On Flags, Arrogance, & Threats

In one of my posts last week detailing the case against Obama’s reelection, I wrote about his character. The most blatant trait I believe he possesses is an ego far outside the norm. I’m certainly not the first person to comment on the perceived arrogance of the man. In some cases, his followers have taken devotion to him to an extraordinary level. A couple of months ago, some of his campaign headquarters were flying this flag:

That raised the ire of many who saw it as a desecration of the American flag. There was enough blowback that this emblem soon disappeared. Then just this last week, the following showed up on Obama’s website for admirers to purchase:

Someone apparently didn’t learn the lesson. It also has quietly been removed. But it was there long enough for at least one cartoonist to draw attention to it:

I recall nearly four years ago after Obama won the election, whenever he would speak publicly, he would stand behind a podium the likes of which had never been seen before in American politics:

That also was unprecedented. He seems to enjoy the status of the office, if not the actual responsibilities. His spokespersons say he didn’t refuse a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, but the word from Israel is just the opposite. It’s a shame to have to say I accept the word of a country other than my own in the controversy, but this administration has been anything but forthright on a number of issues. Obfuscation has become more of an art than ever. We are told Obama has avoided his daily intelligence briefings consistently, even in the aftermath of the Libyan attacks and the murder of our ambassador. Clint Eastwood’s empty chair is seeing a lot of play lately:

Just yesterday, the president was in New York City as world leaders were gathering for talks at the UN. He sent Secretary of State Clinton to meet with world leaders, but he had more pressing matters on his mind:

Yes, trolling for votes among his legion of fans was far more important. The one substantive interview he did submit to was on 60 Minutes where he, without the aid of his teleprompter, stirred up controversy once again by calling the rising tide of unrest and protests in the Muslim world simply bumps in the road, and referring to Netanyahu’s urgings to take the Iranian nuclear threat seriously as “noise” that he intends to “block out.”

Does he believe at all that there is a legitimate radical Muslim threat against the United States?

For the sake of our security, he had better start believing it. For the sake of the future of our nation, we need to put someone in the Oval Office who is a true friend of Israel and recognizes the threat. There is one out there.

May it come to pass.

The Case Against Barack Obama: Foreign Policy

This is my fourth posting this week laying out the reasons why President Obama does not deserve reelection. I began with an evaluation of his worldview, moved to his character traits, and then showed how those applied to his domestic policies. If you missed those, I urge you to go back and read them. Today’s goal is to illuminate his foreign policy and—surprise—it once again reflects his worldview and character.

Surely you recall the 2008 campaign when hope and change included the tantalizing promise that the election of Obama would make all things right with the world. He would rectify all the ill humor and bad vibes emanating from the rest of the world because of George Bush’s policies. With the incidents surrounding September 11, 2012, this is more of a joke than ever:

During the 2008 campaign, Obama staged a massive rally/speech in Germany. The adoring throngs gathered to see the political messiah who would bring peace and brotherhood to humanity. I’m not exaggerating; that was the expectation of many. The fantasy even found its way into the heady atmosphere of the Nobel committee that preemptively awarded the new president the Nobel Peace Prize simply for the “promise” he brought. He had accomplished nothing, but they were in full-swoon mode. Characteristically for him, he accepted the award, even though it was richly undeserved.

Upon taking office, he sent Secretary of State Clinton to Russia with a prop—a silly “reset” button, signifying the changing of the guard in D.C. The button didn’t work.

When Iranian dissidents rose up against the regime that is rapidly gaining access to nuclear weapons and is boasting it will wipe Israel off the map, what was the Obama administration’s response? Virtual silence. The dissidents were suppressed. When the misnamed Arab Spring burst from the underbelly of radical jihadism, we found the President of the United States as its prime cheerleader. Unsurprisingly, the Muslim Brotherhood now seems to be in command of that revolution. Yet we hear no genuine warnings from this administration about the dangers of Muslim radicalism.

