January 7, 2008

"Even if Mr. Obama runs on an anti-war platform, events have a way of changing presidents..."

"... and if he will pick up the internationalist principles, he could — on the evidence of his eloquence and Kennedyesque spirit — yet become a war leader."

Says The New York Sun (which is completely opposed to Obama's current position on the war).

38 comments:

anthony cromartie said...

The conservative establishment will regret ignoring Obama and heaping praise on him despite his otherwise liberal record. Remember, Obama was ranked the 9th most liberal senator in the National Journal, while Clinton was 32nd. But in any case, his positions on Social Security reform and Iran are far out of the mainstream. Obama's proposal to eliminate the cap on social security contributions and the resulting trillion dollar tax increase does not improve the ponzi scheme, nor does it give the younger generation a chance to pursue individual accounts. Instead it turns a ponzi scheme into a full fledged welfare program. In regards to his national security experience, we already know he considers campaigning more important than voting to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization despite their brazen efforts to murder our troops in Iraq. If you really viewed the vote as a rush to war, shouldn't you have rushed back to Washington to let us know about it. As they say, actions speak louder than words, and the GOPs inaction on Obama will likely come back to haunt them as he is in many ways further to the left than Senator Clinton. The fact that no one has targeted him because of his positions will only increase the hype surrounding him and could even result in the kind of coattails that could produce a massive growth in government.

hdhouse said...

"war leader".

I hope not. I really hope not. I'm about as tired of "war leaders" as I can be.

What is that, anyway? Is it fearless leader of bullwinkle fame incarnate? Is it General Patton in a silk suit pushing a pen and not a pistol?

Bush has done so little except to change our understanding and expectations of the term 'leader'.

I do hope that no one learns from him, defines their presidency in his terms, or follows in his footsteps other than to reverse himself out of the path Bush has taken.

This country should be sick to death of war leaders.

Jeremy said...

I'm curious if the "politics of hope" means that Obama is or is not part of the "reality-based community."

Sloanasaurus said...

Hmm,

Obama claimed in the debate on Saturday that the reduction in violence was because of Democrats. A total slam to the hard work of our troops.

I was shocked that none of the candidates even suggested at all the the surge was successful - which means that the left is in total control. Because of this the most lefty candidate should win the democratic nomination.

If Obama wins the nomination, America will be subjected to a rude awakening about Obama's leftism.

hdhouse said...

anthony cromartie -

do you have some sort of measuring stick that you use - I mean is your world divided up by liberal/conservative degrees?

how utterly sad. how completely removed from life your post is.

if you wonder why obama is running and why he has the support he does while 'fearless feckless leader' in the white house has approvals coherent with those who believe in a flat earth and the tooth fairy, then you merely need to read your post.

you read it. once was enough for me.

George said...

I hope that he is eating right, like HIllary.

Middle Class Guy said...

Wars are funny things. You never know when you may have to participate in one. So, Barak would have to be a war leader, by default, if a situation came up.

Bill Clinton was a war leader in a civil war in the Balkans. No one criticized this. There was little dissent, no code Pink, none of that. It was just a civil war, the kind of internal strife that the far left wants us to avoid.

hdhouse said...

middle class guy -

i gather you are having problems differentiating between a NATO action and an invasion and occupation..right?

need some help?

Doyle said...

His "current position"?

His current position on the war is the same as his previous position: he was/is against it.

MadisonMan said...

events have a way of changing presidents...

Yes. Compare what George Bush said while campaigning to what he did in office.

Hoosier Daddy said...

i gather you are having problems differentiating between a NATO action and an invasion and occupation..right?

need some help?


Yeah, actually I have been trying to find the specific part of the NATO charter that actually legitimized NATO use of force on a sovereign nation that had not attacked a single NATO member. Last time I checked Bosnia, Kosovo hadn't signed up.

BTW, I especially like the 'NATO action' bit. Sounds so much better than 'bombing the piss out of them from 30,000 feet.'

I think the part you need help with is that the US led that action under Bill's leadership, which for all practical purposes, made him a war leader; that figurehead you seem to despise.

You really do say the silliest things sometimes.

joe said...

No president, even the nutless wonders the Democrats are foisting on us, want to preside over an attack on this country that can be blamed on them due to lax national security policies. So if God forbid a Democrat wins, hopefully they will have enough survival instinct not to completely gut our defenses.

