#4, Africans should really be able to feed and educate themselves. They have accomplished great things historically. But strongmen like Mugabe squander their resources, turning a breadbasket into a charity case. The US is doing great things in Africa, with AIDS education, research, prevention, medicines. Anti-malarial initiatives which have saved multitudes. Micro loans to allow hard working entrepreneurs survive and thrive. Not that I think those should be actions our federal government takes, but our government is far more progressive than I like, and probably more than you are aware (of :-)).Comment Posted By EntropyIncreases On 20.05.2008 @ 16:20
#4, we must focus on credible threats. If Mexico poses a threat, we need to spend some resources on it. I agree that we are not in Iraq to promote democracy. Promoting democracy is a strategy to blunt the credible threat many felt Iraq posed to the US. It was not an end and is only a partial means, as paying partial attention to Gen. Petraeus' two major appearance before Congress would have made clear. Your characterizations of Iraq as some kind of colonial harbinger seem off, since we handed over power some time ago. Our military over there has not been used to push our will down the GOI's throat. I actually think democracy in Iraq poses a regional threat to the bad guys, which is part of the strategy. Iran is not doing well internally. But they are capable of wreaking havoc on the region.
I am guardedly optimistic about what is happening in Iraq, but guardedly pessimistic about much of the rest of the world. The actions against the Mehdi militia, Iranian Quds force, including the Iranian Special Groups, AQI all seem to be doing well. AQI is dying. Iraqi Police and Iraqi Army units are doing better. But corruption is still a huge problem. Do you think we would have been better off using $600 Billion in massive USAID initiatives in our hemisphere or continent? Do you really want to ignore the sacrifices of our citizens and squander our accomplishments? I want them home yesterday, but only if the day before that they accomplished their mission. If we deem the mission impossible, then bring them home. But the soldiers on the ground seem hopeful and committed, so I must be, also.
Mr. Moran, what actions should we take in Lebanon? Diplomatic? Aid? Should we arm the Druze population more heavily than they already are? Should we seek to influence the balance of power to allow others to stand up to Hezbollah? Should we try to convince the allies of Hezbollah that their alliance is foolish?
And should we do any of these overtly? Or covertly?
Lebanon is a mess. It is horrible that a country like that should be reduced to this, but they are scarred by their civil war and by Syrian/Iranian ham-handedness over decades.
Setting up a proxy seems foolish with risk. The fault lines seem stark, and they seem to have been exacerbated by Hezbollah's actions. But Hezbollah also emerged more powerful, apparently.
Thanks for any additional input.Comment Posted By EntropyIncreases On 20.05.2008 @ 16:14
#22, Bush's administration has met with several of the world's bad leaders. So if a Pres. Obama would merely meet them with preconditions about nuclear progress and regional interference, among a few other preconditions, it would not be very different from the current administration. The "mistake" he made is critical to understanding his judgement vis a vis foreign relations. Making use of organizations of which we are members to dialogue with our enemies in multilateral negotiations has been done by this administration. Bilateral negotiations have also occurred. The big difference between them is the preconditions comment. Which Obama has buttressed with talking about legitimate grievances.
#9,.,.,#21, it is great to bring up his grandfather. Classic red herring. How this relates to the original post is a little arcane. I think it much more of indictment of Bush that he is as willing to negotiate as he is than that his grandfather invested with the Nazis, not because his grandfather's actions were unimportant, just irrelevant to this discussion. Arab/Israeli peace is still a distant dream.
I think Bush was casting a wide net. His comments included Pres. Carter, some people in the Knesset, leaders in Pakistan, large swathes of Democrats, well meaning centrists -- cosmopolitans from around the world. He was probably thinking about Sen. Obama, who knows, but I think he knows enough about the world to know it is a problem not isolated to just Obama.Comment Posted By EntropyIncreases On 20.05.2008 @ 15:45
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