Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Obama Backs Bush

Watching a presidential race is often a frustrating exercise, and more than usually so when a candidate leaves his principles behind in order to avoid losing support. That’s what I see in Barack Obama’s response to the situation in Georgia.

What is happening here is that two historically opposed nations that have had the opportunity to bury the hatchet over the past decade now find themselves in reversed positions from the face-off they had over Cuba in 1962. At that time, the US called the hand of the USSR, both leaders backed down and the situation was defused. Today, neither leader shows a sign of backing down, and the world is watching while the two cowboys approach each other ala High Noon.

The really disappointing thing to me is that most of the world recognizes the risk that the Bush response poses, but Obama doesn’t seem to, and if he does, it’s worse because he then appears willing to sell out his own principles and risk inflaming an already dangerous situation in order to hang onto his chance of winning the election.

This is also disappointing for his lack of faith in the American voter. Right now, most Americans seem to be supporting Bush’s position that this is a case of unwarranted Russian aggression, but if Obama and the Democratic Party had the guts to do it, they could weather the initial storm of catcalls by repeatedly publicizing the reality of the situation. At the very least, they could demonstrate that the situation is not so simple.

The American people should be given enough information to understand the absurdity of the claim that Russia has attacked a sovereign nation without provocation. (South Ossetia broke away from Georgia in the early 1990s and exists as an independent state with full Russian support. Georgian troops attacked separatists there and Russia sent troops to stop them. If you don’t believe it, Google “Who governs South Ossetia?”) They should be given enough information to understand the military relationship between America, Israel and Georgia, and they should be given enough information to understand the nature and result of Georgian president Saakashvili’s attack on South Ossetia – not to mention the motivation for that attack and US role in urging the action. They should also be given enough information to understand not only that America has (just today) signed an agreement with Poland to place defensive missiles on their soil, but also before today negotiated a deal to provide ten offensive missiles to the Polish military.

From the Russian perspective, the US has done exactly what the USSR did in placing missiles in Cuba in 1962. Instead of backing down, however, both leaders are clinging to their assertions that the other is out of bounds. The only development that has helped my knees to still their knocking is that Russia has filed a case with the world court charging Saakashvili with war crimes. If they are willing to listen to a third party regardless of the outcome, there may be hope.

Hopefully the worst thing that could come of all this is the re-opening of the Cold War. The dark side is the potential for WWIII.

Sadly, because of America’s and Obama’s reluctance to take a hard look at the situation, the most hopeful case is probably the end result that BushCo wants. America always needs an identified enemy to keep the paranoia level high, and nothing strikes fear in the American heart like the specter of domination by the godless communists, so starting the Cold War again fills the bill.

Even more sadly, Obama seems to be playing into the whole situation by backing the Bush play instead of showing the depth of his leadership and the courage of his convictions by being the one who finally points out that the emperor has no clothes. And saddest of all, the world is left, once again, under the horrible shadow of BushCo’s militarism and the threat of a face-off of gargantuan proportions between two powers that should, by all rights, be cooperating in the effort to contain the spread of nuclear materials but instead may well be seeking to add to the stockpiles of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

The end result is not likely to be positive for anybody but the arms manufacturers, and the voters will be left once again with two unsavory choices for the presidency.

So what’s new?

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” – Patrick Henry

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

1 comment:

vkfletch said...

You might want to add McCain's response to the 'draft' question to your analysis here. They can pick the fights all they want but they still have to have people who will carry out the orders.;jsessionid=25206DFC59E49140BC409ED3C0B3655B?diaryId=1795

Nice post, Bob.