Monday, August 19, 2013

Obama and an Edouard Daladier Moment

The day after the November 2008 election I had a major Édouard Daladier moment.

On that horrid Wednesday, I sat in my cluttered office at Main State in Washington, DC, in a deep, deep funk. Blinds drawn; lights out; a small TV on the far side of the office ran images of Obama’s victory celebration in Chicago the night before.

Two colleagues, one male and one female, both white, and both career State officers, walked into the office and started bubbling, “Isn’t this great!” Startled out of my near coma, I glumly asked “What’s great?” The woman looked at me as though I were from outer space, “The election! Obama’s victory.” I stammered, “Wha-what’s so great about it? He’s going to be an awful president.”

They looked at each other, and then the male officer said, “When you drove in today, didn’t you see the joy and pride in the black parking attendants in the basement? They have a real spring in their step this morning.” For one of the few times in my career, I was speechless. No withering reply. No cutting remark. No Churchillian riposte. No well-aimed stream of verbal acid shot from between my lips. Known while I was at the UN as the "Master of the Reply," I stared at him, as a fish pulled out of the depths might. Uncomprehending. Mouth moving without a sound. My pea-sized brain had failed me, yet again. I clearly had not understood that the 2008 national elections in the world’s most important country were about the happiness of parking attendants, about ensuring they had a "spring in their step."

These two cheerful condescending colleagues bounced out of my dreary office; I could hear them celebrating with others outside the door. A couple of minutes later, in walked another friend, a Republican political appointee, who shook his head and sorrowfully asked,”What do you think?” I fidgeted with my pen, undid my tie, and said, in my best Liev Schreiber growl, “We just did a Hemingway. Muzzle of a loaded shotgun in the mouth; about to pull the trigger. Or, as Édouard Daladier would have said, 'The fools! Why are they cheering?'”

Although featured on the cover of TIME at least twice, Édouard Daladier, on this side of the Atlantic, anyhow, is hardly known today; he is a figure lost in the fog of history. That is unfortunate. His valiant and ultimately doomed struggle against the homicidal fraternal twin tyrannies of Communism and Nazism deserves study; we can learn from his mistakes. Today, when the "leader" of the West is in full appeasement mode, the story of Daladier and France in the 1930s is an important one for those who would be America's allies. Unfortunately for our long-term interests, it seems that regardless of whether our allies know of Daladier, some already understandably have taken steps to avoid a fate akin to that he and France suffered.

Almost a century later, we have difficulty understanding how devastating the 1914-18 Great War proved for France. The bulk of Western Front fighting took place on French soil. Some 1.6 million Frenchmen, nearly 5% of the economically active population, had died or permanently gone missing, with another 4.3 million wounded, many of them horribly so. The French Army fought with remarkable valor, much more valor, in fact, than brains; the brave poilu deserved much better than they got from their brutally and even criminally inept senior ranks. By the time the Americans arrived, the French Army and, to a lesser extent, the British, verged on collapse. The Allies faced a revitalized German Army which had just defeated Russia, and begun transferring hundreds of thousands of troops from Russia for a new offensive in France. Thanks in large part to those Americans, the Germans were stopped, barely, and both sides agreed to an armistice. The inconclusive end to the Great War, with Germany left almost untouched, had deprived France of a sense of victory, leaving instead one of stunned exhaustion. The last thing the French electorate wanted in the years after WWI was another confrontation with Germany.

Daladier, a classic leftist politician of the era, became Prime Minister three times. French politics were rough and tumble, with alliances made and dissolved, and little attention paid to foreign policy. There was a general refusal to acknowledge that Germany was re-arming and preparing for another round. Daladier was a voice in the wilderness. He saw the threat coming from Germany and became particularly alarmed by the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Unlike many others of his time, and today, he understood that Communists and Nazis comprised two sides of the same totalitarian coin. Daladier became PM for the last time in April 1938. By this time, the West's appeasement policies towards Hitler were firmly set. Daladier desperately tried to convince Britain's Neville Chamberlain to take a firmer stance against Hitler. Chamberlain would have none of it, and France's parlous military state prevented Daladier from striking out on his own. Chamberlain had decided to yield to Hitler's demand for the Sudetenland, and to the effective dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. Daladier argued against this, but found himself helpless to do anything but go along. To his life-long shame, Daladier became a signer of the September 1938 Munich Agreement, the now universally recognized monument to appeasement. Heading back home from Munich, Daladier assumed angry French patriots would rip him to shreds. He, instead, got a hero's welcome. Enthusiastic crowds sang his praises, prompting him to turn to an aide, and utter the famous, bitter, and prophetic words, "Ah, the fools! Why are they cheering?"

