Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beware a Cornered Obama

This hits on something Yasha and I discuss from time to time, namely, that even though Republicans are thought to be the hardliner hawks, we are far more cautious than a threatened Democrat.  Republicans do think about using military power more often because they are often thinking in the national interest, preventing and defending US interests.  Democrats, on the other hand, don't like to think about such things.  They will avoid, excuse, and delay until they can't anymore.  And then they blow, some with better results than others.  


The link covers Wilson.  But we have other, similar stories.  FDR took us to WWII after delay.   JFK, we remember him as strong on national defense, but his early days were full of hope and peace rhetoric.   Then came the disastrous meeting with Khrushchev, followed by the Berlin Wall--they build a wall and JFK gives a speech--and the Bay of Pigs betrayal.  JFK went into Vietnam because he needed to "draw a line in the sand" to prove that he could.    (By the way, compare the Vietnam section in JFK's entry to the JKF section in the Vietnam War entry.)  Johnson escalated Vietnam when he got into political trouble.  Carter did the failed hostage rescue.  Clinton went into Bosnia without UN approval or any US interest, allegedly to divert attention from his domestic problems.   


For all the talk about Bush being a warmonger, by comparison he was restrained.  He prepped for weeks before invading Afghanistan.  He went along with Blair tried for an eighteenth UN resolution against Iraq.  Part of the difficulty in securing Iraq after taking Baghdad resulted from the restrained and precision bombing employed to reduce civilian casualties.   


Beware a cornered Obama.  We have a lot of firepower.  He might feel the need to draw a line in the sand.      

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