Shooting First and Aiming Later

Posted in Election 2012,Foreign Policy,National Security,President Obama,War on Terror by Ryan on the September 12th, 2012

President Obama takes a full swipe at Romney with this statement in the wake of Romney’s criticism of the Obama Administration’s handling of the Cairo Embassy’s confusing condemnation of “hurtful” free speech:

 “There’s a broader lesson to be learned here,” Mr. Obama told “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft at the White House. “And I — you know, Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later.”

One is left to wonder, what does “aiming before you shoot” look like then? Apparently like this:

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

So Obama says that Romney is mixed up in his awareness of the facts, after he just delivered the exact same message his administration disavowed and that Governor Romney is criticizing.

Mr. President, it doesn’t matter if you say how unacceptable violence is, if you criticize “hurtful speech” in the same breath, you are tacitly justifying the violence.

As Governor Romney put it:

I spoke out when the key fact that I referred to was known, which was that the Embassy of the United States issued what appeared to be an apology for American principles. That was a mistake. And I believe that when a mistake is made of that significance, you speak out.

Huntsman and Service to Country

Posted in Election 2012,Foreign Policy,U.S. by Ryan on the January 10th, 2012

In the Saturday debate in New Hampshire, Romney and Huntsman had an exchange regarding China.

HUNTSMAN: Listen, we have the most important relationship of the 21st Century with China. We’ve got to make it work. Of course we have challenges with them. We’ve had challenges for 40 years. It’s nonsense to think you can slap a tariff on China the first day that you’re in office, as Governor Romney would like to do.

You’ve got to sit down and sort through the issues of trade like you do with North Korea, like you do with Iran, like you do with Burma, and Pakistan, and the South China Sea. They’re all interrelated. And to have a president who actually understands how that relationship works would serve the interests of the people in this country, from an economics standpoint and from a security standpoint.

ROMNEY: I’m sorry, Governor, you were, the last two years, implementing the policies of this administration in China. The rest of us on this stage were doing our best to get Republicans elected across the country and stop the policies of this president from being put forward.

[ …Romney comments at length about China stealing intellectual property among other things… ]

HUNTSMAN: I think it’s important to note, as they would say in China, that (speaking mandarin)…


HUNTSMAN: … he doesn’t quite understand this situation. What he is calling for would lead to a trade war. It makes for easy talk and a nice applause line but it’s far different from the reality in the U.S.-China relationship.

So, a robust back and forth.  Huntsman taking issue with Romney talking about coming down hard on China and Romney taking some issue with Huntsman saying he doesn’t know what he is talking about.  I took Romney’s jab about Huntsman’s time in China as a “heat of the moment” comment that simply reflected his displeasure at being criticized on his comments.

Well, on Sunday, without being questioned about this exchange, Huntsman deliberately brings it up, taking issue with Romney criticizing his “service to his country.”

HUNTSMAN: Let me say — let me say, first are all, with respect to Governor Romney, you know, there are a lot of people who are tuning in this morning, and I’m sure they’re terribly confused after watching all of this political spin up here.

I was criticized last night by Governor Romney for putting my country first. And I just want to remind the people here in New Hampshire and throughout the United States that I think…


He criticized me while he was out raising money for serving my country in China, yes, under a Democrat, like my two sons are doing in the United States Navy. They’re not asking who — what political affiliation the president is.

I want to be very clear with the people here in New Hampshire and this country: I will always put my country first. And I think that’s important to them.

GREGORY: All right. Well, why don’t you get a response, Governor Romney? And then I’ll come back to you on the austerity question.

ROMNEY: I think we serve our country first by standing for people who believe in conservative principles and doing everything in our power to promote an agenda that does not include President Obama’s agenda. I think the decision to go and work for President Obama is one which you took. I don’t disrespect your decision to do that. I just think it’s most likely that the person who should represent our party running against President Obama is not someone who called him a remarkable leader and went to be his ambassador in China.

HUNTSMAN: This nation is divided, David, because of attitudes like that.

It was a pointed exchange.  I almost expected Romney to perhaps apologize, saying it was the wrong thing to say and that it was simply the heat of the moment.  However, he didn’t, he made some generic points about serving under Obama.

