Trump And Progressives Are Creating Chaos In Washington

How did the federal government become so dysfunctional? Who’s responsible for making our leaders completely ineffective? There are two parties that share the blame- Donald Trump and the radical, progressive congressional Democrats.

From the day he was elected, America knew that having Trump as president was going to be challenging. He’s a neophyte who thinks he’s a master dealmaker and a negotiator. These might be true in the real estate business, but governing the most powerful nation in the world is something else.

In any case Trump is not a great politician, and he really needs help navigating through the complexities of Washington, even more than his predecessors. At first Trump seemed enthusiastic about recruiting qualified aides to advise him, but few have lasted. Most found it impossible to work for the man and were either fired or just walked off the job.

Trump concluded that the only people he could trust were his family and some close friends. This is not to say that Ivanka and Jared are not bright young people. Fact is they are equally unqualified for the governmental roles they play, and brought nothing to the political battlefield that suffocates the White House. Frankly to think that Kushner would be able to make peace between Israel and Palestine is laughable.

Never in recent history has a president fought so brutally with his counterparts in Congress. Every minor squabble immediately morphs into a death match that includes threats, name-calling, lies, innuendo, exaggeration and distrust.

Trump wants to be his own man with the press, a terrible idea for too many reasons to delineate in this essay. None of his press secretaries have survived for very long because Trump is uncontrollable, with his tweets and otherwise. He doesn’t listen to sage counsel, and too often mundane issues blow up and become major confrontations that dominate the news cycle. Additionally Trump is unable to allow snide commentary to roll off his back. The most insignificant comments ultimately become childish name-calling contests.

And finally the president needs to be surrounded with a legion of attorneys. He’s always defying tradition and interpretation of everything from the Constitution to existing laws. Using attack dog lawyers to intimidate others has not endeared the president to the people he must work with to effectively govern the country. And since when do presidents “ignore” requests from Congress.

Trump’s lousy disposition only serves to make his opponents despise him even more. He thinks he’s smarter than everybody, but it’s not true. It should be noted that Trump’s aggressiveness has been an asset when dealing with certain foreign leaders. Many despots only understand and respond to one thing, military might along with hardball negotiations.

For years presidents have debated with, fought with, denigrated, cajoled and crucified congress people. In most cases, after the debate is ended, everyone sits down and has an adult beverage. All the harsh rhetoric is forgiven. Not with Trump and the current crop of liberal crazies in the Democratic caucus.

Politicians grow to hate and resent each other for many reasons, but very few have let bad feeling get to the current level of distrust and disrespect.

It’s hard not to attribute an equal amount of blame for the current level of venom to social media and the blinding liberalism in the press today. From the moment Trump was elected, his political enemies and the radical left wing news have attempted to destroy his presidency. Not for one second did Trump‘s detractors give him an opportunity to prove he loves America. Every situation involving Trump was labeled evil, immoral, racist, misogynist, xenophobic, illegal or a lie.

Democrats have been seduced by a destructive bunch of misfits that can’t add one expense to another and are blinded in their efforts to bestow freebies even if they bankrupts the country. It should come as no surprise that these initiatives will be recognized by voters for what they are: socialistic.

Progressives will not be given a mandate to drain the resources of successful people. Nor will they be able to transform our country into a social state that eschews exceptionalism. Every American wants to earn more money and have a better life. Nearly everybody wants a shot at the brass ring. Radical liberals want to take money earned over the years and redistribute it. They constantly blame the most successful among us for the travails of those less fortunate.

But the most irksome liberal crime would be stealing the 2016 election from the victors with political chicanery and sleight of hand. Congress should not attempt to unseat a duly elected president without overwhelming proof of crimes and misdemeanors. For nearly three years radical left wing politicians have been twisting the truth and investigating the investigators. It has been a waste of both time and money

The latest brouhaha over Ukraine relations is a continuation of the Democratic ploy to oust Trump. It will not work because most of America has stipulated two things.

  1. Trump is not a nice guy or a great president, but that does not mean he should be thrown out of office.
  2. Trump has not done anything that rises to an impeachable offense.


I hope that all of the politicians that are taking Americans for fools lose their seats in 2020. I wish Trump were not president, but Democrat incompetence is going to give him another four years. I’m not looking forward to continuing investigations and dream of the day that our government once again is motivated to solve problems that afflict the poor, the unhealthy, the aged and our veterans.

