American Elephants

Arrogance you can believe in… by The Elephant's Child

Obama’s world tour is becoming a little embarrassing. The candidate— not yet the nominee — is doing his commander-in-chief imitation, and loftily informing everyone how things will change as soon as he is anointed elected. Since he knows so little about the Middle East, one would think that he would approach generals, prime-ministers and commanders with a degree of humility, but that is not to be.

Foreign Policy 101: It is better to listen to experts than to expert to the experts.

The Democrat position on the War in Iraq evolved, not immediately after they voted for it, but after the successful invasion. It started to look like President Bush might have a winning war on his hands. A successful George W. Bush could not to be allowed. There was an election coming in 2004, and defeating Bush was far more important than what was best for our military or our country.

Democrats have been loud in their insistence that the “war” was only properly in Afghanistan and only properly in search of Osama bin Laden. Gone was any consideration of the Long War against Islamic Terrorism. Right down the memory hole. Historian Arthur Herman has a wonderful article reminding us all of the real facts on the ground.

Something Obama has apparently never done is to study a map of the Middle East. Looking closely at the centrality of Iraq and the states that border Iraq is important, and informative.

In the clip above, Obama, fully into his commander-in-chief mode, is making pronouncements that he, as a very junior senator, has no business making. He manages to claim “his job as commander-in-chief”, sneer at President Bush who “says” he is deferring to the commanders on the ground, and pretends to have better judgment than all of the above. And because he has better judgment, he deserves all the credit, or something like that.

Danger Will Robinson! Danger Will Robinson! Danger Will Robinson!

Obama’s sole claim to “good judgment” and the very basis of his candidacy is his original opposition to the war as a junior back bencher in the Illinois state legislature. Without any access to the facts that the President, his Cabinet and the Congress had, Obama signed on with the anti-war left and the netroots.

The facts about his judgment seem to indicate otherwise. He doesn’t change his mind as he alters his position. He remains absolutely correct.

And that is the real problem.

12 Comments so far
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Obama has shown us what is wrong with American politics. He is proof that if you act like you know what you are talking about, cut down those that do and employ marketing techniques designed to appeal to the masses (no substance,just catchy phrases: “we can” “change” “hope”), you can get the masses to vote for you regardless of your total lack of qualifications. If he wins it will be proof that the insane have taken over the asylum.

Comment by Calvin

And it seems to be that the media are also heading for the asylum.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

First you effalants bad-mouthed Obama for not going to Iraq. Now he’s wrong by going and speaking confidently. Let me repeat: confidently. There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, a line no effalant seems to be looking for. Silly, silly effalants. 🙂

Comment by helenl

Helenl, We were disturbed that Obama was playing the expert on Iraq, when he had used the hearings with General Petraeus to lecture the General, instead of trying to learn from him. Petraeus wrote the manual on counterinsurgency, and is the expert. Obama also claimed to know more than McCain about Iraq, having only been there once, refused to meet with the Generals, and refused to go again.

Since we have been following the news carefully through the Long War Journal and Michael Yon and Michael Totten, it was apparent that Obama didn’t know what he was talking about, but only following the “party line”. On this trip he did meet with Petraeus, but wanted to portray himself as “commander-in-chief”, so was more interested in announcing what he was going to tell Petraeus to do than learning about reality on the ground. Confidence, even backed with a firm resonant voice, without knowledge IS arrogance, by definition.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

Effalants… I like that. It would make a good nickname.

Unfortunately Helen, he is speaking confidently. The same man who spoke very confidently when he said he didn’t know any military leaders that believed the Surge could work. The same man who spoke confidently when he said not only did he believe the Surge wouldn’t work, but that it would make things worse. The same man who spoke with great confidence when he told us just a short while ago that the surge, in fact, wasn’t working, and the same man who spoke with a disturbing amount of confidence when he laid out his Iraq policy to the nation a week BEFORE he visited Iraq, a week BEFORE he met with General Petraeus for the first time.

But most importantly he is the same man who spoke with supreme confidence when he told America that not only would the surge NOT work, but that we should have left our new democratic ally Iraq at the height of their instability instead, which virtually all experts agree would have resulted in full scale civil war, genocide, and very likely a regional war.

Yes, Helen, he is confident. That is the problem. He is confident even when the facts are proving, without a doubt, that he was supremely, incredibly, dangerously wrong, and when his advice would have been devastating to regional and our own national security.

