Troops attacked in Syria. Putin’s Suckers. Commander-In-Chief. Uninsuring The Ininsured. Google Memo. A racist black? Gripes On The Media. Victory In Afghanistan. The North Korea Crisis. Social Democrats. A Party That Cried Wolf. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Tweets. Today’s Hard Truth.
Of Particular Interest
In Harm’s Way
There are reports that US troops in northern Syria have come under direct attack multiple times in the last week. While no US soldiers were hurt, it is disturbing that our soldiers reportedly did not return fire.
Admittedly, we do not know the full circumstances of these attacks, but if there are any standing orders that our troops cannot engage when being engaged without some sort of higher-up authorization it is very disturbing and disconcerting.
I have never been unopposed to military action when its needed and ISIS is a destabilizing threat to the region and to the world and must be defeated, but our nation’s warriors should never be put in harms way without authorization to defend themselves.
A Tale of Two Suckers
One would have hoped that after eight years of Obama, Americans (and especially conservatives) would have wanted someone in the White House who Putin couldn’t treat like a sucker, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
“I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll.”
Ignoring the point that those diplomats are still on the payroll and (hopefully) haven’t lost their jobs just because a Russian autocrat is throwing a fit, one has to wonder whether the fiscal drop in the bucket of the diplomats salary is equal to the national shame of a sitting US President kowtowing to a former KGB Colonel.
Commander In Chief
President Trump’s instabilities notwithstanding, the Presidency was designed with its role of Commander-In-Chief as the most important of presidential responsibilities.
Military action in protection of the country and its interests is granted the most latitude within the powers of the presidency by the US Constitution, and we should be careful not to damage the ability of the Commander-In-Chief to deal with the changing realities that are imminent with the speed of conflict.
Congress has the right whether or not to declare war, and while President Trump being in charge of such a crisis is concerning to many, we must not place our nation in a situation where the Executive is helpless to act until after hundreds or maybe thousands are dead.
A legislative body cannot command a conflict. That is why we only have one Commander-In-Chief and we should be wary of damaging his ability to command in situations where there is no time to arrange the matter to be heard on the floors of Congress.
Various and Sundry
Uninsuring The Already Insured
The rationing of healthcare that would inevitably take place under a single payer system would in essence mean we lay the advantages of superior healthcare on the altar of having all Americans insured in name but not in deed and in many cases we would be uninsuring those already insured. At some point we must ask what use is “universal” coverage without the quality of care the free market can insure through competition and consumer choice.
Suffice it to say that there’s a difference between recognizing some realities of the biological differences in the sexes and digressing towards biological determinism.
All Races Can Be Racist
I find it very interesting that many on the left get so offended and bent out of shape whenever somebody mentions a “racist black”. Believe it or not, no one ethnicity has demonstrated a greater or lesser capability for bigotry throughout history. Indeed, to believe otherwise would in and of itself be prejudicial.
I have noticed many mainstream news outlets and other mediums still constantly referring to James Mattis as General Mattis…and I would really like them to stop. It may seem like a small thing, but we have a tradition in our nation of our military services remaining under civilian leadership, and while James Mattis is a retired Marine General he is overseeing our military in the civilian capacity of Secretary of Defense and not as a General. He should be referred to as Secretary Mattis, just as a President who was a General would still be referred to as President.
Another Gripe On The Media
I wish the media wouldn’t make pictures of Trump and Mueller facing off in their headlines. It adds fuel to an already bombastic situation that should be focused on finding facts, prosecuting real crime (if it’s found), and above all else ensuring the integrity of our election process.
Trump and his die-hard supporters want this to be a Trump vs. Mueller narrative and playing into their hands is not what we need right now.
Victory in Afghanistan
We will not win in Afghanistan until we determine to stay until the job’s done. We can rob the enemy of their resources and territory, but until we rob them of the hope that they can wait us out they will continue to fight.
Afghanistan is still important and perhaps the most important fight of our time. The lack of large scale terrorist attacks in our country since 9/11 can largely be credited with denying the Islamists a safe harbor to plan and train such attacks.
If we cut and run from Afghanistan it would be a strategic and tactical defeat with very real consequences for the safety and security of Americans everywhere, including here at home.
What Could Have Been The Best Path Forward
What I feel could be truly needed in the North Korea situation is a decisive but surgical deterrent action. Kim Jong Un’s number one priority is remaining in power, and he will continue to bluster and threaten world stability so long as he feels he’s untouchable from truly threatening action. A single devastating but surgical strike could remove the threat of nuclear capability as well as damage North Korea’s retaliatory ability and put Kim Jong Un on his heels.
But, I’m afraid we have a President who could not sell such an action to Congress and the American people.
A Multiplicity of Threats
Reigning in North Korea is about more than just their capability to strike the US mainland, it’s about the proliferation of nuclear capability.