Ann Althouse said...

What's your point, Doyle? The Sun is saying that he may change in the future.

Danny said...

Should Obama win the primary, it seems like his biggest obstacle will be the success of the surge moreso than the Republican nominee. If he wants a trouble-free run, he better find a way to address and incorporate the success of the surge into his Iraq plan. The GOP's best hope is to use the renewed support of the surge to nail whatever pullout-supporting Dem wins the nod. I am saying this as an independant who grudgingly registered as a democrat to cast my vote for Barack Hussein Obama.

MadisonMan said...

No president, even the nutless wonders the Democrats are foisting on us, want to preside over an attack on this country that can be blamed on them due to lax national security policies as happened during George Bush's administration.

Fixed the statement for you joe.

Eli Blake said...

middle class guy:

Bill Clinton was a war leader in a civil war in the Balkans. No one criticized this. There was little dissent, no code Pink, none of that.

You clearly have a very short memory. I was in an anti-war demonstration back then, with hundreds of other demonstrators.

Like many on the right, you choose to remember what you want to remember and forget what you want to forget.

As far as the Sun article, the basic fallacy is assuming that internationalism is the same as being pro-war. Some wars, to be sure are necessary (very few would argue otherwise in terms of the Afghan war-- in fact one of the biggest anti-Iraq arguments is that it distracted us from Afghanistan and led to the resurgence of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.) However, necessary wars come along for less often than wars of choice, where the administration then in power simply chooses to conquer another country because they disagree with the government of that country.

The best example of where international events changed a President in a direction away from war was Nixon. The consummate Cold War anti-communist, Nixon tried (like Johnson had) fruitlessly to win in Vietnam, even expanding the war into Cambodia. However, he was smarter than Johnson, and recognizing that the U.S. couldn't win, he negotiated and got us out. Then he negotiated the START treaty with the Soviets, and made the first real cracks in the Iron curtain by beginning the policy of 'detente,' which allowed for cultural exhanges and began allowing American goods into the Soviet Union (ultimately eroding the power of the state, because with goods follow ideas.) Then he went even farther in normalizing relations with the Chinese, going to Beijing and opening relations with them.

So Nixon, in only six years, got us out of a war and made peace with our two most dangerous enemies. Had he not thrown it all away, he might well be remembered as one of our greatest Presidents, not because of his ability to wage war, but because of his ability to make peace.

Hoosier Daddy said...

No president, even the nutless wonders the Democrats are foisting on us, want to preside over an attack on this country that can be blamed on them due to lax national security policies as happened during George Bush's administration.

Fixed the statement for you joe.


That's pretty weak MM considering that Bill presided over numerous terrorist attacks committed against us at home and abroad during his tenure and his best response was knocking out a couple of tents and an Advil factory.

I'd say that considering how much people want to insist Bush has increased the danger of Islamic terrorism and created more terrorists, he's done a admirable job of keeping them at bay or sending them to Allah.

hdhouse said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
NATO use of force on a sovereign nation that had not attacked a single NATO member. Last time I checked Bosnia, Kosovo hadn't signed up..... Bill's leadership, which for all practical purposes, made him a war leader; that figurehead you seem to despise.
You really do say the silliest things sometimes."

The airstrikes in Bosnia were the result of a violation of a NATO no fly zone. The Dayton Accords ended the war. It was limited, it had a time frame and it is over. Don't you know your history? Can't you read? Is differentiating Bosnia from Iraq out of your league? Can you tell the difference between the Afghan and Iraq actions? Don't you know?

Clinton never wore the mantel of "war president" as our current President Woowoo seems to trot out. War leader is just a perversion.

Gosh Uber Daddy, one thing at a time. whoooo there silver k?

If I say silly things it is just to talk down to your level. The tired phrase of "not knowing history - doomed to repeat" is way past you. I'm more inclined to start you with see spot run.

Revenant said...

HD,

You're missing the point.

The NATO treaty authorizes joint military action only if one of the member nations is attacked or directly threatened. That was not the case in Bosnia. Neither NATO nor any of its member nations had any authority, under that treaty, to set up a "no-fly zone" in the first place -- let alone to attack Bosnia for violating it.

To use the language you're so fond of applying to Iraq, Bosnia was an illegal war, based on White House lies, fought in violation of international law. But it was run by a Democrat, so that made it ok.

