Useful idiots

Dear Editor:

Recently, a political pundit, trying unsuccessfully to contain his frustration with the Obama administration, said Obama has surrounded himself with a team of “useful idiots.” He didn’t specify who he was referring to (and there are so many) but there can be little doubt that Chuck Hagel, the Secretary of Defense (SecDef), qualifies for this very appropriate designation.

Hagel is a member of the Republican Party and a year ago Senate Republicans filibustered Hagel’s nomination as SecDef, the first time in history a nominee for SecDef was filibustered. He was confirmed, however, by a 51-48 vote thanks to the Democrats in the Senate. Why did Republicans resist his nomination? Because they felt he was not qualified and because of various statements he had made in the past showing he, like Obama, believes America is better off if it is militarily weaker. This stance on the military was substantiated when on 24 Feb Hagel proposed cutting current troop strength to its lowest level since 1940. Hagel said these cuts are necessary “in order to sustain our readiness and technical superiority …”

Hagel did not explain how cutting troop strength will sustain our readiness, presumably because he couldn’t, and it wasn’t just his decision anyway. Hagel had to be following Obama’s dictates, just like the other useful idiots Obama has surrounded himself with. So now, if our military suddenly finds itself outnumbered and unprepared, Obama won’t be held accountable, his Republican SecDef will be the fall guy thrown under the bus. Obama will also hold the Republican Party accountable by association, which is likely the principal reason Obama chose Hagel as his SecDef in the first place.

What makes this decision so incredibly irresponsible and indefensible is the recent testimony given by James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence. Clapper said that during his career in the military and intelligence he has not experienced a time when the U.S. has been faced by more crises and threats around the globe. His assessment is shared by others in the intelligence field. Obviously this is of no concern to Hagel and Obama, however. They think diplomacy and leading from behind will resolve all these threats. But take a look at developments in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela and now the Ukraine and ask yourself if we are really better off being militarily weaker. Certainly Vladimir Putin thinks it’s a good thing and he will not hesitate to take advantage of it.

Rather than maintaining a robust defense of U.S. interests at home and abroad, Obama only cares that the Democrat Party has plenty of financial resources to fund entitlement coffers needed to keep the Party base loyal to him. This is going to lead to disaster.

Gary Stansbury

This story was posted on March 6, 2014.