Contrary to popular belief, America’s southern border can be quickly and effectively secured and controlled. First, illegal immigration across that border must be fully controlled. That will not happen until our federal and state governments enforce existing immigration laws and, where necessary, pass new ones that reinforce and extend the nation’s old laws. This will take leaders of great determination, relentless persistence, and enormous will power.
This same kind of “loser” talk that dominates public conversations today about securing our borders dominated public conversations in Germany in the 1950s. Many of us were there. Many said, especially high ranking political leaders, that it would be impossible for the Russians to control illegal immigration from to East-West Germany.
When the residents of Berlin, Germany went to sleep the night of August 13, 1961, all was quite normal at the border. But when they woke up the next morning they discovered that overnight the Russian and East German Armies had sealed off, with concertina barbed wire, West Berlin from East Berlin. Europe and the world would never be the same.
It was the beginning of the construction of what was to become known as the infamous Berlin Wall. Eventually the concertina wire fence turned into a brick and mortar barricade interspersed with guard towers, killer guard dogs and motorized patrols. It was so effective that throughout its existence almost no one was ever able to escape over it from East to the West.
Overnight the Russians and East Germans had erected a 96 mile long border fence and had gained complete control of all foot and vehicular traffic between East and West Berlin. Armed East German border guards were patrolling the entire fence and manning the border crossing check points that had been hurriedly setup during the night. The idea that the United States can never fully secure its southern border is ludicrous. If the East Germans could do it fifty years ago, we can do it better, faster and more efficiently today. It only takes clear presidential leadership and a huge dose of congressional will power.
The reason we have so much difficulty securing our southern border today is because neither the Senate, House nor White House have the guts it takes to secure it. The President needs to give a clear directive, the Congress needs to formulate it into law, and the bureaucracy needs to enforce it. Unfortunately it is probably the case that if Congress and the President really wanted to secure the nation’s border, they would have done it a long time ago.
Today, on the other hand, the opposite is taking place. We keep playing with border security and illegal immigration as though this were some kind of political soccer game where we could kick the ball down the road simply for amusement. But, as is the case with most things, there is a time to play and a time to be serious-minded. This is not a time to play. If the nation is ever going to be serious about securing our southern border, now is the time.
To fix the problem, the President need only call the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Oval Office and say something to the effect that, “This is a matter of national defense and national security. I want you gentlemen to secure our nation’s southern border today.
“Use whatever military forces you think are necessary. Any congressional legislation you need will be provided on an emergency basis. Until then I am prepared to sign any Executive Orders needed to implement these directives. “ That would be the end of the matter.
If fifty years ago the East Germans could overnight erect a 96 mile long fence separating East and West Berlin, then with all the advances we’ve made in technology since, the U.S. Army should be able to erect a border fenc at least two to three times that long in a single day. If they can’t, we should fire the whole current crop of generals and find some that can.
Someone once said, “Nothing is finally settled until it is settled right.” Perhaps that is why the Roe v. Wade decision is still a subject of open, sometimes violent debate and is often the cause of fierce demonstrations. “We The People” have never accepted the Supreme Court’s decision in this matter as final because deep down inside we feel that the ruling is fundamentally flawed and wrong, and more and more people are speaking up and saying so. In fact, one day the Court may be forced, by the American people, to reverse and overrule its Roe v. Wade decision.
Once human life in America was safeguarded and honored. But forty years ago a new day dawned, one in which the taking of human life became casually routine, even commonplace. Why? Because that was what the Supreme Court of the United States ruled it to be. Decency, honor, and worth were stripped away from human life. Its value to American society and civilization was diminished to the point where an unborn baby could be, with impunity, stuffed into a garbage bag and casually tossed into an abortion dumpster or a hospital incinerator.
In 1973 when Roe v. Wade became the law of the land violence increased and American civilization started careening uncontrollably down a slippery slope which led to societal decay and murder. Soon murder by abortion became matter-of-fact. If some crazy person killed someone with a gun, the news media fanned it into a major gun violence story. If an abortionist killed a live born baby and its mother in a botched abortion attempt, the news media did not even cover the story. Murder by a gun was news worthy; murder by scalpel was not. Yet, by far, more Americans are killed during abortions than by guns.
In the United States, each year since 1973 nearly 1.4 million abortions have taken place. Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) one of America’s first feminists who introduced women’s suffrage into the U. S., considered abortion to be child murder, the wholesale slaughter of the “unborn innocent.” Call it what you will, abortion is nothing more than the mass extermination of defenseless children and the devaluation of human life in general.
