Dinesh D’Souza wrote a book titled, “America: Imagine a World without Her.” It is well worth reading. A film by the same name was released July 2, and I look forward to seeing it. But with all respect for this intelligent, far-sighted man, I don’t have to imagine a world without America. All I have to do is look around.
Look at the Middle East, if you want to lose your appetite. Look at Syria, where dictator Assad used poison gas on his own people. President Obama declared that if he did so again, this would be crossing a “red line.” Assad did use poison gas, but the “red line” existed – like so many things – only in Obama’s mind.
Granted, it is possible that the gas was used by the anti-Assad rebels. They now are represented by the barbarians of ISIS, who are spreading terror in Iraq. And it is equally possible to say, “A plague on both your houses.” But the fact remains that our president drew a line in the sand, and when it was violated, he did nothing. Our mainstream media pretended not to notice. But you can bet your life that our enemies studied this lesson attentively. In fact, you are betting your life, whether you know it or not.
And speaking of ISIS, our media also try to ignore the reason these people are running free in Iraq. But the reason is glaringly obvious. President Obama decided to withdraw all American troops from Iraq, reportedly against the advice of his generals. If, say, 30,000 troops remained, it seems likely that ISIS would not have dared to enter Iraq. And even if they did, it seems likely that our troops, plus the encouraging effect the troops would have on Iraqi troops, would have succeeded in decimating ISIS and forcing the remnant out of Iraq.
Should we have gone into Iraq in the first place? We can argue this interminably. But once we were there, should we have left precipitously? I believe the answer is an unequivocal no. Nature may hate a vacuum, but tyrants and terrorists love it. So why did Obama create the vacuum? Why didn’t he foresee what type of savages would fill it? Was this due to ignorance or apathy? I don’t know, and I don’t care. (Hat tip to William Safire.) The fact is that Obama’s desire to leave Iraq overcame the judgment of experts that this would lead to disaster – which it has.
Look at Iran. Do we have any assurance that the Iranians have ceased their development of nuclear weapons, while they shout, “Death to America”?
Look at Pakistan. Do we have any assurance that it is our ally rather than our enemy?
Look at China. Do we have any assurance that its territorial ambitions in the adjacent seas and islands will abate?
Look at North Korea. Do we have any assurance that its lunatic regime will become less aggressive, or that it will give up its nuclear weapons?
Look at Japan. Do we have any assurance that, threatened by North Korea and China, and uncertain of American protection, Japan will feel compelled to rearm? Is that a prospect to relish?
Look at Afghanistan. After seeing the chaos in Iraq after we left, one would think that the administration would not abandon Afghanistan. One would be wrong. We will be out by Dec. 31, 2014 – happy New Year, Taliban! We are already cutting back on hot meals, leaving troops with dehydrated MREs. Every unit used to have its own mess facilities. Now we depend on contractors to feed our troops. Newer isn’t always better.
But we need not look outward. The absence of America is obvious abroad, but it is painfully obvious at home. Yes, the nation appears intact from a distance. But is it? Or is it merely a hollowed-out shell of its former self? Is the Statue of Liberty still the vibrant symbol of our liberty, or has it become just a statue? Like the beautiful statues left by the ancient Greeks and Romans, is it a monument to past greatness – with the operative word being past?
You tell me.
The government now controls everything from light bulbs and toilets to dishwasher detergent to what our kids eat for lunch. The government is appropriating unto itself the power to make life-and-death health-care decisions for all of us. The president, bit by bit, is appropriating unto himself the power to rule by decree, bypassing Congress entirely.
Did Congress refuse to pass the Dream Act? Never mind. The president ordered the bureaucrats to allow undocumented immigrants who claim to have arrived as children to remain permanently. That is, the president “passed” the Dream Act unilaterally.
Did the president’s actions result in a deluge of children and teenagers crossing the border unaccompanied? Never mind. The president “repealed” sections of the immigration laws unilaterally.
Is the porous border, unable to block the entrance of unaccompanied children, equally unable to block the entrance of terrorists and criminals? The president seems willing to create a humanitarian crisis in order to force Congress to open the border still further. But did he consider that, in addition to children, terrorists bent on perpetrating another 9/11 could also cross freely? Did he care?
Are many of the “children” teenage males? Do many of the immigrants have infectious diseases, including H1N1 influenza, tuberculosis, chickenpox, measles, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, Chagas’ disease, lice, and scabies? Do some of them come from the Middle East? Do Texas ranchers report finding prayer rugs on their land?
So many immigrants from Central America could not have crossed Mexico without the help of the cartels. What could be the motive? To infiltrate drug-dealing, child-trafficking members of MS-13? To infiltrate Middle Eastern terrorists? Who knows? But don’t bother to ask.
It is pointless to argue homeland security with those who cannot understand the concept of homeland, much less security.
If fences don’t work, why is there one around the White House?
– Charles Krauthammer
Does the Internal Revenue Service harass conservative and pro-Israel organizations? Does the president proclaim that there is “not even a smidgeon of corruption”? But how could anyone know, when the IRS blandly claims that the e-mails of all relevant officials have been lost? One reaches a conclusion after examining the evidence – that is, unless he knows that the evidence has already been destroyed.
Did the president persuade Congress to pass (barely) ObamaCare, a law so complex that we cannot even agree on how many pages it comprises? Are its provisions so byzantine that even the finest legal minds cannot comprehend them? Does this mean that life-and-death decisions for all of us will be made by remote, faceless, unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats? Of course it does. The impenetrable complexity was not an accident – it was intended in order to empower the bureaucrats while disempowering patients, doctors, and hospitals.
Do the Food Police, directed by the First Lady, dictate what children’s lunches should contain? And if the lunch does not conform, the lunch is confiscated and thrown out. This teaches the child that (1) her mother doesn’t know what is good for her, and (2) throwing food away is a good thing. The child was forced to eat the school lunch. But the lunch the little girl’s mother packed included a turkey and cheese sandwich, potato chips, a banana, and apple juice. No, this didn’t meet the bureaucrats’ specifications for a healthful lunch. But what did meet with their approval? Chicken nuggets – that is, unrecognizable chicken parts fried in deep fat. The bottom line is not that the lunch must be healthful, but that it must be officially approved, a different thing entirely.
A government that can reach into children’s lunchboxes can reach everywhere.
The essence of tyranny is not necessarily oppressive law, but arbitrary and capricious law. Nevertheless, the public and the mainstream media remain largely inert while all this is happening. So how do we have the gall to claim that we are still free?
Wherever we look, overseas or at home, we are beginning to see a negative image of America. We see it by its absence. We see it by the lack of its influence on other nations. We see it by the discouragement of our friends and the emboldening of our enemies. But most of all, we see it by the diminishing number of our freedoms at home.
Recently I had a nightmare. I dreamed that as our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” had been replaced by “Where Do You Go When You Can’t Go Home?” I don’t have to imagine a world without America. I can just look around.
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