The incoherence of Joe Biden on Obama foreign policy.

Our veep.

Updated: I removed a mis-placed reference to Libya pending more information and augmented my critique of Obama’s handling of the killing of Osama.

—————-

I know, I know: it’s not a fair fight, really. Charity almost compels me not to write something that puts “incoherence” and “Joe Biden” in the same sentence. Almost, but not quite.

Joe Biden, our inestimable Vice President, delivered a speech at New York University on the foreign policy accomplishments and abilities of Barack Obama. As is typical with Biden the speech was long and circuitous, and not in a phenomenology-is-long-and-circuitous-for-good-reason sort of way.

I’ll get the easy one out of the way. Biden said of Obama, “This guy has got a backbone like a ramrod.” … well…

The emperor of Japan is just a figurehead. No deference is due, especially from the President of the United States.

And who can forget…

Ramrod!

The ramrod *has,* however, come into play when ramming it down the throat of his base by keeping Gitmo open, continuing the Bush-era policies of extraordinary rendition, and even widening our unmanned drone strikes as a major component of war fighting (or even non-war quasi-assassinations).

And I’m not sure how he demonstrated a “ramrod” of a spine when his attorney general was forced to back off plans to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civil court in New York City after massive public and governmental pushback.

Oddly, Biden didn’t mention any of those accomplishments.

Anyhow.

Biden did bring up the killing of Osama bin Laden, which Obama deserves some credit for. But only for saying, “do it,” when the evidence was overwhelming and moment was just right. (Even though there is evidence he put on asbestos underwear named “Admiral McRaven,” and that his chief concern in the whole affair was how it would play out for him in his reelection campaign.) But it’s not like it was years of Obama’s policies that kept Osama on the run and forced him finally to hole-up in a tiny compound with no internet, no phone, and walls with very high windows so he could walk around indoors without being seen. That was Bush. But that’s among the things this administration will steadfastly refuse to “blame” Bush for.

But that lone shining moment aside, let’s look at some highlights from the rest of Biden’s talk.

Biden: “He set in motion a policy to end the war in Iraq responsibly.”

That was actually made possible by the “surge” of 2007, which both Obama and Biden bitterly opposed. After the success of the surge the end of the Iraq war occurred on roughly the timetable that President George W. Bush had envisioned anyhow. So Obama didn’t set anything in motion that wasn’t already in motion. He simply managed not to screw it up.

Biden: “He set a clear strategy and an end date for the war in Afghanistan”

Really? What is it? Ever since Obama took office that war has meandered along with no clear picture of the objective or how to get out having left the Afghan government and security forces in a better position to stave off another takeover by the Taliban or forces sponsored by neighboring Iran. The only truly new development is that we have signaled our intention to get out in 2014, regardless of conditions on the ground, and our government is now in talks with the Taliban—the very regime we went there to topple for offering safe harbor to al Qaeda. So combine an announced clear timetable for departure with a blatant move to legitimize the sworn enemy and what do you get? A populace that trusts you less, and people in that populace more prone to align with the opposition that will still be around once you’re gone. A recipe for more problems…

Biden: “He cut in half the number of Americans who are literally serving in harm’s way.”

Overseeing the successful conclusion of the war in Iraq (thanks, Dubya!) and overseeing the bloodiest years of the war in Afghanistan (thanks, Barack!) will lead to a reduction in the number of troops in harm’s way: most by withdrawal, many by death.

Biden: “He repaired our alliances and restored America’s standing in the world and he saved our economy.”

The world has rarely, if ever, been more unstable than it is right now. Our historic allies have been insulted routinely by this President, while he bows and blows kisses to those who are fundamentally opposed to our way of life and system of governance. And our economy, thanks to his multi-trillion dollar deficits and flaccid job-growth policies is hardly “saved.” Only a fool or a deluded politician would believe what Biden said there.

Biden: “He saved our economy from collapse with some very unpopular but bold decisions that have turned out to be right, including the rescue of the automobile industry, all of which has made us much stronger not only at home but abroad.”

