Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy’

Why Sarah Palin Is Right About Syria

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Why Should We Go to Syria?

At Saturday’s session of the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington DC, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made some remarks, and among those that prompted the media to go berserk, she said of the potential of US involvement in that conflict that we “should let Allah sort it out.”  I actually saw one site on which she was referred to as an “isolationist” for this view, but such claims are laughable given her in-depth understanding of international trade and national security.  I saw another site suggesting that she didn’t know what she was talking about, or wasn’t qualified to comment.  Either way, it seemed more likely that the sites and authors in question had more trouble with who said it, or how it was said, because I believe the vast majority of Americans probably side with Governor Palin on this issue.  Apart from the fact that most Americans haven’t the patience for another middle-eastern  military engagement with indistinct goals and a muddled mission, there are some very practical reasons why she is right about all of this.  Mostly, it comes down to the fact that it’s a no-win situation for us, because while the horrors of what is going on in Syria is tragic in human terms, nothing the US can do will effect an end to the suffering, instead only adding to it with our own losses.

The reports this past week that the Assad government had crossed Obama’s “red line” on chemical weapons seem not to be as certain or as specific as our engagement should require.  There are reports that Sarin nerve gas had been used, and that more than one-hundred had been killed in this manner.  If true, it’s an egregious and brutal use of some very insidious weaponry, but it must also be said that if killing one-hundred or more civilians by this manner is a trigger for war, why did it take so long for us to engage Saddam Hussein? In the early years of the Clinton administration, Hussein used precisely this sort of weapon on his own civilians in Southern Iraq.

Advocates of intervention in Syria claim that what we should do is enact a “no fly zone” over that country.  They insist that this is as far as we need go, but there are a few problems with this thinking.  Russia has recently delivered more advanced surface-to-air missile capability to Syria, meaning that our aircraft would be subject to shoot-down in a much more threatening fashion.  Is all of this really worth losing our airmen and our aircraft?  I don’t see a rational justification.  If this were about defending the United States, our men and women will go to the ends of the Earth in pursuit of our defense, but I know few who think we ought to spend their lives frivolously or as a matter of charity, particularly in a place where we have no particular interests or friends.

The fact is that the so-called “rebels” are simply al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda-backed fighters much like those who took down Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. Nobody misses Gaddafi, but as the events at Benghazi last September demonstrate, the volatile nature of an environment only loosely-controlled by provisional governments but dominated on the ground by foreign fighters is not the sort of outcome for which Americans should be fighting.

Bashir Assad is a brutal dictator, but those “rebels” who face him are not much better.  We have seen this scenario play out before, and we’re witnessing its aftermath in Libya and Egypt.  The attack on our facilities at Benghazi was born of a similar situation, inasmuch as after we provided air cover for the “rebels” in that country, they immediately shifted gears and wanted us out as they began to build their Islamic Republic.  In this sense, we have no friends at all, by any definition, so that it’s impossible to understand why we would put Americans’ lives at risk to assist any of them.  In this context, it is easy to understand Governor Palin’s sentiment.  We don’t have any friends there, no real national security interests, and therefore, no justification for jumping in.

At the same time, the Russians are heavily invested in Syria and the Assad regime.  Iran is pledging forces to his defense.  Should we really consider placing our already over-stretched forces at risk for this?  Do we risk a wider war in the region if some Russian technical advisers are killed in a raid on a surface-to-air missile site?  More, if al-Qaeda-connected groups were to take over Syria as they have done in Libya, what will that mean for Israel that must live under the constant threat of Syria.  Which is worse for that island of liberty:  A neighbor that is predictably antagonistic and dangerous, or a volatile tempest filled with elements that feel no restraint born of relations to Russia or any other major power?  I’m not inclined to guess as to how the Israelis might feel about the matter, but I suspect that an al-Qaeda-driven neighborhood is not the most pleasant prospect the Israelis could imagine.

There is one final consideration in all of this, and it goes to the absolutely detestable leadership we’ve had over the last few years:  Americans can hardly trust a foreign policy that has squandered opportunities and lives in the manner that has been the hallmark of the Obama administration.  Do we wish to subsidize a foreign policy that is concocted by the likes of Samantha Power?  Do we wish to see the United States entangled in yet another quagmire in that region in which we have far too few friends given our more than two decades of exertions?  How much treasure has been spent, and how much of our blood has been spilled in the pursuit of policies with only vague platitudes about creating or supporting “democracy?”  In which pest-hole has that so far succeeded?

When critics of her remarks launch into their narrow-minded tirades against her alleged lack of foreign policy knowledge, or her supposed “isolationist” views, I can’t help but remember that these same critics would attack Governor Palin whatever her position had been.  Instead, her remarks serve as a flashpoint not for their true policy objections, but instead for their unabashed, unremitting hatred of Sarah Palin, the person.  When one carefully evaluates the facts on the ground in Syria, the hopelessness of the situation becomes evident, and the foolishness of any American engagement there becomes clear.  In Syria, we have no friends, but only enemies, who hate us as much or more than they hate one another.  Were we to intercede on behalf of the so-called “rebels,” were they to prevail, we would soon find ourselves under the gun to get out.  Most Americans are well beyond fatigued by this procedure, as it has been the trend in all our engagements throughout the Muslim world in the last two decades, so that unless the United States or its interests come under direct threat of some sort from actors in the region, our answer should be as Governor Palin wryly noted:  “Let Allah sort it out.”

 

Mr. L Cuts Through the Nonsense on Islamic Supremacists

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Telling You What the Media Won't

Take a little time and listen to Mr. L’s Tavern from Thursday, the 13th of September.  His commentary is on the money.  It’s disgusting that our lame-stream media won’t offer honest appraisals like this, but it’s the reason they’re slowly losing the last of their readers and viewers. Mr. L takes on the coddling of Islamic supremacists, as performed [again] by Barack Obama and his foreign policy.  It’s a disaster for this country, and whether you believe he is simply naive, or you believe that Barack Obama is actively engaged in undermining this nation, it’s impossible to dismiss what Mr. L explains in this installment of his show:

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMVgXpZQqhY]

Be sure to check out Mr. L’s Tavern for more great commentaries!

Sarah Palin Tweets Hilarious Video as the Vetting of Obama Continues

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Different Dignitary, Same Schlock

This is video is both hilarious, and sad, but I think we should be able to get a laugh from this, while also realizing the more serious nature of what it implies about the character of this president, and what Governor Palin termed his “empty, recycled rhetoric” in a tweet just minutes ago.  It’s true.  Barack Obama doesn’t seem to have an original thought in his head, and his treatment of our allies in this video is a classic reminder.  Thanks to Governor Palin for reminding us of this scandalously poor commander-in-chief’s behavior, and the sort of national embarrassment his presidency has become.  One can imagine foreign leaders coming to our country, wondering if they’re going to be given the same old song and dance.  It’s cookie-cutter foreign policy, and it’s typical of Barack Obama’s pathetic leadership.

Classic Obama:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erYpXzE9Pxs]

You can read more of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s tweets here: @SarahPalinUSA

Obama Will Have More Flexibility After the Election – As Will Romney After Nomination

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The Flexibility To Betray Us?

