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Never before has the US been in such a devilish situation as it finds itself with the recent upheavals sweeping the mid-east.
Should it invade? Should it sit back? Should it advise it's "friends"? Should it arm the rebels?
In the good old days regime change was so covert often the president never knew what was actually going on. OK, so in fairness that was during the Reagan-Bush presidencies. But since then, and even during the quiet peanut-farmer with the big smile from Georgia, Carter's time on, Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty have seemingly had a torrid affair across the region, giving birth to bastard son after bastard son.
Now or recently, Obama was given the credit of having an outright "Doctrine" by the TV media who apparently prefer that to the word "responsible" or "principle". "The Obama Doctrine" is not the 4th installment of another Matt Damon action film, but something even more tedious.
Once again, US foreign policy finds itself in the "been there, and failed at that" scenario trying to "Finesse it" once again.
Instead of simply going back to good old George Washington to figure out what to do (See below), the mediocre middle management at the White House, sans the profanity laced ass-kicking standard of excellence and pain that Emanuel brought to the table, is feverishly working to come up with something, anything that could pass for a forward pass.
So inept are they that even Hilary Clinton can't stand it and has now apparently taken the reins of this buggy in her own over lotioned hands, her own presidential campaign revival of "Hilary Get Your Gun".
Looking at the image of the US from the perspective of the Mid-East, you can see the view and problem a lot clearer.
Here's the US, having supported EVERY SINGLE dictatorship in the gulf for decades, as it now turns out, just so the same kinds of riots don't break out at the neighborhood Chevron Station, as Americans try to somehow contend with the outright panic and outrage that having to pay $5 a gallon to fill up "Ole' Betsy" to tow the ski boat, "My Second Mate", and the RV "El Dorado", up to NASCAR and the lake this weekend.
Apparently this half century of suppression of democracy and freedom that has condemned millions of people in the Mid East to oppression and tyranny, was all for our own good. Or what has been way too loosely termed as "US Interests".
Is it really in the US interests to have lots of diseased and trigger-happy dictatorships that lead to inevitable sudden instability? Because this tea has been brewing a long time now, and as has been shown, she's about to blow.
Shortterm and shortsighted policy of "better the devil you know", thinking that you could ever work with a brutal dictator for very long, instead of demanding blessed democracy and freedom, is serious delusion and denial.
In spite of every film ever made in Hollywood, Arabs don't actually prefer to be ruled by a heavy handed Sheikh named "Ahmed", or a wizard named "Jaffar".
The cool thing about freedom and democracy is that one size fits all. The shoe fits. You just have to allow people to wear it.
But worse for all of the these people now trying to change their history and lives, one Tahrir square at a time, the US finds itself in the stickiest position of having armed these dictators, who are using the latest gear to potentially condemn the protest movements to a crushing, if momentary defeat. A horrible car crash set in motion by the US of the past, now forced to sit and watch it happen in the present.
The temptation to level the playing field, hamstring the dictators, while not exactly helping the rebels win too easily, is too great, and I think the subtle identifier of the "Obama Doctrine". if you look at the rest of the region you can see sparks and flickers of this everywhere. On the one hand demanding the tyrants like Mubarak, leave, on the other not doing much else to make it happen quickly.
Recently, while helping my daughter study her American History for an exam, the topic was George Washington's consistent reluctance to get into foreign wars. The young US was being wooed by the French to help them fight on their side, against the British. Washington felt that a policy of isolation was called for.
Maybe this is what the US needs to do now. Simply state that it supports freedom and democracy, and will be there when every country gains it, on it's own, for itself. Then walk away from the world and let it sort itself out.
I think by now, the world has gotten the message from all of the Coke commercials.
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