The Obama Blockade

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


rIn the spring of ’48, the collision of wills between the free world and the red slave empire of the east came to a head in Berlin.

The Communist strategy had been to push forward, to violate the spirit of the agreements and then the letter of the agreements while claiming to be the aggrieved party. Their takeovers in Eastern Europe baffled a West that could not believe the Reds would show such poor sportsmanship.

Had the USSR waited a little longer, a weary United States would have withdrawn. Instead Stalin decided to humiliate the United States and demonstrate its impotence in international affairs.

The Berlin Blockade was a siege in all but name. Beyond the sheer fact of food and coal being cut off to a city of millions were a thousand minor humiliations by Soviet officials designed to break the will of their enemies to resist.

That was their mistake. And it’s a mistake that the left often makes.

The barricades around the Lincoln Memorial and the WW2 Memorial, the traffic cones blocking the view of Mt. Rushmore and the sawhorses around Old Faithful are no Berlin Blockade, but they come out of the same meanness of spirit and the same motives.

The petty harassment extended to a 24-hour blockade of an inn that had tried to stay open and rangers arriving to block Old Faithful every time it erupted. There are few moments that sum up the meanness of spirit of the Obama Blockade as well as a park ranger angrily telling senior citizens to get back on the bus and stop taking photos because they are engaging in forbidden “recreating”.

The Obama Blockade has no valid justification. Like the Berlin Blockade, it is about power and control.

No one actually has to go to the Lincoln Memorial or the WW2 Memorial or any of the other national monuments that were closed off. They are places that Americans assumed they could always go because they were part of their national heritage. It never occurred to them that they would be shut down.

The Pisgah Inn, the Cliff House, the Claude Moore Colonial Farm or any of the other private non-profits or restaurants on Federal land run themselves. It takes more resources to shut them down, to blockade them, than it would to let them keep on operating.

But it’s not about what’s easier. The Communists picked a fight over Germany’s future currency. The current fight is over ObamaCare. But ObamaCare, like the Communist Ostmark, is about more than its substance—it’s also about control.

The siege of America, unlike the siege of Berlin, is virtual; but it also depends on seizing control over the distribution of vital necessities. In Berlin, that meant food and coal. In America, that’s health care.

The question is will you agree to ObamaCare, just as in Berlin the question was whether you would get a Soviet ration card, fill your wallet with Ostmarks and submit to a Soviet takeover. The Communists assumed that cutting off food would force the residents of Berlin to use Soviet ration cards and currency.

They were wrong.

The residents were able to see that short term food from the USSR would mean decades of little food under Communist rule. Similarly any temporary benefits from ObamaCare will mean national shortages of health care in the future.

The National Park Service’s abusive antics, which include kicking senior citizens out of their cabins and detaining others at a hotel under armed guard, are about power. For these same reasons, Soviet officials subjected trains and water freight to pointless inspections, made petty demands and resorted to buzzing the Allied aircraft carrying out the Berlin Airlift. The tactics may have been petty, but they were making a big statement; this is our territory. We are in control here.

The Obama Blockade can shut down websites that go on running anyway, it can refuse to pay death gratuities, take down the Amber Alert and harass tourists, but it can’t do what it would really like to punish the Americans who, like the Berliners, insist on voting to the right of the left, by taking away anything more vital.

And that is what this battle is really about.

The petty harassment of the Obama Blockade is a sign of impotence. It must satisfy its spite harassing individuals, throwing out senior citizens from their homes and denying the families of soldiers killed in its botched war money to help pay for their funeral expenses, because it can’t inflict a greater misery and torment on the country at large. And it can’t do that until it completely controls health care.

The Obama Blockade is not a sign of strength, pettiness never is, it’s a sign of weakness.

Like the Soviets, Obama is hoping to rattle Republicans into backing down and giving in. He’s hoping that the accumulation of inconveniences and deprivations will turn Americans against the Yankee Running Dog Capitalists of the Republican Party, the way that the Communists hoped that being cold and hungry would turn Berliners against the United States.

Stalin lost his gamble and Obama is being forced to reconsider his. Instead of the easy victory he hoped for, his blockade created a backlash.

The photos of WW2 veterans storming the WW2 memorial have echoes of the Berlin Airlift; a seemingly small action whose greater resonances attain heroic proportions by pushing back against tyranny. Family restaurants that defy the blockaders and fight to stay open send a message that there still is room for private lives and private concerns even on government land.

The Soviet Union hoped that Berliners would turn to the Communists. Instead they turned against them. Obama’s own approval ratings have fallen sharply. The speeches and putdowns roaring at record pace out of the White House have not changed the basic fact that Obama’s position, like that of the USSR, is that he will not negotiate over an economic power that he considers to be absolutely his in every way.

The tactics of the Communists shook Americans of their complacency. Even those who had thought that Stalin was a reasonable man willing to be our partner understood that there could be no middle ground. The Soviet Union was not looking for a compromise. It wanted everything and if it didn’t get it, it would make life as miserable as it could for everyone.

That has been Obama’s message. Either Congress completely capitulates and recognizes his power to do whatever he likes or memorials will be shut down, senior citizens will be thrown out of their homes and the families of the soldiers killed in the line of duty will have to struggle to cover funeral expenses.

