Rich Galen

Here's what I hate: When reality overtakes your favorite theory and you look like a blithering moron.

It happens to me with some regularity, so I know what I'm talking about.

Remember back in 2008 when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama couldn't wait to answer questions during debates so they could trash George W.?

Remember how we were told that once W. was out and Obama was in that the world would be so relieved that we would all be able to live in peace and harm-oh-nee?

That dreaded reality.

Barack Obama was going to close Guantanamo. Remember?

Still open.

Barack Obama was going to change that stupid DHC system of color codes. Remember?

Color codes still in effect.

Obama would withdraw combat troops from Iraq.

There are 50,000 U.S. troops still there and they aren't walking around in sun glasses, Hawaiian shirts, and flip-flops. They're patrolling in night vision goggles, ceramic vests, and combat boots.

Barack Obama did away with the "War on Terror" and changed it to something like "Foosball on Terror" with the promise that it would cause the bad guys to want to come over for some Shawarma and hummus and talk about how the Afghanistan national soccer team would be a real force in the 2014 World Cup.

The terrorists are still at war with us whether we're at war with them or not. Notwithstanding that Barack H. not George W. has been strutting astride the world stage since noon January 20, 2009, the U.S. Department of State has had to issue a "travel alert" warning U.S. citizens about the dangers of traveling to … Europe. Not Kandahar. Not Tehran. Not Tikrit.


The Eifel tower in Paris. The Spanish Steps in Rome. The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.


This is how the alert begins:

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to the potential for terrorist attacks in Europe. Current information suggests that al-Qa'ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks."

The other countries and regions for which there are travel alerts are India, Bolivia, and Kenya.

And France. And Germany.

It's not just Obama and Bush. If you've followed the saga of how the Brits have treated former Prime Minister Tony Blair, you'll be interested to know that, according to the Voice of America:

"London raised its threat assessment to high for citizens traveling to France and Germany."

Here's the somewhat more dire warning from the Foreign Office: "Like other large European countries, the French authorities continue to consider that there is a high threat of terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers."

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at