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Romney Roasts Obama Foreign Policy Posturing

Mitt Romney drove home an important point yesterday by noting that the Obama administration's foreign policy strategy is rapidly unwinding. At the heart of this policy debacle is the tacit belief that if the US "makes nice" to the world it will win the favor of our allies and opponents. Romney demolishes this concept:

"I take issue with President Obama's recent tour of apology," Romney said. "It's not because America hasn't made mistakes -- we have -- but because America's mistakes are overwhelmed by what America has meant to the hopes and aspirations of people throughout the world."

...Striking a hard line against Obama while speaking to the conservative Heritage Foundation, Romney said Britain's Guardian newspaper wrote that Obama has been more critical of his own country while on foreign soil than any other president in American history.

"The president also claimed on Arabic TV that America has dictated to other nations," Romney said. "No, America has sacrificed to free nations from dictators." transcript here"

Nowhere is this foreign policy failure more evident than the president's stance toward Israel. Democrats are starting to take notice:

"My concern is that we are applying pressure to the wrong party in this dispute," said Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.). "I think it would serve America's interest better if we were pressuring the Iranians to eliminate the potential of a nuclear threat from Iran, and less time pressuring our allies and the only democracy in the Middle East to stop the natural growth of their settlements."

Jennifer Rubin wryly notes that Obama saves his "tough" rhetoric for the only democracy in the Middle East:

But it is interesting that Israel is the only country exempt from the "don't dictate, listen instead" Obama outreach plan. (Clearly the way to go for Israelis is shoot off some missiles during a presidential speech, grab an American journalist or two and denounce American "imperialism." [North Korea's approach] Then they might get the kid glove treatment.)

As Shawn recently observed, the administration's approach is "disdainful" of Israel and dangerous for America. It is becoming more and more apparent that there is no substance and careful thought going into the Obama administration's foreign policy posturing; there is, however, the familiar sound of campaign cant.


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Comments (51)

Obama's approach to foreign... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Obama's approach to foreign policy?

Suck up to our enemies, they might be dangerous, so we'd better make sure they see us as harmless.

Insult and lecture our allies - they won't hurt us, so we can be a lot more 'forceful' and show just how direct we can be!

Now, is it just me or does anyone else recall how Saddam's invasion of Kuwait was supposedly sparked by an offhand comment at a diplomatic meeting? Someone by the name of April Glaspie saying...

TARIQ AZIZ: Our policy in OPEC opposes sudden jumps in oil prices.

HUSSEIN: Twenty-five dollars a barrel is not a high price.

GLASPIE: We have many Americans who would like to see the price go above $25 because they come from oil-producing states.

HUSSEIN: The price at one stage had dropped to $12 a barrel and a reduction in the modest Iraqi budget of $6 billion to $7 billion is a disaster.

GLASPIE: I think I understand this. I have lived here for years. I admire your extraordinary efforts to rebuild your country. I know you need funds. We understand that and our opinion is that you should have the opportunity to rebuild your country. But we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.
The whole exchange can be found here.

How much MORE effect will Obama's groveling have? We're in a perilous time - and Obama sees weakness as a negotiating point.

Right on.... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Right on.

Obama's approach to foreign policy?

Bend over and spread the cheeks.

If Obama treated foreign en... (Below threshold)
Hank:

If Obama treated foreign enemies the way he treats political opponents, I'd feel a lot more secure.

More seriously, his hubris knows no bounds.
He's quite sure he can completely reshape foreign policy the same way he's reshaping (wrecking) the country.

I expect Obama's foreign po... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

I expect Obama's foreign policy will be an abject failure. What's less certain is will America learn from that failure or will liberals be able to spin it so that it looks like Bush's fault?

To those nitwits, it'll alw... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

To those nitwits, it'll always be Bush's fault, just like in 2000, when Nasdaq started tanking in march, they tried to blame it on Bush, although he was 5 months away from getting (R) nomination.

Last year, once it was a lock that Fascist Fauxbama would win, the markets DID tank, and they still tried to blame it on Bush.

The haters are hating away.... (Below threshold)
Unrepentant Democrat:

The haters are hating away. How's that foam in your mouths taste? Anyone been tested for rabies yet?

Washington Post:<bloc... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Washington Post:

LONDON -- President Barack Obama suggested that Iran may have some right to nuclear energy _ provided it proves by the end of the year that its aspirations are peaceful.

It's aspirations are not peaceful, as anyone with a brain would know. Appeasing them isn't going to help the situation, but sice we cannot - apparently - do anything else, let's try it. At least we'll look busy.

In a BBC interview broadcast Tuesday, he also restated plans to pursue direct diplomacy with Tehran to encourage it set aside any ambitions for nuclear weapons it might harbor.

Pursuing diplomacy will be a cute trick considering Iran has indicated that they won't even talk to us without preconditions. And, of course, one of those preconditions is to sell-out Israel, which President Obama started to do when Prime Minister of Israel came for a visit.

Iran has insisted its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity. But the U.S. and other Western governments accuse Tehran of seeking atomic weapons.

No kidding. Will somebody please tell Obama?

"What I do believe is that Iran has legitimate energy concerns, legitimate aspirations," Obama said, adding that the international community also "has a very real interest" in preventing a nuclear arms race.

