Friday, September 19, 2014

Aussies Round Up ISIS; "Experts" Have Questions

I have been reading about the Australian raids on some domestic would-be head-choppers.  These raids haven't gotten the sort of attention they deserve. In my view, PM Abbott has it exactly right when he said that the raids were "a show of force, they needed to be", and that the national security challenge to Australia was "more serious today than at any time in the past".

Well, instead of praising the quick and decisive action by Australian intel and security organizations, the usual "experts" say the raids "raise questions." We have "terrorism 

experts questioning "whether [ISIS] had the capacity or inclination to sustain a terror campaign so far from the Middle East." 

I see, Mr. Expert. So those are the questions we need to ask? I think a better one is, who exactly are these "experts"? 


What kind of "capacity or inclination" is needed by a fanatical bunch of thugs who claim to be out to conquer the world and make everybody convert to Islam or die? What sort of sophisticated and expensive logistics are we talking about? We are dealing with people, e.g., Al Qaeda, ISIS/ISIL, who rely on the Western mass and social media to spread their message and images for free around the world. We are talking about people who specialize in attacking civilians, the unarmed, the helpless, and in torturing and killing them with knives and axes. 


All these psychotics need is to have pockets of supporters in the right places. Guess what? They have them in the Muslim communities that have set up shop in all Western countries. 


There are questions to be asked, but the "experts" are not asking them. The real questions are more along the following lines: What kind of insane immigration policies have allowed these Muslims into Australia? What benefit accrues to Australia to allowing followers of a brutal, totalitarian creed to enter Australia, enjoy all sorts of freedoms and free goodies, and who then express their appreciation by plotting to behead Australians?


Let us not forget the other "experts" and "analysts" such as the one trotted out by the BBC who makes this valuable contribution,

The news of an alleged plot to publicly behead a random Australian will shock many people here, including the vast majority of this country's long-established moderate Muslim community. 
Many Muslims are unhappy with what's going on in Iraq and Syria but would never resort to violence. These raids risk antagonising the broader Islamic community.
We are back to the 99% argument and the persistent refusal to acknowledge that the problems are Islam and that countries such as Australia, UK, US, Canada, Netherlands, Spain, France, Belgium, etc., have a "broader Islamic community." 

Salmond Fishing in the Yemen?

Well that was embarrassing, eh, Mr. Salmond?

Oh, yes, and let's not forget those pollsters who saw it as "too close to call."

As I noted a couple of days ago, when the progre media starts saying an "electoral outcome is too close to call," or "it's down to the wire," you can just about bet that the progre cause or candidate is going down.

And so it came to pass in Scotland.

As of this writing the "YES" to rule by Brussels "independence"  is down some 9-10 points; Scotland, to the regret of Mr. Salmond and many of my English friends, has decided that it gets a better deal inside the Union than outside it. The "NO" campaign seems headed for a big win. That, of course, does not mean that the progres will drop their efforts to get another referendum on the ballot in due course, or that they will cease trying to separate Scotland and England via other tactics.

As in our own much besieged and benighted country, the lefties are aided by a rather limp-wristed opposition. In the UK's case, the Tories have conceded everything to the Scottish "nationalists" except formal "independence." Scotland's overwhelmingly Labourite MPs, for example, already get to meddle in English affairs, but not vice-versa, and Scotland gets more in the form of entitlements than does England. The Government, a nominally Tory one, has gone along with promising huge additional concessions to the Scottish political elites; these promised concessions, bribes, really, will now have to be made good or there will be hell to pay--well, in fact, there will be hell to pay if they are made good, at least I hope so.

How much longer will the beleaguered English taxpayer keep forking over his or her hard-earned money to appease Scottish nationalists and help Labour transform Britain into a Sharia-besotted land full of Pakistani rapist gangs and terrified, overpaid coppers? Anybody opposed to the rampant and insane political correctness loose in the UK is labelled a racist or a "right-wing extremist." Sounds like here in the USA where we are not allowed to say anything about what is happening to our country and which we so clearly "see  by the dawn's early light."

