Archive for the ‘War’ Category

This is 1860, and Obama Isn’t Lincoln

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Who We Need

Our country is in crisis, but at present, we have no leader emerging to save the union, and it seems there will be no Abraham Lincoln to save the nation.  Barack Obama is more like his long-ago predecessor, James Buchanan, who was put in place by his party, the Democrats, to protect the institution of slavery.  Obama is in that position, as his job has been to protect and grow the welfare state, and in much the same way as Buchanan, it may be a case before the Supreme Court that defines his presidency.  If Barack Obama and the Democrats have their way, the Supreme Court will uphold the Affordable Care Act(Obama-care) thus defining the character and inevitable course of the nation, much as in 1857, Justice Taney’s ruling upholding slavery in the Dred Scott case set the nation on a course to civil war. The difference was that in 1857, the court held that federalism applied, and in 2012, Barack Obama’s justice department is demanding that the 10th Amendment and the entire notion of States’ rights be ignored. There may only be one way in which this issue is finally settled, and it may require war.

In 1860, the budding Republican party sought to set the question on slavery right, the abolitionists in the North propelling Abraham Lincoln to the presidency.  Lincoln had the distinction of overseeing the abolition of slavery, but to do so he would need to fight a war.  In much the same way, if Republicans are to begin abolishing the soft slavery of the welfare state, beginning with Obama-care, they will need to elect a leader prepared to wage war in defense of a principle.  After all, in 1860, the South was entrenched in the notion of keeping the institution of legal slavery, but the abolitionists knew that could not be permitted to stand.  In 2012, faced with a Supreme Court case that may well decide the future of the country, we wait to see if the court will act to save the country, or fail to defend the principles enshrined in the constitution as they did in the Dred Scott case one-hundred-fifty-five years ago.

People have falsely compared Obama to Lincoln, thinking his stance on the supremacy of the central government over the states is the most pressing comparison, but this simply isn’t the case.  What will save our republic now is not more government but less, and not fewer freedoms but more, and in this sense, Barack Obama has nothing in common with Abraham Lincoln.  Lincoln thought that it was impossible to better the lives of some men by subjecting other men to ruin:

“Property is the fruit of labor…property is desirable…is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.” The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VII, “Reply to New York Workingmen’s Democratic Republican Association” (March 21, 1864), pp. 259-260.

Clearly, Lincoln was not interested in Obama’s updated form of enslavement, and yet that is the central crisis that will confront this nation in the 2012 elections, and for some years to come.  Nobody can say with certainty what will be the final tipping point, but if this nation continues apace, it will plunge into anarchy and civil war, but this time, the government is likely to be on the side of the slavers.

There is something fundamentally flawed in the thinking of those who argue that this is just the natural progression of nations, because what they argue is that Americans are neither wise enough, nor even capable of sufficient self-control to attempt to restrain intemperate desires for wealth derived from naked expropriation, but I submit this is not true, at least not yet, and that we must not permit it to become true.  Once we cross that invisible plane, the ramifications will be known with little delay, as the country you had known and loved and labored to propel disappears into the fog of a war from which only savagery may emerge.

Let us not pretend that we can’t imagine what will happen in such a scenario, but let us not delude ourselves into the beautiful lie that tells us it will somehow resolve by other, less painful means.  Von Clauswitz said that war is politics by another means, and I am here to tell you that politics is just the precursor to war  in such a context as the one in which our nation now persists.  All of the political rancor we now experience would be replaced by open warfare, at least for a time, in the scenario I am describing.  That our slate of Republican candidates might not see this is disturbing enough, but that our front-runner intentionally avoids seeing it is frankly inexcusable.  Of those now in the nomination fight, I think Gingrich is most apt to understand what’s at stake, because his knowledge of history may permit him to see the warning signs with a clarity the others are neither inclined nor perhaps able to see.

Gingrich has a fine understanding of the Civil War, and he certainly knows the history of the period, and how the nation arrived in that predicament.  I think Gingrich also understands that our current predicament is in some ways worse, because whereas in 1861, Lincoln put the government in service of the proposition that all men were created equal, we now have a government committed to the notion that it is the job of government to compel an equality of results.

This is the nature of the grave danger we now face, and it is every bit as dangerous as 1860, but perhaps with the added danger that we now have  a president who is part of the problem.  Put another way, imagine that in 1861, it had been a President from the South who instead caused t he Northern delegations to Congress to walk out, and had engaged in a brutal war to compel Northern states to the “peculiar institution” that had been slavery.  That’s what we now face, as Barack Obama seeks to impose his own form of slavery on the American people.

This is why I insist that this election year is not like 1980, or even 1932.  This election is most like 1860, and if we don’t find a candidate with the common sense and righteous aims of Lincoln, it may have been in vain that we exercised our vote.  If we are to preserve this republic, we will need leaders who are willing to wage even war in defense of individual liberty.  That certainly won’t be Barack Obama, and it surely won’t be Mitt Romney, leaving us to ponder whether it is even possible to save our union once more.

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Marines Disarmed for Panetta Visit: Why?

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Panetta Addresses Troops

On Wednesday, the story came out that Marines in Afghanistan had been disarmed for the visit of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.  Many were puzzled or disgusted over this, for the implications about which it speaks volumes.  If the Secretary of Defense is that worried about our own troops, perhaps he should not be serving in that post.  Of course, I have a feeling I understand the real reason for this policy, and it may not be about our troops, or at least not all of them.  Could it be that Secretary Panetta doesn’t want to be scored as another victim of military “workplace violence,” should another Muslim soldier angry about recent events try to act out his or her anger? I offer this only half in jest, because the behavior of leadership in this case is perplexing. I don’t understand why the Marines were treated in this way, and it can hardly inspire confidence in our service-members if they are led to doubt whether they have the full trust of the chain of command.

As we know, the Obama administration has done its best to sweep Army Major Nidal Hasan’s act under the carpet by labeling it as “workplace violence” rather than as an act of terrorism, despite all of the evidence demonstrating the link between Hasan and militant Muslim extremists.  I was astonished to learn about the details of Panetta’s visit, and that our own Marines were disarmed allegedly because our Afghan allies who were in attendance were likewise disarmed.  As an Army veteran myself, I could see why the security details of dignitaries might have some concern, particularly in the aftermath of the incident last weekend with the soldier who went on a shooting rampage, killing sixteen Afghan civilians, but I also know that was an aberration and says nothing about the entire force.

Still, I find it incredible that the Secretary of Defense would take this view of his own military.  I wonder if he was worried about another act of “workplace violence.”  After all, isn’t that what the Obama administration calls it?  When a lone attacker plowed through a fence and into a ditch at the airbase where Panetta was about to arrive, I would have classified it as an act of terrorism, but with Panetta being part of the military hierarchy, wouldn’t this merely be classified by the Obama administration as another act of “workplace violence?”

I wonder if the Obama administration knows how much contempt it has wrought by that classification.  This sort of thing has ramifications not only for soldiers in the field, but the whole force structure’s confidence in the chain of command.  Perhaps that is part of the trouble here:  Being near a large military base, I’ve heard an unusual number of grumbles about the chain of command and its general temperament with respect to the military.   That’s never a healthy proposition for the military, and I know the lower end of the chain of command struggles to tamp down that sort of thing.  Still, I’m certain the Obama administration is conscious of the growing displeasure from some wider body of the military.  The budget cuts, the ridiculous rules of engagement, and all the over-tasking our service-members now endure are adding to the strain.

I wonder if this was the idea of Panetta, or his own staff, or whether it was the product of an abundance of caution on the part of local commanders.  Either way, it signifies a break-down in the long-established and traditional notion of trust between civilian leadership and the uniformed services, and I find it atrocious on all counts.  I remember being visited in the field as a young soldier by dignitaries including the Secretary of the Army, John Marsh, under Ronald Reagan, and we didn’t put our weapons away.  Of course, that was a different environment, or under different global conditions, but it was also a far different chain of command that viewed its fighting men and women with reverence.  Unless they had real and specific concerns, this will only serve to have widened the gulf in confidence between civilian leadership and our military, and that is never a happy development for the United States, or its Armed Services.

 

 

Panetta Testimony Prompts Resolution Threatening Impeachment

Monday, March 12th, 2012

A Bridge Too Far?

The Obama administration is signaling that it will overstep its bounds again, this time with respect to Syria.  Many in Congress were upset by President Obama’s use of military force against Libya without Congressional approval.  This issue again raises questions about when this nation goes to war, what constitutes the actual making of war, and what is an effective limitation on executive authority in this respect.  More pressing than this, however, may be an underlying notion put forward by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on consultation with our allies and the international community before even talking to Congress.  A resolution is being offered that threatens an impeachment should President Obama step outside the bounds of his authority and fail to consult with Congress in order to gain their approval before engaging American forces.

Congressman Walter B. Jones Jr.(R-N.C.,) has introduced a resolution stating that should the president use offensive military force without prior authorization by an act of Congress, “it is the sense of Congress” that any such actions would constitute “an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor.” Of course, introducing such a resolution and actually passing it, and then subsequently acting upon it are very different things.  According to WND, former Congressman Tom Tancredo believes the bill was offered as a response to the following statement by Leon Panetta, now serving as Secretary of State:

“Our goal would be to seek international permission and we would … come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this, whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress – I think those are issues we would have to discuss as we decide what to do here.”

This was Panetta’s response to Senator Jeff Session(R-Al,) during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.  There has long been a significant division between presidents and congresses on the use of military force, but this is an escalation of sorts, because what it admits is that the Obama administration is willing to seek permission from international bodies like the United Nations, but not willing to seek approval from Congress.  That’s an absurd reversal of precedent in many respect, because the Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution provides that it shall be Congress that has the authority to declare war.

Here’s video of the exchange:

Of course, what Presidents have long asserted is that not all military actions constitute a war by traditional definition, and that various military incursions do not require approval of Congress.  For instance, the operational security of some strikes might be compromised if the President had to go to Congress for each relatively small action.  There is a certain truth to this, but at the same time, Congress has addressed this with the  War Powers Act, that virtually every President has ignored ever since it was passed.  There are vigorous debates over the constitutionality of that act, but what remains certain is that when it comes to declaring war, Congress is the proper authority.  Instead, the argument revolves around what constitutes a war requiring that declaration from Congress.