Then came our new September 11. Embassies attacked, an ambassador murdered, crowds chanting “Death to America.” The Obama response was to blame it all on a YouTube video of a trailer for a film depicting Mohammed in a bad light. Despite the ever-mounting evidence that this was no spontaneous uprising, and that it was a carefully orchestrated terror attack, administration spokespersons—all the way from press secretary Jay Carney to Susan Rice, our UN ambassador—deny that it had anything to do with American policy. The State Department even refuses to take any more questions on the issue. Americans are nervous, perhaps recalling our history with radical Islam, even prior to 9/11/2001:

But keep in mind, his defenders say, that he successfully carried out the killing of Osama bin Laden, and our drone attacks in Pakistan continue to take down Al Qaeda leaders. True, but I would hope any president would have followed up on the intelligence that located bin Laden, and would have taken the same action. He owes a great debt to President Bush for the policies that ultimately led to tracking down key terrorists. It also needs to be noted that Obama draws a line between Al Qaeda and what he considers legitimate “liberation” groups in the Muslim world. They are no better than Al Qaeda, yet he seems blind to that fact.

And then there’s the whole question of American support for Israel, our only real ally in the Middle East. From the beginning of his presidency, Obama has cold-shouldered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Never has an American president treated an Israeli leader with such disrespect. The latest example is Netanyahu’s request for a meeting with Obama to discuss the latest acts of terrorism and the looming threat of a nuclear Iran. The response? Our president’s schedule is too full; there’s no time for a face-to-face meeting. And just what is filling his schedule? Fundraisers with celebrities. Appearances on the Letterman show and other “soft” media outlets that will never ask him the tough questions. The prime minister of Israel? What does he have to offer?

Another salient fact that has emerged this past week is that President Obama has attended fewer than half of his daily intelligence briefings. That shows a decided lack of intelligence. Further, just when the American military needs to be at peak proficiency, he and his team are cutting back on military preparedness. If there is one duty the federal government most emphatically has, it is to protect its citizens from enemies who are developing the capability to destroy them. I believe he is failing in carrying out that vital responsibility.

The Obama foreign policy is a direct outgrowth of his anti-colonial, anti-Western-civilization worldview. He has far more in common with the radicals who seek to attack us than he does with America’s heritage. That should give any voter pause. Tomorrow, I’ll summarize the week’s posts and offer a challenge to the American electorate as we face perhaps the most pivotal election in our history.

Obama: Israel Is the Real Problem

In the midst of everything else the Obama administration is doing wrong, there’s the ongoing saga of how he’s handling the Middle East. Earlier last year, he spoke glowingly of the inappropriately named Arab Spring. What a boon this was going to be for the world. Now that Egypt has held its elections, the results have not been encouraging. Egypt is even holding nineteen Americans for trial who are primarily aid workers. I was hardly the only one who warned this development was inevitable, but the president and his administration seemed blissfully unaware of the trajectory of the protest movement. It has turned out as predicted:

Radical Islamists now effectively control Egypt. Sen. Rand Paul has introduced a bill that will stop all foreign aid to that country; I support it. Egypt is now another potential Iran.

Speaking of Iran, the effort to build nuclear weapons continues apace. This is the regime, when Obama was running for president back in 2008, that he said he could connect with—that Bush just didn’t try hard enough to communicate. Was this the height of foolishness or was this height of foolishness [sorry, I don't see another viable option here]? While he is now finally implementing some sanctions, it may be far too little, and it is probably far too late. A nuclear Iran? That’s not a problem, right? Anyone who can look past this threat and declare we have nothing to fear from it is truly living in fantasyland. Obama, although confronted with a genuine enemy, nevertheless has his own favorite “enemy” in that hostile region:

Obama has never liked Israel. He considers that anomaly in the middle of Muslim states to be the main obstacle to peace. All one has to do is recall his twenty years in attendance at “Rev.” Wright’s “church” to know where he stands. That “church” deplored Israel and promoted propaganda from Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Israel has no friend in President Obama. He treated Netanyahu with disrespect on one of his visits to America, and polls in Israel show the people there no longer see the U.S. as a trusted ally because of Obama. If we help that nation at all, it’s going to be only because of political pressure during his reelection campaign.

