Hacking: the US does it best 1

How the U.S. Government Hacks the World is the title of an article by Michael Riley published by Bloomberg in May, 2013.

On a dispute over hacking between the U.S. and China, the author writes:

“‘You spy, we spy, but you just steal the wrong stuff.’ That’s a hard conversation,” says Michael Hayden, who headed the NSA [under President Clinton and President G.W Bush], and later the CIA.

States spying on states, I got that,” says Hayden … “But this isn’t that competition. This is a nation-state attempting espionage on private corporations. That is not an even playing field.”

The tension between the two nations escalated in May, when a Pentagon report to Congress for the first time officially linked China’s government directly to the hacking of U.S. defense contractors. It revealed that U.S. intelligence had been tracking a vast hacking bureaucracy adept at stealing technology from American companies. China’s leaders have long denied being behind the hacks. An article about the Pentagon report in the official People’s Daily newspaper called the U.S. the “real hacking empire”. 

The U.S. government doesn’t deny that it engages in cyber espionage.

Hayden is quoted as saying:

You’re not waiting for someone to decide to turn information into electrons and photons and send it. You’re commuting to where the information is stored and extracting the information from the adversaries’ network. We are the best at doing it. Period.”

The U.S. position is that some kinds of hacking are more acceptable than others — and the kind the NSA does is in keeping with unofficial, unspoken rules going back to the Cold War about what secrets are OK for one country to steal from another.  …

Next the writer introduces us to TAO:

The men and women who hack for the NSA belong to a secretive unit known as Tailored Access Operations.

It gathers vast amounts of intelligence on terrorist financial networks, international money-laundering and drug operations, the readiness of foreign militaries, even the internal political squabbles of potential adversaries, according to two former U.S. government security officials, who asked not to be named when discussing foreign intelligence gathering.

For years, the NSA wouldn’t acknowledge TAO’s existence. A Pentagon official who also asked not to be named confirmed that TAO conducts cyber espionage, or what the Department of Defense calls “computer network exploitation”, but emphasized that it doesn’t target technology, trade, or financial secrets. The official says the number of people who work for TAO is classified. …

The two former security officials agreed to describe the operation and its activities without divulging which governments or entities it targets. According to the former officials, U.S. cyberspies, most from military units who’ve received specialized training, sit at consoles running sophisticated hacking software, which funnels information stolen from computers around the world into a “fusion center”, where intelligence analysts try to make sense of it all. The NSA is prohibited by law from spying on people or entities within the U.S., including noncitizens, or on U.S. citizens abroad.

According to one of the former officials, the amount of data the unit harvests from overseas computer networks, or as it travels across the Internet, has grown to an astonishing 2 petabytes an hour—that’s nearly 2.1 million gigabytes, the equivalent of hundreds of millions of pages of text.

The agency has managed to automate much of the process, one of the former officials says, requiring human hackers to intervene only in cases of the most well-protected computers. Just like spies in the physical world, the U.S. cyberspies take pains to obscure their tracks or disguise themselves as something else — hackers from China, say — in case their activities are detected.

Even as the rest of the Pentagon budget shrinks, the importance of the NSA’s hacking operations has helped create a booming cyber-industrial complex. Specialized units of big defense contractors, and boutique firms that create hacking tools, look for security flaws in popular software programs that allow government hackers to take over computers. A company called KEYW does a robust business training hackers for U.S. intelligence, says Chief Executive Officer Leonard Moodispaw, who cautions that he can’t reveal more. “Our federal partners don’t like it if we’re too explicit.”

All this activity gives China leverage against Washington’s complaints, says Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. Beijing can turn U.S. protests about industrial espionage around and claim that Washington is doing something even worse. “It’s OK to steal plans for a new automobile,” Aftergood says the Chinese can argue, “but not our national secrets.”

Spiegel OnLine reported in October, 2013:

TAO specialists have directly accessed the protected networks of democratically elected leaders of countries. They infiltrated networks of European telecommunications companies and gained access to and read mails sent over Blackberry’s BES email servers, which until then were believed to be securely encrypted. Achieving this last goal required a “sustained TAO operation”, one document states.

This TAO unit is born of the Internet – created in 1997, a time when not even 2 percent of the world’s population had Internet access and no one had yet thought of Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. From the time the first TAO employees moved into offices at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, the unit was housed in a separate wing, set apart from the rest of the agency. Their task was clear from the beginning – to work around the clock to find ways to hack into global communications traffic.

To detect Russian hacking into the – easily hacked – DNC communications, TAO hacked into Russian communications.

“You spy, we spy … States spying on states …” 

That’s the norm. And it’s good to know that the U.S. does it best.

Posted under China, Russia, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, January 7, 2017

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

This post has 1 comment.

Permalink

The first labor of Trump 3

… undoing Obama’s “deal” with Iran?

images-2

On July 14, 2015, the P5+1 countries finalized a nuclear agreement with Iran. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani announced: “Today major world powers recognized Iran’s nuclear program. Our dreams have come true.”

Of all the bad that Obama has wrought upon the world, the worst may be his empowering of the Islamic regime of Iran.

Secretary of State John Kerry, under the orders of Islam-loving President Obama, concluded a “deal” with the Iranian regime.

This is what they brought the United States to agree to.

The quotations and information come from Discover the Networks:

The key elements of the deal were the following:

Iran will be permitted to keep more than 5,000 centrifuges, one-third of which will continue to spin in perpetuity. (Note: Pakistan created a nuclear bomb with just 3,000 centrifuges.)

Iran will receive $150 billion in sanctions relief. (In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice conceded the following: “Yes, it is real, it is possible, and, in fact, we should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region up until now.”)

Russia and China will be permitted to supply Iran with weapons. Indeed, Russia has agreed to sell Iran S-300 anti-missile rocket systems in exchange for 500,000 barrels of oil. As the InternationalBusiness Times reports, “Russia and China will continue to make weapons deals with Iran under U.N. procedures.” According to political analyst Charles Krauthammer, “the net effect of this capitulation will be not only to endanger our Middle East allies now under threat from Iran and its proxies, but to endanger our own naval forces in the Persian Gulf.” “Imagine,” he added, “how Iran’s acquisition of the most advanced anti-ship missiles would threaten our control over the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, waterways we have kept open for international commerce for a half century.”

Iran will have the discretion to block international inspectors from military installations and will be given 14 days’ notice for any request to visit any site. If Iran in fact denies access to any suspected site, that denial is then adjudicated by a committee on which Iran sits as a member. Next, the matter goes through several other bodies, on all of which Iran likewise sits. All told, the entire process may take up to 24 days.

Only inspectors from countries that have diplomatic relations with Iran will be given access to Iranian nuclear sites. Thus there will be no American inspectors. The embargo on the sale of weapons to Iran will be officially lifted in 5 years, though in reality it has not been enforced at all in recent years under Obama.

Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program will remain intact and unaffected; indeed it was never even discussed as an issue in the negotiations.

The heavy water reactor in Arak and the underground nuclear facility in Fordo will remain open, violating the “red lines” that Obama has repeatedly cited.

Iran will not be required to disclose information about its past nuclear research and development.

The U.S. will provide technical assistance to help Iran develop its nuclear program, supposedly for peaceful domestic purposes.

Sanctions will lifted on critical parts of Iran’s military, including a previously existing travel ban against Qasem Suleimani, leader of the terrorist Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Suleimani was personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans in the Iraq War.

