Tag Archives: Military

Mark Caserta: President’s N. Korea strategy a good one

20 Aug


Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor


Aug 18, 2017



We’ve never been closer to engaging another nuclear power in my lifetime as we are with North Korea.

The escalating threat prompted President Trump last week to warn the rogue nation he was prepared to unleash “fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before” should that country’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-Un, fulfill threats against the United States or any of her allies.

In 2012, I wrote a column titled, “U.S. must maintain its military resolve,” referencing the waning respect leaders of other nations had for the global military prominence of the United States, largely due to the appeasement strategies of Barack Obama.

In the column, I discussed the significance of a North Korea missile test despite U.N. resolutions banning that country from using ballistic missile technology. I also discussed how Iran’s nuclear and missile programs were also reported to have benefited from Russia and China, breaching the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which calls for only peaceful use of nuclear power.

In March of this year, I reiterated in a column that North Korea was becoming an increasing military concern, warning the economic and military ties with Russia and China were very dangerous for the U.S.

We are now knee-deep in military mire, I believe, due to our weak strategies.

We know China is technically committed to the defense of North Korea. They’re also economically dependent upon them, comprising roughly three-quarters of North Korea’s imports and exports.

Russia’s ties with Iran are similar. I believe we will see that relationship become an increasing concern soon.

Let’s be clear. No nation would dare suggest the U.S. doesn’t possess the most powerful military armament the world has ever known. That isn’t the problem.

The problem is that lack of leadership of prior administrations has precipitated opposing nations to perceive the U.S. had lost its military resolve. Perception in military engagement is reality. When appeasement precludes action, your enemies take notice.

In 1994 the Clinton administration chose to deal with North Korea’s mounting nuclear weapons program by “bribing” it with more than $4 billion in energy aid over 10 years. In turn, North Korea was expected to reciprocate by dismantling its nuclear weapons program.

In 2016, the Obama administration decided to take the same sort of action with Iran when Obama approved a $1.7 billion settlement resolving claims over a failed arms deal. The first installment was in cash, secretly delivered by plane, the same day Iran released four American prisoners and formally implemented Obama’s nuclear deal with the Iranians, per The Washington Times.

Negotiating from a position of appeasement is a poor strategy. And then there was Donald J. Trump.

As a master negotiator, Trump knows something about leadership and the importance of defining and adhering to consequences. While the president has made clear he’d rather conduct business peacefully, he’ll not withdraw on a pledge he’s made on behalf of protecting our nation – period.

Given our nation’s position, this is the only way to proceed.

North Korea would be wise to negotiate with our commander-in-chief.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Americans need answers, not more cover-ups

22 May


May. 22, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

The Obama administration faces yet another scandal.

As if the ongoing investigations into Benghazi, the IRS, and the Justice Department weren’t enough, the president and his administration now face a scandal involving the possible mistreatment of our brave military veterans.

Evidence is mounting showing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been keeping “two” sets of books in some of its hospitals to make it look like they were reducing wait times experienced by military veterans before seeing a doctor.

The VA, which has long been the target of complaints of delays and dysfunctional bureaucracy, made the commitment in 2010 to introduce a new appointment system for veterans designed to reduce wait time for an appointment with a primary care physician or specialist in one of its hospitals or outpatient clinics.

It’s surmised the pressure felt by the VA to meet the increasing demands of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan compelled them to “cook the books” to make it look as if they were indeed making the headway expected from a department that’s received substantial increases in taxpayer funding.

Even more damning are the allegations from a “whistleblower” doctor in Arizona who claims dozens of patients at one hospital died while languishing on a “hidden” waiting list without ever being given as much as an appointment.

In an interview with CNN, Sam Foote, a retired VA doctor of 24 years in the Phoenix area, revealed that as many as 40 patients had died after being placed on a secret waiting list and that officials at the hospital actually shredded documents and faked evidence to cover up their actions.

