Time for a Wartime Consigliere

If there was any doubt that the 2016 election was already underway, Jeb Bush has put that fantasy to rest. And the subjects of debate among all the hopefuls were already coming into focus before we had any official entries into the sweepstakes. We’re going to fight over Obama’s executive amnesty in specific and immigration “reform” in general. We’ll argue some more over certain aspects of Obamacare and try to predict what the courts will do. Domestic energy policy will be huge, particularly as it reaches into to many other corners of American life.

But what if we’re barking up the wrong tree? Roger L. Simon argues that most of our domestic concerns are about to be trumped by the grim reality that the rest of the world is catching fire and the flames will spread to our shores sooner rather than later. And what we need now, to steal a phrase from The Godfather, is a wartime consigliere.

Yes, we’ve got a great foreign policy in this country. Just ask Putin and Medvedev. They’ll be glad you did because they’re kind of gloomy these days over the price of oil. But never mind, they’ll find a way back. Maybe they’ll take a few Baltic states — all those good seaports.

Sounds bad, huh? Tough times ahead for good old Western Civ. Well, I wouldn’t worry about it. They’re not teaching that stuff in our schools anymore, so nobody knows what it is.

Still there’s hope. People are starting to march against the rise of Sharia law and jihadism in Europe, even now in Germany. Of course, they’re being accused of being neo-Nazis, but it’s a start. Knowing the history of Europe, bloody Hell could break out. Everything could go haywire. Eventually they’ll be screaming, as they always do, for American help.

But will we be able to do something for them this time — or will America itself have disintegrated? Unfortunately, it’s up to us and there’s an election coming up for a new president, a new leader of the free world, what’s left of it, and, boy, do we need one. It better be the right person or we’re sunk. So here’s the drill…

Forget Obamacare, forget tax reform, forget even amnesty just for a moment. Dust out your old globe — we’re headed for the biggest foreign policy election since WWII. And, as Don Corleone I am certain would have told us, now more than ever “we need a wartime consigliere.”

Well, you can’t forget domestic issues entirely when you consider that plenty of things are still falling apart here. But Simon does make a good point. You can make the argument that 2004 was essentially a foreign policy election, but since then the handling of our affairs on foreign shores has been more of a backdrop than the center ring of the electoral circus. I would argue that we have been more of a nation at war than a nation which holds itself on a war footing. And the difference between the two isn’t really all that subtle.

If ISIS can be said to have done anything for us thus far, it is surely to have rung a bell which is waking people up. And it’s not only the actions they take themselves, but the way in which they have reminded us of the Taliban and the various AQ spin-off groups who are moving all the time across the globe. The events in Sydney can easily enough be written off as one guy in a coffee shop, but he did show up for duty. Here in the US the number of incidents is still blissfully small as compared to the size of the nation, and a few teenage girls trying to fly to Syria does not a revolution make. But at the same time, it’s a reminder that the potential is always there.

The war doesn’t have to arrive literally on the doorstep of a Detroit Starbucks, though. The spreading unrest is boiling over in countries considered both friend and foe by us. It affects us in less direct ways more and more each year. And then there are the beheadings. I do hope we never reach the point as a society where we can become blase’ about the beheadings. Any one of these situations may require more than clever speeches, threats of sanctions or strongly worded letters. The world is spiraling into war and it would be foolish indeed to think that we’re going to remain above it all.

The next President may well have to spend a lot more time dealing with real war than the War on Christmas. Perhaps the debates and the overall selection process should focus on that reality for starters.

Jazz Shaw Jul 03, 2022 10:01 AM ET