Well, the UK has survived, sort of. The Union, however, has been badly damaged by the incessant and expensive demands of a loud minority. The spotlight now turns to the 55 million Englishmen who have to decide how much more abuse they take.  They might want to gain inspiration from the actions in 1775 of some English farmers in the old Massachusetts colony . . .

Meanwhile, the destructive and egomaniacal Mr. Salmond should go somewhere far away: Quebec? Catalonia? Tibet? Or, maybe, the Arabian peninsula where he might try to gain the independence of South Yemen from North Yemen.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scotland, Again . . . For Scotland Vote No, For England Vote Yes.

I have been drubbed by English friends for my wishing to see the UK remain as is, and opposing a "Yes" in the referendum re Scotland's independence scheduled for tomorrow.  I am, as result, coming to think that a vote on English independence from the UK would be a closely fought thing.

I can see the point that many English folks make about Scottish independence being a disaster for Scotland and possibly a boon, both politically and economically, for England. The most noted point is that the hideous Labour party depends on the Scottish vote. It seems not unreasonable to argue that were Scotland to go "independent" (we'll get back to the reason for the quotation marks) we would not see another Labour government in the remainder of the UK for years to come, if ever (Could, for example, the hideous Democrats in the US survive without California and New York?)

A Scotland-free UK might have a golden opportunity to reverse the lunatic economic and social agenda--including immigration policy--of the Labourites. England, arguably the most consequential country that ever has existed, would be free, potentially, to be England once more.

An independent Scotland would have to take on a goodly portion of the UK national debt or face getting no or only brutally expensive credit on the international market. London also could dump a lot of social entitlement liabilities by seeing Scotland go "indie."

On the issue of "independence," it strikes me that the Scots would substitute a London-based government over which they have considerable influence, for a Brussels-based bureaucratic nightmare over which Scotland would have minimal if any influence. Not a good deal for Scotland. The migration southward would be major.

Ok, Ok. Got it. I should have stayed out of this one and should not have expressed my somewhat emotion-based support for "No," especially since I am troubled by all the bribing going on to keep Scotland in the UK. If the government deliver on all the lavish promises made to the Scots to stay in the UK, I think that will encourage an English referendum on independence.

So, I guess I can sum up my garbled mess of opinion with the following slogan: "For Scotland's sake vote NO! For England's sake vote YES!"

Well, this is what I get for venturing into areas where I don't belong . . . sorry. Back to watching ACORN TV and the latest adventures of Hercule Poirot.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Scotland, Again. Bad Metaphysics . . .

A little break from discussing the Islamic Jihadis to discussing another kind of obsession.

Scotland's independence referendum takes place next Thursday. I have written before that I, as an outsider, hope the vote is "No." There are all sorts of reasons why I think that would be the best result for Scotland, the UK, and the West. There are lots of economic factors at work that are not fully understood, and huge political consequences to a successful "Yes" vote -- e.g., Might the Chinese or some other ill-wisher question the UK's seat in the UN Security Council? You can read about all that from people who know a lot more than I do. My comment today will be somewhat metaphysical and driven by my generally negative view re progressive movements in our age.

Simply put, this is a bad time intellectually to become an independent nation.

A little context. From the 1940s, through the 1950s, and into the 1960s the world saw a boom in the independent nation business. These new nations in Africa and Asia became independent generally (pace Singapore) under elites influenced by the progressive rages of the time, such as Fabianism, Communism, and other odd blends of statist philosophy and practice hostile to free enterprise and to the West. These new states, frankly, did not do all that well by almost any calculus you care to use. Nearly all were economic, political, humanitarian, and moral disasters that made colonialism look positively munificent. How many poor subjects of deranged African dictators, for example, would not have preferred some avuncular, efficient, and non-brutal British colonial officer running things?

If the "Yes" vote triumphs, Scotland would become independent when progressivism is having another of its periodic upticks or surges. It would appear that the putative future ruling elite of Scotland is fully in thrall to just about all the progressive themes: environmentalism, feminism, vast expansion of the power of the state. Go to the  SNP website and read the SNP's political platforms. They read like something conjured up by a Democratic Mayoral candidate running in Detroit: Free stuff for everybody! Down with the evil bankers! The results of the SNP program will probably be not too dissimilar from those obtained in Detroit.

