Friday, April 29, 2011

Foul Mood Rantings . . .

Back from my travels. Having to work gets in the way of blogging. Life is not fair.

Actually, I have been back for a few days, but have been in an increasingly foul mood that has helped produce "blogger's block." I am growing ever more despondent over the fate of our Republic.  The greatest country ever to exist is in the hands of grotesque incompetents who hate everything she has ever done or stood for.  I increasing despair that we ever will be rid of these malicious morons.

We have the most grotesquely incompetent President ever in our history. The dollar is sliding; the government is lying about the rate of inflation and joblessness; the debt is exploding; gold, silver, and oil prices are shooting ever higher; we are at war in multiple locations; we have no foreign policy; our industrial base is deteriorating; and our borders are totally unsafe and in the hands of the woeful fools at Homeland Security.

What is the press covering?  1. Obama's birth certificate, 2. A silly, meaningless wedding in Britain, and 3. Donald Trump.

Things to remember about #1:  Obama is unqualified to be President not because of where he was or was not born, but because of what he has done and not done since then.

Things to remember about #2:  Ever since July 4, 1776, Americans don't need to care at all about what happens with the morally depraved House of Hanover.   Jefferson, Washington, and the heroes of Valley Forge said so.

Things to remember about #3:  The media has picked as "speaking" for the loyal opposition, that despicable, self-promoting, corrupt, lying Donald Trump, the biggest DOPAR (Democratic Operative Passing as Republican) around. Trump represents the worst of modern American society and "capitalism."  He basically produces nothing; is famous for being famous; throws away other people's money; games the political and legal system; favors big government and "crony capitalism"; is in bed with the Hollywood crowd; and, by the way, is a big contributor to Democratic candidates.  To top it off, he makes idiotic statements about foreign affairs, and seems to have no real knowledge of how the global economic system, or of how a true free enterprise system works.

This can all be turned around (except maybe that wedding).  There is nothing written in the stars or pre-ordained that require the USA to continue on the path of destruction, better said, self-destruction.

Paul Ryan is on the right path but does not go far enough.  It is not just a matter of how much we spend, it is as much about what we spend it on.  Politically incorrect thought for the day.  Spending $4 billion to build an aircraft carrier does much more for our economy (and defense posture) than spending $4 billion on the Department of Education.  Building an aircraft carrier requires subcontracting to and purchasing from businesses in almost every state; promotes the US industrial base; and promotes high tech innovation and employment. That's what FDR did.  All the hype about the New Deal's social programs is nonsense.  The Great Depression was killed by massive defense/industrial spending.  Spending $4 billion on the Department of Education produces a bunch of unreadable memos, and some $100,000/yr. bureaucrats living in the DC area who drive Prius cars.

We need to eliminate whole bureaucracies. The Department of Education should go away, as should the Departments of Labor and Commerce, and much of HHS, Homeland Security, Interior, State, AID, CIA, Justice, and Veteran Affairs. Yes, Veteran Affairs.  I am sure our veterans could get better treatment if the government would negotiate an arrangement with private hospitals, and give the vets vouchers or an insurance plan. They would get better treatment at much less cost to the taxpayer.

Do we really need the idiotic ATF which seems to specialize in selling guns to Mexican cartels so it can claim that Mexican cartels buy guns in the USA? Revamp our drug laws and get rid of DEA. The Pentagon, too, is over-staffed with civilian employees and offices that have nothing to do with defense. It has way too many 3 and 4 star officers, and is saddled with the absurd and expensive PX/BX system that operates supermarkets and other retail stores in the USA. Really? In a time of WALMART, TARGET and other superstores, do we need PXs in the US? Negotiate discounts and other benefits for our service personnel with the big chains; they will get better goods and services than they do at the PX, and the taxpayers will save money we can use to buy drones, missiles, and ships.

More later. I have to get to work . . .

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Blogging will be light

I will be voting "present" on this blog for a few days. I am traveling, working on a piece on US foreign policy that will, inshallah, be run on another site, and busy with my ghost writing business.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On Libya: I've Seen This Behavior Before

