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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Washington Post on Obama's Fantasy Foreign Policy: The Progressive Civil War Begins?

An interesting development on Progressive Planet.

The Washington Post editorial board, that decades-long stalwart purveyor of standard American progressive "thought," has had a revelation; it is not exactly equivalent to Saul on the road to Damascus, but it might be akin to Jimmy Carter on the road to political oblivion. I refer to that moment in January 1980, following the prior month's Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, when Jimmy Carter--silver medalist in the Worst President Ever category--angrily announced, "Brezhnev lied to me!"

Poor dear deluded Carter realized at that moment--he seems to have forgotten this since--that the sun did not rise and set at his command; the world did not spin to please him; the solar system did not revolve around Plains, Georgia. He dimly realized that at times foreign leaders do what they think is in the best interest of their countries, and do not comply with the laws of the universe imagined by Washington DC bureaucrats, and "progressive" journalists and academics.

Yes, the Washington Post has SUDDENLY discovered that when it comes to foreign policy, the leaders of Planet Obama might, might just be from Bizarro World. The editorial for March 2 titled, "President Obama’s Foreign Policy is Based on Fantasy" states,
FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in whichthe tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past. Secretary of State John F. Kerry displayed this mindset on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday when he said, of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, “It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century.”
Has the WP been reading The Diplomad? It goes on to state,
Unfortunately, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not received the memo on 21st-century behavior. Neither has China’s president, Xi Jinping, who is engaging in gunboat diplomacy against Japan and the weaker nations of Southeast Asia. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is waging a very 20th-century war against his own people, sending helicopters to drop exploding barrels full of screws, nails and other shrapnel onto apartment buildings where families cower in basements. These men will not be deterred by the disapproval of their peers, the weight of world opinion or even disinvestment by Silicon Valley companies. They are concerned primarily with maintaining their holds on power.
And even,
The White House often responds by accusing critics of being warmongers who want American “boots on the ground” all over the world and have yet to learn the lessons of Iraq. So let’s stipulate: We don’t want U.S. troops in Syria, and we don’t want U.S. troops in Crimea. A great power can become overextended, and if its economy falters, so will its ability to lead. None of this is simple. 
But it’s also true that, as long as some leaders play by what Mr. Kerry dismisses as 19th-century rules, the United States can’t pretend that the only game is in another arena altogether. Military strength, trustworthiness as an ally, staying power in difficult corners of the world such as Afghanistan — these still matter, much as we might wish they did not. While the United States has been retrenching, the tide of democracy in the world, which once seemed inexorable, has been receding. In the long run, that’s harmful to U.S. national security, too.
Well good for the Post! A little bit of the light of realism has broken through the progressive fog. That said, and at the risk of being uncharitable, we must note that it is now March 2014, and Mr. Obama, whom the Post backed in two elections, has been President since January 2009. That's over five years. Ukraine is not the first disaster for this President. Those have been coming fast and furious (ahem!) for those five-plus years, and the Post hasn't said much of anything about them. It, in fact, joined in with fellow progressives to deride Palin and later Romney's warnings about Russia. The same editorial board has stayed silent about the IRS targeting of the Tea Party, the abuse of EPA authority to shutdown businesses not friends of the Democrat party, Obama's arming of drug cartels, and the Benghazi massacre. The Post has long supported the global warming nonsense, and, of course, Obamacare and the fantasy world on which that is built, to wit, that there are millions of uninsured or poor Americans out there just dying to get enrolled in some big government sponsored health scheme.

The Post has an infamous history of its own as an active purveyor of progressive fantasy. Its most famous being the Janet Cooke hoax. Cooke, as you remember, was a black reporter for the Post who wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning series of reports titled "Jimmy's World" which featured a poor little eight-year-old black boy in the ghetto, so lonely and so desperate that he would shoot up his mom's heroin. The progs loved this story! It confirmed everything they "knew" about life in Amerika! It, of course, turned out to be a total fake, an invention by a black reporter who knew what her white progressive bosses wanted from her. As I have written before, progressives see what they believe. It is thus at home and abroad.