Iran will not be required to release American prisoners like Iranian-American Christian missionary Saeed Abedini, Iranian-American Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, or U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati. The P5+1 nations “and possibly other states, as appropriate, are prepared to cooperate with Iran on the implementation of nuclear security guidelines and best practices”. This would include “co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems“.

Last and worst – we must add – the “deal” allows Iran to make nuclear weapons freely ten years from the date of the “deal”.

What, you may ask, does the US get out of the “deal”?

Answer: Nothing but enmity, hatred, and threats.

The ruler of Iran, [the Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hosseini] Khamenei, is quoted as saying that Iran needs to plan to fight the US regardless of whether there is an agreement. The president of Iran, Rouhani, stands at the head of the march of hatred in the streets of Tehran, in which US and Israeli flags were burned, and in which many chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.

Concessions [were made by the US] even on issues that had been marked as red lines … which is a bad deal in its own right.

It [the deal] paves Iran’s way to many nuclear bombs and gives it hundreds of billions of dollars for its terrorism and conquest machine, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world.

(The full text of the “deal” may be found here.)

A narcissistic fool and his terrible legacy 3

sk122816dapr20161227084510

Barack Obama thinks that his presidency has been a great success. That if he could have stood for a third term, he would certainly have been elected again.

And yet he is not entirely comfortable in his mind that he has accomplished everything he intended to while he had all that power.

We can reproduce the list if his top four aims with a fair chance of accuracy:

The empowerment of Iran. Okay, done that. Tick it off.

Compulsory health insurance as a step towards a national health service (“Obamacare”). Tick.

The emptying of Guantanamo prison for prisoners of war and terrorists (“Gitmo”) and its closure. Gosh! Not achieved. Try again. Not many prisoners left. Can I do it before January 19? Let them go, let them go, let them go!

The final settlement of the Israel-Palestine problem, to be accomplished to the advantage of the Palestinians, and to the severe disadvantage of Israel, possibly facilitating its ultimate extinction. TICK.

The  deal with Iran may be torn up by Trump? My State Department will stop that happening.

Obamacare will be repealed? I doubt it.

Gitmo still open. Damn!

Israel f***ed. Yay!

Now carve my head on Mount Rushmore.

Ben Shapiro writes at Townhall:

President Barack Obama likes to see himself as a moral leader. “The arc of the moral universe is long”, Obama likes to say, quoting Martin Luther King Jr, “but it bends toward justice”. According to Obama, Obama is a genteel representative of decency and good grace, a man pointing America toward a broader vision, a fellow questing for social justice and contextual consideration.

In reality, he’s a narcissistic fool. And like Burgess Meredith’s character in The Twilight Zone, he will be left standing in the ruins, bewailing the fates that abandoned him, leaving no worshipful admirers upon whom to lean.

Obama’s legacy is one of failure all around the world. He leaves office with a genocide in Syria on his record – a genocide he pledged to prevent, then tolerated and finally lamented, mourning the fates while blithely ignoring his own cowardice. Libya, meanwhile, remains a full-scale disaster area, with tens of thousands of refugees from that failed campaign swamping Europe, along with those fleeing Syria, and his leftist European allies paying the political price.

Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, stands on the brink of a nuclear dawn, its pockets filled with billions of dollars, its minions ascendant from Tehran to Aleppo to Beirut. Obama made that happen with nearly a decade of appeasement and a willingness to abandon freedom-minded Iranians to the tender mercies of the mullahs.

Meanwhile, Russia has only expanded its reach and influence, invading the sovereign nation of Ukraine and seizing Crimea to the deafening silence of the Obama administration. Russia has flexed its muscle in Kaliningrad, where it has stocked missiles, and in Syria, where it has assured Syrian President Bashar Assad’s continued dominance.

China has grown its sphere of influence across the South China Sea, putting American allies from Taiwan and Japan to the Philippines directly under its thumb. Thanks to Obama’s military cuts, China believes that it can bully American allies into embracing Chinese supremacy in international waters – and it may be right. Simultaneously, Obama continues to drive America into debt, and the Chinese are large buyers of that outstanding debt.

The communist Cubans have been re-enshrined; so have the socialist Venezuelan authorities. The Islamic State group remains an international threat, and western capitals have been struck by Islamic terror time and again, to Obama’s teeth-gnashing and general inaction.

Not so sure about that teeth-gnashing. Does Obama give a damn about Islamic terrorism?

But at least Obama is truly putting his focus where it’s necessary: on declaring that our only ally in the Middle East, Israel, has no historic claim to its own existence and threatening Jews with sanctions for building bathrooms in East Jerusalem.

Right. The sarcasm is necessary. Exasperation is hard to express adequately.

Obama came into office amidst grand promises to restore America’s place in the world.

Did he? If so, he saw its place as lower, not higher. We seem to remember that he desired – perhaps not saying so in exactly these words – to bring America down a peg or two.

Unless our place is the outhouse, he’s failed. But at least he feels good about his accomplishments, even if thousands have died – and thousands more will die – in order to ensure his moral stature in his own mind.

Posted under China, Commentary, Cuba, Europe, Iran, Israel, Japan, Libya, Palestinians, Russia, Syria, United States, Venezuela by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Tagged with ,

This post has 3 comments.

Permalink

The UN must be destroyed 1

“Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendum” – “Apart from all this, Carthage must be destroyed“.

That was the statement Cato the Elder (234-149 BCE) made at the end of every one of his speeches in the Roman Senate during the Punic Wars (Rome against Carthage), no matter what the rest of the speech had been about.

The statement became a slogan, often shortened to “Carthago delenda est”.

For years we have copied Cato the Elder by writing “The UN must be destroyed” at the end of every post that mentions that evil institution.

Now the need for it to be wiped off the face of the earth, or at the very least expelled from American soil and denied American tax-payers’ money, has been made urgent by the iniquitous action of its “Security Council”, initiated by the perfidious outgoing Obama administration of the US government, against the state of Israel. (See our post Obama’s parting act of extreme vindictiveness, December 23, 2016. For the harm the resolution will do see here.)

Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:

The United States pays 22% of the total UN budget. What we get for our $3 billion a year is a corrupt organization whose dysfunctional and hostile agencies are united in opposing us around the world.

The United Nations does only two things consistently and effectively: waste money and bash Israel. Sometimes it manages to do both at the same time.

After an extended, and no doubt costly, visit to the region, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women blamed Muslim men beating their wives on Israeli settlements.

No wonder the UN Security Council just condemned them. Who wouldn’t rightfully be upset that Jews living in Jerusalem somehow causes poor Mohammed to batter his wife?

The Jewish State is the UN’s scapegoat for anything and everything. The Palestinian Authority blamed Israel at the UN for Global Warming. WHO [the World Health Organization, a UN agency] denounced Israel for violating “health rights”.

Israel is one of the foremost inventors and manufacturers of advanced life-saving medical technology in the world. Extremely effective Israeli teams rush to places where disasters occur to provide medical assistance, always free of charge. Israel even cures its enemies free of charge, and returns them to enemy territory to continue plotting its destruction.

And even when Muslim terrorists stab Israelis, it’s still Israel’s fault.

The latest anti-Israel vote at the UN has led to calls to defund the corrupt organization which, even when it isn’t actively trying to hurt us or our allies, is making the world worse every which way it can.

