David Petraeus has fallen — but not as he should have. Before being disgraced by an extramarital affair, the retired four-star general and ex-CIA director should have been shamed out of public life for his horrendous military record in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Thank goodness the tedious presidential campaign is over. It was enough to put a caffeine freak into a coma. If all you cared about was the horse race, you missed how anemic the past year was. Rhetoric aside, the differences between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were virtually inconsequential; big government was never in doubt. That being the case, Obama’s four-year record went largely unexamined.
If you wonder what life would be like without a particular government agency, it is not enough simply to subtract the agency from a picture of our current world. That would imply a rather disparaging view of the human race. If there were no FEMA, would people just sit around in the rubble for the rest of their lives? Or would they do something, learn from their experience, and take precautions to minimize damage in the future?
It’s been noted, mostly by humorists, that Romney continuously expressed his agreement with Obama across a range of issues: drone warfare, Iran, Afghanistan, even Iraq. He tried to manufacture differences by suggesting that he would have done more sooner. But this all sounded flaccid; Romney seemed desperate to draw some contrast with a foreign policy that he embraces.
The NYU/Stanford study “Living Under Drones” goes beyond reporting estimates of the civilian casualties inflicted by the deadly and illegal U.S. campaign. It also documents the hell the Pakistanis endure under President Barack Obama’s policy, which includes a “kill list” from which he personally selects targets. The Obama administration denies that it has killed civilians, but bear in mind that it considers any male of military age a “militant.”
Bill Clinton is certainly full of himself these days. That might have something to do with the fact that no one is likely to ask why he hasn’t owned up to his share of the blame for the housing and financial bust.
President Barack Obama, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have at least one thing in common when it comes to Iran. All are guilty of flagrant self-contradiction.
Adam Smith wrote that power “would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. “
”Folly and presumption” seem apt words for anyone who proclaims that he can shape events — that is, people’s lives — in the Middle East.
Romney is not the only presidential contender displaying folly and presumption. Obama (along with his secretary of State, Hillary Clinton) apparently has no trouble believing that he too can control events in the Arab and Muslim world. There’s no other way to explain the unwise things he’s done.
Low-income people aren’t the only ones dependent on government. Another group is even more dependent: the people of the corporate world who expect government to provide bailouts, guarantees, and contracts. Romney supported the financial bailout and, aside from talking vaguely about tax loopholes, does not question the pervasive system of government privilege for big business.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has designated the Haqqani network a terrorist organization. What is the Haqqani network? Wikipedia says that it "was nurtured by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan." So it was a U.S. ally when the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, and it is fighting U.S. and NATO forces now that they are occupying Afghanistan.