Commodore – A Novel

A novel portraying the extraordinary life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

I Hope, I Pray, Obama Is Actually A Good Poker Player After All



Back here in the Homeland there has been a mounting fear that Isis’ power has been growing at such an alarming rate, that success is breeding more success. It is like a cancer that must be addressed immediately or it will continue to grow and spread. So far Obama’s tepid response has been alarming. He has refused to call Isis “Muslim” terrorists. He has emphasized that the response to Isis must come from Muslims themselves, treating the issue as a PR problem, namely America must not be perceived as anti-Muslim. It matters little that no Arab country has the power to defeat ISIS. We are going to stick to our principles, no American boots on the ground, no matter what.

My new hope is that Obama, is in fact not locked in by his silly PR driven strategy. He is preparing for the kind of massive response that the situation calls for. Two items in the news are giving me hope.

  • Obama took a recent trip to India. A week or two later an announcement that Israel will be selling very sophisticated weapons to India, weapons so advanced that we would not let the Israelis supply them to China. Israel’s military genius (meaning ,in this case, the combined might of the US and Israel) is gearing up so that the Hindus will have the capacity to go after Muslim extremists)
  • We suddenly have a new understanding with Turkey. More and more with the growing militancy of the Arabs, Turkey for a long while had been gearing up to become the leader of the Arab resurgence, hoping I assume, that they could regain the Turkish empire which had once ruled the Arab lands. Before that switch in their foreign policy, they had been one of the most modern Muslim nations, banking on the future allied to Europe in NATO. They were one of Israel’s only Muslim friends, with multiple business and military alliances. When they decided to realign they became Hamas’ best friend and an enemy of Israel. Now they are back again with the United States. They will be training Syrian anti Isis fighters in a joint program with the United States.

Why do I hope and pray Obama is playing poker, that his fuzzy thinking about whether we should attack is put out there to throw everyone off? In this reading of what he is up to, we are stalling for time until we are ready to unleash the power of the United States. We are simply not yet ready.

Public posture and reality are two different things. Reagan liked to present himself as a warrior, standing up for the good. Without proper planning he rushed into Lebanon long ruled by pro-western Christians in 1983. The Marines had been sent to Lebanon in 1958 with the same goals. Hezbolllah blew up the Marine barracks, in Beirut, killing 241. We were gone soon after with our tail between our legs. However, image is everything. Two days after the Beirut attack on the Marines, Reagan launched an attack on  Grenada making clear that we could not be pushed around.  It was comical but I suppose it served its purpose

The first President Bush negotiated with Hussein for 5 months in 1990 over their conquest of Kuwait before he initiated Desert Storm. Although there had been much discussion of a rapid deployment force, we hadn’t  actually developed one.  For instance, our Abrams tanks were built for a land war in Europe, not for war in the Middle East. They were enormous gas guzzlers, going through a gallon per mile. For public consumption we wanted to avoid a war through negotiations. But in truth we had to prepare for the war with a large and complex supply system. Many analysts believe that if Hussein had attacked us before we were ready to fight, the results might have been different

So my hope is Obama is speaking gobble gook now because he has no choice. A major attack on Isis is in the works. At least that is my prayer.

Added 11/18/2015 after the Paris attacks

There is still a very small chance that Obama is downplaying  an attack on ISIS until our military is ready, but less and less this appears to  be case.  He evidently is locked into his campaign promises of keeping us out of war, (and setting up as a great target

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