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

 

April 28, 2013

Empty Threats

President Obama has managed to take the full might and power of the United States of America and make it as impotent as a child who threatens to hold their breath until they turn blue. Once again this week President Obama stepped up and reiterated his willingness to act should Bashir Assad or either rebel group utilize any of Syria’s extensive stores of chemical weapons. His actions were necessitated by reports of possible use of said chemical weapons as reported by the intelligence agencies of France and Britain. These reports coincided with a more strongly worded statement from the head of Israeli military intelligence that President Bashir Assad had indeed used his chemical weapons. The Israeli communicated that they had proof that Syrian troops had released Sarin nerve agent on two occasions and not just military grade tear gas whose use had been reported earlier. This was likely stressed as President Obama had discounted the use of the military grade tear gas as not being sufficient to cross President Obama’s red line on chemical weapon use. The Israeli report was initially confirmed by United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel who later retreated from his position claiming to have been surprised by the Israeli claim as they had not informed him while he had been visiting Israel earlier on the week. So, where does that leave things?

 

The thing about the Israeli claim is it was backed up by the Syrian rebel forces which are currently receiving nonlethal supplies from Western powers when they admitted to knowledge that Israeli agents were working within Syria and would quite likely have first-hand evidence of any chemical weapons use. For the rebels to actually admit to the presence of Israelis inside Syria is a rather bold statement that would not be issued lightly. Despite the mounting evidence that Bashir Assad has resorted to using his chemical weapons, President Obama has chosen inaction and a simple restatement of his initial threat that any use of chemical weapons by either side would result in immediate action by the United States. When the initial reports of potential use of chemical weapons was issued by Britain and France President Obama requested clarification as to which chemicals were known to have been released. When it was then reported that there were suspicions of possible caustic chemicals as well as the aforementioned tear gas, President Obama dismissed the rumored use of caustic agents dismissing them as equally possible industrial chemicals such as chlorine being accidentally released as a result of the use of explosive munitions. When President Obama backed off these initial reports it might have been understandable that the American threshold to qualify as chemical weapons use was higher than that of their European allies and Israel. But with the reports of Sarin gas being released on the battlefields of Syria one might expect a reaction from the United States at least somewhat stronger than words, especially a stale repetition of the President’s original warnings. Does President Obama really believe that setting a red line and then when it is violated, simply resetting the red line will gain respect from the likes of Bashir Assad, a treacherous dictator who has already murdered tens of thousands of his own countrymen and sent millions into exile will recoil in fear from mere words that President Obama has given indication he never intended to back with actual actions?

 

And Bashir Assad is far from the only world leader watching to see if President Obama is a credible leader who backs his words with actions. There is always North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, another one who likes to hear himself threaten. The one thing absolutely necessary to keep the likes of Kim Jong-Un impotent is to mean action when one threatens to use it. If Kim Jong-Un expects for a minute that any threat of action by the United States is not going to be actually executed, then he is very likely to act on his threats in the belief that there would be no real consequences. And Kim Jong-Un is not the most dangerous of threats on the international stage. There is Iran and the Ayatollahs with their nuclear project which thus far words have proven to be less than useless, yet here too President Obama appears to be satisfied to talk until a nuclear Iran is a verified fact and a half a dozen cities around the world lie as smoldering ruins. With new leadership in Mainland China there is a need for the words of the President of the United States to have great weight, not great doubts. It is for exactly such reasons that President Obama must not allow his word to become a matter for questions rather than being taken at face value and his every word heeded. It is for reasons of credibility that President Obama may find necessity requiring him to act against the Syrian chemical weapons threat. It is not necessary for United States military forces to put boots on the ground as all that is required to fulfill President Obama’s warnings against the use of chemical weapons would be to destroy the chemical weapon storage facilities. My bet would be that should President Obama decide to commit a couple of B-2 stealth bombers, as he did in a show of strength to Kim Jong-Un, to actually bomb the Syrian chemical weapon stores, Israel would be more than agreeable to provide accurate coordinates and might even offer to turn off the Syrian radar grid, though such would not be really necessary with stealth bombers. The old children’s rhyme, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never harm me,” does not apply in the realm of world politics where words can do one great harm, even break more than bones.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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