Politics, et Cetera

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Tuesday, August 8, 2013

They Said It:

We are so little affected by things which are habitual, that we consider this idea of the decision of a majority as if it were a law of our original nature: but such constructive whole, residing in a part only, is one of the most violent fictions of positive law, that ever has been or can be made on the principles of artificial incorporation.  Out of civil society nature knows nothing of it; nor are men, even when arranged according to civil order, otherwise than by very long training, brought at all to submit to it. . . . This mode of decision, where wills may be so nearly equal, where, according to circumstances, the smaller number may be the stronger force, and where apparent reason may be all upon one side, and on the other little else than impetuous appetite; all this must be the result of a very particular and special convention, confirmed afterwards by long habits of obedience, by a sort of discipline in society, and by a strong hand, vested with stationary, permanent power, to enforce this sort of constructive general will.

Edmund Burke, “An Appeal from the New Whigs to the Old Whigs,” 1791.



Whatever his faults as a president – and we’re certainly willing to concede that there were more than a few – George W. Bush, at the very least, did not suffer from a lack of motivation.  Roughly eight months into his presidency and almost exactly a decade into the post-Cold War pax Americana, the nation was caught off guard by a ragtag group of Islamic fascists.  After the dust had settled – quite literally – Bush and his advisors made up their minds that they would pursue the perpetrators not only more doggedly than they had ever been pursued before, but would also formulate a proactive strategy to ensure that nothing like the attacks of 9/11 would ever happen again, or at least would not happen again on their watch.

Immediately after the attacks, the Bush team began strategizing.  And before they were finished, they had determined that the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Baath party in Iraq had to be removed from power.  Moreover, and more to the point, they decided that both regimes had to be replaced with something more amenable to peaceful coexistence.  Believing the old axiom that true democracies rarely go to war with other democracies, Bush et al. determined that their job of ensuring the safety of the American people would not be accomplished until the regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq had been both toppled AND replaced by democratic governments.

Now, one can argue with both the wisdom and the effectiveness of this policy scheme.  And indeed, we spent much of the last decade doing both, wondering whether Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and the rest were risking American blood and treasure on an obvious fool’s errand.  Certainly, in retrospect, it appears that the plans developed after 9/11 were far too optimistic and far too naïve.  Still, at the time, many analysts conceded that after more than half-a-century of patent dysfunction in the Middle East, the Bush “democratization initiative” might be worth a try, even if the odds of success were low.  Desperate times called for desperate measures, and all that.

In any case, even as his plans proved far more difficult and costly to implement, and even as the American people, not to mention the people of the world, turned against him and his agenda, Bush remained ever the aggressor.  When, for example, the American people overwhelmingly shifted partisan allegiances back to the Democratic party, Bush pursued “the surge,” a strategy that would not only shock many Americans, but would shock many Iraqis as well, bringing the best hope for peace and security to that nation in many decades.

All of which is to say that whatever else he did, Bush was bound and determined in the last seven-and-a-half years of his presidency not to allow the world to bring its problems to American shores again.

In this sense, Bush was very much a worthy successor both to his father, who fought Saddam Hussein the first time, and to his father’s erstwhile boss, Ronald Reagan.  Like Bush, Reagan was caught off-guard on occasion, most notably when Islamic radicals bombed the Beirut Marine barracks.  But also like Bush, Reagan was assertive, calculating, and prepared to defend America’s interests without hesitation.

Reagan’s most notable and most impressive foreign policy success was, of course, the fall of the Soviet Union, which may have occurred after he left office, but which was nonetheless one of his greatest triumphs.  Today, the Left-wing revisionists insist that the Soviet Union’s end was inevitable and that it collapsed not from the weight of Reagan’s policies, but from the weight of its own economic inefficiencies.  But this is simply wrong.  The fact of the matter is that Reagan took a host of calculated, proactive measures to ensure that Communism’s economic shortcomings would be exposed and exacerbated.  We put it this way in a 2007 piece titled “The New Welfare Queens”:

To illustrate this point, we think that it might be valuable to recall the strategy employed by the United States government, under the direction of President Ronald Reagan, to temper the ability of a previous energy-producing colossus to continue its policy of wreaking havoc throughout the world.  Although it is generally accepted today that the fall of the Soviet Union was inevitable, when President Reagan took office in 1981, such sentiment was hardly widespread.  History should demonstrate that Reagan was a visionary and he, better than anyone, understood the incalculable power of market forces.

