Monday, March 28, 2011

Slouching Towards Disorder

Peter Beinart puts a charitable face on Obama’s Libya dithering...

"’s a reasonable bet that had Barack Obama not been able to promise that it would be a mostly European affair, Gates would now be a military analyst on Fox News.
He gives the president too much credit.   Obama staggered in to this, pulled this way and that by France and his own Valkyries.  Regardless, I agree with the president that it’s a good thing for others to lead this latest foreign adventure.
It’s not the 1990s anymore. The American public’s appetite for humanitarian war has always been meager. And now the American government’s capacity for waging it is meager, too.

But in a strange twist, Europe’s appetite has grown. The continent’s military capacity is still tiny compared to America’s, and it still lacks unity, but the shame of European inaction in Bosnia lingers in British, French, Italian, and German minds. (Peter Beinart – The Daily Beast)
It's Time for Europe and the Middle East to Grow Up

Arabs and Europeans need to grow up and take care of their own problems. We should always be faithful to our global friends, but we can do so by playing a supporting role instead of full out fighting their battles for them.  Europe is much closer than we are to Iran, The Middle East and North Africa .

This is only the beginning of the "unraveling of the Middle East"

We learned of the Sunni-Shia blood rivalry during the early years of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Look for it to explode across the wider region, says respected scholar and foreign policy expert Robert Kaplan.  Add to this the anger spilling over in the Muslim street, financial crises in the west, and the fact that we're already tied up in two wars, and for what? 
China is not a "responsible stakeholder" in the international system, as we proclaim it should be; it is a free rider. We are at war in Afghanistan to make it a safe place for China to extract minerals and metals. We have liberated Iraq so that Chinese firms can extract its oil. (Robert Kaplan - Beyond Libya)
Events are sliding sideways, and each country is fracturing in its own way.  This Arab revolution began with a humiliating slap, has included virginity checks, rapes, twitter feeds and Facebook posts, and no one can predict how it will all end, or if it will end at all.  We should not be picking sides between rotten murderous dictators and rotten murderous Islamists.  I know, they're not all America-hating terrorists, but we've proven woefully inept a sorting the friends from the enemies.  Better to stay out of it.

Globally and domestically, things will get worse before they get better.  Instead of dropping million-dollar packages from 50,000 feet, we should be marshaling our forces here at home.


Always On Watch said...

Arabs and Europeans need to grow up and take care of their own problems.


Instead of dropping million-dollar packages from 50,000 feet, we should be marshaling our forces here at home.

Hear, hear!

Getting involved in Moslem tribal conflicts is not in America's best interests.

Lisa said...

we should be marshaling our forces here at home.

Oh yeah President Obama Build that wall!

Jersey McJones said...

It seems to me that criticism of Obama's actions and inactions regarding Libya, and all the other uprisings are devoid of substance, as evidenced by their fluid changes.


Lisa said...

Of course it ids Jersey,would you have it any other way?

Anonymous said...

I see the makings for a long hot summer. I don't buy for a minute that this is a humanatarian action.
As usual, we will be the last to know the truth.

Finntann said...

Hey Jersey:

"The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action." Senator Obama 2007

I guess when you are talking out of both sides of your mouth, a rose by any other name is still a Bush.

Jersey McJones said...

Well, Finntann, I guess Obama has learned a lesson. I* you have the power, and can project it, and desparate people need it, then use it.


Finntann said...

So it's do as I say, not as I do?

There's nothing like having a man of principles in the oval office, eh?

And he plays such a lovely hand of Three Card Monte too. I think Woodward and Lardner (AP) summed it up best in their article on MSNBC: "In transferring command and control to NATO, the U.S. is turning the reins over to an organization dominated by the U.S., both militarily and politically. In essence, the U.S. runs the show that is taking over running the show."

It's the end justifies the means argument, after all... what's a little regime change among friends?

Honestly, I have more respect for Dennis Kucinich now than I do for Obama, at least he's still singing the same tune:

“So what the president did is, by his own words, outside the Constitution,” Kucinich said. “This isn’t a case of him not knowing. He knows clearly that he has not complied with the Constitution. And that’s a very serious matter because he’s using the ultimate authority of a president.”

So the question is, who has a more desperate need? Libyan Rebels for American air cover? Or the American people for a government subservient to their will?

I guess, whether or not you like Rome, all depends on who's currently the Emperor!

MK said...

"It's Time for Europe and the Middle East to Grow Up"

And to be frank, it's time for the rest of us to do it as well, there are plenty of ungrateful bastards out here too who spat at and spurned America even though we owe our nation speaking english and not japanese to you. It's not all of us, but a noisy minority of ratbags who deserve to learn a very painful lesson.

"But in a strange twist, Europe’s appetite has grown. The continent’s military capacity is still tiny compared to America’s...."

You know what's going to be hilarious? Watching liberals look on in utter amazement as their much vaunted euro soft-power turns out to be about as useful as a wet cabbage in the real world without American hard firepower.

Silverfiddle said...

Well said, MK, but we can't expect eternal gratitude. I tire of the double game of every pissant government excoriating the US publicly, but then privately begging us to do their fighting for them.

Australia, by the way, has pulled its own weight in every war, and has also fought in wars alongside the US even when it did not have to.

I hate to be so blatantly chauvinistic, but the old empire and colonies (Britain, Australia, Canada and the US) have done more for humanity than any other group of countries I can think of.