SOTU Speech: On What Planet Is Obama?

Posted on Thu 01/29/2015 by


FSM_LtColJamesZumwalt-USMCret20110110.jpgBy Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (RET) ~

If “men are from Mars, women from Venus,” on what planet does President Obama reside? Listening to his January 20th State of the Union (SOTU) address makes one wonder.

20150122_obamastateoftheunion2015The planet Obama described was one of stability as his leadership has succeeded in degrading ISIS and putting it on the run, checkmating Iran’s advances on its nuclear program with Tehran now desperate to secure an agreement with the U.S., “turn(ing) the page” on a “vicious recession” (while a recent poll suggests 64% of respondents disagree), isolating Russia for its aggression in the Ukraine, claiming Afghanistan is on the road to peace, boasting the U.S. has convinced China to cap its emissions (without revealing it won’t be until 2030 and at higher levels), touting a “smarter kind of American leadership” combining military might with strong diplomacy that is making a difference upon the world, all while waving an “America is united” banner although he-more so than any other president in modern history-has caused racial division, etc. Eventually, Obama snuck in a standard line in SOTU speeches that “the State of the Union is strong”-without, to his credit, cracking a smile. The fewest number of viewers in fifteen years tuned in to hear a SOTU address that described a strange, unknown world.

But, for those believing in that world, it was an impressive achievement for a president who seems to spend more time on the golf course (200+ games and counting, including one that displaced a military wedding) than in the Oval Office.

Listening to Obama’s speech, students of history might recall the words of an historian-who died long before Obama was even born-forewarning about democracy’s death knell. While the author of the quote is debated, the source commonly cited is the 18th century Scottish historian Steven Tytler who observed:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”

Tytler believed democracies could not long endure beyond the two century mark for this exact reason.

Perhaps hoping to pave the way for his party’s recovery in 2016 from the disastrous 2014 mid-term elections, Obama played the entitlement card in his speech. Outlining fifteen different proposals despite a depleted public treasury, Obama knows the only way to fund them is to increase taxes.

Obama has used entitlement programs to promote a victim mentality among voters without considering their long-term impact. While promoting such programs sounds good in a SOTU speech, they will continue to drain the public treasury, financially enslaving future generations. It will be our children and grandchildren who, long after Obama’s reign has ended, will finally understand the words of the late British Prime Minister Margret Thatcher, “Socialism is great-until you run out of other people’s money.”

The SOTU address is also an opportunity for presidents to honor a hero who is invited to sit with the First Lady. That seat did not go to anyone in uniform but to a beneficiary of Obama’s executive action largesse-specifically tuition-free programs paid for by parents endeavoring to send their own children to college. The student beneficiary in the gallery, however, was an illegal immigrant. Only this president would honor one breaking our laws.

But what was most worrisome about Obama’s speech was what he failed to say.

With the Paris attack still fresh on our minds, he made but a passing reference to presenting a unified front against “violent extremism” while still refusing to identify its source-Islam. Even after six years in office during which time hundreds of Islamic terrorist attacks have occurred internationally, Obama refuses to link “Islam” with “extremism.” The extent to which he goes to avoid using such linkage is even reflected by his references to the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (aka “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”) as “ISIS” or “ISIL” so as not to have to have the word “Islam” pass over his lips.

During his hour long, 6493 word speech, Obama never mentioned “Islam.” Incredibly, an ideology seeking, as ISIS made clear to reporter Jurgen Todenhofer, to kill “hundreds of millions” in a “religious cleansing” of the world gets no mention. Todenhofer-the first Westerner to embed with ISIS and live to tell about it-noted if there is mercy in Islam, there was none apparent by the Islamic terrorist group’s behavior. What was frightening, he reported, was the enthusiasm for killing non-believers.

Canadian writer Tarek Fatah suggests it is actually Western leaders’ silence about Islam that contributes to the success of the Islamists. He writes such silence is “a grand betrayal of civil society by the political left in Western democracies. Instead of leading the fight against the fanatics’ religious obscurantism, they have embraced it.”

Fatah hauntingly forewarns about this failed linkage, “The left’s betrayal will not be forgotten.”

Little focus was put on a single statement by Obama that represented the height of hypocrisy. He rose to the defense of Muslims by suggesting Americans reject stereotypes and “condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities.” Yet, it is Islam that promotes this very persecution of women and religious minorities.

While unwilling to threaten Islamic extremists, Obama proved willing to threaten Republicans opposed to his Iran policy. While six years of negotiations have failed to reach a binding agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program, Obama warned, “For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed”-but he would veto any Congressional effort to impose more sanctions.

Obama failed to mention today Iran is closer than ever before to attaining nuclear weapons. Nor did he mention his unlawful personal effort made in 2008 to relieve Tehran of pressures to reach any such agreement. He had revealed earlier-as a presidential candidate-sending an emissary there to encourage the mullahs not to worry as Obama would be elected and would then (foolishly) pursue a kinder, gentler policy with them. After being thrown such a softball by Osama, it is no wonder the mullahs are playing hardball.

Even a member of Obama’s own party, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, commented his SOTU talking points sounded more like they came “straight out of Tehran (feeding) the Iranian narrative of victimization when they are the ones (committing)… the original sin (including) an illicit nuclear weapons program going back over 20 years that they are unwilling to come clean on.”

Also not mentioned by Obama was that, when the next deadline extension (July) for Iran to make a deal arrives, his lack of sanctions will have netted the mullahs an economic windfall of $20 billion. Meanwhile, he offers no disincentive to pressure Iran otherwise.

Despite Iran’s growing threat, Obama suggests the greatest threat to America’s future generations is climate change.

Obama said he knows “a lot of really good scientists at NASA and NOAA and at our major universities” who support this claim. He might be well advised to ask one of them on what planet he resides as it does not appear to be Planet Earth.

Contributor Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of “Bare Feet, Iron Will–Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam’s Battlefields,” “Living the Juche Lie: North Korea’s Kim Dynasty” and “Doomsday: Iran–The Clock is Ticking.” He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.

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