After making his point about Syria clear, he could not avoid falling into the now-common GOP talking points that attack Mr. Obama. Instead of ending his Op-Ed on a serious note, Buchanan claims that the United States can no longer afford to be the World's Policeman, because of high unemployment and "skyrocketing deficits." Excuse me, but unemployment has steadily been dropping (currently 7.3, lower than when Obama took office in 2009) and according to the Congressional Budget Office, next year's projected federal spending will be reduced by approximately 80% due to Sequestration cuts. You know, that darn C.B.O. - the one federal group that is NON-Partisan and whose mission is to always accurately report on the nation's actual spending. If I was to inform my students that I dropped their class grades 80%, do you think they would celebrate that their grades would be "skyrocketing?" You see, Mr. Buchanan, like all well-trained Republicans these days, can't seem to avoid politicizing everything, even if it comes at the expense of national security. National Security? Huh?
Mr. Buchanan asks in his Op-Ed whether the United States can afford to be the World's Policeman. Really?
Seems Vern thinks (as suddenly do many of his Republican supporters) that it is too damn expensive policing the World and that we need to pay more attention to our national needs (as IF the Congress has done ANYTHING towards approving internal infrastructure projects in the past 3 plus years)! But that too misses my point. Instead of asking whether the United States can afford to be the World's Policeman, I would pose the same question to Mr. Buchanan differently - "Can the United States afford NOT to be the World's Policeman?" Is there any single country capable of protecting American interests across the globe better than our own military? Can we trust anybody else to become the World's Policeman if we choose to step away from this enormous responsibility? I certainly would not!
But what gets me irate with Mr. Buchanan and his supporters' logic is the sheer lack of thought behind the notion. I mean, Vern and his supporters seem to be placing a dollar value on the cost to be the World's Policeman instead of paying attention to the costs in human lives and dollars to earn it. Since Theodore Roosevelt's foreign policy of "Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick", the United States has, in our own self-interests taken the role as policeman and done so gladly. In fact, through WWI, WWII, Korea, Viet Nam and countless "police actions", the United States has already spent tremendous amounts of treasury providing such services to the World. I'm not saying the United States has always done the right thing in intervening in disputes around the World, but to simply opine that we "cannot afford to anymore" turns our backs on the brave men and woman of the Unites States armed forces who through the years, have sacrificed their lives and bodies to safeguard American interests around the globe. We have invested dearly with our military personnel for over a hundred years. To simply turn away from that sacrifice because it might cost too much money is irresponsible and down right disrespectful. Do we have to stick our noses into every World conflict? No, and we don't. If we did, we would be actively engaged in current battles all over the World. But, if we find a conflict demanding our attention, we are ready (as we should)! And for those agreeing with Mr. Buchanan that the U.S. should not get involved in every Middle-Eastern conflict, does that include protecting Israel should it be attacked again in the future?
The last thing Buchanan mentioned also offends me. Below his Op-Ed was a paid advertisement of a public town hall meeting on Syria. According to the Ad, citizens were welcomed to come out and voice their opinion on the matter (as if they have a better access to foreign intelligence information than a United States Congressman). According to the local paper, the Town Hall was filled with citizens opposed to intervening in Syria. And most agreed we can no longer afford to be the World's Policeman (Sarasota Herald Tribune, Sept. 15, 2013).
I am not saying we should join our president in a lock-step approval of his actions. Personally, I OPPOSE intervening in Syria. But, can his political opponents please stop using lame excuses to use the Syria matter as fodder for their perpetual obsession for what I like to call Obama-Tourettes. Yes, America has paid dearly to become the World's Policeman, paid with both a treasury of money and military lives. Yes, we need a clear vision of our objectives before utilizing our military strength. But to proclaim alleged dismay that our enemies perceive the President as "Weak" and a "Failure" proves how dishonest his opponents are. After all, these terms have been familiar elements of his political opponents' rhetoric since before the man was inaugurated.
Am I disappointed in Obama? You bet! Do I think he is weak? Yes, but only because of the self-inflicted, poorly crafted policies pushed upon him by his advisers. Do I think he made a critical political mistake seeking the advice and consent from Congress for Syrian intervention? Yes! As a result, Mr. Obama may become one of the earliest presidents to attain "Lame Duck" status so far ahead of upcoming Mid-Term elections! Is it any wonder the disingenuous debt ceiling arguments are being raised again by the Far Right? Will their obsession to succeed in shutting down the government in return for a refusal to erase Obamacare from the books prevail?
For Obama's opponents to politicize everything, without regard to the complexities of Ge0-Political realities reflects a basic ignorance of diplomacy and foreign policy. When it comes to foreign policy, we need an honest debate before committing American troops. But to even remotely forget the human sacrifice made by our brave members of our military over the past one hundred years because of the perceived dollar costs of protecting the World is short-sighted and incorrectly politically based. I mean, where were all of these isolationists when George W. Bush and his administration beat the war drums for intervention in Iraq? As President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said; "Our problem, then, is not our strength, it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow"