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Obamacare will be repealed?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.
“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.
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!
This is a picture of people living under Democratic Socialism in Venezuela lining up for a ration of price-controlled toilet paper:
Under the heading For Venezuela, The End Is Near. Someone Tell Bernie!, John Hinderaker writes at PowerLine:
Venezuela’s disastrous experiment with socialism is nearing its inevitable end. The Financial Times has the numbers:
The year 2015 was an annus horribilis in Venezuela with a 10 per cent decline in gross domestic product, following a 4 per cent fall in 2014. Inflation reached over 200 per cent. The fiscal deficit ballooned to 20 per cent of GDP, funded mainly by the printing press.
In the free market, the bolivar has lost 92 per cent of its value in the past 24 months, with the dollar costing 150 times the official rate: the largest exchange rate differential ever registered. Shortages and long queues in the shops have made daily life very difficult.
That’s putting it mildly. Imagine there’s no toilet paper, as John Lennon once sang. Or should have, anyway.
As bad as these numbers are, 2016 looks dramatically worse. Imports, which had already been compressed by 20 per cent in 2015 to $37bn, would have to fall by over 40 per cent, even if the country stopped servicing its debt.
President Maduro’s socialist government apparently has no strategy to deal with the impending catastrophe. It shapes up as one of the most appalling economic and fiscal collapses in world history.
With a dying economy come disorder and violence. Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, now has the highest murder rate in the world. Obviously they need stricter gun control! No, wait…
So Chavez’s and Maduro’s blaming of “wreckers” and “saboteurs”, even as they themselves destroyed their country’s economy, did no good whatsoever. Bernie Sanders’s railing against Wall Street would be equally effective. Could someone please mention to Bernie that socialism has been tried? Many times? Maybe one of those “reporter” people I’ve heard of could ask him about it.
Monica Showalter, writing at Investor’s Business Daily on the rival but similar socialist programs of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, gives this picture of a country where the policies both of them favor have been put into practice:
Amid all the free stuff, bankruptcy and shortages have come, the miserable process of “running out of other people’s money” as Lady Thatcher put it.
Standing in line for basic goods as Cubans do occupies the lives of millions of Venezuelans.
Some are clubbed to death as goods are fought over.
Young people prefer drug-dealing to college, given the absent opportunities for advancement.
Prisoners eat cat meat.
Corruption is rampant and central planning mismanagement ensures that food rots on the docks.
Hospitals are crumbling from shortages, with vital cancer and hemophilia medication unavailable. Maternity wards are overrun by filthy opossums — killing dozens of newborns as they spread disease.
With the focus on putting dissidents in prison, crime has overrun the country — with even a Miss Venezuela slain.
Family tombs are broken into and robbed of bones.
The scale of the horror, from birth to death in what Chavez called a socialist “sea of happiness” is unspeakable, and thousands of educated Venezuelans are fleeing.
“Liberation theology” is the child of the incestuous marriage of Christianity and its secular offspring, Marxism.
Reports from the Vatican suggest that Pope Francis is warming to it – a volte-face of Papal policy towards it ever since its birth in South America in the middle of the last century. This report comes from the left-leaning Guardian:
For decades, Gustavo Gutiérrez, a Peruvian theologian and Dominican priest, was treated with suspicion and even contempt by the Vatican’s hierarchy, which saw him as a dangerous Marxist firebrand who used faith as an instrument of revolution. …
Which is exactly what he was and what he did.
But when the 86-year-old Peruvian arrives in Rome this week as a key speaker at a Vatican event, he will be welcomed as a guest, in a striking show of how Pope Francis – the first Latin American pontiff – has brought tenets of this sometimes controversial movement to the fore of his church, particularly in his pronouncements against the blight of poverty and the dangers of capitalism.
He has not noticed that only capitalism raises people by the million from poverty.
In its height in the late 1960s and 1970s, liberation theology– a distinctly Latin American movement – preached that it was not enough for the church to simply empathise and care for the poor. Instead, believers said, the church needed to be a vehicle to push for fundamental political and structural changes that would eradicate poverty, even – some believed – if it meant supporting armed struggle against oppressors.