Since then, numerous whistleblowers have alleged similar practices in at least seven other VA hospitals around the country claiming that officials at the hospitals were sometimes even paid bonuses for reducing “declared” wait times.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., took the Obama administration to task last week for being slow to react to what he called “a systemic, cultural problem” inside the VA.

“It’s been more than a month since allegations that some 40 veterans died while waiting care at the Phoenix VA were first made public.” McCain said in the weekly GOP address. “To date, the Obama administration has failed to respond in an effective manner.”

Exacerbating the problem for Americans is that once again we’ll see no independent investigation into the matter. The VA secretary, Eric Shinseki, will oversee an “internal” investigation.

Now with all due respect to the retired Army general who was himself wounded twice in Vietnam, Shinseki should recuse himself from oversight of the investigation and allow an independent counsel to conduct the inquiry.

But this follows a familiar pattern within this administration that totally contradicts Barack Obama’s promise of transparency and a new era of “openness in government.” Team Obama has excelled in sweeping their liberal dirt neatly under the White House rug.

Failing our brave military veterans in this manner is inexcusable, and it’s time to hold this administration accountable.

Americans deserve answers, not more cover-ups.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Americans can’t compromise privacy for security

30 Jan

Jan. 30, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Do Americans have a fundamental right to privacy from government intrusion into their lives?

The right to privacy, in many ways, has been taken for granted to some degree by the American people. Each of us has grown accustomed to having the liberty to establish varying boundaries in our lives that we simply expect others to respect.

But the right to keep those boundaries might be in peril.

While the Constitution contains no “express” right to privacy, courts have ruled the Bill of Rights creates “zones of privacy” which protect us from government intrusion in many areas of our lives. Our Founding Fathers believed that smaller, less intrusive government was necessary in enabling Americans to be free.

I’ve been tentative about weighing in on National Security Agency (NSA) systems analyst Edward Snowden and his “whistle blowing” of our government’s security techniques to the world. But it’s time Americans begin processing how this information may impact our future personal freedoms.

Snowden revealed a top-secret program code-named “PRISM” operating under the provisions of the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which the government uses to collect personal data from American citizens indiscriminately and regardless of suspicion of wrongdoing.

Investigations have confirmed that data such as video chats, photographs and emails are collected from the servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook and other online companies.

My position has been this is an infringement upon the privacy rights of Americans. While Snowden “appeared” courageous in his whistle blowing, he should have presented his case through the proper venues — an error which will likely keep him from ever returning home.

But then last week, two leading members of the House Intelligence Committee revealed a classified Pentagon report that found Edward Snowden’s leaks have compromised U.S. military tactics and put troops in danger.

Republican committee chairman Rep. Mike Rogers and ranking Democrat Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger said that Snowden stole approximately 1.7 million intelligence files that “concern vital operations of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force.” Since this information has already aided the enemy, Snowden is now pegged a traitor.

“The vast majority of the material was related to the Defense Department, and our military services,” Rogers said in an Associated Press interview last week. “Clearly, given the scope and the types of information, I have concerns about operations that would be ongoing in Afghanistan.”

It’s important for Americans to maintain perspective here and not be swayed by political affiliation.

Our government has been exposed (albeit by a traitor) “experimenting” with the boundaries of privacy afforded by the U.S. Constitution.

In 2013, President Barack Obama, himself a constitutional lawyer, told Americans they were “going to have to make some choices” balancing privacy and security and defended the NSA surveillance program vigorously.

Consider this: If our privacy isn’t protected by the Constitution, what then, defines the government’s limitations?

Americans should never be asked to give up fundamental rights to gain the government’s protection.

That’s a dangerous step backward.


26 Nov

Mark Caserta: Obama falls short on promise of transparency

Nov. 22, 2013 @ 09:59 AM

The day after his inauguration, President Obama promised a new era of “openness in government.”

