By The Bakersfield Californian
In the span of about a month, we have seen the results of a foreign policy that has put our nation at greater risk of attack than at any time since Sept. 11, 2001. Our military is being attacked from within by the security forces they are supposedly training in Afghanistan. Our diplomats are being targeted and killed by foreign nationals in Libya. And our citizens are still at risk from terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, as a plot to destroy the Federal Reserve building in New York was fortunately thwarted. All of these have a common thread: The continued influence of radical Islamists who have called followers of any religion that is not Islam (and that includes secularists, as well as those who do not have any religion) their enemy. And that includes any nation that supports religious freedom -- namely, America.
Yet, we have an administration in place that is so focused on taking credit for killing Osama bin Laden, it refuses to believe that al-Qaida and its supporters have not magically disappeared as a result. We have seen the Army's chief of staff (a four-star general) fire an instructor at a war college (a highly decorated lieutenant colonel) for teaching that radical Islam is an enemy of the United States.
We heard that after the Benghazi attack, the director of national intelligence (and others in the administration) perpetuated a talking point about a video that went around a few months before as the cause of the attack (even though this happened to occur on 9/11). And then we had to endure our ambassador to the United Nations telling every network news show the following Sunday morning that the attack in Benghazi was just some sort of spontaneous protest that went awry. These people have certainly pushed the air of plausible deniability for the president to a new level: We now have three of our most highly respected institutions (the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence community) turning into a triumvirate of denial in defining our true enemy. As a result, they are now on a path toward destroying the trust the American people have in them.
Americans deserve the truth about what has happened on "the shores of Tripoli." Our nation was founded upon recognizing the truth about our leaders -- and our forefathers fought for us to have transparency in government. The United States came to be because Americans recognized tyrannical behavior of a king (George III) who would not hear them, and of a central government in London (led by the king's sycophantic prime minister, Lord North) that wanted to restrict the trade of American colonists with other nations (mercantilism) and tax them into oblivion under the guise of self-defense in order to fund the British Empire's war debt in fighting France. When the king and Lord North rejected their protests, America declared (and fought for) its independence, and the United States was created -- a free nation that remains the world's greatest example of how people of many faiths can live together in peace and prosperity. But we now have an administration that does not seem to realize this: It would have us live in fear of speaking out about a radical philosophy that hates our very freedom and tolerance for all religious beliefs.
It is also clear that in spite of the best efforts of our military to wage wars on several fronts in the Middle East, our diplomats to wield pressure on the U.N. Security Council to disarm Iran's nuclear program through "sanctions," and the use of intelligence operatives to influence changes in the Middle East such as the Arab Spring and targeting the fall of Gadhafi's Libya, this administration has not definitively led our nation's national security apparatus into improving our nation's overall safety. It is precisely because this administration has made it clear that it does not tolerate recognition as to who our enemy actually is -- radical Islam -- period. It was never one man (such as bin Laden), one nation (such as Iran), or one organization (such as al-Qaida) that has been against us. Rather, it is a system of beliefs that denies the worth of the individual and the liberty that is guaranteed by a Creator -- as well as the rights and freedoms Americans enjoy by the U.S. Constitution that restrict the ability of government to take away the unalienable rights of individuals to partake in free speech, maintain their own self-defense, and worship as they choose.
How many more incidents -- hostages, murders, revolutions, wars, and the like -- will it take for our leaders to show the courage to speak the truth, and let the American people know what we are truly up against? Very soon, we will have a choice as to who will lead our defense and root out the cowardice in our heretofore trusted institutions that causes them to refuse to admit or define our real enemy. America, embrace your freedom and let your voice be heard. Vote.
Greg McGiffney is a Bakersfield businessman, adjunct professor, and veteran.