Just this summer the UN admitted that it had spread cholera that killed tens of thousands in Haiti. Sexual abuse allegations against its staffers were up 25% last year. In the spring, the UN admitted that peacekeepers from three countries had raped over 100 girls in only one African country. …

Here’s what we get for our $3 billion.

UNRWA schools are turning out students who want to fight for ISIS.  The UN’s email system has been used to distribute child pornography. UN staff members have smuggled drugs, attacked each other with knives and pool cues, not to mention a tractor. This month the UN marked Anti-Corruption Day despite refusing to fight its own corruption. The former President of the UN General Assembly was arrested on bribery charges last year. He had also headed UNICEF’s executive board. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is battling accusations of bribery.

Some of this might be defensible if the UN did anything useful. It doesn’t. It’s just a slush fund for redistributing our money to a vast UN bureaucracy and anyone willing to bribe it for benefits.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the UN vote by beginning the process of defunding the UN. And there’s every reason in the world for us to also stop tossing money at the United Nations.

It’s something that we and every sane country should have done decades ago. If you give money to the UN, it will end up anywhere and everywhere except where it’s supposed to go. But defunding the UN isn’t enough. There is no reason for us to remain there at all.

The United Nations has never met any of its lofty goals. During the Cold War it became a playground for the Communist powers. The USSR, the second signatory to the UN charter, helped force out the first signatory, Taiwan. Even while the treaty was being signed, it was taking over Poland, the 51st signatory.

These days, the United Nations is a forum for Islamist powers and the rotting remains of the Communist front to continue its war against the free world while seducing weak-minded nations into going along.

We are not making the world a better place by being members of this anti-American organization which vacillates between being evil and useless.

You can always count on UN peacekeeping troops to run away whenever they might be called on to use force. The head of the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan was fired by the UN for refusing to protect aid workers, including Americans, who were being raped and assaulted. …

The UN was brought into being in the aftermath of the horrors of World War II. Instead of ending “the scourge of war”, the UN has a solid track record of uselessness and complicity in the face of genocide.

Israel was the first to alert the UN to Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia. But Moscow and its Syrian ally conspired to protect the Communist dictatorship. The UN did not condemn the killing. And only a generation later did it convene the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which has been running for almost twenty years. It took ten years to arrest Brother Number Three, the Foreign Minister of the Communist terror state, whose lies the United Nations chose to believe when the butchery was taking place.

He died six years later while still on trial.

The UN has been apologizing for its non-response to the Rwandan genocide for decades. But apologizing for not doing anything is what the United Nations does best. That and condemn Israel.

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council couldn’t even manage to pass a ceasefire resolution on Syria.

Venezuela, which championed the anti-Israel resolution, took time out from starving its own people to protect Assad. Why in the world would anyone take this vote, or any UN vote, seriously?

The UN’s Human Rights Council members include China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia and, of course, Venezuela. UN Women, the body dedicated to empowering women, includes China, which forces women to have abortions; Pakistan, where women can be murdered by their male relatives for marrying on their own; and Iran, where it’s practically illegal for a woman to leave the house.

The United Nations does not promote its own ideals. Or ours. Instead, it sanctimoniously violates them. Providing every brutal dictatorship with equal representation hasn’t ushered in an age of human rights. Allowing Islamic terrorists and the radical left to denounce their enemies hasn’t made the world better. And throwing $3 billion a year at the towering UN swamp on Turtle Bay only wastes our time and money. …

The UN doesn’t share our ideals. It’s time to build our closest alliances with the countries that do.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called the 2030 agenda a “Declaration of Interdependence.” We must declare our independence from the UN’s interdependency of corruption and tyranny.

We should defund and withdraw. Where quarreling diplomats once preened in the tower above Turtle Bay, seagulls will soar and young couples will walk with their children. The billions we waste on the UN will go toward taking care of our people. And once we are free of the UN, we will actually be able to promote real human rights instead of pandering to the dictators and Islamists of the United Nations.

Like the League of Nations, the United Nations is a failed experiment. The only difference is that, despite decades of wars, genocides and terror, we still haven’t pulled the plug.

President Obama has betrayed his own country – the country he has led for eight years – by colluding with the UN against Israel. 

President Trump will have the opportunity to pull out of the UN and drain the swamp in Turtle Bay.

UN delenda est.

Beware Agenda 2030 1

A collectivist plot hatched at Evil HQ, aka the UN, is being surreptitiously implemented throughout the United States.

Everyone needs to know about it.

It is called Agenda 2030

Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh writes at Canada Free Press:

As we cheer the election of a new President, the highly successful entrepreneur and businessman Donald Trump, having averted the advance of global communism and global citizenship, we must not forget the massive damage that has already occurred in our country and around the globe, involving the much debunked manufactured global warming turned into a profitable climate change industry worth trillions, accomplished through the non-stop work and indoctrination of the United Nations Agenda 2030, an onerous plan which has infiltrated every aspect of our society, limiting our freedoms and controlling every facet of our lives under the guise of “sustainable development”. 

One month after the establishment of the United Nations, UNESCO was created by its first director, Julian Huxley. UNESCO’s first task was to teach the world’s school teachers how to indoctrinate their students to become citizens of the world. Judging by the amount of global citizenship preparedness advertised by colleges and universities in the U.S. today, UNESCO has been highly successful. Their materials on the topic of Toward World Understanding, brainwashed many generations in schools around the globe that “nationalism was bad, and had to be replaced with the idea of world citizenship”. (UNESCO Publication 356)

The effort to transform our children into global citizens mutated into the International Baccalaureate Program, an expensive and highly secretive curriculum from Switzerland, supported and paid for by local taxpayers. Parents thought that it was a superior education to our public schools when in reality it is just another attempt to indoctrinate them into global citizens, devoid of national pride, American history, and turning them into full supporters of global governance.

The relentless global governance promoters are convinced that their social engineering philosophy of collectivism is far superior to our free market capitalism. They are not dissuaded by the monumental failures of Cuba, Venezuela, Soviet Union, North Korea, China, Eastern European countries, and other nations forced to survive on the idea of “daddy government knows best”.

With its final goal of a “global neighborhood” (Our Global Neighborhood, 1995), the government-managed society rejects the idea of private property and does not think that controlling the use of private property constitutes taking, despite the existence of our 5th Amendment which requires that government justly compensate owners for the taking of their private property.

The final barrier in the United Nations completion of this global neighborhood is the voluntary funding for the United Nations. The ideas of creating a global tax and a global currency have been introduced numerous times. In 2010, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revealed its plan to create a global currency.

“International rules, institutions and practices that limit the behavior of people in the United States come from international entities such as the UN, UNESCO, UNEP, UNDP, WTO, ISO and other alphabet bureaucracies,” which creep into domestic policy via non-governmental organization (NGOs) lobbyists who advocate for global governance, politicians, federal employees, and delegates to U.N. meetings. Most in Congress support and promote the principle of global governance but their constituents have no idea what that means.

