Obama Does Have a Strategy

Once you see what he is trying to accomplish, it all makes sense.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online


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35 thoughts on “Obama Does Have a Strategy”

  1. Dr. Hanson’s solid reputation as a political historian cannot be denied in this article. It should be read to every high school American history class in this country.

  2. Obama sees himself as the ultimate bureaucrat, the procedural parliamentarian manipulator who understands how to rig the system in painful detail to his own ends. A reading of the complexity of the ACA bears this out.

    1. But ACA was written in Congress. Obama had little to do with its drafting or passage despite the bill carrying his name (Obamacare).

      The length of the Obamacare text is a casualty of the computer age where a lazy bill writer can can copy/paste a thousand pages of think-tank-prepared legislation into a document without straining a brain cell reading it.

      And a casualty of the desire for control. Like the EU’s failed phonebook-length constitution, every detail of policy is written into the bill.

  3. An interesting conjecture: Shall Obama’s Germanic “Progressive Therapeutic” thought re-order the world according to the vote of 69,456,897 persons (not all American?) in 2008 and 5,367,939 in 2012?

    No doubt, the universe will respond with proof to the positive or negative if this is a better thing than the American “Tragic View” as represented by the tablet Lady Liberty holds against her left side, engraved “JULY MDCCLXXVI.”

    Meanwhile, our media jumps double-backflips to ferret out the Republican POTUS candidate who mystically blends these two views, Tragic-with-Therapeutic, while utterly ignoring anyone holding to 1776’s spirit alone.

  4. “All nations and interests act rationally — if given a chance.”

    Must of wrote this article before that pilot got burned up this morning.

    There were more powerful nations in the 30’s and we saw what happened by delaying involvement until it was forced by a direct attack. Less people would have died if everyone had just surrendered to Japan and Germany. Sometimes “good” is worth fighting for even when it costs lives.

    As long as the USA puts its constitution and ideals first, there will always be a leadership role for it and other countries like it in the world.

    This President is the worst Foreign policy President in my life time and is getting pretty close to being the worst domestic policy President in my life time.

    1. “Must OF wrote this article before that pilot got burned up this morning.”

      ‘Of’ is a preposition. I believe that you were attempting to write ‘must’ve’, which is a contraction for the verbs ‘must’ and ‘have’.

  5. I regularly follow VDH’s posts and can say I have agreed up to this point with his consistent thinking about the Obama Administrations disastrous foreign policy and the diminishing of the world’s view of the U.S. and trust in its position of world leadership, including our ability to forge the rest of the world into OUR view of right/wrong, human rights, morality, culture and the many freedoms we enjoy.

    As I read this post, however, it leads me down the road to thinking that perhaps indeed the changes we have historically championed since WWII and the ‘forward’ strategy we’ve employed have not been successful. And perhaps it IS time for us to take a pause and, while ensuring total military superiority and acting in aggressive defense of our allies, that we, has been said, allow for ‘more trouble, more rubble’ within the societies and nations in the world who insist on pursuing in the long term self destructive policies.

    We are in a time of incredible breakthroughs in military technologies which I believe are/will put us in a position to sufficiently discourage potential enemies from threatening us as a nation. Does this mean we can’t be selectively attacked ala 9/11? Of course not. However, would not a position of ‘overkill reaction’ to such attacks teach those who would attack us or our allies that we will NOT be cowed and to attack us will without question have overwhelmingly disastrous results?

    This is not to say that Obama and his cohorts could or would ever be able to leverage the position they’ve put us in. However, with competent and leadership unafraid to flex our might in such a way as to truly discourage those who would attack us or our allies, would we not over time ensure ours and our allies safety while the rubble and trouble makers are taken care of by their own peoples?

    1. One thing that seems to get a little lost in all of this is trade, and waters that remain (mostly) free of pirates and attack due to the presence of the US Navy – a Navy that has been whittled down by the Whittler-In-Chief just as much as the other branches have felt the sting of his “progressive” agenda.

      If trade slows, the economy slows. If trade routes become hostile (as might happen in the Pacific), economies the world over will feel the impact.

      It is not just landing an army, establishing bases, and carrying the big stick. So little seems to be understood about how and why ships pass unmolested in virtually all of the Atlantic and Pacific, but have to (at times) run gauntlets in certain parts of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.

      We pay a delayed price in Barry’s world. We defer economic pain through the printing of money and its re-distribution, and we defer inevitable pain – real, physical pain, to be suffered by military men and women, and civilians caught in harms’ way – by assuaging dictators, religious maniacs, and petty 3rd-world thieves.

