First Published in DelawareLiberal on 9/4/2014 by ProgressivePopulist
The right accuses President Obama of not "leading", and horror upon
horrors, not having a strategery, err, strategy. They are amplified by
much of the mainstream media who, with the right, succumbed to the
same sky is falling bait fed by the right in 2003.
Obama's cool headed, analytical, non-knee jerk response to the multiple
crises handed to him by forces out of the control of the former U.S.
empire is exactly what leadership is and Americans should be grateful
for his thoughtful guidance through these minefields.
It seems to
me that if we had a military draft, these numb nuts calling for turning
the middle east into glass and starting a hot war with Russia, they
would be calling for the caution these crises require. Except that they
know that if we had a draft, the elite would once again know how to
manipulate the system to exempt their kids.
It is not helpful, by
the way, Joe Biden, whom I usually admire, that you refrain from
inserting your very Catholic rhetoric about ...."gates of hell" out of
the public discourse about these crazy ISIL barbarians. This kind of
speech is painfully close to the Bush gaffe laden reference to
"crusades" which caused us so much pain in the middle east. Stick with
your area of expertise, Mr. Vice President, international affairs, not
The imminent threat in the case of ISIL is to the
existing order in the middle east. The base of the solution must come
from within that order, who we can likely provide armaments to; we, I'm
sure, are working like maniacs to pull together a coalition among them
to take on their imminent threat. Would it be dandy to have Russia as a
partner in that endeavor? And, just maybe Iran?
This is not a
simplistic crisis solved by simplistic shock and awe strategies. We
should have learned several decades ago that you do not successfully
bomb zealots out of existence. Such solutions involve multiple levels
of action which require an appreciation for both resolve and nuance, the
latter being a strategy unfamiliar to the right and the chicken hawks.
and getting even are not rational strategies. They are irresponsible,
irrational responses that real leaders do not exert.
Russia and the Ukraine. Let's thank our lucky stars that the Ukraine is
not a member of NATO, obligating us to engage militarily. Again, the
imminent threat is to much of Europe and they are well equipped to mount
strategies to address Russia's goals of some kind of semi-autonomous
If anything, we should be seriously rethinking
our role with NATO in this era and its relevance to our security. Look,
if anything we bear some responsibility for creating the felt need for
international ascendance by the Russian people; those Wharton dudes we
shipped over there to help build their corrupt plutocracy when the
Soviet State was put on the shelf has bred much of the dissatisfaction
Putin is trying to address in the wrong way.
As Laurel and Hardy
use to say, "we've got one fine mess here". And President Obama didn't
create this mess. He inherited it. Thank you Mr. President for not
unleashing the bomb throwers and keeping a cool head. And thank you
for explaining to the American people that problems can be complex and
often there are few good solutions. In fact, more often than not,
there are bad solutions and less bad solutions and good minds have to
sort these out.