Is one of their "legitimate energy concerns" making Israel glow in the dark? Since we won't do anything about it, let's give Iran what they want and call it "legitimate".

(And you wonder why Netanyahu returned to Israel and basically said they they were alone in the world.)

And you've got to love the idea that the international community "'has a very real interest'" in preventing a nuclear arms race." Oh, noooooo, not the International Community. OMG. Just ask the North Koreans how tough they are.

Personal opinion: The International Community, particularly the UN, without the United States to act as Law Enforcement, is like a town of pacifists with no police force: you can have all the laws on the books, but nothing gets enforced unless everyone agrees all of the time. Anyone capable of violence can steal City Hall.

The president has indicated a willingness to seek deeper international sanctions against Tehran if it does not respond positively to U.S. attempts to open negotiations on its nuclear program.

Oh, dear. Deeper sanctions if they don't talk to us!? Why, so they can lie to us some more?

Obama has said Tehran has until the end of the year to show it wants to engage with Washington.

Sure, having rejected the Little Prince and stuck their middle in his face, Iran gets a new deadline.

"Although I don't want to put artificial time tables on that process, we do want to make sure that, by the end of this year, we've actually seen a serious process move forward. And I think that we can measure whether or not the Iranians are serious," Obama said.

And I can already guess what measurement they're going to come up with: Total Success. They can pat themselves on the back if the Iranians even agree to open negotiations on the shape and size of the conference table for future talks. Meanwhile, they'll continue to build a bomb.

Bill Wilson is commonly credited with the wise observation:

The working definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Thankfully Israel disagrees... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Thankfully Israel disagrees with "The One" and has the military might and courage to back it up.

How does Obamasses excremen... (Below threshold)
914:

How does Obamasses excrement taste in your mouth UD?

Obama doesn't HAVE an actua... (Below threshold)

Obama doesn't HAVE an actual foreign policy other than his groveling approach to other nations. If we are such a despicable nation, why is it that people are willing to literally risk death to come here? What an idiot we placed in the Oval Office.

My philosophy was born on the school playground. The first time someone tried to bully me, I kicked him very hard in the nuts and nobody ever tried to bully me again! Never mess with a proven method.

Off topic, but I am wonderi... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

Off topic, but I am wondering from all the doom and gloommers. How has your life changed since Obama took office? Not theoretical or fear based future changes, but actual "I never had to do that before" or "Now I can't do what I have always done".

Not a ha ha got you question. I live in a fairly liberal community and I have not experienced forced changes in my life style in the last few months.

World Citizen. Go buy a Po... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

World Citizen. Go buy a Pontiac. How about a big loan? Try to buy some ammo. Obama is a danger to America and to freedom everywhere. His parents were communists. His grand parents were communists. All his mentors were communists, all his teachers were communists. Are you a little suprised he has socialist, controlling tendencies?

Not a ha ha got yo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Not a ha ha got you question. I live in a fairly liberal community and I have not experienced forced changes in my life style in the last few months.

You mean like the guy who jumped off a skyscraper yelling it's all going good so far as he passes the 4th floor? Foreign policy is as much about mitigating future risks as it is about responding to existing ones. Obama is taking the appeasement track on foreign policy even though that track has produced some of the biggest train wrecks of the past. This thread is more about where we are going not where we are.

WC -What's the pro... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

WC -

What's the problem, can't figure out a way to spin grovelling abjectly and aplogizing and pleading to countries that don't like us to not hurt us as being heroic and bold-minded so you've got to change the subject?

WorldCitizen...well, if you... (Below threshold)

WorldCitizen...well, if you live in Georgia and you're NOT a citizen Eric Holder just told you that you can now vote!! Maybe that's not what you meant.

If you're ex-military and dare to have a 3rd Party bumper sticker on your car you're now a "person of interest" to the DHS...but that may not be what you meant either.

Still, so much of what Obama and his misbegotten ilk have done is like pushing a boulder off the top of a very large and very loose hillside. The avalanche has just started!

Well for one worldCitizen, ... (Below threshold)
914:

Well for one worldCitizen, my kids are saddled with 12 trillion in debt in the first 4 months before they even have a socialist utopia job to pay it back.

That alone is enough to impeach the jacass in the oval office.

UD, I hate when you mention... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

UD, I hate when you mention hate in the context of hating us because that makes us hate the fact that we hate you so I hate to tell you this but leave. ww

"Jennifer Rubin wryly notes... (Below threshold)
davidt:

"Jennifer Rubin wryly notes that Obama saves his "tough" rhetoric for the only democracy in the Middle East,"... Israel isn't the only democracy in the Middle East since Iraq has become one with the help of the US.

WorldCitizen:RE: "... (Below threshold)
kevino:

WorldCitizen:

RE: "Off topic, but I am wondering from all the doom and gloommers. How has your life changed since Obama took office?"

That is, of course, a pretty silly question because the real damage caused by these policies won't be felt for quite some time and cannot be undone without a lot of work for a long period of time. And there are more bad policies being worked on right now.

