April 5, 2016—Best of Times … Worst of Times?

April 5, 2016—Best of Times … Worst of Times?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. ~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, 1859

For some reason, last Friday, “April Fools’ Day,” reminded me of these opening lines of Charles Dickens’ classic novel about the times that led to and included the French Revolution and many guillotine executions.  Click here for an 18-minute video synopsis of this classic — not sure folks study it anymore, but perhaps they should given current events.

In spite of mostly electioneering news and the Wisconsin Primary, two widely viewed April 1 media reports illustrated a great divide in our nation at this critical time in our history, and that divide could lead to serious future troubles.  

  • The first was President Obama’s speech and responses to the press at the concluding plenary session of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. Click here for the President’s comments at the opening of the final session, here for his comments at its conclusion and here for a Reuters summary, typical of other news accounts, of the concluding press conference for which I have not located a transcript.
  • The second was Bret Baier’s “Fox News Reporting: Rising Threats, Shrinking Military,” which was repeated several times over the weekend. Click here for a 5-minute preview summary, and look for a full report of this important and in my view quite accurate report on the dangers of our time. Sorry I have not yet located one.

Consider my perspective on a few points.

In my opinion, most revealing was the President’s exchange with the press after his mostly self-congratulatory prepared comments that applauded the achievements of the world community at this his fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit.

President Obama is due credit for pressing for this initiative launched in 2010, which is aimed at an important objective — and that’s the good news. But the job is far from done — and that’s the bad news, which was implicit in the President’s comments and explicit in a notable New York Time editorial, “A Nuclear Job Half-Done.”

In particular, President Obama again urged world leaders to do more to safeguard vulnerable nuclear facilities to prevent “madmen” from groups like Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) getting their hands on a nuclear weapon or a radioactive “dirty bomb.” A notable quote for future reference was

“There is no doubt that if these madmen ever got their hands on a nuclear bomb or nuclear material, they would certainly use it to kill as many innocent people as possible . . . It would change our world.”

President Barak Obama . . . April 1, 2016

And that’s no April Fools statement. However, this perspective presents an implicit assurance that ISIS has not yet achieved that goal. I am not so sure.

Nor am I confident that our current policies will prevent them from obtaining nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. Indeed, I have profound doubts that our current policies will be successful.

But his correct statement on the threat is certainly welcome. And he has correctly observed that we can expect more terrorist attacks as pressure on ISIS grows and we send “counterterrorist surge teams” to Europe in the wake of the Brussels attack. 

So, the growing jihadi attacks around the world — including in the United States, should give all pause.

In this context, it is also of interest that the Summit attendees also were reported to be concerned about the ISIS threat to nuclear power reactors, a key concern of mine as our regular readers know.

Readers also know my view of President Obama’s terrible P5-plus-1 nuclear deal with Iran, which he praised at the Nuclear Security Summit. Its release of $150 billion in previous sanctions empowers the Iranian mullahs to purchase whatever they need to gain a nuclear capability — say from their ally, North Korea’s Great Leader, who also shows his disregard for international agreements intended to block the progress in improving his already existing nuclear capability to strike the United States.

As I urged last week, “Connect the dots!

Enough of my first bullet—now for the second and even more sobering and factually accurate presentation — Friday’s Fox News Special: “Rising Threats, Shrinking Military.” Notably, Bret Baier’s informative report included very significant and most disturbing comments from President Obama’s first three Secretaries of Defense: Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel. Based on their discouraging reports, I wonder how things are going with his fourth, Ashton Carter . . .

The former Defense Secretaries explicitly revealed on camera their frustration with the Obama White House policies and actions. For example, Bob Gates, who has served in several White House posts in his distinguished career, noted  that during events that led to the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt, “Literally the entire national security team recommended unanimously handling Mubarak differently than we did . . . And the President took the advice of three junior backbenchers in terms of how to treat Mubarak.” Click here for more.

Leon Panetta, a life-long Democrat, former congressional leader from California and also a former CIA Director echoed this same frustration with a number of policies that have eroded our defense capabilities and undermined our leadership around the world. And former Republican Senator from Nebraska Chuck Hagel said he was “astounded” when President Obama reversed his commitments to him.

