Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Accusations that President Obama has been dithering in his decision-making bothers me. A lot. Those who spout this opinion should honestly re-examine the lack of forethought that brought the U.S. to it's current, sorry status in the eyes of many of its own citizens and the rest of the world. Honest evaluation is difficult for politicians. It requires them to accept responsibility for unpopular outcomes which could cost them votes. Jumping in with both feet, guns blazing as in an old cowboy movie triggered warfare that now seems to be impossible to end without dire consequences for both the liberators and the liberated. Clearly strategy, particularly an exit strategy, was not considered. Disgracefully under-equipped American troops were sent into a region whose customs and values are radically different from our own. Judgements seem to have been made on the naive theories that: A. We would be viewed as rescuing heroes, freeing beleaguered people from tyrannical leadership. B. Fighting would be over quickly with relatively little effort or loss of life. C. Democracy would miraculously be born and embraced by the liberated people. D. American troops would victoriously withdraw through grateful, cheering crowds. E. American business would enjoy an economic boost providing war matériel, technology and infrastructure development. F. Everyone would live happily ever after. With so much history and up-to-the-second information available, how did we allow ourselves to be dragged into this no-win situation? Surely brilliant minds were available and willing to provide consultation and advice. The impulsive arrogance of the previous executive branch fueled this dangerous, deliberate ignorance. Figuring out how to end two wars could stagger any leader. The current administration has also been tasked with leading the recovery from an extreme, global economic crisis that might have been thwarted if not for a deliberate lack of oversight, misplaced trust and ethical depreciation. The Obama administration and the President, personally, are making steady strides in repairing the damaged reputation of the American People. Mr. Obama's impressive personal dignity and integrity have withstood insulting challenges even from fellow Americans. Dithering is an illogical conclusion. In a single year Barack Obama has won the hearts and minds of people around the world. If it hadn't been for his swift and controversial actions during the first few weeks and months of his administration the world economy might have collapsed. It is sadly ironic that some Americans still cannot get past his skin color to realize that he is our best hope to pull us out of the quagmire created by his predecessors. Even to his most vocal critics it must now be clear that it would have been disastrous to allow big business to try to fix itself. Even after the federal government dragged their sorry butts out of the fire -- at huge political and taxpayer expense -- some big business tycoons still don't get it. It will take every ounce of strength and courage Mr. Obama can muster to regain the United States' hard-won position of respect and humanitarianism in the world. I, for one, am grateful that he has the capacity and was willing to take on such a burden. His thoughtful, deliberate and calm manner is what we need in our president. He's no wimp nor is he a rogue. Bickering over party ideologies and loss of political face is not constructive and wastes time and money on "both sides of the aisle." Allowing differences to overwhelm and overrule common sense might allow our enemies to divide and conquer us. Surely that's not what the president's critics are going after . . .