• When President Roosevelt “Led From Behind”

    Those of us who either remember WWII and the Presidency of Franklin Roosevelt or who have a fair knowledge of military history, can recall when President Roosevelt engaged in “leading from behind.” He wasn’t alone in adopting this policy of course as it was also followed by virtually every American President starting with our first, George Washington as he led the American Revolution from behind, just as Jack Kennedy led from behind during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Ronald Reagan led from behind when dealing with the Russians during the Cold War and George Bush led from behind when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. Yes, leading from behind is an all-American tradition, which is why President Obama, following the precedence of virtually every American President is having such great success in dealing with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and convincing the psychopathic Islamic State of the Levant (ISIL) to respect international law, human rights and to murder children in a humane manner.

    Please forgive my sarcasm but what passes for foreign policy and strategy in the Obama administration brings out my dark side. Last week the President of the United States admitted before the entire world that he was essentially clueless, having no strategy to deal with ISIL, the Russians or any other international problem. Then he went back to playing golf, just as he did the week before when he issued a statement condemning the barbarity of ISIL after they savagely murdered journalist James Foley and recorded it for the Internet. He was back on the golf course in less than 10 minutes after making that statement, allowing himself to be photographed “yucking it up” with his golf pals even as major networks broadcast a tearful statement from Foley’s parents.

    As a comparison of what we used to have as Presidents, Franklin Roosevelt faced an enemy of cataclysmic capabilities. The Nazis and the Imperial Japanese were running amok in Europe and Asia. Hitler’s Germany swallowed Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Greece, Yugoslavia and were biting off large chunks of Russia between 1938 and 1941. Within the conquered nations the populations were reduced to slavery, minorities slaughtered along with political and military leaders and barbaric “medical experiments” instituted by medical psychopaths upon the politically dispossessed, including children. In Asia, the Imperial Japanese Army massacred tens of thousands in conquered lands, starting with China in 1937 and were engaged in mass rape, butchery and savagery not seen since the Mongols swept across Asia and Europe in the Middle Ages.

    During all of this time, the American public, in political polling, were adamant that such atrocities were none of our concern and demanded Congress vote accordingly. Roosevelt  recognized the threat, coaxed and cajoled both congress and the public, through “fireside chats,” leading the public discourse by explaining the need to build up our Navy to protect our shores, doubling the Navy and Army in 1940. He persuaded congress to allow “lend lease,” providing 50 aging destroyers to escort convoys across the Atlantic. He used the analogy of a neighbors’ house being on fire and lending him a hose to fight the fire; it made sense to Americans. By 1941, Roosevelt ordered the Navy to engage German Submarines to sink them on sight. This led to engagements in the North Atlantic between U.S. Navy Destroyers and Nazi submarines; several American warships were torpedoed and one sunk. Roosevelt didn’t falter; when Pearl Harbor was attacked in December, 1941, America was committed to the mobilization required to wage global war against barbarians. Roosevelt led from the front, never from behind.

    So too has every other great American President. Washington displayed battlefield courage continuously at great personal risk; he never quit despite the most desperate circumstances.

    Jack Kennedy faced down the Russians, preventing the deployment of nuclear missiles just 90 miles off our shores at tremendous risk, yet he didn’t falter, nor did he play golf during the crisis.

    President Reagan challenged the Soviets at every opportunity, often against the advice of the State Department “professionals;” Reagan armed Soviet opponents and stood with dissidents.

    In 1990, President George Bush stood up to Saddam Hussein, leading America to a military victory in just 100 hours over the 4th largest Army in the world. American leadership was unchallenged; when America spoke, the world listened.

    Today, President Obama abandons allies, including the unprecedented withholding of military re-supply to Israel during conflict; abandons Americans and allies in foreign prisons, like Marine Sergeant Tahmooressi in Mexico, USAID contractor Alan Gross in Cuba, Dr. Afridi, who gave us Bin Laden in Pakistan, imprisoned after Obama’s administration released his name. Last week, Egypt and Saudi Arabia bombed Libyan rebels; and the US was not informed and therefore didn’t know about it . How far our nation has fallen, as President Obama “leads from behind.”

