America: Strong Horse or Weak Horse?

By | January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments


When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse. Osama Bin Laden

I had intended to begin this column with a photo of American Pharaoh, first winner of the Grand Slam of thoroughbred racing. But he is still with us. Instead, I used a photo of Barbaro. He might have achieved an equally impressive record had he not been injured and put down. My point is that no matter how strong a horse – or a dog, or a person, or a nation – may be, they must be treasured and cared for, because strength and life itself are fragile and transitory. My point is that some injuries are irreparable.

There is no question that America is still a strong horse – not as strong as it was, true, but still strong. All the efforts of President Obama and his “progressive” helpers succeeded only in weakening it to a degree. The question is: which horse does America resemble, American Pharaoh or Barbaro? Was the weakening merely temporary, to be followed now by strengthening? Or is the weakening to continue, until the ultimate collapse occurs? Is the injury reparable? And if so, will we exert every effort to repair it?

What do I mean by a strong horse? I mean a horse that projects strength, and even a bit of bad temper, so that predators hesitate to attack him and his friends. For example, what would I have done, if I were president on 9/11?

If I had been in President Bush’s shoes that bright, clear September morning, I probably would have done what he did. I would have put our forces worldwide on DEFCON 3, only the third time this high DEFense CONdition of alert has ever been needed. In fact, I would have gone to DEFCON 2. Our enemies would have been frightened, and their supporters like Russia would conclude that it was safer to remain neutral. After all, a kick from a strong horse can be fatal, even to a large predator – a bear, for example.

Like Bush, I would have approved the ground stop of all aircraft. I would have temporarily closed the borders − and used the opportunity to observe whether that would have the dire effects predicted by “experts.” If a short period of complete closure had tolerable ill effects, perhaps a longer period of securing the border would not cause the economic disaster predicted by advocates of open borders.

In addition, I would have put our intelligence agencies into overdrive in their efforts to locate the sources of the terrorist attack, and I would have gotten rid of the deadwood in the CIA. I would have ordered the invasion of Afghanistan and the unseating of the Taliban, which were giving support and safe haven to Bin Laden and the other 9/11 plotters.

But I would have done more. I would have ordered the modernizing of our nuclear arsenal, and I would have allowed news of this to leak. I would make it glaringly obvious to all that we were the strong horse − frighteningly strong.

To top things off, I would have ordered our B-1 bombers to execute the following mission. As soon as possible after 9/11, they would approach Kabul, Baghdad, Tehran, and Damascus at high altitude, barely visible to radar. Then at local midnight, the bombers would drop to low altitude, go supersonic, and overfly these cities simultaneously. This would cause huge sonic booms, breaking windows and creating panic.

Meanwhile I would phone the leaders of our “allies” Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and tell them plainly that unless they stopped funding and supporting terrorism, Riyadh and Islamabad would be hearing similar booms. (Note that the B-2 bomber is stealthy, that is, nearly invisible to radar, but it is not supersonic. The B-1 is less stealthy but is supersonic – and therefore capable of causing sonic booms.)

Then I would go on TV with a brief, blunt message:

People of the Middle East: America remained patient after the bombing of our Marine barracks in Beirut, after the attack on the USS Stark, after the first World Trade Center attack, after the attack on our humanitarian mission in Somalia, after the Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia, after the attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and after the near-sinking of the USS Cole.

Our patience is great, but it is not infinite.

What the citizens of Kabul, Baghdad, Tehran, and Damascus heard tonight were merely sonic booms. The only damage done was some broken windows, which can be repaired. But know this.

If there is another attack on the United States launched from your nations, and more thousands of American citizens are slaughtered, or if weapons of mass destruction are used, you will again be awakened by loud booms. But the sounds will be preceded by flashes of light more brilliant than the sun, and you will not have time to say your prayers or say goodbye to your loved ones. The damage done will never be repaired. Your cities will be radioactive and uninhabitable.

You have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve. Attack him again, and the full weight of his wrath will descend upon you. If you insist on being barbaric, be barbaric with your own people, but stop killing my people. This is your final warning.

If new terrorist attacks originated from these nations, we would have made crystal clear what the result would be. Our so-called friends in Pakistan and elsewhere would realize that we were indeed the strong horse. And everyone would know that it was safer to be our friend than our enemy.

True, angry people would demonstrate in the streets of the Middle East. But their zeal would be tempered by the knowledge of what awaited them if they did more than demonstrate. Many people claim to be supporters of radical movements, but few are suicidal for themselves, much less for their families. And in the unlikely event that we were attacked again, people would think twice before dancing in the streets – as they did after 9/11, and as they did again after the Boston Marathon bombing.

The downside is that we might enrage some people who otherwise would remain passive. But our enemies already hate us so intensely that they dance and hand out sweets when we suffer mass murder. How much more hate-filled could they be? The hate would remain, but it would be restrained by fear. As things were before President Trump entered the Oval Office, our enemies hated us as much as ever, but they feared us less. Is this the diplomatic “success” that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton boasted about? Then what would failure look like?

On the other hand, it is possible that radical Islam would recede after such a demonstration of strength. The expansion of Islam receded after Charles Martel’s victory at Tours in 732, after Jan Sobieski’s victory at Vienna in 1683, and after Gen. Kitchener’s victory in the Sudan in 1898. Even fanatics are impressed by strong horses.

This was the exact opposite of “progressive” foreign policy. We do not possess chemical or biological weapons. So it was a longstanding policy that if America were attacked with these weapons, we would respond with the only weapons of mass destruction we do possess: nuclear. However, President Obama reversed this policy and – even worse – announced it publicly. It is self-evident that this made chemical and biological attacks more likely.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Kerry declared that if Syrian dictator Assad did not stop using chemical weapons, he would face an “…unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” As a result of this laughably weak threat, Assad continued to use chemical weapons, and Russia jumped in to support him.

And even after the San Bernardino attack that left 14 dead and 30 injured, our principal response was to have Attorney General Loretta Lynch threaten criminal prosecution of anyone who used “anti-Muslim speech that edges toward violence.” No 2nd Amendment, now no 1st Amendment either? Lynch reassured Muslims that “We stand with you in this.” In this what? In their purported desire to live in peace with their neighbors? Or in their expressed desire to swap the Constitution for Sharia law? Lynch didn’t say.

America presented itself as not just a weak horse, but a pathetically weak, lame, virtually helpless horse, whinnying pitifully, ready to be put down. Donald Trump has done his best to remedy this situation, but many in and out of government continue to oppose him at every step.

The killing of General Soleimani may mark a turning point. This top Iranian general felt free to come to Iraq and direct attacks on the US Embassy and elsewhere. President Trump ordered his death and received condemnation from the Left. But anti-ayatollah demonstrators fill the streets of Iranian cities. It seems clear that the world is beginning to see America as a strong horse again, in fact one growing still stronger. But time will tell.

My idea of a response to 9/11 is just a fantasy. But it is less fantastic than the notion that cowering before a bully can stop the bullying. Even schoolchildren know this doesn’t work. It is time that the self-anointed geniuses in the Democratic Party learn it, too.

But if doubt remains, ask yourself these questions: On December 7, 1941, did potential enemies see America as a strong horse or a weak horse? How did that work out?

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