I don’t recognize Obama. In just a matter of a few weeks he has turned from Peter Parker into a Spiderman. I’m not complaining though, I welcome the transformation. I was clamoring for the Left to grow balls for a long time after all. Before I delve into this recent development I wanted to specify a few things.
For a long time the Left mistakenly, or perhaps even deservedly was described in negative terms because of its unconditional pacifism. There’s nothing wrong with pacifism, but while being anti-war you still have to carry a big stick at all times. My position is that when you’re hit – you hit back, not turn the other cheek. But you don’t hit first. That’s why I always supported the war in Afghanistan and never supported the Iraq war. Another reason for supporting the Afghan war is that I felt that Americans had to clean up the mess that was created with their help back in the 80s. And yes, I do wish Obama would draw troops out of Iraq. Being courageous, of course, does not mean belligerence or bullying towards everyone and everything. The Right however, and the neocons especially, relentlessly supported any show of force and they came to resemble a poker maniac (those who play poker know the term), who raises every time he’s in the pot, whether it’s justified or not. Some days he wins, but in the long run he inevitably loses. Obama, thank God, is a poker player, and a good one I heard. Republicans need to learn how to fold them and Democrats need to learn how to raise and reraise and I think they are beginning to realize that. I just love poker parallels, you can apply them to anything in life.
So, anyway, Obama approved targeted killing of a radical Muslim cleric who is an American citizen.
I wonder if Republicans have anything to say about that other than accusing the Democrats on flip flopping and warning their teapartiers of a slippery slope to eventual round up of right-wing militia. Which would force them to defend a radical Muslim cleric on the notion that today they are coming for him and tomorrow they will come for you! It should be quite interesting. And those who triumphantly point fingers at Obama and the Democrats and accuse them of flip flopping I say – yes they did. It is possible for intelligent people to change opinions. Perhaps they realized that the pacifist position isn’t always the correct one, but instead of carpet bombing the wrong country they found a more effective solution to the problem: intelligence gathering and targeted killings. Israel does that all the time and we have a lot to learn from them. And despite employing such techniques, somehow, Israel hasn’t turned itself into a dictatorship and is still a democracy.
It is a contentious topic and it will probably anger many on the Left and Right. But to me it shows that Obama is not a radical, but a centrist, a thoughtful politician who even at the expense of disappointing his base will do the right thing.