OBAMA’S TEACHING MOMENTS
Commentary by Jay B Gaskill
Mosul has fallen to invading bloody-minded jihadists. The new Iraqi government is under-protected. Its military, having been prematurely abandoned by US forces, is in disarray. (See the Washington Post, piece, Iraq could get worse…)
Bagdad, itself, is at risk of being overrun by the extremists.
Our president and his inner circle were never known for resolution and toughness when it came to our nation’s real enemies abroad, just hard for edged partisan games against the domestic political opposition.
But be reassured, the administration is “considering all options.”
Maybe POTUS will issue another “red line” warning to the forces seeking to take over Iraq.
I miss the Democratic Party, but for the moment it has been replaced by something else. I have often self-identified as a “Truman democrat”, particularly on foreign policy. Here is a litmus test for any tough national security question (think of protecting Israel from Jihadist nukes, or protecting our diplomats from bloody jihadists): One only need ask, “What would Harry do?” It is useful to notice just how far we have fallen.
Naïve foreign policy idealism periodically rises up like spring daisies, only to die in the harsh weather “on the ground.”
The conflicts between foreign powers have more in common with the struggles among criminal gangs than disputes within the genteel sanctuaries of the diplomats. Mr. Obama does not understand real thug behavior and is ill equipped to deal with it in the international arena.
During the 20th and 21st centuries, international conflicts have become more deadly by any measure than in all the prior centuries from the founding of the American colonies to the present moment combined.
In the tumultuous period that began with the First World War, one president rates at or near the top of all presidents for the quality of his American foreign policy and national security decisions and actions: Harry Truman. Sadly, our current president has so far earned rock bottom status. He is the anti-Truman incarnate. While this is just one lawyer’s perspective, it is secretly shared by hosts of “old fashioned” democrats.
An unflinching analysis of this president’s disastrous track record was just released by the respected the Hoover scholar, classicist and military historian, Victor Davis Hanson – see “Scandals — or fundamental transformations?”
at http://victorhanson.com/wordpress/?p=7556#more-7556 .
We are not living through a lame duck presidency, but we enduring something more dangerous. We are experiencing a hollow duck presidency, conducted in the style of a bad employee with tenure. A hollow duck president subsists on a mixture of gesture and thinly disguised contempt for the values of his employers.
Our POTUS is a man who habitually governs as a public relations exercise. He presents as a leader who seems obsessed with surface images over substance. He seems to inhabit the alternate universe wherein “considering all options” means only considering the alternative media images that would follow any difficult policy decision. “How to look good” (or in this disaster, “how not to look bad”) trumps making the concrete tough decisions needed to secure the country’s security and welfare.
There is a term for a personality that is entranced with its self-image; it is the classic narcissistic personality. Committed narcissists are notoriously hard to teach, because every teaching moment, every failure, is filtered through a delusional screen – “It can’t have been my fault, therefore….”
Israel – take note. This president could well determine your future. Iran, your mortal enemy, is being gradually allowed to acquire an atomic bomb arsenal, while the administration is still “considering all options.”
POTUS has until Friday, January 20th, 2017 to burnish his growing legacy. Brace your selves for all the teaching moments ahead.
Copyright © 2014 by Jay B Gaskill, Attorney at Law
First published on the Policy Think Site and the Out*Lawyer’s Blog. Forwards and pull quotes are welcome and encouraged, provided they are with full attribution including this link – http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00IRECYG4