The US Is Not Losing Influence Around The World

Trump haters have been saying that America is losing its status as the leader of the free world. They say the president’s non-traditional diplomacy tactics will make it more difficult for the US to assert its policies and ideology prospectively. This is not an accurate depiction of America’s strength under the leadership of President Trump.

Trump’s aggressive style is not endearing the US to other nations. But it is enabling the US to transact changes in trade arrangements and several other areas.

Regarding trade, America is making great strides and is in the midst of important negotiations with several countries around the world. For years other nations have taken advantage of US generosity by assessing high tariffs on our exports. We have not retaliated by correspondingly increasing our tariffs on the imports from these same countries, until now.

It could be that over the years our government thought it wise to use tariff negotiations for diplomatic purposes. Most of the gains no longer exist, and the gratitude of old trading partners has waned.

Other nations have taken advantage of our attempt to encourage free trade, a misnomer in today’s world. Free trade, per se, means there are no barriers for imports or exports. Unfortunately roadblocks exist throughout the world, as other countries never hesitate to protect domestic industries. The US on the other hand does the least to protect home grown companies.

Exacerbating the situation is the theft of trade secrets and the unorthodox demands of China. Investment in the country almost always necessitates local ownership, disclosure of trade secrets and revealing information about proprietary products. At long last the federal government has protested these practices and is demanding they cease immediately.

The US is by far the most powerful military force in the world. Unfortunately military might is the only thing that despotic countries and terrorists seem to understand. This unholy situation has been a boon to ever increasing suicide bombings around the world. Only through harmful terror activities do certain organizations project their influence.

Because our security is far stronger than all other countries, even with our open borders, terrorism strikes more frequently elsewhere. Nevertheless, the US has had its fair share of tragedy, in particular the 9/11 attacks.

The US has been an exporter of armaments to many countries and local militia groups worldwide. Generally, but not always, these arms sales have included low tech weapons. Although it is somewhat counterintuitive to sell arms while simultaneously calling for peace, the US derives many benefits from this activity.

First of all, these sales bolster domestic arms manufacturers. The affiliated revenues are very significant if they are sold and not just handed over to others. But even more important is that the US can support fledgling efforts in certain places to overturn despotic and unfriendly regimes. For instance, the US regularly provides arms to freedom fighters in the Middle East and other places. It should be noted that, on occasion, weapons we sell to some groups are either used against us, or our allies, or sold to other groups that are hostile to the US. It’s a dirty business.

The most important contemporary “weapon of mass destruction” available to the federal government, aside from raw firepower, is the economic influence of the US. Our country can virtually bankrupt another nation by manipulating and limiting the use of our banking system. Sales cannot happen between our enemies if the cash can’t travel from buyer to seller. Additionally embargoes on countries like Iran and North Korea will ultimately aid in the redemption of evil leaders or their demise.

To his credit, Trump has effectively used the threat of power to drag uncooperative leaders towards peaceful arrangements. None have been consummated, but progress has been made.

North Korea will eventually accede to giving up their nuclear weapons so long as economic pressure is maintained. Similarly Iran is in dire straits economically because of embargoes that now have been attached to all of their oil sales. Without this source of revenues there will be domestic upheaval in Iran and a decline in nefarious activity in the Middle East.

China is in the midst of an industrial revolution that depends upon rapid and continuous economic growth. The US can hamper this with tariffs on Chinese exports to the US. China exports far more items to the US than what the US exports to China, so retaliation by China will not have a great effect on the US. By attaching large penalties to critical items, the US can actually increase unemployment in China.

The US has its issues. Entitlements and giveaways to too many people are creating massive financial problems. Nevertheless our economy is chugging along nicely and most people are working. Our country continues to wield great influence, which has not been used effectively by previous presidents.

It Will Take Leadership To Fix Our Broken Election Process

By Sal Bommarito

America is engaged in finding a new president to replace Barack Obama. The current administration has not lived up to the expectations and hoopla of the 2008 and 2012 elections, so the next election should be that much more intense, competitive and demanding of the candidates. Further, ideological biases have dominated the presidency and the overall political landscape for years making it difficult to nurture and elevate real leaders into positions of power.

There are many issues that dog our country and make it impossible for those who want to make the U.S. stronger, more prosperous and sensitive to the needs of all classes of Americans. In this essay, a two of the most debilitating situations impacting America will be examined.