As this special makes clear, our military capability has been seriously degraded over the past decade — and that degradation and associated faulty policy has created a very dangerous current situation and dim future prospects for improvement without major policy changes.   Consider a sampling of how Obama administration policies have played out on the world stage since he instituted his “Leading from behind” strategy:

  • Russia, where the administration made conciliatory gestures (Remember Secretary of State Clinton’s Red Button?), after which President Vladimir Putin’s forces became more aggressive, took over Crimea and is now basically in charge in the Middle East — whatever the current reports of their withdrawal from Syria. Notably, Putin did not attend last week’s Nuclear Security Summit. No small wonder.
  • China is modernizing its military forces, expanding its military presence in its neighborhood and not helping to block North Korea growing threat not only to regional stability but also to the United States directly.
  • North Korea’s Great Leader shows only disdain for UN resolutions that are supposed to restrict its nuclear and missile development programs, is growing a direct threat to all Americans, and is helping his allies the Mullahs of Iran to follow suit.
  • Iran, where President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry led the P5-plus-1 talks to complete a terrible nuclear deal that will haunt American interests for years to come, is an emerging nuclear threat to what the Mullahs call the Great Satan America and the Little Satan Israel. Iran, like North Korea, has ballistic missiles and satellites to deliver its nukes.
  • Iraq, where Obama decided upon a precipitous withdrawal of U.S. military presence, after which the formerly pacified nation descended into chaos. This chaos set the stage for the rise of ISIS, which in those early days he called a JV team — some JV team!
  • Syria, where Obama threatened (Remember the Red Line?), but then failed to take action, after which the region continued to grow into one of the most dangerous spots in the world.
  • Libya, where America’s action in a UN-approved military intervention led to the nation splitting apart to become a breeding ground for terrorism. In the Benghazi fiasco we lost an American Ambassador and three brave Americans who sought to counter the terrorists while the Obama powers-that-be refused to help. Congress is still trying to understand what happened and hold accountable those who permitted it.

As Former DIA Director Mike Flynn implied in the Fox News special report, these and other failures were consequences of deliberate policies resulting from President Obama’s world view, which has been to withdraw America from its international leadership role played since World War II.

Rather than proving the vision of those who awarded President Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize as he was beginning to define the “Hope and Change” policies that went beyond his campaign speeches, the President’s actual performance is leaving the world in a much more dangerous place than he inherited. 

Among his most important comments on the Fox News special report, Bob Gates observed that the next president will face the most difficult challenge of the eight presidents he had served.

Indeed, I could not agree more.  The policies of this administration have produced the most dangerous world in my lifetime, which includes World War II. 

Bottom Lines!

It is a nuclear world — and in spite of the President’s lofty words at the Nuclear Security Summit there is little true information from which to take comfort.

As some have noted, “Our friends no longer trust us and our enemies no longer fear us.”

We need to get our act together, understand the threats to all we hold dear — and deal with them!

Time for a new team at the White House to make it happen!

Near-Term High Frontier Plans.

We will continue to inform our readers of the looming threats we confront — and where appropriate urge them to engage in countering those threats.  We will press for building the most cost-effective ballistic missile defenses possible and working with South Carolina folks to build a coalition to engage constructively with private citizens and their local and state representatives and other authorities to work with the SC National Guard in understanding and responding to the existential threats to the electric power grid.

We are especially focused on the nuclear power reactors that produce 60-percent of SC electricity—and more generally 20-percent of the nation’s electricity. If it can be assured that they “operate through” a major blackout of the electric power grid — and I believe it can, then these reactors can play a very important role for resurrecting the grid over an extended time and supporting the general public’s survival in the meantime.

See the new figure just added to the top of our webpage for an illustration of how wind patterns might carry far and wide any significant radiation from the nation’s reactors if we don’t get this right!

What can you do?

Join us in praying for our nation, and for a rebirth of the freedom sought, achieved and passed to us by those who came before us.

Help us to spread our message to the grass roots and to encourage all “powers that be” to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.

Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage www.highfrontier.org, for more information. Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter.

Encourage them to review our past email messages, posted on www.highfrontier.org, to learn about many details related to the existential manmade and natural EMP threats and how we can protect America against them. I hope you will help us with our urgently needed efforts, which I will be discussing in future messages.

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