Retort to Romantic Americans in their Infatuation with Obama
On open salon
Obama Fails Test on Strength of Character
By Con George-Kotzabasis
“Remedial action” in the context of war is not an end in itself but with a purpose of leading to victory, as it’s in the present case in Iraq with the “tactic’ of the surge, providing the U.S. leadership does not abandon its intelligent resolution and determination to win the war.
The U.S. and U.K. politics of Iran you have to consider them within the context of the great confrontation between the two superpowers of the Cold War. At the level of strategic priorities Anglo-American politics that led to the “Iranian hostage crisis”, as you say, was minor to the major successful goal of preventing the Soviet Union from dominating the region, which you seem not to consider as being geopolitically at the time the paramount issue.
Lastly, why divert the issue of character as adumbrated by Nietzsche, to an unproved situation of political manipulation which you call the “Munchausen by proxy”? Isn’t such a diversion rather absurd?
America remains the best of all possible ‘perfections’ in an imperfect world. That is why people from all over the world are voting for America with their feet.
Good to see a kindred spirit when one is ‘besieged’ with anti-Bush warriors in this Salon.
Indeed, we should be learning our own lessons. And I agree entirely with you that we cannot talk of, or achieve, victory on bankrupt foundations, either economic or political. But one must acknowledge that the incubus of economic bankruptcy that threatens America is the ‘monster child’ that has been sired by Democratic administrations in their act of social engineering. Roosevelt and Carter were the fathers of Fannie Mae and the Community Reinvestment Act respectively, the latter resurrected by Clinton. And Obama as community organizer was threatening banks with prosecution if the latter did not offer cheap loans to his non-credit-worthy constituents.
The most effective recruiting tool would have been to withdraw from Iraq prematurely. And Iraq illustrates at its best this proposition. Because the insurgents have been defeated in the field of battle they presently face a dearth of recruits and therefore are using women and children in their suicidal missions.
If he had strength of character he would have gone against the stream in regards to the war, as McCain did at a high cost of popularity. Instead he chose to ride on the imprudent emotional wave of the anti-war movement. And it’s a fact that he was considering Clinton as his vice…but Michelle was against it and he unwisely and cravenly yielded to her wishes which might cost him the election to the presidency. Also, what Gordon O says about the “public funding issue.” I’m sure that you would agree that these are not traits of strength.
Your “failed premise” rests on the backside of hindsight. At the time of 9/11 it was a premise of a real impending threat.
Certainly we all carry our own “baggage”. But it’s a matter of character how one “chooses to deal with one’s parental issues.” You can accuse Bush of some failings—perfection is not a gift easily granted by nature—including drunkenness which he had the strength to overcome. But G.W. Bush was not daddy’s boy in the White House. Woodward in his book makes it quite clear, by implication in some cases and more directly in others, that Bush made his hard decisions with the characteristics of strength.
Thank you for your gracious intervention and your exposure of intellectually meretricious arguments.
Thanks for the flowers while you were getting ready to entomb me into intellectual oblivion.
A field of points and I will try to separate the wheat from the chaff and answer you on the former. And it’s good to know that one’s opponent is at least of a strong character even if he is not strong in gray matter.
Touché on my “swiftly” as I concede that it was not done quickly enough and it took two years for the Bush administration to realize that it was a wrong strategy. But why you conveniently leave out the main thrust of my argument that the administration corrected this strategic error and by implementing the new strategy of the surge turned the tables on a losing war?
Indeed, “democracy does not come by force” but the conditions upon which one can build democracy sometimes come by force and a long occupation. Germany and Japan are the preeminent examples. And wasn’t the Maliki government the result of a democratic process under the auspices of the U.S. occupying power? The Iraqi people never had a direct experience of democracy only a visual one from their TV sets of the political status quo of the West. But once their tribal leaders adopted the American plan for democracy the Iraqi people followed their leaders to the ballot box. Only intellectual fixation and historical ignorance can claim that democracy perforce only rises from bottom up and cannot come down from the top.
You obviously are a votary of the intellectual and historical insolvent belief that profit as a high value is a dirty word. But it was in the cradle of the high profits of the mercantilist bourgeoisie that the Italian Renaissance was engendered and begun eroding the seigniorial class of its political power and eventually spread the seeds of democracy in the fertile lands of the European continent made on profit. An elementary history lesson that does not need a review is that democracy and the entrepreneurial search for profit are not incompatible but the sine qua non of economic prosperity. (Read the great Indian economist Amartya Sen.)
And where from my writings you “get” the impression that I’m a traducer of the principle “that all human beings seek the same basic things and are worthy of respect?” This is rather a stolid method to attribute to your opponent a fictional position so you can make your ‘tailor made’ case.
As for “bigotry, irrational religious beliefs, and ignorance this is the “plague” of democracy itself. All political parties at an election perforce have to bring this minority to their side and use different slogans and techniques to succeed in this task. Why with your strong bearings choose to be a fugitive from this reality? But my argument, as you know, was that while it’s necessary to win over this minority it would be highly unlikely politically, and indeed, stupid, to govern on its behalf.
Again on the following issue you misinterpret my position but I don’t believe you are doing this on this particular issue for sinister reasons—your strong character would not allow you to do this, although your urge to win an argument could be stronger and could trump you on this—but as a result of soft thinking. I don’t at all object to America “upholding” its values. On the contrary, I greatly admire America that it continues to water the Tree of its values, to paraphrase Franklin, with its own blood. I did not state that any of Obama’s speeches contained the “lovey dovey terrorists and my conditional “perhaps” would have made this clear to a careful reader. But there is a general belief among the liberal intelligentsia that by a softer approach by the use of “softer power” and diplomacy, one could stop fanatics from pursuing the seventy-two virgins.
Lastly one is original by the grace of nature. And no future long distance can make one original if one has not been graced by nature. Hence, to ask someone to be “a little more original” in the future is oxymoronic.
What you know and what you are pretending to know?