Fw: THE WASHINGTON POST; Emptiness at West Point

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Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Subject: Fw: THE WASHINGTON POST; Emptiness at West Point


Emptiness at West Point

By Charles Krauthammer, Published: May 29

It is fitting that on the day before President Obama was to give his grand West Point address defending the wisdom and prudence of his foreign policy, his government should be urging Americans to evacuate Libya.
Libya, of course, was once the model Obama intervention — the exquisitely calibrated military engagement wrapped in the rhetorical extravagance of a nationally televised address proclaiming his newest foreign policy doctrine (they change to fit the latest ad hoc decision): the responsibility to protect.
You don’t hear R2P bandied about much anymore. Not with more than 50,000 civilians having been slaughtered in Syria’s civil war, unprotected in any way by the United States. Nor for that matter do you hear much about Libya, now so dangerously chaotic and jihadi-infested that the State Department is telling Americans to get out.
And you didn’t hear much of anything in the West Point speech. It was a somber parade of straw men, as the president applauded himself for steering the nation on a nervy middle course between extreme isolationism and madcap interventionism. It was the rhetorical equivalent of that classic national security joke in which the presidential aide, devoted to policy option X, submits the following decision memo:
Option 1. All-out nuclear war.
Option 2. Unilateral surrender.
Option 3. Policy X.
The isolationism of Obama’s telling is a species not to be found anywhere. Not even Rand Paul would withdraw from everywhere. And even members of Congress’s dovish left have called for sending drones to Nigeria, for God’s sake.
As for Obama’s interventionists, they are grotesquely described as people “who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak” while Obama courageously refuses to believe that “every problem has a military solution.”
Name one person who does.
“Why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force?” Obama recently and plaintively asked about Ukraine. In reality, nobody is. What actual earthlings are eager for is sending military assistance to Ukraine’s woefully equipped forces.
That’s what the interim prime minister asked for when he visited here in March — and was denied. (He was even denied night-vision goggles and protective armor.) Two months later, military assistance was the first thing Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s newly elected president, said he wanted from the United States. Note: not boots on the ground.
Same for Syria. It was Obama, not his critics, who went to the brink of a military strike over the use of chemical weapons. From which he then flinched. Critics have been begging Obama to help train and equip the outmanned and outgunned rebels — a policy to which he now intimates he might finally be coming around.
Three years late. Qusair, Homs and major suburbs of Damascus have already been retaken by the government. The battle has by now so decisively tilted toward Assad — backed by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, while Obama dithered — that Assad is holding triumphal presidential elections next week.
Amid all this, Obama seems unaware of how far his country has fallen. He attributes claims of American decline to either misreading history or partisan politics. Problem is: Most of the complaints are coming from abroad, from U.S. allies with no stake whatsoever in U.S. partisan politics. Their concern is their own security as they watch this president undertake multiple abdications from Warsaw to Kabul.
What is the world to think when Obama makes the case for a residual force in Afghanistan — “after all the sacrifices we’ve made, we want to preserve the gains that you have helped to win” — and then announce a drawdown of American forces to 10,000, followed by total liquidation within two years on a fixed timetable regardless of circumstances?
The policy contradicts the premise. If you want not to forfeit our terribly hard-earned gains — as we forfeited all our gains in Iraq with the 2011 withdrawal — why not let conditions dictate the post-2014 drawdowns? Why go to zero — precisely by 2016?
For the same reason, perhaps, that the Afghan surge was ended precisely in 2012, in the middle of the fighting season — but before the November election. A 2016 Afghan end date might help Democrats electorally and, occurring with Obama still in office, provide a shiny new line to his résumé.
Is this how a great nation decides matters of war and peace — to help one party and polish the reputation of one man? As with the West Point speech itself, as with the president’s entire foreign policy of retreat, one can only marvel at the smallness of it all.
Read more on this issue: The Post’s View: At West Point, President Obama binds America’s hands on foreign affairs E.J. Dionne Jr.: Obama outlines a doctrine where restraint makes us stronger David Ignatius: Obama’s foreign policy repeats some avoidable mistakes The Post’s View: Pulling Libya back from the brink of civil war The Post’s View: President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy


Anonymous said...

What "gains" did we make in Iraq? Weren't we supposed to be liberating, not conquering? If that was really the case, then we should have had no "gains", since everything we did was supposed to be for the people of Iraq, not us.

BTW, some of those rebels in Syria this nut was so eager to arm are the same people now driving into the heart of Iraq.

gruaud said...

"...Obama courageously refuses to believe that 'every problem has a military solution.' Name one person who does."

Charles Craphammer, meet Bill Kristol and Dick Cheney. Three peas in a pod.

ferschitz said...

Oy vey. Charles the ShitHammer - highly compensated shill for the rightwing Oligarchs.

I loathe Obama's foreign policy, myself, but that's because it's mainly a continuation of W Bush's worthless, senseless, militaristic, endlessly expensive foreign policy, syphon US tax dollar$ into the pockets of the MIC/1%, War without end.

Krauthammer is such a pointless stooge.

Anonymous said...

"One can only marvel at the smallness of it all." Huh??????

Does that refer to what is between Krauthammers' ears or his legs?

Krauthammer needs to achieve his destiny by becoming a televangelist....garbage piled higher and deeper ("PhD" for short).

Krauthammer, the zionist supremacist, would like nothing more but to use all our kids for the Zionist supremacists wars. If you haven't already, please read Gilad Atzmon's book, "The Wondering Who?" to better understand how the Zionist supremacist mind works.

Mr. Krauthammer is a typical Israel-firster lobby propaganda tool. All he cares about is how can the Israel-firster use all our resources for their benefit. He couldn't care less how many Americans are killed in useless wars.

Krauthammer is so uniformly anti-Obama that he comes across as obsessed with that negativity. He is the very personification of political bias, an affliction that is endemic in this country. As a result, our political discourse has become both predictable and boring in its sameness. Moreover, bigots like Krauthammer succeed only in making themselves totally unconvincing, no matter how they try to make their diatribes and put-downs believable.

Initiate wars of choice with imagined WMD's, send irregular National Guardsmen in endless rotations to war along side No Bid contractor/mercenaries with no plan in place to pay for them except sweetheart deals to American Corporations for Iraqi oil and to encourage citizens to "go shopping". Neo-cons tapped out the US economy as it spiraled into a depression. Hollowed out the VA by refusing to fund it. Ran for cover after losing 2 major elections and psychotically emit nothing but recalcitrant blame and condemnation to an American President who won the Nobel Peace Prize, two elections, ended the war in Iraq, captured and killed Osama bin Laden, is winding down military action in Afghanistan and has continuously worked to avoid adding to the list of protracted budget crippling military incursions in the Mid East.

The War in Iraq has argueably done more damage to American military might, the US budget and our respect worldwide than Vietnam. Mr. Krauthammer and his neo cons should continue to be judged harshly for their lies and machinations.

I still cringe to imagine how many wars we'd presently be engaged in if Krauthammer's and his neo con pals had been handed the White House in 08 and/or 12.

I will add this, though, in a micro sense, Krauthammer makes some valid points including the setting of timetables for withdrawal while annoucing surges, the contradiction seems glaring. I can only think such things represent an effort to keep all sides happy which in reality just sees people scratching their heads. Obama has probably got the macro foreign policy picture correct on issues such as Iraq and Afghanistan, it is just the manner in which these policies have been conducted, which at times have left a lot to be desired. There are serious questions over Libya while the Israel-Palestinian embroglio is something which has to be settled (pardon the pun), but looks like it is going to roll on and on....Zzzzzzzzzz and cue the crickets in 1....2....3....

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