Obama’s foreign policy is just one of the many reasons he doesn’t deserve a second term, but it’s not a minor reason—our national security depends on having a president who has a clear vision of who our friends and enemies really are.

The Week in Review–Minus Presidential Politics

So what else has been happening this week besides presidential politics? Well, there were some other elections. In Ohio, Big Labor outspent the opposition and demagogued so successfully that the voters overturned the legislature’s law that attempted to control the collective bargaining power of government unions. They hail it as a victory. That’s because they think short-term and don’t stop to consider that this vote only worsens the financial situation. The result?

Those same Ohio voters, apparently confused by the concept of having a consistent philosophy of government, then rejected the individual mandate of Obamacare. Well, at least common sense prevailed on that one.

Back in Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder had to testify before a congressional committee about the Fast and Furious debacle. He refused to acknowledge that the plan to allow guns to migrate to the drug cartels led to the murder of a Border Patrol agent. He continues to act as if he’s not really responsible for those who operate under his authority. Does anyone see a pattern here?

Why bother?

Also hard at work was the so-called Super Committee trying to come up with a proposal for deficit reduction that both sides can agree on. Democrats walked out at one point. I can see the media spin on this one now:

 

Let’s not omit the president from this overview. In Europe for a G-20 summit, he and the French president found something to agree on—they both can’t stand Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The only problem is that the microphones picked up their comments; they didn’t know they could be overheard trashing the Israeli leader. Well, you know, he’s just such a pest!

Of course, he might have some legitimate concerns.

Sure, Why Not Another Terrorist State?

I’ve been concentrating on electoral politics lately. There have been other stories that deserve attention as well. One of those is the Palestinian effort to be recognized as a legitimate nation at the U.N. This comes to the forefront of what the media has dubbed the “Arab Spring.” The narrative goes something like this: despotic rulers are being displaced by freedom-loving moderates throughout the Arab world, so we should rejoice over this encouraging development.

Unfortunately, I believe this is closer to the reality:

Those freedom-loving crowds are the same ones attacking the Israeli embassy in Egypt and calling for death for all non-Muslims. The centerpiece of this Middle Eastern religious and cultural clash is the promotion of a Palestinian state. That’s why Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made his trek to the U.N. last week to press for statehood. He gave a speech to the General Assembly, arguing the merits of this move:

The problem is that both factions of Palestinians—the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] and Hamas—have, as their philosophical foundation, the destruction of the nation of Israel. The most fanatical of them seek to kill all Jews. Of course, Abbas didn’t say any such thing in his address, but the undercurrent is present nevertheless.

No, he didn’t wear the t-shirt, but that doesn’t negate the underlying premise.

The Obama administration’s response, so far, has been in line with American policy in all the decades since Israel’s birth in 1948. We’re told we will continue to stand with Israel by vetoing, in the Security Council, any attempt to recognize a Palestinian state. But please forgive me if I still have some concerns about that. We have a president who is so sympathetic to the Palestinian cause—remember his “church” back in Chicago that put statements from Hamas in its Sunday bulletins?—that I’m not sure he will remain steadfast with that veto.

The only real hope that he will keep his word is that he needs the Jewish vote again in 2012.

An Increasingly Fascinating Election Season

Politics can be full of surprises. Just when you think everything is set in granite, and when the pundits believe they’ve got it all scoped out, their worlds can be rocked:

Last week, who really expected that Rick Perry would turn in such an awful debate performance?

And the biggest shock of all?

Looks like the frontrunners drew some rather short straws.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the political spectrum, President Obama is trying to shore up what used to be his base of support. One group, in particular, has been shoved to one side during his tenure. Now he needs to win them back. But why would they want to come back, given the policies he has followed in the Middle East?

