"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Thursday, April 13, 2006

For Clinton, a Chance to Evoke Better Days

To begin, I'm surprised it was Lewinsky with the cigar in the Oral Office and not Milbank. This piece is a paean to a myth made more so with the passage of time. It is a harking back to the day of a president popularized more by his likeability, celebrity and an ignorance by us all of what lurked beneath our complacency.

I'm not posting on this to bust on Clinton, rather in reaction to Milbanks column as linked at Martian Anthropologist, with the statement; "Ah, for the good old days."

What are "the good old days?" A world without Bush? A world of multilateral actions? A world without Al Qaeda? I don't want to speak for the "anthropologist" but those days are long gone and were by far not as innocent (excepting Lewinsky) or peaceful as we thought.

Is it the actions of Bush and his supposed "lying us into Iraq" or his "unilateral" action on Iraq? I'm not sure what people want other than my perceiving what they want as a childlike perfect world wishfulness.

As for Milbank suggesting that Clinton did not gloat, at least not "overtly," you don't have to be "overt" to gloat; and Clinton is surely gloating.

Clinton said, '"essentially thought that a country had to have a military but there were limits to what you could achieve militarily. And he believed that over the long run the gains we achieved through reasonable conversation . . . are those that are the most lasting."'

Round and aboutly, with a "nuanced" gloat, he says that the wise "Fulbright" would see things the Clinton way; not the "dullard" Bush way. Which hasn't proved to be the failure many seem to believe it is. Time moves forward, unfortunately for the Clinton lovers and though Iraq/Afghanistan/Al Qaeda is not moving along at a quicker more comfortable pace; it is not failure until it has actually failed.

Clinton, in his speech also referred to Indonesia as "proof of his conviction," and in Clintonian fashion "citing opinion polls" said, "approval of bin Laden had gone from 58 percent to 28 percent," he said. Why? "They saw the military dropping food instead of bombs."

This statement is great for a speech but holds little with regard to reality. We can't sit back and "wish" for more tsunamis so that we can use our military to assist those in need. We certainly could and do use our military for much more than just war, but use of Indonesia as an example does nothing to further the discussion of Iraq in any way other than whimsically.

Saying the Fulbright would "side with him (against Bush)" in numerous international issues is a polite form of gloating, but is gloating nonetheless.

Clinton's reference to the use of "soft power" correctly the opposite of "hard power," though used here implies the present administration does not use the "soft" version, ignores as much of the Left does the difficutlites of reality. Clinton "derided criticism, frequently voiced by the current administration, that '"if I didn't take military action this very day, people would look down their nose at America and think we were weak."' "To that, Clinton said, he always posed a question: '"Can we kill him tomorrow? If we can kill him tomorrow, then we're not weak."'

The "can we kill him tomorrow" comes off as more of a "I did things the way I did things" to cover his butt for anyone that is not a Clinton lover as Milbank most definately is. You see, I preferred peace and soft power as a means of uniting the world, rather than the silly "military might" way of Bush. This also helps to enlighten us in our quest to figure out how so much went on undetected or acted upon by the previous administration. Which we all know lead to 9/11.

Is it all Clinton's fault? No, I don't think so, but I do think it speaks to the actions of those with a different world view that appreciated workings of the status quo, which has lead us to where we are now.

No, I don't long for the "good old days," because the "good old days" are only the "good old days" when you look back and there is nothing forward looking in that direction.



© blogger templates 3 column | Webtalks