Sitting in my favorite city in the whole world, Miami, Florida. Whenever I get too depressed or downhearted or just need a break, I head back to Miami. That city has played a critical role in my professional life. During my many tours in Latin America, and, of course, with Southern Command, Miami and Florida, in general, including Hurlburt Field where I got to see an AC-130 light up the night, were my safe havens, my places of refuge. Almost regardless of the economic situation in the nation and the world, Miami seems to retain a vitality and cautious optimism that the days ahead will get better. Perhaps that comes from the sun, the heat, and the white beaches, or perhaps it comes from its demographic: people who have seen things get much worse in their countries of origin, and who have patience and still believe that America, in the end, will put things right at home and abroad.
Well, despite the optimistic city, I retain a considerable amount of pessimism, and even disgust with the result of the national elections earlier this month. I find myself distressed not just because a dangerous mediocrity such as Obama could get re-elected, but that a fine, intelligent, a genuinely patriotic man such as Congressman West could not get re-elected, and that another fine, intelligent, and patriotic woman such as Mia Love could not even get elected. I assume that those who voted against West and Love were old time Democratic KKK racists, after all, weren't we told by MSNBC and others that if we failed to vote for Obama we were racists? I assume that the MSNBC formula applies to the goose as well as to the gander . . .
Obamacare and all the other liberal money-fueled delusions are going to come crashing down on the American people in the next few months. I don't have much optimism about the economy. We are in for a rough time of increased taxes, rising deficits, inflation, stagnation and an endless parade of mountebanks, such as the disgraceful Paul Krugman, trying to convince us that more of the same policies that produced all that will somehow produce something different. I can assure you that as things get worse, the Democrat/media lie machine will blame it all on the Republican control of the House. The worse the economy gets, ironically, the worse it might get for the GOP unless the House leadership proves surprisingly adept at keeping the focus on the Obama misadministration.
Developments overseas are following the predictable path blazed by the Obama misadministration's absurd policies of apology, abasement, and accommodation. The Middle East is about as dangerous as it has ever been. Unlike previous major crises in the region, e.g., 1967 and 1973, we now have a welter of totally irrational and unpredictable actors running about on the stage. Nobody really knows what Iran might or might not do; nobody knows how crazed Hezbollah or Hamas might behave; nobody knows what exactly is going on inside Egypt as Morsi launches a pharonic power grab; nobody knows what is going on inside Syria; and we still have no answers as to what happened in Benghazi and why. The Middle East is descending into the sort of chaos eminently foreseeable as Obama dismantled American influence and power in that region. Thanks to the Obama misadministration's open hostility to our developing realistic domestic sources of energy, we remain vulnerable to the whims and manias of the loons in the Middle East. Nuclear-armed Israel stands alone as the sole representative of the West in the Middle East. How much longer before they act?
One last thought before signing off as I get ready to head back to California for a few more weeks. For the first time in about two years I went to the movies. At the urging of old Foreign Service colleagues, I saw "Argo." As you all know, it tells the "true" story of the rescue of six FSOs from Iran. They had managed to get out of the Embassy compound and got taken in by a very brave Canadian Ambassador who hid them for several weeks. The movie is fine, and captures well the 1970s environment in an Embassy. The take over of the Embassy by the Iranian "students" is well done, and most of the film which deals with a CIA plan to rescue these six before the Iranians figure out where they are hiding is good, straight-forward story-telling, with the predictable Hollywood dramatizations.
Even, however, when Hollywood is making a "true" movie, even a somewhat patriotic movie, it cannot resist injecting liberal bias into the story. Nowhere does the movie mention the 1980 elections. Once the six are safely in the air, the movie ends with a long addendum, as the credits roll, that discusses the releasing of the other hostages on January 20, 1981, without ever mentioning Reagan's election and that the hostages were released as Reagan was sworn in as President. It ends with a weird audio interview with President Carter in which he claims credit for the release of the hostages "peacefully" and in manner consistent "with the dignity of our nation." The movie does not mention Carter's botched rescue effort--except tangentially in a conversation at the CIA--and seems to give Carter the credit for freeing the hostages. Those of us in the Foreign Service at the time know the Iranians freed the other hostages out of fear of what Reagan would do to Iran.
More in a few days.