North Korea would not blink an eye at selling their nuclear devices to militants, extremists, and other rogue nations who would love to put such a device in Times Square.
This is why fighting, and winning, the flash wars America has grown hesitant to engage in has taken even more dire meaning. Retreating in weakness from the lawless lands where terrorists and extremists could reign supreme becomes an existential question when they may soon be offered nuclear capability on the black market.
Social Democrats Share The Blame
Make no mistake, the rise of Donald Trump was facilitated, expedited, and enabled by the rise of Social Democracy as a core tenant of the Democratic Party. If Democrats don’t want to embarrassingly lose another election to such a horrible candidate again, they should consider regaining the liberal ground within the sphere of natural law instead of continuing to regressively slide towards socialism.
The Party That Cried Wolf
Democrats have ratcheted up their rhetoric before, and against Presidents who were much more measured and presidential then the current one. So, why do they act so surprised when their words fall on the deaf ears of an abused and marginalized conservative movement?
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Tweets
A Few Words On “Fire and Fury”
Being tough is not about bluster or throwing expletives around, lobbing idles threats and especially not about “talking in terms understood by the enemy.” Being tough is about constant vigilance, consistent vision, and, above all else, maintaining the capacity for clear and decisive rhetoric and action.
That…and using similar language to a nation with no credibility is a good way to get started losing ours.
(A good way to start actually dealing with the problem would perhaps be appointing an ambassador to South Korea. Yeah…I know)
The unfortunate reality seems to be that for President Trump’s die hard supporters, #AmericaFirst really means #TrumpFirst, #DrainTheSwamp really means purging the Republican Party of anyone willing to dabble in hard truths and inconvenient facts which the President is wont to ignore, and #MakeAmericaGreatAgain means anyone not willing to shower Trump in adoration needs to shut up. #Sad
Scapegoats…but you need scapegoats?
#Deplorables and #AltRight Media have lately been lashing out at their chosen scapegoats for Trump’s lack of achievement, most notably Priebus, Sessions, McMasters, and McConnell to name a few. I can’t help but wonder how this approach jives with arguments (not so long ago) that everything was going great and it was only the #FakeNews and those falling for their “propaganda” who believed the President hadn’t been the “most successful President ever, so far”.
My opinion is that the real culprit is Breitbart News and others being thirsty to engage in retaliatory scalp hunting.
Where’s The Leadership?
It is a disturbing sign of poor leadership to refuse to accept responsibility for failure, but it is particularly alarming to see the leader of the free world lashing out and blaming everyone but himself for dysfunction, lack of direction, and absence of legislative achievement.
The hard fact is that nothing damages the likelihood of passing legislative agendas, the efficacy and legitimacy of executive decisions, or the ability to lead a nation when facing a threat than allowing a culture of instability and dysfunction to permeate the White House.
The Presidency is meant to be the focal point for stability at home and abroad and unfortunately the President is projecting the opposite, which is damaging the American people’s confidence in his leadership and emboldening our enemies.
Eye On The Ball
Is the White House’s eye on the ball? Are they focused on the myriad of threats facing our nation and ensuring they stand united against them? Or are they busy stabbing each other in the back trying to ingratiate themselves to a leader who seems to revel in dysfunction?
For example, firing Reince Priebus and replacing him with John Kelly effectively vacated the leadership of Homeland Security, which doesn’t seem like a good idea when a rogue nation is threatening the security of our homeland.
I personally endorse more leadership and less drama.
The North Korea situation is a time to close ranks, accept present realities, and present the nation with a united front behind a clear direction. That the backstabbing in the White House is ongoing is extremely troubling in such dangerous times.
“Under Constant Attack”
Can we commence with the idea that sharing an opinion is an “attack” just because it doesn’t jive with our selected source of confirmation bias?
When I disagree with President Trump or am unhappy with his actions, words, or policies I am not attacking him nor is my exercise of free speech any form of “treason” or unpatriotic exercise. In fact I have always believed, long before Donald Trump ever came along, that speaking out against the government and keeping politicians honest to the will of the people is by far my most patriotic duty and, far from any idea of treason, it is holding truer and being more loyal to the principles and ideals of our nation than any other action.
Today’s Hard Truth
North Korea is being more bombastic, more belligerent, and is considerably closer to gaining the ability to launch an attack on the US since Donald Trump came into office.
Granted, any politician in the White House would have a hard time reasserting US leadership across the world after President Obama’s years of “strategic patience” and lead-from-behind diplomacy. However, President Trump is descending to Kim Jong Un’s level, which will have the unfortunate side effect of being taken about as serious as Kim Jong Un, and his father, often have been.
Standing tough is one thing. Using the language of the enemy and diminishing our resolve and credibility in doing so is quite another.
-The Millennial Federalist