08/19/2014 10:26 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

No Victor, No Vanquished and Work Together


Reoccurring nightmares stay with us until somehow we purge the thoughts that drip through our brain's wiring. Iraq and Afghanistan, our Twin Tower reoccurring nightmare wars, keep dripping through our societal circuitry despite noble and high-minded attempts by a determined President Barack Obama to quell the malaise and free America from the previous administration's arrogance so we can nurse our own societal issues.

While the prickly Dick Cheney with fading heart pulsations tirelessly "pit bulls" Obama for his faint military foreign policy at every media station still willing to host his vitriol, the wiser and far more humbled but tainted W. again attempts to mime a new career without adequate experience or credentials and dabbles awkwardly brushing paints into childish portraits.

But in the Presidential Suite of high stakes and societal-leveling weapons in a world ticking of nanoseconds to make laser beam decisions, President Obama is being choked by a Bush-monkey on his back and an agitated Dick snarling to sink some canines into his quads. Obama perseveres, poised, regal, and measured as he teeter totters around an unhinged world saturated with malaise and seemingly too eager to wage war, keeping in blurred sight his legislative agenda as his elected clock relentlessly winds down. The gravity of the foolish Bush-Cheney wars will likely last well beyond this president and prevent a hearty domestic agenda from reaching fruition.

As if it were a chronic addiction with a force greater than one can escape, our clean and straight breakfast pause from war appears over as we find ourselves again spiraling into the fog or our reoccurring Iraq nightmare. It always unfolds the same way. Is there hope to break free of this? Perhaps a different vision of America's role in the world will alter this dynamic.

Finally, after six years as commander in chief, Obama may have just articulated his guiding inner vision of leadership during an interview the other day with journalist Thomas Friedman. It is fair-minded, generous, and worthy of Nobel Peace Prize rhetoric, but perhaps at this moment too naive, too idealistic and out of step with the current reality. Obama's "no victor, no vanquished and work together" world diplomacy precludes there are sane partners invested in a sweeter vision of life and the world to reason with.

These conditions do not even exist between Obama and his rival Republicans. It would have been nice. So much could have been achieved. Folks might not be so bitter and sour if Republicans were a sane partner and legislated with "no victor, no vanquished and work together." I think this ideal is the kind of change we could believe in. I think President Obama tried for years to work this way with Republicans and other leaders around the world. It just never was disclosed with this clarity before. Many will find this ideal as weak. There may be certain periods in history when a heavy hand with a big stick must crush malignant evil.

Unfortunately, maybe this is the moment our world is in. As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stated, "the world is a mess." The dominant theme around the globe and in America smacks of enough nightmarish incendiary regionalism, tribalism, squandered opportunities to distribute resources, wealth and power more equitably, xenophobia, and short-sightedness, to hurl our world into World War Three. Maybe we are already fighting World War Three? But as the leader of the world, Americans, and especially Republicans, could serve as mentors in shifting the drip into our collective brain's wiring and break the circuitry of our reoccurring nightmare and adopt "no victor, no vanquished and work together." Hopefully it isn't too late.