Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thank You Mr. President For Not Leading And Not Having A Strategery

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.

Au contraire,  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 theology.

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.
Retaliation and getting even are not rational strategies.  They are irresponsible, irrational responses that real  leaders do not exert.

As for 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  eastern Ukraine.

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.