Monday, June 27, 2011

The Obama Doctrine: Retreat, Surrender, Pretend, Lose, Run Away, Hide.

The Obama White House has happily adopted the Tea Party's foreign policy, and there is no internationalist or progressive element remaining in the Democratic Party to stop it from happening. By the time Obama was elected, there was no American Left worthy of the name. It was all Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, and Noam Chomsky. In the Republican Party, it was all Ron Paul, Donald Rumsfeld and Michelle Bachmann.

America the wizened, the shrivelled, the broke, the debtor, the once-important power that is now a country that lies somewhere north of Brazil. . .when the USSR collapsed, nobody in the western foreign policy establishment saw it coming. America's collapse is even now barely being noticed, but by friend and enemy alike. Global politics, like all kinds of politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum.

Niall Ferguson notices the American Freudian slip of the week. It came from Republican fontrunner Mitt Romney: “It’s time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can, consistent with the word that comes to our generals that we can hand the country over to the Taliban military in a way that they’re able to defend themselves. Excuse me, the Afghan military to defend themselves from the Taliban.”

Dexter Filkins: "But what of the thirty million other Afghans? The premise that anchored counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan—and in Iraq—was never explicitly humanitarian. The idea was that America could succeed only by helping these countries find a way to stand on their own. Otherwise, the places would collapse, and we’d have to go back. In Iraq, after many years of bloodshed, the Americans seem to have found a formula for maintaining rudimentary stability. In Afghanistan, after years of mismanagement and neglect, we manifestly have not. The country remains riddled with violence, and negotiations with the Taliban—a last-resort option—have led nowhere. It is not hard to imagine a repeat of the Afghan civil war, which engulfed the country after the withdrawal of the Soviet Union, and which ultimately gave rise to the Taliban. Bloodied but unbroken, the Taliban hardly seem like an army preparing to beg for peace."

In the crudest analysis, the American people are being played for suckers in a contest between the United States and the most sinister elements within Pakistan's military-industrial complex - those soft-palmed, duplicitous, rosy-cheeked Punjabi colonels who have grown rich and fat on American subsidies. In that contest, the Pakistanis are trouncing the Yanks and kicking sand in their faces and laughing about it. Just ask Zalmay Khalilzad: "Our inability to deal effectively with Pakistan is one of the key factors in the crisis of confidence between the United States and the Karzai government. Karzai wants either more pressure—including attacks on Taliban, Haqqani network and other extremist targets across the border into Pakistan—or a negotiated settlement with Islamabad. He does not want to continue the fight against Pakistani proxy forces in Afghanistan and has grown disillusioned with the U.S. approach. As the Obama administration has been considering a drawdown in recent weeks, Pakistan has been actively encouraging Karzai to turn against the United States."

Fortini Christia's letter from Kabul: "Many Afghans understandably fear for their lives. During a large international development agency’s recent meeting in Kabul, an Afghan employee asked 'What is the plan for evacuating local staff when the United States withdraws?' Amid charts illustrating dwindling aid deliveries, she foresaw Kabul becoming another Saigon. An Afghan colleague of mine, who has worked for years on development projects with foreigners comes to work every day in his shalwar kameez (the baggy pants and long shirt that many South Asians wear) and changes into Western attire at the office. He drives a beat-up car and routinely moves his family to different rental apartments in Kabul. 'If the Taliban comes back, and people know I worked for foreigners, I will be found hanging from a lamppost,' he said."

Robert Fisk, at a laughably-titled 'anti-terrorism' conference in Tehran, chats up Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi, who tells him: "In the trilateral talks between Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, we discussed many things and issues that may come up after the Nato military force goes out of Afghanistan. I think there was a good convergence of views among the leaders of the three countries ... In a nutshell, I'm very optimistic about the future of the region – unlike what some others would like to preach. The nations of these three are going home determined to take in hand their governance and exercise their independence to do the best in economic, political and cultural cooperation."

Also at that conference, Jay Solomon reports: "Iranian, Cuban and Palestinian representatives—mixing with North Korean, Zimbabwean and Myanmar diplomats—branded Israel the world's largest terrorism threat."

Do you really mean to tell me you didn't see this coming?


Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

A usual suspect's view (plus an interesting thought from Tom Ricks):

"US No Longer from Mars?"


1:33 PM  
Blogger The Plump said...

And now Syria:

The US is pushing the Syrian opposition to maintain dialogue with Bashar al-Assad's regime as details emerge of a controversial "roadmap" for reforms that would leave him in power for now despite demands for his overthrow during the country's bloody three-month uprising.

2:25 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Plump: And screwing the democrats in Egypt and Tunisia:

9:18 AM  

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