While Not AmericaDestroyed
AndAlso Date.Now.Compare(#20170120#) < 0
It looks like the AmericaDestroyed flag isn’t going to quite make it to true before termination by the date condition.
Apologies to any of you Java or C# devs. I still use Visual Basic as my main language. Besides, it’s a bit easier for non-developers to follow.
Hat tip to Q and O reader Eric who sends along the link (in a comment) to the piece I’m referencing today. It is an extremely well written dissection of Barack Obamas dismal foreign policy record – a record that can only be described in one word – failure.
If I wanted to add an adjective to the description, I might choose “hideous”, since it is the worst foreign policy we’ve suffered under since King George. Kevin Ortin writes the piece and he uses an interview Obama did with Jeffrey Goldberg as the basis of his article.
Ortin points this out as the key graf in that interview:
[Obama] went on to say that the Saudis need to “share” the Middle East with their Iranian foes. “The competition between the Saudis and the Iranians—which has helped to feed proxy wars and chaos in Syria and Iraq and Yemen—requires us to say to our friends as well as to the Iranians that they need to find an effective way to share the neighborhood and institute some sort of cold peace,” he said. “An approach that said to our friends ‘You are right, Iran is the source of all problems, and we will support you in dealing with Iran’ would essentially mean that as these sectarian conflicts continue to rage and our Gulf partners, our traditional friends, do not have the ability to put out the flames on their own or decisively win on their own, and would mean that we have to start coming in and using our military power to settle scores. And that would be in the interest neither of the United States nor of the Middle East.”
Some of us have long argued that, despite what the President says in public, his actual policy as executed is the pursuit of détente with the Islamic Republic of Iran, usingthe nuclear agreement as a facilitator. The President came in with one overwhelming goal: to draw down U.S. resources in the region. By deputizing Iran to protect core U.S. interests, such as this malign fantasy that the U.S. and Tehran share an interest in defeating the Islamic State (IS), while creating an “equilibrium” that protects Iranian “equities,” it would allow an order to take shape that did not require the U.S. to police it. By definition this meant empowering Iran against its neighbours, notably the Gulf States, since Iran had heretofore been contained. Here Obama confirms virtually every point of that argument.
One could hardly imagine a more naive and absurd policy if they tried. But Ortin is correct, that’s precisely what Obama imagined and tried to implement – mostly by himself. Empowering Iran with the belief that they would then be the “equalizer” and stabilize the Middle East is to ignore all of Iran’s actions and rhetoric to date. Iran has no interest whatsoever in stabilizing anything and has, for years, using the unrest in the region to further the theocracy’s goals.
That’s simply indisputable.
The vision fails because any notion of “balance” between the Iranian revolution and its neighbours is a mirage. The clerical regime does not intend to take the U.S. offer to “share” in bringing order to the region; Tehran intends to upend the entire U.S.-underwritten structure and replace it with Iranian hegemony—a project in which it is now receiving Russian help. Thus, “balance” is ceding the region to Iran under another name. On paper the Gulf States have military prowess that dwarfs Iran’s. In reality, Iran has asymmetric structures like the Quds Force, the expeditionary wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps led by Qassem Suleimani, which the Gulf States do not, capable of terrorism and subversion in a way the Gulf States cannot match. Indeed both Obama and John Kerry have lamented that the Arabs do not have a Quds Force or a Suleimani, something and someone who can get things done.
This is perhaps the largest problem of all for Obama’s vision: Iran simply cannot do what he wants it to—namely bring order to the region. Iran does not want order, of course: the IS threat is very helpful in keeping Iran’s client governments in Baghdad and Damascus pliable and in inducing concessions from the Americans, plus IS’s caliphate covers areas in western Iraq and eastern Syria dominated by Sunni tribes that Iran knows it could not rule even if it wanted to. And if Iran tried to move into the Sunni Arab zones, as it has done in parts of Iraq, through its rabidly sectarian Shi’i jihadist militias, the result is terrible destruction, demographic engineering, and the setting of the stage for long-term instability.
