How Barack Obama and Joe Biden destroyed American exceptionalism
On August 29, a U.S. military drone was used to assassinate an alleged ISIS-K terrorist associated with the suicide bombing that killed 13 U.S. military personnel and about 60 Afghan civilians only three days earlier. President Biden celebrated the drone strike and promised more to come. When it occurred, I asked myself, how could U.S. military possibly know who was responsible and set up retaliation in only three days given the disarray in Afghanistan, the difficult if not impossible communications, and that our Afghan informers on the ground were hiding in fear? Our military was having trouble identifying American citizens and Afghani colleagues to rescue, let alone stealth terrorists. After all, it took almost 10 years to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda after Bin Laden, is still alive. Mullah Mohammed Omar, leader of the Taliban who assisted Bin Laden, was never found and died a natural death three years after the 9/11 attacks. It took months to find and kill Qasem Soleimani. Given the post-Afghanistan polling, it’s not a great leap to see that Joe Biden needed a public relations boost and so, I assumed, he targeted the nearest low-level ISIS-K operative that we had information on. Except I was horribly wrong. So desperate was Biden for a PR boost, that he ordered the murder of an innocent person who had actually been an aide at an American NGO, and nine innocent children along with him. I’m not saying that he purposely chose an innocent person to kill. I’m saying that he made the decision without any reliable information—certainly he has provided none for public or Congressional review–only to boost his popularity.
Even in wartime, we must be moral. Even in wartime, we have an obligation not only to avoid civilian casualties, but to check, double check, and triple check our intelligence information, particularly after failures in the past. Joe Biden arguably committed a war crime out of ego and negligence. William Calley, the commander who led the Mai Lai Massacre, one of the most immoral wartime acts by the United States, also believed that the Mai Lai villagers were Viet Cong operatives. He was sentenced to life in prison. What consequences will Joe Biden face? Will the American public and Democrat politicians allow him to further disgrace and degrade our nation?
Barak Obama famously declared that America is no more exceptional than any other country. This paradoxical non-statement is equivalent to saying if we’re all exceptional, then none of us are. This might be considered a strange statement from the leader of the most exceptional nation in history. It made sense to him because he and his progressive colleagues believe that everyone is “exceptional” no matter the skill level. Look at all the participation prizes in youth sports. Look at the promotion of people in government, industry, and now the military, based on skin color, ethnic origins, and sexual activities. These woke progressives attempt to attain equity (i.e., equality of outcomes) by promoting the undeserving and demoting the achievers.
As we witness America’s decline, I must ask, is it a conspiracy to destroy America? Or just stupidity? I think it’s a combination. The left believes that to achieve equity, it must defeat the powerful. America is the world’s greatest country by any measure—economically, militarily, technologically, socially—with more influence (and still more liberty and freedom and charity) than any other, so it automatically becomes a target of the left. What the left never comprehends is that to create equity requires power. The powerful never give up power voluntarily, as is evidenced particularly by the leftists in control of Hollywood, the Mainstream Media, and Big Tech. So it’s inevitable that creating this equity requires an even more powerful entity to force the rules of equity upon the people. Invariably, that entity is either the military or the government or cooperation between the two, with a Napoleon, Stalin, or Hitler as the leader. This is not some anomaly, as most of today’s “Democratic Socialists” claim. Throughout history there has never been an exception to this rule. Today’s progressive leaders in America are idealistic about their goals, ignorant of history and human nature, and conspiratorial in their efforts to create their socialist utopia.
In his steps to achieve this utopia, then-president Obama took certain steps and enforced certain policies that weakened America from within. Under Obama, the number of people on welfare increased dramatically as he stripped out the work requirements. Government spending on entitlement programs increased considerably. Obamacare put more people’s health care under the control of the government and took away freedoms to select their own health care. He supported the anti-capitalist, anti-American Occupy Movement and overlooked the rapes, murders, and destruction they caused. He reactively took the side of any Black person accused of a crime, before the facts came out, whether it was Trayvon Martin, Henry Louis Gates Jr., or Michael Brown, and he effectively increased racial tensions in America that had been on the decline for decades.
Internationally, the Obama Doctrine was one of “leading from behind,” relying on other countries to defend freedom and fend for themselves while he defended traitors, praised terrorists, released terrorists from prisons (who now lead the Taliban), commuted the sentences of deserters, abandoned our allies like Georgia, Ukraine, Hong Kong, and Israel, and embraced dictators and enemies, the worst case being his support of Iran, the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism. In what can only be described as a radical left-wing attempt to bring down America, Obama refused to support peaceful Iranian protesters attempting to bring freedom to their country until worldwide pressure became too great when protester Neda Soltan was murdered by government snipers. And then he reluctantly sent a message of weak condemnation to the Iranian government rather than one of strong support to the protesters.