Though the Soviet command-and-control economy was indeed doomed and bound eventually to collapse, the Soviet Union, like the Arab States, had managed to survive and even to thrive in the 1970s because of its energy resources.  As today, the comparatively high price of oil and natural gas kept the Soviets flush with cash that their economy could not otherwise generate.  Reagan and his national security advisors (including our old friend Roger Robinson, the onetime Senior Director of International Economic Affairs in President Reagan’s National Security Council) understood the Soviets’ dependency on their energy wealth and thus actively set about to damage the Soviet Union by attacking that wealth.  Three formerly secret but now declassified National Security Decision Directives (NSDDs Numbers 32, 66, and 75, issued in 1982 and 1983, respectively) spelled out the administration’s plans to hit the Soviets where it would hurt most, including in the energy sector.  Among other orders issued in these directives were the following:

“To foster restraint . . . in Soviet military spending . . . by forcing the USSR to bear the brunt of its economic shortcomings, and to encourage long-term liberalization and nationalist tendencies within the Soviet Union and allied countries.” (#32)

An agreement [between the United States and its European allies] not to “commit to any incremental deliveries of Soviet gas beyond the amounts contracted for from the first strand of the Siberian pipeline . . . (#66)

“A quick agreement that allied security interests require controls on [the sale to the USSR of] advanced technology and equipment…including equipment in the oil and gas sector . . . (#66)

“U.S. policy on economic relations with the USSR must serve strategic and foreign policy goals as well as economic interests. In this context, U.S. objectives are:

– above all to ensure that East-West economic relations do not facilitate the Soviet military buildup . . . .

– To avoid subsidizing the Soviet economy or unduly easing the burden of Soviet resource allocation decisions, so as not to dilute pressures for structural change in the Soviet system.

– To seek to minimize the potential for Soviet exercise of reverse leverage on Western Countries based on trade, energy, supply, and financial relationships.” (#77)…

President Reagan intrinsically understood what is commonly known as “the resource curse,” or the “paradox of plenty.”  He knew that the Soviet economy was built on smoke and mirrors, that its socialism was highly destructive and that that destruction was both exacerbated and masked by the country’s energy wealth.  A dip in the price of energy . . . and voila, the collapse of the Soviet economy and eventually of the Soviet Union itself.  The fall of the Soviet Union may well have been inevitable, but it certainly was no accident.

Reagan’s activism, his determination to be a primary actor in global affairs rather than a reactionary bystander, placed his policies in direct contrast to those of his predecessor.  Jimmy Carter, you may recall, had some impressive foreign policy victories.  For example, the peace accord between Egypt and Israel was, in many ways, the highlight of the decade in diplomacy.

But those victories were both short-lived and sadly outnumbered by his losses, the most notable of which was the downfall of the pro-Western government in Iran, which was largely the result of Carter’s extraordinary fecklessness and distorted world view.  Among other things, he came to office lecturing Americans about their “inordinate” fear of Communism.  And he paired this sanctimonious trope with a gospel of nebulous “human rights,” never defining who would be held to what standards or how those standards would be enforced.  And in so doing, he threatened the well-being of a number of American allies, including, of course, the Shah of Iran.  By the end of his presidency, American foreign policy – if that’s what it can be called – amounted to little more than pleading with the Mullahs to “please, please, please give our people back!” and to punishing the Soviets for their invasion of Afghanistan by refusing to let our amateur basketball players beat up on their semi-pros.

Now, our point here is not that Jimmy Carter was a horrible president or that Reagan and Bush were notably better, though both statements are certainly true.  Our point is that passivity can be every bit as dangerous as adventurism; that America’s size, strength, and global dominance demands that its actions on the world stage be governed by a coherent and intelligent plan based on time-honored principles of faith, hope, and charity.

Enter Barack Obama.

Obama took the oath of office just over four years ago, promising a more circumspect foreign policy.  He assured America voters, as well as the rest of the world, that he would wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and would focus heavily on the wonders of diplomacy and carrots rather than confrontation and sticks.  In so doing, he exposed to all the world his abject ignorance of the truth in George Schultz’s well known “hard reality,” namely that “diplomacy not backed by strength is ineffectual.”

