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Do we even have a foreign policy?

by Greg Krehbiel on 17 June 2014

This article is worth reading: The Pace of Obama’s Disasters: Bergdahl one week. Then Ukraine. Now Iraq. What could be next?

I was in favor of the Iraq war, although I never believed we would be able to turn them into a democracy. When I saw that we were being sissies in how we prosecuted the war (remember that idiotic standoff in Fallujah?), and as I became more and more skeptical of the intelligence we used to justify the war in the first place, I wasn’t so sure. Then as the cost of the war mounted, and it became abundantly clear that Iraq can only be governed by a brutal dictator like Hussein, I thought the whole thing was a huge mistake.

Now I’m not so sure. The Iraq war may have been necessary, but we clearly did it all wrong.

We’ve gone from “nation building” under Clinton to “every heart longs for democracy” (i.e., nation-building on steroids) under W. to “can’t we all be friends” under Obama. Each approach was a failure.

We need a more hard-hearted foreign policy that is ready to beat the crap out of bad guys without the self-flagellation and the “we’ll make it up by rebuilding your schools” stuff.

The world is a dangerous, bad place, and the United States has to be willing to shed blood. Its own and others’. I don’t like it, but that’s the way it is. When the U.S. steps back from a position of leadership and strength, the world starts to fall apart.

-- 2014-06-17  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 14

  1. smitemouth
    17 June 2014 @ 11:33 am

    Ok, send your kids first.

  2. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    17 June 2014 @ 12:27 pm

    I deleted two comments where I lost my cool.

    SM, your comment reminds me of when feminists say that only women can have opinions on abortion.

    Do we all have to have a personal stake in something before we can have an opinion about it? Can only blacks have opinions on affirmative action? Can only men have opinions on the draft?

  3. DSM DSM
    17 June 2014 @ 12:45 pm

    If those comments were Greg losing his cool, I think the world is safe. I said worse things arguing about C++ a few weeks ago, and with less justification..

  4. pentamom pentamom
    17 June 2014 @ 1:35 pm

    Having seen Greg’s comments, I’ll just say that though he regrets the tone of the first one in which he provided this information, it’s perfectly appropriate in this context to point out that one of his kids is currently in AFROTC and another is seriously considering joining the military.

    So it’s dubious to insist that only people with skin in any game are allowed to have an opinion, but besides, he HAS skin in this one.

  5. Derek
    17 June 2014 @ 10:54 pm

    If you’re a tax payer, you have skin in the game. SM presents a straw man argument that is easily defeated.

  6. smitemouth
    18 June 2014 @ 12:24 am

    Evidently, according to some, a good foreign policy is invading a country that never attacked us, and who had the same enemies (al qaeda and iran). Good foreign policy is sending 5,000 troops to die, wounding tens of thousands, and killing over 100,000 civilians in the fracas. All supposedly over dubious, conflicting intelligence information that proved to be untrue. The real reason? Eiither junior wanted to get even for sh putting a hit out on his dad, or so his cronies could make a fortune on their Haliburton and oil stocks. According to the neo-cons and their propaganda wing (Fox and RW talk radio), that’s what good foreign policy looks like.

    Evidently releasing 5 prisoners from Gitmo is a disaster, but releasing over 500 in the previous administration is totally good foreign policy–at least in the Rupert Murdoch universe.

    Having four embassy personnel die in Benghazi is a debacle, but having 11 die in the previous administration and almost 300 in the fabled Reagan administration is good foreign policy.

    What a damn joke.

    The truth is that Obama is guilty of presiding while black–or being a Democrat. Pick the one you feel is less or more offensive.

    I pray to God that if your kids ever go on active duty, someone like Obama or Kerry is in charge and not someone like McCain or Bush or God forbid Palin.

  7. DSM
    18 June 2014 @ 12:57 am

    Hmm. I don’t have any children, and am a foreigner to boot. So am I allowed to have an opinion about American foreign policy or not? If I am, but I choose not to exercise that option, can I transfer it to my American friends to use in my stead?

  8. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    18 June 2014 @ 12:47 pm

    Of course no Democrats supported the war in Iraq. None.

  9. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    18 June 2014 @ 4:59 pm

    I think there are two topics being discussed here. The first topic, raised by Greg, is the question: do we currently have a foreign-policy? The second topic, raised by smitemouth, sounds like something like, “the actions taken by the previous administration are worse than the actions taken by the current administration.”

    Responding to Greg’s topic, I am also concerned that we don’t seem to take a clear stand very often, and even when we do, we as a country do not back up our words with action.

  10. smitemouth
    18 June 2014 @ 6:30 pm

    @DK You don’t understand my point at all.It’s that RWNJs use differing standards. If a white Republican does it, the right wing cabal says “good job”. If a black Democrat does it, the right wing cabal says “boo”.

    For instance, the stock market losing about 40% of it’s value is a good economy if it’s Bush in office. But, if the stock market gains 100% in value, then it’s a bad economy. If a president takes a good economy and wrecks it, but it’s Bush in office, then it’s a good economy. If a president takes a wrecked economy and improve it, but it’s Obama, then it’s a crap economy.

    If a president frees 500 prisoners from Gitmo, but he’s Bush, then the RWC says “yeah!”. But, if the president is Obama, and he releases 5 prisoners, then the RWC has a conniption.

    @GK Biden was wrong, and so were any others who voted to support it. The fix was in, and any exculpatory evidence to the contrary position was hidden. I do know of a senator who did not vote for the war. He is residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave for another 2 1/2 years.

  11. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    18 June 2014 @ 6:51 pm

    @SM: then maybe neither of us understands the other, because your response has absolutely nothing to do with the point I was trying to make. But the good thing is: at least we can try to communicate here on this blog.

  12. pentamom pentamom
    18 June 2014 @ 10:05 pm

    I’m not sure how pertinent it is to anything that an Illinois State Senator did not vote in a matter before the United States Congress, though.

  13. pentamom pentamom
    18 June 2014 @ 10:06 pm

    I heard that there’s this other guy who didn’t vote for the war because he wasn’t in Congress, too, and he’s homeless now.

  14. Sm
    18 June 2014 @ 10:38 pm

    Touché. Well played.

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