Read the whole thing. As I mentioned, it is very well done and it is about as damning as anything I can imagine. There was an article somewhere this week in which the author claimed that Barack Obama was just too smart for us and we had no way to really appreciate what he’s done.
I’m sorry but a syphilitic idiot with no foreign policy experience could have done better than Mr. Obama. And that’s fairly evident to even the most uninformed among us. Obama has been a foreign policy disaster and that is taking understatement to its limit.
It seems that Obama has finally decided, with less than a year left in office left, to come clean and make the case for his legacy. The President has now laid out the parameters on which he wants to be judged; it would be churlish to refuse. The academic and media criticism might be the least of it, however. There are many predatory regimes watching and calibrating when to make their move.
His “legacy” is weakness, miscalculation, naiveté, indecision and blame shifting. Pretty much a description of all aspects of his presidency. But Ortin is right – the predators are licking their chops and only waiting to see which of the abysmal choices we have we’ll put in the Oval Office in January. Meanwhile, Obama’s Titanic of a foreign policy is actually aiming for the iceberg.
Interesting points today from some who has “been there and suffered that”.
The Yazidi woman, Nadia Murad, who escaped captivity in 2014, testified before the Senate Homeland Security committee about the horrors of living under ISIS, CNN reported.
“The USA must act. We must terminate Daesh [Islamic State] and all such terror,” she said through a translator. “Daesh will not give up their weapons unless we force them to give up their weapons.”
Murad spoke out about the Orlando massacre that left 49 people dead, offering condolences to the victims and saying she was not surprised by the terror attack. “I knew if ISIS were not stopped, they would deliver their crimes everywhere,” she said.
She also confronted the Obama administration on its inability to act in protecting Americans as the president pays lip service to fighting ISIS but does nothing serious to eradicate the radicals.
“If a country as strong as your country cannot protect its citizens in Orlando, or in Belgium or in France,” Murad asked, “how come a small minority like us can protect ourselves while we are in the heart of the land where the radicals are?”
But the USA isn’t going to act. It has a chief executive that can’t even bring himself to identify the problem or the enemy. And you have to admire her question. It’s to the point, isn’t it?
The reason we can’t – or won’t – “protect ourselves” is there is no will to do so among those charged with the duty to do so. And, after the latest massacre, they’re intent on removing everyone else’s ability to do so by railing against guns, the NRA and whatever other ideological boogey man they can throw into the mix. It’s election time dear – you life, the lives of Americans, the lives of anyone are not as important is realizing the Democrat’s election goals.
Oh, and this point was pretty telling too:
Calling on the Islamic community to act, Murad said “The Muslims must be the first ones to resist this.”
“We have not seen that Daesh have been labeled as an infidel group within Islam by any Muslim country,” said the woman who had six of her brothers and her mother executed by ISIS in one day, CNN reported.
Well think about that … why haven’t we seen so-called “moderate Islamic countries” label or declare ISIS an “infidel group”. Well it’s fairly simple I would assume – they’re more afraid of ISIS than the US and the US has likely brought no pressure to bear on them to do so. Either that or they have no problem with what “Daesh” is doing.
This woman came through hell to sit in front of the US Senate and tell her story. Her confusion about why a nation as “strong” as this one does nothing and can’t even manage to identify the enemy or utter its name are understandable.
Weakness. Fear. Lack of leadership.
Not that I necessarily believe there’s anything better coming along behind it, but this one is just blatant with its disregard for both the law and our traditions.
To say I was aghast at the decision to censor the 911 call from the Orlando murderer (even though what was said was widely known) would be an understatement.
I immediately asked “why”? Now, I’m not a conspiracy theorist at all so I don’t subscribe to much of what some are saying out there. To me it speaks of three things, in this order – 1) politics, 2) fear and 3) arrogance.