TROBlog said...

"I was in an anti-war demonstration back then, with hundreds of other demonstrators."

That's not an anti-war movement - that's a beer bash at an average frat house. And not much less than the anti-war movement now. (Which is only getting smaller now that the surge worked.)

As to NATO. There IS NO NATO without the United States. The remaining members couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag without the US. The price they paid (or didn't pay since we paid it) for our babysitting them all these years.

Just as there is damn little UN without the United States. NATO went in only because the US went in and if you believe otherwise you really, really . . . no seriously . . . you really, really don't know a damn thing about NATO.

Clinton was a war president whether you like it or not.

Middle Class Guy said...

Hoosier Daddy,
Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level and beat you everytime.

The points we are making is Bill Clinton was a war president and he took very little flak for involving us in an internal civil strife- NATO sanctioned or not. He is a hero of the left for "bombing the piss out of them at thrity thousand feet."

hdhouse said...

Revenant said...
".. Bosnia was an illegal war, based on White House lies, fought in violation of international law."

Watch out for fact check Rev...will getcha every time.

ahhh middleclassbrain...

never side with an idiot - didn't you mean?

Blake said...

Yes. Compare what George Bush said while campaigning to what he did in office.

In fairness, some events may have occurred while he was in office that merited a change in philosophy.

Blake said...

Eli--

Good on you for protesting Bosnia. But I certainly never heard a word about it.

It's actually a pretty good reflection on the MSM slant, and the power of the blogosphere, comparing then and now.

Steven said...

Kennedyesque. So this means he'll engage in ill-advised confrontations that risk getting American cities nuked?

Oh, that's right, he already said he'd invade Pakistan. Very Kennedyesque.

I wonder if there are still firms that make bomb shelters.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The airstrikes in Bosnia were the result of a violation of a NATO no fly zone. The Dayton Accords ended the war. It was limited, it had a time frame and it is over.

Ok, I'll try this one again. The NATO charter is very specific, military force is authorized when a NATO member is attacked. Here I even provided the linky for you.

Don't you know your history? Can't you read?

Evidently a helluva lot better than you can. The Dayton Accords were signed in 1995. NATO started bombing Serbia from March through June 1999 after the Rambouillet conference fell apart.

Clinton never wore the mantel of "war president"

Come to think of it you're right. Considering his resume includes attacking a sovereign nation with no UN or Congressional approval, completely botching up a military operation in Somalia, launching a 3 day bombing campaign in Iraq over 'imagionary' WMDs and blowing up an aspirin factory in Sudan, I'd say that's justified.

Gosh Uber Daddy, one thing at a time. whoooo there silver k?

Comrade, you need to ease up on the snark or at least get some that's funny.

If I say silly things it is just to talk down to your level. The tired phrase of "not knowing history - doomed to repeat" is way past you. I'm more inclined to start you with see spot run.

Trust me house, I have forgotten more history than you even pretend to know. Next time at least get your facts straight.

Revenant said...

Watch out for fact check Rev...will getcha every time.

Maybe you're not clear on how this works, HD. See, you "fact-checking" me involves you providing some facts that contradict what I've been saying. Just saying "watch out for fact check", as if it were some magic phrase that automatically makes everything turn out the way you want, is not good enough. You have to do the actual research.

Of course, if you did the actual research you'd learn that I was right. NATO had no authority, under the NATO treaty, to attack Bosnia, as Bosnia had neither attacked nor threatened any NATO nation.

Blake said...

Just saying "watch out for fact check", as if it were some magic phrase that automatically makes everything turn out the way you want, is not good enough. You have to do the actual research.

What?! When did this happen? Why wasn't I informed?!?!

sfletcher99 said...

eli-

in fact one of the biggest anti-Iraq arguments is that it distracted us from Afghanistan and led to the resurgence of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Yet, our current actions in Iraq have supposedly been 'inflaming' the "moderates" to now become "extremists"- See the numerous comparisons to the mythical "Hydra" where every "al Qaeda head" we cut off sprouts seven new "jihadis"...

Thus, if we 'ignore' them, they will get "stronger"--- and when we 'confront' them, they will also get "stronger"...

former law student said...

The NATO charter is very specific, military force is authorized when a NATO member is attacked.

