9 Comments

I agree with Good in some areas, but I think the Iran nuclear deal doesn't really fit in his thesis. e.g. Obama clearly had to burn political capital to enact the deal and he did it over strong objections within the U.S. and outside of the U.S. The status quo would have created fewer headaches for Obama (and the Democratic Party). The ease with which that deal unwound, also tells you something. If the economic relationships between the U.S. and our European allies and Iran were deeper and had more time to settle, the deal might have held more firmly. Clearly opponents of the deal recognized this reality as well. I also don't see a convergence of interests with respect to the Arab spring and all of the effected countries either. e.g. on one side we had the Obama and his domestic political network, Qatar and Turkey to varying degrees exercising influence internationally on a country-to-country basis; on the other side was an absolutely freaked out Saudi Arabia, UAE, and to a lesser degree Israel. Conservative interest inside the U.S. were also divided over what to do. Good interprets the U.S.-Saudi relationship as more or less OK during the Obama years. I interpret the relationship as one that was (and remains) in a major crisis. With respect to Saudi production increases, Good claims that they were doing Obama a favor. Another interpretation is that they were engaged in a price war designed to drive U.S. producers out of business (e.g. because the Saudis were able to produce at a much lower cost). In the run up to the 2016 election, we have a Trump Tower II meeting, as reported by the NY Times where there was an influence operation in favor of Trump against Clinton. Trump gets into power, immediately there is score settling between the UAE and Saudi Arabia against Qatar. We see a roll-back of the Iran nuclear deal. A ramp up of the war in Yemen. Trump gets his sword dance in his first international trip and Jared Kushner eventually gets significant financial relief for his underwater investment in 666 5th Avenue from the Qataris. In my view, with respect to some regions and countries, yes there is an elite consensus in some areas and regions. However, I think that is clearly not the case in other areas, or even within countries. It may be useful in some instances to view the American state as a whole, uniform entity. However, I also see some pretty obvious fractures, which is part of the reason that U.S. foreign policy over the past 20+ years has looked schizophrenic at times to outsiders. e.g. North Korea and Iran nuclear deals as casualties on one-side, tensions with European allies in connection with both George W. Bush and Trump.

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Is there any country or any global event that Aaron Good doesn’t think the US is responsible for?

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Anyone else find Aaron Good extremely annoying and to be a complete pseud?

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Confused about why he thinks the US would want to topple a pro-US dictator in Egypt (Mubarak)? The events following him stepping down seemed to indicate the US was completely unprepared for what was going on and that pro-US forces in Egyptian politics didn't really have their things together until 2014 when Sisi did his coup?

If I remember correctly, it wasn't like Tunisia was headed by a "rogue" figure either in 2011 either

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My three favorites!!!

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