One … If they acknowledge that fact that this was a terrorist attack by a representative of a sworn enemy that the administration (and by extension, the leading Democratic contender for President) has badly mismanaged to the point that they are regularly striking random targets here – well, that reflects pretty badly on the “home” team. So let’s pretend it’s something else and let’s divert attention to things like guns, Christians and the NRA.
Two … They’re afraid of ISIS and what ISIS can and will do. So they handle that fear by ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist and hoping it will go away, or at least leave us alone. If they call it’s name (i.e. Islamic terrorism) and acknowledge its existence, they’ll be called upon to do something. They haven’t a clue about how to do that. So again they divert. The US Attorney General, in attempting excuse the “omitting” of parts of the transcript of the 911 call talked about her ‘greatest fear’ – and it ain’t ISIS or attacks on Americans:
Speaking to the audience at the Muslim Advocates’ 10th anniversary dinner Thursday, Lynch said her “greatest fear” is the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric” in America and vowed to prosecute any guilty of what she deemed violence-inspiring speech.
“The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence,”she said.
Three … pure arrogance. While other examples of censored releases were blamed on “glitches” (French President’s remarks, State Department briefing), they didn’t even try on this one. It’s rather hard to blame “glitches” when actual words are replaced with the word “omitted” or actual words are changed to other words (Allah/God). The administration isn’t even playing the game anymore. No more blaming it on glitches, just pure and plain censorship because the words said by the killer don’t help support the narrative this fearful administration has been trying to push on the people for almost 8 years.
And now, the Attorney General of the United States says her greatest fear is “rhetoric” against Muslims? Really?
Speaking of rhetoric, “the most transparent administration” ever has forever made it clear that transparency is campaign rhetoric for consumption of the rubes in flyover country only. They won – they’re your rulers. They can do whatever they want.
Suck it up, buttercup.
I’m sorry, I’m a little angry today. That’s because of this statement:
“When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?” McDonald said Monday during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters. “And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure.”
That’s a statement by VA Secretary Robert McDonald addressing a question about excessive wait times at VA facilities. All I can figure is he must have been a rather mediocre product of public education because this screams “STUPID!”.
When waiting in line for “Space Mountain”, Mr. Secretary, do people die? No? Then, you idiot, it’s not a valid comparison.
And secondly, what sort of “satisfaction with the experience” can someone who died waiting have, dumbbell? I’ll tell you now, since it is obvious you can’t figure it out – a very UNSATISFACTORY experience.
But of course, the dead can’t speak, can they you moron?!
Tell you what, why don’t you quit trying to find ways to explain the excessive wait times that are killing veterans and fix the effing problem? Ever think of that?
What a freaking imbecile.
If Obama was where someone was pouring leadership into a glass for others to partake, he would have his glass turned over. He is the antithesis of a leader. He is, without a doubt, one of the worst leaders this country has ever suffered. And that’s not just my opinion.
James P. Cain, a former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark. He lost his son-in-law in the recent Brussels bombing. In a eulogy for his son-in-law he makes it clear what he thinks of the current US “leadership” in the face of a deadly and intractable enemy that much of the West and specifically the US, refuses to either recognize or confront.
Let’s be clear. This fight is not only against America and Europe, and it is not against Christianity. It is a fight against individualism, reason and independence of thought that began during the Enlightenment over 350 years ago in France, and found its greatest expression in the grand experiment launched by our Founding Fathers in Philadelphia.
This freedom is now under attack by the henchmen of the Dark Ages wherever they detect it—from Paris to Pakistan, San Bernardino to Istanbul, Nairobi to Brussels. Those who embrace this freedom, in what was once permissible to call the civilized world, are awakening to the battle lines that are forming. And like the battles that liberated Europe 70 years ago, the civilized world now demands coordination, willpower and leadership.
More important, where is American leadership?