      All checks cut get cashed, at some point. Barry’s so disconnected from reality that he’ll quite easily blame others for the fruits of his “labor”, and even offer solutions for whoever’s stuck with the mess he’s created.

      He’s just *that* good. Ask him. He’ll tell ya.

  6. I’m not convinced. Obama’s national security/foreign policy team is a bunch of buffoons. Can’t imagine them in a Clinton administration, much less Reagan or Eisenhower. There are no adults in that room.

    1. They can be both.

      They can be buffoons bent on fundamentally restructuring the US and the world according to their politics.

  7. Like someone attracted to marriage because of the correctly perceived potential to destroy another person, a marriage and a family, Obama is attracted to the Presidency precisely because he correctly perceives that from this position he can destroy a world.

  8. Brillant, your insight and analysis is spot on. Thank you Dr. Hanson for your service to our county. May God bless you and your family. You are always in our prayers.

  9. As much as I respect your wisdom and insights into world affairs, I’m sorry to say that I don’t buy your analysis that Mr. Obama has this great, profound overview of international politics that will ultimately bring US to a higher place and all of US Americans will rejoice and be thankful to him for doing so.

    Not when you recall his bringing Mr. Sharpton in the WH as his special advisor and advocate of the recent anti-police demonstrations. Not when you recall his getting the “liar of the year” reward for his pushing his bogus healthcare plan on us. Not when you recall his bringing in CAIR into the WH and having them delete all references to “Islam” in the FBI manuals and preventing them from going into the mosques to find out what the radical Islamists are up to. Not when you recall his sitting in Rev. Wright’s church for 20 years & being married by him, etc. etc., etc.

    His dark side which showed up when he excoriated Mr. Trump at a Comic Press roast a few years back and again Congressman Ryan in response to his budget proposals with him the audience along with his failure to follow his oath of office to carry out the laws of the land and not break them or pretend they don’t exist if he doesn’t like them are reasons for my being very, very wary of him in all respects.

    1. Rich,

      I think you are mistaking VDH’s analysis of Obama’s thinking for him stating his own beliefs. Mr. Hanson doesn’t believe (I don’t think) in these four “pillars”. The Obama team does.

    2. VDH is not saying its a great and profound overview of world politics…hes just saying that this is what and how and why obama thinks and acts the way he does-and he is indeed right: that if one rids oneself of the notion that “obama as the president of the USA suredly wants whats good for the USA” then everything that he has done since 2008 suddenly makes sense

      remember when rush said “i hope he fails”-this is why…

      rush’s words become more and more prescient, almost eerily so, as each day goes by, but somehow obama will be remembered as a genius but rush will be relegated to the annals of blowhard-dom

  10. History will throw Obama into the trash heap of failed leaders. It may take 100 years to fix the damage he’s done!

  11. friends:

    i think some do not read vdh’s post very attentively. mr. hansen merely intends to explain to you how obama, ilk, minions and assorted cronies view the world, and how they approach advancing u.s. interests in it. mr. hansen does not mean to imply, or have you infer, that he is in agreement with it.

    i think, rather, than mr. hansen, as a professional historian, means to communicate with you, that mr. obama’s view is dangerously flawed, and is the view adopted by an adolescent intellect. mr. hansen, as an historian, understands that the world is a dangerous place, and mr. obama, makes it more so with his childish views of things.

    john jay

    p.s. i do not give obama such “credit.” i do not view him as simply misguided. i view him as malevolent, and bent on reducing american power to such levels that its adversaries, principally islam, may defeat america.

    but, this article does very nicely explain a mindset on the part of obama & his supporters, the american left. they do tend to adopt the “they-are-just-like-us” mindset, and perform that gymnastic in full view & knowledge of muslims who light people on fire, and cut off heads. interesting people, the left.

  12. SocietyIs2Blame

    Hanson gets to the heart of this like few pundits and scholars can manage. I’ve said for years that Obama’s foreign policy reads like the revisionist tracts we read in 1980s Poli Sci – everyone that said people like Reagan, Kirkpatrick and Pipes were “on the wrong side of history.” VDH has spoken often about how Obama is a product of the modern university system. Obama’s also the “change” that most of the frustrated far leftists at Foggy Bottom have been waiting for, and they’re the only people in America (along with the Paulbot anti-semites in the isolationist movement) that applaud his “finally” giving Israel its “comeuppance.” His realignment efforts aren’t all born of ineptitude and reaction. They’re deliberate. They won’t have any of the intended positive effects over time, but they’re certainly premeditated.