Congress has itself added to the confusion, by passing resolutions that “authorize the use of force” in various contexts, but they have not issued an “resolution of war” since 1941.  If Congress is going to assert its authority, it has a long line of precedents it established by its own intransigence or malingering in the last seventy or so years since it last summoned the will to declare war.  This has been part of the case that previous presidents have made with respect to Congressional objections in the last four or five decades.

On the other hand, if the Congress actually passes Congressman Jones’ resolution, this might signal the willingness of Congress to take a more fundamentally active role in the foreign and military affairs of the nation. While all presidents would prefer a Congress to act as rubber-stamps for their foreign and military affairs agenda, the fact is that President Obama has been governing wildly outside the norm as commander-in-chief, and his intransigence to long-standing American foreign policy interests is a sore spot in many quarters.  His willingness to abandon allies, or support former enemies is a troubling development, and this may be leading Congress to finally re-examine its largely inactive role in that part of the policy arena. Here is the complete wording of the resolution:

Expressing the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a president without prior and clear authorization of an act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution.

Whereas the cornerstone of the Republic is honoring Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that, except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a president without prior and clear authorization of an act of Congress violates Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under Article I, Section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution and therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution.

Readers should bear in mind that any such resolution, to carry any force, would need to be approved by the  House and the Senate, but that would require the resolution being brought up for a vote.  That would effectively require Speaker John Boehner(R-OH) to be in favor of it, or at least willing to put it up for a vote, and I suspect this may not be the case.  Boehner has long avoided controversial maneuvers simply because he wants to avoid the possible political fall-out, meaning in too many cases, he has been unwilling to do that which is right in favor of that which he can do in relative political safety. More importantly, it would have to come to a vote in the Senate, and there’s virtually no chance of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid(D-NV) would ever permit that.  This strangely means that Boehner might be willing to bring it up for a vote, since he knows it would go nowhere in the Senate.  That would merely continue the trend of Congress doing nothing to sustain its own power in foreign and military affairs, and that’s what readers should expect.

 

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:

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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What If Christians in America Reacted Like Muslims in Afghanistan?

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

One Thing Leads To Another

I can’t help but notice that the President and his friends in the leftist establishment press are offering a dangerous precedent for anybody who wants to notice it.  As Barack Obama apologizes to the Taliban, Afghans, and Muslims everywhere for the inadvertent burning of a few copies of the Qur’an, the reaction is even more strident and increasingly violent.  The more violent they become, the more Obama and his friends in the press grovel, to the extent that he’s now got the entire military chain of command making apologies and running around in panic that they have offended Islam.  Watching all of this, I had a sudden thought:  What would happen if American Christians reacted to the contraception mandate in precisely the same way?  Would Obama grovel before them too, or like his bowing all over the Middle East, is that reserved solely for the Muslim world?  To watch this president in action is to observe a slow-motion train-wreck, if you believe he’s incompetent, but I no longer hold that view.  No president could act so recklessly.  If Christians reacted in a more vociferous manner, would President Obama apologize and grovel for them too, or would he crack down on his own countrymen, as I suspect?

This display couldn’t be more disgusting, and yet, given the way Christians and others of faith(excepting Muslims) are treated by the current administration, maybe that’s the answer:  Americans of faith are simply too docile, and too willing to “turn the other cheek.”  Of course, as Americans of faith have long since discovered, when it comes to the Obama administration, and the mainstream media, turning the other cheek has begun to give the appearance of somebody watching a tennis match.  Christians particularly have taken a beating from this administration, and Obama’s willing accomplices in the media carry out shameless attacks on people of faith under the general auspices of “reporting the news.”

I realize Christians are not very likely to “go Taliban” as the Afghans have been doing this week, but the reaction of the Obama administration may offer a bit of a clue.  I’m not advocating violence, of course, but maybe it’s time to put together a “million Christian march” or some such thing to remind the administration Who is in charge.  Apparently, the administration is quite fearful of the mess now ongoing in Afghanistan, and at the rate things are going, I can see us evacuating via helicopter off the roof of our embassy there.  Not satisfied to turn the fight into Vietnam out in the field, the liberals are accomplishing the seemingly impossible: We’re going to wind up with video out of Afghanistan very much like we saw as the United States evacuated from Saigon, leaving people desperate to escape clamoring to be lifted out too. Leftists everywhere will celebrate.

Of course, the way this country is being led into the ground, Christians may not have to do much.  If the Occupiers have their way, they’ll create a similar scene at the White House, and Barack Obama will fly out in Marine One, leaving the likes of Biden and Carney to fend for themselves among the restless natives.  This is the state of our rudderless nation as Barack Obama takes one victory after the other and converts them into complete disasters.  His apologies have done nothing but to encourage the mobs of angry Afghans, and it’s a disturbing picture when you realize they are merely acting out on the basis of that which they believe.  Call it irrational if you want, and yes, they’re barbaric murderers who have killed Americans in their blood-lust, but consider this:  Barack Obama is begging their forgiveness for a “wrong” that has been shown to be an accidental insult, and not the act of malice.

What are we then to make of a president who acts with malice toward the people of faith in his own country? He insults Catholics, demeans Christians, and tells them their faith must be subservient to his government, while the government he leads and administers bows in surrender and supplication before the rioters in Afghanistan.  How is an American Christian or Jew to take this, realizing that he does the same at home, since we cannot say “Islamic Terrorism” with respect to Major Nidal Hasan, but instead call it “workplace violence?”  Is it not stunning to see an American president who evinces respect for foreign savages who practice a religion he does respect, while he ignores the consciences of Americans who practice a religion he apparently holds in contempt?

This is abominable, sickening behavior, not only by the murderous thugs in Afghanistan, but also by the irresponsible administration in Washington DC.  Where a decent President would have ignored the incident in his official capacity, knowing that to acknowledge it would give it more gravity and not less, and in a situation in which a responsible president would have loosed the dogs of war in their own defense, Barack Obama not only has harmed us, and especially the troops under his command, but he has ignored the chance to deliver a lesson to the Afghans who now rise up in open rebellion against us over a mistake.

Any decent respect for our country and its position in this world would have led him to treat this entire incident differently, but he has no respect, neither for the country nor for the office he occupies.  Just once, I would like to see him react in a similar fashion when Americans of faith were rightly offended, rather than working to offend them more thoroughly in the next instance.  Until Barack Obama leaves that office, our nation will suffer one disaster after the next, and all of his making, and as I wrote this past week, I no longer believe the line that it’s all due to incompetence.  He’s intentionally paying respect to those who have none for us, and he’s one of them in spirit, if not in open worship.  While he reaches out to offended Muslims the world over, he turns his backside to us, and the moon you’re being shown isn’t the crescent common to Islam.

 

Is Iran a “Rational Actor?”

Friday, February 24th, 2012

"Rational Actor?"

When you see that even scientists have become so irrational, you know you’re not dealing with an ordinary regime, or rational actors who can be counted upon to follow norms of behavior as we perceive them to be in the West.  The Israeli National News is reporting that the Iranian nuclear scientist who was assassinated in Tehran in January was very  much concerned with and focused on the annihilation of Israel, according to his widow.  Whether she was prompted into this statement by the Ahmedinejad government, or whether she volunteered the information on her own, this speaks to the plainly irrational desires of that regime. There are those who suggest that there’s no proof Iran is an irrational actor, but I think that flies in the face of more than thirty years of evidence to the contrary.

Iran remains the leading state sponsor of terrorism, and they continue to back operations by Hezbollah along with others throughout the Middle East.  More, their current dictator and his theocratic overseers are so-called “Twelvers” who believe in the 12th Imam and a theology that specifies the end of their “oppression.”  These are people who have beliefs more irrational than the worst cultists you’ve ever known in the West, and yet there are those who think we can somehow negotiate in good faith with them.  Worst of all, their leader, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, professes a devout belief in this theology, and says that the oppressors are the “Great Satan” (the US) and the “Lesser Satan” (Israel.)

For those who suggest we can deal with such thinking, I’d remind them that nobody took Hitler and his occult beliefs and practices seriously outside of Germany until it was much too late.  I wonder if these same critics would contend that Hitler had been a “rational actor.”   The Iranian dictator is a maniac, and to pretend he’s less dangerous than he is would be to subject this country to unnecessary risks and a threat of serious harm.  This guy is no more rational than David Koresh, but Koresh had a few rifles, and for that Janet Reno laid siege to his Mt. Carmel compound.  This mad-man is seeking nuclear weapons, and has already tried to carry out political assassinations in the US.  By what standard can anybody conclude he is rational?

Fox in the Henhouse: Obama’s Undermining of US Defenses Escalates

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

"I...Am So In Love With You..."

Barack Obama’s defense policies appear to be the most foolish, irresponsible, and negligent in modern American history.  This president is cutting our defenses to the bone, and he knows it.  Not satisfied with wreaking havoc with our conventional forces, he’s now examining the elimination of our strategic nuclear arsenal to as few as three hundred warheads.  That’s fewer than China, and many fewer than Russia.  If the United States gives up this deterrence to attack, we are effectively naked to such designs as other nations may have on our country.  Three hundred nuclear warheads?  While it sounds like tremendous destructive capacity, and it is, it does not offer the sort of strategic deterrent that our current nuclear arsenal comprises, and against a nuclear giant like Russia, it’s wholly insufficient to prohibit them from nuclear blackmail or outright nuclear attack if the relationship with them sours further.  This policy proposal is a national suicide pact, and Barack Obama knows it.  Let it be stated forthrightly: He is destroying the United States.

We are already at our lowest levels in decades, and the problem is that while most of us think of nuclear weapons and warfare in a global apocalyptic vision, the facts are much different.  A nuclear warhead in the range of one megaton is a terribly destructive device, but it is enough to wipe out one large city.  Across the vastness of the Russia, or China, it is a small impact.  More, since priority targets are generally opposing nuclear weapons sites, it is impossible to cover all targets even at our current level if it came to that.  I am not here making light of nuclear weaponry, except to say that such diminished levels as three hundred warheads means we would then have a force insufficient to deter a nuclear-armed Iran, if they can be deterred at all.  From the article linked above:

John Bolton, former U.N. ambassador and undersecretary of state for international security during the George W. Bush administration, said in an interview that the administration’s plan to cut nuclear force to as low as 300 “alone is sufficient to vote against Obama in November.”

“Congress should urgently adopt a resolution rejecting the idea that any of these levels is consistent with American national security,” Bolton said. “Let’s just see who is prepared to support Obama.”

This is only the start. Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney went even further:

“No sane military leader would condone 300 to 400 warheads for an effective nuclear deterrent strategy,” McInerney told the Washington Free Beacon.

