Beyond the Cusp

October 26, 2013

Transforming America

One of the mantras used by President Obama during his first Hope and Change campaign was that he would basically transform America. He claimed that he would make the United States Constitution into a promise of positive liberties instead of a document of negative liberties which tied the hands of government instead of forcing government to act. President Obama did not likely realize this at the time but he was simply following in the footsteps of the majority of former Presidents, he was just more vocal and moved the ball across the field of play faster and further than most. There was a reason why the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution in such a manner as to strictly define those powers allowed to the Federal Government and then adding in Amendment IX that the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. In addition the Founding Fathers went even further in the next with Amendment X restraining the Federal Government exclaiming that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. One trait of governance that the Founding Fathers knew all too well was the inclination for government to desire to grow in scope, size, power, and control. Having government do more is an easy task, just don’t oppose it and government will acquire new powers and simply continue to gather more power to itself hoarding everything it takes in and never relenting on powers assumed. My bet is President Obama knew this and was counting on there being no resistance allowing him to grow government through including goodies in the form of giveaways spread to varied and different groups such that everybody would feel like they were getting something for nothing. That is where President Obama may have gone too far as he awakened within an otherwise normally quiet group the spark of preserving that which they vaguely, some more so than others, the warnings from the Founding Fathers and other notable Constitutionalists from throughout American history. Probably one of the most pessimistic predictions came from the same pen that wrote the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson who has been quoted, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”


Another statement from President Obama was noting that people from every nation believes their home country to be exceptional and that American exceptionalism is no different than British or French or any other nation’s exceptionalism. There is much truth in that statement from President Obama as his actions in remaking the United States such that should he complete what he envisions for the United States, the United States would be indistinguishable from any European nation and would fit perfectly within the European Union and could just as readily adopt the Euro and drop the dollar. This would very probably be seen as a great stride forward by President Obama though there are a fair number of Americans who would recoil in horror from just the thought of such. Already the United States has approached the European national average for unemployment, is currently installing what will eventually become a single payer government run healthcare system, expect it to be sooner rather than later, and there are record numbers of people collecting a wide variety of Federal Government monetary payouts from numerous programs and the workforce has dropped to one of the lowest percentages of eligible workers in modern history. In foreign policy President Obama has gone to great lengths to make the United States as unremarkable as possible. He has almost completely lost any influence or other gains that may have been the result from the Afghan and Iraq wars by completely mishandling the peace efforts resulting in Iraq becoming just another arm under Iranian control and being used by Iran as a friendly skies and highways for funneling weapons and IRGC troops to Bashir al-Assad in Syria. Meanwhile the Taliban has become resurgent in Afghanistan while al-Qaeda has turned much of Iraq into a bomb range setting off car and truck bombs as well as suicide bombers detonating themselves often in police stations or at checkpoints making the position of Iraqi policeman an extremely dangerous position. The violence has risen to levels not seen since before the surge, which should have resulted in victory had the peace been handled more competently. The coup de grâce to the United States reputation of being the turn to nation and the exceptional friend in times of need came in two parts, the first in Benghazi and the second over the Red Line and Syria. In both cases the inability of the United States to either back their own and rescue men fighting valiantly for hours and still not receiving any relief or reinforcement despite numerous assets within close proximity was a disgrace that reflected badly on American armed forces despite that the real collapse was from somewhere much higher and the American servicemen and servicewomen were prevented from responding despite their readiness and willingness. Whomever originated the stand-down order should be shamed as well as tried for crimes against the nation and those who died valiantly trying to protect others as well as themselves and the American honor. The debacle that was the lack of response, direction, clarity, or any definition would be the response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. In what should have been a ready response already been assigned to special forces units who would have then planned, practiced, and trained for every conceivable contingency just needing the go order to response as President Obama had threatened instead turned into the Keystone Cops meet the Three Stooges except nowhere near as amusing. The inaction, dithering, lack of leadership, and apparent vacuum of leadership from the very top was an embarrassment especially when Russian President Putin of all people had to ride to President Obama’s rescue. There was sufficient egg on Uncle Sam’s face to feed an entire battalion breakfast. The entire affair was a complete embarrassment period.