What happened back in 1973 was that the Supreme Court gave the word “murder” a less distasteful meaning. It was changed from murder to abortion. Since then murder by a gun has had an evil connotation; and murder by abortion has been given a good connotation. Still, abortion is nothing more than Court legalized and sanctioned murder. If society won’t safeguard a child’s life within the safety, sanctity, and security of a mother’s womb, why should it safeguard that same life later on when it is walking down a dark neighborhood street?
At the time of the Roe v. Wade ruling the Court’s reasoning was that unborn babies were part of a woman’s body. Therefore unborn babies were a mother’s property; and, according to the Court’s interpretation of the Constitution, women had the right to dispose of their property in any way they saw fit, much as was the case in the Dred Scott decision issued by the Supreme Court just prior to the start of the Civil War. In Roe v. Wade the Court ruled that since unborn babies were property, only the legal owner of that property -- the pregnant woman herself with a doctor’s advice -- could decide whether or not to terminate the life of her living unborn property.
Since then the miracle of DNA has been discovered and it proves beyond all scientific doubt, that an unborn baby is not part of a mother’s body. Therefore, the mother has no legal right to kill the unborn baby, dispose of her property. So the Court should not leave it to the mother to decide whether or not to terminate the life of an unborn child.
If the Vatican’s new Pope Francis wants to make a maximum impact on restoring justice to American society and preserving life throughout the world, one of the things he might consider is coming to Washington and helping get America’s Catholic Supreme Court members to act in accordance with their church’s teachings.
The Pope could start by pointing out to them that with its 1973 ruling, the Court sinned a great sin and they need to confess their sin, ask for forgiveness and let him absolve them. Perhaps then the evil curse of violence and wickedness which has settled down over this nation because of the Court’s rulings might lift and America might once more regain its historical and godly, societal and cultural footing.
Then that great sin of court sanctioned murder-- called Roe v. Wade -- might be declared null and void and be lifted from the bowed backs of the nation and its citizens.
In the Declaration of Independence our Founders wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” If those Founders who gave to the Creator full credit for the progress this country was making then and should still be making today toward the furtherance of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were here today, they would say that if God had intended that mankind have same sex relations, He no doubt would have created mankind physically different than he did.
They would also be quick to point out that there is something fundamentally wrong with a society that can’t or won’t distinguish the difference between the front side of a woman and the back side of a man. They can’t be used interchangeably without there being a price to pay.
Let us assume for a moment that living the homosexual lifestyle is a highly desirable, good, and perhaps even great way of life. If so, everyone would be blessed to be a homosexual and to live a same sex lifestyle. Then what would be the outcome today if all Americans immediately started living such a lifestyle? Within a year there would be no new babies born in America, within 20 years normal longevity of adults would be reduced, within a hundred or so years, there would be no more American people or families on the North American continent.
Without massive artificial insemination programs and other interventions, human beings -- as a species -- would cease to exist on America’s portion of planet earth. Is this really the kind of America we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren?
AIDS’ Data and studies from the Centers for Disease control show that the same sex lifestyle is at best high risk and in worst cases gay and bisexual men have a life expectancy of 8 to 20 years less than for any other group of men. The study also points out that, “Our society needs to reassess what it’s doing with those who engage in homosexuality.”
So perhaps the homosexual lifestyle isn’t as good and wonderful as advertised, perhaps that is why it is unable to stand on its own. Perhaps that is why a hundred percent of American men aren’t able to live it and enjoy the peace, joy, happiness and enlightenment that homosexuality supposedly brings to civilization.
What specific benefits does living this kind of lifestyle bring to America? For starters it will bring to us a society with no children, an America with no pregnancies and no maternity wards in our hospitals, no youth, no Disney Parks, no colleges, no high schools and no grammar schools. It will drive organizations like St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital out of business, there will be no need for stores like “Toys r us,” or for a roaring economy dispensing all sorts of children’s products, and there will be no market for teenage music, CDs, DVDs or romance novels.
If civil governments or various community or societal groups want to recognize homosexual marriage and live the homosexual lifestyle, so be it. But let them not insist that we who consider homosexuality an abomination, be forced to provide sperm to keep this disgusting practice alive.
It is not a question of whether the same sex lifestyle is legally right or wrong, or morally good or bad; for most of us it is a question of whether living such a lifestyle is smart or dumb? It is a dumb way of life which should be legally open to all who choose to live it.
