Week in Review
During the Arab Spring President Obama told Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak that he had to go. A man who was the anchor of peace in the Middle East. Since then the Middle East has grown less safe. And closer to Iran. Which hates Israel, the United States and Western Civilization.
The most organized political opposition in Egypt at the time of the Arab Spring was the Muslim Brotherhood. An organization that Mubarak had outlawed in Egypt. As they tended to agree more with Iran than they did with the Mubarak regime. When they stepped in to fill the political vacuum left by Mubarak President Obama and his fellow Democrats were quick to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Even gave them military aid. Despite their being a terrorist organization (see Saudi Arabia lists Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah as terror groups posted 3/7/2014 on UPI).
Saudi Arabia added the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and two Syrian-based groups to its list of terrorist organizations Friday, officials said…
Abdel Latif al-Sheikh, head of the Saudi religious police, described the Brotherhood, Hezbollah, ISIS and al-Nusra Front as groups “ruled from outside to serve political purposes.”
“They are groups that fight moderate Muslims and are causing troubles around the world. This is what we consider against Islamic principles and has given a negative impression about Muslims in the West,” Sheikh said.
Here’s something you don’t hear often. Or ever. A Muslim nation speaking out against Islamist extremism. But Saudi Arabia prefers peace. Which is why they liked Hosni Mubarak. And were very unhappy seeing him go. Especially with the Muslim Brotherhood replacing the Mubarak regime. Mubarak kept the peace. The Saudis liked that. Even though they don’t much care for Israel. But they would take a peaceful world with Israel in it any day over a world without Israel if it meant having no peace.
Israel is not the source of all the unrest in the Middle East. There is a huge divide in Islam that has killed more than any war or occupation involving Israel has killed. Sunni versus Shia. Saudi Arabia is Sunni. Egypt, too. While Iran is Shia. Saudi Arabia prefers peace. Iran prefers revolution. Which is why Hosni Mubarak was good for Egypt. Saudi Arabia. Israel. The Middle East. And world peace. The Saudis understood this. Which is why they call the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. While the Obama administration does not. Which is why they gave military aid to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Tags: Arab Spring, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Mubarak, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood, Peace, President Obama, Saudi Arabia, Saudis, Shia, Sunni, terrorist organization
Week in Review
There is a special relationship between Britain and the United States. The first Americans were British. As the American colonies were part of the British Empire. The American colonists fought alongside British regulars against the French and Indians during the Seven Years’ War. The cost of that war and the subsequent taxation to pay for it created a bit of a falling out between the British and the Americans. In a little thing we call the American Revolution. After that falling out, though, we resumed our special relationship with our former masters. Who was our major trade partner. Not France. Who helped us in the American Revolution. Why? Because Britain’s Royal Navy ruled the seas. And had a vast empire to trade with.
The French were inspired so much by our revolution that they had one of their own. The French Revolution. And unlike the American Revolution the French Revolution was rather vengeful. With French citizens killing other French citizens. Including their king and queen. Which just appalled President Washington. Then the French started waging war with her neighbors. Including their eternal foe. Britain. The Americans remained neutral in the conflict. But their neutrality favored the British. As America’s economic future was tied more closely to the British than the French. Something that irked the French in charge of France at the time. The same people that killed King Louis XVI. The head of France that helped the Americans in their revolution.
Then the Franco-American relations soured. Citizen Genêt came to the U.S. The new French ambassador. To encourage the Americans to support France in their wars against Britain and Spain. Recruiting American privateers to attack British shipping. Even basing these operations out of American ports. Bringing captured British vessels to American ports. And he recruited a militia to march on the Spanish in Florida. Infuriating President Washington. It even got the ever-quarreling Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson to agree on something. The danger Citizen Genêt was placing the Americans in. Risking war with the British Empire. So they asked for his recall. Which the French did. But because that probably meant the guillotine Genêt asked for asylum in America and got it. Living out his days as an American.
Then there was the XYZ Affair. The British and the French were interdicting trade of the other with neutral powers. Including the Americans. The Jay Treaty eased tensions between Britain and America. But it angered the French. Who stepped up their attacks on American shipping. Hoping to avoid war with France President Adams sent a diplomatic mission to France. But the French said before the Americans could enter any negotiations they first had to pay a bribe. And agree to a loan. The Americans refused and left. When word reached America there was outrage. Congress even annulled the 1778 Treaty of Alliance. The treaty that brought the French into the American Revolution. And promised America military support if the British ever attacked the French. People wanted to go to war with France. But eventually they reached an agreement and avoided said war.
