"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

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

In Rebuttal to Barack Obama’s Essay – “Renewing American Leadership” – Part I

Over the course of the roughly seven years of the Bush Administration it has been the public discourse of the Democrat party, Leftists and media of this nation to see and judge in each action; the wrong action. As is the case with any action taken, whether by a government leader or individual civilian, it is naturally followed by a reaction.

This is the nature of existence; even inaction generates a reaction. The President of the U.S. must make decisive action and once that action is taken, the reaction(s) will follow. Most leaders(?), will backtrack after the fact and say ‘well it was misinterpreted,’ or ‘that’s not what my vote meant,’ or ‘I was hornswaggled.’

Where the opposition gains is the myriad possibilities that may arise upon the taking of a certain action. Any number of observations or predictions is much easier to make once someone has done the difficult work of making it so. When an action takes place parts of the outcome are apparent, at least in that moment in time. Those in disagreement have all manner of direction(s) to choose from when attacking, as those are only words or theory, whereas the action is “real” and cannot be changed.

In this vein, I offer an analysis and reaction to Senator Barack Obama’s effort to define himself as a visionary in the realm of foreign affairs, as published in the pages of Foreign Affairs, July/August 2007 issue.

Following the gushing acknowledgment of three 20th century Democrat presidents; FDR, Truman and Kennedy, Obama enters into the reality of a U.S. that must once again “provide visionary leadership.” Where the Bush Administration has moved forward with what could be described as “visionary” as they are actions unlike the previous tactics of the status quo and don’t rock the boat attitudes; yet Obama sees this as a “conventional” response to an “unconventional” attack:

“largely viewing problems as state-based and principally amenable to military solutions. It was this tragically misguided view that led us into a war in Iraq that never should have been authorized and never should have been waged. In the wake of Iraq and Abu Ghraib, the world has lost trust in our purposes and our principles.”

Obama believes we must not see our nation’s power as being in a “terminal decline” but to seize it anew. Admittedly it is far easier to see the pessimistic than the optimistic as it takes much less effort for the former; this however is exactly what the Left has done with each word spoken and each step taken by the U.S. when it has been offered by the present administration.

He speaks of being in the “wake of Iraq and Abu Ghraib,” because when offered the opportunity of giving his and their own nation the benefit of the doubt the Senator and the Left pounced upon their own homeland as the one with the evil intent as did much of the world media. How is that for optimism?

With his first day in office as president, Barack Obama promises to “renew American leadership in the world.” First by ending our efforts in Iraq soon and responsibly and then to set our sights on the greater Middle East, which was diverted from with our entry into Iraq.

Regardless of any good that has come from or does come from following our actions in Iraq, Obama must toe the line in painting the Iraq Theater as pointless. Doing so however, limits the seriousness with which one can take the candidates suggestion that “we should leave behind only a minimal over-the-horizon military force in the region to protect American personnel and facilities, continue training Iraqi security forces, and root out al Qaeda. After all, this is what the U.S. is doing now, but with greater numbers than it is assumed a President Obama would envision that he has awaiting his orders just “over the horizon.” This statement also belies and reveals that there are in fact terrorists, including al Qaeda in Iraq and that not having apprehended Osama bin Laden was a dropping of the ball. Bin Laden is another needle in the haystack, which the opposition can easily conclude and state would be in custody this very day, were they in charge. No way to prove it, yet no way to disprove it either; how convenient.

Clearing up the Bush created “morass in Iraq” would free the U.S. up so that it can re-enter the Israeli-Palestinian problem in the Middle East; this “a task that the Bush administration neglected for years.

As candidate Obama sees it, those in the Middle East and “the rest of the world have looked to America to lead the effort to build the road to a lasting peace. I would hope however, that one would be forgiven the snicker that arises with this “idyllic” revision of the recent past. One might agree that many in the world have looked to the U.S. to stick its nose in so that others could then bad mouth the U.S. as a puppet of the Zionist regime or just a partner in the continuing failure to bring peace to a region that has done as much or little as possible to actually assist. There is also the issue of those actors that wish for and work toward the obliteration of Israel; which just so happens to include those a President Obama would apply his “(T)ough-minded diplomacy, backed by the whole range of instruments of American power -- political, economic, and military,” to.

The commitment as offered by Barack will be to address the growing threats in the region consisting of “a strengthened Iran, a chaotic Iraq, the resurgence of al Qaeda, the reinvigoration of Hamas and Hezbollah. A commitment that sounds strangely similar to the present albeit minus the “Bush,” a commitment that sounds strangely like pre 9/11, a commitment that will require the assistance of ‘allies,’ that didn’t so much dislike the Bush Administration but had very different views and economic interests.

End of Part I

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