Those who believe Barack Obama would avoid wars after withdrawing from Iraq are not paying attention. He has laid out a coherent strategy for fighting wars.
After the July, 2007 CNN-You Tube debate, Barack Obama was pilloried for his agreement to "talk without preconditions to leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea."
All of this sounds like typical dove rhetoric. But Obama, in August, 2007 promised to relocate war, not end it. Islamists in the summer of 2007 were rioting in the streets to bring down Musharraf. Pakistan's corrupt democrats demanded a snout in the trough. Obama chose that moment to undermine Musharraf by pledging military raids into nuclear-armed Pakistan saying, "President Musharraf won't act, we will." Obama promised to get US forces "...out of Iraq and on to the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan." Speaking Memorial Day weekend at Wesleyan University commencement, Democrat Presidential candidate Sen.Barack Obama (D-IL) told graduates: "At a time of war, we need you to work for peace."
"I'll stop spending $9 billion a month in Iraq. I'm the only major candidate who opposed this war from the beginning -- and as president, I will end it. Second, I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems, and I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the Quadrennial Defense Review is not used to justify unnecessary spending. Third, I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons; I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material, and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals."
This also sounds like typical dove rhetoric. But Obama isn't anti-war and his policies are not restricted to the Middle East.
Obama may already be working with Hugo Chavez and the narco-war against Colombia. Columbian troops March 1 nailed narco-guerilla leader Raul Reyes just across the border in Ecuador. In response, Chavez threatened to invade Columbia. Information on a laptop computer found with Reyes' corpse detailed the FARC guerillas'relations with both Venezuela and Ecuador and included a February 28 letter from Reyes to the FARC Secretariat. The letter details extensive FARC relations with the governments of Colombia and Ecuador and includes this item:
"The gringos called for a meeting with the minister to ask him to tell us they are interested in talking about several topics. They claim they new president in their country will be Obama and that these people are interested in their fellow citizens. Obama will support neither Plan Colombia nor the signature of the Free Trade Agreement. In this regard, we replied we are interested in relations with the governments that are on equal grounds and that in the case of the United States, a public statement voicing their interest in talking to the FARC is needed, given their eternal war against us."
As Reyes predicted, on April 10 Democrats in Congress blocked enactment of a free trade treaty with Colombia -- in spite of the fact that Colombian exports are already allowed into the US without tariffs. Obama opposed the treaty, winning denunciation by Colombian president Uribe. Defending his pledge to meet with foreign enemies without precondition, Obama in mid-May cited the 1961 Kennedy-Khrushchev summit. The Oregonian called Obama's remarks "confusion ". The Washington Times and Hillary Clinton spoke of Obama's "naïveté". Neither is correct. Obama knows exactly what he is doing. Obama's intention is best understood by analyzing the effect of his proposals -- explained by the New York Times May 22:
"...Kennedy's one presidential meeting with Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet premier, suggests that there are legitimate reasons to fear negotiating with one's adversaries. Although Kennedy was keenly aware of some of the risks of such meetings - his Harvard thesis was titled ‘Appeasement at Munich' - he embarked on a summit meeting with Khrushchev in Vienna in June 1961, a move that would be recorded as one of the more self-destructive American actions of the cold war, and one that contributed to the most dangerous crisis of the nuclear age.
"...Only a few minutes after parting with Khrushchev, Kennedy, a World War II veteran, told James Reston of The New York Times that the summit meeting had been the ‘roughest thing in my life.' Kennedy went on: ‘He just beat the hell out of me. I've got a terrible problem if he thinks I'm inexperienced and have no guts. Until we remove those ideas we won't get anywhere with him.'
"A little more than two months later, Khrushchev gave the go-ahead to begin erecting what would become the Berlin Wall.... The following spring, Khrushchev made plans to ‘throw a hedgehog at Uncle Sam's pants': nuclear missiles in Cuba. And while there were many factors that led to the missile crisis, it is no exaggeration to say that the impression Khrushchev formed at Vienna - of Kennedy as ineffective - was among them."
Why would Obama want to model his foreign policy on "one of the more self-destructive American actions of the cold war?" Maybe Kennedy's error becomes Obama's plan precisely because it was destructive to America.
Farfetched? Applying foreign force is a completely logical course of action if Obama believes that America's greatest enemies are internal -- and in the majority.
"... in the long run, the reaction of the Bush administration may prove more harmful to the national interest than even these horrific attacks."