Naturally and predictably, the results have been disastrous.  Yes, the war in Iraq is over.  But because Obama and his foreign policy team failed to negotiate an acceptable status of forces agreement, the war that Bush’s surge “won” has since been lost.  With no American troops in country to help protect and defend the fledgling regime, the Iraqis are reverting to their sectarian allegiances, killing each other with abandon, and destroying all hope of ever living in peace.

And now, as Iran and al Qaeda regain influence with the Shiite and Sunni populations respectively, it has become clear that the real losers here are those American men and women who gave their lives for what amounts to nothing, as well as those Iraqis who not too long ago had celebrated their new found freedom by holding up purple fingers to show the world that they had voted for the first time in their lives.

Of course, the same tragic result is all but certain in Afghanistan, where Obama appears, once again, to be looking for a cheap way out rather than an exit with dignity and influence.  As we have said before in these pages, and as countless others have said elsewhere, Afghanistan will very soon show almost no signs of its decade-plus-long experiment in Western-style democracy.  The Taliban will be back in charge.  Afghani women will be back in the home, where their Talibani masters believe they should stay.  And the Americans will be back in America, leaving behind nothing but the blood of their young men and women.

Obama’s Russian “reset” has also been a disaster, as has his experiment in “leading from behind” in Libya, a country since responsible the first murder of an American ambassador in more than three decades.  The disaster in Egypt, which includes a newfound loathing of America and its political leaders, has been obvious of late.  And now, it appears that American forces will be dragged into a war in Syria with no understanding whatsoever of what this action hopes to accomplish.

Ostensibly, American and European involvement in this war is justified by Bashar Assad’s repeat of his father’s use of chemical weapons against his own people and by Obama’s mindless declaration last year that he would “do something” if the Syrian regime should cross this “red line.”  Unfortunately, he never thought, much less said, exactly what this “something” would include.

Needless to say, Obama does not want to get into this war.  And nor do most Americans – by an overwhelming margin.  But because he shot his mouth off last year, Obama now feels an obligation to “do something” to preserve what is left of his credibility among the world’s rogue states.  But this is just more foolishness.

We should note here that not everyone thinks that Obama has no foreign policy plan.  Indeed, one of our favorite writers and one of the most oft-quoted sources on these pages, Walter Russell Mead, argued precisely the opposite just this weekend in the Wall Street Journal’s “Saturday Essay.”  He maintained, contrary to what we’ve written here, that “The Obama administration had a grand strategy in the Middle East.  It was well intentioned, carefully crafted and consistently pursued.”  It just so happens that it also failed.  To wit:

The plan was simple but elegant: The U.S. would work with moderate Islamist groups like Turkey’s AK Party and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to make the Middle East more democratic.  This would kill three birds with one stone.  First, by aligning itself with these parties, the Obama administration would narrow the gap between the ‘moderate middle’ of the Muslim world and the U.S.  Second, by showing Muslims that peaceful, moderate parties could achieve beneficial results, it would isolate the terrorists and radicals, further marginalizing them in the Islamic world.  Finally, these groups with American support could bring democracy to more Middle Eastern countries, leading to improved economic and social conditions, gradually eradicating the ills and grievances that drove some people to fanatical and terroristic groups.

This, we’ll concede is a far more elegant exposition of the Obama “strategy” than anything else we’ve seen.  Unfortunately, we suspect that that is because this strategy is largely Mead’s creation rather than Obama’s.  Worse than that, this appears to be little more than an appalling collection of prejudices and outright lies, none of which could possibly form the basis of an actual tenable policy.  Mead, of course, thinks otherwise.  He apparently believes that he is doing us all a favor by interpreting the rudderless mess of American foreign policy in the best possible light.  But even as he does so, he exposes why, precisely, the “plan” has failed and why it is that the Obama administration appears so incapable of doing anything that appears practical or sensible.  Mead continues:

With the advantages of hindsight, it appears that the White House made five big miscalculations about the Middle East.  It misread the political maturity and capability of the Islamist groups it supported; it misread the political situation in Egypt; it misread the impact of its strategy on relations with America’s two most important regional allies (Israel and Saudi Arabia); it failed to grasp the new dynamics of terrorist movements in the region; and it underestimated the costs of inaction in Syria.

We would argue that many of these miscalculations were inevitable, which is to say that given the premises on which the “strategy” was based, things could not have turned out otherwise.  Obama may have “misread” the maturity of the so-called “moderate” Islamists, for instance, but only because he chose, willfully, to do so.

