Sadly, it has become so fashionable to blame the US President when anything goes wrong that many critics of the Obama Administration have grown so terribly short-sighted and narrow-minded in their thinking they are blinded by their need to assign blame. Revising history before the book has been closed on 2014, there is an attempt to frame President Obama’s delayed response to the Islamic State as a sign of his incompetence instead of a prudent foreign affairs policy.
Where the Obama Administration has made its share of mistakes and been credited for accomplishments government could have achieved, it has also been too often falsely criticized for failures it could not prevent. We criticize people and decisions in order to correct mistakes and do better when facing similar situations. Healthy criticism is, after all, a part of the human learning process.
Although there were plenty of individuals calling for action against the Islamic State months before the group marched across Iraq and seized enough territory to expand its so-called “caliphate” into two countries, the United States was dealing with the escalating Ukraine Crisis. A potential war with Russia meant the US had to ignore other unfolding foreign crises in order to be prepared to engage the Russian military around the world.
The highly proficient and well-funded Islamic State group is steadily being dismantled thanks to US-led Coalition airstrikes, regional security forces, tightening financial roadblocks, and the inability of the Islamic State to govern the self-proclaimed “caliphate” it created out of seized territory.
Mounting victories against the group do not, however, mean the Islamic State organization is being destroyed. Efforts to tackle the Islamic State are certainly breaking down the operational capacity of the organization, but this simply means it is transitioning back into a traditional terrorist group.
Just as the Afghanistan Taliban ruled the territory of Afghanistan before US-led efforts degraded the extremist entity into a militant insurgency then further undermined its operational capacity to give the fledgling Afghan government a chance at surviving, the Islamic State is seeing the same regression back to its original form. Consequently, the campaign against the Islamic State must transition as well.
While most individuals have little time for politics throughout the year, what the people who control government are doing is usually the last thing on the minds of most during the Holiday Season. Aside from the increasingly dysfunctional and bewildering nature of politics, a large part of the reason such disinterest exists is that the “common man” seems to have little to no place in the world of politics.
Unless the political world offers some entertaining gossip or interesting story, too few believe government has anything worthwhile to offer them. Unfortunately, there are those inside the more affluent classes who view politics as little more than a game that they can use for their own amusement.
When bad policies hit the People hard, however, the uninterested are forced to pay attention to what is happening in politics, yet have little to no ability to engage government in such a way that their outrage can have a positive influence on how government is run.
Although the American People like to avoid negativity and tragedy during the Holiday Season, the slaying of two New York City police officers by a disturbed individual supposedly looking to avenge the killings of unarmed black suspects at the hands of police around the country has grabbed the headlines.
Attempting to calm growing tensions, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for the end of protests against alleged police brutality. Unfortunately, this tragedy actually provides the perfect backdrop for a balanced discussion on the very issues that helped create this situation.
Police can be expected to become more defensive and aggressive when under increased threat, thus suspects are more likely to be treated in a far less courteous and gentle manner. In turn, officers with overbearing personalities and tendencies that lead to handling suspects in a rough manner find themselves in a position where they mistreat suspects, whether innocent or guilty.
The hacking of technology conglomerate Sony allegedly by North Korea, of all countries, and the subsequent shelving of “The interview,” which depicts an assassination attempt on the North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un continues to attract quite a bit of unexpected attention. Aside from “A”-list celebrities and news outlets concerned about threats to their lives and their First Amendment freedoms, the Sony hacking scandal has even garnered remarks from President Obama.
One must question, however, whether the US President has a legitimate interest in punishing Korea for attacking Sony. After all, Sony is a Japanese transinternational corporation, not an American business. Sony does, of course, operates within the US and its status as a major global electronics producer creates a very solid economic reason for all governments to protect it and other businesses around the world from cyber attacks by foreign entities.
From a more pessimistic view, President Obama’s brazen call to arms in defense of Sony is a sign of the same-old Washington run by special interests continuing to cater to the corporate world. At the very least, it would appear the President is trying to win some political clout for himself and the Democratic Party by demonstrating the value of government to corporations, i.e. the Left will help protect you from cyber attacks.
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