Talking Tough

The following is the first paragraph from this Telegraph UK op-ed.

“No apologies for posting consecutively on Barack Obama: the Looney Tunes President’s sell-out of US and Western interests is proceeding at such a speed that it is difficult to keep pace. Well said, Nile Gardiner, for asking if Barack Obama is the most naïve president in American history. The answer is undoubtedly yes – unless he has a secret agenda to cut America down to size.”

And then the author gets kind of harsh.

(Hat tip to The Cryptic Subterranean, and this essay is cross-posted over at Hell in a Handbasket.)

9 thoughts on “Talking Tough”

  1. just more silliness–anti-Obama–without asking what we would say if Russia aimed a huge “defense” at all of Europe…Russia is no longer the problem…get over living in the past.

  2. It’s not just “anti-Obama” rhetoric. Unfortunately, Obama’s view of “strategery” is to give away strategic bargaining chips in exchange for photo-ops. Even more unfortunate is that these are the “bargains” that we know about. What was discussed about Georgia, for instance? What about the energy supplies for Europe (i.e., what was given away to get a verbal promise not to mess with Europe’s heating oil.. at least for the time being)? What about supply routes into Afghanistan? What about Iran (were the protesters thrown under the bus as well)? Was Honduras discussed?

  3. Zuckerman’s equivalence ignores the offensive threats Russia traditionally posed – American armaments in those areas were not designed to protect America but stop European powers from engaging in yet another war. We saw a significant difference between the protective umbrella the Russians held over Eastern Europe and the allied nature of our NATO commitments. Does Zuckerman think these were the same? Does he see much more recent Russian actions with regard to Georgia or its threats concerning pipelines to Eastern Europe offensive or defensive? Does he believe the Russians’ treatment of opposing voices is a defensive or offensive move? Sure, Russia doesn’t pose the threat we once thought it did. We take umbrellas on cloudy days, knowing it may well not rain. We know the nature of those clouds.

    By the way, while I don’t like Obama much and Rummel quotes the “loony tunes” remark, his post (and his links) discuss arguments. Personalizing policy isn’t useful – some personalized to criticize Bush’s, those of that position personalize praise of Obama’s. It locks us in ineffective debates and cements us in positions we might not arrive at through reasoning. The right generally tends toward a more rational approach (see the difference between reactions to Bush and Obama nominations – which side is willing to criticize their own?). Noting this difference was one of the many generalizations that moved me from left to right in the last couple of decades.

    Therefore, the repeated argument from those who disagree with posts on this blog that we are merely trying to criticize Obama will not convince rational people (and even less to convince irrational people).

  4. AlanH,

    Good point. There’s also the possibility that we paid a ransom, perhaps in the form of releasing high-level Iranian terrorists we had captured in Iraq, for the release of Roxanne Saberi. And who knows what we’ve offered to give away to North Korea in exchange for the release of the two Americans being held hostage.

  5. Nathan Zuckerman – There is a certain class of ballistic targets that simply cannot be intercepted except by defense packages labeled missile defense. The vast majority of those objects are, in fact, missiles with WMD warheads. As private space flight programs proceed, that’s going to become less true. At some point, somebody’s going to need to shoot one of these rockets down or a madman launch is going to happen, etc, etc, etc. When that time comes, I’d like to have a reasonable defense deployed and have gotten all the bugs out prior to crunch time. You would rather that we all go on another self-deluding jag about how such a tragedy could not have been predicted (see 9/11). Your position is indefensible on the facts.

    Ronald Reagan was the first to suggest that we share missile defense technology with Russia. I share his position. I’m all in favor of as many overlapping defense systems having a shot in the case of a terrorist ballistic package or a madman launch. You seem to rather we count the dead afterwards and have a really nice memorial. To hell with that.

  6. Mr Zukerman, I think it is you who is living in the past – those few years in the early nineties when it looked like Russia was going to be a nice friendly democracy. Things have moved on a bit. The fact that Russia’s rulers think they are somehow “within their rights” to tell other countries what they should be doing by way of foreign and defence policy would indicate that, ahem, yes, they are still a problem. Not a military problem at this stage but a political one.

    Nile Gardiner may be a Brit but he is a Washington think-tank wonk. Hence his knowledge of things American and lack of knowledge of things British or European. A bit like people who, on no evidence whatsoever, think that all non-Washington-think-tank-wonk Brits are w[h]imps. I prefer the word without that h.

  7. I ought to have done this first: looked at the piece properly. Then I would have realized that it is not by Nile Gardiner but by Gerald Warner, a journalist on this side of the Pond but, on the other hand, it is not an op-ed piece but a blog posting. I guess I need to explain that the big media has taken the British blogospher over. Not sure what to do about that. It has more or less destroyed any influence the British blogosphere might have but, on the bright side, has not halted the decline of big media.

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