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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

May 16, 2018

Intestinal Fortitude

Patricia A. Kelly

Cojones! It sounds more polite in Spanish than in English.  Whatever the polite term, how refreshing and delightful to know our president has them.


I remember talking with a friend on Facebook around the time of the first “red line” in Syria, about how sad it was that we had more respect for a thug like Vladimir Putin than for our own president – Barack Obama.


That’s not so with our current president, and his foreign policy dealings.


After President Donald Trump so courageously withdrew the U.S. from the Iran Nuclear Agreement, a reporter shouted: “How is this going to make us safer?”


That seems to be the question, always. It reminds me of the time when I was beaten up by an ex-boyfriend who was a binge alcoholic. I was so young I didn’t even know what that was. In any case, after he threw me to the floor, I said: “Please don’t hurt me.” Moved as I’m sure he was by my plea, he went ahead and choked me into unconsciousness and kicked me several times in the face and head.


I’ve always wondered how things would have gone if I had fought back instead of pleading for my safety.


It seems to me that, completely ignorant of their cultures and values, we have spent years sucking up to despots in a very similar plea for safety. If that choice hadn’t made things so much worse around the world, it would almost be funny.


Did anyone really think the Iranian Ayatollah, not to mention Vladimir Putin, Bashar Al Assad, or Kim Jung Un, would want to do as we asked because we were so nice? Did we not notice their respect for power and strength, and their disdain of sucking up?


Iran’s economy is about the size of the state of Maryland’s. We’re way bigger and stronger than they are. They hadn’t yet succeeded in their effort to develop nuclear weapons. So, why didn’t we unite with our allies and simply say: “Cut it out, or else?”


As Winston Churchill noted in The Gathering Storm, the first volume of his epic on World War II, “How the English-speaking peoples through their un-wisdom, carelessness, and good nature allowed the wicked to rearm.”


It’s well known that Hitler could have been stopped and World War II prevented, had the civilized world stood together and prevented his re-building of Germany’s armed forces in violation of the treaty that ended World War I.


So also could the civilized world have prevented decades of fruitless negotiations with North Korea, allowing them plenty of time to develop nuclear weapons, not to mention standing together in opposition to Iran’s nuclear program. Did we ever think Iran intended to follow the spirit of the agreement?


As for the Iran deal, not only did we make excessive concessions, we failed to insist that American hostages being held at the time of the negotiations be released. That’s because, according to then Secretary of State John Kerry, the deal was too important to risk it over American hostages.


Instead, after reaching agreement, we sent pallets of cash in multiple currencies to Iran, who “coincidentally” and simultaneously released our hostages.


Again, according to our leaders, this was not ransom. It was money we owed them after ending the sanctions. That multiple currency thing probably helped a lot with their terrorist outreach, too. I’m sure they had a good laugh at our expense while passing out the money to their operatives.


North Korea has released its’ American hostages in advance of President Trump’s meeting with Kim Jung Un. Quite a change from the Iran release. Could it be that Kim Jung Un thinks President Trump might keep his promises, or carry out his threats? Could that be the explanation for his cancellation of a planned missile shot in the direction of Guam, after our president explained to him that Guam is American territory, and that any threat to it would be taken as a threat to America?


As countries go, the United States is a great one. We’ve made mistakes, but, overall, we’ve done very well. I’ve been proud of us. Thank you, President Trump, for restoring my pride after years of embarrassment at our leaders’ behavior on the world stage.


Thanks for having the courage. We needed this.


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