So I’m confused. Romney says that Obama is soft on International issues…and by that I think he means violence against Americans (and probably Israelis since he’s an Israel Polemicist) and issues like immigration and the like, right?
So let’s see…
There’s been an attack on the American embassy and consulate in Libya. Things COULD have been done better, but every now and then the ENEMY will win one. You can’t be a perfect tactician all the time. Show me a President or general who didn’t lose on occasion and I’ll show you one that didn’t fight. We mourn our losses, we lick our wounds, and we learn from it, we don’t let it happen again.
Other than the attack on the embassy…… Ah… John Granville, a U.S. Diplomat was assassinated in Khartoum, Sudan in 2008…oops, nope, that happened under Bush’s watch on January 1. Obama didn’t take office until the 20th. I nearly credited that to him, sort of like that plant closing that Ryan credited to Obama that really took place under Bush! Sorry. I guess if the future Vice President can confuse when the inauguration occurs…
Other than a single attack in nearly four years, I find NOTHING. I’m sure our guys and gals in Afghanistan have had issues. But as far as non-military attacks on U.S. targets….. I don’t find any.
OH, I know! Piracy! Somali Pirates attack U.S. flagged ships right? Well, to start with, there aren’t that many U.S. flagged ships… only about 465 (as compared to Greece’s 3009 ships!) So the odds of a U.S. flagged ship actually being attacked? Fairly slim.
BUT it does happen. A Marshal Island flagged ship was attacked in Nov 2008. They got away. The Marshall Islands as you may (or may not) know is a U.S. Territory, so I’m going to count those. But that was the ONLY U.S. ship attacked in 2008.
The Maersk Alabama was hijacked in 2009. She’s a U.S. Flagged cargo ship. That didn’t end well for the pirates. Navy SEALS (the sharp end of the spear!) killed the three pirates holding the skipper and captured one alive (dunno what happened to him!) Gosh, Navy SEAL snipers v. Pirates… does THAT sound soft to anyone??? In November that year the Alabama was attacked a second time, the pirates were repelled when the crew opened fire on them. Way to go ALABAMA! ROLL TIDE! That same year the M.V. Liberty Sun, a US Aid food ship was attacked but got away and was later escorted to port by the USS Bainbridge (Bravo Zulu Navy!). So three attacks out of 86 that year on American vessels…. I dunno guys.
Some really fucking ignorant pirates attacked the USS Nicholas, an Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate in April of 2010. Ya know, I get it. I’ve seen the Perry class boats, they don’t look so tough. I’m not sure I’d take my john boat and four friends out to try to take on one at sea though. BUT, does this really count? After all, this is a NAVY ship, not a merchant ship. All five pirates were captured, tried and convicted to life sentences…for felony stupidity. The stupid came out yet again in the pirates that same month when they attacked the USS Ashland… a landing ship. Looks a lot like a tanker….no…wait…I mean small aircraft carrier…sorry, I always get those two mixed up…yeah. You know… a boat full of U.S. Marines??? Dumb-asses opened fire on the ship…dumb-asses got their ship shot out from under them. All SIX of them were captured. Six… They attacked a ship with 500 Marines aboard, someone’s been taking the Capt. Morgan commercials WAAYYY too seriously. That was it; the only two American ships attacked in 2010 were U.S. Navy… There were 239 attacks in 2010.
In 2011 the Pirates got their second wind, there were 222 attacks and 25 successful captures. The UE, Russia, NATO, China, India and Japan and the U.S. Navy stepped up their efforts and by Jan 2012 over 1000 pirates had been captured.
But, of those 222, there only one U.S. vessel; the sailing yacht, S/V Quest, a private yacht enroute to Oman was boarded and all onboard were murdered. The U.S. Navy intercepted the vessel and killed two pirates, captured 13. They’ll never see the light of day again. But that was the only U.S. vessel attacked in 2011.
2012 has seen a dramatic decrease in attacks. Mainly because of the 25 plus ship anti-piracy flotilla that patrols the Gulf of Aden today. There have been 46 attacks, 9 successful. None on American shipping.
Ya know, President Bush essentially punted the Somali piracy problem to Barack Obama. He didn’t deploy a task force until nearly a week from the end of his presidency. It’s not like it was a new problem. Pirates have been called one of “the common enemies of mankind.” Obama’s anti-piracy policy was his FIRST major international policy. It has been a resounding success.
So he’s not soft on piracy.
Osama bin Laden probably doesn’t think Obama is soft on terror. Nor do
- Anwar al-Awlaki,
- Noordin Muhammad Top,
- Sheik Saeed Al-Masri,
- Hamza Al Jawfi,
- Hussein Al Yemini,
- Qari Zafar,
- Muhammad Haqqani,
- Abdul Ghani Beradar,
- Saleh Al-Somali,
- Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan,
- Baitullah Mahsud,
- Younis Al Mauritani,
- Harun Fazul,
- Ammar al-Wa’ili,
- Abu Ali al-Harithi,
- Atiyah ‘Abd al-Rahman,
- Abu Hafs al-Shahri
- and Ali Saleh Farhan …
That’s twenty top Al Qaeda & Taliban leaders and operatives that have either been killed or captured on Obama’s watch.
I KNOW! It’s Immigration… that’s right… bloody liberal democrats just love them illegal immigrants….what?? What’s that? Obama’s deported more illegal immigrants than any president in history??? 370,000 in Fiscal Year 2008, 390,000 in FY 2009, 393,000 in FY 2010, and 397,000 in FY 2011…and slated for 400,000 this year… That doesn’t sound soft to me. In fact, if you compare his administration’s monthly average with Bush’s… Obama wins hands down….32,886 vs. 20,964. And that’s without targeting people who were brought here as kids!
I do have to admit, those numbers don’t take into account the voluntary and self-deportees that left the country after the recession started… and I really do think those numbers should be credited to Dubya and his friends.
Soft on Iran? I dunno guys…. The sanctions seem to be working for once. Iran has suffered numerous cyber-attacks (I find it hard to believe that we aren’t somehow involved with that), and the people of Iran are getting very, very restless. The United States has been dealing with Iran since Carter and so far, no one has been able to hurt them, not even the venerable Ronald Reagan, the way the Obama administration has. The average Iranian is spending nearly 20% of his income just to put a chicken in the pot (and that’s if they’re buying one every other day). Imagine going out and having to pay $9.00 for a lousy yard buzzard. Their currency is in free-fall. Just today the trading of currency in Iran has been severely restricted, ALL luxury imports have been suspended and some of their parliamentarians are discussing suspending their equivalent of the dole and not pay 60 million Iranians their retirement… Oh, that will turn out well I bet. Iran’s has been unable to respond to this particular attack. They’ve tried desperate measures (i.e. the attempted assassination of the Saudi Ambassador in Washington D.C.) and a lot of rhetoric. But, President Obama has avoided Romney’s rhetorical drama and Bush’s grandstanding and at the same time has put into play a program of piece by piece deconstruction of the Islamic Republic. We’re only just now seeing the castle walls crumble. The Arab Spring may yet become the Persian Fall. ALL of it done without firing a shot. That takes skill.
Obama’s killed terrorists, he’s effectively ended the profitability of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, he’s got a handle on the immigration issue and he’s brought Iran to the brink of revolution without risking a single American life (that we know of… I don’t count spooks in this, they know the game they play is dangerous).
So when the Neo-Cons and Theo-Cons start accusing Obama of being soft… I just don’t see it.