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Published: Thursday, Aug. 14 2014 6:21 a.m. MDT

Updated: Thursday, Aug. 14 2014 6:21 a.m. MDT

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John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

George Washington himself stated that America must avoid all foreign entanglements unless national security is directly at issue. The current left-wing administration's failure to follow that counsel is leading to disaster.

Obama has failed to realize that he cannot force democracy on countries that do not want it. He cannot erase in a moment the eons of cultural hatred that has precipitated war for the last few millennia.

Not being content to just make this mistake, Obama is also failing when national security is at issue. Instead of going in at full strength to take care of the problem, he uses half measures and hollow threats.

No reasonable person can deny that left-wing theory of security is, at best, a mediocre fiasco. The administration must follow Washington's sage advice before it is too late.

Wildcat
O-town, UT

@John Charity Spring

Obama has ended the wars and is doing limited strikes. If we had a President McCain, we'd have troops fighting in about four to five locations: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Russia and potentially the US border. Romney wouldn't be much better.

I bet you were all behind "W" when he launched the US into Iraq and was one of those that would say "Freedom isn't free." Now since a president with a different party label attached is in charge, it's "Freedom isn't forced." (I agree with you on freedom isn't forced by the way). I just have to laugh at the 180 flip on the defense issue.

One more thing, the right-wing's record on national defense: 9/11 and 3,000 Americans dead by not taking a presidential daily briefing seriously. Own it Republicans!

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Let's send George Will and his bowtie to the Middle East to see if they can figure out what to do about the mess that the Cheney Oil Company created. T. S. Eliot was right: What do you do with the fragments after you've blown up a civilization?

Old men are so ready to send young people to war.

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

John C S

Right now the left wing theory of security seems to be isolationism and non engagement. Which is ironic since that used to be the territory of the conservative right back during WW11. Or in other words, if we leave them alone, they will leave us alone. However, since the U.S. is proudly championed by Islam as the Great Satan, it is unlikely the U.S. will be left alone. More 911s to come here if not stopped over there first. What I think might be happening is too may folks still think of this terrorist stuff as the same as the cold war with the USSR. It isn't. Russians could be reasoned with. They did not want to die anymore than we did. Islamic terrorists however, see death in fighting Satan as a great reward, and one to be looked forward to. You can't reason with them as we could with the communists. Politics is one thing. When people believe they are on Gods mission, and that mission is death and destruction of the infidel, there is no reasoning with them. This is a much bigger problem than the cold war was.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

“These are some of the "folks" — to adopt the locution Barack Obama frequently uses to express his all-encompassing diffidence . . . “

Oh My! . . . The sneering George Will is doing his sneering thing again.

Lots of people use the term “folks.” GW, unsurprisingly, used it to excess. Why didn’t George Will sneer at GW?

On 9/11/2001, GW stated his intent to “ . . . hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act.”

Well, GW couldn’t find those folks, so he went ahead and invaded some other folks and killed over 100 thousand of them.

The rest of Will’s tirade follows the same pattern. He’s placing the blame for past Republican malfeasance on the Obama administration.

George Will is OUTRAGED that the Obama administration is not using our military more in the Middle East. And if Obama was doing more in the Middle East, George Will would be complaining that we have more important problems at home.

Right Wing pundits must follow a recipe that calls for 80% percent senseless complaining and 20% percent sneering to create the perfect dish for Republican consumption . . . 100% “Conservative” tripe.

Esquire
Springville, UT

I'm sorry, but right up front when Will says Kerry was nonplussed about Russia slicing off Crimea from Ukraine, he immediately lost credibility. I am continually astounded how conservatives rewrite the facts to fit their view of the world. It is no wonder they have no vision and provide no leadership with this intellectual dishonesty.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

John C S,

I think you have hit on a conundrum with your politics.

Very seldom should or does ones views align perfectly with a political party.

You have found one of your miss-alignments however, I doubt that you could admit it, or even recognize it.

