Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

EIGHT DECADES OF INSIGHTS 105

LAW AND ORDER

Law and order is a wonderful concept. Our way of life depends on the police and courts of the cities, states, and nation to meet their responsibilities of keeping us safe and our republic functioning smoothly. Throughout our history there has been no or little conflict between the forces of law and order and those of our war fighting forces. Other nations have had to learn to manage the conflict. The British forces in Ireland had to augment their colonial struggle against the Irish and the guerrilla fighters in Malaya. The French in Algiers. The Germans against the underground opposition in occupied Europe. The list goes on.

In America, we had no such experience. Until the Twin Towers came down we had no need to change our ways of keeping our population safe and our property secure. Years before, during my tenure in the White House as a special assistant to President Reagan, we were getting close to the limits of using law and order tactics against terrorism. In one meeting in the Oval Office, I remember briefing President Reagan on our plans to combat terrorism. In that period, airplane hijackings, urban bombing, kidnapping were the tools of terrorism. My briefing explained how we were focusing the forces of law and order on identified individual terrorists with the intent of capturing them, no matter where they were hiding, and bringing them back to America for trial.

Now that seems like a very conservative approach. But it was pushing the envelope then and there was serious resistance to violating international law from high level officials. Had I been wiser about looking into the future, I would have included in my briefing that we needed to start working on a more aggressive approach to the growing threat of terrorism. We were already past the comfort zone of using traditional tools of law enforcement.

Instead of focusing on a few dozen active terrorists, we now are threatened by thousands. Instead of a handful of terrorists awaiting trial in our system of justice, there have been hundred of terrorists captured. Most of them are captured on the battlefield; there is seldom evidence that can pass our rules of acceptance for use in our justice system. There is even a problem of where to hold them. The Obama administration has made it a cornerstone of their ideology to close Guantanamo Bay as a place to hold terrorists and provide them with a trial by military tribunals. Our attorney general and the president do not recognize that we are fighting a war against terrorism and the capabilities and rules of evidence required by our courts are not suited for trials of terrorists who are not American citizens and who were captured on the battlefield, fighting for no nation state and wearing no national uniform. I don’t even believe that the rules of the Geneva Convention were meant to apply in these cases.

So now we have the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden being tried in a New York court. Why? Is Eric Holder a control king? Do he and the president want to cut the military justice system out? Do they want to control the information that comes out in trials? It certainly cannot  be on moral grounds. These are the same people who brag about killing terrorists with drone strikes. Being an American citizen doesn’t provide protection from drone strikes. Where is the due process and trial procedures there?  The American people deserve an explanation from the president re his policy of pretending there is no war on terrorism and his practice of giving foreign terrorists who have been caught trying to kill us access to a justice system that until now has been part of our constitutional rights reserved for citizens and legal residents. I suspect the motivation for such madness  is part of the extreme left progressive ideology followed by our civilian leaders. The core of this ideology is that if we show kindness and compassion to our enemies they will cease attacking us.

Not in this world.

By the author of the Jack Brandon novels. http://www.facebook.com/factsandfictions | @factsfictions80

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EIGHT DECADES OF INSIGHTS-84 THE ADVISOR

THREE MORE YEARS?

greendoor

The Advisor had been pacing up and down his office for nearly an hour. He was truly troubled. He hadn’t seen the President for two weeks. Even worse, if the President did come down to see him, he had nothing to say to him. He sighed heavily and sat down to drink some coffee and collect his thoughts.

The problem between us is deeply rooted in the President’s ideology and a long series of political successes by following the wishes of the far left. Only now, the President has the power. He is the President of what some still think is the most powerful nation in world history. Any historian can tell you that winning power and exercising power are two very different processes. In the struggle to seize power, you are not expected to solve the kinds of problems all presidents face. Words of inspiration and hope, and promising voters a better world are the tools of the power seeker. It doesn’t matter much if the words are true or not because the end justifies the means. To someone trying to win power, every action is good as long as the end is the seizure of power from your opponents.

The Advisor pulled out his journal and started to write:

To govern in a democracy or a republic, you must please the people by delivering security, economic progress,  social services, and national pride. In a totalitarian government, force and fear are required tools of governing. In democracies, truth is important. In dictatorships, truth doesn’t matter. Mass murder and the abolishment of freedom is the usual formula for controlling the opposition. Our current President doesn’t seem to realize he is now the man-in-charge. He must now solve issues, not just use them to weaken the opposition. Americans want to trust the word of the President. President Obama is still in campaign mode during which he used untruths successfully to defeat political opponents. The constant blaming of others is not presidential. Holding back information that makes the Administration look bad is not presidential. I’m afraid people have lost faith in his word. Once that happens it is nearly impossible to reverse.

How can I advise a President whom the people no longer trust? What should I do for the next three years of his term? The nation is in some peril and President Obama is playing to the tune of “I didn’t know,” and “I will get to the bottom of this.” That might be right because I believe he has reached the bottom. He has used up the blaming of others. He needs to spend more time looking in the mirror. I doubt even his mirror image can trust his word.

