Sunday, May 24, 2009

Obama Making "Tough Calls"; What Was Bush Doing?

I continue to be amazed by the tap-dancing performance of the President's supporters as they watch him validate and continue many of the policies of the Bush Administration's approach to the War on Ter..whoops Overseas Contingency Operations.

The favorite new line is "we got stuck with Bush's policies, and there really aren't any good alternatives." Just what makes these folks think the Bush folks had better alternatives? Obama and his team get to make their decisions after 7.5 years of no attacks underwritten by the courageous actions of the Bush team to husband national resources to fight an implacable foe. Bush made his while the reality of attack was still a daily story and the possibility of future attack loomed large.

The Obama team may think they have no good alternatives---but they should at least recognize others have reached the same conclusion.


Smoothfur said...

"we got stuck with Bush's policies, and there really aren't any good alternatives."

Duh! If there are no good alternatives, doesn't that mean that the Bush administration came up with the best policy available?

Anonymous said...

Guess some believe going into Iraq was a good idea... friends, that one decision, which most on the right cannot come to admit was a mistake, was a self inflicted disaster. Thus, Obama has to make the best of a bad situation. It’s scary how the extreme right thinks... sorry this site is replete with failure to view the world outside the shoot first perspective.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Um....Iraq war began in 2003, GTMO opened for biz in early 2002, housing prisoners taken in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Pelosi's briefing on Waterboarding was before Iraq war...the list goes on. I can separate the two, can you Anon?

Anonymous said...

"...preventive detention regime..."

Sounds like more language "gussy'ing" to suit the administration's needs.

Mudge said...

Well Anon, I am one who felt at the time, that going into Iraq was a good idea. It was one of the rare occasions that I found myself aligned with our current Secretary of State and our current Vice President on matters of national security. I had received a number of very convincing intelligence briefings over the years, far less detailed and less frequent, mind you, than the ones SENs Clinton and Biden would have received (or, if you believe the hoardes who were prepared to elect a former first lady as POTUS because of her "vast experience" over the inexperienced POTUS they ultimately DID elect, the briefings SECSTATE must have gotten as First Lady). But it was plenty clear, there was a very real likelihood that such threats existed and were building in the region. To outright dismiss the UN was SPOT ON. If you can find as corrupt, inept and expensive charade for international cooperation that subverts the best interests of the United States, please let me know what it is. The only countries enforcing the CEASE FIRE conditions of the first Gulf War were the US and UK. Our Service men and women (get out your yellow ribbons) were daily putting their lives at risk over enemy territory enforcing the no-fly zone conditions that the UN Security Council passed AND sailing in dangerous waters attempting to enforce the Oil-for-Food program that the same UNSC passed. As you may know, UNSC is comprised of 5 nations with the power to veto any resolution: US, UK (remember them--they're the ones enforcing the resolutions), PRC, Russia and France (you probably don't remember them, they were the ones VIOLATING the UNSC's they themselves had passed). THAT is why Colin Powell and George Bush laid the gauntlet at the UN's feet and the UN failed (big surprise) to support what turned out to be US/UK bilateral decision to go to war with Iraq. It wasn't that the UN was this all knowing, principled organization who was smarter than the US/UK, it was that to attack Iraq and oust Sadam Hussein from power would preclude all the agreements Russia, France and China had made with Hussein. I will agree that we were too slow to react to changes that occurred in theater and that, with inexcuseable misbehavior at Abu Ghraib by DoD personnel under even greater inexcuseable lack of leadership by a general officer who to this day claims no responsibility whatsoever for what has become the single biggest set back in the entire war that occurred ENTIRELY under her command, what was going militarily in the positive direction, became a collosal change in domestic support and a call to arms for the rest of the arab world. That we set out to establish a free society from the core of a horribly repressed society is what I hope we will always stand for. And, it was, btw, one of the primary strategic reasons for going into Iraq. That it became a lightning rod for the enormous cultural divide between western and middle eastern values is something we should have, now with hindsight, been better prepared to handle. But it was NEVER sufficient reason to just pack up, leave the Iraqis with yet another Kurd head fake only to unleash Sadam and his brothers to exact their style of justice and go home to lick our wounds. That is not the America I was so fortunate to have been born into. And I remain ever so thankful that we had courageous leaders, who kept that principle foremost ahead of their own political and personal popularity, on track to honor our entire nation's commitment. And I'll bet there are a lot of Iraqi citizens who thank Allah that the US didn't take its strategic cues from Community Organizers or elected officials whose commitments to strategic policy swing to and fro like a weathervane following the winds of daily polls...or the self-appointed experts in Hollywood.

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