There is some good news that I saved to end. Much of what has dragged the United States down off her pedestal, a place she has earned numerous times by aiding and rescuing others and then giving them a helping hand in rebuilding or rescue or whatever the need without asking for anything in return has been the responsibility of the lack of honest leadership in the White House. When the United States elects a President who has it as their main effort to restore the reputation of the United States, then she will once again climb back on that pedestal. It is as the Carlie Daniels Band says it in their song, “In America”, “This lady may have stumbled but she ain’t never fell.” There have been times in American history when isolationism has been the policy and politics of the day but when the world needed a savior the United States always has awakened and saved the free world. The one hope is that the United States has recovered before the world comes calling to be saved another time. There is little doubt that the American people will be ready even if that day comes tomorrow and even if the leaders of the nation would prefer to sleep through and not respond, the people will make the final choice. What many do not realize is the greatness of the United States does not lie with the day-to-day leadership but rather it lies in the leadership, philosophies, and radical ideals upon which she was founded. Never before or since in the history of man has a more enlightened, knowledgeable, wise, and able group of people come together to form a nation based on the guarantee of human and individual rights, the noble nature and creation of the human being, freedoms, liberties and faith that there is a higher source which defines goodness and provides guidance for behaviors which allow for the betterment of the human condition. The Founding Fathers wrote the documents upon which America was built and that foundation was strong and can still be resurrected and applied today. The magic is that they wrote the entirety of these documents in what was plain language of the day and is easily understood still in modern times. They used a great efficiency of words, something our current politicians should learn to emulate and have no more multiple thousands of pages legislation written in legalese codes. Perhaps we can limit all future legislation to being in total less words than used in the Declarations of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights combined. I wonder if the long winded fools currently in Congress could manage such a task, and I know there are a select few who do not fit that description, but it is unfortunately a select few and not the majority. That is the electorates’ fault and something that would require an educated and involved electorate which I have no idea how such can be brought forth. But there is always hope, but always ask what the change is when somebody links hopes to change.


Beyond the Cusp


September 20, 2013

Countdown to Another Middle East War

Everyone is lauding Russian President Vladimir Putin for coming to the rescue of the seemingly inept American President Barack Obama who was dithering in an obvious plea to the world to give him a redo on drawing that “Red Line” on the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict which the United States held could only result from Syrian Dictator Bashir al-Assad’s orders. Of course President Obama had ignored some previous reports in which the French and the British had claimed they had proof that chemical weapons had been used. One of these reports had also been ratified by Israeli intelligence. As it turns out, the August 21st use of chemical weapons was of sufficient intensity to cause reportedly over one-thousand fatalities and thousands more severely sickened from exposure but who were expected to live though after even the slightest exposure to Sarin and other nerve agents results in a shortened lifespan and permanently impinges on one’s quality of life. President Obama initially took a hesitant and stuttered start in his actions to the proof of the chemical attack which displayed his ill ease at actually taking any military action. Had he acted boldly and committed a measured attack which enforced his “Red Line” while not drastically changing the balance of power the President may have been free and clear. He could have then followed such an attack up announcing the necessity for international intervention to gather and destroy all of the chemical weapons within Syria and requested Russian assistance as a signatory to the chemical weapons ban. Then President Obama would have retained what little credibility he had and may have even gained some credibility by acting with a measured response that was firm, appropriate, and immediate enough to avoid any interference or condemnation from around the world or at home. But since he sputtered and stalled there was sufficient time for a public outcry to be sounded and a doubtful world perceived weakness and a complete lack of backbone and fecklessness making the United States to temporarily relinquish its superpower status. This loss of direction led to Russia stepping into the void and gathering to itself the mantle of equal if not superior power to the United States on the world stage. How long this situation will remain after President Obama is replaced in January 21, 2017 when the new President takes his oath of office. The new ascension of Russia to reassert herself back into the equal role once held by the Soviet Union on the world stage will need to be reinforced once the United States is under new leadership and the level of difficulty the Russian leadership will face will be totally dependent on the vote of the American people. It will depend on whether or not they have learned that the position the United States holds in the world is directly dependent on the President’s ability to manage foreign affairs and the President’s ability to hold his head high and project strength and competence, not insecurity, uncertainty, and hesitancy as President Obama has shown on the Syrians crossing his “Red Line”.


