Obama the Chess Player

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Ben Cohen
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By Ben Cohen

A telling line from a fascinating interview with the master of the dark political arts, Henry Kissinger:

SPIEGEL: Do you think it was helpful for Obama to deliver a
speech to the Islamic world in Cairo? Or has he created a lot of
illusions about what politics can deliver?

Kissinger: Obama is like a chess player who is playing
simultaneous chess and has opened his game with an unusual opening. Now
he's got to play his hand as he plays his various counterparts. We
haven't gotten beyond the opening game move yet. I have no quarrel with
the opening move.

I hope that Obama isn't taking his cues from Kissinger (a war criminal of the highest order), but the praise is warranted. Obama's behavior abroad is extremely nuanced and careful, just what we need after 8 years of smashing things with a sledge hammer. While I vehemently disagree with his policy towards Afghanistan, his artful performances elsewhere have endeared him to leaders world wide - an absolute necessity if the United States wants to be respected and lisened to.