Much as Democrats can’t wait to point out the “Etch-a-Sketch” tendencies of Mitt Romney, Barack Obama has similar problems, and another example arose when he told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he(Obama) would have more flexibility after the election.   What he means is that it will be easier to get away with selling out American interests, since he’ll never be forced to answer to voters again.  Of course, as you can tell, Obama already thinks he has this election in the bag, and there’s really no getting around the fact that if he is re-elected, he will have free reins and many expect he will extend his executive authority to rule without reference to Congress.  It points out the reason that character matters, as politicians promise one thing in campaigns, and deliver another afterward, but it’s not only Obama about whom conservatives should worry on this basis.

It also tells us something important about the minds of politicians.  The positions he will take before the election will have no bearing on his actual policies afterward, translating the remark.  That’s an egregious instance of Obama bragging about effectively lying to the American people.  Republicans have a similar problem in their own party, where Mitt Romney’s Communications Director openly admits that the general campaign is like starting over, and he likened their flexibility to an “Etch-a-Sketch.”  This has precisely the same meaning as Barack Obama’s remark, leading me to wonder why any Republican would choose Mitt Romney over the others.  If they find this attitude and conduct disgusting in the behavior of the President, but not in the campaign of Mitt Romney, one must wonder why.

We all recognize that Barack Obama will try to hide his radical side through the coming election, but as bad as that is, our own nomination front-runner is currently doing the same thing to us.  I have no problem with those who wish to point to Obama’s duplicity based on this and other statements, but if we accept Mitt Romney as our nominee, aren’t we falling for the same thing we decry in Obama?

New Mini-Movie Shows Obama’s Anti-Israeli Record

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Friend of Israel?

This Youtube video was released in time for the AIPAC conference in Washington DC this week, by the Emergency Committee for Israel, and it highlights the despicable record Barack Obama has built in his dealings with the Israeli security issues, but also his befriending of radical anti-Israeli elements around the world.  It calls into question Obama’s sincerity on his campaign promises about the security of Israel, while pointing out that some of the President’s actions have been downright hostile.  It’s a bit lengthy, and it provides a bit of background for the narrative, but what viewers should understand is that Barack Obama and his administration have been systematically undermining Israel all along.  This sabotage of Israel clearly isn’t in the long-term interests of the United States, and it shouldn’t be ignored.

The mini-movie runs approximately thirty minutes:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wbH5KVPrPo]

I find the parade of Democrat politicians chastising Obama’s policy entertaining, if for no other reason than the remarks of Hillary Clinton last week, and what it reveals about the sincerity of their support for Israel. If nothing else, it certainly proves the point that the Obama administration isn’t playing straight with the American people, or with Israel. Barack Obama has been a disaster for US-Israeli relations, and for the prospects of peace and Israeli security.  The fact is that given another four years of his presidency, Israel will be among the biggest losers, second only to the American people.

What Hillary Revealed About Democrats’ Real Thoughts on Israel

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Friend of Israel?

When America isn’t watching closely, or the event in question appears well away from the bulk of domestic media, occasionally one of the left’s officials will slip up and show their true face.  If you listen to what Democrats in Congress and in the Obama administration say about Israel, you would think they support Israel, and are fine friends of the Jewish state.  The lavish oaths of friendship upon Israel, and swear they have no bigger supporter than the Democrat Party.  That is, if you can believe them.  Ordinarily, it’s tough to prove, but in this case, one of their own has put her big foot in her mouth, all without the help of her slick former-President husband.  None other than Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton has made a statement that reveals the truth about her party.  Watch this short video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BpYSGfg9oU]

That’s right.  In this video, when asked by somebody in the audience about the state of politics in the US, and how it is that any Muslims from around the world could trust either party, since both seem to support their enemy, Israel, Mrs. Clinton gives a stunningly honest answer.  For those Americans of any persuasion who had thought the Democrats a friend of Israel, I want you to decipher her answer, because it was clearly intended to intimate a dark secret, and that is that what politicians say in public is one thing, but what they believe may be something else entirely.

Surely you understand that this confirms what I have told you about how the radical left has taken over the Democrat party, and how they now practice an institutional antisemitism that blows kisses to Jews in public, while undercutting Israel ferociously in private.  They view Israel as a problem to be dealt with, and if you’re wise, you’ll realize that historically, this is far from the first time the Jews have been regarded as a “problem” to be solved.  Let’s not beat around the bush about it:  The left hates Israel, and it’s partly because they see a potential ally in the Muslim world, and partly because they view Israel as the obstacle to that alliance.

Just as in the Cold War, Teddy Kennedy was willing to participate in secret talks with Soviet leaders in order to undercut President Reagan, the left will makes it friends anywhere they believe will advance their agenda.  Currently, they look to the Islamic world as another source of support, which is why they have linked up with militant Islamists in some cases, in the furtherance of the so-called “Arab Spring,” but also in support of the so-called “Palestineans.”  What Secretary Clinton describes in her too-candid answer is the mechanism of carrying out a ruse. In public, they must continue to support Israel, for now, but in terms of our actual foreign policy, we are currently very much pro-Islam.

The hardcore left has been pushing in this direction for many years, decades in fact, and what you quickly realize is that they have merely transformed their animosity.  These same America-hating leftists have simply identified Israel as a domino that must fall in order to finally vanquish America.  Once they realized this, it was only a matter of time until they began to form strategic alliances with a militant Islam that views Israel as the Lesser Satan and America as the Great one.  I read an interesting posting on Tammy Bruce’s site by a guest contributor named Shifra, self-described as a Jew who discovered the universe of leftists’ rage against Israel.

While I’m not Jewish, it comports well with my own knowledge and observations, but more importantly, it reveals how the American left has slowly adopted positions that are now not only antagonistic toward Israel, but hostile to Jewry in general.  For this reason, the only reason I am surprised about Hillary Clinton’s remark is that she would leave that implication hanging so publicly.  The institutional left, of which Hillary is the queen bee, with her Soros-funded career, and her Soros-funded boss, is armed to the teeth with a rage she dare not exhibit.  She can only make not-so-subtle intimations in public, but what is hidden behind the facial expression is the coldly-calculated leftist who knows what expressions in public are too much, and will hurt the cause.  Hillary walked all over that line here, but you should view it as an opportunity to demonstrate the point.

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Iran Prepares for War

Monday, February 27th, 2012

I have been told that Iran is led by “rational actors,” but I see little evidence of it.  In order to acquire their own nuclear arsenal, they are making plans to disrupt the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz, and to carry out attacks on US air bases in the region in order to hold off the Americans who they are expecting will at some point attack them.  Meanwhile, they still seem to intend to strike Israel, and wipe them out, so it’s difficult to see them as rational. One could make the argument that they’re merely prepa for a US or Israeli strike, but the continued promise to wipe Israel from the face of the Earth is the most troubling thing of all.  If they do obtain nuclear weapons, Iran’s leaders may well be just irrational enough to use them.

According to the WND article, the Iranians are preparing to make attacks on US air assets.  Such a strike would be more likely than most Americans think to disrupt our ability to respond to threats in the region:

The Guards’ publication Mashregh, in a warning to America, revealed a detailed plan to attack U.S. bases in the region, including, in Kuwait, two air bases, Ali Al Salem and Ahmed Al Jaber, and the U.S. military camps of Buehring, Spearhead, Patriot and Arifjan. Also targeted are U.S. air bases in Afghanistan, the super U.S. base Al Adid in Qatar, its other super base at Al Dhafra in the United Arab Emirates and Thumrait Air Base in Oman.

