Search through any of President Barack Obama‘s speeches, and buried under the glittering, worthless excelsior of opaque platitudes, silicic bromides and anemic banalities, one will find a pair or more of statements that mean something. They will mean something if one parses the statements armed with a knowledge of the man and of the power of words.
Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech on December 10th in Oslo, Norway was an easy rummage. Of course, any one of his speeches on America’s role and place in history and in the world has been a combination of an arrogant but rehearsed apologetic humility and a verbal flagellation of his own country for simply existing. It is these little nuggets of opalescence that win him the most applause from his friends in the audience, the ones who love to see America defeated, humbled, and knocked down to their own size — the better to feed off of it through foreign aid and taxation.
Following the formulaic speechmaking of, say, the High Exalted Mystic Ruler of the Royal Order of Raccoons Lodge, Obama, addressing the Nobel committee, softened up his audience with a self-deprecatory reference to “the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. (Laughter.) In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage.” Which was intended as a joke about his not having done anything in international affairs to have earned him the Prize. It was awarded him because the committee was smitten by his campaign rhetoric of “hope and change” — hoping that they were right about Obama that he was serious about dismantling the United States as a free country and changing it to one of their liking.
They read him correctly. That is precisely what he is doing, although resistance and opposition to the realization of that hope and change in the American population must have the distinguished members of the committee biting their nails or wringing their hands.
Here is one of Obama’s nuggets:
The Cold War ended with jubilant crowds dismantling a wall. Billions have been lifted from poverty. The ideals of liberty and self-determination, equality and the rule of law have haltingly advanced. We are the heirs of the fortitude and foresight of generations past, and it is a legacy for which my own country is rightfully proud.
“Billions” have been lifted from poverty? How? Only in free or semi-free countries. But, “billions” have also been kept in dependent penury through foreign aid from the West. A wall? Which wall? The Berlin Wall, which, when it fell, released millions from the kind of existence imposed on them by the kind of totalitarian, communist regime he wishes to implement here in the U.S. Note that he avoided the term “communist.“ There are several communists in his administration, along with creatures who are not communists but who have their own authoritarian agendas.
As for liberty, self-determination, equality and the rule of law, these are ideals which, in reality, Obama is haltingly obstructing or nullifying. The fortitude and foresight of presumably the Founders? To Obama, these are legacies to be frittered away or abandoned wholesale in the name of “social justice.”
Elan Journo of the Ayn Rand Institute focuses on Obama’s remarks about war and the use of force. Obama endorses, as did George W. Bush, the policy of “just wars”:
And over time, as codes of law sought to control violence within groups, so did philosophers and clerics and statesmen seek to regulate the destructive power of war. The concept of a “just war” emerged, suggesting that war is justified only when certain conditions were met: if it is waged as a last resort or in self-defense; if the force used is proportional; and if, whenever possible, civilians are spared from violence.
And if the civilians sanction the invasion of another country? Are they not culpable? Do they not produce the weapons and materiel that enables their armies to act? Do they not abet the violence visited on another nation? If they work in an aggressor nation’s war industries, they are just as legitimate targets as the tanks, planes, ships and munitions they help to produce. Without them, the tanks, planes and ships come to a stop and their guns cease firing. Journo, however, discusses the absolutely perilous and wasteful futility of fighting a “just war” in Iraq and Afghanistan, a policy which has hamstrung American military might and caused thousands of American deaths.
I endorse the concept of “proportionate” force. If Somali pirates hijack a Western ship or yacht and hold its passengers and crew at gunpoint for ransom, then every Somali base should be reduced to rubble and every mother ship and speedboat turned into floating debris. “Collateral” casualties should not be a concern. If “home-grown” or foreign terrorists commit another murderous atrocity here or abroad that kills Americans, then Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia — the fundraisers and enablers of terrorism — should be reduced to rubble swiftly, without mercy, and without concern for “collateral“ casualties. Those are “proportionalities” that would ensure the security of this country, as well as Israel‘s. These countries have, after all, declared war on the United States. Retribution is long overdue.
Another nugget, allied to Obama’s remarks on war and force, bears examination. Quoting Martin Luther King Jr. on the occasion of his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize:
“Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones.” As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King’s life work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there’s nothing weak — nothing passive — nothing naïve — in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.
King was wrong. War has resulted in a permanent peace between the U.S. and many nations that were the aggressors (e.g., Britain finally early in the 19th century, Mexico, Germany, Japan). Passive non-violence, however, in the face of the initiation of force by aggressors — and especially when non-violence is adopted as a policy in hopes that capitulation and compromise will pacify an enemy — is not moral. It is the abandonment of the morality and of the certainty that one has a right to exist and a right to oppose the initiation of force with retaliatory force.
