Russian_President__3459750b[1]We recently spent a week in Arizona looking at the sights and enjoying the weather.  I tried to stay away from the world news as much as I could.  This was a vacation, and a time to reinvigorate myself and get ready for the campaign to come.

Arizona is a wide open state.  Their speed limit is 75 MPH where there is open land.  There is a feeling of freedom wherever you go.

Arizona is an open carry state, meaning many, many residents carry guns.  Because of this, there is very little crime and we felt very safe at night enjoying the sights.  There is also a lack of visible police.  While staying in Williams waiting for the train to the Grand Canyon, one guy I talked to said crime was very low.  There was a lot of self policing that goes on so there is very little crime.  The “bad guys” have no idea who is packin’, so they don’t chance it very often.  How different this is from back East.

Having said all the niceties about the trip, I did have to return to reality.  There are a few things that must be discussed.  Unfortunately, the world goes on.

Did Vladimir Putin really send a general to the American Embassy in Syria to tell the United States to “stand down” because Russia was about to launch air attacks ?  And we did?  And then Putin struck not ISIS, but our allies who were our friends and threats to the Syrian government?

Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Turkey and Egypt have all ventured to Russia for consultations with Putin about the Middle East.  Even Netanyahu traveled from Israel to visit Putin.  The entire Middle East has recognized Russia as the new power broker in the region.  No one ventured to visit or consult with President Obama.  Putin will force the U.S. to leave the area even faster than Obama planned.

Russia is positioning itself as the major power in the area because of the vast oil reserves throughout the region.  The Russian economy depends on energy prices rising.  Oil is Russia’s largest export, and their economy needs export prices to rise to stabilize their economy.  Putin has put himself in the position to make that happen.

When asked about Putin’s rise in power and leadership in the Middle East, Obama said he disagreed that Putin shows leadership.  Obama said leadership is leading nations into climate change legislation in the United Nations and that shows more leadership than Russia’s advances in the Middle East.  Does our President really believe that climate change is more important than what is happening in that historic part of the world?

Another area of concern is Iran.  Yesterday, that rogue nation launched a ballistic missile capable of striking Israel.  The Iranian leadership has repeatedly said they plan to eliminate Israel from the earth.  Iran has joined Russia in sending troops into Syria to support the Assad Administration and fight ISIS.  No one is expecting any action against ISIS until the Syrian government is secure from its enemies inside the country.  The Obama Administration has gone to great pains to twist, bend and spin to claim none of these actions violate the agreement they signed about nuclear weapons.

An American journalist, Jason Rezaian (Washington Post), was convicted yesterday of spying for the United States by the Iranians.  His sentence has yet to be set.  He is being held with three other Americans, Robert Livingson (retired FBI Agent), Amir Hekmati (former Marine), and Saeed Abedini (Christian Pastor).  All four of these Americans are private citizens.  This is a direct slap in the face of the U.S. and the Obama Administration by the Iranians.  These four Americans were never even mentioned by the Administration during the Iranian negotiations on the nuclear treaty.


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