Tag Archives: OBAMA

Why does President Obama give brutal dictators a break? Cuba is the latest.

Since November, I had been telling people that they have yet to see the worst of Obama.  With no more elections in the future, no control over Congress and no Harry Reid to block legislation from reaching his desk, we will see a succession of autocratic directives coming from the White House.  In many ways, he is bitter and lashing out at a country that took him down from the pedestal upon which he placed himself.  In the worst of the Chicago tradition, it is payback time on the America the radical left loathes.

His private deal with Raul Castro is another in what will be a long string of hard core left-wing dictates to be coming from the Oval Office.  Whether you agree that normalizations with Cuba is a worthy goal or not, this is not the time or way to do it.

For decades, Cuban leaders have longed for a deal with the United States that would bring untold advantages to their struggling economy and more power to their brutal regime.  While sanctions failed to topple the two-headed Castro regime, they did prevent the dictatorial duo from becoming popular – an important leverage for both the United States and eventually the welfare people of Cuba.

Once again, Obama uses past precedents that are not true examples.  The administration cites China and Russia as two adversaries where we benefited by normalizing relationships.  Where Obama is typically deceptive is that normalization with those nations came on OUR terms, with great benefits to world trade and free enterprise.  In the case of China and especially Russia, we were open to negotiations AFTER we put their economies on the road to collapse.

In Cuba, Obama is giving benefits to the dictators without any discernible benefits to the United States.  Sure, we got the release of one American hostage, but the Obama trade was typically disproportionate.  And, despite his grand announcement, there are elements of the trade that are beyond his power.  He is again tip toeing to the edge of abuse of power.

Obama only offers some vague hope that things will get better with Cuba in the far future.  There is no quid pro quo addressing Cuban civil rights abuses, crushing opposition, supporting international terrorism, confiscation of American property and undemocratic policies.  In other words, for a public relations victory among his radical left-wing base, Obama has strengthened the grip of the totalitarian Castro brothers and their Communist successors.

It is said that the Obama-Castro deal was brokered by the Pope.  It seems to be so.  To me this makes the Pope just another hard core left-wing leader, who holds America in contempt.  Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan formed an alliance to bring down the Soviet Union.  Obama and Francis have formed an alliance to bring down American power and influence.  I predict his narrow political views will exacerbate the loss of membership in the Catholic Church.  I already know a few who heading out the door.  I also expect that Francis will be the first Pope to be welcomed to the United States by demonstrators opposing his reign.

Cuba is another example of the Obama doctrine that suggests that a weak America is better for the world.  For six years, he has sided with America’s traditional adversaries over long time friends.  He has bowed figuratively and literally to despotic leaders who would be thrilled to see American influence in the world diminished to the point of irrelevancy.  This is why he chokes up when ever asked about American Exceptionalism.

Hang on to your seats.  The last two years of the Obama administration is going to be bumpy.  At this point, we can only try to limit the damage he does.

Praise for Obama on Crimea … finally.

One of the obligations of an honest critic is to praise when deserved.  It could have been sooner.  It could have been more.  But, I will credit President Obama with taking important symbolic and meaningful action against Vladimir Putin, and his territorial war against the Ukraine.  Obama has cut off the exportation of critical technology to the Crimea province of the Ukraine currently occupied by Russia.  He also imposed sanctions on companies and individuals aiding a Russian takeover.

Yeah, yeah, I know he is only following what Canada and the European Union previously announced.  But lacking a desire for strong leadership, I at least give him credit for good follower-ship — I suppose that is the Obama doctrine of  “leading from behind.”

My view on Obama’s dubious war authority as published in the Palm Beach Post on Sunday, September 28, 2014

You can see the online article here.


Point of View: Waging new war under Iraq authorization a sham

If you want to know why there has been no war authorization from Congress, look to the Democrats and election politics. While President Barack Obama said he wanted congressional participation, he did nothing to gain it. In our system, presidents come to Congress to request a Declaration of War and Congress votes.

