Sunday, November 15, 2015

'Lucky Lindy', Charles Lindbergh and American Isolationalism: Does it Work?

Aftermath of Yet Another ISIS Attack in Paris
Charles Lindbergh was a legitimate American hero.

He was the first person to complete a non-stop transatlantic flight to Paris, France on May 20-21, 1927 after taking off from an airfield on Long Island, New York and thereby claiming a $25,000 challenge prize from a prominent New York hotel owner.

His baby was kidnapped and murdered in 1932 which captivated the nation not unlike the OJ Simpson trial in 1995.

He was also a nationally and internationally-known leader of the 'America First' isolationist movement and a full-throated apologist for Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Until December 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor. 'A day that will live in infamy' as Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared in an address to Congress the next day. Immediately, Charles Lindbergh and the America First isolationist brigade went into hiding and were never taken seriously again.

Until President Barack Obama was elected in 2008. He campaigned on a promise to remove all American troops from Afghanistan and Iraq plus other anti-Bush policies such as closing down the Guantanamo Bay prison where the most notorious of all terrorists have been held.

The American public were tired of seeing American soldiers in harm's way in the Middle East and the majority of people voting in states that determined the winner via the electoral college elected President Obama to fulfill those promises.

However, much like Charles Lindbergh in the 1930's, the well-intentioned but dreamy-eyed utopian ideals of President Obama, his policy advisors, his campaign directors and his most fervent supporters are being proven to be sorely inadequate to confront and defeat the scourge of very real malefactors in the world stage today: the leaders and foot soldiers of ISIS and Al Qaeda.

'America will retreat from the world stage!' these dreamers pronounced loudly.

What then? What happens in the vacuum of leadership and military personnel, equipment and materiel in the Middle East and worldwide when the world's greatest superpower retreats into its own shell?

The Paris Massacres Friday night should have the same discrediting effect on any supporter of the Obama 'Lead from Behind' foreign policy since 2009 and anyone in America who has been sticking their head in the same isolationist sand as Lindbergh did when he ignored the almost demonic rise of Hitler in the 1930s.

The history of America dating back to the Revolution has been that when we have let our national defense guard down and let our military force wither or be slashed to the bone, we have soon found ourselves fighting another war to defend our freedom and free others around the globe.

What should a great superpower do when confronted with a budding evil group, leader or empire that is hell-bent on doing nothing productive for humanity but only to sow death, destruction and terror among peaceful innocent people as witnessed in these deadly Paris attacks this weekend?

For one thing, a great superpower such as the United States can't just run off and hide and say:
'Someone else has to stand up to ISIS. We have done enough to save Europe and Korea and Japan from totalitarian threats over the past century and sacrificed far too many American lives being the world's policeman. It is time for someone else to save the world. Not the United States'.
That hardly sounds American, does it?

Our greatest export over the past 236 years to the world has been freedom and democracy, not American ingenuity, technology or products. Should we step back and wait for ISIS to continue to export terrorism and fear throughout the world, or just wait for it to come to our shores as we all know it will come...if it hasn't already?

Perhaps a little-known lesson from history might give our policy-makers some clues as to how to fight such an asymmetric sui generis type of threat such as ISIS poses to everyone today.

King Mithradates of Pontus, in modern-day Turkey, was known as the greatest threat to the Roman Empire over a 25-year period from 89 BC to 63 BC. He, like Al Qaeda and ISIS before him, deeply resented the presence of a Western Empire in his territory and vowed to fight to the end of his life to destroy and eliminate The Roman Empire.

In the spring of 88 BC, he orchestrated a simultaneous massacre of at least 80,000 Roman citizens, and possibly as many as 150,000, in a single day with the help of other sworn enemies of Rome in Rome's new Province of Asia called Anatolia.

How King Mithradates was able to do it and keep the entire plan secret without any spies or informants spilling the beans in that day with such precision and timing without cell phones, Twitter or any other form of instant communication is still a subject for scholars to answer.

