i Newspaper | News | UK and Worldwide News | Newspaper
Today's Matrices
Today's letter from the Editor
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary Teacher

£110 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Newcastle: Our clients are looking for...

KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

Supply teachers needed- Worthing!

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: Supply teachers needed for va...

KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week