President Obama has announced that he intends to shrink the United States Army to the smallest it has been since before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Officials in the White House and the Defense Department say this can be done by fighting future wars with smaller, more flexible, agile and more highly mobile special operations forces. They forget that such forces while they may be perfect for winning a small battle or a special operation, lack the force and staying power necessary to win a war.
Senior White House and Pentagon officials say the President is deadly serious about reducing the size of the nation’s military and cutting military pay and benefits, which is in keeping with President Obama’s disdain for our military forces, some of which was described by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates in his book “Duty.”
These officials believe that the Air Force can overall shrink its numbers of aircraft and support facilities and can eliminate its air-to-ground capability and replace it with remotely piloted aircraft. The Navy for now would be able to keep its reduced numbers of aircraft carriers and submarines along with a reduced surface fleet. The National Guard and the Reserve Forces would also be reduced: however, the Army will be singled d out to take the most severe reductions.
If the security of the nation is not preserved, what good does it do to shrink the size of our armed forces and allocate money to non-security programs? Just because non-defense spending goes down, does not mean that defense spending must go down. The size of the nation’s defense budget should be based on strategic national defense interests, requirements and needs, not on how much money is left over after the non-defense spending programs have been satisfied and allocated by the scribbling’s of some contract accountant who has never been shot at by an enemy.
There are those in the Congress and the Administration who would send our soldiers off to fight in the Middle East and when they return wounded and psychologically crippled, cut their health-care benefits. While fathers and mothers are overseas being shot at by snipers or blown up by Improvised Explosive Devises, their children back in the United States are being forced to exist off of food stamps. Not satisfied with these extreme sacrifices, those same officials want to eliminate the military family commissary grocery store subsidies on which some of those families barely manage to exist.
No priority is more important than that the members of our armed services – those who risk and sacrifice their lives for the future welfare of this country and its citizens – be fairly and properly rewarded and that they be freed from the shackles, penalties and clever congressional budgeting gimmicks of this Administration. Military pay and benefits are not paid to our service members because they are owed, but because they are earned. There is something wrong with a nation which insists on slowing the growth and reducing the pay, benefits and housing allowances of those who have lost arms and legs in the service of their country.
Defense spending should not be determined by the size of entitlement spending or savings. We should first determine the size of the military forces needed to win, and then match that requirement. If we can’t match it, we shouldn’t be involved in that particular military action in the first place.
America shouldn’t increase or limit the number of soldiers, aircraft, submarines and carriers it deploys around the world based on non-military budgetary matters such as entitlement spending. We should deploy the nation’s armed forces into combat based only on national defense needs, requirements and strategy.
Academic military and foreign policy elites believe that in the future there will be no more full scale ground wars. Haven’t we heard all this before? No one can make such predictions with complete confidence. Who knows whether China or Russia will stir up a limited ground war, as could North Korea or Syria, or whether China will strike out by scarfing up several South China Sea islands, or make trouble in the Formosa Strait. What if Iran looses some of its hordes into Saudi Arabia?
This is no prediction, it is simply a reminder that stranger things have happened, and that wise leaders should not shrink their nation’s armed forces in, the midst of this unrest and uncertainty. Is this really the right time for a rash of military personnel reductions, base closings, military pay and compensation shrinkage, military commissary closings, and a decrease in military health compensation?
What kind of insanity is this? In Afghanistan we are counting our chickens before they hatch. We really don’t know how that war will end and neither does anyone else. What nation in the middle of an existing war down-sizes its military forces worldwide?
Is there some kind of a divine deity at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who foretells the future? Our American President, his officials, the Chinese and the Russians may be sleeping well, but the leaders and officials at Riyadh, Jerusalem, Tokyo, Seoul, Paris and London can’t be sleeping well at all.
After WWI we viciously shrunk our armed forces and that led to WWII, after which we again shrunk our forces which led to Korea. Who could have predicted that North Korea would invade South Korea? After Korea we shrunk our forces which led to Viet Nam and the Middle East Wars which no one could have predicted.
Isn’t it time the Congress learned the lesson that the United States of America -- the world’s only Super Power – cannot afford to drastically and arbitrarily down-size its military forces, ever? I say the Congress because The White House, just as it seems determined to work around the Constitution, seems determined to unilaterally disarm the United States.