The pro-independence forces, of course, use another weapon from the progressive arms cache, dopey youngsters. Voters as young as 16 and 17 will be casting ballots. How many 16- and 17-year-olds do you know who know anything about the world? Progressivism relies on supporters with low information and high emotions, and dependent on somebody else's coin. Yep, that would be a 16 or 17-year-old, be it in Scotland or in the USA.

Another classic tactic from the progressive handbook is to keep hammering away. If the vote goes "No," do not expect this to be the last referendum on Scotland's independence. If, however, it goes "Yes," I doubt we will see another referendum in which voters are asked whether Scotland should seek re-entry into the UK.

My one hope is that the media is reporting the outcome as too close to call. That usually, I repeat, usually, means that the progressive cause or candidate will lose. May it be so again.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11/14: Year Thirteen in the 1400 Year War

I have written before about where I was 9/11/01 (here and here, for example), and won't repeat it.    Let's just take a brief look at the past thirteen years of our long war with Islam, yes, Islam.

Thirteen years after that horrid day, we are still under attack by Islam. We have had some great successes, no doubt. Nobody would have believed that the US could so quickly mount such an effective operation in Afghanistan; within eight weeks US-led forces had taken Kabul, and sent the Taliban and its AQ masters running for the hills and the Pakistani border. It was a brilliant and unprecedented victory which highlighted Usama bin Laden's ultimately fatal mistake in attacking the US homeland--when the right President was in office, that is.

I have noted before that Islam is a rotten house which holds hundreds of millions of unhappy souls within its walls. To defeat the Islamic Jihadis requires constant pressure, attack, counterattack. It is a strategy in someways similar to that advocated by George Kennan in his 1947 "X Article" which advocated constant pressure and resistance to Soviet expansionism as the way to force the USSR to collapse or to reform from within. The Islamists must be resisted and defeated constantly and wherever they attack in the hope that eventually forces within Islam will rise up against the Jihadis and that a process of enlightenment will take hold in that now brutal and totalitarian creed.

Let's repeat: The war with Islam did not begin September 11, 2001. It began some 1400 years ago and continues. That September 11 was just a reminder that we live in a world of Islamic war.

President Bush seemed to understand that we were in a long war. He made some tough and right decisions. The requirements, however, of political correctness and expediency forced him to make major errors. The first, was to tell Americans in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks to carry on as though nothing had happened--to go shopping. It was LBJ's "Guns and Butter" policy on steroids.  The second was to utter one of the stupidest and most consequential statements made by a major Western leader, to wit, "Islam is a religion of peace." Whoever wrote that line for the President completely misunderstood the nature of enemy we faced then and now and have for 1400 years. That utterance undermined and basically ruled out a true understanding of our enemy. The thinking that line represents prevented and prevents sensible immigration reforms, and sets the stage for the prancing and utterances of dangerous clowns such as CAIR. Islam is not a religion of peace; it is a totalitarian creed out to destroy us and our allies in the West. It is as though in the midst of WWII, we were to allow thousands upon thousands of Nazis to immigrate to the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia.  The Jihadi with his knife bloody from killing the unarmed is Islam and vice-versa.  The so-called "crazies," "radicals," "fringe," in fact, form the core of Islam. An almost unbroken record of 1400 years of mass murder, enslavement, and misery speak to the truth about Islam. This is not new.

This all leads to the abomination we now have as President. This man who came into office pooh-poohing the "war on terror" (Note: Another mistake: It should have been called the war against the Jihadis) and apologizing to the Muslim world, now finds himself facing a rampant Jihadi threat--one which his absurd policies have fostered. He discarded the victories in Afghanistan and Iraq (and don't forget that Saddam was a terrorist enabler), drew down our military forces, resisted efforts to make us energy independent, turned over Libya to the Jihadis, nearly did the same in Egypt, and almost got us into a war in Syria on behalf of the Jihadis. He now is our "leader" in the battle against ISIS/ISIL. Between rounds of golf, he first tells us that he has no strategy, then that we shouldn't worry because it is a manageable problem, and now he makes a dramatic speech last night announcing he plans to destroy ISIS/ISIL, but to do so in a very cautious way. He has declared a sort-of, semi-war on the very same people a few months ago he (and McCain) wanted us to help overthrow Syria's Assad (I noted at the time how quiet the Israelis were on proposals to overthrow Assad; they know what will replace him.)

