The ‘Indecider’

Current, seemingly chaotic events in the world’s political hot spots – among them, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine – are really not so chaotic as one might think. We’re witnessing a direct and fairly predictable consequence of indecision and inaction, specifically by the United States, more specifically by President Obama.

The ongoing threat, for example, from the militarized terrorist group ISIS (whose recent advances in Iraq have wrought barbarous consequences) was not only foreseeable, but well known to the Obama Administration many months ago. The president’s indecision and inaction left a power vacuum in Iraq that ISIS terrorists hastened to fill.

President Bush may not have been so derelict, after all, in ordering US forces to invade Afghanistan and later Iraq. Mr. Bush clumsily referred to himself as the “Decider.” But at least he made hard decisions and then acted. Mr. Obama, by contrast, has assumed the role of ‘Indecider.’

Habitual indecision and resulting decision by default (note the US military now increasingly engaged in Iraq against ISIS targets) produce an American foreign policy mired in uncertainty. That disquiets our allies, emboldens our enemies, and leaves the world seeming ever more inclined toward chaos.


‘No Victory’ Obama

President Bush handed his successor military victory in Iraq, on a silver platter. President Obama proceeded, as if by design, to squander it.

He apparently didn’t feel victory was worth defending, or a stable Iraq worth maintaining, because it was ‘Bush’s victory,’ in a war that Obama never supported, not even as it was being won. And so, given the opportunity, Mr. Obama chose to withdraw all American troops from Iraq, leaving behind no residual force to insure stability.

Iraq is now turning into another Viet Nam, in that America’s political left has come to power and squandered politically what had been achieved militarily. By doing so, they allow terrorists to lay waste not only a country and its people, but drive an entire region toward increased danger and uncertainty.

Mr. Obama now is re-deploying our military, on a mission to Iraq. But he’s dressing it up in a guise of humanitarianism. Worse than misleading, it’s unseemly and clumsy. First, use the military to defeat the enemy; then, provide humanitarian aid to help the innocents. Mr. Obama seems to have it backwards; because he has hamstrung himself, having earlier politicized and then squandered America’s hard-earned victory.

And in a classic case of adding insult to injury, the Obama administration blames Iraq’s ongoing disintegration not on Mr. Obama’s own plodding miscalculations, but on the actions of his predecessor. Forget the heavily promoted presidential moniker, ‘No Drama’ Obama. As considerable drama unfolds all about him, this president should perhaps be called, ‘No Victory’ Obama instead.

Bureaucrats, the Fortune 500 and Bigotry

There I sat, among a party of six, enjoying fine Italian cuisine. Our West Los Angeles neighborhood is more than a bastion of liberalism; it’s home to several trendy trattorias and ritzy ristorantes, and well-heeled patrons who keep them afloat. As I enjoyed my ravioli and spinachi al limone, politics somehow came up at our table, concerning basic differences between Democrats and Republicans.

It was just prior to desert that one of the women in our party stated, “The way I see it, Republicans are pro-business. And Democrats are pro-people.”

I sensed this was the night I was to ‘come out’ to my liberal friends, show my true political colors. So I chimed in, “You know, I think the Democrats are actually more pro-government, and it’s the Republicans who are pro-people.”

To which she replied, as if she’d been waiting for the chance, “But the government is the people.”

‘Damn the torpedos,’ I thought, as I continued, “Well, I got news for you. All those bureaucrats who run our federal government … over in Washington … I don’t think they represent the people of this country any more than the executives who run the Fortune 500. Maybe even less so.”

She looked rather stunned and, yes, quizzical. And since I now commanded the attention of everyone at our table, whether I wanted it or not, I continued. “Think about it. There are thousands of bureaucrats who run all the different agencies and departments that comprise, well, a really big part of our government. They put out tons of rules and regulations telling us citizen-peons what to do all the time, how to run our businesses, spend our money and live our lives. But these government bureaucrats aren’t elected. Hell, we don’t even know who they are. Who do they answer to? Maybe to some other bureaucrat, but not to you or me, I can guarantee you that. And we’re paying their salaries with our taxes. They don’t answer to the citizens of this country any more that the CEO of some publicly held corporation. At least that CEO has a board of directors and about a hundred thousand shareholders to answer to.”

“Well,” she said, still stunned, “I really don’t know about that. But the bottom line for me is that … I just … don’t like Republicans.”

“Wait, you mean you don’t like Republican politics?” I asked. “Or you don’t like them as people?”

“Both,” she said with a smile, eliciting laughter and approval from nearly everyone else at our table. And there were lots of nods as she continued, “They’re just despicable, the way they hate women, and minorities, and gays, and the environment, and abortion. They’re greedy and stupid, and bigots.”

“Wow!” was pretty much all I could say – my turn to be stunned.

Soon I began to gather my wits, and managed a few more words. “So, I’m trying to get my head around what you just said, because … I mean, I can understand your not liking someone’s politics, opinions being what they are. But you just made a really negative judgment on the character of millions of people, literally. People of different backgrounds, different ages, genders, ethnicities. These are people you’ve never met and will never know as individuals. But, you – all you guys – seem to think all these millions of people, who you don’t know, are truly ‘despicable’ because they call themselves Republicans, or vote Republican, or both. The attitude you just expressed strikes me as the very essence of bigotry. And since I never thought of you guys as bigoted people, this is kind of a revelation for me.”

And I’ll tell you what – if you ever want to upset a table full of liberals, just call them a bunch of bigots and watch the ‘S’ hit the fan.