The political system in this country is broken because politicians and judges have not had the courage to effectively address campaign finance reform. Despite never ending rhetoric by both major political parties to decrease the influence of big money donors, and the sensibility of such an objective, the powers that be insist that contributions are protected by free speech.

“In a landmark decision, Citizens United v. FEC, the United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation.” Certainly, our forefathers never considered the ramifications of money in politics in this regard, nor would they have opted to bastardize the interpretation of the First Amendment in any case. Instead of protecting our political system from those who seek to buy votes, the court endorsed a new threat to our election process. Politics, not wisdom, won the day.

Candidates and their supporters have been given a green light to raise as much money as they can to fund political action committees with few restrictions. The amount of money being solicited is in the billions of dollars. Candidates who can raise the most money will likely win elections. Fundraising skills have replaced competence as the primary reason candidates are elected to office.

One of the greatest fallacies is that leaders become more productive the longer they hold an office. Unfortunately, the only important consideration of long-term politicians is reelection at any cost. The temptations of extended tenures in office have destroyed the careers of many lifers in government.

The talking heads often discuss the freedom and productivity of lame duck presidents. Without the pressures of a reelection and the fundraising affiliated with it, lame ducks can focus on the needs of America. It’s just the opposite for politicians who must remain in a campaign mode all the time.

Lifetime politicians generally have no practical experience, which is so important in today’s complex world. Yet, how can we expect our elected leaders to facilitate laws that limit their tenure in one position? Without term limits, new blood is virtually nonexistent while old feuds and corruption flourish.

The problems that hamper the efficient selection of new leaders are many. It will take leadership and courage on the part of our elected officials to remedy the problems.

Put Yourself In Bibi’s Shoes

By Sal Bommarito

It’s not easy being Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu these days. As leader of Israel, Bibi must deal with never-ending external and internal threats. His country has been criticized by virtually every nation as it strives to survive in one of the most dangerous regions in the world.

Specifically, the following external issues dog Netanyahu every day: Palestine, Iran nuclear negotiations, Israel’s relationship with America and terrorism.

Palestine: Is Palestine politically and economically ready to be an independent state? Interested parties have been debating this question since 1988. As of 2014, 135 of 193 United Nations members recognized the State of Palestine. During his recent election, Netanyahu indicated that he was against a “two-state” solution, an obvious campaign ploy (it worked, he won). Subsequently, the prime minister clarified his comment by saying that there could be no two-state arrangement “at this time.”

Over the years, Israel has negotiated with some very difficult Palestinian opponents. On several occasions, peace and agreement were at hand, only to be dashed by one side or the other. The division of land, the connection of the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, economic considerations, terrorism and the right of Israel to exist are among the primary areas of dispute. American presidents have unsuccessfully tried to mediate a deal during the past four decades.

Israel has done its share to add to the chaos and inability to make peace. Most recently, it, for security reasons, built new settlements on land that the Palestinians believe belongs to them. President Obama has asked, and then demanded, that Netanyahu put a stop to this activity, to no avail.

Arabs frequently accuse Israel of crimes against humanity, especially when it retaliates against terrorist attacks by Hamas and other groups. The Palestinian’s plight is one of the most contentious issues in the Middle East for all Arab nations.

Iran’s nuclear negotiations: Bibi has claimed that a nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel. He has been relentless in expressing all the reasons why the U.S. should not cave into Iranian demands. His rationale includes a belief that Iran will not be a responsible possessor of a nuke, and it will violate the provisions of any treaty that limits its ability to build a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu spoke before the U.S. Congress lobbying for discretion and oversight of any deal that President Obama signs. There were many sympathetic ears in the crowd. Last week, Iran and the U.S. agreed to an “outline” of a treaty. It is not clear what bipartisan actions Congress may take prospectively, or whether it will wait until a draft agreement is signed.

Israel’s relationship with the U.S.: The Netanyahu speech created a serious rift with the Obama administration; Obama did not endorse Bibi’s appearance. Obama Is disgusted with the prime minister’s endless carping, but Netanyahu is fighting for his country’s survival.

The implications of enthusiastic U.S. support are epic. Frankly, without military support, Israel could not survive. In fact, the demographics (in particular, birth rates of Israelis versus Palestinians) put Israel at a serious disadvantage over time. And, decreased financial support from American Jews could be a deathblow to Israel; young Jews are not as generous politically or economically than the previous generations.