So the Franco-American alliance was tenuous at best. And short-lived. The French entered into it not to help the Americans succeed in their lofty idealism. Of life without a king. For France was an absolute monarchy. And the last thing an absolute monarchy wants is to fill their people’s heads with silly notions of liberty. Because that could lead to things like the French Revolution. No. The French allied with the Americans to regain territory they lost to the British. Which they lost a lot of at the conclusion of the Seven Years’ War. Which the Americans helped them lose. No doubt weighing heavily on their minds. As during the peace negotiations they tried to strike a deal with the British to keep the Americans east of the Appalachians. Thankfully, for the Americans, Benjamin Franklin was in Paris during the peace negotiations. And made a more favorable peace for the Americans. To France’s dismay. Which no doubt led to the tenuous Franco-American relations following the French Revolution.
So this is America’s history. A history that is based in friendship and amity between the British and the Americans. Apart from that small episode called the American Revolution. While King Louis XVI did help America win her independence from Britain France’s motive for their support was to take large chunks of North America back. Even at the expense of the Americans. We had a brief alliance during the Revolutionary War with France. But the Americans have prospered because of the special relationship with Britain. Two people that share a language, a history, a culture, a legal system and a form of government (representative government). So what does the current American administration do to our BFF? This (see Syria: John Kerry slaps Britain in face as he calls France ‘oldest allies’ by Peter Foster posted 8/30/2013 on The Telegraph).
John Kerry administered a diplomatic slap in the face to Britain following David Cameron’s withdrawal of military support for intervention in Syria, omitting the UK from a long list of ‘friends’ prepared to support US actions against the Assad regime.
The diplomatic smart was made worse by Mr Kerry’s pointed reference to the French as “our oldest ally” – a reference that dates back to France’s role supporting America against Britain in the American Revolutionary War that began in 1776…
He then listed the Obama administration’s supporters, including the Arab League, the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation, the Turks, Australians and the French. Britain, however, was conspicuous by its absence from that list…
“Turkey said there is no doubt that the regime is responsible. Our oldest ally, the French, said the regime, quote, “committed this vile action, and it is an outrage to use weapons that the community has banned for the last 90 years in all international conventions.”
What is it with this administration and the British? First President Obama returns a bust of Winston Churchill to the British embassy. And now this slap in the face. One would get the impression that they don’t like the British. Perhaps it’s because of Britain’s support in the Iraq War. Or that John Kerry can speak French. And is a Francophile at heart. But as the U.S. Secretary of State he should not spurn our BFF.
America and France are great friends. But Britain and America are greater friends. Because of the special relationship. Insulting them is not stately. It’s just impudent and impertinent. Things a secretary of state should just not be.
Tags: American colonies, American Revolution, Britain, British Empire, Citizen Genêt, France, Franco-American alliance, Franco-American relations, French Revolution, John Kerry, Kerry, King Louis XVI, our oldest ally, President Washington, Seven Years War, Special Relationship, Syria, XYZ Affair
Week in Review
Candidate Barack Obama called George W. Bush a cowboy. Whose swaggering foreign policy inflamed our enemies. And distanced our allies from us. That was no way to conduct foreign policy, said then candidate Obama. When he got into office he would engage in diplomacy. Talk to our allies. And even to our enemies. Instead of dictating our policy to them. By doing this he was going to make the world a safer and friendlier place. Because it would be a Bush-free world. But things haven’t been working so well for President Obama as Candidate Obama thought they would (see Analysis: For Obama, a world of Snowden troubles by Warren Strobel and Paul Eckert posted 6/23/2013 on Reuters).
Since his first day in office, President Barack Obama’s foreign policy has rested on outreach: resetting ties with Russia, building a partnership with China and offering a fresh start with antagonistic leaders from Iran to Venezuela.
But the global travels on Sunday of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden highlight the limits of that approach. Leaders Obama has wooed – and met recently – were willing to snub the American president.
The cocky defiance by so-called “non-state actors” – Snowden himself and the anti-secrecy group, WikiLeaks, completes the picture of a world less willing than ever to bend to U.S. prescriptions of right and wrong…
If Russia allows Snowden to continue on his journey toward Ecuador, it could wipe out what is left of Obama’s policy, dating from 2009, of trying to “reset” relations with Moscow after they turned chilly under his predecessor.
Wow. With friends like Russia and China President Obama doesn’t need any enemies.
So the love-fest didn’t last. Candidate Obama had traveled the world where people received him as if he was the second coming of Christ. He read soaring speeches from his teleprompters. And promised to be nicer to both friend and enemy than George W. Bush. But all he got from it was learning the meaning of the old adage that nice guys finish last. Because those who only respect strength don’t respect nice guys.
President Obama finally joined the Europeans in Libya. And what thanks did he get from the newly freed Libyans? On the anniversary of 9/11 they killed our ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi.
