You know, the good old days when the United States was respected throughout the world? In 2008, the electorate was tired of that cowboy George Bush. We needed a new leader who would repair our damaged reputation around the world, especially in the middle east. Our Harvard educated (we think) and world-savvy new President was going to repair our relations in the middle east and present a warm and fuzzy America to the rest of the world.Well the world, at least those parts that hated us, just interpreted that attitude as they always do: weakness. Now they are probing our outermost defenses looking for soft targets that they can exploit to rile up the faithful into doing even more damage.
You know, there was a time when, if you killed a U.S. diplomat in a foreign country, we would park a carrier task force off your shore, send a brigade of Marines to reinforce our embassies and consulates, and remind the belligerents that any hostile action would be met with overwhelming firepower. Not anymore. Now we send a couple of destroyers in case we have to bug out. This is pathetic.
In the 65 years since World War II, the U.S. has maintained a military presence in all of the countries we have liberated. Not once have we restarted hostilities with these countries and there is no reason to think we ever will. But our presence in these countries served a valuable purpose. It gave our weakened former enemies a chance to get back on their feet, and it allowed us to keep an eye on the area in case anyone decided to get hostile again. There is no reason this policy should change in Iraq or Afghanistan. If anything, it would be a betrayal to the men and women who died there.
This policy is not unprecedented. Just look at the bases maintained by the British in Diego Garcia, Gibraltar, and The Falklands for proof. Some may say we can’t afford to have troops stationed all over the world and we should bring them all home. Some troops should come home. But all of them? No way. I want a 100 year $1 lease on Bagram air base, and a similar arrangement in Iraq. Then I want to use those bases to test out our latest spy drones and listening devices. This isn’t 1945 and we’re not going to send MacArthur over to administer anyone’s government for five years. But if you think you are big enough to play nice with your neighbors, prove it or we should orbitReaper drones over your head until you get the hint that Uncle Sam is displeased.
We should not sit around and whine that there aren’t enough moderate Muslims willing to speak out against anti-U.S. violence. They fear retribution if they speak out. I’m only suggesting that we give the instigators a taste of their own medicine. Does anyone know what the current administration plans to do about the latest embassy attacks? Me neither. But anything less than a President standing at a podium backing up his strong denunciation of the attacks with a threat of U.S. retaliation is weak.
I’m tired of this feckless, bowing, apologizing administration.