Truth is, those very unpopular decision also started under Bush (TARP, especially, which paved the way for the auto bailouts). But they won’t give credit to Bush for that, either, of course. Not that I’m endorsing TARP or disdaining the auto bailouts. I hate the corporatism it represents, I like letting market principles dictate business success, but I’m not so sure that bit of economic and societal pain in pursuit of a more healthy economic system would have been wise. However, the manner in which it was pursued, with the government deciding by fiat which creditors would get paid and which get shafted rather than observing conventional bankruptcy norms, really reeks of political payouts to Big Labor and corporate-political buddies. But still: the basis for it all was another Bush-era policy that Obama and his people perpetuated, which then produced results that they like, and they want to take full credit for it.

But Bush had nothing to do with the millions and billions in hand-outs to non-starter “green jobs” startups, killing the Keystone pipeline, the irresponsible and wholly uncalled for moratorium on off-shore drilling after the Gulf explosion, and the myriad ways the Obama EPA has sought to “crucify” energy companies, thus driving up energy costs, which drive up the price on everything, thus hurting productivity and jobs and ultimately the poorest among us. But that basic lesson in economics seems to have escaped him and his. Or they don’t care.

Which leads directly into the thesis, if you will, of Biden’s talk:

Biden: “If you’re looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited, it’s pretty simple:  Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.”

Yes, provided you include the groundwork Bush laid for both of those conclusions. (Leaving aside the conversation about whether it is a *good* thing that General Motors is still alive in its present configuration—the Volt? Really?)

Biden: “President Obama always means what he says.”

Wait, let me help: “President Obama always means what he says [in the moment when he says it, but not necessarily longer than that, especially if what he says proves to be verifiably false or politically damaging].” There, better.

Or, if he does always mean what he says, then he must really mean this “more flexibility” thing, too:

Because, you know, “ramrods” have flexibility.

Biden then goes into an attack on Romney, saying that Romney’s foreign policy would take us back to a time when we would “go it alone.” Of course, Dubya never did “go it alone,” assembling a coalition of more than 40 nations for the invasion of Iraq despite opposition from the French and Germans.

He says Romney would “waste hundreds of billions of dollars.” Which is, of course, pittance to this administration—until you propose wasting nearly a trillion on just one ineffective “stimulus” bill you’re not a serious candidate.

Of Obama, Biden says, “He has acted boldly, strengthening America’s ability to contend with the new forces shaping this century” … except the force of revanchist Russia, and “leading from behind” on “Arab Spring” matters.

Biden: “Under President Obama’s leadership, our alliances have never been stronger.”

…  almost speechless. No one respects him, or us by extension. No one fears him, or us by extension. So if by “stronger” he means, “all those other nations acting in their own selfish self-interest know they can push us around and dictate policy and they like us better because of it,” then sure. Otherwise, our staunchest allies the Brits and Aussies aren’t exactly enamored of this guy’s “leadership” and treatment of them.

Biden: “At the same time, the President shut down secret prisons overseas…”

Except Gitmo, and the rest are unverifiable because, well, they’re secret, so it’s a comfy claim to make—cannot be disproven. And if they have shut down secret prisons they must have either transferred the prisoners to Gitmo, released them, or transferred them to other countries (note he did not list “ended extraordinary rendition”), so none of these are exactly admirable to an anti-war, anti-Gitmo base.

“…banned torture…”

It was already banned.

“…and in doing so demonstrated that we don’t have to choose between protecting our country and living our values; and, as a consequence of those decisions, enhanced the security of our own soldiers abroad and the power of our persuasion around the world.”

We’ve had how many soldiers murdered in cold blood in Afghanistan by the Afghan soldiers they were training in the past few months? How, exactly, has he made our troops safer? Because the stats, at least in Afghanistan, tell a different story.

And powers of persuasion? His “powers of persuasion” were launched by “I won” and haven’t been much different since. He is about forcing his ideological agenda by any means necessary, not persuading people to come on board. If there has been anything different abroad it is because of others like Hillary Clinton and in spite of him.