All I can do is record my thoughts in the Journal for my successors to read. Truly, I would like to help him but when a President loses the trust of the people, his term is up. I have no idea what he or the nation should do for the next three years. Except for the progressive lemmings in the Senate and the media, there would be calls for impeachment on the grounds that he has committed at least five Watergates. Ben Ghazi and the IRS scandals being the worst. Only he is already being punished — by the sentence of three years of late-night jokes.

The Advisor put down his pen. He took another sip of coffee and reread what he had just written. It hurt him to read “I have no idea what he or the nation should do for the next three years.” He meant it, and it meant trouble for the U.S.

This blog is written by the author of the Jack Brandon novels. The author has 27 years of government service, including two years serving Meeting with President Reagan, Vice President Bush, Deputy National Security Adviser Frank Carlucci and General Colin Powell in the Oval Office.

President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s as an advisor. Considering today’s volatile political situation, you are encouraged to share this on Facebook and to click the “like” button below. Comments and dialogue are welcome.

 

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EIGHT DECADES OF INSIGHTS-81 THE ADVISOR

CITIZEN BEWARE

greendoor

One thing you could say for this President is that he knows when he calls, people jump. The Advisor smiled and thought, even me. The office carries real and mystical power. It must be something deep in our human genes from thousands of years of picking leaders by widely varying methods. Once a man is the supreme leader he or she exudes an aura of power. I know who this man is. I know his shortcomings and, still, when he sends word he is coming down, I jump. I even tidy up the meeting room. Glad he never wanted to see my living quarters. Me, one in a long unbroken line of Advisors, am still a citizen and he is my chief.

It was mid-afternoon when the President placed his palm on the old iron door with the fading EIGHT DECADES OF INSIGHTS copper plaque dating back to colonial days. President Obama was only an hour late. No problem; that was his prerogative. He made no apology, just took his seat in the small conversational grouping of furniture and waited until the Advisor poured coffee. The President was addicted to good coffee and cigarettes. The advisor had quit smoking fifty years ago and disliked breathing in second-hand smoke but it was not that often and the man needed to be able to relax. After taking his first drag, President Obama said, “I just had to get away. My staff is trying to kill me by constantly presenting problems they should solve themselves. Take this closing of the Government thing. Hell, I’d like to close the White House, not to tours, but to the idiots who work there.”

The President paused to take another drag and a sip of coffee.

“Yes, I wanted to make the Republicans look bad by causing the citizens some pain and reasons to blame the House Tea Party faction, but to delay paying death benefits to dead soldiers is too stupid to even think about. And then to close an open air memorial to WWII veterans is even worse. Yet I can’t fire anyone because when push comes to shove they will say, ‘I was only carrying out what the President wanted.’ No way. I’m just tired of putting out fires. The bureaucracy is an awesome thing. A huge anthill with all the ants striving to please their queen without a second of thought. They do not even do what is right for the people or the nation. Never enters their heads. They are only guided by the need to protect their little kingdoms. They know they will be here in their little fiefdoms long after I’m gone. Jumping up and down in the Oval Office chanting their age old mantra, ‘Look at me.’

“I swear when I achieve my goal of a one party system overseeing fairness, income distribution and equality for all, I will break the back of the entrenched bureaucracy.”

“Mr. President, even the liberal media is starting to question your failure to lead in finding the solution to problems. Soon they will stumble on the theory that your interests lie in the continued acquisition of power not in the solution of problems. While you’re not resolving issues, you are increasing the power of the Executive Office. The polls show a remarkable drop in your public ratings. Are you concerned about that?”

“Not in the least. I will come out of this so-called budget crisis with what I want. A further weakening of the opposition and the acquisition of more power in the Executive. The Progressives may even pick up more legislative seats in the 2014 elections. If that happens I will be unstoppable.” The President ground out his cigarette with gratification, ignoring the Advisor’s wide eyes. “Thank you for listening to me bitch and moan. It’s good to have a place where I can be myself.” The President smiled and said, “Stick around. I may need another session soon.” The President walked swiftly to the door and left.

The Advisor opened his current journal and began to write. He thought as he was recording, No one will ever believe this. I’m not even sure I can.

This fictional account of a meeting that should happen but doesn’t is by the author of the Brandon novels. The author has 27 years of Government service, including two years serving President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s as an advisor. Considering today’s volatile political situation, you are encouraged to share this on Facebook and to click the “like” button below. Comments and dialogue are welcome.

Meeting with President Reagan, Vice President Bush, Deputy National Security Adviser Frank Carlucci and General Colin Powell in the Oval Office.

