"There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war." — George Washington, Fifth Annual Message, 1793
In 1802, in response to President Thomas Jefferson's request for authority to deal with the Barbary Pirates, Congress passed "An act for the Protection of Commerce and seamen of the United States against the Tripolitan cruisers", authorizing the President to "employ such of the armed vessels of the United States as may be judged requisite for protecting effectually the commerce and seamen thereof on the Atlantic ocean, the Mediterranean and adjoining seas." The statute authorized American ships to seize vessels belonging to the Bey of Tripoli, with the captured property distributed to those who brought the vessels into port.
On the night of 16 February 1804, Lieutenant Stephen Decatur led a small detachment of U.S. Marines aboard the captured Tripolitan ketch rechristened USS Intrepid, thus deceiving the guards on captured warship Philadelphia to float close enough to board her. Decatur's men stormed the ship and overpowered the Tripolitan sailors. With fire support from the American warships, the Marines set fire to Philadelphia, denying her use by the enemy. British Admiral Horatio Nelson, himself known as a man of action and courage, reportedly called this "the most bold and daring act of the age.” This action is memorialized in the first line of the Marine Hymn; “from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.”
In 1812 when the British Navy began the impressment of hijacked American Merchant seamen forcing them into service aboard British warships President James Madison declared war on Great Britain. The war was a great risk for the fledging Republic, but the United States prevailed and Great Britain never again attacked the United States or its interests.
Both of these actions were bold and necessary for the future of the United States to be respected around the world. As George Washington stated in his 1793 Fifth Annual Message to Congress:
"There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."
Washington, like Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Monroe, knew that to survive in the world as an independent republic they had to stand strong against those who would take advantage of this nation. This is not the case today.
On Thursday, July 17, 2014 Ukrainian separatists shot down a Boeing 777 belonging to Malaysian Airlines as it was flying at 33, 000 over eastern Ukraine near the Russian border. Flight MH-17 was shot down with a sophisticated SA-11 surface to air missile launched from a Russian supplied BUK mobile launcher near Torez, an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels. 298 innocent civilians were murdered in this brutal act or terrorism.
According to a report in the Mail Online during a phone call one of the rebels was heard to say ‘holy s***’ when he realized their error in shooting sown a civilian airliner was intercepted by Ukraine’s security services, according to a Ukrainian newspaper.
“Militants nicknamed ‘Major’ and ‘Grek’ were recorded speaking as ‘Major’ inspected the crash site and found only ‘civilian items’.
Also on the line were Igor Bezler, who authorities says is a Russian military intelligence officer and leading commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, and a colonel in the main intelligence department of the general headquarters of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, Vasili Geranin.
The unverified transcript was posted online by the Kiev Post newspaper:
Igor Bezler: We have just shot down a plane. Group Minera. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk Oblast).
Vasili Geranin: Pilots. Where are the pilots?
IB: Gone to search for and photograph the plane. Its smoking.
VG: How many minutes ago?
IB: About 30 minutes ago.
After examining the site of the plane the terrorists come to the conclusion that they have shot down a civilian plane. The next part of the conversation took place about 40 minutes later.
'Major': These are Chernukhin folks who shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those cossacks who are based in Chernukhino.
'Grek': Yes, Major.
'Major': The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine. The first '200'. We have found the first '200' - which is code for a civilian.
'Grek': Well, what do you have there?
'Major': In short, it was 100 percent a passenger (civilian) aircraft.
'Grek': Are many people there?
'Major': Holy sh__t! The debris fell right into the yards (of homes).
'Grek': What kind of aircraft?
'Major': I haven’t ascertained this. I haven’t been to the main sight. I am only surveying the scene where the first bodies fell. There are the remains of internal brackets, seats and bodies.
'Grek': Is there anything left of the weapon?
'Major': Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.
'Grek': Are there documents?
'Major': Yes, of one Indonesian student. From a university in Thompson.
Militant: Regarding the plane shot down in the area of Snizhne-Torez. It’s a civilian one. Fell down near Grabove. There are lots of corpses of women and children. The Cossacks are out there looking at all this.”
There is little doubt that MH-17 was shot down by Ukrainian rebels using a Russian supplied sophisticated, radar controlled anti-aircraft missile. There is also little doubt that for these rebels to operate this equipment they needed training from the Russian army
The first response to this event by President Obama took place several hours after the reports of the shoot down began to come through from the Ukraine and Malaysia. Obama spoke for about 38 seconds during a break between on his fund raisers and a stop at a burger joint to chuck and jive with the customers there. That was the last heard from the White House until the next day, Friday, July 18th
On Friday Samantha Power, Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations delivered a scathing indictment of Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, for his direct involvement in the actions of the Ukrainian rebels in their war against the legitimate, duly elected government of the Ukraine and the shoot down of MH-17. She squarely placed the blame on Putin and his military for only supplying the rebels with advanced military equipment but also supplying “advisors” who no doubt are Russian intelligence FSB operators and former Spetsnaz fighters.
At the same time Power was indicting Putin President Obama was having a press conference where he addressed the shoot down of MH-17 and Israel’s incursion into Gaza to put an end to Hamas’ constant launching of rockets into Israel. In itself this was inappropriate as the two issues are not related and Obama should have focused entirely on MH-17. This made the act of the rebels look more like a afterthought than the act of international terrorism it was.
During his tepid remarks on MH-17 he mentioned Russia and Putin one time. This was in direct contradiction to the remarks of his UN ambassador. He laid out the known facts of the MH-17 shoot down in an almost nonchalant professorial manner calling on the Europeans to take action and mentioning that the Dutch, where MH-17 originated, lost 198 souls. He also mentioned the apathetic sanctions he placed on the Russian Federation earlier in the week. Sanctions of several of Russia’s defense contractors that can be easily evaded by their operating through front companies. At no time did Obama mention any steps we would take to bring the perpetrators of the act of international terrorism to justice or what we could do to ensure that the FBI and NTSB would have access to the crash site.
I can understand Obama’s lack of remarks on Thursday right after reports of the shoot down began to surface. The President should not make statements for which he has no facts on the table although Obama has done that in the past with racial issues and gun violence. Remember his famous remark; “if I had a son he would look like Travon Martin.” Obama has no problems shooting from the hip when it suits his political base, but has a definite aversion to taking a leadership role. He looks to others for that.
President Obama spoke for 38 seconds on Thursday after learning that a Malaysian Air flight had been shot down over Ukraine. In the process, he said in those 38 seconds that a plane falling from the sky “may be a tragedy”.
Conservatives were quick to point out Ronald Reagan’s response to the Korean Air 007 flight in 1983. The shoot down was September 1, 1983. On September 5th, Reagan addressed the nation calling it “a crime against humanity” among other things. Some perspective is important.
Ronald Reagan addressed the nation on the four days after the event. That is being fair to President Obama. But there is more worth considering.
President Reagan may have spoken four days after the event, but what he did on the day of the event is striking compared to Barack Obama. Reagan was in California on vacation with various private events scheduled.
Ronald and Nancy Reagan had gone out to their ranch on August 26th and had intended to stay at least through September 4th. Instead, when he found out, he cancelled all his events and headed back to the White House on the morning of September 2nd. He suspended all campaign and other activity and instead sat in N.S.C. meetings where he decided to rally the world to ban Aeroflot flights and get reparations for victims. In fact, according to his daily calendar, he arrived at the White House at 5:43pm, was in the Oval Office by 5:46pm, and in the Situation Room at 6pm.
More striking, on the day of the attack, once our intelligence confirmed the Soviets had shot down the plane, U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz held a press conference and revealed a great deal of intelligence and intercepts to show conclusively what happened to the plane. We made sure the world knew as quickly as we knew so that the Soviets could not dare attempt a global propaganda campaign. The South Koreans had claimed the Soviets just forced the plane to land. They kept that up for more than five hours. But once the facts were known, we were forceful, thorough, and damning in exposing what had happened.
Reagan sat in N.S.C. meetings the evening of September 2nd and committed the national will to getting our allies on board a plan that included banning Aeroflot flights and demanding reparations.
While this was all going on, the situation in Lebanon and Israel had destabilized and Reagan was juggling meetings on the KA-007 situation and the Middle East situation.
Neither Reagan nor his staff said the downed jetliner “may be” a tragedy, nor did they go out for burgers, fries, or fundraisers. They stayed in the White House, cancelled outside events, examined intelligence, met with allies, consulted with Congress, and then Ronald Reagan addressed the nation on September 5, 1983. When he returned to campaign activity on September 9th, he did it by closed circuit TV instead of traveling for the event. Interestingly enough, he also called for a day of mourning to be scheduled for September 11, 1983.
KA-007 marked a turning point for Reagan. Up until that time he and others had hoped to compromise with the USSR, trusting them to do the right thing for themselves and the world. The incident changed Reagan’s mind.
He concluded the Soviet system was corrupt, malignant, and would ultimately fail. He knew that compromise with Soviet leaders wasn’t possible, and that we had to negotiate from a position of strength to have any chance of success.
Reagan took pen to paper and wrote his own speech to the American people, explaining what the Soviets had done and why it was so dangerous to us and the world.
“…make no mistake about it, this attack was not just against ourselves or the Republic of Korea. This was the Soviet Union against the world and the moral precepts which guide human relations among people everywhere. It was an act of barbarism, born of a society which wantonly disregards individual rights and the value of human life and seeks constantly to expand and dominate other nations.
They deny the deed, but in their conflicting and misleading protestations, the Soviets reveal that, yes, shooting down a plane — even one with hundreds of innocent men, women, children, and babies — is a part of their normal procedure if that plane is in what they claim as their airspace.
They owe the world an apology and an offer to join the rest of the world in working out a system to protect against this ever happening again.”
Reagan followed strong words with even stronger actions. He accelerated work on the Star Wars missile defense system. He urged Congress and the American people to continue the Reagan defense buildup. He shored up our European allies and encouraged them to stand up to the Communists. And he understood that the Soviet economy depended on high oil prices, so he set about to bankrupt them. Six years after the Soviets shot down the Korean airliner, their empire collapsed.
