Bill Neinast

Not long ago, the United States was the most admired, envied, and feared nation in the world.  Today, it is none of these.  

In a 2013 BBC worldwide poll of more than 26,000 individuals, Germany was rated the most popular country in the world.  Our country was eighth in the polls, behind Canada, the UK, Japan, France, the European Union, and Brazil.

Think about it.  We are now less popular than Germany and Japan.  Just a few years ago, those countries were the cancers of the earth.

When, why, and how did this precipitous fall happen?  The answers are simple.

The when is the last six years. 

The why is the sole interest of the man in charge.  Our narcissistic President Barack Obama is interested in his place in history instead of that of the United States.  He wants to be remembered as the greatest peacemaker ever regardless of what that self aggrandizement does to the country.

The how is the failure or inability to develop any discernible strategy for containing, controlling, and defeating the worldwide threats to the world’s security.

Concerns about the correctness of the last paragraph might be dispelled by reviewing the National Security Strategy hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee last Friday (Jan. 30).  Former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, George Schultz, and Henry Kissinger, representing service in both political parties, were the witnesses.

Due to political correctness, the witnesses were not as blunt as the preceding paragraphs, but the obvious conclusions were the same.  Determining the foreign policy of the current administration is impossible.

Schultz observed, for example, that terrorism cannot be controlled by half hearted measures.  Kissinger noted that foreign policy initiatives must have a known objective and that, with regard to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the current administration’s objective seems to be not to prevent but to manage.  He noted further that a clear mission is essential to effective military action.

These comments were gleaned from hours of testimony by three respected individuals who shaped and guided America’s foreign policy when the country was acknowledged everywhere as the world’s leader.  That was when the United States said what it meant and did what it said it would do.  There were no lines drawn in the sand that were freely ignored by states willing to test our resolve.

The three witnesses painted a grim picture of the landscape.  The focal point of that picture is the failure or refusal of the Obama Administration to appreciate the serious threats to the country’s security.  

Today in Washington, the rapidly growing Islamist terrorist organizations are regarded as simple criminal gangs that should be handled as criminals in civilian courts.  When those “gangs” take over a country like Yemen or parts of countries like Syria and Iraq, that’s a problem for those countries’ civil courts.  If those countries become bases for suicide bombers infiltrating the U.S., that will be handled in the same manner as drug gangs infiltrating our southern border regions.

In the opinion of the former secretaries, Iran may be a more serious threat to our security than Islamist terrorism.  That country is a major supporter and supplier of the various terrorist organizations, but its internal ambition is of utmost concern.  Without question, its quest is to become a nuclear power.  When that dream comes true, it will be the dominant power in the Mideast and will use that power to destroy Israel and reshape national boundaries throughout the area.  

That is why Kissinger is so concerned about Obama’s policy of merely managing Iran’s march toward nuclear weapons rather than preventing it.

Another concern of the elder stateswoman and men was the current activity of Russia to redraw the national boundaries in Europe again.  They noted that Putin did not stop with the virtual annexation of Crimea and the Chechen regions.  He is behind the insurgency in Ukraine and, if left unchecked, may turn his attention toward the Latvian countries.

The other international concern that the Administration seems to ignore is the southern border.  Schultz noted that the border of concern is not the Rio Grand but the southern border of Mexico.  He observed that the most recent flood of immigrants crossing the Rio Grand came from countries south of Mexico and that there is no discernible effort to stem that flow at its source.

So here’s the perspective.

The waning of respect for this country should be no surprise.  No one knows today what we stand for and if we would support whatever it is we claim to stand for.  The Administration will not even acknowledge that there is a terrorist organization with many heads that claims its base is Islam and that its desire is to turn the entire world into a caliphate.

Imagine where we would be today if Obama were more interested in stability in the world instead of being the Peace President.  Imagine where we would be if he had followed the precedent of his predecessors in leaving large bases of the U.S. military in Europe and Asia by establishing a huge joint U.S. Army/Air Force base in Central Iraq.  

Those foreign U.S. bases kept the Soviet Union and China at bay.  Would such a base in the Mideast have curtailed the spread of Iranian/Islamist terrorism and Iran’s grab for nuclear weapons?

Think about it. 


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