25 May 2009

How Memorial Day 2009 Will Be Remembered

First of all, I want to give a shout out to my cousin Nathan currently serving in the US Air Force stationed in Turkey; his father (my uncle), TJ, who served in various roles in the Air Force until retirement in the Air Force, my good friend Scott MacPherson who served in Gulf War I in the Airborne Division, and Bill Stein, who served in the Marines prior to his foray into higher education. Your service, in addition to all who serve, is valued by many and appreciated by all.

However, this Memorial Day is not just a reflection of those who have fallen in duty to their country. Memorial Day 2009 is a look forward at those who have yet to give the ultimate sacrifice for this country. While I know that may sound particularly macabre, it is an inevitable fact that must be acknowledged. More US service personnel will perish in the line of duty protecting and advancing basic human freedoms around the world. It seems to me that more can be done to prevent the unnecessary loss of service personnel lives, not to mention those of innocent citizens.

What brings me to this is the news today of North Korea’s nuclear and missile launch tests. As I noted on May 20th, this president and his administration have been crisis tested just as VP Joe Biden warned during the election campaign. Each time Barack Obama has failed. And in doing so, he has exponentially emboldened rogue states and regimes to continue their illicit activities concerning nuclear and weapons development. Since Barack Obama took office, there have now been two missile tests from North Korea - with a third now expected, a nuclear test, a missile test from Iran, and a direct challenge from Iran’s president to debate ours at the UN annual meetings upcoming. And what has been the administration’s response? A sternly worded condemnation. And what has been the international community’s response? A sternly worded condemnation. How long will it be before these people recognize that the actions of North Korea and Iran speak louder than their false words of diplomacy?

During the campaign season, Obama stated unequivocally that he would meet with such regimes without preconditions. He tried to backtrack on those sentiments and suggested that there would be steps in place (lower level dialogue) to ensure that talks would be productive. Well, as Pastor Jeremiah Wright would say, Obama’s “chickens have come home to roost”. But these are nuclear chickens. In order to get elected, Obama tried to be so different, as former Looney Tunes characters used to say, “It’s so crazy, it just might work.” Well, less than 6 months in, we have our results of Obama’s foreign policy to continue to contain the possible threats of nuclear terrorism. Fail.

Both North Korea and Iran have directly challenged Obama and both have called his bluff. Today another finger-wagging, but again, no bite. Obama talked about pulling back on talks while Secretary of State Clinton just recently referred to six-party talks. Intelligence officials and those in the Department of Defense sent mixed messages about whether they were or weren’t surprised at this test. Now, through these repeated actions, they are raising their hand in class and Obama still isn’t calling on them. You can expect this to continue because the message the administration is sending now is that they have no idea how to deal with this. In fact, the setup Obama provided from the campaign until now has simply made it worse. Both countries know that their allies (China & Russia) will not do anything punitive, and now they know 120 days in that this administration won’t either.

President Clinton played this game and lost. No changes. President Bush played this game and lost. No changes. For the better part of fifteen years, no administration has had the courage to take on either band of terrorists who are as unpredictable in their motives as they are in their actions. John Bolton has been screaming this from the rooftops ever since he was appointed during recess by President Bush as Ambassador to the UN. Hasn’t anyone been listening? Oh, I’m sorry, I mean to anyone other than recent liberal media darling Colin Powell? Meanwhile the press wonders what enchants Mr. Obama most about the presidency…

The reason this makes Memorial Day 2009 so important is because it should mark a turning point in how we deal with these situations. Unfortunately, Obama has not given us the confidence that he can handle it effectively. He’s perplexed at why his approval ratings aren’t higher with them because of his hope and change message. This is not a political, bipartisan, or ideological issue. This is an American issue. Maybe we need to view these deliberate actions as the aggressive threats they really are and respond equally with military force. Rest assured that would send a message much stronger than a lecture you give an unruly teenager.

It’s time we changed tactics. Continued inaction reflects a true lack of will. How do we know this isn’t North Korea or Iran’s sales pitch to terrorists to see who can get successfully-tested nuclear weapons into Tel Aviv, New York or Washington? Can we afford to wait and find out? No. Can we continue to let UN Security Council resolutions go unenforced? No. How long before WE finally decide that OUR ACTIONS will speak louder than our words?

We keep daring these countries to cross a line in the sand. And guess what? They’ve done it time and time again. And what do we do? Just draw another line in the sand. Folks, we’re now standing knee deep in the ocean, and each line gets washed away as soon as we draw it.

Memorial Days to come will have us reflecting on these clear and present threats to international security and honoring those who gave their lives in the line of service defending against it. But the real question is, if we have seen this pattern emerge over three administrations, why is it that we don’t do more to prevent the ultimate burden from being placed on future generations of our armed forces?

It’s 3 AM, Mr. President. How will you answer the phone?


Post a Comment

Comments will be moderated for offensive content. As they say, don't write anything your Mother wouldn't approve of.