Paul R. Hollrah, O.E.
History Repeats Itself
Reading David Horowitz’s chapter on "The Path to 9-11,” in his book,
Party of Defeat, it is blood-chilling to read the text and, while
doing so, substitute the name Barack Hussein Obama for the names of our
last two Democrat presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and to
substitute Islamic jihad for the Communist threat.
For starters, begin in March 1975 when Tony Lake, who later served as
Bill Clinton’s National Security Advisor, published a column in the
Washington Post, arguing for a suspension of aid to the
anti-Communist regime in Cambodia.
It was boilerplate liberal foreign policy, reminiscent of the Truman
Administration’s suspension of aid to Chiang Kai-shek in 1946,
effectively ceding China to Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communists, and
the Kennedy Administration’s withdrawal of aid from the pro-western
leaders of Laos, effectively turning the southern panhandle of that
country over to the North Vietnamese, creating a sanctuary for Communist
guerilla forces and making possible the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Although Gerald Ford was still in the White House in 1975, the
Democrat-controlled Congress cut off aid to Cambodia and the regime
fell. The Communist Khmer Rouge then proceeded to slaughter as many as
four million Cambodians... men, women, and children. This followed the
slaughter of millions of South Vietnamese after Democrats in Congress
and the anti-war left, led by John Kerry, forced the precipitous
withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam two years earlier.
According to Horowitz, liberals and Democrats of that era minimized the
threat of Communism and viewed Marxist aggression as "understandable”...
much like Barack Obama and Democrats of today see the actions of Hamas,
Hezbollah, Iran, and North Korea as "understandable.”
As Gerald Ford left office and Jimmy Carter moved into the Oval Office,
he and his advisors sought to create doubt in the minds of the American
people about our role as a major world power. As Horowitz describes it,
"The new self-doubts Carter hoped to create replaced the confidence that
had inspired America... in two world wars. They translated into policies
that cut back America’s military defenses, hamstrung America’s
intelligence agencies, and weakened the nation’s resolve. All of these
pathologies... invited assaults from America’s enemies, including the
gathering forces of Islamic jihad.”
Horowitz continues, "To this Democratic Party radicalism, Carter brought
an element of personal naiveté and moralizing condescension...
Like others on the Left, he believed criminals could be reformed and
America’s enemies could be induced towards pacifist agendas. The
Communist leaders were rational people who would respond to ‘positive
inducements,’ if we only shed our ‘inordinate fear of Communism...’ ”
(Is this beginning to sound familiar?)
Then, having disposed of pro-western governments in China, South
Vietnam, and Cambodia, liberals and Democrats turned their sights on the
Middle East and the Shah of Iran. As Horowitz tells us, "... at the same
time Carter was undermining the Shah, his CIA director, Stansfield
Turner, was taking an axe to intelligence assets that might otherwise
have identified the threat (that Iran posed). Turner cut 820
human-intelligence positions from the agency, forcing it to rely on
foreign intelligence sources for analysis.” It was a strategic error
from which the CIA could not easily recover... and has not to this day.
Carter’s ambassador to Iran compared the Ayatollah Khomeini to Mahatma
Gandhi, while his U.N. ambassador, Andrew Young, referred to Khomeini as
a "20th century saint.” This in spite of the fact that, in the first
year of their rule, the "progressive” mullahs executed more people than
had been executed in the entire thirty-seven years of the Shah’s rule.
Finally, on November 4, 1979, a mob of Islamic revolutionaries attacked
the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking sixty-six Americans hostage and
holding them for 444 days. They were not released until January 20,
1981, the day that Ronald Reagan became the 40th President of
the United States. Clearly, the Islamic revolutionaries knew they could
not toy with Reagan and a Republican administration as they had with
Carter and the Democrats.
Bill Clinton came to power on January 20 1993. Horowitz tells us that,
"Like Carter, Clinton wasted no time in telegraphing America’s
vulnerabilities to our adversaries.” A series of major attacks began
barely a month into Clinton’s first term with an attack on the World
Trade Center in New York... an attack that was intended to kill a
quarter of a million people. The Clinton Administration treated it as an
isolated criminal act.
