Sunday, July 22, 2007

What Matters Most Next Time

With the 2008 Presidential election upon us, many people will start considering issues again in a more serious analysis than what a headline would give you. One stance that will get much attention is how a candidate will steer the war on terror. In my opinion, the next President will lose his or her freedom to act rather quickly and as I elaborate on why this is, you may realize along with me, that choosing the congress is perhaps the more important choice to be made next year.

History suggest that shortly after the next president takes office someone or some group will challenge the office holder with an attack on our national interest and/or pride. Obviously some will blame Bush first, that's well within their rights, but for the more sober observers of history whatever event this turns out to be, it'll be viewed as a natural course of events. Ridicule me for my flippancy about this, but Presidents have been challenged in one way or another for decades, I'm not that naive to think that Hillary's cult of personality, for example, will deter or pacify our enemies thirst for American blood.

If your own recollection of history doesn't convince you of this, I'll give you another nation's history to look into for a lesson on uncivilized receptions from the more malicious global community. Israel. However, there maybe something attractive to you about living like the Israelis do, with the threat of attack palpable everyday. To each his own.

In any event, every time Israel elects a new leader, someone bombs a cafe in Tel Aviv. Again, I have no reason to doubt it will not happen in 2008 or 2009 somewhere in the U.S.

At that point, considering no one wants to be a one term president, even Dennis Kucinich is going to respond in a manner more forceful than what he would have had you believe in 2007. Because regardless of what you believe about the American people today in terms of desiring peace, when faced with the choice between a wimp who doesn't respond and a candidate who at least argues to fight back, the choice isn't going to the wimp.

So you have that pressure on the next President to react, and it may very well be more aggressive than personal preferences would like.

Another pressure on the next President is the congress.

I must lay bare that I don't hold very many of these politicians in high regard. Recent history shows that very many of them will vote for a course of action today, but by noon tomorrow will have changed their mind and will be demanding the 180 degree opposite of what they voted for.

Take the recent surge in Iraq. The new generals held few secrets when it came time to explain themselves to congress on what they intend to do in Iraq and how long it will take. After
confirming these men, Congress is now anxiously attempting to pull the plug on the plans months before the the agreed upon time table.

Rashness my quell the impatient, but it isn't useful to quell the unrest in Iraq, nor will it lend strength to the people we want to win, rather to those we want to defeat.

So what is a new President to do? Faced with the realities of being attacked by deadly enemies wherever they can and thus eroding the public confidence and/or being attacked by the less deadly but every bit as effective in emasculating a Commander in Chief congress, I bet the new guy gets tough real quick. There will be little freedom left to him to do otherwise.

In this situation I don't think it will make much difference who wins the next election for the White House. To be sure, there will be plenty of time to attempt dialogues or approaches that Mr. Bush didn't attempt, but a reputation of strength works in the real world, unfortunately we have squandered much of that reputation recently.

Things will be different in many ways, but if we don't collective make a better decision on who is in congress, I think our external enemies will have an unwitting accomplice from a place where our next president and ourselves are expecting better from. We need to consider the reasons why we vote for someone for congress maybe a little bit beyond the letter next to their names. I haven't seen much 'r'esolve or 'd'etermination from our present congress and while the lack thereof from congress may not lose the war, it certainly isn't helping. Which is a change I'd like to see.


  1. "History suggest that shortly after the next president takes office someone or some group will challenge the office holder with an attack on our national interest and/or pride."

    What are you talking about, give three example from US history.

  2. I would suggest four: The XYZ affair, the Berlin Wall, and the WTC attacks of 1993 and 2001. What he's talking about is a test of will--seeing how much you provoke an administration before you get a response. For instance, the provocation of President Clinton (WTC, Khobar Towers, the two African embassies, the rise of the Taliban) never got a response. The next president had to deal with it.

  3. Jerry,
    Very nicely presented and explained but Sean isn't looking for a polite response. Sean is trolling for an argument in an attempt to prove to everyone how smart he isn't.

    I must admit, the XYZ affair never came to mind and I appreciate you jogging my memory. The USA and France have had a love hate relationship since 1797.

