Unfortunately, The Forum continues to publish Charlie Sprague's pro-Obama slants without any balance. In the past, he's written in favor of euthanasia, racist admission policies, and rationing health care by not allowing the old to get it.
And, of course, he's reviewed talks he didn't stay for. All of these columns, by the way, have been subsidized with your student fees. Naturally, when I applied to get paid to be a writer for The Forum, I was denied compensation, despite writing some of the most trafficked articles in the history of that publication. (Oh, and did I add that I'm writing for professional magazines?)
Anyways, I've written before that these articles tend to be more than a tad bit formulaic "Name dropping some liberal commentator + Obama good + biased attack on Republicans/conservatives," but this attack on Charles Krauthammer's article in The Weekly Standard takes the cake.
Sprague objects to Krauthammer's insistence that America's decline is a choice and that it is a choice currently made by many on the Left who feel and have always felt, a need to apologize for American exceptionalism and strength. Such is the argument made by people like Fareed Zakaria and Tom Friedman, who believe that just because China, India, and Brazil are growing that it must somehow diminish America. Krauthammer wrote that there are several consequences for America's withdrawal. They are:
* Unilateral abrogation of our missile-defense arrangements with Poland and the Czech Republic--a retreat being felt all through Eastern Europe to Ukraine and Georgia as a signal of U.S. concession of strategic space to Russia in its old sphere of influence.
* Indecision on Afghanistan--a widely expressed ambivalence about the mission and a serious contemplation of minimalist strategies that our commanders on the ground have reported to the president have no chance of success. In short, a serious contemplation of strategic retreat in Afghanistan (only two months ago it was declared by the president to be a "war of necessity") with possibly catastrophic consequences for Pakistan.
* In Iraq, a determination to end the war according to rigid timetables, with almost no interest in garnering the fruits of a very costly and very bloody success--namely, using our Strategic Framework Agreement to turn the new Iraq into a strategic partner and anchor for U.S. influence in the most volatile area of the world. Iraq is a prize--we can debate endlessly whether it was worth the cost--of great strategic significance that the administration seems to have no intention of exploiting in its determination to execute a full and final exit.
* In Honduras, where again because of our allegedly sinful imperial history, we back a Chávista caudillo seeking illegal extension of his presidency who was removed from power by the legitimate organs of state--from the supreme court to the national congress--for grave constitutional violations.
Sprague cites two examples of how Krauthammer is wrong, ignoring Krauthammer's arguments about Iraq and Afghanistan. This is not a small oversight, as Sprague is a debater, and so I must conclude that he accepts Krauthammer's conclusions about them. This is, in debater parlance, a dropped argument.
Sprague brings up Honduras and the missile shield. Both of his summaries of those situations fail when confronted by the facts and show the Obama administration is more intent to cozy up to our enemies, than support our friends. We got an inkling for how bad it was going to get when candidate Obama allowed three free trade agreements to twist in the wind.
But now it has gotten much worse. Obama, on the anniversary of the Russians invading Poland, woke up the Czech PM and told them, a nation that steadfastly supports us in the War on Terror. (So much for his using soft power, waking a leader out of bed, Obama? Seriously?)
Sprague has dutifully been repeating the usual shtick about how the U.S. interceptors don't work and suggests that because we aren't able to intercept all, we must somehow stop from intercepting some. Such a policy makes the perfect the enemy of the good -- no small matter when dealing with WMDs.
In fact, the U.S. has been intercepting and obliterating ballistic missiles for years. It isn't Star Wars as the Left has dismissed it. And what it did strategically was to waste millions of dollars of Russia, to just to keep up.
The missile shield was meant to be a check on a rapacious Russia, which considers all of Eastern Europe and much of Central Asia to be a part of its "near abroad." Curiously, this was overlooked by Sprague who seem to forget that the agreement between Poland and the U.S. took place just as Russian tanks were rolling through Georgia.
Why did Obama abandon our allies? Obama seems to believe that the dream of a nuclear free world is somehow achievable -- as if somehow man could put that genie back in the bottle. Wishful thinking is not strategic policy. And diplomacy is a tactic, not a defense.
This stupid policy -- and yes, it is stupid -- led Obama to be criticized by none other than Nicholas Sarkozy, president of France. (You know you're in trouble when you're being criticized by the French for not manning up.)
Next on the list of criticisms is the ouster of tyrant, Manuel Zelaya. Curiously, Sprague continues to parrot the line about his ouster being a "coup" when it was, in fact, a legal move to prevent the establishment of a tyrant who had rigged elections. The State Department's law team, meanwhile, has concluded that it wasn't a coup. And the supposed international community that has rallied behind Zelaya is starting to crumble.
In fact, a study from the UN's Department of Political Affairs concluded that Zelaya's removal from office was legal and justified. Unfortunately, Mr. Sprague's beloved, Mr. Obama and its administration has rejected Honduran elections slated for November. The only thing that would please them seems to be the restoration of disgraced president Manuel Zelaya, who lost his job for undermining those very elections!
Hondurans have mostly read and understand that Article 239 of their constitution is very clear. No additional terms for the president.
Here, a little history is important. Chavez et. al. have been changing constitutions throughout Latin America with the idea of establishing populist strongmen regimes. Honduras is on their list of constitutions to overthrow.
Never mind all that, though, if you're an Obamanoid. The administration has adopted severe sanctions against Honduras by slashing aid, revoking the visas of those supporting Zelaya's ouster, and refusing to issue visas to all Hondurans. Pretty stiff measures indeed for a country that has supported America's interests and sent some of its children to fight in Iraq.
Decline certainly is a choice for America, but that decline will be hastened when we listen to the Charlie Spragues of the world and support our enemies over our friends.