The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (
"If the leader is filled with high ambition and if he pursues his aims with audacity and strength of will, he will reach them, in spite of all obstacles." -- Karl Von Clausewitz.
It's more than apparent that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has read and studied the Prussian soldier and German military strategist, while President Obama has read and studied the Harvard Law Review.
This disparity will be fatal to the world and unfortunately, tens of millions of Americans.
The president announced historic budget cuts to the Department of Defense recently that "automatically" kicked in as a result of the Budget Control Act. Some background -- when the president couldn't do his job and lead to produce a budget, he did what all "normal" people in Washington do -- he formed a committee.
Led by two heavies pulled from the bullpen, this committee was headed by former Republican Senator Alan Simpson (WI) and former White House Chief of Staff Democrat Erskine Bowles. Interesting that after they serve, they become "esteemed," but while serving, they're nothing but partisans. Apparently when you leave the beltway, you return to being a normal, "esteemed" American. But not really ... see below. But I digress.
This committee "worked hard" and at the end, this "bipartisan" committee couldn't get enough votes to agree on their own recommendations. The committee needed a "super majority" -- seriously, who uses those words? -- to pass their report. 11 voted in favor, they needed 14 out of 18 to pass.
National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform - 1
Taxpayers - 0
What sound recommendations the committee did make were ignored by the president. But this time around, the super humans in Washington decided to do something smart -- if we fail (LOL! Of course we're gonna fail!), let's put in place some drastic cuts that automatically take place. And the best place to cut? A government entity that can't wank about it, the Department of Defense. It's not like cutting bloated union contracts who will occupy a state capital and clean up after themselves.
"Hey check this out ... I just found this out ... this is perfect -- these idiots in the military have to do what I tell them! Can you believe that? No lobbyists, no angry calls from servicemen and women ... they're not allowed to complain! They actually get in trouble if they do! Let's cut the hell out of that place!"
Of course, companies like
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Northrop Grumman Corporation
can try and pump campaign money, bit it's not as if millions of service personnel can pick up the phone or write a letter to their elected officials. That's the way our military works. So politicians are allowed to pick on the silent that can't defend themselves. Even SecDef Panetta, who has to carry Obama's water to the Hill with a straight face, says that "another round of defense cuts would be devastating."
So military states and towns like North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Florida, Tampa, Fayetteville, Bowling Green and Norfolk are bracing for nearly $1 trillion in defense cuts.
In touting these cuts like a badge of honor (I must have missed him touting Department of Energy cuts...Oh, that's right,
Solyndra and a lot of other political "green" contributors need to be re-paid) used history to completely prove that the man is removed from reality.
The president cited historic defense draw downs after large military engagements, a la the "peace dividend," but utterly failed to finish that thought.
WWI, the "war to end all wars," resulted in a devastating drawdown that left us utterly unprepared for the next "war to end all wars." The drawdowns after WWII left us completely unprepared for the rise of the Soviet Union -- our "police action" in Korea, and of course, Vietnam.
President Carter gutted defense -- I served with some officers who went through that era and it sounded like they were serving in the Ethiopian Navy, but worse. President Reagan came along and recognized the Soviet threat for what it was and responded accordingly. The result? No more Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact, etc.
Only two idiot countries remain -- North Korea and Cuba. How are things going there?
We were able to pull off the swiftest military victory in history, a war measured in hours instead of years, Operation Desert Storm, because we were ready. After Desert Storm, President Bush made cuts and the term "peace dividend" was coined.
Fortunately, we didn't cut that bad and were prepared for Iraq, Afghanistan and an illegal police action in Libya. Now the president is ignoring history and current threats to gut defense and put America in a world of hurt.
Let's start with jobs. The current crop of military personnel are the 9/11 generation -- they rushed out and volunteered to serve their country after the most devastating attack on U.S. soil in our nation's history and now the president is going to put them on the street. Thanks for your service!
Don't let the door hit you on the way out. With unemployment above 8% and veterans having a hard enough time finding work as it is, this makes no sense. For a man who loved the New Deal and has touted government works projects, this seems like a supremely bad idea.
Not that I want to help Obama get re-elected, but a look at the electoral map shows that these cuts will bash swing states. I care more about our country than electoral politics, but mom and pop stores and restaurants in Dayton, Ohio, who thrive on the local military presence, are in serious jeopardy.