Daladier knew that war with Hitler would come, and France was not ready. He subsequently tried to develop an arms relationship with the US, seeking American weapons to plus up the poorly armed French military. The negotiations became complicated because of France's default on WWI-era loans from the US. By the time this got worked out, it was too late. The American planes France ordered ended up in Britain as France fell to the Nazis. (NOTE: A fascinating book about the rescue of Daladier and other French politicians in 1945 from an SS prison by a combined unit of US and German soldiers--yes, you read that right, US and German soldiers--is The Last Battle by Stephen Harding.)

I have written before about the Obama foreign policy (here, here, and here, for example). We are firmly in the grip of an appeaser, perhaps even worse. Other countries have begun to see that quite clearly.

In the Middle East, we have shown great weakness in the face of an Islamist totalitarian onslaught, and, in fact, many of our statements on Egypt appear to favor the murdering totalitarians of the Muslim Brotherhood. Thanks to Obama, regardless of what happens in Egypt--and I suspect the Egyptian military will hang on--the US will lose. Egypt's leaders, not wishing to repeat the Daladier experience, will drift away from us. Already we see the Saudis and others in the Gulf stepping in; don't rule out a move by Russia, as well, as our ineptness in Egypt and Syria provides Moscow wonderful opportunities to reestablish its influence in the region.

Not only in the Middle East do we see this move away from the USA. In Latin America, for example, our long-time ally Colombia has just about given up on Obama. The callous and exceptionally stupid and arrogant manner in which the misadminsitration handled the free trade agreement and its refusal to stand up to Venezuela in Honduras, has convinced the Colombians to look elsewhere. We will see others follow, including Israel which will begin to develop a policy much more independent of us than heretofore.

All this forms part of the legacy of long-term damage done by the man who brought "a spring to the step" of parking attendants in the basement of the State Department.

WLA

82 comments:

  1. It is amazing. You'd think it's plain as day, but they march on, blindly, proudly, and foolishly.

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  2. With more than 2 generations of Americans raised in an educational system that teaches self esteem rather than the ability to think, this is unfortunately no surprise.

    Will our country EVER recover from this?

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    1. Four and half years ago, I would have said "Yes." But no longer. We are rapidly becoming another Euro-Socialist nation. And when we are just like the faltering nations of Europe, we will see the immigration of those who actually contribute to a society cease and the only thing we will get is those swimming the Rio Grande because they know that there is a free apartment, and free food (via food stamps) waiting for them on this side.

      How sad that career State officers had been so dumbed down, and so indoctrinated into cultural Marxism (political correctness) that the spring in the step of a black parking attendant excited them when they never seemed to notice the mood of a "white" parking attendant. Is there any greater example of "racial" politics?

      Personally, I think the "Great" Experiment has failed. We have finally become a nation of people, not who think "What can I gain/earn for myself?" but "What can I get from the federal government that was taken from someone else?" We are about to run out of OPM (other people's money) to buy votes. Then what? Anarchy? Totalitarianism? We're nearing the latter in Obama.

      Zane

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    2. White parking attendant ......in Washington DC. Have you been there lately?

      I cannot disagree with your conclusion, the real estate collapse has frightened and impoverished too many people, much safer to cling to the government and let the grandkids pay.

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    3. The Country is toast. Obama achieved what he said he would; the fundamental change of the USA. We have no financial, political, industrial, educational or moral basis for survival. The only thing left to do now is to figure the best way to extract an extremely HARSH RETRIBUTION against the political, financial and academic leaders that sold us out to Marxism. These traitors must be made to PAY. I don't mean financially, these people need it taken out of their very skin. They must not be allowed to walk away freely after what they have done to us. A "People's Court" solution must be pursued because they have destroyed the Constitutional process.I recommend letting the minorities they lied to about being supported for life be allowed to arrange this "Social Justice", comrades.

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    4. Reference to Anonymous above, this touches on my greatest fear for the Republic.

      We were already drifting toward the fiscal/economic/societal waterfall before Barry O took over the helm, and all he has done has been to grin, point the bow toward the edge, and gun the motor while the people responsible for giving him the wheel shout, "Woo-Hoo!"

      We're going over the falls. There's no stopping it now. The question is, "What happens after we crash at the bottom?"

      When I read things like, "These traitors need to PAY," and calls for a "People's Court solution," I get an idea: rather than a second American Revolution, we'll get a copy of the French one.