Such an attack could certainly cause chaos, or worse, but it would almost certainly send the US scrambling, and it might open a window of opportunity for the Iranians to make good on their promise to close off the Straits of Hormuz, at least for a while.  That might be enough to hamper our logistical chain, making it difficult to carry on war-fighting operations.  At the same time, the Iranians have armed a number of small, fast boats with explosive warheads that would be delivered by ramming in suicide attacks:

The Guards have also armed hundreds of speed boats with high explosives for suicide attacks against U.S. Navy assets and the shipping traffic in the Gulf. Sources within the Guards also reveal that the Guards have been training pilots for suicide attacks against U.S. assets in the Gulf by using smaller planes loaded with explosives.

Rational?  I wouldn’t have considered the Japanese all that rational in 1944-45 as their young pilots rammed aircraft into our warships in Kamikaze attacks, yet this is the same sort of mindset we now face.  We’re in particularly bad shape, because just as this threat is rising, our military is undergoing vast cuts, and we have poor national leadership across the board.  Barack Obama has shown no willingness to take on the Iranians, but we know he’s capable of making apologies.  This president is so unwilling to defend America against its enemies that there really is no precedent in American history.  If Iran’s leadership decides it’s willing to wage a war in order to protect its nuclear weapons program, they may win.  If you think the Ayatollahs are irrational, what must we conclude about the man Rush Limbaugh has called “Imam Obama,” who now leads our country into a blind alley?  How rational is Obama?  For our country, the prospects are too frightening to consider.

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Hillary Inconsistency: Need Syrian Consent for Troops – Why Different From Libya?

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Different Thug, Different Policy?

I must admit that I don’t quite understand this one yet, because while we entered the fray in Libya on the basis of the Samantha Power argument of a “Responsibility to Protect,” the idea that nations had a duty to protect a people from a tyrannical regime, this same theory doesn’t apparently apply in Syria.  Instead, after a meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Hillary Clinton said in a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Ahment Davutoglu that there would be no troops sent to Syria without the consent of the Syrian government.  Why is one brutal thug’s regime exempt, while the other was not?  While leftist protesters marched under the banner of “no blood for oil” in successive wars initiated by Republican presidents, there’s no similar outrage now that it has become patently obvious that this is the only justification for the differential in policy: Syria has no oil. Libya has plenty.  It’s either that, or something more nefarious.

This is another example of the apparent contradictions in Obama’s foreign policy.  When the people of Iran were rising up, Obama said nothing, and did nothing.  In Syria, we’re getting some words from the State Department, but nothing of substance, and it seems there’s no intention on the part of this administration to have a consistent policy.  We surely didn’t wait for Gaddafi’s consent before bombing in Libya.  We were trying to bomb him!  Meanwhile, Assad is every bit as monstrous as Gaddafi, and perhaps worse, yet there we are wearing kid gloves.  This doesn’t make any sense at all unless one begins to account for the differences between the two countries, or leaders.

Is there some reason the Obama administration favors Syria’s Assad?  If one applies the principles of the idea called “Responsibility to Protect(R2P,) one must wonder as thousands of civilians in Syria have been murdered in the streets over the last few months.  If Gaddafi was a rabid dog who needed to be removed for the safety of his country’s people, why not Assad?  Why is he exempt from a similar fate?

Don’t misunderstand: I am not advocating an attack by NATO on Syria, but I find it curious that the same people who less than one year ago could not wait to pound Gaddafi into submission before he was slaughtered at the hands of a mob(as he deserved) are now reluctant about treating Bashar al-Assad in similar fashion.  This discontinuity in policy means something, just as the reluctance to criticize Ahmedinejad in Iran meant something, but it’s not yet clear what the meaning is.  Cynical folk would point to the Libyan oil, but even if that is a factor, I don’t think it’s the only one.  Something else must account for this differential in policy.  Could it be that Assad has something else Obama wants?  Could it be related to the proximity of Syria to Israel?

Time will tell, but when one sees such distinct and different actions by lefties in similar circumstances, one knows there’s something more to the story.  Leftists are simply too stuck in their ideological ruts to act this way without ulterior motives.

A Note About The Marine Incident

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

A Forgotten Border

Much has been made of this incident on which I reported Friday, and it reminds me of something else I witnessed many years ago.  I was serving in the Army in Germany, and the year was 1985.  I hadn’t been in my unit there very long when an opportunity arose to see a bit of the German countryside.  Of course, the area I was able to look at on this trip wasn’t something most people younger than 35-40 really remember or understand, and it wasn’t a pleasure trip.  Periodically, the battalion would charter a bus and take all the new people who’d arrived over the last ninety days on a tour of the border between West Germany and Czechoslovakia.  It was a part of the unit’s effort to show us the ground we would likely defend, and the nature of the enemy we would face if a war broke out between the Soviet Union and NATO.  On that fateful trip, our tour triggered an “international incident” due to the behavior of one of my fellow soldiers.

At various points along the path, the bus would stop, and we would unload and be told about the things at which we were looking.  One of those stops took us right up to the border, onto a road that runs parallel and on the west edge of what had been the frontier between East and West.  We could see the fences, and the razor-wire were hung with dew on the cold, damp, dreary morning.  In easy earshot, never mind rifle shot, of a guard tower, we unloaded and looked around.  We were under strict instructions to do no pointing or make any gestures of any kind, because they could be taken as a sign of hostility, and could lead at the very least to a serious incident, since the guard towers had not only machine-gun emplacements, but also cameras with which to document our tour.  One of the geniuses in my unit thought it would be a great idea to walk off by himself and drop trow facing East, and take a whiz facing directly at the tower.

The public affairs officer who had us on the tour saw this and fairly tackled the guy.  It was too late, as we could hear the rapid shutter snaps as a pictures were taken.  It was nearly a three hour ride by bus back to our installation, and nobody said a word.  As we pulled up at the Headquarters building, our Battalion Commander and our Sergeant Major(the battalion’s highest ranking enlisted man) were waiting on the sidewalk.   The incident had been reported already up the chain on the Eastern Bloc side, traveled through diplomatic channels, and down through our chain of command, beating the bus back to our post by more than two hours.  The Sergeant Major stuck his head in the door of the bus as fast as it opened, and pointed at the offending soldier and said simply his name and “You’re with me, NOW!”  He and the Lt. Colonel disappeared through a crowd of suits I hadn’t noticed before, but our comrade in arms was effectively gone.  This incident began the end of his short Army career.  Even in 1985, the Department of Defense didn’t take lightly the notion of giving the “adversary” a propaganda victory.

The reason I recount this to you is because on Friday, after Congressman Allen West’s statement made mention that the Marines in the current incident should receive Field Grade Article non-judicial punishment, and there was murmuring from some quarters that nothing should happen to them at all.  I wanted you to know that such a punishment was precisely the first step in disciplining a soldier back in 1985 when our unit’s urination incident occurred.  While it’s easy for you and I to say that yes, “Hooah, piss on those corpses,”  more is at stake in this situation than four Marines’ momentary indiscretion.  At present, our government is negotiating with the Taliban, and whether you or I, but particularly those Marines like it or not, they are servants of this nation’s foreign policy, no matter how much any of us think that policy is mistaken. Soldiers don’t make foreign policy, but must serve the chain of command in implementing it.

