Originally written May 23, 2010
In a strange similarity to the rhetoric of GHW Bush, President Obama called for a “new international order” to aid his upcoming national security plans. Interestingly, he said this is to turn the so-called “cowboy diplomacy” of HW’s son around- which indeed worked to alienate our nation from the international community. Obama’s diplomacy has thus far surpassed that of W, at least when it comes to cunning and style- but he still has a ways to go before he can hope to be viewed as “worthy” (at least by the GOP & it’s supporters) when compared to GHW Bush (even W. for some… yikes), who does have quite a few accolades when it comes to foreign policy and relations, having both “good” and “bad” results, depending on your stance, of course.
All in all, however, Obama’s diplomacy (besides the disarmament treaty) has been mostly superficial: friendly rubbing of elbows in attempts to eradicate the opinions instilled by the last president’s blatant imperialism.
This imperialism, however, has not gone away. Rather than seriously contemplating ending the war , the pres views it’s continuation as necessary, using the same line of appeals which have been propounded since 911, saying militants behind the attacks are still plotting in Afghanistan* (par. 9). He also stressed the importance of cooperative intelligence sharing (par. 8), another piece of rhetoric continually propounded since the expansion of FISA and the PATRIOT Act.
I also find interesting the president’s words: “The burdens of this century cannot fall on our soldiers alone, it also cannot fall on American shoulders alone”
What’s interesting about this is that the current war going on in the middle east IS America’s sole burden (well, Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan also). Terrorism is a world-wide problem, this is true, but the specific attack which spurred the war was, for all practical purposes, an American problem- it was directed at us, and we retaliated (against a country which has not been linked to the attack, nonetheless!) with the help of some allies, most of whom have left the conflict. Granted, the al Qaeda are viewed as an international problem, and to come together to fight terrorism is one thing- but at this point, we have done nothing to truly combat far-reaching international terrorism, we have been hunting the same group for nearly ten years, in the same general region, and still haven’t caught the supposed culprit of the initial attack.
I also find it interesting (almost as interesting as bin Laden’s somewhat frequent communiques) that the pres is essentially saying “we know they’re out there plotting, we just don’t know where.” To me, it seems that if you know they’re plotting, you must have a decent idea where, and who they are; and if you don’t know who/where they are, how can you know they are plotting?
If they know, why have they not finalized this sordid affair?
While I’m sure the pres will eventually speak again of ending the conflict, until then, it seems that the same old imperialist war machine is stomping around in the middle east- it’s just wearing a different colored pin.
*Zengerle, Patricia. Obama: U.S. can’t act alone in world. May 22, 2010. Retrieved May 23, 2010 from