Friday, February 29, 2008
I think when future generations look back at this period in time they won't so much look it as the Bush Years as the Nixon Years part deux, when all the people who were junior officials in the Nixon era came of age. Same scandals, the same low grade animosity, and the same hapless, hopeless, spineless opposition. Mostly what I won't miss though are those stupid flag pins.
Also whoever inherits the presidency will have two unmanageable wars on his hands. Both will be hard to disengage from, but it will be equally hard to continue. I think if McCain becomes president he may re institute the draft. The one fairly coherent page I found on the subject seemed to indicate that he would like to, even if he won't admit it. I think McCain realizes that to even mention bringing back the draft would be political suicide, but how else does he expect to stay in Iraq for as long as it takes?
What really frightens me is a Hillary presidency. I can see the argument for staying in Iraq and winning by any means (even if it means bringing back the draft), but I cannot vote for someone who was for a frivolous war while it was going well and regrets it now that it goes badly. To me, this shows a lack of foresight. I'm not saying that people should not be forgiven for their mistakes, but that the president of these United States (as the present administration demonstrates) cannot be someone who lacks foresight or who can be unduly influenced, especially in these coming years. My feelings on Hillary and the war is that at best she was dupe and at worst she was complicit.
What also frightens me about Hillary is how proud she would be to be the first woman president. I think what really disturbs me is that it seems to her to be something of a race. That somehow just because blacks got the vote first, somehow Woman need to beat them to the presidency.
The one piece of Obama's policy that I find hard to reconcile is his withdrawal and the subsequent collapse of the American backed government. The rosiest scenario I can paint is that the present government collapses and Iran invades. All that has kept Iraq together all these years has been a burning desire not to be Iran. Iraq either unites to become a state free of influence from Iran or the US and hopefully the internal players are too busy consolidating their power to pursue us home, or Iran tries to annex Iraq, either through proxies or through main force and Iran becomes so busy consolidating it's hold on the region that we don't have to worry so much about Iran for a while. Either of these scenarios would leave more troops available for deployment to Afghanistan.
It's become apparent that if there is to be peace in Iraq than Iran must cooperate. What is refreshing about Obama is that he appears ready to at least talk with our "enemies". Even during the bitterest days of the Cold War their was always the red phone. Why are we still embargoing Cuba when we trade freely with China? Is it because they're communists? That they abuse human rights? Or is it just tradition? The cold war came to an end because of communication. As long we refuse to talk to our enemies and demonize them they will continue to remain our enemies. I'm not suggesting that anytime soon the West and Islamism need necessarily be bosom buddies , but that the two are not intractable. Just as our current trade relationship with China demonstrates that just because we possess opposing ideology does not mean we can't do business and that we may indeed possess common interests.