Is raising the nation’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy a good idea or is it a case of government, in its zeal to accomplish something well intentioned and worthwhile for its citizens, ends up betraying the nation’s interests. We all want safer motor vehicles, cleaner air, and increased fuel economy; and certainly we all seek to build a constructive unity between mankind, wildlife and the environment. But at the same time we must ensure that while working to achieve those worthwhile objectives we don’t unwittingly trap ourselves into an agenda that in the long term turns out to be destructive of our ends.
The letters CAFE stand for Corporate Average Fuel Economy, expressed in miles per gallon (MPG). CAFE numbers are assigned to manufacturers by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Each auto manufacturer’s fleet of production vehicles must meet or exceed those assigned numbers when all of the motor vehicles it manufactures for sale in the United States, in one year, are averaged together. Car and truck fleets are assigned separate CAFE targets.
What are the costs to America’s citizens of these chosen CAFE numbers and their side effects and consequences in so far as we can measure them? What are the impacts of these numbers on employment in the automobile and supporting industries? What are their dollars-and-cents implications? Can CAFE standards be raised substantially without incurring significant problems and costs?
If increasing CAFE numbers makes motor vehicle travel less expensive in terms of the amount of petroleum consumed and out-of-pocket costs, to get those savings would America’s citizens be willing to accept increased congestion and interference with currently successful traffic management strategies, would it result in reduced incentives for carpooling, a shift in mass transit demand and a reduced need for alternative fuels? What values guide these decisions and do we have sufficient scientific data to fully understand the problems they cause and their implications; what are the social and human costs and the total range of possibilities?
We must avoid falling into the trap of looking at the role and range of motor vehicle fuel consumption only in splendid isolation. We must know the extent of and evaluate non-economic impacts, know whether and how consumer purchase and travel options will be affected and what affects we can anticipate them having on motor vehicle traffic patterns? Most importantly, what impact will significantly increase CAFE target numbers have on saving lives on our roads and highways?
You see, raising the CAFE standard is only one idea among many. It is not conclusive in and of itself. Its major goal is moderation of petroleum consumption in the highway sector, with an important corollary being to reduce reliance on foreign oil, from the Middle East in particular. The idea is not just to set a CAFE standard, or in setting one to reach a particular level or to improve the efficiency of motor vehicle engines and transmissions.
It is not wise for the government to set the CAFE standard too high no matter how tempting that may be:
First, large fuel-improving technologies such as reducing a motor vehicle’s weight, front-wheel drive, variable speed automatic transmissions, and aerodynamic styling have already been implemented in most of the U.S. fleet and continuing application will bring only modest, incremental improvements. In the past almost all significant increases in motor vehicle fuel economy reductions, about 800 pounds, were gained by overall weight reduction. Manufacturers reach CAFE target goals through downsizing, not through the exercise of executive power or the discovery of new technology.
Second, drastic increases in CAFE standards are highly impractical if they radically curtail consumer choices. Forcing products on the public against consumer wishes is what Russian President Putting would call “centralized economic planning.”
Third, sharply higher CAFE levels will have a strong adverse impact on the makes and models built by U.S. workers and offered to the public for sale. As a result vehicle sales will fall and manufacturing employment will decay in an economy already hard-hit and in decline. Bill Underriner, Chairman of the National Auto Dealers Association, once estimated that CAFE increases, “Shuts almost seven million people out of the new car market.”
Fourth, greatly increased CAFE targets will compromise safety, as they have in the past. If a tank runs into a jeep head on, the occupants of the jeep lose.
The technical feasibility and possibility of achieving these newly adopted CAFE standards have yet to be demonstrated. To embrace them as national policy without scientific proof that they can be achieved requires a great leap of faith -- or stupidity. That is why now more than ever CAFE discussions cry out for a voice of engineering and scientific reason.
President George H.W. Bush’s Chief of Staff John Sununu once wrote, “There are things the engineering profession brings to the policy-making process. We bring a sense of propriety, a sense of what is valid and not valid … A system is not valid just because it gives you the answer you want … (this) is a luxury that the engineering profession can no longer afford.”
America doesn’t have the luxury of setting an agenda that could achieve a good and highly beneficial result, but in doing so inadvertently destroys human lives or an existing good and highly beneficial activity or way of life. Now is the time for the Obama Administration to show the public that their trust and confidence in this administration has not been misplaced.
Gen. Curry was Administrator of NHTSA (1989 – 1992).
Republican speaker of the House John A. Boehner says concerning the White House, “There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws.” The administration says it wants the Congress to pass comprehensive immigration laws. But to do so the administration must first begin to enforce existing immigration laws, starting with gaining control of the nation’s southern border. Boehner’s conclusion is that no matter what is agreed to by the Congress and no matter what the new comprehensive immigration laws may say, “Mr. Obama can’t be trusted to follow through on them.”