Obama defied the U.S. Constitution when he promoted the Iran treaty—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA)—through Congress, which gave $150 billion to Iran in return for unenforceable promises that Iran has since violated. And if that weren’t enough, Obama gave another $1.7 billion to Iran in secret bribes that he attempted to cover up in his last days in office.
Donald Trump’s election was a reaction to the election of Obama. Traveling the country, I met many independents and even many Democrats who longed for a strong and powerful America. They were people of all walks of life, all skin colors, all ethnicities, all religions. These people seriously wanted to “make America great again.” The left and its Democrat allies should have understood this, except for the ignorance that dominates its vision of an ideal paradise. No one wants to root for a losing team. No one wants to think they aren’t special. No one wants to believe that their neighbors and coworkers have opportunities they will never get. And few Americans believe the insincere flattery of affirmative action or government assistance programs. People want to be part of something exceptional and America has offered that for many generations. Trump inspired that in people.
Unfortunately, Trump did not have the temperament to govern, and he let the media and the Democrats get under his skin until he self-destructed during the COVID pandemic. In 2016, we needed the Rough Rider Teddy Roosevelt or the trash-talking Lyndon Johnson, and Trump gave it to us at volume 11. In 2020, we needed the comforting, reassuring voice of Ronald Reagan, but a pugilistic Trump turned the volume up to 12. And it lost him the election to an elderly, father figure much like Peter Sellers’ character Chauncy Gardener in the movie Being There, whose silence was interpreted as great genius. Like our current president, Gardener also was elected president and praised as a great leader.
Biden is not a woke progressive; he’s just the epitome of an opportunistic politician. He got what he’s always wanted in the ultimate power position of President of the United States, though he is now mentally and physically incapable of carrying out the requisite duties. Instead, others direct him leftward, which is fine with him because principle never mattered to the plagiarizing, lying, sexually harassing good ‘ol boy from Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Biden’s policies are being driven further leftward, and increasingly anti-American, not because most Democrats hate America and its values, though an unfortunately large percentage of them do, but because the younger, most vocal, media-savvy, and threatening fringe of the Democratic Party do. And their followers will threaten you or your business or our institutions if you do not give in to their tantrums.
So now Biden is completing the job that Obama started and that Trump tried to reverse. Biden is opening our borders, spending our money at an astounding rate, weakening our military forces, supporting bailouts that put criminals back on our streets, and pitting racial, ethnic, and sexual groups against each other by implementing affirmative action lending programs and mandating the teaching of Critical Race Theory in our schools, our businesses, our government, and our military.
In the most catastrophic and horrific decision in modern American warfare, Biden abruptly pulled our troops from Afghanistan, giving the Taliban—the world’s most notorious terrorist group—complete control over the country as well as an estimated $10 billion or more in advanced military weaponry, making our sworn enemy better equipped than most nations. After this embarrassing surrender to the Taliban, Biden lied to the press and to the American public, calling this blunder an “extraordinary success” while simultaneously and illogically blaming this “success” on Trump. Perhaps it was a success, if his goal was to harm our citizens and allies while empowering our enemies. How else could this enormous mess be a success by any other definition?
So again, I come to the question of whether the left is conspiring to destroy America or simply stupidly doing so? My interactions with progressives and leftists are that most just follow their leaders down whatever rabbit hole or over whatever cliff, all the while blaming Republicans. Most believe that their leaders are smarter than they are. In one telling incident after a dinner at our house shortly after Obamacare was passed, progressive friends of ours were describing the efforts they took to find an energy efficient automobile. They described researching car specifications and reading authoritative reviews, learning about various automobile technologies and energy savings, visiting dealers and comparing pricing and financial incentives, putting all the information into spreadsheets and evaluating various factors to eventually make their decision. After listening to this by these strong supporters of socialized medicine, my wife asked, “If you put that much effort into choosing a car, why would you allow the government to choose your medical care for you?” They looked at each other and then at my wife and explained as if to a child, “Because medical care is an important decision best left up to the experts.”
This story illustrates the basic difference between progressives and classical liberals and conservatives. The latter believe that government is flawed and that all people have the right and the need to make important decisions for themselves. Progressives believe that there are elite specialists who know what’s best for you, and these people are working in government. They believe this, despite their complaints about the U.S. Post Office, the DMV, the TSA, and City Hall. In their minds, government is perfect. At least a leftist one is. Which seems to be why Democrats blindly follow their leaders into oblivion.
