Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy’

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FOREIGN POLICY CREDENTIALS

August 14, 2012

So the good news is…we don’t have to suffer through a campaign with the Republican VP candidate  thinking she is well-versed in foreign policy because she” can see Russia from my house”.

But the bad news is pretty overwhelming.  Neither the Presidential Candidate NOR the Vice Presidential Candidate has foreign-policy experience on his resume.

Of course, this is my hot button.  If we cannot recognize we have moved forward from WWII/Korean War days and a need for a grandiose weapons defense program and away from a cold war with the Soviets that ended decades ago, and to a stance where one knows better than EITHER current or past Presidents of either party in terms of Israel and mid-east , how in the world would this current  twosome recognize and draft a plan for the US to maintain a leadership position on the world-playing field?

We will cut diplomatic spending and developmental funding, beef up arms and squander a real opportunity for the US to maintain a leadership position in the world of the 21st century.  We will  support Israel ridding the world of Palestinians and promise them the plan for Jerusalem set up at the time Israel was created by world agreement can be changed as soon as Obama is ousted (oh yes, one of the players that would need to vote yes was pretty offended by you and took you on during your Olympic visit) ; we will pay tribute to a country’s hero who has no role in the government of his country in today’s world, and think we have “won”; the rest of us should stop asking the embarrassing question about  your draft status and the Vietnam War…and it goes on, and on, and on.

Then add to No foreign policy, no understanding of foreign friend nor foe, no military experience,  and seemingly little understanding that in a globilized world, economics and foreign policy are inter-twined.  

Trying for a third or fourth time in recent decades to let the wealth “trickle down” and save us all is not going to work this time around either….but more important, can these two answer this question:

WHAT IS THE REPUBLICAN PLAN TO ADDRESS THE IMPACT OF THE FOLLOWING SITUATION:

Japan’s economy has stalled out; several European countries economy has stalled out: and we may have seen this week the first crack in China’s predicted inability to sustain their growth.  All of these situations impact the United States – EITHER in 20th century culture OR in the world in which we live today.  What is your plan to address the impact of this?   

And by the way, has anyone shared that sending all the men to war and putting the women to work in factories to make 70 year old war tools is NOT the path to success in getting us out of this “Great Recession” ?  That may be the way we recovered the last time we suffered through an economic disaster as great as the last one we suffered through under George W, but another World War is not the solution in the 21st century.  And then there is…1929…2008.  I wonder what they had in common when we crashed?!!  Oh yes, Republican leadership, I believe.

All that on Foreign Policy matters and we have not addressed the economy yet..Ryan’s Plan we know – sort of, but Romney has his own plan?  Not so much.  All we really know is that the projection to get debt under control was in the year 2060 if we follow the Ryan plan…which, under pressure, he reduced to 2040.   I’m having a hard time with that too.  It is unacceptable that a two year drop through 2008-2009 has not been fixed by Obama in the past 2.5 years of his first term…and yet, it will take Romney/Ryan  28 years to get it done if we implement one of their plans? 

In short, boys, foreign policy and economics are inseparable in our globilized world of today.

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RAMBLINGS ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON – PART 2

July 29, 2012

THANK YOU AMBASSADOR RYAN CROCKER

Sorry to see this man retire!

I first heard the name a decade ago when Bush and the neo-cons were hatching their Iraq War Plans/  Crocker was co-author of “The Perfect Storm” – a memorandum defining risk of a U.S. Invasion of Iraq.  Yes, the ignored analysis that predicted accurately the disintegration of Iraqi society that did, indeed, take place!

Five years later, the Bushies with no other option, had to call on him for help to “fix the deadly situation.”

As ambassador, first in Iraq and then in Afghanistan, he worked to build trust with local leaders, understood intimidation would not work, and showed compassion towards the ordinary citizens caught in the life-threatening and political power struggles.  That was a rarity for Bush and Neo-cons –which  I repeatedly point out is reflected when we recite the cost of war and only mention deaths of AMERICAN soldiers, and not who we killed, or were killed by others because of our presence.

He suggests we need to learn the lessons of our recent past as we weigh military options for the future- including plans for Syria and Iran.

We’re a superpower, we don’t fight on our territory, but that means you are in somebody else’s stadium, playing by somebody else’s ground rules, and you have to understand the environment, the history, the politics of the country you wish to intervene in.

Good advice.  I THINK Obama gets this; I KNOW the neo-cons advising Romney do not.  And where those that support Romney stand, I have no idea.

In any case, I think it worthwhile to repeat three thoughts from Crocker as found in the Strib:

  1.        Remember the law of unintended consequences
  2.        Recognize the limits of the United States actual capabilities
  3.        Understand getting out of a conflict once you are in can often be dangerous and as destructive for the country as the original conflict.

And to those I would add: If you don’t have money to pay for it, you can’t just charge ten plus years of war, residual damage, and long-term impacts on the US soldiers and families involved to your successor. 

You fooled us once…I hope we learned not to trust you again.