The speech in question was delivered the same night as another well anticipated speech by President Obama, but unfortunately the President’s speech had little that made it particularly distinctive of being Presidential. Just a few comments on ‘The Plan’ as presented by President Obama first. The concept behind the plan presented by President Obama seemed eerily familiar with its call for air support to turn the tides on the ground for those already having difficulty holding their ground against the juggernaut we will simply refer to as ISIS. There is some hope that such assistance will be put to good use by the Kurdish Peshmerga Militias as they have already shown the willingness to take on ISIS even before the United States provided assistance. The same cannot be said about the Iraqi military which dropped their weapons, left their equipment behind and threw away their uniforms and attempted to blend into the population rather than engage with the initial advance of ISIS into central western Iraq. This tactic of retreat and blend did not turn out so well for many of the Iraqi military troops; especially those who were Shiite were turned over by the predominantly Sunni population who had little love for the Shiite countrymen. The ensuing horrors were gruesome and beyond detestable. President Obama is betting that by simply applying air support and a few advisors Special Forces groups, who have been instructed to advise only and not take part in any of the direct fighting, will add the necessary additional impetus to turn the advancing ISIS forces into retreat in time. President Obama might have wanted to consult former President Clinton and asked him how effective the air only campaign worked for him in the areas of the former Yugoslavia when supporting the breakaway Kosovars against Serbia. Perhaps the former President could have advised the current President of the difficulties in target acquisition from thirty-thousand feet above the ground when flying at near or over Mach speeds. He could have offered how ineffective the air campaign proved against military forces which were very successful at disguising their positions and placing fake tanks and other military hardware made of plywood and equipped with a few gallons of petrol providing the explosion to make the strike appear to have actually destroyed actual targets when only decoys had been struck. The military reviews of this Balkan air campaign proved both embarrassing and educational giving an excellent display of the limitations and the ease with which simple and inexpensive tactics are very capable at neutralizing airpower which is not supported by competent and trained ground personnel. So, President Obama has decided that airpower supported by forces which have mostly proven inadequate in facing ISIS will prove sufficient to deter any further advances and eventually defeat ISIS. There is one item which must be granted the Obama plan; President Obama placed a long term many years, maybe decades, time scale for the eventual defeat of ISIS which places the burden for victory on his successor and removes any responsibility or expectations off of President Obama and onto the next President. Hopefully the next President will be chosen carefully and intelligently by the American voting public, one who is well prepared to face and address the threat the whole world wide.
The Presidential worthy speech was given that same night also from Washington, D.C. which was given as the keynote address at the inaugural dinner of the “In Defense of Christians” organization, a newly formed NGO in order to address the persecutions of Christians in the Middle East. We will never know what the intended length the prepared speech would have been or the entirety of what was planned to be stated. The reason was that the invited speaker apparently misjudged his audience and their particularities, loves, hatreds and other proclivities. The invited keynote speaker was Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a well-known gadfly who has absolutely no problems with upturning the applecart or bucking the status quo. He has taken to the floor of the United States Senate, sometimes referred to as one of the most austere and reserved deliberative halls on Earth. Still, Senator Cruz during one of his filibuster sessions saw no problem with reciting his own particular rendition of Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” before the less than amused fellow Senators. Needless to say this was used to pillory Senator Cruz by the press and by the opposition Senators who feigned being unamused, how anybody could really be offended and unamused by such a grandiose stunt. This particular night those unappreciative of what Senator Cruz had to say were even less polite and far more aggressive and uninhibited when compared to his Senate compatriots. Apparently, Senator Cruz strayed well into forbidden territory early in his speech and his audience took no prisoners as they let their feelings be known and known without reservation. The reports of the confrontations were titled with titles such as “Senator Cruz booed Off Stage” or similar and some even more descriptive phraseology. So, what could Senator Cruz, described as the consummate Christian, have possibly told his audience of Christians to produce such an aggressive response? Perhaps it would be best told by listening to the entire five minute and fifteen seconds before having to exit the stage, and in defense of Senator Cruz, it was an orderly retreat after one final verbal cannonade. If the video does not appear it can be <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2ZVihACwQ0>viewed here.</a>
Senator Cruz probably misjudged his audience forgetting to take into consideration that these were Christians from the Middle East. Further, many of those Christians from the Middle East were from Syria and Lebanon, where those from Syria were supporters of Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad and some of those from Lebanon were supporters of Hezballah as by supporting these interests served their interest in living without being persecuted. In the case of Syria’s Bashir al-Assad the Syrian Christians were protected by the secular nationalist Assad from the threats and horrors promised by the Islamist forces and in Lebanon Christians in the south lived amongst Hezballah controlled areas and thus acted with this in mind, and in both cases the Jihadi were Sunnis. Lebanese Christians who resided in the Northern areas of Lebanon lived amongst Sunni Islamists and thus supported these forces and were not so inclined to support Hezballah but would support potential Jihadi, but Sunni and thus were aligned against Shiites. It can easily be assessed that the majority of those in the audience lived in areas outside of Israel and thus also areas where there are no Jews in residence and the prevalent attitude could be described accurately as anti-Israel and anti-Zionist and potentially as anti-Semitic. Senator Cruz made an error in judgment when he equated the existence of anti-Christian with the anti-Semitism, anti-Israel and anti-Zionism prevalent in the nations of the Middle East. This reference by Senator Cruz equating the anti-Christian hatreds with what he viewed as similar anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-Zionist hatreds also prevalent in the Middle East he was met with a combination of tepid applause and overt heckling and catcalls. Unlike many lesser human beings, Senator Cruz was initially unfazed by the disturbances and attempted to continue with his prepared speech. This proved problematic and one of the organizers was forced to appear and plead for quiet and respect stating that this was the United States and not the Middle East as if this insignificant fact of geography would make any difference to the injured sensitivities of the hecklers. It didn’t. It rapidly became obvious to Senator Cruz that he would not be permitted to continue with his speech as it was written, so he performed on the fly ad-libbing his comments from that point forward. Senator Cruz did anything but back down, as you witnessed. His final comment before surrendering the stage was a perfect and stately topper to his performance as he wished the entire assembly, including his hecklers, “Thank you, and G0d bless you.” He waved, turned and walked calmly from the podium. His stand to not stand with those who refused to stand with all who are threatened by extreme Islamist Jihadi was simply stated without emotional expressions or raised voice, just a statement evenly delivered which somehow increased its impact though it will likely not have any transformational effects, as once hatreds are instilled in a person from their earliest years and reinforced throughout their lives, freeing oneself from such hatreds becomes near impossible. Senator Cruz probably realized this and did the best with a bad situation and stated what he felt he must present and did so economically thus muting the hecklers who were probably shocked to have a speaker not wilt from their challenge and speak right back with purpose and strength of convictions, very likely for the first time in their lives. God bless you Senator Ted Cruz and thank you for your unwavering support and well stated position in the face of inhuman hatreds.
Beyond the Cusp