You are, of course, also not asking the right people. Talk to the 80% of college graduates who don't have employment. Talk to the hundreds of thousands who lost their jobs. Talk to those who live in Israel and moderates who live in Iran or Syria who don't have hope.

But since you asked:

1. I've been laid off. I can retire or take a WFR package, but I'm out. Large numbers of co-workers are faced with the same choice as big companies shed jobs as fast as they can and shutdown businesses. Most of the younger people who need work right away are facing a terrible job market. They are having to tell their kids to lower their expectations.

2. Friends who are working for other companies because they got laid off in previous years are reporting that they got laid off again.

3. Friends who are in business for themselves are reporting that their business is way off. People aren't buying things, aren't paying for maintenance, or just cutting back. Small businesses in our area are closing their doors or reducing staff.

4. Attended a couple of graduations, but only one of the young people has a good job lined up. One other has an intern position. The rest are doing odd jobs like waiting tables while they look.

5. Attended a job fair about two months ago. So many people showed up that the fire marshal had to restrict access until some of the people left. Traffic getting to the facility and to the parking area jammed the roads for miles.

6. I'm now seeing news reports where countries like China are telling the US that they are being totally irresponsible in their spending and those countries need to curtail their investments or trade in US currency.

7. One of my friends has a financial adviser that is opening talking about getting out of US stocks and bonds - forever. My friend met with this adviser and told me the other day, "I should have bought gold while I had the chance."

8. Ammunition is still very hard to buy - and very expensive.

Ok, the only non Arab democ... (Below threshold)
914:

Ok, the only non Arab democracy in the middle east.

I appreciate the responses.... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

I appreciate the responses.

I don't own a gun so I did not know about the shortage of ammunition. The people making and selling ammunition are benefiting from the run.

I did know the job market was in the tank and we are still losing more jobs than are being created.

I am still getting junk mail offering home equity loans.

I guess the consequences of foreign policy decisions are hard to forecast one way or the other. Lefties seem to think things are going to get better as a result.

The debt is definitely something everyone can agree is unsustainable. I hope that the US will not have to declare bankruptcy but I would not put money on it.

Thanks again.

Not exactly the beatdown th... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Not exactly the beatdown that Cheney delivered, but it'll certainly do.

I dont own a gun either. Bu... (Below threshold)
914:

I dont own a gun either. But am considering buying a few while I still can. Thanks Obama.

The people making money off of ammunition are profiting in a free market by supply and demand. No thanks to Obama.

We are losing way more jobs than are being created.. Well done Obama.

Lefties live in a socialist utopian wetdream who goes by the name of Obama.

If the U.S. declares bankruptcy ( i'd say 12 trillion in new debt is a good start) Thanks again Obama.

"I guess the consequence... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"I guess the consequences of foreign policy decisions are hard to forecast one way or the other."

Not terribly so if you pay any attention to history. If you cave to a threat, you get more threats. If you give international bullies what they want, you get more demands. If you fight a bad actor effectively, either militarily or financially, you get fewer bad actors. Try to be the world's policeman - because no one else either will, or can handle the job - and everyone will criticize every action you take - and then bitch if you don't do enough.

But the problems really hit when you (a nation's collective leadership) don't put the needs and security of the country first, and buy into a 'peace at any price' mentality.

Kipling had it right re Danegeld.

JLawson,Just your ... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

JLawson,

Just your first point about caving to a threat. It seems that North Korea or Iran have not caved to any threats recently and yet they continue to get more threats of intervention and sactions.

And there you get into the ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

And there you get into the policing matter, WC. Sooner or later, the moral relativity collapses.

You'll have noticed that there's plenty of supporters of those regimes in the international community, in both tacit and non-tacit modes. Because WE are the bad guys, threatening those poor widdle countries! Aww, ain't they CUTE the way they want to play with the big boy toys? And we don't want them to throw them around! We so MEAN!

Yet if a nuke goes off somewhere with an Iranian or NK signature, you can bet there's going to be PLENTY of people screaming how the US didn't do enough, and they should have been stopped before this happened!

Oddly enough, they'll likely be the same ones saying we were the bad guys a few months earlier for pointing out the potential for trouble and trying to stop it.

I don't like having the US be the defacto world cop. But realistically, what other country could both do it, and be trusted with it? The UN is infamous for its peacekeepers setting up brothels and selling food for sex. Their military 'might' isn't exactly overwhelming, either. The EU... well, they depend on the UN. Think Russia or China could do the job? Maybe Venezuela? How about Cuba?

I know - it's difficult to wrap your gourd around the idea that maybe the US ISN'T the cause of most of the trouble in the world - but keep on trying. Without the US - I believe things would be significantly worse than they are at present.

WorldCitizen:RE: "... (Below threshold)
kevino:

WorldCitizen:

RE: "I did know the job market was in the tank and we are still losing more jobs than are being created."

Then you should know enough not to ask the question that you asked. Instead, I suggest that you have more empathy for your fellow citizens. Jobless numbers aren't just statistics: the numbers represent real pain to real people. Just because the recession and the coming economic crisis don't affect you personally, doesn't mean everything is OK.

The country is suffering, and things are likely to get much worse.


RE: "I guess the consequences of foreign policy decisions are hard to forecast one way or the other. Lefties seem to think things are going to get better as a result."

