I remember that someone said in these pages after the election that "The Left" would be disappointed in Barack Obama as president. David Corn is disappointed. He is certainly of "the left." In person, he projects a tough, brittle, wise guy, Rahmish aura. In the article linked above he is revealed in his pain and angst as a rather naive man who actually believed that Obama was the real messiah. Corn is now devastated to learn that Barack Obama is a man like all other men, someone who must cope with various realities.
It was announced on Meet The Press today that David Gregory will succeed Russert.
On Meet The Press today Obama made it clear that he will govern from the center in the belief that real problems must be dealt with in the context of objective reality, and not in the context of neocon plans for world re-organization or idealistic massive social engineering schemes here in the United States. Can this mean that BO is a member of the fabled "reality based community?"
The Economy is collapsing. He intends to fix it. That will require further massive deficit spending. He thinks it regrettable, but necessary. I agree. The Big Three are poorly run and deserve nothing in bailouts. True. Nevertheless, these three companies are integral to the recovery of the American economy. Therefore they should be saved if it is possible. I agree. (Incidentally, my family owns a Cadillac and a Ford [US].) He intends to intensify regulation of the financial institutions of the country. I agree. I hope he does something about the illegal practice of "naked shorting." Many a good company has been ruined by this form of speculation. None of this amounts to the kind of radical "change" for which the Left hoped. Will there be some sort of national health care plan? Probably. We need this, and it would be hypocritical for me to oppose it.
In foreign policy Obama faces a situation in which there are few "win-win" solutions available to him. He will seek to relegate foreign affairs to second priority for his government. He will disappoint Palestinians, Muslims and Zionists. The neocons are already pleased with the opportunity that his centrist positions and appointments provides for claims of victory for their policies. The clear gratification of the neocons will further dishearten the Left.
Many of his Obama’s backers are liberal Zionists opposed to anything other than a one-sided peace between the Israelis on the one hand and the Palestinians, Arabs, and/or Muslim on the other. Peace is not available on the basis of a one-sided two state solution. Obama can not deliver such a peace and so the Zionists will be disappointed as will as the Arabs, etc. The Palestinians will not accept such a peace and will continue their national resistance for another few generations with occasional violent uprisings. This festering situation will continue to poison American relations with much of the world.
All Zionists are not Likud in their politics and strategic views, but all Zionists are in favor of a one sided solution just as all Islamists are seeking the permanent establishment of shari’ah states. Given his internal US political inhibitions, I doubt that Obama will be able to do much towards real US brokering of peace in the Holy Land.
Iran? Much the same thing applies. Do not look for positive change in US/Iran relations. The same forces that do not want to see other than than a one-sided peace in the Holy Land do not want to see Iran become a power in the Middle East that can threaten the existence of Israel. MAD depends on mutual threat. Israel does not accept the notion of nuclear deterrence for itself, only for others. Therefore Israel’s backers do not accept the possibility of technologically competent Muslim states. Such states are an inherent threat, not to the United States, but to Israel.
A Syrian-Israeli peace? This is "low hanging fruit" at present, but in the absence of improvement in US/Iranian relations, success is doubtful.
Lebanon? As go Iran and Syria, so will go Lebanon.
Afghanistan? What could be heard on MTP this AM was the emergence of an Afghan policy that will seek to make something "modern" of Afghanistan. That means a program that might last 50 or 60 years and that will involve; a lot of infrastructural development projects, 50,000 foreign troops, specialists who can deal with "the culture thing," and the use of groups of Afghans against each other (always a fruitful approach). This is a policy choice. Once Obama makes that choice, he will own it.
Iraq? We are on our way out over the period of BO’s first term. David Corn et al will be unhappy that that the withdrawal of our combat units will not involve TOTAL withdrawal, but this is yet another example of their naivete.
Pakistan? The country was probably a mistake, but it exists now. Solution of the Kashmir Problem through partition is the only possible path for improvement in dealing with the two nuclear powers of the sub-continent. Counter-guerrilla activities? Bandaids.
African-Americans will be disappointed in Obama as well, but that will be another "post."
As for our new president to be, I wish him well and am happy to have voted for him. pl