      Put another way, when our current Federal government system implodes, where are the modern-day equivalents of Madison, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Washington....? I don't see any.

      I do see a lot of wannabe Jacobins and Robespierres, who will probably end up getting the same results they did: a purge of the old political elites, followed by chaos bordering on anarchy that gives birth to a reign of terror, and ending up with our very own Bonaparte or Cromwell, a "Man on Horseback" promising to restore order, turn the economy around, and bring us back to our former glory -- all in exchange for our obedience.

      People tend to forget that the American Revolution was a historical fluke. Revolutions as a rule lead to more oppression and bloodshed, not less.

      We had a good run with our Constitutional Republic, until finally answering in the negative Franklin's comment about "A republic, if you can keep it." But in the absence of a new generation of Founding Fathers, I'm not hopeful that what emerges from the ashes after Barry O and his party are done burning down the house is going to look anything like a democracy.

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  3. Proud as I am of my short and indistinguished Foreign Service career, I hate to admit that people like the colleagues you mentioned are too common in the State Department. There's a lot of focus on the image and its perception, and little appreciation for what the substance of an event may be.

    "Kounselor Kone" Kepha.
    (the ONLY way I'm 3K).

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  4. I expected the election of Barrack Obama. I even called him over Hillary in 2007. I watched his meteoric rise from unknown state senator, to obviously being groomed for president. The dirty trick played on his opponent for the Illinois senate seat was a harbinger of things to come.

    What I am still stunned about and just can’t understand is how in the face of his obvious incompetence at the job, he was re-elected. How did that happen?

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    1. Just look at what the GOP put up! where's the Reagan or Thatcher equivalent? not in the USA, and not in the UK either. The EU? don't make me laugh!

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    2. Ronnie, I wish I could disagree with you, but, I can't.

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    3. Then I'll take up the burden.

      Do you really think Romney would be anywhere near as bad as Obama? If not, it was your duty after his nomination to support him wholeheartedly, and it is your duty today to not apologize for voting for him.

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    4. Romney would have done a good job with regulation and the economy, especially if the Senate had flipped. He could not do worse than Obama in foreign policy. Clinton was almost as bad but at least he took advice. We will pay dearly for this.

      "The Last Battle" is an excellent book.

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    5. We have a two party system, whether you like it or not. Your duty as a citizen is to vote, and to vote for the President who will damage the Republic LESS than the other guy. That's it. That is your prime duty. Not to vote for the "best" candidate, or the most conservative candidate, and if none of those are available, to vote for a throw-away third party, or not vote. You have to vote for the best of the worst. Too many self-identified "patriotic" citizens choose to do the wrong thing for what they claim is the right reason. They are fools, and have abandoned their duty. He Who Must Not Be Middle-Named is the reward for their failure, as death is the wage of sin.

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    6. Obama won the 2012 election by suppressing the vote of conservatives with the IRS Inquisition. That would have provided the margin of victory.

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    7. @Unknown

      Yes, we do have a two party system. The Ruling Class and the Country Class. Unfortunately, the Ruling class is made of both Republican and Democrats. Being a loyal party member, my duty is to the Country Class--who's candidates I did vote for.

      As for my duty, it is first to God, then family and then country.

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    8. ronnie b: Romney was not a perfect candidate, there is no perfect candidate. If you know of a perfect candidate, then name the person and explain how they could get elected - be realistic and be prepared for some push back if your logic is unrealistic.

      As Milton Friedman wisely said: “It’s nice to elect the right people, but that isn’t the way you solve things. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things.”

      What is "politically profitable" for Obama is radically different than that for Romney.

      We at least stood a chance of making it "politically profitable" for Romney to do at least some or perhaps many "right things" for the nation, but we stand no chance of doing the same with Obama.

      What is "politically profitable" for 2nd term Obama is anti-American, anti-individual-liberty collectivism and, as we are witnessing in the ME, dangerously incompetent foreign policy.

      So yeah, refusing to vote for Romney was a vote for Obama. Own it.



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    9. I agree that the only option we had in 2008 and 2012 was to vote for the guy who was the least worst option. But, I have to say to those of you excoriating "ronnie b" - I did not see in his post where he said he didn't vote for Romney. Perhaps he did not, but at least grant him the benefit of a doubt.

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  5. Excellent post. Thank you for that concise history lesson. I am embarrassed to admit it, but, I was unaware of Mr. Daladier. I still marvel at how boring my public school teachers managed to make history. Ahem, by that is another discussion.

