Peace in His Mind


President Obama, as is proven after every major speech he delivers, is a Rorschach inkblot: Those on whom he has a mesmeric hold, see the silhouette of a leader worthy of placement on Mount Rushmore. To them, he can say or do no wrong. Those of us who are not so captivated by his words see a very different image and hear a very different message when he speaks. Consider his two major speeches so far this year: the Inaugural Address and the State of the Union.

In the State of the Union, the president repeated his tired and flatly-wrong reference to “the tide of war receding,” promised “a new defense strategy that ensures we maintain the finest military in the world” and pointed to a looming payroll-tax increase as “our most immediate priority.” Of course, what should be the “most immediate priority” for him and Congress is a problem of his own making: the sequestration guillotine hanging over the military.

The president innocently noted that “Congress passed a law” requiring a trillion dollars in automatic spending cuts in the event that the deficit cannot be reduced through the normal policymaking process. He derided the sequestration cuts as “sudden, harsh, arbitrary” and noted that lots of people have called sequestration “a really bad idea.” (Indeed, it would trigger spending cuts to the U.S. military of $500 billion.) But although he repeatedly demanded that Congress “send me a bill”—to reform immigration, to punish outsourcing, to reform the tax code, to change mortgage-lending rules, to “limit any elected official from owning stocks in industries they impact” (now there’s an enforceable law)—there were no solutions about sequestration, no responsibility for its existence.

The fact is that his White House came up with the sequestration idea and yet he didn’t offer alternatives to what his outgoing defense secretary describes as “shooting ourselves in the head.”

Already, while entitlement spending mushrooms, the Pentagon has coughed up $487 billion at the president’s direction. The Navy has been ordered to cut the number of surface combatants from 85 ships to 78, stretch the “build time” of new aircraft carriers from five to seven years, and had to seek a special congressional waiver to deploy just 10 carriers (rather than the legally-mandated 11) while the USS Gerald Ford is built. The Air Force has announced plans to reduce its fleet by 286 planes. The active-duty Army will be cut from 570,000 soldiers to 490,000; the Marines from 202,000 to 182,000. And there’s virtually no investment in modernization. Although the defense budget grew by $300 billion in the decade after 9/11, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) notes that just 16 percent of that increase was earmarked for modernization and new weapons systems. However, CSBA points out a dozen new weapons systems were terminated and many systems had their numbers cut below end-strength goals (e.g., the F-22). “The aggregate effect is that a significant portion of DOD’s investment in modernization over the past decade did not result in force modernization.”

To get a sense of the modernization crisis, consider that the Air Force now plans to keep flying B-52 bombers through 2040. The first B-52 took to the skies in 1954. The Air Force is relying on reconnaissance airframes built in 1955, tankers built in 1956, fighter-bombers built in 1974 and stealth bombers (there are only 20 of them) built in 1989.

Sequestration will only exacerbate these issues: less modernization, older equipment, fewer troops, more cuts.

These cuts might make sense if peace were breaking out all around the world. But despite what President Obama keeps saying, we know the very opposite to be true. As Reagan counseled, “Don’t be afraid to see what you see.” America is still at war in Afghanistan. Terrorist networks like al-Qaeda still have the ability to strike and are increasing their influence in North Africa, Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Nuclear-armed Pakistan is less stable and more paranoid than ever, as is nuclear-armed North Korea, which just tested another nuke. Iran is racing ahead with its own nuclear-weapons program. Syria is on fire. The Arab Spring revolution is upending the Middle East. And these, it could be argued, are not even our principal worries. As the U.S. declaws itself, China’s military spending has skyrocketed from $20 billion in 2002 to some $180 billion a decade later—an unparalleled jump in military spending on a percentage basis. The resulting arms buildup has empowered Beijing to bully its neighbors; launch cyber-attacks against the United States; conduct provocative military operations in space; and deploy a swelling arsenal of missiles, submarines and warplanes aimed at countering U.S. Naval power.

Does the president’s silence on sequestration mean he wants the Pentagon’s budget to be cut by another $500 billion—or put another way, to shrink over the next decade by nearly $1 trillion? Before scoffing at that question, recall that the Pentagon was the first place President Obama turned when the debt crisis emerged as a political issue. “We need to not only eliminate waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but conduct a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities and our role in a changing world,” Obama said in 2011.

