May 22nd, 2008

Obama: too intelligent and too weak

I added a link to the NY Times op-ed article by Nathan Thrall and Jesse James Wilkins entitled “Kennedy Talked, Khrushchev Triumphed” as an addendum to the previous post. But it’s such a good piece that I’d like to highlight it still further.

Read it. Or perhaps “read it and weep,” if you think (as I do) that Obama has a good chance of actually becoming President.

Obama has approvingly cited Kennedy’s meeting with Khrushchev as a precedent for his own willingness to talk with tyrants and enemies. But what actually happened there?

Kennedy “dialogued” with Khrushchev once. It was a fiasco for the US President, who was outtalked and outmaneuvered by the wily Khrushchev, a man who was the veteran of many Kremlin power struggles and knew a lot about throwing his weight around.

In his campaign, Obama plays on his supposed resemblance to JFK, and his supporters respond to it. But it’s not so good to emulate the flaws of the man. See whether any of this sounds familiar [emphasis mine]:

Despite his eloquence, Kennedy was no match as a sparring partner, and offered only token resistance….Khrushchev’s aide, after the first day, said the American president seemed “very inexperienced, even immature.” Khrushchev agreed, noting that the youthful Kennedy was “too intelligent and too weak.”

And this all occurred despite the fact that, prior to the talks, Kennedy seemed far more aware of the possible dangers of such an encounter than Obama is (and Kennedy lacked Obama’s advantage of having the example of Kennedy/Khrushchev to go on). He had written a book about appeasement at Munich, and some of his advisors had also argued against this particular meeting—including his own Secretary of State Dean Rusk, who had written presciently:

Is it wise to gamble so heavily? Are not these two men who should be kept apart until others have found a sure meeting ground of accommodation between them?

Khrushchev’s assessment of Kennedy led directly to the Cuban missile crisis. What would Obama’s attempt to copy his idol JFK lead to?

34 Responses to “Obama: too intelligent and too weak”

  1. Thomas Says:

    Neo,

    Well, Neo, we all know what such mistakes can lead to. The stakes with Kennedy and Khrushchev was total even then, except the world was slower, more methodical and deliberate. There was time to pause and pull back from the brink.

    We have no such luxuries today. Ahmadinejad sits astride one of the energy depots of the world, and one can only shudder he gains nuclear weapons.

    With the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK knew that the Soviets could not reach continental USA with their missiles. They had the proverbial bomb but the didn’t have an effective means of delivery to the US. That is why they needed the staging grounds in Cuba in order to maneuver into first strike position and capability.

    From beginning to end, Kennedy couldn’t give a flip about the missiles in Cuba since we had the means to destroy them well before they fueled. He was primarily concerned about the destruction of Europe where the Soviet missile can reach.

    The problem with this was Kennedy did, in fact, wait until the missiles were fueled in Cuba and ready to fire. The concessions he made by withdrawing aged missiles from Eastern Europe and elsewhere in exchange for the removal of Cuban missiles was seen as very weak.

    The world breathed a sigh of relief, but Kennedy navigated us to the brink, and as far as I can see, he did it for no good reason.

    I think General LeMay was right in wanting to take out the Cuban missiles off the top and McNamara and Kennedy were hyper-intelligent weak-kneed men who saw nuance and fine distinctions with lawyer flare when the brutes they dealt with only understood power and the active use of it.

    Indeed, Obama does echo Kennedy in this regard. He is very good at splitting hairs in double-talk gobbly-gook, but in the world of our enemies: who cares?

  2. Ted Says:

    There’s a book out recently, reviewed in the London Times that suggests Kennedy was *way* overmedicated before his meeting with Khrushchev and that his next doctor was astonished and vowed it would not happen again on his watch. Link here

  3. Sergey Says:

    No surprise that Khrushchev outmanoeuvred Kennedy. He had not long before outmaneuvred far more experienced, brutal and insidious opponent: head of NKVD Lavrentij Beriya.

