Picture this: The 1990 movie The Hunt For Red October. Few people haven’t seen this great movie. Most fanboys could narrate it. I frequently irritate Mrs. Cummings by attempting Connery’s Scottish/Russian accent. Let’s cut to the White House Briefing Room scene where National Security Advisor Jeffrey Pelt is warning Jack Ryan that he has three days to prove his defection theory about Captain Ramius:
Pelt (to Ryan):
I’ll give you three days to prove your theory correct. After that, I have to hunt down Ramius and destroy him.
Will you do it?
This scene has always stuck with me because in a subtle but extremely cool way it exudes American confidence in our near absolute power. To Pelt, a rogue Russian sub commander — no matter the technology or firepower — was just another thing America had to deal with, like taking out the garbage. Sure, it might stink more than other garbage, but we deal with it (i.e. get rid of it) because that’s what the United States does with garbage.
Red October could not be made today. You don’t have to know me well to know it breaks my heart to say this: While not out, America is down. What concerns me is how fast our rank in the world has declined, and how much worse our lives and the lives of everyone else could get.
For nothing in return, we’ve propped up a failing thug dictatorship in Cuba. The Cuban government has to change exactly nothing. So for those planning their next vacation to Cuba or first “legal” Cuban cigar purchase, do you think the money paid to hotels, restaurants, and cigar shops will make the Castro regime soften their communism? Do you not know virtually every dollar of the American money spent in Cuba will go directly to the pockets of dictators and tyrants?
A pretty good rule of thumb is that if Leftists and The US Chamber of Commerce like an idea — in this case, they’re all smiles — it’s most likely bad for America and bad for the world.
Understand this: No one foreign policy can apply to two, different countries. Our embargo against Cuba, slowly and quietly softening over the last few years under Obama, was not intended to change regime but contain it. And for the most part, we’ve contained it. Leftists and Libertarians squeal against America’s meddling in the world, but in the same breath chastise those who don’t want to financially support a communist, totalitarian government. Be advised: Cuba tortures its citizens with real torture, not the waterboarding kind.
On the opposite end of the world, we have confirmed reports that North Korean agents hacked Sony Pictures databases. Among the sordid details like leaked emails of Sony executives making fun of Obama — don’t worry, these people have already paid homage to Sharpton and Jackson — the movie The Interview starring James Franco and Seth Rogen became the lightning rod of the entire scene. So offended by this movie was Kim Jong Un-skinny-bop, he and his NorKs threatened to enact 9/11 style terrorist attacks on the US if any theater chain showed the comedy. Sony and many theater chains relented. Franco and Rogen have 24 hr security details.
What in the hell happened to my America?
A Red October America would have let Cuba stand fast, and continue overt and covert efforts to undermine the Castro brothers, wait for them to die and potentially assist with replacing them with a more friendly government. Anything but outright supporting them.
A Red October America would have called North Korea’s bluff, played The Interview in more theaters than originally planned, and returned a cyber attack against North Korea at least 10 times the size and damage– sending a message to them and the rest of the world that messing with us in any manner or form will hurt severely and for years to come.
As we turn our attention to other sources of danger in the world, is it too much of an intellectual stretch to predict that whatever Iran wants to do, the Obama administration and his old guard media will let it do? In the next few months — sorry, 1.7 months — Iran could have its first nuclear bomb. If our reaction to Cuba and North Korea is any indication, Obama’s response will no doubt be : “Iran, do what you will. Who are we to judge?”
God help us.