's U.N. premiere, during which he urged global cooperation on the issues of nuclear proliferation and climate change, but in The Washington Post, Fareed Zakaria writes that Obama's foreign-policy tack is worth defending. Zakaria argues that the right's rancor--Michelle Malkin dubbed Obama "the great appeaser," while Limbaugh called the speech "basically a coup against America"--reflects the way conservatives confuse machismo with diplomacy. Zakaria writes, "Denouncing, demeaning, and insulting other countries was a cheap and easy way to seem strong," but ultimately America's hostility "had become an easy excuse to reject even modest concessions to U.S. requests." Although nations do have priorities that often conflict, there are some issues in the global interest. Obama's approach builds on common ground and has already managed to convince Russia and China to agree to a toughening of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and Russia to consider supporting tougher sanctions against Iran.