Biden: “We plan for conflicts in the future with a new defense strategy, supported by the entire Defense Department’s senior leadership.”

People may not remember this, but Don Rumsfeld was up to the same thing, and was much reviled for it in hawkish circles, prior to 9/11. So this, too, was a Bush-era idea that was much modified when the planes hit the towers. Rumsfeld et al. did pursue a transformation of the military during the wars, but it’s a might-bit tougher to do during kinetic operations. It was, however, underway under Rumsfeld and then Gates, while Bush was President.

Biden then turned to Romney’s unfortunate remark about relying on the egg heads at Foggy Bottom who frequently have other-than-U.S.-interests in mind for foreign policy expertise. Biden is actually correct that the President is the chief diplomat and as such having some foreign policy chops of his own is very important. But it isn’t like Obama was a foreign policy expert in 2008—that was one of the main reasons Biden was chosen for the veep slot: he was seen as having the foreign policy chops to fill that gap in Obama’s rather thin resume. But I have no doubt that Romney would assemble a good team around him and be fine on foreign policy. The next part of Biden’s talk is, inadvertently on his part, why. In speaking about the President’s unique role in making the final decision on the big, important matters, Biden says:

And the President is all alone at that moment.  It’s his judgment that will determine the destiny of this country.  He must make the hard calls.  I’d respectfully suggest President Obama has made those hard calls with strength and steadiness.

And the reason he has been able to is because he had clear goals and a clear strategy how to achieve those goals.  He had a clear vision and has a clear vision for America’s place in the world.  He seeks all the help he can get from experts as to how to realize that vision, but ultimately he makes the decision.

So it seems to me, Governor Romney’s fundamental thinking about the role of the President in foreign policy is fundamentally wrong.  That may work — that may work — that kind of thinking may work for a CEO.  But I assure you, it will not and cannot work for a President and it will not work for a Commander-in-Chief.

Biden is exactly wrong, of course. Since Biden has been a career politician he clearly doesn’t know what being a CEO actually entails. Presidents actually have to do the coalition building thing at least as much as they have to make the hard decisions unilaterally. Corporate CEOs, on the other hand, make the unilateral decision and pretty much as a matter of course, and then use whatever management style they prefer to bring the company into the reality caused by that decision. Romney’s experience as a CEO—and, as the Obama camp will remind us repeatedly this season, a cutthroat one at times—shows him *quite* qaulified and experienced at taking the advice, hearing the sides, having his own vision, and making a decision on his own.

Biden touted the Administration’s leadership (from behind, that is) on theaters of the Arab Spring, but simply toppling a secular Muslim autocrat only to see him replaced by Islamist hard liners who hate our very existence doesn’t seem like a very responsible way to go about things.

Anyhow, the speech continues in the same vein for a lot longer—Biden is nothing if not long-winded—but I think that hits the highlights.

Romney may not already be a foreign policy wonk, but three-plus years in Obama and Biden aren’t either.

But then, what can Biden really say, considering the conditions and outcomes?

Fortunately, we have an opportunity to get these bums out of office before they do further damage. Hopefully it’s not too late.

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48 thoughts on “The incoherence of Joe Biden on Obama foreign policy.

  1. Halberst says:

    “The emperor of Japan is just a figurehead. No deference is due, especially from the President of the United States.” ————— Should he have given them a quick back rub like W did Angela Merkel? Not to say W didn’t do the same: http://goo.gl/fpOBZ -. Or worse (the kiss) http://goo.gl/I0Ljo -.

  2. Randy says:

    I’m not sure why we should take your foreign policy advice when you show such a lack of current-event knowledge. Calling American citizens anti-American and claiming they hate America is truly disgusting.

    1. Tom Crowe says:

      Right, Randy, because that is an accurate accounting of what I did. But if it helps your case any, I’ll be more bold. Bill Ayers, a good friend of President Obama, a domestic terrorist, and a current American citizen, is anti-American. And if he strays too far into his avowed previous positions he ought to be dealt with accordingly. American citizenship does not equal either sanctity or sanctuary.