Americans continue to die in Afghanistan. Power in Egypt went to the Muslim Brotherhood. Who has deep ties to Iran. Our mortal enemy. The Arab spring movement President Obama endorsed by throwing our longtime ally Hosni Mubarak under the bus was more of an Israeli-American winter. The democracy that was spreading in these predominantly Muslim countries was a move towards a very conservative Islam. Becoming more like Iran. Who, once again, is our mortal enemy. And less like the democracy enjoyed in Western countries.
And now this Edward Snowden matter. Where all of that ‘soft-love’ of the Obama foreign policy not only distanced our friends from us. But it made them jab their finger in our eye. To use the words of New York Senator Chuck Schumer. Something that didn’t happen that often in the Bush presidency. For he projected strength. And though our enemies may have hated him for it. They did respect him. As did our friends.
Tags: China, democracy, Edward Snowden, foreign policy, George W. Bush, Iran, Libya, President Obama, Russia
Week in Review
People either loved Margaret Thatcher. Or they hated her. And it all came down to their political ideology. If you were pro-capitalism you loved her. If you preferred socialism you hated her. And the biggest socialist to hate her (and her friend Ronald Reagan) was the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR). Not only did the success of her economic policies make the failure of the Soviet economic policies stark by comparison she was outspoken about her hatred of communism. Even allowed her good friend, Ronald Reagan, base American nuclear cruise missiles on British soil.
Capitalism’s victory over Soviet socialism was so apparent that Mikhail Gorbachev opened dialogue with the Great Margaret Thatcher. Ultimately bringing about the Soviet’s defeat in the Cold War. Because socialism as an economic system doesn’t work. Which is why Britain soared to new heights under the capitalist policies of Margaret Thatcher. While the Soviet Union collapsed under their socialist policies. And she entered office when Britain was at its worst (see To blame Margaret Thatcher for today’s problems is to misunderstand history by Allister Heath posted 4/9/2013 on The Telegraph).
[Margaret Thatcher] inherited a basket case of an economy, crippled by obsolete state-owned firms, a legacy of decades of poor policies. Management was insular and demoralised, the workforce used as pawns by militant union leaders who would call strikes at every opportunity, customers treated like dirt and production techniques stuck in the past.
Productivity was appalling, overmanning the norm and the quality of UK-made goods notoriously poor. Britain was sclerotic, anti-entrepreneurial and anti-innovation, often specialising in industries with no long-term future.
Yet it is a little-known fact that manufacturing output actually went up during her time in office, despite the necessary liquidation of so many unviable plants.
This was basically the problem they were having in the Soviet Union. Everything was state-owned. Production techniques were stuck in the past. No one clamored to get their hands on good Soviet products. Because there were no good Soviet products. And they had far too many workers in their plants building stuff no one wanted. While store shelves sat empty and people went without the basic necessities. Britain was far along the path to outright socialism. While Soviet Union was nearing the end of that path. Margaret Thatcher turned the country around before they could end up where the Soviet Union was. And the sun began to shine once more on the British Empire. Albeit a smaller one.
Output had grown another 4.9pc by the start of 1997, when the Tories were booted out. Given the bitterness of the 1980s’ recession, caused by the desperate need to wring out extreme levels of inflation from the system by using high interest rates, it shows just how effective her supply-side reforms turned out to be…
…She was right to slash income tax, to repeal capital controls and to shake up the City of London with Big Bang. Most of her reforms to retail banking, including allowing banks and building societies to compete with one another, were spot-on.
There were some bad changes, however, though not the ones usually cited: still-high inflation made the ultra-safe saving banks unviable, especially after the EU forced the UK to introduce retail deposit insurance in 1979; there was a counter-productive move away from individual responsibility in retail financial services; and the UK signed up to the Basel Accords in 1990, a flawed international system to regulate banks that triggered all sorts of dangerous unintended behaviour and ensured financial institutions retained far too little reserves. In all cases, however, these were changes that didn’t really follow her basic philosophy…
Thatcherism was about choice, individual responsibility and independence from the state, not the politicised, artificially pump-primed markets we ended up with by the mid-2000s. She hated bail-outs, government subsidies and nationalisations; and would have looked on in horror at the gradual socialisation of losses and privatisation of profit in the financial services industry in the 15 years running up to the crisis.
Starting with the rescue of the LTCM fund in 1998 in New York, regulators decided that no large financial institution could ever fail. Alan Greenspan saw himself as an economist-king, manipulating interest rates to bolster financial markets and ensure perpetual growth, and triggering a giant bubble that burst twice. This was corporatism, not genuine capitalism.
Under the new order, including Gordon Brown’s late, unlamented Financial Services Authority, banks were disciplined neither by the free market – the authorities were there as a backstop, so there was no chance of going bust – nor by regulators, who allowed risk to build up unchecked. Greed was no longer balanced out by fear; moral hazard had replaced prudence. Thatcher, the grocer’s daughter and keen student of F.A Hayek, would have despaired.
