Understanding Our Differences

We hear a lot in the U.S. about how obstructionist the Republican members of Congress are because they don’t vote or support the same ideas or bills as the Democrat President wants.

Pres. elect Barack Obama with former Pres. George W. Bush

President elect Barack Obama with former President George W. Bush

Even the public media joins in on that accusation when they question Republicans or do their best to find ways to smear conservatives such as the supporters of the Tea Party as racists. It’s as though the whole foundational idea of free speech, independent thinking and voluntary support for laws and action are no longer valid as long as the current administration is in power.

Now, I understand politics and how each party often does their best to make the other group look like village idiots. It happens. Remember just a few years ago when George W. Bush was President? This video was created after he left office however you can see Jon Stewart referring to missing the opportunity to skewer him while he was in office.

When George W. was President there were a significant number of criticisms as well as a number of comedians portraying the President of being an incompetent clown. Now when we see anything close to criticism of President Barack Obama, the persons involved usually get fired and in some cases ordered to attend sensitivity training class.

After those two relatively insignificant events, the results should inform you about how each President handles criticism. Sadly, President Obama may have already dismissed a few of his credible past criticizers, whom he might need to help him now.  The following military leaders were dismissed under his watch; General David McKiernanGeneral John AllenGeneral Stanley McCrystalGeneral David PetraeusGeneral Carter HamRear Admiral Charles Gaouette. At least four of them are directly attributable to criticism which got back to President Obama. The object in pointing all of this out is, sometimes your opposition sees things more clearly than you do and at least should have an opportunity to speak without fear of reprisal.

This link which shows a video, during the Bush Administration, an impassioned speech against surge support in Iraq, which is as appropriate today as it was then.  Ideological disgust against war however should be universal not based on political party in power.

Secretary of State John Kerry opened the door Tuesday to sending American troops into Syria if Bashar Assad’s regime collapses and al-Qaida-linked extremist groups stand to get their hands on his chemical weapons.

“In the event Syria imploded, for instance, or in the event there was a threat of a chemical weapons cache falling into the hands of al-Nusra or someone else and it was clearly in the interest of our allies — and all of us, the British, the French and others to prevent those weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of the worst elements,” Kerry told lawmakers, “I don’t want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to the president of the United States to secure our country.”

Kerry also assured lawmakers wary of giving their explicit green light to military strikes against Syria that Obama “is not asking America to go to war.

Kerry warned Congress against embracing “armchair isolationism” or settling for being “spectators to slaughter” — and promised that any American action would be limited.

President Obama hasn’t defined a clear foreign policy through-out his tenure. The world’s leaders view him as someone they neither trust or in his competence. You can see this in the body language of candid photos with world leaders. Their initial reactions to his election were positive but over time they have come to understand he lacks direction and avoids responsibility when things don’t go well. Within days after taking office President 0bama said, he didn’t particularly hold the U.K in high regard. He also went among various countries giving speeches about the past transgressions of the United States within the world community. This comes back to haunt him now because he set the stage to automatically mistrust the intentions of his country.

This doesn’t automatically mean his desire to “send a message” to Assad isn’t a good idea however, almost everyone in the UN are looking to avoid perpetual involvement and an escalation of hostilities in the region. Charisma doesn’t carry weight with foreign heads of state while they have serious problems at home. They don’t want to be blamed later for any blow-back should the plans of a U.S. President turn sour.Obama defining friends

“So, the question is, how credible is the international community when it says this is an international norm that has to be observed.” ~ President Obama

Perhaps the country and the rest of the world are asking the same question in reverse?