Even before the horrifying attacks in Brussels, I was hearing grave concern from many friends in Europe about America’s withdrawal from the global stage: Our leaving Iraq without putting adequate security measures in place; our rebuffing of traditional allies in the region; our passivity as hundreds of thousands of Syrians were slaughtered; our paralysis as Islamic State made a grotesque spectacle of beheading “infidels,” including Americans. Since the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, the worried chorus from Europe has grown louder.
Of course the chorus has grown louder. Europe has invested little in its own defense. The US has always been there for them … until now.
It’s one thing to make the case that it is the job of Europe to begin to shoulder more of the burden of its own defense and then begin a well-thought out plan to which they’ve agreed to shift some of that burden. That’s leadership. Abandoning them is not leadership. And Obama has, essentially, abandoned them by not leading. He’s helped create the crisis, by lack of leadership, and he’s now exacerbating the problem by continuing his lack of leadership.
He simply isn’t nor has he ever been a leader.
And the world has suffered because of that.
While you may believe that the US needs to back down from the role of world policeman, that’s something a leader would do with a plan and gradually.
You don’t just quit doing it.
That is, unless you’re unqualified for the job you hold, have never held a leadership position previously and are not a particularly deep thinker when it comes to figuring out the consequences of your actions or lack thereof.
But then, I just described Barack Obama.
Our Idiot-in-Chief recently opined that we shouldn’t take the JV team very seriously because they’re just not an existential threat. Of course when I heard that I had to ruefully shake my head and remind myself that January of next year will be here soon. To paraphrase another yahoo that once occupied the Oval office, it depends on what the meaning of “existential” is.
If we’re doing a hand wave and pretending they’re a conventional force, then yes, they are not an “existential” threat. They have no airforce capable of penetrating American airspace. Certainly they have no navy. And they haven’t any airlift capability or conventional weaponry that poses any threat to the American mainland.
But that’s not the war they’re waging is it?
Of course it isn’t. They are, instead, waging what used to be termed “unconventional warfare”. They’re using guerrilla tactics. They’re targeting soft targets in far away lands. And, according to a new study, they’ve upped the ante by plenty:
The deadly toll of terrorism around the globe has jumped nearly 800 percent in the past five years, according to an exhaustive new report that blames the alarming expansion of Islamist groups across the Middle East and Africa.
The nonprofit Investigative Project on Terrorism found that an average of nearly 30,000 people per year have been killed by terrorists since 2010, when terrorism’s death toll was 3,284. The authors of the study, which tabulated the numbers through the end of 2015, say that the exponential increase shows two troubling trends: More attacks are happening, and they tend to be deadlier than ever.
“Everyone has known that terrorist attacks have generally been increasing yearly since 9/11,” Steven Emerson, executive director of IPT, tells FoxNews.com. “But the magnitude of the increase of the attacks surprised us, especially in the past five years. Even if you look back at the annual reports issued by the most senior analysts in the top five intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies, there is not one report that predicted or forecasted that we would likely see such a massive escalation of attacks.”
The study notes that most of the attacks have been centered in the Middle East and Africa.
In addition to ISIS, groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al Shabaab in Somalia have been on the rise in the last few years. The Taliban has been resurgent in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where it took responsibility for Sunday’s Easter attack on Christians in Lahore; Kurdish-affiliated groups have been blamed for bombings in Turkey; Palestinian terrorists have waged at least two uprisings in Israel and Al Qaeda has continued to be active in Syria and Yemen, among other locations.
The terror groups, particularly those in the Middle East, have new access to deadlier weapons, which they have used to destabilize governments and terrorize citizens, said Emerson.
There is a method to their madness in the regions mentioned. Many of the countries in which they’ve waged their terror campaigns have become failed states. So using their tactics of choice, they’ve certainly shown themselves to be a proven existential threat to weaker nations.
But we’re apparently not in that category according to our Prez. And that’s because we’re big, we’re powerful and we are arrogant. We also apparently don’t think outside the conventional box.
Meanwhile, as we watch and assess conventionally, the enemy moves and executes unconventionally to the point that the kill rate now is 10 times what it was a mere few years ago.
