by Ralph Peters [author, novelist]

The world has rabies and our swooning media deliver headlines about the new Obama family dog. Yeah, the puppy’s cute. But must journalists be lapdogs?

The week kicked off with gushing media declarations that President Obama had “passed his first test” in a foreign “crisis.” Three pirates held an American hostage far too long. It was an embarrassment, not a crisis.

Our president was reluctant to authorize deadly force. Against pirates, for God’s sake. Then, 24 hours after the Obama White House declared “Mission Accomplished,” Somali pirates attacked another US-flagged ship.

This time, the pirates used rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns — serious firepower.

Our response? The White House didn’t send our Navy after the pirates. We’re content that the attack was unsuccessful, with just some combat damage to our ship. Live and let live, folks.

Then, on Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced her solution to piracy: Send your tax dollars to Somalia in foreign aid.

That’s rewarding criminality. It’s tribute money. We’re not asking for trouble. We’re on our knees begging for it.

Since the new administration took office, our enemies have surged to challenge us, from northern Mexico through the Middle East to Asia. They sense weakness. And their instincts may be right.

Oh, we’re huffing and puffing on North Korea — which really isn’t an immediate problem for the United States. (If China wants a nutty neighbor with nukes, hey, let’s give General Tso’s chickens a chance to come home to roost.) But we won’t do anything hard.

The grave problems are elsewhere:

Mexico: Our southern border blazes with a narco-insurgency that’s made major Mexican cities ungovernable. The response of our refocused Department of Homeland Security? A warning about the terrorist menace from our military veterans (the thanks of a grateful nation . . .). And more talk, in Mexico this time.

Iraq: Obama’s crowd still can’t accept the fact that Iraq matters deeply, while Afghanistan — O’s campaign darling — doesn’t. Inspired by the weakness our president projects, al Qaeda’s local branch — which had been crushed — hopes to make a comeback.

Violence levels remain relatively low in Iraq, but a recent spate of bombings signals that al Qaeda, which had pretty much quit, sees a divine light at the end of the tunnel. Our troops on the scene now face crippling restrictions. The terrorists smell blood.

Pakistan: It’s over. We can’t fix Pakistan. The Pakistanis aren’t interested in our interests. Islamabad’s intelligence services belong to our enemies and the army’s deeply infected with Islamism and anti-Americanism. Every additional weapon we hand over may be used against us.

Pakistan’s president, “Mr. Benazir Bhutto,” is feckless, corrupt and incompetent. Our response? Hand him billions more to pocket (hey, it kept AIG from attacking us . . . ). If the administration doesn’t re-think our approach to Pakistan fast, this may be a generation’s strategic train-wreck.

Russia: Vladimir Putin’s regime is subverting Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova; undercutting our Afghan effort; blaming us for the shambles Russia is in, and murdering democracy activists. The Obama team sees Putin’s gang as “friends.”

Oh, and we’ve offered to drastically cut our nuclear arsenal and retarget our remaining warheads so they won’t hurt anybody. Doesn’t anyone in this over-educated administration grasp that only de terrence prevented nuclear war?

Venezuela: As oil prices tank, Hugo Chavez rules through mobs and military force. Elected officials from the opposition have been jailed, beaten or forced into hiding. Democracy’s in a coma. Chavez makes no secret of his desire to emulate Fidel Castro and become president-for-life. Obama’s response? Embrace the Castro brothers.

Somalia: Pirates attack our ships. Obama’s advisers suggest rebuilding Somalia, pouring in money our empty Treasury would have to borrow from China. When will we stop rewarding those who harm us? And we tried reforming Somalia once. Didn’t work, won’t work. It’s time for a little therapeutic violence.

Terrorism? See above. Returning vets and American taxpayers who want to control our borders are the threat, not foreign butchers who act in the name of a religion we mustn’t mention. Then there were all those tea-party terrorists . . .

The White House puppy’s ready for its close-up now. ExileStreet

NY Post / copyright 2009 NY Post

Ralph Peters is Fox News’ strategic analyst. His latest book is “Looking For Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World.”

Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and the author of 19 books, as well as of hundreds of essays and articles, written both under his own name and as Owen Parry. He is a frequent columnist for the New York Post and other publications.

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