Ok, got it. The best comment I have heard on this silly Obama speech was by one of my sons. He called me and said, "I would love to play chess against Obama. He tells you upfront what he's not going to do. He tells you he won't use his knights and queen. Why did he announce we won't use ground troops? Why tell them that? What if we have to use them?"

Obama also repeated the nonsense that Islam is not the issue. He even stated that ISIS/ISIL is not Islamic. Oh, yes they are, Mr. President. They are the very essence of modern Islam. When will the White House and the rest of our political and chattering classes realize that?

This is not the way to conduct the 1400 year war. But then, as I noted some time ago, "we are not at war, just under attack."

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

This, That, a Bit of Madness, and a Night at the Beach

My heart has not been in the blogging business. I have been playing with my dogs and taking care of our new digs.

The whole political scene in this country has gone mad, and it is a madness that was clearly foreseeable. As I said before, one did not need to be Nostradamus to see what was going to happen to the United States and the West when the ultimate fraud became President, January 2009.

The haters of Western civilization and the low information public services-consuming munchkins got what they wanted: a President just like them. The results are everywhere to be seen from the streets of Missouri to the shores of the Black Sea; from our southern border to the arc of murderous insanity that now rules the fates of millions from Nigeria to Pakistan; from decaying blue California to rising Red China. We have a post-USA world, nay, a post-West world, and it is a miserable place.

We have a President with no concept of leadership. The world watches as he throws away our victories in Iraq and Afghanistan while he blithely, oozing bored condescension, tells that same world that--Surprise!--the USA has no strategy for dealing with the madmen of ISIS, but that--yawn--it is "a manageable problem." The real threat, of course, comes from global warming, er, uh global climate change . . . and the Washington Redskins need to change their name.

So, what did I do to keep my sanity? I escaped.

The wife and I went to a dinner on the beach in Malibu to hang for a bit with the hated "one percent." Nice party at a private club on the Pacific. Beautiful night, clear sky, zillions of stars, and steak and lobster and shrimp and oysters and, and . . . The party, given by our stockbroker, was attended by a few dozen evil rich white people. I was the only ex-government employee; the others, apparently, had had real jobs and created real wealth--I think, but I don't really know for sure.

They seemed mildly amused on hearing that I had spent some 34 years in the State Department; not very interested, but amused. One asked if that meant I knew which fork to use with the lobster. They never asked how I had gotten an invite to the party.  There was even a slightly faded, with a lot of plastic surgery, Hollywood actress who had been "A-List" in the 1970s and 1980s, but was now a B-lister --although she still works regularly on a daytime soap pretending to be a doctor. She had zero interest in foreign affairs but expressed some passing confused "interest" in the environment--I couldn't make heads or tails of it. I didn't have the heart to say I had never seen her show.

The rich are different. Almost nobody talked about money or what they do now or had done in the past. We generally talked about cars, dogs, the weather, and the hoax of "rehab." A pleasant few hours in an apolitical Gatsby bubble. At  the end, they squeezed into exotic cars and sped off to Beverly Hills and Pacific Palisades; the Diplowife and I clambered into our 2010 Chevy Tahoe and rumbled off to a more modest zip code. It reminded us a bit of the three thousand or so diplomatic receptions we had attended while overseas, except the people on the beach in Malibu were much less pretentious.

That's my story and I am sticking to it.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Is Obama our Boabdil?

Apologies for the very long delay in blogging. I had to deal with some boring health issues. The lab results were, well, what can I say? Just this: as with most of what happens in life, the results were worse than I hoped, but better than I feared. So, as one does in response to the majority of life's events, one muddles on and through. As the Brits, back when Brits were Brits, used to say, "Keep Calm and Carry On," or was it "Keep Clams with Curry On"? One or the other . . .

This will be a minor rant. I don't have the energy for a full-blown one. Besides, I have said so much of this before that I don't know whether it bears repeating anymore.

