American Elephants


The Official Foreign Policy of the Obama Admistration by The Elephant's Child

This is actually a clip from the British comedy series “Yes, Minister,” but it seems so precisely applicable, and funny, that I couldn’t resist. The comedy that captures accurately the foibles of humanity is always the best, though we like the comedy of the other guy’s foibles better than when our own are exposed.



Fickle Foreign Policy, Increased Risk. by The Elephant's Child

I rely a good deal on Richard Epstein’s take on President Obama. Epstein knew Obama at the University of Chicago, and through Epstein’s next-door neighbor, who is one of Obama’s best friends. Epstein’s description of Obama was simply a clear-eyed assessment of the man, but not pejorative. It was a fair assessment. One particular thing he said has stuck with me. He says that Obama does not change his mind. If he once believed something, he still believes it today.

Early on, Obama expressed his idea that the crisis and trouble in the Middle East was entirely due to Israel’s refusal to make peace with the Palestinians, and if the Israelis are forced to make peace, return land to Palestine, and give Palestinians the “right of return” then there would be peace in the entire Middle East — Obama’s great accomplishment.

This seems a remarkably strange take on a group who teach their little children to hate Israel, bomb Israeli cities and houses, and grow up to be suicide bombers. But that is clearly the marching orders Obama has given to Kerry.  “In a short time, John Kerry has managed to make the Israelis and the Arabs hate him almost as much as American do. And he did it in the traditional way by saying stupid and ugly things.”

The State Department hastened to say that Kerry didn’t really mean that, “Today’s status quo absolutely to a certainty, I promise you 100 percent, cannot be maintained. It’s not sustainable. It’s illusionary.” That’s what he said at the Munich Security Conference. But that same status quo has been maintained for two decades.

How odd that you seldom see mention in the press of the Palestinian children needing complicated heart surgery or other advanced medical treatment, and the Israelis step in and save lives. Syrians bring their badly wounded people to the Israeli border in hopes that the Israelis will save them. Obama clearly has no interest in foreign policy, and wants America to pull back and let others cope with it. He has no understanding of the nature of the world.

Angelo M. Codevilla is professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University and a fellow of the Claremont Institute.  He is the author of To Make and Keep Peace Among Ourselves And With All Nations to be published by the Hoover Institution Press. His article for The Federalist: “Obama’s Unserious Foreign Policy And America’s Permanent War Footing,” is really worth your time. The subtitle”Fickle foreign policy, increased risk”sums it up.

He ended the war in Iraq, and is ending the war in Afghanistan. In Syria, he is supporting the good guys. He has put al Qaeda “on the path to defeat, and is doing the same to all similar folk. He is ridding Syria of Chemical weapons, while American diplomacy is at work settling the Arab-Israeli war – the key to a larger peace. He asked Americans to believe that Obama is moving the country “off a permanent war footing.” How, he gave no hint. It is difficult to imagine foreign nations, friend and foe alike, taking any of this seriously. Or Americans for that matter.

In fact, foreigners ceased taking Obama seriously long ago. That is one reason why so much of the world is moving in directions that do not augur well for America.

Do read the whole thing.



Worst Loss for Marine Squadron VMA-211 Since Wake Island. by The Elephant's Child

The U.S. Marine Corps has suffered its worst air squadron catastrophe since Vietnam. The VMA-211 squadron has taken its worst hit since the defense of Wake Island in World War II. On Friday, September 14, at around 10:15 p.m. local time, a force of Taliban gunmen attacked Camp Bastion, in Helmand Province — the main strategic base in southwestern Afghanistan.

Fewer than two dozen insurgents wearing U.S. Army uniforms, divided into three teams, breached the perimeter fence and assaulted the airfield. That includes the  U.S. Camp Leatherneck and the U.K.’s Camp Bastion where Prince Harry, an AH-64 Apache pilot is stationed. The Taliban reportedly are anxious to get Prince Harry, who would prefer to be treated just like anyone else.

The attack killed VMA-211 squadron commander Lt. Col. Christopher Raible and destroyed or permanently disabled eight of the ten top-of-the-line Harrier AV-8B attack aircraft in his squadron. The Harrier has been out of production for more than a decade, and the aircraft can never be replaced.

The attackers had RPGs, AK47s, perhaps mortars, and used a suicide vest to breach the perimeter fence. Two Marines were killed in the fighting.

This is a serious loss for the Marines. With the loss of the planes, the coalition ground forces cannot count on the close air support provided by the Harrier. The Marines were compelled to buy second-hand RAF Harrier GR9s to keep the AB-8B in service beyond 2030 when it will be replaced by the F-35B.The Marines, I believe, have a long history of ‘making do’ for their equipment usually arrives after everyone else is supplied.

This is all terrible news, and not widely reported. The media arm of the Obama campaign doesn’t want to cast any shadows on his claim of foreign policy expertise, though he’d doing a fair job of that to himself.




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