Monday, March 30, 2015


President Obama’s policy, No Boots on the Ground policy (NOBOG), the one that Conservatives insist does not exist, has not been expressed, is not explained, is not well formulated, or that it even exists. That policy is changing the world.

As a young person, one of the fascinating places for me was the big peat bog in northern Minnesota, which covered over six-million acres in Minnesota. Peat is stale old decaying matter that supports interesting fauna but with little variety. As a verb, it means to cause (a vehicle, person, or animal) to become stuck in the mud or wet ground. Substitute the noun, ‘foreign policy’ in that definition to understand why some of us appropriately apply the word to American foreign policy, which is old, decaying, with only an occasional interesting opinion. Cuba was a classic example of how we are (were) bogged down in the conflicting mire of economic and political conflict. Stephen Kinzer wrote a book, Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (2006). Naomi Klein wrote another book, Shock Doctrine: The Rise if Disaster Capitalism (2007).  In addition, Krauthammer wrote his book, Thing That Matter (2013). Collectively, there is a clear message in these books. 

The American and European people were tired of war. We were realizing more and more that either realpolitik or religion was at the heart of many if not most conflict. Our political landscape, based on this old decaying policy, had bogged down; our politicians were getting us nowhere in fact they were taking us backward. We elected a new president slightly over five-years ago. Everyone who met him marveled at his charisma, which is usual for presidential candidates. What we could not know is the impact this man would have on the world.

As with the rest of use, he saw what was happening in the convoluted, conflicting paths in the Middle East. Economic dominance, political aims, and religious discontent were only the beginning. Massive well-publicized human rights violations were upsetting our sensibilities resulting in a clarion call to war. Many demanded we take our proverbial big stick and beat someone over the head, but no one knew whom to hit; whom should we overthrow. As Naomi Klein points out, we know how to create a shock to start a war whenever or wherever we chose.

Obama saw the situation clearly as being the fault of the two classic reasons to start a war; power over territory and religion. The territory questions were dividable into two parts. Israel demanded control over the entire Palestine area to do with as they please. Obama did not find the solution; Jimmy Carter explained the benefits of a two-state solution that Obama endorsed in this controversial book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (2006). As a side note, all the Jews that worked at the Carter Center quite when he published this book. The next position was more difficult by log degrees; I will reduce this to only two sects, Shiite versus Sunni; thus, ignore all the religious and nationalist subdivisions. 

To explain Obama position, I will use the pedophilia problem in the Catholic Church.  Everyone, including Catholics themselves, are horrified, upset, and strongly feel they should do something. In typical American push fashion, we feel should do something just as in the Middle East; “We” hold the big stick but whom do we hit to settle the problem. Priest molesting young boy in the Catholic Church and Muslim extremist killing Muslims are the same thing; these are both internal problems the offended people have to solve themselves. Conservative Americans, such as Charles Krauthammer, feel we have the right to “hit” who they chose because we are the most powerful nation in the world. Old style American diplomacy; demands respect through fear. However, even conservatives know internal religious problems are different from territory problems in as much as religion knows no political boundaries. A powerful army cannot conquer and occupy them, but one aspect still reminds, how and whom do we hit.

Obama solved this problem in the most obvious way; force them to solve their problems. Don’t allow them to bog us down by demanding we solve their problem for them; they are not children and we, as Americans, have to wean them off American dependency. Obama did that when he articulated his, No Boots on the Ground (NOBOG) policy. Liberals easily understand this, but conservatives do not want to understand it. It is antithetical to their basic Conservative philosophy; they rely on making people depend on them. Naomi Klein explained we did this in many countries for many years. Kinzer explained the benefits of taking over 19 countries, and Krauthammer in his book, Thing That Matter (2013) explained why, pure innate greed.     

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