Oh, and it’s moving from the Middle East and Africa … to Europe and Asia:
They also predict that Asia will see more terror attacks as countries like Thailand, The Philippines and India are perceived as soft targets, and that due to the migrant crisis, violence in Europe will increase over the next two years as extremists continue to exploit the immigration system throughout the EU.
Meanwhile, where we are having “conventional” success against them, they are shifting away from there to more amenable soft targets:
“With ISIS losing large swaths of territory as well as key commanders, its center of operational gravity definitely appears to be shifting to Europe, where it can recruit among the more than 30 million Muslims who live in Europe,” Emerson said.
“Add to this mix the fact that thousands of mosques in Europe are controlled by Salfists, Wahabists and the Muslim Brotherhood – which indoctrinate their followers,” he said, “and you have a future recipe for a massive increase in Islamist terrorist violence.”
But remember, we don’t say “Islamic extremists”. And what we won’t say and won’t acknowledge, we can’t defeat. And what we won’t address and thus can’t defeat remains a very real existential threat, simply because we won’t confront them in the reality in which they operate. When a mall or an airport or mass transit station go up in flames here, perhaps Mr. No Existential Threat will finally acknowledge the truth.
Secretary of State Kerry worked for three months to get the warring parties to a negotiating table under the auspices of the United Nations — moderate rebels, representatives of the regime, Iranians, Saudi Arabians and Russians. But Moscow then turned around and launched its offensive right as the talks began. Within 48 hours, the Russian air force carried out 320 airstrikes in northern Syria alone. It was no coincidence that the storm on Aleppo began at that exact moment. The aim was that of destroying any possibility that the opposition would have a say in Syria’s future.
Yes, that’s right, the Russians had no intention of working within the process and were simply setting up an opportunity to embarrass the United States.
I know, you’re shocked, aren’t you?
Secretary of State John Kerry conceded that his much-touted ceasefire in Syria, set to take effect Saturday, “may be” little more than what a Democratic senator called a “rope-a-dope deal.”
With Washington as the dope.
“I’m not going to vouch for this,” said Kerry. With good reason: It doesn’t cover ISIS, the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and other terrorist groups — nor anyone who cares to fire at them. For months, Russia’s been bombing anyone it wants to while claiming to be targeting ISIS.
In a move likely to further increase already volatile tensions in the region, China has deployed fighter jets to a contested island in the South China Sea, the same island where China deployed surface-to-air missiles last week, two U.S. officials tell Fox News.
The dramatic escalation came as Secretary of State John Kerry hosted his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, at the State Department.
It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so dangerous. The disrespect toward Kerry is much deserved, but it is primarily being shown to Obama. Kerry is just the proxy. These two states, among many others, simply have no respect or fear of Obama. None. And while they’ll play the diplomatic game, they’re two realpolitik states. When the former leader of the West shows weakness, they exploit it. Kerry just is the guy they choose to embarrass directly.
Oh, and speaking of ISIS, have you been monitoring its growth in Libya? You know Libya, the other foreign policy triumph of the Obama administration. Different Secretary of State, same disastrous result. And what is Obama doing? Well he’s considering a solution much like his Syrian solution. No boots on the ground and train some “good guys” to oppose ISIS.
So what does that tell adversaries? A) He hasn’t a clue. He’s in the middle of doubling down on failure. B) He will not commit to the effective use of American force. Yeah he may throw a few cruise missiles and air strikes at the place, but he really doesn’t plan to do much. And C) he’s the lamest of lame ducks and will likely do what he’s done for 7 years if either China or Russia act aggressively – talk big and carry no stick.
The Russians made clear that they were also coming in to help deal with the threat of the so-called Islamic State in Syria. It soon became apparent, however, that the Russian targeting strategy was less concerned with ISIS than tilting the balance of the civil war in favor of Assad and that Russian forces are now using tanks to target rebel strongholds in and around Aleppo.
