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  • News Flash: Water is Wet!!!

    Posted by James R. Rummel on December 28th, 2009 (All posts by )

    I have just read the most astonishing op-ed from the Miami Herald. What is so astonishing about it? Mainly how the author, Frida Ghitis, acts as if the perfectly obvious is suddenly revealed wisdom.

    Ms. Ghitis solemnly informs her readers that various sections of the world still hate the United States, even though President Obama is in the White House. How can this possibly be? Because, she says, other countries may have goals that conflict with ours!

    What knocks me for a loop is how Ms. Ghitis patiently goes through this indescribably obvious concept, explaining it in small words as if her readers have the same mental development as five year olds. It appears as if she was taken by surprise by the most basic fact that influences foreign policy, a fact that has been obvious since before nations were even formed, and the one truth that makes foreign policy necessary in the first place.

    It seems that Ms. Ghitis drank deep the Liberal kool-aide and simply accepted without question the notion that the reason why some other countries were belligerent to the US was because President Bush was talking tough and being mean. Now that Obama is sitting pretty she is shocked, shocked to find that the real world doesn’t operate according to her simplistic notions.

    So the author is confused and disappointed that the rest of the world isn’t an obedient lapdog now that Obama is President. But what she has neglected to mention is the fear that is held by those of us who have always had a clear vision of the way the world works.

    If the President is shown to be weak, without resolve, and overly reluctant to use force in order to protect the interests of the US and our allies, then those regimes which are inimical to democratic ideals will rightly interpret this as a green light to cause mischief. Diplomacy without at least the implicit threat of force will do more harm than good, as repressive regimes will think the time is right to increase their influence, their power, and the means to threaten and enslave their neighbors.

    This goes beyond a simple loss of prestige, as real people can lose their lives or liberty. Toothless bargaining and an overly high regard for diplomacy for its own sake is usually dangerous in our imperfect world.

    It has been less than a year since Obama was sworn in, and so far America’s enemies and rivals have done little more than to test the waters. They are interested in finding out if Obama is the empty suit he so clearly seems to be. The question that worries me is what they will do to take advantage of the situation. After all, we are still trying to cope with the myriad problems that sprang up during the Carter administration.

    This next year should be interesting in a Chinese proverb kind of way.

    (Hat tip to Glenn.)

     

    10 Responses to “News Flash: Water is Wet!!!

    1. TMLutas Says:

      The unfortunate truth is that an American President must be sufficiently scary. He can do this by credibly talking tough. He can also do this by killing people. The less you impress people with your “I’m scary” act, the more people you have to actually kill. The other alternative is for the US to get rolled until the people put somebody sufficiently scary to get the rest of the world to cut it out.

      I wish President Obama the best of luck in defending our interests while keeping the body count to a minimum. I suspect that he will do the right thing in the end but the body count for restoring our “I’m scary” reputation will be unconscionably high, unnecessarily so.

    2. William Shakespeare Says:

      The time approaches
      That will with due decision make us know
      What we shall say we have and what we owe.
      Thoughts speculative their unsure hopes relate,
      But certain issue strokes must arbitrate.

    3. Mike Kistler Says:

      Hmmmm, speaking of being simplistic? James and Frida have a lot in common….. I’ll just leave it at that, no need to elaborate and complicate things

    4. Michael Kennedy Says:

      so far America’s enemies and rivals have done little more than to test the waters

      The visit of Saad Hariri to his father’s murderer is one concrete effect of the Obama fecklessness. The Cedar Revolution is over and Hezbollah has won. Libya’s brief period of repentance for past sins ended and the Pan Am 103 bomber has had his miraculous cure from terminal cancer.

      The Christmas attempt is just the opening prelude to an offensive that will go well with my new bumper sticker (Which has already been stolen once): “I Miss W.”

    5. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Oderint dum metuant.

    6. Anonymous Says:

      One wonders what it does to the heart of Hariri to go through this ritual – cognitive dissonance and all. Of course, it works against his instincts, instincts that our religion has taught us to transcend that include revenge and a sense of the other’s otherness that may not include their own divinity. Yes, I’m grateful for a religion that encourages that in us, but I don’t feel it should need to be put to such tests.

    7. shannon Love Says:

      Egocentrism and hubris are the defining attribute of leftism.

      Leftist really do believe that every event in the world revolves around them. If you talk to any leftist about any problem with any people of any part of the world, the conversation will eventually come down to the leftist explaining why some illiterate, hill people of a completely non-Western cultures are nevertheless angry about the exact same things that the leftist is angry about. The leftist will then confidently assert that if the leftists had more power and status within western society then no one would ever be angry at us.

      So, yes, many leftists are honestly surprised and Frida Ghitis does feel she has to explain to leftist that indeed other peoples have their own cultures, ideologies, histories and local concerns that have nothing whatsoever to do with the culture, ideology, history and local concerns of Western urban intellectuals. This is actually a radical and disturbing thought for leftists. They really did believe that raising their own internal power and status would actually make foreign autocrats less belligerent.

      Emotionally, leftists are children who cannot see the world in any other terms than their own needs and desires. They are the world in their own minds and what is good for them is good for the world. Leftists intellectual history is almost exclusively an exercise of creating an ever shifting set of rationalizations for why leftists intellectuals (and those who ego identify with them) should be the most powerful and high status individuals in society. To that end, they assert that all problems arise from the actions of their internal social/political competition and they assert that all real solutions are those that only leftists intellectuals can implement.

      These people really did believe that putting a leftists articulate intellectual into the White House would produce a radical shift in the opinion and attitudes of the autocratic leaders of the world. Their egocentrism prevents any other conclusion. It’s why the leftwing Nobel Prize committee felt no shame in giving Obama the peace prize. They really did believe that just by the virtue of being a leftwing intellectual that he had brought peace to the world when he assumed power.

      It’s terrifying that such emotionally immature people have such say in our world.

    8. Michael Kennedy Says:

      I understand that the chairman of the Nobel committee had a relationship with the KGB.

    9. Craig Says:

      Jesus H. Christ. Didn’t you bother to read the thing?

      During the Bush years, many believed Iran’s intransigence was the direct result of Bush’s threatening stance. Since Obama came to power, he has tried unsuccessfully to stop Iran from lying to the U.N.’s nuclear authorities and deceiving the world’s diplomats. Iran has dismissed all efforts despite Washington’s new conciliatory tone and its efforts to find a diplomatic solution.

      It has become more difficult to blame America for the problem. And yet, some will continue to see the devil’s shadow and blame the US no matter how much America’s president scrubs his foreign policy.

      She’s not expressing surprise, she’s explaining how foolish the Obama followers were. C’mon. Think.

    10. James R. Rummel Says:

      “She’s not expressing surprise, she’s explaining how foolish the Obama followers were. C’mon. Think.”

      You might well be right, Craig.

      But I do note that she takes the time to point out the most basic concepts that drive every foreign policy. These concepts are so Earth-shatteringly obvious that they really don’t need to be mentioned out loud, unless one is deliberately trying to insult the intelligence of their audience. (“Some countries and politicians have goals and interests that conflict sharply with the United States.“)

      Could the author have been trying for an ironic tone? Could this have been an attempt to scold Obama supporters for their extreme naivete? It is certainly possible, but I don’t see much evidence for that. I just took the op-ed at face value.