True. Unfortunately for this argument, the Nato charter left out the word "only" between "authorized" and "when". A regional war in the Balkans was perceived as a threat to the peace and stability of Europe. The threat to Europe was no longer the Soviet bloc, as when Nato was founded, but the chaos resulting from the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. Nato rightly responded to this new threat to the peace of Europe.

Steven said...

The UN Charter does not permit attacks on sovereign nations in order to establish "stability", and NATO is specifically chartered in accordance with the UN rules on acceptable use of force (see Article 1 and Article 7).

Similarly, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which is still on the list of Treaties in Force maintained by the State Department, prohibits the use of war as an instrument of policy; the U.S. reservation to that treaty was limited solely to self-defense, with no mention of stabilization or intervention in other countries.

Accordingly, there are three possible constructions as to the legalities of the Kosovo and Iraq Wars.

In the first, the regular violations of both the Charter and Pact have caused them, under the customary rules of international law, void. They're dead letters, so violating them is not illegal, so both Kosovo and Iraq were legal wars.

In the second, one or both treaties have full force. Accordingly, Bill Clinton's actions were an utter violation of international law as severe as George W. Bush's.

In the third, both treaties have full force, as in number two. However, we then note the Gulf War (authorized by the United Nations in accordance with the Charter) ended with a cease-fire, not a peace treaty. Further, Iraq resumed military actions against U.S. and British forces in 1994 (firing upon aircraft patrolling the UN-established No Fly Zone). It is accordingly entirely defensible to state that the U.S. was already at war with Iraq for nine years before George W. Bush escalated the war. There is nothing in international law or any treaty to which the U.S. is a party prohibiting unilateral escalation of an already-ongoing war. In that case, George W. Bush did not violate international law in Iraq, but Bill Clinton did in Kosovo.

None of this, of course, answers the question of the relative merits of the wars as policy.

PatCA said...

Obama's plan to strike countries pre-emptively is also Bush's. Hillary's holding states responsible for terrorists within is Bush's. I guess the difference is they believe in surrendering when the policy fails or stalls.

They're going to be questioned more and more so they better narrow down the policy nuances or be destroyed by the Republican candidate.

So I predict Obama will change, too--but I predict it will happen as soon as he snags his party's nomination.

Revenant said...

Nato rightly responded to this new threat to the peace of Europe.

Rightly? Maybe. Legally within the framework of the NATO treaty, no. NATO wasn't formed to defend "Europe", which is why it didn't do a damned thing when the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia. NATO was formed to defend the signatory nations, none of whom were threatened by the situation in Bosnia.

Sure, they cooked up some lame story about how Greece was supposedly being endangered by the situation in Bosnia. Nobody believed that line of bullshit, then or now.

Steven said...

Oh, another thing. The Iraq War had a Congressional authorization; while that doesn't affect the international legality of the conflict, it does affect the legality under U.S. law.

Specifically, treaties to which the U.S. is a party are fully-qualified Federal laws, under the Constitution. So the UN Charter and Kellogg-Briand Pact are laws of the United States. A Congressional authorization to levy war would then allow a specific conflict despite those usual prohibitions, without repealing the prohibitions as a general matter.

Which means by launching the Kosovo War, Bill Clinton violated U.S. law — while Bush was acting fully within U.S. law when he launched the Iraq War.

Just something else to think about when you hear talk of "illegal" wars.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Sure, they cooked up some lame story about how Greece was supposedly being endangered by the situation in Bosnia. Nobody believed that line of bullshit, then or now.

Indeed, and neither did the Greeks who actually were supporting (in spirit) the Serbs. I'd have to look back but I'm not sure the Greeks even participated.

hdhouse said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
"Trust me house, I have forgotten more history than you even pretend to know."

Clearly so that you have forgotten more history...clearly so.

Richard Fagin said...

Events didn't change Jimmy Carter. He responded to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan with an American boycott of the 1980 Olympic games.

Maybe President Obama will just urge us to get over our "inordinate fear of Islamist jihad."

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
"Trust me house, I have forgotten more history than you even pretend to know."

Clearly so that you have forgotten more history...clearly so.


I clearly showed you have no clue what you were talking about. Unless you can back up your assertations with some facts rather than bad snark, we're pretty much done here. Have a nice day and thanks for playing. Just a tip for future discussions, you may want to fact check your dates before spouting off.