  4. Sergey Says:

    The last westerner who possibly could outmanoeuvre Persian viziers was Zezar Borjia.

  5. Artfldgr Says:

    i put up some stuff by romerstein related to the kennedys, but i guess it was deleted since i didnt want to take up the space to let you know who romerstein is. today he is “supposed” to be detailing in a lecture about obama.

    though with this mornings reveletion that the big crowd he was in front of was first played to for free by a group that often starts their concerts with the communist internationale…

    here are romersteins creds in case i put something else up… if i am writing wrongly, or doing something i shouldnt, please let me know.. i am not trying to pass along bad information, or lies.. and though i try to keep things short, discussing history that is NOT common knowlege takes more to detail than just to say a sentence that calls up common history.

    Professional staff member, U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (1978-1983)

    Minority Chief Investigator, House Committee on Internal Security (1971-1975)

    Chief, Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation and Active Measures, U.S. Information Agency (1983-1989)

    Kennedy was never ready for Kruschev because Kruschev already knew Kennedys cards from many other sources. [and kennedy being an anti-communist was surrounded by those willing and actually dealing on some level. not spying, dealing. ted kennedy never was an agent or a spy, but he was an opportunist willing to use whatever without restriction that he could]

    there is a lot more we know now about events at this time, but most of what gets bantered about is the same old same old.

    and a lot of it has only come out in the last 10 or so years… often in books that are not promoted much.

    here is wiki on mitrokhen:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitrokhin_Archive

    “The Mitrokhin Archive” refers to the collected notes taken by Vasili Mitrokhin over 30 years. They became public following his 1992 departure from Russia to the United Kingdom. The notes purportedly contain Soviet intelligence operations details obtained from KGB archives. Mitrokhin was a Major and senior archivist for the Soviet Union’s foreign intelligence service and the First Chief Directorate of the KGB.
    =============
    The publication of Mitrokhin’s material has launched parliamentary inquiries in the United Kingdom, India and Italy.[1]

    Christopher Andrew was chosen to collaborate with Vasili Mitrokhin due to specialization in espionage and because he had signed the Official Secrets Act.

    The papers disclosed that more than half of Soviet weapons were based on designs stolen from the United States, that the KGB had tapped the telephones of American officials such as Henry Kissinger, and it had spies in almost all the country’s big defence contractors. In France, at least 35 senior politicians were shown to have worked for the KGB during the Cold War. In Germany, the KGB was shown to have infiltrated all the major political parties, the judiciary and the police. The papers also include preparations for large-scale sabotage operations by the KGB against the US, Canada, including hidden weapons caches, several of which were removed by police based on information provided by Mitrokhin.

    so is it ok to quote this source when it comes to things that happened during the cold war?

    [as well as venona, the CPUSA archives, and the archives and papers opened by russia itself along with speeches and such of russian leaders who confirm the validity? are autobiographies, memoirs and speeches ok too?]

    if not, then let me know.. because otherwise i am wasting my lifes precious little time, only to be relegated to the dust bin…

    when you read the confirmed stuff it changes how you think about those things…

    ==============================

    i agree wholeheartedly with sergey…

    kennedy, drugged or not, was out of his league with kruschev.

    the reason was that kennedy was not his grandfather, but was, like most western liberals (anti communist or not) a dreaming idealist.

    Beria managed to create a new center to design and create poisons, and waht was once just believed has been recently confirmed. beria killed stalin… and then the poisoner (name starts with an M but i draw a blank now), and then kruschev got beria…

    its a form of sociopathic or psychopathic politics where assasination is jut another means of upward mobility and killing problems was a convenient way to progress (no man, no problem – stalin).

    it still is… except now its thugs with kgb training in various mafyias playing games. (mroe than 200 journalists have been killed since putin took office).

    in the realm of this form of poltics, where there is no truth, no promises, and coming to the table is a mistake when your arriving with the premise of some form of honest talk.

    here are some of the things (from wiki above) that we confirmed from venona during the kennedy era that personally i think should change the view of that period..