You fight one battle at a time, I guess. So we should be grateful that the Post has gotten a bit of wisdom. One can only hope that this is contagious.

38 comments:

  1. It's nice to see them stick their head above water once in awhile. I will be truly impressed if they continue to actually do their jobs as journalists and join the small list of true print journalists left in the world.

    I'm in my late twenties and pretty well versed in current and historical events. I can't remember a time when so many news outlets were so thoroughly in the tank to protect a president. I mean slick Willy received some pretty thick smoke screening during the whole perjury debacle but nothing like we are seeing today.

    I liked Bush Jr. I didn't really think he was a particularly great president, but at least I got the feeling that he actually like America. This guy just oozes American hatred.

    Nick from the penal colony formerly known as New York

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  2. Sorry forgot about this, I have to give the thug Putin credit, he knows how to play hardball. As soon as he gets threatened with economic sanctions he immediately responds with, 'Hey EU that's cool, have fun paying for NG and Oil when we shut down our pipelines to you, thus eliminating 1/3 of your supply. Oh and US, we will no longer import goods from you, drop the dollar as our reserve currency, AND call in the $200bil in US Treasury bonds we own. So about those sanctions...' That is some serious political hardball.

    The scary thing with all this is if he did call in the US debt and convinced China to do the same. I'm not convinced he could drop the USD as the reserve currency but if Russia and China did decide to call in their debts, it would pretty much accomplish the same ends. There would be no way for us to pay them back, thus our credit scores would once again be downgraded and the USD would plunge in value and have to be eliminated as the world's reserve currency.

    It becomes very scary when we owe so much money to such hostile countries.

    Nick from the penal colony formerly known as New York

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    Replies
    1. If it came down to it, we'd have to deploy the last backing line of our currency... no.. not the federal reserve, the US Navy. I think that's what it comes down to in the end when people are looking at where to put their money. Bitcoin has got a ways to go on that.
      Hopefully our aircraft carriers aren't already obsoleted.

      - reader #1482

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    2. I'm not sure what you mean by 'calling in' the US Treasury bonds owned by Russia and China. There are no 'call' provisions in US Treasuries. If Russia or China showed up on the Treasury doorstep with their US bonds and demanded repayment, the Treasury would (correctly) tell them to take a hike. The Treasury will redeem those bonds on their maturity date (which ranges from next year to 30 years from now), and not a day before. If they don't like that, they can sell their bonds in the open market.

      Now, what would happen if Russia and China did that? With a huge increase in the supply of Treasuries on the market, a likely short-term outcome would be a deep decline in both the interest rate the Treasury would have to pay on new issues and the value of currently existing bonds. A decline in the interest rate would be a benefit to the Treasury, and a decline in current value would be disastrous for current bond holders (including pension plans and insurance companies). But the biggest losers would be Russia and China, who would take an immediate and absolutely massive hit to their balance sheets. And who would likely buy those bonds sold by Russia and China? It takes no great foresight to predict that the Fed (with its unlimited printing press) would simply print the money necessary to buy those bonds, thus restoring value to the Treasuries (and financial health to the pension plans and insurance companies), improving the quality of its own balance sheet, and locking in the losses sustained by Russia and China. Will it happen? I doubt it, as Russia and China are not stupid. But if that's what they want to do, bring it on!

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    3. "If they don't like that, they can sell their bonds in the open market." Exactly. And those bonds will be bought by others who are willing and able. Finance is not a game of "who has whom by the n---s.

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    4. "[I]f he (Putin) did call in the US debt and convinced China to do the same" he'd only be showing off how ignorant he is of how 10- and 30-year bonds work.

      Try again.

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  3. Sadly, this is probably as far as the WP is willing to go to call the Her majesty out. After all, it has been a nonstop cavalcade of incompetence and law breaking since day 1.

    I'm guessing they made a calculation that the American public isn't all that interested in foreign affairs so they can criticize him on this without damaging the half-chocolate Jesus.

    It's a very scary time for anyone paying attention...

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    Replies
    1. 'half-chocolate Jesus' Haven't heard that one.

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  4. One has to wonder if having a new owner who is focused on value might be making the difference. Value investing, after all, involves learning the facts and facing them. That is not a Progressive trait.

    Mendacity, though, appears to be a Progressive virtue. So any moment now we'll be treated to Jay Carney's claim that having pulled the troops out on field maneuvers back to their barracks is a victory, even as the Crimea is reintegrated with Russia proper.

    Green Bear

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  5. It must be said: Even if I did disagree with you, your writing is simply superb. You are a joy to read (so write more!).

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    Replies
    1. You should see how well he does when he uses both hands :)

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  6. I wonder if the WAPO will continue with "honest analysis" when discussing the WH 2015 budget soon to be released? I understand already that there is enough extra spending in it to keep the Progs damp with excitement for weeks to come. The way to pay for it, brace yourself, is with higher taxation on "certain people". All sounds quite familiar. Lets see if WAPO can muster any intellectual follow through.

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  7. I'm not sure I'd call it a civil war...more like the WaPo covering their tracks.

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  8. “It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century.” Translation: "This wasn't supposed to happen."

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  9. The Left is beginning it's purge of Obama. His failure will be cast as a failure of the man, not the ideology. They did the same after the fall of the Soviets. Obama was just not Obama enough.

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    Replies
    1. You will know this is is full swing when they start mentioning his 1/2 white background. The old line was that any criticism of The Won was racist pure and simple. But if you can now move him into the half-white category, you found the way to blame him for progressive failures without being racist. Will it work? Well, he got elected twice (second time with IRS support) so there is precedence.

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  10. Yeah. This is the reason we're supposed to *not* dig holes like Obama has dug, so that when push comes to shove, you maintain a credible threat.
    Even George Bush was unable to do anything about Putin invading Georgia, and he was generally considered a 'hawk' in comparison.
    But yeah, when it comes to Russia shutting off fuel to Europe, the US really can't do much but watch.
    Right now, Putin couldn't even achieve an agreement with Obama, because Obama's policies have been so fickle and silly, what kind of partner could he possibly make? The guy has *no* foreign policy agenda, and he somehow thinks this is a *good* thing.
    (For example, Putin has some clear and mostly legitimate interests in Ukraine, particularly in avoiding excessive profiteering by Ukraine on fuel transport between russia and the EU... but nothing Obama can say or do would give Putin credible assurances because Obama's shown that he's a complete lightweight.)

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    1. Reagan tried to stop it.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_pipeline_sabotage

      Can anyone imagining Obama or Kerry approving something like that ?

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    2. They're doing their best against the Keystone XL pipeline. Does that count?

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    3. Well, let's not be too quick to despair here. First, it's one thing for the Neo Soviets to threaten to cut off oil and gas supplies to the EU but when energy is your *sole* economic lifeline you would think twice about letting that go. (Another good example, though, of how Putin can play poker with the half-wits in the West). Russia needs the cash from gas sales more than the EU needs the gas. Secondly, even the threat of a cut off in energy supplies is dangerous to Russia. Even enviro-weenie nations like Germany are waking up to the fact that alternative energy is too costly and unworkable. The EU has huge stores of gas available if it chose to employ fracking methods as in the U.S. Not gonna happen, you say? Just let Russia keep threatening to withhold energy supplies and see how fast Germany starts fracking and replacing those Russian supplies.

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  11. "So we should be grateful that the Post has gotten a bit of wisdom."

    Well, one editor has. On one day.

    An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician take a rail trip to Scotland. (I think this joke is English).

