Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Don’t Forget Over There

While everyone is focusing mostly on Obama’s ruinous economic plans, Ralph Peters draws our attention to Obama’s opening foreign policy missteps. Sobering.

Money quote: "By comparison, the Carter administration is starting to look like a model of manly strength, courage and patriotism." Ouch!

Discussions - 14 Comments

Oh, don't believe what you read in the New York Post! They're just part of the liberally-biased mainstream media.

"Despite his many faults, Bush sought to do good. Obama just wants to look good." This sums up the entire Obama political career thus far.

It seems to me that Obama is like a kid in high school who has (for some reason) been accepted by a "cool" clique and just wants to fit in with his new friends, no matter how many of his "nerdy" old friends he dumps, or how many big bullies he pisses off. (Think Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls, or Patrick Dempsy in Can't Buy Me Love).

Fantastic. I wonder what is going to be next. Actually, I'm gonna go ahead and take a guess. Our President might just decide to do away with the Marine Corps. Really, I can see President Obama "consolidating" our military. If we have an Army, why do we need a Marine Corps. Or, if we have a Marine Corps and a Navy (each that has its own functional air wing) why do we need an Air Force?

Bend over backwards for our enemies, piss off our allies. The next logical step is to downwsize our military. Oh, wait, that is already happening. Since the war in Iraq is all but over, we no longer need an operational force of 202,000 active duty Marines. That is already going to get scaled down by approximately 20,000 very quickly.

Steve -- I am surprised to find you agreeing with Peters that human rights should be the number one issue with China. Also, I thought you had previuosly posted the opinion that you had come to rethink your position on Iraq. Peters was one of the war's great cheerleaders. Is there anything in his list of Obama disasters that did not happen during the Bush administration? Is it really Obama's foreign policy that causes North Korea to behave badly?


David, I thought we were supposed to be expecting change during this administration. More of the worst is not really any good at all.

LCPL Schramm, my Marine son tells me he is told to expect to go to Afghanistan, where the Marines will do what the Army cannot do. I am looking around the Web for evidence that the Obama administration is going to reduce the military, and I am not seeing it yet. I see this complaint from The Progresive and I see in Newsweek that Obama was prevaricating in his last news conference about cuts in military spending. I also see this in TWS, which is a bit hopeful, too. The only branch of our government that is generally loved by the public is our military.

How does his civilian force go along with idea of reducing the military. That idea was a doubling of the military right there, although it is unclear how the American SS or Obama youth will function with the current military. Mabye the two are connected and eventually we will have a sort of night of a thousand knives. With all the drones and tech I don't think reducing troop numbers is really a reduction. Although it brings up a fascinating question about the common sense hierarchy of values: Is it better for a guy to have a job where he can get killed in battle or to loose his job to a machine and not have to worry about getting killed in battle. I'll believe he is reducing the military when the spending goes down. It really is a moot point going forward though as we have no way to pay off our current debts. Old fashioned Imperialism anyone?

Kate -- it is not the worst, just business as usual. Peters and you and Steve seem to have forgotten the plane incident with the Chinese early in the Bush administration, Spring 2001:

I had forgotten. I don't suppose you looked back to April of 2001 because there were no more recent Bush administration foreign relations missteps, either. But was that one a diplomatic failure? That U.S. surveillance plane was not an innovation of the Bush administration. Wasn't the argument over the extent of China's airspace? (How high is the Chinese sky?) I wonder, laughing, do you suppose China keeps a dense pollution in their atmosphere to keep the US from spying in response to that incident?

Some of what Peters describes is the same old stuff. Some of it is not, but is that naive response to the world Peters describes. GWB did not expect sweetness from the Chinese and they did not disappoint.

The relevance of April 2001 is that the Chinese do this stuff to new presidents and in fact all the time. So do lots of other people. So do we. We used to sail into the Black Sea and, literally, bump into Soviet ships to maintain our principle that the Black Sea is an international body of water. Maybe we still do this. What's the evidence that the Obama administration is handling any of this stuff worse than Bush or others? What was new in what Peters ad to say? Isn't it a good thing that Clinton told the Chinese that human rights is not the number one thing on our agenda with them? If she had said it was, Peters would have expreswsed outrage over that.

Maybe you are right and Ralph Peters is ready to be upset about just anything. I am certainly ready to be upset about just anything the president and his crowd does, and I know lots of people who are much more upset than I.

Yet, I don't know that the situation is just SNAFU, which is what you seem to be suggesting. Hillary Clinton bumbles things more than I thought she would and it's not like I was ever a fan. I had expected her to be Sec. of State (if not VP) when she dropped out of the race as her reward for a gracious exit. I did not think she would be bad at the job, because she would have some finesse, which she has really not got. Do you have confidence in this bunch, to handle these situations which you characterize as normal? I don't, and I think the point of the post was that Steve (nor Ralph) doesn't either.

Kate, the right's response to Bush - which alternated, depending on the person, from complete silence to fawning adoration - contrasted with their response to Obama shows how unserious they are. NOW you're noticing incompetence and lack of finesse? Just now?

I think your own comment is indicative of the problem - a posture of taking offense regardless of what Obama & Co. do that's short of embracing an all-out replay of the neocon agenda:

"I am certainly ready to be upset about just anything the president and his crowd does, and I know lots of people who are much more upset than I."

Glenn Greenwald addresses the phenomenon I'm talking about pretty nicely

Craig, you have got to be kidding. There was post and comment against Bush, full of anger and "What is he doing?!!!!" on this blog and others. Why do you suppose the man's popularity dropped so low? At best, what he did that was conservative made hope spring from time to all-to-rare-time. Folks could also say to themselves, "Oh, God. I suppose it could be worse. The president could be a Democrat." Well, now the president is a Democrat and, frankly, "it", all of it, does appear to be worse. We all look at our idealistically conservative friends who would not vote for McCain and say, "See what you did?"

As to your article, there were things we did like. Most of us liked the man. Those for whom social conservative values are primary, rarely lacked for joy in that. He kept us safe after 9/11, is a happy refrain. We are all a bit sick about "change" on that score. So far, so good, but as Ralph Peters was making clear to anyone who might not get it, yet, there is cause for worry.

I just read that Salon article and have to say that guy is all wet. I can't imagine how you can have been reading and writing on this blog for so long and God knows, maybe other conservative places, as well, and think that conservatives have any lock-step anything. Honestly, I think many wish it were so, especially George Bush.

Kate -- I don't have confidence in Obama but in my opinion the Bush administration's foreign policy was a disaster. So far, Obama's is better. Isn't it a good thing that Clinton said that human rights was not number 1 with China? There is no or almost no connection between what Peters reports and what the Obama administration has done. The larger point is this. I don't think you can build an effective opposition to Obama with knee-jerk ranting or by praising such ranting.

David, your last sentence is quite true. I will resist ranting. I heard Richard Holbrooke on NPR this morning and he seemd quite sane and realistic about Afghanistan and Al Qaeda. I hope there are also people in the administration quite clear about other countries, like China.

No. Our number one priority with China cannot be human rights, but we should never lose track of their treatment of their own citizens when we are dealing with them. It seems to me roughly analagous to trying to be friendly with man who beats his wife.

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