Victor Davis Hanson discusses the concept of hubris as it relates to our national security policy:
Vice President Joe Biden recently opined that he did not think the terrorists were able to pull off another attack of the 9/11 magnitude: "They are, in fact, not able to do anything remotely like they were able to do in the past." Robert Gibbs last week assured us that Iranian rhetoric about nuclear enrichment was not matched by reality — e.g., "The Iranian nuclear program has undergone a series of problems throughout the year; we do not believe they have the capability to enrich to the degree to which they now say they are enriching" — although the UN just announced that the theocracy is focused rather seriously on a warhead.
Hanson then goes on to point out how this attitude underestimates our adversaries and their desire to inflict maximal damage on us; as well as this Administration's consistently poor record of prognostication in the areas of unemployment, the deficit, and the ability of Obama's magical force of personality to cure all societal ills.
Hanson's post is right on the money when it comes to Obama's hubris on national security; and it leads me to a discussion of hubris and its relationship to narcissism--particularly the malignant political and societal narcissism that appears to be operating on a grand scale in the current Administration. Prideful overestimation of one's abilities is frequently encouraged by the faux self-esteem movement; and willful blindness and denying or ignoring reality altogether has become an integral aspect of the political left's narcissistic pursuit of power. Particularly among the intellectual elites and leaders of the left, there is a consistent and deliberate overestimation of their own capability to manage and control the lives of others.
Unfortunately, for those of us who are the objects of their compassion and 'social justice', tragedy is almost always the predictable outcome.
The "but I meant well" attitude is the increasingly familiar fallback of the classically clueless leftist 'do-gooder', who makes it his or her business to force the 'little people'--clearly unfit to manage their own lives--to do what they know in their heart is 'best' for us. They go about their daily lives trying to control every little aspect of everyone else's life for their own good and supposedly that of society. They rail against the 'oppression' of the free market and capitalism and speak of 'empowerment' and 'power to the people' and other catch phrases of the warmed-over Marxism they perpetually spout.
The do-gooder leftist in all the various ideological incarnations--the antiwar crowd, the environmental crowd, the communists, socialists, and assorted collectivists--offers the rationale that he does what he does for the "common good" and for "social justice", "peace" and "brotherhood". His high-minded, self-righteous rhetoric justifies (to him anyway) imposing his will and beliefs on others for their own good; and he will not hesitate to use whatever coercive capablity he has at hand to get others to do what he wants and what he says.
We see all these elements in the national security policy that has been implemented in the Obama administration; combined with a willful blindness to reality and an almost magical belief in Obama's competence in areas in which he has no experience. One assumes that prior to his ascension to godhead, Obama must have spent a lot of time in a Holiday Inn Express.
And, that apparently is all the self-esteem you need for "smart" diplomacy.