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I was glad to appear on Silvio Canto Jr.'s excellent internet radio show last night, with Urgent Agenda subscriber Chris Corbett. We discussed American policy toward Iran. If you're interested, the link is here.
MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2010
IS THIS SERIOUS? – AT 9:38 P.M. ET: Once again we see how this White House treats the citizenry. Level with us? Are you kidding? From Fox:
The White House pushed back Monday on a report that administration officials had examined the impact of a national sales tax as a way to help close the federal budget's gaping deficit.
"The president has not proposed this idea nor is it under consideration," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
Not under consideration? Then where did all this talk about VAT come from? Did the tooth fairy deliver it last night?
Talk of the tax was kicked up earlier this month when White House economic adviser Paul Volcker said the government should consider imposing the so-called value-added tax. The New York Times then reported Sunday that President Obama's economic team had calculated the impact of a 5-percent VAT.
Oh, now I understand. Volcker had gone batty and The Times made up the story. Sure, sure. I get it.
But the White House denied the claim, saying such calculations are "widely and publicly available" from outside analysts, and that the administration had not done any number-crunching of its own.
White House spokesman Matthew Vogel told Fox News that Obama "is not proposing to cut the deficit at the expense of middle-class families."
I'd love to know how many readers believe that last statement.
Still, while Obama has pledged to eliminate deficit spending by 2015, many doubt he is willing to make the spending cuts necessary to achieve that and suggest he'll be tempted to turn to new taxes like the VAT.
COMMENT: It's reached the point where you can't believe anything this administration says. I think in semi-totalitarian countries they call this "guided democracy." Elect them, then they guide you, whether you want to be guided or not.
Welcome to our children's future.
April 19, 2010 Permalink
GETTING THE FACTS ON FORT HOOD – AT 7:29 P.M. ET: It hasn't been easy. The Fort Hood shootings on November 5th, 2009, in which an Army major with ties to Islamic extremists murdered 13 Americans, was a major terror event. You'd never know it by some of the reaction.
At first the usual suspects in the media played it down, preferring the "narrative" that this was an "isolated incident," like the other several dozen "isolated incidents" involving Islamic extremists that have occurred in the United States since 9-11. Amazing how isolated these people are.
Then President Obama, in another expression of his great compassion, brilliance, and wisdom, cautioned us not to "jump to conclusions," even though the conclusions didn't require much jumping.
And then the administration started stonewalling Congress. Washington Post reports:
Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) issued the first congressional subpoenas of the Obama administration Monday for witnesses and documents about the Fort Hood shootings.
The senators, the chairman and ranking minority member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, have accused the White House of stonewalling their demand for five months. The Nov. 5 shootings at the largest Army base in the United States left 13 dead.
The senators want documents including the personnel file of the alleged shooter, Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, and his communications with Yemeni cleric and suspected terrorist Anwar al-Aulaqi.
In a letter accompanying the subpoena letter, delivered Monday, the senators gave the Justice and Defense departments one week, until April 26, to respond, or face a committee vote to take the administration to court, sources said.
Now we're getting serious. The Democratic Party tried to destroy Joe Lieberman. Fortunately, they failed. And Susan Collins has been stalwart on this.
"Given the warning signs of Major Nidal Malik Hasan's extremist radicalization and growing hostility toward the U.S. military and the United States generally, why was he not stopped before he took thirteen American lives, and how can we prevent such a tragedy from happening again?" Lieberman and Collins wrote in the letter, one that they said followed four other formal letters to the Pentagon and two to the Justice Department. "Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to avoid reaching the conclusion that the departments simply do not want to cooperate with our investigation," they wrote.
Of course they don't. Getting at the facts might "offend" the wrong people, with their delicate sensitivities.