You blame the left for all that is wrong, without realizing that when it comes to foreign engagement and wars, you align much more closely with the left than the right.

I am quite certain that you could never come to grips with that.

Hunam
Layton, UT

I think we're only now starting to realize how best to fit into a world that both doesn't want us to get involved and demands we help. I can see how it would be in our strategic best interest to divest the need to personally monitor all the radical dangers in the world today, but that's a hard thing to teach Americans who have been entirely isolated from any form of trauma, and people in nations where trauma is their daily experience... we so don't relate to each other. It's easy to imagine that we're all basicly good inside when we've never seen the depravity outside of some movie. Likewise it's hard to convince a desperate people who has only known depravity that there could be value in the pursuit of something other than killing and plundering and taking what you want in the moment it happens out of fear your death will come either way soon enough...

louie
Cottonwood Heights, UT

a veteran employee of the US Foreign Service Agency once told me there is generally only subtle differences between the parties on foreign policies. He, however, felt the Iraq War was the exception and a democratic president would not have gone down that path. Wildcat is right the aftermath of that war an the Bush legacy will haunt us for years to come.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

I feel like I'm living in the 1930s.

Pops
NORTH SALT LAKE, UT

It's painfully obvious that the typical commentator and commenter is more interested in placing blame on the "other" party than in figuring out how to fix the problem, and that's unfortunate.

What we have learned is that it's a fool's errand to try to force democracy on a people incapable of or unwilling to live by the principles of a free society, and it doesn't matter whether the fool is George W. Bush or Barrack H. Obama.

I see four options going forward:

1. Provide balance to the warring factions so that nobody can win. This is morally repugnant, as the innocent citizens of Middle Eastern nations will be slaughtered.

2. Ramp up dramatically our military presence and be the local police power maintaining order. This is not a great idea because we lack the resources and the will to accomplish this.

3. Put in place and support benevolent dictators that will keep the peace by whatever means necessary, including some that will require turning a blind eye. Back to the 1950s.

4. Do nothing and let the violence play out. Ugh.

Any other ideas? Is there any good path going forward?

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

I just want to REMIND all you Obama defenders that the excuse he and his administration are using for not seeing what was coming, ISIS and such, is the same thing that Bush used to justify his war in Iraq that turned out to be wrong. BAD INTELLIGENCE. You might remember that the justification for going into Iraq was well supported when it was thought that "good intelligence" proved WMD. Well, it was wrong. And now Obama claims bad intel is at the heart of his problems. As Jack Sparrow would say, "funny little world, isn't it."

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

" You might remember that the justification for going into Iraq was well supported when it was thought that "good intelligence" proved WMD. "

Wrong. There was lots of "intelligence". Some was good and some was bad. The Bush administration cherry picked the intelligence and fed the American people (and congress) what suited their desires.

There was absolutely no clear cut evidence to support WMD. Just ask Hans Blix. He was the UN inspector on the ground in Iraq who said

"There were about 700 inspections, and in no case did we find weapons of mass destruction,"

Pops
NORTH SALT LAKE, UT

Blame away.

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

Joe Blow

Well, most all intelligence agencies, foreign and domestic, had the WMD threat as real. And you might remember Sec State Powell at the UN using satellite photos to show such. Plus, there was the historic evidence of Iran using chemical weapons on the Kurds. Chemical, by the way, qualify as a part of WMD. And it was always assumed that when inspectors look at some facility, it has been sanitized for their inspection. So there was "seemingly" enough clear cut evidence to justify the invasion. Where Bush made the mistake was in believing that he could stick around and bring democracy to an Islamic country. We should have gotten out when it was clear that WMD were not being manufactured and or were not in abundance in Iraq. But the most important point to all this is that now we have Obama, under the same problem of good intel vs. bad intel. What a conundrum huh?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"But the most important point to all this is that now we have Obama, under the same problem of good intel vs. bad intel. What a conundrum huh?"

