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Hard-Hitting Editorial From The Economist, Cover With Shirtless Putin Playing Cards With President Obama

October 17, 2015

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This a powerful read–and very accurate in its conclusions.

America remains the only country able to project power … across the globe. … (its sway over the financial system is still growing.) … [Nevertheless,] reassertion of Russian power spells trouble. … [A] declining nuclear-armed former superpower can cause a lot of harm. … American foreign policy has not yet adjusted to this contested world … [T]hose … who still see democracy and markets as the route to peace and prosperity hope that America will be more willing to lead. …

“America’s military power is unmatched, but it is hindered by pork-barrel politics and automatic cuts mandated by Congress. These spring from the biggest brake on American leadership: dysfunctional politics in Washington. That is not just a poor advertisement for democracy; it also stymies America’s interest.”

11 Comments leave one →
  1. tom permalink
    October 20, 2015 10:46 AM

    It really defies logic to say you have read the dozen or more articles in the Times alone, and to view the pictures, and then to say “There was never at any time in Iraq a WMD program.” You realize how illogical that looks, right?

    What’s next? There are no nuclear facilities in Iran?

    Lol! you kill me sometimes. Thanks for the reply, but it seems you are too closed minded to take even the slightest step away from liberal fundamentalism here.

  2. October 20, 2015 10:24 AM

    Tom,

    The chemical weapons that you speak of and which I am aware of being reported by the NYT and other media were old rotting piles that even at the time of the US invasion were not able to be used for many reasons. There was never at any time in Iraq a WMD program. That is the fact that we always need to be mindful of. We started a war on a ginned up explanation that had no basis in fact. On another matter, we do agree on the use of drones.

  3. tom permalink
    October 19, 2015 10:17 PM

    I thought you read the NYTImes. They have done numerous stories on chemical weapons found in Iraq. Unfortunately, some have injured American soldiers. Please try to get the facts!

    As far as the rest of the move to war, Congress voted for it using the same info the president had. Im sure you remember the Lusitania actually was carrying weapons. No intel is perfect. Iraq could have avoided war if they had allowed inspectors, and If they had stopped targeting our planes in the no fly zone.

    Were parts of both wars handled stupidly? Yes. That’s war. Has the situation in both countries declined under the current administration? Yes. But I’m not sure Obama is entirely to blame. He certainly has not made things better. Perhaps Bush should never have started there. We can’t change that part of history.

    But after the historic hashtag campaign against Boko Haram, Obama called ISIS the Jv team. Rather than asking what congress thinks, perhaps we should ask what the president thinks. As for your hypothetical scenarios about congress and Syria, I don’t know how to address it because it is hypothetical. That’s the point. You are right that Obama should have struck. Why didn’t he?

    To a guy like Putin, that failure makes Obama look weak. Putin knows that, more than anything, our Nobel president runs from conflict. This is why the article notes that “policy has not adjusted to this contested world.” Perhaps we need another “reset” button.

    Hopefully, the president will be able to salvage something in his remaining months. He is on the right track using drones to kill our enemies. I give him credit for that.

  4. October 19, 2015 3:29 PM

    Tom,

    Prove me wrong about the facts I made about the foreign policy moves under Bush. He did pull huge numbers of troops from Afghanistan when we should have doubled-down on Bin Laden. We did follow false (and I am being kind) information about Iraq. We even allowed a certain narrative to develop in this country that Iraq was behind 9/11-and of course Iraq was not involved. The Iraq war did end one regime and has disallowed any other government from effectively governing. The ones who were a part of the Iraqi military lost jobs and positions and did join militia units that worked against U.S. and internal forces after Hussein was ousted. At the time this was happening were you absent from the rest of the connected world in getting the news? None of these facts are ones you can dismiss. All can be found in the record of our nation. Not one item can be labeled revision.

    Regarding Congress might I take you back to 2014 and the lack of a vote regarding what to do with military steps about ISIS for fear of an election. Has Congress given you the impression that they want more forces, or less, or any? What is the view of Congress about ISIS? When it came time to act on that ‘red line’ in Syria that Obama made over chemical weapons–and should have adhered to, can you tell me that Congress was not out-to-lunch and made any threatened attack on Syria something that they then would try to undermine Obama over? I think Obama should have acted and once the strike was in the air called Congressional leaders and alerted them.