April 19, 2010 Permalink
NEW RIGHTS ALERT – AT 7:18 P.M. ET: We provide this as a service for any readers who might be looking for new rights to assert here in the backward, militaristic, tea-partying USA, which doesn't yet have the progressive touch of Europe. From The Sunday Times (London):
AN overseas holiday used to be thought of as a reward for a year’s hard work. Now Brussels has declared that tourism is a human right and pensioners, youths and those too poor to afford it should have their travel subsidised by the taxpayer.
Under the scheme, British pensioners could be given cut-price trips to Spain, while Greek teenagers could be taken around disused mills in Manchester to experience the cultural diversity of Europe.
The idea for the subsidised tours is the brainchild of Antonio Tajani, the European Union commissioner for enterprise and industry, who was appointed by Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister.
The scheme, which could cost hundreds of millions of pounds a year, is intended to promote a sense of pride in European culture, bridge the north-south divide in the continent and prop up resorts in their off-season.
COMMENT: I'd like a subsidized trip to Disney World to explore the cultural aspects of Mickey Mouse. After that, I want a subsidized trip to European Union headquarters in Brussels to examine exactly what a Mickey Mouse outfit looks like.
If you have a suggestion for new rights that we at Urgent Agenda might advocate, please let us know.
April 19, 2010 Permalink
BE QUIET, BUBBA. JUST BE QUIET – AT 9:57 A.M. ET: Former President Clinton, who's become increasingly foolish recently, now seems to have a big problem with American democracy:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former President Bill Clinton says he worries that the world perceives an America too immersed in its own internal political squabbles.
You know, all this election stuff. They don't do it in the really chic places, like Saudi Arabia.
Clinton tells NBC that's one reason he likes the image of working with former President George W. Bush to lead fundraising efforts for earthquake-stricken Haiti.
Well, then, we'll just have to have more earthquakes. We must keep the guy busy.
In an interview with Bush's daughter Jenna, broadcast on Monday's ''Today'' show, Clinton said high-decibel political fights at home are a turnoff for many in the world. He says, ''People are just sick of all of us fighting all the time. It's a reminder that there are some things that are just beyond politics.''
Yeah, bubba, but the problem is this: In a lot of those countries you like, everything is beyond politics. You're showing your sixties mentality again.
Clinton also said he's hopeful that Haiti can recover from the tragedy and be a stronger, more cohesive society.
Brilliant concept. Stronger. More cohesive. I never would have thought of that.
Recently, we've caught Clinton again trying to link the tea party movement with the threat of domestic terrorism. And he's lecturing us on high-decibel political fights?
Look, when you've got Hillary at home, who needs more combative voices? Right?
April 19, 2010 Permalink
OBAMA AND AMATEURISM – AT 9:21 A.M. ET: Joel Mowbray, one of the best diplomatic reporters around, examines President Obama's amateurish approach to Middle East peace, and explains why it's headed for the junk heap of history:
Should Mr. Obama embark on the quixotic quest of Middle East "peace," there will be no oxygen left in the national discussion to focus on threats far more insidious to U.S. national security, such as the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, teetering democracy in Iraq, an ascendant al Qaeda in Yemen and, most significant, the Iranian mullahs' nuclear ambitions.
The argument in favor of putting all hands on deck for striking an Israeli-Palestinian deal is that it would be the first domino that would rally the Arab states to prevent Iran from obtaining nukes and somehow pacify our enemies elsewhere by persuading them that they misjudged America.
This is absurd. Arab dictators already want to stop Iran, as they fear the political dominance the mullahs would achieve across the region should they acquire nukes. As for Islamic extremists battling our soldiers, it's patently naive to think a peace deal would persuade them to lay down their arms.
Then why is Obama pursuing this pipe dream? Left-wing ideology.
Mr. Obama's Middle East domino theory is also flawed because peace is not possible in the short term. As close as experts now say a deal was during the Clinton administration, the only end result from those negotiations was Palestinian terrorism.
That's something the in-the-tank media would like to forget. Every time peace appears to be near, Islamic terrorism has actually increased. What the Obamans can't accept is that our enemies are opposed to a peace agreement, not for it.