JLawson got it right. Any good student of history knows the answer. Smart people learn from their mistakes. Really smart people learn from other people's mistakes. Stupid people make the same mistakes over and over again.

The other way to know that this is wrong is to study human behavior. What motivates countries are the same kinds of responses that drive individuals.

Consider poker. You can be an intelligent, math-oriented player who has read all the books, but if you don't have enough guts to make the big bets, you're toast. There are lots of intelligent, math-oriented players who have spent decades reading people. If they sense weakness, they will run off the hand again and again - with inferior cards.

I believe it was Robert Audrey, the animal behavior writer, who said, "Wars start because one side thinks they can win." If you project weakness, you invite an attack. Weak individuals, like weak countries, are juicy opportunities. If you are strong, you are a difficult tactical problem.

Iran and North Korea are playing these games because it is in their best interest to do so and because they know that no one is prepared to stop them. Like one of the Somali pirates said, "We aren't afraid of the Americans".


RE: "The debt is definitely something everyone can agree is unsustainable. I hope that the US will not have to declare bankruptcy but I would not put money on it."

It's not just the debt. It's what we've done to the whole economy. But the debt is what is likely to trigger the next great crisis: collapse of the dollar.

Excellent post at .26, JLaw... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Excellent post at .26, JLaw.

WorldCitizen:RE: "... (Below threshold)
kevino:

WorldCitizen:

RE: "It seems that North Korea or Iran have not caved to any threats recently and yet they continue to get more threats of intervention and sactions."

LOL. North Korea and Iran have not caved because they haven't been threatened. No one with any guts or any power has threatened to do anything to them of any consequence. The "World Community" is a paper tiger - no threat to them at all. And they know it.

Kevino,Only one of t... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

Kevino,
Only one of the people responding to my question noted that they had lost a job. Fear of the future and imagined consequences seem to me the bulk of criticism at this time. Granted in a year or so when America has become a failed country some of the criticism will be justified. Please don't get on the empathy bandwagon.

JLawson,
The outcome of foreign policy initiatives and stock market futures are for me in the same category of predictability. In the vein of following playground rules to determine foreign policy there is the adage that if you don't stand up to a bully you will always be bullied. How would you advise those nations that view the US as a bully to act? And I am not saying I think the US is a bully, but that is probably because I live here.

Ok, WC, I lost my job recen... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Ok, WC, I lost my job recently, went to get more training, and can't find a job to save my life.

My wife works as a waitress, and is now the primary breadwinner. And her income has taken a hit because not as many people as before are going out to dinner. They're saving their money in these difficult times. As such, we have problems making all our bill payments.

Need any more hard luck stories? I know enough people.

ExSubNuke,I am sor... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

ExSubNuke,

I am sorry you have fallen on hard times. I did not see where you blamed the Obama administration for your situation.

Looking back at my post I see that I did not make it clear, but I was wondering about how policies of Obama have changed peoples lives in a negative way. Almost all the post on Wizbang seem to want to tear Obama a new a##hole and I was wondering if it was because of things that had happened or fear of what might.

"How would you advise th... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"How would you advise those nations that view the US as a bully to act?"

Bullies usually look on any impositions of order by 'outsiders' to be horribly unfair. Have you noticed that?

Now, I'm not a terribly nice person. I'm a pretty mild, turn the other cheek sort of guy in my personal life which probably explains why I'm so bloody-minded when it comes to this. And I spent 23 years in the AF, sitting on various targets, so I appreciate FULLY what nuclear weapons can do.

But I've watched the diplomatic dance for the last 30+ years, I've seen us make mistakes and other countries mess up - so you want to know what I'd do at this point? Bear in mind I've seen a lot of stuff that DIDN'T work the way it was thought, so I'm not terribly patient with diplomatic initiatives and all that.

So - you establish rules of behavior, and punish when they're broken.

If I had the authority I'd like tell the countries who view the US as a bully to pull their heads out of their asses and play nice with the other kiddies.

A land grab won't just be shoved back to the border, but the folks originating it will lose AT LEAST as much territory as they were trying to grab. No diplomatic niceities, no ambiguious verbiage, no threats of sanctions. Just a simple, clear promise that there will be (as Lee says over on the Blue) consequences for their actions.

The leadership of countries are nominal adults, so they should know what their actions could cost them - there's no reason for them to bitch when it happens. If we've got to be the de facto world cop - we ain't gonna write a ticket, we're going to bust heads and bust 'em hard. It's going to be too damn expensive to invade a neighbor. That should deter those looking to grab land.

Oh, that's for the uniformed, more or less 'formal' combatants, by the way. Are you sending 'freedom fighters' over to destabilize another country? Google Earth ain't your friend, and neither is the night. Your training camps will be destroyed, your fighters won't go to Club Gitmo. Your organization will be rolled up, all the way.

As non-uniformed combatants, they'll be asked ONCE for all the info they're willing to spill. They'll even be asked nicely. With a cup of tea. But if there's the typical bluster and "I'd rather die than tell you anything!" - they'll be obliged, and quickly. I figure that after a few get shot the word will get around. Surrender, and you'll be treated well in exchange for information. Be captured, and you'll be treated well in exchange for information. Stall - and you'll be dead. No second chances.

