Exactly what does it take for a nation to be perceived as “weak” before the potential enemies of this world? Cal Thomas thinks he knows, our foreign policies, especially those created by Democrats, put us in a “weak” position. Remember, only Democratic presidents ought to actually be named, and their foreign policies in particular ought to be trotted out so that we can be “warned” against voting for them the next time.
But, isn’t it the partisan hack jobs that truly does make this nation weak? In the full 8 years of GW’s presidency; he caved to Ahmedinajad (sic?) a great many times; changing the U.N. goal posts continually rather than drawing a line in the sand and declaring that bullying dude would not cross here. Must have been that Ahmedinajad felt he could use the exportation of foreign oil or even the lack of same as a leverage against the U.S. And of course, the U.S. under GW was business profits over all. The aftermath of GW’s refusal to stand firm? The mistreatment by Iran’s gvt of a people who protest what they regarded as a fraudulent election.
The internet is great thing, isn’t it? You can find an abundance of blogs, and plenty of places to park them where opinions can be generated across the political spectrum of any issue of the day, or of the hour. It can also generate websites by people also across the political spectrum who use their websites as hatchet jobs against a political opposition, or even an idea, or a tradition. While GW was in office, there happens to be this website, Townhall.com, run primarily by fringe new lefties who went on record after Spain pulled out of Iraq following an election in which the opposition party took over; in the aftermath of an 11 March terrorist attack on commuter trains; of attacking an ally who didn’t have much of a military presence in Iraq to begin with. Spain had become “cowardly” for wanting to deal with its own internal affairs, including dealing with domestic terrorists, first. The problem for Townhall.com; anyone at all can check out their website and read all the comments from some very juvenile people. The sort of people who actually regard their most juvenile conduct and even more juvenile commentary (believe it or not) as conservative. If an act of terrorism possibly changed the outcome of whom the Spanish people would choose for a gvt; then it was also probably a tipping point as well; the Spanish people might have seen terrorist acts against their nation as 1. retaliation for investing in this war or 2. they simply didn’t want in this war in the first place. Whereby, the latter was the base reason for how they would ultimately vote and the terrorist act served as an excuse. The vast majority of the world as to the populace of various countries did not support GW’s foreign policies on terrorism and Iraq. GW could “stand firm” against opinion polls run by various news media; he would do as he chose regardless. But when you looked at the full span of his over all foreign policies; especially when it involved Kim Jong Il; the man did more to cave in to gvts than show any sign of strength.
Cut to the pro-democracy rebellion by Hungarian civilians against a Soviet supported gvt. Seems to me that a Republican administration was in place that refused to lend aid in what would become an humanitarian crisis. Apparently, we either had some lingering fond memories of the Soviet Union as an “ally” during the second world war or we were still tangled up in the Korean conflict and the then existing administration concluded that to start another conflict before we had concluded the one we were embroiled in would likely drain our resources… Or to lend aid to Hungary’s rebellion while still in tough negotiations with keeping the gvts of Korea from each other’s throats; would have been a grave mistake. To put it bluntly, Thomas could trot out a lot of history in his column, without it would seem, caring to discuss anything in-depth.
While Reagan was in office; he made common cause with bullies who slaughtered in the thousands many of their own people (on the presumption that they were sympathetic to commie insurgents) as long as the bullies in those respective gvts weren’t communist themselves. Just as he was more than prepared to make specific trade deals with communist gvts at the behest of business interests. The same thing with Bush (41). Preceding Iraq wars 1 & 2, we could make common cause with Saddam Hussein because of our extreme hatred of Ayatollah run Iran. And that was regardless of Hussein the bully who was so ruthless where his own citizens were concerned that anyone could be deemed an enemy and killed by the thousands.
Only years later, would we bring up such “humanitarian concerns” (more than the presumption of harboring terrorists) that would serve as an excuse for GW to go to war in Iraq and forcibly install a new gvt. But of course, “humanitarian concerns” didn’t factor into the Reagan/Bush (41) foreign policy considerations at all.
And in that same era; “hawks” who’d whine about our “weakness” on the foreign stage if Democratic presidents were in power, such as Charles Krauthammer; then turned about and made excuses for why we didn’t fight every war or topple every hated gvt as long as the administration was indeed GOP. Apparently, foreign policy “weakness” was dependent on one’s political views. Or the undercurrent was more in line with; as long as we could do business with the bullies, why would we want to topple their gvts? And to put it very bluntly, our foreign policy of any administration was driven more by business $$$ than by “standing firm” ideologically on the behalf of democracy, or human rights, or other political considerations. The fact that print editions of Time or Newsweek or other publications could be sold all over the world; appearing ultimately on line for the world to read what got presented; we could be seen as “weak” by potential enemies just because of what our talking heads, Krauthammer, Thomas, et al had to say about our foreign policies or even our respective administrations. The more a Thomas or a Krauthammer engaged in strident partisan attacks of an opposition administration; the more likely “the world” would have cause to be dismissive.
In a democracy, and only in a democracy is it possible for a people to roundly and sometimes legitimately to criticize their gvt. But to wax hysterical of the current administration goes a bit beyond the pale. It is as though the past 60 years could be rolled up, packaged and tied in a bow and presented to the current Obama administration as the years of failure when the nation didn’t do the right thing and therefore submitted to the enemy who could then find us “weak.”
A Republican administration, Nixon; discovering that the vast majority of Americans were now turning against Vietnam; pulled out of that highly misbegotten war. If Osama bin Laden could cite Vietnam as the reason why he thinks he can “out last us” in any war on terrorism as per Thomas’ opinion; Thomas could look a little closer to Iraq and the current polling about Afghanistan instead. After all, GW had to whip up fears about terrorism to get this nation into a war with Iraq. To use terrorism as a foil to bring a GOP majority into Congress. Not that ultimately the GOP majority in Congress were ultimately to seek this nation’s safety from terrorism but rather the gift that terrorist acts had brought to try to keep themselves in power and the opposition a weak minority. As a consequence, a foreign policy that was hit and miss and full of whimsy.
Remarkable, isn’t it that Thomas spent more time excusing the foibles of a GOP administration and wastes no time engaging in rancid attacks on the current one? Oh and I’d like to remind one and all; that on CBS Evening News last night, Katie Couric let loose a fundamental flaw; did GW actually give the generals on the ground in Iraq everything they needed? Or was that what he claimed while the war in Iraq went south? And the generals were so busy sucking up to the GOP administration at the time that they were themselves proclaiming they didn’t need more troops while indeed the situation was going south in Iraq. Was Obama honestly not wanting to give McChrystal carte blanche on more troops in Afghanistan the reason why Thomas would write his column? Neither did GW, actually when it came to Iraq; and we didn’t get a history lesson of “caving in” to our enemies. Partisanship wins out.