Archive for November, 2009

A Slow Motion Train Wreck

November 19, 2009

A slow motion train wreck is the most descriptive, honest and accurate way that I can think of to describe the first eleven months of the Obama presidency.  The nation is reeling from a $3.27 trillion failed stimulus program with unemployment well over 10% and climbing, each American household share of the national debt over $500,000 and growing, and bitter partisan fighting on Capitol Hill grinding other domestic initiatives to a standstill.  No wonder the Media has been so focused on the president’s failed domestic agenda.

As ugly as this slow motion train wreck has been, I’m afraid that we ain’t seen nothing yet.  To borrow a word from the administration’s talking points, the focus of the president, and the nation, is about to “pivot,” but I’m afraid it’s not going to “pivot” in the administration’s favor.  There are many ominous clouds forming on the horizon of the Obama foreign policy agenda, and unfortunately, the horizon is not far off at all.  Of obvious concern is the president’s failure to commit to his own previously clearly defined policy in Afghanistan.  Without a significant Bush-style military surge in that country, most analysts agree that the war there will be lost.  However, it is likely that Afghanistan will not prove to be this administration’s biggest challenge overseas.

Contrary to what any effective foreign policy should do, Obama’s foreign policy has thus far strained relations with our allies and emboldened our enemies.  Instead of pressuring Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program, this administration has pushed our ally Israel into a corner where soon – very soon – it will have no alternative but to attack Iran with or without U.S. support.  In a recent interview, Zbigniew Brezinski, a top Obama National Security Advisor, and former Chief National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter (remember how effective they were in dealing with Iran) said that if Israel launches a preemptive attack to take out Iranian nuclear sites that we should shoot down Israeli fighters.  Now that’s the kind of talk that is sure to engender deep trust between America and its allies.

Obama may not have a clue on how to deal with the war in Afghanistan.  He may also lack the vision and conviction to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, but as he looks on, like a deer dazed by oncoming headlights, Israel must and will act.  In responding to a direct question as to whether Israel is prepared to attack Iran if necessary, Daniel Gillerman, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. mocked our president and said: “Taking words from your president, Yes we can… and yes we will.”  It is becoming increasing clear that if this administration will not step up and lead than it will be pushed out of the way, just like the aftermath of a slow motion train wreck.

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Terrorism By Any Other Name Is Still Terrorism

November 6, 2009

If, on September 12, 2001, I were to tell you that in eight long years there would not be another single terrorist attack on American soil, you would have understandably told me that I was absolutely crazy.  Well, astoundingly, that is precisely what the Bush administration delivered to the American people.  Eight long years of peace and security within our borders.  Thank you, President Bush!  Now, within just one year of the Obama administration there have been two Islamic terrorist attacks in the American heartland.

On June 1, 2009, in a cold, calculated, pre-meditated act of terrorism, Abdulakim Margahid Muhammad drove up to a west Little Rock military recruiting station and indiscriminately opened fire killing one young American serviceman and severely injuring another.  Muhammad described this attack as a justified act of “Jihad” against America.  He was arrested and charged with one count of homicide and 15 counts of “terroristic threatening.”

On November 5, 2009, Nidal Malik Hasan calmly walked into a crowded personnel area of Ft. Hood, Texas armed with two hand guns, one a semi-automatic.  He reportedly yelled in Arabic: “Allah Akbar” (God is Great) and then proceeds to gun down 43 American servicemen and civilians, killing 13 and wounding 30.  Authorities quickly release preliminary information about Hasan, a Major in the U.S. military, showing that he had on numerous occasions expressed sympathy and support for various terrorist activities.  He is reported to be associated with various internet postings and blogs praising suicide bombers, among other activities.  After much of this information came out, approximately some four to five hours after the massacre, Obama made his first public comments at a Tribal Nations Conference of native Americans.  The president spent several minutes bantering with the crowd and even offered a light-hearted “shout out” to his pal, “Joe Medicine Crow” before addressing the terrorist attack.   

Obviously, neither of these horrific attacks were of the scope or scale of the terrorist attacks of 09/11, though for the innocent victims that makes absolutely no difference.  The fact remains, President Bush kept the American homeland safe from terrorist attack for eight long years; President Obama unfortunately, cannot say the same thing for even the first short year of his administration.  “Hope & Change?”  Well, when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks on American soil, all one can say of President Obama is: No He Can’t.

The Operation Was A Success, But The Patient DIED!

November 1, 2009

Nearly a year into the new era of “Hope & Change” and there is nary a sign of either.  Approximately 130,000 U.S. forces remain entrenched in Iraq; we just had our deadliest month ever in the eight-year long Afghan war; Iran continues undeterred in its ambition to develop nuclear weapons; and, Gitmo remains open for business in Cuba.  On the domestic front things are no better.  Unemployment is now over 10% and continues to inch higher; earnings, and even the Social Security Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), are frozen or decreasing; the national debt has ballooned to the point where every household in America now owes over half a million dollars to pay for our government’s incompetence; and, Washington is deadlocked in bitter partisan acrimony complete with special interest lobbyists and more opaque back-room wheeling and dealing than ever.  I can think of just one single campaign promise that the president has actually kept, and that was to acquire Bo as the new First Dog.  Woof-Woof: “Yes We Can.”

In light of the stunning failure of the first year of the Obama administration it is no wonder that Congress is determined to hand the president what it misguidedly sees as a victory in health care reform.  Unfortunately, the nearly 2,000 page bill may well prove to be not only a bitter pill for the American people, but a steak through the heart of the Obama administration.  This bill is an absolute prescription for disaster.  I’ll admit that like the vast majority of Americans, and perhaps Congressmen, I have not read the entire bill.  However, I do know that in order to succeed the bill must, by design, cut approximately $500 billion in medicaid to senior citizens, and, raise at least $500 billion in taxes.  No matter how you slice it, the combination of a huge cut in medicaid to seniors and a significant tax hike on the American people is a deadly combination.  Late last week the C.B.O. (Congressional Budget Office) projected that the bill would cost at least $1.05 trillion.  That’s already well over the maximum of $900 billion that the president has pledged to approve.  Not to worry, truth and transparency were two of the earliest casulties of the current regime, who cares about credibility anyway, right?  This is but one fatal flaw in this bureaucratic bungle of a bill.  Perhaps the biggest flaw of all is revealed in a September 2009 Gallup poll showing that an astonishing 80% of all Americans are satisfied with their current quality of medical care.  We’ve all heard horrific stories of doctors mistakenly removing the wrong organ, or amputating the wrong limb.  Well, better cover your eyes because the horror show unfolding on Capital Hill just might make “Friday the 13th” look like “The Little Mermaid.”  I mean really, either Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi already makes Freddie Kruger look like Sponge Bob Square Pants. 

Yes, the Obama administration is understandably desperate for some kind – any kind – of a policy victory.  But by rail-roading this huge bureaucratic partisan monstrosity down the American people’s throat the administration and Congress is heading down an extremely dangerous path.  If passed, the president and many members of Congress, may wake up on November 3, 2010 and 2012 and realize that: the operation was a success but the patient died.