CHARLOTTE, NC, September 24, 2014 – Just when you think you can finally give Barack Obama a nod of confidence for doing something right, he finds a way to make a mockery of himself and, at the same time, his country.
They say that image is everything.
The president is adept at the art of image, both positive and negative, and more often than not, at making negatives seem positive.
So important is that concept imbedded into everything he does, one has to believe that giving the now infamous “Latte salute” (we have it on good authority, he actually drinks Chai tea) to a Marine while deplaning the presidential helicopter, could not possibly be accidental.
In the scheme of things, saluting a soldier with a cup of coffee or Chai tea in hand will not stop ISIS or solve the problems in Ukraine or halt climate change or fix Obamacare. But Obama’s disrespect is downright obvious and unacceptable. Particularly since he is not REQUIRED to salute. The salute to the armed forces is a sign of respect by the President. Or in this case, half-hearted respect.
The demeaning display by the president, just another example of Obama’s supreme arrogance, came within hours of the first bombings in Syria which had been hailed by most observers as a positive, albeit too late, decision. The president has no semblance of scruples nor does he possess a “smidgen” of couth.
While most of the mainstream media, including FOX News, breathlessly marveled at the “alliance” of five Arab states joining the United States in the aerial attacks on the Islamic State, retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters was less than impressed.
Like virtually every other military expert, whether retired or active, Peters reiterated that the only way to be ultimately be victorious is to send in the grunts, be they American or someone else.
But Peters also commented on the “image” aspect of the O-bomb-a’s ISIS strategy saying that the missions were conducted at night so as to minimize casualties. “The buildings were empty,” said Peters. Image. The video looked good but accomplished little other than spending American money and whittling down a depleting reserve of Tomahawks that will not be replaced.
Peters anger was obvious as he continued, “The only way you can deal with terrorists of this nature is to kill them and keep on killing them. Killing them in large numbers, kill them in ones and twos until they are either exterminated or the last guys just give up and run for the caves.”
As Peters sees it, the so-called alliance is not nearly as significant as the media makes it out to be.
“George Herbert Walker Bush had real Arab ground troops for the liberation of Kuwait. So far we’ve got Arab states flying token missions and that’s important to have Sunni Arabs in the air…it’s symbolically important, but ultimately all the other critics are right. The air power can do a lot for you if used aggressively and effectively but at the end of the day, you need either special forces or ground forces to go in and just grapple with these guys and wipe them out.”
Former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton agreed with Peters. Bolton commented that he was surprised by the amount of ISIS coverage by the media as if it was a major coup by the administration to proceed with the bombings.
“It’s not surprising that when their (the Arab nations) vital interests are threatened, as they are now by ISIS, that Arab countries rally to the United States,” said Bolton.
In other words, just because the people who are most threatened by the Islamic State are in self-preservation mode does not mean they are now our new best friends. The alliance is fragile and necessary for the Arab states. Nothing more.
Bolton added that the Arab states need to know that the United States is “in it to win it” because they, better than anyone, realize “they will bear the consequences of failure.”
Pure and simple, that is the reason for the alliance with the Middle East. Ahhh, but the “images” are good.
In the end, our Middle East policy is just another Obama created dog and pony show. It is all about image.
President Harry Truman had a famous sign on his desk that said, “The buck stops here.”
Barack Obama has a similar motto. “Starbucks stops here and I salute you.”
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News
Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod