To a captive, unenthusiastic audience at West Point. (the address of the decade fell flat)
Obama found his voice on terrorism, after running around on the campaign, in the second half of his first term, talking as if the threat was dwindling or beaten back badly. Now there is no denying terrorism is alive and thriving. In fact, it is about everywhere. So he tries it out at West Point.
But while he attempts to convince graduating cadets that they could be “sent on murkier missions, helping endangered nations deal with their own terrorist groups”(NYT), he calls Boko Haram an “extremist group”. If he’s afraid to use the terrorism word, after kidnapping almost 300 girls, then the thing that is murky here is Obama.
“We have to develop a strategy that matches this diffuse threat; one that expands our reach without sending forces that stretch our military too thin, or stirs up local resentments,” Mr. Obama declared. “We need partners to fight terrorists alongside us.”
Sure don’t want to stir up any local resentment by fighting terrorism. If we want to help/train other countries, what do they learn or interpret from calling Boko Haram an “extremist group”. If we can’t call them terrorists, what purpose does he suggest for sending soldiers to remote places on murky missions? We’ve seen how he has the back of his own ambassador in Benghazi. One of Obama’s own missions he sent them on.
Now he is talking about murkier missions after demonstrating how he abandons efforts in places like Iraq, where we invested blood and treasure for years. What an adventure those murky missions sound like. It is Obama making missions murky.
Note that it is New York Times describing “murky missions” for deployment of troops. Still, it sets a fairly accurate tone for Obama’s mission.
Today, as part of this effort, I am calling on Congress to support a new counterterrorism partnerships fund of up to $5 billion, which will allow us to train, build capacity and facilitate partner countries on the front lines. And these resources will give us flexibility to fulfill different missions, including training security forces in Yemen who’ve gone on the offensive against al-Qaida, supporting a multinational force to keep the peace in Somalia, working with European allies to train a functioning security force and border patrol in Libya and facilitating French operations in Mali.
To call Somalia or Yemen murky missions would be an understatement. He’s concerned about border patrol and security in Libya?
“For the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism.”
Well, except when certain campaigns, or candidates, render terrorism a non-issue: on the ropes, pretty much defeated. It’s also great to be working with and funding Muslim Brotherhood, or having Mo-Bro operatives in high positions in the administration. Lecture us about real threats of terrorism. Sounds just as murky as those other places.
Since World War II, some of our most costly mistakes came not from our restraint, but from our willingness to rush into military adventures – without thinking through the consequences; without building international support and legitimacy for our action, or leveling with the American people about the sacrifice required. Tough talk draws headlines, but war rarely conforms to slogans. As General Eisenhower, someone with hard-earned knowledge on this subject, said at this ceremony in 1947: “War is mankind’s most tragic and stupid folly; to seek or advise its deliberate provocation is a black crime against all men.”
Now Obama needs to show us where he sees Eisenhower’s example. Where did we “deliberately provoke” war? No, not Iraq either, that dog doesn’t hunt.
And I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm’s way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed fixing, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak. ….
And because the costs associated with military action are so high, you should expect every civilian leader – and especially your Commander-in-Chief – to be clear about how that awesome power should be used. …
Of course, skeptics often downplay the effectiveness of multilateral action. For them, working through international institutions, or respecting international law, is a sign of weakness. I think they’re wrong.
Right, his opponents don’t want to follow international law, and see that as a sign of weakness. Stop with disingenuous straw-man arguments. But we don’t want to rely on it and we must remain a sovereign nation — a nation of laws. And this administration is challenged at following our own laws. He doubled the attack:
I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions.
Standing on his phoney American exceptionalism platform, he attacks us for flouting international norms. In fact, it is the other way around: he flouts American norms and our rule of law, even throwing it in our faces. So lecture on Obama. He seems to think what makes him exceptional is flouting our laws and norms.
He also unleashed a critique on places around the globe:
The cancer of corruption has enriched too many governments and their cronies and enraged citizens from remote villages to iconic squares.
Maybe he should look closer to home? Could he face those problems here, right in front of his nose? But short of trying to ban the word scandal, he hasn’t had much of a response. So with an epidemic of cronyism or corruption right here, it’s hard to imagine how bad it can get elsewhere. Thus, what he proposes is working with other corrupt regimes. But reflexively, he then exempts a “boots on the ground” plan in Syria. If people were not thrilled about Syria involvement, I can only imagine how they’ll feel about missions in Somalia or Yemen.
The NY Times had it right using the word “murky mission”, though what is really murky is Obama. And if he chooses missions the same way he picks winners and losers in the economy, we’re in for a real bumpy ride.
Washington Times reported:
“Receiving tepid applause and a short standing ovation from less than one-quarter of the audience upon his introduction, Obama argued for a contradictory foreign policy that relies on NATO and the United Nations while insisting that ‘America must always lead on the world stage.”
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