Sunday, November 25, 2012

Surveying the Scene: Chaos

Sitting in my favorite city in the whole world, Miami, Florida. Whenever I get too depressed or downhearted or just need a break, I head back to Miami. That city has played a critical role in my professional life. During my many tours in Latin America, and, of course, with Southern Command, Miami and Florida, in general, including Hurlburt Field where I got to see an AC-130 light up the night, were my safe havens, my places of refuge. Almost regardless of the economic situation in the nation and the world, Miami seems to retain a vitality and cautious optimism that the days ahead will get better. Perhaps that comes from the sun, the heat, and the white beaches, or perhaps it comes from its demographic: people who have seen things get much worse in their countries of origin, and who have patience and still believe that America, in the end, will put things right at home and abroad.

Well, despite the optimistic city, I retain a considerable amount of pessimism, and even disgust with the result of the national elections earlier this month. I find myself distressed not just because a dangerous mediocrity such as Obama could get re-elected, but that a fine, intelligent, a genuinely patriotic man such as Congressman West could not get re-elected, and that another fine, intelligent, and patriotic woman such as Mia Love could not even get elected. I assume that those who voted against West and Love were old time Democratic KKK racists, after all, weren't we told by MSNBC and others that if we failed to vote for Obama we were racists? I assume that the MSNBC formula applies to the goose as well as to the gander . . .

Obamacare and all the other liberal money-fueled delusions are going to come crashing down on the American people in the next few months. I don't have much optimism about the economy. We are in for a rough time of increased taxes, rising deficits, inflation, stagnation and an endless parade of mountebanks, such as the disgraceful Paul Krugman, trying to convince us that more of the same policies that produced all that will somehow produce something different. I can assure you that as things get worse, the Democrat/media lie machine will blame it all on the Republican control of the House. The worse the economy gets, ironically, the worse it might get for the GOP unless the House leadership proves surprisingly adept at keeping the focus on the Obama misadministration.

Developments overseas are following the predictable path blazed by the Obama misadministration's absurd policies of apology, abasement, and accommodation. The Middle East is about as dangerous as it has ever been. Unlike previous major crises in the region, e.g., 1967 and 1973, we now have a welter of totally irrational and unpredictable actors running about on the stage. Nobody really knows what Iran might or might not do; nobody knows how crazed Hezbollah or Hamas might behave; nobody knows what exactly is going on inside Egypt as Morsi launches a pharonic power grab; nobody knows what is going on inside Syria; and we still have no answers as to what happened in Benghazi and why. The Middle East is descending into the sort of chaos eminently foreseeable as Obama dismantled American influence and power in that region. Thanks to the Obama misadministration's open hostility to our developing realistic domestic sources of energy, we remain vulnerable to the whims and manias of the loons in the Middle East. Nuclear-armed Israel stands alone as the sole representative of the West in the Middle East. How much longer before they act?

One last thought before signing off as I get ready to head back to California for a few more weeks. For the first time in about two years I went to the movies. At the urging of old Foreign Service colleagues, I saw "Argo." As you all know, it tells the "true" story of the rescue of six FSOs from Iran. They had managed to get out of the Embassy compound and got taken in by a very brave Canadian Ambassador who hid them for several weeks. The movie is fine, and captures well the 1970s environment in an Embassy. The take over of the Embassy by the Iranian "students" is well done, and most of the film which deals with a CIA plan to rescue these six before the Iranians figure out where they are hiding is good, straight-forward story-telling, with the predictable Hollywood dramatizations.

Even, however, when Hollywood is making a "true" movie, even a somewhat patriotic movie, it cannot resist injecting liberal bias into the story. Nowhere does the movie mention the 1980 elections. Once the six are safely in the air, the movie ends with a long addendum, as the credits roll, that discusses the releasing of the other hostages on January 20, 1981, without ever mentioning Reagan's election and that the hostages were released as Reagan was sworn in as President. It ends with a weird audio interview with President Carter in which he claims credit for the release of the hostages "peacefully" and in manner consistent "with the dignity of our nation." The movie does not mention Carter's botched rescue effort--except tangentially in a conversation at the CIA--and seems to give Carter the credit for freeing the hostages. Those of us in the Foreign Service at the time know the Iranians freed the other hostages out of fear of what Reagan would do to Iran.