Simply put, ordinary Palestinians are not ready to accept peaceful coexistence with a Jewish state of Israel. Various polls over the years have shown clear majority support for rocket attacks and suicide bombings, and those who disagree publicly do so on strategic - not moral - grounds.
Is a society where no one speaks out against the depravity of brainwashing its children to become mass murderers ready to embrace peace?
The answer should be obvious...if one cares about the facts. If one cares only about ideology, the answer becomes blurred.
And Obama's Mideast policy is one big blur.
April 19, 2010 Permalink
CALIFORNIA, HERE HE COMES – AT 8:52 A.M. ET: As a former California governor might have said, "There he goes again." President Obama is flying out for a visit...but not to the people of the state. From Andrew Malcolm at the L.A. Times's Top of the Ticket blog:
The good news for California Democrats is that their hero President Obama is returning to the Golden state this afternoon.
The bad news is once again they'll have to hand over big money to see or hear him.
Common Californians -- including the increasing 12.6% of whom are now unemployed -- will be unable to hear the president address the economy or mounting fears over his healthcare bill and its costs because his announced events on this West Coast trip Monday are political and closed to all but donors.
Let 'em eat cake...dietetic of course.
Just FYI for Obama critics out there, you should know your recent demonstrations have entertained the 44th president. In Miami last week Obama told another crowd of donors ($2.5 million) that he was "a little amused" at the sight of so many tax protests across the country.
On his previous stop in California the Smoker in Chief only appeared with....
...Speaker Nancy Pelosi at two high-priced Democratic fundraisers in San Francisco. Those two raked in $3 million there in one night together. So he's still a good dinner draw despite poll numbers drooping below 50% now.
The dollar haul could well exceed that sum in LA tonight between Obama's $2,500 speech and the $17,600 per plate dinner-speech later.
COMMENT: That's $17,600 for dinner...for one. Does your spouse get half off? I heard there were coupons.
Let us remember that the Democrats are the party of the people. Of course, they don't say which people, but the dinner tab should tell us that.
April 19, 2010 Permalink
AMERICANS INCREASINGLY SKEPTICAL OF GOVERNMENT – AT 8:25 A.M. ET: You know, it's really amazing when Americans show so little gratitude toward Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barney Frank.
I don't know what kind of country we're becoming. Shouldn't we be thanking our public representatives for doing all those wonderful things they do? Well, maybe not. From Andrew Kohut in the Wall Street Journal:
By almost every conceivable measure, Americans are less positive and more critical of their government these days. There is a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust of government—a dismal economy, an unhappy public, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials.
These are among the principal findings from a new series of Pew Research Center surveys. Rather than an activist government to deal with the nation's top problems, these surveys show that the general public now wants government reformed and a growing number want its power curtailed. With the exception of greater regulation of Wall Street, there is less of an appetite for government solutions to the nation's problems—including greater government control over the economy—than there was when Barack Obama first took office.
The public's hostility toward government seems likely to be an important election issue favoring the Republicans this fall. But the Democrats can take some solace in the fact that neither party can be confident it has the advantage among such a disillusioned electorate. Favorable ratings for both major parties, as well as for Congress, have reached record lows. Opposition to congressional incumbents, already approaching an all-time high, continues to climb.
The public is now divided over whether it is a good idea for the government to exert more control over the economy than it has in recent years. Just 40% say this is a good idea, while a 51% majority says it is not. Last March, by 54% to 37%, more people said it was a good idea for the government to exert more control over the economy. The exception here is the undiminished support for the government to more strictly regulate the way major financial companies do business. This is favored by a 61% to 31% margin.
