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Perception or Truth?

10:01 AM, Jan 26, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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In his time on stage at Davos, Secretary of State John Kerry felt obliged to assert that the United State is not withdrawing from the international stage. That it is, in fact, more involved and more of a player than ever.  As Terry Atlas of Bloomberg reports, Kerry was:

… responding to domestic critics and foreign officials who see a retreat by President Barack Obama.

Kerry used the word “myth.”  And one can understand why “domestic critics” might have a reason to make such criticisms and perpetuate such a myth.  These critics, it should be pointed out, include Fareed Zakaria  who is not normally considered a strong opponent of the administration (the president, after all, reads his stuff) and who recently called the administration’s deal with Iran “a train wreck."

But what about those “foreign officials?” If the U.S. is not retreating, what is the incentive for them to say so and, presumably, to act accordingly. Hard to imagine that they are doing it just to get under Kerry’s skin.

Kerry, meanwhile, argues that:

… the U.S. is “more engaged than ever” even if it is slower to turn to military options.

Adding that:

... “our engagement isn’t measured” in frequent-flier miles, but in the “breadth of our global commitments, their depth especially our commitments to our allies in every corner of the world.” 

Ultimately, he said, “it is measured by the results we are able to achieve.”

As, for instance, in Syria?  Iran? 

Where, exactly?

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