Terrorism: Israel is continually under the gun, so to speak. Its citizens are always in peril from threats that have become more emboldened over time. The Jewish state is the only issue that unites Shiite and Sunni Arabs. Over the years, every Middle Eastern leader has attributed domestic and external problems to Israel, even if it had no role.

Yes, Bibi has a difficult job. I often wonder why so many nations around the world are supportive of Palestine over Israel when it is clear that the latter is more of a counter-puncher than an aggressor. Retaliation against terrorist attacks is too often labeled a crime.

Perhaps, Israel’s reputation is tarnished by its affiliation with the U.S. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine who Arabs despise more, America or Israel.

Just Suppose The U.S. Invaded Iraq With Ground Troops And Extraordinary Force

By Sal Bommarito

Preamble: A decision to send ground troops into battle is an epic decision for any president. Over the years, American commanders-in-chief made decisions to go to war in the name of freedom and to fight tyranny.

Any suggestions made herein are offered with the proviso that the deployment of American ground forces in Iraq and Syria will result in U.S. casualties and collateral damage, things that cannot not be taken lightly. Some have commented that Americans are not prepared to face the possibility that body bags will arrive from the Middle East. I totally respect and understand this perspective.

But, the price of liberty is high. If the unfortunate deaths of our brave soldiers decreases the chances that thousands will be murdered and tortured, I can live with a tactic to deploy troops.

Exactly, what would happen in an all-out assault by the U.S. against ISIS in Iraq. I suspect the most violent aspects of a confrontations would be brief as they have been in past encounters in the region (I’m not suggesting that nation-building projects are short-term). The long-term implications of such an action would be a different story.

If the U.S. employed a combination of massive bombing operations coupled with a large ground incursion, ISIS would be helpless. There is no way that the insurgents could survive an aggressive American assault with superior weaponry. The main problems would include enemy landmines, booby traps and suicide bombers, all of which can exact only minor damage.

It is likely that the retaking of Mosul, the supposed capital of the Islamic State, would be the end of major fighting. Subsequent mop-up operations around the countryside would be fraught with danger, but nothing that would hamper U.S. power. I have no inside information on the logistics but doubt the entire effort would last more than a few weeks.

The really important work begins after the assault is ended. Many Arabs would resent yet another U.S. invasion in the Middle East. But, this one would be different than previous Iraqi and Afghanistan experiences. Once the hostilities have been concluded, U.S. forces will shore up security with the Iraqi government and depart.

The reaction of Iraqi Sunnis will determine whether the country will segue into the next phase, an all-out civil war pitting Shiites against Sunnis for the control of the country and its resources. The latter will be hard pressed looking for a seat at the negotiating table for the formation of a lasting government. It is doubtful the transition will occur without violence. But, this should not be America’s problem.

The importance of finally destroying ISIS cannot be overstated. It is in America’s interest to rid the Middle East of these murderers. The price on the battlefield is worth it in my opinion. These actions will hopefully ensure that the ISIS threat does not spread any further outside of the Middle East.

A Dearth Of Leadership In America

By Sal Bommarito

A disturbing phenomenon is occurring in the United States. The country is experiencing a dearth of leadership at all levels of government. Self-aggrandizement and partisanship has replaced a desire to improve the lives of Americans.

To paraphrase an old expression, you’ll know a leader when you see him or her. You know a person is special because he is able to organize things and get stuff done in the midst of confusion, hysteria, terror or gloom. Leaders save us from evil, enemies and Mother Nature.

American history is rife with examples of great leaders. They are men and women who accomplished much under adverse conditions. They won wars, saved millions in peril and led reconstruction after political or natural disasters. Very few of us will ever have an opportunity to lead a nation or even a large business, but the best among us must be prepared to assume responsibility if the need arises. And so, we should look back to identify characteristics that are affiliated with our great leaders.

Unfortunately, leadership in the greatest country in the world in the 21st Century has been elusive. Our nation has had more than its share of ordeals to inspire greatness, but it’s difficult to name many individuals who successfully met the challenges.

There would be little agreement in any effort to name current leaders that inspire us. Mustering a consensus on any issue is nearly impossible in these times. But, who are the candidates that would be nominated as great leaders? I’d bet President Barack Obama would be on many lists.

Obama’s supporters would point out that he killed Osama bin Laden. Actually, the president watched the assassination of the Al Qaeda terrorist on closed circuit TV in the basement of the White House. And, it should be noted that George W. Bush was responsible for the process that ultimately led to the death of the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks long before Obama was on the scene.