In Nicaragua, priests inspired by liberation theology took an active part in the 1979 Sandinista revolution against Anastasio Somoza’s rightwing dictatorship. The philosophy also influenced leftist rebels in Mexico and Colombia, where one of the main guerrilla factions was led for nearly 30 years by a defrocked Spanish priest, Manuel Pérez. …
“He [the present Pope] was very critical of the liberal Marxist version of liberation theology,” said Austen Ivereigh, who has written a biography of Pope Francis. “At that time, you had leftwing movements in Latin America but in fact these were middle-class movements, which he believed used the poor as instruments. He had a phrase he used – that they were for the people but never with them.”
But since his election as pontiff in 2013, Pope Francis’s insistence that the church be “for the poor”, and his pointed criticisms of capitalism and consumerism have gone a long way to rehabilitate the liberation theology movement and incorporate it within the church. Experts point, too, to Francis’s decision to name Oscar Romero, the iconic Salvadoran archbishop who was assassinated by rightwing death squads in 1980, as a martyr as another sign of the resurgence in liberation theology…
The Vatican itself has not formally embraced liberation theology. Even xc himself has denied that his appointment as prefect by Pope Francis – which was seen in some circles as a triumph of liberation theology because of Müller’s relationship with Gutiérrez – represented the “opening of a new chapter” following the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict.
Liberation theology was invented, named, and funded by the KGB, according to one of its defecting agents. Damien Thompson reports – and comments with some skepticism which we do not share – in the (UK) Spectator:
The respected Catholic News Agency has published an interview with Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former general in Romania’s secret police who was one of the Eastern Bloc’s highest-ranking defectors in the 1970s. In it, he says that the Soviet Union – and the KGB in particular – created liberation theology, the quasi-Marxist movement that flourished in Latin America from the 1960s to the 1990s and is still a powerful influence on the Catholic Left.
The interview provides fresh evidence of the infiltration of liberation theology by Russia – a subject Catholic liberals would much rather not discuss, just as they don’t want to know about the heavy Soviet investment in CND (the British campaign for nuclear disarmament). …
I don’t believe that the KGB ‘created’ a movement as complex as liberation theology and I’m far from convinced that its name was dreamt up in the Lubyanka.
But Pacepa … makes detailed claims that the Soviets kick-started, funded and moulded liberation theology … He cites as one of his sources Aleksandr Sakharovsky, the Russian agent who set up Romania’s secret police agency. Pacepa describes him as his ‘de facto boss’ in the 1950s. Sakharovsky later became head of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB.
Here are the key quotes from the interview:
The birth of Liberation Theology was the intent of a 1960 super-secret “Party-State Dezinformatsiya Programme” approved by Aleksandr Shelepin, the chairman of the KGB, and by Politburo member Aleksey Kirichenko, who coordinated the Communist Party’s international policies. This programme demanded that the KGB take secret control of the World Council of Churches (WCC), based in Geneva, Switzerland, and use it as cover for converting Liberation Theology into a South American revolutionary tool …
The KGB began by building an intermediate international religious organization called the Christian Peace Conference (CPC), which was headquartered in Prague. Its main task was to bring the KGB-created Liberation Theology into the real world.
The new Christian Peace Conference was managed by the KGB and was subordinated to the venerable World Peace Council, another KGB creation, founded in 1949 and by then also headquartered in Prague …
During my years at the top of the Soviet bloc intelligence community I managed the Romanian operations of the World Peace Council (WPC). It was as purely KGB as it gets. Most of the WPC’s employees were undercover Soviet bloc intelligence officers … Even the money for the WPC budget came from Moscow, delivered by the KGB in the form of laundered cash dollars to hide their Soviet origin. In 1989, when the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, the WPC publicly admitted that 90 per cent of its money came from the KGB.
And now the bit that will really wind up Catholic liberals:
I [Pacepa] was not involved in the creation of Liberation Theology per se. From Sakharovsky I learned, however, that in 1968 the KGB-created Christian Peace Conference, supported by the world-wide World Peace Council, was able to manoeuvre a group of leftist South American bishops into holding a Conference of Latin American Bishops at Medellin, Colombia. The Conference’s official task was to ameliorate poverty. Its undeclared goal was to recognise a new religious movement …
True to the chief pretense of each parent, the priests of both the South American Church and the Kremlin claimed that the intention of liberation theology was to stand with the poor and oppressed. Its theologians declared that the cause of all poverty and oppression is capitalism, and Christians must work to replace capitalism with socialism.