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EIGHT DECADES OF INSIGHTS 65

Safe in the Shadows

LEADING FROM BEHIND–THE ADVISOR

The Advisor was thinking about how forceful he could be in advising President Obama. The subject for his next visit would be the consequences in foreign policy of leading from behind. The President wasn’t a stupid or a cruel man.   He was just a man who carried an enormous amount of baggage.

Could anyone walk away from the influences he was subject to in his earlier life? the advisor thought. Some he was personally responsible for, others he had no real choice. Parents from far to the left, several years in a Muslim Madrassi teaching Wahhabism. His father, an anti-colonialist Kenyan, whose family had been persecuted by the British Colonialists. For most of his formidable years he was exposed to radical leftist ideologies. Then, the influence of Ivy League progressives, Saul Alinsky and his radical plan for seizing power, Reverend Wright and his hate America sermons, William Ayers and his terrorist viewpoint and to top it off the ruthless and corrupt school of Chicago politics. The President never personally suffered from his associations and ideology. Therefore, he has no understanding of  the consequences of following a revolutionary ideology. It is probably too late now but I must try. I will never knowingly give him bad advice or try to manipulate him. My mission code does not allow it. After all, he was elected twice and could probably win a third term if it were permitted.

The advisor’s musing is interrupted when the flashing red light and soft chiming called him to the phone.

The President arrived a few minutes later at nine o’clock PM. The President strode into the room, greeted the advisor and said, “Let’s get started. I have some extra time and need a cup of your coffee.”

“Mr. President, you look like a man who doesn’t have a care in the world.”

“Today was good day. No one was asking me to do the impossible. Why do my supporters and staff think I should get involved in everything?”

“You are the ‘point of the spear.’ They count on you to give them what they want without understanding that doing nothing is also, at times, a good action plan. There, a perfect opening for my talk. Remember, you told me to pick the topic. So I’m going to talk about the concept of leading from behind. Please interrupt at any time. I’m going to use foreign affairs as a backdrop for my advice.

“You are in the fifth year of your Presidency. That is long enough for you to own America’s position in the world. You will not like some of my statements. But I will assure you, the the facts are correct. My analysis may be faulty because I project it into the future where no one can be absolutely sure they are right. First our main adversary, Russia. They are stronger now than they were before your election. Today their fleet is in the Mediterranean, something that was inconceivable in the last several decades. They have nearly secured a warm water port in the Med, a Russian goal going back to the czars. They failed in Afghanistan to find a corridor to warm water. Russia’s ability to project power has been limited for centuries because they lacked a port with year round operations capability. The Syrian port of Tartous is the payoff for their support to Assad. Sure, they enjoy threatening American and Israeli interests in the Middle East, but Tartous is the real goal.

“To see more clearly the Russian move into the Middle East, imagine a monopoly game where the winner gains areas of influence and the losers, well, lose. You failed to negotiate a status of forces agreement in Iraq where it was in no one’s interest for the U.S. to abandon the country. Certainly sectarian violence would be lessened if we had a seat at the table. Iran could not supply Syria forces through or over Iraq. Iran could not threaten Iraq if we had maintained a presence in Iraq. Iran would have a harder time supplying Hezbollah and using that force to control Lebanon, another possibility for Russia to exploit to acquire a warm water port. Our anti-ballistic missiles on the ground in Iraq could bring more defense against an Iranian attack on Israel or the Sunni Middle East. ‘Leading from Behind’ policies have resulted in our loss of space supremacy, ABM land-based systems, and talks about unilaterally cutting force size and our inventor of ballistic missiles that have kept us from a nuclear war since WWII.  Our loss of influence in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and Pakistan is not a foreign affairs victory. Leading from behind means you are and will remain behind.

“Leading from behind does not win respect in the world. Your monopoly board does not look good. Putin has no respect for you as leader because he sees you weakening America and, therefore, believes you are not someone he should worry about. Most of the world respects power and distrusts weakness. To world leaders words don’t matter. Words without action are invisible. To start with I advise you to say less and do more. You can project American power without following the old colonial pattern you hate so much.”

The President puts his cup down, grinds out his cigarette.

The Advisor says, “Yes. I have known ever since you sent the bust of Winston Churchill back to England. Your constant concern is for the little nation, the poor people, the Muslim nations over the Colonial West. If you achieve your goal of leveling America and the world, you’ll destroy both and civilization of all will suffer. But that is for another time.”

The President gets up and strides to the door. He looks back as he leaves and says, “You can’t be right.”

The Advisor says, “Goodnight Mr.President,” to the sound of an automatic locking door.

He thought, that went well.

 

By the author of the Jack Brandon novels.   http://www.factsandfictions.com 

The author has 27 years of Government  service, including two years serving President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s as an advisor. Considering today’s volatile political situation, you are encouraged to pass on this blog or parts of it to your contacts and friends. Comments and dialogue are welcome and helpful.

  • Meeting with President Reagan, Vice President Bush, Deputy National Security Adviser Frank Carlucci and General Colin Powell in the Oval Office.

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