Sunday, March 27, 2011

FacePalm of the Day #69 - Libya vs. Iraq

I was pointed to the following video by my brother-in-Christ, Mariano Grinbank. I appreciate him calling it to my attention. It definitely invites a facepalm but not because it is full of lies or offers a completely erroneous viewpoint, but because of dismay that it brings up a real good point.

Unfortunately we have many people on polarized opposite views. And some people are being labeled as being racist just because they disagree with President Obama.

A. People who hate President Obama because of his race and desire to discredit him by whatever means he can.
B. People who support anything President Obama says either because they believe the hype without any critical thinking or because they are afraid of being called "racist".
C. People who disagree with President Obama's policies and decisions not because he is black but just because they think they are poor ideas.
D. People who agree with President Obama because they think he is making good decisions.

I can respect C and D but not A or B. During the Election, the media seemed to go out of its way to either demonize Obama or portray him as some kind of Messiah sent to save us from the Tyranny of George W. Bush. I think this is unfair. I didn't like or agree with much of Bush said or did and yes, I questioned his sanity and intelligence, but to be completely fair I can't says that he acted any worse than any other President in my lifetime. I'm a black man. It was a big deal to have a black President when I didn't think I would ever see such a thing in my life time or my children's lifetime - if ever. I have always been uncomfortable with the idea of Obama being looked at as some kind of Messiah - who is smarter, nicer, more honest, and more trustworthy - to save America. There is only one Messiah. Obama is not his name. But in our euphoria, it seems to me like a lot of black folk forgot that. There seems to be this desire to avoid stating the obvious: Barack Hussein Obama is a capable American politician - not the "second coming". He isn't really all that much different from the national politicians that are democrats, other than he happens to have had a father who was born and raised in Africa and was black. That is not really a terrible thing, but we can't seem to do better. The other extreme is just as silly: President Obama is not the Anti-Christ. He is just as secular and just as "Christian" as most of the Presidents we have had in the past several decades. On one hand this is something I hate, but I can't be mad, Obama made his position on religions crystal clear...and we voted him anyway.

As for the points raised in the video, I think the video is a little too critical of President Obama and praises Bush a little too much. However, it truly dismays me that people are not really looking at what's happening in Libya and not asking why is it okay for Obama to intervene but it was wrong for Bush to intervene in Iraq? If we can't answer that question then I think, as the video shows, we have as problem. I also thought that comments left on the video very interesting. Some of them point out some fundamental facts about how Iraq's situation is different than the one in Libya. I agree with them, but it still doesn't really explain why Obama is correct and Bush was wrong. I mean so what if Obama did not get congressional approval to bomb Libya? Bush didn't have it either when he started moving. So what if Obama hasn't used ground forces in Libya? We still have American in harms way and if this escalates we know American ground troops will be used. Face it, what President hasn't used troops without Congress declaring war since WWII? All of them.

Some people say that we should not have intervened in Libya or Iraq. I'm not sure about that. I think that we need to be honest about why we do what we do, and not claim it's solely humanitarian because we don't intervene everywhere and there is genocide and human civil right violations happening all over the world and we do nothing about it. Libya and Iraq have strategic and economic importance of higher priority than Sudan or Rwanda. It's more about dollars and cents than it is about racism but we can't pretend that racism has nothing to do with it.

Again the facepalm is invoked because we have people spouting ignorant rhetoric without really thinking about what they are saying and supporting and when someone tries to reasoned and logical questions, it is like talking to a wall.
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