Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A New Sealing of Fate: When I first heard about the rescue of the captain of the Maersk by the Navy Seals my level of depression about the economy, more American soldiers killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and so many other problems facing our nation, went from ten to zero in an instant. Finally, an Easter/Passover metaphor -- the resurrection of hope in a sea of despair. Over the course of three days I thought the captain of the Maersk would be killed. That he was not reinforced a debate I had with someone recently over the competence of our military. I believe it to be the most competent in the world. My opposition, surprisingly a veteran, said he thought not. I decided Sunday my opinion was vindicated as I rehearsed in my mind over and over again what our modern military has been asked to do. Our professional all-volunteer military performs perfectly and have done what they have been asked to do every time. They are the military. They are NOT politicians nor are they members of the State Department or Congress. Their job is to protect and, if necessary, to kill for, American interests period. In my opinion, they do it with phenomenal bravery and incredible preciseness. What were the odds the captain and his crew would be rescued successfully? As each day passed the odds began to look slim.

Barack Obama said nothing while the ordeal was occurring. I suspect he worked with many entities in the utmost secrecy to make the operation work. We will probably not know the true extent of his machinations for many years but I know enough about our president to believe he is cautious, he is deliberate and he is very very smart. He is the exact opposite of the eight years of knee jerk militarism and paucity of intellect which was team Bush. Recently, when Bush's former UN ambassador Bolton was asked how he would resolve this difficult pirate issue his reaction was a military assault on Somalia. That would mean, of course, an escalation of war and possibly yet another occupational quagmire of an anarchistic East African entity in the Horn of Africa which cannot even be considered a nation state. We would add a third or some say even fourth war, if one counts some of Pakistan, as a target to our military's burden. We cannot employ that kind of foreign policy again and again and again. We do not have the lives to risk, the money to spend nor suffer the worldwide ill will it would engender if the US reacts with overwhelming military force to meet every threat we may face.

Terrorism whether from pirates or otherwise is worldwide. President Obama brings to his office precisely what our nation needs: meticulousness of thought, thoughtful preparation and slow but deliberate action which produces the optimum result but does not incur world-wide animosity in the process. The Obama Doctrine is smart and it is deliberative. The indictment many have had the past eight years has NOT been of the military but of the politicians who craft stupid poorly thought-out policy and then cavalierly play roulette with the lives and fortunes of those who would implement it.

Thankfully, the US has wonderful geographical coordinates. It is removed from many anarchistic forces who wish to destroy it. Technology, though, as 9/11 proved, makes all nations very close indeed. President Obama showed smart, deliberate poise while he monitored the problem and then gave his permission to those who could perfect the desired result. They, perfectly, surely did.