Walter Russell Mead, author of the seminal foreign policy tomes “Hard Power, Soft Power” and “Creamy Power, Sticky Power”, as well as the masterful dialectic “Team Brad Power, Team Jen Power”, not to lessen in any way the landmark “My Gal Is Red Hot Power, But Your Gal Is Doodly Squat Power”, levels some of his harshest criticism, maybe ever, at Barack Obama.
But, first. You might find cause to note Walter’s haphazard attempts at English language, with its cryptic rules about using only so many letters to spell particular words, and changing other words (verbs) to meet the whimsical demands of their subjects. Nonetheless he’s obviously smart:
Once again, be very glad we don’t have a Republican president right now. If we did, we would be treated to a merciless media pounding, night-and-day, on the series of strategic failures, mistakes and false starts that have characterized America’s war strategy in Afghanistan since 2009.
And once again – right? As if, talk to the hand. There’s a good reason why we don’t have a Republican president right now, and it’s because candidate Barack Obama differed so strikingly from the warmongers in his opposition to the War in Iraq. He promised to end that nightmare, and so the electorate voted for him in droves, and now the war is over. But I see no reason why that should hold the slightest meaning or relevance for the great Walter Russell Firebomb.
We’d be getting constant reminders of how the President, who repeatedly said that this was a just war that America had to win, and who told us that we should vote for him because he wouldn’t let anything distract him from the vital task of winning said war, hasn’t managed to win it, or even end it, after six long years.
And lies. Obama never promised anything about winning ‘said war’:
During last year’s campaign, Barack Obama stressed that while he wanted to withdraw from Iraq, he was no pacifist. “As president,” he said on July 15, 2008, “I will make the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority that it should be. This is a war that we have to win.”
He promised to focus on the war against terrorism. Instead. He also promised to end the War in Afghanistan in 2014, and whaddaya know it’s now pretty much over. We had 110,000 soldiers there back in 2011, and now there are only about 6,000. So what the hell is Walter whining about?
Oh wait, let me answer that. Walter is whining about the same thing he’s always whined about: More War. Obama won’t sacrifice his Marines to smoke every psycho jihadi out of his clapboard shack in Farflungistan, therefore spineless pussy loser you’re no Teddy Roosevelt, Sir. Yeah well fuck you, Yalie. You couldn’t lift a replica rifle to your shoulder, blubberboy.
Remember this, Walter back in 2003? My golly he did some sober thinking, and then he managed – somehow! – to come down on the side of Bush and Cheney…eight days before the invasion. This is what you call courage under fire:
DEADLIER THAN WAR
Walter Russell Mead, Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow | March 12, 2003
Those who still oppose war in Iraq think containment is an alternative — a middle way between all-out war and letting Saddam Hussein out of his box.
They are wrong…
Each year of containment is a new Gulf War.
Saddam Hussein is 65; containing him for another 10 years condemns at least another 360,000 Iraqis to death. Of these, 240,000 will be children under 5.
Walter said that our sanctions were killing too many children, so it was time to go in and kill many, many more. What a sweetheart.
The link is clear and direct. Since 1991 the United States has had forces in Saudi Arabia. Those forces are there for one purpose only: to defend the kingdom (and its neighbors) from Iraqi attack. If Saddam Hussein had either fallen from power in 1991 or fulfilled the terms of his cease-fire agreement and disarmed, U.S. forces would have left Saudi Arabia.
But Iraqi defiance forced the United States to stay, and one consequence was dire and direct. Osama bin Laden founded al Qaeda because U.S. forces stayed in Saudi Arabia.
This is the link between Saddam Hussein’s defiance of international law and the events of Sept. 11; it is clear and compelling. No Iraqi violations, no Sept. 11.
Walter told us there was a terrible “clear and direct” link between September the Eleventh and Saddam Hussein. But Wally also said there was an upside in that we could invade his country and slaughter a hundred thousand or so civilians. So we did, and look how much better off Iraq is now. What a guy.