Monday, June 15, 2009

Barack's Unchosen Legacy

If George W. Bush’s legacy is stirring up an international hornets nest after 9/11/01 by starting two wars, Barack Obama’s legacy could be on the same track, but with some subtle differences.

By going to war with Iraq, deposing a dictator, and dividing the country (and the world) on what is a “just” war, there’s no doubt that Dubya made a decision, consciously choosing to take our troops and plant them in a region of the world that has been chaotic and unstable for generations.

But Barack Obama, who has repeatedly stated that his is willing to talk to regimes that have been hostile to us, compromise with nations who threaten nuclear violence and deal with third world punks, cannot avoid the fact that in the next couple of months he will have to make some unpopular decisions.

The first one will be how to deal with a dictator who is hell bent on making sure everyone remembers him when he is gone. Kim Jong Il is not long for this world and when he shuffles off his mortal coil and his son takes over, his decisions on how to leave this world could have dire consequences. He has been saber rattling for years, going all the way back to Bill Clinton’s Administration when he totally pulled the wool over Madelaine Albright’s eyes as they looked eye-to-eye (they’re the same height and both wear heels) and she came back to DC with glowing reviews of a nice man who didn’t want to do anyone or nation harm.

Now he is building a nuclear program and testing short and long-range missiles. Obama has to deal with this. Whether the president decides to embargo goods from the already poor country or take direct action for Il’s constant testing of missiles, action needs to be taken. Ignoring the problem will only embolden Lil’ Kim and his son.

The second hot spot that the president has to deal with is Iran. Elections over the past weekend were a joke, but what do you expect from a leader who comes out and spews hate for Israel, the United States and anyone else that is on his mind that day in a Members Only jacket? Iran’s young people love the West and we should embrace them. But the currently elected (ahem) officials want to wipe Israel off the map and encourage any kind of act of violence against the US of A.

Barack Obama was warmly greeted in the Middle East on his recent visit. He should use this advantage to take down the power of Iran and let the people truly decide what direction they want their country should follow in the 21st century.

The third problem Barack Obama has to face is our increasing division between what to do between the Israelis and the Palestinian settlements. Former President Jimmy Carter, who I wish would just got back to Plains, GA and sit on his front porch and count how many red cars pass by in the afternoon, said something over the weekend that actually made sense to me. Asked by the liberal Haaretz newspaper whether the Jewish state was looking at a "head-on collision" with the United States if it doesn't comply with Washington's demands, Carter said, "Yes."

The Obama Administration has been trying to ease the Muslim world while rankling the Israelis. This could have severe consequences for not only the Obama Administration, but other presidents down the road. Israel has been an important ally for us in the Middle East. If Barack shows too much favoritism to the Muslim world, he will not only make up for the “failed policy of the last eight years,” he could create some new problems that will define and tarnish his legacy.

And I haven’t even gotten to the Pakistan and Taliban problem.

Barack Obama wants to be the International President, but he needs to make sure he prioritizes his objectives and how he deals with certain leaders.

If George W. Bush was vilified for making a decision to go to war, let’s hope Obama isn’t blamed for doing nothing or being ineffectual. That could be substantially direr than what the GWBA ever did.

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