      1. Randy says:

        Yes, American citizenship does not equal either sanctity or sanctuary. And your point in regards to the person you labeled anti-American in your column is what, exactly? That PM El-Keib has committed offenses similar to Bill Ayers? You call the entire government of Libya anti-American, when you clearly show no knowledge of their government structure. You clearly had no idea that their PM is an American…if you knew anything about him (and his work establishing peaceful Muslim-Christian dialogue in the Bible Belt post 9-11), you might not just haphazardly label him anti-American. As an American, I am proud of El-Keib’s leadership role in Libya–it’s a symbol of what America is all about. Yet all you can do is trash him with your painfully limited knowledge. Your claims that “I didn’t know” are silly…you’re writing a column about foreign policy with no knowledge of one of the top foreign policy situations currently on the record? Thanks, I’ll take my foreign policy advice on Libya from someone who is actually paying attention.

        Oh, and a hint. The tired conservative talking point that Obama and Bill Ayers are good friends is just nonsense. We went through all this in 2008. Perhaps you can share your sources here that prove their friendship, rather than the established fact they were independently invited to serve on a committee together. http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/02/obamas_weatherman_connection.html Then again, given your track record of knowing current events, I think we know where this is headed…

        1. Tom Crowe says:

          Randy— Obama launched his political career in Bill Ayers’ living room. Bill Ayers wrote Obama’s “autobiography.” That sounds like more than just a random acquaintance to me. And, based on the helpful reminders from assiduous commenters like yourself, I removed the offending lines about Libya. Cheers!

          1. faithful democrat says:

            This Ayers conspiracy stuff was exposed as nonsense when Obama ran against McCain: http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/10/ayers_alone_did_not_launch_oba.html Did Ayers have a coffee party for Obama way back when? And when Ayers claimed that he wrote the autobiography in 2009, he was joking to mock such unfounded claims — but of course some unscrupulous nits continued to run with it. President Obama has condemned Ayers’ penchant for violence and his ideological bent. He has not minced words. And Ayers has criticized and continues to criticize Obama. But since you want to believe that they and some secret group are plotting together to start rounding up priests and Catholicvote (sic) bloggers, any hope of changing your mindset, I’m sure, is only frivolous.

          2. Tom Crowe says:

            faithful democrat — You don’t see a problem with even a “coffee party” for Obama in the living room of Bill Ayers? You don’t see a problem with the appointment to the CAC Ayers worked out for him? Of course Obama has criticized Ayers: he’s proven time and again that he will say anything it takes, regardless of the truth or how consistent it is with what he said previously. And Of course Ayers is criticizing Obama now: Obama hasn’t been quite as reliably left-wing on every issue as men like Ayers would like. But criticism doesn’t sever the connection that they have. And no, my mindset will not change with regard to Obama and Ayers, whether or not they are plotting to round us up.

  3. Henry says:

    There was no torture at Gitmo? Veritatis Splendor clearly says that mental torture is an intrinsic evil. Making someone think they are drowning apparently doesn’t count as mental torture in your world. The whitewashing of history continues…

    1. Tom Crowe says:

      I white-wash nothing. Biden said that they banned torture. I pointed out that torture already was banned.

      1. Henry says:

        Torture was taking place under Bush, and Obama ended it.

        1. Tom Crowe says:

          Henry— Oh. Okay. If you say so. And what about extraordinary rendition, in which a prisoner is transfered to another nation that does not have our principles against torture? That’s *still* happening under Obama. Physician, heal thyself.

          1. Henry says:

            Tom, it’s fine. You think waterboarding is not torture. You’re entitled to your beliefs. I’ll side with the Pope John Paul II on this one. His encyclical stating that mental torture is an intrinsic evil is good enough for me. I’d love to know how that encyclical is not part of the Church’s magisterium as compared with, say, Caritas in Veritae. After all, y’all cite Caritas in Veritae a ton here. Likewise, the USCCB’s call for extraordinary care of non-war detainees rings true as well. But you’re free to follow whatever conservative dictums you like, I really don’t care. Just as long as the actual facts have a moment on this site. And you’re right, the Obama administration need to crack down on renditions.

