Pat Buchanan surprised me with his Townhall column entry where he expressed support for President Obama’s stance on what is happening in Iran. I didn’t expect that, as on a Hardball issue several weeks ago he supported former Vice-President Richard Cheney on his speech against the same person he is now defending.
The conservative MSNBC political analyst supported his position with good arguments that involved, of course, conservative Presidents: Ronald Regan on the Soviet repression in Poland against the Solidarity movement and George H. W. Bush on the events at Tiananmen Square in China. Amid the conservatives’ urging President Obama to condemn the Islamic leadership in Iran , his position – and that of other, I’d say, progressive conservatives – comes at the right time because there are people who are more likely to believe in what conservatives say just because the latter are conservatives. It’s the same with liberal Americans. Thus conservatives like Pat Buchanan – voluntarily or not – contribute to forming common-sense, rather than plain partisan opinion, in conservative Americans’ minds on important issues such as this one.
This is among the whole lot of situations where plain partisanship is not only dysfunctional, but also harmful to the image of a powerful country as the U.S.A. really is. That’s why I don’t like John McCain’s reaction which is typical of a partisan and hawkish conservative by calling on President Obama to condemn the election results in Iran.
It looks as if John McCain has abandoned his reputation of a Maverick for the sake of becoming President one day. Senator McCain and Governor Palin had been criticizing the “politics-as-usual” affairs in Washington, but now both of them are following that path.
Even worse was that of Adam Schiff, a House Democrat from California who – during the Bush administration sponsored – at a time when the war in Iraq was becoming more dynamic – sponsored a bill that would have officially recognized the Armenian genocide committed by the Ottomans nearly a century ago.
In my opinion, prefering to play hardball to your homeland’s benefit and/or national security is even worse than “politics as usual:” it is irresponsible toward your constituents, it is unpatriotic (Purple Heart rewards don’t perpetuate patriotism and nationalism), and it may also deteriorate a country’s reputation in the long run. Good reputation is usually hard to gain and easy to lose. If you ask most non-U.S. citizens who hate the United States the question “Why do you hate the U.S.”, their answer will often be “Because the U.S. stick their nose everywhere and at any time.”
About two months ago, I attended a seminar held by a former Israeli and a former Palestinian combattants. At one point the Israeli criticized the United States for providing Israel with $3.5 billion annually which the Israeli spend on tons of weapons. His final reaction to the funding was that acts like these are a reason some people who are not Americans hate the United States, and that the people should lobby their Congressmen, Congresswomen and Senators to put an end to that funding.
I support President Obama’s prudent reaction to what is happening in Iran and other countries. The way he has handled international issues so far is outstanding.