What is ominous is that despite being given a hand out, but not up, by President Putin, President Obama has attempted to reclaim some of his lost machismo by stating that the possibility of a strike by the United States has not been completely ruled out and remains as a fallback position should al-Assad and Putin not deliver on their promises to gather and destroy the Syrian stores of chemical weapons. It is highly doubtful that these protestations of President Obama are being taken seriously by both Presidents Putin and al-Assad. The real problem of President Obama even mentioning the existence of a United States attack on Syria for any reason at this point will very likely be ignored at best and at worst pushed and tested if for no other reason than to embarrass President Obama further and knocking the United States deterrent and ability to exert any influence on the world stage even lower. Yet it appears that President Obama feels that he must necessarily act to regain some of his lost prestige despite the fact that by doing so he risks placing himself and the United States right back in a position of act or be embarrassed. It is likely that should President Obama find himself in a similar position again he will act rashly and commit to an attack that would be far larger than he claims he and his advisors had ever envisioned. Such an extreme and undesirable attack could very easily lead to responses from Russia who would feel betrayed and find such an action by President Obama as a personal affront worthy of a direct response. Syria could make good on their threat to attack Israel with a massive rocket barrage which could be coordinated with Hezballah out of Lebanon even with the chance that chemical weapons being launched along with the high explosive rounds leading to untold catastrophe in Israel whose response would be immediate and of unimaginable intensity. It is also possible that Iran would also launch their ballistic missiles at Israel which would simply lead to a wider and more massive retaliation by the Israelis. What happens after that is anybody’s guess but it definitely would not simply rest at that point. There would be the possibility of a broader Arab and Islamic attack on Israel which might press the point where if chemical weapons had been utilized would result in a final attack utilizing all of the Israeli arsenal of weapons. Then one must understand that after such an exchange nobody can be sure of what would come next, but any hope for it to simply end there is very small. And this is what is being risked by President Obama with his threats of, Syria has not heard the end of me and may still face a military response if they do not meet the demands placed on them by the United Nations and the Russian-American agreement that has been worked out. You have made enough of a mess, Mr. President, please just sit down and accept that you have no credibility on the world stage and it has been your own doing, or lack of doing. The time for you to have acted is long past and you need to let it be and return to your equally unimpressive economical stimuli and government healthcare atrocity.


Beyond the Cusp


September 14, 2013

Has America Lost its Credibility and Super Power Status?

With the recent standoff over presumed use of chemical weapons on civilians which supposedly murdered over fourteen-hundred innocents many have claimed that the United States appeared weak, indecisive, and excessively tentative eventually backing away from enforcing President Obama’s declared red lines. This has sparked claims that America has lost her super power status and is no longer to be respected as any red lines or other ultimatums made in her name are likely just hot air and empty threats. But is it true that the United States has become a secondary level player or worse in the world or is it something less severe? Perhaps America is still the super power the world has depended upon to come to the rescue of Europe through two world wars and acted as the world’s nation of first and last resort. It is where nations turn after natural disasters and such will continue despite the presumed trauma suffered by the Syria debacle. So, what is the reality concerning the United States; has she fallen from grace or simply had a bad encounter from which she should return with her familiar roar.


Fortunately for the future of mankind, America is the same super power and retains her ability to come to the rescue of the world, save nations and people from natural disasters, and come to the answer no matter when, where or who is in need no questions asked and then go home when the difficult circumstances have been resolved without saying a word or demanding compensation, never expecting to receive gratitude as she has become accustomed to being taken for granted. This episode is simply the rest of the world exercising their favorite pastime, ridiculing the United States at the slightest stumble reveling in her embarrassment while ridiculing Americans apparent weakness and stupidity knowing full well that should they meet disaster and cry out for the Americans to save them, she will come without regard for the scorn and not expecting any apology or explanation and treat those in need with careful care and compassion which is only possible when you are self-assured that you are above threats and able to answer any real challenge. Sure there are the jealous wannabes ridiculing the powerful one which has had a moment of poor leadership, but that is all this is, a moment of poor leadership and America knows that she gets to choose a new leader whenever necessary every four years. Though it has yet been necessary to actually push a leader from the Presidency, though one did depart under fire, there is also the path to make changes within the four year cycle should such prove necessary.


No, my friends, the United States of America is still the last best hope of mankind, the example for others to emulate, the proud but humble, hardworking, ever giving, charitable, savior of the distressed, super power she was for as long as we can remember. America has not fallen, not even really stumbled; she has had a crisis of one person, her President who came up wanting in a difficult situation of his own making. There will be those in the world who will mock America in this moment of imperfection, but her friends will continue to know she is their best hope and best of all possible friends while her detractors will revel in her momentary lack of will through inadequate personal leadership of her President but still fear to press her too far or make threats because they think her fallen for they know the reality is she is still the strongest and most righteous of powers. No, America is still that shining city on the hill and retains her pride and shine and the Red, White and Blue, the Stars and Stripes still wave and her National Anthem, all three verses, still describe her heart and will which none should test lest they wish to feel her wrath. America is still slow to anger and quick to forgive beyond the understanding of her enemies and the gratitude of her friends. America is the hope and shall retain every ounce of pride as it is all deserved. A President has stumbled, there will be a new one coming along, so be careful of your scorn for America does have a long memory, ask those who have thought to test it before, the Barbary Pirates, the English, the Germans, all tested her twice and found her up to respond to the task each time. America still stands tall, proud, and decent, like always has been and will continue for the foreseeable future. Enough said.


Beyond the Cusp


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