My fellow veterans will know precisely what I mean, because they understand that once you put on that uniform, you are not a sovereign individual for the length of your service.  This is one of the reasons I chastise police officers who occasionally like to think of themselves in terms of a military organization.  As I point out to them, if they’re in the midst of a stand-off, they can surrender their badge and walk away, and other than the difficulty they might have in ever working in that field again, they face no real consequences.  If a soldier tries that on the battlefield, he may well be shot.  It’s for this reason, this matter of unit discipline that these soldiers must be prosecuted and punished in some form by the chain of command.  I don’t like it in this case, and I wish it weren’t so, but that’s the truth of the matter, and I owe it to tell you so, much as any person among their chain of command might feel sympathy for their position, but must nevertheless contend with the issue at hand.

It’s for this reason that I understand Allen West’s statement all too well.  It’s the mark of a solid leader that he understands what must happen in this case, despite the fact that he may well not like it. These four Marines are in for a hard time over this incident, and you had better prepare to read of their eventual punishment.

On the other hand, I suspect the Obama administration may seek to make an unduly harsh example of these four, and I hope that isn’t the case.  Since the State Department has been negotiating quietly with the Taliban for some time, I expect this will now become a new sore spot.  While I believe that we shouldn’t be negotiating with these people, it is nevertheless current US foreign policy, otherwise known as “elections have consequences.”  I just hope for the sake of these Marines that they’re not dealt with in a severe fashion in order to appease the Taliban.  That’s the biggest worry they now face, and I hope this will serve as a reminder to service-members everywhere that you are an instrument of US foreign policy, so it’s best not to do these things, and it’s certainly not a good idea to record it, much as I suspect I’d have felt and perhaps acted in much the same way had I been among them.

Note: For those of you who are too young to really remember the Cold War, or in fact, for anybody who wishes to refresh their memory, I’d encourage you to check out this site, from which the image above was gathered, as the gentleman who runs the site seems to have served there contemporaneously with me, and you can learn a good deal about what it was really like.

Israel Being Pressured Not to Strike Iran

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Click for Larger Image

In another bit of misdirected bluster, the Obama administration warned Israel that strikes against targets in Iran could have dire consequences.  Israel is increasingly concerned with Iran’s nuclear designs, and it may be considering actions aimed at taking down the threat posed by the potential  of Iran being armed with nuclear weapons.  According to the Wall Street Journal article, President Obama was on the phone Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an attempt to get Israel to stand down.  Obama’s argument is that they want to give sanctions time to work, but they haven’t worked thus far, and while there is talk of tightening those sanctions, Tehran has shown little willingness to budge.  This is part of the problem with US foreign policy over the last to decades:  We struggle to keep thugs in check while demanding Israel stand down as they absorb attacks from every direction.

That policy prevailed during the 1991 Gulf War, as Saddam Hussein used Scud missiles against Israel in an attempt to provoke a response from Israel that offered the possibility of fracturing the coalition that included many Muslim nations in the region.  We moved batteries of Patriot missiles to Israel, and we had our forces scouring Iraq for the launchers, and all the while, President George H.W. Bush kept Secretary of State James Baker in constant contact with the Israelis, trying to keep them from acting in their own defense.  Of course, this was a different question, with the Scud missiles being armed with conventional munitions, and the ability of the Patriots to knock some of them down, it helped keep things from getting out of control politically.

This situation involved the development of nuclear arms, and if Iran comes into possession of them, they have promised repeatedly to use them against Israel.  Given the small region that is the Jewish state, there’s no way they can absorb even one hit with nuclear weapons without devastating their population.  It cannot be permitted to occur, and on this basis, I am certain the Israeli government is considering all sorts of remedies that likely include military strikes against relevant targets in Iran.  Last year, the Israelis were in talks with the Saudis in order to secure over-flight permission, should it come to that, and the only reason the Saudis would consider it is that they don’t want a nuclear-armed Iran any more than Israel does, because they could just as easily become a target of the rogue regime in Tehran.

I oppose telling Israel that it must not act in its survival interests.  I don’t think there’s any reason to suspect that Iran will come to heel on this matter, and I think the Israelis are right to believe this is a threat the existence of which they dare not suffer.  In truth, this is why many on the left wish Israel would simply go away.  Many of them have begun to consider it in veiled terms much like the “Jewish problem” described by former tyrannical regimes.  In other words, there are those in this administration, and in the general leftist movement of activists who think the world would be so much the better if Israel ceased to exist, and some are quite willing to let the Islamists in the region have their way with the besieged Jewish nation.  At this point, I think Netanyahu is facing a serious crisis because the pressure from the White House continues to be what it was more than twenty years ago:  “Don’t act. Don’t retaliate. Don’t do anything. We’ll handle this.”  The problem is that in three years of Obama’s administration as this crisis has been developing, we haven’t handled it, and the Israelis may well be forced into action.  I don’t blame them.

Obama Will Hold Off On 1967 Borders Until Post-Election

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

 

Tougher For Israel in 2013?

WND is reporting that Palestinean Authority officials who wished for their identities to be withheld told the online publication that the Obama administration has told the Palestinean Authority to be patient through the elections, and to not make trouble until Obama is re-elected.  That would make perfect sense given the Obama  administration’s abysmal record in supporting Israel, and its ceaseless devotion to restoring the 1967 borders that would leave Israel indefensible.  It’s no secret that this administration has given support to the so-called “Arab Spring” in neighboring Egypt, and continues to down-play the Islamists’ takeover of that nation, while attacks upon Israel continue from all directions.  WND’s Aaron Klein quotes the source as saying:

“We were asked by the (U.S.) administration not to make special demands or scandals during the elections,” said the official.

“After elections, the negotiations will be renewed on basis of the Clinton plan and Obama’s speech in Cairo of the 1967 borders,” the official said.

This is not surprising, after Obama took such a strong public relations hit in his press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year, and I suspect in a second term, the fangs would come out from behind the polite smiles, and the Obama administration will begin to pressure Israel very strongly.  This remains one more reason that Barack Obama must be defeated in 2012.  Left to carry out his foreign policy agenda, Israel would soon lay in ruins, or be overrun.

 

Is Ron Paul a Conservative?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Separated from the Rest

The supporters of Ron Paul say he’s a conservative.  They cite his strong commitment to the US Constitution on economic issues.  They remind us about his focus on the 10th Amendment.  They point out his desire to return to a solid currency. What they scurry to cover is his naive, nonsensical ideas about national defense and foreign policy. What they rush to ignore are the asinine contentions of Ron Paul that seek to pander to 9/11 conspiracy theorists, and his child-like view that Iran will be fine if it develops nuclear arms.  Even if these weren’t bad enough, his supporters use stealth and misleading approaches to sell him as a conservative.  I’m weary from all those who tell me Ron Paul is a conservative, because in fact, he is not.  Instead, he’s a libertarian, and he’s in the wrong party, and I have no problem suggesting he should take his act elsewhere, and if need be, take his followers with him.  Conservatives don’t pander to so-called “truthers” or to the hemp lobby, but that is the core of his support.  Conservatives don’t blame America for the September 11th attacks of 2001.  Ron Paul does.

Even during Thursday night’s debate, Ron Paul was clearly out of place on the stage with fellow Republicans.  His views on several issues of national import made it plain that he’s missed something basic in how he regards the role of the United States in foreign affairs, but more fundamentally, something is broken with respect to the extremely naive view he takes of foreign governments and their actions.  What Congressman Paul supposes is that Iran will act every bit as rationally as the United States, but we have no evidence upon which to base such a supposition. History is replete with examples of regimes that were fundamentally irrational and completely unmoved by the notions of human rights or natural law, and supposing that they would accept our moral basis or standard for rational conduct is every bit as absurd as the proposition that we must accept theirs.  In point of fact, the Islamic Republic of Iran has enshrined in its constitution the requirement to spread Islam to all parts of the world.  When Paul argues that we might reasonably rely upon a notion of peaceful Iranian intentions, he does a serious disservice to the American people, either through purely wishful thinking, or through sheer dishonesty.

