Unlike the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, many of the threats we currently face are self-created.
In October of 1962, America worried whether an untried young president, John F. Kennedy, could keep us safe from nuclear-tipped missiles from nearby Communist Cuba.
Today’s October worries are more insidious: the Ebola virus, the macabre Islamic State, a tottering stock market, a bellicose Russia, and a crisis of confidence in our government.
Much of what the Obama administration and the Centers for Disease Control initially swore about the Ebola virus proved false. The virus really did infect Americans at home, despite assurances that there was “no significant risk.” There always was a danger of infected West Africans entering the U.S. The CDC protocols did not protect nurses from infection by Ebola patients.
Banning all travel from West African countries where the virus is epidemic may not stop Ebola from spreading throughout the U.S. But the administration still cannot offer convincing reasons why we should not try just that. Instead, a purely medical decision seems hopelessly embedded in the administration’s usual politically correct spin.
The U.S. is even more inept in dealing with the Islamic State. That terrorist virus, too, could have been contained, had we just kept some peacekeepers in the mostly quiet Iraq of 2011. But once again politics, not strategic logic, explains why the administration pulled all troops out of Iraq — a recklessness that turned up as a 2012 campaign talking point.
The stock market is wobbly, and for good reason. A record number of Americans have dropped out of the workforce. The quiver of traditional priming — zero interest rates, massive deficit spending, huge government stimulus — is now empty. Yet the economy still remains weak.
Six years of piling up more debt, raising taxes, issuing more regulations, perpetuating deficits, slashing defense, expanding social programs, and creating vast new bureaucracies have only stifled economic growth. Barack Obama has no interest in trying something other than boilerplate Keynesian borrowing.
Russian president Vladimir Putin is portrayed around the world as a merciless tiger, while Obama is caricatured as a frail kitten. Much of once pro-Western Eastern Europe is now lining up with Putin. They cut deals with Russia rather than be left high and dry by a sermonizing but otherwise appeasing West.
Once-unimpeachable federal agencies now appear as 19th-century tribal fiefdoms.
No one much trusts the IRS anymore. Partisan politics seem to determine whether Americans are audited.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs covered up callous — and occasionally lethal — treatment of scores of hospitalized veterans.
The National Security Agency lied about monitoring the communications of average Americans.
Almost nothing in Obama’s lectures about the new unaffordable Affordable Care Act proved accurate.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement cannot come clean about the nation’s utter lack of border enforcement with Mexico.
The once-hallowed Secret Service seems incompetent and scandal-ridden.
Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department has picked and chosen which laws to enforce largely out of partisan considerations.
NASA is hardly recognizable. Its director said that the agency’s first concern was not our continued reliance on Vladimir Putin’s space rockets, but Muslim outreach.
Even the Patent and Trade Office hounded the Washington Redskins about their supposedly politically incorrect logo by canceling the team’s trademark registration.
Whether the Obama administration shuts down U.S. travel to and from a foreign airport is not predicated on national-security threats but political correctness. Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv not that long ago was put off limits to U.S. airlines despite offering far less hazard to Americans than the connecting flights to the airport in Monrovia, Liberia.
The new Ebola czar, Ron Klain — the former Fannie Mae lobbyist who was also knee-deep in the Solyndra controversy — has no health-care experience, much less any experience with epidemics. Klain was picked only because he is a veteran partisan brawler who understands that the Obama administration sees Ebola as more a political liability than a health challenge.
The administration is waging a halfhearted effort to destroy the Islamic State because Obama has in the past damned just such preemptive bombing in the Middle East. Now, an embarrassed Obama relies on the Bush administration’s 2002 military authorizations to use the sort of force in the Middle East that he used to decry.
Russia is ascendant largely because of the State Department’s loud boast of resetting the Bush administration punishments of Putin’s past aggressions.
The Obama administration sees government agencies as political tools to advance its agenda, as we have seen with NASA’s new Muslim outreach, the IRS hounding of conservative nonprofit groups, and the patent office’s antagonization of the Redskins. The October missiles of 1962 were never launched, but the crisis still forced JFK to adopt a new realism about the Soviet Union.
