America on its knees

President Obama delivered a rambling, disjointed final State of the Union address last night.  He warbled on about American values, bridging partisan divides, and more hopey changey blather, but he did not mention an international incident with Iran taking custody of 2 US Navy ships and detaining 10 US sailors.

Today, Secretary of State, John Kerry, bragged about kowtowing to Iranian officials and unbelievably he bragged about his smart diplomacy, where he lauds his handling this situation peacefully.  He actually thanked Iran for releasing our sailors.

If there are any people left in the Pentagon who aren’t political hacks, they assuredly must be furious about this administration bowing to Iran.  What really happened was not brilliant diplomacy, but a complete submission of the US to Iranian muscle-flexing.  The Obama administration has failed to respond to escalating provocations, emboldening Iran to engage in this latest stunt, knowing full well that the Obama administration would not respond forcefully.  Thanks to these clueless, wimpy, leftist nitwits in this administration, video of these American sailors, on their knees in submission, will now be broadcast all over the Mid-East.  So, the message Secretary Kerry is not brilliant diplomacy, it’s America’s military on its knees.

In the real world, far away from the neutered Obama administration, weakness is a potent provocation.   Safe to state – neither smart nor powerful!

12 Comments

Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Military, Politics

12 responses to “America on its knees

  1. Kinnison

    It was humiliating just to see U.S. Navy personnel disarmed, shoeless, on their knees, and with their hands behind their heads, submitting to Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen. And nowhere could I find whether our boats were actually in internationally-acknowledged Iranian waters when they were hijacked. Does anyone even know? There’s an American carrier group in the Persian Gulf. I wonder how the Iranians would have responded if we scrambled the CAP and sent a 2-ship of combat-loaded F-18’s over their little patrol boats at Mach 1.5 at about 20 feet?

  2. Minta Marie Morze

    Liberty, Kinnison, 2 of my brothers fought in Viet Nam in 1967-1969: You can imagine what I think of Kerry. You can also imagine what I think of the images of our sailors on their knees with their hands on their heads.

    I knew that I had heard the brilliant Eric Hoffer say something that exactly captures this, and I found it quoted at WikiQuote. How appropriate:

    “It’s disconcerting to realize that businessmen, generals, soldiers, men of action are less corrupted by power than intellectuals… You take a conventional man of action, and he’s satisfied if you obey. But not the intellectual. He doesn’t want you just to obey. He wants you to get down on your knees and praise the one who makes you love what you hate and hate what you love. In other words, whenever the intellectuals are in power, there’s soul-raping going on.”
    —Eric Hoffer, Interview with Eric Sevareid (1967) quoted on (https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Eric_Hoffer) Interview segment on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO1HqWUMxbs#t=2m23s

  3. Minta Marie Morze

    It occurs to me that I need to point something out about the Eric Hoffer quote above. On another blog, a commenter had this objection to it:

    ‘No. It’s not an important quote.
“businessmen, generals, soldiers, men of action” can be and, at high echelons of leadership often are, intellectuals. It comes with the job.
The Hoffer quote’s use of “intellectual” seems to be referring to particular kinds of dogmatic and/or autocratic leaders rather than intellectuals per se.’ (Eric on NeoNeoCon)

    So I thought about it, and wrote:

    You have made a good point. But may I suggest that to add to the investigation of the Hoffer quote, I would like to point out that Hoffer was marking the dichotomy between people whose actions have to be continually adjusted by the feedback of reality, and those whose beliefs are not measured against reality, but rather against an ideological construct. Those who live in an imaginary realm may feel compelled to force other to mentally or physically prostrate themselves to, and often verbally acknowledge, the counterfactual. Such True Believers—or their followers, some of whom know very well that the ideology falls short in Reality—busy themselves also with erasing people or things from pictures, destroying historical monuments, burning books, and other totalitarian amusements.
    The Educated Barbarians are the worst, because they know what to destroy, create, or camouflage to further their ideological ends.

    It’s not meant to mean “one size fits all”, but rather a warning, and part of a body of argumentation Hoffer extends through several books, starting with his “The True Believer”.

    It’s one of the troubles with words such as “intellectuals” or (“liberals” or “fascism” and other words thrown about)—we so often have to look beyond the word to the panorama it tries to display.

    When Hoffer uses the word “intellectual”, he is not speaking of intelligence or mental achievement, but rather those who set themselves apart from reality and disappear into realms of imagined system-building.

    Hoffer’s category of the men of action, etc., were seen by him as highly-intelligent, well educated men, at home in both strategy and tactics, loyal to the Truth. He used the word “intellectual” specifically to mean those intelligent individuals who were adrift from reality, in what has also been called “the ivory tower”.

    He wasn’t talking about brilliance or high facility of mind when he used the word. After all, the highest usage of the mind is in areas where it is possible to make a mistake, or to be faced with a fact that causes you to go back, rethink your actions, and choose another path. Entrepreneurs, generals, soldiers, farmers, engineers, etc., have to be both intelligent and correct. Buildings have to stay up, battles have to be won, and the mathematics of artillery or atom smashers has to be useful and work. And, after all, Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, Archimedes, and so forth were all men of truth in action.

    Hoffer didn’t equate “intellectual” with “high intellect”—after all, he was a longshoreman and brilliant. His books are fabulous.

    I was a child in the 1950s, and back then, “intellectuals” was synonymous with “those in the ivory towers”, who never worried about fact and truth.

    • Robert

      JK, that link leaves me with more suspicion about Washington’s role in this “drama”. Our sailors are portrayed as having the skills of a band of Somali pirates? Must be more to this.

  4. Thanks for all the great comments. They inspired a blog post idea, but I’m having more desktop computer issues, so I’m stuck pecking away on a tiny bluetooth keyboard (great amazon.com purchase… like $20) that came with my red leather Samsung tablet cover. Will be back to regular blogging in the next day or so.

  5. Pingback: The Russian Big Picture (Part 1) | libertybelle diaries

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