Read that again: a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities and role in the world. It seems a smaller military could serve a larger objective for the president—an America less able to act independently; an America that is less assertive; an America with fewer military resources, a shorter reach, slower reflexes and a smaller global role. After the sequestration guillotine falls, as Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey concludes, “We wouldn’t be the global power that we know ourselves to be today.”

That brings us back to the president’s Inaugural Address, which subtly underscored this shrinking global role and reminded us that this president is not particularly interested in the things other presidents addressed in their inaugurals: facing global “responsibility and danger” (TR); committing to “strengthen freedom-loving nations against the dangers of aggression” (Truman); vowing to “bear any burden…to assure the survival and the success of liberty” (JFK);  building “a security shield that would destroy nuclear missiles before they reach their target” (Reagan); “ending tyranny in our world” (Bush 43).

Instead, after a campaign that promised to “focus on nation-building here at home,” President Obama asked America to avert its gaze from North Korean nukes and Iranian centrifuges and Syrian chemical weapons, to ignore a Middle East aflame, to look away from a metastasizing terror threat in Pakistan and Yemen and North Africa, to stop worrying about Beijing’s buildup and bullying. All of that is unimportant or unreal, his soothing words suggested, because a “decade of war is now ending.”

Sure, he made some stock references about “our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle.” But that was a tee-up line for his real message: that we are “heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends,” that “we will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully,” that “engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.”

The president’s implication, though larded with faux JFK-isms, is that war is the easy choice, peace is hard; defense and deterrence are easy, diplomacy is hard; fighting wars is what brutes do, making peace is what statesmen like him do.

There is nothing wrong with applauding peacemakers and engaging other nation-states to find common ground. But there is something fundamentally wrong with suggesting that diplomatic engagement is somehow more courageous than deterrence or what Churchill called “decisive blows,” with using rhetorical misdirection to conceal our massive military retrenchment, with not understanding that those Americans who “won the peace” first defeated our enemies:

  • Yes, President Truman and Secretary of State Marshall conceived a plan to rebuild Western Europe, secure new friends and allies, and prevent a continent from sliding back into war or tyranny. But before that, Gen. Marshall commanded the U.S. Armed Forces in World War II. And Truman, as commander-in-chief, unleashed the most powerful weapon known to man; poured unheard-of sums into a standing peacetime army to deter our enemies; vanquished two appalling regimes; and waged proxy wars against another (Stalin’s Soviet Union).
  • Before he wrote a constitution for Japan—guaranteeing equal rights, education reform, free speech, labor rights, and religious liberty—before he turned Japan from a militarist society ruled by a god-king into a nation with enduring levels of individual freedom, Gen. MacArthur waged and won a just war against Japan’s armies.
  • Before he shepherded Germany back into the family of nations, before he presided over a partnership enfolding the Americas and Europe, before he built Obama’s beloved interstate highway system, Gen. Eisenhower breached Hitler’s Fortress Europe and led an army of armies into the heart of Germany to crush our enemy.
  • Before men with names like Clay and LeMay rescued West Berlin with an armada of food- and coal-laden planes, they were killing Nazis.
  • Before TR won a Nobel Peace Prize, he built up America’s military strength and wielded it to deter America’s enemies in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Pacific.
  • Likewise, before Reagan called Gorbachev a “friend,” he revitalized America’s deterrent strength, launched brutal proxy wars against Gorbachev’s empire, waged economic warfare against the Soviet state and won the Cold War.

In short, our history shows that winning the peace comes only after securing victory. But history is not that important to this president. How could it be? After all, it has to do with what happened before he came on the scene—and that’s just prologue for him. If that sounds too harsh, remember this is the man who said his presidency would mark the moment “when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal…when we came together to remake this great nation.”

But contempt for history can be a liability. The president’s wise men allowed the phrase “peace in our time” to be included in his Inaugural Address last month. It’s difficult to understand how a phrase so fraught and freighted could slip by all the reviews and rewrites—unless the president and his wise men simply don’t know about or care about the history of this phrase.

