Saturday, June 26, 2010

Two Recent Obama Contradictions

United States President Barak Obama and his Administration have contradicted themselves in both of the major current issues:

1) Opening a Criminal Investigation into the BP Oil Leak While Imposing a Moratorium on All Drilling

The Obama Administration has opened a criminal investigation into the BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Thus, the message the Administration is implying is that BP’s behavior constituted criminal recklessness, which is in addition to any implication from any civil action the Administration is threatening that BP’s conduct demonstrated gross negligence. At the same time, the Administration has used the leak as an excuse to re-impose a moratorium on offshore oil drilling for six months, which it justified as necessary in order to determine the safety of deepwater drilling. Thankfully, a federal judge ruled against the Obama Administration, calling its action “arbitrary and capricious” and finding that it also made misleading statements in falsely claiming that certain scientists who participated in a study the government cited agreed with the moratorium. The six-month moratorium would have obligated drillers to remove their rigs from the Gulf of Mexico and send them to foreign areas, meaning that it could have been years until drilling resumed there, to the detriment of the local economy.

The point is that on the one hand, the Administration is declaring BP’s actions that led to the leak as outside the legal norm and thereby different from the actions of the other drillers it has not accused of similar misconduct, while justifying its moratorium on the contradictory grounds that drilling is inherently unsafe, regardless of whether BP or other drillers are behaving lawfully. In other words, if drilling is inherently unsafe, then BP ought not to be sued or criminally charged for any actions that led to the leak, for the Obama Administration should have barred BP from drilling in the first place instead of allowing it to continue, and the degree of BP’s recklessness or negligence would be irrelevant. The Administration’s actions in this matter would be like grounding all of a certain model of aircraft because of one crash – caused by a bad pilot, after already blaming the accident on pilot error.

2) Promoting General David Petraeus after Declaring the Troop Surge He Led in Iraq a Failure

As a Senator, Barak Obama joined most other liberal Democrats in opposing President George W. Bush’s troop surge for Iraq, wrongly predicting that it would fail or even make matters worse and criticizing General Petraeus for any optimistic reports that he gave that cited evidence that proved the surge was working. Even long after it had become abundantly clear that the surge, in fact, had worked and that the Liberation of Iraq had been successful both in its initial goal of removing a terrorism-sponsoring regime from power, as well as in defeating al-Qaeda and other jihadists who made Iraq a central battle in the War on Terrorism, Obama refused to admit that the surge had worked and that he had been completely wrong on the most significant issue of the time. However, he used the Iraqi surge largely as a model for agreeing with Bush’s proposed troop surge for Afghanistan, which was a tacit admission that the strategy had worked.

Now, President Obama has appointed Gen. Petraeus, the architect and hero of the Iraqis troop surge, to lead the War in Afghanistan in carrying out the troop surge strategy there, which is even more of an admission that Bush and Petraeus were successful, without Obama ever expressly admitting it. Indeed, the Obama Administration has acknowledged the United States victory in Iraq, which it has cited as justifying the continuation of the withdrawal of troops from there that had begun under the Bush Administration. The Obama Administration has even tried to claim credit for the victory in Iraq. Therefore, either Obama’s actions in the War on Terrorism in the battles of Iraq and Afghanistan represent a contradiction of his opposition to the Iraqi troop surge, or he has changed his mind and has completely vindicated Bush. Either way, Obama refuses to say.

Obama’s contention that the troop surge in Iraq did not work was itself a contradiction of his criticism of the Bush Administration’s conduct of the Liberation of Iraq prior to the surge, which he insisted was a failure. However, if the surge was not responsible for the U.S. victory in Iraq, then the conditions before it (under the Bush Administration’s management) must have been adequate enough apart from the surge to have produced the victory.

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