Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dilettantes posing in the media

There really is nothing more useless or pathetic than an apologist.  It doesn't matter which political party or even country you are speaking of, the are these professional propagandists that try to excuse the inexcusable.  All White House Press Secretaries fall into this category but at least you know what you are getting into with them.  It's when you read articles written by "journalists" that try to justify the action (or inaction) of their favorite politician that it gets a bit thick.

Case in point, "No, America is not in retreat" wants to persuade its readers that the Obama administration has increased US engagement on the world front, not retreated from it.

"Obama has sought to re-orient our foreign policy away from a military-first approach, and toward a more comprehensive approach that leans more on diplomatic and economic tools."  And what has that achieved in Syria?  At least 150,000 more casualties since Assad crossed the "red line".  It has allowed Russia to annex Crimea and place at least 40,000 well-armed troops in Ukraine.

Apparently Usha Sahay takes umbrage at Sen McCain's use of the word "feckless" to refer Mr. Obama's foreign policy.  Here is her attempt to disprove McCain's claim of "feckless";

"Consider the case of Iran’s nuclear program. If you ask the naysayers, this is just another example of U.S. fecklessness: It has become an article of faith on the right that the weak, irresolute Obama has “given up” on pressuring Tehran and even that he “conceded the bomb to Iran.”

But the facts tell a different story. Not only has Obama aggressively pursued the Iranian nuclear issue, he has also produced concrete results. The administration’s groundbreaking diplomatic efforts to reach an agreement with Iran have meaningfully and verifiably limited the country’s nuclear program for the first time in a decade.

After I got done reading that statement and trying to understand how she drew her conclusion, I read this from the BBC;

"Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has insisted that reaching a final nuclear deal with world powers is still within reach.

His comments came after Iran and six world powers - Britain, China, France, Russia, the US and Germany - ended a fourth round of nuclear talks in Vienna with little progress to report."  
BBC News

So Iran isn't feeling diplomacy is working and then I read the following in the Washington Times;

"A top Iranian naval commander said that he is prepared to order suicide attacks, drone strikes, and missile technology to “destroy the U.S. Navy” in any upcoming confrontation, according to an interview printed in Iran’s state-run media." The Washington Times

My conclusion is the the Obama Administration has pushed us closer to a conflict with Iran instead of softening relations with Tehran.  Given US involvement in the past with Iran, the US has to abandoned its cavalier attitude towards Iran. Remember the US supported Iraq against Iran and everyone in the Middle East saw how that turned out for Saddam Hussein.

I don't mind reading someone who shares a different or even conflicting opinion from my own.  I just hate sloppy, lightweight arguments that are used to explain away the shortcomings of a world leader.  It was also though a reminder of why we have to remain vigilant in what we read and hear and see on the news.  More and more of what is supposed to be journalism is merely packaged propaganda for the intended market.  Liberals and conservatives both fall victim to this and place to much on party affiliations instead of on well reasoned arguments based on facts.

We are facing an unprecedented time where there are more nuclear weapons in the hands of more nations than ever before.  Conversely, we are more dependent on each financially than ever before.  A regional conflict in war part of the world will have dire consequences on stock markets and the flow of oil.  While military might is not always the answer, you have to not be seen as someone lacking the willingness to use it.  Unfortunately, Mr. Obama and his administration are seen as extremely lacking in their resolve to back up what they threaten.  

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