COMMENT: Republicans tend to rejoice in polls that show Americans want smaller government, but the Wall Street finding must be a wake-up call to the GOP as well. Voters are furious, understandably, with Wall Street. A number of conservative commentators, usually wary of regulation, are urging the party to participate actively in tightening federal oversight of the Wall Street casino. Americans will no longer accept love letters to "the free enterprise system" as a substitute. What has been happening on Wall Street often has nothing to do with "free enterprise," and everything to do with gimmickry, legal stealing, and a mocking of the market. And remember, these "capitalists" were the first to come hat-in-hand to the government for bailouts when they got into well-deserved trouble. Some free enterprise.
As we've said repeatedly here, Republicans will have to earn their victory in November, not simply assume it. They must show that they can be problem solvers, not just the party of "no."
April 19, 2010 Permalink
OUR CULTURALLY SENSITIVE PRESIDENT – AT 8:12 A.M. ET: President Obama was scheduled to fly to Warsaw yesterday to attend the funerals of Poland's president and first lady. But the ash cloud over Europe made flying impossible, so Obama cancelled.
Now, common sense tells us that the president should have extended some gesture to the Polish people to substitute for his presence in Warsaw. Holding a service at the White House would've been nice, and respectful. Or, going to the Polish embassy and delivering a eulogy might've worked.
But this was Poland, a friend, not an enemy. Who needs 'em? From the Washington Times:
A massive volcanic plume covering most of Europe forced President Obama to cancel a Sunday trip to Poland to attend the funeral of the nation's president. But the last-minute change left an opening in his schedule, so the president headed to the links for a round of golf instead.
On a cool but sun-drenched Sunday, the president and three golfing companions went to Andrews Air Force Base to play 18 holes. It is the 32nd time Mr. Obama has played golf since taking office Jan. 20, 2009, according to CBS Radio's Mark Knoller.
After canceling the Poland trip on Saturday, the White House announced that Mr. Obama had no public schedule for Sunday. He was to have arrived in Krakow in the morning, attend the 2 p.m. funeral and leave for home by 5 p.m., arriving back at the White House after midnight.
Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, Maria, along with dozens of top Polish government officials were killed April 10 when their airplane went down in heavy fog after clipping a tree on approach to Smolensk, Russia.
Mr. Obama has not gone to the Polish Embassy in Washington since the accident, but Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. both have. There, they signed a condolence book.
COMMENT: We like to think that presidents grow in office. This one shrinks.
April 19, 2010 Permalink
SUNDAY, APRIL 18, 2010
CHAVEZ LOOKS EAST – AT 9:03 P.M. ET: Hugo Chavez is raking it in from a variety of sources – Russia, Iran, and now China. Threat to us? Nah. Just multiculturalism:
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - President Hugo Chavez has announced an agreement with China that would have the Asian economic giant devote $20 billion to financing long-term development projects in Venezuela.
The Venezuelan president says the financing would go toward industrial and infrastructure projects, among other development plans.
He spoke Saturday during a televised appearance attended by China's natural resources minister.
Chavez is providing few other details about the investments.
COMMENT: Will the White House please wake up and pay some attention to this. The reds are back, and Hugo's got 'em. He's the new Castro, vastly more powerful because of Venezuela's oil wealth. I wouldn't be shocked to see foreign bases near Caracas fairly soon.
Obama probably sees Chavez as an "understandable reaction to America's mistakes." Which is why Obama must be shown the door, politely.
April 18, 2010 Permalink
CRIST NOT GETTING HEAVY INDY SUPPORT – AT 8:39 P.M. ET: One of the big political questions right now is whether Republican Governor Charlie Crist of Florida, trailing badly behind Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate primary, will run as an independent in November. A recent poll showed Crist would win a three-man race, but would edge out Rubio only by a few points.
Republicans are not rushing to Crist's side:
Some of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s top fundraisers are warning that they will no longer support him if he bolts the Republican Party to run for the Senate as an independent.
It's not entirely clear what his intentions are, but with his veto Thursday of an education reform bill favored by Republicans and repeated refusal all week to say whether he still would seek the GOP nomination, Crist has ratcheted speculation to a fever pitch.