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and I will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
When Obama stated that “as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their [King’s and Gandhi’s] examples alone,” his reluctance and regret were palpable. He is not preserving, protecting, or defending the Constitution, and by implication, this nation. He is deliberately violating the Constitution as much as any foreign aggressor. He is violating the oath of office he took on the steps of the Capitol building; he had every intention of violating it before taking that oath. It explains his every action since assuming office, and the nearly three dozen “czars” (and counting) he has empowered to rule the country as Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and George W. Bush could never have imagined.
The violence Obama does not dwell on is the violence of government force, which is behind every act of his administration to date. He is not a “living testimony to the moral force of non-violence.” He is living testimony to the immorality of force directed against other Americans. Virtually every president since at least Woodrow Wilson’s time has proposed or endorsed employing force against his fellow Americans. Obama, however, if he is to stay the course of his intention of “transforming” America of a kinder, gentler, “socially just” America, must surpass FDR’s incursions into the economy and lives of its citizens.
So part of our challenge is reconciling these two seemingly irreconcilable truths — that war is sometimes necessary, and war at some level is an expression of human folly. Concretely, we must direct our effort to the task that President Kennedy called for long ago. “Let us focus,” he said, “on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions.” A gradual evolution of human institutions.
A “gradual evolution of human institutions” to ensure a “more practical, more attainable peace”? Such as the corrupt United Nations? Its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N.’s front man and walking delegate for world governance? Obama has also asserted that a declaration of war by a government on its own citizens — as he has declared since assuming office — is necessary to reach the “attainable peace” of across the board statism in all matters.
Obama’s socialist (or communist) premises are more explicitly stated in this passage:
It is undoubtedly true that development rarely takes root without security; it is also true that security does not exist where human beings do not have access to enough food, or clean water, or the medicine and shelter they need to survive. It does not exist where children can’t aspire to a decent education or a job that supports a family. The absence of hope can rot a society from within.
Food, water, medicine, shelter, and education provided how? By whom? By indentured servants working side by side in chain gangs for the good of all? Food prices have risen because farms once devoted to growing crops are now growing bio-fuels for the “green revolution.” Medicine Obama proposes to nationalize completely. Shelter has been subsidized by government programs since the end of WWII. Education has become the near monopoly of collectivist propagandists from kindergarten through college. That is the rot that has eaten away at the American ideals of individual rights and the separation of liberty from government force.
And that’s why helping farmers feed their own people — or nations educate their children and care for the sick — is not mere charity. It’s also why the world must come together to confront climate change. There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, more famine, more mass displacement — all of which will fuel more conflict for decades.
That is why, to Obama, pouring billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money into primitive sinkholes is not “mere charity.” It is a moral imperative, not to be questioned or doubted by Americans. Otherwise, there will be “conflicts,“ in addition to droughts, famine, and mass displacement. Those who question or doubt it are less than human. And Obama has telegraphed his intentions when he attends the Copenhagen climate change conference. There is “little scientific dispute” that the global warming “science” is sound? That is a direct reference to Climategate, because believing in the discredited science — never mind the fraudulent data and the conspiracy of scientists to suppress or destroy data which contradict the “science” — will give Americans a chance to prostrate themselves in further selfless service to the world, as penance for existing and as a duty to those whom America has purportedly “harmed.”
Of course, Obama cannot concede that it is governments that are responsible for droughts, famines and mass displacement. He rejects the idea that only those nations which are free enough do not cause these events within their own borders. Stalin believed in the soundness of the total collectivization of agriculture. He believed in it so much that he was willing to murder or starve to death millions of Russian peasants who did not believe in it.
Everything else Obama has ever said about “defending my nation” is just so much dissembling rhetoric. It is glittering, worthless excelsior. Actions speak louder than words, and Obama’s actions belie every fog-bound, patriotic-sounding assertion he has ever uttered.
In 1925, H.L. Mencken wrote in defense of liberty:
I believe that any invasion of it is immensely dangerous to the commonweal — especially when that invasion is alleged to have a moral purpose. No conceivable moral purpose is higher than the right of the citizen to think whatever he pleases to think, and to carry on his private life without interference by others. If that right is taken away, then no moral system remains; all we have is a prison system. This begins to prevail in the United States.*
Obama has made it clear that he intends to take away that right, and to institute a prison system. He is merely the heir presumptive of the political trends in this country dating back at least a century and a quarter. It is time for Americans to oppose his intentions with massive civil disobedience if, for example, the health-care and cap-and-trade bills are sent from Congress to his desk for his signature — before they are obliged to become rioting inmates.
*From “Autobiographical Notes, 1925,” in Notes on Democracy, by H.L. Mencken (1926). New York: Dissident Books, 2009, p. 10.