Obama supporters would indicate that he was responsible for providing health care to millions of Americans who could not afford it. The president’s impetuous and partisan style along with an inadequate grasp of the issues (and poor drafting of documents) from the outset resulted in a significant legal challenge, which could bring down the program a few months from now. Moreover, many of the newly insured are those who signed up with Medicaid, which was expanded to include more people at no cost. Obamacare is nothing more than a new entitlement whose objectives could have been accomplished with existing programs and without unnecessary fanfare and monumental costs.

Obama friends would say he is a “wartime president,” even though he won election in part based upon his promises to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, the rapid drawdown of troops was at least partially responsible for the evolution of ISIS. In Afghanistan, the Taliban is as strong as ever. In both countries, Al Qaeda has survived in one form or another. Remember, Obama said the insurgents were destroyed.

Globally, the reputation of the U.S. has diminished under Obama’s leadership, much to the chagrin of his supporters. Even our closest ally, Israel, has been disappointed and disillusioned by inconsistent and indecisive diplomacy. America is no longer a reliable ally in the eyes of many.

The most distressful situation is the war against ISIS in which the president has ceded leadership to Iran. For months, his response to the threat of ISIS has been tepid, at best. By not engaging the murders adequately, he is responsible for allowing the terrorist phenomenon to blossom.

African Americans and Millennials were a principal source of support for Obama in both of his elections. The plight of these two groups during the president’s tenure has been totally unsatisfying and bleak. More people in these groups are on welfare and without jobs than ever. Young people continue to find it difficult to obtain positions that are commensurate with their education, and their student debt is at the highest level ever.

Throughout history, the battles between the majority and minority in government have been epic, but they are dwarfed by the current situation in Washington. From the minute he was elected president, Obama chose to disenfranchise conservatives. He set the stage for dramatic and often unnecessary obstructionism from his opponents. The fact is that Republicans have been counter-punching for six years.

Further, Obama’s tact has been to demonize the most successful in the country by encouraging class warfare. His brand of populism has in effect greatly expanded the group that is totally dependent upon the state. Instead of stressing prosperity where all boats rise, the president has been on a crusade to take from the rich and give to the poor, forever. So now, America must contend with ISIS and terrorists, while at home the majority and the minority fight for political power, cops and blacks do battle in the streets of Ferguson and rich and poor are engaged in a heated debate about income redistribution.

I continue to look towards Washington hoping that a leader will emerge from the rubble of the past six years. Maybe in 2016, America will elect a competent leader who can guide us through the negativity in the country and the world. What I hope more than anything else is that the next president is more engaging than the current one.

The New York Times Comes To Obama’s Rescue

By Sal Bommarito

The New York Times wing of the Obama administration was in full tilt today. The leading editorial criticized Democrats running for office who eschew the president and his “greatest” achievements.

Readers should be offended that the NY Times played the race card not once but twice in the editorial: “Mr. Obama remains highly unpopular among white voters, particularly in Southern states . . .” and “[Democrat candidates running for office] run the risk, though, of alienating important constituents who prefer a party with a spine, especially black voters, who remain supportive of Mr. Obama.”

Here’s a news flash, Candidate Obama won the last two presidential elections with support from every racial group. His problem is not racial; it may be that the president has not kept promises made during his campaigns, and he’s a sub par leader domestically and internationally.

Let’s consider the actions of several Democratic senatorial candidates. Alison Lindergan Grimes, has refused to say whether she voted for Obama. Only one candidate, Gary Peters, “has been willing to appear with the president on the stump . . .” Other candidates, Mark Begich and Kay Hagan, have spoken against Obamacare and want to “fix it.” Maybe there are some serious problems with the law if members of the president’s party are unhappy with it.

Ms. Hagan and Mark Pryor have even suggested that the Obama policy on Ebola ought be changed, and a travel ban should be installed for all residents of Africa. And finally, candidate Mary Landrieu “has fought loudly against the president’s energy policies . . . [and] she even opposes legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.”

By the way, all of the comments made above were extracted from the NY Times article.

The bottom line is that President Obama is unpopular and Americans are very unhappy with his performance. In this group, are a number of Democrats. And, the NY Times continues to abet Obama’s lost causes.

Is The U.S. Effectively Leading The Coalition To Victory Against ISIS?

By Sal Bommarito

To this point, the Obama administration has not received accolades for its leadership in the war against ISIS. The most obvious observation is that ISIS is winning the battle opposing the U.S., Iraq, Syria and the coalition.