More in a few days.

17 comments:

  1. Good luck in California. Movies, haven't been in a long time either (liberals, they just can't help themselves), Henry V was the last one I think.

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  2. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving, Dip. Dr. Peter Weiss has a great article (a must read) in PJ Media: "A Physician's New Reality: Patients Ask Me To Break the Law". New Obamacare regulations will, according to Dr. Weiss, fundamentally change healthcare in ways we will not like.

    Let's see: Obama and his party have fundamentally changed our economy, our electoral financing, our international relations, our military, our society, our medical care, and on and on. . . Looks like Colin Powell was right: Obama is indeed a transformational figure.

    I certainly wish someone could explain to me why.

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  3. History is written by the victors.

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  4. Destruction is hardly a victory.

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  5. "...I assume that those who voted against West and Love were old time Democratic KKK racists, after all, weren't we told by MSNBC and others that if we failed to vote for Obama we were racists?..."

    Well. Maybe not where ya'll are:

    http://blogkc.com/archives/2005/01/kkk-wins-right-to-adopt-missouri-highway/

    http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/AR/Boone/42849/113219/en/summary.html

    http://www.volokh.com/2012/03/27/freedom-and-hypocrisy/

    http://vault.fbi.gov/The%20Covenant%20The%20Sword%20The%20Arm%20of%20the%20Lord%20

    Arkie

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  6. Perhaps this will cheer you up. While you were watching a movie about the '70s I was watching a movie from the '60s....."Don't drink the water.". Jackie Gleason and family are holed up in an US embassy in a Soviet Bloc county while a "spontaneous protest" by "students" rages outside. It just goes to show the more things change, the more they remain the same. This could be remade today and set in the middle east, plus it is hysterical

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  7. I appreciate you bringing Reagan into the discussion. As dark and bleak as these times might be, I often look back to recall the greatest president of my lifetime. Reagan was a giant, a true American the likes of which we need to see again. Reagan could have left Carter out of the hostage return but he was always a much better man than that.

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  8. I remember the release of the hostages the same way that you do. I also remember that many people in the country also though that the release would happen that way. Even the media suspected it and said so. When it did, it was a great event but an almost anticlimactic one. The lesson that having a reputation for standing by your convictions has benefits was lost too quickly though.

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  9. I am so suspect of everything coming out of Hollywood these days. They can't make a movie, ANY movie, without inserting some reference against Conservatives, Christians and anyone else they despise. I know what they are doing--the slow and steady backcrawl toward tyranny. Entertainment seems to be just another name for Leftist propaganda.

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    1. So am I ... the list of media stars whom I am boycotting on those grounds is longer than the ones whom I will make an effort for. And I am still furious at how the Tea Party was monstered as racist red-necks against all evidence to the contrary (including personal experience and observation). Better and better I like Bill Whittle's suggestion of setting up parallel cultural institutions and supporting them economically - and freezing out the those institutions and people who appear to be enabling the 'slow and stead back-crawl toward tyranny.'

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  10. I would've loved to have seen the mad mullahs sweating and fouling their breeches over the prospect of having to deal with Reagan. But, alas, it wasn't to be.

    I think that one reason we had the Cairo demonstrations and Benghazi was not only did we appear appeasing, but also stupid, not knowing our enemies from our friends.

    Hey, but whaddaya expect? The Left insists it is scientific, so it insists on learning through experience--and, speaking as a teacher, the only reason why Mr. Experience is the best teacher is because his job is to teach the fools who'll neither listen to their elders nor read a book.

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  11. True, No one fears America anymore.
    MikeNZ

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  12. I'm with you on Miami. I've lived there (and Ft Lauderdale and Coral Gables) and have vacationed there as well as the Keys. It's a heavenly place.

    It would be fun to hear more from you about Miami, specifically blog pieces with a travelogue nature to them. Bring 'em on.

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  13. "out of fear of what Reagan (ie: America) would do"

    Will we ever again be in the position of other leaders worrying about what we (ie: American President, Congress, people) would do?