    Disinformation campaign against the United States

    Promotion of false John F. Kennedy assassination theories, using writer Mark Lane.

    Discrediting the CIA using historian Philip Agee.

    Stirring up racial tensions in the United States by mailing bogus letters from the Ku Klux Klan, placing an explosive package in “the Negro section of New York” (operation PANDORA),[23] and spreading conspiracy theories that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination had been planned by the US government.[24]

    and reverend wrights favorite

    Fabrication of the story that AIDS virus was manufactured by US scientists at Fort Detrick; the story was spread by Russian-born biologist Jakob Segal

    The FBI described Mitrokhin Archive as “the most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source”.

    ============
    the parts on sabotage are very interesting, and since we went to locations and removed the weapons…..

    The notes describe extensive preparations for large-scale sabotage operations against the United States, Canada and Europe in the event of war, although none were actually carried out beyond creating weapons and explosives caches in the foreign countries[47] This information has been corroborated in general by GRU defectors, Victor Suvorov[48] and Stanislav Lunev [49]. These operations included the following:

    A plan for sabotage of Hungry Horse Dam in Montana.[50]

    A detailed plan to destroy the port of New York (target GRANIT); most vulnerable points of the port were marked at maps.[51]

    Large arms caches were hidden in many countries for the planned terrorism acts. They were booby-trapped with “Lightning” explosive devices. One of such cache, which was identified by Mitrokhin, exploded when Swiss authorities tried to remove it from woods near Berne. Several others caches (probably not equipped with the “Lightnings”) were removed successfully.[52]

    FSLN leader Carlos Fonseca Amador was described as “a trusted agent” in KGB files. “Sandinista guerrillas formed the basis for a KGB sabotage and intelligence group established in 1966 on the Mexican US border”.[53]

    Disruption of the power supply in the entire New York State by KGB sabotage teams, which would be based along the Delaware river, in the Big Spring Park.[54]

    An “immensely detailed” plan to destroy “oil refineries and oil and gas pipelines across Canada from British Columbia to Montreal” (operation “Cedar”) has been prepared, which took twelve years to complete.[55]

    so can i use these sources in my comments?

    or should i confine my comments to just what is in MSM or common history?

    PS… many many many people were dupes. mitrokhen is very careful about that… and i try to be too… many are just opportunists who had carrots in front of their faces, and no context to get their bearings from. (not to mention blinded by ideology)

  6. Artfldgr Says:

    Thomas:
    “The stakes with Kennedy and Khrushchev was total even then”

    No, not really. What we know now shows that from way before kennedy the state was rife with people in important positions who were constantly dealing information and other things with the soviet union. The US never had such a flow of information from the soviets to the US other than things like Venona (Which was so important that McCarthy and others were left to flap in the wind rather than let the world know that we were still recording information).

    With the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK knew that the Soviets could not reach continental USA with their missiles. They had the proverbial bomb but the didn’t have an effective means of delivery to the US. That is why they needed the staging grounds in Cuba in order to maneuver into first strike position and capability.

    Most people have a very simple concept of weapons. You don’t have to reach the continental United States to do vast damage. A small boat with the thing in its bottom can be initiated off the coast in fishing waters and cause a huge wave to flow over the coastal cities. Remember, the USSR created tsar bomba. A bomb so big that when tested made the earth ring like a bell several times. It was 100 megatons, weighed 27 tonnes, and if detonated below the ocean at ground level would knock out florida and up the east coast.

    The Cuban missile crisis was less than one year later.

    The yield of the device was estimated by the US at 50 megatons… and less than a year to the Cuban crisis, kruschev was filmed giving a speech to Russian parliament that it was a 100 mt bomb (the design was for that size, but they only tested a half sized one).

    Dropped from over 10 km and detonated at 4 km high, the Tsar Bomba’s fireball touched the ground, and nearly reached the altitude of the deploying Tu-95 bomber

    Since 50 Mt is 2.1×1017 joules, the average power produced during the entire fission-fusion process, was about 5.4×1024 watts or 5.4 yottawatts. This is equivalent to approximately 1.4% of the power output of the Sun.