This phrase, it pays to recall, is what Neville Chamberlain uttered as he returned from a peace conference with Hitler in September 1938. Waving a piece of paper that expressed the commitment of Germany and Britain “never to go to war with one another again,” the well-meaning British leader declared, “I believe it is peace in our time.” Hitler ignited World War II less than 12 months later.

Chamberlain said something else that day, a line that has been forgotten but may be just as relevant to us: “Go home and get a nice quiet sleep,” he soothingly reassured his countrymen.

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  • pierce

    Are we secure from enemies foreign and domestic? I do not believe that answer to be an unequivocal yes. We have lost our leadership in the world. We are floundering with no solid direction, in a world with more chaos than I have seen many years,
    This concern stems from an increased presence of the Muslim Brotherhood, and their perceived dominance in world politics. There exists an anger never before seen, and no peace of mind.
    I worry, for it is our lack of leadership, that causes this restlessness.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com adinakutnicki

    ALL things are possible when one is "The One".Parting the seas…no problem…peace in our time…easy peasy…and the cult of personality is what engenders these miracles – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/02/14/obamas-cult-o

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • Creepy time gal

      What personality? He's a creep. He, and his cult, all creeps.

      • Yes, but

        some creeps have a lot of personality, too, you know.

        Barack Hussein Obama is America's Mr. Personality.

  • EthanP

    Never forget that as a left/liberal Alynskyite, the president views US economic and military power (the former being needed for the latter), all of POTUS's actions, I repeat, ALL of his actions are consistant with those views. Make no mistake. The president may be lazy, (he sure spends a lot of time on vacations and golf) but he is not inept. He knows exactly what he is doing.

    • kasandra

      Excellent post (although I think it may be missing a few words in the first sentence). People just refuse to accept that this guy is a far leftist who doesn't like the historic U.S. That U.S. was too powerful, too bullying, too rich, too influential, too white, too racist, too sexist and too homophobic and he's going to set that "right" by "transforming" us to a weaker, poorer, etc. America. All of his actions can be seen in this light. Unfortunately, the American sheeple have accepted his words which he uses to hide his true objectives (which is a teaching of Alynsky – always hide your real objectives) instead of his actions and we have a press which will not reveal who he is. It is simply tragic.

    • Gerry

      Ethan please if you know what Obama is doing, could you please tell us? And I don't mean what he is doing on the golf course. Islamic radicals are licking their chops getting ready to unleash another round of terrorist attack on American soil.

  • http://www.clarespark.com clarespark

    I compared the internationalism of Woodrow Wilson and Barack Obama here: http://clarespark.com/2010/09/23/woodrow-wilsons-… concluding that they were alike, and that both were covertly racist, but whereas Obama's is anti-imperialist and denigrates the West, Wilson's had his own form of utopianism and collectivism as a Southern racist and advocate of the organic society.

    • Choi

      Wilson=Southern DEMOCRATIC RACIST

    • JacksonPearson

      Woodrow Wilson signed into law, in the A.M. hours and in a dark closet, the Federal Reserve Act. /Sarc

  • BLJ

    The idea of Barrack HUSSEIN Obama (or Barry Soetoro) being the Commander-In-Chief of the United States military is truly mind boggling. America's enemies have to be as happy as Michelle Obama on another tax payer funded vacation.

  • Drakken

    The Obummer era will be compared to the Carter years on steroids, war looms on the horizen and the American public is at the mall completely oblivious to what is outside our shores and building strength. Obummer is cutting our forces to the bone as Carter did but worse, no wonder the world looks at obummer and company with complete utter disbelief. This will not end up well.

  • Flowerknife_us

    Fundamental change in action.

    The outcome of events always seem to end up opposite of the claims of the Administration and their numerous lackeys.

    On defense, it's the good old -Oh well…(just what we want anyway)

    While all the "cuts" real or imagined effect only those programs that do harm(intentional) to the Citizens.Never to the core of the Government Agency's whose job is to regulate us into submission.

    Food inspectors-Really? Starve us into compliance/ for our health even!

    There is a reason for the bums rush for gun CONTROL. The Supreme Court confirmed upon the Government the right to tax us at will. On the premise that it is in the best interest of ALL(the collective).