Saudi Arabia has now moved fighter jets to Turkey with the aim of carrying out strikes inside Syria and has agreed to deploy special forces coming into Syria via Turkey.
Turkey is making it clearer by the day that it may feel it necessary to move from shelling mainly Kurdish positions inside Syria to moving troops and tanks into Syria. Meanwhile, concerns are being raised about Turkey invoking Article 5 of the NATO treaty, if Turkish forces were to be attacked by Russia or Syria.
NATO has every right to advise caution on Turkey, its fellow NATO member. But in these circumstances, following the Russian intervention — now that its full nature is revealed — it is very hard to argue that that it is not unreasonable for both Saudi Arabia and Turkey to contemplate such action.
NATO needs to establish two clear positions:
That it will not become embroiled as an alliance in fighting on the ground in Syria.
It will, however, respond to any attack that threatens the territorial integrity of Turkey.
Most people who know anything know that as the US goes, so goes NATO.
Anyone – do you really believe the so-called “commander-in-chief” would heed Turkey’s invocation of Article 5 and confront the Russians?
Two days before Christmas, as American policymakers were settling into the holidays, Russia quietly signed a sweeping air defense agreement with Armenia, accelerating a growing Russian military buildup that has unfolded largely under the radar. It was the most tangible sign yet that Putin is creating a new satellite state on NATO’s border and threatening an indispensable U.S. ally.
The buildup in Armenia has been glossed over in Washington, despite being a key piece of Vladimir Putin’s plan to dominate the region — along with its proxy Syria and growing military ties with Iran. Most importantly, Armenia shares an approximately 165 mile border with Turkey, a NATO member and the alliance’s southern flank.
And now Russia has 8,500 military personnel, 600 artillery pieces, 200 warplanes and 50 warships in the area.
Does that smell like “fear” to anyone?
If so, it’s probably emanating from DC.
Actually, we have a few QOTD and most come from Dr. John Cristy who recently gave testimony in a Congressional hearing to detail why satellite-derived temperatures are much more reliable indicators of warming than surface thermometers. You can read his full testimony here.
The quote I’m referring too, however, goes to the heart of this matter like no other. It gets to the reason so many who are skeptical continue to doubt the validity of the alarmist’s theory.
“It is a bold strategy in my view to actively promote the output of theoretical climate models while attacking the multiple lines of evidence from observations,” Christy wrote. “Note that none of the observational datasets are perfect and continued scrutiny is healthy, but when multiple, independent groups generate the datasets and then when the results for two completely independent systems (balloons and satellites) agree closely with each other and disagree with the model output, one is left scratching one’s head at the decision to launch an offensive against the data.”
Even more to the point was this:
“Following the scientific method of testing claims against data, we would conclude that the models do not accurately represent at least some of the important processes that impact the climate because they were unable to “predict” what has already occurred. In other words, these models failed at the simple test of telling us “what” has already happened, and thus would not be in a position to give us a confident answer to “what” may happen in the future and “why.” As such, they would be of highly questionable value in determining policy that should depend on a very confident understanding of how the climate system works.”
“Highly questionable value” is an understatement.
The predictions, as they’ve proven themselves, are useless for determining policy. They. Are. Wrong! Christy has a number of other charts available at the “full testimony” link, which point out how wildly wrong the climate models are. They’re not even close. Meanwhile, the scientists who have based their science in data vs. obviously incorrect models are the one’s that are the one’s under fire, with alarmists going so far as to call for their jailing for disagreeing with them.
Bottom line, it all comes down to the Richard P. Feynman quote that’s been flying around the net lately – “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” And, as we’ve pointed out, the observable data simply doesn’t support the theory.
Not that it will stop particular ideologically driven politicians from doing what they want to do in this regard:
A few weeks ago, a group of 13 prominent environmental law professors and attorneys released a 91-page report outlining this new approach, which would allow EPA to use existing laws to quickly and efficiently regulate all pollution sources, in all states — not just power plants and cars. The experts concluded, “It could provide one of the most effective and efficient means to address climate change pollution in the United States.”