Obama did not do that. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could have conducted a vote if Obama had just picked up the phone and requested one. To avoid the Republican-controlled House of Representatives from sending a war authorization bill to the Senate, Reid put the upper chamber in recess, effectively preventing any congressional vote before the election. It is now obvious that Obama was disingenuous when he claimed to want congressional participation.

Informal head counts clearly show that a request for war powers would have passed with overwhelming Republican support. On the other hand, the Democrats are split on the issue. With part of Obama’s political base vehemently opposed to even a clearly defensive war, a vote in support of the president’s action would likely further damage Democratic candidates, especially in those all-critical Senate races.

Rather, the Obama unilateral action relies on improper use of the original Iraq War authorization of more than a decade ago. It is no small irony that the past votes of people like then-Sens. Hillary Clinton and John Kerry are now part of Obama’s rationale — even though they later regretted their votes.

The dubious use of the previous war’s authorization is another abuse of power necessitated for solely political reasons. The Obama approach is neither good warfare nor good governance.


Here is my view on OBAMA’S WAR SPEECH (as published in the Florida Sun Sentinel on September 18,2014)

Some say that President Obama’s war (or not war) speech was the best speech of his career. It depends if you are judging on rhetoric, substance or credibility.  I grade him a B for rhetoric, D for substance and F for credibility.

The post mortem talking heads on Fox, CNN and MSNBC all agreed on one thing. This was a speech Obama did not wish to ever give.  No president wants to send American service men and women into harms way, but they rise to that necessity with full commitment when circumstances require.  They tend to lead public opinion by laying out the reasons for war.  In the case of Obama, the rationale came from the people, not from the Oval Office.  His decision seemed more motivated by his sense of political necessity than moral obligation. Obama was again leading from behind.

The President’s highest mark is for “rhetoric.” He lived up to his reputation for being an effective orator.  He sounded strong and sincere, even as he uttered nonsense.  As many pundits pointed out, portions of his speech might have been given by George Bush or Ronald Reagan.

His grade average drops a bit with regard to substance.  It again reflected Obama’s talent for style over substance.  He talked a lot about what America is going to do, but very little about how.  He identified the problem, but was short on solution.  What he said he would not do, “boots on the ground,” was more definitive than what he would do – other than the continuation of an airstrike strategy over more geography.

His greatest problem and lowest grade involves his credibility.  He came to the podium as one of the least admired and least trusted presidents in American history.  Six years of popular campaign-style language unsupported by implementation and consistency has put his general credibility in the negative zone.  He did not improve his score with this speech.

He said he wants congress involved, although he did not say in what role – to give constitutional authority, to give only advice, or to merely be rubber stamp audience to his rhetoric.  His call for congressional partnership is provably disingenuous since he has not called on them for action.  For the first time, Congress may authorize military action without an official request from the President.  Again, he is leading from behind.

His limited strategy, based on the use of non-American military on the all essential ground war, was greeted with skepticism by knowledgeable military and political leaders – and by a majority of Americans.

His assistance that there will be no U.S. “boots on the ground” failed to pass the veracity test since he, in the same breath, announced increased troop deployment.  The fact that our fliers will be dropping bombs on enemies who have the weaponry to shoot them down seems to be war by definition.

More than 1600 armed soldiers are “in harm’s way,” regardless of their alleged non-combat duties.  Despite the parsed words of the President, there will be “boot on the ground.”  Our military will be positioned next to local military personal and subject to attack.  The “no boots on the ground” policy will be revoked the minute American soldier are killed on in the air or on the ground.

Obama’s credibility takes is deepest dip in his proposed reliance on regional forces to cover the ground game.  It is absurd in view of what we already know about their fervor, loyalty and capability.  Only months ago, Obama demeaned them as “former farmers, teachers and pharmacists.”

The war on ISIS, and terrorism in general, cannot be won with airstrikes alone.  Even the president knows that.  To date, Obama has not put together a credible allied force on the ground – it seems more and more likely, he never will.  What then.