    We seem to give billions to countries even after atrocities have been done. There are no consequences anymore, therefore anything they want to do is done and nothing happens.

    Our liberal leaders preach on about the rich having too many tax loopholes. Plug the loopholes, have the rich pay more taxes and then watch as the resulting revenues don't come close to changing the $1 trillion in debt every year!

    Our country needs to stop S*P*E*N*D*I*N*G! One way to start would be to stop sending billions of dollars overseas to countries that hate us, and work to undermine us. Why do we continue to prostitute our tax dollars to countries that work to bring us down?

    PS: We live next to Hurlburt. Nice country, nice to share our space with the loyal, patriotic troops at Hurlburt! We all respect their service and their deeds.

    SandraC

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  14. America is planting the seeds of chaos in almost every part of the globe. The pivot to Asia while downsizing the Navy is inviting adventurism in the Pacific. The Middle East is seething with people eager to settle ancient scores with Israel while holding WMD. Europe is bleeding itself out with little America can do to staunch the flow.
    So a rough ride is all but guaranteed over the next few years or even a decade. Who in the GOP can offer a way out? I think one message from the election is the public still haven't forgiven the GOP for the wars and economic collapse in the Bush administration. More time is needed for those wounds to heal. Romney ran a fine gentleman's campaign but couldn't overcome that anger to Bush. Next time Obama's follies will be forcing the bad old Bush years down the memory hole.

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  15. Re the movie Argo - I noticed it too and was raging as I left
    the theatre. During the whole movie I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop re leftie rhetoric and at the end, there it was!

    Re the further downturn of the economy. The only ones who will
    care are the middle class who work for living - those in the
    $40K to 125K range. The very rich won't care if they pay another
    5% in taxes and whatever with Obamacare. The poor won't care;
    our socialist leftie govt. will make sure those votes are secured;
    what do they care if prices go up; our govt. will make sure they
    pay whatever difference there is from previous years.

    The lefties have successfully demonized whites; the other races,
    blacks voting 96% for Obama, illegal hispanics not wanting their
    freebies to be taken away; noone talks about the number of hispanics who are on free lunch programs and other govt. services; the low class whites
    whose baby mamas live with their baby daddys without marriage, on welfare, getting all the perks our govt. can give them; the 47%
    that Romney talked about - that is not going to change until we
    are ALL in the soup line.

    My paying 5-10% more will be cheered by them.

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  16. When my son was deployed my husband and I went to the movies almost every week. We did this so we had something to write about. I would write a short synopsis of the movie and then my husband and I would give the movie a grade.
    Since my son is now home and retired, we go to the movies but less frequently.
    We went to see Argo. You and your commenters seem to be concentrating on the last few minutes with the incredibly pathetic actions/words of Jimmy Carter. I found the first five minutes of the film to be much more disturbing.
    Now that I can speak to my son on the phone, I gave my movie review in real time. Mr. Affleck and Mr. Clooney needed to make a political point in the first five minutes of the film... If one knew nothing of what was going on in 1950-1953 I guess their rewriting of history would make sense. But, as I said to my son, let's look at what else was going on at that time:
    The U.S. was fighting a proxy war against communist Russia and China in Korea, France was fighting against communism in Indochina, Germany had been partitioned by the communists and Iran was taken over by a dictator that wanted to deal exclusively with the communist soviet union having nationalized their oil fields (which is code for all you people leave but leave your stuff because your oil exploration now belongs to us.)
    This was just off the top of my head and believe me, I am no history buff...
    So, the first few minutes of the movie were "America bad because you caused a coup in Iran." BTW, I have come to understand that the U.S. DID NOT have oil companies in Iran, the British did.
    So, knowing what little I do know about 1950's politics, I was amazed by the opening of this movie. The Jimmy Carter part was just plain pathetic. This is the guy that sent sea hawk helicopters into a desert because he needed to involve every branch of the military in his glorious rescue!
    In respect to the opening and closing of this movie I have very little respect. Overall, I gave the movie a B because I though the bulk of the movie was well thought out and I love Alan Arkin and John Goodman. They were worth the price of admission.

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