Sunday, March 02, 2014

Leading From Underneath

Were you one of the many Romney-bashers who laughed when he commented that Russia was not someone to ignore? Or did you think Sarah Palin was far too "dumb" to be taken seriously regarding Russia's intention to expand their orders into the Ukraine (and other former Soviet satellites)? Well, how're you going to spin this one?

One thing Conservatives have never been good at is saying, "I told you so." That's mostly because even when they are right, the left refuses to acknowledge the fact they are wrong. The left will spin this so twisted around that soon the entire country will be demanding a public apology from the right!!

Ever since she first hit national prominence, the left has crucified former Governor Palin. Sadly, in our MTV/short-attention-span induced they made a conscious effort to completely ignore her successes in Alaska (and her impressive popularity) by making up stories about her, by attributing comedy quotes of Tina Fey to her and by filing an enormous number of lawsuits to not only clogged the courts, but eventually forced her to resign, due to the amount of time required these overwhelmingly frivolous charges.

Of course, the greatest damage to Ms. Palin's reputation was when SNL comedy writer/actress Fey portrayed Palin as a simpleton, commenting that her foreign policy credential be taken seriously because she can "see Russia from my house." The audience ate it up, as it was related to Palin's own claim that Alaska and Russia share a border and that the part of Russia that borders Alaska share similar geological traits. But to the low-information viewer, dumb Sarah Palin claims she should be taken seriously for being neighbors with Siberia.

It was a laugh a minute and may well have cost her the Vice-Presidency.

Though she was mercilessly mocked for it, Palin actually speculated in 2008 that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be encouraged to invade Ukraine after President Barack Obama’s weak response to the nation invading Georgia. Her reasoning was that Obama was a very weak leader who would be measured by Russian president Vladimir Putin as being far more

But a funny thing happened on the way to Washington. Both Obama and Biden blew off any and all concern the GOP leadership had about Russia's geo-political strategy. In the second 2012 Presidential debate, President Obama ridiculed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney about his concern over Russia’s “geo-political” threat, where this exchange developed:

“You said Russia. Not Al Qaida. You said Russia,” Obama said regarding biggest threats. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because…the cold war’s been over for 20 years.” Romney offered a powerful retort: “Russia, I indicated, is a geopolitical foe…and I said in the same paragraph I said and Iran is the greatest national security threat we face. Russia does continue to battle us in the U.N. time and time again. I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin…”

As was predicted has certainly proven Romney and Palin correct. Yet very little has been admitted by the talking heads at the non-FOX networks. It's almost as if those networks are more interested in protecting the President's agenda and miscalculations than they are at delineating the news. But for all their efforts at carrying the President's water, the damage being done by the administration (and the media who protect him) is has been nothing less than criminally dangerous to the future health of this nation.

One of the reasons Jimmy Carter was so thoroughly embarrassed in the 1980 election was because he was portrayed as a weak, feckless leader who could not, or would not stand up for American's exceptionalism. Americans rightly considered him ineffective and poorly equipped to stand up to the bullies of the world. This was especially true of his handling the crisis in Iran and his relationship with the Soviet Union. There was a good reason Carter delivered his infamous "malaise" speech. Carter was unable, and due to his political beliefs, unwilling to sit at the card table and take on the bluster of America's enemies. It cost him dearly.

Even John F. Kennedy suffered for his inexperience. It was widely known that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev took a measure of the young President in their first summit together in June 1961. For the next year or so, the Soviet leader rightfully assumed that Kennedy was too weak to do anything about possible Soviet intentions - especially in Cuba. However, as it turned out, Kennedy spent that year developing the necessary gravitas to not only stand up to Khruschev, but to actually call his bluff and send him back to Moscow, reeling over removing missiles the Soviets shipped to Cuba, thus ending the Cuban Missile Crisis in October, 1962.

But Obama is no John Kennedy. JFK learn at the foot of his father, who although was an earlier supporter of Hitler (especially due to Hitler's attitude about Jews), understood peace through strength. The young JFK fought for his country and understood intimately the need to show strength and resolve in dealing with your foes. Kennedy was surprised by Khruschev's indifference towards the lives of his people and it woke him up to the reality that there is no moral equivalence between freedom and democracy versus totalitarianism and communism. In the next year, Kennedy slowly set in motion certain policy moves to correct the impression of his weakness as best he could. According to the Legal Insurrection blog:

"One of the ways he did this (especially interesting in light of Obama’s recent request for large military cuts) was to seek “congressional approval for an additional $3.25 billion in defense spending, the doubling and tripling of draft calls, calling up reserves, raising the Army’s total authorized strength, increasing active duty numbers in the Navy and Air Force, reconditioning planes and ships in mothballs, and a civil defense program to minimize the number of Americans that would be killed in a nuclear attack.” As might be expected, Khrushchev decided to call the young leader’s bluff, and erected the Berlin Wall and then resumed atmospheric nuclear tests. The Cuban Missile Crisis followed, and there it was Khrushchev who ended up backing down."

Unfortunately, Kennedy is not Obama and even though we have learned that JFK was a quick study and clearly understood the geo-political realities of history, Mr. Obama refuses to accept any reality that contradicts his own anti-Colonial, Euro-Arabia-centric world view, even to the detriment to his own commitment to follow the Constitution.

Unlike Carter, there is nothing in Obama's service that gives hope to his competency in dealing with the Russians. On the contrary, Obama has given every indication of incompetence and has shown a lack of understanding the lessons of the past.

Barack Obama has been the US President for 5+ years now. Before the 2008 election, Joe Biden was quoted, saying "Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy," he said to a roomful of donors. "The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here, if you don't remember anything else I said," Biden continued. "Watch, we're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy..."

Since that time, we have seen how Obama reacted in Iran (he did nothing), Libya (did nothing, then changed his mind), Iraq (quit), Syria (did nothing, then condemned it, then did nothing and then let Putin handle it, while continuing to do nothing of consequences) and Afghanistan (sending in drones). Obama's mettle has been tested and has been found wanting. His foreign policy has been a joke since his Cairo speech back in '08. Teddy Roosevelt once famously said one should "speak softly and carry a big stick." Obama has followed that advice 180 degrees. He likes to talk a big game (which has proven to always be just empty words (unless spoken to the GOP or Israel), but - in disagreement with Joe Biden - Obama's "stick" is soft and limp.

The most important ability for a gambler is the ability to bluff. If you can pull it off, you stand a good chance to be successful. However, that bluff must be backed up with having some good hands and at times having bad hands. If you are proven to only bluff when you have a bad hand, eventually people will stop being fooled by your bluffing. That is what is happening in Washington. The world has learned that Obama is no John F. Kennedy and no matter how much he wants the world to believe him, his actions have proven him to be a paper tiger and his bluffs no longer worker.

Sadly, unlike JFK, Obama seems indifferent to the lessons of history and it is beginning to appear that history is repeating itself. This could get a lot uglier than anyone thinks.

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