Thanks to Instapundit, I noticed this little gem about Libya appearing in the Boston Globe.  Now, let me be very clear, the Globe is not one of my favorite papers. It is normally a pale Xerox copy of the hideous New York Times. The author, Alan J. Kuperman, is a pretty standard Washington sort of liberal, EXCEPT that he has written some respectable literature on the limits of humanitarian intervention and the perils it brings, especially in the area of "mission creep." Given his academic and political background, one would assume that he voted for Obama.  It is, therefore, a startling event to read such a person stating about the intervention in Libya that,
EVIDENCE IS now in that President Barack Obama grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya. The president claimed that intervention was necessary to prevent a “bloodbath’’ in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city and last rebel stronghold.
But Human Rights Watch has released data on Misurata, the next-biggest city in Libya and scene of protracted fighting, revealing that Moammar Khadafy is not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government. . . .
 Intervention did not prevent genocide, because no such bloodbath was in the offing. To the contrary, by emboldening rebellion, US interference has prolonged Libya’s civil war and the resultant suffering of innocents. 
The best evidence that Khadafy did not plan genocide in Benghazi is that he did not perpetrate it in the other cities he had recaptured either fully or partially — including Zawiya, Misurata, and Ajdabiya, which together have a population greater than Benghazi. 
Libyan forces did kill hundreds as they regained control of cities. Collateral damage is inevitable in counter-insurgency. And strict laws of war may have been exceeded.
But Khadafy’s acts were a far cry from Rwanda, Darfur, Congo, Bosnia, and other killing fields. 

Read the whole thing.

The only thing on this score I will say for President Obama and Hillary Clinton is that I have seen before the sort of mass hysteria that builds among the "foreign policy community," especially at State, the NSC, and USAID, whenever somebody starts talking about "massacres." Once the press gets into it, even the calmest, most reasoned reporting from our own people in the field is brushed aside, and the demand for "action" builds.  I suspect that Obama and Clinton got stampeded by the Europeans, the media, and a handful of Libyan activists to do "something" about Libya.  In typical Democratic Wilsonian fashion, however, what they did do is half-baked, ill-conceived, and damaging to long-term U.S. interests.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Libya? Never Heard of It . . .

I guess I must have slept through the announcement.

Did we have a surrender ceremony on board a US battleship in the Gulf of Sidra? I guess I missed it.  Looking over the MSM newspapers "of record," it's hard to find anything on Libya.  Certainly, Obama, The One, The Name, HaShem השם himself has wandered off to other topics.

So either we just won a smashing victory, or this President has voted "present," after committing US blood, treasure, and prestige in an idiotic, ill-conceived, horribly executed, unjustified, and half-baked intervention into the affairs of the Libyan gangster state.  We have a President bored by the job of the Presidency, surrounded by inept advisors, and interested only in being the center of attention but without having to do any real work.

So what's happened in Libya?  How will our interests NOW be affected?  No answer from the White House or the State Department.

Impeach Obama.


Guess the empty chair is for Qaddafi . . . or maybe for NATO

Friday, April 8, 2011

Islam: Is it Like the Others?


In view of the recent Congressional hearings re the threat from domestic Islamic groups, I thought it worthwhile to revisit the topic of Islam. Is it just a religion like any other?

Those of us who live in Western society, and most notably the USA, rightly take pride in our racial, ethnic, religious and political tolerance, and our commitment to preserving individual freedom. We believe in "innocent until proven guilty"; in "everybody has a right to his own opinion"; and in all the other rights so eloquently laid out in our Bill of Rights.

We, however, must ask, is our commitment to freedom, to the Constitution and its Bill of Rights a suicide pact? What do we do when faced with powerful organizations here at home that don't believe in freedom? Organizations motivated by hatred precisely for those freedoms and the practice of tolerance? Organizations that openly seek to use our freedoms to destroy them?

During the Cold War we faced such a foe, Soviet Communism. We adopted common sense measures at home to limit the ability of Communists to undermine our nation. Communists, for example, could not hold certain sensitive jobs; they were denied security clearances; the CPUSA was treated as the agent of a hostile foreign power and was subject to penetration and surveillance by the FBI. Foreign Communists were ineligible for visas to the US or for citizenship. Did we infringe on the freedom of Communists? Yes, no doubt. Given, however, what we all should now know about the extent of Soviet espionage against the USA, and the role that the CPUSA played in efforts to undermine America, those measures seem eminently reasonable. We have had similar restrictions on Fascists, Nazis, and KKK members. All infringements, all justifiable.

As practiced in every country of the world, Islam is a totalitarian ideology that openly advocates intolerance, death for non-believers, and relegates women to the status of cattle. As we have seen repeatedly over the past few decades, this isn't just talk. Islam, at least as now practiced, is a violent and intolerant totalitarian ideology, and an enemy of freedom. Those of us who have served in Muslim states know that when we go to those countries we must respect their culture -- OK, fine. It, however, turns out that when foreign Muslims come to our country, we also have to respect their culture -- or at least the Disney version they peddle. As I have said on many occasions, try to build a church or a synagogue in Saudi Arabia, not possible; try to prevent Muslims from building a mosque in your home town, not possible. We all, especially those of us in government, have to recite the mantra of "Islam is a religion of tolerance and peace." Once that is said, we must loudly proclaim, a la the crew in Battlestar Galactica, "So say we all!"

