When the late Osama bin Laden referred to the United States as a “weak horse” he may have been more right than wrong. Although Joe Biden crowed during the 2012 re-election campaign that “bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,” today the opposite is more clearly true: Detroit is dead while al Qaeda is very much alive. The United States is manifestly seen as a weak horse even by its allies, a nation in military retreat throughout the world against its three most dangerous adversaries: Russia, China, and militant Islamic fascism.
America was not always a weak horse, of course. From 1776 to 1781, a bunch of rag-tag colonists took up arms against the mighty if distracted King George III. With a little help from the French and Native Americans, our ancestors prevailed over the British Empire to establish a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
In 1812 the British came back and burned the U. S. capitol, but that war, too, ended favorably for the fledgling U. S. Over the next century our country would prevail in combat in a host of skirmishes, from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli. Then our people grew weary of fighting and tried to stay out of both the Great War (World War I) and its cousin World War II.
Both times, however, the nation discovered that we could not stay out of war, and both times came to the rescue of our allies, if not Western Civilization itself. The turning point in the Pacific was the Battle of Midway. In Europe it was D-Day, June 6, 1944.
As we rightly observe the 70th anniversary of D-Day, it’s worth observing too that the U. S. has not won a shooting war since World War II. We fought to a draw under U.N. auspices in Korea; we lost in Vietnam; we threw away the gains of two invasions of Iraq; and we have announced two years in advance our surrender to the Taliban. To drive the point home – in apparent violation of the law – the U.S. Commander-in-Chief has just swapped the five most dangerous terrorists still held in Guantanamo for one befuddled American who may have been a deserter.
Even as surviving war veterans face rigged waiting lists at VA hospitals, the black flag of al Qaeda now flies over Fallujah. We draw red lines in the sand we have no intention of enforcing, terrorists murder our ambassador with impunity, and we blame it all on YouTube videos while sending Susan Rice out to tell the press to pay no heed to the man behind the curtain.
One can think our current administration incompetent, treasonous, or merely indifferent to world affairs, but in the end it doesn’t matter: the result is still the same. America is in retreat throughout the globe, and al Qaeda and the Taliban are on the rise. Even The New York Times observes that “the Taliban scored their biggest hit yet” in their viral video proclaiming triumph over us.
It’s a sorry state of affairs on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, but it’s the simple truth.