    The detonation of Tsar Bomba is the single most physically powerful device ever utilized throughout the history of humanity. By contrast, the largest weapon ever produced by the United States, the now-decommissioned B41, had a predicted maximum yield of 25 Mt, and the largest nuclear device ever tested by the U.S. (Castle Bravo) yielded 15 Mt (due to a runaway reaction; the design yield was approximately 5 Mt).

    Fifty megatons of 1.654g/cm3 TNT would be about 30,230,000 cubic metres (1,067,000,000 cubic feet), or roughly a cube 300 metres (1000 feet) to a side.

    There is a 112 mile gap between cuba and florida.

    This bomb was way too big for a icbm to carry…

    The Tsar Bomba detonated at 11:32 a.m. on October 30, 1961
    The climax period of the Cuban crisis began on October 15, 1962,

    Two months after the crisis, the Russians tested a weapon that was 50 megatons and was ICMB capable!

    So the kind of analysis that you just did, is not valid at all…

    They had the proverbial bomb but the didn’t have an effective means of delivery to the US. That is why they needed the staging grounds in Cuba in order to maneuver into first strike position and capability.

    They did… and I can tell you the designations if you want.

    From beginning to end, Kennedy couldn’t give a flip about the missiles in Cuba since we had the means to destroy them well before they fueled.

    The sizes that they had didn’t need to be fueled; they only needed a plane or ship.
    In fact, at the time, if we didn’t know Cuba had them, they could have loaded one into a large ship, and sailed into a port. Its one of the reasons of the embargo!!! They no longer could be trusted not to do that with a cargo ship.

    And 9/11 showed that a plane could get into the air space before we could stop it.
    The tu95V is still in service (and now making runs at western air space) at that time it went around 400 mph.

    Tsar Bomba – King of the Bombs – 57,000,000 Tonnes of TNT
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxD44HO8dNQ&NR=1

    Tsar Bomba – World largets nuclear bomb
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1HGcXWMaT0

    The problem with this was Kennedy did, in fact, wait until the missiles were fueled in Cuba and ready to fire.

    No.. what he was waiting for was confirmation that they were real missiles. Russia was known, and still is known, for creating a house of smoke and mirrors on issues. so he had to wait till there was confirmation of key things that could only be a real functional missile and not a game. If it was a game, then he could have been discredited fast and that would have been worse.

    The people that get stuck in brinkmanship games don’t want to play on the brink, they have no choice.

    The world breathed a sigh of relief, but Kennedy navigated us to the brink, and as far as I can see, he did it for no good reason.

    Well yeah… if your history is a bunch of hanging facts, you wont put together many events that are crucial to understanding that.

    Not knowing that one year earlier tsar bomba went off… and then having krushchevs speech in under a year describing it… well that kind of changes things.

    Also if your so keen on “delivery systems” having to be a missile, and not something else, your also not understanding the full implications.

    When you do analysis on such and you don’t realize that your information is horribly incomplete, any outcome could only be right by random chance.

    I think General LeMay was right in wanting to take out the Cuban missiles off the top and McNamara and Kennedy were hyper-intelligent weak-kneed men who saw nuance and fine distinctions with lawyer flare when the brutes they dealt with only understood power and the active use of it.

    Given the way the bombs at this period were constructed, they didn’t have the preventions that todays weapons have. (the mems locs chips are incredible… they don’t work by circuit, they work by a physical lock system that is on chip so you cant fake a signal).

    These big bombs were hydrogen bombs, not atomic bombs. But you need an atomic bomb to set off the hydrogen bomb (then the shape of the casing and other things become destroyed mirros that focus the force down on the isotopes causing fusion from fission).

    Back then, you could set off the fission bomb by hitting the bomb with a classic weapon and the shock wave would detonate the shaped charges then triggering the bomb. It wouldn’t function well and give full yield, but it wouldn’t just fly apart with nothing happening.

