Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shoe to the Chief

Readers of this blog (that is, if they sitemeter program claims that the few people who visit this site leave within seconds of reaching it....I sure wish I could speed read, too!!!) will no doubt recall that less than a week ago, Mr. Bush, at a press conference during what is probably his last visit to Iraq, suffered an "attack" by an angry Iraqi reporter who threw two shoes at him. In celebration of this event, the office mates at one of the places where I work accessed an internet site that surperimposes other items--besides shoes--being thrown at Mr. Bush during the conference. So, for example, a French person throw's "freedom fries" at the President, and then an English speaker throws a book of grammar at him. All's fair in love and war, and I guess that the US is at war; ergo, all's fair.

These courageous partisans--who are joyous to the point of near apoplexy about the election of Mr. Obama--celebrate the brave Iraqi reporter, who apparently shouted epithets at Mr. Bush to accost him for the deaths that resulted from his disastrous Iraq policy, shouting something like "this is for all the women and children you killed" or some such. (I do believe the reporter was brave, in that he had to have known that throwing a shoe would be considered an attack on a foreign head of state, which I imagine carries at least some jail time.)

What these Obamaists probably realize but don't openly acknowledge, however, is that Mr. Obama will likely choose to order the deaths of innocent people when he's confronted by an international crisis. He will do so not because he has an evil heart or because he is a hypocrite, but because he is (or will be shortly) president, and that's what presidents of a great power do. It's in their job description. It is not definitely set in stone, but if history is any precedent (and I'll be the first to admit we should be wary before trying to predict the future from history), the US or US interests will be attacked or otherwise opposed somewhere, sometime during Mr. Obama's presidency. In such a case, Mr. Obama will be faced with the terrible prospect of having to decide to use force that may and probably will cause "collateral damage." He and the military will, I don't doubt, try to make sure that as few civilians as possible suffer, but some will. There will be people who curse Mr. Obama's name because he will have effectively ordered the death of their loved ones in retaliation for something over which they had no control.

Let me be clear: I'm happy that Mr. Obama won the election, and I believe he has the potential to be a good president. But the demands of his office will compel him to do some very inhumane things simply because he holds the office. This is not a new millennium, and the sooner we realize it the more healthy will be our assessment of Mr. Obama. Worse, Mr. Obama will have to live with his decisions. Like the Beatle's song says: "Boy, you're gonna carry that weight / a long time...."

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