The Politics of the Election Cycle and Policy Spin
The Republicans are coming out in force on their criticism of President Obama`s decision to utilize primarily air strikes to thwart ISIS aggression in Iraq towards the Kurds and the minority Christian group the Yazidis.
But whether they believe this is the correct policy strategy is one thing, but their real agenda is obvious which is to attack President Obama on foreign policy issues and to gain traction on this issue going into the fall elections in order to gain seats in Congress and possibly take the Senate majority in the fall elections.
I am neither Republican, Tea Partier or Democrat but I agree that at this point given the most advanced air force, military intelligence and drone technology in the world that the US ought to be able to put a significant dent in the ISIS momentum without needing to put troops on the ground. The rest is up to the Iraqis to get their house in order or just cede territory forever to ISIS.
With regard to ISIS sending terrorism back to the US, hopefully this isn`t a surprise to the CIA this time around, and they will actually do their jobs and track this threat and disrupt it, it isn`t exactly rocket science given our resources versus their measly resources.
But if they are unable to handle this threat, then yes the US will need to go in with ground forces and eliminate ISIS, but we are a long way from this point with a bunch of radicals driving around Iraq in pickup trucks with automatic weapons. The media has really overhyped the capabilities of this ragtag bunch, if anything it illustrates how incompetent and unmotivated the current Iraqi government is to fight, govern and build a broad based coalition in outlying cities outside of Bagdad.
November Elections just around the Corner
But back to the Republicans latest critique of President Obama`s response here in Iraq, it is obviously politically motivated, and only serves as the latest example of the complete dysfunction that is the two-party system in this country. Everything revolves around gaining more seats, getting more power, bringing in more money to the parties, to run campaigns to retain seats in Congress and keep the parties strong for the next election cycle.
And with mid-term elections every two years, every policy issue is debated not on its merits, but is sliced and diced, spun and framed in the context of how either party can gain traction on this issue for inflicting political damage for the next election cycle. Literally this happens with every single issue, if the President came out and said the sky is blue, the Republicans would spin it as, if Obama did his job right it would be green!
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Results Oriented Thinking & Hindsight Strategy
Sure the US could have left troops in Iraq, and maybe some of this would have been prevented, but come on the Iraqis could also get their act together, take a little responsibility for their own welfare, and show a little self-determinism for their future. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.
The US cannot go all over the world holding everybody`s hand until they get their act together, at some point there are consequences for behavior, and people make choices on how they are going to live, work together for some common benefit, or suffer the consequences for the choices they make in not working together for a defined common good of a shared broad based and multi-faceted society.
One notices how the United States never has to go in with the military and bail out the Scandinavian countries? At some point the Iraqi people will have to take responsibility for how they want to live and deal with the consequences of these choices. Now if these consequences happen to negatively affect, and I mean truly affect the United States security, and this is a high bar given the geographic distance from Iraq and alternative energy sources around the world, then the US will need to take aggressive military action which may necessitate troops on the ground.
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Career Politicians & Outdated Agendas
But every time John McCain speaks regarding foreign policy it becomes more and more clear that the two-party system has outlived its usefulness, and needs to be replaced by a broader, more sophisticated political model – let’s get rid of political parties altogether and debate the issues and policy alternatives on their own merits!
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