Or, put another way, one of the largest power grabs in US history and certainly nothing beyond the man in the White House.
But, you know, damn the facts, full ideological speed ahead for him. It’s never been about science with him, it’s always been about ideology and power.
Another SOTU, another trip to Fantasy Land. I saw it all summed up in one wag’s sentence: “Obama has put Joe Biden in charge of finding a cure for cancer.”
There were some blatant lies and some pure nonsense in the mix last night. One that stood out to me was this:
I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world.
No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin. Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to this office, and when it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead — they call us.
Surveys? Really? That’s his “source” of information.
I wonder if the surveys answered this question posed by David French.
Yet if America is the world’s most powerful nation, why are so many of our worst enemies far stronger and more dangerous than when Obama took office?
Probably not. In fact, much like Hitler’s “paper divisions” weren’t worth the paper they appeared on, I’d guess these surveys are about as worthless.
Claudia Rosett does a yoeman’s job of setting the record straight:
Here’s the real State of the Union, which is inextricably linked to the increasingly alarming state of the world: It is open season on America.
Not that America is by any stretch a lone target. Terrorist slaughter has become a staple of the world news. On the same Tuesday that just saw American sailors seized by Iran, the news was filled earlier in the day with accounts of a terrorist bombing in the historic center of Istanbul (which the State Department at least labeled “terrorist,” as opposed to “workplace violence”). ISIS, al Qaeda, the Taliban and a host of their kindred organizations are bedeviling the civilized world.
And then there are the sovereign-state behemoths: an expansionist China and an aggressive Russia, pushing the boundaries and arming for war — as the U.S. guts its military and turns over its resources to a domestic bureaucracy that is busy regulating America’s old free markets and resulting economic muscle into fading memory.
Obama’s presidency began in 2009 with apologies for America, a “reset” with Russia, a bow in Cairo and an outstretched hand to Iran — promising that this would boost America’s standing and security, and pave the way to more peaceful world. After seven years of American retreat, appeasement, vanishing red lines, diplomatic farce and an implausible nuclear deal with Iran, the clear message to every opportunist on the planet is: grab what you can.
But, as this graphic illustrates, Mr. Obama resides down another road the rest of us can’t afford to live on.
It is, as usual, all about the narrative and before he ever stepped to the podium, we knew that. We knew we’d hear the narrative even when it is so obviously fantasy. Reality is and has been banished from this administration as being unfriendly if not down right hostile to the narrative.
Are we the most powerful nation on earth? Yes, I think so … but that was so before Mr. Obama. I see it as much less of a fact now. The most powerful military in the world? Yes, but again, in decline. And I’m sorry, but there is no nation that I know of that is calling the US for help and certainly not to “lead”. Not with this yahoo in the Oval Office. In fact, as Rosett points out, two very powerful nations are pushing the envelope even as we speak and our answer, thus far has been the chirping of crickets. China has decided to take over the South China sea and has established its first military base in Africa. What have we done or said about that? Nothing.
It’s nice to be considered the most powerful nation on earth with the most powerful military. But it means nothing if that power isn’t used to advance the interests of your nation and its citizens or those of your allies. That doesn’t mean war, it usually means deterrence – maintaining the peace or the status quo in some instances. And it requires leadership, something we’ve been without for the last 7 plus years. Its about drawing limits and enforcing them. We have refused to do either these past 7 years.
The world knows that. That’s why little pop-gun states like Iran feel they can pretty much do what they want without fear of all that power we have. And that means we really don’t have any power at all. That’s been proven any number of times over the years with red lines crossed and the obvious refusal to recognize or meaningfully engage ISIS. At home the refusal to even say “radical Islam” has diminished the stature of this administration domestically as well.
We’re leaderless in a perilous world. Yes, we’re powerful – potentially. But without resolution and the threat of meaningful action that potential means absolutely nothing … except in the narrative.