A genuinely Thatcherite government in the 2000s is unlikely to have tolerated the explosion in the money supply – and house price madness – that Brown allowed, not least because Lord Lawson made a similar mistake in the late 1980s when he was Chancellor, triggering an earlier, disastrous house price bubble and bust. The parallels between the two episodes are striking but bizarrely uncommented upon.
So it is silly to blame Thatcher for today’s problems. If only one of her disciples had been in power in the 2000s, we wouldn’t be in anything like the mess we are in today.
Supply-side reforms? Those were the same kind of reforms that her good friend, Ronald Reagan, favored. And by using them he undid the Keynesian damage of his predecessors (LBJ, Nixon, Ford and Carter). Pulling the United States off the path towards socialism. Long before they got where Britain was before Thatcher. But like in Britain it didn’t take long to return to the failed policies of the past. The Keynesians returned in full force. Playing with interest rates. Keeping them artificially low to interfere with market forces. Causing great irrational exuberance. Those famous words uttered by Alan Greenspan. An irrational exuberance his Federal Reserve policies enabled. Allowing people to borrow cheap money to invest with abandon. With no fear of the economic fallout. Pure Keynesian economics. This wasn’t capitalism. For capitalism would have raised those interest rates before they created such great bubbles. And capitalism would have disciplined those free markets. By checking greed with fear and having serious consequences for irrational exuberance. Not government bailouts.
If Thatcher and Reagan were in office in the past decade things would be a lot better now. And the simple proof of that is that when we moved away from their policies we created the mess we have today.
Tags: Alan Greenspan, Britain, bubble, capitalism, capitalist, Communism, inflation, interest rates, irrational exuberance, Keynesian, Margaret Thatcher, Reagan, recession, Ronald Reagan, socialism, socialist, Soviet, Soviet Union, supply-side reforms, Thatcher, Thatcherism, Thatcherite, USSR
Week in Review
Before the Arab Spring there was the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009. Where thousands used social media to gather in protests over what they claimed were voting irregularities that kept President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power. President Obama did not support the Green Revolution. Despite Iran being a sponsor of terrorism, an enemy of the United States and the greatest threat to regional stability. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suppressed the uprisings. And jailed some of the opposition. Where some have made claims of torture and rape. But as closed a society Iran is these claims have been unsubstantiated. Though we have the word of the ruling regime that crushed the rebellion that there was no torture or rape.
When the Arab Spring kicked off in Tunisia in 2010 President Obama announced a change in policy. The U.S. would support change in the Arab world instead of stability. When the Arab Spring spread to Egypt in 2011 President Obama told Hosni Mubarak that he had to step down from power. Despite being a stalwart U.S. ally. An enemy to al Qaeda. And being the anchor of stability in the Middle East and North Africa. Now the Muslim Brotherhood is in power there. Who has close ties with Iran.
When the Arab Spring spread to Libya President Obama supported the opposition based in Benghazi. Despite Colonel Muammar Gaddafi renouncing terrorism. And being an ally of America in their War on Terror. Like Mubarak he oppressed radical Islamists including al Qaeda. Which explains why al Qaeda was part of the opposition trying to overthrow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. They hated him. And his oppression of anti-western radical Islamists. President Obama supported the opposition. Gave them weapons. And helped enforce a no-fly zone. In 2012 Islamists attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Killing 4 Americans. Including the Libyan ambassador. Chris Stevens. Perhaps killed with weapons we brought into Libya.
When the Arab Spring spread to Syria President Obama did not support the opposition. Despite Syria being a sponsor of terrorism. And a close ally of Iran. As Syria broke down into civil war al Qaeda joined the opposition. Making any U.S. support now even more complicated. However Syria turns out it will be a foreign policy failure. In fact the foreign policy of President Obama has been to abandon U.S. allies that bring stability to the region. While not getting involved in uprisings in states hostile to the U.S. Bringing great instability to the Middle East and Northern Africa. And beyond (see Police: 7 foreigners kidnapped in north Nigeria by SHEHU SAULAWA and JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press, posted 2/17/2013 on Yahoo! News).
Gunmen attacked a camp for a construction company in rural northern Nigeria, killing a guard and kidnapping seven foreign workers from Britain, Greece, Italy Lebanon and the Philippines, authorities said Sunday, in the biggest kidnapping yet in a region under attack by Islamic extremists…
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the abductions, though Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north has been under attack by the radical Islamic sect known as Boko Haram in the last year and a half. The country’s weak central government has been unable to stop the group’s bloody guerrilla campaign of shootings and bombings. The sect is blamed for killing at least 792 people in 2012 alone, according to an AP count.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the Hausa language of Nigeria’s north, has demanded the release of all its captive members and called for strict Shariah law to be implemented across the entire country. The sect has killed both Christians and Muslims in their attacks, as well as soldiers and security forces…
Foreigners, long abducted by militant groups and criminal gangs for ransom in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta, have become increasingly targeted in Nigeria’s north as the violence has grown. However, abductions of foreigners in the north have seen hostages regularly killed…
Foreign embassies in Nigeria have issued travel warnings regarding northern Nigeria for months. Worries about abductions have increased in recent weeks with the French military intervention in Mali, as its troops and Malian soldiers try to root out Islamic fighters who took over that nation’s north in the months following a military coup. Last week, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, put out a warning following the killings of polio workers in the northern city of Kano and the killing of the North Korean doctors.