This is because President Obama has loosed a spirit of lawlessness in the land that is in great measure felt throughout not just our nation, but throughout the world. If the President of the United States cannot discipline himself or find it in his power to govern the nation by obeying the rule of law, there is little hope that the rulers of other world nations, especially in the third world, will respect justice and the rule of law.
Since our constitution was adopted, over two hundred years ago, the US has set the world’s standard for nations governing themselves by the rule of law. Writing while the constitution was still in the process of being written and adopted, Revolutionary War Citizen Thomas Paine said, “So deeply rooted were all the governments of the old world, and so effectually had the tyranny and the antiquity of habit established itself over the mind, that no beginning could be made in Asia, Africa, or Europe, to reform the political condition of man,” the President of the US or his political party. “Freedom had been hunted around the globe; reason was considered as rebellion.” Paine fiercely believed that nations should stop just making changes in persons and measures, that the world situation required changes in principles and only the US was founded upon such principles.
Contrary to Citizen Paine’s beliefs, our current President believes that he can arbitrarily suspend an act or law of Congress indefinitely or at any time he so desires. For example, he has modified the Affordable Care Act’s implementation over two dozen times even though by law only the Congress can amend an act of Congress. So when he so lawlessly changes the implementation date, as he has for the umpteenth time, he is placing himself above both the law and the constitution. According to him American law is whatever he says it is, without regard for the other supposedly equal branches of government: the Congress and the Supreme Court. For him, there is no Rubicon to be crossed because he himself is the Rubicon.
But if the President of the US can so freely abuse his power and not be bound by the nation’s constitution, then neither should the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court be bound by the Constitution. In fact, both parties in Congress, especially the President’s party, should be willing to act forcibly against any president who exceeds his constitutional authority as this one so casually does. Furthermore, it is against the law for legislators to willingly and openly cede their constitutional authority to a sitting president. This is not a power grab on the part of the president. Rather, it is a cowardly, illegal, congressional surrender.
President Obama’s lawless rewrite of the Affordable Care Act means that the law is whatever he says it is without regard for the Congress and the Supreme Court. The Act does not give the Administration the authority to change the Act’s date of implementation so when he cavalierly and lawlessly changes the date of implementation as he just did for the umpteenth time, he is placing himself above the law and the Constitution.
Where have all the statesmen gone and why do senior public servants find it so quick and easy to lie, evade responsibility and to blame others for their own failures and short comings? The nation’s goal should not be to light a fire under its public servants, but rather to light a fire within them.
There is a four word sentence whose answer clearly spells out the first step toward resolving our conflicts? “Who is in charge?” Once that is settled, the next steps automatically fall into place.
In May, 2008, 1Lt. Michael Behenna found himself in Afghanistan interrogating a terrorist who had killed two of his soldiers. Suddenly, the terrorist lunged for Lt. Behenna’s pistol. Fortunately Lt. Behenna’s reflexes were faster than the terrorist’s and he was able to fire a bullet into his chest and head, killing him. By any measure it was good shooting.
But Lt. Behenna was charged by the Army with premeditated murder and found guilty of doing what he had been trained to do – kill terrorists. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The seven men who found him guilty are non-infantry officers. That means their combat experience is limited and they haven’t had to stare death in the face where the fastest and most accurate shooter lives.
There is no such thing as being guilty of the premeditated murder of an Islamic terrorist. The deaths of all terrorists merit premeditation. And Lt. Behenna merits a presidential pardon, but that won’t happen. Writing in his memoire, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says that President Obama is distrustful of America’s military officers so he would have no reason to believe that Lt. Behenna acted appropriately.
Similarly, Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, a highly decorated combat commander, was reassigned from Afghanistan back to the US to teach a course entitled “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” at the US Joint Forces Staff college. The curriculum Lt. Col. Dooley was assigned to teach was approved many years ago, but for some reason did not come to the attention of Muslim special interest groups until Lt. Col. Dooley arrived. Fifty-Seven Muslim organizations signed a letter to the Department of Defense demanding that training materials offensive to them be purged and instructors disciplined.
Eventually the letter was passed to General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This was shortly followed by a Defense Department press release condemning the course material being taught as not “simply objectionable” but “inflammable.” Later on General Dempsey would say that the course’s content was “totally objectionable” and “against our values.” Lt. Col. Dooley was releaved of his teaching assignment and his exemplary career effectively trashed.
