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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Will Obama Countenance a Second Civil War?

Bill Sammon of FNC reports:

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is receptive to the idea of prosecuting some Bush administration officials, while letting others who are accused of misdeeds leave office without prosecution, she told Chris Wallace in an interview on “FOX News Sunday.”

“I think you look at each item and see what is a violation of the law and do we even have a right to ignore it,” the California Democrat said. “And other things that are maybe time that is spent better looking to the future rather than to the past.”

Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced Friday he wants to set up a commission to look into whether the Bush administration broke the law by taking the nation to war against Iraq and instituting aggressive anti-terror initiatives. The Michigan Democrat called for an “independent criminal probe into whether any laws were broken in connection with these activities.”

President-elect Barack Obama has not closed off the possibility of prosecutions, but hinted he does not favor them.

“I don’t believe that anybody is above the law,” he told ABC News a week ago. “On the other hand, I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.””

In my opinion, the cultural war between secular-progressives and traditional Americans will become a violent, bloody war if the Democrats in Congress try to criminalize policy differences by trying to punish members of the Bush Administration for attempting (and succeeding) to protect American lives. Obama isn’t saying much, although he appointed Holder, but Pelosi, Conyers, Reid, Holder and others are mouthing some very dangerous thoughts. As a minimum, practices that were originated by Carter and Clinton and merely continued by the Bush Administration (such as rendition and warrantless wiretapping) will be given much publicity, and, beyond that, some of us will be forced to support some violent people we normally shun and despise.
Said it before; I'll say it again: Bush will be vindicated

Charles Krauthammer January 16, 2009 StarTribune.com

WASHINGTON - Except for Richard Nixon, no president since Harry Truman leaves office more unloved than George W. Bush. Truman's rehabilitation took decades. Bush's will come sooner. Indeed, it has already begun. The chief revisionist? Barack Obama.

Vindication is being expressed not in words but in deeds -- the tacit endorsement conveyed by the Obama continuity-we-can-believe-in transition.

It's not just the retention of such key figures as Secretary of Defense Bob Gates or Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner, who, as president of the New York Fed, has been instrumental in guiding the Bush financial rescue over the last year. It's the continuity of policy.

It is the repeated pledge to conduct a withdrawal from Iraq that does not destabilize its new democracy and that, as Vice President-elect Joe Biden said just this week in Baghdad, adheres to the Bush-negotiated status of forces agreement that envisions a U.S. withdrawal over three years, not the 16-month timetable on which Obama campaigned.

It is the great care Obama is taking in not preemptively abandoning the antiterror infrastructure that the Bush administration leaves behind.

While still a candidate, Obama voted for the expanded presidential wiretapping (FISA) powers that Bush had fervently pursued. And while Obama opposes waterboarding (already banned, by the way, by Bush's CIA in 2006), he declined George Stephanopoulos' invitation (on ABC's "This Week") to outlaw all interrogation not permitted by the Army Field Manual. Explained Obama: "Dick Cheney's advice was good, which is let's make sure we know everything that's being done," i.e., before throwing out methods simply because Obama campaigned against them
.


Obama still disagrees with Cheney's view of the acceptability of some of these techniques. But citing as sage the advice offered by "the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history" (according to Joe Biden) -- advice paraphrased by Obama as "we shouldn't be making judgments on the basis of incomplete information or campaign rhetoric" -- is a startlingly early sign of a newly respectful consideration of the Bush-Cheney legacy.

Not from any change of heart. But from simple reality. The beauty of democratic rotations of power is that when the opposition takes office, cheap criticism and calumny will no longer do. The Democrats now own Iraq.

They own the war on Al-Qaida. And they own the panoply of antiterror measures with which the Bush administration kept us safe these last seven years.

Which is why Obama is consciously creating a gulf between what he now dismissively calls "campaign rhetoric" and the policy choices he must now make as president. Accordingly, Newsweek -- Obama acolyte and scourge of everything Bush/Cheney -- has on the eve of the Democratic restoration miraculously discovered the arguments for warrantless wiretaps, enhanced interrogation and detention without trial. Indeed, Newsweek's neck-snapping cover declares, "Why Obama May Soon Find Virtue in Cheney's Vision of Power."

Obama will be loath to throw away the tools that have kept the homeland safe. Just as he will be loath to jeopardize the remarkable turnaround in American fortunes in Iraq.