The Berlin Blockade woke up Americans to what the Soviet Union really was. The Obama Blockade is waking up Americans affected by it to what Obama really is.

Behind the big ideas and the big speeches is a meanness and smallness of spirit that desires power above all else, that lacks any sense of decency and honor, and that when denied, lashes out viciously against anyone in the grip of its power.

The Berlin Blockade showed millions of people why they never wanted to find themselves under Communist control. The Obama Blockade, the meanness and pettiness in its needless power plays, is a warning of what life will be like if the left gains even more control over America.

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  • truebearing

    Obama is petty, vindictive, and lashing out at Americans because we won’t all submit to his signature scheme, ObamaDon’tCare. It’s coming apart at the poorly stitched seams and he can’t handle the criticism, or ramifications for his timetable for grabbing more power.

    His punitive measures were supposed to demonstrate his power, but once again, his rapacity for power has led to self-defeating overreach. Denying bereavement payments to families of soldiers fighting for America being the ultimate example of Obama’s sadistic actions coming back to bullwhip him.

    What has drastically changed in Obama is his inability to flash his deceptive grin and pretend to be likeable. Everyday his contempt for Americans is getting more obvious, much like his support of all things Muslim is now irrefutable. But what does this mean? Is he cracking? Does he think he has power firmly in hand and doesn’t need to pretend anymore? Is this the inevitable expression of narcissistic rage at being proven to be deeply flawed, weak, and unpopular?

    Obama is at his most dangerous now. A weak person with a massive ego, a dysfunctional childhood, and ideological roots that are firmy planted in evil….hmmmmm, sounds like a description of Hitler.

    • tickletik

      Normally your last statement would be hyperbole. But in this case, its legit.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        Ask yourself what Hitler would have done differently if he’d become POTUS in 2008. It’s not clear there is any difference in approach that can’t be explained by circumstance.

        But we do know a lot more about 0′Bama’s childhood indoctrination.

  • davarino

    You watch McCain, McConnell… etc. will jump on the band wagon when the House Republicans start winning this thing. They will try to act as though they were with them all along. That is, of course, if they didnt have something financially to gain from ObamaDontCare (aka Obama cut a deal with them to go along with it). Remember, Obama has a ton of cash sitting around that was supposed to be used on shovel ready projects. Imagine the money that is floating around out there ready to buy off anyone he chooses. Why do you think he wants to raise the debt ceiling again? He probably needs more to buy off more repubs. Poor dems, they ought to start throwing fits as well, maybe they can get rich too.

  • WhyBeSoMean

    Excellent, Daniel. I don’t know how their meanness, pettiness and need to control us isn’t obvious to every citizen.

    • Raymond_in_DC

      I don’t understand why the citizenry isn’t rising up to reclaim our heritage. What must Lincoln, his Memorial too now inaccessible, be thinking?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Many on the left understand on some level but they see him as acting on their behalf. He’s their tyrant and it’s OK to them. They want a “benevolent” tyrant that hands out the cheese when he recovers it from those 1 percenter thieves.

  • Bob G Bergmann

    From the way the Park Rangers have been acting in the last week it is clear Yogi the Bear was not just stealing picnic baskets he was trying to warn us what a bunch of Nazi’s the Park Service is. He was a freedom fighter. And if you trust Park Rangers after this then you deserve to have your family raped and killed by them. Park Rangers the new brown shirts.

  • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

    Watch the truckers bring Washington DC to a stand still over a three day period and keep an eye on the Veterans this Saturday (October 13th, 2013) as they storm the War Memorials. Watch the November 19th march on Washington organized by Attorney Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch. Protest are going to rule the day in Washington DC for the remainder of this Fraud in Chief’s term.

  • glpage

    Obama likes to remind the opposition that he won the last election. But, he refuses to accept that people in the House and Senate also won their elections. Nor does he want to understand that those people in Congress are, for the most part, doing what their constituents want them to do. By not accepting these truths Obama is, in essence, telling those who did not vote for him that their votes did not count. One could possibly make the case that his actions are an attempt to disenfranchise anyone who did not vote for him.

  • VHG1

    Truckers can retaliate! No deliveries to DC…period! Force Obama to recreate the “Berlin Airlift” to feed the politicians!

  • bob e

    i recommend the two hyena form of therapy…

  • objectivefactsmatter

    They are more concerned about protecting “borders” of the land they want to rule illegally than they are about protecting the borders of our nation that they are legally required to protect. Because they only serve themselves.

  • Yellow Journalist

    The scariest part of the shutdown as described in your writing here is that government employees enforced these restrictions on orders from the hierarchy. I hear of no one who said that following orders to punish the public is a short step from opening fire on protesters. If the Tea Party can be properly tagged as anarchists, well-meaning American servicemen, police officers, and government law enforcement personnel can be expected to suppress them with sanctioned violence. I have visions of Kent State and the veterans on the steps of the Capitol after World War I.

  • Softly Bob

    Nero, Mohammed, Ivan the Terrible, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot……
    Mmm, can I now safely add Obama to this list or am I going too far?