If you have not seen this exceptionally well written response on Extreme Liberal's Blog to a recent New York Times article, it is a must read. With enviable clarity it is forcibly argued, superbly documented, and just so damn reasonable that I felt compelled to share a few highlights here. I urge readers, however, to follow the link to better appreciate the depth and breadth of this enormously insightful critique.
The long and detailed New York Times piece entitled “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will” is causing a lot of stir on the left and the right.
As I was reading it, I didn’t have a hard time imaging what the reaction from some on the left would be. The person that always comes to mind is Glenn Greenwald, whose sentences almost always include “a noun, a verb and drones”.
As a liberal, I have a lot of problems with our country’s use of force, whether it’s a Democratic or Republican administration. I do, however, trust Democrats much more than Republicans when it comes to executing our foreign policy. And yes, I wish that Democrats were less militaristic. . . . I’m still going to vote for Democrats, because I really don’t want Teapublicans getting their hands on our vast, powerful military again. We’re still cleaning up the mess left by the last group of Republican bullies.
. . . I’ve come to realize that all presidents are tasked with the thankless job of protecting America from those who want to do us harm. It’s incredibly easy for us keyboard warriors to opine about what the government should do, but we aren’t reading those daily briefings and aren’t privy to the intelligence that career officers are gathering. Because of that, I no longer have a knee-jerk reaction to all the actions our government takes when it comes to military action.Echoing my thoughts, Extreme Liberal goes on to examine, in great detail, each of the following issues raised by the Times article.
-- The need for secrecy in intelligence gathering:
I’m amazed at how many people think our foreign policy and intelligence should be an open book, as if our enemies reading it is no big deal.-- Where the buck stops:
. . . whether you agree with President Obama’s position or not, the man deserves credit for standing up and taking responsibility for what our military does when targeting terrorists and the potential collateral damage that our strikes may cause.-- Ignoring the role of Congress when discussing Quantanamo and Anwar al-Awlaki.
PP: This section is simply too important and well argued to merely "highlight" here.-- Using former Bushies when it's convenient for furthering the meme:
This next passage [from the Times article] is very revealing of the techniques used throughout the piece to appeal to the “both sides are the same” crowd.-- Throwing in that "caved" meme:
When they return to the Guantanamo Bay issue later in the piece, the authors push another meme of the Professional Left, the “OMG, he caved” meme. I’ll send you to my piece on Guantanamo Bay again, in case you didn’t click the first time. It shows the circumstances that the newly elected president faced from both the right and his own party in trying to close Gitmo.Extreme Liberal concludes by returning to the beginning and to "the reality of the violent world we live in" -- a reality that none of us particularly relishes but one that is with us nonetheless. "It ain't the 50s no more."