Most surprising is that no one is speaking up for Lt. Behenna and Lt. Col. Dooley. It is not easy but Admirals and Generals need to find a way to Satisfy their civilian masters in the Department of Defense while at the same time stand up for and speak up for the troops they lead. This is particularly true today when our Armed Forces are being gutted, hollowed out, and grossly misused.
Each soldier, sailor, airman and marine needs to know, down to last one, that the President and his Secretary of State will not cavalierly send them off to fight and die on some irrelevant foreign battlefield for some abstract political cause that neither the President nor the nation believes in. And once on a foreign battlefield, the military’s rules of engagement should favor saving the lives of America’s Armed Forces, not Al-Qaeda.
Our troops should be free to do whatever is necessary to defend their own lives, to blow away any terrorist who even looks like he is about to fire on our troops or allies. If a mistake is made and an innocent is killed, restitution should be made as best as is possible. But there should be no second guessing of our soldiers’ actions.
Our senior generals and admirals would do well to remember the words of German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoeller who, when speaking of the NAZIs once said, “First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out … Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”
No nation can survive for long if there is a breach of faith and trust between its President and its Armed Forces. Most disturbing of all is the trend in today’s military to throw under the bus officers that are brave enough to stand up and tell it like it is or to make decisions which they know are right but of which the headquarters staffs might not approve.
All our armed forces are grappling with the question of how to maintain a strong military in the face of a shrinking Pentagon budget. The first lesson the Pentagon, Congress and the President need to learn is that appropriating funds for national defense is not a zero sum budgetary exercise. The size of the nation’s defense budget should be based on national defense requirements, not on how much money is left over after all other non-defense needs, such as entitlements, are satisfied.
First the Administration needs to develop a worldwide national defense policy; only then does it make sense to develop a budget to support that policy. Just because non-defense spending is going down, does not mean that defense spending should also go down. If the security of the nation is not preserved, what good is allocating money to non-security programs such as same sex marriage? Obviously a first rate national defense is more important to the future of our children and grandchildren than optional social programs.
It is foolish to increase or decrease the numbers of troops, aircraft, aircraft carriers and submarines deployed around the world based solely on the extent of entitlement spending. Until the nation’s military readiness and other defense spending requirements are met, non-defense budgetary programs such as Medicare and Social Security should not be satisfied.
It is also more important that our troops -- those who are sacrificing so much for the future welfare of our country -- be fairly rewarded, properly equipped and led, than that they fall victim to clever budgeting gimmicks like Sequestration. No priority should be more critical than immediately freeing our armed forces from the shackles and penalties of a political budgeting process.
Long before the Defense Budget gets to Congress, it is thoroughly massaged by the Pentagon’s civilian masters to reflect the political goals of the Administration. The generals and admirals can champion the cause of their individual services and service men and women only so far. At some point in the process they are told to sit down and shut up. Those who do, get to hold on to their jobs. Those who do not, are eased out of their jobs and summarily retired.
Since the President and Congress have already decided how and how much to arbitrarily slash military pay and benefits, and the Joint Chiefs have already been forced to agree to the reductions, submitting a military budget to the Congress is merely a formality. There is no way to adequately compensate our military troops and their families for the sacrifices the nation has called upon them to make these past ten years. That is why their pay raises and benefits should be generously granted without major reductions.
Our fighting men and women and their families deserve to be generously dealt with. They deserve to be liberated from the devastating effects of Congress’ and the President’s arbitrary and thoughtless Defense Department budget reductions. Not only should military equipment be replaced and restored, but the morale of military families also needs to be restored. Military families have become the victims of Washington’s political power games, and it is not helpful for the senior generals and admirals to go mute instead of defending the needs of their troops and their families.
Finding funds to offset sequestration and to properly equip, pay and reward our military is not as difficult as may at first be imagined. To fairly meet the nation’s national security budget requirements simply takes will power, a determination by the President and the Congress to somewhere find the funds for national defense in the budget.
Under the rein of President Obama most departments and agencies have stockpiled millions of rounds of ammunition, more than could be used to quell a civil war here in the United States, or to fight another Afghanistan War. Those rounds could be recovered and shipped to military bases to be used for training and combat. President Obama’s civilian armies that he has created in addition to our military forces should be disbanded and the money saved turned over to the military.
