Syria

English: Former President of Iraq, Saddam Huss...

English: Former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, makes a point during his initial interview by a special tribunal, where he is informed of his alleged crimes and his legal rights. Deutsch: der ehemalige Präsident des Irak, Saddam Hussein, bei seiner Stellungnahme während seiner ersten Hörung vor dem Sondertribunal, bei der er über die Anklagepunkte und seine Rechte informiert wurde. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Not necessarily true, but often used to justify US foreign policy. Before and after WW2, Stalin’s Soviet Union was our enemy, but during the war we were allies against Hitler‘s Germany.When Iran and Iraq were at war, we were friends and suppliers to Saddam Hussein‘s Iraq. After that war concluded, we became Saddam’s enemy and then found it necessary to invade the country in 2003.By doing that, we nearly touched off a civil war in Iraq and it still may happen. We learned in Vietnam to stay out of civil wars, and now some in the US are advocating that we become involved in the Syrian civil war. BAD IDEA. We should let the Syrians sort it out. Just because some are opposed to Assad does not mean we should align ourselves with some or any of his opponents.

Fathers and sons

Romney

Romney (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

Mitt’s father, George Romney, failed to win the GOP nomination in 1968 for two main reasons: he did not endorse Goldwater in 1964 and he said that he had been “brainwashed” about Vietnam. In 1964, Romney was a stronger supporter of civil rights than Goldwater was and that led to his refusal to endorse Goldwater. It was a standing joke in Washington during the LBJ presidency that LBJ was “brainwashing” everyone about Vietnam. The brainwashing comment was not meant seriously, but it haunted the Romney candidacy.

George Romney was a moderate-to-liberal member of the GOP, and he was somewhat to the left of where President Obama is now.The Democratic Party then contained a wide variety of political views, but the dominant view then was further to the left of George Romney. If he had been elected in 1968, I think that George would have been a good president, certainly much better than Richard Nixon.

Mitt Romney shares few, if any, of his father’s political strengths, and he lacks his father’s honesty and decency. Like many father/son rivalries of the past, Mitt wanted to equal or surpass his father’s achievements, but lacked his father’s abilities. We have just lived through eight years produced by the father/son rivalry between George H W Bush and George W Bush. George H W Bush was an average president; George W was a terrible president. With the results of their example still affecting millions around the world, we must avoid repeating it with the Romney father and son rivalry.

Strength versus weakness

English: President Barack Obama delivers a sta...

English: President Barack Obama delivers a statement in the East Room of the White House on the mission against Osama bin Laden, May 1, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Barack Obama’s foreign policy successes are considered by most to be a source of strength. Just as they did in 2004 with John Kerry’s experience in Vietnam, the GOP are trying to turn a source of strength into a weakness. The GOP were successful in 2004 with their Swiftboat campaign. Now in 2012, the GOP talking heads are unanimous in parroting the line that President Obama is responsible for the terrorist attack in Libya. They are trying to make the public forget who was responsible for the killing of bin Laden.

During the initial confusion after the attack, not all of the Obama administration spokespeople spoke with a single voice. I would suggest that some allowance be made for human error. Which would you prefer, adults expressing their opinions or a chorus line of sycophants united in expressing the GOP party line? I would opt for the thinking adults.

Jack Welch

jack welch

jack welch (Photo credit: challengefuture)

Jack Welch was CEO and later chairman of GE from 1981 to 2001. His primary claim to fame is that he increased GE’s stock valuation by 4000%, making GE the world’s most valuable company at one point. For most of his career he was unknown by the general public, but he was toasted by Wall Street and GE stock owners as the world’s greatest businessman. He also was a pioneer in job outsourcing and offshoring, and his accomplishments in that area make Mitt Romney look like a piker. GE insisted that its suppliers also outsource and offshore jobs passing the savings along to GE. GE even offered to teach its suppliers how to outsource and offshore.

Early in his career, Jack Welch won the nickname “Neutron Jack” for his ability to empty GE factories of employees and leave the buildings standing empty. During the cold war, the US added  enhanced radiation nuclear weapons to our arsenal. Those nuclear devices were nicknamed “neutron bombs.” Their purpose was to stop invading Soviet armies in Europe with minimal damage to the countryside. The bombs killed and left structures largely undamaged. We intended to not repeat the lesson of Vietnam where we destroyed villages with bombs in order to save them.

When the jobs report was issued yesterday, Jack Welch questioned the numbers. Just a question he said, having no basis in fact to question the numbers. I think that Jack Welch is not a reliable source when it comes to challenging the results of BLS jobs numbers. In the longer article above, you can read about how GE cooked the books in order to sustain its stock price and was caught and fined.

Please see Casting doubt

Declare victory

Afghanistan

Afghanistan (Photo credit: Ricymar Fine Art Photography)

As we did in Vietnam, I think that we should declare victory in Afghanistan and withdraw. We have driven al-Qaeda out of the country and into Pakistan, and we have punished the Afghan people enough for harboring bin Laden. After we withdraw, sooner or later, the Afghans themselves will decide their own government. It may include the Taliban or it may be a coalition of warlords. The Afghan people are tired of war and will welcome peace, any peace. The sooner we withdraw, the sooner they can start to sort out their own problems. We cannot impose a solution; only the Afghans can decide Afghanistan’s future.