The man whom Pope Francis is now welcoming to the Vatican, Gustavo Gutierrez of Peru, wrote in his book A Theology of Liberation: “The goal is not only better living conditions, a radical change if structures, a social revolution; it is much more: the continuous creation, never ending, of a new way to be a man. A permanent cultural revolution.” Gutierrez struggles manfully through some 300 pages to reconcile the Christian idea of salvation of the individual soul and its reward in heavenly bliss, with the Marxist insistence on collective salvation through revolution and the reward of an egalitarian society on this earth. He does not succeed. Whether he is aware of it or not, the Christian idea is totally overwhelmed and replaced by the Marxist idea. Liberation theology takes more after one parent than the other.
Liberation theology allowed the numerous leftist revolutionary organizations that arose in the last century in South and Central America (Argentina, Peru, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatamala, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, Venezuela, Bolivia)*to claim religious vindication, and carried the blessings of the revolutionary priests when they – the terrorists -went about their savage business of murder.
Pope Francis’s understanding that the South American liberation movements were “middle class”, was not unfounded. Intellectuals – priests and writers – not only inspired them, but led them. Three bibles of the liberation theology movement are:
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire
- For the Liberation of Brazil, by Carlos Marighela
- Love in Practice: The Gospel in Solentiname, by Ernesto Cardenal
The most enlightening descriptions of what actually happened in a central American country when terrorist insurrectionists, inspired by liberation theology, clashed with a government and its military, are to be found in Sweet Waist of America: Journeys Around Guatamala, by Anthony Daniels. Although the author is uncompromising in his condemnation of the rebels and their methods, he also indicts the government and its forces. Both sides committed atrocities.
*** A list of the “guerrilla movements” in these countries can be found here.
Obama has sent a message to Iran that the best way to secure a deal is by wrapping it in an American hostage. He has told ISIS that we do negotiate with terrorists. And he has once again demonstrated that his vaunted “smart power” is nothing more than appeasement wrapped in excuses and lies.
We quote Daniel Greenfield writing at Front Page about President Obama’s decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba:
Carter couldn’t save the Soviet Union, but he did his best to save Castro, visiting Fidel and Raul in Cuba where the second worst president in American history described his meeting with Castro as a greeting among “old friends”.
Raul Castro called Carter “the best of all U.S. presidents”.
Obama’s dirty deal with Raul will make the worst president in American history, Castro’s new best friend.
Carter couldn’t save Castro, but Obama did. This was not a prisoner exchange. This was a Communist bailout.
Obama boasted that he would increase the flow of money to Cuba from businesses, from bank accounts and from trade. When he said, “We’re significantly increasing the amount of money that can be sent to Cuba”, that was his real mission statement.
The Castro regime is on its last legs. Its sponsors in Moscow and Caracas are going bankrupt due to failing energy prices. The last hope of the Butcher of Havana was a bailout from Washington D.C.
And that’s exactly what Obama gave him.
Obama has protected the Castros from regime change as if Communist dictators are an endangered species. …
Obama began his Castro speech with a lie, declaring, “The United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba.”
The Cuban people have no relationship with the United States because they have no free elections and no say in how they are governed. The only Cubans who have a relationship with the United States fled here on rafts.
Obama did not make his dirty deal with the Cuban people. He made it in a marathon phone call with the Cuban dictator.
When Obama claims that his deal with Raul Castro represents a new relationship with the people of Cuba, he is endorsing a Communist dictatorship as the legitimate representative of the Cuban people.
This is a retroactive endorsement of the Castro regime and its entire history of mass murder and political terror. Obama is not trying to “open up” Cuba as he claimed. He likes Cuba just the way it is; Communist and closed.
Obama did not consult the Cuban people, just as he did not consult the American people. He disregarded the embargo, Congress, the Constitution and the freedom of the Cuban people.
His dictatorial disregard of the embargo, which can only be eliminated by Congress, in order to support a dictatorship, is a disturbing reminder that the road he is walking down leads to a miserable tyranny.
Cuban-American senators from both parties have been unanimous in condemning the move. These senators are the closest thing to Cuban elected officials. But Obama disregarded Senator Menendez, a man of his own party, Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz.
Instead Obama chose to stand with Raul Castro and his Communist dictatorship.
Obama tried to whitewash his crime by exploiting Alan Gross, a USAID contractor who was imprisoned and abused by the Castro regime, as if the release of an American hostage justified helping the men holding him hostage stay in power. And the media, which was reprinting Castro’s propaganda claiming that Gross’ imprisonment was justified, is busy now pretending that it cares about his release. …
The blood money pouring out of American banks into the Castro regime will encourage other dictatorships to take Americans hostage as leverage for obtaining concessions from the United States. Americans abroad will suffer for Obama’s dirty deal.
