You may not like ex-Vice President Dick Cheney and you may not miss former President George W. Bush but you have to give them credit. They did not do things halfway.
They didn’t just nudge over a vicious dictator in Iraq and then scurry away. They didn’t just encourage an uprising and then pretend they had nothing to do with it. They didn’t inspire insurrections across several continents and then waltz away like innocent bystanders.
No, Mr. Bush announced that he would depose Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein. Then he deployed the most ferocious military campaign ever assembled. He conquered the country and eventually found Hussein, who was then hanged.
Even then, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney were not finished. They spent massive amounts more of political and monetary capital rebuilding the country they had just annihilated. And whenever mayhem seeped back in, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney threw more and more troops against it to stand the country up.
They never gave up. Never quit. And if they were still in power, they would still be fighting that war.
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Sure, it wasn’t easy. Not for them, not for voters. And, most of all, not for the soldiers and their families.
But the unwavering commitment of the commander in chief, at least, ensured that the sacrifices were made on behalf of a grateful and somber nation.
Compare that unshakable commitment to their own world vision and America’s role in it to that of President Obama.
The most charitable view possible of Mr. Obama’s deal with the devil in Iran is that he simply doesn’t care anymore.
He doesn’t care about the Middle East. He certainly doesn’t care about Israel. He has no hope that the Islamofascist networks spreading like cancer throughout the world can be brought to heel to live peaceably among civilized people.
The most charitable view possible is that Mr. Obama wants to take the entire squalid mess and hand it all over to the powerful and brutal mullahs of Iran. Let them sort it all out.
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Give them all the power they need to once and for all deal with Israel, which they insist they want to see wiped off the map. Let them deal with the civil war in Syria. Let them deal with the Islamic State and all their human roastings.
Let the mullahs deal with the slaughtering of Christians and women in North Africa. Let them deal with the child murderers and rapists.
In other words, Mr. Obama wants the United States of America to recede from the world stage and allow that vacuum be filled by the Islamic Republic of Iran. That is the MOST charitable explanation for this dastardly deal with one of the most heinous regimes on the planet today.
Why would a president who swore an oath of allegiance to America trade away her most hard-won influence around the world? Why would a president care so little about protecting the country against enemies who want to destroy us? Why would a world leader so callously give up hope on the rest of the world?
Is the man dumb? Is he evil? Or, is he so in love with himself that he cannot see the madness he wreaks?
Hard to say. But he is certainly a man who is not capable of more than half answers to very serious problems.
Don’t like war? Okay, then just pull the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. See how that work out.
The problem with half-answers to perilous problems is that they are like half-bridges over perilous seas. Just a highway to sure suicide.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter via @charleshurt.