Concerning a Safer America, Obama Can Say the Darndest Things
by LT. COLONEL JAMES G. ZUMWALT, USMC (RET)
January 16, 2017
One of the rare gems to emerge from early television was Art Linkletter's 1952 program "Kids Say the Darndest Things." As a child uttered some off-the-wall comment, Linkletter turned to the audience in feigned disbelief of what was heard.
We have witnessed twenty-first century politicians make similarly outrageous comments, with theirs evoking disbelief from among many listeners.
For example, it is hard to forget House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's pearl of wisdom concerning Obamacare. The bill contained nearly 11,000 pages, meaning few members of Congress either had the time or the inclination to read it. While suggesting people would not appreciate how great the plan was until after it passed, she suggested, "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it..."
In other words, Obamacare's test flight required all passengers serve as test pilots.
A recurrent mantra has been sounded by President Barack Obama's White House during his term in office - one that has become louder as his term draws nearer to its end, perhaps in an effort to cement at least one leg of a legacy. That mantra is "America is safer today" because of his leadership.
President Obama has repeated this line enough times that he may well have come to believe it. In support of it, he usually will cite Islamic terrorist (not Obama's word choice) Osama bin Ladin's 2011 death as well as the role of Obama's "strong American diplomacy...in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon" based on the deal negotiated with the mullahs in July 2015.
Ironically, by emphasizing these particular two points, Obama fails to promote his own bona fides as personally having contributed to a safer America.
Bin Laden's demise was the result of intensive human intelligence collection that actually started under President George W. Bush and resulted in identifying bin Laden's courier. Tracking the courier continued under Obama as additional pieces of the puzzle fell into place, eventually leading to the bin Laden raid. This intelligence collection continues today to identify and locate a new generation of Islamic terrorist leaders who Obama's policies have failed to deter. While the bin Laden raid provided Obama with a great photo opportunity to look decisive, he has done little to actually be decisive in making the world safer from Islamic terrorism.
While the President takes credit for the bin Laden kill, simply for being in the right place at the right time, it is totally inappropriate for him to claim credit that his deal with the mullahs prevented Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That simply is not true, even though not even Congress has held him accountable for this untruth.
Obama had promised us, at least 28 times both as a presidential candidate in 2008 and later as president, he would prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons. However, his 2015 agreement did not achieve that end.
There should be absolutely no confusion over this point:
President Obama's deal with Iran specifically gives it - as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism - a pathway for legally obtaining nuclear weapons should it abide by the agreement. But, should Iran opt to violate the deal, it can obtain those nukes even sooner.
The world Obama asserts is safer today because of his leadership and his agreement with Iran has only left President Donald Trump with a ticking nuclear time bomb with which he will be left to deal.
Upon leaving office January 20th, Obama will continue to live in the District of Columbia, renting a nearby mansion to enable his younger daughter, Sasha, to complete high school there. It will be interesting to see, as an Iranian nuclear arsenal becomes a reality and Washington, D.C. becomes a viable target for the mullahs, whether private citizen Obama opts to get his family the hell out of the city before Sasha can graduate.
A version of this piece also appeared on http://www.breitbart.com/
Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of "Bare Feet, Iron Will--Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran--The Clock is Ticking." He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.