Friday, December 28, 2007

Benazir Bhutto is dead...

and predictably, the cry goes up that the whole crisis will "advantage" to such US candidates for President that have "strong foreign policy credentials".
Here the punditariat is highlighting Senators John McCain and Hillary Clinton and to a lesser extent, Joe Biden and perhaps Former Ambassador Bill Richardson.
So as the world spirals new troubles and woes, it is worth recalling that by and large the current crisis was either created or immeasurably worsened by a whole bunch of US decisionmakers most of whole had "strong foreign policy credentials".
Starting with the incumbent Vice President, a former Secretary of Defense, a former White House Chief of Staff and a one time congressman from Wyoming and going right thru Colin Powell a Chief of Staff of the US Army and the nation's pick as Secretary of State and Donald Rumsfeld, a Secretary of Defense with a resume as long as Larry Bird's right leg.
All men of long experience and much intelligence, all leapt off the cliff with gung-ho gusto and took this glorious republic right along with them for the plunge.
Humble Elias thinks experience is a wonderful thing, he ardently wishes Bill Richardson was polling better, but he also knows that mere experience is worthless if it is not ruled by good judgement.
After all, Abraham Lincoln had one puny term in congress to his name before he won the civil war, freed the slaves and slaved the union.
Some would call him inexperienced, but his goals were clear and his judgement flawless...I'd rather that in the oval office than any ten old laggards from out the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
There is no stature gap here, there is no deficit of experience, what is missing today in the White House is leadership and judgement.
With judgement, you get a peaceful and secure end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, without it you get to watch as Pakistan, a nuclear armed nation ruled by a faltering military junta, slides into sectarian civil war...something with malign consequences for us all.
There are those out there who would dismiss today's post as a "blame America First screed"....but then you can't blame "America" for letting Bush steal two elections in a row...nor can you blame the republic because it's President has no ideas and worse judgement. America is only an idea after all, and the republic is a institution, a set of laws and particular attitude in the end.
Saving all this starts doing some hard and fast thinking our role and priorities in this world...and then we need good decisions, and we need them quick....just don't wait for any of that from George Bush Jr.

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