All funds in all Departments and Agencies discovered to be waste, fraud and abuse could be diverted toward meeting national defense needs. An across the board percentage reduction from the budgets of all Departments and Agencies of government could be allocated to the Defense Department.
Let’s say the Departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and Agriculture each gave two or three percent of their budgets to the Pentagon, and all other Departments and Agencies gave a fraction of a percent. That should be enough to equip, train and maintain our armed forces. The point is that all Departments and Agencies will cease to exist if our armed forces fail in their mission of national security, of protecting America and keeping it safe.
Therefore, the national defense budget should always be considered separately from non-defense spending.
Since the Shah died some thirty years ago Iran has been an outspoken enemy of the United States, which it calls the “Great Satan.” At the same time, it has spread war, terror, and hatred throughout the Middle-East. Why does Iran hate the U.S. so vehemently? It is because the U.S. is basically a Christian nation and Shia Iran is a Christian-hating nation.
Until now the U.S. has been able to stand firm and not reciprocate Iran’s hatred and evil machinations. Essentially America’s goals have been twofold: to provide for our national defense; and to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and a delivery means with which to threaten other middle-eastern countries and Israel.
The United Nations and all previous U.S. Administrations have successfully worked toward stopping Iran’s development and production of nuclear weapons. Hopefully this time our drive to nuclear neuter Iran will also be successful and Iran’s development of a nuclear bomb will again be stopped, or at least be delayed. Unfortunately, the current U.S. Administration is following a feeble and feckless foreign policy including a roll back of the United Nations’ and prior Administrations’ hard won nuclear weapons program agreements and concessions.
Further complicating the matter are Iran’s past pronouncements concerning Israel, about whom Iran has openly said that all Jews should be killed and the nation of Israel should be swept from the face of the earth. Many foreign policy experts maintain that this is only Iran’s over the top rhetoric. That’s what Neville Chamberlain said about Hitler’s pronouncements concerning the Jews in the 1930s.
The raw facts are that Iran has publicly stated many times over that it will not accept a negotiated agreement if that agreement means that the Jewish people will continue to exist. Iran would consider that to be a national humiliation. Being internationally humiliated may or may not be tolerable for Iran, but the annihilation of all Jews and the obliteration of all things Jewish can never be acceptable to Israel, and should never be acceptable to the international community.
Israel cannot embrace an agreement which leaves it vulnerable to extinction. From the viewpoint of the major mid-east players, Iran has little -- very little -- negotiating room; and Israel has none. In the past the U.S. has been willing to represent Israel’s interests and Israel has been comfortable with the U.S. doing so. But times and things have changed; Israel no longer believes that the U.S. can be trusted to represent its interests because President Obama seems willing, perhaps even anxious, to surrender previously negotiated hard fought gains with Iran and to replace them with ambiguity.
Currently we have a President and Attorney General who, like Third World dictators, defy all their nation’s laws. They do whatever pleases them personally and politically no matter what the U.S. Congress, the Supreme Court, the Constitution and the international community says. They are both men of lawlessness who glory and revel in speaking untruths. For example, President Obama has steadfastly lied about Ben Ghazi and Obamacare.
Wittingly or unwittingly, he has joined a long line of dishonest, lawless world leaders. Karzai of Afghanistan defies the U.S. and refuses to sign an accord protecting American Servicemen even though it is to his country’s best interests to sign it; Pakistan refuses to mount an effective campaign to eliminate al-Qaeda terrorists headquartered in Pakistan; North Korea defies the United Nations with its nuclear weapons program; China has started defying the international community by claiming international air space; and here at home knock out hoodlums defy our laws and assault innocent, unsuspecting citizens walking along their neighborhood streets.
Yes, it is an unwarranted stretch to link China to knock out gangs marauding down America’s city streets. But the point is that there is a spirit of lawlessness and defiance loose in the world which if not soon contained will lead to long term chaos and wanton civil ruin.
Some say that if Iran fails to negotiate in good faith China and Russia will be embarrassed and might start cooperating with the west … yes, and Mary Poppins knows how to fly with an umbrella. This line of thinking holds that if Iran is handled carefully and properly it will one day discover that peace is more helpful to it in the long term than sewing discord.
If Iran were ruled by logic and common sense, such a revelation might be possible. However, history teaches us that countries like Iran which are run by Islamic governments are not easily moved by logic, cooperation or common sense.
No matter how hard we wish a thing doesn’t make it true. Fanatical Iran has deliberately chosen to be America’s enemy. According to the Koran, there is only one way for the U.S. to overcome its hatred. All Americans would have to renounce their Christianity and convert to Islam. Still, that is more likely than all Iranians converting to Christianity.