He’s also doing all he can to broaden his base:

But if the latest public opinion polls are accurate, he may be losing even more support—in a place he never expected to lose it:

This election season is becoming more fascinating every week.

The Present Crisis

The intent of yesterday’s post was to ensure we understand that there have always been bad times in American history, and that we’ve been at the point of despair before. Our future as a nation is still open; the decisions we make now will determine our path.

Today I do want to emphasize the severity of our current problems, as a kind of counterpoint to yesterday’s hopeful thoughts. It’s important that we don’t put our heads in the sand, figuratively speaking. What are we facing right now, and how do these problems compare to previous ones? I’m going to provide what I consider to be the key list of issues with which we have to deal:

  • As a nation, we have never been this deep in debt. Credit agencies are threatening to lower America’s rating for dependability in paying our creditors. In just two and one-half years of the Obama administration, we’ve added $5 trillion in debt, rushing rapidly toward a grand total of $15 trillion. That means more than one-third of that debt has accumulated on Obama’s watch. Yet he doesn’t even seem to take it seriously. There’s no attempt on his part to cut back on the spending. Instead, he hopes to pass another stimulus and raise taxes.

  • We are going to burst through our debt ceiling in August unless we cut spending. But what solution do the Democrats offer? Keep raising the ceiling. It doesn’t work for governments any more than it does for individuals and families.

The logic used by the administration is fascinating:

  • The ideology behind Obama’s policies is more socialistic than anything proposed by FDR or LBJ. He has taken over one-sixth of the economy by ramming through a very unpopular and unconstitutional healthcare bill.
  • We are stuck in a recession that has similarities to the Great Depression. The housing market has now been declared worse than what we experienced in the 1930s. Obama’s socialist policies have undercut the free market, ruined small business, and kept unemployment high.
  • On the education front, he has taken steps to end school voucher programs, such as the one that was working well in Washington, DC, forcing poor children into awful government schools where they will learn virtually nothing. He is in the pocket of the educational establishment, which is more attuned to maintaining its stranglehold on education than achieving results. The NEA, in particular, has a political agenda perfectly in line with Obama’s ideology. Any attempt by conservatives to change this broken system is met with hysteria and hyperbole.

  • Culturally, we have degenerated to a place unparalleled in our history. Over fifty million unborn children have been murdered since 1973′s Roe v. Wade decision. Homosexuality, which was always considered a perversion of God’s gift of sex, is now being touted as a laudable lifestyle, no longer a choice but simply a genetic difference. Last week, New York’s legislature, pushed by Democrat Governor Cuomo and acquiesced in by enough Republicans, made homosexual marriage legal. The Rubicon has been crossed. Marriage itself is being trivialized and degraded. We have broken with Christian belief and tradition to our detriment.

  • The homosexual advance has become so dominant that it is difficult to watch television without finding a sympathetic homosexual character on a program. It’s an all-out assault on basic Biblical morality.
  • Speaking of morality, our political leaders have fallen short at a record pace lately. I don’t need to review all of the scandals; you know them. Anthony Weiner has become a classic symbol of all that is wrong with our moral compass.

  • When we turn to foreign policy, we see the United States practically laughed at in most of the world, the takedown of bin Laden being the exception to the rule. Few in other nations, friend or foe, take Obama seriously. He has become Israel’s worst nightmare. He’s now expanding that bad dream by sitting down and talking with the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, operating on the illusion that they have renounced violence. What a fantasy world! Both are dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the overthrow of Western civilization. This is a travesty of the highest order.

Have I forgotten anything really important? Possibly. I’m sure some of you could add to the list. Taken all together, this set of problems may signal the worst crisis we have ever faced as a nation. We could be on the verge of falling apart completely, morally and politically.

An essential part of the solution is to rid ourselves of the current political leadership, but that’s only a part of the solution. There is a more foundational need. That’s my subject for tomorrow.