    Todays weapons would fly apart with nothing happening…they use a lot less material and so it’s a lot harder to get fission conditions.

    Ultimately though, your end conclusion is correct, even though whats leading up to it isnt.

    Your right… he does talk that way because he is working a mass movement, not a constituency that he has to sway by merit.

  7. Artfldgr Says:

    Kennedy had the information from the testimoney below (from UN). so you can watch the report, and then guage how you would feel with the information.

    in this you will find out that they tested in violation of treaty moratorium on nuclear weapons testing… and basically upped the ante in the arms race and kicked it into high gear. the us responded with lots of tests of their own…

    you can tell how old i am by the isotopes in my bones.

    The Aftermath of the largest nuclear detonation in history
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOwEcLiK4cA&NR=1

    then russia upped the ante by putting bombs in cubas hands… with no way for us (like the japanese) to know that they werent all Tsar bombas

    remember they stole the technology from the US, they had people in our programs…

    we didnt know their stuff since their country was a closed totalitarian state in which one couldnt just insert people or even telephone and talk easily.

    [i remember the call rooms]

    all this is very important to understanding the situation.

    note that everything in a 40 mile circle was vaporized and ashed.

    people recieved third degree burns at 60 miles out

    Ground zero after the test was described as: “The ground surface of the island has been leveled, swept and licked so that it looks like a skating rink … The same goes for rocks. The snow has melted and their sides and edges are shiny. There is not a trace of unevenness in the ground…. Everything in this area has been swept clean, scoured, melted and blown away.”

    The only cities that would be practical targets for such a device were the New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, the use of Tsar was considered overkill for any other target.

    today, they recently upgraded yamentau mountain, and have all new nuclear weapons and nuclear hardened tanks and other things. ours barely have their armor, theirs have nuclear heat sheilds you can see if you look.

  8. Artfldgr Says:

    also… as i have said many times before…

    read george kennans long telegram (and some of his other things).

    kennedy didnt listen to kennan, and its mentioned in the article.

    Senior American statesmen like George Kennan advised Kennedy not to rush into a high-level meeting, arguing that Khrushchev had engaged in anti-American propaganda and that the issues at hand could as well be addressed by lower-level diplomats. Kennedy’s own secretary of state, Dean Rusk, had argued much the same in a Foreign Affairs article the previous year: “Is it wise to gamble so heavily? Are not these two men who should be kept apart until others have found a sure meeting ground of accommodation between them?”

    every since kennedy we have ignored kennans words to our harm and detriment.

    heck.. he even listed out in the long letter that the way thigns are going to change was through small political groups like womens groups, race groups, and others…

    now we have those groups as leaders 40 years later.

    kennans stuf is on the net for free… so there really is no excuse not to read one of histories most influential documents.

    its a telegram, its not that long.

  9. Toby Petzoold Says:

    Has it already been noted that JFK was also higher than a kite on various drugs during this meeting? If BHO is such a student of this grand moment in history, he would have to know that, right?

  10. Toby Petzold Says:

    Yes, I see it’s been noted.

  11. Artfldgr Says:

    the two clips below show what happens when things are near or in water.

    note in the first one, the monitors in the sky get vaporized instantly… they point it out.

    100000 Pounds Of Dynamite TNT Part 2 of 2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTULFB2uJok&feature=related

    you can imagine this being the view from miami
    [these are no where near the size of bomba]

    Nuclear Bomb Tested Under Water
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIoNSOMf0kU&feature=related

    Epilg Underwater Parachute Drop Atomic Era Test Video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lu9XKl472J4&feature=related

  12. Sdferr Says:

    J. F. Kennedy had George Kennan to turn to in extremis. Unfortunately, Mr. Kennan is now some short time dead. So Senator Barack Obama’s got…………Susan Rice? Madeleine Albright? Zbigniew Brzezinski?

  13. kwo Says:

    J. F. Kennedy had George Kennan to turn to in extremis. Unfortunately, Mr. Kennan is now some short time dead. So Senator Barack Obama’s got…………Susan Rice? Madeleine Albright? Zbigniew Brzezinski?