President Obama campaigned in 2012 that al Qaeda was on the ropes. While blaming the death of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans on a spontaneous uprising because of a YouTube video. Which if it was it means the average Libyan on the street in Benghazi walks around carrying heavy weapons. Which is highly unlikely. Then again, the opposition the U.S. supported in Benghazi included al Qaeda. So maybe they did walk around the streets of Benghazi with heavy weapons. Just waiting for dates with symbolic meaning (9/11) to attack Americans.
President Obama got what he wanted. Change instead of stability. For there is little stability in the Middle East or North Africa. And now in West Africa. Where Islamists and al Qaeda affiliates are reaching into Algeria. Mali. And Nigeria. Radical Islamists are spreading their reach throughout the Middle East and Africa and in other parts of the world. Fueled by the decline of U.S. influence. And a rise in Iranian influence. The winner in the Arab Spring? It would appear that it is the radical Islamists that are benefitting most from the Arab Spring. While the people in these countries go from a somewhat western culture of liberty (especially for women) towards oppressive theocracies. Just as the Iranian people did during the Iranian Revolution in 1979. No doubt the Iranian women who protested the Shah of Iran rue the day they ever joined that protest movement. For they have none of the liberties they enjoyed under the Shah.
Guess this is what happens when you abandon your friends and help your enemies. Your friends suffer while your enemies grow stronger. And the world grows a more dangerous place.
Tags: Al Qaeda, Algeria, anti-western, Arab Spring, Benghazi, Boko Haram, change, Chris Stevens, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Egypt, enemy of the United States, Green Revolution, Hosni Mubarak, instability, Iran, Islamic extremists, Islamists, Libya, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mali, Middle East, Muammar Gaddafi, Mubarak, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood, Nigeria, North Africa, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President Obama, radical Islamists, regional stability, Shariah law, sponsor of terrorism, stability, Syria, U.S. ally, war on terrorism
Week in Review
President Obama sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Russia early in his administration with a plastic button from an office supply store to ‘reset’ U.S.-Russian relations. Symbolically, of course. For George W. Bush had damaged America’s world image with his cowboy ways. Flexing American power across the globe. But President Obama was going to heal that image. By projecting weakness instead of power. Which he says will make the world like the U.S. again. Because we’ll stop being bullies. And people will like that. So how is that working? Well, the Russians apparently are interpreting a sign of weakness differently. They’re seeing it as an opportunity (see Two Nuclear-Armed Russian Bombers Reportedly Skirt US Base by David Cenciotti, The Aviationist, posted 2/16/2013 on Business Insider).
According to the Washington Free Beacon website two Russian Tu-95 Bear-H strategic bombers circled Guam island, in the Pacific Ocean, on Feb. 12.
“Defense officials said the bombers tracked over Guam were likely equipped with six Kh-55 or Kh-55SM cruise missiles that can hit targets up to 1,800 miles away with either a high-explosive warhead or a 200-kiloton nuclear warhead,” reports Bill Gertz in his piece.
The episode happened shortly before President Obama delivered his State of the Union address and prompted U.S. to scramble some Kadena F-15s temporary deployed to Andersen Air Force Base.
During the State of the Union, eh? Can’t mistake the timing of this incident. It is a clear message to President Obama. It says we’re strong. You’re weak. And we don’t respect weakness.
Is President Obama reviving the Cold War? Sounds like it. Russian nuclear bombers violating U.S. airspace? Commonplace during the Cold War. But not so much since Ronald Reagan won the Cold War. This after pressing that reset button. And those comments President Obama made to Russian president Medvedev. Telling him to tell Vladimir Putin that he will have more freedom to negotiate away our nuclear strength after the 2012 election. And then the Russians violate U.S. airspace with nuclear bombers? Who could have saw this coming?
The problem with peace is that people forget what war was like. And get complacent. Assuming the good times will just keep rolling. And why not? It’s all they ever knew. If you say ‘duck and cover’ today most people will have no idea what you’re talking about. But this is what they taught us in school during the height of the Cold War. When nuclear war was a real possibility.
