I try to follow the political discussion in the U.S. and am amazed how much effort it takes even to begin to be well-informed. If you are serious about being informed, you can't be the least bit lazy and depend on a couple of pundits to shape your world view. You have to get out there and study the people you disagree with — in their own words, not the pundits' words. Information comes at you like a fire hose and you better not be off to the side sipping out of a dripping garden hose.
I was just reading some editorial about how President Barack Obama is so naive and goes around the world apologizing for past American actions. The premise is that our foreign policy is in shambles because of him. That is so naive.
These people need to take a sip from the fire hose. Take the Middle East. Major changes are going on. Dictators are being booted out and previously powerless are gaining power in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya. It looks like Syria might also flip. Do you know what this means? Sure, Islamists may appear to gain power and they may say anti-American things for a while, but the Islamists can't sit on the side lines and carp anymore. They are now responsible for creating jobs and security for the people. Nothing moderates one's politics more than the responsibility of governing. I think it is great that this evolution in the Middle East is empowering the younger generation with hope and dignity.
Take Iran. The right wing narrative is that Mr. Obama has caved or doesn't know what he is doing. Look at what is actually going on. Instead of a military strike that would unify all Iranians against the U.S. in a nanosecond, a tightening noose of world pressure is forcing the issue. The Iranian oil market is being reduced and the Iranian banks ability to do international transactions is being restricted. Iran is reeling from the economic pressure and showing signs of cracking. Iranians are divided and mostly against their government. They want change. A military strike by the U.S. on Iran's nuclear facilities is still on the table, but if we can get the job done with "smart power," why not? Stay tuned.
If Syria flips, or should I say when it flips, Iran will be isolated. Hezbollah and Hamas will lose their conduit to Iran. The dynamics around Israel will change completely. Iran is supporting Bashar Assad in Syria and most of the newly empowered masses in the Middle East support the overthrow of Mr. Assad, against Iran's interest.
This is great stuff for the interest of the U.S., not to mention the Middle East itself. The people there want jobs and security. They want to get married and have families. They are tired of oppression and extremism. Sure, they have some rough times to get through and the learning curve for governance is long and difficult. But because of the Obama administration the U.S. finds itself on the right side of history. Instead of the empty bluster of a Dick Cheney creating enemies and ridicule at every turn, we have smart power sculpting events behind the scenes.
You guys on the right with your naive Obama apologizing narrative are missing the whole show and you are certainly on the wrong side of history.
Avery Harden, TowsonCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times