Months later, with just three hundred U.S. troops remaining in Somalia,
Clinton changed their mission from protecting international food
supplies to one of "nation building.” On October 3, 1993, while
attempting to capture several of Islamic warlord Mohammed Aideed’s top
aides, American troops were ambushed and two Black Hawk helicopters were
shot down. Eighteen Americans were killed in the firefight and one
soldier’s mutilated body was dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.
In an interview with ABC News, Osama bin Laden said the Mogadishu defeat
and subsequent pullout showed that Americans "can run in 24 hours.” He
said later, "When tens of your soldiers were killed in minor battles and
one American pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu, you left the
area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat, and your dead with
In 1996, Muslim terrorists killed 19 U.S. airmen housed in the Khobar
Towers in Saudi Arabia. Bill Clinton called for a federal investigation
and sent FBI agents to Saudi Arabia. Weeks later, Osama bin Laden told
sympathetic journalist Robert Fisk that the bombing was "the beginning
of war between Muslims and the United States,” a fact that is now denied
by Barack Obama and his radical left appeasers. Horowitz continues,
"There was a war, but only one side was fighting.”
FBI Director Louis Freeh complained that Clinton Administration
officials were "lukewarm” about investigating the Khobar Towers bombing
because it was suspected that Iran was behind the attack and Clinton was
"eager to engage Iranian moderates”... apparently the same Iranian
"moderates” that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are now anxious to
break bread with.
In September 1996, when Saddam Hussein moved troops north to attack
Iraqi Kurds, a serious violation of the truce that ended the first Gulf
War, an American air attack was scheduled. And while the planes were
armed and ready to fly, the attack required a final go-ahead from the
president. However, Clinton was attending the PGA President’s Cup golf
tournament that day, and although his national security advisor called
him three times, he refused to take any of the calls. Saddam Hussein was
not worried about reprisals from Bill Clinton.
In the summer of 1998, while Clinton was deeply distracted by the
Lewinsky affair, Osama bin Laden blew up the U.S. embassies in Kenya and
Tanzania, killing 224 people and injuring thousands. In response,
Clinton fired Cruise missiles at a pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan
and at bin Laden’s hideouts in Afghanistan. However, before the missiles
were launched, and in a spirit of fair play, Clinton first informed the
Pakistanis, through whose airspace the missiles would travel. Someone in
Islamabad informed bin Laden and he escaped unharmed.
Mercifully, the American people defeated Al Gore in 2000 and Republicans
regained control of American foreign policy and the U.S. military. But
now an even more pliant Democratic team is in the White House and in
less than five months in office they have accumulated more foreign
policy blunders than the Bush Administration was responsible for in
Obama has verbally attacked his own country while on foreign soil...
something no other president has ever done. He has insulted our most
important western ally, Great Britain; he has angered the Germans and
the French; he has severely alienated Israel, our most important ally in
the Middle East; he has shown obeisance to the Saudis by publicly bowing
to the Saudi king; he has tacitly accepted public rebuke from the most
dangerous dictators in the western hemisphere; and he has given aid and
comfort to our avowed enemies by declassifying and publishing some of
our most sensitive national secrets.
On Thursday, May 21, 2009, former vice president Dick Cheney gave Obama
the most public spanking any president has ever received. In a clear,
concise, to-the-point speech following a rambling Castro-like speech by
Obama... a speech in which he rebuked the Bush Administration some 24
times... the lines could not have been more clearly drawn. Aside from
providing a clear and concise review of our national security dilemma,
Cheney’s speech was a stark reminder of what it was like when we
actually had grownups in charge of our foreign and domestic affairs.
see the many missteps of the Obama Administration as "rookie jitters,”
but it’s a dangerous world we live in and it becomes clearer every day
that Obama simply is not up to the task. It all looks very much like
history repeating itself.