I'm just sayin' - Obama is no Bobby Fischer
International politics is a very messy thing. There are all kinds of cultures, histories, power disputes and money issues to try to understand and put into context when trying to work with other countries and leaders. No American president comes into office with the experience needed or background to understand it all. It would take many years of experience as a secretary of state or as secretary of defense to have the wisdom and knowledge needed. That just doesn't happen for someone who wants to be president. So, we get people elected as president who appeal to the voters on domestic issues. However, on the international issues for which a president has absolute authority, we are putting neophytes into office.
The great world chess champion, Bobby Fischer, was a master at envisioning the "end objective" and how he could capture the king chess piece. All too often we do not have a strategy in this "chess game," or an objective for how our actions are going to affect the world stage, not to mention the security interests of the United States.
It gets especially dangerous when we elect a president who has little more experience than being a community organizer (whatever that is) and very few years of legislative background. The danger multiplies exponentially when that same president operates under the naïve and narcissistic attitude that he can just talk and influence his way through anything. Eventually, the rest of the world looks at him as a joke and as someone they don't have to take seriously. In case you haven't got my drift yet, that is the current occupant of the White House.
Iran scoffs at him. The Russians ignore him. China pays little attention to him. Our friends (the British, French and Israelis) don't know what to believe from him because the direction keeps changing and too many decisions are made based on his own political interests. Mubarak must go, so we get the Muslim Brotherhood taking over in Egypt (thankfully the Egyptian people threw them out). Gadhafi must go, so we get Islamic terrorists running amuck in Libya and killing our ambassador and others. Assad (Syria) must go, so we "draw a red line" and then don't do anything when it is crossed (as of this writing).
The way our current president conducts international politics and military issues is more like the card game "War," rather than chess: Let's just deal a card and then see what happens; rather than thinking through a strategy that will lead to an objective that is good for the United States. If it is not good for us, then stay out of it!
I know, I know. Some of you now want to write a letter to the editor proclaiming: What about that cowboy George Bush or that intellectual lightweight Ronald Reagan? Go back to the first paragraph of this column. I stated, all presidents have issues with this. The problem gets to be how they deal with it based on their background, and does the president mean what he says?
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"In international affairs, you never threaten things you're not prepared to do." -- Sandy Berger