Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beware Of Small Men

In today's Spokesman Review there's a Cal Thomas column in which he tries to paint President Obama as a timid political leader. Setting aside everything Thomas is wrong about what Obama is wrong about, there is one paragraph that caught my attention.

There is nothing worse for the world than to have a president of the United States who is perceived as weak. Weakness can result in the deaths of innocent people, a wrecked economy (again) and new attacks on American allies and interests around the world.

I'm reminded that after the supposedly strong President Bush took strong action by invading Iraq that terrorist attacks around the world actually increased. Alongside the increased expenditures for war, the lack of regulatory enforcement, the decrease in taxes for the rich, and the blatant good ol' boy system permeating our political and economical systems, hundreds of thousands of innocent people died--in other countries.

Years ago a friend of mine warned me, "Beware of small men because they'll kill ya." Now we know what happens when you put one in charge.

5 comments:

Spokane Al said...

Hank, I think the jury is still out on whether or not your point that when "President Bush took strong action by invading Iraq that terrorist attacks around the world actually increased" is actually true and accurate cause and effect.

I tend to believe that we will need to let years and history truly resolve this debate.

Hank said...

I should've posted a link to support that. Have a look at the Global Terrorism Database http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/
use the advanced search and look at 1970 through 2007. Watch what happens
starting in 2004.

You're right, though. What's missing is the cause and effect link.

The Chihweenie said...

In economics one of the central fallacies is "post hoc ergo propto hoc", which is basically that you can never be sure that one thing caused the other. I am inclined to think the Bush adventures created more terrorism, since he was a wealth of sound bites for them. Bush alluded to the United States essentially being in a holy war with Muslim fundamentalists. Obama has repeatedly said we have no quarrel with Muslims, and has done much in his short tenure to mend fences with the Islamic world. Kind of hard to put his face on a poster and demonize him as being anti-Islam. You wouldn't treat another person one-on-one the way Bush treated the rest of the world and expect them to piss on you if you were on fire. People are people and international relations boils down to interpersonal connections. Obama is much more skilled at making connections with people and making them feel he actually cares about them and their well-being. While I think it is because he does care, that point is irrelevant.

History will sort it out, but I would wager that given the speed with which we are working to undo the Bush legacy that when it all faces daylight we are going to be appalled at how far away from our core values we went while draping ourselves in the flag for 8 years.

Mojoey said...

It makes no sense. The man has a screw loose.

Shan said...

"There is nothing worse for the world than to have a president of the United States who is perceived as weak."

This was my point for eight LONG years... well, part of it anyway. There might have been several cartoon bubble curse words thrown in here and there.