Speak softly but carry a big stick

Written by Mike Polka

“Say what you mean, & mean what you say,” is a phrase often heard uttered but seldom actually heeded in America. When misused, or discarded, it can become confusing, awkward & even perilous. Talking points & statements from U.S. officials should not be exempted from the intent of this well used idiom, especially when planning for possible retaliatory actions. One of our recent senseless U.S. bungles involved our dear friend Syria. There was this “line drawn in the sand” that they were not to cross you see, & if they did, well they better lookout! Whew, scary stuff boys & girls!  This stern “warning” came from our President, but that naughty Syria crossed that darn ole line anyhow. Bad Syria, Bad, Bad Syria! Of course we declined to impose any real or harsher consequences on them, but at least we let them know we were less than delighted. You just “know” they got the message. Take that verbal onslaught you rascally Syrians! Puts one in mind of Elmer Fudd berating an unrepentant Bugs Bunny.

This little insanity was played out in front of the entire planet, & joyously monitored by our worst adversaries. This absurdity is akin to Chevy Chase stumbling down some stairs, on an old “Saturday Night Live!” comedy skit, imitating Gerald R. Ford’s favorite mishap. Except it was America stumbling & proved not the least whimsical at all, except for our enemy’s amusement. Theodore Roosevelt not from the President’s own party once said: “Speak softly & carry a big stick.” Did BHO misquote old Teddy and thought he really meant, speak softly & perform a big slap stick routine. That very thing did occur, & can’t be edited out of U.S. history, unlike an outtake from SNL. The hallmark virtue of a man or woman is the sanctity of their spoken word, while making a promise or declaration, & is loathsome when they fail or renege on same. However, when a nation such as ours fails to honor same as stated, we appear no better than the rabble we oppose.

Message sent to our adversaries: “Disregard what we threaten as counter-actions; we have zero intent to impose them.” Better “nada” had been orated to Syria, than falsifying our promises. Employing this errant methodology has jeopardized future interactions with not only our good buddy Syria, but to all hostile regimes electing to oppose us worldwide. The power of the spoken word cannot be doubted, but heed also, the power of the unspoken word, notably if you have only feeble intentions of backing them with anemic actions.  Who are we going to play tickle toes with next? I mean besides Russia, ISIS, the entire Middle East, China, North Korea, etc.  Now we’re about to possibly sign a terrible nuclear agreement with Iran, what happened to this once mighty nation?  They are certain to develop a nuclear device, with Russia secretly helping them. They violated the last agreement & turned U.N. inspectors away, nothing has changed, and our ally Israel is almost speechless with rage for such a tentative bad deal. Seldom does one recoup what has been given away or lost & very few Americans seem alarmed.

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