The PJ Tatler

They Refuse to Wake Up

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave a speech Monday.

The secretary was in Peru, where in a few weeks there will be a United Nations conclave on “climate change.” The data says that global temperatures actually have not risen in the past 15 years or so. The arctic ice that Al Gore predicted would have melted by now is growing. The climate doomsayers’ predictions have not come to pass, so much so that they have had to change their language. Out with “global warming,” in with the more generic, and harder to track scientifically, “climate change.”

The climate always changes. Always has, always will. No matter what humans do or don’t do.

But you’re dreaming if you think that the Obama administration or anyone who works for it will ever acknowledge any of that.

The region is, we are told by Hagel’s boss, in sufficient turmoil that thousands of migrants have made the choice to leave their homes in Central America and make the hazardous journey north to enter the United States illegally.

The world is certainly in sufficient turmoil that it ought to have Hagel’s full attention. Russian troops continue their proxy war in Ukraine. Ukraine is a non-NATO country, but it is an American ally. Our military conducts war exercises with theirs.

The Middle East and Africa might also have Hagel’s attention. At this moment, the United States has deployed roughly equal numbers of troops to fight against the Islamic State in what were Syria and Iraq, and to fight Ebola in western Africa.

The Islamic State threat rose for many reasons. Among them is the rapidity with which President Obama withdrew forces from Iraq, and the stupidity with which he consistently sides with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Throw in the Iranian and North Korean nuclear issues while we’re at it. The world is a dangerous place, with many security threats requiring the Defense secretary’s full focus.

But Hagel revealed in that Peru speech that he is focused on “climate change.”

The Defense secretary addressed the issue during a speech in Peru, as the Pentagon released a comprehensive report on the “national security” challenges posed by rising global temperatures and “extreme weather events.”

Hagel described climate change as a “threat multiplier,” saying it “has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we already confront today — from infectious disease to armed insurgencies — and to produce new challenges in the future.”

The Pentagon’s new report maps out four areas of climate change deemed the most threatening to the U.S. military — rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, more extreme weather and rising sea levels. And it warns about the impact they could have on food and water supplies, the environment and American security itself.

“Our militaries’ readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed,” Hagel said, addressing a conference of military leaders.

“Could be”? Our military’s readiness is being tested right now, by the threats noted above. Hagel himself has presided not over an increase in readiness, but in a dramatic decrease in the number of troops who wear the American uniform.

In February 2014, Secretary Hagel called for shrinking the U.S. military back to a size not seen since before the Second World War.

It was not long after that, that Russian President Vladimir Putin seized Crimea by force and “separatists” began to wage war in eastern Ukraine. At that same time Hagel made that announcement, the Islamic State was on the rise. A month before, ISIS had already taken control of Fallujah, the city for which the American Marines fought as hard a battle in their storied history. Within months ISIS would seize Mosul. It now threatens the Baghdad airport and Kobane, on the Syria-Turkey border, and controls most of the vast territory between those two points.

The holiday from history that Americans enjoyed for a few years should have ended on September 11, 2001. That day demonstrated that there are people who want to kill us and destroy our way of life. We cannot appease them or wish them away. We have to defeat them, and anyone who dares step up to take up the jihadist cause against us.

Clearly, going by Mr. Hagel’s choices and his remarks, and the fact that he has decided to stay in the job while the president he serves pays far more attention to his tee shots than to the rising chaos in the world, the holiday from history has not ended in Washington. Our nation is led by people who go out of their way to distract themselves, and us, with politics, while actual threats build and bulge.

Hagel, Obama, Joseph Biden, Susan Rice, John Kerry, the entire Obama administration and those Americans who still support them even after all of this…they still want to cling to the holiday from history in which they can determine all of the story lines because there are no actual threats beyond their control. They live in a fantasy world in which a “war on women” is having to pay for birth control pills, not the female genital mutilation practices in much of the Islamic world. They live in a dream in which “climate change” should occupy more of the Pentagon’s attention than a hyperviolent jihadist army bent on establishing a bloody caliphate from which they will launch attacks on our homeland should. They cut the military to the bone, when Hagel ought to be arguing for building it back up.

They are sleepwalking through an incredibly dangerous world, and they simply refuse to wake up.