  13. I am honored to pray for you and your holy family and all members of Ministry Sir my body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and I invite Him t o flood every fiber of my being with His Permeating Presence, fill up every cell in my body with the nourishment of the Spirit and Word of God in Jesus,s Name .True love comes from Jesus ( Amen )

  14. Great article but …We are in that era of social revolution…and we are losing. What is troubling me about this huckster is not that he is pointing out the problems we all see on the horizon. No, the troubling aspect is that the most powerful men in the world have gone public with their “panic”. This is the two minute warning at the end of the game.

    Robert Johnson – President of The soros Institute For New Economic Thinking is laying out, for the world to see, that their solution to the coming turhoil is more centralized control and the confiscation & redistribution of wealth. If you think this is just some tinfoil hat-wearing, smoke-filled room conspiracy theory, I invite you to take a look at the Co-Founders and leaders of the institute.

    New economy
    new media
    new OSI constitution
    new military

    Lots more at at therealrevo.blog
    they are totally committed and FOX and others are silent.

    There are others from Davos who are out spreading the same fear, with the same solution:

  15. Makes sense, even if I disagree on some points.

    Take Iran for instance. Obama wants them to get nukes. Why shouldn’t they have them when we have them? He thinks they have a right to them. Obama knows that Iran having nukes will allow them to deter us. They will be a check on our power in the region and they will be a check on Israel.

    The current negotiations are a farce, designed to buy time for Iran to get the bomb by keeping Israel and our congress from acting.

  16. Mr. Obama and his fellow travelers seem to have a philosophy that human nature can be changed while simultaneously ignoring world history. Can’t imagine Obama’s ego abandoning that short of ISIS kidnapping his family.

  17. This column dovetails with D’Sousa’s book; D’Sousa makes the case that Obama is an anti-colonialist. And he takes a similar to the US economy.

  18. My apology up front, if this reads too convoluted, but here goes.

    I believe that the single minded goal, that is, Islamic jihad leading to the implementation of Sharia law within, at least, the boundaries of the former Ottoman empire in this century and advanced through indirection by media savvy Muslims, find Obama and the progressives useful Fools.

    What you and I call human nature, and gives us individually more or less pleasure regardless of the consequences, are the concepts of lust/envy/greed/sloth/gluttony/anger/pride. It is this biochemistry of reward in the mind, that has been removed by presidential order. As the president noted when asked about the rise of ISIS, “they’re on the wrong side of history”. Rational behavior trumps the biochemistry of reward.

  19. Hansen is spot on. If you want to understand Obama’s world view, read Howard Zinn & Noam Chomsky. Obama is, no doubt, steeped in their views.

  20. In conflict with Cold Warriors of his day, recall Kennan’s original intent of Containment (informed by his Lebensfilosofie) of (ala Spengler) giving historical cultural types the room to settle down if not threatened.

    In Lebensfilosofie culture is IN crisis (compared to Existentialism where the authenticity of the individual is in crisis). For Obama and those influenced by the so-called Critical Thinking of the Frankfurt school of Marxist-Leninism, culture (especially capitalist bourgeois culture) IS the crisis.

    Obama as “a prophet not a bureaucrat” is better understood in context of komrade Vladimir Illych Lenin, who considered the historical tip of the spear far for important than “the administration of things” in the task of transforming the state (that consumes culture).

    The method of Obama’s madness is not to necessary to allow Islamic terrorists to become rational, but to provide the material conditions for them to be enlisted in his gang’s world revolution of healing the ills and inequities of a capitalist consumeristic world culture.

  21. When the failed progressive agenda, and philospophical roots in post-modern, multi-culti, transnational foucaltian “truth” are falling in a shambles in socialised countries in South American, Europe, and sensible Americans in flyover country dismiss them with scorn, as applied at home in everyday life,

    the social justice warriors, race-baiters, and Islamofacsist-deniers “push thru the resistance” and double down, for the “ends justify the means”, to act under the radar, even lie to the American people.

    HRC has gone deep cover, for she has the well honed rat-like instincts and experience to lawyer up. Kerry is too dumb and eager to be someone to know better, Susan Rice, Xbox boy and CBS presidents brother Ben Rhodes, and ValJar- well- besides being immoral, are being manipulated and dont even know it.

    Denis McDonough, he of the anonymous chicken-poo taunts- no wonder he and Obama are so p-o’d, and desperate to make it all about Netanyahu. They know he has the goods and is blowing the whistle on all the amatuer community organizers who, once again, with the same hubris as Jimmah, Bubba, and J’FinK think they can fix the Middle East if only the force those obnoxious Jews to just go away.