This is what we were to do when the Soviet nuclear missiles started falling out of the sky. Duck under our desks and cover our heads to protect ourselves from flying debris from the nuclear detonation. Assuming we weren’t vaporized by that detonation. Good times. Now a whole new generation of kids may get to grow up with the fear of nuclear annihilation hanging over their heads. Thanks to President Obama. And his misguided belief of peace through weakness. While our enemies only see that weakness as an opportunity to make us their bitch.
Tags: Cold War, duck and cover, Guam, nuclear, nuclear bombers, nuclear war, peace through weakness, President Obama, Russia, Russian Tu-95 Bear-H, strategic bombers, U.S. airspace
Week in Review
Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State when terrorists killed four Americans in Benghazi. Ambassador Stevens had requested additional security as the safety of Westerners in Benghazi was tenuous. The British had already left after an attempt on their ambassador’s life. But Secretary Clinton denied Ambassador Stevens’ request. For it didn’t look good politically.
All during the 2012 campaign the Democrats repeated over and over how Osama bin Laden was dead. And General Motors was alive. Not only that al Qaeda was on the ropes. Because President Obama defeated them. Making them an empty shell of what they were when President Bush was president. This is why we needed to reelect President Obama. Because only he could defeat al Qaeda. And did. After winning the War on Terror it just wouldn’t look good to be beefing up security to defend against a resurgent al Qaeda. Because that would go against the narrative that President Obama defeated al Qaeda. So Ambassador Stevens and the Americans in Benghazi were left to fend for themselves so they wouldn’t reflect adversely on the president’s reelection campaign. And then came 9/11/2012.
Four Americans died so as not to be a political inconvenience to President Obama. And Secretary Clinton let that happen. For their safety was her responsibility. And it was no secret that Benghazi was not a safe place. Which is why the British left. When Secretary Clinton finally appeared before Congress to explain how four Americans died under her watch she got indignant and simply yelled “what difference does it make” to their questions. Refusing to answer them. Angry and annoyed that these Republicans even dared to ask her these questions. Why wasn’t security beefed up? Why didn’t we send help when they were under attack? Why did she lie about it being a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video? Who edited the talking points given to Ambassador Rice? She did not like these questions. And she made her resentment clear. Funny when the shoe is on the other foot (see Documents show Bill Clinton’s close dealings with Richard Nixon on Russia, foreign affairs by Michael R. Blood, The Associated Press, posted 2/13/2013 on The Vancouver Sun).
Richard Nixon, in the final months of his life, quietly advised President Bill Clinton on navigating the post-Cold War world, even offering to serve as a conduit for messages to Russian President Boris Yeltsin and other government officials, newly declassified documents show.
Memos and other records show Nixon’s behind-the-scenes relations with the Clinton White House. The documents are part of an exhibit opening Friday at the Nixon Presidential Library, marking the centennial of his birth.
Clinton has talked often of his gratitude to Nixon for his advice on foreign affairs, particularly Russia. In a video that will be part of the exhibit, Clinton recalls receiving a letter from the 37th president shortly before his death on April 22, 1994, at a time when Clinton was assessing U.S. relations “in a world growing ever more interdependent and yet ungovernable.”
What really makes this remarkable and relevant to Hillary Clinton is this.
Clinton in his younger days was no fan of Nixon — as a college student in the 1960s, he opposed escalation of the Vietnam War. And his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, was a young lawyer advising a House committee when she helped draw up impeachment papers against Nixon.
Hillary Clinton helped draw up the impeachment papers against President Nixon which led to his resignation. For Watergate. Which amounted to a burglary. And some wire-tapping. There was no loss of life. President Nixon’s crime, the cover-up, didn’t kill four Americans. Yet Hillary Clinton helped to destroy President Nixon. Even though he was a good president when it came to foreign policy. At least, according to Hillary Clinton’s husband. President Clinton. But when she’s on the hot seat she responds with righteous indignation. Even though her actions, or her lack of action, caused the death of four Americans.
So what can we learn from this? President Nixon was a good president that put his country first. Even helping the man whose wife destroyed his career. President Clinton was not as good a president as President Nixon was. And Hilary Clinton ruined a good president who didn’t do anything as bad as she did. Allowing four Americans to die on her watch. Because she put politics first. Instead of her country. Just as she did when she helped to destroy President Nixon.
Tags: Al Qaeda, Ambassador Stevens, Benghazi, Hillary Clinton, impeachment papers, politics, President Clinton, President Nixon, President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Watergate
Week in Review
George W. Bush included North Korea in his Axis of Evil. Because they were a Stalinist regime with nuclear ambitions. Who oppressed her people. Even starving them to death in the occasional famine. But that was the cowboy days of George W. Bush. Who made the world hate us with his swaggering and bullying ways. President Obama was going to make the world love us once again. Especially our enemies. By simply talking to them. So here we are. Just finishing our fourth year under President Obama. Who changed the way our enemies think about us (see North Korea ‘dream’ video shows U.S. city under missile attack by Dylan Stableford posted 2/5/2013 on Yahoo! News).