Obama is obsessed not to make his efforts seem like a redo of Bush’s war.  He ignores the fact that the Bush’s Iraq war started with a much larger and more involved “coalition of the willing,” the support of the United Nations and an affirmative vote from Congress.  All this runs contrary to Obama’s narrative and his belief that he is a far superior and more successful president than Bush.

Using the surgical targeting in Somalia and Yemen as an example of his ISIS policy was inexplicable in view of the fact that terrorism is rampant and growing to both nations.  Obama’s  selective bombing policy is failing Yemen, and marginally successful because the Somali government has been vigorously fighting terrorists before we got involved.

The President further damaged his own credibility by offering two juxtaposed assessments.  At one point, he argued that ISIS and other terrorist groups pose a national security to the nation.  Later he said they did not pose “an immediate threat.”  This flies in the face of all intelligence reports. He claimed to already have the legal authority but would go to Congress.  That promise has already been reversed.

Obama claimed his actions were nothing like Iraq and Afghanistan when it seems to have all the same characteristics.  He anticipates a multiyear military engagement.  Yet, there is a sense that he wishes to fight this war with one hand restrained.  Virtually every military expert and leader has concurred that we cannot defeat and destroy international terrorism without entering Syria and without adequate “boots on the ground.”  If the local security forces are not adequate, will Obama break his pledge or will he conduct a long lingering stalemate until he leaves office?

Obama sadly revealed that his words are always in campaign mode when he shifted from the crisis at hand to a political commercial for his stewardship on domestic issues.  By his words alone, he would like the American public to believe that we are safer today.  He talked about the economy and employment as if we were in the middle of an “Obama boom.”  This shift from the crisis to exaggerated campaign rhetoric diminished the meaning and impact of the entire speech.  It again revealed a President who can only think in partisan and personal political terms.  It was shameless.

As is often the case, Obama’s words suffered a disconnect from both known facts and likely future prospects.  His strong rhetoric may carry the day as we give the President the momentary benefit of doubt, but events and outcomes will provide the longer historic review.  If we can draw from his six-year history, the Obama administration will be doing a lot of shifting and parsing in the coming months as reality challenges his rhetoric.

My view on SHOOTING DOWN MALAYSIAN AIRLINER (as published in the Washington Times on July 24, 2014)


When Israel entered Gaza on the day the Malaysian airliner was shot down, millions of Americans dropped what they were doing to follow the news minute by minute. Well, with one notable exception.  President Obama continued with his political fundraising tour.

Aides suggest the President got belated reports in between handshakes and cocktails. But, that’s not good enough.  He needed to take command of the situation.  There were options and plans to consider.  He needed to contact the State Department and the CIA.

Since it was initially obvious who was responsible for shooting down Flight 17, the President should have used his phone to implement a timely response.

Since international law confers primary responsibility for the crash site on the Ukrainian government and Malaysian Airlines, Obama should have proposed that they invite the U.S. and other affected nations to IMMEDIATELY secure the crash site and commence the investigation.

Obama might have called the heads of state of every nation with victims aboard to enlist their support for a combined military team of approximately 20,000 to travel to the Ukraine to preserve the crime zone.

He could have announce to the world, and made it clear to Putin, that this force is not entering the Ukraine to participate in the conflict, but solely as a humanitarian effort to secure the site and begin the investigation under legal authority. Rather than wait for Putin’s predictable objection, Obama should have had the troops airborne as they spoke.

Obama should then have demanded that Putin order the separatists to step down, and declare that any attack on the international team would be considered a hostile action, and that we would deploy whatever means were necessary to protect the investigators.

I believe that neither Putin nor the separatists would have dared attacked the international investigators. We would have secured the crash site for a truly honest investigation.  We would have dealt with the dead in an expeditious and honorable manner.  And, we very likely would have affected a cease fire during the time of the investigation – which could take months.

In the event of an attack on the international team, we would use overwhelming military might to destroy the combat capability of the attackers. In other words, let us do our job peacefully or suffer the consequents.

Instead, from Obama we get all too familiar empty rhetoric, promises no longer believable and ineffective actions.