Michael Gerson: The end of illusions

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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2014 10:46 p.m.

    What we have in Iraq and Syria is a huge Sunni insurrection against the Shia government in Baghdad. What is the great Sunni power in the region bankrolling this project? Think hard. It's the Saudis, friends of the Bushes, our guys. No wonder we are in over our heads.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    June 13, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    Esquire: So please comment specifically on the comment related to the apology tour. Do you stand by the opinion that was a positive thing? Are you really going to try to make a case that those who predicted today's situation were nothing more than lucky in their guesses? Be careful because your credibility might be at risk based on your response.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    June 13, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    Yeah, when the middle east problems come along, many Democrats are going to pretend that there was never a President named Barack Obama in office for the last 5 years.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 13, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    @ joe5, you are long on criticism, and short on substance. Had Obama followed the neo-cons advice and openly armed rebels in Syria, those weapons would be in play in Iraq. In hindsight, the President did exactly the right thing. But here are a couple of problems I have with your comment. First, you assume there is a bright line between what happened prior to January 2009 and subsequent events. This is utter nonsense. Second, you assume that the President (and any President for that matter) has control over world events. No President is God. I don't know if the Middle East is any worse than it was before. There have been changes, but is it worse? As I pointed out, our intervention in Iran has had consequences 60 years later, and our intervention in Iraq will have similar consequences. So, you criticize, and offer nothing, not even with hindsight, on dealing with the Middle East. Such criticism is totally useless except to provide critics with some emotional satisfaction. Nothing more.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    June 13, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    Amazing to me that the knee-jerk reaction to any criticism is to curl into fetal position and claim that Obama is a victim. He has owned the middle east for the last five years. Is it better or worse than it was on 20 Jan 2009 when he took office? Only the most obtuse would refuse to acknowledge that the middle east is in a far worse position today than it was then.

    Obama has been a failure in so many ways but one of his greatest failures has been his foreign policy in the middle east. When he made his apology tour, virtually ever Obama apologist said it was an essential step and would be a foundation for stability in the middle east. Detractors, myself included, predicted it would embolden the radicals and cause regional chaos. Which of us was more correct?

    So, blind ones, refuse to counter argument with argument. Instead complain about the critics and whine about being criticized. But please don't try to pretend that the last five years has been anything but a failure.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 13, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    “Because America refused to coordinate an effort to arm the responsible opposition in Syria, there has been no pressure for the regime to engage in serious peace negotiations.”

    So . . . Gerson wants us to give tons of weapons to Islamic revolutionaries in Syria huh? And those weapons will never then be used against us or our allies huh? . . . yeah sure.

    And Yes, NOT immersing ourselves in another futile war in the Middle East IS in fact a success Mr Gerson . . . Unless you think GW’s murderous and suicidal frolic through Iraq represents the epitome of American statesmanship.

    “ . . . this may now involve saving the Iraqi government . . . “

    You mean the Iraqi government established by the GW Bush Administration? . . . that stripped power from Sunni’s and gave it to the Shia? . . . Creating a Shiite–dominated government to rule a Sunni majority? . . . And now as a consequence Shiite Iran is a greater threat than ever before.

    WHY save it?

    Is it in the best interests of the United States to expend massive resources saving a GW-designed Iraqi government that destabilized the Middle East to the benefit of Iran and to the HUGE DISADVANTAGE of America?


  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 13, 2014 7:55 a.m.

    Had Bush not taken us to war in Iraq, would that country be more stable today? All we did was stir it up and made things worse. Sadaam Hussein was a bad guy, yes, but so are a lot of other dictators. Did we go into Burma, for example? A prior commenter stated so correctly: "invading Iraq was a blunder of epic proportions." We will pay a steep price for this for decades to come. We are still paying for overthrowing a democratically elected government in Iran in the early 1950s, over 60 years ago. For Gerson to be critical is one of the most astounding things ever. Clearly he closes his eyes to history, even recent history. The pragmatism and rational approach of the Obama Administration is long over due.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    June 13, 2014 7:48 a.m.

    Iraq was going to take 6 months and be paid for by the oil.

    Check your own delusions.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    June 13, 2014 7:10 a.m.

    The isolation of the U.S. from all these foreign conflicts has for me been an ideal that I thought we should attempt. Now however, I am beginning to see that the world needs some American influence to help keep the world a somewhat stable place. Otherwise, it would seem, a sort of entropy takes place and the result is the worst people take over. And, in our modern era of worldwide economy, and jet age travel, what happens in other seemingly remote places can affect us here, whether we want it to or not. In other words we do need a foreign policy of some kind other than "what happens in other places, stays in other places."

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 13, 2014 6:19 a.m.

    Anti-Obama every day.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2014 12:20 a.m.

    The United States has a terrible decision to make - whether or not to save the Iraq central government. Most of us realize that invading Iraq was a blunder of epic proportions. It destroyed the only secular government in the region and had the unintended (?) consequence of elevating Iran's influence. We broke Iraq. But if one invokes the Powell doctrine - "you break it you own it," maybe the U.S. needs to come to the rescue.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    June 13, 2014 12:02 a.m.

    How can you say Obama is living with illusions when he's gone the distance to protect American lives at Benghazi, carefully followed the law in implementing the Affordable-Care-Act and letting everyone keep their doctor and their insurance, made Putin stand down in the Ukraine, particularly Eastern Ukraine, and immediately into office won the Nobel Peace Prize? This has to be the best president ever-----just ask any Democrat that breathes.

  • Ralph West Jordan Taylorsville, UT
    June 12, 2014 11:31 p.m.

    Just another of the endless DN Anti-Obama rants! That having been said, it is my opinion that he should keep us out and get us out of any and all Mid East struggles present and future! Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan soon to follow are great examples of history repeating itself!

    enough is enough! But it matters not what course the POTUS takes, it can be counted on for the Repubs. to hail it as a major history making blunder!