The little President who never grew up


If you ever wondered how Pee Wee Herman would perform as President of the United States, well, now you know.

With the background ooompah music of the circus calliope wearing on nerves, acrobats and clowns would perform their absurd routines to entertain crowds seeking diversion from the real world.

Sounds a lot like the Obama administration’s fumbling national security issues while the mainstream media dutifully diverts the public from our own leadership failures.

Obama began his rookie year persistently sowing weakness, bowing to other heads of state, making subtle apologies worldwide for America, promising new alliances to the Muslim world, insulting American allies like Britain and Israel while coddling our enemies. Never mind his wrecking our economy with anti-business rhetoric and policies, new piles of giveaway programs and bloating the national debt.

I suppose it is understandable that objections to Obama from the right were dismissed as politics, or the lame accusation of racism, but jeepers, couldn’t the rest of you open your eyes to see the danger in electing a man so full of himself he basked in his own glow even though he had never so much as run a hot dog stand?

In an epidemic of willful blindness, the media still refuses to see, maybe because their curiosity and skepticism are reserved for Republicans.

I can understand the appeal to the left from the Democrat promise of more free stuff, the explosive growth of government largess in welfare and neat gadgets like giveaway cell phones, but didn’t you start to wonder about the maturity and inner strength of a man who thumped his chest as if he personally killed bin Laden, continually vilified his political opposition while refusing to work with them, pulled cheap tricks to cram legislation through Congress without building consensus and made endless pathetic excuses?

Didn’t you worry about the character of an ostensible leader who went to bed during the Benghazi crisis, then flew to a fundraiser the next day and brazenly lied about it to get reelected against the backdrop of four American funerals?

Apparently not, you voted for him, maybe because Romney made an unpolitic remark. We have sunk pretty low when appearances matter but substance does not.

Elections have consequences. By the time Obama dithered over a troop surge in Afghanistan as the world watched and waited … and waited … our enemies already knew America was led by a girly-man who had never earned his big-boy pants.

Frankly, I never thought the 14th century stink-hole called Afghanistan was worth the sacrifice of American lives in the first place, but the President of the United States is supposed to be demonstrating the kind of strength that makes our enemies’ knees knock.

Instead, when he finally announced the surge, at the same time he tried to please critics in his own party by publicly promising to pull all troops out a few years hence, thereby proving positive to our enemies he had neither a spine nor a brain.

Any fifth-grader can tell you not to advertise to your opponent when you will quit the fight, especially when the lives of your countrymen are at risk. That duty is multiplied when you are the one sending our troops to fight.

Weakness has consequences, too. Will liberals never learn that peace comes from strength? While it is nice to believe, even if breathtakingly naive, that we spread peace by kindness and sensitivity, the reality is peace comes from the evil dirtbags of the world staying under their rock due to a very healthy fear of America’s power and influence.

This president has turned that considerable American power into a worldwide laughingstock.

We reaped in Syria the weakness he sowed. When Obama publicly drew a red line on Syria’s use of chemical weapons, then did nothing when that red line was crossed, the world watched … and waited.

A president should never make empty threats that destroy his credibility, or worse, later deny he drew a red line at all. Pee Wee would have been ashamed of that one.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin set in motion the events that recently stole Crimea from Ukraine, our President countered with words. In the symbolism of liberals, Obama publicly warned Putin was conducting himself like the 20th century, not the 21st century, as if when the calendar turned to 2001, human nature transformed in a way that eliminated evil and promised peaceful negotiation of all conflict. Those big-boy pants would have come in handy.

All this talk of the 21st century reminds me of President Bill Clinton’s “bridge to the 21st century,” a symbolic phrase that means absolutely nothing but was often repeated in 1999 by a fawning media, as if we couldn’t arrive without his metaphysical bridge when the calendar flipped.

