Nearly ten years ago, the towns in Indonesia were called Banda Aceh and Pangadaran. Now they’re Philippine towns named Guiuan and Tacloban. Odd-sounding names of far-away places that we never hear about unless something terrible has happened there. They have almost nothing to do with America.
But the 600,000 homeless and the millions affected by Typhoon Haiyan are enormously fortunate because Americans want to have something to do with them. And our armed forces are not only the first on the scene after the Filipinos themselves, but they are doing things no one else can do, with speed and effectiveness.
When a disaster like Typhoon Haiyan hits, the big dogs come running and provide the help that only our military can with the speed that only they can achieve.
When Indonesia was nearly destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami nearly ten years ago, Americans stepped up to provide disaster relief as only we can. The UN relief chief at the time, some punk named Jan Egeland, said that the U.S.’s response was stingy. I recall doing a radio interview the following day with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who didn’t take kindly to Egeland’s comment.
President Obama's foreign policy record remains intact. Across the world from which he is withdrawing American power and influence, governments are recognizing that where once a superpower resided, now only a shadow remains.
First it was left to the Communist Chinese to admonish us against spending too much. Then they began a campaign to replace the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. The French led us into Libya because they needed to protect their oil interests there. Then Vladimir Putin bamboozled Obama into an agreement on Syria which goes against America interests by enabling Assad to remain in power while Iran flexes its muscles there. And that was after Putin suckered Obama into a new nuclear arms agreement that went against American interests and prior well-thought-out policies.
Now, Obama is eagerly chasing Iran, like a puppy chasing a ball, seeking an agreement that would relieve Iran of economic sanctions without doing anything to slow or stop Iran's march to nuclear weapons.
Mrs. O'Leary's cow was lost to history after it ignited the Chicago Fire because the fire was vastly more important than the cow. Having ignited a global fire around the U.S. intelligence community, NSA leaker Edward Snowden is inevitably being condemned to the same fate for the same reason. He isn't at all happy about it.
Apparently frustrated by the lack of hospitality he’s receiving in Moscow, Snowden gave a letter to Hans-Christian Stroebele, a German “Green” politician, last Thursday in which he writes in the style of John Kerry’s testimony to the Senate in April 1971.
The latest flapdoodle over intelligence gathering has bestirred a more than usually energetic reaction. Calls to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and to shackle the NSA are erupting all over the political landscape like acne on a teenager’s face.
But let’s not get carried away. The problem is not with what NSA is and was doing. The problems are that it was caught doing it and that Obama is saying that NSA did something wrong, which it didn’t.
What began as another round of leaks from Edward Snowden, telling us that NSA has been listening to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone calls for the past ten years, isn’t over yet.
Obama wants a debt ceillng default so he can blame Republicans. But they can turn this game around.