American Values, End of Day, with Gary Bauer: Let Bibi Speak; Another Ceasefire; We Must Do More; Defending The Faith; Governor Mike Pence: Conservative Reformer

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

From: Gary L. Bauer

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Let Bibi Speak

The joint statement Bill Kristol and I released yesterday provided some needed reinforcement for our friends on Capitol Hill. We believe it is essential for Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu to come here and speak BEFORE a bad nuclear deal is made with Iran. Some left-wing politicians are demanding that Netanyahu be muzzled until AFTER the deal is signed. Certainly Obama would like to see that happen.

But when you make important decisions, don’t you usually consider all sides? In this case, it seems important that members of Congress and the American people understand what a nuclear-armed Iran means for both Israel and the United States.

This is a life and death debate about the implications of letting people with the same mindset as ISIS — the mullahs of Iran — become a nuclear power, while they threaten a second Holocaust and taunt the United States as a falling, failing power.

I cannot emphasize this enough: Iran refers to America — not Israel — as “the great Satan.” Those who think Israel is Iran’s only target are mistaken. In addition to its nuclear program, Iran has a very aggressive ballistic missile program. It is aiming for us!

Why wouldn’t we want to hear the perspective of such an important ally on such an important topic?

Perhaps the reason liberals so desperately wants to prevent Prime Minister Netanyahu from speaking is that the contrast between a Churchillian-like Netanyahu and the appeasement policies of this administration will be so stark that the American people will grasp what is at stake and rise up against the terrible deal with Tehran that currently being negotiated.

Christians United for Israel issued an alert today to its two million supporters asking them to call Capitol Hill. Have you called your members of Congress yet? The Capitol Hill switchboard number is 202-224-3121. Tell your members of Congress that you expect them to attend the prime minister’s address. Let them know that you will be checking to see who boycotts his speech and who attends.

Another Ceasefire

The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany met for 16 hours straight yesterday, discussing the Ukrainian civil war, and this morning they announced another ceasefire. Who can be against a ceasefire? I hope this one holds, but history makes me skeptical. The last one collapsed within days.

It’s possible for heads of state to negotiate temporary delays in the middle of conflicts. But all the talking is highly unlikely to change Vladimir Putin’s mind. The former KGB colonel once said that “the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” Diplomacy is unlikely to stop Putin’s efforts to rebuild the Russian empire.

And why should he be worried? At a White House press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week, President Obama showed his cards while discussing the situation in Ukraine. When asked about the prospect of sending U.S. military aid, Obama said, “. . . expecting that . . . Ukraine can fully rebuff a Russian army has always been unlikely. . . . [U.S. military aid] is not based on the idea that Ukraine could defeat a Russian army that was determined.” Translation: Ukraine can’t win, so why bother?

If Russian tanks started rolling across the Ukrainian border tomorrow, Obama would talk but not act. The bottom line is that piece by piece, Ukraine is being brought under Russia’s thumb. And Obama’s remarks, combined with his radical shifts in U.S. foreign policy, are undoubtedly leaving other former Soviet satellites, like the Baltic states, fearing a similar fate.

We Must Do More

Details about the death of aid worker Kayla Mueller are sketchy. ISIS claims she was killed when a Jordanian airstrike destroyed the building where she was being held. American and Jordanian officials deny that. But this much is undeniable: She was kidnapped in August of 2013 and is the fourth American to be killed by ISIS.

The administration claims it is doing all it can to rescue our hostages. I believe it needs to do a lot more.

There is further evidence today that the White House failed to act quickly on foreign intelligence regarding the location of American hostages. By the time they got around to it, the hostages had been moved and were ultimately killed.

Meanwhile, the families have been frustrated by bureaucratic bungling. Diane Foley, mother of James Foley, said of her experiences, “Everybody’s hands seemed to be tied, and nobody was accountable to get them home. . . . It was really bungled big time.”

At a press conference last week, Mark Tice, father of hostage Austin Tice, called for major overhauls noting, “There is no agency, no person solely committed to the singular objective of the safe return of the hostage. That has to change.”

Arizona Senator John McCain expressed similar frustrations. Mueller was an Arizona resident and the senator took great interest in her case. On a recent trip through the Middle East, he pressed foreign intelligence officials for leads. A frustrated McCain said, “Frankly, I learned more from my connections in Qatar and Erbil than I did from the administration.”

Defending The Faith

As you know, I was particularly outraged by President Obama’s attack on Christianity at the National Prayer Breakfast of all places. I have spoken out in a number of venues against Obama’s distortions, and today we have a column up at The Weekly Standard, a premier conservative site for news and commentary. You can read my latest column defending our Christian heritage at weeklystandard.com.

Governor Mike Pence: Conservative Reformer

From time to time, we have mentioned Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s achievements. I have known Mike Pence since before he was elected to Congress. When he came to Washington, he earned a well-deserved reputation for being among the most principled conservatives in Congress — willing to buck his party leadership when it strayed from its core values.

Today columnist George Will offers some insights on Governor Pence’s reforms in Indiana and on his future prospects. You can read more here.

 

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