Let us explain.

A few weeks ago, just after the Egyptian military ousted then-President Mohammed Morsi and promised to restore order in that benighted nation, we wondered aloud about the causes of the Egyptian peoples’ misery.  Among those we came to blame, you may recall, was the literary theorist and Arab anti-colonialist Edward Said, a man whose influence on the West’s understanding of the contemporary Middle East simply cannot be overstated.

Said, we noted, “altered the debate and much of the sentiment in the West with respect to the ‘Arab question.’”  Said was a critical theorist, which is to say that he interpreted everything – history, literature, politics – from the perspective of the world’s “oppressed” peoples.  And according to him, the Arabs had been and still are oppressed by the European colonial powers, who imposed upon the indigenous Arab peoples foreign ways, foreign traditions, and foreign governance.  Said, naturally, urged Arabs to reject the West and its bigotries.  And they did so.  This, we argued, severely, perhaps irreparably, damaged both Arab culture and the Western approach to that culture.  Both the Islamists and Western intellectuals readily absorbed Said’s anti-colonialism, his indictment of “Orientalism,” and both were far worse off and far more dysfunctional because of it.

Given all of this, it is worth noting, we think, that Said taught at Columbia University from 1963 to 2003.  In the piece cited above, we wrote that “Among those who have been influenced by this postmodern rot are both the Islamists of the Middle East and the intellectual classes of the West, the most notable aspiring member of which is the President of the United States.”  I just so happens, in fact, that said President of the United States, Barack Obama, was a student at Columbia College, Columbia University from 1981 to 1983, during which time he reportedly took at least one course from Edward Said.  (We don’t know how many or what other courses he took, largely because he, unlike most other presidential candidates, has refused to make his college transcripts available.)

Last summer, as Obama was running for reelection and as Dinesh D’Souza was promoting his books and movie about Obama’s anti-colonialism, the latter, who is the President of King’s College in New York, wrote an article about the former and about his alleged relationship with Edward Said:

Throughout his formative years and even later, Barack Obama sought out mentors who could teach him chapter and verse of the anti-colonial ideology.  This is the “dream from his father” that Obama refers to in his own autobiography.  Since the father wasn’t around – having abandoned Obama at birth – Obama sought our surrogate fathers, and together they form a group I call “Obama’s founding fathers.”  This group includes the former Communist Frank Marshall Davis and the incendiary preacher Jeremiah Wright.

One of Obama’s founding fathers who remains relatively unknown is the Palestinian radical Edward Said.  Prior to his death in 2003, Said was the leading anti-colonial thinker in the United States.  Obama studied with Said at Columbia University and the two maintained a relationship over the next two decades.  Obama attended a Palestinian fundraiser in Chicago in 1998 in which Said was the featured speaker, and Obama also befriended Said’s protege Rashid Khalidi, who currently occupies the Edward Said chair of Arab Studies at Columbia.

This is fascinating.  Truly.  Unfortunately, like many of D’Souza’s charges against Obama, it’s also undocumented.  To the best of our knowledge, Obama knew Said only superficially.  D’Souza is, as is his wont, exaggerating for effect and thereby complicating the matter.  And as with most things D’Souza, his complication of the issue with wild conspiracies actually detracts from a simple truth.

The fact of the matter is that Obama went to Columbia and then to Harvard Law during the 1980s, a period in which the radicals of the 1960s were just beginning to hit their academic stride and were especially welcomed at the nation’s allegedly finest schools, places like Columbia and Harvard.  Whether or not Barack Obama knew, liked, or even had ever heard of Edward Said is irrelevant.  He was profoundly exposed to – indeed was likely exposed to almost nothing but – the postmodern intellectual milieu of which Said was a critically important part.  Obama, in short, received the best postmodern/Leftist indoctrination that money can buy.  Or, as we put it in a piece now nearly four years old:

[Obama has always been]associated, both personally and intellectually, with the strains of American leftism that have always tended to see the United States and its Western progenitors as forces for evil rather than good in the world, the pseudo-intellectual types whom the late Ambassador Kirkpatrick famously described as the ‘blame America first’ crowd.

If you take a brief look back at what Professor Mead wrote about the Obama administration and its “grand strategy,” it’s clear that there is something amiss.  Mead says that Obama purposefully aligned his administration – and, by extension the United States – with the purportedly “moderate” Islamists in Egypt and Turkey, but that it is clear now that doing so was a “miscalculation.”  Nonsense.  There was never any reason for anyone, anywhere to believe that the Muslim Brothers in Egypt or Ergodan’s AK Party in Turkey were in any way moderate.

