David Brooks: Obama Has A ‘Manhood Problem’ In Middle East

David Brooks, AB'83, acclaimed NEW York Times columnist, shares a stage with pundits during a panel discussion, "2012: The Path to the Presidency", at the University of Chicago in Chicago on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012. ... David Brooks, AB'83, acclaimed NEW York Times columnist, shares a stage with pundits during a panel discussion, "2012: The Path to the Presidency", at the University of Chicago in Chicago on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) MORE LESS
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New York Times columnist David Brooks on Sunday criticized President Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East and toward Russia.

“Let’s face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a (I’ll say it crudely) but a manhood problem in the Middle East: Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad, somebody like Putin?” Brooks said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” ” I think a lot of the rap is unfair. But certainly in the Middle East, there’s an assumption he’s not tough.”

Brooks did say that he felt the Obama administration was right to not approach the situation in Crimea as if it were the Cold War.

“I think they’ve decided, and I think it’s the right decision, it’s not that Putin’s trying to restart the Cold War. He’s more like the 19th century imperialists and expansionists,” Brooks said. “And so how do you deal with somebody who’s going to be perpetually expansionist? And I think if you go back to 19thcentury history, the answer’s pretty obvious: You get a balance of power. You fill in vacuums around him.”

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