“Going down to 1000 to 1,100 is risky enough and frankly in today’s world, very risky. The purpose of our nuclear force structure is to deter any adversary from even thinking that they could minimize our attack options. Such thinking is very dangerous and will only encourage our adversaries to make bold decisions.”

This is an intentional attack on our strategic defense infrastructure, and President Obama must be held accountable even for suggesting it.  I am much beyond the polite discussions of policy in bureaucratic terminology here.  These cuts are a disaster that may ultimately cost millions upon millions of Americans their lives, never mind the future of the Republic itself, as a viable political body.  The fox is in the hen-house, and many Americans still see him as an off-kilter hen.  Let us not pretend that Barack Obama is here exercising the best interests of the United States, or the oath of his office to defend and protect the constitution.  Recent actions by this president demonstrate he has no love of our constitutional system, and this is an egregious abandonment of his duties as commander in chief. Also from the article:

Kenneth deGraffenreid, a former Reagan administration National Security Council official, said in an interview that the plans for sharp nuclear cuts are “part of the administration’s purposeful decline of American military power.”(emphasis added)

Some people wonder why I become frustrated as they watch their football games, or their reality TV shows, but otherwise check out on the whole question of our nation’s affairs.  Ladies and gentlemen, this cannot be permitted, and John Boehner had better get off of his whining duff, and step up to the plate.  Mitch McConnell had better be all over the TV, and he’d better stop using weasel-words, if he remembers how to speak plainly any longer, because our nation is under attack from within.  It’s time we stop mincing words to disguise this fact from our people and from ourselves.  President Obama is no friend to this country, never mind its allies, and this strategic proposal for what is essentially unilateral nuclear disarmament makes of our nation a sitting duck.  This is not simple incompetence.  This is not mistaken thinking.  This is not a case of good intentions leading to unintended consequences.  This is a monstrous betrayal of the American people by a leftist ideologue who hates the country he is sworn to lead, defend, and protect.

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.

Dereliction or Treason?

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

What's He Doing?

Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to offer you a number of facts to consider and then I’m going to ask you to consider them as a complete set.  At present, our military is falling into a disgraceful condition under the maladministration of Barack Obama. In fact, the condition of the country at large is one of unsustainable weakness, but every day, Obama undertakes more bad ideas that hamper or harm our nation.  Most assign this to a reckless incompetence, and while I can understand the desire to not think the worse of a US President for his intentions, I am questioning them now as far too many things seem to be aligning disturbing synchronicity.  It seems as though something is wrong with this President, and it may be far worse than misguided intentions. His actions as President have severely undermined our defenses, and may make us essentially naked to aggressors. When one observes such a trend, it must be called to the attention of his fellows, because if this is intentional, then the only name for this is not “dereliction” but instead “treason.”

We are now slashing the defense budget to make room in the Federal budget for entitlements, including Obamacare’s implementation, and all those other programs previously in existence.  We are now grounding our Air Force’s fighters at a phenomenal rate.  We are nearly 20% weaker in this vital area than we had been a short decade ago, and cancellations of projects like the F-35 guarantee this will only become worse.

We have handicapped our naval capacity by insisting they use a certain percentage of bio-fuels in their combat aircraft at an outrageous expense to tax-payers, and an as-yet unknown cost to the defense of the nation.  We are nearing the point where we will effectively scrap two entire aircraft carrier battle groups, further limiting our ability to respond to threats around the globe, or protect our own air-space here at home.

We have given most of our critical missile defense secrets to the Russians, allegedly to ease their worries about them, but in truth, what we’ve done is to give them to a potential adversary that has contractual relationships with Iran and other nations with which conflicts may be inevitable.  At the same time, Iran continues to threaten us and our allies with missiles against which these systems were designed to act.

Iran now flagrantly sails its fleets not merely through the Suez Canal, but also threatens to shut down shipping through the Straits of Hormuz, and between these two passages, nearly 50% of the world’s oil supply is transported.  We do not challenge them there, except to waggle our finger, but it’s worse because their ships now sail openly along the edge of our territorial waters in an intentionally provocative way.

Petroleum and its distillates are soaring in price, even though President Obama has killed off the Keystone XL pipeline that would have brought fuel to our energy-starved nation within a short time.  Our current oil production is dipping, but more than this, the taps at the Strategic Petroleum Reserves remain open, as Obama uses this to hold down the price of oil only slightly.

The Iranians are developing nuclear weapons and they already have mid-range missiles on which to deliver them, but more than this, they are developing long range rocketry that will reach to the North American continent.  Iran continues to fund terrorists who attack us globally, and yet, when there was an uprising in Iran, Obama did not back it until well after it had been quelled, but he did so only half-heartedly.

Soros is raising an army of rabble that you know as the Occupiers.  What these will be are the useful idiots to be led into slaughter when the time comes, and Obama needs an excuse to clamp down. At the same time, Obama’s department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement(ICE) is being directed to permit illegals to go without arrest whenever possible.

Our financial system has been directly tied to the banking systems of the failing Euro currency, and it’s no secret that if they collapse, as seems likely, we will almost surely accompany them over the precipice and into the abyss.  Your purchasing power is being eroded away, and soon you will begin to see a more distinctly inflationary trend that they will not be able to mostly hide from you as has been true over the last few months.  Instead, we’re going like gang-busters to worsen our troubles.  The government rigs the unemployment statistics, and we’re told “things are improving.”

None of these things are likely to have been unknown to you,  because as readers of this site, you’ve seen most of them covered here.  You might look at any of these in isolation, and conclude that they are the results of colossal incompetence or even dereliction, but as yet, you may not have noticed the common thread running through them.  You might be satisfied with that notion, but for the fact that you know nothing exists in a vacuum, and that you cannot separate the out from the whole if you’re to understand them in context.

What all of these things have in common is that each of them substantially harms America’s economic and physical security.  Each and every one of these things also have in common is the fact that they are directed by a single authority, and the person who wields it is none other than Barack Obama.

Barack Obama maintains two separate cabinets, one consisting of his official cabinet secretaries, and the other composed of his shadowy system of czars and advisers.  The latter group wins every argument, and it shows in the decisions this president takes.

If not dereliction, could this really be treason?  If we didn’t suspect otherwise, I’d think he was getting us ready for a take-down on all fronts.  What’s worse is that his chief opponent in November is likely to be the candidate of his preference.  Still, one can hardly miss the fact that what all of these things leave in play is the fact that we are being set up, and it is we Americans who stand to lose everything.  His sympathies for Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood are telling relations, and the fact that his favorite pen-pal is the radical, Islamist President of Turkey, and what you realize that there’s almost no hope.

Is Barack Obama intentionally leading us to the banquet of the enemies at which we are to be the main course?  Consider what might happen if an electromagnetic pulse(EMP)  bomb was detonated by Iran over US territory:  You will not see television again, perhaps for a generation. Your vehicles will not function.  Every electronic device, and indeed the whole electrical grid may be down for years.  You will have no oil with which even to do battle to reopen the Straits of Hormuz or the Suez Canal, because we have been bleeding our Strategic Petroleum Reserves into the ground at their behest.  No oil?  No Navy or Air Force, meaning no response from us.  At that point, fuel-less, and with nothing in which to place it  if we had it, the country would almost immediately grind to a stop.

Spend a little time to think about everything Barack Obama is doing, and ask yourself if these are the actions of an honest man concerned with his country but inept in application, or instead the mere organizing of a man who is committed to its destruction.  The worst-case scenarios are too awful to imagine, but that we must stop him is also clear.  If it isn’t treason, it sure looks like it, and if the net effect is the same, it won’t make a difference either way.  Does it matter?  In this context, is negligence distinguishable from treason?  I don’t think so, but we must begin to assess the threats against our country, and if we should survive through election 2012, we must unseat this president, though I do not know now how we can beat him.

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.

Hooah: Allen West Responds to Marine Urination Incident: War is Hell

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Allen West (R-FL)

The Weekly Standard is reporting on a statement via email from Congressman Allen West(R-FL) on the incident involving Marines who urinated on three Taliban Corpses.  West is known particularly for his own service, having retired from the Army  as a Lt. Colonel.  His statement reflects the view of a military realist, who understands the real nature of war, and the things that sometimes happen on the battlefield.  I think the hand-wringers would do well to listen to West on this one, as his statement comports well with my own statement on the matter.   I wish all of our veterans in government were willing to be this blunt:

“I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

“All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?

“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.

“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.”

I have but one thing to say to this: “Hooah!

Hand-Wringers Whine About Marines Urinating on Corpses of Taliban Fighters

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Who's "Deplorable?"

There are those who simply cannot avoid rushing in front of a camera, expressing their outrage at the behavior of the Marines in this video that surfaced, showing graphic footage of four Marines in Afghanistan urinating on the corpses of three dead Taliban fighters.  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called the incident “deplorable” and “inappropriate,” but I think the administration’s outrage is inappropriate.  These Marines, when captured, are subjected to far worse at the hands of the Taliban fighters, and frankly, it’s time to stop being a bunch of whiners about this. War is Hell, and while we shouldn’t encourage this, it is a natural result of the stresses of combat, but some of us clearly need to harden up.

Was it dignified?  No.  But to entertain the complaints of people like Afghan President Hamid Karzai as though his chief concerns about the inhumane nature of this act is in any way relevant is a sham.   The Department of Defense is investigating, and it is now being reported that the Marines have been identified as part of an ongoing Marine Corps investigation. You can view the video below, but as the still frame indicates, it is graphic:

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.1010216&w=425&h=350&fv=allowfullscreen%3D]

I cannot believe Senator John McCain came before cameras today to condemn this.  As those of you who follow this blog will know, I’m not given to fits of profanity and I don’t generally resort to such things, but to the senior Senator from Arizona, Campaign Suspender and Self-Saboteur of 2008,  RINO-endorser, and perpetual Republican thorn in the side, let me say this: STFU!  And Senator, if you don’t know what this means, ask your delightful daughter who regaled the MSNBC studio with an odd statement about an “emoticon of privacy.”  I’m sure she can tell you.  As an unrelated sidebar, for those who don’t understand, watch Mehgan McCain’s brilliance.  Apparently, like father, like daughter in this case:

Meanwhile, I have only one remaining question: How is Obama going to handle this?  When he issues a statement, will he say that the Marine “Corpse” is investigating?