    I subscribe to the theory that the problem is not Obama, or our leadership, per se, but the population that would (re)elect this joker. Maybe the white guilt that Dip alludes to with his reference to parking attendants explains the results. If so, maybe the situation is salvageable. Trust me, when times are fat, as they are now (relatively speaking across the arch of human history) these people can afford their delusions. Scales will fall from eyeballs when the situation begins to really cut into their interests. When electricity rates “necessarily skyrocket”, when sons/daughters are drafted to fight and die… Therein lies the problem, we’re headed for bad times. End of a 70 year debt cycle; japan is going down hard, and re-arming; gold is on the move east; the smart money is buying arable land. I’m probably just overly pessimistic but it is enough to turn a guy into a survivalist. Gentlemen, fasten you belts, and push you children into core professions. Sorry for rant, back on the bottle.

    ~John Derbyshire is a magnificent bastard~

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  6. I have lots of anecdotes like that about these last few years. But the one that stands out most in my mind is pre-Obama. I was sitting with two of my colleagues in a cafe in NoVA, all of us having just returned from a particularly difficult and dangerous overseas assignment. I had been through two years of hell with those people, and we were all pretty close. I of course was the "misguided conservative" of the group, but was tolerated with good humor.

    Anyway, after an unusually frank talk about Life, the Universe, and Everything, I found them both looking me straight in the eye and telling me in lockstep agreement with each other that Christianity was the biggest threat to world peace, bar none.

    I was flabbergasted, speechless, agape, gobsmacked. That was in 2004, after all we had been through, after all the soldiers and diplomats killed from the 1950s onward, all the wars, all the terrorism, all the repression. After Mao, Stalin, Pot, Ho, Nidal, Hussein, Castro, Bin Laden, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum, they were convinced to their bones that Christians were the threat. Well, f@%* me with a circus tent.

    That was the moment that I realized that I am barely even the same species as a typical liberal. Now nothing shocks me anymore. East is east and west is west...

    ACCO

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    1. I think the best way to understand Left and Right is they are either mutually-exclusive or operate in parallel universes. Us conservatives seem desperate to convince liberals are views are supported by facts, history, etc. These things don't seem to hold influence among The Left.

      Another way to say this: it's like us conservatives are yelling "eat a sandwich" to a convention of anorexics. Our message is the one message that cannot be heard, no matter how well it's made, by our opponents. For sake of argument I'm assuming some on The Left aren't driven strictly by ideology. I don't feel that way, but someone always makes the point nice Leftists would change their mind if they knew certain things. My experience is very different.

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  7. Nature abhors a vacuum and its name is Barack Obama.

    We have seen this sort of thing before, but the United States has tended to come through in a crunch. Clearly, that may no longer be the case.

    We have the ominous spectre of the Empty Pantsuit as our next president, cheered on by the media and their drones while the GOP contents itself with indulging in circular firing squad antics.

    You don't see the Dems savaging each other in public the way the GOP does. Who is there frontrunner? What do they stand for? I admit I don't know. The establishment seems to be happy with "Democrat Lite," while undermining any and all comers who dare question their orthodoxy.

    In the meantime, Benghazi remains covered up (How about that Select Committee, Mr. Boehner, or are you too busy figuring out ways to appease the opposition)? The IRS scandal continues to fester and the state media apparatus ignores it all.

    It's enough to make me want to go live on a desert island somewhere, but apparently I can't because they'll all be under 20 feet of water in a month or two.

    Phew.

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  8. Too many people voted for Obama because they thought it would be cool to have a black president. Sadly, there was no more thought given to their choice than that. This whimsical and cavalier approach to suffrage is widespread among Americans today - and it, more than any other factor, will be the death of our Republic.

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  9. My expectations for our country have devolved to the point where I cully expect and anticipate that the current political and social trajectory will continue, until there is no food on store shelves and the smart cards that provide "free stuff" stop working. Then the masses will turn on their masters in revolutionary French fashion. That is what the ruling classes know and fear. I will now vote fir the people farthest away from the status quo, no matter their "electability". We will fall hard, be prepared to offer an untried alternative, that is, a constitutional republic, with a real rule of law. Worked fairly well for a long time, but it hasn't been tried much recently. God help us all.

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  10. excellent history lesson. having just discovered this blog, courtesy of a fellow retired fso, im quite amazed to find kindred souls remain in state.

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  11. The US aiding and abetting the Muslim Brotherhood did not start with Obama, it started with Bush. We can credit Obama with putting the relationship on steroids.

