Monday, April 11, 2016

Dishonesty Abounds

Establishment Democrats are wont to accuse Republicans of lying and of spouting gibberish, Paul Krugman leading the chorus but far from being a solo voice, but manage constantly to demonstrate that this is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Obama has now said that the worst mistake of his presidency was, “failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya.” The rightness of the decision to intervene in Libya is certainly arguable, but the point here is why he thinks that he should have been planning for the aftermath.

The announced purpose of the intervention, and the scope permitted by the United Nations resolution, was to prevent a massacre of the people of Benghazi, which was actually a fairly spurious claim in itself, and the administration claimed repeatedly that there was no intention of using that intervention as a pretext to overthrow the Ghadaffi regime. The UN resolution, in fact, specifically forbade any attempt at regime change. The US pretense did not, of course, hold up very long but still, the claim was made.

The intervention was made under the principle of “responsibility to protect,”  and that was the basis on which application was made to the United Nations for authorization to do the intervention. How do you plan for the aftermath of the overthrow of a government while at the same time not intending to overthrow a government?

So Obama is now saying that he made a mistake by not planning for what to do after having done what he never planned to do in the first place, sort of like saying that I made a mistake by not planning in advance what to do after I crashed my car, and almost as asinine as claiming that the reason for continuing our presence in Afghanistan is that “we are denying them space in which to plan their attacks.”

Meanwhile Hillary Clinton, in response to an accusation that she supported a foreign policy that gave rise to ISIS, claimed that, “ISIS was primarily the result of the vacuum in Syria caused by Assad first and foremost. Aided and abetted by Iran and Russia.”

Either she thinks that is true, in which case she is grossly unqualified to be leader of anything larger than a dog pound, or she is lying, in which case she is very well qualified to be president because that's what presidents do most of the time.

ISIS was created in Iraq, and Iraq remains the center of its power to this day, not to mention that many of its senior leaders are Iraqis. Its first major victories were in Anbar province where, at one time, it presented an artillery threat to the Baghdad airport. Its growth was fueled by sectarian politics in Iraq and the Obama administration, with Clinton as Secretary of State, certainly supported the Iraqi government’s suppression of the Sunni people who provided the core of the Islamic State movement.

She will probably get away with it for the same reason that Obama gets away with his nonsensical foreign policy babble, which is that the vast majority of the American people couldn't find Iraq on a map and really don’t give a shit what happens outside the borders of this nation. They think that “supporting the troops”  means buying a magnet for your car.

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