Thursday, July 10, 2008

Obama may be the new "JFK", but we need a Reagan in the Whitehouse

Personally, I've never quite understood the fuss over JFK.

He died when I was very young (no, I don't know where I was or what I was doing when I heard the news - I probably didn't care much about anything other than rusks) and all I really know about him is that he was young, presentable, had a very attractive wife which didn't prevent him chasing after other men's very attractive wives and brought the world closer to nuclear holocaust than any other man before or since.

So it seems odd to me that the Democrats young, presentable candidate for the presidency, Barack Obama, is being touted as the next JFK. I'm no expert on US politics but do they really want a serial philanderer with a seriously flawed idea of foreign policy in charge of their nation?

Like JFK, Obama is often described as "charismatic" - which is media talk for "we like him", but behind all the gloss I find it hard to know what Obama believes in - I mean really, truly believes in.

Mind you, given the choice between Obama and the dithering, decrepit McCain (the next Jimmy Carter, but no one mentions that) it's hardly surprising that the US are leaning to the left. I'm still not sure the USA is ready for a black (or a woman) President despite all the preparation they've been receiving from Hollywood for just such an event.

Looking at it from a non-US perspective, though, what we really need in the Whitehouse is not a new "JFK", but a new "Reagan". Someone who is prepared to recognise the very real threat of Islamic imperialism and it's increasing confidence and is prepared to publicly state that they intend to deal with it and defeat it.

Reagan's role in bringing down the "evil empire" of Sovietism is often underestimated, but few people deny that his attitude towards the Soviet Union was a departure from the usual western approach of detente.

Like we see now with Islamic Imperialism, the Cold War was long and protracted and consisted of the two main protagonists fighting a series of proxy wars often using non-state actors - the post modern, value free, non-judgemental term for guerrillas - and sometimes being directly involved themselves (US in Vietnam, SU in Afghanistan).

Before Reagan, however, the main aim of the west in the Cold War was not to defeat the enemy but to maintain "stability". Reagan came along and had the vision to see that stability was achieving nothing, the determination to take the fight to a different level and the will to win.

He won.

We need the US to have a President like that. We don't need another young, charismatic, media friendly lightweight with a big smile and a lot of vague talk about "vision" and "change". We need a President with a clear sense of the threat that exists and the determination and will to do something about it.

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