And you don't even want to know what I think should be done in case of a bad actor using a nuke...

I don't want the US to be the world cop. But if we've got to be, then we'll establish a Pax Americana, with the motto - "Don't START nothin' - won't BE nothin'." We'll be a nation's best friend - or their worst enemy. They get to choose which.

And the above is probably why I'm not a diplomat!

Mr. Romney couldn't even ma... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Mr. Romney couldn't even manage his own campaign well enough to get the 2008 Republican nomination, so I think he's way in over his head offering foreign policy advice. Problems like peace between Israel and the Palestinians are very complicated affairs that have eluded a real solution since 1948.

JLawson,I think yo... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

JLawson,

I think you demonstrate exactly the problem. I asked what your advice would be to other countries that do not see the US as the world police, but see us as the tough guy on the block making everyone follow the rules we set. It seems that you believe in might makes right. Once the US has lost its standing in the world you will no doubt acquiesce to the will of the new tough guy. Or maybe you would still believe that a sovereign nation should be able to do what it wants when it comes to developing weapons, waging war, human rights, etc.

If X becomes the new superpower will you accept it when they say we have to dismantle our nuclear arsenal? The problem I see is that you can't even imagine that the US will lose it place in the world order. For someone so versed in history that you can predict the future of foreign policy decisions you should know that no country will last forever. When your great++ grandchildren are threatened with trade sanctions unless the US stops launching spy satellites would your advice to them be to pull their heads out of their asses and play nice?

Imagine you were born and grew up in Iran. You are a proud Iranian who thinks, believes, knows that no country has the right to tell you what to do. How would you deal with the demands of the US? Have a little of what was asked of me in an earlier comment, empathy.

I believe that we should fight to preserve our country and way of life, but I also believe that it is the right of the population of any country to fight for what they believe. That is why trying to impose our will on people that don't believe as we do will only lead to conflict. We may force a peace for a time but it will be fragile and short lived. They only way to ensure peace is through common ground. No two countries or people will agree on everything and nut cases crave power as much as sane people so my outlook for world peace is not very bright, but I think it is a goal that is worth the effort.

Paul Hooson: So the criter... (Below threshold)
pvd:

Paul Hooson: So the criteria that you use for qualificatins on foreign policy are the ability to manage a campaign? Bush managed a campaign and won but I doubt sincerely that you think his policies were superior to Howard Dean or Wesley Clark.

Also, I notice that you didn't say what specific detail Romney was incorrect about but rather immediately attacked the man - in other words an ad hominem argument.

You then follow with a non-sequitur about the peace process.

Do you believe that Obama's policy of appeasement to Iran will help or hinder the process of establishing a functional Palestinian state and an arab-recognize right of existance for Israel?

Does weakening Israel improve the prospects of the United States?

Does the United States have a responsibility to add democracies?

UD"Anyone been teste... (Below threshold)
retired military:

UD
"Anyone been tested for rabies yet?"

What did you take your mouth away from Obama's ass long enough to bite someone?

---------

Obama

""Although I don't want to put artificial time tables on that process, we do want to make sure that, by the end of this year, we've actually seen a serious process move forward"

Gee he didnt have a problem with wanting to put artificial timetables on Iraqi withdrawl.
-------------

World citizen

"Not a ha ha got you question. I live in a fairly liberal community and I have not experienced forced changes in my life style in the last few months."

Remember it isnt the fall down that kills you. It is that last half an inch.

Also how about that 10% unemployment rate? Looked at your 401k lately? Or do you even have a job and just collect welfare benefits.
-----------
""I guess the consequences of foreign policy decisions are hard to forecast one way or the other."

Really? Try asking Poland, Czech, Hungary, and a few other Eastern block countries.


WC -My advice was ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

WC -

My advice was simple and succinct. "Grow up. Stop threatening your neighbors. Get along with them." And you find it objectionable?

You don't want the US to set the rules? Well, without someone setting the rules, you end up with every country trying to grab what it can. Do you SERIOUSLY think that would be better? Do you seriously believe that WITHOUT an overall stabilizing influence that things would be better?

As I said - WE DIDN'T ASK FOR THE DAMN JOB. BUT SOMEONE'S GOT TO DO IT. Who would you prefer?

Might doesn't necessarily make right - but neither does it necessarily make wrong. A nation that threatens its neighbor with nuclear destruction is NOT playing nicely with others.

Take away the restraining influence of the US in the ME. What do you realistically think will happen? What will Iran do? What will Syria do? What would Iraq have done after their grab of Kuwait in 1990?

You said - "I believe that we should fight to preserve our country and way of life, but I also believe that it is the right of the population of any country to fight for what they believe."

And if they believe YOU should be destroyed because of what you believe, do you want them to fight to possibly achieve that goal? Or believe that YOUR land belongs to THEM? Are you going to give them what they want, so there will be 'peace'?

"Imagine you were born and grew up in Iran. You are a proud Iranian who thinks, believes, knows that no country has the right to tell you what to do."

Imagine you have a leadership who's categorically stated Israel should be wiped off the map. Should you condone genocide because your leadership does? Do you have a RIGHT to destroy Israel, because you want to?