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    1. I think Bush misunderstood. He was trying to come to an accommodation with Islam. It didn't work. I'm afraid Obama understands all too well.

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  12. Thanks for putting this link on PJMedia. I've saved you to favorites several times, but I've fried 5 computers in the last four years, and lost you.

    Katherine

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  13. Perhaps this forum would be the proper place to make this request. Can someone--our host, or a commenter such as one of our FSOs--spell out, in detail, and in a simple way as though talking to a child with no understanding of the wider world, exactly why a weakened US is such a danger? Talk about the likely consequences both for Americans and people elsewhere. Make no assumptions about your audience's knowledge or strategic sense.

    I see a lot of discussions like the above all over the web, and in my gut I feel how dangerous our current situation is, but I'd like to see it laid out.

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    1. Without America, without the current order, there will be turmoil as power structures shift. Regional strongmen will attempt to build their empires, meaning regional wars. Super states will attempt to exceed America's apex, meaning proxy wars (more regional wars). Democracy will atrophy and totalitarianism will rise as those struggling empires attempt to force their populations into a single-mindedness required to achieve the leaders goals.

      The aggrandizement of the various leaders egos will take precedence over the improvement of the living standards of "the people". Military technology will advance while medical tech, consumer tech, and farming/industrial tech will languish.

      This is not the passing of the baton from a liberal monarchy to a democracy such as Britain to the US. This will be a shift from liberal democracy to totalitarian communist or even theocratic rule.

      Think Europe after the fall of the roman empire.

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  14. Power abhors a vacuum.

    The Left accepted the Narrative that it foolishly peddled that the United States was a Rogue Nation amok in the world, that the Planet would be better off if the U.S. were merely "first among equals". Obama was seen carrying around Fareed Zakaria's fashionable "Post-American World" as a signal to foreign powers that he was "Not-Bush".

    Unfortunately, Obama took this nonsense seriously, which is why we are where we are.

    It is in this kind of vacuum of miscalculation of National Interest that Austrian Archdukes get assassinated, and nations go marching. Bad Tidings are at hand, I fear.

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  15. Do you still work at State? My brother works there as well. He would probably be thrilled to link up with the other non Obamaphile at the agency if you have the time.

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  16. I'm flabbergasted that so many still assume incompetence rather than malice when it comes to Obama. I don't understand this as his upbringing and background and connections have been widely exposed at this point.

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    1. Worse, it the "perfect storm", a combination of both incompetence and malice...

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    2. I have come to believe that Obama is the perfect marriage of malice and incompetence. Malice in domestic policy, which he wields to keep us divided in order to hold power and reach his leftist goals, and incompetence in foreign policy, which he doesn't care to address unless he absolutely must.

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  17. NM I just saw in your profile that you are retired. Well, if you are interested in offering any advice to a young guy at State, I would love to hook you up with my brother.

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  18. I agree Obama is a horrible president. But the notion that the Middle East was in our corner and our weakness has "lost" it is not a credible argument.

    One could say Bush projected strength by invading 2 countries. Afghanistan is not in the Middle East but it is an Islamic country with a radical government.

    The result was 10 years of blood and treasure lost to what end? We took out one corrupt Islamic regime operating under Sharia Law and replaced it with another. Big deal.

    Projecting strength is great, invading and occupying Islamic countries is a terrible idea which only weakens us in the end.

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    1. Unknown says "Projecting strength is great, invading and occupying Islamic countries is a terrible idea which only weakens us in the end."

      Let me state the painfully obvious: No 'Bush's war' in Iraq = no Arab Spring. Ergo, you must love Muslim Medievalism more than T. E. Lawrence did.

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    2. In all honesty, how was the Arab Spring a step in the direction of modernity? Democratic voting in Egypt brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power, and the Libyans in Benghazi had an odd way of expressing their gratitude to the US Ambassador.

      Syria seems to be a fight to the death between the Shia and Alawite radicals on one side and the Wahabi and Al-Qaeda fundamentalists on the other. Which one of those are the "good guys", I wonder?

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    3. From a global perspective, a key element of the problem is that "democracy" is not the cure for tyranny, religious or otherwise, as it has been made out to be.

      On the contrary, any democratically-elected government can and will be no better than than prevailing values of the people who voted for it. Democracy is a necessary component of a government of, by and for free, self-governing people, but such govt can only be the result of democracy implementing virtues and values based upon the inherent liberty of the individual - not the collective.