Why is global governance bad? Our system of freedom and self-governance cannot co-exist in a world governed by the United Nations’ tin pot dictatorships.  They believe that “government is the source of individual rights, and can give or deny those rights to individuals or organizations as the government deems necessary”, in the interest of the collective. …

We are at the crossroads of global governance, enabled by the voluntary participation of developed nations, particularly the United States, which has dragged its citizens into agreements, initiatives, and partnerships, whereby the voters were never consulted about such partnerships and initiatives, they were only subjected to the Vision of the globalists, pushed forward by elected politicians’ voluntary membership in the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). …

Plans that erode our individual freedoms and national sovereignty start at the local level with promises and euphemisms that are relevant to a particular locality and sound benign enough to the busy American, preoccupied with making a living and supporting his/her family.

The visioning process starts at the local level by a local planning agency (an NGO) or ICLEI itself with a federal grant attached to it. ICLEI was created in 1990 “to advance the concept of sustainable development”, the lynchpin of U.N. Agenda 21 of 1992 and now U.N. Agenda 2030. 

Yes, Agenda 2030 morphed out of Agenda 21. We have expounded, and expostulated about, Agenda 21 in these posts: Beware “Agenda 21”, June 24, 2011; Agenda 21: the “smart growth” conspiracy, November 21, 2011; Three eees for environmental equalizing economics, December 4, 2011; Dark city, May 31, 2012; Destroying American wealth and sovereignty by diktat, June 6, 2012; The mystic UN and Agenda 21, August 3, 2012; Pleistocene Park, August 11, 2012; The death of nations, September 18, 2012; Home sweet closet, December 7, 2012; Getting rid of mother, January 30, 2013; Teaching submission to world government, April 14, 2013; Be alarmed, April 6, 2014; Your tiny home is frozen, July 14, 2014; Agenda 21 grinds slowly but exceeding small, December 7, 2014.

This is how the plot is being carried out:

Once the grant is in place, a facilitator is appointed to lead the visioning process of the local community. Participants are initially chosen carefully in order to support the plan. One local elected official is also included while the community knows nothing about it until the end of the process.  The group may call itself “Yourtown 2030” and will put forth their pre-planned ideas of what your town should look like in 2030 in order to have a “sustainable community” and “smart development”. Anything else [it is implied] is catastrophic for the community.

Any objections are eliminated by advertising a “consensus”. The goals chosen by this visioning are usually recommendations taken from U.N. Agenda 21 or the President’s Council on Sustainable Development documents.

Next comes the plan of action which includes “bike paths, walkways, greenbelts, conservation areas, high-density areas, mixed-use housing, five minute walk or bike to work , shopping, and play, urban boundary zones”, and other buzz-words from the sustainable development vocabulary.

As the plan is near completion, the group starts feeding information to the press in the local media. Public events are held that gloat over the righteous sustainable development and sustainable communities. The elected official on board with the visioning plan is “expected to convince the majority of the governing board to adopt the plan of action”.

Glossies will be printed and mailed out to the population, convincing the community that their visioning plan will make the community better in the 21st century if they protect the environment by reducing their carbon footprint, their commute, their car use, their suburban living, and other activities that make life fun and free, but, the world will be a better place for all.

The elements of the plan are never really publicly debated before elected officials, and, it is too late to oppose it once it is so heavily publicized. The private landowners are usually never consulted, nor are the taxpayers. Many times, once the plan has been adopted and implementation has begun, the community starts feeling the pain of the visioning plan. Local comprehensive land use plans are often so restrictive, the farmers can no longer use their pastures, their lakes, their land, their water to grow food, or plant crops.

Dr. Paugh goes on to describe in detail how the collectivizing plan is being implemented step by step in the area where she lives, Woodbridge, Va. (Go here for the official account of what is happening there, but please read Dr. Paugh’s account first.) Watch out for the same thing being done in your district. (It is being done in ours.)

Finally, she reminds us what this is really all about:

The American Planning Association, one of the main vectors of sustainable development change in this country, has a host of definitions and requirements for any inhabited place in the country as to how the Strong Neighborhood Initiative (SNI) should be implemented according to a specific blueprint designed years ago by the U.N. Agenda 21 planners in Rio.

The neighborhoods must “promote or protect air and water quality, protect groundwater resources, and respond to the growing threat of climate change”, a threat that is not real. “Green infrastructure” must be used, such as “local tree cover mitigating heat gain”. Communities must “utilize measures or practices to protect or enhance local biodiversity and the environment”.

At the end of the day, none of these plans are really about improving the lives of the people, they are about herding humans into small areas where they are more easily controlled by the government. 

If this is not stopped by the new Republican government, one of the worst evils President Obama has allowed to be done will live long after him.

 

Post Script: The UN must be destroyed!

End of an era 3

The year 2017 approaches, and with it the centennial of the Russian revolution that first brought Marxists to totalitarian power.

For the last hundred years Marxism has been destroying human life, liberty and happiness on a vast scale. Far from ushering in paradise on earth as the Marxists proclaimed they would do, they used power wherever they acquired it to create earthly hells.

By reasonable reckoning, 23 Communist regimes had killed (at least) 149,469,610 people by 2006. R. J. Rummel, who was professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, is the authority most cited for the statistics of deaths caused by Communist governments by means of executions, deliberate mass starvation, and forced labor. For mass slaughter of this sort, he invented the word “democide“.

In one of his papers titled How Many Did Communist Regimes Murder?, Professor Rummel wrote

How can we understand all this killing by communists? It is the marriage of an absolutist ideology with absolute power. Communists believed that they knew the truth, absolutely. They believed that they knew through Marxism what would bring about the greatest human welfare and happiness. And they believed that power, the dictatorship of the proletariat, must be used to tear down the old feudal or capitalist order and rebuild society and culture to realize this utopia. Nothing must stand in the way of its achievement. Government – the Communist Party – was thus above any law. All institutions, cultural norms, traditions, and sentiments were expendable. And the people were as though lumber and bricks, to be used in building the new world.

To many communists, the cause of a communist utopia was such as to justify all the deaths. The irony of this is that communism in practice, even after decades of total control, did not improve the lot of the average person, but usually made their living conditions worse than before the revolution. It is not by chance that the greatest famines have occurred within the Soviet Union (about 5,000,000 dead during 1921-23 and 7,000,000 from 1932-3) and communist China (about 27,000,000 dead from 1959-61). In total almost 55,000,000 people died in various communist famines and associated diseases, a little over 10,000,000 of them from democidal famine. This is as though the total population of Turkey, Iran, or Thailand had been completely wiped out. And that something like 35,000,000 people fled communist countries as refugees, as though the countries of Argentina or Columbia had been totally emptied of all their people, was an unparalleled vote against the utopian pretensions of Marxism-Leninism. …

But communists could not be wrong. After all, their knowledge was scientific, based on historical materialism, an understanding of the dialectical process in nature and human society, and a materialist (and thus realistic) view of nature. Marx has shown empirically where society has been and why, and he and his interpreters proved that it was destined for a communist end. No one could prevent this, but only stand in the way and delay it at the cost of more human misery. Those who disagreed with this world view and even with some of the proper interpretations of Marx and Lenin were, without a scintilla of doubt, wrong. After all, did not Marx or Lenin or Stalin or Mao say that. . . . In other words, communism was like a fanatical religion. It had its revealed text and chief interpreters. It had its priests and their ritualistic prose with all the answers. It had a heaven, and the proper behavior to reach it. It had its appeal to faith. And it had its crusade against nonbelievers.