Imagine you're a Palestinian child. From your very first breaths, you've been instilled with a hatred of the Jews that borders on insanity. You've been taught that your utmost highest purpose is to kill Jews - and if you destroy yourself doing so, you'll go to Paradise. By the thinking you espouse, WC, it's perfectly okay to blow yourself up and take as many Jews as possible with you.

Now - imagine someone gave you a truck-portable nuclear device.

What's your next move?

Imagine you're living in a crack house. You firmly believe that you've got a right to sell your crap on the street. Yeah, those damn cops think they're supposed to stop you, but damn it - people want what I got!

Imagine you grew up in Japan in the early '30s. You know the history. Should the world have stopped the Japanese invasion of China? It was your RIGHT to extend the Japanese empire over into China - they were just barbarians anyway!

Imagine you grew up in Germany in the same time frame. You know the history. At what point does a country's right to fight for what they believe intrude into another country's rights?

And at what point do you get war, because the only rule that everyone agrees to is "take what you can, if you can"?

I seriously think you've not thought all your platitudes to their ultimate conclusion.

Yes - the nutcases want power. But think about it - What stops them?

JLawson,Again, you... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

JLawson,

Again, your advice was from the perspective of a belligerent US citizen not from anyone else's.

I am not sure how you see the US as an overall stabilizing influence in the Middle East. At this time we are a deterrent to an all out attack on Israel, but no other country is threatening to invade any other.

What would Iran do?
That depends on what happens in Iraq. One of the main reasons Iran fought a war with Iraq was because the US was backing Iraq. They have not threatened any other country except Israel.

What would Syria do?
If the US stopped supporting Israel then they would probably try and cut off their water and fight a war when Israel invaded.

What would have Iraq have done...?
They would have probably annex Kuwait into Iraq and left it at that. Invading Saudi Arabia, with the two most sacred sites of Islam would probably brought Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, +++ down on their heads. And if they were not receiving arms from the US they would not have a chance.

Lots of hypotheticals here but at least I am trying to put myself in their shoes, would you care to try?

As I said, I believe we should fight to protect our country which implies that if someone is trying to take it away we don't roll over and let them. My point was that if the US invades a country we should not be surprised if the population fights to throw us out.

As far as condoning that a country should be wiped off the map, I am not. However, leaders come and go and just because you think the leader of your country is on a path to destroy it does not mean that you necessarily become less patriotic. You might even wrap yourself in the flag more tightly.

Imagine you are a Palestinian child who grew up behind a wall with no way to get out and no hope for the future. Treated as a second class citizen whose family's land gets confiscated by settlers from a foreign country. What would you do? There is always more than one way to paint a picture.

Anyone having nuclear device is the best reason to get rid of them all. Yes, I know that Pandora's Box has already been opened. Imagine you are a skinhead handed the keys to a truck portable nuclear device and you are a 10 minute drive from Harlem, what would you do? Let agree to try to keep nuclear devices secure.

Not tooting my own horn here but I have known some crack heads and trust me none of them think crack is legal.

Your examples of Japan and Germany...not everyone in those two countries believed they were following the right path. Mobs are easy to control because the sane among them are afraid to speak out. How do you get a country worked up to the point that it's people will invade another? More often than not it is fear of some kind. Fear of losing what you have, fear of losing what you think you should have, fear of what the other might do, fear of this, that and the other. How do we deal with countries like these? We fight.

Don't patronize. I did not include any platitudes. Only insane people hope for war. Peace should be what we strive for and war should only be a sad necessity.

Oh yeah, only Congress has the power to declare war.

World citizen"At t... (Below threshold)
retired military:

World citizen

"At this time we are a deterrent to an all out attack on Israel, but no other country is threatening to invade any other. "

Or you stupid or willfully ignorant? or both?

Do you honestly think that if the US were not allies with Israel it would have been wiped off the map long ago. Look at the 1967 war. Look at the thousands of rocket attacks against Israel. Look at the concessions Israel has stated they will make and have been told not enough and btw we want you extinct.

"That depends on what happens in Iraq. One of the main reasons Iran fought a war with Iraq was because the US was backing Iraq. They have not threatened any other country except Israel. "

Yep it is the US's fault again. Drink some more kool aid. And I guess that it is okay that they threatened Israel since after all it is only those pesky Jews that have the audacity to refuse to be wiped out.

"Anyone having nuclear device is the best reason to get rid of them all. "

Gee Obama. WHy dont you tell NK and Iran that? Oh wait you are too busy kissing their ass to do so.

"Not tooting my own horn here but I have known some crack heads and trust me none of them think crack is legal."

That doesnt mean that they dont think it is okay to buy and or sell it. And I believe you when you say you know some. It is obvious from your thinking you are using too much of your own product.

"Mobs are easy to control because the sane among them are afraid to speak out"

Well the sane converatives arent but the kool aid drinking mob is following Jim Ibama Jones on down the path to ruin.

" Only insane people hope for war"

Unless of course you are the one whose homes are getting bombed for no reason other than you are Jewish.

"Peace should be what we strive for and war should only be a sad necessity.
"

Tell it to NK,and Iran.

