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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yours truly has given up on believing anything a presidential candidate says. That leaves what they've done in the past as the only thing to go on, and Obama's lack of anything but voting the straight far left line is troubling, regardless of how much his supporters end up feeling betrayed.


HANSON: Rhetoric vs. reality
Victor Davis Hanson
Sunday, December 21, 2008
COMMENTARY:

American presidential election rhetoric always paints the incumbent as incompetent in foreign policy, the challenger insightful and skillful. A look at recent history, however, shows that once the opposition gains office, the world suddenly becomes not so black and white.

The outsider Dwight Eisenhower charged President Harry Truman's administration with defeatist incompetence in Korea. Yet, in 1953, President Eisenhower continued Democratic war policies, reached a stalemate at the Demilitarized Zone and reclaimed Truman's prior unpopular war policy as his own inspired victory.

Brash-talking John Kennedy claimed by 1960 that the softie Dwight Eisenhower had let the Russians take the lead in strategic missiles. When elected, however, a more sober Kennedy dropped talk of a "missile gap" and continued existing defense planning.

Old pro Richard Nixon, when running for president, was said to have a secret plan to end the Vietnam War - apparently unknown to the clueless Kennedy-Johnson liberals. But for the next five years, President Nixon had no easier time withdrawing than his predecessors without conceding defeat.

Maverick Jimmy Carter claimed that cold warriors Gerald Ford and his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, had raised tensions with the Soviet Union due to an "inordinate fear of communism." Soon a red-faced President Carter scrambled to boycott the 1980 Russian Olympics and beef up the Pentagon after global Soviet aggression from Afghanistan to Central America.

After the interventions of the trigger-happy Ronald Reagan and George Bush the elder, feel-your-pain Bill Clinton was convinced his charisma could achieve through diplomacy what his predecessors had failed at through their clumsy use of force. But after 1993, President Clinton ended up bombing or shooting Afghans, Iraqis, Serbians, Somalis and Sudanese - without consulting either Congress or the United Nations.

Realist George W. Bush ran on ending Bill Clinton's nation-building - and ended up spending hundreds of billions of dollars on war and fostering democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq.

So given that history, don't expect that President-elect Barack Obama's message of hope and change will translate into all that much of either abroad.

Once upon a time, Mr. Obama or his supporters variously asserted that Iran was a hyped-up threat, that we could go openly into Pakistan if need be after al Qaeda, that the surge wouldn't work, that the Patriot Act and the Guantanamo Bay prison have torn asunder the Constitution, that we have alienated our European allies, that defeating terrorists is more a matter for criminal justice than military force, and that pushing democracy on traditional Islamic societies is culturally chauvinistic and naive.

But like his predecessors, the Obama administration will quickly learn that present U.S. foreign policy is mostly a result of reasonable decisions taken amid bad and worse choices. Therefore, don't be surprised if a President Obama continues much of what we are now doing - albeit with a kinder, gentler rhetoric of "multilateralism" and "U.N. accords."

Mr. Obama has not assumed office yet, and already Iran has mocked the president-elect's campaign suggestions for unconditional diplomacy. Already, old-new Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has indicated a desire to stabilize Iraq before withdrawing combat forces. Already, commanders have told the president-elect that a simple surge of more troops into Afghanistan offers no magical solution. Already, we are learning that whether we try more aid or ultimatums, Pakistan will remain Pakistan - a radical Islamic, nuclear failed state that is deeply anti-American rather than merely anti-George Bush.

As Inauguration Day approaches and campaign rhetoric ends and governance begins, words begin to have consequences. The truth is there are not many alternatives to the present general strategy against Islamic terrorism.

As president, Mr. Obama doesn't want a terrorist attack after seven years of quiet - certainly not of the sort that occurred in Mumbai last month. He may tinker with, but not end, Homeland Security measures. He may better articulate the complexities of a tribal Middle East, but he won't stop American efforts to foster democracy there.

Mr. Obama may show more anguish over the necessary use of violence, but I suspect he won't cede a military victory to terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. He will talk up the Atlantic Alliance but likely complain in private that the United States inordinately does the heavy lifting in NATO. And if terrorists dared again to kill hundreds of Americans here at home, our new president would probably take military action.

Most conservatives and moderates expected that candidate Barack Obama's grand campaign talk of novel choices abroad would end with President Obama's realist admission of very few new options.

