Saturday, September 14, 2013

Trust vindicated

I don't mind being called an Obamabot that much. Just like the President decided to embrace the label "Obamacare" that was initially meant as a slam, I suspect history will vindicate that supporting this administration was the right call.

What I've typically reacted to negatively is the idea that I blindly trust President Obama because the fact is - I have my eyes wide open and am watching a fascinating presidency unfold. Over time what has happened is that when I don't see the whole picture yet, I've learned to slow down my reactions and wait until I get more information. I also remind myself of who this man is that we've elected twice and how he's handled things in the past.

All of this came into play when it became clear that President Obama was considering a military strike against Syria because the Assad regime had used chemical weapons against his own people. I knew from watching him closely that he had rather boldly stood up to his own national security team when they united last fall to propose that the US intervene in the Syrian civil war. And so I was pretty confident that he had come to this position both reluctantly and thoughtfully. As I've said previously, my concerns were more about the efficacy of strikes rather than the ridiculous notion that this man was some kind of warmonger. And so I reminded myself of the process President Obama used when he made the decision to intervene in Libya and assumed he'd done the same thing this time.

I can't say that I ever really embraced the idea of military strikes against Syria. But what I can say is that I figured that President Obama was telling the truth about his intentions and that he'd made the best decision he could with the information he had. Doing so doesn't always mean success or landing on the perfect solution. No human is capable of always doing that. But its the best we can hope for from a president in an imperfect world.

There is still a lot of work to be done on Syria, but this morning I can see demonstrated proof that my trust in President Obama is vindicated. SoS Kerry has brokered a deal with his Russian counterpart to identify and destroy Assad's chemical weapons. What is specifically vindicated is not just that this administration had always been working behind the scenes on the "carrot" of diplomacy as an alternative to the "stick" of military intervention. If this deal goes through, it also proves that dealing with Assad's chemical weapons was ALWAYS the President's motivation in all this. That is a critical point because it shows that he is ushering in a new approach to US foreign policy.
What President Obama has been laying out in his Syrian policy is an engagement in the world that rejects warmongering as a solution but also suggests that isolation is dangerous. He wants to promote diplomatic solutions that allow the people of Syria to decide their own fate while upholding the norms against the use of chemical weapons.

If that sounds like a "confusing" policy to anyone - its probably because engaging as a partner rather than assuming our own dominance militarily requires nuance and complexity.
In a resolution to the issue of WMD, this new approach demonstrates how wrong the neocons have been that we have to invade other countries to engage productively. It also proves the President's cynical critics on the left wrong in suggesting that he is just another tool of the neocons. In the end, it is the blindness of those on the right who call this President "weak" and those on the left who suggest that he's just another "warmonger" that has been revealed.

And so yes, with eyes wide open, my trust in President Obama has been vindicated once again.


  1. This is why I rad you, SMARTYPANTS; you articulate my thoughts, exactly, on so many issues.

    Your knowledge of history and politics helps me to understand so many things. And I am grateful to you for that.

    This post captures my thinking completely.

    Thank you.

  2. i don't bet against Obama. this is why. (drops mic)

  3. I am a proud Obamabot. I take that name because President Obama has earned my trust. It's not blind faith at all. On policy matters large and small, he has proven himself to be thoughtful, deliberate and incisive. Speeches are nice and all, but he is a man of action. His actions have and continue to make our country a more perfect union.

    While the pundits and the "where's my rainbow-farting unicorns" whiners irritate me, I know history will change their minds. 5 to 10 years from now people will be saying things like, "Well, when Obama was President, he showed strength/intelligence/resolve. Why can't President [Whomever] be like that?"

  4. thank you smartypants. you always explain it out, plain and simple, and I appreciate it.

  5. I keep returning to the look on the President's face when he talked about the murdered children. He could hardly contain his disgust. Anyone who doubted his determination should go back and review that tape.

    SOS Kerry is just the right hard-nosed negotiator for this issue. Hill probably could not have pulled this off because I am sure some gender discrimination would have gotten in the way.

    President Obama's long vision and long game are stunning to behold. He is sure about his plan to make us "a more perfect union" and thus bring about a better world.

    I bless him on a regular basis! We cannot allow this phony media to stomp on this victory. Twitter/FB here we come!


  6. Hello SP, have you seen this yet? Zizi shared pthe link in TOD village and the ideas expressed reminded me strongly of you.

    Here's a snippet:

    "Developmental psychologists call this level of consciousness integral, and tell us that less than 5% of the world has attained this consciousness level. Obama, I believe, is part of this small percentage of people who see things whole; who trust the complexity of events to reveal deep structures and patterns, not single point answers or finite solutions; who know with absolute conviction that truth is found not in resolving paradox, but living in its tensions; that flow and generative action requires letting go of ego; and that all people, at every developmental level have something important to say, even your adversaries and enemies, because the brain is not capable of 100% error."

    1. Thank you for that link. The article was brilliant. It gave me much to ponder, not only regarding politics but personal attitudes as well.

  7. Move over SmartyP - count me in as one of those Obots too! :-)


  8. Great READ and analysis. It is said that a professional Negotiator does not care who gets the credit. To a professional Negotiator what matters is if the goal is reached. I think President Obama is a professional NEGOTIATOR. I doubt very much if he cared that the MSM and the half-baked pundits were trying to give Putin credit for all this. (It seems some have come to their senses). I too am an Obamabot and proud of it. I had a Dr. Peterson (he's a paid analyst on MSNBC) tweet me and tell me I shouldn't call President Obama "liberal" because is cedes too much to the Republicans and neoliberals. Excuse me. I should care what the Republicans and neoliberals think? President Obama is the most liberal President we've had in my life-time, including JFK.

    In fact JFK said: If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal", then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal.”