Search This Blog

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Obama’s Distractions

To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace. — George Washington

In my post “Conway vs. Petraeus with Obama as the Puppet Master” I wrote of the chasm in the view of our operations in Afghanistan between Marine General James Conway and General David Patraeus and the Obama administration. This post was made a few days prior to Obama’s clumsy and discombobulated address on the end of combat operations in Iraq last Tuesday.

Now that all of the pundits have had an opportunity to weigh in on Obama’s address it is clear that the President’s address did not go over well with them or the American public. His fleeting remarks on the mission in Iraq and his stubbornly adhering to a time line for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan have infuriated many on both the right and the left of the political spectrum. Even MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, an ardent supporter of Obama, criticized Obama for his lack of passion and the use of the teleprompter. Obama’s speech did not impress many in the media, only the most loyal Kool Aid drinkers found merit in his remarks.

How did Obama come to this decision? “Our Afghan policy was focused as much as anything on domestic politics,” an Obama adviser at the time told Peter Baker of the New York Times. “He would not risk losing the moderate to centrist Democrats in the middle of health insurance reform and he viewed that legislation as the make-or-break legislation for his administration.”

If this is true, then Obama’s military leadership can only be called scandalous. During the past week, 22 Americans were killed over a four-day period in Afghanistan. This is not a place about which decisions should be made in order to placate congressmen, pass health-care reform, and thereby maintain a president’s political standing. This is a place about which a president should make decisions to best succeed in the military mission he himself has set out. Obama sees his wartime duties as a threat to his domestic agenda. These wars are a distraction, unwanted interference with his true vocation — transforming America.

Charles Krauthammer writes in the National Review Online; “Such an impression could only have been reinforced when, given the opportunity in his Oval Office address this week to dispel the widespread perception in Afghanistan that America is leaving, Obama doubled down on his ambivalence. After giving a nod to the pace of troop reductions being conditions-based, he declared with his characteristic “but make no mistake” that “this transition will begin — because open-ended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people’s.”

“These are the words of a man who wants out. Most emphatically on Iraq, where from the beginning Obama has made clear that his objective is simply ending combat operations by an arbitrary deadline — despite the fact that a new government has not been formed and all our hard-won success hangs in the balance — in order to address the more paramount concern: keeping a campaign promise. Time to “turn the page” and turn America elsewhere.”

Krauthammer continues; “Well then, at least you’d then expect some vision of his larger foreign policy. After all, this was his first Oval Office address on the subject. What is the meaning, if any, of the Iraq and Afghan wars? And what of the clouds that are forming beyond those theaters: the drone-war escalation in Pakistan, the rise of al-Qaeda in Yemen, the danger of Somalia falling to al-Shabaab, and the threat of renewed civil war in Islamist Sudan as a referendum on independence for southern Christians and animists approaches?”

“This was the stage for Obama to explain what follows the now-abolished Global War on Terror. Where does America stand on the spreading threats to stability, decency, and U.S. interests from the Horn of Africa to the Hindu Kush?”

“On this, not a word. Instead, Obama made a strange and clumsy segue into a pep talk on the economy. Rebuilding it, he declared, “must be our central mission as a people, and my central responsibility as president.” This in a speech ostensibly about the two wars he is directing. He could not have made more clear where his priorities lie, and how much he sees foreign policy — war policy — as subordinate to his domestic ambitions.”

Krauthammer concludes his column with; “Unfortunately, what for Obama is a distraction is life or death for U.S. troops now on patrol in Kandahar province. Some presidents may not like being wartime leaders. But they don’t get to decide. History does. Obama needs to accept the role. It’s not just the U.S. military, as Baker reports, that is “worried he is not fully invested in the cause.” Our allies, too, are experiencing doubt. And our enemies are drawing sustenance.”

As bloom begins to wear off of Obama and his administration more and more Americans are seeing him as he is, an arrogant, distracted social progressive who believes he can govern by the sheer force of his personality — a Mussolini/Hitler complex.