Some Muslims, admittedly, have begun to realize -- ever so tepidly -- that their civilization is a sick one; that they must reform it from within and take it away from the hate-mongers. Good, but how long should we wait? How long should we pretend that the problem is NOT Islam, when, in fact, it is, or at least the Islam that has gained currency in the modern world. We are at war with a totalitarianism as much as we were with Communism and Fascism. It's going to be a long, long war, one in which we have to inflict repeated defeats on the Islamists, be it in Chechnya, Gaza, Kashmir, Kabul, Baghdad, or in the streets and suites of America. In the end, we'll all be better off, including the Muslim world. Don't forget that the greatest victims of Islam are Muslims. Don't forget that the greatest burners and desecrators of the Quran are Muslims--a lot of Qurans, for example, get desecrated every time some Sunni blows up a Shia mosque.

I don't pretend expertise on the Quran, although I have read most of it, and will take on faith (so to speak) the accuracy of various citations seeking to prove that Islam, the religion, does not advocate the intolerance and violence of the Islamists. As some have pointed out, one also can find examples of intolerance in Judaism and Christianity, both in theory and historical practice. With all due respect to those arguing on behalf of the tolerant and peaceful nature of Islam, much of the debate is reminiscent of those long-ago, late-night sessions in university arguing whether or not the Soviet Union was socialist or communist. We always had the Karl Marx expert who could cite ol' Karl's teachings and "prove" that the Soviets were violating them and that Marx, in fact, had a truly wonderful vision for mankind -- the problem apparently being that pesky humans just didn't cooperate with the vision. Defenders of the USSR would quote the Soviet constitution and its long list of "rights' granted citizens.

Let's concede for the sake of this argument that Marx and the Quran provide idyllic visions of life, and lay out the path for all of us to follow. OK, so the theory is good. What about the practice? The Soviet Empire in practice was a social, economic and human disaster by just about any measure you care to use. Islam, likewise, as it is practiced in the modern world has produced some of the most retrograde, repressive, and violent regimes and organizations in existence. Nearly all Muslims might not be terrorists, but nearly all terrorists are Muslims. They draw their inspiration from somewhere. Wonder what that would be? Looks like we're back to religion.

Yes, we have heard theories that terrorism comes as a result of poverty, but the poorest on earth are sub-Saharan Africans, Haitians, Bolivians, and Mongolians; they aren't the terrorists. No, there seems to be something about Islam itself that provokes the terror craziness. Certainly Christianity had its intolerant phase, but is that the rule today? Did it not go through a process of evolution, reformation, and, above all, enlightenment? "Christian" countries today are the most tolerant and free on the planet. And, of course, Israel is a functioning democracy with well over one million Arab citizens who vote and pray freely--the freest Arabs in the Middle East, by the way.

When is Islam going to move beyond the Middle Ages? Is it capable of doing so? Can a person be a "good" Muslim and be a "good" person? Until then, why do we have to keep pretending that Islam is just like Judaism or Christianity?

Bottom line: Do we have the right and obligation to defend ourselves against a brutal and totalitarian ideology, or do we have to put up with it because it has the label "religion?"


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lib Lies and Libya

Well, as anybody not in the White House or the upper floors of the State Department could have foretold, our Most Excellent Adventure in Libya is going from bad to worse.  We have pulled out our aircraft, and have left the Euros dangling.  With their little Toy Town military forces they can't handle it. The crybaby, lefty, anti-US Guardian is reporting--SURPRISE!--that without US aircraft the Euros can't do it.  In addition, it seems the French are holding back resources from NATO--guess they need'em to bomb Ivory Coast.

Now, I know, there is a perverse satisfaction in seeing this happen. After all, the Libya mess endangered no US national interests, and we apparently jumped into the middle of it for the Europeans.  Now, after giving conflicting signals, which we have discussed in various postings below, it seems Obama is cutting out.

We, indeed, went hunting to wound the bear, not kill it.  Big mistake.

As we have noted before, you might not have any interests when you jump into a mess, but you develop them once you're there. If the USA commits its forces to a project, it must be seen as "winning." Not to win, encourages the bad guys to strike you, and they might just do it where it counts.  Don't forget, Bin Ladin and Saddam were emboldened by President Clinton's disastrous handling of the Somalia "Blackhawk Down" intervention.

Monday, April 4, 2011

All Hail President Obushama, Part II

OK, Bushites, start the laugh track. Turn it up loud. Real loud.