    The engineer spots a black sheep. "Ah!" says he, "the sheep in Scotland are black!"

    The physicist corrects him: "At least one sheep in Scotland is black."

    The mathematician just says: "On one side."

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  12. Dip:

    I very much look forward to your analysis of tomorrow's meeting between Lavrov and Kerry. Yeah, I know, ant vs giant, but the comparison will be instructive and perhaps even an eye-opener to the WaPost and other lefties. Bring the popcorn!

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  13. Kerry can take some KY for the part where he has to grab his ankles.

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  14. Apparently Lavrov and Kerry are 'scheduled to meet' in regards to Ukraine.
    In analogous news, my huskies are scheduled to 'meet' with a rabbit in my backyard.

    - reader #1482

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    1. They should count themselves lucky then. Our preposterous and incompetent ex-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (the great earwax eater himself, don't laugh he was caught on Parliamentary video dong so) has just arrived in Russia to 'mediate' the current dispute. The fact that he represents only himself as a private citizen and does not represent Australia at any level seems to have by-passed his somewhat limited intellect. He's still trying to butt-kiss his way into the UN, a similarly useless bunch of posuers.

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  15. No, not a civil war. This is battlefield prep for Hillary. Whomever the Republicans pick, the WaPo will say "The world is too scary a place to have Republican X as President. We learned this with that douchebag Obama. We need a strong leader, one who has been, oh, let's say SecState. Yeah, that's the ticket. A former SecState." They no longer need to prop up Obama, he's been elected twice, and historians on the Left will do all the damage control necessary to make sure Obama rates somewhere in between Lincoln and God.

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  16. She would even give us a president who has been shot at by snipers.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1582795/Hillary-Clintons-Bosnia-sniper-story-exposed.html

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  17. No, it's 20th century mindset in the 21st century, or so our overlords so command. Only thing is, that doesn't matter because the nature of man has not changed since his inception. Changing the date and time does not change who and what man is.

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  18. Dip, great read as always. One quibble- I think the answer to the WAPO's slow turn towards reality is pretty simple.

    Jeff Bezos has a business to run, and he's no dummy. The product isn't selling, as the plunge in stock price, ad revenues and subscriptions at NYT, the Globe, and Wapo prove.

    He let Klein "p'own" himself (as the techies out west say) and hired Volokh and crew for some excellent commentary based on law and fact, doubling the value of content in one short month.

    If WAPO is going to survive they need to do more, including telling the truth in the editorial pages. The landscape there is pretty weed infested and the prog-tard roots go deep - lets all wish Mr Bezos best of luck in his gardening.

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  19. Dip, I think you may have more readers from WAPO than you think...

    maybe even Mr Bezos: scroll down a bit to "Lowen_Lowen"

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2013/10/23/the-u-s-saudi-crackup-hits-a-dramatic-tipping-point/?commentID=washingtonpost.com/7c717877-0689-427a-903d-ba796d74e729/

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  20. In 1988, the Washington Post editorial page stayed neutral between Bush and Dukakis because of Dukakis' foreign-policy naivete. 26 years later, they realize Obama is Dukakis-y.

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  21. Perhaps the next time around the voters will elect a president that is, actually, on the side of the United States.

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    Replies
    1. and this president can select a Sec. of State that is too.

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  22. The majority of voters won't do that, as long as the other candidate promises them Free Stuff.

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  23. OK boys and girls, it's 'word association' time! Today's word is:
    Progressive = closet leftist = deluded dumbass
    Did you all get it? Well done!

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  24. I know that I for one am REALLY ready for this batch of ass-clowns to begone! This misadministration is an absolute embarrassment to all Americans, well, not all, but those Americans are also an embarrassment to the rest of us. Thanks be to God for Dip and the like-minded, they give me strength and hope (oops, sorry, that is in no way alluding to "hope and change").

    God Bless us Everyone! (It's about all we've got left)

    LibertyGrace'sGrandma

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