This “brilliant” president, who while editor of the Harvard Law Review never pen one line and whose academic records and accomplishments are stilled sealed, has no more knowledge of history that the proverbial fifth grader. Everything he knows stemmed from his mentors; Frank Marshall Davis, Jeremiah Wright and Saul Alinsky. He is not competent to be the Commander-in-Chief of our military our captain of our ship of state. He cannot think or speak without reading someone else’s words projected onto a teleprompter. He is nothing but a ward healing community organizer.

A recent example of his brilliance is the newly installed carpet in the oval office, a carpet Obama personally designed and ordered. President Obama’s new presidential rug seemed beyond reproach, with quotations from Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. woven along its curved edge.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” According media reports, this quote keeping Obama company on his wheat-colored carpet is from Martin Luther King.

Except it’s not a King quote. The words belong to a long-gone Bostonian champion of social progress. His roots in the republic ran so deep that his grandfather commanded the Minutemen at the Battle of Lexington.

For the record, Theodore Parker is your man, President Obama. Unless you’re fascinated by antebellum American reformers, you may not know of the lyrically gifted Parker, an abolitionist, Unitarian minister and Transcendentalist thinker who foresaw the end of slavery, though he did not live to see emancipation. He died at age 49 in 1860, on the eve of the Civil War.

More precisely: King's often repeated expression that "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice" was his own succinct summation of sentiments echoing those of Theodore Parker, who, in "Of Justice and the Conscience" (1853) asserted: "I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice."

Now that this has been exposed Obama has two options. The first is to keep the carpet and suffer constant embarrassment and the second is to auction it off for a good price on e-Bay.

Obama is now engaged with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to find a “peace’ in the Middle East. He no doubt has hopes of acquiring a second Nobel Peace Prize, a la Jimmy Carter. Again, eschewing his leadership in Afghanistan he is bowing to yet another distraction that will no doubt fail as so many before it.

Mona Charen writes in National Review On Line; “Abbas’s weakness in this regard is not so much a personal failing as an inheritance. The entire Arab world (and Iran) has conspired to embitter and enrage the Palestinian people in perpetuity, encouraging maximalist demands and enshrining bloodshed and frenzied hatred. Though Abbas has shaken hands all around in Washington, D.C., the incitement at home continues. A year ago, at Fatah’s general congress in Bethlehem, the delegates reaffirmed their longstanding commitment to “armed struggle” as “a strategy, not a tactic. . . . This struggle will not stop until the Zionist entity is eliminated and Palestine is liberated.”

No one, absolutely no one can make peace in the Middle East or anywhere else. Peace must be earned through the will of the people, and this usually comes of the result of conflict. When two opposing forces are engaged in conflict one force will reign over the other and the victor will set the terms for peace. I know this sounds harsh and cruel, but it is the way of the world, especially when the issue at hand is the destruction of one of the parties to the conflict is motivated by a barbaric, pre medieval religious dictum.

The conflict between Israel and the Arab states and Iran has been going on for sixty-three years. It has had its moments of armistice, but certainly not peace. Peace is not the absence of war, it is when two parties see their selfish interests realized by ending the conflict and living together in respect and harmony. This cannot be achieved through the intervention of a third party.

As Obama runs from distraction to distraction and as he treats the oval office as his well deserved play ground more Americans will die in the quagmire of Afghanistan. Unless the “brilliant and most intelligent president ever” realizes his first duty is to protect the security and integrity of the homeland and not to pass his social progressive legislation or posture for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Obama like another social progressive statist, Woodrow Wilson, is more interested in the trappings of the office and the distractions it presents than leading and governing. It was the patrician Wilson who spent more time on the golf course and driving his Piece Arrow touring car through the New Hampshire countryside than in the White House. It was only after the armistice ending World War One that he became engaged in the “Peace Process” at the Palace of Versailles.

Unless the Obama administration can change course in Afghanistan and clearly define the mission we will have another failed intervention that has already cost the lives of over 2,000 lives, including 1,300 Americans. This may be very hard for a distracted community organizer to do.

No comments:

Post a Comment