      People can and do say the want freedom while voting for tyrants telling them what they want to hear. Those tyrants may be of the religious variety or some sort of secular-collectivist - but they are nonetheless tyrants.

      C.S. Lewis:

      "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

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    4. I think Bush was pressured by 9/11 and the Saudis who wanted us out. He bought the argument that Iraq had been secularized enough to be a trial of western culture in an Islamic country. He was wrong. It was probably worth a try. Now, we should know to leave them alone. The only problems are oil and the Suez Canal. Drill, baby drill.

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  19. I still think the rise (and continued survival) of Barack O. is due almost exclusively to one thing-- the media that dropped its mask and went into full propaganda mode. Americans are no smarter and no more gifted than any other collection of 300+ million people in the world. Almost nobody in America has experience of the world outside America, so their only window in the magic TV box. It tells them how, when, and what to think.
    Once TV news abandoned its role as a straight player, all manner of reality distortion became possible. Imagine! Right now we have gay people in America condemning the military in Egypt, in favor or a theology that would hang them from the nearest lamp post. What's worse, they're completely ignorant of what they do.

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  20. 'What will be the consequences of a weaker US ?' That question implies the misunderstanding:
    There is only one developed world, of which the US is the most powerful part. There will be
    no consequences limited to one country if/when the US gives up its role as world policeman;
    The whole system, the whole world economy will crash. By 'Crash' I do not mean anything as
    relatively harmless and survivable as the 1st Great Depression; The 2nd GD could return the
    1st world to the economic and population levels it had in 1950.
    Before you discount this prediction, ask yourself why everybody is focused on war in the NE
    and not one word is being said any longer about the coming world economic collapse.
    My answer is that TPTB are convinced that it is unavoidable, and are positioning themselves
    to survive it by otherwise pointless policies, including wars of territorial/resource conquest.

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  21. I'd like to think that the GOP will find this generations Reagan in time for 2016. While Obama is worse than Carter, I still have hope for the country.

    The Saudis appear to be turning towards the Russians already. Ironically, Israel might do the same if the gas fields off their coast pan out. South America could well turn to the Chinese since thanks to the now Second Worst President Ever, they have a firm hold in Central America.

    It's nice to see you back. I liked the original Diplomad and missed it when it went away.

    As Victor Lazlo said, "Welcome back to the fight, my friend."

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  22. They feel guilty so they voted for the half-black guy. Their conscience is now clear and they can say to themselves, "see I'm not a racist".

    And the country burns and the masses cheer.

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  23. The decline is inevitable. So stop moping, and Enjoy the Decline. No, you don't have to read Aaron Clarey's book, but it helps. :-)

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  24. What a great post this is! I had exactly that sense of impending doom in 2008; thanks for the information about Daladier. You are now in my Favorites list!

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  25. Diplomad,

    "We are firmly in the grip of an appeaser, perhaps even worse."

    I suspect worse, and it may be ill advised to ponder such in a full post, but please do, it is important.

    I wonder how many of those with any honest knowledge of what is going on are actually afraid of speaking, truly afraid. I wonder about the seeming attrition of the higher ranks of the military. I wonder about much, but I understand the reluctance at this point to stand up and speak.

    Which says it all, really.

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  26. I am a retired FSO and a conservative. Good to see this blog. Also agree with the comment above that BHO is not incompetent but a dedicated Marxist internationalist intent on destroying the exceptional USA with malice aforethought. What else would you expect from the biological (and surrogate) son of "Uncle" Frank Marshall Davis? See "Dreams of My Real Father." BHO lies all the time, but his DNA tells the truth.

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  27. All of which begs the question, Is this administration really capable of this level of incompetence? And if not, what then?

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  28. Those two colleagues at State, from the day after the '08 election, what do they say today?

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    1. I was wondering the same thing.

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    2. Obama inherited a mess from Bush

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    3. Please, don't fotget to credit Obama and his dem buddies for helping create that mess.

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  29. I was disappointed in 2008, yes, but I thought how bad could this guy be? He might even be good for the African American community. I was wrong. I was so so wrong.

    In 2012 I was in complete shock. People voted for Obama because of his response to.....Hurricane Sandy?? Really? A bomber jacket turned things around for him? It took maybe a good month before I could begin reading and watching the news again after the election. The feeling of doom hasn't completely gone away. The man could accidentally bomb Harlem and the AA community and media would make excuses for him. We just have to wait him out.

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    1. I may be an old fashioned atheist, but I can still pray for the Roman solution (to a Roman problem).

