Certain tasks somehow fall to certain parties. Often no one remembers how or why. It was the AP’s Merriman Smith’s task to end White House press conferences in the Roosevelt-to-Nixon days by saying, “Thank you, Mr. President!” Aunt Phyllis’ task was to make sure the children had enough toys to occupy them during the long Passover Seders. Sean Hannity always takes care of the lavish ice cream parties that mark the climax of Talkers magazine conventions.
And to America fell the task of defending the world against evil. Defending helpless innocent countries against aggressors was a task earning America some glory and gratitude, but even more thankless loss of American life and treasure. It often required us to ally ourselves with evil dictators large and small to defeat even worse dictators on the move to conquer empires.
After the disaster of World War I, America wanted no part of World War II. But World War II wanted all of America. When Japan, tired of bridling under painful sanctions owing to their cruel conquests in Asia, attacked Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, there was no idiot-chatter about drafting a complaint to the League of Nations or convening a conference to demand reparations. There was talk only of war, total war, which ended after more than three-and-a-half years of smoke and two mushroom clouds over Japanese cities.
Our main allies, Britain and Russia, sacrificed more, lost more, shouldered more of the fighting and saw their homelands ravaged by brutal enemies. However, thanks to two huge oceans, one on each side of America, and 3,000 miles of territory in which to produce unbelievable mountains of weapons, America emerged from the war as the world’s untouched superpower. Those 3,000 miles were untouchable thanks to the lack of enemy weapons that could reach us. Unfortunately, the Communist aggressors of the Soviet Union allowed only a two-year rest period before launching the Cold War.
It’s fulfilling to see the left twist in agony when that fact is offered forth so bluntly, and even more so when they attempt comic-opera contortions to try to portray the fault for the Cold War as American, or at least a tie. Sorry; America didn’t break the agreement and blockade the Soviets out of Berlin. That’s what they did to us. We didn’t transplant puppet regimes in the west European lands we liberated. The Soviets planted Communist satellite states all across Eastern Europe as they conquered. And so on.
To sate West European hunger to not to fall under a Communist dictatorship after having just been freed from the Nazi dictatorship, America sponsored NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, enlisting willing allies like Norway in the North to Spain and Portugal in the south with the motto, “An attack on one is an attack on all.”
That led to a similar line-up in Asia with SEATO, the South-East Asia Treaty Organization. In a major sense, America’s failure to preserve a non-Communist South Vietnam was a dismal American defeat. However, America’s resistance made North Vietnamese and Viet Cong aggression so terribly expensive it sapped the Communist will to pursue further expansion. Today “Communist” Vietnam is almost an American client-state!
What follows may seem like “hero worship” to some, and indeed it is, of the intellectual sort. When a thinker of Charles Krauthammer’s caliber pronounces the Obama foreign policy an unvarnished disaster, I feel no need to fortify his argument. Instead, I recognize Krauthammer’s case as a rock-solid stepping stone and proceed to the consequences of that disaster.
Our enemies get seated at the head of the American table. Our allies get seated below the salt. When Stalinist dictator Raul Castro gets a handshake more cordial than does Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu; when our allies have zero understanding of what our policy is, or will be at this hour tomorrow; and when our enemies get thrown bone-after-bone without having to beg, all free peoples on earth have every right to tremble.
My personal fear – and I’m the world’s foremost authority on what I fear – is if, God forbid, another Pearl-Harbor or 9/11-type attack should happen upon the American homeland today, and the attackers were to give the White House an ultimatum warning of endless attacks unless-and-until we withdraw our troops from South Korea, withdraw our troops from all of the Middle East and Western Europe, and unless we remove all sanctions from Iran and press Israel to release every single terrorist from its prisons, etc., my fear is that the Obama White House would:
- instantaneously knuckle under to every single condition, and
- bragabout all the suffering they’ve saved the American people.
A canny connoisseur of world affairs confides that a strong and credible America has long been the anvil upon which civilization has been hammered out. Since America itself steered clear of any such boasting, but America’s enemies never missed a chance to trash America’s role, America’s aptitude and appetite to play that role diminished. And now Obama has finished it all the way off.
President Teddy Roosevelt advised America to speak softly and carry a big stick, not stutter, mumble, equivocate and carry a toothpick.
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