This is little different than Michael Moore's 2004 conclusion, expressed at the apex of Fahrenheit 911 by a character who appears, utters one line, "Bush is worse than bin-Laden" -- and then vanishes.
"The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not ‘insurgents' or ‘terrorists' or ‘The Enemy.' They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win. ...the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe -- just maybe -- God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end."
"After 9/11, our calling was to devise new strategies and build new alliances, to secure our homeland and safeguard our values, and to serve a just cause abroad. Just because the President misrepresents our enemies does not mean we do not have them. When I am President, we will wage the war that has to be won."
Obama's "war that has to be won" might be against those who Obama believes pose the greatest danger to America: George Bush and the 51% of the electorate who backed him.
Obama explains what new alliances might mean:
"As President, I will lead this effort. In the first 100 days of my Administration, I will travel to a major Islamic forum and deliver an address to redefine our struggle. I will make clear that we are not at war with Islam, that we will stand with those who are willing to stand up for their future, and that we need their effort to defeat the prophets of hate and violence."
As with most of Obama's rhetoric there is a double meaning. The general public might assume "prophets of hate and violence" refers to al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorists and "those who are willing to stand up for their future" refers to brave reformers in Muslim countries. But Bush hater rhetoric for years has painted President Bush and those who follow him as "the prophets of hate and violence".
"The terror attack that took place on September 11, 2001 was an aberration in more ways than one. Muslims were the perpetrators, but that is usually not the case. The purveyors of hate and violence in America are almost always Christians."
Obama has numerous well-documented associations with the left in academia and at his suddenly abandoned Trinity United Church of Christ. One must presume that the double meaning is not lost on anyone who spent 20 years listening to Rev Jeremiah Wright and working with Weatherman bomber William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.
Obama's own writings point to his hostility to Americans identified with the Bush electorate. Bill Sammon writing January 29, 2007 in the Washington Examiner points out excerpts from Obama's book "Dreams from my Father" praising Islam and denouncing Christianity:
"Malcolm X's autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will."
"Malcolm's discovery toward the end of his life, that some whites might live beside him as brothers in Islam, seemed to offer some hope of eventual reconciliation."
"The person who made me proudest of all was (my brother) Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam, and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol."
Meanwhile, Obama remained sharply critical of what he called 'the religious absolutism of the Christian right." . . .
In "Audacity," the senator wrote that such believers insist "not only that Christianity is America's dominant faith, but that a particular, fundamentalist brand of that faith should drive public policy, overriding any alternative source of understanding, whether the writings of liberal theologians, the findings of the National Academy of Sciences, or the words of Thomas Jefferson."
As for the Democratic Party, Obama observed that "a core segment of our constituency remains stubbornly secular in orientation, and fears - rightly, no doubt - that the agenda of an assertively Christian nation may not make room for them or their life choices."
Although the overwhelming majority of Americans describe themselves as Christians, Obama does not believe that any one religion should define the United States.
"We are no longer just a Christian nation," he argues in "Audacity," which was published last year. "We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers."
Obama calls the Iraq war "a botched and ill-advised U.S. military incursion into a Muslim country." He is also protective of civil rights for Muslims in the U.S.
"In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans ... have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging," he laments. "I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."
What would Obama's war look like?
"...One of the first things that I would do ... is to send a signal that we need to talk to Iran and Syria because they are going to have responsibilities if Iraq collapses. They have been acting irresponsibility up until this point. But if we tell them we are not going to be a permanent occupying force we are in a position to say that they are going to have to carry some weight in terms of stabilizing the region."
But handing Iraq over to Iran and Syria is not the end of Obama's war plan-it is the beginning. After giving the enemy a chance to regroup, Obama would send our troops right back in. Speaking at a Democrat debate at Cleveland State University, Feb 26, 2008, Obama explained:
"As commander in chief, I will always reserve the right to make sure that we are looking out for American interests. And if al-Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad."
"...I strongly support the expansion of our ground forces by adding 65,000 soldiers to the Army and 27,000 Marines."
"According to the Defense Department, the program's short three-year service requirement for full benefits would cause servicemen and women to leave the armed forces too soon at a time when they are vitally needed."
Obama's apparent strategy: While acting to destabilize nuclear Pakistan, America withdraws from Iraq and disarms its army's most powerful weaponry. Then America sends an army of raw recruits stripped of its most experienced personnel back into an Iraq to once again fight a reinvigorated al-Qaeda, which would have taken control after Obama's withdrawal placed Iraq under the tutelage of Syria and nuclear Iran. That is calculated, not naïve.
"...the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let...."