Former U.S. Representative to the United Nations General Assembly Robert C. O’Brien, co-chairman of the U.S. State Department’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan and author of the new book While America Slept: Restoring American Leadership to a World in Crisis, joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Monday’s Breitbart News Daily to talk about the weekend terror attacks.
It’s amazing, I’ve been watching the mainstream media over the last couple of days, and instead of calling these acts of terrorism, and now people shouting, “Allahu akbar” and quizzing people on their Muslim heritage, to decide whether or not they’d be knifed in a mall in Minnesota – it’s the same old trope of, “We’ve got to disarm Americans, we need gun control, and maybe this is mental illness, and it’s really too early to comment on what’s happening here.”
He warned that we’ve “hit a point of peak political correctness that prevents us from identifying who our enemies are, and this is a very dangerous place for the United States right now. It’s time to identify our enemies and go out and destroy them.”
O’Brien expanded on that “peak political correctness” idea by comparing it to “fighting in World War II against Japan and Germany, but without being able to mention the Nazis, or the imperial warlords in Japan, or talk about their ideology”:
Certainly, we have great Muslim-Americans who came here to get away from the type of tyranny that these jihadis want to impose on us and impose on their people in the Middle East. This isn’t about good, law-abiding, upstanding Muslim-Americans. There should be no backlash against them. We appreciate the fact that they’re here, and part of the fabric of our society. But this unwillingness to name the ideological fact behind these attacks is astounding.
The American people aren’t children. They understand what’s going on. When they hear somebody is yelling, “Allahu akbar” and stabbing people, and then the politicians come on – especially on the Left – and say, “Well, it’s too early to tell, [and] we don’t know what the motive is,” that shows weakness. It shows weakness not just to our own people, but it shows weakness to our adversaries, and they’re going to do everything they can to exploit that weakness.
It’s not just the jihadis that are watching; it’s the Chinese, and the Russians, and the Iranian government that are watching this sort of weakness, and then they assume they can get away with whatever they’d like to do.
American weakness is provocative. American strength keeps us out of foreign entanglements. That’s what our friends on the Left ought to understand: a strong America keeps us out of foreign entanglements. A weak America will pull us into those.
That’s why I’ve never understood the Left wanting to unilaterally disarm, and not have a “peace through strength” policy, because if they really want to stay out of foreign wars – like we did during almost eight years of the Reagan administration – the way to do it is to deter your adversaries with a very strong, capable military, and the will to use it, if necessary.
O’Brien conceded that the title of his book, While America Slept, might have been a bit optimistic, since the country might still be asleep to the threat. He approvingly cited former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton’s assertion that “this might be the most consequential election of our lifetime,” saying “that gets trotted out every four years, but I think this is really the case”:
You’ve seen, since President Obama came into office and began apologizing for the United States, and telling our adversaries that we’d reach out our hand if they would unclench their fist, talking about us working through our own darker periods in our history.
The result of that has been an invasion of the sovereign European country, and the changing of its borders, by Russia and Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea. You have the Chinese basically doing the same thing in the South China Sea. You have Iran building an archipelago of terror from Hezbollah and Lebanon on the Mediterranean, all the way through to the Houthis on the Arabian Sea.
You have a Caliphate now that was allowed to grow because we couldn’t obtain a Status of Forces agreement. We’re now seeing attacks in Orlando, and San Bernardino, and New York, and Minnesota as a result. So it’s an extraordinarily dangerous time for the United States, and it’s happened under a “lead from behind” foreign policy.
O’Brien said the attacks over the weekend show that “ISIS is dominating the U.S. in the propaganda war, whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook, the Dark Web”:
It’s touting its victories, it’s recruiting through those mediums at will, and we’re losing the propaganda or political war to ISIS and other extremist groups.
Number one, it’s shocking that we cannot shut them down on cyber, given that we’re giving the Internet away at this point, as Ted Cruz has been pointing out. But we ought to be shutting them down on cyber, but we also have to have a counter-narrative, and the counter-narrative is that “we win; you lose.” And we have to go out and destroy ISIS.
This half-hearted bombing attempt is not going to persuade the young impressionables who want to be on the winning team in this war against jihadism to either stay out of it or join us. They’re going to the varsity team. It’s not the jayvee team. ISIS, with all these attacks, is looking like the varsity team.
One of O’Brien’s high-priority recommendations was putting an end to military sequestration. “The military has been decimated under eight years of President Obama. He boasts about cutting the military so they could spend the money on domestic needs. We need to restore the robustness and the readiness of the American military,” he urged.
Second, he said we must “re-engage with our allies.”
I mean, the idea that we pushed Israel aside, but continue to reach out to Sergei Lavrov, as Kerry does, or to the Iranian mullahs, and even comments that the President made in South America earlier in his term, about Los Malvinas, talking about the British Falkland Islands – we need to get back on the same page with the Brits, and the Israelis, and our allies.
“Number three, we’ve got to reinvigorate the American economy. We’ve got to take the shackles off so that we have the resources to fund an adequate defense and get back to a ‘peace through strength’ posture, and away from this ‘lead from behind’ posture,” O’Brien recommended.
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