Saturday, July 26, 2008

Obama in Berlin

It was more John Bolton's op-ed piece today that caused me to write - he's a guy that I can look to for guidance on which way to go. Pretty much wherever he's headed I want to go the other way. It's to his points that I respond here. Mr. Bolton (never a real ambassador) was inclined to write in response to Barack Obama's speech in Berlin.

Mr. Bolton, a failure on so many levels for his lack of open-mindedness, his combative nature, and his ability to somehow embody the antithesis of charisma every time he opens his mouth, represents so much that Obama is against. Mr. Bolton would have us believe that unilateral action by America has saved the world on more occasions than it has, that unilateral action by America is our God-given right, and that the combined forces of good will in the world cannot do anything nearly so well.

A recipe for failure, indeed. By decrying that something won't work it certainly won't with your team leading it. The past 7 years prove this point. I'll briefly remind us that the United Nations was doing a fine job of searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when they pulled out on the advisement of the Bush administration that war was coming.

In smallest of parts, Mr. Bolton is correct. As always, the greater lie is hidden behind a portion of truth. America has been, is, and may continue to be a great nation that succeeds in global good-will efforts on it's own. But continued unilateral actions across the globe are not the way to achieve the desired results unless as a required last course of action. It is time for America to once again be seen as a country worth working with against evil rather than as a source of evil and yes, I do call the unnecessary slaughter of 100,000 or so Iraqis evil. Especially when done without a called battleground, taking the battle to cities bombed from afar and letting the enemy army walk away into the crowd.

To Mr. Bolton's points, his statements about the cold war being a unilateral action are based in truth but deny the point that it was a World war that ended in a stalemate in Germany that allowed the process to play out. No single country could have defeated Nazi Germany. Not us, not any European country alone. Heck, not even a consortium of European countries.

But together we did.

More importantly, the cold war wasn't won by us alone either. Germany and England were stalwart allies, supportive in voice, in allowing our troops on their soil and in NATO by providing troops of their own as did many other countries. The cold war was all about the nuclear threat but it was also held in check by massive amounts of troops on the ground, ours as a country and ours as a unified group of nations against communism.

Most frighteningly, it was Ronald Reagan that ended the cold war. His little "Mr. Gorbachev, the bombs are on the way" was all the scarier because Reagan was just the puppet to push that button if needed. Taking it to the brink was either a bold move or a very dangerous one, but it certainly wasn't a smart one.

Mr. Bolton attempts to deny Senator Obama's "one world" concept by stating that "...the defeat of Nazism, the Berlin airlift and the collapse of communism - were all gained by strong alliances defeating determined opponents." Same thing, Johnny. "One world" doesn't mean everyone getting along, it means we gather together when needed to fight the bad guys, to do good, and to build towards more nations coming to the party.

Mr. Bolton's second point of his perception that Senator Obama's use of the Berlin Wall metaphor being incorrect to apply to the other walls that need to come down shows Mr. Bolton's ability to get stuck on a concept and not see anything beyond the rage and hate he spews. Mr. Bolton's defining all (or any) of Barack's items ("walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, (religions)") as "ancient historical conflicts" and using that as a basis for preaching war to alleviate those conflicts shows his true colors. I'm not sure if that is neo-con or blood red.

Barack Obama is the best hope this country has, the brightest thinker that can actually get the electorate to listen, and a person, my senses tell me, intent on doing the right thing. For everyone. For America first, and for the world, too. That is what I come away with from my watching most of the debates, too much "news" and this video.

Yes. There have been times when America went it alone and achieved greatly. There will be more, sadly, regardless of who the president is. This time, however, is not one of them. With terrorism attacks happening globally there is the valid assumption that a coalition could be drawn together to fight it successfully. Possibly, that coalition is the only way to stem that tide.

While I don't want to take a bit from that battle, I will say there is a great deal that needs to be done here at home and far fewer resources to spend towards that end because of our recent foibles in Iraq.

Resources we borrowed, by the way, rather than spend as we went. Where is the conservatism in that!

War is sometimes the only answer. Diplomacy makes those times appear less often and unites countries in those efforts before gathering guns and heading to the field of battle. We need action abroad to be diplomacy as well as Predator driven. We need to carry that big stick but wield it more thoughtfully. We need to have friends that stand by us in the field of battle rather than hide at home because they see us as stupid bullies.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Resources we borrowed, by the way, rather than spend as we went. Where is the conservatism in that!

Amen to that. I get a little sick to my stomach when I hear McCain isn't willing to back financial assistance to the poor in need of heat during the winter 'because there wasn't a tax levied to cover it.' At the same time the administration was willing to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars to fund the invasion of Iraq.

7/31/2008 2:28 PM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

The cost of the war in Iraq will eventually add up to several trillion dollars. In addition to the care that our returning injured will need, the war has also used up a great deal of our equipment. There won't be many helicopters, tanks, humvees, etc., coming home when this is done.

8/01/2008 8:19 AM  

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