Not only does President Hope and Change bomb the hell out of Pakistan and Libya, he now will keep Gitmo open and functioning, and--real loud--he will have the Evil Ones tried by the military at Gitmo!

The reprehensible and utterly idiotic Eric Holder has just announced that the administration is abandoning its reprehensible and utterly idiotic plans to try the Evil Ones in a civilian court. Obama's DOJ, after wasting two years, will do what Bush's DOJ was going to do: bring them before those cruel and rights-denying military commissions-- and please note that the link I provide leads you to an article run by MSNBC, so make that laughter even louder!

Has there ever been a more contemptible, cowardly, and cynical administration?

*

* Shamelessly and cynically stolen from Angry White Dude

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Another UN Outrage: The Goldstone Report

South African jurist Richard Goldstone, at the behest of the UN Human Rights Council, led a 2009 "investigation" into Israel's military operations in Gaza. His subsequent report blasted Israel, and accused it of intentionally targeting Palestinian civilians. That report, as usual, formed the basis for another round of Israel bashing at the UNHRC, the UNGA, and in the leftist media all over the world.

Well, guess what?  The report was wrong. I know, I know, a UN report that is wrong? How can that be? To add even further to your astonishment, guess who says it's wrong?  None other than Richard Goldstone, himself. In a stunning admission in an op-ed piece in the April 1, 2011, Washington Post, Goldstone, in essence, retracted the main conclusions of the report. He acknowledged that had he known what he knows now, he would not have accused Israel of targeting civilians.

I worked at the US Mission to the UN many years ago, and Israel bashing by the UN was par for the course. When I was there, however, we had tough as nails folks such as Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Jose Sorzano, Dennis Goodman, Alan Keyes, Richard Schifter, Armando Valladares, and General Walters, who would have raised hell about a report such as this; they would have launched a permanent guerrilla war that would not have given the promoters of the Goldstone report's nonsense a moment's respite.  They would have stood clearly with Israel, our friend, against Hamas, our enemy.  The US would not have issued the bland statement the current administration did at the time. We would have walked out of the UN Human Rights Council instead of giving it the legitimacy bestowed upon it by the US presence.

The Diplomad supports efforts to retract the whole report.  This report has become the talking point for the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, anti-US crowd around the world.

Diplomad generally holds off commenting on the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict--after all, just about all that can be, has been said.  One, two, or even three thoughts, however, keep bubbling up.

During 1948-1967, when Jordan held the West Bank, and Egypt held Gaza, were the West Bank and Gaza referred to as "occupied" territory? Was there a lot of concern about human rights in those areas? They became the Palestinian Homeland, I guess, only after Israel defeated Jordan and Egypt.  Interesting how that happens.

Does anybody think that creating one more corrupt, authoritarian, chaotic Arab state will bring peace?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Check Out a Neat New Blog

Go read Bonfire.Journal.  Has some very good articles, including, ahem, one by the Diplomad writing super anonymously.

The Bonfire seems to be spreading.

Friday, April 1, 2011

On Libya: If This is True, This is Very Bad News . . .

According to a report from Bloomberg (h/t Drudge), 

"Libya's opposition called for a cease-fire after the U.S. said it’s withdrawing aircraft used to attack Muammar Qaddafi’s forces following adverse weather that prevented strikes allowing Libyan loyalists to push back rebels.
Libya’s rebels would accept a cease-fire if their demands for freedoms are met, said Mustafa Abdel Jalil, head of the rebel National Transitional Council, during a news conference televised today from their stronghold of Benghazi.  . . .  The rebel move comes one day after Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said U.S. jets, won’t be flying with NATO forces over Libya after April 2. Mullen said planes would be made available only if requested by NATO. "
If this is true, and not just some sick April Fool's joke, we have just been defeated in Libya.  I have thought and think this intervention is idiotic, our interests do not justify it, but, as noted in my March 31 post, 
"[O]nce we intervene, committing our people, treasure, and prestige, we have a national interest in obtaining success. We now have to win, and the other side has to lose, or our enemies around the world will be emboldened to act against us."






If we allow Qaddafi to remain, and are seen as selling out our unknown Libyan allies, there will be hell to pay. Think PanAm 103. Think oil-rich Qaddafi reconciled with Al Qaeda. Think endless grief.
This is why liberals should never undertake military interventions.  You do not go hunting to wound; you hunt to kill.  A hurt bear can be a lot more dangerous than a dead one.
Woodrow Wilson established the liberal tradition of interventions with his asinine, half-hearted, and poorly planned invasions of Mexico, and with his grotesquely inept handling of the negotiations at end of World War I.  That is the Wilsonian tradition.  We do not want that; but that is what we have, and we have it on steroids.