    Richard Holbrooke.

  14. Amanda Reckonwith Says:

    Poor Joe Lieberman. He would have been so comfortable with a JFK administration.

  15. KBK Says:

    Neo, just block him.

  16. Tom the Redhunter Says:

    “Obama has approvingly cited Kennedy’s meeting with Khrushchev as a precedent for his own willingness to talk with tyrants and enemies.”

    But as you say, their summit didn’t exactly turn out so swell.

    We’re told that Obama is oh-so-smart. Well, he can’t be if he used this example.

  17. Mitsu Says:

    Hi Neo,

    Thanks for this post — a cogent argument and far more persuasive than your previous post (which I commented on), in my opinion, where you seemed to be going on at length about a rather unlikely, in my view, interpretation of Obama’s remarks. It may well be that Obama is being overly sanguine about the possibility of what might occur if he engages in talks with our enemies, and he may not adequately prepare. I don’t think this analysis is necessarily far off the mark.

    I would, however, take issue with the conclusion that the Kennedy-Khrushchev talks were a “victory” for Khrushchev. If anything, the talks were a failure for both sides — for Kennedy in being unable to sway the Russians, but also for Khrushchev, as he obviously grossly underestimated Kennedy’s political acumen and resolve. It may be that this mistake on Khrushchev’s part led to the Cuban Missile Crisis — but I believe history fairly clearly shows that Kennedy handled the crisis itself very well indeed, avoiding not only war with the Soviets but managing to get them to back down in Cuba.

    I do believe, however, that there is a parallel between Obama and Kennedy here which I don’t think you’re giving him credit for. Obama is one of the few presidential candidates to be making a big issue out of our failure to go after our avowed enemies in the tribal regions of Pakistan, which I continue to believe represents a tremendous failure on our part, both to protect our national security and to demonstrate resolve against our enemies. I don’t see this resolve coming from either Hillary Clinton or McCain — and I think Obama’s approach is far more aggressive against our adversaries than either our current president’s or the other two candidates’. For this reason, while I agree you may be right that Obama underestimates the difficulty in getting results through talks — I do think his aim is not appeasement but advancing our national security interests.

    Obama’s weakness may well be his overconfidence — but as we’ve seen during the campaign, he learns fast. What we need right now is a president who can learn quickly from his mistakes — which is something we’ve sorely lacked during the last two terms.

  18. John D Says:

    Khrushchev’s assessment of Kennedy led directly to the Cuban missile crisis. What would Obama’s attempt to copy his idol JFK lead to?

    Not only the Cuban crisis, but the Berlin Wall and, if James Reston is tp be believed, the Vietnam War.

    JFK was a very weak President and his administration was run like the Keystone cops or the Three Stooges. Bobby Kennedy worked with JE Hoover to wiretap citizens routinely. Hoover gets slammed for it but RFK, who was himself assasinated, gets a pass.

    When Little Rock refused to admit black student, Ike sent in the 101st Airborn. When JFK and RFK desegregated Ol’ Miss they send a group of unarmed “monitors” that had to be saved by the National Guard (which was belatedly called out)

    He left the anti-Castro Cubans on the beach without air support at the Bay of Pigs. He could have either backed the invasion or scrapped it. but he wanted to split the difference and got the worst of both options. He had the CIA cooking up stupid “James Bond” scenerios, exploding cigars and poinsoned wet suits) rather than gatherin intelligence.

    JFK was a disaster, and we were dealing with it for 30 years after his election. LBJ used his murder to push through legislation like Medicare and the “Great Society” which is bankrupting us today.

    He was in way over his head and we’ve been paying for it ever since.

    I fear that Obama might just be too much like him.