You are an IDIOT, a first class IDIOT but an IDIOT non the less.


WorldCitizen:RE: "... (Below threshold)
kevino:

WorldCitizen:

RE: "Only one of the people responding to my question noted that they had lost a job."

I suggest that you re-read what I and others wrote. There are real consequences to these policies that affect our lives already. Talking to young people who are graduating and don't see a future is a consequence. Talking to friends who are suffering is a consequence.

And the argument is silly. Nothing bad has happened to a carefully selected sample, so it's not that bad.


RE: "Fear of the future and imagined consequences seem to me the bulk of criticism at this time."

Only because you are ignoring the facts.


RE: "Granted in a year or so when America has become a failed country some of the criticism will be justified."

So you're solution is to sit back, do nothing, wait for a 100% train wreck, and then criticism is justified!? That's nuts.


RE: "Please don't get on the empathy bandwagon."

I've worked with people to help straighten out their lives for decades. I have a lot of empathy, and I've used that word for decades.

World Citizen:(I'm... (Below threshold)
kevino:

World Citizen:

(I'm not JLawson, but you're wrong on so many levels I want to respond quickly.)

RE: "I asked what your advice would be to other countries that do not see the US as the world police, but see us as the tough guy on the block making everyone follow the rules we set."

1. Most of your posts are ignoring the basic problem. The average citizen in Iran, North Korea, or Syria isn't making these decisions: their leadership is. It is the dictators that control the population through force and deception. And all of the so-called "sanctions" frequently fall on them, creating an us-against-them climate that the leadership exploits.

2. Countries, like people, that are doing bad things, frequently object to the police. Heh. Talk to anyone in jail. Many (most) are victims of the police, and they are all innocent.

3. We don't set the rules. We are enforcing rules set by international law, and frequently we are enforcing rules that these countries have agreed to. In negotiating with Iran and North Korea, we are attempting to get them to abide by agreements that they signed.

Over the years I've worked with people who have substance abuse issues. One of the most important tools that I use is to get these people to accept the consequences of their actions and to abide by agreements that we set down. I am their life-line, but they can't con me or break the new rules. If they do, bad things happen, and they know it. That means that I have to be very hard at times, but it is necessary.

4. It all comes down to police work. I wish that the world community would do more to enforce international law and to promote justice - but they don't.

Consider European intervention against Serbia. Ethnic cleansing was going on and had to be stopped. The Europeans wouldn't handle it, but they got us involved. But the military action was not in any way authorized by the UN. But we stopped the genocide.

The US did not get involved in Rwanda and Darfur, and hundreds of thousands of people were murdered.

Laws without law enforcement are useless. If the US doesn't do it, it doesn't get done.

WC -"Again, your a... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

WC -

"Again, your advice was from the perspective of a belligerent US citizen not from anyone else's."

Belligerent.

WC, you literally can't think beyond your programming, can you? You persist in seeing the US as being in the wrong.

What part of "WE DON'T WANT THE JOB OF WORLD COP" isn't clear?

"My point was that if the US invades a country we should not be surprised if the population fights to throw us out."

And my point is that we wouldn't be invading that country unless they were violating international law in a big damn way, and nobody else was available to do the job.

Read what RM and Kevino have put up, and pay attention to their examples. What YOU believe is wishful thinking, and bears little connection to reality. Yes, you feel good for believing it, and I suppose that's the important thing for you - but belief does not equal reality.

As Kevino noted -

The US did not get involved in Rwanda and Darfur, and hundreds of thousands of people were murdered.

Laws without law enforcement are useless. If the US doesn't do it, it doesn't get done.

Mitt who?... (Below threshold)
max:


Mitt who?

Well, a number of you think... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

Well, a number of you think I am misguided and I believe the same about you. I can make the same crass remarks about how you are all programmed to think of the world as good or evil with no middle ground or are drinking kool aid, but that only makes me feel intellectually shallow. See what I did there?

Obviously I am here reading the posts and comments. Trying to understand people that do not think the way I do. Much to your surprise I do not see the US as the bad guy, but I would hope that you would accept that people from other countries and even our own may not see us as the champions of virtue. This blog demonstrates the point that the leadership makes the decisions and the average citizen may or may not agree. I can't remember the source but I remember a saying that says the population of a country gets the government they deserve.

This is a very good point, the US only enforces rules when it is in our own best interest. That is not how a police force is suppose to work.

Any way, thanks for reading and responding. Ready... break.

I sure hope Obama doesn't o... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

I sure hope Obama doesn't offend Israel. We wouldn't want them to stop accepting the $billions we give them every year.

"See what I did there?"<... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"See what I did there?"

Yes, you seem to have justified your own feelings of intellectual and moral superiority.

Nice move, that. (Golf clap.)

"... I would hope that you would accept that people from other countries and even our own may not see us as the champions of virtue."

Oh, I can accept that with no problem. But we should take their opinion seriously because... why?

When the call goes out for assistance when a country gets invaded by a neighbor - who responds?

When the call goes out for help after a natural disaster - who responds?