          2. Tom Crowe says:

            Henry— Where did I say waterboarding is not torture? (And I think you meant Caritas in Veritatae)

          3. Henry says:

            Tom, I wrote torture happened under Bush. You wrote, “Henry— Oh. Okay. If you say so.” By your sarcasm, it’s clear you don’t believe torture happened under Bush. So why don’t you come out and just declare for all of us exactly where you stand–is waterboarding torture? And do you as a Catholic stand for or against its use by the US government?

          4. Tom Crowe says:

            Henry— I didn’t answer the question then and I am not answering it now. Assume what you will.

  4. Hannah says:

    The new Libyan government hates America? Can you actually explain specifically how the National Transitional Council has demonstrated anti-American behavior? Can you point out examples of El-Keib’s anti-American behavior? Your claims seem to rely on cliches rather than facts.

    1. Tom Crowe says:

      Congrats, Hannah, you cherry picked one tiny area of a small section of my post and bring it to the level of Main Point. You are an official troll.

      1. Hannah says:

        Since you can’t actually answer the questions, I’ll assume you have no evidence, making the claims false (correct me if I’m wrong…as I asked above). Pardon my cherry-picking, but can you explain why you are writing things that are false?

        1. Tom Crowe says:

          Hannah— “claims”? Apart from one part of one thing I say, how can you claim I fail to respond to “points”? I mesh points in one area, and Libya is (so far) an exception, though the Muslim Brotherhood intends to remove it as an exception and they will likely be successful, so pardon me if I’m jumping the gun, but you hold it up as though it is my main thesis. And the Muslim Brotherhood is working to remove that country as an exception. Contrariwise, can you level any response to the rest of the many things I level at the Obama record?

          1. Hannah says:

            Um yes it’s fairly easy. You make a big deal about the KSM case not taking place in NYC. Yet, you don’t say a word about the current civilian trials taking place in NYC for Gitmo detainees. Why is that? Second, you say there was no torture at Gitmo, so Obama deserves no credit for stopping torture. So you’re basically ignoring the teaching of both John Paul II on what torture is. You claim that the only reason Obama had the chance to kill bin Laden is because Bush “had him on the run.” This is ludicrous–you are claiming the Bush strategy was to have bin Laden on the run? Uhh, maybe because the Bush administration was so hell-bent on war in Iraq, there were no additional forces to send to the Tora Bora region to actually kill bin Laden…putting him permanently “on the run” because US intelligence lost track of him! That’s a teensy historical fact you missed. You make the claim that Hillary Clinton is off doing her own foreign policy thing, so no credit to Obama there. Care to share your State Department sources who have filled you in on this? That’s pretty wild that she’s ignoring her boss’s dictates. And catch up on your current events–Libya just banned political parties based on religion, tribe or ethnicity.

          2. Tom Crowe says:

            Hannah— As I said to Michael, if Gitmo trials are happening in NYC, it’s the first I’d heard of them, so no bias or intended factual problem there. John Paul didn’t “teach” what is or it not “torture,” mostly because it was not and is not in his or Benedict’s purview. Teaching on the principles and definitions is, not the actual application. All I said was that “torture” was already banned, which it was/is. So no points to you on that one. The battle in Tora Bora happened in December of 2001, a full four months before the invasion of Iraq, so no, there was no over-commitment of troops to Iraq that prevented it from being successful. It was a failure in our trust of the local Afghan warlords. He was on the run because, well, he couldn’t settle down anywhere because our military and central intelligence were on his trail. He eventually did settle down. And then we got ‘im. My comment re: Hillary’s is not that she’s “doing her own thing” (which wouldn’t surprise me, frankly, since she’s more of an American than Barack), but that if any progress has been made it’s because she’s putting the best lipstick she can on the pig Obama is delivering to her. Libya can ban all it wants: the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t go away that easily.

