Filed under: Election 2012, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, National Security, The United States | Tags: A Strong America Deters Wars, Real Leadership, U.S. Foreign Policy
“If America doesn’t lead, others will.”
That simple declaration in his foreign policy speech today at the Virginia Military Institute, Mitt Romney demonstrated his membership in the reality-based community. If America is perceived to be weak, others will move into the vacuum. President Obama’s hope-based, timid, naive foreign policy has already shown that what he understands as a move to make America just one among the many nations of the world, is perceived as weakness by other nations. President Obama has confused popularity with the public with the national interest.
A central truth of the last 200 years of American history is that American weakness harms us, and harms the world. Tyranny arises when America is weak. Americans may be weary of war, but there are fewer wars when America is strong. The consequences of apology and appeasement are apparent.
Ninety minutes after news of the attack on the consulate in Benghazi reached Washington, Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, JCS Chair General Martin Dempsey and a national security adviser met for an oval office meeting in which they ultimately rejected U.S. military intervention. Instead, they decided to reach out to the Libyan government to ask them to send reinforcements.
Ambassador Stevens had begged for reinforcements. When the U.S. Personnel at the consulate left the main building for what was supposed to be a safe house, the deployment of forces seemed moot. In hindsight, we might have sent aircraft from the base in Sicily. a show of force might have given the attackers second thoughts. The State Department dismissed this option as “unrealistic.” When the ambassador and the other three Americans were killed, Obama headed off for a Las Vegas fund-raiser.
Lt. Col Wood, head of the Special Forces Site Security Team in Libya, says his team left Libya in August, although he met daily with Stevens and security was a constant challenge. He said they tried to communicate the danger to State Department officials in Washington, but officials denied requests to boost security.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban mock the U.S. claiming that NATO forces are “fleeing Afghanistan” in “humiliation and disgrace.” Courageous CBS correspondent Lara Logan delivered a speech to about 1,000 influential people from government, politics, media and the legal and corporate arena, in downtown Chicago. Her message was derived from years of covering our Middle East wars.
There is this narrative coming out of Washington for the last two years, Logan said. It is driven in part by Taliban apologists who claim they are just the poor moderate gentler, kinder Taliban. It’s such nonsense.
Eleven years later, ‘they’ still hate us, now more than ever. The Taliban and al-Qaeda have not been vanquished. They’re coming back.
I chose this subject because one, I can’t stand, that there is a major lie being propagated.
Logan stepped way out of the “objective,” journalistic role. The audience was riveted as she told of plowing through reams of documents, and interviewing John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan; Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and a Taliban commander trained by al-Qaida. The Taliban and al-Qaida are teaming up and recruiting new terrorists to do us deadly harm, she reports.
She made a passionate case that our government is downplaying the strength of our enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as a rationale of getting us out of the longest war. We have been lulled into believing that the perils are in the past: “You’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight. In your arrogance, you think you write the script.”
Our enemies are writing the story, she suggests, and there’s no happy ending for us.
Intelligence officials are angered by Obama administration cover up of intelligence on Iranian, al Qaeda surge in Egypt and Libya, reports Bill Gertz. Numerous classified reports reveal clear Iranian support for jihadists throughout North Africa and the Middle East, as well as al Qaeda penetration into Egypt and Libya.
Some have been encouraged by Obama’s “kill list” and using drones to attack terrorists as a less costly way to wage war, but not even the White House knows the drones’ body count. Government officials claim they are very-precise killing machines that never miss their targets, but other estimates suggest many civilian deaths, including children. Nobody knows. There is no serious evidence. The administration seems to consider every military-aged male in a hostile region to be a legitimate target. This may have long term repercussions.
Here is the transcript of Mitt Romney’s Foreign Policy Speech to VMI today. It was titled “The Mantle of Leadership.” Read the whole thing. I am encouraged.