I'm not the president, and I never will be. I understand that it takes an awful lot of education, experience, wealth, friends, social status, and luck to become a president. I'm sure I wouldn't do a great job, and I'd have to quickly surround myself with people who knew much more than me.
But I do have a sense of what's right. Our president doesn't support our friends (Great Britain and Israel), and he doesn't denounce tyrants. This lack of compassion is regretable, to say the least. We've seen our president stumble pretty badly for the last two years. Some common decency and common sense, even in the last couple of days, could have helped.
Now I know Obama is incapable of doing any of the following. But it wouldn't be much too ask. Let's look at an example of compassion for friends, and firmness with tyrants.
Consider New Zealand. Has the president said much? I'd sure respect a president who took to the airwaves loudly, boldly, and with determination to say a few words.
"New Zealanders, America is grieving with you. We remember your kindness on 9/11 and during Katrina, and we offer this solemn pledge: New Zealand will have any and all assistance our government and people can offer in this time. I am personaly asking each American to make a donation right now to help. If the Prime Minister of New Zealand so desires, the United States will send an armada of resources and manpower to the region upon receiving permission of the New Zealand government. Our friends in New Zealand will want for nothing, so help me God."
And then, just as the French gave us the Statue of Liberty, we ought to offer to have the US Army Corps of Engineers rebuild Christ Church Cathedral.
Consider the recent killings of our hostages by Somali pirates. Has the president said or done anything memorable or practical?
The president should say,
"Today tradegy struck when four Americans were killed after being pirated in international waters. Many nations have joined together to patrol the waters in the area, but the area is too big and the enemy too elusive. I understand that Somalia's resources are limited, but I am calling on the Somali authorities to bring to an end the land base of operations for pirates in Somalia immediately. If this isn't done, and another American is harmed in the area, the US military will use lethal and disproportionate force to strike back from the air and/or on land. We will kill scores of pirates, and regretably many people with the misfortune to be nearby, but this is the cost for piracy and terrorism against sovereign Americans.
Pirates who take ships in international waters are to immediately and safely provide for the immediate transfer of Americans on board to the nearest foreign military vessel, or the US will take immediate action with the hopes of securing the hostages if possible, but with the primary goal of terminating those responsible. I have directed our naval commanders to prioritze the immediate termination of pirates with American hostages, with a simultanous rescue if possible, but not required if it delays the execution of the agressors."
The former (New Zealand assistance) is an expenditure of money to be sure, and it doesn't sound fiscaly conservative. But supporting our friends around the world when they are in trouble is a lot different from tossing around state dept aid. Supporting our allies when they are in distress is a justifiable and constitutional use of funds. It would also build good will with a country that has at times looked at us with suspicion (they're a little left of center, but we love 'em). Most of all, it is the right thing to do.
The second thing sends a clear message. Kill Americans, and the full force of the US will retaliate. It might cause a real and immediate change in pirating activities. If not, we would make pirating unprofitable really quick. Either way, such a president would likely secure his re-election chances. The American people know in their hearts (as they did with Reagan) that a leader that protects his citizens abroad is respected.
Why did the Iranians release our embassy staff just after Reagan's innaugeration ceremony? The left likes to tell us that it was because the Iranians wanted to deny Carter a victory. Nonsense. I was in the army after the crisis, but friends of mine in the service at the time who were intimately familiar with Iran and the events going on told me a story I'll never forget. "According to our intelligence, the running joke on the streets in Tehran is 'What is flat and glows?' The answer? 'Tehran, the moment Reagan takes office' ".
Right now, our president could start with some strong support vocaly (and covertly) for the resistance movements going on the middle east. We are in a second cold war against radical Islam right now, and we need to support those who would rise up against oppresive regimes. If the revolutionaries are willing to share the Earth with the west and with Israel, we should support their attempts at democracy. If they trade a secular dictatorship for an Islamic dictatorship (you'll never see an "Islamic Democracy", and no, Turkey is secular thank you) then we'll support the next wave of revolutionaries that wants a democracy.
Do you remember 9/11? Of course you do. A lot of folks remember a lot from that day. Here's one thing that stood out to me. It was Yassar Arafat, shaking like a junkie, proclaiming that the Palestinian people had nothing to do with this act, and stood with America. The guy was terrified! He was thinking, "Oh crap! SOmeone struck the US, and just maybe the US is going to go all out." Maybe "nukes" was in his mind. But he was scared. Bush was quick to reassure the firefighters that "..,pretty soon, the people that knocked down these buildings are going to hear from all of us". Arafat and several other tyrants heard that and wet themselves. Qhaddafi dropped his nuclear problem on the spot. Since that time, we've gone back to being wishy washy.
I'm no president. But then again, neither is our current one. The difference is that the current one has the background to become a president, so he's out of excuses. When we start supporting our friends and frightening our enemies, the rest of the world will clearly know where we stand. That's called "respect". What we have now is indecision.
I'm looking for a candidate in 2012 that gets the same reaction from our enemies that Reagan got from the Soviets. "Do you Americans want someone like that with his finger near the launch button?" Yes I do. He's the reason why we won our first cold war, and a similar "friend to our friends, warrior to our enemies" is what we need in 2012 to win our cold war against the radical Islam movement and to win back our friends. (Funny how the left thought Bush squandered our alliances, but Britain, France, and Germany's leaders have all been critical of Obama and seem to miss Bush. Their elected governments have also moved right).
Well Obama, we're listening.