- - Friday, May 30, 2014

President Obama took the stage at West Point’s commencement on Wednesday to wrestle a huge straw man. This imaginary enemy of common sense is a formidable opponent in the ring, but the slender president can beat him every time. They’ve had quite a few matches before, and Mr. Obama always wins by a knockout.

“Here’s my bottom line,” Mr. Obama told the West Point cadets. “America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will.” The straw man, of course, does not want America to lead on the world stage. There aren’t too many Americans who agree with the straw man about this, and frankly, almost all of them voted for Mr. Obama. Twice.

“The military that you have joined is, and always will be, the backbone of that leadership,” Mr. Obama continued at West Point. “But U.S. military action cannot be the only, or even primary, component of our leadership in every instance. Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail.”

In your face, warmongering straw man. Thank the good Lord that Mr. Obama is president, so he can stop the straw man from using the United States military as the only component of American leadership. Why, he might do something like launch a military action in Libya without congressional authorization, and turn his back on the bloody chaos left behind after he was using the world’s best hammer to pound the Moammar Gadhafi nail. Or he might make some big threats about a “red line” against chemical weapons in Syria, and then try to launch a bombing campaign when his bluff was called.

“For the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America, at home and abroad, remains terrorism, but a strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naive and unsustainable,” Mr. Obama said. The straw man can’t wait to invade every single country that harbors a terrorist network. Go pound sand, straw man. That’s not going to happen on Mr. Obama’s watch.

Mr. Obama said he wasn’t worried about “critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak” and “working through international institutions like the United Nations, or respecting international law, is a sign of weakness.”

The straw man is always looking for little countries America can beat up, so we look like tough guys. Every time he thinks America is not taken seriously by the rest of the world, he throws darts at a map until he finds someplace he can blow up and restore our national prestige. The straw man says respecting international law is for sissies. You wouldn’t catch him trying to work with the U.N. He’d just look around the U.N. meeting room for an ambassador from a small country he could blow up, to make America look tough, and spend the whole meeting grinning at that guy, maybe making throat-slitting gestures or pantomime explosions.

Look, the straw man is a monster. He’s basically a cross between Gen. Jack D. Ripper from “Dr. Strangelove” and Godzilla. You don’t want something like that running American foreign policy and getting us into a new war every week, do you? You don’t want the straw man to be the one writing secret kill lists and launching a fleet of drones, right? Then you must support Mr. Obama, and everything he’s done. The false choices he talks about are so terrible that he looks like a great choice by comparison.

So for these reasons, the big, mean, nasty man that exists nowhere but in the mind of Barack Obama, the straw man, is the “Bully Of The Week.”

Rusty Humphries, a nationally syndicated talk-radio host, is a contributor to The Washington Times.