In Thursday's New York Times, Russian president Vladimir Putin argued that America is not exceptional, and that American leadership does not make the world safer. I could not disagree more strongly.
While Russia and the U.S. did work together to defeat the Nazis in World War II as Putin points out, our histories since then tell two very different stories. While strong U.S. leadership rebuilt a free and prosperous Western Europe after the war, the Soviet Union did the opposite, spreading a Communist ideology that imprisoned people behind walls and on islands. The U.S. won the Cold War because of our willingness to lead the free world, and today we remain the world's sole super power. The question facing our nation now is whether we will continue to lead in the future. I believe we must.
History teaches us that a strong and engaged America is a source of good in the world. No nation has liberated more people or done more to raise living standards around the world through trade and charity than the United States. We remain a beacon of hope for people around the world. more >>
When the America president appears on national television to address the American people it's a big deal. His subject, language, and setting need to carry weight-gravitas. Prime time presidential speeches are serious matters. And for the president-and America by extension-to be taken seriously his speech must be clear, cogent, and commanding; it needs to have a centrality of purpose.
We heard none of that Tuesday night from the president's speech on Syria. If Winston Churchill had been watching at 10 Downing Street, I think he would have said the president's speech was a pudding without a theme. Bret Hume, of Fox News, said it was a speech in search of a purpose. And Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal said the president should have cancelled the speech. Well, if not that he should have at least delivered a different speech.
It was a speech with a string of subjects-Syria, chemical weapons, military force, a congressional vote, and Russian diplomacy-but no focus. What we heard Tuesday night was the muddled message of the president's Middle East policy. more >>
In the 16-month period following Osama Bin Laden's assassination in May of 2011, national confidence increased in a way that was almost reminiscent of the pre-9/11 days. The economy was gradually coming back from the Great Recession (much as the pre-9/11 economy was recovering from the "Dot-Com Crash") and -- more importantly -- there was a sense that the worst national security fears of the U.S. were behind us.
The brave U.S. special forces who killed Bin Laden brought a much needed sense of justice and closure regarding the mastermind behind the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, and for many months President Obama was able to spin the symbolic victory into far more than what it was. But on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi claimed four American lives and shattered the false sense of security that had begun to creep back into the American psyche. Within a year of that attack, the Boston Marathon bombings killed three people and injured an estimated 264 people (last April), and the U.S. was forced to close over 20 embassies around the world because of terrorist threats (last month).
Making matters worse, the Obama administration misled the American public about 9/11/12 to preserve a presidential national security narrative that was critical to Obama's reelection about two months later. As the Washington Times recently reported, "As President Obama ran to election victory last fall with claims that al Qaeda was 'decimated' and 'on the run,' his intelligence team was privately offering a different assessment that the terrorist movement was shifting resources and capabilities to emerging spinoff groups in Africa that posed fresh threats to American security." more >>
President Obama has apparently decided to change another of Ronald Reagan's policies. President Reagan famously said, "Trust but Verify" when dealing with the Russians. With President Obama, our new policy will be to "Trust the Russians to Verify" whether Syria's Assad has complied with UN directives on chemical weapons.
The President's confused and confusing speech this week raised more questions than it answered. One of the most important questions isn't even being asked by our foreign policy elites: Why should the U.S. back the Syrian rebels who are slaughtering Christians in that war-racked country? Why should any American Christian support going to war for these rebels in Syria?
Until the Russians threw Mr. Obama a lifeline, we were preparing to align ourselves with persecutors of Christians in that country's civil war. Bashar al-Assad has committed heinous crimes, to be sure, including the use of chemical weapons. But he has not aggressively persecuted Christians--as the rebels have done and are doing. Hundreds of thousands of Christians in Syria are in danger. Many of them have lived in that country since biblical times. more >>
In an extraordinary op-ed in today's New York Times, Russian President Vladimir Putin – a former KGB agent – lectures our country and our president about many things, finishing with rather patronizing remarks about American exceptionalism and the equality of men.Writes Putin:
"I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States' policy is 'what makes America different. It's what makes us exceptional.' It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord's blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."
First, although his own record deviates profoundly from his stated belief that "God created us equal," his assertion is itself correct. However, it is noteworthy that last year, the same New York Times that today published the ultimate oligarch's exhortation to the land of the free detailed his wealthy lifestyle, which makes that of multiple czars combined seem minor. Consider: more >>
On Wednesday, people across the United States of America remembered the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Places like The Pentagon and New York City were the sites of ceremonies in remembrance of those lost.
While September 11 is most widely known in the American public consciousness as the anniversary of a national tragedy, it is also the date for other major events in human history. Other notable events include other somber occasions such as major battles and regime changes, but also more hopeful events like new year celebrations and birthdays of famous people.
So without further delay, here is a list in no particular order of other major past events that fell on the eleventh day of the ninth month. more >>