Reagan led. Barack Obama could learn from the last guy from Illinois to sit in the Oval Office.
This is Barack Obama’s chance to make history. Will he seize the moment and reverse course? If so, he will restore defense spending. He will take back all those pink slips he’s just sent to members of the military. He will reinstate the defense missile shield for Poland and the Czech Republic. He will rally our European allies to stand up to Putin. And he will accelerate American energy independence efforts, so that we and our European allies are no longer subject to Russian energy blackmail.
Now is the time of Obama’s testing. Will history make him a great man? Will he rise up to be a great man who makes history? Or will he just play out the clock for his last two years in office, hobnobbing with celebrities, playing golf with moguls, and living the good life?
If so, history will soon move past him, and he will spend the next thirty years as a former president coming in first in polls for the worst president in modern American history.
To follow in the footsteps of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Kennedy, and Reagan here is what Obama should do:
- Tell the Russians and Ukrainian rebels the United States is sending in our FBI and NTSB to inspect the crash site of MH-17. We have a right under international treaty as the manufacture of the Boeing 777 to do so. He should work with the legitimate Ukrainian government to do so. He should inform the rebels that if they attempt to thwart our investigators we will take the appropriate military action. This will no doubt encourage the Dutch, Germans, Malaysians, and Australians to join us. In this way Obama can lead the international community in getting all of the facts. The Europeans will not take this on their own and Russia and China can prevent any effort by the UN to take any action.
- Find out who was the commander and trigger man of the SA 11 BUK battery and by any means necessary, including operations by a CIA special action team, to capture and bring the perpetrators to justice — including killing them. We did this with bin Laden and other Islamic terrorists.
- Restore all cuts in the Military. Obama likes spending money on illegals and welfare. Instead he should take that money and rebuild our military enduring we have the resources and technology to take on any foe.
- Impose strong sanctions on the Russian oil and gas exports. This will really hurt the Russian economy as over 10% of their economy is dependent on the oil and gas industry. By increasing our oil and gas production and building the XL pipeline the United States along Canada can supply Western Europe with oil and gas.
- Reinstate the defense missile shield for Poland and the Czech Republic. He will rally our European allies to stand up to Putin. Also Putin will get the message that we will not stand for his outlaw actions.
That’s what a true leader does.
Without Obama’s leadership none of this will happen. Even though the vast majority of souls lost on MH-17 were Dutch, Germans, Malaysians and Australians (including 100 AIDS researchers heading for a conference in Australia) they will do nothing about this act of terrorism. They never have. They are great at pointing fingers at us but do little to protect themselves. They couldn’t in 1938 and without the shield of the United States they would have fallen under the boot of the Soviet Union.
In Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book and the subsequent film “America: Imagine a World without Her” D’Souza explores a world without the United States. Is America a source of pride, as Americans have long held, or shame, as Progressives allege? Beneath an innocent exterior, are our lives complicit in a national project of theft, expropriation, oppression, and murder, or is America still the hope of the world?
New York Times bestselling author Dinesh D'Souza says these questions are no mere academic exercise. It is the Progressive view that is taught in our schools, that is preached by Hollywood, and that shapes the policies of the Obama administration. If America is a force for inequality and injustice in the world, its power deserves to be diminished; if traditional America is based on oppression and theft, then traditional America must be reformed—and the federal government can do the reforming.
In America: Imagine a World without Her D'Souza offers a passionate and sharply reasoned defense of America, knocking down every important accusation made by Progressives against our country.
With all of pimples and blemishes the United States is still the greatest, ablest, and freest nation every to inhabit this planet. It is time for Obama to stand up and led against this act of terrorism and its sponsors.
Oh, and it’s time for Obama to get tough with Mexico and get U.S. Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi released. I would remind President Obama of U.S. Code, Title 22, Chapter 23, Section 1732. It is entitled, “Release of citizens imprisoned by foreign governments.”
“Whenever it is made known to the President that any citizen of the United States has been unjustly deprived of his liberty by or under the authority of any foreign government, it shall be the duty of the President forthwith to demand of that government the reasons of such imprisonment; and if it appears to be wrongful and in violation of the rights of American citizenship, the President shall forthwith demand the release of such citizen, and if the release so demanded is unreasonably delayed or refused, the President shall use such means, not amounting to acts of war and not otherwise prohibited by law, as he may think necessary and proper to obtain or effectuate the release; and all the facts and proceedings relative thereto shall as soon as practicable be communicated by the President to Congress.”
Apparently he’s been too busy with political fundraisers and vacuous speeches about the “Republican war on women,” economic injustice, and Congressional ineptness. There just hasn’t been time to pick up that famous phone and call Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and I am sure he will soon find MH-17 to be boring and of little interest.
Note: General Anatoly Kornukov, commander of Sokol Air Base who ordered the shoot down of KA-007 (later to become commander of the Russian Air Force), insisted that there was no need to make positive identification of KA-007 as "the intruder" had already flown over the Kamchatka Peninsula. Kornukov received an award from Vladimir Putin in the Grand Kremlin Palace, Moscow (2000).