This is kind of a dry blog season for me. First. I live in Santa Cruz, California where other people go on vacation. The sun sets late. The sea is beautiful, the wind warm most evenings. Second, I am suffering from a fairly severe case of Obama fatigue. The spirit ends up rebelling against bad news and commentaries on bad news. Here is a summary, for what it’s worth. I begin with the positive. Won’t take long.
President Obama has had the good sense to do nothing about the Iraq withdrawal plan inherited from President Bush. We are leaving soon, gradually, in orderly fashion. We are leaving behind an imperfect but determinedly democratic form of government. It’s a little chaotic by Swiss standards, pretty good by middle-eastern ones. Ordinary Iraqis are still dying at the hands of terrorists, their enemies and ours. The Iraqi freely elected government seems to be able to deal with the continued atrocities and determined to do so. The US is very popular in Iraqi Kurdistan, at least. We could have an air force base there for the asking. Obama won’t ask. All the same, it’s good to have the good will. We might need it soon, against Iran, possible supported by a newly “Islamist” Turkey.
The fact of Iraqi democracy is not lost on the subjects of various middle-eastern tyrannies, including the ones we have been supporting for a long time. “If the Iraqis can have one, after 25 years of Saddam Hussein’s gangster fascism, why not us?” the subjects tell themselves. It ‘ s not only bad examples that are contagious.
Bush bet on this “war of choice.” The fact is: he won. President Obama did not stand in the way after being elected.
In Afghanistan, Pres. Obama is staying true to the letter of his campaign announcements if not not their spirit. After yielding to the temptation to do the wrong thing: Firing General McChrystal, he did the right thing: Appointing General Petraeus. It must have been exceedingly distasteful and painful to appoint the man his avid Leftists supporters at “MoveOn” were still recently calling, “General Betray US.” Yet, the President took his medicine like a man.
I am reading between the lines of Petraeus’ appointment. The general himself says he supports the planned 1012 withdrawal. But the date was always conditional. This leaves me to believe that Mr Obama is not closing the option to stay as long as necessary.
Full disclosure: Personally, I think we should prosecute that war until both of two things happen: We know for sure that Bin Laden and his seconds are dead, and the Taliban surrender. It’s intolerable to let the world know that you can kill Americans at home without paying the price for doing so. Other Muslim terrorist groups are watching; the Russians are watching; the now-peaceful but increasingly powerful Chinese are watching; the desperate North Korean Stalinist-fascist regime is watching; above all the Iranian Islamist-fascist regime is watching with its tens of thousands of guard dogs dreaming of copulating with seventy-two virgins. None of these dangerous entities shares our interest in peaceful co-existence. None shares our belief in the belief that individual human lives matter.
Of course, my seeming willingness to go on sacrificing young American military lives seems paradoxical in view of the last sentence. It’s only superficially so. Our military men and women are all volunteers. They are more intelligent, better educated, and healthier than the average of the rest of the population. If we had to rely on a draft, I would be more conflicted. And, of course, I don’t begin to take seriously the liberals who pretend to shed tears about the deaths and maiming of American military personnel. You never hear them complain about the loss of American lives where they would be comparatively easy to avoid. Here is a comparison: About 1,100 American military have died in Afghanistan in 9 years, most, but not all combat-related deaths. That’s about 30 times fewer than die on American roads each year. Many people assume road casualties are unavoidable. Nothing could be less true. Alcohol is involved in a least half of them. We could avoid 15,000 deaths each year by enacting and enforcing a zero-alcohol tolerance at the wheel policy. It’s all a matter of how far we are willing to go. If the obligatory penalty for the first offense where six months in jail with no suspension of sentence and if the second penalty were one year in jail and permanent withdrawal of license, you would see drinking and driving plummet to near zero. Liberal pacifists who deplore loudly 1,000 American combat deaths don’t even ever mention the vastly more murderous conflict on our roads. Hypocrites!
With Iran’s nuclear armament race, President Obama has failed to draw the lessons from the previous administration’s military inaction. The danger is growing greater and nearer by the day. Because we are militarily unprepared in that area, we might end up being forced to use the nuclear option. If we do, we will probably for be killing tens of thousands of Iranians who, we have known since last summer at least, would love to be free from the mad-dog mullahs. The so-called “Islamic Republic” is unlikely to attack us directly, it’s true. The danger is the it will threaten, seriously once, to annihilate Israel. The Israelis will then launch a preemptive attack and dare us to do nothing to help.
President Obama is a wimp, like most liberals. He does not like to contemplate bad dreams like this one.
The passive fiasco with North Korea continues. Here again, the current administration failed to draw the lessons from the past. If we are lucky, the fascist regime there will collapse spectacularly under the weight of its own mistakes and of its risible succession problems (the latter, comparable to those of the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century). If we are unlucky, the regime will launch a suicide war against the prosperous Republic of Korea to its south. Then, our paltry 30,000 “trip-wire” troops there will be threatened with extermination. If this happens, we will surely nuke tens of thousands of North Koreans whose sole crime is to have suffered terribly for two life-times at the hands of their monstrous ruler-puppets.
Way to go for peace, Mr President!
Next time: The triumphs of President Obama’s domestic policies. I will be brief!