Since the Revolutionary War Virginia has been the titular home of America’s Armed Forces which brings to the state myriad Defense Contractors, their representatives and thousands of defense related jobs. The Pentagon is located in Virginia as is the huge Navy Yard at Norfolk and countless Army and Air Force installations are located throughout the state.
All these installations are manned by military personnel with their families living in Virginia. It can be said that as goes America’s Armed Forces, so goes military spending in Virginia and spending at military and military support facilities all across the nation.
When the nation’s Defense budget is large those working at the bases and military facilities are flush with money, and all the little and big stores and local businesses enjoy the good life. If the Defense budget is cut in Virginia, Defense spending is cut nationwide.
But all of this depends on who is sitting in the White House as Commander-in-Chief. For the last five years the actions of the President and the Democrat Party have been directed toward weakening and shrinking the size of America’s armed forces. In the words of the old folk song, “The times they are a changing.”
The nation went through this before, in the administrations of Presidents Carter and Clinton. The results were the same. Military readiness crashed. The Navy’s ships were unmanned and rotting in port. The Air Force didn’t have enough repair parts to put a full squadron of planes in the air at any one time. The Army and Marines were improperly trained and outfitted and didn’t have enough boots to effectively put them on the ground anywhere. And our friends and allies doubted our reliability.
Isn’t it interesting that at a time when U.S. Military forces are being drastically undermined and dangerously shrunk that non-defense civilian-military forces are being greatly expanded. How is this possible?
The Pentagon doesn’t have enough money to recruit, train and support the nation’s military, but federal departments like the Department of Homeland Security have more than enough money to create, outfit and equip their own civilian armies, from scratch.
Civilian pseudo-armies have sprung up in many of the federal government’s non-military departments and agencies. So we don’t have enough money to keep our military trained and ready for deployment, but we have enough money to create civilian pseudo-armies that do not report to the Congress or the Pentagon.
For what purpose are these civilian armies being created? It can’t be to deploy them overseas to fight alongside our armed forces in wars like the one in Afghanistan. No, these civilian armed forces are meant to fight within the continental limits of the United States.
And who is their enemy? Basically there are three possibilities. First, they can be used to fight terrorists who sneak into our country to kill innocent Americans. Second, they could be used to interdict illegal aliens infiltrating our borders. And third, they could be used to control and harass American citizens at the beck and call of the federal government, much as pseudo-legal SWAT teams now operate across the nation with impunity; but to do this the nation’s military forces must first be neutered, which seems to be the President’s plan.
As best I can determine, the White House has fired more high ranking generals and admirals in the last year than in the past fifty years combined. The cause of their retirement is less than clear. The Pentagon suggests that perhaps they may have been involved in improper relationships, whatever that means, or they have been too openly critical of Administration policy. This is code for their not being “Yes” men.
If they do as told without questioning, even when they know what they are being asked to do is wrong, they will be rewarded with a promotion. If they insist on modifying their instructions and doing what is right, they will get fired.
Clarity of purpose and definition of what is required to do to win, matters. Both Congressional Democrats and Republicans say they want to avoid the deep Defense budget cuts scheduled to take place next year which amount to about $20 billion. Entitlement spending is scheduled to remain close to where it is now.
But war is not a zero sum proposition. Just because entitlement spending goes up, doesn’t mandate that defense spending goes down. This nation shouldn’t increase or limit the number of soldiers, aircraft, aircraft carriers and submarines deployed around the world based on entitlement spending requirements or whether taxes have been increased.
Defense spending should be determined solely by the nation’s national defense needs, not simply to balance arbitrary budget requirements. Each soldier, sailor or airman needs to know, down to the last one, that their President and Congress will not cavalierly send them off to risk their lives or to die on some irrelevant foreign battlefield for some extraneous cause based on a budget.
Now is the time for senior admirals and generals to stand up, speak up for the troops they lead and tell Congress and the President in no uncertain terms that our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are not being properly trained, equipped and led in places like Benghazi and Afghanistan, sometimes just because their Politically Correct rules of engagement are wrong.
They should be allowed to take out any foreign soldier who even looks like he’s about to fire on American troops or on our allies. If a mistake is made and an innocent is killed, as best as is possible restitution should be made. But there should be no second guessing of our soldier’s actions.
Our senior generals and admirals would do well to remember the words of German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoeller when speaking of the NAZIs. “First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out … Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”