          3. Hannah says:

            Just to clarify here: you do not believe that encyclicals are authoritative church teaching. Or am I misinterpreting?

          4. Tom Crowe says:

            Hannah— You haven’t even approached clarifying anything with that question. Educate yourself about what an encyclical is, and how one may or may not involve the magisterium.

          5. Hannah says:

            Well with your vast knowledge of encyclicals, you should be able to explain immediately why Veritatis Splendor does not involve the magisterium.

          6. B. Gnotta Fruede says:

            Tom, you cherry picking, cafeteria Catholyc, you. Glad to see you’ve entered the big tent. Welcome. Of course, I think Hannah just about knocked you out round-by-round, but I admire your persistence. Hey, do you really think JPII would have been and Benedict is supportive of waterboarding, considering it as something other than torture? Seems like mighty fanciful thinking on your part.

          7. Marsha says:

            Praise be to Tom. He’s never wrong. Just ask him.

          8. Tom Crowe says:

            Pot: kettle, Marsha. But you may have noted that I did admit I was wrong about the LIbya thing in a couple of these comments. And then I adjusted the post accordingly. So I admitted I was wrong, which is more than I’ve ever seen you do.

  5. Greg B. says:

    I think it’s funny that Catholic Vote still tries to claim that it’s non-partisan.

    1. Tom Crowe says:

      Greg B. — We are non-partisan, but Catholic and most of us tend to be socially and fiscally conservative, if not libertarian. You might note, if you were charitable, that I pointed out a thing or two that Obama has done right, and a thing or two on which I disagree with the Dubya camp. But that might be a stretch for you. This post was about factual and bias problems with a given politician’s speech. I’m sure some on here would go further than I did and criticize me for not being sufficiently critical of Bush. Do you have a factual point?

      1. Michael says:

        How about some of your own factual and bias problems? You mention the KSM case but fail to acknowledge that civilian trials are taking place RIGHT NOW in New York City for Gitmo detainees. You claim that Bush’s policies forced Obama into his Pakistan compound. But there is zero evidence of this…and you fail to explain how Bush’s strategy of letting up on bin Laden in Tora Bora played a role in the fact that bin Laden was in this compound without US knowledge for so long. You play the typical conservative card that torture was already banned at Gitmo, ignoring that while the Geneva Convention, US Army Field Manual and the WWII-era Japanese War Crimes Commission all prosecuted waterboarding as torture, the US was merrily waterboarding under Bush for those many years (oh, and the fact that church law in “Veritatis Splendor” calls physical AND mental anguish an intrinsic evil). You say that US engagement success abroad is due to Hillary Clinton…and yet you offer no proof. This would mean that Clinton is acting differently than as requested by Obama…a huge claim. And you have no proof. You say that Obama deserves no credit for re-engagement of allies, yet you fail to mention that the reason our allies need re-engagement is because the previous administration alienated them. You finish by slandering the Libyan transitional government, which thankfully other readers have already pointed out is ludicrous. You don’t apparently even know how is running Libya…it’s a dual US-Libyan citizen! That’s right, you’re calling an American citizen someone who hates America’s existence. Then again, you pretty much have shown you have no clue who the interim Prime Minister of Libya is, so there should be no surprise of your ignorance.

        1. Tom Crowe says:

          Michael— Hm. Not a bias if I didn’t know about it. Are civilian trials happening for Gitmo detainees in NYC right now? if so, first I heard about it. Tora Bora was a failure of strategy on the ground, no doubt, because our forces decided to trust the locals. Massive failure. Hardly Bush’s fault. That OBL had to run around and eventually hole up in this place is unquestionably due to the tireless pursuit of U.S. forces, led by Bush until January 2009. The compound OBL was eventually found in was built well after BHO was POTUS, so I’m not sure how you tie that one to Tora Bora and Bush. Biden said “ban torture,” not “waterboarding.” That’s a leap you’re making, not me. I said nothing about Hillary Clinton being the sole source of success abroad, but that Obama has had little to do with it. I pointed out that Bush kept a significant coalition for Iraq, which means little re-engagement was needed until Obama alienated them (I know: reading is hard). I have acknowledged, albeit lightly, my ignorance of the exact happenings in Libya, while also acknowledging that the Muslim Brotherhood is working pretty hard in their own backyard to make things different. I wonder why you and Hannah insist on defending without reservation what has been a tremendously anti-American foreign policy, to say nothing of the economic policies which are also terribly flawed and have set us back decades.

