Wednesday, March 05, 2008

An Imaginary Obama's Imaginary First 100 Days

It's Michael Gerson, so I can't tell up front if he is being mendacious or if he truly is "that stupid".
But John McCain could. As a thought experiment, consider the foreign policy achievements of Obama's first 100 days in office.

Redeeming his inaugural pledge to "pay any price, bear any burden, fly any distance to meet with our enemies," Obama's first major international meeting is with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. National security adviser Samantha Power does her best to talk tough on human rights in preparation for the meeting. But, as Henry Kissinger once said, "When talks become their own objective, they are at the mercy of the party most prepared to break them off." Having made Iranian talks "without precondition" his major foreign policy goal, Obama is left with little leverage to extract concessions, and little choice but to move forward.
And it goes on like that, but gets even sillier. In other words, we get an imbecilic caricature of a theoretical "first 100 days", that nobody with any sense or an honest bone in his body would propound. How typical of Gerson.

In Gerson's imaginary scenario, as there has been zero progress (none, nada, zilch) in the war between now and his Inauguration, Obama announces a phased withdrawal of forces.
But the next day, The Post reports stunned disbelief among the troops. A high-ranking officer observes, "The surest way to break the morale of the military is to undo its achievements and humiliate it on the verge of success."
Gerson, of course, imagines us "on the verge of success" in Iraq - he has no plan for us to get past the "verge" and actually achieve success, but he imagines that any change of course will take us away from the "verge" we've supposedly been on since 2003. It's a fundamentally dishonest argument presented by people, like Gerson, who have no idea what they are talking about, have no actual plan for success, and have no honest response to the question, "Why shouldn't we cut our losses." As is his wont, he ignores the many military leaders who have cautioned us that our continued deployment in Iraq is degrading the armed forces. Who cares about that or their ability to defend the nation, after all, if maintaining troop levels will help the Republican Party save face?

Gerson concludes,
Obama's 100-day agenda would be designed, in part, to improve America's global image. But there is something worse than being unpopular in the world - and that is being a pleading, panting joke.
Well, it's hard to argue with that. And who would know better than Gerson?

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