He has until April 30 to decide whether he’ll stay in a primary in which he trails former state House Speaker Marco Rubio by over 20 points or pursue a third-party candidacy.
If he abandons the GOP race, a group of his most prominent supporters indicate they will not follow him.
“I’m a Republican and I’m going to support the Republican candidate,” said John Rood, the state GOP finance chairman, a former ambassador to the Bahamas and one of Florida’s biggest contributors to Republican causes.
COMMENT: I suspect that Republican elders will have some heart-to-hearts with Crist, who has no chance of winning the GOP Senate primary. He's 23 points down. Discussions like this often involve words like "judgeship" and "ambassadorship."
Rubio should win easily over the Dem candidate, with Crist out of the race. Crist will, during these heart-to-hearts, be reminded of what will happen to him if he becomes the spoiler and allows the Dem to win. There are political equivalents to "sleeping with the fishes."
My guess is that Crist will graciously withdraw and endorse Rubio, even offering to campaign for him. Then he will have a political future, guaranteed.
April 18, 2010 Permalink
MULLEN ON IRAN – AT 8:17 P.M. ET: The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has spoken out about Iran, on the day we learned that his boss, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, warned President Obama that we have no real strategy to deal Iran if it goes nuclear. From Fox:
President Obama's principal military advisor said Sunday that all options are the table for dealing with the Iran nuclear threat and if the President calls for military action, the U.S. is prepared.
At a forum at Columbia University in New York, Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stressed, however, that "use of the military should be the last option" should diplomatic engagement and sanctions fail, because any attack against Iran would entail serious "known and unknown consequences."
Responding to press reports that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has warned in a memo to top White House officials that the U.S. lacks an effective policy for dealing with Iran, Admiral Mullen said, "We at the Pentagon, we plan for contingencies all the time and certainly there are [military] options which exist." He said he has worried about a nuclear armed Iran for a long time because of President Ahmadinejad's unbridled threats against Israel and "worry that other countries in the region will then seek to, actually, I know they will seek nuclear weapons, as well."
When asked whether giving more time to diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis put the U.S. military at a disadvantage in maximizing any potential strike against Iran, Admiral Mullen said, "it is being taken into consideration in the decision calculus, if you will, to strike." He said that clearly there is "not much decision space to work in," because Iran "having a weapon and striking [against Iran] generate consequences that are unpredictable."
COMMENT: Clearly, the top uniformed officer at the Pentagon is seeking to reassure the country that American military planners would know how to strike Iran if the order came...if you can imagine it coming from this president.
But I wish the Iranian threat would be described in more detail. Yes, Iran is a threat to Israel and, yes, an Iranian bomb would probably start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. But the far greater threat Iran poses is that it could sail a nuclear device into an American port in the hold of a cargo ship and use a suicide crew to set it off, with no way of tracing the origin of the weapon. And further, Iran could give nuclear components to terror groups, if it chose to, magnifying Iran's power if it Tehran possessed only five or six bombs.
April 18, 2010 Permalink
OH YES, HE DOES HAVE EXPERIENCE – AT 11:51 A.M. ET: One of the charges hurled by our side against Barack Obama during the presidential campaign was that he lacked experience. Now, we meant grown-up experience, the kind of thing you can do after you get your senior license.
But, in fact, Barack Obama did have experience...in Illinois politics. What he learned there he seems to be applying on a national scale. And what did he learn? Well, just look at Illinois today, after the legacy of "progressive" politics that Obama and his comrades left:
If you want to know what “progressive” policies will do to America in the long run, look no farther than the president’s home state....Despite the recession, there is no good reason that Illinois should be bleeding jobs and that its state budget should be on life support...
