Saturday, October 22, 2011

With Friends Like These...

I was somewhat amused to watch as the President portrayed himself as a strong leader in foreign policy, claiming one war over and a dictator dead because of our help.

Not exactly, in either case.  The Iraq war is far from over, it's just being internalized with our imminent departure.  We could withdraw even more of the troops being left behind if our embassy were something other than a small city unto itself.

Iran will have a free hand to step in now that Iraq has essentially thrown us out.  I can't blame them for wanting our people to be under their jurisdiction but I also give credit to the President for refusing.  That it couldn't be negotiated to everyones satisfaction shows a weakness on our part in that area plus the fact that those left behind will still be at risk.

As far as the demise of Gaddafi is concerned, remember that Obama was literally dragged into the conflict, which was in NATO's hands, kicking and screaming.  His 'leading from behind' was not exactly bold leadership.

I will give him credit, too, for the kill order on Osama bin Laden.  Seeing these monsters, including bin Laden on a different level, fall one after another,  has more to do with the discontent of their people than with us.  As it should be.  The question remains as to whether what comes next is better, the same or worse than what has been.  We can do no more than hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

We still have adversaries in the area.  Afghanistan's Karzai is certainly one though we seem to think otherwise.  He has told Pakistan, most definitely adversarial, in a recent TV interview that should Pakistan be attacked by the U.S., Afghanistan would take Pakistan's side.

It's wise not to forget that these are tribal countries historically and those loyalties run deep.  Truces will hold for expedience and little else.  All our intentions toward democratization will fall short until the peoples of those countries come into the 21st century.  Something the power mongers are resisting.  After all, they've witnessed Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya fall to those who have been able to get their causes headlined due to their embrace of modern technology.

While it is no contest when it comes to the use of technology from iPads to drones, where we lack is understanding how to combat those who've never had it and still fight the old way.  With stealth and ferocity.  With all the modern weaponry in the world at our disposal,  it seems like we've forgotten that very basic tenent.

1 comment:

Margie's Musings said...

You are correct about the Afghans needing to come into the 21st century, Mari. They are living several centuries in the past and will not be able to handle a democracy until they do that. Most cannot even read or write.

We ned to ge out of there since we are continuing to complicate everything and will as long as we stay on their territory. We need to use our resources to protect our own country.