If you want to know why we’re losing in Afghanistan, you need only consider that we’re more interested in prosecuting Marines who used poor judgment in directing their streams of urine than we are in prosecuting our war.  If this is to be considered some sort of “atrocity,” then I think we all need to consider who’s really taking the piss, and at whose expense.

Victoria Jackson Claims Islamic Infiltration of US Under Way

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

She's Back!

There are those who will argue it’s hard to take Victoria Jackson seriously after her career as a comic on Saturday Night Live.  She’s been taking on more serious subjects for some time now, writing columns for WND, and also taking on the Occupy Wall Street crowd.  In this case, she claims that the Muslim Brotherhood is infiltrating the US federal government, and she’s goes to some lengths to make her case. It’s a serious charge, and she goes further, ultimately suggesting that President Obama is tied to all of this.  While it’s hard to dispute that Obama’s policies have certainly been favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood, her other claims are somewhat more difficult for most Americans to accept.

In the video below, she’s on PolitiChicks.tv, and she discusses the details of a briefing she attended.

It’s hard to deny that the mainstream media has been doing its best to cover up incidents involving Muslims.  The ridiculous classification by DoD of the Fort Hood shooting as an act of “workplace violence” comes to mind, and Tuesday’s disclosure about the Christmas day shooting in Grapevine, TX are only two examples of this sort of reporting.  With the Obama administration’s actions on the Fort Hood shooting, and its Department of Homeland Security head referring to acts of terrorism as “man-caused disasters,” it’s not hard to understand why some Americans are beginning to ask questions of their government and a media that seems institutionally devoted to covering for radical Muslim terrorists.  At the same time, we have the DoD allowing the wearing of the hijab by JROTC cadets, leading some to question what is going on behind the scenes.  Still, some will have difficulty accepting at face value what Jackson alleges because of her comedic past, but I think such an out-of-hand dismissal is a mistake.  In any event, it’s certain to be a matter of continuing controversy, and you can count on the media to sweep it all under the rug.

A Question of Morality

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Whose Moral Standard?

I’ve heard a great deal of panting, breathless speaking by various conservative pundits who point to Ron Paul’s statements, as late as 2009, that he wouldn’t have sent troops to fight Hitler, even if he’d known about the camps where Jews, gypsies, and others were being starved, tortured and murdered.  On its face, most people will gasp at the thought that anybody would seek to intervene, and almost immediately, conclusions are drawn about Ron Paul’s moral character on this basis, fueled by an emotional reflex, but often without considering it fully.  I find it interesting because it offers us an opportunity to learn about Ron Paul, his supporters, and his critics, and it gives us a chance to consider what we believe.  The premise put forth by so many commentators is that Paul’s position is an exercise in moral abdication, while a few note that he maintains his philosophical consistency.  Who’s right? Is it possible that both are correct?  It’s important to understand the moral underpinnings of Ron Paul’s position before we leap into the fray and join in condemnations of him, if for no other reason than because we hate this sort of thing when it is done to us or the candidates who we support.

Many people screech about the “moral implications,” but before we can answer that, we must first ask:  “Whose morality?”  Or: “Of what does that moral code consist?” This is key to understanding Ron Paul. Here is the question and answer at controversy:

And so I asked Congressman Paul: if he were President of the United States during World War II, and as president he knew what we now know about the Holocaust, but the Third Reich presented no threat to the U.S., would he have sent American troops to Nazi Germany purely as a moral imperative to save the Jews?

And the Congressman answered:

“No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t risk American lives to do that. If someone wants to do that on their own because they want to do that, well, that’s fine, but I wouldn’t do that.”

Ron Paul is a libertarian, and the first thing to know about libertarians is that they believe first and foremost in individual rights.  To understand how this position makes for completely different judgments on issues such as the question of Paul’s statements about Hitler, we must first understand how his moral context differs entirely from that which has been deemed the conventional wisdom on the matter.  Most people hold that it was right to intervene in Europe in the second World War, if for no other reason than to put an end to Hitler’s campaign of ruthless destruction waged against the Jewish people of Europe.  The position is that such a thing should never be permitted in a civilized world, and that from the moment Hitler commenced his holocaust, every nation had a moral obligation to attack his death machine.  This is the moral context we understand, and most of us accept in uncritical agreement.

What does such a position require?  For starters, it meant mobilizing armies and armed forces of every description against the Nazi war machine.  What does that entail?  It meant building ships, planes, tanks, rifles and machine-guns in gargantuan numbers, and it meant supplying them to our allies as well.  It meant spending vast sums of money that the American taxpayer would work for generations to repay.  It meant drafting young men into the armed forces, and compelling them to take up arms against a distant enemy.  These are the direct necessities of such a war.  This is not imagination, or pondering, but the blunt fact of what was done.  Now, let us consider all of these things through the moral lens with which Ron Paul and other libertarians consider it.

Only a statist mind views one man’s life as the means to its own ends.  By this method, one could call anything a “moral imperative” according to a particular moral standard, and demand that others serve those standards.  What Ron Paul and other libertarians assert is that one person has no right to make such moral determinations for another.  For instance, and as only one of endless possible examples, consider this formulation:  Imagine in 1942, you’re a robust eighteen-year-old male, and you’re working your way through college working at the grain mill in your small town.  You receive a draft notice in the mail, ordering you to report for duty at some location, to serve in the Army.  Stop.  We enacted an amendment that makes slavery or indentured servitude illegal.  That Amendment, the thirteenth, reads simply:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

On what basis can you be drafted into anything?  Please demonstrate for me that portion of the United States Constitution that permits conscription on any basis whatsoever.  The constitution only mentions that Congress may “raise and support Armies,” but nowhere is Congress granted the authority of conscription.  If it had, the 13th Amendment would make it illegal, having amended whatever came before it.

On this basis, I ask you again:  According to what moral imperative may you demand of a young man that he place himself in harm’s way, though he may not agree with your moral judgments, or the object of your moral imperative?  Would you then demand, as a statist does, that the young man place his future in the service of your purposes?  Ron Paul’s stated position is that as President, he would not.  This goes a long way to explaining why so many of his supporters are young men who have only recently been compelled against their better judgment to register with the Selective Service.

You might argue that they have a moral obligation even if they’re too young or unwise to know it.  I’d say to you that this is no better an argument than leftists who tell me daily how we ought pay more taxes to support the welfare state, as an act in accordance with a moral imperative I am too stupid to recognize, so they say.  Just as I reject the leftists’ claims of a moral imperative whereby I work away my life in service of their moral ends, I likewise find myself rejecting those claims wherever they arise, and from whomever may give them voice.  I am not fodder for anybody’s ends, and neither is anybody else, and yet what people are insisting about Ron Paul is that he’s abandoning morality.  I ask only: Whose morality?

Now come those who will point out “but hey, Mark, you were in the Army, and you served at the leisure of the Commander-in-Chief.”  This is true, but when I enlisted, I did so for my own purposes.  I believed that if I wanted to live in a free country, I ought to help bear that burden.  In short, I was willing for a time to pay the price associated with the freedoms we enjoy.  Still, none of my four brothers ultimately shared that view, but my sister did.  Among the six of us children, only the eldest and the youngest chose that course.  Do I consider my four brothers who did not serve to be lesser men?  No.  I know that such matters must be a question of one’s own internal moral choosing.

This is the argument, therefore, at the heart of Ron Paul’s statement about whether he would have sent men to war only to stop the holocaust underway in Europe.  Paul, to his credit, remained true to his philosophy, which is to say it would have been more popular to say “Yes, I’d have sent Patton to personally kick Adolph Hitler’s backside.”  It also would be to abandon what Ron Paul believes about choice, and the individual rights of all people. The question his position poses is this:  What right does a President have to make this life-altering decision on behalf of others, for purposes and ends that may not serve those others at all? By what right do you claim the authority to send others to fight your moral battles?

Now, rest assured that Ron Paul’s notions don’t end there.  He would tell you that even had every serviceman been a volunteer, ready to go off to war in order to liberate the Jews being tormented and murdered under Hitler’s boot, still he would not have sent them only for this purpose.  You might ask why, and I will tell you that he views the money taken in taxes to support such an effort as involuntary, and in this respect, no less egregious in moral terms.  When the government comes to collect the tax it believes you owe, it isn’t in the form of a plea for support, but instead in the form of a stick-up man with a gun to your head.  Ron Paul’s moral position holds this as a great evil too, but you might be surprised to know that in the main, I agree with him here also.

After all, whether you collect the value of my labor directly, or some time after the fact, if you do so by virtue of compulsory means, it is no less slavery except that in the form of the income tax, I have one bit of choice: I can choose to have no income. What Ron Paul argues, and where I would surely agree, is that it is morally unconscionable to leave a person with the choice:  Produce, and we’ll seize your production;  produce not and we will leave you in peace.  In short, if you are willing to live under a bridge, or as a ward of the state, they will not tax you substantially.

This may all seem far afield from the original thesis of this post, but in truth, it’s no more than a short distance from demanding one’s life in servitude to demanding one’s labor in servitude.  Both signify precisely the same thing: You have not ownership even over your own person.  Realizing this, I’d ask you to re-evaluate Ron Paul’s stance in a light different from what has been presented to you by the mainstream media.  It simply isn’t fair to suggest that Paul takes this position because he harbors some ill will toward Jews, or others.  The simple fact is that he sees no basis for which to demand that others pay with their lives and labors in a purpose not their own.  The founders did not demand other men serve.  George Washington’s army was not comprised of conscripts, but instead only of volunteers.  Various states had a variety of forms of militia requirements, but the United States had no national conscription in any form until the Civil War, a fact that leads many, including Ron Paul, to view Lincoln as a great tyrant.

I recognize that some of this will cause some heartburn among many who consider Ron Paul a “kook” or a “loon” precisely because of statements like his response to the question on Hitler, but I’d urge you to reconsider his position in the full light of the philosophy behind it, even if you disagree.  Remember, Ron Paul is a doctor, and in treating his patients, he is sworn to observe the Hippocratic oath, and “first, do no harm.”  This means that before he can prescribe a course of treatment, he must be sure it will not kill the patient it was intended to treat.  Does a President of the United States impose his desire to save the lives of non-Americans upon the lives of Americans?  This is really what Ron Paul is asserting:  A President of the United States must first serve his own people and their interests, before he worries about the lives and interests of non-Americans, whatever the cause.  It is essentially the same argument we have had over the question of “nation building,” but writ large on the pages of history.  After all, the Marshal Plan was nothing if not nation-building, and so was our occupation of Japan after their surrender.

