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The Politics of the Election Cycle and Policy Spin

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By EconMatters

 

Political 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. 

 

Pragmatic Strategy

 

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!

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.

 

 

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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Mon, 08/11/2014 - 15:37 | 5078157 TuPhat
TuPhat's picture

What is that supposed to mean "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. "  We destroyed their government and their military and that's called 'leading a horse to water'?  This article is crap.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 14:55 | 5077821 JRobby
JRobby's picture

election year! move the rhetoric back closer to the center.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 13:33 | 5077115 Creepy A. Cracker
Creepy A. Cracker's picture

Joey Biden: "Iraq will be one of the great achievements of this administration"

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 11:56 | 5076541 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

"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."

Only a concern of to those who still think "that their vote matters" and like to be lied to.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 11:13 | 5076295 andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

Underestimating The IS Caliphate is foolish. They are not just a "ragtag bunch". They are a well-led army of committed jihadists. Sunni Islam now has a winning champion, so their ranks are growing by leaps and bounds and they keep winning on the ground. If they keep on winning, their ranks will grow on an exponential curve because success leads to more support and more recruits which leads to more success. If they are able to expand much beyond their current bounds, they will become unstoppable.

The Sunni People once believed Saddam to be their champion, but he failed. They had high hopes for Osama Bin Laden, but he also failed. If ISIS can demonstrate that it is the real deal, they will get an overwhelming flood of support that will guarantee their conquest of the entire Islamic World, and possibly much of Eurasia.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 13:26 | 5077091 lex parsimoniae
lex parsimoniae's picture

Over the weekend I watched the two vids about the IS posted here on ZH, my take-away:

Untrained, Untrainable, Undisciplined, Fundamentalists who are inviting their own annihilation at the hands of superior forces. The civilized world is permitting this crap because it's PC. IS and all the other brands of militant muzzies have as long as it takes for reasonable people to work up the will to defend their interests and ignore the verbal abuse that folllows. 

I remember the dire predictions of engaging the vaunted Iraqui 'Republican Guard'..

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 10:41 | 5076077 JamesH
JamesH's picture

"One notices how the United States never has to go in with the military and bail out the Scandinavian countries?" - just wait for the muslim proportion to increase a bit more and yes they will.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 13:35 | 5077121 Creepy A. Cracker
Creepy A. Cracker's picture

The U.S. needs to go in and bomb Detroit and Chicago.  The violence there is comprable to Iraq.

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