Robert McNamara is Dead

Damn…Robert McNamara died today.

For those of you not in the know, Robert McNamara is one of the most famous Secretary of Defense, serving under Kennedy and Johnson. He  held the office longer than anyone in United States history, presiding over much of the Vietnam War. I highly suggest checking out his documentary “The Fog of War” for some highly informative lessons on war and politics.

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Filling In The Gap: The Non-Existant Democratic Foreign Policy

This blog entry doesn’t mean very much for anyone who doesn’t agree with the ontological assumptions upon which its based. Assertions are cute, but if you don’t “impact” out your arguments then they don’t really mean much to me. For example, yes Obama is calling for supplemental money for Afghanistan. And this is bad because…(But that’s just a pet peeve of mine. You know thinking people should back up their arguments, yep, me being anal again.) That being said, this article highlights the biggest problem with the country’s foreign policy decisions.

As most of you know, I’m a democrat whose worked in democratic politics for a couple of years, so I’m hardly spouting off biased right wing bullshit. But it seems pretty clear that the democratic party doesn’t have and never really had a foreign policy strategy.

Yup, I said it.

Sure, we have very valid criticisms of Bush adminstration policy and arguments why the United States should do less of A and/or more of B. But at the core of the discussion, democrats have yet to supply a real world strategy outlining their goals in the Middle East and actions they should take to achieve them. Even the vocal and outspoken liberal wing of the party has yet to codify an alternative strategy, choosing to rely instead on constant calls of withdrawl of our military troops anytime they’re deployed, wherever they’re deployed.*

 * There’s nothing wrong with withdrawl per se, though I personally disagree with the idea. The problem lies in the fact that withdrawl is a tactic not a strategy. Same goes for diplomacy.

Required Readings: “Too Big To Fail”

Alright kids, here’s your homework for tonight.

Tim Geithner; too big to fail?

“If you think stopping global warming is expensive wait till you see how costly inaction is”

“The Idiots Guide to Pakistan is still really really complicated”

Is US Aid hurting Pakistan?

Can you guess the theme? Hint: its pretty obvious

The Lack of Double Standards

Andrew says:

What remains to be seen is whether or not President Obama will be butchered by the public for military adventurism as they did to President Bush.

This argument has been coming up a lot lately as conservatives try to push the “double standard” talking point. Essentially everyone worships Obama but he really is “teh suck”. Everyone hates Bush’s, and conservatives, foreign policy but Obama is just like him, etc, etc.

But what gets overlooked is that President Bush was hailed for 6 years before the public finally became fed up with the war. Foreign policy was the area that President Bush destroyed John Kerry with. Remember “We shouldn;t have to ask the world for a permission ship to defend America” or the national review putting Howard Dean on the front page with the title “Please Nominate This Man” because Dean was a major anti-war candidate and the war was still popular.

The American people tend to be supportive or unconcerned about foreign policy issues until it directly effects them or there’s massive American causalities. After being bogged down with a lack of progress for 6 years in Iraq and Afghanistan the American people finally got fed up. Had the Surge come earlier then there probably would’ve been a big difference in the way we view the war and Bush foreign policy.

Is An Effective Stimulus Bill Key to US Hegemony?

Tim Fernholz from Tapped makes a good point, and a good debate card.

There are national security reasons to pass the stimulus bill.

Awww, and he even quotes Mead. The only way this could get better is if he quoted Khalilzad.