It is painful to watch Sen. John McCain offer commentary and analysis
of the global mess in Libya as we provide, what, air power or
“defensive strikes” or “air defense suppression” for the fray in Libya.
McCain attempted to explain how best to clean up the confused mêlée which has been characterized by no clear goals or objectives and no clear leader for the global community’s military action. With exasperation at having to express the obvious or self-evident, the senator lamented that “hope is not a strategy.” His statement is the simplest way to explain the events that have transpired during the seemingly eternal presidency of Barack Obama.
U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six’s victory in the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has been celebrated throughout our nation this week, from Ground Zero in NYC to college campuses. CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen stated Monday that the war on terror is now over.
“Killing bin Laden is the end of the war on terror. We can just sort of announce that right now,” Bergen said.
To “just sort of announce”, as Bergen suggested, that the war on terror is over
is NOT a strategy.
Knowledge about the courier who led our military to bin Laden’s
compound in Pakistan was obtained from detainees in Guantanamo and CIA black
sites about four years ago. As we march forward in this war on
terror with a flood of intelligence from this raid, precisely where
will new captors be housed? Sen. Lindsey Graham is pointing out with urgency that America currently has no plan for dealing with new detainees. Attorney General Eric Holder has worked successfully to dismantle the Bush administration’s policies for dealing with terrorists. The CIA may no longer use enhanced interrogation measures like those employed in uncovering the courier who led us to the compound in Pakistan this week. In fact, Rep. Peter King has stated that water boarding was used to obtain intelligence concerning the identification of bin Laden’s courier and to verify his significance to al Qaeda. CIA Director Leon Panetta has also confirmed this fact to be true. Eric Holder continues to hope that this reality is not true despite the facts that are getting in his way.
President Obama, on the other hand, hopes that adhering to the Army Field Manual will be sufficient in protecting Americans from terrorist threats. However, this hope and accompanying policy will not provide for the complexities our nation faces today. When Obama signed the Executive Order in January of 2009, “Ensuring Lawful Interrogations,” he ended the strategy that ultimately led to the sure demise of bin Laden this week. There is no more “extreme rendition” or CIA black sites. The Army Field Manual must be followed without turning to any enhanced interrogation techniques.
Hoping that we will have an acceptable location for terrorists is no
strategy for managing a war. Hoping that we can garner enough intelligence without the work of the CIA that makes some civilians squeamish is a lofty goal- but will it work?
America’s foreign policy is in shambles. President Obama’s rash intervention in Libya as well as contradictory, mixed signals throughout Egypt’s upheaval in leadership has raised more questions, and quandaries, than answers.
Should America’s military power be squandered in the incendiary powder keg that is the Middle East with no clearly stated objectives? Is allowing a dictator like Gaddafi to maintain power in Libya acceptable when we are supposedly there to prevent possible human rights abuses? Are we to simply hope that an old warhorse like Gaddafi will just tuck tail and run?
Should Americans abstain from any military actions in Syria while
the “reformed” leadership of Assad murders the hundreds of civilians that
Gaddafi did not? Should Americans simply rely on “hope” as we pursue a random set of contradictory policies in the Middle East? Hoping that our foreign policy initiatives serve America’s best interest is not a strategy.
So how is that “hopey-changey” thing working out here in America? Our shrinking economy is generating far less capital, with a GDP of 1.8% for the first quarter of 2011. China’s economy will surpass that of America as of 2016 according to the IMF’s calculations. This surprising news has drawn little attention in the MSM just as the warning by Standard & Poor’s has received relatively little coverage from major media outlets. In fact, the White House downplayed the change in America’s credit rating from “stable” to “negative” as political!
S&P issued the following statement:
“Because the U.S. has, relative to its AAA peers, what we consider to be very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness, and the path to addressing these is not clear to us, we have revised our outlook on the long-term rating to negative from stable.”
America’s debt is now closing in on 14.5 trillion. Hoping that we can generate enough revenue to cover the skyrocketing cost of Obama’s social programs is not convincing the rest of the world that our fiscal affairs are in order. Higher taxation is the answer to covering our outstanding bills according to this administration. However, the math just doesn’t cooperate with the politics of hope. Even draconian taxing of America’s wealthiest individuals would never yield enough to cover the ambitious dreams of endless healthcare and social program spending for all.
As noted in the New York Post, “even if the government decided that no American could have a net worth above $1.5 million, confiscating everything above that figure would net the Treasury $6.1 trillion in one fell swoop.
But the national debt is now nearly $14.5 trillion — so Uncle Sam would still owe $8.4 trillion.”
Hoping that unproven measures such as the heady stimulus package would become a substitute for normal budget cuts, that respect the shrinking parameters of America’s capitalist economy, will not preserve our country’s position as the leader of a global economy. Hoping that we will miraculously generate the funds needed to cover massive social programs spending, that are causing Paul Ryan’s eyes to pop out of his head, cannot provide a solution to an impossible, yet avoidable, conundrum.
Harry Alford, the president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, recently slammed Obama’s anti-business policies. When he was asked in an interview to explain why he voted for Obama in 2008, he responded:
“Worst mistake I ever made in my life. . . . It was hope. But hope isn’t hiring. Hope isn’t lowering the price of gasoline.
[This administration] wanted the price of gasoline to go to 6 to 7 dollars a gallon so that we can reduce our ‘carbon footprint’. And he’s doing it. . . . And he’s smiling.“
Alford was referring to widely documented statements by Obama about the necessity of skyrocketing energy prices and also by administration officials such as Obama’s Energy Secretary, Steven Chu.
“Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” Mr. Chu stated in interviews by the Wall Street Journal in 2008. Gasoline prices in Europe are around 7 to 8 dollars per gallon.
As the interview about President Obama, linked below, drew to a close, Alford concluded:
“I love this country too much to be quiet about this guy.”
(Interview audio with Harry Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.)
America needs real strategies to deal with its mounting challenges. Nearly every measurement of our country’s welfare and prospects for a strong future points to the necessity of new leadership. It is time for Americans to decide whether or not they love this country enough to demand more than mere hope for a successful future.