When I was a Congressional representative from South Florida, one of the major concerns was beach renourishment, the process of pumping sand back onto eroded beaches. The district I represented was all coastline, from Ft. Lauderdale up to Jupiter Inlet, and one of the major economic concerns was the gradual erosion of the beaches. As we all can understand, if the beauty of the south Florida beaches declined, so did the attraction of visitors and economic growth.
In a similar fashion, we are witnessing the slow erosion of American strength over the last seven years wich has led to the decline of our regard on the global stage. Recent events tell the tale of cracks in our foundation, as well as serious (and we pray not irreparable) damage to American strength.
Take the economic blackmail threat by the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister’s regarding legislation supporting the declassification of 28 pages from the 9/11 investigative report. Many believe these pages contain information implicating Saudi officials in the financial and resource support of the 9/11 conspirators, many of whom were Saudi nationals.
The fact that the Saudi Foreign Minister would threaten the sell-off of U.S. treasury securities is a blatantly disrespectful gesture. It’s reprehensible when we consider this is the Saudi response to what could be a revelation of their complicit actions in an act of war against the United States. However, when there is a decline in American regard, such obtuse and belligerent statements can be made with full arrogance.
China, whose President Xi Jinping received full honors and a State dinner at the White House recently, has defied every sense of international regard in constructing islands in the South China Sea. And, have emplaced military weaponry and airstrips on them, which now receive military aircraft. Those who know a little about history can recall in the 20th century when an Asian nation militarily fortified islands, constructed airstrips, and sought to build its maritime force.
This action demonstrates a lack of regard for American influence with other nations in the Pacific Rim region such as Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. China has strategically built these new islands along a major sea lane of commerce with some 30-35 percent of trade transits — certainly not a coincidence, considering the impending Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which excludes China. And, let us not forget the massive “investment” China has made into its offensive cyber capability. Some say its dedicated unit is comprised of some 800,000 “fighters.” The continued aggressive nature of Chinese cyber activity, along with their focused intellectual property threats, cannot be debated. Yet, we’re dismissing it.
This, along with their economic subterfuge, shows a clear decline in American regard that has even inspired China’s attack dog, Kim Jung Un and North Korea, to ramp up its belligerence.
With Iran, there can be no more greater evidence of a decline of American regard. First, let’s be very clear. There is no such thing as a nuclear agreement with Iran – they’re not signatories to anything.