In his heated exchange with Representative Bachmann in Thursday evening’s debate on FoxNews, he exhibited the ridiculous extent to which he has bought into leftist mythology about Iraq, too.  He cited a number of Iraqis killed as more than one million, but this reflects the most absurd estimates of the most radically anti-war propagandists.  Even WikiLeaks, having stolen and released actual classified US estimates of Iraqi War dead is around one tenth of that number.  Don’t get me wrong: This is a tremendous number of deaths, but it is a small portion of what Ron Paul reported, and what it reveals is his willingness to rely upon the most ridiculous claims of conspiracy theorists and anti-war propagandists.  Had he relied upon the more accurate number, he wouldn’t have come across as a bizarre conspiracy nut, but by exaggerating this number by relying upon numbers from sources of dubious credibility, he became his own worst enemy.

When Ron Paul talks about the overbearing size of government, he makes much more sense, because in that arena, he speaks to issues wherein he needs no bombastic, incredible claims in order to demonstrate his point.  He can merely reference the laws made by Congress, signed by the President, and this is sufficient.  When he gets into the discussion of foreign policy matters, it is as though he loses all grounding in credible facts, both in history and law, but more importantly in his flawed understanding of human nature.  The tyrants of our world do not care for the arguments of John Locke, or Adam Smith, or Thomas Jefferson, to name a few.   Such despots care not for the facts of human nature or human rights, or they wouldn’t be despots at all.  When Ron Paul pretends to himself or to others that one can contend with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the same manner one can deal with Canada, he is ignoring the facts of the world in which we live, and in which a President must successfully navigate the ship of state.  Ron Paul’s misunderstanding is so thorough as to be dangerous, not merely to individual citizens of the United States, but to the country as a whole.  This is a dire misreading of our founding documents, the design of our government, and the purpose for which it stands, and it negates the value he might offer in other areas of discourse.  On this basis, Ron Paul is wholly unfit to claim the mantle of conservatism, never mind to be sworn in as President of the United States.

 

Cain Leaves Rails in Newspaper Interview

Monday, November 14th, 2011

What Can You Say When Words Fail You?

It was too good to last.  While the personal attacks against Herman Cain were based on unsubstantiated allegations, I knew his real problem would eventually come up:  He does a decent ten-second sound-bite, but I think his depth of understanding on issues has always been lacking.  There have been signs all along, such as his lack of knowledge on the issue of a “right of return” claimed by Palestineans, his dearth of knowledge on some of the entitlements-related issues as demonstrated by the Cain-Gingrich debate, and now he’s really blown it with some very odd responses to questions about Libya in a sit-down interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  I do like Herman Cain, and I think he’s a genuine and sincere American who believes in a message of optimism, but the fact is that he doesn’t know the issues.  Cain’s reliance on his life’s experience in business has come down to this:  He’s inspiring and motivating, but it does not qualify him to be the President.

I say this with some sadness, because I firmly believe we need a candidate with his optimistic view of America’s potential, but I also know that in the real world we face, that alone will not salvage our position.  If he gets this  confused over our foreign policy on Libya, it’s going to be a problem.  He seems to have gotten confused about the question, his rehearsed answer, or some combination of the two.  To his credit, he gets back on track but he seemed to be stalling a bit in trying to do so, suggesting he was trying to remember what his position has been rather than responding directly to the question.  Again, I’m not bashing Herman Cain, but giving you my best assessment of his knowledge.  It may be that he would be able to stumble in this fashion through foreign policy crises that may arise, but that’s not really the scenario in which you want your President learning the foreign policy ropes.

I also realize that Cain says he likes to have full information before making a decision, and that’s laudable, but the truth is that a President must frequently make decisions despite sometimes sizable gaps in the available information.  Some of those situations will be time-critical, and a President will be forced to try to fill in the blanks with best guesses from advisers, but also from his own accumulated knowledge and experience.   Herman Cain has a great deal of wisdom and experience in some matters, and virtually none in others.  Foreign policy is one of these, and the truth of the Presidency is that foreign policy is arguably the most important concern of every President, whether the occupant of the Oval Office recognizes this fact or not.  If defending the country is the primary purpose of the federal government, then foreign policy must be among our top priorities for our nominee.

This lack of detailed knowledge becomes readily apparent when placed alongside Newt Gingrich, another technocrat with long experience as a policy wonk, but it’s more than that.  I have had concerns about Cain from the moment he first ran into the “right to return” flap.  Even at that, I’d still take a Herman Cain over a Mitt Romney, but the truth is that there are better options than either, in my view.  This particular instance with Cain comes at a bad time, because the latest round of polling seems to indicate his personal favorability has slipped in light of an admittedly dubious batch of allegations about his personal conduct.  A bit reminiscent of Perry’s mental slippage of last week, this moment may provide the final downward impetus to seal Cain’s fate.  Honestly, it’s too bad because he may very well be innocent of all the wretched allegations leveled at him, but in politics, it is so difficult to over come perceptions that when combined with this episode, may turn out to have been an insurmountable obstacle to his campaign.  Then again, people have counted Cain out before, and he’s survived.  Whether he can win the nomination with his clear lack of knowledge may be another matter.

You can watch the video clip from the interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel below:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW_nDFKAmCo]

Who Else Will Do It?

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Must We Fall?

I have become perplexed at the willingness of some of my fellow Americans to simply abandon leadership in the world.  I am by no means advocating that our nation must stand in the position of the world’s policeman, and I certainly don’t hold with the idea that our troops should be employed in farcical “nation-building” pursuits, but it is still a dangerous world, and we still have vital interests all over its surface, leading me to wonder: If Americans won’t lead the world, who will? If we walk away and leave a vacuum in our wake, who is going to fill it?  I believe the current campaign of a contrived decline of the United States has been fostered and fomented by a foreign interest in alignment with a domestic threat to demoralize the American people and to remove them as an obstacle to a greater struggle for world domination.  If the American people fall for the proposition that our decline is inevitable, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I reject that proposition, and it’s my intention to oppose those who would easily accept such a premise on the basis that to do so is not merely a national surrender, but also an act of individual suicide.  To whom shall we now turn?   There are no others remaining to fight this battle. If we will not stand for liberty, who else will do it?

This nation was established by those who were willing to risk everything for the proposition that mankind should be free of the yoke of tyrannical empires, and that with wisdom, a good and moral people could rule themselves.  Now, barely more than two-and-one-third centuries later, the nation they had established seems on the verge of complete collapse.  With a poverty of elected leadership, the American nation has become fractured and its people splintered into factional politics that divides us and exploits the resultant weaknesses.  The wounds of our divisions are at once superficial and deep.  Most of us speak in the same language and of the same concepts, but at times it seems as though we’re referencing different dictionaries and lexicons.