[A]t the extreme of totalitarian power we have the greatest extreme of democide. Communist governments have almost without exception wielded the most absolute power and their greatest killing (such as during Stalin’s reign or the height of Mao’s power) has taken place when they have been in their own history most totalitarian. As most communist governments underwent increasing liberalization and a loosening of centralized power in the 1960s through the 1980s, the pace of killing dropped off sharply.

Communism has been the greatest social engineering experiment we have ever seen. It failed utterly and in doing so it killed over 100,000,000 men, women, and children, not to mention the near 30,000,000 of its subjects that died in its often aggressive wars and the rebellions it provoked. But there is a larger lesson to be learned from this horrendous sacrifice to one ideology. That is that no one can be trusted with power. The more power the center has to impose the beliefs of an ideological or religious elite or impose the whims of a dictator, the more likely human lives are to be sacrificed.

We contend that the recent death of Fidel Castro, the Communist dictator of Cuba, marks the end of the terrible Marxist era. Cuba will continue for a while yet to be under the cruel Communist regime he established. And North Korea is still under Communist dictatorship. But no new such regimes are arising. Democracy is replacing dictatorships in South America. And with the defeat in 2016 of a second* Alinskyite presidential candidate nominated by the Democratic Party of the United States, the grip of Marxist ideology through government is loosening everywhere and – we contend – unlikely to strengthen again.

It is still, however, dominant in the academies of the Western World. What can be done about that rottenness in higher education?

With this question, Robert Conquest, one of the greatest historians of Communist Russia, was concernedIn a review of his book Reflections on a Ravaged Century in the American Spectator Online, Josh London wrote:  

The clearest picture to emerge from these pages is that the history of Communism is, at its simplest, little more than the history of an all-out assault on society by a series of conspiratorial cliques. These groups have, invariably, been led by excruciatingly cruel dictators who were revoltingly drunk on their own foolish ideology and power.  …

Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek pointed out over fifty years ago that “Socialism has never and nowhere been at first a working-class movement. It is by no means an obvious remedy for an obvious evil which the interests of that class will necessarily demand. It is a construction of theorists, deriving from certain tendencies of abstract thought with which for a long time only the intellectuals were familiar; and it required long efforts by the intellectuals before the working classes could be persuaded to adopt it as their programme.” Though unquoted by Conquest, Hayek’s insight is exactly what worries him most about the 20th century and the prospects of life in the 21st century. Conquest’s work in this section constitutes an inquiry into the intellectual’s temperament and, in particular, the intellectual ingenuity required to go on believing when all is lost.

There follows an excellent and absorbing chapter on what is happening in education: A great many just swipes are taken at the academic intelligentsia who subvert it. Conquest reviews the rise of pseudo-science, and the application of quantitative methods and measurements in social science. Conquest also laments the influence of half-baked, trashy European ideas in Western, specifically American, academic thought: “At a recent seminar on the much resented influx of certain American movies in France, my old friend Alain Besancon remarked that a hundred soft-porn products of Hollywood did less harm in his country than a single French philosopher had done in the United States.”

[Robert Conquest] laments the academic unwillingness to be seen to criticize colleagues or step outside of the many and varied leftist solidarities rampant throughout academia. …

As Conquest’s essays demonstrate, we, the victors of the Cold War, have thrown away a great part of what should have been a victory for Western values. The Cold War has been won, but the ideas that produced Communism still go marching on in their well-organized, corrupting way, even though the people advocating them are a minority.

The Historian Edward Gibbon once wrote that “There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times.” Yet, standing from his vantage point at the end of the 20th century, surveying the history of the last 100 years, Conquest is probably right to end his book, as he soberly does, with a warning. Although we are now living through an exceptionally optimistic historical moment, he reminds us that the “past is full of eras of progress that ended in darkness.” We should not fool ourselves: “The power of fanaticism and of misunderstanding is by no means extinct.”

Nor will it ever be as long as humanity exists. Chriss W. Street, writing at Breitbart, warns that the Marxist aim of imposing Communism on the whole world is still being pursued with fanatical resolve:

Donald Trump winning the presidency based on his promise to torpedo globalism came exactly 27 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and represents the second leg down for “World Socialism”.

Although U.S. history books declare capitalist United States the victor in World War II, it was World Socialism that ended up dominating most of the globe. [The] Soviet Union and China carved out massive communist states, India adopted extreme socialism, and communist insurgencies were ascendant in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America.

Socialist governments controlled Western Europe and the idea that the state should play some kind of role in economic life was not seen as strange or unusual. Socialists differed on just how extensive the role of the state should be, but all agreed that “natural monopolies” like the railroad, phone service, health and electricity should be nationalized.

Paul Samuelson’s Economics was the top selling U.S. economics textbook from the 1960s through the 1980s. It proclaimed world socialism’s more efficient use of resources would allow the Soviet Union’s Gross National Product to pass the U.S. economy by 1984.

But mainstream economists failed to recognize that President Ronald Reagan’s policies of doubling down on capitalism through tax cuts and strangling the regulatory state in the 1980s would end the West’s inflationary spiral that had allowed communist resource-based economies to flourish. After the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, Russia was forced into a U.S. bailout and China adopted “Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics”.

But rather than accept a permanent home in the “dustbin of history”, socialists in Western Europe passed the Maastricht Treaty, which formed the 27 nation European Union. Meanwhile, Democrat President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement and gave Most Favored Nation status to China.

Robert Wolfe, in the book SocialistGlobalization, calls this “internationalist movement”, a system of planning and production that transcends the boundaries of the individual nation-states:

The goal of socialist globalization should be the treatment of the entire world as a single economic unit within which the provision of necessary goods and services would be maximized and the [alleged man-made] damage to the environment minimized.

Leftist economist Joseph Stiglitz in January 2015 announced that “The American Century” had ended and “The Chinese Century” had begun, following the ‘World Bank’s International Comparison Program’ declaring China’s gross national product surpassed the U.S in 2014.

Stiglitz stated that the “rise of China also shines a harsh spotlight on the American model, due to capitalist economic and political “systemic deficiencies — that are corrupt”. He demanded that America must “pivot” to accept that the economic interests of China and the U.S. are now “intricately intertwined” in the new global order.

China would boast that it played a “crucial role” in formulating a new global development pact called “Agenda 2030,” which was signed by 193 members of the United Nations on September 28, 2015. The world socialist and corporatist pact aimed at re-engineering civilization through that imposition of 17 “Sustainable Development Goals” and setting 169 accompanying targets in what was referred to as a “Great Leap Forward”. 

China said that to “combat inequality domestically is simply not enough — international socialism is needed to battle inequality even among countries”. 

But, like us, the writer thinks that the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency marks a turning-point; that the zealots for international socialism are aware that their path to world domination, for so long all too smooth, could now be made impassable.

The election of Donald Trump now represents an existential threat to World Socialism across the planet.

Socialists know that when President Reagan went rogue with his muscular capitalist policies, communism quickly imploded. Trump has already torn up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have internationalized the law covering $28 trillion in trade and investment, about 40 percent of global GDP.

Trump seems determined to destroy “Socialist Globalization” with the same capitalist tax cuts and regulatory relief that President Reagan used to destroy communism.

Though not yet dead, Marxism/Communism/International Socialism has had its day. Its era is over. It will not go quietly. It will howl, it will grumble, it will whimper – but it will go. Perhaps as a minority secular religion it will linger, but as a power in the world it is done.