    The stink of anti-jew envy and hate is strong in these pitiful inheritors of Progressivism v2.0, just a lamely rebranded update of 30’s socialism, that failed here and over there…

    We Americans don’t even understand our neighbors to the South. How can we understand what goes on in the ME, that stretches back to the 7th Century…

    I’m quite sure that Professor Hansen understands best- but read the following, for the secret machinations and meetings that Obama and crew have been desperate to hide, and wont talk about:

  22. OMG. These lofty ivory tower statements (and those who applaud them from their floating, cocooned, halcyon clouds of ultimate global socialism dreamscapes) should TERRIFY every single well-grounded, reality-acknowledging, reasonably intelligent, working, saving, aspiring, hopeful, goal-oriented, independent thinking, freedom-loving person with self-esteem, self-determination and achievement-oriented, gratified-by-accomplishment ideals, regardless of economic class, race, ethnicity, religion, political party, gender, sexual orientation or any other “label.” We are ones who must see the decimation and destruction President Obama and his ilk intend to impose on American culture, creativity, success, leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, immigrant-descendent-pride and sense of personal honor. This fantasy of kumbayah “everyone in the world thinks, acts, lives just like us and will be reasonable and logical and craft a perfect world if we leave them alone” defies belief. The horrific Obama et al agenda is being blindly allowed to grow exponentially, as its non-nutritious sugar coated and addictive Liberalspeak is being mainlined. How can millions of human lemmings being led to their deaths over the cliff of deception be awoken to see the true Obama doctrine? How can the blinders be removed, to see the true goals of Obamaism which are to dismantle and eradicate each and every element that has made America the beacon of freedom for the world for the last few centuries, despite its imperfections and struggles, We should be weeping at the feet of the Lincoln Memorial…every freedom that we have is being targeted by the Obama master plan, in order to reduce us to mindless, resourceless, totally dependent government sheep trundling along under the government’s complete control…for shearing and slaughter at their convenience. And we’re letting it happen, while we play with our smart phones, are distracted by media sleights of hand by the Obamaites, ignoring any news or information that might feel remotely uncomfortable to hear….like the stripping away of our family legacies for our children, government laying claim to 75 to 90% of our lifetimes’ earnings and savings and good financial stewardship; as they disallow the buk of inheritance to pass to our heirs but redirect it to the government instead… just one small example of the pillaging by government underway. Is ANYONE paying attention?

  23. Dr. Hanson…what you say here is so disturbing, that adequate words fail me. I feel that the US has taken a turn (under the dominance of this vile individual and those Americans that he represents) from which it won’t come back. Often times I become aware of his responses to national and world matters, or read about his actions, and I wonder, from what planet does he come?

  24. I’m not sure where Mr. Hanson gets the idea that our military budget is slashed. Coming in around $8 Trillion in that typically given ten-year window, all the howling came against $1 Trillion for health care in that same window. Most people know that our military budget exceeds the “civilized” world’s combined military budgets. We SHOULD cut the military budget. As a vet who worked with military spending, I can tell you the waste was astronomical then. It’s worse now. All that military hardware sent to the Middle East is either being abandoned (gifts to terrorists, no doubt) – or given to militarize our police, giving us a police state that kills, then MAYBE asks questions.

    Mr. Hanson, with unsubtle sarcasm, states that President Obama’s strategy is evident, and then, although presenting quite logical arguments for Obama’s agenda, he then tries to make it illogical and certainly not hawkish enough.

    I would say that Obama’s strategy can be summed as this – to avoid costly wars, both monetarily and in terms of life.

    No other president has faced a world in such utter chaos. I note that it was not our departure from Iraq that created ISIS, it was our ARRIVAL!

    Mr. Hanson hits on Benghazi again, even though it has been thoroughly investigated and even Republicans have finally admitted that there was nothing there that could be blamed on Obama. But it is worth noting that 13 people were murdered at Benghazi under the Bush watch, and there was nary a peep about it. But such has been the pattern all along, as the only Republican agenda is to destroy Obama … our nation be damned.

    It is also worth noting that under Reagan, more than 200 members of his staff were indicted for crimes. Under Obama? That count is ZERO. What has turned this nation so upside-down??? I could answer that, but I won’t take the space here.

    I want to say to Mr. Hanson that if I want to go to war with him, I will call him an asshole … or a terrorist. If I don’t, I will avoid inflammatory language. President Obama is crucified for being diplomatically polite, and for not taking our nation into wars that we simply cannot afford. I do suggest we could start improving our government funds by no longer providing welfare for the cheats in Washington who call themselves our “representatives.” It will be interesting to see how much Mr. Hanson speaks out about the atrocities to come when Repugs completely take over our government in 2016 and finish the destruction that Bush gave us.

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