Indeed, ALL of the evidence suggests precisely the opposite – which is to say that the alignment with these parties was not a “miscalculation” of any sort, but a willful psychological transference of ideologically driven principles onto radical entities that had no demonstrable history of anything but hatred of the West and all its manifestations, including both the United States and Israel.  Obama did not miscalculate.  He intentionally and blatantly disregarded the evidence in order to satisfy his personal political predilections.

Some on the fringes of the political discussion undoubtedly believe that Obama made such alliances because he is secretly in league with the Islamists or because he furtively hates America.  Again, this is nonsense.  He did so because he actually believes that the people behind whom he has chosen to throw his support are both morally aggrieved and morally righteous.  He believes – not based on religion, but ideology – that Islamists throughout the Middle East can be taken as genuine good actors, if they are simply allowed to reach their own evaluative conclusions and thus operate free from imperial Western influence.  To Obama, the United States and most of the rest of the West have always been a malign influence on the Middle East, wittingly or unwittingly, and therefore the solution to the “Arab problem” is to reverse that course and to sit by idly, while the Middle Easterners solve their problems amongst themselves, free from Western interference and thus free from the depredations of “Orientalist” prejudice.  Barack Obama honestly believes, in short, that by encouraging the erstwhile miscreant power brokers and allowing them to handle their internal issues free from activist American foreign policy, he is doing the right thing for the peoples of the Middle East.  And that, in turn, will convince them – in the spirit of reciprocity – to do the right thing by the United States.

The level of hubris and the naiveté necessary to reach such a conclusion is, of course, shocking.  It’s delusional at best.  And no one outside of the Ivory Towers of Leftist academia could ever have believed such pabulum for a second – no one, that is except Barack Obama, who, as we’ve said, is an aspiring Leftist intellectual himself.

The irony in all of this is that Obama, for all his desire to be a true radical and for all Dinesh D’Souza’s prattling about his anti-colonialism, can’t quite take the proverbial plunge and wholeheartedly embrace the postmodern Left’s conception of post-war liberation.  Like the Democratic Party more broadly, it would appear that Obama is torn between postmodernist anti-imperialism and a more staid and reputable Wislonian Progressivism.  Obama’s plans for the Middle East involve theoretical liberation from Western manipulation, but at the same time encourage the establishment of democratic governance, which is a uniquely Western contrivance.

The problem here – and it is a MASSIVE problem – is that this cognitive dissonance on Obama’s part will lead inevitably to disaster.  It led to disaster once in Egypt.  And it may do so again.  It is all but certain to lead to disaster elsewhere as well, as Obama advocates the implementation of “democracy” amongst people and states that have neither any experience with democratic rule nor the institutions necessary to foster democratic ideals and responsive government.

Democracy, as it turns out, is not particularly easy.  It requires a consistent and unflappable dedication to the principle of liberty and its effects, however threatening they may seem.  This is not a task for the weak-willed or the weak-minded.  As Burke put it:

To make a government requires no great prudence.  Settle the seat of power; teach obedience; and the work is done.  To give freedom is still more easy.  It is not necessary to guide; it only requires to let go the rein.  But to form a free government; that is, to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint in one consistent work, requires much thought; deep reflection; a sagacious, powerful and combining mind.

Additionally, democracy is, quite simply, not for everybody.  A people must be versed not only in responsible democratic behavior to ensure the long-term functioning of their polity, but they must also possess the history and the institutions to ensure the restraint of the government and a respect for the liberty of the people.  Again, as Burke noted:

. . . a nation is not an idea only of local extent, and individual momentary aggregation; but it is an idea of continuity, which extends in time as well as in numbers and in space.  And this is a choice not only of one day, or one set of people, not a tumultuary and giddy choice; it is a deliberate election of ages and of generations; it is a constitution made by what is ten thousand times better than choice, it is made by the peculiar circumstances, occasions, tempers, dispositions, and moral, civil, and social habitudes of the people, which disclose themselves only in a long space of time. It is a vestment, which accommodates itself to the body.  Nor is prescription of government formed upon blind, unmeaning prejudices—for man is a most unwise and a most wise being.  The individual is foolish; the multitude, for the moment, is foolish, when they act without deliberation; but the species is wise, and, when time is given to it, as a species it always acts right.

