Barack W. Obama

Posted: Oct 21, 2014 12:01 AM
Barack W. Obama

This must be a difficult time for liberals, Democrats, and all other flavors of Obama followers. Their hero, their icon, the man of their dreams whose destiny it was to fulfill their dreams has transmorgrified into…..dare I say it: Barack W. Obama! Yes, Mr. Obama in his ISIS-fighting identity is now the intellectually equivalent to not just George W. Bush, but actually, again….dare I say it: VP Dick Cheney. Consider how Mr. Obama’s stance on the ISIS terrorists essentially mimics the Bush Doctrine:

1) He acknowledges this is a Long War to be fought with myriad methods.

2) The stage is global.

3) The primacy is to fight this war on their turf, not ours.

4) We would prefer to fight with allies, but will go it alone if we must (and per Gen. Dempsey, we may even use ground troops eventually).

5) We reserve the right to strike pre-emptively.

In all its essentials, this is the Bush Doctrine. So, we have come full circle. The wages of demagoguery are to be shown to be a hypocrite, and not a very astute one at that. Remember, the Obama candidacy was premised first, last, and middle on his opposition to Mr. Bush’s policies regarding the war in Iraq. That was the “stupid” war. Mr. Obama stoutly maintained he wouldn’t have voted for it (though it should be remembered he didn’t HAVE to vote one way or the other – or there might have been a “present” on the roll call), and thoroughly trashed Hillary for her support of that war. Now, he mimics Bush in ways large and small and particularly regarding his justifications. It is significant not only that our strikes have been fairly widespread, but that in important ways (bombing Syrian targets and particularly the shadowy al Qaeda cell in NW Syria on the first night of strikes) the rationale and defense of them has been….well….’Bushian.’ The administration explained its strikes against {……} as a strike against an “imminent danger”. This is a neat parallel of the Bush/Cheney reasoning as well as a complete abandonment of his heretofore assertion that al Qaeda had been “significantly degraded.”

To be optimistic, and it is hard, but I’ll try it, let us hope this is the beginning of wisdom for our community organizer-in-chief. Perhaps, finally he has understood his first responsibility: to safeguard this country, its allies, and our interests. You don’t do that by unilateral withdrawal, ceding international leadership, and issuing hollow threats. Congratulations. To echo his wife on another occasion: for the first time ever in the conduct of his foreign policy, I’m proud of Mr. Obama and support his actions (though in truth there is much to criticize in detailed execution). His instinct to save US ground troops for a last resort is also admirable though I am skeptical that that commitment can be kept.

The truth of the matter is that we are all safer when the Islamists fear American – and Israeli – power. When that power is connected to resolve and a clear strategy, it is all the better. That being too much to hope for, I will settle for a president Obama who, at minimum, has recognized the threat from ISIS and has gone, at least part ways, to move beyond the straightjacket of his campaign rhetoric to the recognition of the real burden of a superpower.