Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Stupid Shiz

It's easy to think that 44's first 4 years worth of Foreign Policy was semi sorta anti 43.

Whatever the 43 was for, 44 was mostly against. If 43 wanted garrison troops left in Iraq to secure the victory of the surge, 44 would pull them out. If 43 had opened Guantanamo, used drones, relied on renditions, reestablished military tribunals, and approved preventive detention, 44 would profess to dismantle that war on terror.

If 43 had contemplated establishing an anti-missile system in concert with the Poles and Czechs, then it must have been unwise and unnecessary. If 43 had unabashedly supported Little Satan and become estranged from Turkey, 44 would predictably reverse both courses.

44 had little apparent awareness that Great Satan picked friends and enemies not on the shallow basis that the former were wholly good and the latter abjectly evil, but rather on the basis that in an imperfect world some nations shared some of our ideas about politics, the market, and the need for an international system, and others did not, to the point of using violence.
Now - as best understood - presidents enjoy knocking out there lasting legacies as statesmen in their 2nd term.

And 44's is simply "Don't Do Stupid Shiz"

We all know 44 is like a flame thrower in a stadium packed with strawmen...

The administration argues that the alternative to action was some opposite choice that was clearly egregiously wrong. Did you want us to leave Bergdahl behind? Did you want boots on the ground in Syria? Are we supposed to have gone to war with Russia?

No rational critic is suggesting any such thing. We are simply saying that America can do better. The country doesn’t have to shoot itself in the foot, dither, offer halfway measures, fail to do necessary diplomacy, flip-flop, posture, grab for the limelight, or dissemble.

In terms of sins of commission, there is nonetheless a list of some doozies that seem to violate 44’s own new foreign-policy guidelines.

Announcing the red line in Syria? Definitely stupid shit; he didn’t have to say anything and shouldn’t have if he didn’t mean to follow through. Letting it be crossed 12 times before acting? Stupid shit. Announcing a plan to take moderate action and then withdrawing it afterward? Also stupid. Announcing support for Syrian moderates and not giving it in a timely or adequate fashion? Same. Entering Libya without a long-term plan and letting it fall into chaos immediately after the U.S. departure?

Given all we know from every other intervention the United States has ever been involved with overseas, ditto. Overly focusing on core al Qaeda as terrorist franchises spread around the world as never before? More of same, mainly because it involved willful self-delusion and valuing a political message over the ground truth. Being so indecisive on Egypt that the United States had two policies at once — one in the State Department and one in the White House?   
Appointing ambassadors without the credentials to do the job only because they donated money? Taunting Russian President Vladimir Putin into action with laughable sanctions? Yes, yes, yes. In each case, not only should we have known better, but there were actually people in the administration who did know better and were ignored.

Furthermore, it is also fair to note that plenty of foreign-policy problems are not sins of commission but are the result of sins of omission, or undoing. Not acting earlier in Syria, starting the Asia pivot and not following through, too quickly withdrawing sanctions on Russia in 2009 that were put in place over the war in Georgia less than a year before, not pushing Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi hard enough to honor democracy while he was in power, not pushing the Qataris and the Turks hard enough to stop supporting the Syrian opposition, and so on.

Thus alla hope and change, resets and pivots, singles and doubles have like been all drilled down to not posting your affair with your best friend's spouse on face book.

Pic - "America's Grand Strategy Disaster"