Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Ever get the tore up tummy feeling that a bunch of former senators like Def Sec Hagel, Sec o States HRC and John F Kery, the VP and 44 hisself are worse than a JV team?

Ever reckon it's cause their worldview is - shallow?

Thursday, August 28th, 2014, will go down as one of those rare moments when a President of the United States admitted publicly that the United States didn’t know how to deal with a major foreign policy crisis. When 44 declared, “we don’t have a strategy yet” to confront ISIS, he was merely admitting what his Administration’s actions, or lack thereof, had made obvious.

Every President has to deal with a chaotic world that often seems focused on wrecking havoc on America’s self-interest. Presidents fail at foreign policy objectives more frequently than they succeed. Yet rarely have we seen a President so openly struggle with a declaration of American purpose and goals. Some of this is undoubtedly due to 44's personality and the reluctance he shows in leading on many issues, foreign and domestic. But for the first time since JFK, we have a President who is not a product of the Cold War era—and the ramifications of that are profound.

More often than not, 44 defines America’s moral worth—our “goodness”—by comparing America’s past to some future in which the values in which he believes will be the norm. In that matrix, it’s not about us versus them—it’s about what we are versus what we can be. It’s us vs. us. America is “good” because we are getting “better.” We are at our best not when we fight the evils of the world, but the “injustice” of our society, primarily prejudice, for which there is an evolving test. He ran for office in 2008 opposed to gay marriage; now the issue is no longer gay marriage but “marriage equality,” and to be opposed to equality is a sign of prejudice. Justice demands equality; therefore justice demands gay marriage.

At the heart of this value system is an assumption that some essential elements of human decency push our society inevitably toward the values he shares. This premise is at the root of his frequent invocation of “the wrong side of history.”

The problems of applying a social justice framework to international crisis are not unlike applying a cold war formulation to, say, welfare reform. It just doesn’t work. After the horror of James Foley’s murder, 44 said of ISIS: “People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy.”

A nice turn of phrase, but is it remotely accurate? Don’t maniacal movements like ISIS end only when good people rise up with the willingness to die to stop them?

It seems incredibly naïve and American-centric not to grasp that the Islamic fanatics of ISIS are very much about building—building a new world in their vision.

Most troubling, when America and the world are crying out for action and leadership, this homily is a call for inaction cloaked in moral smugness. If ISIS will “ultimately fail,” why the need to do anything?

Pic - "The impact and the danger of the no-strategy remark could be exacerbated by earlier 44 comments in which he seemed to dramatically underestimate the ISIL threat."