Gary Bauer / Jan. 16, 2016

A Tale of Two Nations

The Obama administration must be disconnected from reality. Consider these statements regarding the same event — Iran's seizure of our patrol boats and sailors. **Secretary of State John Kerry:** "I want to underscore how pleased I am that our sailors were safely returned into the United States' hands this morning... I also want to thank the Iranian authorities for their cooperation and quick response... And, in fact, it is clear that today this kind of issue was able to be peacefully resolved and officially resolved, and that is a testament to the critical role that diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure and strong."

The Obama administration must be disconnected from reality. Consider these statements regarding the same event — Iran’s seizure of our patrol boats and sailors.

Secretary of State John Kerry: “I want to underscore how pleased I am that our sailors were safely returned into the United States’ hands this morning… I also want to thank the Iranian authorities for their cooperation and quick response… And, in fact, it is clear that today this kind of issue was able to be peacefully resolved and officially resolved, and that is a testament to the critical role that diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure and strong.”

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Arachi: “This shows Iran’s internal power as we powerfully seized the military vessel of the world’s big military power… This is a sign of our might.”

In addition, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy committee, wrote a letter to Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, the head of Iran’s navy, congratulating him for the “brave” actions of Iranian Navy. According to Iran’s Tasnim news agency, Boroujerdi added that the encounter sent a clear message to regional countries “that the Islamic Republic of Iran feels responsible for the security of the Persian Gulf.”

The Iranians think they forced the U.S. Navy to back down and retreat. They are telling the entire Middle East that they are in charge of the region. And we are thanking them and patting ourselves on the back for a great diplomatic success.

By the way, a lot of questions are being asked about how our sailors were treated, why they didn’t resist and whether they were ordered to comply with the Iranians. We notified the Iranians that a search and rescue operation was underway, yet they seized our sailors anyway.

An Iranian official said that they had targeted the USS Harry Truman with radar systems and were prepared to fire. If true, that would be an extraordinarily hostile act that would ordinarily justify taking out those radar instillations.

Some pundits are suggesting that we stepped back from the brink of war. I disagree completely. Based on the Iranian reaction and their interpretation of events, I think war is more likely. Read more in my opinion piece at the Washington Examiner.

Debate Night Fight

If you were looking for a substantive debate on key issues, with a few jabs, punches and sharp elbows thrown in, then [Thursday] night’s GOP debate did not disappoint. At this point in the race, it seems Republicans are really down to a four-way contest between Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and perhaps one of the other top-tier governors — Bush, Christie or Kasich.

Many voters agree. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds Trump, Cruz and Rubio leading the race, attracting two-thirds of the GOP primary vote between them.

Here’s another interesting result from the poll: In a three way race with just those candidates, Trump leads with 40% over Cruz (31%) and Rubio (26%). In a two-man race between Trump and Rubio, Trump again prevails, 52% to 45%.

But in a Trump/Cruz contest, the Texas senator beats the New York billionaire 51% to 43%.

A Great Pro-Life Opportunity

The influence of presidential spouses is undeniable. Referring to his wife, Hillary, Bill Clinton said throughout the 1992 campaign that if Americans elected him to the White House, “You get two for the price of one.” Once Bill was in the Oval Office, Hillary Clinton led the White House’s efforts to take over our healthcare system.

It would be foolish to think that the wives of Republican presidents had no influence on their husbands. But it is a sad fact that the wives of previous Republican presidents have often disagreed with their husbands on the fundamental issue of abortion.

When it comes to the sanctity of life, 2016 could be a year of profound change. As the field of Republican candidates narrows, two candidates with chances to win the nomination — Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz — both have unapologetically pro-life wives.

You can read more in my latest column at The Federalist.

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