          1. Michael says:

            Tom: I’m sorry, but you are giving us opinions, not facts. 1. There is a terrorism trial under way right now. http://www.npr.org/2012/04/24/151246152/convention-of-convicted-terrorists-at-n-y-trial?ft=1&f=3 2. To whom does the responsibility of “trusting the locals” near Tora Bora belong to? To whom does the responsibility for not deploying an additional 800 Army Rangers, who were available, belong to? Bush was the Commander in Chief. You assign great responsibility to Obama for his decisions as Commander in Chief, but leave Bush a blank slate. 3. This idea that US forces were pursuing bin Laden tirelessly is not grounded in fact. Members of the 9/11 Commission report reported in 2004 that the Pentagon knew exactly where bin Laden was, but the US could not afford to send troops because of the commitment in Iraq 3. You say waterboarding is not torture. Pope John Paul II simply disagrees with you in his encyclical Veritatas Splendor. Unless you suggest that making someone think they are drowning is not mental torture. Is that your claim? 4. “I pointed out that Bush kept a significant coalition for Iraq, which means little re-engagement was needed until Obama alienated them (I know: reading is hard).” The actual historical facts: in 2004, Thailand, Spain, the Phillipines, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Iceland, Hungary, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic withdrew from the coalition. In 2005, Portugal and the Netherlands withdrew. In 2006, Norway, Italy and Japan. In 2007, Denmark and Slovakia. In 2008, Ukraine, Tonga, Singapore, Poland, Mongolia, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Korea, Czech Republic, Khazakstan, Georgia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia and Albania withdrew. This is your definition of keeping a coalition together, apparently. In case you missed it, the US and NATO acted jointly in Libya…under Obama…with many of those same withdrawn countries back participating through NATO. 5. You claim the Muslim Brotherhood is going to take over Libya, but why should we trust your judgment on Libya? You already have proven your ignorance in that area. 6. If you are referring to Obama’s foreign policy as being anti-American, that’s just kind of ironic to suggest that the President of the United States actually is perpetrating a foreign policy to ruin America. Just because you disagree with something does not make it anti-American. If you are referring to Libya, again, facts of how they have been anti-American would be helpful.

          2. Tom Crowe says:

            Michael— Wait, did you really just use as evidence a trial of a naturalized American citizen? HAHAHAHHAHA! that’s my point, silly! KSM was a) not a US citizen, and b) any trial about him would have compromised significant U.S. intelligence operations. The trial you used does not, and he’s a U.S. citizen, so your paradigmatic case fails you utterly. And since you cherry pick parts of the argument I will to, and I’ll stop there, having already acknowledged that I was a little wrong about Libya. For now.

        2. Tom Crowe says:

          Come to think of it, Michael and Hannah— If Gitmo trials are happening in NYC civil courts, that actually strengthens my point in that case, which was that Obama showed a less-than-ramrod spine when there was pushback against the KSM trial in NYC. That was the sum total of the point; I was not therein arguing whether or not the trial was a good idea, but that Obama folded like a cheap suit when there was pushback. So if there are now trials of others from Gitmo happening, that strengthens rather than diminishes my point that the guy is a problem.

  6. davide says:

    wow, holy schnikes… long post and insightful. The picture and ‘ramrod’ cracked me up. I got this terrible feeling Obama will be re-elected cause I got a feeling we are going to be at war. I hope I am wrong on both accounts.

    1. Marsha says:

      Tom, why don’t you tell us what you really think?

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