During the Iraq war there wasn't a more hawkish mainstream paper in the U.S. than the Washington Post -- especially its editorial board. Now they are doing their usual hatchet job for the Republicans and in a rambling piece of drivel, they are attacking President Obama over his foreign policy because Vladimir Putin sent troops into the Ukraine. They argue against retrenching and demand Obama do something, anything. What is that something, you might ask?
FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in which “the tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past. Secretary of State John F. Kerry displayed this mindset on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday when he said, of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, “It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century.”
That’s a nice thought, and we all know what he means. A country’s standing is no longer measured in throw-weight or battalions. The world is too interconnected to break into blocs. A small country that plugs into cyberspace can deliver more prosperity to its people (think Singapore or Estonia) than a giant with natural resources and standing armies. Unfortunately, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not received the memo on 21st-century behavior.
Damn that Putin. They use Stephen Sestanovich's new book "Minimalist," to damn Obama for pulling back after Bush got us involved in two disastrous wars.
The White House often responds by accusing critics of being warmongers who want American “boots on the ground” all over the world and have yet to learn the lessons of Iraq. So let’s stipulate: We don’t want U.S. troops in Syria, and we don’t want U.S. troops in Crimea. A great power can become overextended, and if its economy falters, so will its ability to lead. None of this is simple.
Are they saying Obama hasn't learned the lessons from Iraq yet? What lessons would that be? How fu*&ed up it was to send troops into a country like Iraq that didn't attack us? Didn't Putin just do that, too?
Military strength, trustworthiness as an ally, staying power in difficult corners of the world such as Afghanistan — these still matter, much as we might wish they did not. While the United States has been retrenching, the tide of democracy in the world, which once seemed inexorable, has been receding. In the long run, that’s harmful to U.S. national security, too.
So they believe that retrenching is very bad and expect the US to keep entrenching on other countries with no end in sight? How harmful has that been to the United states? Having a great military is one thing, but using it wisely is another thing altogether. And the Washington Post has no idea how to play the cards dealt.
I'm not surprised. Are you?