  4. The XYZ affair and the Berlin Wall were not attacks they were diplomatic in nature. The WTC attack of 1993 was not conducted by a foreign state. Clinton did respond to the WTC attack of 1993, all of the conspirators were arrested and imprisoned. When Clinton launched cruise missiles aimed at Bin Laden (which were nearly successful) the right wing claimed it was an attempt to cover up the Lewinsky affair.

    If you want to talk about a president leaving a problem for the next administration you could talk about GHWBush leaving US soldiers in Somalia without the necessary armor or air support.

    In reality one would have to go back to Reagan (who I voted for during his second run, my first time voting).

    Remember Mr. I won't negotiate with terrorists Reagan? Well, he was negotiating with the Iranians all along. That set the stage for the US not being taken seriously by the Middle East. Then Reagan cut and run from Lebanon. The rise of the Taliban happened long before Clinton was in office. You can thank Reagan/Bush for that.

  5. By the way Jerry, my post was directed at Bob, why don't you let him answer? First he let's 19 year old girls fight his battle against evildoers and now he has to have you and anonymous do his bidding on his blog. What's up with that?

  6. It looks like again I have Jerry to thank for a prompt and factual reply to Sean.

    Thanks Jerry.


    While you present some facts about certain past administrations, and I don't diminish what you wrote(even the opinionated parts), I feel obligated to point out that I wasn't criticizing Clinton's response or championing Ronald Reagan's.

    I also never stated that the challenges I alluded to always come from nation states. As we have seen, it doesn't take state sponsored terrorism to challenge a president, it just takes someone with a cause, a brain, and the means. You actually copied/pasted what I wrote and in that clip you'll find I wrote, "someone or some group."

    And now, Sean, I don't want to talk about Presidents leaving problems for the next administration, but apparently you do. But I will consider it for a future post, as we both know there are many examples throughout history of this happening.

    Thanks for reading.



    Your contention that Mr. Reagan's dialogue with the Iranians set the stage for the US not being taken seriously in the Middle East is interesting, I think it sells short the betrayal of the Iranians by Mr. Carter, but you can see it your way.

    As a matter of fact, since you brought it up, Mr. Clinton's response to the terrorist in the 1990's did very much to cultivate the perception that America is a "Paper Tiger," as Mr. Bin Laden has repeated time and again. Present Congressional opposition to George W. Bush is, in my opinion, probably reinforcing this idea.

  7. Sean,

    I have a job all day.

    So if I can't get to your comments in the time you think it takes, I'm sorry, but again that is a "you" problem, not a "me" problem.

    Unless you consider working a problem. Which may explain how you can drop everything and go off to war.

    I think Jerry is well within his rights to reply to you, every bit as much as you are free to reply to me.

    It just so happens that Jerry did a fine job presenting some facts that you had asked for, and for that I thanked him.

    He actually gave you four, when you asked for three. So if that angers you, that's too bad ;)

    Thanks for your patience .

  8. Sean, you're an incredible cry baby. Do you want your mommy to step in and yell at Bob for you to?

  9. "I feel obligated to point out that I wasn't criticizing Clinton's response"

    You didn't but Jerry did.

    "President Clinton (WTC, Khobar Towers, the two African embassies, the rise of the Taliban) never got a response. The next president had to deal with it."

    And he opened the door to one administration leaving problems for the next. Carter, unlike Reagan and Bush, didn't negotiate with terrorists.

    "Unless you consider working a problem. Which may explain how you can drop everything and go off to war."

    How can you not do your part? According to you, your very way of life is threatened. Don't you believe in personal sacrifice, or is that only for other people? I would actually like to hear from Jerry and anon. on that. That is if anon. can type anything other than insults.

  10. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

    This should be an acceptable answer to you Sean, agreed? We buddies now?

  11. So your saying you have no ability? If you had even spoken with a recruiter you would have found the military offers many opportunities for training. They would give you an aptitude test, the ASVAB, then based on your score would help you pick the perfect specialty. If you have a college degree you could go to OCS.

    Since we are buddies now I will give you a pass on the military. But what have you done to make America a stronger, better, safer place? Other than paying taxes that is. Do you give blood, have you taken a CPR or first aid course, joined the USA Freedom Corps...give me something. Or is it all about you?

  12. Please stop this banter Sean. You're more exhausting than a room full of 2 year olds in a government sponsored day care center.

  13. Hey, anon. this is between me and my BFF.

    I won't even bother to ask you the same thing.