In what appears to be a provocative PR stunt, a bizarre video uploaded to YouTube by North Korea over the weekend shows a dream sequence that includes a U.S. city resembling New York under an apparent missile attack.
The video, produced by North Korea’s official website, Uriminzokkiri, begins with a young man imagining himself aboard a North Korean space shuttle that circles the earth, pausing to zoom in on a unified Korea…
Near the end of the dream sequence, the imagined U.S. city—including what appears to be the Empire State Building—is shown in flames. (The attack footage appears to have been taken from the video game “Modern Warfare 3.”)
“Somewhere in the United States, black clouds of smoke are billowing,” reads a caption, translated by The Guardian. “It seems that the nest of wickedness is ablaze…”
The video arrives just days after North Korea threatened to retaliate against the U.S. for what it called a double standard stemming from a recent rocket launch by South Korea, which the U.S. said had no military intent…
On Saturday, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman did not elaborate on the threatened retaliation. But according to the Associated Press, Pyongyang recently threatened to conduct its third nuclear test in response to what it calls U.S. hostility.
Did North Korea not get the memo about President Obama becoming president in 2008? And getting reelected in 2012? They’re supposed to love us now. Not threaten us with nuclear tests. And missiles attacks. I’m just not feeling the love here.
Perhaps George W. Bush was correct in his foreign policy after all. And governed like he was wearing big-boy pants. Like an adult who understands the world. Not as a child-like liberal with the idealism of a Sixties’ hippy. For it turns out ‘make love not war’ is not an effective foreign policy. For there are states out there that just hate us. And want to rain nuclear missiles down on our cities. Unless we tremble at their military prowess. And give them food aid so their people won’t die from yet another famine.
One thing, though, most people probably like in that video was a unified Korea. Though not in quite the way the North Korean rulers imagine a unified Korea. One in which the people of South Korea are brought down to the level of those in the North. But one in which the people in North Korea are brought up to the level of those in the South. A unified Korea free of oppression. And free of famine. This is the dream we have of a unified Korea.
Tags: Axis of Evil, famine, George W. Bush, missile attack, New York, North Korea, nuclear test, oppression, President Obama, South Korea, unified Korea
Week in Review
Hillary Clinton got indignant during her Benghazi testimony. She shouted, “What different does it make?!?” when asked about one of the greatest foreign policy failures in U.S. history. Why did the Obama administration mislead the American people just before a presidential election? “What different does it make?!?”
Well, it makes a whole lot of difference. Especially if politics were the driving factor for security considerations in Benghazi. And with “al Qaeda is on the ropes” being a main campaign theme it would appear that politics were the driving factor for security considerations in Benghazi. For a president claiming victory in the War on Terror could not have a resurgent al Qaeda in Libya. Especially when al Qaeda was using the very weapons the Obama administration gave to the opposition to topple Muammar Gaddafi from power. An opposition no one really knew then. But we did know it had an al Qaeda element. Who hated Muammar Gaddafi. For he became a U.S. ally in the War on Terror following the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
So this is ‘what difference it makes’. Political considerations led to a resurgent al Qaeda in Northern and Western Africa. Greatly destabilizing the region. Making the world a less safe place. And to hide that fact until after the election the Obama administration seized onto that YouTube video that no one saw in Libya. To cover up their foreign policy mess. Benghazi is such a mess that everyone is now evacuating the city and leaving it to al Qaeda (see ‘Leave immediately’: Britons told to get out of Benghazi after threat from al-Qa’ida by Daniel Howden and Kim Sengupta posted 1/25/2013 on The Independent).
The Government has urged British nationals to leave Libya’s second city, Benghazi, in response to a “specific threat to Westerners” from terror groups operating in North Africa.
Defence sources confirmed the warning is linked to the activities of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim). An offshoot of Aqim was responsible for last week’s hostage crisis at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria in which 37 Westerners were killed, along with 29 Islamists…
Dutch and German citizens have also been advised to join the exodus, while Egypt has restricted movement across its border with Libya due to security concerns.
Intelligence reports from Egypt as well as intercepted communications from Burkina Faso and Algeria led to the warning being issued. Western interests, rather than explicitly British ones, were said to be the terrorists’ intended target. Governments across North and West Africa have been on heightened alert following last week’s hostage crisis in the Sahara…
The city is the business hub of eastern Libya and was the birthplace of the uprising that toppled Colonel Gaddafi. However, since the dictator’s death it has also been used as a base by several jihadist groups including Ansar al-Sharia, which is seen as the new face of al-Qa’ida in the wake of the Arab Spring. It is believed that individuals from Ansar al-Sharia remain in the city while the group has withdrawn…
Violence in Benghazi has targeted foreigners as well as Libyan officials in recent months, with assassinations, bombings and other attacks. As well as the 11 September assault on the US consulate, an Italian diplomat’s car was fired on by militants earlier this month. Rome has suspended consular activities in the city and evacuated staff.
