The Obama Watch

Obama’s Sword and Shield

Our president has a deaf ear, no thanks to the KGB.

By and 5.29.13

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Call us crazy anti-communists. Tell us we’re conspiracy-minded. Insist that maybe we’ve spent too much time living and studying the Cold War. Either way, this is our business, and we can’t help but notice such things.

In watching President Obama speak on terrorism last week, we were taken aback to hear him say that America needs an anti-terrorism program that is both our sword and our shield. This was a striking choice of words by an American president. Remember the emblem of the KGB? Maybe you don’t, but we do. One of us (Pacepa) spent over two decades working for the KGB community as one of the highest ranking intelligence/military/political officials in the entire Soviet Bloc, and paid with two death sentences for his freedom. The emblem of the KGB was a sword and a shield symbolizing its duties: to put the country’s enemies to the sword, and to shield and protect the communist revolution.

When we initially heard President Obama’s remarks, we thought we might have heard wrong, and so we waited for the written text of his speech. Here is the prepared text, as published in the Wall Street Journal after the speech:

“Our victory against terrorism won’t be measured in a surrender ceremony on a battleship, or a statue being pulled to the ground. Victory will be measured in parents taking their kids to school; immigrants coming to our shores; fans taking in a ballgame; a veteran starting a business; a bustling city street. The quiet determination; that strength of character and bond of fellowship; that refutation of fear – that is both our sword and our shield.

To repeat: the sword and the shield is well known as the KGB’s emblem. To give just one example, many readers of this site are familiar with the classic work on the KGB archives, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB.

To be sure, this could be simply an eye-opening coincidence by our president. If so, forgive us for drawing a connection or even countenancing the mere thought. For the record, we can claim that it’s no more than a coincidence. It is a general statement. But it is also the KGB’s emblem. A Google search on “sword and shield” quickly yields a Wikipedia entry, which correctly lists the KGB emblem among its main references.

Unfortunately, we’ve become sadly conditioned -- by President Obama himself -- to notice these often-bizarre coincidences. This was a man who spent his first term engaging in the most strident class-warfare rhetoric we’ve ever heard from an American president. He demonized profits, corporations, Wall Street, corporate executives and fat-cats, the wealthy, millionaires and billionaires, big oil, big banks, bitter-clingers, while touting wealth redistribution, government stimulus, government management, government centralization, and on and on. Much of this was standard Socialist rhetoric. And then, for his 2012 reelection slogan, the president and his handlers chose the communist world’s old socialist battle cry: “Forward!”

So, pardon us for being a little sensitive to these phrases.

Photo:Creative Commons

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About the Author

Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His latest book is 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative.

About the Author
Ion Mihai Pacepa (Lt. Gen., R) is the highest intelligence officer ever to have defected from the former Soviet bloc. His book Red Horizons has been republished in 27 languages.