Horses and Bayonets: The Belittlement of Barack Obama UPDATE: Hot Air/CBS Agree SECOND UPDATE: Bayonet Manufacturer Skewers Obama Comment
Chris Wallace had the most insightful comment of the night after the debates. To wit, he said that if he knew nothing about the debates or the candidates prior to watching last night’s debate on foreign policy, he would have assumed that the Governor was the incumbent president, with a cool knowledgeable manner, and the President was not, displaying an agressive and abrasive manner. What we witnessed last night was the self-belittlement of a man who could have been great but seemingly has been consumed by an animus against anyone who might try to unseat him. This led him to engage in the most unbecoming and childish insults a president has ever uttered:
[Gov. Romney] mentioned that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go under water, nuclear submarines.
Breitbart has an incredibly good factual takedown of this statement, noting that bayonets are standard issue to Marines and that Army infantry are being trained in the bayonet as an auxiliary melee weapon. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2012/10/22/During-Debate-Obama-Was-Wrong-on-Bayonets-Horses-Naval-Ships-and-Submarines. Here is a picture of an American and British military assault rifle avec bayonet:
These were used to great effect in the intense city fighting in Iraq. http://sadefensejournal.com/wp/?p=391. UPDATE: Bayonet manufacturer, smartly named Bayonet, Inc., weighed in on the debate reinforcing the notion that this is a critical close quarter weapon: http://www.tmz.com/2012/10/23/barack-obama-bayonet-company-relevant-debate/.
Regarding horses, the definitive classic of the Taliban takedown in 2001 is titled Horse Soldiers. Our special ops forces rode horses into the battles that broke the women-hating bastards’ backs. Most importantly, Breitbart also notes that the Navy requested a ship force of 313 vessels at the beginning of the Obama presidency and links to the Navy’s Strategic Business Plan for 2009-2013. http://www.navsea.navy.mil/Media/Magazine_SBP.pdf (see page 3):
We are accountable to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) to deliver, modernize and maintain a 313-ship Navy that meets the requirements of our national security plan. If we continue to operate with a “business asusual” approach, this goal will not be achieved; we must change.
Putting aside the inaccuracy of Obama’s statements, the most damaging aspect of this statement was the President’s obvious intent to ridicule his opponent. It had the opposite effect. Can you imagine as president making such a statement on such a stage before a national and international audience? It showed him to be a crass person, stooping to immature sniping to make points. It showed the President to be defensive to the extreme. Putting that together with his failure to endorse American worldwide naval power exposed him as not just a leader who shouts from behind or a leader who is constantly playing catchup (e.g., sanctions against Iran) but more importantly, a leader who does not want America to be the leader of the free world. That is not good for us. That is the most damaging aspect of his foreign policy. For America to maintain its top economic status (which is what the entire world cares about), it has to be in a position to trade throughout the world, and the better the trading partner, the better our trading will be. Only a supreme American naval power can assure that we have the markets for our goods around the free world.
Last debate: Draw.
This debate: Romney for vision and composure. Obama for childish antics. I bet the undecided voter will pick vision over antics.
Overall: Romney 2 and draw. Obama, draw. Romney wins the series. Hot Air agrees: http://hotair.com/archives/2012/10/23/romney-wins-the-debate-season-and-the-key-test-for-a-challenger/.
Hot Air agrees regarding the backfire of the Obama insult and discusses a supportive CBS focus group here: http://hotair.com/archives/2012/10/23/video-cbs-focus-group-in-ohio-picks-romney-the-winner/. Also see http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100186053/romney-won-the-presidential-debate-by-looking-presidential-obama-had-a-painful-case-of-bidens-smile/ (making the same point about the Navy insult).