Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"Taken Aback:" Our President Won't Learn

Earlier today, at an American Embassy in the Middle East a Russian General arrived to alert the government of the United States that within one hour Russia would start a bombing campaign in Syria, and also would be asking the US to move side.
The Pentagon responded with surprise, saying that they had not expected this, and that they were “Taken Aback.”
Aside from the obvious disaster this must that the  Intelligence Services here in America, on which we spend hundreds of billions of dollars, and they still didn’t know this was coming, this is also a disaster of strategy tactics, and a lack of humility.
Our president drew a red line in Syria, saying we would remove Assad from power in Syria if he started killing little children with chemical weapons. He did that, and America backed down, relying on “assurances” that it wouldn’t happen again.
Then Mr. Obama told Russia not to invade Ukraine, Russia ignored him, (after all, Syria, a much weaker nation had done it, and nothing happened to the) and Russia now controls large swaths of Ukraine.
Then Russia started putting men into the Middle East as our nation’s airstrikes were too tentative and our response to ISIS not anywhere near as strong as it should be. we warned Russia to stay away, but who listens to a paper tiger? Putin reasoned, and so he put his men in Syria anyway.
Next, we thought Putin wouldn’t use the men he had there. But Putin is like a drunk teenager who has been handed the keys. Why shouldn’t he drive the car? And so, that brings us to today, where we are right now.
There have been plenty of warning posts on the way but our president, with arrogance worthy of an ancient king of Babylon ha not heeded them. Mitt Romney warned, saying Russia was the most destabilizing country in the world, and the president (literally) laughed at him, saying he was caught in the past. Well, it wasn’t Mitt that was caught in the past, it was Putin.
Our President has a monumental misunderstanding of the situation in the Middle East and indeed around the world. He seems to feel that all nations are like the US and Europe, valuing freedom, wanting the world to be stable, and caring about individual human beings.
But you need only look at the refugee crises to see that isn’t true. No horde of refugees are kicking down the gates to get into Russia. There is no illegal immigration crises of people trying to get into Syria or Iran, looking for a better life. Indeed, the people are fleeing those nations in droves. Not only are the economies bad, but the governments are corrupt, power hungry and unstable.
So when men like Putin or Assad invade other countries or kill little children with chemical weapons, we should not be “taken aback.” We should nod our heads in sadness and understanding that bullies will always be bullies, and mass murderers will always be mass murderers until they are stopped.
Napoleon escaped from Elba, Hitler kept the death marches going even when he knew he was beaten. Megalomaniacs like Putin won’t stop until they are dead or out of options. And our president continues to give Putin options.
In the past our president has been a man who has been slow to learn, but maybe finally he will get it. He’d better. The next time he is “taken aback” it might be with the leaders of Iran, and it might just be that they are announcing they have a nuclear weapon.
Andrew C. Abbott

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