    Every American will feel the first shackle of Slavery on 1/1/14.

    The President slept while others watched videos with their Thumbs…..7Hrs.?

    Americans should be sleepless at night over our defense policy.

    Even Chamberlain realized the inevitable and had Britain speed up re-armament.

    The first 4 years was just the skinning.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    .
    The State Department has always been America's & ISRAEL's entrenched ENEMY!

  • Anonymous

    I do not like Obama. I do not trust Obama. So, when I heard the phrase "peace in our time" (an echo of the appeaser Chamberlain), I do not believe it was a "mistake" or an oversight or an "accident." I believe it was calculated and deliberate. His excuse? He'd simply claim that the quote comes from the Anglican Common Prayer Book. (Then he'll begin sobbing about "racists" and always being unfairly demeaned, and the press will leap to his defense and call him their personal Messianic Hero, their Prince of Peace).

    • kasandra

      Exactly.

  • th-that's all, folks

    it's bad over here? no, it's all over, over here. but there's still some hope.

    google: diana west solway birth certificate. read the article, parts 1 and 2.

    obama belongs behind bars, yes. and this is just the way to put him there.

    it's the only way left to do it now. and if we don't, we are finished for good.

  • Barakus abomidas

    Don't worry you lilly whiters (takers), (haters). I'm cummin for ya guns and ya kids;) Just you wait!

    • Drakken

      HEH HEH your going to be in for one nasty surprise abed.

    • Boogies Daddy

      I suppose by takers you mean tax paying workers? By haters you mean the individual, free citizens of the United States Of America that donate more personal income year to year to end suffering around the world than all other nations combined? The first responders to most natural disasters even in unfriendly countries? Those haters and takers?

      The people who elected this jackhole to the office of President of the United States Of America? Those takers and haters?

      The people who responded to the call and boycotted South Africa thus ending aparthied there? Those haters and takers?

  • ADM

    I do not support any element of the President's agenda or ideology. I think he is arrogant and out of his depth. I do not think, though, that this particular issue comes down entirely to him, even if his policies will make things worse. We had ample opportunity to deal with all of our principal foreign threats on September 12, 2001, and we did not take them. The Bush administration failed to match deed to rhetoric and eventually dialed back the war on terror to enemies we thought would be comparatively easy to defeat e.g. Iraq and Afghanistan, not North Korea, Iran or Pakistan. Neither was the military's competence all it is supposed to be in either theater of war. Indeed, if simply spending the most on weapons were enough, our last unequivocal victory would not have been in 1945.

    • ziontruth

      "We had ample opportunity to deal with all of our principal foreign threats on September 12, 2001, and we did not take them. The Bush administration failed to match deed to rhetoric…"

      It was a failure to understand the nature of the enemy: Not, principally, a military threat as was Japan following Pearl Harbor (the most oft-used analogy to 9/11, and consequently the most disastrously wrong), but a demographic threat of invader-immigrants on the soil of each non-Muslim nation-state.

      As soon as Bush called Islam a religion of peace, the fight was already lost. The beginning of victory will only be when some nation-state (hopefully mine) continues where Serbia left (stopped by Clinton at the behest of the Islamic Oil Lobby) and expels all the Islamic colonists out of its borders, thus providing the world with a concrete example as to how this threat is really countered.

  • mlcblog

    All too probable. Sorry to see it said in the open.

  • Mike in VA

    Barack Obama is concerned with only one thing – fundamentally transforming America.

    We underestimate, ignore and/or dismiss the depth of this man's nihilism at our own peril.

  • tagalog

    Sequestration was intended to be a spur to Congress to come up with enough bipartisanship that a system of spending cuts could be enacted that would be rational instead of the adult equivalent of a spanking for throwing a tantrum. Instead, it is now hailed as the way to insure that there will be at least SOME cutbank in government spending. You would think those morons would be more sensible and rational than that. Sequestration was supposed to shame Congress into actually doing something sensible; instead, it reveals that our lawmakers and our president have no shame whatever.

    I bet Congress will come up with a law to bypass the sequester, though. The Dems will push it through, Senate and President together.

