Thursday, March 27, 2008

Villainous Company: Hope, Realism and the Obama Doctrine

I am so very glad Cassandra decided to start blogging again. I am no longer denied her astute insights and great writing. Today, she posted something that should be read widely:

In today's borderless world, some want to resurrect an isolationist stance which became obsolete as soon as international air travel, telephony and the internet erased the barriers that separate America from the rest of the world. We can no longer afford that pipe dream: the very people who argue most vigorously in favor of it are the ones who refuse to allow us to protect ourselves from outside aggressors via electronic surveillance, profiling, aggressive law enforcement, and military intervention. They believe it a legitimate function of the media to publish classified documents, including the vulnerabilities of Marine body armor. And yet, oxymoronically, they argue we can somehow protect ourselves from the outside world while not giving up any of our freedoms.

Barack Obama has said he would not hesitate to go into Pakistan, even against the will of its government, after al Qaeda. What reaction, precisely, does he expect from a sovereign state when it is militarily invaded by a foreign power?

Passive acceptance? What reaction does he expect from the most radical Islamist elements within Pakistan? Would this not give them all the excuse they need to stage a coup and topple a government which at present cooperates with us, if not to the extent we desire?

And if military intervention in Iraq was unrealistic, what bizarre realism governs the Obama Doctrine's refusal to distinguish between military intervention where there is at least a demonstrable American security interest and situations (like Darfur) where there is none? Who in Darfur ever tried to assassinate a former U.S. President? Who in Darfur ever gave shelter to the architect of a World Trade Center bombing? Darfur doesn't fund terrorist organizations worldwide. America hasn't paid tens of thousands of dollars for decades to man a no-fly zone over Darfur. Darfur has no history of using weapons of mass destruction - several times - on its own people and on neighboring states:

Saddam launched more than 350 chemical weapon attacks across the border. Iraq has since admitted using 1,800 tonnes of mustard gas and 740 tonnes of the highly toxic nerve agents sarin and tabun. It was the worst use of mustard gas since the First World War and the first use of nerve agents. Iranian soldiers often had inadequate masks and little detection and decontamination equipment. Civilians had nothing.

Does Barack Obama see no moral problem with asking an all volunteer force to give their lives when there is no national security interest to protect?

Because this Marine wife damned well does. I believe in freedom and democracy promotion, but the United States cannot free the entire world single-handed. Where is the much-vaunted realism steely-eyed Progressives have been calling for now? It appears to be a function of political convenience.

Go read the whole thing.

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