Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Seems Cal Thomas prefers Paris


Cal Thomas could consider practicing what he preaches. He substitutes his view of the world for what he assumes should be Senator Barack Obama's world view. Not only is it a matter of taste, it is also a matter of judgment. Mr. Thomas takes in a foreign city visiting museums, art galleries and etc. And then presumes that he can instruct Senator Obama who visits war zones on the fine art of geopolitcs. Now that is what I would call Monday morning arm chair quarterbacking at its finest. Just as he also arrogantly assumes that Europe doesn't know what is in its own best interests. Which puts Mr. Thomas in the position of being the typical ugly American. Waltze in, take a brief look and start criticizing everything you see. Has it ever occurred to Mr. Thomas that what Europe wants as to its best interests may not in fact coincide with that of the U.S.? Indeed, ever since Ronald Reagan, European interests have been very divergent from that of the U.S. And just how grateful does Mr. Thomas consider western Europe to be some 60 plus years after World War II anyway? The president who can work with the current European reality will have a better world view than the fellow who follows almost blindly (for the purposes of the campaign trail anyway) a geopolitical view of the world that ultimately alienated most of it. That is, from no less that GW Bush.

While Thomas, the White House and Senator McCain were criticizing Obama's fact finding mission, did they forget that Obama was urged by McCain to check out the war zones and draw certain conclusions? Thomas in particular, regards Obama as being an "innocent abroad" read: ignorant. But, given the fact that Thomas only works for the news media, at one time was probably a staffer of some politician; campaign or other wise. He was never so high up in the federal food chain as to be fuly knowledgable of world events, to in fact have the raw data to work with that ultimately informs presidents. And that seems to me to be the point: it doesn't matter if a president as former Governor, former Senator, former actor knows practically nothing about world events, he is going to be given daily briefings on them. Just as he should surely have people on his side who are experienced enough to help him interpret what he gets told in order to come to some hopefully wise decision. (Not always were presidential decisions wise, given how often they were instead ideologically driven.) So let us presume that Thomas has seen 8 years of GW's muddled mess of being a know nothing Governor who couldn't care less and hammers on Senator Obama that he had better have all the experience GW lacked without the resume to back it up. And goes on to criticize Obama as lacking the resume. Silly. Why wasn't Thomas so quick to criticize the lack of a resume in Republican president GW Bush? I would suggest that it was because he was all gaw gaw over the name.

To put it bluntly, Obama doesn't have to worry about trying to filling the shoes of his predecessor; they are way too soiled now to try on. No, he will be bringing his own shoes to his candidacy and that makes him entirely uncomparable with prior presidents even as it moves this country into entirely unexplored territory. I suspect that is what has Thomas frightened the most, that Obama, if elected, would take this country into entirely unexplored territory.

—Thomas does have one thing right, Europe has far more respect for Obama than it does McCain.—

Do people (according to those polled) truly trust McCain on national security issues better than Obama? Only if they ignore McCain's record of the past some 25 years. And more particularly of the past 8. Yeah, he could probably be among the members of Congress who turns military toys into pork barrel projects for the home state or district. Of larding military budgets with the toys the Pentagon didn't need and certainly never asked for. (Various news sources.) But just because he has fattened up the Pentagon budget doesn't make him capable of being a fellow where national security is a primary issue. And this is why:

  • We are fighting two wars. But, we are also economically in the pits. How do we support two wars and domestic security given the massive debts that since incurred since GW's ventures in Iraq?
  • The Robyn Blumner editorial following that of Thomas (republished in the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington 22 July 2008) showcased how readily the Federal gvt could bail out faltering big business but has neither the money or the resources to protect the working class. Could just as easily translate into not having the [FDA resources] to protect our food, medical supplies, etc. Nor having the border security resources to protect us from terrorists, criminal gangs and drug cartels. In short, the taxpayers should bail out favored interests. But to fork over the tax dollars in their own interests would be a major no no. McCain, wants to "keep taxes low" but to buttress "national security" you can't manufacture viable security on a ray of sunshine.
  • Yes, it takes money. Yes, it would mean ponying up money to increase our national defenses, strengthen our military and taking care of our veterans. Yes, it would take money to guarantee our food and product safety. And McCain can't possibly achieve those aspects of national security by "keeping taxes low" in the face of massive national debt.
So, even though I wasn't polled, I don't trust McCain to be any great Commander in Chief if he makes the willing choice to follow GW's failed policies of the last 8 years. Nor would I personally trust him on national security issues given how quickly he jumped on the "immigration reform" idea that certainly could not help Americans suffering job losses. And yes, adding to the economic doldrums. Even though, in the short term, "immigration reform" would have helped GW's business buddies.

So, what about national security? That if we pull out of Iraq our national security is more greatly threatened? How about the home of the original plot to send planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Seems that it is up for grabs again as both Al Qaeda and the Taliban have regrouped to engage troops who are numbered in the tens of thousands as opposed to the hundreds of thousands currently in Iraq. And given how GW managed to alienate Europe in his big push to go to Iraq, I highly doubt that Europe would be all that concerned about picking up the pieces of GW's mess making. National security today is having your priorities in order for the type of enemy you are facing. You really can't engage in an old fashioned war in some part of the world against a "jihad" that can form terror cells anywhere. And GW prefers to show his "machismo" at engaging in old fashioned wars never mind that terrorism isn't only to be found in Iraq or harbored in Pakistan. According to CNN as of yesterday morning, terrorist attacks struck buses in China, killing and injuring commuters on board them. How do we address that sort of national security if there is this blatant refusal to pull out of a country we declared sovereign 4 years ago. And therefore presumably, capable of taking care of its own future? Thomas should be aware, that terrrorists attacking the Chinese in the weeks before the summer Olympics have already proven that they could just as easily threaten American athletes. No doubt, that was the message being sent. If the American athletes were ultimately put at risk in China just because of terrorism, who could we truly blame? Not Obama, who is running only to succeed GW in office. No, GW himself. The difference between world view and view of the world. GW's view of the world has only been truncated in the last 8 years, and sadly it shows.

So, what if for once Thomas had put Bush in his column instead of Obama? "Bush an innocent abroad?" His column then would have been exactly right. And if he had published such a column in 2000, would GW have been president today?

1 comment:

Dogwalkmusings said...

Thanks for lightening your background here. Makes it much easier reading for these tired old eyes!