Well, prudent people would not go to the lengths of an all out war unless they are sure. War should be an absolute last option.

When Obama gets us into a full out war with questionable intel, then you can make a reasonable comparison.

Bush and Cheney knew that there was conflicting intel, but chose to feed us only what supported their desire, which was war.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

Here is my take on evil in the world and how America should involve itself.

First there is no question that evil today is worse than ever. This Army of terroirists in Iraq chopping the heads off Christian children should leave no doubt in anyone's mind about the nature of evil .... growing evil ...in the world. Now put a nuclear weapon in the hands of these evil Islamic crazies and you have a real world nightmare because they WILL use it.

What does America do? Currently we have chosen to do ....nothing. That's right folks we do nothing. Let the children die. We drive casually by with our arm out the window and slow down a bit to observe then just keep on going. That is the Obama policy. That has NEVER been the American policy ...not ever. We cannnot claim to be a civilized humanitarian nation if we see evil and we just ignore it. Evil does not respond to love - only brute overwhelming force as with Hitler and all the other dictators.

America needs to re-build militarily so we can be a global force for good...not nation building but guarding and protecting.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Hey Pops –

“Any other ideas? Is there any good path going forward?”

Well no. GW Bush left us no good alternatives. We have to play the terrible cards that genius, GW, dealt us.

We have options. We could do a GW and reoccupy Iraq in force . . . But that’s just stupid. Or we could make low-risk, surgical strikes against the enemy, as Obama has been doing. And we could arm our friends, the Kurds, as Obama has been doing . . . Instead of arming Muslim extremists, many of whom hate the US, as GW and Reagan did.

The best alternative is to take the sensible course, and completely ignore, “Conservative” inclinations, which have done NOTHING but harm this nation for the last 30 years.

Happy2bhere –

“Well, most all intelligence agencies, foreign and domestic, had the WMD threat as real.”

WRONG. Most intelligence agencies believe no such thing. That’s why we couldn’t come up with a solid multinational coalition. That’s why France, afterwards much reviled by the GW Bush administration, refused to join us.

Your latest claim is just one more "Conservative" fantasy.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Hey Happy2behere –

“However, since the U.S. is proudly championed by Islam as the Great Satan, it is unlikely the U.S. will be left alone”

And that anti-US sentiment was reinforced a thousand fold by GW’s ridiculous actions.
Do you think our unprovoked attack on Iraq and killing over 100,000 Muslims for no legitimate reason actually earned us friends in the Middle East?

Don’t be silly.

Many American “Conservatives” are now saying Obama should have left a substantial American force in Iraq, against the Status of Forces Agreement signed by GW, and against the wishes of the Iraqis.

Sorry man, but that is equally silly, and it would have been hugely to our disadvantage.
If American “Conservatives” had their way, this nation would be the bullies of the world, and roundly hated by the world . . . Like a Nazi German or an Imperialist Japan.

As it stands now, Obama is the world leader most respected by citizens of the world. GW, as you may recall, was absolutely reviled.

We and the world are much better off if we don’t follow “Conservative” inclinations.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

re:GaryO

"Or we could make low-risk, surgical strikes against the enemy, as Obama has been doing"

What Barack is doing solves nothing. It stops nothing. It is a pin prick at best. There are thousands of innocent Christian children stranded on top of a mountain waiting to be hunted down and killed ...and Barack does nothing. Not even a rescue mission for the kids sake. This is one of the most tragic and disgusting things America has ever done in its history - to stand by and watch children get their heads chopped off and do nothing. Even Hilary is slaming Barack for his "do-nothing" approach.

Your socialist leader in the White House is NOT a leader. He is not even a follower. The man is nothing more than a weak, disengaged, casual observer. He slows the car down, rolls the window down a bit and looks on for a minute and then drives on. What a disgrace and a tragedy. Every previous America president would have at the very least rescued the children and destroyed the bad guys from the air as much as possible in massive raids ...but not Barack.

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