Do leftist leaders believe in this ideology? Many of them do believe that they are smarter than their constituents. Barack Obama believed that. Joe Biden, like many other leftist leaders, simply wants power, and giving power to the people, as true classical liberals and conservatives support, does not leave much for themselves. So while Obama believed that the world would be a better place if America were brought to its knees, Biden simply believes that catering to the left will keep him in power, where he wants to be.
Internal domestic problems can be overcome. New elections bring a clean slate of politicians and can change domestic policies for the better. For example, a new set of mayors in major American cities can re-fund the police and re-enforce laws. A new set of district attorneys and judges can bring back appropriate punishments of criminals. A new set of legislators can remove woke policies in order to restrict our borders, enforce our immigration laws, cut national spending, reduce taxes, enable true civil liberties, remove laws that give preferences to one group over another, and encourage businesses to thrive. Americans are resilient and can pull through bad times, as they have many times in the past.
But international problems are far more complex and more difficult to recover from. Obama’s empowerment of Iran really scared me. It made no sense except by the naïve, woke philosophy that empowering bad people makes them better, though history has repeatedly proved that empowering bad people results in genocide. I reluctantly voted for Trump because I knew that Hillary Clinton would follow Obama’s lead in creating the same horrific foreign policies that she had implemented as Secretary of State. Trump had no foreign policy history, and his statements were inconsistent, so I was very pleasantly surprised when Trump reversed Obama’s suicidal foreign policies and stood strong.
Biden, on the other hand, has outdone Obama with his irrational and dangerous withdrawal from Afghanistan. With horrendous foreign policy decisions like this one, our allies will no longer trust us. Already, members of the UK Parliament have condemned Biden, and UK Prime Minister blamed Biden for “failure to intervene and protect the Afghan government from imminent collapse as an intelligence failure and neglect of moral duty.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Biden’s withdrawal the “biggest debacle” for NATO, whose leaders are currently rethinking their reliance on the United States. I believe this is the first time that any strong U.S. ally has publicly condemned a U.S. president.
Furthermore, Biden is now promoting a similar American withdrawal from Iraq and has been negotiating with Iran to reinstate the suicidal Iran deal. Why would any country rely on America when any new president could simply abandon it?
The Afghans who worked with America against the Taliban, many of whom were left behind during America’s cowardly retreat, will be killed. In the future, why would any people agree to work on behalf of America against tyranny and oppression when an American president could come along and simply abandon them to their deaths? Why would Americans, for that matter, agree to work with the U.S. government in troubled areas around the world when an American president could suddenly decide that it’s politically advantageous to abandon them. Biden promised to not leave any American behind in Afghanistan, but now his Secretary of State Antony Blinken says some Americans wanted to stay in Afghanistan while he blames others trapped in Afghanistan for their own situation.
Unless Biden is removed from office, he has three more years to repeat the stupidity and immorality of Afghanistan that is pushing our allies into the hands of other countries that are quickly replacing us as a world power. China is an increasing economic power due in part to its highly educated population but also to its use of slave labor for manufacturing, its theft of American technology and intellectual property, and its cyberwarfare that goes virtually unpunished. China also has a giant military force and has been hinting at a takeover of U.S. ally Taiwan. I don’t think Taiwan can count on America to help it defend itself.
Russia is no longer the technological or economic threat that it was once considered, but it still has a strong military, and for years Vladimir Putin has had his eyes on reabsorbing the former Soviet Union. Now that Biden has been shown to be, essentially, a spineless coward, what will stop Putin from recreating the U.S.S.R.?
Iran regularly threatens Israel and the United States, yet Biden is eager to appease them with more money and the removal of economic sanctions in return for promises of being good, responsible citizens of the world, even though their leaders have never hidden their threats to wipe Israel off the map or to bring down the Great Satan.
I’ve always wondered what it was like to live in a once-exceptional nation that had fallen into decline. How did the ancient Romans feel when, after centuries, having been crippled by its own “progressive” internal policies, its technologically advanced armies were defeated by the barbarians at their gates. How do the Spanish feel about once having the greatest armada in the world, discovering new continents and new peoples, and yet now is a quaint country known for its language, food, and economic troubles. The same goes for Greece, once the center of Western civilization including science and philosophy, and now mostly known for its debt and poverty. Or England, once having ruled over most of the civilized world and now mostly lost in the shadows of America and the European Union. Unfortunately, I needn’t wonder how it feels. In the next decade, we will all understand it firsthand.
Bob Zeidman is the creator of the field of software forensics and the founder of several successful high-tech Silicon Valley firms including Zeidman Consulting and Software Analysis and Forensic Engineering. His latest venture is Good Beat Poker. He is the author of textbooks on engineering and intellectual property as well as screenplays and novels. His latest novel is the political satire Good Intentions and the soon-to-be-published Animal Lab, a modern sequel to George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm.