The Overarching Topic
I _________________ just hate Barack Hussein Obama and no matter what if there is one shred of red meat I can nibble on and spit out at him and his in utter disgust and indignation it shall be done.
This is a sad and disturbing “new normal” in politics which in my mind began in 2000 with the election of G.W.Bush. Politically and practically Bush was able to overcome some of the obstacles but to think Republicans and 2008 somehow is the genesis of hate and obstruction along the Mall is insane and dishonest. I concede the present grinding is obvious but would stipulate that the others side deems any dissent of bad policy to somehow be part of the blind obstruction thing.
I’ve been traveling in circles that are latching onto the “JV” comment from President Obama as a worthy political irritant they can expediently spray into the eyes of the POTUS. I personally don’t find it worthy and have finally gotten around to doing a fuller checking out of the facts. In doing so I have come to the conclusion that I am bestowing upon myself the biggest and shiniest Obama Pail ever issued here in the Valley.
The JV comment can be traced to a lengthy piece found in the January 27 2014 New Yorker. The piece by David Remnick is actually a pretty good trip through the Presidents time in office and look into at least a slice of what it might be like to be him. Anyway if you don’t want to read the whole thing scroll down to section VI :A New Equilibrium. It is here you find the following:
At the core of Obama’s thinking is that American military involvement cannot be the primary instrument to achieve the new equilibrium that the region so desperately needs. And yet thoughts of a pacific equilibrium are far from anyone’s mind in the real, existing Middle East. In the 2012 campaign, Obama spoke not only of killing Osama bin Laden; he also said that Al Qaeda had been “decimated.” I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in Falluja, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too.
“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.
“Let’s just keep in mind, Falluja is a profoundly conservative Sunni city in a country that, independent of anything we do, is deeply divided along sectarian lines. And how we think about terrorism has to be defined and specific enough that it doesn’t lead us to think that any horrible actions that take place around the world that are motivated in part by an extremist Islamic ideology are a direct threat to us or something that we have to wade into.”
This wasn’t realism or idealism; it was something closer to policy particularism (this thing is different from that thing; Syria is not Libya; Iran is not North Korea). Yet Obama’s regular deployment of drones has been criticized as a one-size-fits-all recourse, in which the prospect of destroying an individual enemy too easily trumps broader strategic and diplomatic considerations, to say nothing of moral ones. A few weeks before Obama left Washington to scour the West Coast for money, he invited to the White House Malala Yousafzai, the remarkable Pakistani teen-ager who campaigned for women’s education and was shot in the head by the Taliban. Yousafzai thanked Obama for the material support that the U.S. government provided for education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and among Syrian refugees, but she also told him that drone strikes were “fuelling terrorism” and resentment in her country.
People who latch onto the JV flippancy are immature in their reaction in my book. I read this response by BHO and I am taken by how well thought out it actually is. How clearly it dovetails with much of the over analyzing ,over-cautious and at times outright dithering nature of the Administrations foreign policy efforts is clear. Bottom line Obama’s position on the Middle East isn’t as bad as some want to make it out as. It is vastly different from what we’ve become accustomed to and I think plenty of non-USA types realize this truth as well. Whether the Obama Administrations policy in the Middle East and elsewhere is right or wrong is worth debating. That he does have a policy contrary to his oppositions statements is also clear.
America will have to come to realize that with or without Obama the Bush years opened Pandoras Box and coupled with the past 30 years of foreign and domestic policy has us facing an uncomfortable truth,the USA is in an unsustainable position and change must happen.
Obamas actions will only add to the burdens of our immediate and mid-term situational needs. We need to find the solutions.
In one area a solution may be fostered is in gaining an understanding of the opposing “teams”. This chart (click to enlarge) shows who and where the various Islamic nutters can be found.
There are some interesting realities to be found in looking at the spread here. AQ is still clearly senior varsity players with links to established entities. For example AQ is tied to the Taliban,the likely sovereign heads of state in Afghanistan in the future. ISIL has no such weight in their standings.
ISIL is clearly dangerous and are attracting support in a number of hot button areas. For example their actions in Iraq and Syria will likely be used to align elements that have their own issues under a flag of common cause and universal reset. Russia,Iran,US,UK,Egypt and assorted Gulf States have before them a feast if they so choose to unite against ISIL. The potential is so real in my eyes I truly can’t imagine it not coming about in some way.