Lies, Damn Lies And The State Of The Union Address

Posted on Wed 02/04/2015 by


20090526_Herb_LondonBy Herbert London ~

The pundits have spoken. Most believe that the State of The Union Address is a combination of self-congratulation over what was done in the last year and a laundry list of what should be done in the year ahead. In reality it represents fanfare without substance; there is scarcely a difference between George W. Bush and Barack Obama in these annual speeches.

20150122_obamastateoftheunion2015But there is a difference in this year’s address. Presidents have routinely exaggerated their achievements, but never have the American people experienced lies of the kind employed by President Obama in this year’s speech. Yes, presidents lie: “Read my lip no new taxes.” “I did not have sex with that woman” are merely recent examples. And who can forget, “If you like your health plan, you can keep it.” However, what sets Obama’s recent lies apart from others is that he claims terrorist threats – which could jeopardize American lives – are part of our past, despite the unfolding of dangerous events all over the globe.

As the president indicated, “The shadow of crisis has passed and the State of the Union is strong.” The justification for this lie is that American combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq are largely over. But despite the “What me, worry?” attitude, events reveal the lies.

Russia and Iran, the sponsor of worldwide terrorism, signed an agreement on military cooperation. Russia is also one of the nation’s negotiating with Iran over the acquisition of nuclear weapons.

The Yemeni president resigned in the face of Houthi terrorist attacks. Several months earlier, President Obama said Yemen was a positive example of U.S. counter-terrorist activity. Now the Iranian Revolutionary Guards dominate that nation as the American backed president is deposed and in hiding.

ISIL controls a large area in former Syria and Iraq. Despite pinprick bombing by the U.S., ISIL has established a caliphate and continues to promote barbaric beheadings. The terrorists are now demanding $200 million dollars from Japan in return for two hostages.

Al Qaeda has made strides throughout several African nations including Mali, Somalia and, according to recent reports, is collaborating with Boko Harem in Nigeria.

Hezbollah has been stockpiling missiles all to be aimed at Israel. Last week General Mohammed Ali Allah Dadi, a top military official in Syria supporting Bashar al Assad was killed along with six operatives of Iran and Hezbollah, in anticipation of an imminent attack on Israel.

With the world in disarray, President Obama did an Alfred E. Newman imitation by arguing: “We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks, and we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we’ve done relentlessly since I took office, to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us an dour allies.” This claim is news to al Qaeda, a terrorist group the president said on an earlier occasion was defanged, yet is on the ascendency in Yemen and elsewhere. If the war against terrorism is relentless, how does one explain the rapid ISIL takeover of swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria?

Obama contended in a New Yorker article that “equilibrium” between Iran’s Shiites and Gulf Sunnies would create a Middle East where “there’s competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare.” However proxy warfare is now ubiquitous in the region.

Since the president is given a security briefing each morning, he had to be aware of the parlous global condition before his State of the Union Address. Yet he pointedly chose to ignore the reality, alas, he lied about the terrorist threat.

It is one thing to lie about taxes, a sexual peccadillo or even health care, but lying about national security puts every American at risk. H.L. Mencken once said, “The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” Perhaps this is true since Obama was elected twice; but should another 9/11 occur on his watch, the lies in the State of the Union Address will haunt him all the days of his life and perhaps haunt the American people as well. Contributing Editor Herbert London is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the President of the London Center for Policy Research. He is president emeritus of Hudson Institute and author of the book The Transformational Decade (University Press of America).

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