Today's Matrices
Today's letter from the Editor
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Interactive / Mobile Developer

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Midweight

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Front End Developer

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Front End Developer - Midweight / Senior

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Voices David Usborne

What was it about winning the Nobel  Peace Prize within minutes of taking  office that made President Barack Obama go so tepid on foreign policy?

The question became urgent when he backed away from striking the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons. Then when Isis stormed through northern Iraq, the White House responded by sending  advisers to Baghdad. Even relations with allies have been neglected.

Contrast Mr Obama’s clunky statements on the loss of MH17 to  Ronald Reagan’s address to the nation after the downing of Korean Airlines 007 by the Soviets in 1988. “And it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy,” Mr Obama said last  Thursday. Looks like it may?

Mr Reagan didn’t do clunky. “Make  no mistake about it, this attack was not just against ourselves or the Republic of Korea,” he said, staring  at the camera in the Oval Office. “This  was the Soviet Union against the world and the moral precepts which guide human relations among people  everywhere. It was an act of  barbarism, born of a society which  wantonly disregards individual rights and the value of human life.”

What we see now as limpness in the Oval Office may be judged by  history as wise restraint. Mr Obama  cares only about the right end results. No Drama Obama. And he has a deep sense of history. He hasn’t forgotten the USS Vincennes, when a US surface-to-air missile struck the Iran Air airbus, killing all 290 passengers.

All that said, in the past days Mr Obama has flunked the presidential  “optics” test. The day the plane went  down, he carried on with his schedule,  delivering a speech about repairing  roads then attending two fundraising  events. On Tuesday he left Washington for three days of fundraising.

In these tricky days, he needs to drop the cool act and give us some presidential theatrics – even if it goes against his better nature.

i@independent.co.uk

Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks