Barack Obama exasperates Vladimir Putin. How is it in the U.S.’s interest, Putin wonders, to have complete chaos in the Middle East? Doesn’t President Obama understand that a Qaddafi or Mubarek is preferable to blood in the streets and radical Islam in charge? And why would you leave a potentially winning hand on the Iraq table when you’re pot committed? Why play small?
The exasperation galvanized Putin. If Obama will be weak, someone needs to be strong and it might as well be him. So, Putin humiliated the President in the New York Times. He negotiated in Syria. He’s giving his blessing to candidates in Egypt. He’s bullying the Ukraine. In short, Putin is filling the vacuum. Who will stop him?
Still, for a strong man like Putin, who deals in measures of strength as a commodity, President Obama’s unnecessary weakness makes little sense. Certainly, President Obama’s ideology isn’t that distant from Putin’s. In fact, President Obama has consistently advanced a quasi-socialist America–increased taxation, increased redistribution, an enlarged and empowered state, more regulation, more central control, media harassment and threats, using the government to investigate political opposition, etc. All these decisions, while not nakedly Marxist, certainly aren’t limiting the state and shrinking its power.
So why wouldn’t this statist aggression be pushed around the world?
Here is where President Obama differs from President Putin: Vladamir Putin loves Russia and views the state as an extension of himself. In contrast, President Obama does not like America. Further, he views his own country and people with suspicion. President Obama believes in worldwide redistribution and believes that Americans don’t deserve their power, wealth, or status. So, he cedes it or straight up gives it away.
President Obama’s loathing for colonial powers makes him averse to using the US’ power on the world scene even when it makes him personally look weak and pathetic.
For Putin, the notion of separation of self and state is absurd. He is a Russian. He is proud of his country. He is fond of communism. He chafes at the loss of power and face since the days when the Soviet Union split up. He seeks to regain glory for the state of Russia and by extension, himself.
Obama is a man divided. He wants personal prestige but he is not willing to claim it if it means making America look great. So, he’ll give a grand speech in Egypt, but he won’t make a grand decision there. He’ll say provocative words to the Russian president, but he won’t do anything.
We Americans can take little solace in President Obama’s playing small on the world stage. He doesn’t like America very much except to the extent it makes him a media personality. As long as he wins a Charles Barkley interview while expanding the state, that’s enough. Being a celebrity trumps being a statesman.
So expect more weakness on the world stage. Expect Vladimir Putin to fill the void. Expect China to test limits. Expect more turbulence and confusion. Expect more tyranny. Expect more communism.
Don’t expect President Obama to care about America’s interests. He’s too busy tending his own.
Related to this: Jonah Goldberg has a piece up today about the Nazis and socialism. It’s an interesting read. What occurred to me, though, is that Obama is a “true” Marxist in contrast to, say, Putin. Obama is an internationalist. He wants all the worlds workers to unite. That’s why he cheerleaded Chavez (fist bump!) and seemed unworried about the Muslim Brotherhood a thoroughly socialist organization with socialist goals.
As Jonah notes, the dewy eyed world proletariat uprising fails when faced with reality as nation states have their own aims and they often conflict (see Nazis versus Stalinists). Does President Obama have provincial American concerns? Does he worry about America’s loss of face in the world if the proletariat in Egypt or Libya or China or Russia wins? It sure doesn’t seem like it.
Most Americans want our soldiers home. From Iraq. From Afghanistan. From every American-hating country in the world. It stinks being places, spending taxpayer money on ungrateful people.
Is it wrong that I have hope for Iraq and I don’t want to see it become Iran’s pet?
Here’s what Governor Perry said about Iraq:
“I’m deeply concerned that President Obama is putting political expediency ahead of sound military and security judgment by announcing an end to troop level negotiations and a withdrawal from Iraq by year’s end. The President was slow to engage the Iraqis and there’s little evidence today’s decision is based on advice from military commanders.
“America’s commitment to the future of Iraq is important to U.S. national security interests and should not be influenced by politics. Despite the great achievements of the U.S. military and the Iraqi people, there remain real threats to our shared interests, especially from Iran.
“The United States must remain a firm and steadfast ally for Iraq, maintaining an ongoing diplomatic, economic, and military to military partnership with this emerging democratic ally in the Middle East.
“As a veteran and commander-in-chief of national guard forces, I cannot express enough appreciation for our military service members who have protected and defended American interests in Iraq. Our Iraq war veterans made enormous sacrifices to make our nation and world safer, and I know all Americans will welcome them home with great pride and appreciation.”
The former U.S. Speaker of the House said he was critical of Bush’s decision to stay in Iraq after the initial 2003 campaign toppled Iraq President Saddam Hussein. Since then, he said, he has tried to support a solution, but none came.
“We won the first Iraq war in 1991 and very effectively, in four days driving them out of Kuwait. We won the second Iraq War in 2003 in defeating Sadam in 22 days,” he continued. “And then for reasons I don’t understand we tried to occupy and try to change Iraq and that eight-year campaign is now ending in failure. The fact is the Iranians are now stronger in Iraq than we are.
“This is not about Obama,” he continued. “This is about the general effort that far trensends Iraq. That we have to really reassess our strategies in the region and what we think we’re accomplish. The president is right. You can’t just leave 3,000 or 5,000 troops there. They would simply become targets. If you’re not going to occupy the country, you have to withdraw.”