In contrast, for Obama to meet these current October threats head-on, he first would have to admit they were largely self-created.
© 2014 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
9 thoughts on “America’s October Worries”
When poor John Kennedy bungled the Cuban invasion, Khrushchev assessed him as a weakling and a fool. I believe that the Cuban Missile Crisis was a direct result of Kennedy’s actions. Much as the Iranians released the hostages when Reagan was inaugurated: Carter was a weakling and a fool; Reagan not so much.
Once again you are spot on, and once again the truth goes unheeded by many Americans. Will it take a complete collapse of our political system for any of this to sink in? Obama and his agenda have put the USA back on its heels. Will his final two years be the tipping point, or are we there now? God help our great Republic!
After electing and re-electing Obama how can you question if we have passed the tipping point?
To get right to the point: What chance of an impeachment or – worse – criminal investigation of the current President after the November mid-terms routing of the Democrats? Mr Obama – surely the weakest and most incapable occupant of the White House since the early 1860’s – must realize his historic faults and how they have undermined America – AND the West??!!
I am no expert on constitutional history as are you and others with backgrounds from academia and the Courts, but all the same— Perhaps Richard Posner can be asked to voice an opinion on the running scandal of BHO???
Perhaps our planet is begging for professors Victor Davis Hanson and Bruce Thornton to become, respectively, US President and Vice President?
What would happen if a new, Reaganesque, Classic-Trained POTUS and V-POTUS… took the world’s stage and forced the Lie-Loving-Narrative-Mongers to stew in their own “macabre-mongering” evil-story-juices?
Sigh… Methinks long and hard that God ordains things so often in threes. First our 1776 Revolution, Second our Civil War to end slavery by whip & chain… and finally some Third Conflagration that ends the Death-Loving Progressive slavery by mental whip and chains by all other means than physical chains.
Thirty years ago talk radio came unto our mentalities to make us aware how the slavery by other means had been achieved. Now all the talk, all the exposure, all the proof-it-is-worse-slavery-than-chain-&-ball-slavery… proves that, well, talk is cheap… when we have divisions of only mouths and they all power of government.
Wars change minds, we know that is a fact. Will anything short of a Third Civil War… free America to it’s great destiny as leader of all nations by being that great operating system that allows humans to grow into highest attainable maturities?
Because for a long time, cogent Founding-Father-like minds are showing all that the enemy is caught with its hand in the cooky jars of tyranny, hands caught enslaving us and killing us… and the Cookie Monsters grin and don’t care, and keep saying… we shall enjoy eating you… it is the reason you are born… we with (as Jefferson said) spurs, and you with backs made to be saddled by us, your inexorable superiors.
What will change America out of its California-Craziness… short of all out Civil War?
Madison said all leaders have devils on their shoulders (since they aren’t angels, and leaders must acknowledge this by submitting to anti-demonic-schemes.) Our current ensconced leaders LOVE their devils and believe it is their duty to empower their devils and force us to see them as angels… and again, I ask, will anything short of an all out Civil War… humble these tyrants?
Did you mean NASA= The National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NSA National security in the above letter?
He meant NASA – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Civil War is extremely unlikely. Armed rebellion? Not so much. At some point, it’ll likely be open season on Federal Government officials in some region. In the US, which will be followed by Martial Law. And the end of the Republic. Which is of course the fate of all republics.
You Americans puzzle me . You threw out George III for a heck of a lot less than your own revolutionary functionaries are now doing to you year in and year out. We (British) were right, and you (colonial rebels and misfits) were wrong. Revolutions never work out in the end. Just think: everything you received in your heyday you could have accomplished as part of the British Empire, and to boot no government of British North America would be treating you in the fashion that your current government does. America has been founded on rejectionism and the overthrow of established. order. Revolution begets revolution, and there you are. You certainly suffer from the fact that you have an elected head of state, and that you have a revolutionary government. How’s that working out for you?
we have a mentally inferior incompetent man at the helm who is a socialist, is anti-american and has skated to the office of the potus secondary to his color and flim flam talents. no way to run a country or a business.