The Marxist professoriate remains to be muzzled. Agenda 2030 must not only be stopped, but the damage it has already done (under the name originally given to it by its parent the UN, “Agenda 21”) needs to be reversed. The prophets of doom by human beings overheating the planet need to be discouraged to the point of despair, because they are using “climate change” as a pretext for imposing world socialist government. But the Age of Marx is over.

That does not mean that “the power of fanaticism” – to use Robert Conquest’s words – is “extinct”. As we have said, it never will be.

We face another enemy of mankind. Islam.

As Marxism was to the last century, Islam will be to this century. Islam is an equally crippling totalitarian ideology, another mass killer and bringer of darkness.

Will a new era of American greatness save the world from it?

 

Footnote: * Barack Obama was the first Alinskyite to stand – in his case successfully! – for election to the US presidency.

True grit 0

China June 4 1989

main_1200

USA November 8 2016

20161027_machine

Posted under China, liberty, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tagged with , , ,

This post has 0 comments.

Permalink

The new Republicanism 0

It is more than likely now that Donald Trump will be the Republican Party’s nominee in the presidential election this November.

It is therefore very likely that the Republican platform will be what he wants it to be. And many Republicans, especially the go-along-to-get-along pillars of the Grand Old Party, most prominently its leaders in Congress, do not like what he wants. They repudiate him and his ideas. They say he is unfaithful to conservative principles and will alter long-standing Republican policies. But if their choice is between changing principles and policies to those of Trump or breaking the Party asunder by thwarting the will of the millions of voters he attracts, they will accept – are slowly coming round to  accepting – Trump and his vision for America. (While probably still planning to knock it into a more familiar and acceptable shape.)

What do his conservative Republican critics object to in particular?

In an article hostile to Donald Trump, but accepting that he is almost certain to be the Republican nominee, Linda Chavez writes at Townhall:

Trump represents a repudiation of the Republican Party’s commitment to smaller government, free trade and an internationalist foreign policy.

Let’s consider these commitments one by one, and assess how far Trump is likely to change them, and how bad the change would be.

Smaller government is certainly a cherished principle of conservative Republicanism. We list it among our core conservative ideals, along with individual freedom, a market economy, and strong defense. Regretfully we admit that government is not likely ever again to be actually small, but does Trump not say anything that suggests he would reduce the hugely overblown bureaucracy oppressing Americans now? He does. He says he will lower taxes. Lower taxes must mean some shrinking of government. And that’s probably the most any conservative Republican could do.

It’s on free trade that we have a difference of opinion with Trump. He has indicated that he would match tariff barriers with tariff barriers. We think that’s counter-productive. But it’s not enough to induce us to call Trump a wrecker of American prosperity. In fact, most of his economic thinking is likely to increase American prosperity very considerably. He would stop foreign aid unless America got something back for it. He would make those countries that want American military protection contribute to the cost of it. And he has plans for job creation which we’re inclined to trust because, as an extremely successful businessman, he has done it.

As for the Republican “internationalist foreign policy” – we’re coming to that.

Here are some points from Charles Krauthammer’s syndicated column on Trump’s recent foreign policy speech. Much as we respect Charles Krauthammer, on this rare occasion we disagree with him.

On the Republican side … foreign policy has been the subject of furious debate. To which Donald Trump has contributed significantly, much of it off-the-cuff, contradictory and confused. Hence his foreign policy speech on Wednesday. It was meant to make him appear consistent, serious and presidential. …

Its major theme, announced right at the top [was]: America First. Classically populist and invariably popular, it is nonetheless quite fraught. On the one hand, it can be meaningless — isn’t every president trying to advance American interests? …

On the other hand, America First does have a history. In 1940, when Britain was fighting for its life and Churchill was begging for U.S. help, it was the name of the group most virulently opposed to U.S. intervention. It disbanded — totally discredited — four days after Pearl Harbor. …

The irony is … it is the underlying theme of [Obama’s] foreign policy — which Trump constantly denounces as a series of disasters. Obama, like Trump, is animated by the view that we are overextended and overinvested abroad. …

Both the left and right have a long history of advocating American retreat and retrenchment. The difference is that liberals want to come home because they think we are not good enough for the world. Conservatives want to wash their hands of the world because they think the world is not good enough for us.

That’s nicely put! Our disagreements will come below.

For Obama, we are morally unworthy to act as world hegemon. Our hands are not clean. He’s gone abroad confessing our various sins — everything from the Iranian coup of 1953 to our unkind treatment of Castro’s Cuba to the ultimate blot, Hiroshima, a penitential visit to which Obama is currently considering.

Trump would be rightly appalled by such a self-indicting trip. His foreign policy stems from a proud nationalism that believes that these recalcitrant tribes and nations are unworthy of American expenditures of blood and treasure.

At least Krauthammer calls it “a proud nationalism”. Linda Chavez, in her article, likens Trump’s nationalism to disreputable [?] European nationalist groups which are better described as tribal. She seems to forget that the United States has for centuries been a melting-pot, and the American nation has been – until very recently under Obama – the least tribal in the world. And Trump’s “nationalism” is better described as patriotism. That’s what an American’s “proud nationalism” really is.

This has been the underlying view of conservative isolationism … It is not without its attractions. Trump’s version, however, is inconsistent and often contradictory. After all, he pledged to bring stability to the Middle East. How do you do that without presence, risk and expenditures (financial and military)? He attacked Obama for letting Iran become a “great power.” But doesn’t resisting that automatically imply engagement?

More incoherent still is Trump’s insistence on being unpredictable. An asset perhaps in real estate deals, but in a Hobbesian world American allies rely on American consistency, often as a matter of life or death. Yet Trump excoriated the Obama-Clinton foreign policy for losing the trust of our allies precisely because of its capriciousness. The tilt toward Iran. The red line in Syria. Canceling the Eastern European missile defense. Abandoning Hosni Mubarak.

Trump’s scripted, telepromptered speech was intended to finally clarify his foreign policy. It produced instead a jumble. The basic principle seems to be this: Continue the inexorable Obama-Clinton retreat, though for reasons of national self-interest, rather than of national self-doubt. And except when, with studied inconsistency, he decides otherwise.

Is Trump’s patriotism a “version of isolationism”?  Is it “inconsistent and often contradictory”? By “unpredictable” did he mean what Krauthammer is taking his words to mean?

What did Trump actually say?

We quote his speech in part (find all of it here):

America first will be the major and overriding theme of my administration. But to chart our path forward, we must first briefly take a look back. We have a lot to be proud of.

In the 1940s we saved the world. The greatest generation beat back the Nazis and Japanese imperialists. Then we saved the world again. This time, from totalitarianism and communism. The Cold War lasted for decades but, guess what, we won and we won big. …

Does he regret those American involvements? Not at all. He is proud of them.

Unfortunately, after the Cold War our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. … We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy.

With that we could not agree more strongly. It is not possible to turn states like Iraq and Afghanistan – Arab states, Islamic states – into Western style democracies.

And as for his comment on Obama’s actions – they have been “unpredictable” in that they make no logical sense. Krauthammer chooses them as examples of unpredictability to condemn Trump’s recommendation of it, when in fact Trump means something entirely different – as we shall see.

We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans and just killed be lives, lives, lives wasted. Horribly wasted. Many trillions of dollars were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill that void much to their really unjust enrichment.