Our prosperity in material wealth has followed our global influence.  Many regard the twentieth as the “American Century,” because our nation attained unrivaled heights precisely because we led the world, not into war as some historians would relate it, but into production on a scale never seen before in the history of mankind.  It was our productive capacity and our desire for material wealth that propelled the U.S. to previously unknown heights.  Now, in what most acknowledge to be the American decline, we have lost our productive will and we are stagnating because of it.  More, government now controls so many aspects of our national production of goods and services, in one way or another, that its constant mis-allocation of resources has created a tidal wave of squandered assets and wasted efforts that threatens to destroy the remaining functional engines in our staggering economy.

Of all the material necessities that provided our wealth, none had been more important than energy.  As a vast and productive nation, few things contributed more to our success than a relatively inexpensive stream of energy from various sources.  Anybody who studies the economic conditions in the U.S. in the last forty years must conclude without much intensive study that as energy prices have gone, so too has the general economy performed.  Twice, at least, in the last forty years, we have permitted our nation to become subject to the arbitrary threats posed by foreign despots who control much of the globe’s easily accessible energy stores.  Twice, we have slid into depression-like conditions, and the recoveries from the first was long and difficult.  If we are to have any hope to reclaim our position as the world’s leader in production, we must first find a way to fuel our economy.  Part of the solution will lie in developing the resources we already possess.  If we are to rescue this nation, we must use every energy resource at our disposal that makes economic sense.  To do less is to commit an act of national suicide.

Our current president is in the process of making energy more expensive, as he promised he would, and we naturally find that at the first hint that our economy might recover, energy prices begin to climb until they become the largest drag on a re-start of growth.  We sputter along for a time, but the soaring prices have their effect: The economy returns to a failing condition.  This permits the prices for energy to decline, but once it hits bottom, the engine of our prosperity attempts to re-fire, and as it coughs and sputters to life, prices in energy begin again to climb.  This begins the whole messy cycle over again, and yet not many in government seem able to grasp this simple concept.  We have been starved of the fuel of our prior prosperity, and like an engine with fouled injectors, we’re starving for half the mixture that will allow us to run at full speed.  There’s just enough fuel making it into the engine to keep it barely running at idle, but as the throttle begins to open, there simply isn’t the fuel to accelerate the engine, and it coughs, sputters, and dies.

The other crisis that is slowly destroying us is a horrible combination of irresponsible fiscal and monetary policies.  What must exist for an economy like ours to thrive is the formation of capital in an environment of stable money.  The dollar is being weakened intentionally by the actions of the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Government is hampering the formation of capital through its never-ending tinkering with the tax code, and its general hostility to the accumulation of wealth.  One could scarcely imagine a script by which to more easily undermine the country, but alas, there is more bad news.

The government’s fiscal policy is weakening our currency in concert with the inflationary policy at the Federal Reserve.  Our government is spending money at such a rate that it’s inconceivable.  We are now amassing debt in inflation-adjusted dollars that exceed the worst of our wartime borrowing during WWII.  What are we getting for our money?  We are getting nothing as the government pushes billions into boondoggles like Solyndra that go bankrupt and stiff us with the bill.  Perhaps worst of all, we now have a colossal dependent-class that lives in a subsidized permanent poverty.  This too has become a drag on our economy to the extent that sixty-five cents of every dollar spent by government goes to pay monthly benefits to individuals  under the auspices of some program or other.

We are in such a dire state that there is but one remaining alternative to save this country from collapse, and it lies with you to do it.  You, the producers of this country, must become the leaders.  You will need to say “no” to government at every turn, not just where it pinches others, but also where it may prick you.  When government proposes another program or function be added to the long list it already fails to administer, you must say “No.”  When demagogues propose “Jobs bills” that are nothing more or less than another spending binge in disguise, you must say “No.”  When local, state, or federal institutions of government propose more spending, you must say “No.”  At every turn, they must hear it from you. They must read it in their email, and in their web-browsing.  They must see this answer at every turn, but still, you have told them, and now they raise armies of thugs against you who must also be told “No.”  “No” to violence.  “No” to pleas for charity in the form of a threat or a demand.  “No” to further predations against your liberties. In every way, and at every turn you can exert your energies, you must tell them “No,” and mean it.

If we are to save the country, we will need for it to survive until a new election when you can tell them “No” in a different way, and when you get that opportunity, you will have a choice to say to “yes” to their sickening status quo, or “No,” but if you choose the latter you must mean it.  You must select elected officials who have demonstrated the willingness to say “No” in good times as well as bad.  At the local level, you must become engaged. On the state and national levels, you must be heard clearly. Refuse attempts to placate you with temporary benefits for which your children will pay.

If we who know the meaning and the value of America will not stand and fight for it, who will?  If we who know that freedom cannot coexist with statism of any variety fear to make that argument, to whom are we surrendering the country?  Many will say that it’s an “extremist’s position” to advocate on behalf of liberty, but to what end do their voices lead us?  America is a nation in decline primarily because we have accepted that proposition.  We’ve accepted the growth of government as a primary fact of our existence, in part because it’s what we have seen through the courses of our lives, but mainly because we’ve permitted ourselves to swallow that bankrupt theory that security can be purchased with a surrender of liberties.

Our founders knew that had always been a lie.  For those among us who need reminders, let them look at what happens when Israel has tried to trade land for peace and security.  Have they gotten any more of either?   Our nation is in decline because we permit it, and because we countenance sloth and indifference not merely in the wider culture, but too often, in our own lives.  The hopeful development is that for once, this may be changing.  For the first time in decades, it seems some number of Americans are waking up to all of this, and it is an opportunity we dare not squander.   It’s no longer as simple as pretending that we can avoid the disaster, each on our own, if we let America fall.  It will come down to us.  If we don’t take up this fight, none will.  There is nobody else left to do it.

Putting Us Over a Barrel…of Oil

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

America to Capitulate?

In a story that will in one manner or another have a terrible potential cost to the US, President Obama’s naive foreign policy is leading us to another potential disaster.  We are being offered a choice in not-so-veiled terms by our Saudi allies in the Middle East: Veto the Palestinean State in support of Israel, and potentially lose an ally, or withhold that veto and promote our alliance with Saudi Arabia while effectively abandoning Israel.  What all of this is doing is to set the stage to excuse Obama for withholding the veto in the name of our oil purchases from the Kingdom.  This gives the “blood-for-oil” narrative of the left a whole new meaning.  The question is this, since Obama is no friend either to Israel or to the American people:  Which does he care about less? The security of the people of Israel, or the energy consumers in this country?

There are two important things to be taken from this story, and they are that the dependence of the United States on so much foreign oil subjects us to this sort of economic blackmail, and that we have an administration which has led us to this position either by design or through wretched incompetence.

The Obama administration has done a great deal of long-term damage to the ability of oil producers in the US to develop new oil resources here.  Its reliance on “green energy” programs has left us in a condition in which we have put far too much good money in pursuit of an ineffective technology, seemingly for the sake of crony-capitalist motives, while acting to destroy our ability to power our own nation.  Coal-fired power plants are being shut down on the basis of almost entirely phony environmental concerns, no nuclear plants are being built due to the catastrophe at Fukashima, Japan, and our own oil and gas resources are being left untapped in the Earth, once again due to environmental regulations that make it impossible or nearly so to reclaim those assets from our own ground.  Meanwhile, foolish ventures like wind-farms, where people like T. Boone Pickens has lost billions thus far, are subsidized by tax-payers.  Solar energy companies like Solyndra are bankrolled, and what we have at the end of it all is a more indebted, less secure, less energy-independent nation. This makes us ripe for whatever the thugs and tyrants in the Middle East or Central America may wish to do to us with respect to the oil supply.