  19. Perfected democrat Says:

    Obama’s weakness isn’t his overconfidence, it’s his duplicity, immaturity and lack of experience. He’s just a junior legislator and small-time left-wing activist lawyer. The suggestion that Bush hasn’t learned from his mistakes has no real basis in fact, it’s simply innuendo based on the timeline of events which doesn’t fit the immature left’s fantasy expectations, mostly based on their typical political double standards; Exemplary in comparing Bush vs Carter, or Bubba, “the first black president”…. Bush has simply been a convenient political focus for left-wing scapegoating. Obama has undermined directly the effort in Iraq, preposterously pretending that events there are somehow not linked to the broader problem with imperial islam. There is no question that Pakistan is part of the problem, but Obama’s talk about confronting it, from his current position, is just opportunistic political posturing and speculation, especially when he’s unable to demonstrate solidarity in the larger ongoing war effort. As someone who is aiming for the position of Commander in Chief, his position is disgusting. Most of the leading dimocrats, including Bubba, were for a good decade before the Iraq war beating the war drums and declaring Saddam to be a serious WMD and terrorist threat, until it became politically convenient to reverse. There has been a lot of historical revisionism coming from the left, obfuscating the authentic history of their positions and culpability in our current problems, from North Korea to Saddam and the poison dwarf in Iran. Obama learns from his mistakes all right, whatever is politically expedient… It is not for no reason that the jihadis have endorsed him as their favorite candidate…

  20. waltj Says:

    I’ve been in many meetings with people who appear to share Obama’s characteristics. They’re smart all right, but they obsess over tiny, meaningless details, can’t make decisions unless forced to do so by higher managment, and will send a perfectly serviceable report back for re-edit five or six times if it’s not “perfect”. Obviously, I’m just extrapolating with Obama, since I’ve never sat through one of his meetings, but we should remember that, if he is elected, there won’t be any “higher” management. As Harry Truman understood so well, the President is “it”.

  21. david foster Says:

    “Too intelligent and too weak”…the problem isn’t really excessive intelligence. There’s a certain kind of fluency with words, possessed by John Kerry as well as Obama, that generates the *impression* of high intelligence, at least initially. But glibness is not the same thing as intelligence, and glib people tend to freeze up when they have to do something other than construct verbal formulations.

    See the smart-talk trap.

  22. The Unknown Blogger Says:

    “The suggestion that Bush hasn’t learned from his mistakes has no real basis in fact…”

    I don’t suppose you would care to offer any evidence to the contrary?

  23. Sdferr Says:

    Perfected D,
    Nice takedown. (Nice as in apt.) Sen. Obama’s quite evident unwisdom is perhaps best illustrated in his very belief that he is the man for the job. That he can, after his private moments of reflection come away with the surety that he should go forward to become President of the United States must make us all wonder. I wonder whether he even has quiet, inward thoughts. Does he ask himself, “what makes me, of all men, suited for this task?” Does he review his many life accomplishments and proclaim (to himself) “Ah, yes! These are the very sorts of deeds a President would want to look back and see himself to have done.” And truly, while you sum his life course harshly (but justly, imo), who would be better positioned to know the full story of these weak (but generous and noble!) achievements than Barack Obama himself? To reach his conclusion, as you suggest, is not a matter of overconfidence. It is a sign of a serious failure of self-knowledge. The worst of all possible ignorance is ignorance of oneself. Senator Obama appears to suffer it in spades and should he win the contest, we citizens of the USA will get to suffer right along with him.

  24. Sally Says:

    Mitsu: Obama’s weakness may well be his overconfidence — but as we’ve seen during the campaign, he learns fast.

    We have? It took him 20 years to figure out his chosen pastor was a demagogic nutcase, and only appeared to learn it after the political heat started to burn. And he still doesn’t seem to have “learned” anything about the other ideological fanatics he’s chosen to associate himself with, has he? “Overconfidence” is a nicer word than vanity or intellectual arrogance, but not necessarily more accurate.

    What we need right now is a president who can learn quickly from his mistakes — which is something we’ve sorely lacked during the last two terms.

    What we need is someone who can distinguish between “learning from his/her mistakes” and:
    a) flip-flopping with every change in the breeze;
    b) covering her/his ass;
    c) running away — or trying to — whenever things get rough.
    “As we’ve seen during the campaign”, Obama is much more likely to deliver any or all of the latter, rather than the former.