Britain’s ambassador to Libya, Sir Dominic Asquith, narrowly escaped injury last June when his convoy in Benghazi was hit by rocket-propelled grenades, reinforcing concerns that the city’s police and government militia may have been infiltrated.
This week Sir Kim Darroch, David Cameron’s national security adviser, held talks in Tripoli with Libya’s Prime Minister, Ali Zidan, in which security was top of the agenda. French citizens, including doctors working at Benghazi hospitals, have left the city and the French cultural centre has been closed over concerns of retaliatory attacks following France’s military intervention in Mali. A few Britons and a handful of German and Dutch citizens remain in Benghazi, many of them acting as security contractors or aid workers.
The anti-Western attacks started before al Qaeda killed the US ambassador in Benghazi. So there was no question that al Qaeda was resurgent. And four Americans paid the ultimate price when politics trumped security needs.
So what difference does it make? It was the policies and politics that resulted in those four American deaths. And the resurgence of al Qaeda in the region. Because President Obama declared ‘mission accomplished’ during the presidential campaign. Saying it was reason to give him four more years. So if his ‘successful’ policies were reason enough to reelect the president then surely if those same policies were the cause of everything that went wrong in Benghazi they were reason enough NOT to reelect him. And they knew it. Hence the YouTube video.
The president didn’t win reelection by a large margin. Had the truth about Benghazi been known chances are he would have lost reelection. And this is why it makes a difference. For it matters when a president chooses politics over American lives.
Tags: Al Qaeda, al-Qaida, Arab Spring, Benghazi, foreign policy mess, Gaddafi, Hillary Clinton, Islamists, jihadist groups, Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, North Africa, resurgent al Qaeda, War on Terror, What different does it make, YouTube video
Week in Review
The Left unleashed a war against Republicans by claiming they were waging a war against women. They shouted from the rooftops the evil that would befall women should Republicans get elected. Scaring women with the specter of having to pay for their own birth control. And paying for their own abortions. Scaring a lot of women with the fear that should Republicans get elected they would force women into marriages against their will. Raising a family against their will. Cooking, cleaning and having sex with husbands against their will. So women voted for President Obama. To keep their birth control and their abortions. So they wouldn’t ever have to get married. So they could have happy fulfilling careers. Instead of a loving family. So they can die alone some day.
So this was the silly war the Republicans were waging against women. It’s a pity the Left doesn’t speak out against a real war on women (see ‘Men don’t have to worry about being caught’: Sex mobs target Egypt’s women by Charlene Gubash posted 12/4/2012 on Workd News).
In the post-Mubarak era, activists and protesters have reported many particularly violent assaults on women. Some experts allege the government and security officials are failing to take the problem seriously. More than 700 claims of harassment were filed across Egypt over the four-day Id al-Adha holiday in late October.
“It is not a country of law, not a state of law anymore. It has given men a chance to harass women without being accused,” said Afaf Marie, director of the Egyptian Association for Community Participation and Enhancement, an NGO.
Some activists fear that women’s rights will suffer under the rule of President Mohammed Morsi, who is an Islamist.
Government inaction has allowed the problem to spiral out of control, Heba Morayef, director of Human Rights Watch for the Middle East and North Africa, told NBC News. Police no longer inspire fear as they did before the revolution. In addition, locals say it appears there are fewer police on the increasingly lawless streets — and often none in Tahrir Square.
“The state is failing to respond,” she said. “Men don’t have to worry about being caught.”
Interestingly, President Obama helped bring President Mohammed Morsi to power. By telling President Hosni Mubarak that he had to step down from power. When there was no organized opposition save the Muslim Brotherhood. Who said they would not try to seize power. Who the American Left said they would not seize power. That it wouldn’t be another Iran. But in the resulting power vacuum left with the fall of Mubarak the Muslim Brotherhood stepped into that vacuum. And now their man, Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist, is now President of Egypt.
And any women who dare to leave their homes alone are being sexually assaulted. As the Muslim Brotherhood want women in Egypt to be like women in Iran. Oppressed and subservient. And everything the Left accused the Republicans of wanting to do with women they’re actually doing in Egypt. And worse. Including sexual harassment and rape in public. But where is the American Left? Keeping their eyes on those rascally Republicans. While their sisters suffer unspeakable cruelties in Egypt. Suffering in large part due to the actions of President Obama and his misguided Mideast policies. Who helped to make Egypt a less safe place for women. By telling Mubarak he had to go.
Tags: abortions, birth control, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, Islamist, Mohammed Morsi, Morsi, Mubarak, Muslim Brotherhood, President Obama, Republicans, war against women, war on women
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