President Obama, indecision, Libya, mistakes, random thoughts

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Liability, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Liability
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    Liability Locked Account. Supporting Member

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    In an effort to keep the OP here a little bit brief, here's the disclaimer. I don't know what my policy would be in the matter of the Middle East uprisings and with regard to Libya (and Egypt, etc). In fairness, therefor, before I discuss what President Obama has been doing and not doing, I confess I do not see any good solutions, either.

    The trouble is: we the People elected HIM to be President and he's supposed to chart the course. He could chart a great course (or at least the course that's least bad). Or he could chart a piss-poor course. Either way, at least our foreign policy wouldn't be simply "adrift." At present, I submit we are adrift. And we are adrift because this President lets events (and the U.N.) decide things FOR him rather than trying to take the reins.

    In terms of Libya (and this applies to Egypt, too): the problem is very complicated. I don't think there IS a good choice to be made. If we support the people who are rising up against that brutal fuck, Mohammar Kadaffy-fuck, we are essentially providing aid (and munitions?) to a bunch of Muslim "brotherhood" scumbags who will turn out to be al qaeda supported bastards. That does not strike me as sound U.S. foreign policy.

    On the other hand, what are we supposed to do? Support that evil prick, Kaddafy-fuck? He murdered lots of our people. He is a low rent monster. If we supported HIM out of fear of who is behind this uprising stuff, the people there would have pretty clear reason to hate our fucking guts. Well, hate us even more, that is. And that could blow up on us, too.

    Third option is to be "neutral." But that will only make us look weak and indecisive in the eyes of the leaders of the other nations on our little blue planet. And it will be said (with some justification) that our inaction HELPS the dictator.

    Since I can't see a good course to follow, I have some trouble being overly critical of President Obama in this. And yet, it seems to also be true that he wanted the job. He is the one who is supposed to be making these tough choices. And he is doing what? He initially waited for the UN to "act." We then become one of the followers, relinquishing our role as a "leader." And this creates world-wide perceptions. And those perceptions have consequences.

    And now he is weakly contemplating arming the rebels even as we learn that they have direct support (including fighting forces) from al qaeda. In short, he seems waffling and weak and indecisive, but when he does finally make a choice, he seems to be making serious mistakes.

    I wish we could demand a recall referendum. He and Vice President Biden need to go.
     
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  2. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    "President Barack Obama is so hopelessly inexperienced in foreign policy that he is careening from position to position on the Mideast chaos, just like Jimmy Carter did when he led the United States into disaster in Iran, New York State Republican Committee Chairman Edward Cox tells Newsmax.TV."

    Read more on Newsmax.com: Edward Cox: Obama’s Indecision, Inexperience Doom Foreign Policy
    Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election? Vote Here Now!
     
  3. zzzz
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    zzzz Just a regular American

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    With regards to Libya, the correct course of action for the US was to sit on the sidelines and let somebody else take the lead.
     
  4. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    I would think the minimum we should ask of a president should be
    1) What is our interest there
    2) how will our involvement improve things
    3) What is our goal
    4) How will we measure achievement of this goal

    Sometimes we just have to be clear about what we can do, and how we can get there. And sometimes we have to acknowledge we don't have a dog in this fight, and getting involved with either side is a mistake.

    I think the reason we are feeling angst about this is because we don't know the point of the exercise. At least in Bosnia we knew that we were bombing in order to keep Monica off the front pages. This exercise in fecklessness lacks even that as an excuse.
     
  5. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    You're probably going to agree with this adumbration of military actions:

    a. We will not deal with other nations beyond the manner with which they deal with us.
    b. We will not prop up corrupt and dangerous governments simply because they have enemies that are also our enemies.
    c. We behave in accordance with our values rather than the need for commodities that a nation has.
    d. If we must fight, we will fight to win, rather than ‘humanely,’ or in some ‘symmetrical’ manner: minimizing damage is not a consideration of war.
    e. We will not rebuild nations that we have been forced to go to war with.
    (Above from Beck and Balfe, “Broke,” p. 323.)
     
  6. NYcarbineer
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    NYcarbineer Diamond Member

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    President Obama should have stuck to the principles, in these matters, that he held in 2002:

    Now let me be clear — I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.

    He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

    But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.


    Barack Obama's Iraq Speech - Wikisource
     
  7. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    I agree and have said, this is not a situation that calls for simple 1+2 =3 answers.

    I have no issue with Tunisia, that was out of pretty much no where. He waffled a bit on Egypt and kept trying to gauge the wind, he got somewhat caught short. Not critically, imho, but if the place goes MB, history will whomp him. No one said the job was easy.

    Libya? Totally out there, the verbiage in his exec. order ala. -

    The foregoing circumstances, the prolonged attacks, and the increased numbers of Libyans seeking refuge in other countries from the attacks, have caused a deterioration in the security of Libya and pose a serious risk to its stability, thereby constituting an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

    Executive Order--Libya | The White House

    is completely ridiculous. It reminds me of the practice of the Gilded age style of 'yellow journalism'. Talk abut hyperbole alert. No wonder he didn't take that argument to the congress.


    Now, as to why he ignored Darfur,was silent as to the Iranian election protests, then endorses Karzai, soft shoes Yemen ( a place with REAL and SERIOUS nat. security interests) really flummoxes me, which tells me he really really has no foreign policy doctrine. None.

    He literally is running from one event to another with no concomitant thought as to what will or may come tomorrow, no clear direction.

    And Bahrain? what a pickle?

    By choosing to make some kind of stand in Libya, he has put himself on the hook for serious ( and justified) charges of hypocrisy by the Arab Persian street.

    has he made any statment other than the obligatory; "hey we are shocked your shooting your poeple please stop" to Syria

    HE made it a big deal as to sending an ambassador back and kept him there ala 're-engagement' despite getting any olive branches or requests for cooperation slapped right down.


    there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to this.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  8. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    I happen to agree with that/your sentiment, (aside from the wmd issue). he should have stuck to that. Thats called a FP doctrine right wrong or indifferent but its lends consistency.
     
  9. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    There is no easy answer in these conflicts. You don't know what you are getting with rebels. Our history has been to back despots we know at the expense of rebels we didnt. We got burned in Cuba, VietNam and Iraq by backing unpopular regimes.

    I guess sometimes you have to let the chips fall where they may rather than try to manipulate a political situation in your favor
     
  10. Liability
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    Liability Locked Account. Supporting Member

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    A more subtle (and devious and Machiavellian) foreign policy might have been to "secretly" play both ends against the middle. Support the rebels through back channels and so forth. But also arrange to give Kaddafy-fuck a tepid (and unpublicized) demonstration of support. If the rebels win, we take credit for having helped. If Kaddafy-fuck wins, he will know that we were at least giving him some tepid support (and hopefully won't know about our double dealing).

    And, here's the trickiest part: the entire time in which we are secretly playing both sides against the middle, we are also secretly working (behind the scenes, of course) towards setting up some alternative "leadership" which will at least remain neutral as far as our international interests in the region.

    Given the lack of viable alternative choices, this devious and borderline unethical foreign policy would at least make some effort to secure our own needs. But something tells me this Administration isn't ANYWHERE close to being up for the job.
     

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