When democracy is forced upon a people whose political elites have neither the desire to work at the project nor the institutional and historical capacity to ensure the project’s success, the result is, in all cases, failure.  From the election of Mohammed Morsi and his Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt to the election of Hamas in Gaza; from the elevation of Adolf Hitler and his National Socialists in Germany to the rise of the Jacobins in revolutionary France, democratic experiments in polities and peoples inexperienced in the niceties of democracy and lacking its institutions inevitably prove beastly and bloody.

In another recent piece, this one written for his blog on the web site of The American Interest, Walter Russell Mead criticized the American ruling class for its faith in the eventual triumph of liberal democracy and its belief that democratic governance can simply be imposed on anyone, anywhere, at any time.  He wrote:

Unfortunately, much of our political and policy class, both on the left and the right, shares an unfounded confidence that liberal capitalism is going to triumph tomorrow.  They are the secular, liberal counterparts of Christian fundamentalists waiting for the Rapture, a near-magical translation to a better world.  This is what most American policy makers believed about Russia in the heady years after the Soviet collapse.  President George W. Bush bet the ranch on the imminent democratization of the Middle East.  So did President Obama.

The mistake that Mead makes here is that he assumes that both sides of the American body politic believe precisely the same thing when it comes to democratization.  And that is simply not true.

George W. Bush pushed democracy on both Afghanistan and Iraq, but he did so proactively.  He used the American military both to topple the existing anti-democratic regimes and, more to the point, to settle in among the indigenous populations and to establish on their behalf the institutions necessary for a long-term adaptation to democracy.  In this sense, the post-war experiences of Germany, Japan, and even South Korea served as the models for his strategy.

As it turns out, the people of these countries did not have the burning desire to adopt democratic institutions, just as the American people did not have the desire to see their young men and women sacrificed indefinitely in pursuit of that cause.  Bush’s plans, in retrospect, may have been foolish and imprudent.  But they were not entirely irrational.  Indeed, they had a certain undeniable logic to them.

Barack Obama, by contrast, has no intention of using American forces to do anything in the Middle East except to aid indigenous forces ostensibly seeking to establish non-totalitarian rule.  In Libya and now presumably in Syria, he sees the American military as assistance fighters, not as liberators and certainly not as the founders and protectors of Western democratic institutions.

Many observers – ourselves included, on occasion – attribute Obama’s differing approach to shallowness, to sloth, or possibly to the desire to make foreign problems disappear quickly so that he can get back to focusing on domestic matters.  None of this, though, gets to the true heart of Obama’s “strategy.”

Obama is not lazy or scared or even bored with foreign policy.  He is, rather, intellectually confused.  He believes in the Western notion of democracy, but expects for non-Western peoples to arrive at this point quickly and without Western interference – interference that would, after all, taint the project with Orientalist illegitimacy.  In essence, he expects miracles and expects them on the cheap.

Back in the late 1970s, when Jimmy Carter espoused a more limited and less active role for the United States in global affairs, he did so after nearly four decades of more or less constant war, staring in Germany and the Pacific, moving to the Korean Peninsula, and ending in Indochina.  This last war in particular had been long, grueling, and unbearably costly in human terms.  It had nearly torn the country apart.  The American people were ready for a respite, and Carter delivered it.  It turned out to be a mistake, of course, but it was one motivated, at least, by a common desire for geopolitical serenity.

The passivity embraced today by the Obama administration is of a different variety altogether.  It is an ideological passivity geared to achieve specific, non-conventional moral ends.  These ends are pipe dreams, of course, as the ideology that produced them is, in part, wildly mistaken and prejudicial and, in part, chaotic and muddled.  Obama knows what he wants.  And he thinks he knows how to get it.  But he’s wrong.  And if Egypt hasn’t proven that definitively enough, then it is quite possible that Syria will.


Copyright 2013. The Political Forum. 8563 Senedo Road, Mt. Jackson, Virginia 22842, tel. 402-261-3175, fax 402-261-3175. All rights reserved. Information contained herein is based on data obtained from recognized services, issuer reports or communications, or other sources believed to be reliable. However, such information has not been verified by us, and we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness, and we are not responsible for typographical errors. Any statements nonfactual in nature constitute only current opinions which are subject to change without notice.