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Some of you will remember Nikita Khrushchev at the United Nations, removing his shoe and pounding the heel on the table, while shouting, “We will bury you!” It’s not hard these days to suggest this simply was a bad translation and that what the communist leader was threatening, was to “Barry Soetoro” us.
If so, Khrushchev may well have prevailed. The two lines of thought in this column will at first diverge, but bring you to a single conclusion.
First, to those who think that Osama bin Laden’s death changes much in the war on Islamic terror – I hope you are right. I don’t share your optimism.
Lawyers have trained Americans to always look for a guilty party. Once guilt has been established, money can be extracted from the guilty party. And once money has been extracted (and divided between the victim and the lawyer), justice is seen to have been done.
If our nation suffers from a lack of personal responsibility – so does our view of the world. This personally irresponsible/guilty party view of the world becomes especially troublesome when we begin dealing with ideological or cultural movements.
Such movements are creatures of time, events and people. This is exactly what the West is dealing with in Islamic jihad.
Viewing Osama bin Laden as the perpetrator of 9/11 dangerously misleads us about our enemy. And make no mistake – Islamic jihadists – despite their smiling faces and entirely rational tone of voice during media interviews – are our enemies.
These movements do not die upon the death of a single individual. The movement exists independently of the leader. We are not dealing with a nation state, such as Japan or Germany during World War II. In such a case, the state can be defeated and the population brought to its senses by occupying forces.
Today’s politicians think of leaders as beginning a movement, which attracts individuals who then follow the leader. Thus they accuse the opposing political party of fomenting (fill in the blank).
A movement of time, people and events can and does find voice through a leader. But it also gives voice to that leader. And if that leader dies, a new leader replaces him. And a new leader after that. And after that. And again. Until the movement either exhausts itself or prevails.
The intelligence gathered from Osama’s hideaway mansion in Pakistan may set the movement back one or two years. It will not stop it. Either the movement will destroy us – or we will destroy it. That is the true nature of what we are dealing with.
The second thread we open deals with the character of America’s leadership. Here bin Laden’s death is going to have a big impact – not bin Laden’s death itself, but the fact that the man Barack Obama has clearly taken credit for ordering bin Laden’s death and then delivering it.
Those of you who think the “birthers” are crazy, because they want the U.S. Constitution to be followed, are in for a rude awakening over the next few years.
The man elected president of the United States recently released his long-form birth certificate. Unfortunately for America, it clearly indicates that his father was from Kenya. At the time of young Obama’s birth, that nationality translated to British citizenship. The senior Obama was not an American citizen.
The U.S. Constitution clearly uses the term “natural born citizen” among the qualifications required to hold the office of president. It’s every bit as important as having reached age 35.
The Constitution was written for a more educated generation than our own. We graduate technicians and lawyers, the latter of whose job it is to obfuscate and confuse the plain language found in our nation’s founding documents. The term “natural born citizen” was clearly understood by the Constitution’s drafters and their audience to mean that the president’s mother and father were both required to be American citizens.
Why was that clause inserted? Well, perhaps to prevent a wildly popular personage of British nationality from running for the office of president, and undoing by law what had been purchased by blood during the American revolution. Perhaps to protect us from divided loyalties.
Oprah fans, Wall Street investment bankers and Washington Post writers may think this wording is obscure and meaningless. The international tribunals that will soon be investigating bin Laden’s death are not going to agree. For some background, you might read about the Nuremberg trials.
While there may be international laws that apply, that’s not the first thing such a tribunal will look at. The first thing they will investigate is whether the United States followed its own laws in ordering and then carrying out bin Laden’s death. In other words – did the United States act in accordance with its own laws in killing bin Laden in the nation of Pakistan?
First question: Was the order and action lawful under United States law?
Second question: Was the order issued by someone with the legal authority to do so?
Answer: Question two fails. The United States president is required to be a “natural born citizen,” according to the highest law of the land. The individual acting as president does not meet this test. The order was unlawful.
Having violated its own law, the United States stands naked against charges of violating international law. I would expect a long list of other charges to be brought by our international rivals.
Where all this comes together is in the man Barack Obama. Some 500 years before the birth of Christ, the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus observed that “Character is destiny.” The Greeks produced many plays where a character flaw resulted in a tragic outcome.
Now, let me ask you, what sort of character flaw would drive a man to seek an office he is unqualified to hold, and to then assume that office – knowing that he was constitutionally barred from serving?
Do you still somehow imagine this story ends well?