...Less than a decade ago, the state had money in the bank, unemployment was low and the outlook was bright. Illinois even managed to shrug off the mini-recession that followed 9-11 with barely a pause. Then, in 2003, Democrats took over complete control of state government, brimming with progressive policies that – cross their hearts and hope to die – wouldn’t hurt the state’s budget or damage its economy one little bit. Happy days, the bedazzled citizens of Illinois were told, were here again.
Seven years later, the Illinois’ economy is lies in smoldering ruins thanks to the progressive policies foisted upon its citizens by a cabal of Democrats that included then-state senator Barack H. Obama. Illinois ranks forty eighth in the nation in job loss, with over 200,000 jobs lost in 2009 alone and unemployment over eleven per cent. Our leading exports used to be corn and soybeans. Today, our number one export is college graduates, because young adults can’t find jobs in the state that gave them their education. In 2000, Illinois debt basically matched revenues. Now, the state’s total debt totals over $100 billion, almost four times annual revenue.
There’s an object lesson here, for Illinois’ road to near-bankruptcy is eerily, and disturbingly, similar to the path that Congress and the Obama administration is leading the nation down today.
Conservatives frequently hang the tag “socialist” on the president. The fact that he learned his political trade in Illinois suggests something else. Given his inability to speak coherently about practically any subject without the benefit of a script, it seems more likely that rather than being a mastermind, Barack Obama is – like Rod Blagojevich – just another useful idiot in a position of power.
COMMENT: Illinois is one of the heavyweights among the blue states. So are California, New York, and New Jersey. All are in desperate financial trouble. Yet, there seems little indication that the Democratic parties of those states have learned anything, or care to learn anything. They will raise taxes where they can to keep the flow of pork projects going, and prolong their own careers.
Only in New Jersey is there light. A terrific new Republican governor, Chris Christie, actually is bashing skulls and taking names, and addressing the fiscal crisis in his state head on.
Let's see how long he lasts.
Obama was carefully taught in Illinois, and especially in the Chicago machine. I wonder how the Illinois legislature would have dealt with Iran.
April 18, 2010 Permalink
THIS NAILS IT – AT 11:15 A.M. ET: One of the new outrages we're faced with is the sudden chatter about the VAT – the Value Added Tax. Just a few weeks after Congress recklessly passed new health-care entitlements, without any mention of tax increases, we're told by the usual suspects that we must consider a VAT, or go bankrupt. George Will, in a superb column, nails not just the disgrace of the moment, but the strategy behind it:
When liberals advocate a value-added tax (VAT), conservatives should respond: Taxing consumption has merits, so we will consider it -- after the 16th Amendment is repealed.
A VAT will be rationalized as necessary to restore fiscal equilibrium. But without ending the income tax, a VAT would be just a gargantuan instrument for further subjugating Americans to government.
Believing that a crisis is a useful thing to create, the Obama administration -- which understands that, for liberalism, worse is better -- has deliberately aggravated the fiscal shambles that the Great Recession accelerated. During the downturn, federal revenue plunged and spending soared. And, as will happen for two decades, every day 10,000 more baby boomers are joining the ranks of recipients of Medicare and Social Security, two programs with unfunded liabilities of nearly $107 trillion.
In the context of this concatenation of troubles, the administration's highest priority was to put an enormous new health-care entitlement on the welfare state's rickety scaffolding. Why? Because the liberals' lunge to maximize government's growth depends on quickly creating a crisis that can be called a threat to the entitlement menu and to the currency as a store of value. Then the public can be panicked into accepting the addition of a VAT to the existing menu of taxes.
COMMENT: Wonderfully stated. What must disturb us is the utter contempt the Obama crowd has for the American people. Like most people with superiority complexes, they believe we can be eternally tricked. Or, they believe that enough of us can be tricked to win elections.
For those who believe the Obamans have swindled us, you haven't seen anything yet. Wait until we're panicked into accepting a VAT. And wait until we're all charged with racism for questioning VAT, and taking things away from "the kids." It's coming to a CNN outlet near you.
