Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bolton the obtuse

Haven't had your daily dose of the Republican Noise Machine? Head on over to the LA Times, there's an op-ed piece about Obama's foreign policy by America's favorite dimplomat John Bolton!

You remember him right? He's the guy that believes that the UN is a useless organization and was denied ambassador status by Congress for his brash attitude towards respected nations across the globe. Perhaps those facts don't stick huh? Well he's the guy with the funny looking mustache that

While you're at it, head on over to Bag News Notes. There's some good commentary on Michale Powell's attack job in the NY Times.

Propaganda is in full effect now. Expect to hear all sorts of batty shit from the McCain camp and its cronies. This will be an historic election regardless of spin like this, but the difference between four more years of the same downward spiral or the possibility for a better tomorrow will depend on what you actually listen to.

Believe the facts. The truth might just set us free.

UPDATE: Okay I'm going to spit out some of this drivel for my own perspective. Bolton writes:
Consider the following statement, which was lost in the controversy over his comments about negotiations: "Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. ... Iran, they spend 1/100th of what we spend on the military. If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn't stand a chance."

Let's dissect this comment. Obama is correct that the rogue states he names do not present the same magnitude of threat as that posed by the Soviet Union through the possibility of nuclear war. Fortunately for us all, general nuclear war never took place. Nonetheless, serious surrogate struggles between the superpowers abounded because the Soviet Union's threat to the West was broader and more complex than simply the risk of nuclear war. Subversion, guerrilla warfare, sabotage and propaganda were several of the means by which this struggle was waged, and the stakes were high, even, or perhaps especially, in "tiny" countries.

In the Western Hemisphere, for example, the Soviets used Fidel Castro's Cuba to assist revolutionary activities in El Salvador and Nicaragua. In Western Europe, vigorous Moscow-directed communist parties challenged the democracies on their home turfs. In Africa, numerous regimes depended on Soviet military assistance to stay in power, threaten their neighbors or resist anti-communist opposition groups.

Both sides in the Cold War were anxious to keep these surrogate struggles from going nuclear, so the stakes were never "civilizational." But to say that these "asymmetric" threats were "tiny" would be news to those who struggled to maintain or extend freedom's reach during the Cold War.

Had Italy, for example, gone communist during the 1950s or 1960s, it would have been an inconvenient defeat for the United States but a catastrophe for the people of Italy. An "asymmetric" threat to the U.S. often is an existential threat to its friends, which was something we never forgot during the Cold War. Obama plainly seems to have entirely missed this crucial point. Ironically, it is he who is advocating a unilateralist policy, ignoring the risks and challenges to U.S. allies when the direct threat to us is, in his view, "tiny."

And the Soviet Union is no longer in power, neither is any large enough communist force that could possibly create the empire that existed during the cold war.. Bolton seems to have missed this crucial point somehow. Iran would not have the support now and no other nation would either. To think that our military might doesn't work best as a threat is dubious and somewhat well war mongery. But that's what you get when your imperialistic intentions creep out of your talking points. He goes on...

What is implicit in Obama's reference to "tiny" threats is that they are sufficiently insignificant that negotiations alone can resolve them. Indeed, he has gone even further, arguing that the lack of negotiations with Iran caused the threats: "And the fact that we have not talked to them means that they have been developing nuclear weapons, funding Hamas, funding Hezbollah."

This is perhaps the most breathtakingly naive statement of all, implying as it does that it is actually U.S. policy that motivates Iran rather than Iran's own perceived ambitions and interests. That would be news to the mullahs in Tehran, not to mention the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah.

It is an article of faith for Obama, and many others on the left in the U.S. and abroad, that it is the United States that is mostly responsible for the world's ills. In 1984, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick labeled people with these views the "San Francisco Democrats," after the city where Walter Mondale was nominated for president.

Once again, we're talking about 1984. How Orwellian and as stated earlier, quite obtuse in it's assertion. Obama isn't blaming the United States for it's problems, he's blaming the administration for failing to communicate with its opponents. And to think that the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah and Iran as a nation aren't reactive to U.S. policy is in my opinion quite "naive". Iran doesn't have "ambitions and interests" in nuclear weapons. It is ideologically against their religious views. This has been stated many times by the Iranian gov't. The part of history that I wish John Bolton would review was the time when Iran was an ally and a powerful ally to the United States. The demonization of Iran, its leaders and its people is nothing by stereotyped fear speech. These people have beliefs that differ from our mainstream, so we must fear them. That is the message of John Bolton and George Bush and soon John McCain.

There's a lot of talk in the media about how people see the role of the President and how they trust who they want to fill that role. In 99 we were told that Bush was the man to sit and have a beer with and that's why the country trusted him over Al Gore. Well I see John McCain as a bunkered old man standing on the porch yelling that the neighborhood kids and Barrack Obama as the young leader of the neighborhood organizing activities for the community and giving the kids a role model. Any idea who it is that I trust?

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