Obama said he would degrade and defeat ISIS. This stated objective is impossible without ground support of U.S. airstrikes. Everyone around the world knows this to be the case. Yet, the Obama administration has vetoed the use of U.S. ground forces and, in spite of overwhelming skepticism, still contends that Iraqis will be able to defend their country and “moderate” rebels in Syria can overcome ISIS. Ironically, American generals are chiming in and indicating that neither of the aforementioned groups will be able to do the job. If this is true, how will the coalition bring down ISIS?

The coalition force is a sham; the U.S. is conducting most of the airstrikes and is spending the most money trying to defend Arab nations. Why is it the responsibility of the U.S. to come to the rescue of the Middle East without assurances that Arab nations will participate to the full extent of their capabilities, militarily and financially?

The U.S. went to war without an achievable mission. Most Americans believed that the U.S. would never become enmeshed in another war that has no reasonable short-term endgame. No longer would America put its soldiers in harm’s way and commit hundreds of billions of dollars unless our national security was at risk. Supposedly, we learned an important lesson from Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq that extended decade-long wars, which drain our resources, should be avoided. Obama’s decision to move forward was no different than the false pretenses for invading Iraq over a decade ago; that action has not been fully remedied to this day. The president should tell us how the war with ISIS is going to end. Are we going to continue bombing forever?

Obama is not a wartime president. He is too ambivalent and reluctant, and does not accept the fact that radical Islam is the enemy of all non-Arab nations. Moreover, it is clear that he frequently does not implement plans proposed by his military experts. Our leader is living in a dream world in which America is expected to solve all problems and protect downtrodden people around the world. The ISIS crisis is not a civil rights controversy that can be rectified with passive resistance. It is a long-term, bloody civil war that is going to spread throughout the Middle East.

Exasperating this pathetic moment in American history is the loss of American credibility and leadership. Historically, the U.S. was able to reason with other nations in time of duress. We were able to convince our allies that we had no hidden agenda and that we wanted peace. Today, the U.S. is reviled at the United Nations, and we no longer have effective working relationships with other major powers with the exception of Great Britain. Our former allies in Europe and Asia doubt American resolve and competence.

But even more important, as we face down ISIS, the Arab nations relish our military ineffectiveness even as they demand that we protect them. It is infuriating to many Americans that unqualified cooperation is not forthcoming from Arab allies even as we bomb ISIS. If the U.S. is all in in the fight against ISIS, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and all the other Arab nations better be prepared to fight and provide ground support and financial assistance. Anything less than their full cooperation will enable ISIS to commandeer more land and oil.

James Foley’s Beheading: Less Rhetoric And More Action Agaisnt Terrorism

By Sal Bommarito

America has reached a seminal moment in its dealings with Islamic radicals. These terrorists are now stronger than ever throughout the world, and confrontation is inevitable. Our government must develop protocols for how it responds to acts of violence directed at America, its citizens and its allies.


The Arab Spring has in effect given extreme groups an opportunity to gain political power and exposure very quickly. The immediate impact has been a significant rise in violence and greater recruitment of terrorists. This phenomenon is prevalent in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Palestine; these countries are experiencing significant distress in which Islamic extremists are playing major roles.


The  problems within these countries are exacerbated by insurgency, Shiite provocateurs from Iran and its allies are disrupting Sunni led governments, and Sunni troublemakers from Saudi Arabia are making it difficult for Shiite leaders. One needs a scorecard to keep track of all the players.


But, radical Islamic groups are increasing the stakes by wantonly attacking innocent westerners in the region. James Foley, an American journalist, is the latest casualty. Radical elements beheaded him, allegedly because of American military action in Iraq, as the U.S. protects Iraqi Kurds. The purpose of the atrocity is clear; the terrorists want to infuriate the American government and frighten our citizens. These types of crimes against humanity should lead to extreme and deadly responses from the West.


Many people are dying unnecessarily in the Middle East; Foley is only one person. Yet, his execution has deep meaning and should be responded to, not with platitudes and marshmallow rhetoric without teeth. America should react aggressively with force to send a message that we will not cower from disgusting acts of cruelty and murder. President Obama’s comments and his response to this point have been inadequate. Significant military action is necessary.


The Israeli government has historically responded to violence against its homeland and citizens with even greater violence. This is the only language that terrorists and criminals understand. The fury with which we respond should be multiples of the crimes committed.