His problem is instead his left-wing base, which for some reason believed Mr. Obama's electioneering bombast that he could magically make the world anew - and so now apparently should do just that or else!

Victor Davis Hanson is nationally syndicated columnist, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal.
 

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Jake, is this surrender something new (in which case, you've been way too naive, way too long), or is it a matter of you just now mentioning it?

I will say that back in '68 I didn't believe in Tricky Richard's plan, and was right not to. And I've believed in few (well, almost none) of the campaign claims since. Nor do I expect that to change in the future, either.
 

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Please stop reading things written by NEO-CONS such as Victor David Hanson. I swear, that's all you ever post is crap written from one of those below-the-value-of-a-nut-rag authors.
 

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I love that "neo-con" thingy, an invention of the dimocrats for the gullible. And obvioously they hooked a fish.

I suspect the messiah got a dose of reality when the Iranians called him a "house *****" AND we all know what they REALLY meant!
The first major neoconservative to embrace the term, and considered its founder, is Irving Kristol, (father of William Kristol, who founded the neoconservative Project for the New American Century), and wrote of his neoconservative views in the 1979 article "Confessions of a True, Self-Confessed 'Neoconservative.'"[1]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservative

NeoConservatives are basically disgruntled 60s Democrats that broke from the Peace wing of the Democrat Party, but they still believed in all the welfare goodies and entitlements. So I guess you are correct that Democrats coined the term.
 

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Please stop reading things written by NEO-CONS such as Victor David Hanson. I swear, that's all you ever post is crap written from one of those below-the-value-of-a-nut-rag authors.
Young man, this is how you keep getting yourself shot to pieces. Pick your battles, choose a strategy, & above all, try to get your point across without using the language of an uneducated putz. All you are doing is reinforcing the opinons that people have of you. You are being your own worst enemy. Think before you write.
 

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I do believe President Elect Obama is in for a rough awakening. It always looks simple from the outside. Once you are on the inside things happen beyond your control then you have to deal with them. He has many problems to deal with that I don't believe he has thought all the way through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Young man, ..... Think before you write.
Roget's Thesaurus:

impossible

adjective
Not capable of happening or being done: impracticable, impractical, unattainable, unrealizable, unthinkable, unworkable. Idiom: out of the question. See possible
So unpleasant or painful as not to be endured or tolerated: insufferable, insupportable, intolerable, unbearable, unendurable, unsufferable, unsupportable. See pain
Given to acting in opposition to others: balky, contrarious, contrary, difficult, froward, ornery, perverse, wayward. See attitude, support
 

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Roget's Thesaurus:

impossible

adjective
Not capable of happening or being done: impracticable, impractical, unattainable, unrealizable, unthinkable, unworkable. Idiom: out of the question. See possible
So unpleasant or painful as not to be endured or tolerated: insufferable, insupportable, intolerable, unbearable, unendurable, unsufferable, unsupportable. See pain
Given to acting in opposition to others: balky, contrarious, contrary, difficult, froward, ornery, perverse, wayward. See attitude, support
OUCH!
 

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I love that "neo-con" thingy, an invention of the dimocrats for the gullible. And obvioously they hooked a fish.

I suspect the messiah got a dose of reality when the Iranians called him a "house *****" AND we all know what they REALLY meant!
I like the "neo-con thingy" myself. It helps crystallize the difference between real conservatives and these things that masquerade as conservative Republicans.

In my book, Democrats embroil us in foreign entanglements for no discernible purpose whatsoever. Kennedy and Johnson in Vietnam, and Clinton in Bosnia and Somalia. They waste American lives and treasure on people and places that no one in America cares -or should care- about. "Neocons" appear to be just as eager to waste our soldiers' lives and our country's wealth trying to win hearts and minds in parts of the world that can only be politely described as "shitboxes." (Iraq and Afghanistan). :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One of those shitboxes has a gazillion barrels of oil under it. After the experience of 24 years of that wealth in control of the sort of megalomaniac dictator those geopolitical outhouses seem to generate I think we did a heck of a good job.

As for the other shitbox: Despite the warm feeling I'd get from revenge, it's the most useless country on the face of the globe and, to paraphrase Bismark, all of Afghanistan isn't worth the bones of a US Army ranger.
 

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One of those shitboxes has a gazillion barrels of oil under it. After the experience of 24 years of that wealth in control of the sort of megalomaniac dictator those geopolitical outhouses seem to generate I think we did a heck of a good job.