At the same time, one might ask of those who decry Paul’s position as “heartless” whether we ought not have done as Patton suggested and march on Moscow right after the defeat of Germany.  Stalin was doing as much killing and brutalizing as Hitler, and some time later, Mao did even more.  Why did we not intervene in China?  If “moral imperative” is the reason, why don’t we intervene in Venezuala, or Iran, or Syria, or North Korea, or any of a hundred places in which brutal dictators make chattel of their fellow man? The job of the President of the United States is not to press its war-fighting capabilities to the humanitarian purposes of the moment, but to defend our nation from attack, and take up that cause when it happens.

All of this is a hypothetical exercise, because in truth what I will now be asked is whether I would have made war against Hitler’s Germany were I to be placed in the same proposition.  My answer is simple:  Germany answered the matter for us when after Pearl Harbor, Hitler declared war upon us in accordance with his treaty with the Empire of Japan.  Roosevelt had promised not to send our sons to war, and he was well aware of what was going on in Germany with the “evacuations” of the Jews.  He was stuck until such time as Germany made open war against us, or joined with others who did.  Pearl Harbor settled the matter along with Hitler’s declaration of war, making moot all of these questions in the context at hand.  FDR did not launch war against Hitler to stop the holocaust, and to suggest otherwise is to repaint history with an altruistic brush that never was.  Our liberation of those camps was a side-effect of our eventual victory, but they were not the objective when the corpses of our young  men piled up on the beaches at Normandy, as their blood ran into the English channel.  The more relevant question that still remains to be answered is this, and it is the question I would ask of Ron Paul if I could:

“If you were in place of Franklin Roosevelt, and Pearl Harbor had been attacked by the Imperial Navy of Japan, and Hitler and in the aftermath, Mussolini likewise declared war against the United States, would you engage that war?”

Put this way, I wonder if Paul’s answer would be different, and upon that answer rests his suitability for the presidency.  What Americans should want to know is to what degree and under which circumstances Ron Paul would act in defense of the nation.  That’s the role of President.  If we find he is unwilling to take up arms against those who attack us or who openly threaten attack, then he is not suited for the job, but his unwillingness to use the United States military as an instrument of humanitarian objectives makes no breach of that office or its high qualifications in my view.  Would he honor treaties with allies?  Would he protect direct American interests?  Would he defend our nation when attacked, or when attack was imminent?  If he would only do these, that would be satisfactory, because his inclination to think first of American lives is precisely the mindset every soldier who volunteers to serve wants to recognize in a commander-in-chief.

2012: Anti-Climax or Armageddon?

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

2012 Looms

Let’s dispense with Mayan calendars from the outset. Neither do I have any interest in misinterpreted antiquities made into modern hoaxes, nor do my readers have any interest in debunking them.  If you came expecting that, please move back over to the MUFON website and carry on in peace, or “Live Long and Prosper,” or wait to be beamed up, or whatever it is you do.  The coming year promises a great number of possibilities, but an accumulating body of evidence suggests that many of them are decidedly bad, at least to the greatest numbers of the American people.  We face many challenges in the coming year, but they need not be apocalyptic. Rather than engage in a load of useless, fear-mongering hyperbole that will be all too common over the next week or so, let’s take a look at the real threats that we face, and conduct an honest assessment of our ability to mitigate them, both from the standpoint of individuals, and also as a nation.

Of course, the possibilities are endless, even discounting Mayan Calendars and the lot, but I think we can group these easily into three major categories, since there’s no real way to predict natural disasters despite the insistence of some who should have by now departed for MUFON. Let us consider our worst threats what they almost always really are: “Man-caused disasters” of one form or another, and that they fall into three major categories we I will list as economic, military and political.  Carl Von Clausewitz would have argued that the latter pair are merely different forms of the same thing, but in this context, I’d like to confine them to their separate definitions.

Let us begin with the category most likely to bear rotten fruit:  The economy is in a horrible condition, and despite the trickery of an administration using rigged numbers to make a case for re-election, it’s clear that we’re in serious trouble.  Perhaps worse is the fact that in Europe and around the globe, the problem of sovereign debt is now choking off economic growth.  The European Union teeters on the verge of collapse, and yet they continue the dishonest and immoral policy of putting good money after bad.  Worse for we Americans, our own Federal Government and Federal Reserve have joined in the delaying tactic.  All they really hope to accomplish at this point is to stall the inevitable long enough to cross the finish line in November.  The question now becomes: Can they?

While the banking and financial  segments remain in global turmoil, the larger domestic issue of immediate importance is the dramatic and persistently horrendous unemployment numbers.  The most reliably consistent numbers from perhaps the most thorough analysis tell us that total unemployment now stands around 23%, despite the rosy picture created by the U3 numbers reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  That is a dangerous number, because it implies certain sociological results that will tend toward violent crime and general civil unrest.  Worse, despite the fact that the U3 number will probably continue downward with even greater seasonal adjustments now being implemented as the administration continues to tinker with the numbers, there’s another problem to consider:  The US is far from the only country seeing this sort of problem, as France is now reporting unemployment levels not seen since the Great Depression.

All of  this paints a frightening economic portrait, but it pales when measured next to the potentially devastating effects of a collapse of the US Dollar.  Nobody alive in the United States really has any sense of what hyperinflation looks like, but here’s a primer on the subject.  The problem is that such a collapse is now increasingly likely, since our own currency has been so thoroughly intermingled with the Euro.  It’s likely that if the Euro goes, our dollar will soon after follow, and we now find that the US Treasury has permitted large institutions with large positions in European derivatives to seek shelter under the umbrella of the FDIC.  This effectively puts US taxpayers on the hook if these things fail, and you can bet that if the Euro falls as it now seems is inevitable, we’re in for a rude awakening.

The military situation is becoming increasingly grim in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.   Having pulled out of Iraq less than one week ago, we are already seeing an increase in violence in that country.  Obama may have managed to pull us out of Iraq, but history may well record he had done nothing but to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Whether you favored the Iraq war, and the occupation that has persisted for most of a decade, it goes without saying that it is the height of foolishness to have spent so much in blood and treasure only to walk away when victory was close at hand.  It might have taken years more to stabilize Iraq completely, but it is doubtful that it will be able to stave off Iranian intervention.

Iran is now flexing its muscles in the Persian Gulf, and is threatening to close off shipping.  That would become an instant crisis, and might well start a round of hyperinflation as fuel prices would likely soar to levels scarcely imagined.  War in any form in the Middle East threatens our security, and threatens to cripple our economy, so that a foreign policy of the sort we’re now witnessing threatens to undermine the future of the United States.

Israel continues to be isolated, and it’s unlikely they’ll see any substantial relief while Barack Obama persists in office. More, leftist elements continue to work to undermine Israel by working in concert with a number of radical Islamic groups.  Israel must now concern itself with an increasingly antagonistic Egypt, and this suggests a scenario in which Israel may have little alternative to at some point make a vigorous defense either by preemptive strikes, particularly against Iran, but also perhaps against other states that continue to have designs on their nation.  This remains true for the so-called “Palestineans,” as well, and there are numerous scenarios by which this could rapidly escalate into full scale war.  Any such war is apt to have profound repercussions here at home, but also globally.

The next area of concern is the political realm.  We have a President that is quite happy ruling in a manner contrary to the will of the people, and he’s content to watch things collapse as he does so.  Worst, his overarching policy is one of bailing out the Europeans to no avail, and in supporting our historical adversaries around the globe.  Still, even with all of this agitating against his re-election, he is thought to have good prospects if only because the sheer number of dollars he has raised and will continue to raise will present a serious obstacle to any opponent.

Speaking of his opponents, all that have materialized thus far have serious problems that will likely make them less than thoroughly effective by way of opposition.  Romney will be obliterated on his flip-flops, and it will be shown that he is more like Obama than Obama himself.  Meanwhile, the strategy Obama is broadcasting is to run against Congress, specifically the House of Representatives now controlled by the Republicans, and they’re bending over backward at every opportunity to make deals with him and Harry Reid over in the Senate.  What neither Boehner nor any of the other establishment Republicans understand is that each time they make deals with Obama, they’re cutting their own throats.  Of course, RINOs like Senator Dick Lugar, (R-IN,) insist otherwise as he now prepares to face a primary challenge of his own.

Add to this the uncertainty about the future of Occupy Wall Street, and what role they’re apt to play in the coming elections, and what you have is a recipe for disaster, particularly if any of the economic or military possibilities discussed herein come to fruition.  I wonder when it comes down to it, and an angry mob packs the mall in Washington DC, whether Barack Obama will stand by the principle underlying his earlier declaration that “Mubarak must go.”   After all, what will happen when the American people are demanding he must go?  My bet is that such would be viewed differently, somehow.

The inevitable question I receive after such a posting is: “What can I do about it?”  The simple answer is “I don’t know.”  The more complete answer is “I can tell you what I am doing,” and leave you to judge for yourself.  You must prepare a few things, and those must include supplies of necessities such as food and medicine.  You must be ready to live without fuel.  You must be prepared to barter when necessary. You must absolutely be prepared to defend yourself, your home, and your family.  You must prepare your family to defend themselves in your absence.  Again, most of these things are measures prudent people should prepare for in all seasons, because one never knows what will happen, from natural disaster to war to almost any possibility. Maybe it’s the soldier in me, but I believe in preparedness, and whatever happens, I will always bet on those who prepare over those who don’t.  It’s really that simple.

On the political front, I will say this much: Americans must become engaged like never before, and here I am speaking specifically to Tea Party patriots, constitutional conservatives, and anybody else who wants to see the nation put back on a course that will promote prosperity.  We must demand that our elected representatives, our Senators, our state and local officials, and yes, our candidates for the nomination all set forth specific objectives for slashing expenditures, reforming government, and holding their feet to the fire.  We must be discerning and vigilant, and not be tempted to fall for what appear to be quick and easy solutions to problems that will not be resolved by half-measures.   Unless and until we the people make enough noise, politicians will pander but make no substantive change, because much like our President, they are in a perpetual delay tactic, every trying to stave off your discovery of how poorly they have done as stewards of your government.

On the bright side, we might just make it through, but if so, it will only be because we had done all we were able, and the sooner people recognize that this will take their direct involvement, the more likely we are to avoid disaster.  Part of what I learned as a young man in the Army is that to prepare is also to repair, because you will inevitably discover things in your preparations that will help you make the scenarios for which you prepare less likely.

