World leaders did what they do best in the wake of the London attacks. They made trite assurances of unity, perseverance, and shared values. The very same remarks will be made after the next attack and the one after that. The war of words over something we know the name for only avoids facing the truth for the sake of not offending the religion of the killers.
National Security and Foreign Affairs
This category documents a train wreck and a tragedy. After World War II the world looked to the United States for leadership. Now we have no leadership and the world knows it. We can no longer approach national security from a position of power because our power is slipping. Nowhere is that more obvious than how we are conducting our foreign affairs.
Proliferation and nuclear acting out by North Korea, and threats from Iran’s nuclear program signaled America’s weakened role as a world leader. Vladimir Putin tested us over Syria’s chemical weapons and Edward Snowden’s asylum. We lost both times. Iraq is slipping into Islamic oblivion as the U.S. refuses to shore up its defenses and the world contemplates whether dividing the country by sects is the best approach. Is this strategy something the White House will feel comfortable explaining to families who lost members to the Iraq war?
Foreign policy in the Middle East under Obama has not fostered democracy. It has only led to more bad behavior from Islamic extremists as the hopes of the Arab Spring prove time and again to be a fraud. Was buying into nation-building in the Muslim world and trying to negotiate with Iran worth compromising our relationship with Israel, our only completely trustworthy ally in the region and a friend on the world stage whose loyalty we will never have to question?
National security and foreign affairs are about more than the Middle East. China is a much more powerful adversary than troublemakers in North Africa. The Asian superpower is intent on cyber penetrations of our private sector intellectual property and public sector military secrets. As China grows as an economic power and U.S. debt grows along with it, our ability to negotiate favorable outcomes from disputes lessens.
There was a time when America apologized for nothing. Now it seems we apologize for almost everything other countries find fault with, from foreign policy to an American-made video that riled Muslims and led to a televised apology from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on Pakistani television. Is this the future of foreign affairs for America, finding fault with ourselves when other nations act out, compromising our national security by projecting weakness and insecurity?
NOTE: Shortly after this post was published President Trump announced U.S. action against Syria. An update follows.
In the great scheme of humanity the Syrian gas attack victims are already forgotten. The parade of atrocities big and small over the ages will march on. If anything, they will get worse as civilization refines its ability to kill.
There must be a payoff to Armageddon that we aren’t clever enough to understand. America spends an insane amount of money on our plan for nuclear destruction. We compete with other players for global control, but the contest for who pays for the best doomsday weapons has only two possible outcomes: the money is wasted or humanity is vaporized.
When did Hillary Clinton realize that she made a big mistake by publicly venting her hatred for millions of Americans because they don’t agree with her politics and aren’t going to vote for her? Did the shock come right after she said the words that will haunt her for the rest of the campaign? The truly deplorable thing about Clinton’s remarks on Friday is that they came just two days before the anniversary of 9/11.
It took Donald Trump to show how doubters, cowards, and appeasers control the dialogue of our war on terror. Even conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron took a turn throwing a few potshots at Trump’s supposedly anti-Muslim comments.
We can cut Cameron a little slack. His Islamic problem is a lot bigger than ours and the UK is much closer to the action.
Every time I hear that a friend is going on a business trip I get confused and have to ask a very simple question: why fly?
Amazing, cheap technology puts people anywhere in the world on top of your desk. Is it really necessary to go through the out of town business ritual? Apparently it is, because no matter how unpleasant the experience we still put up with being humiliated, profiled, and marginalized just so we can be within touching distance of a person we could just as easily talk to face to face on our laptops.
America has always been conflicted about what to do with a majority. Should we stand behind our democratic values, or ignore what a majority wants so we can benefit a minority? Politics, not principle usually answers that question. It has a tendency to create majorities when they are needed to make a point. One of the worst things that can happen with “vast majority” thinking is that bad people are turned into good people.
If you plan to stomach the State of the Union’s parade of poster children Tuesday night you probably already know what to expect. There will be a lot of talk about guns. Talk about jobs. Talk about the Affordable Care Act. If Obama wants to take a chance, he might even congratulate himself for his nuclear deal with Iran.