Ordinary citizens are not privy to the precise military and political circumstances in the Middle East. But, many believe the president should respond with a heavy hand. A great conflict is percolating. The West and Islamic radicals are on a collision course. America must lead the West in its response to violence against innocents. The cost of such a response is a mere pittance of what the impact will be if we fail to act with authority.

America Must Change To Be Great Once Again

By Sal Bommarito

Many Americans are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with their country. For good reasons, a great deal of criticism has been directed at the president and Congress. Our leaders deserve all the flak they have been receiving. Almost every important issue facing America is being mishandled because of a lack of experience, an inability to articulate problems and solutions, government paralysis and backlash from other nations.

Even more disconcerting is the style, or lack of it, that our leaders exhibit when dealing with complicated situations. The administration’s attitude is creating more enemies every day and an atmosphere that is not conducive to peace, comity, friendship and trust.

But rather than tear apart further what so many have already torn apart, this essay will offer five suggestions to get our country back on track to once again be the leader of the free world.

  1. RECORD SOME SMALL VICTORIES: The U.S. must get some important things done in Congress and around the world. It’s difficult to remember the last time America faced a true challenge, analyzed it accurately and dealt with it successfully. Recently, the Middle East conflicts, the Russian/Ukraine engagement, North Korea, Iran, illegal immigration, scandals in government agencies and many other situations have erupted, but none have been resolved or improved.

The U.S. needs to take smaller bites and win some battles. For instance, rather than trying to find a final resolution to the Israel/Palestine affair, our leaders should settle for a lasting cease-fire, a small but meaningful victory that will save lives. If the cease-fire holds, then we can begin the arduous process of trying to settle the longstanding issues that the opposing parties must resolve.

Simple? Not really. But if the objective is finite, truly obtainable and negotiated between people who trust one another, something will get done.

  1. BRING IN NEGOTIATORS THAT BOTH SIDES TRUST: The individuals currently negotiating Middle East crises are either incapable of closing a deal or untrusted by the interested parties.

I recall the efforts of Senator George Mitchell in the English/Irish feud. He was the right man for the job and successfully caused all the parties to sign the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

Similarly, the Simpson/Bowles bipartisan commission was established in 2010 by President Obama to formulate ways to bolster the economy. The co-chairs did an outstanding job and were supported by those on both sides of the aisle. Shockingly, the president decided to disregard the commission’s recommendations, and the country is still wallowing its way through the Great Recession.

In both cases, the individuals chosen were out of politics and were able to do great things. Selecting negotiators who are above the fray, not threatening to either side and well informed is a great way to get things done.

  1. DON’T BE DOGMATIC AND CONDESCENDING. Combatants in the Middle East and in Ferguson, Missouri are not interested in platitudes or moral blathering from our leaders. Each side has issues and problems, and they want them addressed.

In Ferguson, the local police are suggesting that Michael Brown, the black teenager who was killed by a policeman, was using marijuana and had been involved in a felony. African American leaders believe that an aggressive, militaristic, racially biased police force created an environment that makes black men vulnerable to abuse. Both sides need to be heard so that the events leading to the present standoff can be evaluated fairly and peace can be restored.

The governor of Missouri should retain outsiders that both sides respect and can trust to determine the truth, before a full-scale rebellion overwhelms the city. The police are not moved by the opinions of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Eric Holder; and the townspeople are not satisfied with the assessments of the Ferguson police force by another police force. Bring in a peacemaker who can allay concerns on both sides.

  1. MOST NATIONS THINK WE ARE UGLY AMERICANS. We are not. America has fought wars to help the oppressed around the world. Our aid programs are larger than any other nation on Earth. Yet, we are doing a terrible job promoting the American way of life. Many people around world believe that every U.S. citizen is rich and only interested in material things. We need to show others that we are human; we have problems just like everyone else; and we want to work together to end aggression, human rights violations and economic imbalance.
  1. NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON AN ALLY. Many are deeply concerned that our government is on the verge of turning away from Israel. The half-century ties between our countries should be solid as a rock, but some are endorsing the terrorist regime in Gaza.

Every nation in the world must be sure that when America signs a treaty, it will meet its obligations come hell or high water.

The global situation will improve if America leads the effort. We are the only chance for lasting peace and prosperity. Other large nations are withdrawing and leaving a huge vacuum that has enabled terrorists. America is the answer, but we must work in coordination with others.