It’s much like Y2K at the end of 1999, for which governments and businesses spent untold billions to prepare for a disaster that never substantially materialized.  Many talking heads have assumed that it didn’t occur because it could never occur, but this is dishonest.  The truth is that our preparations largely prevented catastrophe, but history records no catastrophe, so it’s hard to demonstrate.  All those preparations were not “for nothing,” because in truth what they did was prevent the disaster.  That’s the best reason to prepare. It always has been. As we lurch toward a new year full of frightening possibilities, it’s also a year of substantial hope.

 

Veteran’s Day: Our Service Does Not End

Friday, November 11th, 2011

What Veterans Should Remember

Occasionally, when people find out that I’m an Army veteran, they will thank me for my service.  I always thank people for their kindness, but assure them that at least for me, no thanks are necessary.  Many people view military service as a sacrifice, but I do not.  There were hardships, and I underwent all of the same difficulties as most everyone else, but I have always considered that I got much more than I gave.  In the long march of history from our nation’s founding until now, my own role was insignificant, but I took from that service many lessons that have served me in all the years since, and one of those lessons has been that it had been my privilege to serve.  Rather than you thanking me, I should be thanking you.  The opportunity to wear my nation’s uniform in defending her against our enemies was the most important experience in my life.  Despite hardships, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, and for that, I would like to thank you, the American people.

When I entered service, I was first a “No-Go.” That’s what they called we National Guardsmen who went to Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  Less than two years into that service, I decided to go on active duty, and enlisted in the Army.  I had an opportunity to pick up a new MOS(Military Occupational Specialty) with that enlistment, and so I stayed in the same general field, but switched to something a little different and a bit more specialized.  As it turned out, in the units to which I would be assigned with my new MOS, the older secondary would always be complementary and useful. This permitted me to develop my skills in a broader range of uses, and this aided my ability to move up, lead, and direct people from the earliest time in my active duty service.

My service also resulted in my being packed off to Germany.  I had a great opportunity to see Europe, and learn about the  cultures there.  As many of you now know, my wife is German, and our child was born there.  On the morning I arrived in Germany, a car-bomb exploded as I exited the terminal at Rhein-Main Air Base.  We lost more of our brothers that day.  I spent my first night in Germany on guard duty around the perimeter of the scene.  The incident delayed every low-ranking person’s processing into theater by one day, and it re-shuffled assignments.  Rather than going to Augsburg, I would go to Ansbach.  Since this was the town in which I would ultimately meet my wife, it turned out that even an act of terror by leftist thugs, punctuating my arrival in Germany, helped to establish the course of my life.  This taught me that even when the best-laid plans are scrapped due to circumstance, still you can exercise initiative in the eventual outcome, and that sometimes, you just happen to get lucky if you’re prepared to notice it.

I served with amazing people.  There were people from the country, suburbia, and the inner cities.  They came from rich, poor, and middle-class families.  They were as diverse as our nation, but when we were in the field, we were unified in purpose.  It really was amazing to see that people arriving from every possible subset of Americana could be so thoroughly assimilated into one culture, with singular focus, and it was this lesson that has always provided me hope for the future of our nation: When engaged in a shared mission, each exercising his own efforts within his particular specialty, all of our superficial differences faded from view, irrelevant to that purpose for which we had been assembled.

One of the worries I’ve had in the last decade or so is coming to pass, and it’s this:  Our nation loses track of our history because we fail to teach it.  I entered service when Ronald Reagan was the Commander-in-Chief, and the Soviet Union was the biggest, baddest bully on the block.  How many of you would be shocked to learn that in the history texts of your schools, the entirety of the so-called “Cold War” is barely more than a foot-note, and that the Soviet Union is barely mentioned, it’s crimes against humanity ignored, and that the pervasive stench of communist evil has been sanitized out of existence?  Sure, people like me would have taught their own children, but even at that, how much have they retained?  We wonder how it is that we can be marching our nation toward that statist cliff, having defeated such a foe less than two decades ago. I’ll tell you:  As a nation, we have forgotten what it was against which we had been fighting.  Worse, too many of us have failed to teach subsequent generations what our purpose had been.

If you wish to thank a veteran, one ought to know the context of his service, but for so many these days, that context seems lost.  To my fellow veterans, I would urge you to remind them, not as a rebuke, but as a lesson born of your love for the country you had served, and still serve.  There shouldn’t be a child born in America who doesn’t learn the history of despotism that we have risen to combat, defeat, and oppose, and it isn’t merely the tyrants we should remember, but also their philosophies and how they came to be.  If we veterans won’t teach these lessons, it seems that nobody else will, so I urge my fellow veterans to reach out in their communities, particularly to the young, that all we had learned in our various conflicts, hot or cold, is never forgotten.  Our military service may have ended, but our oath does not conclude with the issuance of a DD214.  What our service should have taught us is that the oath we first uttered as young men and women extends from that moment to the last moments of our lives.  The fraternal fellowship we have shared is honored best when we remember that solemn promise in all our days, thankful that we had been permitted to serve the nation we so dearly love.

Many good men and women have given far more in their service than had I, and naturally, I witnessed some of this.  It’s why I shy from the thanks that so many gracious people offer for my service, because in truth, I was of small consequence to the matter at hand, yet there were those who gave so much more, and in so many sad cases, all they had.  Let us remember their purpose, and the missions for which they served.  Let us teach our children and their children the meaning of their deeds, and the extent to which our nation’s prosperity has been built upon their honorable service. Let us lead the way in remembering them.  It is in their honored memory that we should all give thanks.  It is in their names that we must accept thanks, and it is to them that we owe the duty to remember always that oath and teach our young of their deeds.

National Defense Faces Severe Cuts

Monday, November 7th, 2011

A Scalpel or a Sword?

As you will may remember from the Debt Ceiling debacle in early August, the deal then worked out has some automatic triggers.  If the Super Committee created by the legislation fails to produce sufficient spending cuts, those triggers will kick in and cuts will be forced upon Congress.  The biggest target of these cuts is the defense budget, and as the New York Times is reporting,  it’s Leon Panetta who is now considering what those cuts will be.  This is one of the most despicable parts of our current budget morass, and it’s astonishing that nobody much seems to notice:  One of the few legitimate functions of government is the national defense, and yet among all the things to be cut, defense will be hit the most deeply.  I have no problem with an examination of the necessities of our defense spending, but I’m also aware that while government spends money on all sorts of things for which it has no actual constitutional authority, defense is clearly one of the budget categories for which the federal government exists.  In part, this is the result of the can-kicking in which Boehner and House Republicans joined by making their deal with the devil in August, but it’s also the built-in result of generations of governmental growth in other areas of expenditure.

Defense spending now stands at approximately $700 billion.   That’s an astonishing number that is as large as the entire federal budget just thirty years ago.  Part of that number owes to our engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq, with the actual baseline spending for defense being $530 billion.  That’s still an incredible amount of money, but it is only $130 billion(yes, “only”) more than the defense budget at the height of the Reagan administration, but in inflation-adjusted dollars, it’s actually less.  Defense constitutes the largest single line-item in the discretionary portion of the budget, but the entitlements, in the non-discretionary budget, have begun to dwarf the spending on defense.  Social Security is a larger program, and Medicare and Medicaid together exceed the total defense spending.  It should seem odd to Americans that programs for which there is no clear constitutional authorization are considered “non-discretionary,” while programs that are most definitely among the legitimate roles of our federal government are considered “discretionary.”

What this means is that we don’t have a choice on a year-to-year basis about those items in the non-discretionary budget.  We are going to spend to support them, because previous legislation has mandated it.  Discretionary budget items are those that are adjusted on an annual basis, and not necessarily tied to previous legislation.  You can look at it this way for simplicity’s sake:  Non-discretionary spending is comprised of entitlement programs.  Discretionary spending is comprised of everything else.  In our federal budget, non-discretionary spending is roughly twice the size of discretionary spending.

I am certain defense can be trimmed without hampering the nation’s immediate defenses, but I am less certain that over the long run, we can maintain a force capable of deterring and repelling enemies around the globe.  Even in the midst of a deep recession, we are having difficulties with recruiting and retention of military personnel.  This is because just like any other large organization, most of the defense budget is actually spent on salaries and benefits for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. In precisely the same way that the CEO of a large corporation will make cuts to employees first, mainly because it’s the biggest single operational cost, the Defense Department suffers from the same basic problem: Service-members cost a great deal, and a good deal more than their already pathetic pay and benefits represent.  Training costs are phenomenal, and the costs of supporting units in the field are huge.

Many will suggest, naively, that we simply “buy a few less $400 toilet seats.”  While that makes for a good laugh line, the reality is that the defense budget has finally managed to clean up most of those sorts of egregious expenditures over the last decade or so, largely because the Defense Department has had no choice.  Still, there are matters that should be examined, like the billions of dollars simply missing, and other problems with big-ticket line items.  Nevertheless, in our dangerous world, there is an ever-escalating competition between us and our would-be and real enemies, where high technology will be contribute directly to reducing the number of flag-draped caskets that arrive at Andrews AFB during each future engagement.  This sobering recognition is among the reasons that any such spending cuts in the military budget must be accomplished as some might say, “not with a machete, but with a scalpel.”  We must be certain that whatever cuts we make do not leave us naked to attacks, and that when we do engage in warfare,  our troops are given every advantage we can provide to win with minimal losses.

One of the areas in which Secretary Panetta is looking for cuts to defense is in the area of medical and other benefits, in addition to gross payroll.   That’s a mistake.  We already have difficulties attracting people to serve in the military, and this too can have a dramatic affect on morale, and readiness.  In truth, to make the level of cuts they’re intending, nearly $200 billion annually, we’re going to be forced to withdraw from virtually all overseas engagements and forward locations.  This poses another danger, inasmuch as we may be slower to respond to crises around the globe, and we may be less able to react when things go awry in one theater of operations or another.  We can ill-afford to be caught short again, because the direction of global terrorism is marching toward weapons of mass destruction.  The 9/11 attacks of 2001 were just a sample of the sort of mayhem the terrorists around the globe are going to be able to create, and this says nothing of our strategic adversaries such as Russia, China, and several others.