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  30. The Founding Fathers created this constitutional republic to assure legs a-tingle and steps a-springy, didn't they?

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    1. It's in the Federalist papers . . .

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  31. I wonder if the parking attendant still has a spring in his step. More than likely he is unemployed.

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    1. Not unemployed in DC. That's where all our money is.

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  32. In 1938 or so, C. S. Lewis scolded Roy Campbell, a pro-Fascist, anti-Communist poet:
    ...
    Yet your shrill covin-politics and theirs
    Are two peas in a single pod. Who cares
    What color shirt the murdering party werrs?
    Repent ! Recant! Some feet of sacred ground,
    A target to both gangs, can still be found --
    Sacred because, though now it's no-man's-land,
    There stood your father's house. There, you should stand.

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  33. Just found your blog and enjoy both the articles and post discussions.

    The only positive I can see is there seems to be a growing realization that the entire West is in terminal decline. There are many reasons above stated, but multiple generations of education casting blame on the West for all the problems of the world has effectively forced a society wide mental break from our cultural heritage and what the West once was and what it stood for. What was individual freedom to pursue happiness, is replaced with freedom from want (as long as no questions are asked). Work ethic, self reliance and personal responsibility has been effectively lost.

    The reason I state this realization is a positive, is I believe only once the full weight of this realization of terminal decline has sunk into a large enough number of like minded individuals, can a discussion begin on where to go from here.

    This enables a discussion on forward looking options on "what to do now" that the West is in terminal decline, instead of navel gazing. I for one look forward to these the start of discussions.

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    1. Epicurus, Galt's Gultch, and The Consolation of Philosophy (Boethius), my friends.

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  34. Replies
    1. replying to myself:

      both Britain and France were drained, and appeasement *might* have been buying time, or have been denial; when the reality is bad, denial is about the only thing we have.

      Churchill, no shy denialist, and many others, hoped that the two isms, Nazism and Communism, would destroy each other, as finally happened, and picked one side or the other. The German Russian agreements was minimal, tactical, and came undone, so the prescient or the lucky got it right, the US was deeply isolationist, Wilson had taken us to war late, only after the imminent threat of Anglo-Franco manpower collapse, after the Reds pulled Russia out of the war.

      We would have stayed Euro-isolationist had Hitler not declared war on us, even after Pearl Harbor

      my point, is that 1930s appeasement is not as simply craven as it is described

      which brings us to now, where our surrender is quite different

      Mr Obama has always been for me the Manchurian Muslim from Marx-ico, and this was all obvious during the first campaign

      The destructions of *my* America, and the author's. are Red Green and Black, the colors of black nationalism

      Red we know, Green is eco-tage, greeniac psychosis, carbon phobia, national economic suicide by delusions of carbo-toxicity, and green is Islam, and green is cronyism; and black is black

      all this was obvious, except in depth and detail and magnitude.

      while we may abuse the Nazi metaphor, Godwin Alert, we even had our won near-reichstag fire, the fast and Furious assault on gun ownership

      we will have to be guided by Ben Franklin ' a republic if you can keep it'

      our best hope is that the evils of obama and his still-majority vote, are exceeded by his incompetence, including his blatancy











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  35. I was assigned at an American Embassy in The Middle East during the lead-up to the 2008 election. The Public Affairs Office was tasked with assisting embassy personnel with absentee voting and also had displays for each Presidential candidate. These displays included cardboard cutouts of each of the Presidential candidates. While there was plenty of room in the space to arrange the displays just about anywhere, the Public Affairs Officer - the person in charge of the office - placed them in a way that only the cutout of the Democrat candidate was visible through the doorway when people walked by. In fact, that cutout was the only thing that could be seen when passing the open doorway and greeted everyone who walked inside. Even the staff was out of sight. The Public Affairs Officer, who was the voice of the Embassy to the Host Country (aside from the Ambassador, of course), once told me that she "...could never imagine ever living back in the U.S. again." She said she much preferred the way others lived to "the harshness" of the U.S. I asked her how she could represent the U.S. abroad when she had such feelings about her home country. She expressed that she felt her job gave her the opportunity to advocate for other countries and how they lived TO the U.S. and Americans everywhere. Wow, sort of reverse Foreign Service! By the way, whenever I went by that office and no one was around I switched the positions of the two candidate cutouts. I wanted to be – to use the word so often thrown about - FAIR.

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    1. I know this experience myself

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    2. Real debate about the crucial issues in American life is dead. Dead, dead, dead. (SEE my previous comment, above.)

