We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Credible, mainstream foreign policy analysts express dismay that President Obama’s foreign policy actions are so often contradictory, misdirected from commonly perceived national interests, and counterproductive to even stated goals.
Such critiques, seeking sanity and to avoid extremism and conspiracy theories, just stop there. In these analysts further defense, the facts of foreign policy failures are enough to indict. In their limited purview, that is sufficient. However, if one is searching for deeper explanation in order to avoid or prevent the repetition of such wrong-headedness impaling the US national interests, another additional approach is needed.
In the lack of extensive internal documents (a la, to some extent, the “Pentagon Papers”) a functional analysis of President Obama’s foreign policies looks at outcomes to discern cause(s). When the outcomes are similar, there is more reason to look for common cause. In other words, the outcomes are either consciously purposeful and may have a common purpose and cause, or highly likely due to conditioning. These two can come together when the structure of justification for the conditioning is verbalized and then used by the actor. President Obama’s leftist worldview is that conditioning and conscious purpose.
The caveat must be raised that functional analysis is, like any theory when applied to real life, unable to explain or predict every cause or action, and can be abused to impose an inadequately supported structure. For example, most wizened observers of human affairs agree that “stupidity” is usually a better explanation than “mendacity” in understanding the foibles or mistakes of men.
For example, this criticism was tellingly made by critics of the Cold War revisionist historians who ascribed its origins to exploitive and rapacious capitalism and the consequent purposeful expansionism of America’s leaders, downplaying the role and actions of the Soviet Union’s leaders as well as the gaps in information upon which our leaders had to act or react. Further analyses of the Cold War revisionist historians’ works more simply showed poor historiography. More measured contemporary historians, now with access to more Soviet archives and Western, see some less adventurous motivations and choices by Stalin, communist ideology at work alongside any realpolitik, and more confusion and reserved responses by and among Western leaders in the Cold War battles.
The Marxism underlying the Cold War revisionist historians’ world view was, as is Marxism, a form of functional analysis. From the outcome of post-war global dominance by the US and the conflicts with spreading communism, the cause was ascribed of a “mendacious,” conniving US pursuing resources and seeking the subjugation of colonial peoples.
There will be more future transparency into President Obama’s foreign policies that will expose greater confusion and reservations than seems the case now. The confidence of Americans after World War II, the expansion of our economy, and some racism may have been among causes for some US excesses. President Obama’s foreign policies appear almost the reverse: lack of confidence in US exceptionalism – our deserved heightened confidence in our good motives and actions, neglect of maintaining or growing the US economy, and siding with those opposed to states aligned with or benign toward US foreign policies. In this, President Obama is acting out his leftist upbringing and education.
As with the Cold War revisionist historians, and the wider leftist critique of America, President Obama basically takes and acts upon their view that the US and the West is mostly at fault for conflict and the unreached aspirations of those seen as oppressed.
President Obama was raised and educated in this leftist view. Yes, he is limited by others in our society and politics. But, he has been both consistent and determined in pursuing his view. His half-measures of continuity in Iraq and Afghanistan are compromises with contrary facts and views, but his half-measures are likely to fail and still, thus, further his view. Functionally, President Obama is the foe of the US.
In the Middle East, this functional analysis of President Obama’s foreign policies is most evident. President Obama buys that the source of conflict is the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, and that Israel – the stronger – is at fault. The Palestinians are oppressed by Israel. The other states in the Middle East – all autocratic or despotic -- that have come to terms with Israel or whose policies don’t really threaten Israel are viewed negatively. The states that more actively oppose and threaten Israel are viewed as whom we should favor. Islamist ideology is either ignored or seen benignly as a spur to violence and conflict. Arab states and Iran’s internal policies of corruption, exploitation and repression are not viewed as the source of their backwardness or hostilities.
In short, in functional analysis, President Obama really acts to lessen the power of the US and its exertion and to increase the power and exertions of those opposed to the US and its allies. The rationalizations he has inculcated from his leftist past try to publicly justify this in evasions and euphemisms. Indeed, he may not consciously want the defeat of the West and victories by its foes. But that is the result and it is all rooted in his leftist world view.
Those, of whatever political orientation, who avoid calling him out as, functionally, the foe of Western values and US national interests are doing their listeners a serious harm by reducing the justified wholesale rejection of President Obama’s foreign policies. Worse, they mask the cause and its rejection, allowing it to reappear among others and further harm the US, its values and its allies.
The administration has sat on its hands despite the fact that the Assad regime is one of the most implacable U.S. adversaries in the Middle East. It is Iran’s closest ally; it supplies Iranian weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip for use against Israel. Since 2003 it has helped thousands of jihadists from across the Arab world travel to Iraq to attack American soldiers. It sought to build a secret nuclear reactor with the help of North Korea and destabilized the pro-Western government of neighboring Lebanon by sponsoring a series of assassinations....
Yet the Obama administration has effectively sided with the regime against the protesters.
Like people across the Middle East, the protesters in Syria say that they are seeking the establishment of a democratic system..... The mass demonstrations on Good Friday were called to show that the cause is neither Islamic nor sectarian.
Really, they say that and it is credenced because they demonstrated on Good Friday?
Because they demonstrate on Good Friday their motives must be a Chrisatian like democracy?
They are muhammadans who deserve no qaurter from USA, methinks.
There has been too much whitewashing and too little investigation into the Obama presidency. Sadly. IF we had a true 4th branch, a media that remained impartial and reported facts, not opinions, perhaps more of the public would be outraged at the goings on inside the beltway.
World News: For two years the Obama Administration preached the need for a radical change from the Bush Doctrine. Today Bush’s call to end “sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East” comes home to roost.