Comments from one of our loyal readers….

Dan, excellent blog on the tragedies in Syria. 

 

I’m sure you were comforted by Michelle Obama’s appearance on “The View” this morning to plug her new gardening book where she was milk toasted with questions from Joy Behar and Whoopi on how the President is so kind that he tucks her in at night and that although there is still racism in the U.S. that Barack “always takes the high road” and he is the President of “The United States of America” which drew a rousing ovation from the idiots in the audience.   Michelle then talked about her “job” as first lady and the challenges she faces. 

 

Of course, no mention at all about the Syrian atrocities, no need to bring up such an unpleasant subject when the first lady is trying to do her “job” by reminding America’s youth not to eat too many French fries while she dines on oysters in the Vineyard. 

 

Just say no, indeed, to this do-nothing clown show currently occupying the oval office.

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4 Responses to Comments from one of our loyal readers….

  1. Dave W says:

    I agree with the substance of the above comment, and I am also infuriated with this administrations’s inaction with regards to the atrocities Bashar al-Assad is subjecting his mostly-innocent citizenry to, but, for the sake of consistency, I’d like to make a point:

    A crisis far more deadly (by orders of magnitude) than that which currently befalls Syria raged in Darfur for nearly all of the Bush administration’s eight years in the White House, and the administration committed itself to almost complete inaction. Furthermore, somber tones (the likes of which the author of the above comment expects to see now) were not emanating from all corners of the White House while hundreds of thousands of people were killed by Omar al-Bashir and his thugs. For the sake of brevity, I won’t list all the instances in which the Bush administration carried itself with a painfully out-of-touch lilt, but if anyone needs their memory refreshed, I can write another post.

    Lastly, I think we should take the time to recognize that every president in our lifetime has chosen to ignore one deadly crisis or another, while simultaneously holding the embarrassing de facto office of Entertainer-in-Chief. And their families and administrations often join in on the act. The criticism above holds, but to target it only at Michelle Obama seems very narrow-minded. Much of the same disgust could be aimed even at Mitt and Ann Romney.

    • vofreason says:

      Dave, thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us.

      I have a foreign policy philosophy that is not fully developed given the lack of time I have to focus on such issues, but let me try to describe it as best I can. Generally I’m an interventionist, meaning I think we should use American influence and resources (diplomatic and when necessary military) to help others in the world more than we do today. I don’t subscribe to the “we intervene when it’s in our interests” because such a philosophy excludes intervening when it may not be in our national interests, but it is the right and humane thing to do– situations where it is morally abhorrent to turn our backs on a genocide for instance. In recent history I can think of the Balkan War, Iraq invading Kuwait, Rwanda, Darfur, Libya, and now Syria. I also think we should have intervened in Iran (politically) during their uprisings, we should have taken a much stronger stand regarding Tienanmen Square while the protests were happening, and in Egypt during the start of the “Arab Spring”.

      I think Americans, as great and giving a people as we are, tend to take for granted what we have, and how fortunate we are to have our freedom, and how horrible it would be not to have it. We can’t adequately “feel” what oppressed people are experiencing, so we are more accepting of it. We see on TV the slaughter in Rwanda and we disconnect ourselves from it. Somehow a calculus is done in our heads that says “if we lose 5,000 Americans intervening in Rwanda, that is not worth saving 800,000 Rwandans”. It’s an awful calculus.

      In regards to Darfur specifically, my understanding was that the African Union was strongly opposed to any outside intervention (contrast that with the Arab League calling for intervention in Libya), and that there weren’t many reasonable “intervention” options in Darfur due to its geography and terrain, it’s land-locked positioning, and every bordering country an unfriendly one to the US and West. Also the two warring factions were both generally evil (I think this was the case) and so the real opportunity for assisting was in setting up safe havens– very difficult to do given Darfur’s geography. I also thought that W pushed the UN and our NATO allies to engage at a greater level and they would have none of it. You may have more specifics but I believe this was a much tougher intervention call for the US than other situations. As I recall I read many “we must do something” comments, but the options were extremely limited other than food aid and diplomatic efforts.

      Some of those other situations included the Balkans and Rwanda. These were situations where the path to intervention was crystal clear, with high-odds positive results. In the former case we had a new President (Clinton) who to his credit actually flew to Europe to rally support for intervention, but he was so weak and inexperienced and in the very early days of his first term that once rejected by our allies he refused to act alone. The lives saved would have been in the 6 figures for sure. In the latter case, Clinton actually apologized for not intervening after the fact (during a post-slaughter visit to Rwanda in 1998).

      These are obviously very difficult issues.

      • Dave W says:

        I should clarify that the purpose of my comment was not to take a swipe at the Bush administration in particular. For the sake of the argument, I’ll even presume that inaction in Darfur was the correct choice. Regardless, that would not be an excuse for President Bush, his administration, his family members, or his associates to make feather-weight media appearances of no substance. Terrible atrocities are always happening in the world, and whether or not our leaders choose to intervene in them, they should nonetheless carry themselves in a manner that conveys the gravity of serving as a leader in a time of glaring suffering and injustice. I think our leaders, on all sides of the political spectrum, routinely fail to live up to this expectation of dignity. What messages do rounds of golf and comedic appearances at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner send while American fight and die in the Middle East? I am wholly uncomfortable with the concept of our leaders being celebrities in the conventional sense. But they routinely are. Sadly, this criticism is probably best pointed at the the American electorate in general, which actually embraces and encourages this behavior. But at the very least, politicians are guilty of often succumbing to these pressures.

      • vofreason says:

        I understand exactly what you are saying and generally I agree with it. I don’t begrudge Administration officials need to relax and have some fun (vacations, golf, etc) and I can’t stand when Republicans jump on Obama for playing golf. Our leaders can have lives and they need some amount of balance. I have a big issue with the extremes though– appearing on “The View”, Michelle Obama’s absolutely over-the-top vacations, and the fundraisers both parties hold and attend.

        I recall when President Bush was playing golf in 2002 and early 2003 and the media and Democrats destroying him for that. He ended up deciding in 2003 that he would not play golf for the remainder of his Presidency, and he never played another round for the next 5 years and started again after he left the White House. I was torn on this, but I did think about being a soldier in Iraq coming in from a fire-fight and turning on the satellite and seeing W on the 18th green. But as I said I want our Presidents to be able to reasonably relax at times.

        As for the voters I agree, we need people who take more time to understand the issues and vote on substance. However, I would simply love to have a President who says to his/her key political advisor “I know they want me on the View or at the Correspondent’s dinner but I will not do that indignity to this office, especially at a time of war. And if I don’t get re-elected because of it, so be it, but I’m going to do things the right way and sleep with a clear conscience”. Not sure we’ll see that one anytime soon!

        Thanks again for commenting Dave.

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