  25. Sergey Says:

    “we citizens of the USA will get to suffer right along with him”
    It looks now, due reckless foreign policy, much more people than USA citizens could suffer, and in much more gloomy way. Remember Vietnam boat people? I fear to imagine what can wait Iraqis or Israelis from failure to stop Iran or Hezbollah.

  26. Artfldgr Says:

    the same guilt through associating will happen with america that happend to obama and Wright, if obama talks to the enemies. through such a meeting he will raise them up and they will drag him down by the association.

    the real issue here is that they are playing the if it isnt perfect then its so different it is ridiculous.

    so if guilt by association can be wrong at all, then its always wrong, which is completely fallacious.

    we accept that our children can be in trouble for running with a bad crowd, or hanging out with a known pedophile.

    when ideology and power control is in play the left then asserts what is logically and statistically correct, but fallacious to live by.

    we live by maxims, many that are not correct. one is the concept that logic dictates that future performance is not related to past performance, but we apply it to everything thanks to the left.

    so a man/woman that sexually abuses a child is not judged by the previous abuses they have visited on children.

    so a woman who has been in a situation that causes her much misery, can apply waht is legally valid in court (the victim is not reponsibile), and flaunt a legal principal and end up on the short end of the stick in reality.

    this is the difference between understanding the spirit of meaning and only having a concrete view in which only the hard meanings of the words count.

    in such a thing, one can argue that i am ok even though i am hanging out with people that are not ok. or that i shouldnt be judged by who i hang out with.

    all that is applications of such things without understanding the spirit of the meanings, which allow us to bridge the gap between what we cant verbalize yet.

    we know porn when we see it, but we cant define it.

    thats spirit verses waht language can actually do.

    we know that a person who spends their whole live with people of a certain kind has to have the same kind of mentality, or else it would be too uncomfortable.

    it may be too hard to verbalize it, but we understand it through the spirit of the meanig of guilt through association.

    all this is, is claiming that context is either meaningful or not.

    the left is claiming that when its benifits them, context is crucially important, and when it doesnt, then context is meaningless.

    obamas life is not good, so context must now be meaningless and so who he hangs out with is not to be use to contextually ball park his zone of beliefs.

    but if age is an issue, you can be sure that we are going to be good and not mention mccains age and in so doing, end up mentioning it and using the context against him.

    in this way, things are defined as meaningful, or meaningless.

  27. Artfldgr Says:

    sergey…
    we are forgetting the otehr hot spot, chavez and columbia.

    in a few years chavez will have the ak factories, the dragunov factory, and grenade launch factory that russia is building, then the groups will be much better funded, and beleagured states caught between a rock and a hard place will end up wanting help.

    though we may not have enough of a military to do so if obama wins… which will cause the world to blame us for NOT doing something… of course we get blamed if we do do something too.

  28. Sdferr Says:

    Ouch, Sergey. I must remember to put on my altruistic internationalist thinking cap more often.

  29. Thomas Says:

    The Unknown Blogger Says:

    “I don’t suppose you would care to offer any evidence to the contrary?”

    Rumsfeld… the surge…

  30. Sdferr Says:

    Thomas.
    Not to mention campaigning in 2000 as against “nation building”….

  31. Sergey Says:

    It is not about altruism. Betraying allies is stupid and dangerous even from the most egoistic point of view.

  32. Sdferr Says:

    Ah! Sergey, you demonstrate you have a clue! Well done.

  33. Iran stonewalling on nukes - Truckingboards Truck Drivers Forum Says:

    […] agreed, noting that the youthful Kennedy was “too intelligent and too weak.” neo-neocon Blog Archive Obama: too intelligent and too weak which gave Khrushchev the impudus to install missles into Cuba. When Nixon went to China, that […]

  34. ksiêgowoœæ Szczecin Says:

    I can not agree with this article, I have their (different) view on this subject

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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