This impending doom for the DoD makes plain the problem with our current budgetary priorities.  We are spending far too heavily on entitlement programs of every description, and it will no begin to affect our nation’s defenses.  There are those who argue that the military should be cut, but they don’t think in terms of scalpels or even machetes, but guillotines.  This short-sighted approach is surely destined to create a situation in which we will face increased vulnerabilities on some fronts, and escalating troubles with recruitment and retention.  Our fighting forces deserve the best equipment and training we can afford, but now the question is:  What can we afford?  The answer to this question is likely to be unsatisfactory, because too many politicians derive too much support by virtue of entitlement spending, and while the argument could be made that there is a certain element of the same thing with the defense budget where it comes down to large bases and projects, it’s also true that they aren’t so concerned about the costs in morale and readiness for ordinary soldiers.  What the American people must begin to recognize is that we’ve blown our budget not so much by virtue of military spending, but because we’ve over-extended our social spending to such a degree that it is now squeezing out defense.  There’s something terribly wrong in our thinking when we look at military spending as “discretionary” but Medicaid as “non-discretionary.”  What is our government here to do, after all?  Now we’ve been reduced to the near inevitability that a big-government liberal, Leon Panetta, is going to be hacking away at our nation’s defenses.  We should all be worried at this prospect.

Al-Qaeda Flag Flies Over Libya

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Over Libya

As I reported over the weekend on what was published in a story on The National Patriot by Craig Andersen, there was an al-Qaeda flag hoisted into the air over the courthouse in Benghazi, where Libya’s revolution – its contribution to so-called “Arab Spring” – was launched.  Now, the Daily Mail Online has picked up the story, complete with more photographs, but none of this was was unexpected.  We have known since early this year that al-Qaeda was present in Libya, and allied with the revolution.  With the disappearance of many shoulder-fired air-to-air missiles from Libyan depots, this raised more warning flags as it became clear that we were again siding with people who will ultimately oppose us.  It has prompted the question about Obama’s incompetence or complicity in aiding our enemies.

We shouldn’t be surprised to now discover the flag of al-Qaeda flying over Libya as that “liberated” nation slides under the control of Sharia, trading one tyrant for another form of despotism.  This has been the trouble with the entire “Arab Spring” all along:  It’s not going to improve conditions for anyone in the region except terrorists and Islamists.   This has been the general trend of our foreign policy under Barack Obama, and it seems that his Middle-eastern apology tour that started with his speech in Cairo in 2009 is now culminating in a foreign policy disaster the ultimate consequences of which may not be known for some time.

This is why a man of Obama’s mysterious past should never be permitted to occupy the White House.  His ascension from back-bencher in the state Senate of Illinois to the US Senate to the presidency is a study in meteoric rises, considering this man was a professional rabble-rouser just a few years ago.  His foreign policy with respect to the Islamic world has been comprised largely of surrender, despite his go-ahead of the killing of bin Laden, and what we now know is that he seems to have an affinity for the Islamic world that is almost unseemly in this time of war against so many Islamic nations where terrorism has prevailed.  To see the al-Qaeda flag flying over any part of Libya merely punctuates his incapacity for dealing honestly with the problems of the Muslim world.

If it were only Obama, one could dismiss all of this, but the State Department, headed by another Soros flunky, Hillary Clinton, was part of this mess too.  The whole US Department of State has taken on the appearance of a political operation that is trying to walk a fine line between the geopolitical objectives of George Soros, and the expediencies of US domestic politics.  To most Americans, this is a frightening situation, and with good reason:  We have a country treading economic water, while abroad, our enemies are gaining strength and being propped up by our own foreign policy, and at our considerable expense.  When you permit thousands of shoulder-fire missiles to get into the hands of terrorists, you must be called to account.  The Obama administration is conducting our foreign policy as if it were itself a foreign agent, and the dangers it poses are going to manifest eventually.  It’s time we prepare ourselves for those coming disasters.

Guess Who’s Flag is Flying in Libya?

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

They're Celebrating - Should You?

I’d urge you to click over to The National Patriot and read this story by Craig Andersen.  As was discussed here on this site about the potential blow-back in the wake of Gaddafi’s ouster and death, it’s now becoming clear that it’s going to be ugly.  Andersen has put together many of the same facts you’ve read here, but he’s added another dimension: With his article is a picture of a flag waving over the courthouse that serves as the headquarters for the rebels who now control Libya.  I take no satisfaction in having been right about this, but it is another sign that Barack Obama is indeed helping to build a global caliphate.  Was it by sheer incompetence or by design and intention? Read Andersen’s article, and judge for yourself.

Occu-Pests Don’t Speak For Me

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Do They Speak for You?

I am tired of the notion that these people speak for the 99% of us who are not billionaires.  I’ve grown frustrated listening to their complaints, offered with feeble-minded attacks on wealth, money, and the general notion of capitalism.  There’s a problem with those who lead these Occupy efforts:  They don’t give a damn about this country, its people, or any of the things about which they pretend to care.  Instead, what interests them is cultural rape.  They intend to change this country without your consent, in its laws, in its culture, and in its economics.   The leaders of the OWS movement are simply predators, and while they claim that violence is against their principles, they incite it, they provoke it, and they use the poor misguided folk who are following them to act as their buffer.  BusinessInsider published an interesting piece on the larger aims of the Occupy movement, and I’m afraid the American people have no idea about how thoroughly these people have developed their designs on America.  They’re going to attempt to re-write your Constitution, while you sleep, and as you watch the latest news on the silly stories of the day.

They imagine themselves as a modern-day version of the framers of our current Constitution, laboring in secret to present us with a new Constitution, in order to save us from ourselves.  Let me state emphatically that if they manage to carry off this coup d’etats, I will oppose them, and violently, if need be.  Let me throw down a marker now, so that all may know my position:  If the Occupiers, their leaders and benefactors succeed in trying to foist on the great mass of the American people some foreign system of government, which it now seems is their clear intent, I will be among the counter-revolutionaries who they will be forced to kill.  Write it down.  Bookmark it.  I will not surrender to these people, because in the main, they do not have my consent, and they do not speak for me.  Ninety-nine percent?  My ass!

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like for you to consider what the Occupy movement really has in mind.  This isn’t about the typical complaints, and it isn’t merely about some bankers, some tax rate, or some scheme for  redistributing your wealth.  It’s much more insidious than that, and you need to know that when the poor schmucks who follow the lead of this manufactured movement wind up looking stupid on television, it’s not because the movement has no firm goals, as we all first thought, but because the rank-and-file Occu-Pest doesn’t know what those goals actually are.  In order to understand what it is that they’re going to attempt, you must first understand some history, and I’d beg of my readers to educate themselves with a sense of urgency.  The leadership of this movement is trying to create a bit of theater, in mimicry of a historical event, and you must understand its importance if you’re to have any hope of confronting them.  You in the Tea Party had better pay close attention, because many of you will already know this history, but I am going to show you how they intend to use the weight of history against you and your beloved Constitution. If you wish to know how they are going to attack you, you must know that the past is prologue.  You must know that none of this is really new, but the manner in which it will be done is novel.  Finally, I think we can begin to see what they intend, and for once, I think you ought to know it so that you can do something constructive in opposition.

First, I would like you to acquaint yourselves with the Committees of Correspondence.  These were shadow governments that our founders formed in order to confront the British empire.  These committees were used to oppose the British and essentially superseded the colonial legislatures.  This was the method by which we eventually arrived at the pre-revolutionary state that would lead to the Declaration of Independence and our ultimate separation from the British. It is important to understand that those who are leading the Occupy movement are attempting to carry out something similar, although their desired ends are much different.  They intend to use a seemingly democratic movement to undermine freedom via the state, and they intend a quiet take-over.  Many have referenced their intentions, but it’s clear that most don’t quite understand.

The first thing necessary to their movement is the claim to legitimacy.  This is the meaning of all of this “99%” garbage they’re throwing around.  The truth is, they don’t speak for one percent of one percent of one percent of Americans.  Nevertheless, this will be their claim, and they will try to establish the providence of that claim through the use of media.  As we’ve seen, many in the media are in bed with the Occupy movement, and in at least one case Breitbart has uncovered, they are the media.  Don’tbe surprised when you find that they are now going to claim to be of you, by you, and for you, the American people.  Last week, I reported to you their plan for a national assembly, and now here’s their plan for creating this illusion:

1. The Occupy Wall Street movement, through the local general assembly, should elect an executive committee comprised of 11 people or some other odd number of people that is manageable for meetings. Ideally this committee should represent each city in the U.S. that is being occupied.

2. The executive committee will then attend to local issues such as obtaining permits, paying for public sanitation and dealing with the media. More important, the executive committee shall plan and organize the election of the 870 delegates to a National General Assembly between now and July 4, 2012.

3. As stated in the 99% declaration, each of the 435 congressional districts will form an election committee to prepare ballots and invite citizens in those districts to run as delegates to a National General Assembly in Philadelphia beginning on July 4, 2012 and convening until October 2012.

4. Each of the 435 congressional districts will elect one man and one woman to attend the National General Assembly. The vote will be by direct democratic ballot regardless of voter registration status as long as the voter has reached the age of 18 and is a US citizen. This is not a sexist provision. Women are dramatically under-represented in politics even though they comprise more than 50% of the U.S. population.

5. The executive committee will act as a central point to solve problems, raise money to pay for the expenses of the election of the National General Assembly and make sure all 870 delegates are elected prior to the meeting on July 4th.

6. The executive committee would also arrange a venue in Philadelphia to accommodate the delegates attending the National General Assembly where the declaration of values, petition of grievances and platform would be proposed, debated, voted on and approved. The delegates would also elect a chair from their own ranks to run the meetings of the congress and break any tie votes. We will also need the expertise of a gifted parliamentarian to keep the meetings moving smoothly and efficiently.

7. The final declaration, platform and petition of grievances, after being voted upon by the 870 delegates to the National General Assembly would be formally presented by the 870 delegates to all three branches of government and all candidates running for federal public office in November 2012. Thus, the delegates would meet from July 4, 2012 to sometime in early to late October 2012.

8. The delegates to the National General Assembly would then vote on a time period, presently suggested as one year, to give the newly elected government in November an opportunity to redress the petition of grievances. This is our right as a People under the First Amendment.

9. If the government fails to redress the petition of grievances and drastically change the path this country is on, the delegates will demand the resignation and recall of all members of congress, the president and even the Supreme Court and call for new elections by, of and for the PEOPLE with 99 days of the resignation demand.

10. There will NEVER be any call for violence by the delegates even if the government refuses to redress the grievances and new elections are called for by the delegates. Nor will any delegate agree to take any money, job promise, or gifts from corporations, unions or any other private source. Any money donated or raised by the executive committee may only be used for publicizing the vote, the National General Assembly, and for travel expenses and accommodation at the National General Assembly ONLY. All books and records will be published openly online so that everyone may see how much money is raised and how the money is spent each month. There will be no money allowed to “purchase” delegate votes as we have in the current government. No corporate “sponsorship”.