      Instead, the cant of PC and fascism is in the air. (

      SEE blogger "drsanity" - the University of Michigan prof. of clinical psychiatry - who wrote nearly a decade of commentary, using Jefferson, Rand, and modern psychoanalytical perspectives to diagnose the psycho-political pathologies of BDS (ie, Bush Derangement Syndrome) among the Left.

      Dr. Patricia Santy's conclusion? The Left is in the grip of psychotic pathologies of denial, diversion, and projection. Until and unless American's can muster the clarity to dismiss them tout court, continuing decline is ineluctable.

      Her blog has gone silent with the last election. But google names and issues and "drsanity" will repay many profound insights. Hers is one seriously honest voice that's gone unheeded even by the more radical Right-wing cognoscenti. To our great loss. People, there are multiple books to be written extending her many, many contributions to the blogosphere.

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  36. Terrible miss-statement of World War I history. Most of the 'facts' as reported by your précis are incorrect. From your 'French lions led by donkeys' to your 'it was the American expeditionary force which beat the Germans', your piece is woefully wrong. You can continue to tell yourself these comforting bedtime stories, as long as you don't mistake them for what actually happened. I hope your readers will know enough actual WWI history to know the difference.

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    1. I think you don't know the facts. The French army was on the verge of collapse and mutiny when the US entered the war. It was the presence of US troops which stopped the Germans, just barely in their final offensive.

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    2. I'd like to hear "anonymous'" version. I've not read more than a half dozen books about WWI and don't know what he/she is talking about. Is this Marxist history ? Is that it ?

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  37. TO: All
    RE: Heh

    I saw this disaster coming at US from 2008, when Obama became the Democratic nominee.

    Nobody listened.....

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Ever people gets the governance they deserve.]

    P.S. Be prepared....the 'fun' is about to begin in earnest.....

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  38. Glad to see the analysis of inter-war France; I agree that the events of that time period are relevant (and scarily so) to our current situation.

    One thing that must be noted is that the conflict between Daladier and another French patriot, Paul Reynaud, was extremely detrimental to France's readiness for war. The writer Andre Maurois records that he was discussing the conflict between the two men with Reynaud, and commented, "Nevertheless, you must admit that Daladier certainly a man who loves his country."

    Yes," Reynaud said, "I believe he desires the victory of France, but he desires my defeat even more."

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    Replies
    1. Ah, yes that rivalry was something.

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  39. I work for the State Dept as a civil servant. The State Dept is like every other Federal bureaucracy, overwhelmingly and reflexively Democratic. It's no wonder how the IRS scandal happened the way it did. Almost everybody involved thought that the law SHOULD help liberal and hurt conservative groups. The liberal groups were just trying to help people and the conservative groups were trying to prevent the liberal groups from helping people.

    By the way, I understand how DiploMad felt the day after the 2008 election. I took the shuttle from the Main State Department building to one of the Dept's annexes and NPR was playing on the radio. The NPR drone related how people from the Dept of Education were so excited because they were going to be able to start doing all of these programs that the previous administration had kept them from doing. Finally, our children would be able to learn! It sounded like I was listening to the Ministry of Truth, but everyone else on the shuttle seemed enthralled.

    Most importantly, we'll start to win the struggle against totalitarian Islamism when we recognize that the struggle is a war of ideas. The way to win that struggle is the same way that Ronald Reagan won the struggle against communism: public rhetoric that contrasts freedom with the plight of the victims of repression, combined with economic and covert actions that weaken the governments that fund Islamic extremism.

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    1. Actually, we're at least not losing the struggle against totalitarian Islamism because in the fundamental struggle of ideas, their ideas suck. Marxist ideas were incompatible with entrepreneurial and information-driven modern progress, and if anything, Sharia law is even worse.

      I am worried about what happens eventually when the inexorable math of demographic birthrates turns modern Europe into tribal Islamic caliphate. One person, one vote doesn't work well when the voters choose Sharia . . . . . . . . it's hard to see that ending well.

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    2. The birth rate in some Islamic countries, like Iran, is crashing.

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  40. I don't mind that many on the Left see the emperor wearing clothes when he is clearly naked. What galls me most, is that they see him not just clothed, but they see this naked man wearing the most beautiful, most luxurious, best tailored clothes ever worn by a human being in the history of mankind.

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  41. War is when the government tells us who to fight.
    Revolution is when we figure it out for ourselves.

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  42. Face the awful truth. The soviet union won the cold war. We beat them on economics they won on propaganda. Their ideas dominate particularly among democrats.

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