At the same time, Barack Obama and his team of foreign policy amateurs continue to place us in a dangerous position with respect to the Middle Eastern nations that supply a healthy proportion of the oil we consume daily.  Israel is now the trunnion around which all of our concerns must turn, because they are now the only ally we have in the region, and we’ve been put into a devil of a position.  The Obama administration’s role in fomenting the “Arab Spring” is still being documented, but it seems certain there was a role, and it was not insignificant.  This alleged democracy movement seems now destined to further radicalize a region already volatile.  Now, we have the Saudi Ambassador, Prince Turki al-Faisal, warning us that we must choose between a Saudi ally and Israeli security.  In an article titled: “Veto a State, Lose an Ally,” he writes, in part:

“The ‘special relationship’ between Saudi Arabia and the United States would increasingly be seen as toxic by the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims, who demand justice for the Palestinian people…”

This is the nature of our predicament.  Too many years of ignoring our reliance on oil from OPEC members in the Middle East has left us in the position that we must now seemingly choose between a threat of having the energy rug pulled from beneath our feet, or abandoning Israeli security.  This amounts to a threat of war, and we are now being left to choose between supporting Israel or paying higher oil prices.  It is small wonder that OPEC has spent lobbying dollars in Washington to purchase the opposition to production of our own resources.  Dependent upon them as we now are, they can effectively force our hand in this matter.  At this late date, even if the Obama administration would be willing to cast aside all regulations, there is no way in which we can increase our available resources sufficiently to be independent of Middle Eastern oil.  In short, we’re now over a barrel in a way that seems to have been designed to ruin us.

We can all hope this is somehow delayed until we’ve had a chance for another election, to get a President and Congress willing to address our critical position, but the rapid advance of these events seems designed to make this choice too late.  We stand upon a precipice, and Barack Obama and his crew of “intellects” at the State Department are clearly making things worse.  They are intentionally offering us the choice between a crippling economic collapse and deprivation of energy that will spawn it, and the existence of our good friend and ally Israel.  What you are being offered is little different from the deal brokered by Neville Chamberlain with Hitler in his day, except that rather than abandoning the Sudetenland, this time, we’ll be abandoning the cradle of Western civilization.  The other difference is only that whereas Chamberlain’s proposition seemed to have been born of a rigid naivete, what we’re now facing from Obama’s foreign policy seems to have been designed to achieve this crippling end. While all of this goes on overseas, we now see the rise of the “Days of Rage” here at home by forces of the left.  Our nation’s over a barrel, and our enemies at home and abroad are savoring it.

Paul Supporters: Now May Be The Moment to Grow Up

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

They're Baaaack...

If you’re a Ron Paul supporter, I am trying to grab your attention.  For a change, somebody needs to do so.  I’ve listened to the childish, näive arguments of Ron Paul’s crowd for long enough.  The Republican party has listened to you and tolerated your irrational positions for long enough.  Conservatives have listened to the wistful nonsense for long enough.  The simple fact that neither you nor your chosen candidate will accept is that there are people in this world who hate without any sane rationale,  who will kill, maim, and murder without any but the most nonsensical justifications.  There are people in this world who wish to attack America or Israel for the sake of what they are, rather than what they do.  To pretend otherwise verges on self-delusion and madness.

It’s time for those of you who follow Ron Paul to recognize that the world isn’t such a friendly place. It’s not all “rainbows and unicorns,” so you might want to deal with reality for a spell. I’m flabbergasted with the ability of some Ron Paul supporters to pretend that those who oppose this country play by rules that they could endorse.

In short, it’s time to grow up.

When Ron Paul offered that if only we would withdraw from the Middle East, the Islamists would play nice, it was one of the most dangerously näive statements I’ve heard since Neville Chamberlain’s “peace for our time” foolishness.  Ron Paul fans love to point to the history of the Federal Reserve, but when it comes to the history of warfare and the conflicts between civilizations, it seems they’ve taken a pass.  Specifically, when it comes to matters of foreign policy, Ron Paul has shown a disdain and reckless disregard for the truth of our conflict with radical Islamists.

There is no peace you can make with people who want you dead, and who wish to displace you from your own territory.  The thesis Paul promotes is that we can have peace by simply leaving them be, in the hope that they will leave us be.  This is roughly akin to the idiotic premise put forward by some that you can respond to a playground bully by ignoring him, thus causing him to…what?  Stop being a bully?  This is simply unrealistic in the face of all  human experience to the contrary, because in fact, all that will ultimately stop the playground bully is a knuckle sandwich delivered by one of his would-be victims.  That’s it. That’s the only way it works in the real world.

Paul’s supporters frequently buy into his faulty proposition that if only the United States would remain clear of the Middle East, and withdraw its support of Israel, the Islamists would not have reason to hate the United States, and therefore leave us be in peace.  This is a grotesquely naive view that cannot be shoe-horned into any approximation of reality with which I’m familiar.  It cannot be.  The simple fact is that our civilization is pervasive.  The Soviets learned this as they struggled against our pop-culture, and our vast productivity, and the robust consumerism that tends to dominate a free country.  They hated our blue jeans and our rock and roll, because the young in their empire craved these things as they craved the liberty that brought them into existence.   Few things caused more heartburn in the Kremlin than the creeping of Western culture over their borders, through the airwaves, and into their black markets.   To them, it was a danger on par with our missiles and our bombers built to hold them at bay, but over the long run, they had no weapon to repel it but propaganda which few of them believed.  In much the same way, the American culture now pushes into countries via satellite and Internet and any other pipeline, and this makes the Islamic world tremble, because in the same way these things that speak freedom were a threat to the dictators in the USSR, so too are they a threat to dictators in the Middle East.  The difference is that they are also a threat to the theocratic elements there, who see government as an arm and instrument of Allah.  In the Soviet Union, they outlawed God or gods to establish a state-run monopoly over the lives and thoughts of people, but in the Islamic world, the imams and mullahs seek a similar monopoly via a unity between “church and state.”

In this sense, where the Supreme Soviet made the state God, the Islamists wish to  make God the state.  While the outward appearance of the two approaches seem dis-similar, the character and nature of the two are for all intents and purposes the same, and the results they bear forth are indistinguishable:  Death, poverty, and slavery are all such civilizations can produce.  No amount of happy talk will change this, and neither will it change the aggressive stance such cultures will of necessity take in response to our civilization.  The truth is that in the longer run, a free society of the character ours has been until recently cannot occupy the same space as the sorts of regimes characterized by unrestrained statism in any form, be they secular dictatorships or theocratic regimes.  The cultural bleed-over is the biggest threat to the statist regimes, for with all the control they exert over their people, they cannot deny to them the basic desire to have those material effects of freedom.

Ron Paul and too many of his supporters suffer under the deluded notion that assumes all people share the same basic values and desires.  This is not true of governments, and it may not even be fully true of people.  Yes, we all want food, shelter, water and the necessities of life, but how we go about getting them is a matter of distinction.  A simple example is to compare yourself with a mugger.  You both want money to purchase your life’s necessities, but only one of you is willing to engage in productive work to obtain them.  The mugger is willing to deprive you of property to fulfill his needs, and you wouldn’t permit yourself that abandonment of those values that forbid such actions(or so we would hope.)  With this small example in mind, you really need no greater, more in-depth understanding of the differences that exist among ordinary people in their morality and values to recognize that the difference in the motivations of civilizations can and do vary greatly.

