previous post next post  

The President @ the UN

Heh.  The White House is haunted.  The Shade of Wilson walks the corridors, whispering into the President's ear. 

Then there was this gem.

"And I pledge that America will always stand with those who stand up for their dignity and their rights — for the student who seeks to learn; the voter who demands to be heard; the innocent who longs to be free; the oppressed who yearns to be equal."

How 'bout them Iranian dissidents, sir?

Or those Poles, or Czechs...

8 Comments

The Shade of Wilson walks the corridors, whispering into the President's ear.

Too bad it's the Shade of Woody and not the Corporeal Reality of Joe...

 
Or those Hungarians? Or those Vietnamese? Or those Hmong?

We are a country much more like other countries than we might hope, and our politicians are  definitely no better than those of other countries. So, sometimes we do the right thing, but for the wrong reasons, and often we do the wrong thing, such as abandoning those who relied on our word. And we do it because honoring our word is not politically expedient.
 
...or those Hondurans,
 
You simply cannot believe whatever beautiful sounding words come from the lips of the U.S. President.  Most of the time they are factually incorrect, and intended to deceive.   Whom he seeks to deceive is open to question, his base, the opposition, our allies, or our adversaries?

Watch his actions, and do not fall for his siren song.

In this case, his actions have steadily marched toward destruction of the American society, economy, military and spirit.

We have a nearly bankrupt country, allies on the edge of abandonment, and enemies about to be appeased, and a future generation to be saddled with unspeakable debts, and the first ever to live less well than their parents.

I weep for our country, and the damage he has wrought, despite his soothing promises made knowing full well he never intended to deliver on them.
 
"and often we do the wrong thing, such as abandoning those who relied on our word. And we do it because honoring our word is not politically expedient."

I'd say we do right far more often than we do wrong, we just don't get credit for it, and also politically expediency is the wrong term, really.  It's done because it politically the right thing to do at the time, even though it may not be what people think should be done.  Expediency implies because it's cheap or easy, when really, the cost of some of these things is quite high and they are not easy to do--yet they are still the right thing to do for the good of the country at the time.  A leader should never keep a promise that will harm his country in the long run.  And for our 4-year leaders, the long run is at most 8 years.

And sometimes we make promises up front that we ahve no intent of keeping.  And that's good politics too, in the short term, again with a time horizon of about 8 years....

I'm writing in a hurry, so not being as precise as I'd like, but I think that should do.....
 
John (not the armorer), I think you need a vacation in Nigeria, the DRC, Aceh indonesia , or even Mexico (but not CanCun)...   Really.

 
It's done because it politically the right thing to do at the time, even though it may not be what people think should be done.

Political expediency is the proper term when it is done because doing the *right* thing will cause the pols to face the often-temporary -- and often-imaginary -- ire of the voters.

It was politically-expedient to refrain from upholding the terms of the peace agreement when PAVN armor rolled south across the DMZ.

It was politically-expedient to declare all the MIAs from the Vietnam War dead, rather than demand Hanoi account for those we knew were still in the prison system or had been transferred to Soviet control.

Iceberg. Tip.

Political expediency consists of doing the wrong thing for politically-correct reasons.
 
Bill: "Political expediency is the proper term when it is done because doing the *right* thing will cause the pols to face the often-temporary -- and often-imaginary -- ire of the voters."

I agree with you (I said I wasn't as precise as I wanted to be). I was not talking about what the gov't does to placate American voters, but about the effects of doing the 'so-called' right thing on the country. I don't care overmuch about the first, really, that's always been done and always will (politics is always local, eh), and frankly, I want my pols to listen to me too. As to the latter, I think it's wholly appropriate to abandon 'those who relied on our word' if doing so is better for the country than the opposite. I know, I know, that goes against the grain of the 'pure, the good, & the wholesome' and I also understand completely that such actions have long-term consequences, but sometimes, the here & now is more important than the possible future.

It is a leader's job to preserve the led, and he or she cannot legitimately choose to do otherwise. In the case of national leaders, especially in a Democracy (even one as odd as ours), it is their duty to make choices that point to the benefit of the nation in accordance with the wishes of the led. Sometimes that means doing good, sometimes that means doing bad, and no, this is not a discussion about ends justifying the means. We are a nation of laws and they should be obeyed, such as they can with good conscience; however, international relations and etc. are not about law, they are about doing what's right for the country, not for the world (that's kind of what got Wilson in trouble). And yes, too, I understand about Smith's enlightened self-preservation, it's at the root of all friendly rivalries, really, but sometimes you just gotta take care of yourself first.

> It was politically-expedient to refrain from upholding the terms of the peace agreement when PAVN armor rolled south across the DMZ.

I dunno Bill. I can't argue this with any authority, and I've little real knowledge of the details, but I suspect it was more than the kind of PE you're referring to. I am not sure it would have been beneficial to the US to do anything about it. The North lied when it said it wouldn't attack, and we didn't really care when they did--we just wanted out of there. Also, after Nixon resigned in '74 I just don't think most Americans would have supported any more warmaking over there, and it wasn't just the administration that couldn't have sold it. It's not always just political expediency to do what the constituency wants, and I don't think it would have been then. Yeah, I knew a lot of Army guys who wanted to go back, but most of them were just bored with the peacetime Army. Very few ever had anything good to say about the South Vietnamese gov't or ARVN Army, they just liked things the way they were. And more than a few of them just plain liked the excitement, the drugs, and the cheap women. And yes, I lived with them and was led by them and even if they were lying, it's what they were telling me and teaching me. I heard similar stuff from Vietnam Vets all the way into the mid 80s (though by then it was mostly from the older CWO pilots in my platoon :-D).

> It was politically-expedient to declare all the MIAs from the Vietnam War dead, rather than demand Hanoi account for those we knew were still in the prison system or had been transferred to Soviet control.

Can't argue that, but I don't think that was so much PE to appease the voters as it was about the only choice they had. Do you think Americans would have supported a war to prove the opposite? Did we really have power over Hanoi to demand anything?  Short of using bombers again, I don't think so.   They had been fighting invaders since WWII and weren't likely to care what we wanted.

> Iceberg. Tip.

I agree. We could also talk about Kennedy screwing the Cubans, or FDR condemning millions of people to 50 years of life under Communism, or how elder Bush lied to us fighting the first gulf war to save Kuwait for Democracy, or how we'll likely screw Taiwan if China ever attacks them.  We could also talk about how Calley was made the goat for all the things Americans did wrong in Vietnam, about the denial of Gulf War Syndrome by DoD, the lack of senior leadership uproar over the USMC Osprey maint. affair, or about Rumsfeld firing people because they said it would take more people and time to win in Iraq than he wanted to hear.....  And a LOT more of the same.   We don't however, because most people don't have the attention span for that kind of prolonged pain.... :-)  And a lot of us just don't care about that stuff anymore.  It's old news.

> Political expediency consists of doing the wrong thing for politically-correct reasons.

No argument, really. I just don't think doing the 'wrong' thing is always the wrong choice.  It all depends on a lot of variables, and the long-term benefit to the US should be the only measure of whether it's right or wrong.

VR