The Washington Post publishes a piece in it’s pages today about our really cool president who doesn’t let world events bother him entitled “Obama sets his own pace in a world whirling with crises“.
They fawn over the fellow in the White House who makes decisions based on polling results after weeks, if not months, of taking the pulse of American public opinion. Always making the more popular decision. That practice has led to the worst foreign policy (if you can find a single policy), rampant unemployment, rampant overspending by government, an unsafe world in which we’re surrounded by enemies, further endangering our own economy as well as our national security.
The American people are boobs – there are 300,000,000 million people acting in their own interest. That’s human nature and it’s the same across the globe. What we need is a leader to lead us, not one more boob acting in his own interests. If we needed a government that made policy based on the popular opinion, Gallup would be the president.
Because we’ve been geographically removed from many of the problems in the world, we want stuff that makes us comfortable. Sending our troops to war makes us uncomfortable, as it should, but our short-sightedness and our need for immediate comfort makes us end conflicts before the enemy agrees that the war is over. And so, we’ve sent troops to Iraq three times in the last twenty years when all we really needed to do was finish the job the first time.
It will be the same in Afghanistan;
With a schedule for Iraq withdrawal already set, he developed policies for ending the then-faltering war in Afghanistan. In a pattern that would repeat itself on other issues, he deliberated for months, and then split the difference by simultaneously announcing a surge of troops and the timing of their departure.
But as he tried to engage the world on his terms, Obama quickly found out that the world had thoughts and plans of its own. Far from the reset Obama sought with Russia, President Vladimir Putin sought a new balance of power through aggression in Ukraine. While Obama offered a fresh start for the United States in the Muslim world, the Arab Spring headed toward destabilization rather than democracy.
Six years later, events seem to have spun out of his control, and Obama must react to the actions of others. Putin’s aggression in Ukraine has sparked the greatest East-West crisis since the Cold War. Islamic State advances have swallowed up a large swath of the Middle East and threaten a global upheaval far beyond the shock of al-Qaeda’s 2001 attacks.
It’s no coincidence that the world seemed to fall apart soon after Obama’s decision to half-ass the surge in Afghanistan – he sent a message to the world that we weren’t really committed to anything anymore and the fear and respect for the US that George W. Bush had fostered in his eight years had dissipated and from the four corners of the world came chaos.
That’s why there is no strategy for Iraq, or any other place in the world, for that matter – the White House is waiting to see what Americans want to do, before they do something that we might consider “stupid”. Because the Obama Doctrine is “don’t doing anything stupid”, and it ends up being “don’t do anything”. That’s why the President can play golf and fiddle while the world burns around him – he’s waiting for Americans to make policy – the best political answer – the answer that is popular. And most likely wrong.
George W. Bush ignored public opinion in 2006, when Congressional Republicans lost in the mid-terms, and Bush brought relative peace to Iraq. You’d think someone might have noticed that if they weren’t so busy trying to get elected rather than doing the right thing for the country.