Obama opposed the war. But the war is all but over. What remains is an Iraq turned from aggressive, hostile power in the heart of the Middle East to an emerging democracy openly allied with the United States. No president would want to be responsible for undoing that success.

In Iraq, Bush rightly took criticism for all that went wrong -- the WMD fiasco, Abu Ghraib, the descent into bloody chaos in 2005-06. Then Bush goes to Baghdad to ratify the ultimate postsurge success of that troubled campaign -- the signing of a strategic partnership between the U.S. and Iraq -- and ends up dodging two size-10 shoes for his pains.

Absorbing that insult was Bush's final service on Iraq. Whatever venom the war generated is concentrated on Bush himself. By having personalized the responsibility for the awfulness of the war, Bush has done his successor a favor. Obama enters office with a strategic success on his hands -- while Bush leaves the scene taking a shoe for his country.

Which is why I suspect Bush showed such equanimity during a private farewell interview at the White House a few weeks ago. He leaves behind the sinews of war, for the creation of which he has been so vilified but which will serve his successor -- and his country -- well over the coming years.

The very continuation by Democrats of Bush's policies will be grudging, if silent, acknowledgement of how much he got right.

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9 Comments:

At 5:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep dreaming. But let me clue you in tactically in a few things.

I am a European.

If you think that this is going to be some pretty little war where all conservatives get an excuse to shoot libs and bash gays, you are kidding yourself.

There is one side, which is going to have a huge overseas support, by a 400million economy continent, and guess which one isn't. (Conveniently, blue states often border the sea for easy resupply and reinforcement)

So bring it on. lol.

 
At 6:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Democrat gets elected, and immediately, the Right begins to threaten violence.
There's a dog-bites-man story.

 
At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The left gets elected and they start acting the socialist nutjobs they really are and gets upset when call them on it.

To the cowardly Euroweenie who posted a comment, who we all know bows down to the Islamfacists who wish to bash him and gays under Sahria law, grow a pair and brain. Its time you grew up and cleared the Marxist fecal matter out of your head.

 
At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. It is also noteworthy how non-partisan Obama is trying to be. He HAS reached out...even republicans have praised him. I think he'll continue to drift toward center and stay there. This is evidenced by words and actions.

To the Cheney comment about not acting too quickly to implement based on campaign "rhetoric", Obama said he thought that Cheney was offering solid advice...

Steve

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger foutsc said...

To the European Anon: Are you sure you're from Europe? You sound like you still have cojones... Must be a Muslim. And don't think I'm using that term in the pejorative. Muslims are the only people left in Europe who know what they stand for.

Anyway, having 400 million Europeans on your side is like having NOTHING!!! You candy @$$es have whined your way through the entire GWOT!

In a conflict, 400 million Europeans are the equivalent of one American 12 year old with a BB gun and a ham sandwich.

Now go crawl back under your US built and maintained security umbrella with your frigid women, stinking cigarettes, gross porn and rotten wine!

Nietzsche is Dead

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger foutsc said...

Eastern Europeans excepted.

 
At 9:25 PM, Blogger Finntann said...

I'm impressed at your martial knowledge and prowess.

Tactical: The level at which battles and engagements are planned.

Strategic: The level at which objectives are determined, the development and use of resources to accomplish those objectives.

So, I guess... you meant to 'clue us in strategically', since you are talking about supply and reinforcement. ROFLMAO

It's an important distinction, since you Europeans are generally decent at strategy, but run like little schoolgirls at the tactical level.

Eurofighter: A high tech combat aircraft capable of supersonic retreat.

Europe, a continent previously conquered by America.

We didn't want it and gave it back.

What's that tell you?

I suggest you go back to school and study US and European military history. Since 1776 the only people you have been capable of defeating have been yourselves and your third world colonies, and last time I checked you weren't doing so well colonially. And don't try and be noble, it's always easy being noble and freeing people after you've had your ass handed to you.

OH... and FOOTBALL is NOT played with a ROUND BALL.

Cheers!

~Finntann~

 
At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Toronto broker said...

Like small kids...I don't have to live in the USA to know that some civil war is completely unreal. I think just the opposite - Obama has finally united a bit your bipolar country. Nobody will be prosecuted, there will be just smiles and hand shaking - as usually...
(Can somebody unite also our political scene??)
Lorne

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger Finntann said...

Nah! This is just the honeymoon, pretty soon the press will be nipping at his heels. The first scandal will hit his administration, and everything will be back the way it was.

 

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