As for the other shitbox: Despite the warm feeling I'd get from revenge, it's the most useless country on the face of the globe and, to paraphrase Bismark, all of Afghanistan isn't worth the bones of a US Army ranger.
So you will admit that we are in IRAQ for OIL????......or at least, since we're there we might as well take it???

Afghanistan needs to be WIPED and start again with a Fresh slate.......Why you ask???.....I'll tell you why...Afghanistan needs to be a NICE Vacation spot.....have you seen those Mountains?????.....man, we could build some of the NICEST RESORTS in those Mountains, you wouldn't BELIEVE!!!!!......
Gatlinburg be Damned!!!!!!.....I'm Going to AFGHANISTAN!!!!!!!.......:D
 

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Why all of the sweat about war over oil? The Germans, Italians, Romanians, & all their other allies, invaded Russia for oil. The Japanese invaded Malyasia for oil. Hussein invaded Kuwait for oil. The guerillas in West Africa are fighting over oil. The Saudis cried for us to come help them so their Islamic brother Saddam wouldn't invade them over their oil. Why do some people think the United States came up with this idea? C'mon. Look at the big picture. They all holler that the US is at war about oil. But when their oil is threatened by whoever, who do they call. Please USA, come protect us. And by the way, we are raising your prices for our oil while you do it. Me, I'd say, okay, we'll help. But we want low oil prices frozen in place for 10 years. You want our blood. You pay for it because it's a hell of a lot more valuable than your oil. Your other choice is, who ever takes your oil. Then the first time they even blink wrong we turn the whole place into one big chunk of glass & take what we want. Your move.
 

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saifa, we were told we didn't go to war with IRAQ for their Oil......so you're saying we did???.....and that's OK???

Can you, for 2 seconds, put yourself in their shoes......a Foriegn country comes in, overthrows the gov't, takes the Natural Resources, bans guns, etc......
How would that make you feel??????..........you saying that's Alright??????

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You aren't listening. Countries have gone to war for oil for decades. Why do you think for 1 you can believe politicians & 2 that we should just sit back & let these fine gentlemen do whatever they like. Oil? Sure. The ONLY reason? No. Nothing is that simple. And if the Iraqis had had any stones they would have killed Saddam years ago. But no, they needed our help. Please America, send your sons & daughters to bleed for us.
 

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No, I'm sorry. I did forget, after we did all the dirty work, the brave, grateful Iraqis poured into the streets & slapped Saddams statue with their shoes. I've never seen such dedication & bravery. Between that & sending their own children into crowds while wearing bombs I must say that I for one am really impressed. Talk about guts to spare.
 

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And if the Iraqis had had any stones they would have killed Saddam years ago. But no, they needed our help. Please America, send your sons & daughters to bleed for us.
This is one of my biggest problems with the IRAQ war.......They need to take care of their own Tyrant......Why does American blood need to be spilled over a bunch of fvcking sand ******......oh wait....I forgot.....OIL!!!!.....
sorry, I didn't realize the US gov't is trading Blood for OIL.......I should've known...
 

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My biggeat problem, too. Why have so many gov'ts. been willing to do this? See very short list above.
And if they must send them over there, turn them loose. Let our troops do what they are trained to do. They aren't cops. They are soldiers. But in spite of all of this, we are still a hell of a lot better than anything those clowns could ever dream of being. Read some of T.E. Lawrences work. It's like reading a newspaper today. Nothing has changed over there & thay seem to like it that way. Fine. But if they mess with us in any form or fashion, then steam roll them.
 

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And if they must send them over there, turn them loose. Let our troops do what they are trained to do. They aren't cops. They are soldiers.
You can't turn the Military Loose when there is no Target Identified......We aren't facing a uniformed Army.......The enemy is in Civilian clothing......they are in small pockets here and there.....That's not something you "Turn Loose" the full scale of your Military on.....SF can take care of the riff-raff if need be.

No, we are currently nation building while our own Nation Suffers.....I see something wrong there.

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I think you would be VERY surprised at what & who & where our people know about. So, turn them loose. Most people think we found Saddam by chance in that hole. Don't kid yourself. Those troops were sent there because we KNEW he was there. It was reported the way it was because you don't give up intelligence sources. Turn them loose. Target identified, objective defined. And I never said 1 word about the entire military did I?
 
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