Just under 4000 people were killed on 9/11 by Al Qaeda. Close to 400 people were killed or wounded during the Paris attacks this past weekend just to put some perspective on the magnitude of Mithradates' massive terrorist attacks on a single spring day in 88 BC.

How did The Roman Empire respond to these terrorist attacks?

Much as the United States responded to 9/11: they attacked Mithradates and his army of guerrilla warfare warriors time and again to weaken him and his threat to the Roman Empire.

Eventually, after 25 years of fighting, successes and losses, the Roman army was able to trap Mithradates who committed suicide rather than submit to Roman justice which decapitated the terrorist operations and ended the threat to Rome.

They didn't retreat from engaging the enemy. They didn't wait for 'someone else' to stand up to Mithradates. They were not afraid to label Mithradates as an enemy of Rome. They didn't try to make amends with Mithradates by 'apologizing' for Roman strength throughout the centuries leading up to 88 BC nor did they seek to appease Mithradates and his followers by not calling him all sorts of Roman names that probably can't be repeated in this post even if they are in Latin.

Mithradates made it his life mission to destroy the Roman Empire, much like the leaders of ISIS have made it their sworn jihad to destroy 'The Great Satan America' and all of western civilization with it.

There can be no negotiations with killer terrorists who seek one purpose: the annihilation of all they hate. ISIS and Al Qaeda hate America and western civilization. They will not stop until they win, or are completely annihilated themselves.

The next US President is going to have to understand that sad and gruesome reality before being sworn into to office as out next Commander-in-Chief on January 20, 2017.

Ronald Reagan projected that sort of determination during his campaign in 1980. 30 minutes before he was sworn in on his Inauguration Day in 1981, the Ayatollah Khomeni of Iran released the 52 American hostages they had been taken hostage at the US Embassy in Tehran 444 days earlier under President Jimmy Carter whose foreign policy of appeasement was an earlier replica of President Obama's foreign policy.

In less than a decade, the Soviet Union crumbled along with the rest of the Soviet-controlled Eastern Europe that was behind the Iron Curtain as described by Winston Churchill in 1946. All without a major conflagration on a massive battlefield. All without massive loss of life as in World War I where over 20 million people perished or World War II where between 60 million and 85 million people died in less than six years.**

Coincidence? Doubtful.

The buildup of American defense strength and a recognition by our adversaries that Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 were willing to use it to advance the cause of peace and freedom around the globe as a causality of peace under Presidents Reagan and Bush 41?

Definitely true.

What do you want from your next Commander-in-Chief: a continuation of Obama 'Lead from Behind' policies that have apparently 'left us behind' these deadly terrorist forces worldwide or a real chance at eradicating these terrorists from the face of the earth?

You are the key to deciding what sort of future you want to live in and what sort of future you want to leave behind for your children and grandchildren.

If you vote for someone such as Hillary Clinton who is defending the foreign policies of President Obama mainly because she served as his Secretary of State for many years in his Administration, you will most likely get the same results as we have witnessed these past 7 years.

If you vote for someone on the Republican side, outside of Rand Paul and to some extent, Ted Cruz, you will be voting for a return to the 'Peace Through Strength' military and diplomatic stance of Presidents Reagan and Bush 41.

It is up to you. Remember the Paris Attacks of November, 2015. They are not going to go away unless the United States helps eliminate and eradicate ISIS and Al Qaeda soon.

What if it had happened in New York, San Francisco or Washington, DC? There is no conceivable reason to not want to prevent that from happening on our shores as well.

** Terrorist attacks under Reagan, PBS

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1 comment:

  1. These actors are stateless and require a different approach to mitigate. The sight of France dropping 20 bombs on a desolate little city in Syria as retribution for the Paris attacks is almost comical. These types of responses are ineffective against the kind of threat the West faces.

    ReplyDelete