Obama Channels Hamlet

June 13th, 2014 12:20 pm | by John Jansen |

The Leader of the Free World just concluded a statement and a truncated press conference before a flight to North Dakota and he stated that there would be no decision on Iraq for several days. I think that it took JFK and his associates less time to respond to missiles in Cuba in 1962 than it will have taken this Administration to respond to this real and present danger in Iraq.

Maybe our role as superpower is shifting and eroding as the pendulum of history swings in the direction of China but I think that the President highlights the fact when he insists that we need a change of attitude in Iraq and the cooperation of the major players there. For now we are the most powerful nation in the world and out interests are threatened. Why is he temporizing?

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  1. 3 Responses to “Obama Channels Hamlet”

  2. By BananaGuard on Jun 13, 2014 | Reply

    Our political debate has become quite small-minded and narrow. Largely, I think, that’s because our politicians and their masters have decided that tearing down their opponents is vastly more important than anything government might actually accomplish. I’d respectfully disagree.

    You, apparently, have adopted the standards of those who mean to mislead you. You want immediate action, because they want you to want immediate gratification. I’m here to tell you, immediate gratification can be awfully expensive.

    Here are a couple of facts – real facts – that you might want to consider before demanding that Obama do something and to it now.

    First, ISIS didn’t arrive in Iraq in a puff of smoke this week and begin taking over territory. Fallujah fell to ISIS in January. The US has been providing increased support in the form of arms and intelligence since then, if not before. The US is not doing nothing. It is doing what, until a few days ago, Iraq’s government asked it to do.

    One thing Iraq has asked for is bombing, but “Iraq” in this case is Iraq’s Shiite government. Iraq’s Shiite government asked the US to bomb ISIS fighters who are spread among the Sunni population of Norther Iraq. Iraq’s Shiite leaders were essentially saying that no price, in terms of dead Sunni bystanders, is too high a price for their own safety and power. Maybe you agree with Iraq’s Shiite leaders. Maybe you don’t. But if you do, you should say so out loud.

    Next, war is complicated. Your anger at Obama, well, it’s looks a lot like the same anger at Obama that has led you to write other benighted stuff about him, rather than a new reaction to this situation. But sticking to the case at hand, your anger at Obama has you condemning him for not acting quickly when quick action might well be ill-conceived action. How do you know there’s a ready response that Obama has failed to adopt? Well, of course, you don’t know. You know it’s fashionable to howl about lack of leadership and all that, but you don’t know what the options are nor do you know the odds of success and the risks of each.

    Actual human lives are at stake. Hollering at Obama to do something to make you feel better is hollering for him to ignore the risk to human life that any action he takes will entail. Personally, I’m not comfortable demanding that other people’s lives be valued lightly against my own emotional needs. Maybe you feel otherwise.

  3. By John Jansen on Jun 13, 2014 | Reply

    Thank you for your always cogent and well written comments.

  4. By FrankeeDank on Jun 17, 2014 | Reply

    I am not convinced that the leadership is as erudite or as pure in it’s conception of the situation and their responsibilities – also, i don’t think it’s a cabal of plotters cynically moving pieces on a chessboard – it’s a mix of both, i think. Twas ever thus, regardless of political stripe, political system, across the wide span of human history – we should be students of prior empires (greek, babylonian, assyrian, egyptian, roman, persian, spanish, french, british, chinese, mongol, aztec, incan, etc) to know the present-day usa better. IMO

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