Friday, March 25, 2011

Presidential Irony

How bitter is the irony of Obama playing Nixon to Bush II's LBJ in the Middle East? In this scenario Bush's Dad is Kennedy, cautiously engaging in Iraq the same way Kennedy was only willing to dip America's toes into Vietnam. Bush I let the Shi'ites get massacred by Saddam because he was unwilling to commit to a drive on Baghdad. The follies of the son have shown this was the more prudent, if less moral, policy.

Here is Obama, following Bush II's LBJ, after a disastrous War with a massive cost of blood and treasure, he is married to staying the course. But why, Mr. President? For Nixon, the answer was ideological, but Obama is a pragmatist.

Iraq has yet to form a government and civil war is never more than a moment away. Afghanistan is mired in corruption and warlordism. In Pakistan, the United States is on the side of the anti-democrats. America is on the side of the dictators in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Bahrain, too, yet Colonel Quaddafi must go? Alas and alack.

Where is the administration's analysis for maintaining a massive, resented, military presence in Afghanistan? What about supporting an independent Kurdistan? A democratic Pakistan? Why support the status quo in Yemen and Bahrain?

Much like we would have voted for McGovern over Nixon, we should have gone Kucinich or Paul over Obama.

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