Monday, July 13, 2009

TIME: Obama is more conservative than Bush 

From "The Five Pillars of Obama's Foreign Policy," written by TIME's Michael Scherer:
"Compared with the relatively Panglossian vision of George W. Bush, who sought to remake whole parts of the world under the banner of American moral authority, Obama brings a more conservative, cynical view to the question of when nations should act on idealistic impulses. At a press conference on Friday, the President was asked how he resolves the theoretical conflict between respecting state sovereignty and intervening in defense of the universal rights of oppressed people. 'The threshold at which international intervention is appropriate I think has to be very high,' Obama said. 'There has to be strong international outrage at what's taking place. It's not always going to be a neat decision.'"
(bold emphasis added)

I wonder if Scherer means to imply that President Obama would be unlikely to intervene if a Rwandan Genocide situation occurs during his term of office (during about 100 days of 1994, between half a million and a million people were killed in Rwanda in a tribal conflict between Hutus and Tutsis). In such a situation, by the time it was agreed that the "very high" threshold had been reached, it might be too late to do anything.

President Obama has shown that he is willing to commit U.S. military forces (or, at least, additional forces) in the case of Afghanistan. If the wholesale slaughter of the Luo tribe in Kenya started happening (to intentionally personalize this hypothetical), and the U.S. happened to have a Marine Expeditionary Unit nearby, are the chances high or low that President Obama would send them in?


By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon Jul 13, 06:06:00 PM:

"'There has to be strong international outrage at what's taking place. It's not always going to be a neat decision.'"

That reads to me like an excuse to do nothing, whenever convenient.  

By Blogger Georgfelis, at Mon Jul 13, 06:10:00 PM:

The chance starts at zero, and increases by 10% for every major news organization in the country being pillaged.  

By Anonymous sirius_sir, at Mon Jul 13, 06:57:00 PM:

"International intervention" means we need not worry about the U.S. taking unilateral action anymore. So unless the U.N. or NATO signed on to stop "the wholesale slaughter of the Lao tribe in Kenya" then it quite simply doesn't matter how intensely personalized the crisis becomes for our President. I suggest we can do no more or less than take the man at his word.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Mon Jul 13, 08:22:00 PM:

Well, the Lao tribe needs to know the way to Obama's heart...JOIN UNIONS!!

Then they would be salvaged at the expense of the American Taxpayer.

All kidding aside, this sort of pseudo-intellectual twittering with situations that are not "neat" is a sure sign of a man without a moral compass.

It's really as simple as that.  

By Anonymous Blacque Jacques Shellacque, at Mon Jul 13, 08:35:00 PM:

Regarding Afghanistan, as Obie likes to say, he inherited that problem.

It's one thing to take over something someone else started, but it's something entirely different to initiate action.  

By Anonymous ScottJ, at Mon Jul 13, 10:11:00 PM:

JPMcT is right, POTUS is without a moral compass. He is also FOS (see swearing thread above). The real question is what precipitating event will make the general voting population realize these facts?  

By Anonymous Candide, at Tue Jul 14, 11:13:00 AM:

Achieving "a neat decision" is often the beginning of serious troubles.

There was "a neat decision" made back in 1991 when Saddam invaded Kuwait. There was "strong international outrage at what's taking place" and everybody was on board against Saddam. Now look what came out of it...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 14, 11:32:00 AM:

I was in the USEUCOM J3 when Rwanda went down..and there was little we could have done in the time frame required. There was just no infrastructure.

But to your question, I strongly agree Obama will never deploy US forces without a UN or at least a NATO mandate.  

By Anonymous Hugh, at Tue Jul 14, 06:17:00 PM:

What a silly posit THawk, you must have been inhaling smog from Ohio whilst in the sublime Adirondacks..."The One" gave up street drugs when he moved into Harvard Sq...he's elite now,doncha know? and will only smoke-a-da-smoke if the hooka is proferred by the "world community", you know , the (pace:Bletchley Park -true heroes!)"guardian of lies" , yep! the folks who befoul Turtle Bay-yo! Hussein , how many democracies sit in the General Ass-embly? Obamateur, indeed...ya' gotta laugh.  

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