They may not see us as 'the champions of virtue' - so I ask you again, who the hell do you want to replace us? Who do THEY want to see take over? Hell, if it were up to me, I'd be GLAD to let someone else to the job. Because no matter WHAT you do, someone's going to bitch. We might as well save the money - and THEN watch the complaints roll in.

So what should we do? Listen to the bitchin' enough to figure out whether it's valid or not, and figure out if it's (a) valid and you can do something to alleviate it, (b) valid, and there's nothing which can reasonably be done to alleviate it, or (c) not valid, in which case nothing needs to be done.

And sometimes you just need to ignore the critics and do the job anyway.

We aren't perfect? Tell us something we don't know. We make mistakes? Sure we do. And we will - because we're human.

But we keep on TRYING to do good - which is something that the folks constantly complaining don't realise. It doesn't benefit them DIRECTLY, so it's the wrong thing!

It's easy as anything to bitch about someone else doing the wrong shit when you're not only NOT doing shit, don't plan on doing shit, and wouldn't spend the money even if you had it so you could do shit to help someone else.

And it's a lot easier to destroy than it is to build.

WorldCitizen:I'd h... (Below threshold)
kevino:

WorldCitizen:

I'd have a lot more respect for your opinion if you could articulate a position and actually back it up with reasoned argument. I don't see a rational basis for your opinions. People here have taken the time to present reasoned argument, and you respond with basically nothing. Your belief system flies in the face of historical precedent, basic human nature, and common sense. And yet you refuse to re-evaluate your position in light of these facts because it is a religious belief.

The really sad part are statements like this: "I guess the consequences of foreign policy decisions are hard to forecast one way or the other."

Life is a great mystery, eh? If you cannot accept the concept that your religious beliefs are wrong, then obviously the policies that match your belief system cannot be causing harm. So when bad things happen when liberals are in charge, they just happen?

If you cannot defend your position, you should consider the possibility that your position is wrong.

Concerning foreign policy, ... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Concerning foreign policy, this is what I think the United States should be doing (from President Kennedy's Inaugural:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

. . .

To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required--not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

What a shame the Kennedy Democrats are dead.

See also: http://wizbangblog.com/content/2007/07/16/why-liberals-should-love-the-war-in-iraq.php#comment-615673

Okay, last one. And who kee... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

Okay, last one. And who keeps voting my post down? Is it just an agree/disagree rating?

JLawson,

Thanks, I thought that rather clever myself, but it was not superiority I was just trying a more artful way of calling someone a boob.

The world got by for quite a while just fine before the US showed up. Let me see... a reasoned argument to back up that opinion...hmmm. Oh well, I got none. There are still wars, famine, etc. with us around. Actually, I am not really sure what the debate is here. The US does good work throughout the world, I agree. Next.

Kev,
Hey Kev. You belong to the same club as JLawson who believes the future is predictable. Tell me what is going to happen in Iraq? And don't use any if this or if thats. Policy decisions have been made...tell me the future.

Reason and opinion are not always compatible. I think that most of the bloggers and commenters here are totally unreasonable with their opinions of the future of this country and the president. Because I believe that most are afraid of change. I am just spitballing here, but I believe that most here have a computer and steady access to the internet. They have a home and food to eat, a bed to sleep in, a little money in the bank and the economic news is frightening. They want to vent and set someone up to blame if they fail.

What happened to the pirate stories, dang nabit! Arrrrgh!

WorldCitizen:RE: "... (Below threshold)
kevino:

WorldCitizen:

RE: "Tell me what is going to happen in Iraq? And don't use any if this or if thats. Policy decisions have been made...tell me the future."

I already have: in multiple places in this blog. You have to play the odds, and the odds are very good because after years of putting down President Bush's policies and threatening to undo them by withdrawing immediately, the democrats have decided to maintain his policies. The Democrats chickened out: they know the results of the policies that they previously supported, too. I suspect they knew all along - because they aren't stupid. They lied because they have lots of followers who will believe pretty much anything they tell them.

The good news is that a moderate state has emerged in the middle of the middle east that is a moderate counter-point to Islamic fanatics, is no longer a threat to the stability of the region, and no longer a training ground for organized terrorism.

The bad news is that thanks to liberals, the real long-term benefits will not be realized. It is a victory that will basically end at the borders of Iraq.

Could I have predicted what would happened if the US had not invaded? Sure. Years of Saddam killing about 100,000 Iraqis a year.

Could I have predicted what would have happened if the DNC had had the guts to do what they said they'd do and end the war quickly? Sure: bloody civil war. Genocide. (And, apparently, the DNC knows that, too.)

RE: "Reason and opinion are not always compatible."

LOL. Says the person who cannot support their own opinion.

RE: "I think that most of the bloggers and commenters here are totally unreasonable with their opinions of the future of this country and the president. Because I believe that most are afraid of change."

And that opinion - like all of your opinions - isn't based on anything except your belief system. Think about it: you don't me or any of the people that have written here. And yet here you are presenting an opinion about "most of the bloggers and commenters" - a subject that you know nothing about.

RE: "I believe that most are afraid of change."

Not all change is good.

Bottom line: I don't see a rational basis for your opinions, and I'm not interested in your belief system because it doesn't work.

I don't care what you feel or what you believe if you cannot defend a position at least as well as the average high school student - of my day.




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