Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Our pols are soft at home, soft abroad

By Ray Hanania

It’s bad enough crime is rampant in Chicago and spreading throughout the suburbs. The Jussie Smollett scandal is icing on an ugly cake.

Why does Smollett get a pass? Because he is friends with former President Barack Obama and First Lady Hillary Clinton, and because his race makes him a priority ward for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, one of the worst county prosecutors in the country?

The Smollett case is about lying, and it’s no surprise one of his attorneys claims that the judge in his case “lunged” at her. It sounds more like a hoax intended to give Smollett an excuse to appeal what sounds certainly to be his conviction.

RayHanania 1

Ray Hanania

Chicago crime and Smollett’s abuse of the criminal justice system are so troubling and distracting that many people are not able to focus on the trouble brewing over the horizon. Worse is the concern that the United States, the “leader of the free world” and “the world’s most powerful nation” is doing nothing about it.

What’s the point of being the world’s most powerful nation if you don’t use that power?

Last week, Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin ordered the ouster of many of the American diplomats at its Moscow embassy. At the same time, Russia’s mullah pals in Iran have been exploiting the sleepy policies of the administration of President Joe Biden.

Russian troops have been building up along the border of Ukraine, where it is clear Putin is planning some sort of invasion. There is no doubt that Putin is doing everything to drag Russia back to the old days of the Soviet Union and a Cold War with the West.

For the past six months, during their seventh meeting in Vienna, Biden has been trying to revive an agreement that would put Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear weapon in check. But the Iranians are “stonewalling” the talks so they can advance their nuclear program.

During a state department briefing I was invited to participate in for my Arab News newspaper assignments, senior officials made it clear Biden is not planning to take tougher action against the Iranians.

When you step back from what Russia is doing along its border with Ukraine, and how the Iranians are leading our country by the nose, you see a region that has serious problems.

During my podcast this week with former Congressman Bill Lipinski, Two Guys on Politics, we both agreed America and the West are being dragged into a new Cold War with the Russians and that the Russians are building up their power base right under our noses.

What are we doing? It doesn’t look like much. The region, from Ukraine to Afghanistan, consists of countries in total chaos. Biden basically abandoned Afghanistan. The Taliban is on the rise and they are certainly not American allies.

In the Middle East, Iraq is carved up into regions of violence. Russia is strengthening its power base in Syria, bolstering the murderous dictator Bashar al-Assad.

If Russia controls Ukraine, Putin will be in position to threaten Turkey, a secular Muslim country that despite the political rhetoric is one of the last bastions, along with Saudi Arabia and Jordan, against religious fanaticism.

Russia and Iran are gaining troubling influence, but no one is doing anything about it.

We need to put Russia in check, and we need to cut the knees out from under Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It doesn’t help that we close our eyes to the massive nuclear arsenal Israel maintains.

Not in this frightening equation is the trouble we have with China, which holds a huge financial mortgage over American lives. The amount of products made there for America is troublesome.

Don’t think former President Donald Trump was any better. Trump was tougher than Biden in his rhetoric, but Trump undermined himself by sinking into the petty muck with his petty critics. It weakened his policies and his goals.

What we need, but what we don’t have, is a president who is tough enough to confront Russia, Iran and China without getting us into a world war. Someone like former President Ronald Reagan. Reagan wasn’t perfect. but he knew how to stand up to international threats. He also empowered our police to confront our domestic challenges, too.

Perception drives how the world views us. Putin, Assad, the Taliban and the crazed Iranian mullahs are much like the drug dealers and gangbangers in Chicago who see weakened policies as an invitation to do more wrong.

That’s frightening.

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Balouris on December 11, 2021 at 9:19 am

    I believe that President Trump would have been much tougher, he did a good job of securing the boarders, placing tariff’s on China, and had less Covid 19 deaths while he was in office. In my opinion President Biden is mentally and physically unfit to hold the Presidency and his family should be ashamed of themselves to allow him to run.



