Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Buchanan on Hagel

I've always thought of Chuck Hagel as a bit of a doofus, because why did he take the job in the first place? He couldn't possibly be so naive as to think Obama planned anything good in the military sphere, or that he wouldn't toss him overboard ASAP if he ever became critical.

But I like to take the long view of these things — long in comparison to the TV talking heads, at least, whose memories seldom go back further than a decade, if that.

So I'll give you my opinion quick, and then pass you on to Pat Buchanan, who knows a lot more about it than I do.

Ronald Reagan, for all his flaws, had enough street smarts to know that just about anything we might try to do in the Middle East would turn around and bite us sooner or later. At least he realized that after Lebanon. Bush First had a similar understanding of the Middle East, at least, and had realist advisors who didn't think we could bomb the whole area into a representative democracy any time soon.

But the Clinton-Bush-Obama years have been different. The world is a board game to those three idiots. They're all convinced that constant diddling with the people of the Middle East can somehow improve the situation. They are, of course, dead wrong. One of the reasons I understand things like that is that I've been reading Buchanan for years. And this week, he writes:

Hagel Didn’t Start the Fire

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam war veteran and the lone Republican on Obama’s national security team, has been fired.

And John McCain’s assessment is dead on.

Hagel, he said, “was never really brought into that real tight circle inside the White House that makes all the decisions which has put us into the incredible debacle that we’re in today throughout the world.”

Undeniably, U.S. foreign policy is in a shambles. But what were the “decisions” that produced the “incredible debacle”?

Who made them? Who supported them?

The first would be George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, a war for which Sens. John McCain, Joe Biden, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton all voted. At least Sen. Hagel admitted he made a mistake on that vote.

With our invasion, we dethroned Saddam and destroyed his Sunni Baathist regime. And today the Islamic State, a barbaric offshoot of al-Qaida, controls Mosul, Anbar and the Sunni third of Iraq.

Kurdistan is breaking away. And a Shia government in Baghdad, closely tied to Tehran and backed by murderous anti-American Shia militias, controls the rest. Terrorism is a daily occurrence.

Such is the condition of the nation which we were promised would become a model of democracy for the Middle East after a “cake-walk war.” The war lasted eight years for us, and now we are going back—to prevent a catastrophe.

A second decision came in 2011, when a rebellion arose against Bashar Assad in Syria, and we supported and aided the uprising. Assad must go, said Obama. McCain and the neocons agreed.

Now ISIS and al-Qaida are dominant from Aleppo to the Iraqi border with Assad barely holding the rest, while the rebels we urged to rise and overthrow the regime are routed or in retreat.

Had Assad fallen, had we bombed his army last year, as Obama, Kerry and McCain wanted to do, and brought down his regime, ISIS and al-Qaida might be in Damascus today. And America might be facing a decision either to invade or tolerate a terrorist regime in the heart of the Middle East.

Lest we forget, Vladimir Putin pulled our chestnuts out of the fire a year ago, with a brokered deal to rid Syria of chemical weapons.

The Turks, Saudis and Gulf Arabs who aided ISIS’ rise are having second thoughts, but sending no Saudi or Turkish troops to dislodge it.

So the clamor arises anew for U.S. “boots on the ground” to reunite the nations that the wars and revolutions we supported tore apart.

A third decision was the U.S.-NATO war on Col. Gadhafi’s Libya.

After deceiving the Russians by assuring them we wanted Security Council support for the use of air power simply to prevent a massacre in Benghazi, we bombed for half a year, and brought down Gadhafi.

Now we have on the south shore of the Mediterranean a huge failed state and strategic base camp for Islamists and terrorists who are spreading their poison into sub-Sahara Africa.

The great triumphs of Reagan and Bush 41 were converting Russia into a partner, and presiding over the liberation of Eastern Europe and the dissolution of the old Soviet Union into 15 independent nations.

Read the rest here:
Quibcag: I think the illustration is meant to be personifications of a few of the successor states to the USSR. At any rate, I found it here:

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