Pretty Boy Reactionary on the Political Irresolution of President Obama

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-03-20/niall-ferguson-obamas-indecision-about-libya/

We know two things about Pretty Boy Reactionary (PBR) that he is a cultivated gentleman of the eighteenth century and that he has, like most of his colleagues on the right, a fascination, even a romance with men and women of resolute political action. One could interpret that as an expression of an unconcealed flirtation with the jackboot. One can also interpret the long quotation from Macbeth as evidence of his cultivated sensibility. Who need he convince of his status as Philosophe? But this is mere introduction to a matter of grave political import: Why did President Obama delay in his aid to the Libyan rebels? Is the President’s irresolution a sign of political weakness?  One finds the answers to these pertinent partisan questions to be predictable, at the least. A quotation from the essay is demonstrative:

‘Obama, a novice in foreign affairs, is a president without a strategy. Once a critic of American military intervention in the Middle East, once a skeptic about the chances of democratizing the region, he now finds himself with a poisoned chalice in each hand. In one there are the dregs of the last administration’s interventions: military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan that he is eager to wind down. In the other is a freshly poured draft of his own making.’

A  possible response to this set of conjectures is that the blind actions of ‘History’ has filled one of the President’s cups, without defending or attacking his ‘irresoluteness’, as argued by PBR. Yet, the honeyed tone of his council, to the President, is laced with a palpable irony, even a certain unconcealed political malice.

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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