Apply this to the question of foreign policy.  What does America gain from its relations with the Middle East?  We buy oil there, but little else, and in large measure, it had been we who discovered and developed the resource before they forcibly relieved us of our investments.  What do these countries gain from us? Aside from the money in payment for these resources, they obtain many things as free-riders.  No cellular phones would they have developed.  No televisions would they have invented.  Not even a single automobile have they produced.  All of these things were born of our culture and our civilization, and the freedoms we enjoy.  Their culture does not support the widespread production of material prosperity, but their leaders tell them these are all things without which they can live more happily, while said leaders enjoy them.

Those leaders pose as both the material and spiritual caretakers of their respective nations.  On this basis, they are able to mobilize large bodies of militants rapidly to almost any cause or purpose.  Yet these nations produce very little that isn’t seized by force from others in some manner.  Seizure is their primary means of subsistence, and it is this upon which they come to rely.  You can pretend to yourself that if only we will withdraw from them, they will leave us in peace, but their history and their culture offers a vision of conquests and warfare.  If you fail to understand this, you are inviting disaster.  The most certain way to overcome them is not by withdrawal, for you cannot withdraw from a pursuing attacker, but by engagement.  This engagement need not be aggressive on our part, but it must be mindful that sometimes, bullies simply need a knuckle sandwich, and we must recognize that “time-outs” will not suffice.

Neither may we permit ourselves the illusion that by abandoning our allies we may obtain a lasting peace.  Israel is in many ways the closest thing we have to an outpost in their midst.  It is the only country in the region that holds legitimate elections.  It is the only country that recognizes some form of inviolable rights of individual people.  Those in the region who seek to erase Israel from their maps consider it a threat: In their midst is a country in which production beyond bare subsistence is the norm.  In Israel, one need not be a ruler to obtain a prosperous life.   This is the threat Israel poses, and in truth, it is also the threat the US presents to the Islamists.  It is not by mere coincidence that relative prosperity in the region is in tight correlation with militancy.  Poverty and radicalism are constant cohorts; where you find one, you will frequently find the other.  People in poverty more readily turn their lives over to rulers.  Our own welfare state and its well-established relationship to at least one major party should make this clear.

What should have become clear to you by now is that our country is now under that same threat.  In fact, it is being fomented and pushed by people with much the same motives.  For the moment, we retain the power to undo it, but even if we do, we will be forced to confront the sad reality that in places like Egypt and Libya, there will be no easy reform.  It’s clear that we can no longer afford to prop up the devils of our choosing in the region in the hope that they will be less awful than others who may arise, but I also think it’s reasonable to suggest that our foreign policy will still require us to walk a fine line that supports our allies and punishes our foes.  As long as we are dependent for so much of our energy on our trade with the region, we will be compelled to find ways to make it work, but we mustn’t shy from this problem.  Pretending that absolute thugs like those now controlling Iran are anything else is a prescription for disaster.  When Ron Paul offered with a straight face that he believed Iran was interested in nuclear energy solely for peaceful purposes, or that our presence in Saudi Arabia was the cause of the 9/11 attacks, he demonstrated his inability to square reality with his ideology. We can learn a good deal from Dr. Paul on the matter of economics, but his view of foreign policy is irresponsible and immature.  It is made of a childish petulance that demands in the form of a plea for a reformation of bullies it envisions no willingness to enforce.

Put simply, it’s dangerous, precisely because it returns us to an illusory pre-9/11 mindset that is sure to bring deep tragedies upon us.  Many Ron Paul supporters believe their candidate doesn’t find a fair shake, but this is simply not so.  Instead, his foreign policy prescriptions have been roundly rejected by those who would in other issues be his natural allies.  For those of you who hold fast to this position, it’s time for you to realize the nature of what is arrayed against us and man a post.  If our nation is to survive the attacks we will soon know from within as well as those from without, it’s time to grow up and leave the rainbows and unicorns behind.  Our enemies don’t believe in them as the basis for their foreign policies, and neither should you.

Obama Administration Forsaking Israel?

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Whose Side Is He On?

In what can only be considered an attempt to pressure Israel into an untenable situation, the Obama Administration is using the upcoming UN question as the means by which to pressure Israel to capitulate on territorial issues in negotiations with the Palestineans.  For all intents and purposes, the State Department is using the stick of an upcoming UN vote on Palestinean statehood to try to crowd Israel into further concessions.  We have already learned that there can be no peace to be gained from trading away territory, and Israel has paid a terrible price for past concessions in that vein, but now we’re looking at a direct threat to Israel’s existence.

The US State Department attempting to box Israel into accepting conditions it cannot survive in exchange for the US veto at the UN.  Make no mistake about it: This is a dangerous game of chicken, but if Israel yields, they’re as good as dead.  On the other hand, if they don’t yield, we’re looking at a potentially explosive situation, and the Obama administration is gambling that Israel will surrender the point to its own detriment.  I believe we Americans who understand the truth of this situation need to stand with Israel, in the name of all that is good and decent and let the Israeli government know that we understand a rogue element is now running a US foreign policy we, the American people, do not support.

Israel has a hard enough time under the best of conditions, but in this stage-managed “Arab Spring” fomented and supported by the Obama State Department, it’s clear that leftists and Islamists have joined forces to change the world in a way favorable to both.  The leftists want all of the West, and the Islamists want all of the Middle East.  The deal struck between them requires Israel’s destruction, with the world to be divided between four great empires: The West, Islam, Russia, and China.  Everybody else is to be squeezed out or absorbed.  Israel is the pawn to be yielded by the left.  It’s Israel that the left will hand over in a show of feigned surprise and shock when the Islamic world attacks.

Even now, the Obama administration is rushing to shore up its support among Jews in the United States, but I believe the bloom is off that particular rose, and there’s nothing to be recovered at this point.  Even otherwise liberal American Jews are beginning to realize that this administration is no friend of Israel, and certainly no friend of the Jewish people.  The whole situation is beginning to take on vaguely apocalyptic overtones, as Israel is being left with no choice but to consider the most strenuous forms of defense.  In short, Israel is being backed into a corner from which they will have no choice but to defend itself, and there will be a new narrative about Israel being the aggressor, as the Palestineans have tried to convey through propaganda for more than three decades.  It must be considered the most grave action of this administration should it proceed on this course, but there’s no sign they intend to be deterred from the actions already in progress.

This would be considered a dramatic foreign policy failure in any previous administration, but the truth in this instance is that these are the ends the Obama administration has been pursuing for the length of its entire existence.  Worse, the Palestineans are being incited to a level of fervor in expectation of some move to statehood that is outrageous, but their pronouncements on the subject make clear that this isn’t about some nebulous notion of “peace.”  It is a doctrine of one-sided segregation, whereby Israel will be compelled to continue accepting Palestineans, and the Palestineans will purge all Jews from the land they hope to control.

In short, what the Palestineans are promising is “ethnic cleansing,” a principle with which they’ve always agreed.  Those who seek to downplay this issue, or the importance of what’s being done by the Obama administration simply aren’t examining the facts.  For all our solemn oaths asserting “Never again,” what we’re really seeing now is the attempt to do it again, and this time, the final solution is to be final if the radical left and the Islamists are permitted to have their way.  It’s time for the American people to stand and oppose this rogue administration before it brings about World War III.  For all their talk about peace, the way in which they’re striving toward a war suggests Americans had better wake up soon.