Obama Foreign Policy Maxim Actually Not Bad

According to Hillary Clinton, the Obama administration’s guiding maxim for foreign policy was “Don’t do stupid shit.”

But if that was their lodestar, why did they ever hire Hillary as Secretary of State? Hillary would also have been disqualified for that job if the Obama team relied on Google’s (former) motto: “Don’t be evil.”

If the Obama administration had actually followed the “stupid shit” maxim, they would have avoided almost all the disastrous interventions that have occurred since 2009.  Karzai would not have been propped up in Afghanistan, Maliki would not have been supported in Iraq, and the U.S. would not have bombed Libya. Nor would it have provided aid to Syrian rebels that was used to propel ISIS – the group that Obama began bombing last week.

Hillary offered a different diagnosis for the latest debacle” “I know that the failure to help build up a credible fighting force [in Syria] . . . left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.”  Some experts predicted this would be the result as soon as the U.S. began propping up the opposition in the Syrian civil war.   Hillary has thus far avoided the castigation she deserves for pushing U.S. intervention in Syria.

Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles nicely captured the stupidity of U.S. Mideast policy.   The Post editorial page would be vastly improved if this guy was writing their editorials, as opposed to their usual “bombing cures all” line.

cartoon toles color version arms stolen tt140812


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13 Responses to Obama Foreign Policy Maxim Actually Not Bad

  1. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    There is a story out of the Korean Conflict about a pair of memoranda hitting the general commanding 8th Army’s desk. The first was a request from the ROK (Korean) Army for 5 battalions of field artillery. The second was an intelligence analysis that pointed out that the ROK Army had lost approximately 5 battalions of field artillery to the North Koreans when they retreated and abandoned the cannon in place.

    History may not repeat, but it sure does rhyme a lot.

    It’s interesting, too, that the Smartest Woman In The World (isn’t that an old pejorative re: Hillary?) does not consider the Syrian Army to be a “counterbalance” to the rebels-America-doesn’t-approve-of.

    I’d also mention “Don’t Do Stupid Shit” as a foreign (hey, and domestic, too!) policy would have been useful back to the founding of the Republic a couple centuries ago.

    • Jim August 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

      “Don’t Do Stupid Shit” would be a much better inscription for U.S. currency than “In God We Trust” — which practically tars the Supreme Deity with guilt-by-association with the Federal Reserve.

  2. Tom Blanton August 12, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    “Don’t do stupid shit” is pretty good, but too complicated. I’d simplify it to “don’t do shit,” or maybe “don’t do anything” for family friendly political policy.

    Taxpayers could save over $3 trillion annually if the federal gov’t fully adhered to this policy directive and the world would be much safer.

    • Jim August 12, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

      It’s hard to argue against brevity…

      • The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 13, 2014 at 10:15 am #

        Maybe for mere mortals. Lawyers, on the other hand….

        It still needs the adjective “stupid,” because “don’t do shit” does not include the basic purpose of government – protecting human rights.

        And, just for the nonexistent record here, those are NEGATIVE rights that government protects. The right to be free from officious intermeddlers and moral entrepreneurs. I have a right to tell Jim to “Get off my lawn!” I don’t have a right to require him to pay to have it cut by some poor underprivileged youth who are perfectly capable of contracting with me on their own and do not require a tax subsidy taken from someone else to be out doing good works.

        • Jim August 13, 2014 at 10:32 am #

          Lawhobbit, as long as you’re not going to conscript me to mow your lawn, I won’t argue.

          ‘Course, with my record with the Va. Highway Department, you probably wouldn’t want me loitering on your premises pretending to work.

  3. Tom Blanton August 13, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    Law Hobbit says:

    “It still needs the adjective “stupid,” because “don’t do shit” does not include the basic purpose of government – protecting human rights.”

    I’ve been under the impression that the purpose of government was to violate human rights. But, I would concede that the government does protect some rights of some humans. Unfortunately, those “humans” are in charge of the government and are the very ones who use government to violate the rights of everyone else.

    I think the government quit protecting the human rights of its subjects decades ago.

    Besides, maybe I don’t want my human rights protected by the government. But, the government won’t have any of that. If I refuse to allow them to protect my human rights, they will most certainly violate my human rights – sort of like destroying a village to save it.

    What do I know , though? I can’t even figure out why Republicans that want to impeach Obama are upset that he’s on vacation.

    • Jim August 13, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

      The government’s record on protecting rights has been spotty – at least for the last generation or two.

      My only complaint with Obama’s vacation is that he is not being forced to share a hotel suite with Hillary Clinton. I’m not assuming anything improper – strictly Platonic — but the two of them deserve each other, personality-wise.

      • Tom Blanton August 13, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

        I wasn’t paying much attention, but I heard something on the news today about Hillary and Barry getting together tonight at a birthday party. I’m not sure whose birthday it is, but the press is not invited. Hillary said she is looking forward to it and that she will hug Barry.

        So much for not doing stupid shit.

        • Jim August 13, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

          I saw a headline noting that Hillary’s book signing on Martha’s Vineyard was mobbed today.

          Those people deserve a book like that for their vacation. I hope they are somehow blocked from getting any other reading material until they finish her [redacted] book.

        • The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 14, 2014 at 10:33 am #

          No, no, *you* may think it’s stupid to eat crap – and I’d agree – but when you’re a dung beetle, it’s a way of life and not so stupid.

          And you’re correct, I should have said “the intended purpose of government, as laid out in the principles established by the Enlightenment, is to protect basic human rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of property/happiness.” But then Jim would have started making jokes about lawyers and brevity and the conversation would have taken a sad turn for the worse.

          I’d also agree that the State’s track record in doing that is not that good.

          • Jim August 14, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

            I was thinking about roping in a John Locke quote but maybe it would have been better to rag on lawyers.


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