Gingrich said he feels the same way about America’s effort to occupy and attempt to bring stability to Afghanistan, and said the same lessons “apply to the whole region.”
“We need to think very carefully about what we are doing there,” he said of Afghanistan.
His comments also came after new reports about Gadhaffi’s death suggested he may have been summarily executed by rebel troops.
“Vicoius dictators who torture and kill people are not in very good position to ask for mercy,” Gingrich said.
I don’t feel like Iraq is a failure, do you? It just seems like it could be more successful. It seems like the little sapling needs time to grow.
I’m curious about what Iraq vets feel about the draw-down. Do they feel like it’s the right thing to do? Informal survey for everyone. If you are a veteren, please share your opinion.
Why the UN Council going after Israel is dangerous:
Tactics deployed to hurt Israel inevitably cause collateral damage. It’s a good thing that the United States, and a handful of European countries, have opposed the referral of Israel to a war crimes tribunal, but they aren’t doing enough (and, of course, France and Great Britain absented themselves from the vote). They would do more, I think, if they understood that Israel represented a kind of test run for a uniquely nefarious idea. Israel may find itself in the docket soon, but the U.S., and Britain, and other Western democracies that are battling Islamist terror, may soon find themselves in similiar straits. Who could seriously argue that what happened in Gaza was unique? Talibs hide behind civilians in Afghanistan, and often those civilians get killed. It’s only a matter of time before David Petraeus, or Bob Gates, find themselves under attack from the same forces that want to punish Israel for trying to defend itself from a state-sponsored terror group seeking its elimination.
How do you feel when someone saves your metaphorical hide? A co-worker covers for you, maybe. Your spouse softens a story that would make you look bad. A friend forgives what feels unforgivable. A doctor finds the cause of your child’s illness. You feel grateful and indebted.
Memorial Day is about gratitude and remembering the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to save yours. Was the sacrifice worth it?
What kind of life am I living that makes their death worth it? Those of us among the free and living often take for granted the time we have on this earth. We live as though the moments are cheap and expendable. We live as though what we have doesn’t matter.
We matter. Life matters.
There is a quote from Band of Brothers saying,”the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. …” That is true of all of us. If not today. If not tomorrow. It’s assured, that we’re all dead men walking.
And the life we have right now is because someone willfully marched toward death to give us a life of freedom and choices. And yet we live afraid.
It’s a myth that soldiers or winners or anyone going toward their future is unafraid. They live with fear like everyone else and govern it. They also know with more clarity, that life is incredibly short and should be lived with purpose and meaning while you have it.
Squandering life displays an incredible lack of gratitude to those who saved it. Take a risk and live life to the fullest.
Today, I’m profoundly grateful to the servicemen and women who have given their lives so I could live free and seek and pursue happiness my own way.
If you are sick to death of the moral equivalence crowd throwing around terms like “war criminal” and “torture” with feckless abandon, this video by Pajama’s Media’s Bill Whittle will be a soul-calming tonic. Have your children watch, too. This video educates the viewer about the power of group think (both historically and now) and the scourge that is calling evil good and good evil.
Why did we bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Was it justified? Was Truman a war criminal? How about Abe Lincoln? How about Roosevelt?
Watch it here.
P.S. Ignore the 30 second promo at the beginning. Oy vey.
It’s so upsetting, but here’s some information about the attacks over in India. The Brits and United States citizens were singled out. Here are some links:
Ace has this.
Allah has an excellent round-up.
Bill Roggio has good analysis:
Indian intelligence believes the Indian Mujahideen is a front group created by Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Harkat ul Jihad al Islami to confuse investigators and cover the tracks of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India, or SIMI, a radical Islamist movement. The groups receive support from Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence and are al Qaeda affiliates.
Gateway Pundit has pictures. Gruesome. The fighting is ongoing. You’re probably seeing it on the news.
A Google Map of the attack sites.
Update: Best coverage at Twitter.
Israelis taken hostage, too. Mumbai is a war zone.
Michael Yon: We Won Iraq
We won. No thanks to the Democrats.
HotAir has all the information.
Bill Roggio says:
If the raid occurred, the US military must have detected a senior member of al Qaeda in Iraq in the region. Abu Ayyub al Masri, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, is reported to have left the country earlier this year after the terror group lost its sanctuaries in Diyala province.
The US military may be closing in on al Qaeda’s senior leadership. US forces killed Abu Qaswarah, al Qaeda in Iraq’s second in command, during a raid in Mosul in northern Iraq on Oct. 15. The military has also killed and captured numerous al Qaeda leader and couriers over the past several weeks. The information obtained during these raids help to paint a picture of al Qaeda’s command structure inside of of Iraq as well as in neighboring countries.
It occurs to me that life doesn’t stop just because there’s an American election. I wonder how much foreign fighters have thought they can get away with because the election is distracting or they don’t believe the President would risk being aggressive. This supposition is assuming the reports are true.
What? You don’t believe ’em? Sarkozy gets tough. Go to the link, though. The picture is absolutely disturbing. I recall the Americans receiving all sorts of outrage for our assault on Bagdhad. But look at what Russia is doing to Georgia. If they can’t have it, they’ll destroy it.
Looks like Russia is “defiant“. Imagine that.