Vail Daily column: We need a candidate with vision, leadership |

Vail Daily column: We need a candidate with vision, leadership

Butch Mazzuca
Butch Mazzuca |

Radical Islam will dominate geopolitics for the next 50 years just as Soviet Communism dominated geopolitics for 50 years after World War II.

Anyone who’s ever stood waiting to take their shoes off at the airport understands that Islamic terrorists have already altered our way of life and eroded many of our liberties; and matters will get worse before they get better.

No one can say how or where the next attack will occur. But one thing is for certain; our enemies have sworn to attack us, to kill us, to defeat us. So how many more nations will be destabilized, airliners blown up, young girls raped, Christians beheaded or crucified or prisoners burned alive before this administration comprehends the fact that we’re in a war?

Last February, Susan Rice, the administration’s National Security Advisor told us, “The dangers we face (from ISIS) today are more numerous and varied, however, they are not of the existential nature we faced during World War II or during the Cold War.” Really Ms. Rice, really?

Prior to the Paris attacks the president assured the nation when he said, “ISIS is contained” — four hours later, hundreds of French citizens lay dead or inured. The French president called it “an act of war” — our president called it a “setback” and became petulant when questioned about his lack of a strategy.

The administration refers to a 65-member coalition focused on degrading and ultimately destroying ISIS. A 65-member coalition? Give me a break! If a 65-member coalition actually existed, then the 40,000 fighters of ISIS would have already been vanquished.

Now, unbelievably, it appears one of our historic allies, France, is going to partner with Russia in bombing ISIS targets — how does a NATO member even contemplate partnering with Russia? Can anyone imagine that occurring under Kennedy, Eisenhower or Reagan?

Former Defense Intelligence Chief, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said, “The starting point of developing any strategy is to first accurately identify the enemy.” Air strikes and sending 50 Special Forces operators is not a strategy — it’s a tactic. And for the uninitiated who might confuse the two words, while they are similar, the two words have very different meanings.

A strategy identifies the broad goals that organize the necessary resources to achieve the stated mission. Tactics on the other hand utilize specific resources to achieve sub-goals that support that defined strategy or mission.

In light of those definitions, can anyone define how the Defense Department, State Department, NSA and the CIA are coordinating their military, economic, cultural and psychological efforts to meet this threat? Don’t feel badly if you can’t, the president can’t either.

Two people, the president and his then-secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, are the primary architects of the current geopolitical situation in the world today. Libya is a failed state — thank you, Madame Secretary. Assad remains in power as a result of the president not backing up his red line statement regarding chemical weapons; hundreds of thousands of refugees (including embedded terrorists) flood into Europe and wait to get into the United States, while Putin has gained a foothold in the Middle East. So let me ask, who aside from the president has the temerity to say this “strategy” is working?

I hope I’m wrong, but Mr. Obama will not lead us to victory against this enemy as Roosevelt and Churchill did during World War II, or as Reagan did during the Cold War. And with national security likely to overtake the economy as the No. 1 issue on voters’ minds next November, what candidate possesses the vision and leadership to successfully confront Islamic extremism?

It’s certainly not Hillary. I don’t think America needs another president who knowingly lies to the citizenry. The Benghazi hearings may have exonerated her for failing to protect our consulate, but it did prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that within minutes of the start of the attack, she was told it was being perpetrated by Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qaida, yet she lied to the nation (including the loved ones of the four murdered Americans) for weeks telling us it was the result of a video. Why?

Hillary’s ‘statesmanship’ also crafted much of what we see in the Middle East today. And it was Hillary who presented the “reset” button to the Russians, and look how well that’s working out. No, Hillary has taken that 3 a.m. phone call and she failed to pass muster.

How about Trump or Carson, the current republican primary leaders? Perhaps not the best of choices; Trump could be great for the economy, and Carson is a most intelligent man with ideas the founders would embrace, but neither has any real world experience in geopolitics. So who then?

Sanders? He thinks Islamic extremism is caused by climate change — no, Mr. Socialist isn’t the man for the job either. So how about Kasich, Bush, Rubio, Christie or Cruz? National security is about our liberties and our freedoms, but it’s also a matter of life and death; so let us hope America looks hard and long at all these candidates and then chooses wisely.

Quote of the day: “ISIL is not Islamic” — Barack Obama

Butch Mazzuca, of Edwards, writes regularly for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at

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