Skip to comments.A New Disorder
Posted on 07/27/2014 2:22:11 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Moments of clarity often come when you least expect them. In a speech to contributors last week in Seattle, Barack Obama made the case that his presidency has made America better. In most respects, it was precisely the kind of political pablum youd expect from a president who seems more concerned with legacy-polishing than governing. He ticked off his accomplishments, a list that was equal parts premature celebration (deficit reduction), hyperbole (Obamacare), and borrowed glory (rising college attendance, a strong stock market, increased energy production).
Even if few in this fawning crowd were going to question him, circumstances required the president to acknowledge the growing tumult around the world. Despite all of this success, he conceded, there are some big challenges overseas that have some people anxious.
What are these big challenges and why are we facing them? Its worth quoting the entire passage:
I am very proud that we have ended one war, and by the end of this year we will have ended both wars that I inherited before I came into office. (Applause.) But whether people see whats happening in Ukraine, and Russias aggression towards its neighbors in the manner in which its financing and arming separatists; to whats happened in Syria -- the devastation that Assad has wrought on his own people; to the failure in Iraq for Sunni and Shia and Kurd to compromise -- although were trying to see if we can put together a government that actually can function; to ongoing terrorist threats; to whats happening in Israel and Gaza. Part of peoples concern is just the sense that around the world the old order isnt holding and were not quite yet to where we need to be in terms of a new order thats based on a different set of principles, thats based on a sense of common humanity, thats based on economies that work for all people.
These are remarkable words from an American president. They suggest that Obama either doesnt appreciate the causal relationship between his policies and the current crises -- or doesnt care. He is proud that he has brought about the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he seems not to understand that the unrest he goes on to describe is their direct result: How those wars ended shapes how others perceive the United States and its role in the world.
In Iraq, the president was willing to sacrifice the hard-won gains of U.S. military and diplomatic personnel in the pursuit of his overriding objective -- getting out. The United States hadnt created a stable and peaceful Iraq when the president was sworn in on January 20, 2009. But we had largely defeated our enemies there, and even opponents of the war acknowledged the very real prospect of a relatively secure, democratic Iraq. We lost Iraq by choice.
Afghanistan might be worse. In the early days of the administration, the president and his team described the outcome of that war as crucial to U.S. national security. The goals of U.S. military and diplomatic efforts there -- eliminating safe haven for al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and reversing the momentum of the Taliban -- were essential to keeping Americans safe here at home. But Obama long ago made clear that he was more interested in ending the war than in winning it. In his December 1, 2009, speech at West Point, the president announced the troop surge and the withdrawal in the same breath. Today, U.S. troops are coming home, U.S. objectives remain unfulfilled, and President Obama dismissively refers to Afghanistan as just one of the wars he inherited.
Its not just the wars. With remarkable consistency, Obama has demonstrated that he is unwilling to accept the responsibilities that come with being the worlds only superpower. We said little as the Iranian regime put down a democratic revolution in 2009, for fear of accusations of meddling. We watched as Assad began to kill his citizens by the thousand, calling plaintively for restraint. When the Russian military rolled into Crimea in an audacious land-grab, we announced our disapproval and pushed for sanctions that we knew -- that everyone knew -- would have little effect beyond allowing us to say we pushed for sanctions.
In Obamas telling, the chaos Americans see on their television screens every night -- more than 150,000 slaughtered in Syria, a terrorist army taking over major cities in Iraq, dozens of rockets daily targeting citizens of Israel, nearly 300 innocent travelers dead after a surface-to-air missile downs a passenger plane, and continued Russian aggression -- is just part of a natural evolution. In the old world order, the United States played a dominant role. In the new one, we will not. With a rhetorical shrug of his shoulders, Obama says that these things may be unpleasant, but better days are ahead -- a new order based on a different set of principles with economies that work for all people and a sense of common humanity.
These views are a radical departure from decades of bipartisan U.S. national security and foreign policy, and they cant be dismissed as just the careless ramblings of a president who has checked out. Hes said much the same thing before. In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2009, Obama declared: In an era when our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero-sum game. No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold.
This is naïve and dangerous. There are serious consequences to the United States relinquishing power and influence. Were living them -- and so are people in the rest of the world.