Obama had more in his arsenal of words as Putin made overtures on Crimea. He warned that the world would not think well of Russia’s aggression and threatened to dis-invite him to a meeting of the G8, now G7 without Russia. I can almost see Putin roll his eyes.

But then Obama unleashed the big guns of Secretary of State John Kerry, who gave Putin another blast of symbolism with, “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.”

Of course the Russians understand power as well as anyone, and they did just exactly that. Perhaps they slept through the international sensitivity training that seems to drive our own government these days with dedication to a fantasy that evil and conquest no longer exist.

Before the Russians took Crimea, Kerry gave them a public warning of sanctions, garnished with this sweetener: “We hope President Putin will recognize that none of what we’re saying is meant as a threat. It’s not meant as a – in a personal way.”

Well, so long as no feelings were hurt, all right, then. I could suggest a pleated dress, low heels and lipstick for Kerry but that would be an insult to strong women.

Of course the Russians had great fun with our threat of visa travel restrictions, rescinded membership in the G8, frozen assets of a few selected officials and other lightweight patty-cake punishments while serious countermeasures – bolstering the NATO budget, bringing more eastern European countries into NATO and re-starting missile shield technology in eastern Europe – were not even under consideration.

In fact, Ukraine’s request for arms was denied as too provocative to Russia, a decision bordering on high comedy, but quiet yourself, Obama’s crew has arranged to send them rations even though they have plenty of food.

Somewhere along the way our White House warriors amused the world by issuing this statement: “In this century, we are long past the days when the international community will stand quietly by while one country forcibly seizes the territory of another.” And of course that is just what happened.

So while Obama and the West fondled their own symbolism and played word games, Putin took a country. When will liberals wake up to what is and is not real?

I am no strategist on international politics, but I do have sense enough to recognize a major league weenie when I see one, and we’re stuck with him for another three years. God help us.

I also have sense enough to know Putin has two or more immediate options agreeable to his nationalistic Russian public with the 100,000 light and heavy infantry and armor troops he has massed on Ukraine’s eastern border.

If he takes Ukraine the West will talk each other to death and impose whatever few sanctions they can agree on, but Putin knows the West will do nothing militarily because we prize above all else not getting involved in a war with Russia. And if he doesn’t take Ukraine, the West will be immensely relieved while Crimea remains firmly in his pocket. Nice fallback plan if that is in his head.

If that isn’t enough to worry about, give a moment’s thought to Iran, the uranium enrichment program they promise is for peaceful means, and the dimwits now in charge of U.S. negotiations who are determined to have us believe the Iranians can be trusted. When will that keg blow?

Finally, we might fervently wish or pray that China doesn’t really want to take Taiwan to resolve their dispute dating to WWII, because there could be no better time for them to strike than now with distractions and Obama at the helm.

All of that, dear reader, is mere background for drawing your attention to Obama’s next blunder as he squanders even more of your security in a dangerous world.

In his quest to cut defense spending ever deeper to free up more money for social programs, our President is canceling the Tomahawk and Hellfire missile programs.

Beginning in 1991 with the Gulf War, the Tomahawk cruise missile became and remains today central to the U.S. armed forces’ war-fighting capability. Launched from land, air or sea, precision Tomahawk strikes from as much as 1,500 miles away have been a central part of remote combat capability impressive to our allies and fearsome to our enemies.

The Hellfire missile is another precision weapon designed for air-to-ground delivery, well proven in recent conflicts from helicopters as well as jet fighter-bombers against hard targets and enemy armor.

Replacements for these systems are 10 years away. Canceling these programs now will hit our U.S. Navy especially hard, where ship count is already at the lowest level since pre-WWII.

What the hell is Obama doing to us? Is he the Manchurian candidate elected with a covert mission to destroy America from within as some right-wing critics claim? I don’t know, that seems far-fetched to me.

But I do know he couldn’t do much more harm if he tried. How could Pee Wee Herman do worse?

[Terry Garlock of Peachtree City occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen. His email is]