I was driving home tonight and listening to CSPAN radio here in the DC area and it had some live events from New Hampshire.  One of the events was Huntsman’s and he was reminding people of the exchange.  He asked the crowd if they’d caught the debate the day before.  He said something to the effect of “We made clear to one candidate that this campaign will always put this country before politics.”

It was then that I had an epiphany.  Huntsman, in his effort to decry partisanship, may have overlooked the awkward position from which he standing.  He “put his country first” and began his service as ambassador in August of 2009.  Less than 2 years later, he resigned from that position in April of 2011 to run for President.

In effect, according to Huntsman, he put politics ahead of country.

US Military in Context

Posted in Foreign Policy,National Security,U.S.,World by Ryan on the April 30th, 2010

Just came across a fascinating website called Information is Beautiful.

One of the articles that caught my eye was one about military spending & size when taking wealth and population into account.

It doesn’t seem fair to not factor in the wealth of a country when assessing its military budget.

So, if you take military budgets as a proportion of each country’s GDP, a very different picture emerges.


The US is knocked down into 8th place by such nations as Jordan, Burundi and Georgia. The UK plunges to 29th.

Valerie Plame & The Unicorn Express

Posted in Foreign Policy,National Security,President Obama by Ryan on the February 15th, 2010

Valerie Plame Wilson must be involved in what I dub the “Unicorn Express,” borrowing from other sources.  A seemingly mystical and illogical quest for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.  I first caught a glimpse of her on and thought, “Was that Valerie Plame?”  Indeed.  Skip to 0:35 for her sound byte.

Then check out TED’s website about the session she opened where her name links to this group’s website.

I think my thoughts are pretty much in line with Bill Kristol’s back after Obama’s speech in Prague.

From Bill Kristol’s “A World Without Nukes — Just Like 1939” April 7, 2009 Article  —-

Of course, we had a world without nuclear weapons not so long ago — say, in 1939. The war that began in that nuclear-free world led to a crash project to develop nuclear weapons. It ended with America’s use of them…

Yet to justify a world without nuclear weapons, what Obama would really have to envision is a world without war, or without threats of war.

As soon as we get rid of nuclear weapons though, we ought to get rid of unicorns.  They have a pointy horn.

Keep America Safe

Posted in Foreign Policy,National Security,President Obama,War on Terror by Ryan on the October 14th, 2009

A new organization started by Liz Cheney, someone I love seeing debate democrats on foreign policy and national defense.

Their “Rhetoric vs. Reality” video is excellent.

Obama and “Meddling”

Posted in Foreign Policy,President Obama,World by Ryan on the June 30th, 2009


“It is not productive, given the history of US and Iranian relations to be seen as meddling in Iranian elections,” he said.

“But when I see violence directed at peaceful protesters, when I see peaceful dissent being suppressed… it is of concern to me and it is of concern to the American people.”


Leaders from across the Western Hemisphere and beyond called for return to power of Zelaya, who arrested on Sunday morning by soldiers who stormed his residence and forced him into exile. The country now has another president appointed by its Congress, Roberto Micheletti, who insisted that Zelaya was legally removed by the courts and Congress for violating Honduras’ constitution and attempting to extend his own rule.

“We are very clear about the fact that President Zelaya is the democratically elected president,” Obama said.

Hat tip:’s Carol Platt Liebau

“A Childish Fantasy”

Posted in Foreign Policy,National Security,President Obama by Ryan on the April 7th, 2009

Charles Krauthammer has some choice words for Obama’s recent statements about nuclear weapons.

Again, Hat tip: Greg Hengler at’s blog

Obama’s Fantasy World

Posted in Foreign Policy,President Obama by Ryan on the April 6th, 2009

He hopes for the day that we don’t have nuclear weapons.

“Some argue that the spread of these weapons cannot be stopped,” Obama said. “Such fatalism is a deadly adversary. If we believe that, then we are admitting that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.”

Actually, they haven’t been used since they were created during WWII, despite massive proliferation.  They are in fact, an incredible deterrent. If we get rid of nuclear weapons, lets get rid of all weapons.  No more conventional weapons, no jet fighters, no tanks.  How? Just click your heels together and say “Yes we can,” three times.

Newt Gingrich perhaps sums it up best:

Hat tip: Greg Hengler at Townhall Blog