Well, well, well. A week off and I see nothing's changed. It was a real week off, too; sun, sand, ancient forts, little to no internet and especially little to no TV. But there was no shortage of shrimps - fried and lots of 'em!
On the way home, we hear of the hostage stand-off between Somali pirates and the great American Navy. My initial thought was, "Why doesn't the Navy just blast the buggars out of the water?" But then reality sank in and I realized this would be Obama's first real opportunity to "talk." Oh, brother. After more news reports, I pieced together he'd been talking for a while. Mr. Waffle. Waffle. Waffle. Waffle.
Thomas Jefferson, a Real President, not just one played on TV, knew about pirates. Pirates from Barbary deviled not only his administration, but those before and after. Jefferson long deplored the "tribute" payed for American safety a sea, preferring a more military approach (more here, here and here).
The problem is not in this case, which ended successfully, but in the next hostage taking situation. If one is going to follow a negotiation approach, the trust of the hostage takers in the negotiation process is key. If hostage takers believe negotiation is a ruse, then the hostage is in more danger. Words cannot be just words in a negotiation.
So negotiating as a ruse is the worst of all alternatives. It does not have the deterrent effect of the Israeli approach, or the hostage-safety effect of the negotiation approach.
Obama has shown his weakness and inexperience yet again. DUDE, please start doing your homework. This wasn't some thoughtless, tacky gift from the WH giftshop to a foreign official. THESE ARE THE LIVES OF YOUR CONSTITUENTS!
Easter morning brought good news, but I still have a question. Did Obama actually make a decision? Or is this more WH spin when they say he approved the operation? Or (this is my opinion) did the Navy do its job, the way they are trained to, while the Clueless-in-Chief vacillated? Frugal Cafe puts my concern into words (excuse me while I raise my voice a bit) [sic]:
I’m deeply worried about how Obama handled, or more accurately, didn’t handle this.
Because despite all his lofty talk about a utopia attained by overtaxing our nation, he never talks about our strength. He is more willing to bash Americans for their “arrogance” while traveling through Europe than to decry the heinous act of kidnapping of a US citizen by murderous pirates. It’s the same old record all the time… we’re not so good and our enemies aren’t so bad. We need to be putting more “skin in the game” and must tolerate and be patient with our enemies, otherwise we’ll be perceived as arrogant or aggressive. I say, so what?
Obama’s slowness to defend the life of an endangered American against pirates spoke volumes about how we’re now being perceived by our enemies.
We aren’t the strong, “don’t dare mess with us” nation we were under so many previous presidents. We’re now looking soft, primarily because of us having a soft, naive leader. A man who is more concerned about his image as a nice guy who will sit down and chat amicably with our radical, bloodthirsty enemies, with no preconditions, than that of a determined, stalwart leader who can make tough decisions quickly when necessary to defend the people of America. A man who CANNOT LEAD. Our nation is looking like easy pickin’s to the bad guys.
No, our POTUS was too busy with housing and who knows what else to make any kind of decision or to grant our well-trained military permission to take aggressive action until Saturday. Captain Phillips was a distraction to Obama, a monkey wrench thrown into his grand plan to change America as quickly as possible.
He is our PRESIDENT. He needs to ACT like it. Not like some dewy-eyed, self-proclaimed architect of the “tinkering and tearing down” and remaking of our banking system, health system, or free market system… our education system, welfare system, or soon-to-be forced volunteer system… our energy-production system or any thing else under former Pres. Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush that he hates about this country. He is suppose to defend Americans and our Constitution. That is his REAL job description.
The playing with his “toys” of all the machinery of America needed to stop. Being our Commander in Chief had to kick in with all his focus, but Obama just couldn’t do it. Not like he actually meant it. It was like he was still campaigning. Like he wanted to be seen as a “nice guy” to the global community. Protecting his precious legacy by working with lawyers. Lawyers? And that is heart-stoppingly scary. What will an attack on our nation, in far graver proportions, bring about from our POTUS?
He needed to take his time to react and in that reaction, a pseudo-kumbaya, biding-his-time order was issued to our military. I thank God for our quick and precise Navy SEALS and the bravery of Captain Phillips to further risk his life in order to survive. I don’t thank Obama, because he nearly blew it.
Bravo to Captain Phillips. Americans fight back. I only wish Obama did the same.
Today, the pirates passed GO and collected their $200. They promptly demonstrated their unhappiness at America by firing at a plane carrying a liberal Congressman sympathetic to their cause. Guess that doesn't count.
Oh, and the dog? The new media darling that warranted the buckets of ink while Americans were in peril? The mutt's name is Bo, which is really short for B.O. You know, Ba-rack O-bama. It's always got to be all about HIM. Besides his other first, he has to be the most insecure man ever elected to the office. I think they should have named him JACK, as in "Cap'n Jack." And his first act as First Pooch would be to bite President Waffle on the leg.
Update: BlackFive has the play-by-play. I think I'm right (see above).
He [Obama] did affirm the military's authorization to use force if the captain's life was in danger, but they already would have had that authorization as part of their standard rules of engagement. If there are innocents about to be slaughtered the same reasoning that authorizes self defense also covers an imminent execution unless the ROE specifically forbid it.The AP is making it sound like there was an active rescue ordered by the President. It was not, there was an imminent threat and the local commander gave the order to fire. Good on Obama for ensuring their authorization was clear, but let's also be clear that he did not authorize or order an active rescue attempt.
Update II: Jeff Emanuel at RedState proves I AM right!
In other words, today’s success was enabled not by Obama’s good efforts, but by his failure to tie the commander’s hands as tightly as he thought he had.
Cross-posted at Obi's Sister