BY LAWRENCE SELLIN, PHD | JUNE 4, 2014
Obama is, quite literally, unbelievable
For Barack Obama, speeches are not just motivational instruments or representations of a desired state of affairs, but feats of political transubstantiation, where, if he utters them, words become reality.
It is a behavior not dissimilar to Adolf Hitler maneuvering imaginary German divisions from his Berlin bunker while Russian troops rampage throughout the city above him.
Delusional is the only term I can muster to describe the chasm that exists between the words Obama uses and the differing reality into which they are dispensed.
In politics and foreign policy, words have power if they are truthful and followed by corresponding actions. When they lack authenticity, however, words degenerate into the coarse tools of a con artist, receptive only to the cynical or the equally delusional.
It is as if Obama is following the George Burns axiom, the key to success is sincerity, if you can fake that, then you've got it made.
Case in point was his 2014 commencement speech at West Point, which was little more than a collection of false assumptions and imaginary accomplishments.
"Al Qaeda's leadership in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been decimated, and Osama bin Laden is no more."
Al Qaeda's central leadership and its ability to direct operations from beyond its base in Pakistan has diminished, but its affiliate organizations, along with other terror groups, have grown more dangerous. The new State Department report cited 9,707 terrorist attacks in 2013, a 43% increase from 2012, according to statistics compiled by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.
"Through it all, we have refocused our investments in a key source of American strength: a growing economy that can provide opportunity here at home."
The record shows is that Obama, with his throwback, old-fashioned, 1970s Keynesian economics, has put America through the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression. America has fewer jobs, lower real median household income and more poverty and income inequality.
"In fact, by most measures, America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world. Those who argue otherwise - who suggest that America is in decline, or has seen its global leadership slip away - are either misreading history or engaged in partisan politics."
Although Obama campaigned on a promise to increase America's respect around the world, the failures far outweigh the successes: the death of four Americans in Benghazi and the subsequent attempts at a cover-up, his "red line" in Syria, "dithering" in the Middle East, and his "reset" policy with Russia that only allowed Putin's Russia to increase its sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. College students, a core Obama constituency, overwhelmingly believe America is losing respect in the world under the leadership of President Barack Obama with seventy-three percent believing that the United States is less respected by other countries than it was in the past.
"Here's my bottom line: America must always lead on the world stage. If we don't, no one else will."
In reality, Obama's "lead from behind" approach to foreign policy has led to a situation where our allies no longer trust us, and our adversaries no longer fear us. America has had little impact on the Ukraine crisis; we have managed to alienate historic allies like Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel; we have negotiated a deal with Iran which allows them to keep their nuclear facilities while we lift sanctions and their economy booms; the Chinese are taking advantage of America's weakness to make claims to the South and East China seas; and even that nuclear weapon toting, pipsqueak North Korean boy-president taunts America.
Barack Obama is a master of rhetorical posturing, but lacks the experience and depth of character to deliver on his lofty declarations.
History will not take note of what he said. The world will go its own way as if his words were never spoken – like sand against the wind.
Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of "Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution.” He receives email at firstname.lastname@example.org.