    Why are we still permitting our Congresspersons to be paid for doing nothing? Why?

  • http://twitter.com/Godndguns @Godndguns

    Obama is Chauncy Gardener from the 1979 movie "Being There". To the shallow, void, mindless and mesmerized, Chauncy Gardener is an absolute MENSA level genius with deep observations such as "…there will be growth in the spring….". To the rest of us he's a simple, barely articulate, bumbling idiot gardener who merely observes and regurgitates the mundane and obvious.

    Chauncy Gardener (& Obama) fans remind us of the white wine and brie elitists who upon encountering a blank white canvas at the Guggenheim marvel about its "simplistic, minimalist, statement of significance and beauty…" just as the artist wanders in with his paint brush and paints to asks the pseudo-intellectual, white wine swilling dilettante to step aside so he can get to work.

    • Boogies Daddy

      I'm sorry but you are confused here. Chauncey Gardner was incapable of conivance. It is however Obama's nature.
      Chauncey Gardner simply existed. Obama plots to bring America down to his own third world level of culture.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    RE: "Peace in His (Obama's) Mind" ~ Ah So true, grasshopper.

    ~Inner peace in the mind of an unrepentant, unremorseful man without conscience.

    …..is compost. (merde!)

  • κατεργάζομαι

    REMEMBER, ….a lie is not a lie if it advances your agenda ~ Marx, Alinsky, Obama, et al

    • JoJoJams

      And don't forget that is also a tenet of………Islam.

  • Brujo Blanco

    I suspect that Obama has some serious foreign entanglements that will come back to haunt us. He has intentionally destroyed the economy. He will endeavor to establish a communist dictatorship by incrementally removing our rights. With gun control he will be able to enter our homes for "inspections" without warrants. Obama cars will take our wealth and thus our power. Obama will become the American Communist dictator. He needs to be.lawfully removed from power for.the crimes he has already committed.

    • ziontruth

      "I suspect that Obama has some serious foreign entanglements that will come back to haunt us."

      Yep. Follow the oil money. What went for Carter goes doubly so for his successor.

  • Western Spirit

    Patriotism is being destroyed along with disarming us because one world is on the elites minds. In a one world government there is no need for patriotism or arms.

    We can see the groundwork being set in motion once our eyes have been opened to what is being put in place by the ruling class.

    No more pesky Constitution to frustrate the elites just Rome reborn as history repeats itself.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    RE: "Obama's mesmeric hold"

    Obama's mesmeric hold is merely tem·po·ral

    Don't Trust me…..TRUST GOD's WORD.

    Who Cares if Obama Fascinates & Captivates SATAN in Hades??? –

    I Don't!

  • Smote

    Obama, or is that Osama. is a crook. The king of crocodile tears. When did you last cry, President Obama? A serious question; 'When?.

    • johnnywoods

      His name should be Barack Bengazi Obummer.

  • Maxie

    Cuts in military spending? To coin a phrase "What difference does it make?" The Rules of Engagement ROE's) are now such that our PC troops must go door-to-door with bouquets of flowers. If they are not shot they can ask about any bad guys who might be in the area. Again, If they are not shot they can get another bouquet and go to the next hut etc.. Meanwhile our multi-trillion dollar high-tech super weapons just rot away. I think it's called "Make love, not war"; "Win hearts and minds" ; "Give Tyranny a chance"; or some other sappy liberal denial of reality. They've got no skin in the game.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    "Piece in His Mind…"

    …a little piece of this taxpayer's work product, …another piece of that industry's earnings…a piece of this worker's sweat ethic,…a "fair share" of that estate to re-distribute to dead-beat Obama voters provides great Piece of Mind.

  • Mr. Perspicacity

    Obama supporters are happy as larks nowadays because he's flushing the United States down the toilet.

    That's their idea of what a good American president should be all about, because they hate their country.

  • sablegsd

    He is a muslim. He is muslim brotherhood. Make sense now?

  • Ghostwriter

    He's more like Neville Chamberlain,blind to the threats that are out there.

  • peace delhi

    hello,

    i like your thought !There is no end to what we can discover together if we look together towards incrementally increasing understanding and peace of mind.