Thursday, June 11, 2009

The "improbability" of victory (Barry Rubin)

A sober observation by Barry Rubin:
President Barack Obama says the most shocking things and then is protected by the media. He also says profoundly revealing things that are allowed to pass by.

Here's one I can't get out of my head. In the commemoration of the anniversary of the D-Day landings in France, Obama remarked on "the sheer improbability of this victory."

To me, this screams out something profoundly important about Obama. He doesn't believe in victory. Either he assumes that the battle is not worth fighting given the cost or that it won't be won any way.

Defeat radical Islamists? Force Iran to stop developing nuclear weapons? Win the ideological battle with anti-American forces by confronting their arguments with a strong defense of the United States.

And wasn't that, in a sense, what happened in his Cairo speech: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, as the expression goes.

So, yes, Obama is amazed that the Allies won in Normandy in June 1944.

Here's the implication of that: suppose he had been around in the late 1930s ,given his world view. He would have assumed the "improbability" of victory over Germany and taken the appropriate action in that case of avoiding any confrontation.

Referring to the "improbability of this victory" is revealing of a defeatist attitude.

This makes him the perfect person to preside over the abandonment of America's superpower status and world leadership.

Perhaps he believes in "Yes we can!" domestically, but internationally he believes, "No, we can't."

Unfortunately, the enemies of America, democracy, and liberty have the opposite standpoint. They believe in the certainty of their victory.
As bad as this is, Rubin might not be going far enough.

The impression I get from some liberals is not so much the inadvisability of any sort of war - it is the immorality of winning a war.

Winning a war implies that you are going to impose your own vision on someone else by force. This ends up sounding like what imperialists and colonialists do, and there is little more evil than coloniaism. It seems impossible for the West to wage and win a moral war according to this thinking. The best you can do is to repel an attack to maintain the status quo - to go even a little beyond that is, simply, evil, according to this thinking.

Does Obama subscribe to such a worldview?