They have benefited so much, so sadly, for us. Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision. No purpose. No direction. No strategy.

Trump goes on to “identify weaknesses in our foreign policy” and to say how he would fix them. Among them (they are worth reading in full) is this:

We’ve had a president who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies, something that we’ve never seen before in the history of our country. He negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran, and then we watched them ignore its terms even before the ink was dry. Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, cannot be allowed. Remember that, cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. And under a Trump administration, will never, ever be allowed to have that nuclear weapon …

At the end of his analysis and outline of his intentions he promises:

 This will all change when I become president.

To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be reliable again. It’s going to be a great and reliable ally again. It’s going to be a friend again. We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies.

Does that sound isolationist?

We need a long-term plan to halt the spread and reach of radical Islam.Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed the world. Events may require the use of military force, but it’s also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War.

Absolutely right! And no other politician, as far as we can recall, has said it before.

He goes on to speak of “working very closely with our allies in the Muslim world”, which is one of the few points on which we disagree. There can be no such thing as an American ally in the Muslim world, precisely because “the philosophical struggle” prohibits it. Islam is ideologically opposed to the West.

… And then there’s ISIS. I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything. We’re sending troops. We tell them. We’re sending something else. We have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now. But they’re going to be gone. ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly. They will be gone very, very quickly.

So that is what Trump means by “unpredicatble”. A commander-in-chief does not announce to his country’s enemy just when its army will stop fighting and when he will withdraw his troops – as Obama has done. It is a military absurdity!

He goes on to say “we have to rebuild our military and our economy”.

The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look at what’s happened to us. Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. And it has to happen immediately. Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today. The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during this same period of time. The Air Force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots flying B-52s in combat missions today. These planes are older than virtually everybody in this room.

And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that in real dollars, cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011. Our military is depleted and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.

We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest, single investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean unquestioned, by anybody and everybody.

Does that sound “isolationist”?

But we will look for savings and spend our money wisely. In this time of mounting debt, right now we have so much debt that nobody even knows how to address the problem. But I do. No one dollar can be wasted. Not one single dollar can we waste. We’re also going to have to change our trade, immigration and economic policies to make our economy strong again. And to put Americans first again.

But, he says …

I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.

Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.

Fixing our relations with China is another important step — and really toward creating an even more prosperous period of time. China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect.

We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now. Look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. They’re not supposed to be doing it. …

To be militarily strong again, and at the same time try to negotiate better relations with an aggressive Russia and China – is that “contradictory” or is it speaking softly while carrying a big stick? 

I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must only fight to win. …

Our power will be used if others do not play by the rules. In other words, if they do not treat us fairly. Our friends and enemies must know that if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce that line in the sand. Believe me.

My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations. That’s why I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas … We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing

No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same. We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony.  I am skeptical of international unions  … And under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs. …

I will view as president the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. …

The world is most peaceful and most prosperous when America is strongest. America will continue and continue forever to play the role of peacemaker. We will always help save lives and indeed humanity itself, but to play the role, we must make America strong again. … We have to and we will make America great again.

Where are the alleged “inconsistencies”? Where is the “jumble”. (We urge doubters to read the whole speech and tell us if they find any inconsistencies or contradictions that we have overlooked.)

The speech as a whole could be taken as a manifesto of the new Republicanism – what the Republican Party will stand for under the leadership of Donald Trump. He will take the Party forward, but not in the direction it has long wanted to go. It wanted to go, but did not move. He will make both good and bad decisions, as leaders generally do. But he will make them in the interests of a strong and prosperous America, and that is an America that is good for the world.

Commanders forced to follow from in front 1

Questions: Why is the Middle East in flames? Why are rivers of people flooding from the Third World into Europe? Why are millions hungering in squalid refugee camps? Why are jihadis torturing, beheading, burning, burying, drowning men and women and children and making taunting videos of themselves doing it for all the world to see? Why are thousands of women enslaved? Why are young boys being sent to their deaths in suicide vests? Why has Russia annexed a part of the Ukraine? Why has the tyrannical Iranian regime been able to free itself from sanctions and develop nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them to the West? Why has China been able to extend it power with militarized artificial islands in the South China Sea?

Answer: Because Americans elected a know-nothing doctrinaire greenhorn to be its president and the leader of the free world.

Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:

Multiple Secretaries of Defense are complaining about micromanagement from the White House and in particular, the National Security Council. Which means [Susan] Rice.

“It was the operational micromanagement that drove me nuts, of White House and National Security Council staffers calling senior commanders out in the field and asking them questions, of second-guessing commanders,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Bret Baier in a new Fox News special called Rising Threats, Shrinking Military.

Gates’ successor, Leon Panetta, took office in July 2011 and told Baier he had similar concerns with the Obama administration, despite being a long-time Democrat who served as a California congressman for many years and as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.

Panetta complained that the president’s national security council staff had gotten so large and overbearing in recent years, creating massive inefficiency with creating foreign and defense policy.

Chuck Hagel, who replaced Panetta in February 2013, agreed that the size and role of the White House staff during the Obama presidency made it difficult to accomplish tasks and be productive.

“There were always too many meetings and always too many people in the room and too many people talking,” Hagel described. “Especially young, smart 35-year-old PhDs love to talk because that’s the way you let everybody know how smart you are. So there were a lot of reasons those meetings descended into … nonsense and the hard time we had making a decision.”

Hagel focused especially on the inexperience of the president himself and his staff, describing how Obama is “one of the youngest presidents we’ve ever had, one of the most inexperienced presidents we’ve ever had. He has a staff around him that’s very inexperienced. I don’t think there’s one veteran on his senior staff at the White House. I don’t believe there’s one business person. I don’t believe there’s one person who’s ever run anything. Other than Vice President Biden, none of them have ever been elected to anything.”

Hagel added that he is not sure if Obama or his staff ever understood “the tremendous responsibility the United States has … to lead”. 

Gates said he is concerned the president is suspicious of the military. He also said Obama was told by White House personnel during the debate over the war in Afghanistan that the Pentagon was trying to “box him in”, “trap him”,  and “bully him”,  which Gates said was never true.

“But there were clearly a number of people at the White House who believed that,” Gates said.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice imposed a gag order on military leaders over the disputed South China Sea in the weeks running up to the last week’s high-level nuclear summit, according to two defense officials who asked for anonymity to discuss policy deliberations. China’s president, Xi Jinping, attended the summit, held in Washington, and met privately with President Obama. …

The NSC dictum has had a “chilling effect” within the Pentagon that discouraged leaders from talking publicly about the South China Sea at all, even beyond the presidential summit, according to a second defense official familiar with operational planning.

So tensions are heating up. Rice is showing overt hostility to the military. And that’s the attitude emanating from the White House.

Obama has gone through multiple SODs and had bad relations with every single one of them. Including the current one [Ashton Carter] who was targeted by hit pieces from the WH, and whose authority over Gitmo Obama tried to ask Congress to usurp so he could free more terrorists faster. The facts are just impossible to ignore.

Obama made no secret of his contempt for America’s military. For America’s might. For America.

It was so well known that Scandinavians who shared his opinions gave him a Peace Prize when he’d only just begun to warm the desk chair in the Oval Office.

Now the world desperately needs an American leader who will make America great again. 

What of the lame duck? 1

With all the excitement over who will be the next president, the man in the office is getting little or no attention, even from his toadies in the media.