April 18, 2010 Permalink
OH, WAIT, SOMEONE IN THE MSM NOTICED – AT 10:25 A.M. ET: Some in the mainstream media have, using their keen eyes and sonar-like ears, noticed that many Americans are upset over this president's squishy-soft vocabulary...when applied to enemies of the United States. Well, it's so good to attract the practiced eyes of such seasoned professionals:
“Rogue states” is being pushed aside in favor of the less confrontational “outliers.”
“Islamic radicalism” is being converted to the less religiously freighted “violent extremism.”
And in one of the most important speeches of his presidency, Barack Obama omitted a term that was the Bush administration’s obsession: terrorism – part of a larger effort to de-emphasize the problem in Obama's relations with Muslim states.
Diplomats, academics and foreign leaders are hotly debating whether Obama, who won the White House promising dramatic change in U.S. foreign policy, has actually changed much substantively. But there’s little question that he's made a pronounced shift in how the U.S. talks about the rest of the world – and in a way that has opened him up to charges of being soft in the face of America’s enemies.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) was so incensed at the administration’s recent step towards ending its use of the phrase “Islamic extremism” that he fired off a letter to Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan. Lieberman worries that if Obama doesn’t confront the true nature of the threat, he can’t stop it.
“The failure to identify our enemy for what it is—violent Islamist extremism— is offensive and contradicts thousands of years of accepted military and intelligence doctrine to ‘know your enemy,’” Lieberman wrote, later calling the decision “absolutely Orwellian” in a TV interview.
COMMENT: Imagine what this "change we can believe in" looks like to soldiers in the field, and the families of those killed and wounded. Imagine if President Roosevelt, after Pearl Harbor, had called the Japanese "misguided adventurers," or the Nazis "upsetters of peaceful peoples." Just imagine.
The Obamans behind this Orwellian vocabulary shift are from the same crowd that had fainting spells when Ronald Reagan described the Soviet Union as "the evil empire." That didn't exactly lead to World War III, did it?
Will this change of wording increase our "respect" in the Islamic world? Well, let's answer it this way: No nation in Europe, during the 1980s, was more solicitous of the Arabs than was France. And what nation in Europe saw more Arab terrorism on its soil in that decade? I'm sure you've figured it out.
Osama bin Laden is right on one thing: In the Muslim world, people back the strong horse. What do you think this change in vocabulary makes us look like?
April 18, 2010 Permalink
INCREDIBLE! – AT 10:09 A.M. ET: We read this, and it confirms some of our worst fears about the competence and even the integrity of the Obama administration. From The New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has warned in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability, according to government officials familiar with the document.
Several officials said the highly classified analysis, written in January to President Obama’s national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones, came in the midst of an intensifying effort inside the Pentagon, the White House and the intelligence agencies to develop new options for Mr. Obama. They include a set of military alternatives, still under development, to be considered should diplomacy and sanctions fail to force Iran to change course.
Mr. Gates’s memo appears to reflect concerns in the Pentagon and the military that the White House did not have a well prepared series of alternatives in place in case all the diplomatic steps finally failed. Separately, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote a “chairman’s guidance” to his staff in December conveying a sense of urgency about contingency planning. He cautioned that a military attack would have “limited results,” but he did not convey any warnings about policy shortcomings.
“Should the president call for military options, we must have them ready,” the admiral wrote.
COMMENT: Pretty outrageous. Gates's memo was written a year after this administration took office, and still we don't have proper policy alternatives in place.
Certainly makes us sleep better at night, correct?
The lack of urgency by the White House is appalling. Maybe it tells us what Obama really thinks about Iran. Maybe he doesn't think at all.
This story will be read intensively this morning by all the countries we're presumably trying to get on board for new sanctions on Iran. I'm sure they'll be deeply impressed.
And what happens when Bob Gates, a solid guy, leaves the administration? Who will Obama appoint to succeed him at Defense? It gives one the chills.
April 18, 2010 Permalink