(H/T Business Insider.com)

This is a continuing attempt to make all of this look organic, but more importantly, to legitimize it and to pretend that they speak with authority for the ninety-nine percent they claim to comprise.  In effect, they are trying to create the appearance of an analog to the 1770s and the Committees of Correspondence.  Of course, the next part of their plan is even more insidious, and it is to replace the US Constitution by methods not unlike those employed to replace the Articles of Confederation, except that they will have nothing like the support among the American people that supported revising our Articles of Confederation.  Back when it was first suggested that our first form of government (Articles of Confederation) be revised, that’s what the delegates had been tasked to do.  Instead, they crafted an entirely new constitution and presented it for ratification.  In some contexts, this might have been considered a treason, except that any such claims have been made moot by the subsequent ratification and adoption of our Constitution. Most Americans forget that George Washington was our first president under this current constitution, but that he was not the first President of the United States.  Under the Articles of Confederation, that was the presiding member of Congress, who happened to have been Samuel Huntington (March 1, 1781 – July 9, 1781.)  Most people don’t know this because they aren’t taught it, along with so much else in our precious history.

Once you realize what Soros and the others who are driving this intend, it becomes obvious what their methodology will be: They intend to speak on your behalf, and to trump up a movement to convince those in government that they are speaking on your behalf.  There’s only one way to prevent this, and you should fight against it with full resolve. Confront them by telling your representatives in Washington DC that the Occu-pests don’t speak for you.  Confront them by telling the media, loudly and often, that the Occupiers don’t speak for us.  They’re trying to capture the legitimacy born of their 99% claim, but you and I know they don’t speak for anything like the 99% they claim.  It simply doesn’t exist.  There is no overwhelming desire on the part of the American people to replace or radically amend the United States Constitution. I will consider all such radical propositions as they are: Acts of treason.  Also, be aware that this other phony movement, Americans Elect, exists to try to change the way we elect Presidents.  It’s full of Soros shills too, and as I’ve reported before, I cannot trust anyone or anything related to the aims of that man or the multitude of organizations he funds and backs and manipulates.

This movement is being manipulated for one ultimate purpose:  To destroy and replace the US Constitution.  There is nothing else but that goal.  I consider the people leading these Occupiers as fomenting insurrection, while actively plotting treason.  I realize many of the rank-and-file Occupiers don’t understand this, however there will come a point at which they will begin to endanger the Republic, and in their mindless, unthinking support of this Marxist movement, they are assisting to destroy the United States.  In the sense specifically, they don’t speak for me.  They don’t speak for ninety-nine percent, or anything near that number.  They are the loud and vociferous cacophony of ne’er-do-wells who have in largest measure contributed to our current state of presumptive decline.

Ladies and gentlemen, these people and their leadership do not speak for me.  They do not speak for anybody I know personally.  I don’t know any person who actually supports them.  I don’t know a soul who thinks we should ditch our Constitution, never mind by the dictates of some Marxist cabal of Soros flacks.  I don’t know one person, anywhere in my extended circle of friends and family who actually believes in anything the Occupiers are espousing.  None.  Maybe you do, but I’d like to know from my readers:  Do they speak for you?  Do they?  Is George Soros acting on your behalf?  Somehow I doubt it, but rather than make any assumptions, as the Occu-Pests have done, I’m not willing to speak for others.  If the Occupiers don’t speak for you, you should let your government, and the media, and every person you can find to tell them that fact.

They don’t speak for me, and I’d rather die than submit to the mobocracy they envision.

Update: Caliphate a’Coming; None Dare Call It Treason

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Coincidence?

Further evidence has begun to mount on Sunday that the “Arab Spring” is merely the prologue to a Sharia Winter. In Tunisia, where all of this really got started earlier this year, Islamists are poised to sweep the elections. It gets better, as in Libya, their new transitional leader says Sharia will rule the country.  If that’s not enough, over in Iran, there are now Occupy Wall Street protests.  As I told you yesterday, this entire movement has the look and feel of an Obama/Soros operation.  Considering the systematic destruction of our national economy, our global influence, military readiness, and the complete breakdown of our society that is unfolding under Obama, we must  wonder what we shall do if these people succeed.

To win, they needed to take down America, and they’re well on their way, and at the top of it all, Barack Obama stands with George Soros’ hand up his backside. In what could only be considered a more modern iteration of the book None Dare Call it Treason, this country is being wiped out, and I think it’s time we say so.

What has been the purpose of all of this coordination between the leftists groups from America participating in the Gaza Flotilla, or in the Tahrir Square revolution?  What could be the meaning of poking Israel in the eye with the entire September threat of a move by Palestineans for Statehood?  I realize that even three years ago, this kind of talk would have gotten somebody branded a conspiracist, but let’s be honest shall we?  I believe coincidences exist, and that correlation isn’t necessarily causation, but this is frankly too much to accept on that basis.  We have all known for a long time, those who paid any attention, that America was the last best hope for freedom anywhere on Earth.  We are now watching it wrecked.  It’s not accidental. There’s a reason the Dodd-Frank financial reform act permits certain facts to be kept secret from the American people.

Ordinary people like me are now turning to me and asking “what shall we do?”  As one of my loyal readers comments, it’s like from the movie 300:  “What can we do?”  I have heard a fair number of oaths muttered under the breath of those who have their own solemn answer to the question, but I suppose I have always wondered at what point the American people simply say: “Enough!”  What recourse remains?  Your President and his party have spit on this country fearlessly for three years.  They’re supporting our enemies both at home and abroad.  Will you call Congress and demand he be impeached?  What will that accomplish?  Would the Senate act? Even if it did, what then?  Biden?  Do you think that useful idiot would do any better or different?

No, I think you’d better prepare to live as slaves.  Your masters will be the Occu-Pests, and your children will struggle the length of their stunted lives in support of them and their Marxist agenda.  This way, you risk nothing.  Let me be brutally honest with you: Some of you haven’t had the intestinal fortitude to face up to friends and family and congregation and neighbor and even state what it is that is transpiring, for fear of ridicule.  I know, because I get the e-mails.  I have writers telling me: “I don’t even bother with the kids, they are so busy living their lives and watching garbage on TV that they think Jon Stewart is news.”  I have grown people who should be the object of respect and reverence in their communities telling me: “Well, you can’t say that in public because somebody will think you’re nuts.”  What courage will we have when it comes down to it if now, when we could speak, we instead cower and say nothing?

On the other side of this, I get e-mails from people who tell me how somebody who loved them re-directed them in their thinking as a result of long, heartfelt and frank discussions about what we now face. One young lady wrote to tell me:

“My dad was always pestering me to follow the news. I have a five-month-old baby and a toddler, and I just don’t have the time.  My husband works two jobs, and right now, daycare costs more than any job I could get, so I just stay home with my kids.  He sent me a link to your story about “Downgraded America” and I read it.  I was really bothered by it, but I didn’t know what to think. My dad, you know, he’s always sending me this scary political stuff. Then I went back and read some of your other stories. I talked with my husband about one because he’s interested in some of this stuff, but he doesn’t have time.  He looked at me and said “Yea, that’s what’s happening.” The look on his face was like he was letting me in on a secret that I should have known. I am going to learn more about this, and I’m going to talk with some of my friends. None of them are very political. Neither was I, but I have my babies to think about, and I can’t afford not to know what’s going on….”

Ladies and gentlemen, if we’re to stand any chance at all, we can’t have any more secrets, and we can’t fear to state what is.  It’s Sunday. It’s a day to repair for the week ahead.  It’s a moment of pause before we re-enter the storm.  Use it to good purpose.  Prepare the ones you love.

The Last Moments of Gadhafi’s Miserable Life

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

No longer Threatening

Isn’t it strange?  Even in death, we’re still trying to figure out how to spell this guy’s name.  I’ve seen so many spellings of it over the years that I have basically given up trying to figure out which had been correct. Can you imagine being a brutal dictator notorious around the globe, and yet nobody can settle on the spelling of your name in media? Thirty years in the news, and still nobody seems to know for sure.  You’d be miserable too.  Of course, that wasn’t nearly all that made this man miserable, but whether you choose to spell his name Gadhafi, Gaddafi, Qaddafi, Kadhafi, or any of the dozens of other spellings, it doesn’t change the picture: He’s now dead, and he’s in a meat locker.

One of the questions that has arisen in the aftermath of his death is the manner in which he was killed.  As you can imagine, various human rights groups are pointing to the alleged tragedy of the way in which he was killed. Certainly, it was a brutal undertaking, and while none have found video of the moment he was shot to death, there is this disturbing video of the moments leading up to it.  The video is disturbingly graphic, but I think it demonstrates the point of human rights groups:

As you can see from this video, the former dictator was summarily executed and brutalized.  I realize that nobody is going to shed any tears over him, but I think this does rightly cause one to wonder about what form of government the mob depicted in this video will be able to form.  I know that Gaddafi probably had a hand in or directed the deaths of some of their comrades, their relatives, and their neighbors, and it would seem to offer an excuse, but the truth is that the don’t have much patience for our protracted system of justice in the West, with our endless appeals, our temporary stay orders, and our expensive system of capital punishment, so instead, they finished him right then, right there.   Do we in the West have cause to complain?

It makes me wonder what would happen if the thugs down at Occupy Wall Street were able to put their hands on some of those millionaires and billionaires for whom they express vociferous hatred.  Would the outcome be much different?  Isn’t this the implied threat of their mobs?  What all of this makes plain to me, as it should to you, is that our “civilized society” is only ever a hair’s breadth from anarchy and chaos.  All you need to see to know that this is true is a bit of video from the early morning door opening at a major retailer on “Black Friday” as they rush in to grab whatever they can.  Primitive behaviors come much more easily to people than most of us wish to acknowledge.

This is why when news of his death first came out, my posting on the matter focused not on his death, his history, or all of the despicable acts of his life, but instead on the potential blow-back we will now face as a result of the manner of his removal.  We can become wild, thuggish brutes, or we can choose to think.  I believe it is in the latter that our humanity lies.  I believe that’s what separates us from the rest.  Otherwise, we’re not much better than a feeding frenzy in a shark tank.  I don’t feel any sympathy for Gadhafi, but I worry for the country, the people of which think nothing of street justice handed down brutally, and I fear for a nation that stands on brink of similar chaos.