My father, God rest his soul, was a Kennedy Democrat, as were most poor to lower-middle class Irish Catholics from Philly and south Jersey. We have able bodied people on the government dole getting 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. Seriously?
How about throwing a uniform on them and training them, giving them a skill they can use. Or if they're not that smart, give them a rifle and let them stand a post. This welfare generation has Kennedy completely backwards. "Ask what my country can do for me, I ain't doing anything for my country."
And if they can't serve, they can certainly pick up trash on national highways, beaches, parks or engage in other public good. Ummm...is that asking too much? Paying someone to do nothing?
That's not the way I run my company
Top Gun Options and not the way to run a country, unless you plan on making more and more Americans dependent on the imperial government. Nothing like creating a whole class in America that is dependent on handouts and therefore, dependent on Democrats who feel it's their job to pay people not to do anything while penalizing those that are successful. Someone has to pay for these people not to work.
Aside from jobs, let's just look at the world as it turns today. SecDef Panetta said -- publicly -- that Israel will attack Iran by the spring; yesterday, the head of the Russian General Staff, General Nikolay Makarov, said Israel will most likely attack by the summer. "Iran is a sore spot," Makarov noted. "I think a decision will be made by the summer." See the
full interview here. If these military men are saying these things publicly, what's really going on behind closed doors?
It's not a matter of if, but when Israel will attack. They have tired of Obama's policy, as have I, toward Iran, consisting of Obama/Clinton saying "Stop! Or I'll say stop again!" He's achieved his mission objective -- we are no longer the world's policemen -- well, maybe we still are, but we're viewed as Barney Fife.
We will wake up one morning and Israel will have conducted a night attack on Iran. Iran and its Hezbollah surrogates will rain rockets into Israel, and Syrian strongman Assad, looking to divert attention from his impending no band change of command, will also attack Israel or support attacks from its soil/surrogates.
Oh, and that other bastion of democracy we helped create in the middle east -- Egypt -- now run by the military, may also see this as a chance to focus its people on Israel and not the fact that they're not having elections, are not a democracy and are arresting Americans who are there trying to help.
Domestically, oil (USO) will shoot to well over $200/barrel, if not more, so that instant tax hike will make filling the family truckster as expensive as a mortgage. And small business that use any sort of vehicle will take a major hit to the bottom line. "Sorry, Steve. We have to let you go. We just can't afford the costs."
Playing catch up after enjoying a peace dividend if only fleeting; it costs more money in the long run when we have to scramble to catch up. Obama fails in his use of history by not pointing out these previous costly lessons learned. We will all pay dearly, some with our lives. The next terrorist attack against the United States will make 9/11 look like a non-event and I do not mean to diminish that tragedy.
We know bad guys around the world are working hard at employing biological warfare -- it's much easier to deploy and cheaper than nukes. All they need is 10 "volunteers," martyrs, looking for their promised virgins, to get loaded up with small pox and on a plane before the symptoms appear.
N.Y., San Fran, LA, Miami, Chicago, Indy, Dallas, Houston, Washington D.C., and Boston. You wanna add some gray hair? Go to the CDC Web site to take a look at the computer models of how many Americans will die horrendous deaths if such an attack occurs. How does 50 million dead Americans over a week or so sit with you? Do I have your attention?
There's more. Coming soon, to operate off of navy towns San Diego and Norfolk, will be Chinese aircraft carriers, operating in "international waters," just like we used to do in the good old days to them, but can't afford to any more. "Gotta keep GM afloat! Oh, and another solar company with a horrible business plan needs $500 million stat!"
It makes sense, though. If I were the banker to the United States, I'd want to keep a close eye on my investments, too. Especially knowing that a margin call is on the way that America will not be able to meet. Maybe they can make a port call down here in Port Everglades to help our local economy, or pull into ports that will be devastated by our own defense cuts.
Maybe the president should spend less time golfing and more time reading Sun Tzu - "If ignorant of both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril."
: Our "Entertainment Tonight" nation mourns Whitney Houston, a self-centered drug addict who squandered her fame and fortune and drowned in a bath tub leaving a lovely daughter alone and devastated, while we forget Medal of Honor recipients like
LT Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL who gave his live for his fellow SEALs and the United States of America. I weep for America. We have our priorities so out of balance now that I don't know if we can recover.
I don't like being wrong ... but would love to be wrong in this case.
This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.