  5. October 19, 2015 12:20 PM

    I also might add the newly released finding–the ‘Ziltch memo’–from the Nixon administration as more evidence as to why your comments are just wrong.

  6. tom permalink
    October 19, 2015 11:24 AM

    Lol! Fancy revision of history, Deke. I think you managed to weave in all the major talking points as you portray Bush as a sort of evil genius. He “concocted.” Having read this blog for a while I think its funny the Bush is either an idiot who can’t even read or a genius “concocting” evil plans to lead the nation astray for unspecified reasons.

    But back to the Economist: I think the editorial–at least the section you have quoted here–reflects a general concern that America’s policy towards Russia seems to reflect poorly on congress? And “dysfunction?” I’m not as smart as the intellectuals in the Economist, but I wonder why they are so obtuse and vague in their language. Does Congress set foreign policy, or is that the job of the executive branch? Congress certainly has some oversight, but in the end could do little to derail what many in Congress considered a really stupid treaty–or whatever technical term for it they used. When you plow through the Economist shady and vague language is a disturbing lack of confidence in Obama, Kerry, and Clinton who seem unable to set clear policy goals (in Clinton’s case we have the failed “reset”) for Russia and the Middle East or anywhere. While my opinions follow these lines, it is so interesting to find them in a lefty leaning publication.

    Far worse then Bush is Clinton who abandoned the troops in Iraq long before she abandoned our ambassador in Bengazi. Real Americans have not forgotten this.

  7. October 19, 2015 10:51 AM

    pk,

    Lets set the recent history straight. President Bush (43) spent his ‘military career’ working on a senate race. I am sure you forgot that nugget.

    Following 9/11 he failed to pursue Bin Laden with the troop level required through the mountainous region near the Pakistan border. Instead of pursing the one who killed thousands in this nation he pulled forces back and instead concocted an invasion of Iraq under the pretext that there were weapons of mass destruction. Folks in Wisconsin who like to tell the truth would term what Bush did a lie. He then created a vacuum of leadership in the nation and just to double down on the calamity made the military unemployed and rudderless. They then joined other disillusioned men in various militia and civil strife increased. The reason ISIS has a home in a large swath of Iraq and there is no ability to govern that nation all comes back to the actions of Bush.

    You are not all concerned about men and women from this nation dying in war as you and I have had this discussion often on a Green Bay newspaper site. Your head was straight up GW’s backside, and we both know it. I asked during the Iraq War the same questions about you and your sons. The sound of silence is the same now about that matter as it was then. So do not pretend that you are somehow not an arm-chair warrior in the comfort of your home.

    You can comment here and use your frail attempts to place everything wrong in the nation on the back of Democrats. But I will just use the facts and let readers decide where the truth lies.

  8. October 19, 2015 7:33 AM

    How many years has Obama served in the military, he is sending our men and women to die daily? But let me explain the military to you since you don’t understand …….it’s volunteer which means that everyone who joins KNOW that they just may end up in a combat situation. Now if you need further explanation just let me know. But oddly I read what I posted and I don’t see where I said anything about expansion of the wars.

  9. October 18, 2015 11:29 AM

    pk,

    Are you aware that you continually come across as nothing more than an angry white male? You do not even argue a consistent partisan conservative message in your comments. It is just empty rhetoric that falls flat.

    It you had actually read and pondered the message of the editorial from The Economist you would know that the problem is not one of political party but national will. But the smaller thoughts are all you seem to be able to grasp and work with.

    Now to the aims that you hope to further with a broader military campaign in the Middle East. Might the readership here know what years you served in the military and how many of your sons now wear the uniform of this country? Or are you just advocating that your neighbors do the fighting for the wars you desire?

  10. October 17, 2015 11:14 PM

    As long as we have a democrat in the White House this country will continue to fall as a world leader. Democrats have proven they do not have the stomach to stand up the the #1 threat in the world Muslim extremist, they try to sidestep the terror by kissing the ass of ISIS. America has become a country where you don’t have winners and losers, no America is a country where everyone gets a participation trophy and no feelings are allowed to be hurt. We need to return Uncle Sams balls and let America once again stand strong and stand dominate. But this will never be done as long as Democrats are in the White Hiouse

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