I won't link to all the Diplomad postings on the disaster that is Obama's foreign policy. You might want to entertain yourself on a very dull evening doing that. Suffice it to say, that the disaster was foreseen. One did not have to be Nostradamus to see that Obama's sneering disregard for American and Western interests, and the institutions and principles which maintained those, would have dire consequences for the West and the world. We see those consequences in the arc of insanity that runs from Mauritania to Iran; in Putin's gleeful mocking of the West and in his drive to rebuild the empire of the Tsars; in China's growing aggressiveness; in the collapse of our foreign policy in Central and South America epitomized by the wave of illegals blatantly crossing our southern border and the increasingly bizarre politics of Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Brazil. Everywhere we look around the world, the interests of the West--not just of America--are in retreat or collapse.

We see the disaster that has become Iraq. Obama has thrown away a stunning military victory and done so in exchange for what? Well, the same folks for whom just a few short months ago we were going to go to war for in Syria (remember the "red line" days?) are now on a Jihadist rampage in Syria and Iraq; known as ISIS they vow to set up a Muslim caliphate and to exterminate all the infidels. It now seems that we are discovering that the pencil-necked dictator of Syria, the very one we were preparing to attack, is now our possible ally against the Islamist murder machine. We are now conducting a desultory bombing campaign against the very people we were preparing to defend with a desultory bombing campaign. Orwell must be having a laugh, "We were never at war with Eastasia." And, at the State Department, the NSC, and the CIA? Nobody gets fired, nobody resigns, nobody stands up and says this is wrong.

The saddest, most frustrating matter of them all is that the opponents we face today are weak. They are nothing compared to Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan or even the old USSR. They should present no real challenge for the United States and the West. Russia is a gangster state kept afloat by oil money and bluff. China is largely bluff and kept afloat by our tolerance for their trade practices and the cupidity of Western governments and businesses willing to give, "lend," sell, and turn a blind eye to the theft of technology and industrial processes in exchange for, in essence, cheap or even slave labor. Islam is a hoax when it comes to warfare. Despite its chest beating and violent language, its "warriors" are good at killing the unarmed, the defenseless, and the weak. They do not do well when confronted by a determined Western army. These Jihadis, too, benefit financially from our refusal to become fully energy independent and to develop realistic and, yes, self-serving immigration laws.

When discussing Obama and his foreign policy, the range of options are that he is stupid, uninterested, or an evil little worm out to destroy the West. I think, others might disagree, that he is, in fact, all three. I will discuss that further in a subsequent post.

One of the things I have been doing on my down time these past weeks, has been  brushing up on one of my favorite topics, Spanish history. I am surprised that Hollywood has not done more with the amazing, at times, even unbelievable history of Spain. I was re-reading, in particular, accounts of the final days of the once great Muslim empire in Spain. The war to retake Iberia from the Muslims lasted nearly 800 years from a small but important victory in Covadonga to the final dramatic capitulation of Granada in 1492--an event, supposedly, witnessed by Christopher Columbus.

It was on reading the accounts of Granada's surrender to the forces of the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel and Fernando, that I thought a good name for Obama is Boabdil. Bear with me. I know there's football on the tube. Boabdil, aka Mohamed XII, was the at-times confused, somewhat hapless, and at others conniving and always desperate last Muslim Emir of Granada. It fell to him to surrender Granada when it became clear that help was not on the way from the rest of the Muslim world and that he was facing alone the rampaging and victorious Christian forces of the Catholic Monarchs. The story, perhaps apocryphal, is that as Boabdil, his family, and his reduced band of hanger-ons left Granada, he paused on a hilltop to look back at the magnificent city he had just lost. The story goes on to relate that he began to cry on viewing that sight. His mother, Sultana Aixa, who had been urging a fight to the death against the Christians, reportedly said to the son who had so disappointed her, "No llores como mujer lo que no supistes defender como hombre" ("Don't cry like a woman over what you could not defend like a man.") There are slightly different versions of what she supposedly said, but the thought was the same.

Is Obama the Boabdil of the West? Nah, he won't cry when the West collapses, he'll play golf . . .