Local News

Runners get off to a fast start at the Orland Park Turkey Trot, where a record 1,000 runners signed up. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Orland Park man wins Turkey Trot; St. Laurence runner takes women’s title

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The number 19 meant good things on Thanksgiving morning. The top two finishers in the 34th running of the Orland Park Turkey Trot had “19” as part of the number on their bibs. Brandon Lukas, 25, of Orland Park, wore No. 7519 and took first place with a time of…

The varsity Orland Park Pioneers team had a huge 2022 season. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Orland Park Pioneers honored; local hoops teams win Thanksgiving tourney titles

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Two youth football teams teams were honored by the Orland Park Village Board for winning Super Bowl championships in their respective divisions. The Orland Park Pioneers’ varsity and super lightweight players received awards and recognition Nov. 21 from the board and Mayor Keith Pekau, who has the distinction of playing…

cook county helicopter

Cook County Board approve Aguilar’s proposal for a sheriff’s helicopter

The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted overwhelmingly last week to approve Commissioner Frank J. Aguilar’s proposal to lease a helicopter to the Cook County Sheriff’s office. While Cook County is among the largest metropolitan areas in the nation, its helicopter fleet lags far behind other large urban areas. The Los Angeles metropolitan area has…

Nazareth players celebrate winning the fourth football championship in the school's history on Nov. 26 in Champaign. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Football Class 5A State Championship: Roadrunners win shootout for fourth state title

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Nazareth opened the season in August with a 2-0 win over Kankakee. It closed the season the afternoon of Nov. 26 with a 45-44 win over Peoria at Memorial Stadium in Champaign to take the IHSA Class 5A state championship. In between was a rollercoaster of wins and losses and…

reporter EPCHS Inktober

EPCHS art teacher draws something every day In Inktober

A series of drawings from Evergreen Park Community High School art teacher Libby McArthur will grace the walls of the Evergreen Park Public Library through the end of November. The drawings, collectively known as her ‘Inktober’ collection, were made during October. McArthur took part in a worldwide drawing month activity that had specific prompts for…

reporter OLCHS Thanksgiving Food Drive Freshman Academy

OLCHS Thanksgiving food drive a success

OLCHS students and staff participated in the annual Student Council Thanksgiving food drive. Cans, paper goods and over $1,750 in cash/gift cards were collected on November 21. Participating teachers were DeMatteo, Hennelly, Jepsen, Kallenborn, Kolimas, La Spina, Meyers, Strelow, Vazzana, Watson and Wirtz. Numerous district offices also donated items. The winner of Student Council’s handmade “Turkey Chalice” award was Eric…

regional palos park police cadet food drive 2022

Palos Park Police Cadet food drive underway

The Palos Park Police Cadet program is in holiday season mode and the program’s annual Holiday Food Drive is well underway. Cadets are looking for donations of non-perishable foods such as canned goods or boxed goods. The cadets will accept donations at the Palos Park Police Department, 8999 W. 123rd Street. Collections will continue through…

Twins Aiden and Ethan Schilling at last year’s Bingo with Santa. (Photo by Alexandria Shipyor)

Orland Township to hold Bingo with Santa

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, don’t think twice about attending Orland Township’s Bingo with Santa! Children and their families are invited to join Santa Claus and Supervisor Paul O’Grady with the Board of Trustees in celebrating the most wonderful time of the year with pizza and a fun game of Holiday Bingo, just for…

Rich Jensen cuts the ribbon on November 17 at the new location for Pizza Castle. (Photos by Don Pointer)

Comings & Goings: Pizza Castle now open in Hickory Hills

By Bob Bong After almost five decades of serving pizzas from a small storefront in Chicago’s Gage Park neighborhood, Pizza Castle co-owner Richard Jensen had an opportunity to move into a bigger space and he jumped at the chance. So, Jensen packed up the family business and made the move a few miles south to…

Brookfield Zoo’s ring-tailed lemurs—Skinner (left) and Moses—were treated to an early Thanksgiving feast that featured all the trimmings. This annual tradition, now in its ninth year, takes place the day before the holiday. (Photo by Jim Schulz/Brookfield Zoo)

Ring-tailed Lemurs at Brookfield Zoo enjoy 9th annual Thanksgiving feast

The annual tradition of Brookfield Zoo’s ring-tailed lemurs receiving an early Thanksgiving feast took place today, November 23. Now, in its ninth year, the animal care staff prepared the meal for the primates that featured all the trimmings laid out on a fall-themed table setting. This year, the menu for the lemurs—15-year-old Moses and 12-year-old…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Runners get off to a fast start at the Orland Park Turkey Trot, where a record 1,000 runners signed up. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Orland Park man wins Turkey Trot; St. Laurence runner takes women’s title