The imperial bastard revealed his agenda: communism.
Maybe it is time for use to just stay home and let the messes sort themselves out.
Looking at history, there has seldom been "stability" in Afghanistan or Iraq, and most of Ukraine has historically been part of Russia.
His "Arab Spring" mess was the one place where he should have kept out of it.
It doesn't matter how much elbow grease he puts into it, you just can't polish a turd.
The folks at that fund-raiser paid $32,000...and were rewarded with this drivel.
If they were reasonably intelligent people, wouldn't they be wondering why this SOB was worth the $32,000 they'd just forked over.
Is there no critical thinking amongst the Democrat base? Do they all approve of his ineptitude? Do they all have such low standards?
From the beginning he has opposed American exceptionalism. He’s never seen us as a leader
Or, conversely, he has demonstrated he is willing to accept the responsibility to collapse the world's only superpower.
I’m just waiting for these idiots start the ISIS style approach here in the USA.
The only way for ecoonomics to work for all adults working age to benifit is to WORK.
For you and me; not for the ruling elites. Their lifestyle makes Marie Antoinette look like a pauper.
“Is there no critical thinking amongst the Democrat base? Do they all approve of his ineptitude? Do they all have such low standards?”
I see nothing in your assessment to warrant disagreement. Looking for critical thinking among the Democrat base is like looking for floating granite. Their standards are so low that they can only be transported across the sea by submarine. They value ineptitude above life itself. If that last one seems strange think about it for awhile.
To be fair (it pains me) Obama’s comments can be taken as applying to the situation in Syria. But, like you, I take them more broadly.
He’d love a collective society with people like himself on the top, directing traffic. The problem with such a society is that to keep it working, you need a breathtakingly large portion of it working as political cadres, spying and prying and bossing and taking. Look at how it was done in the Russia and China of 30 to 60 years ago, when there were a lot of Communist true believers.
“Or, conversely, he has demonstrated he is willing to accept the responsibility to collapse the world’s only superpower.”
Understand that sentence and it all becomes clear. I only wonder that so many have not grasped it yet.
The problem people have in dealing with Obama is an issue to issue problem.
Until people realize all of the “scandals” and lawlessness are just spokes on the wheel. Until the whole wheel is removed and the manufacturers of that wheel are dealt with, the bike will never be safe to move.
Obama likes ‘the collective”, He needs to be dealt with in the way he likes.
Barack Hussein Obama can chew on these words today and savor sweetness, but his policies will lead to the bitterest of words, "the world is at war".
Critical thinking is a skill that is sadly lacking in more and more of our young people. As a teacher, I have not given up yet, but with us living in an instantaneous gratification society, WORKING for solutions that require critical thinking is getting more and more difficult to encourage and instill in our young people.
Obama and company are working for a collective. I want to know who they are.
His number one enemy is me. A right wing conservative Christian. That is why he spends all his time raising money to defeat the right wing Christian conservatives. They are the true enemy, not Putin, not the Taliban, he released its top 5 generals in the middle of a battle, not Hamas, they are giving them money for "humanitarian" relief, not the illegals pouring across our unsecured border, not Isis he was warned about them, not the IRS who have done everything he has wanted them to do!
Yes, I know, with many of them it is not possible to carry on even the most basic conversation and talking about abstract concepts with them is like talking to a tree.
“... most of Ukraine has historically been part of Russia. ...”
This statement is in error. Anyone who believes it clings to a historical perspective vanishingly short. Even the briefest search on the terms “Kievan Rus” will reveal that the region we are now pleased to call “Ukraine” dominated Europe, in a time when exiled Swedish Vikings were still mulling their chances of portaging skin boats to a spot that hadn’t yet been named Moskva.
“...Maybe it is time for use to just stay home and let the messes sort themselves out...”
Pretending that “staying home” is any sort of option bespeaks an otherworldly nostalgia for that pre-1861 Agrarian Republic that never existed, not in the way so many forum members so fervently believe. Leaving the world to “sort itself out” is not a strategy; it is a self-congratulatory, self-righteous fantasy.
What’s more, it doesn’t work.