    Al Fonzi
    5th District Chairman, Republican Party, SLO County
    President, SLO County Lincoln Club
  • SEAL Team VI Parents’ Opinion of Obama – Billy & Karen Vaughn

    After finally choosing to view the barbaric, on-camera beheading by ISIS of freelance war correspondent James Foley, I have been left with a level of rage known only to those of us who have sacrificed unspeakable offerings on the altar of world peace. My offering was my only son — Aaron Carson Vaughn. Aaron was a member of SEAL Team VI. He was killed in action when a CH47D Chinook, carrying thirty Americans and eight Afghans was shot down in the Tangi River Valley of Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011.

    Many times over the past three years, I have been asked what drove my son to choose his particular career. What made him want to be a Navy SEAL? My answer is simple. Aaron Vaughn was a man who possessed the courage to acknowledge evil. And evil, once truly acknowledged, demands response. Perhaps this is why so few are willing to look it in the eye. It is much simpler — much safer — to look the other way. That is, unless you are the leader of the Free World. As Commander-in-Chief, your actions — or lack thereof — Mr. President, cost lives. As you bumble about in your golf cart, slapping on a happy face and fist-pounding your buddies, your cowardly lack of leadership has left a gaping hole — not only in America’s security — but the security of the entire globe. Your message has come across loud and clear, sir: You are not up to this job. You know it. We know it. The world knows it.

    Please vacate the people’s house and allow a man or woman of courage and substance to seize the reigns of this out-of-control thug-fest and regain the balance we, America, have provided throughout our great history. Thanks to your “leadership” from whatever multi-million dollar vacation you happen to be on at any given moment, the world is in chaos. What’s been gained, you’ve lost. What’s been lost, you’ve decimated. You’ve demolished our ability to hold the trust of allies. You’ve made a mockery of the title “President.” And you’ve betrayed the nation for which my son and over 1.3 million others have sacrificed their very lives. But this should come as no surprise, since your wife uttered a vile statement on Feb. 18, 2008, during the primary campaign — one that speaks volumes of your true convictions. “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country,” she said. I am sure my deceased son thanks you for that, Mrs. Obama. Oh, and you’re welcome.

    Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such despair and such growing fear that the world’s last best hope, America, has finally been dismantled. Perhaps the better word is transformed — fundamentally transformed. Come to think of it, it’s become difficult — if not impossible — to believe things haven’t gone exactly as you planned, Mr. President. Amazingly, in five short years, your administration has lurched from one disaster to another. You spearheaded the ambitious rush to end the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan — with no plan on how to do so effectively. Also, the release of “the Taliban five” in exchange for one American — without consulting Congress — is also on your shoulders. You have been at the helm during unprecedented national security leaks — including, but not limited to the outing of SEAL Team VI on the Bin laden raid, the outing of the Pakistani doctor who provided the intelligence for that raid, the outing of Afghanistan’s CIA station chief, and the outing of your personal “kill list” to make you look tough. In addition, 75 percent of American deaths in Afghanistan and 83 percent of Americans-wounded-in-action have occurred on your watch, according to icasualties.org. And now, we have this recent, heinous event: the beheading of an American citizen by a barbaric organization you foolishly referred to as “the JV team” in your statements to the New Yorker magazine in January. You, sir, are the JV team. It’s time for you to step down and allow a true leader to restore our honor and protect our sons and daughters.

    America has always been exceptional. And she will be again. You, Mr. President, are a bump in our road. 

    Billy & Karen Vaughn are Gold Star parents of Special Operations Chief (SEAL) Aaron Vaughn, KIA 6 Aug 2011. Billy is the author of Betrayed: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17. Read more at http://www.forourson.us.