Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tilting At All The Wrong Windmills!

We are a most unique country.  It's inborn at this point, I think.  There is an innate decency that binds us.

Our government can get us into the most impossible situations under the most convoluted reasoning imaginable,  yet somehow we always manage to come out of it okay.

Let's go back one war.  The Iraq War.  Most people didn't buy into the weapons of mass destruction bit that led us to back off Afghanistan and bin Laden and concentrate on Iraq. Wrong windmill! We're still there, terrorists are still having their way with the people, but it's basically a civil war now.  Before we involved ourselves civil war in Iraq would have been impossible because Saddam Hussein would never have tolerated it.  So what good came from it?  Saddam is gone.  However the rest of it shakes out will be up to the people, but Saddam is gone.  And in a backhanded sort of way, we're lucky.  We found no  stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.  That's the really good news.

Then we returned to Afghanistan, knowing full well that bin Laden and his ilk were shuffling between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  We also know that al Qaeda and the Taliban are not one and the same though they play a dangerous game with one another.

Then bingo!  We find bin Laden in Pakistan.  Fortunately our combined national security teams had the necessary skill to verify his location and eliminate him.  No matter what I think of the President or how he's handled the aftermath,  I applaud him for making the right decision.  It truly did take courage and an act of faith in what those who serve us are made of.  Well placed faith I might add.

So now we have Pakistan.  They are no ally.  We are tilting here because of their nuclear arsenal more than anything else.  Perhaps we worry too much.  It's hard to believe they are completely innocent in the harboring of bin Laden especially when they out our CIA station chief to punish us for our covert action.  Great way to handle disagreement!  They cannot be trusted and to turn a blind eye for some imagined expediency could prove disastrous. As far as their nukes are concerned,  India will never let Pakistan misuse them any more than Israel will let Iran finish developing them.

The Arab Spring has been interesting to watch.  In some respects we're right smack in the middle of it and in others we're poking rather tentatively.  It may be a good time to re-evaluate what our foreign policy and aid criteria should be.  Spring.  Time for new beginnings.  We sorely need one, both domestically and internationally.  I'm speaking to both parties here.  It's past time to get your acts together!

We've been lucky so far.  We've deposed a couple of monsters and haven't hampered the removal of a few more who are on the block.  We can't keep tilting though.  One these days we're going to have to hit one of those windmills by design rather than by fluke.  If, and it's a big if, we want to regain our role as world leader we're going to have to quit "dreaming the impossible dream"  and recognize what our capabilities, responsibilities to others and best interests are and understand other nations have the right to make the same decisions for themselves.  Then act accordingly even if it's seems an affront to that inherent decency.  Meaning well doesn't necessarily make things right.

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