The Good Old Saber Rattling Days
My last column covered numerous national events I termed the “Spring of Scandals.” Since then, I have barely been able to keep my eyes away from what I saw inside Door #3, which is the continuing saga of traitor Edward Snowden and his travels (or lack thereof) around the world.
As we will recall, this 20-something analyst for a government contractor decided to singlehandedly interpret the Constitution for all of us and disclose sensitive information which (to my amazement) he had access. A whole lot of things about this story are amazing.
First of all, how in the world did we get to the point where someone not even 30 years old has unfettered access to the most sensitive intelligence data of our government? I naively thought the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and people who live inside six foot thick concrete fortresses were the only ones with access to this sort of information. This is the kind of information that is transmitted to the president not electronically, but by a general or admiral with a briefcase chained to his wrist and escorted by an armed military guard. And yet this bozo with a chip on his shoulder merely had to click his mouse to see our national secrets. What gives with this?
Then, we find out that Mr. Snowden is in Hong Kong. Now who wouldn’t have expected the Chinese to have some fun with us? We are constantly chastising them for electronic hacking and market manipulation, and all of a sudden we hand them the opportunity to throw it right back at us.
You can see communist leaders in Beijing in their smoke-filled rooms laughing uproariously as they contemplate how to tell us not to be so concerned with them hacking our secrets, when all they have to do is walk down to the nearest hotel in Hong Kong to ask Mr. Snowden what he knows. We walked right into that one.
Now as of the date of this column we are hearing that Russia, Iceland, Cuba, Ecuador or Venezuela may be Mr. Snowden’s next stop. And we hear the handwringing from people asking “Why won’t any of these countries cooperate with us?” “Why won’t any of these countries help us?”
The answer is simple. Because they know they don’t have to. Not too long ago a tin-pot dictatorship like Venezuela, Cuba or Ecuador would have thought twice about thumbing their nose at the United States on a matter of vital U.S. security and law enforcement interests. They would have known that if they were to act like a schoolyard bully to us, there would be serious consequences.
But no more. After five years of the Obama Administration, the entire world knows that they can do what they want, without fear of significant U.S. consequences. We are not respected around the world, nor are we feared.
Now the politically correct, touchy-feely viewpoint is we shouldn’t be feared, we should just get along. Well that’s fine, unless you care about our national security.
Beginning during his campaign swings through Europe five years ago, during which he apologized for American conduct in the past and promised that he would make everyone there love us, and continuing through his failure to do anything concerning Iran, Syria, our diplomatic post in Libya, and elsewhere where our interests are threatened, Barack Obama has weighed in on the need for the world to respect the United States.
The rest of the world can do as they please, and we will just grin and bear it, because it would be unfriendly of us to assert our will on the international scene.
That may be the current politically correct, touchy-feely way the United States now wishes to operate in the world. But I, for one, long for the good old days. What’s the sense in having a saber if you are afraid to ever rattle it?