Thursday, July 17, 2014

Albert Einstein said, “You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.”

Quite frankly, I disagree. A ready defense is a strong defense. Military readiness both prevents and prepares for war.

This is an example of an emotional sound bite that sounds good on a bumper sticker but makes no sense in real life.

Unfortunately, unless one gets stuck in traffic behind a car bearing such a bumper sticker, few rarely ever give such sound bites a second thought.

D.C. traffic, however, will give you plenty of time not only to give bumper stickers a second thought but also to analyze them. I recently found myself in a traffic jam, fixated on the bumper in front of me and deliberating the flaws in Einstein’s opining.

While I’ve always disagreed with his statement, on this particularly hot afternoon I found myself becoming bothered by it.

Specifically, as the radio reported President Obama’s latest slap in the face to our nation, I began connecting the dots from Einstein’s bromide to our latest national security risks — in particular, how Obama’s leadership has caused most of these risks.

When the clarion call comes from someone as esteemed as Albert Einstein, it lends a cover of goodness to whatever cause you’re rallying behind. Those waving their posters in protest of whatever our military is defending at the time may even enjoy a sense of pride.

Yet, perhaps if those quick to glom onto just about any anti-war slogan appreciated the need for a ready defense and valued what is required for a ready defense, they would have put down their posters long ago and joined those troubled by what President Obama is doing to our country.

If we as a nation are not seen as strong, no one is safe, not even on American soil. A country is only as strong as its leadership is perceived to be.

For example, if San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich publicly dissed his players or blamed them for every missed foul shot, who wouldn’t think the team’s days of glory were over?

As it stands, Gregg Popovich is rightly viewed as a strong leader who inspires great confidence and skill in his players — and the entire team is viewed in a positive light.

Not so for our great nation. The cracks in our executive leadership are the biggest cause of the cracks in our national security.

It started with the small but telling gestures that hinted to the world that President Obama might not respect our country. Our collective response to these gestures further assured the world that we were becoming a country of contempt.

When then-Sen. Obama didn’t place his hand over his heart during the National Anthem, we feigned some outrage but elected him anyway.

Then President Obama forgot to salute a Marine. Oops! That’s OK. He went back and saluted. (It doesn’t matter that an adviser probably told him to go back.) So what if our military is an after-thought to our commander in chief? It’s all right to be after-thought. (See how that excuse holds up next time you forget your anniversary.)

We even let it go when our president held a campaign fundraiser in France on the Fourth of July. It’s an insignificant holiday for the international community. So wouldn’t it be more prudent to skip the ceremonies in order to strengthen his presidential campaign’s European outreach? (It physically hurts me to say that even sarcastically!)

These gestures of disdain sent a powerful message to those who wish harm on our country. If our own president doesn’t respect the United States of America, why should they? And if he doesn’t care enough about America, he’s not going to care enough about its defense.

President Obama began to give countries like Russia and Iran first dibs at solving international crises. Leading from behind it was rightfully called. There’s a word for those who lead from behind: followers.

Budget cuts are needed? OK, let’s get rid of our missile defense shield in Poland. Who needs Eastern European allies anyway? We need to make room in the budget for free cellphones. We’ll just borrow more money from China to pay for them.

It seems every act coming out of the Oval Office (well, coming from the golf course) deconstructs America’s strength and military readiness, and almost intentionally places us at the mercy of the international community.

Don’t you think the terrorist states are watching?