Don’t you think that is a problem?

Comment by American Elephant

You don’t have to know any military leaders or even what counterinsurgency is to know we need to send “big boats” to bring our soldiers home. Come on, Effalants, some of us want this war (that never should have started) over. That isn’t arrogant; it’s just not what you want. Donkeys (and I’m a Donkey, as well as the Poetry Editor for the Dead Mule 🙂 ) are tired of this war. Silly, Effalants. 🙂

Comment by helenl

I find it interesting that Helen felt the need to tell you that she was a Donkey . . . as if the name calling in place of substance wasn’t a big enough clue.

Comment by Calvin

But Hellenl, The soldiers want to finish the mission. They just held the largest reenlistment ceremony ever in Baghdad. The soldiers are proud of what they are accomplishing. It is not enough to just mindlessly oppose war. You need to learn what it is about. You might start by reading Arthur Herman’s excellent article at the Commentary magazine website. Demanding that they come home because you are “tired” of the war is beyond crass. What is it that you have done for our country that makes you “tired”? Our soldiers are enduring searing desert heat in pounds of uniform to do a job that they recognize as so important that they reenlist to do it some more. Shame on you.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

There’s nothing “mindless” about becoming a pacifist. It’s a legitimate Christian position. See I have no “shame” for becoming educated on the matter. I am a pacifist because of Calvary. And I “tire” of hearing that war is the only way , the theory of “just war.” War isn’t the only way or even a very good way to settle differences. History should tell us that.

Comment by helenl

We’ll just have to agree to disagree. I respect your beliefs of course. My experience of pacifists is of people who avoid learning anything about war or history.

I don’t know of any other country that has gone to such effort to avoid war, or to avoid harm to civilians. If you don’t know how much better off Iraqis are now, you haven’t been paying attention.

Iraqi refugees are flowing back into the country at a rate of about 100,000 a month. Foreign countries are investing in Iraq, opening embassies, and Iraqi business is thriving. They have a functioning democratically elected government and parliament. Schools have been rebuilt, more power is being generated than before the war, more oil is being pumped and oil revenues are being shared among the provinces. The swamps that Saddam drained, destroying the way of life of Iraqi’s who have lived there for centuries, are being refilled.

Iraq is now the freest country (excepting Israel) in the Middle East, and tentative steps towards more freedom are occurring in other Arab countries. Wars do kill people and break things, but they often do a lot of good as well.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

I don’t think anyone has ever argued that “war is the only way.” What effalents have argued, and I think it indisputable, that we tried the other ways for 11 years from Saddam’s defeat when he invaded Kuwaiit to the time we removed him. We left him in power with his signed agreement that he would abide by the terms of the cease-fire, all of which he violated, and abide by the resolutions of the Security Council, all of which he violated. But make no mistake, that war never ended, we have been at war with Saddam all along, and nevermind his many wars with his neighbors, he and his sons Uday and Kusay have been at war with the people of Iraq all along.

We tried diplomacy, he lied. We tried sanctions, he let his people die, while he lived large, and he was simultaneously bribing leaders around the world to lift those sanctions.

War is and always has been the last resort, and I’m sorry, but it is not pacifists who are most reluctant to wage war, they have absolutely no skin in the game, nothing to lose whatsoever — it is the people who have to fight wars, people like John McCain, whom you very offensively smear as a “lover of war” on your blog, that are most reluctant to wage war. I think John McCain who spent years being tortured in the name of his country has quite a great deal more understanding and hatred of the horrors of war than you or I ever will.

But Saddam was very much at war with us, and even more so, on his people all along. A war in which he killed millions. A war you and Obama would overlook rather than get involved.

We have ended that war once and for all. Iraq is free. The people have chosen freedom and established their own government. We are no longer at war with Iraq, nor have we been for some time. We are defending Iraq from their enemies who are at war with them, trying to bring down their chosen government. And we are most definately defeating Iraqs enemies.

And I’m sorry, but I think ending war is better and more moral than abandoning a country to endless war any day. Obama would have done the latter. What’s moral about that?

Comment by American Elephant

[…] the case of Iraqi officials he seems more interested in using them to further his ambitions than in learning from them. In a long interview with the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, [Iraqi Foreign Minister […]

Pingback by Obama’s Statements Are Raising Some Huge Questions. « American Elephants

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