“We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration,” he wrote in one of his first memos to federal agencies. “Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”

Well, five years into the Obama presidency, Americans are balking at their willingness to take this president at his word.

Among a laundry list of examples contributing to this sentiment is the administration’s lack of forthrightness in the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012.

A recent survey, commissioned by “Secure American Now,” and conducted by pollsters John McLaughlin and Pat Caddell, revealed that 63 percent of Americans believe the president and his administration are covering up the facts of the siege that killed information officer Sean Smith, former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Those following the tragedy’s timeline remember the Obama administration attempted to blame the pre-meditated attack on an obscure video mocking Islam and the Prophet Mohammed, but later was forced into admitting the storming of the consulate was indeed a calculated terrorist attack thanks to a pursuit of truth by a few patriotic Americans.

Subsequent investigations disclosed there were survivors who were present the night of the onslaught who could possibly shed light on the events that transpired during the senseless massacre.

For example, why did the Obama administration falter in providing military support for the ambassador and his aides and who issued the “stand down” order? Also, why did the administration attempt to downplay terrorist involvement in the attack and why the obvious resolve to prevent testimony from surviving eye witnesses?

For more than a year since the attack, Congress has tried repeatedly to gain access to these survivors, with little success — until now.

Last week, three CIA security officers who were present during the attack testified in a closed-door session before the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The men were described by sources as former Navy SEALS, Army Special Forces and Marines, under contract to guard CIA agents on the consulate grounds.

Their identities and information regarding their testimony have not been released.

However, information obtained recently by Fox News revealed that at least five CIA personnel, including government contractors, were asked to sign “non-disclosure” agreements regarding the Benghazi attack. While such agreements are standard protocol, it’s unclear why these individuals were asked to complete a second agreement following the incident.

Why does it always appear the Obama administration seems to be working harder trying to hide the truth than it does pursuing it?

It’s entirely possible that while the allegory of presidents portrays George Washington as “unable to tell a lie,” Barack Obama could go down in history as the president “unable to tell the truth.”

While this administration falls way short of delivering its promise of transparency, more Americans are clearly beginning to see through this president.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.


18 Aug


It’s time the United States return to role-modeling Democracy rather than impose it on other countries. 


25 Jul


It is a crime to proselytize for religious purposes in the military.  So…does this fit the bill?  Or is it simply another liberal effort to remove God from our society?




27 Feb



For all of you who have made disparaging remarks about President Obama,
please read the following…

I’m sure most of us have read the so-called comparison of Lincoln and
Kennedy, but did you ever consider the relationship between Obama and
Lincoln ?

You might be surprised…

Parallels of Abraham Lincoln and Barack Hussein Obama:

1. Lincoln placed his hand on the Bible for his inauguration.
Obama used the same Bible.

2. Lincoln came from Illinois . Obama comes from Illinois .

3. Lincoln served in the Illinois Legislature. Obama served in the
Illinois Legislature.

4. Lincoln had very little experience before becoming President.
Obama had very little experience before becoming President.

5. Lincoln rode the train from Philadelphia to Washington for his
inauguration. Obama rode the train from Philadelphia to Washington for his

6. Lincoln was a skinny lawyer. Obama is a skinny lawyer.

7. Lincoln was a Republican. Obama is a skinny lawyer.

8. Lincoln was in the United States military. Obama is a skinny lawyer.

9. Lincoln believed in everyone carrying their own weight. Obama is a skinny

10. Lincoln did not waste taxpayers’ money on personal enjoyments.
Obama is a skinny lawyer.

11. Lincoln was highly respected. Obama is a skinny lawyer.

12. Lincoln was born in the United States . Obama is a skinny lawyer.

13. Lincoln was honest, so honest he was called Honest Abe. Obama is a
skinny lawyer

14. Lincoln saved the United States. Obama is a skinny lawyer.



We must maintain the peace, through military strength

15 Jan

We must maintain the peace, through military strength

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