Victor Davis Hanson turns his thoughts to him, and sees him as the lamest of lame ducks.

He writes at PJ Media:

President Obama is boxed in a state of paralysis — more so than typical lame-duck presidents.

His hard-left politics have insidiously eroded the Democratic Party, which has lost both houses of Congress and the vast majority of the state legislatures, state elected offices, and governorships. Obama has redefined the black vote, as a necessary, no-margin-of-error 95% bloc majority to offset his similar creation of an increasingly monolithic 65% bloc white vote. We are no longer individual voters, but, in Chicago-politics style, merely faceless “Latinos”, “Asians”, “African-Americans”, “gays”, “women”, and now “whites”. 

Obama issues a new initiative — and the nation snoozes. He wastes the day on the golf links — and the nation snoozes. He smear his critics, invites a rapper to the White House whose latest album cover has a dead white judge lying in front of the White House — and the nation snoozes. He cozies up to America’s enemies and snubs our friends — and the nation snoozes. For the nth time, he blusters about closing down Guantanamo — and the nation snoozes. He opens the border even wider to welcome in more illegal aliens and future constituents — and the nation snoozes. Lame duckestry means not even being able to wake up your opponents.

There is so far no Obama legacy, except the creation of Donald Trump, a $20 trillion debt and zero interest rates …

Almost every major bureaucracy is awash in scandal or charges of incompetence. The common theme of the disasters at the GSA, EPA, ICE, IRS, NASA, Secret Service, and VA is ideological subversion and ingrained hostility to meritocracy. Would anyone be surprised that another government official pled the 5th, created fake email personas, resigned at 5 PM on a Friday afternoon, declared a foremost mission Muslim outreach, or withheld subpoenaed documents?

Obamacare, borne of rank partisanship and serial mendacity, can survive until 2017 only by bailouts and executive-order manipulations. We now call health care affordable by ignoring the new astronomical deductibles: we pay premiums of $6,000 a year and forget that an annual $4,000 “deductible” ensures no one thinks the real cost is $10,000. Is that a small price to pay to ensure granny has contraceptive coverage?

Americans shrug that Obama has left the world abroad a far scarier place. Libya has been destroyed. We can see in Iraq what Obama would have done to South Korea had he been in Eisenhower’s shoes. Syria’s death toll is nearing Saddam Hussein’s. We gave up our golden special relationship with Israel for one of dross with an Islamist and roundly disliked Turkey that, logically, now dislikes us.

What was astonishing about Obama’s empty red lines that finished off any lingering sense of U.S. credibility and deterrence in the Middle East was that after issuing such threats and then ignoring them, Obama then blamed the UN and the U.S. Congress for setting them!

But then again, he blamed congressional Republicans for opposing the Iran deal and compared House members to Iranian theocrat hardliners, in a way his team earlier had compared them to suicide bombers. …

In a tragic sort of way, Obama has reminded us how savage is human nature, by demonstrating that a vicious thug like Putin won more of an amoral world’s respect for his savagery than a whining Obama earned pity for his diffidence.

While the Middle East is aflame, China is marking out new atolls to control, like toll pirates of the 17th century, European-Asian sea traffic. Russia is eyeing neighbors, unsure only whether gratuitously embarrassing Obama is worth the hassle of another annexation. Is the solution to global tensions really a trip to Cuba or shutting down Guantanamo by executive order? When Castro soon harangues Obama in Havana for his country’ sins, will he, as he did after Daniel Ortega’s April 2009 dressing down in Trinidad, sheepishly reply with, “I’m grateful that President Castro did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old”?

Obama cannot address the massive debt he has run up. He cannot address entitlement reform. He has neither the imagination to offer solutions, nor the disposition to share accomplishment with any other than himself — even if he had the political clout to compromise and reach consensus.

For the next nine months the Obama presidency will be mostly teeth-gnashing and petulance. He will offer executive orders and do his best to incite division and rancor from a somnolent public, the more the better to please his hard-core base, and to pave the way for a lucrative (and iconic) post-presidency among leftwing foundations, universities, non-profits, foreign governments, sports, Hollywood, Goldman Sachs progressives, and the media.

But at least Obama … transformed racial relations? Not really. Perhaps no single individual has done more to erode racial reconciliation than did Barack Obama. The racialism of the 2008 campaign — the nativist clingers of Pennsylvania, his “typical white person” grandmother who did so much to ensure his own upper-middle-class prep-school existence, the savage anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism of consigliore Rev. “audacity of hope” Wright, the childish calls to “get in their faces” and “bring a gun to a knife fight” – really was the foundation for the next eight years of Trayvon Martin as the lost Obama son, the Ferguson mythologies, racism explains all opposition to Obama, the beer summit, “punish our enemies”, and Eric Holder’s “nation of cowards” and “my people”. 

Obama’s racial legacy is the strange phenomenon of whiny, wealthy black elites — whether a Skip Gates, Spike Lee, Melissa Harris-Perry, Will Smith, or Chris Rock — acting hurt and oppressed if rewards to elites such as themselves are not doled out on the basis of racial percentages. … America is now supposed to work on a strict 13 percent racial spoils system, everywhere except in non-disparate impact professional sports or federal employment. …

Cairo-speech mythohistories pass for foreign policy. Euphemisms about terrorism only empower radical Islam. The mythologies of Ferguson are canonized at the UN. All that can be said for all this and more is that our enemies were put off guard and confused that a president of the United States seemed so intent on deprecating his own country and traditions, and thus could think Obama’s sermonizing might really be some elaborate hoax, con, or Trojan Horse.

Nothing in the last eight years is sustainable or can be emulated.

Race relations will change after Obama for the simple reason that if they were to continue on his segregationist trajectory we would quite soon end up like Bosnia or Beirut.

Fiscal policy will change, because if we followed Obama’s all “by his lonesome” Bank of China credit-card binge borrowing of another $10 trillion in the next eight years, the country would implode.

Monetary policy will change because eight more years of zero interest would wipe out the age-old idea of the wisdom of saving money altogether. Government policy will change because the bureaucracy cannot endure legions of more Lois Lerners, Lisa Jacksons, Kathleen Sebeliuses, Hilda Solises, or Eric Holders.

Health care will change after Obama, because if Obamacare were to persist, the entire country would turn to cash-only concierge medicine.

Foreign policy will change after Obama, because to persist with his policies would lead to four or five major theater wars, a nuclear Middle East, Russia in the Baltic states, and Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan as client states of China.

Immigration will change, because to follow Obama’s open borders policy is to arbitrarily declare federal law null and void, and to establish the roots of a new third world country, neither American nor Mexican, along the border, but inside the United States.

The media will change after Obama because it is about to be enshrined as an embarrassing government Ministry of Truth. It cannot again proclaim that the next president is the smartest person in the history of the presidency, a veritable god, a wizard that can lower the seas and cool the planet or send tingles down our legs or make us wish to press our pants just like the commander in chief. At some point, journalists will get back to sniping that the next president should know that there are not 57 states, that “corpseman” is not the proper pronunciation, that the trilled politically correct name for the Falklands is not the Maldives, and that presidents do not normally make fun of the Special Olympics.

We are witnessing the lamest of the lame-duck presidencies, with the power neither to act nor inspire — nor even to shock or surprise. 

Older Posts »