Commander in Chief?
March 3, 2010 by John Myers
“The United States needs a Commander in Chief not a professor of law.” –Sarah Palin.
I hate to be a stickler for presidential definitions especially after Bill Clinton said: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” But given President Obama’s woeful performance as America’s Commander in Chief, I think he needs to be educated on the meaning of war.
After all, it was Mr. Obama that said “We are at war,” earlier this year at a White House state dinner.
Yet it is clear that Mr. Obama may not understand what war really means. He is certainly not cut from the same cloth as Ike, nor does he have the fortitude of Reagan.
How do I know? Well the Obama administration openly talks with our adversaries; has terminated the F-22 air-superiority aircraft and has shown a fierce commitment to cutting America’s nuclear arsenal even as impending super-power—China—rises in the east.
A recent issue of Foreign Affairs warns that the world is becoming a more dangerous place. According to the magazine, America’s enemies see war far differently than the President does. “The United States’ overseas conflicts are limited wars only from the U.S. perspective; to adversaries, they are essential. It should not be surprising if they use every weapon at their disposal to stave off total defeat.”
All the while our President is muddling through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In his State of the Union Address Mr. Obama barely made a mention of the Afghan conflict which will involve 100,000 U.S. troops in a war that has persisted for eight years.
Worst of all, the President is undermining morale in our military by putting the enemy on trial and allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
The President and his advisers have become adamant in trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four fellow Guantanamo Bay detainees in New York.
With resistance building over plans to try the accused Sept. 11 mastermind in a civilian court in New York, White House officials are lobbying lawmakers to secure funding.
Thankfully there is opposition. A bipartisan group in Congress is pushing to cut off funding to prosecute Mohammed and other 9-11 co-conspirators in civilian courts.
It is hard to believe if Mr. Obama understands the nature of war when the enemy is afforded a trial and the rights provided within the Constitution of the very nation they are trying to destroy. Imagine if President Truman had put Tojo on trial in Honolulu for planning the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Andrew C. McCarthy believes it is ridiculous to try an enemy and thus provide them with the comforts and rights therein.
“A war is a war,” declared McCarthy. “A war is not a crime, and you don’t bring your enemies to a courthouse.”
McCarthy knows a thing or two about trying terrorists. Fifteen years ago he was front and center in the nation’s biggest terrorism trial as the chief prosecutor against a group led by a blind Egyptian sheik that plotted to blow-up the United Nations, as well as the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels.
The Trouble With Gays in the Military
Recently, President Obama renewed his commitment to allow gays to openly serve in the U.S. military. As a result, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) has emerged as the Senate champion for trying to scrap limits on gay and lesbian service in the military.
Last week Lieberman announced that he would introduce a bill to repeal the ‘Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell’ policy that became law in 1993.
Lieberman said: “To exclude one group of Americans from serving in the armed forces is contrary to our fundamental principles as outlined in the Declaration of Independence, and weakens our defenses…”
Not so fast Joe. There are good reasons for keeping gays out of the military, the least of which isn’t combat effectiveness.
A decade ago one of my best friends, a Gulf War veteran and now a major in the National Guard explained it to me when I questioned him on the subject.
“Keeping gays out of combat has nothing to do with sex,” said my friend who served as an U.S. Army infantry captain in Operation Desert Storm. “It has to do with love.”
He explained that leading men, whether it be a squad, a platoon or a company, meant making tough decisions; decisions that put the men under one’s command in grave danger. Such orders are not easily given under the best of circumstances but are undertaken with the knowledge that what is tantamount is the success of a mission.
My friend—who by the way is a true-blue Democrat—went on to explain that he thought gays in the military would lead to relationships in the field; the kind of relationships that would endanger a mission and compromise the lives of men undertaking them.
To underscore his point my friend the Major asked: “Would you order the love of your life into a dangerous undertaking, even if you knew they were the best person for the job?”
As the 2008 Republican Party Platform correctly stated: "Military priorities and mission must determine personnel policies. Esprit and cohesion are necessary for military effectiveness and success on the battlefield.”
For Mr. Obama not to understand this combat necessity puts into question whether he has a fundamental understanding of the nature of war; enough to be our Commander in Chief.
I am not saying that one must have combat experience to be President. What I am saying is that a good President puts the nation ahead of what he thinks is good politics or what is politically correct.
John Stuart Mill was a 19th Century philosopher, economist and academic. Yet he understood the nature of war.
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things,” said Mill. “The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”
Other words about war that Mr. Obama might want to heed come from the former First Lady Barbara Bush: “War is not nice.”
Neither is it nice sitting back and watching the decline of the U.S. through weak leadership. This is especially true when it not only makes America more vulnerable to our enemies, but also accelerates our economic decline.
You may be asking, “What does any of this have to do with my financial future?” I am glad you inquired.
The U.S. dollar has been the reserve currency of the world for more than half a century. It gained this status not only because of the financial vitality of America but because the U.S. was the ultimate protector against tyranny.
But today America’s precarious economic situation, as well as the serious lack of leadership from its highest office, will only serve to weaken an already crumbling currency.
Action to take: Continue to accumulate hard assets, most important of which is physical gold, silver and platinum.
Yours for real wealth and good health,
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report