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The number 19 meant good things on Thanksgiving morning. The top two finishers in the 34th running of the Orland Park Turkey Trot had “19” as part of the number on their bibs. Brandon Lukas, 25, of Orland Park, wore No. 7519 and took first place with a time of…

The varsity Orland Park Pioneers team had a huge 2022 season. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Orland Park Pioneers honored; local hoops teams win Thanksgiving tourney titles

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Two youth football teams teams were honored by the Orland Park Village Board for winning Super Bowl championships in their respective divisions. The Orland Park Pioneers’ varsity and super lightweight players received awards and recognition Nov. 21 from the board and Mayor Keith Pekau, who has the distinction of playing…

cook county helicopter

Cook County Board approve Aguilar’s proposal for a sheriff’s helicopter

The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted overwhelmingly last week to approve Commissioner Frank J. Aguilar’s proposal to lease a helicopter to the Cook County Sheriff’s office. While Cook County is among the largest metropolitan areas in the nation, its helicopter fleet lags far behind other large urban areas. The Los Angeles metropolitan area has…

Nazareth players celebrate winning the fourth football championship in the school's history on Nov. 26 in Champaign. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Football Class 5A State Championship: Roadrunners win shootout for fourth state title

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Nazareth opened the season in August with a 2-0 win over Kankakee. It closed the season the afternoon of Nov. 26 with a 45-44 win over Peoria at Memorial Stadium in Champaign to take the IHSA Class 5A state championship. In between was a rollercoaster of wins and losses and…

reporter EPCHS Inktober

EPCHS art teacher draws something every day In Inktober

A series of drawings from Evergreen Park Community High School art teacher Libby McArthur will grace the walls of the Evergreen Park Public Library through the end of November. The drawings, collectively known as her ‘Inktober’ collection, were made during October. McArthur took part in a worldwide drawing month activity that had specific prompts for…

reporter OLCHS Thanksgiving Food Drive Freshman Academy

OLCHS Thanksgiving food drive a success

OLCHS students and staff participated in the annual Student Council Thanksgiving food drive. Cans, paper goods and over $1,750 in cash/gift cards were collected on November 21. Participating teachers were DeMatteo, Hennelly, Jepsen, Kallenborn, Kolimas, La Spina, Meyers, Strelow, Vazzana, Watson and Wirtz. Numerous district offices also donated items. The winner of Student Council’s handmade “Turkey Chalice” award was Eric…

regional palos park police cadet food drive 2022

Palos Park Police Cadet food drive underway

The Palos Park Police Cadet program is in holiday season mode and the program’s annual Holiday Food Drive is well underway. Cadets are looking for donations of non-perishable foods such as canned goods or boxed goods. The cadets will accept donations at the Palos Park Police Department, 8999 W. 123rd Street. Collections will continue through…

Twins Aiden and Ethan Schilling at last year’s Bingo with Santa. (Photo by Alexandria Shipyor)

Orland Township to hold Bingo with Santa

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, don’t think twice about attending Orland Township’s Bingo with Santa! Children and their families are invited to join Santa Claus and Supervisor Paul O’Grady with the Board of Trustees in celebrating the most wonderful time of the year with pizza and a fun game of Holiday Bingo, just for…

Rich Jensen cuts the ribbon on November 17 at the new location for Pizza Castle. (Photos by Don Pointer)

Comings & Goings: Pizza Castle now open in Hickory Hills

By Bob Bong After almost five decades of serving pizzas from a small storefront in Chicago’s Gage Park neighborhood, Pizza Castle co-owner Richard Jensen had an opportunity to move into a bigger space and he jumped at the chance. So, Jensen packed up the family business and made the move a few miles south to…

Brookfield Zoo’s ring-tailed lemurs—Skinner (left) and Moses—were treated to an early Thanksgiving feast that featured all the trimmings. This annual tradition, now in its ninth year, takes place the day before the holiday. (Photo by Jim Schulz/Brookfield Zoo)

Ring-tailed Lemurs at Brookfield Zoo enjoy 9th annual Thanksgiving feast

The annual tradition of Brookfield Zoo’s ring-tailed lemurs receiving an early Thanksgiving feast took place today, November 23. Now, in its ninth year, the animal care staff prepared the meal for the primates that featured all the trimmings laid out on a fall-themed table setting. This year, the menu for the lemurs—15-year-old Moses and 12-year-old…

DVN Jack Pats Butcher Shop House Ad
CRR NH Niego Real Estate House Ad