No European country recognized ISIS in exchange for the release of hostages. Only Obama was willing to go that far with Cuba, not only opening diplomatic and economic relations, but promising to remove the Communist dictatorship from the list of state sponsors of terror despite the fact that the last State Department review found that Cuba continued to support the leftist narco-terrorists of FARC [The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia].
FARC had taken its own American hostages who were starved and beaten, tortured and abused.
Now Obama has given in to the demand of a state sponsor of terror to be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism in exchange for releasing a hostage. …
But Obama did not act to help Alan Gross. He did not even act because he genuinely thought that diplomatic relations would open up Cuba. In his speech, Obama used the claim commonly put forward by Castro apologists that the very fact that the Castros were still in power proved that sanctions had failed. Yet the lack of sanctions against Cuba by the rest of the world certainly did not usher in the new spirit of openness that Obama is promising.
Rewarding dictators with cash never frees a nation.
This embrace by Obama of the Communist totalitarians who rule Cuba was always on the cards, from the moment he was elected. Obama was raised to be a Communist. It’s plain to all but those who will not see that he likes Communism.
Obama is speeding up action on his agenda, to implement as much of it as he can while he is still in power. Over the next two years, unless Congress and the Supreme Court find ways to stop him, he will continue to prop up Communist regimes; advance the Islamic jihad; facilitate the annihilation of Israel; change the demographics of the United States by bringing in millions of uneducated proletarians from Latin America; and dissolve the borders of the country he was elected to defend.
All this is in accordance with well established Leftist doctrine. The ultimate aim is the abolition of the nation-state and the establishment of world Communist government.
Every day the evidence that America elected its own worst enemy to lead it mounts up. And still most Americans refuse to see it.
Despite all President Obama’s efforts to prevent it, the US is winning the oil game. Because no human force is stronger than the market.
The knuckleheads of the Left love to hurl the accusation in the faces of conservatives that the presidents Bush “only went to war against Iraq because of oil”. (As if they themselves would never think of driving a gas-fueled car – or would be perfectly content not to.)
The accusation is not true. But perhaps the US should have gone to war against one or more Middle Eastern powers “because of oil”.
Oil is a very good reason to go to war. Would have been, when the Saudis had OPEC hyping the oil price in 1973. The results for the US and Western Europe were dire.
This is from Wikipedia:
In October 1973, OPEC declared an oil embargo in response to the United States’ and Western Europe’s support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The result was a rise in oil prices from $3 per barrel to $12 and the commencement of gas rationing. Other factors in the rise in gasoline prices included a market and consumer panic reaction, the peak of oil production in the United States around 1970 and the devaluation of the U.S. dollar. U.S. gas stations put a limit on the amount of gasoline that could be dispensed, closed on Sundays, and limited the days gasoline could be purchased based on license plates.
Even after the embargo concluded, prices continued to rise. The Oil Embargo of 1973 had a lasting effect on the United States. The Federal government got involved first with President Richard Nixon recommending citizens reduce their speed for the sake of conservation, and later Congress issuing a 55 mph limit at the end of 1973. Daylight savings time was extended year round to reduce electrical use in the American home. Smaller, more fuel efficient cars were manufactured. Nixon also formed the Energy Department as a cabinet office. People were asked to decrease their thermostats to 65 degrees and factories changed their main energy supply to coal.
One of the most lasting effects of the 1973 oil embargo was a global economic recession. Unemployment rose to the highest percentage on record while inflation also spiked. Consumer interest in large gas guzzling vehicles fell and production dropped. Although the embargo only lasted a year, during that time oil prices had quadrupled and OPEC nations discovered that their oil could be used as both a political and economic weapon against other nations.
War then would have been a far better answer to the Saudis than meek acceptance buttered with sycophancy.
War and drilling. Drilling wherever there was oil in America and off-shore. Including Alaska. Ignoring the Environmentalists with their philosophy of impoverishment.
Now all is changing. The US is becoming the biggest oil producer in the world. The Saudis and the other Middle Eastern tyrannies have no resource other than the oil discovered under their ground and developed into riches for them, by the infidel. And now they are losing it.
They, and all the evil powers that have wielded oil as a weapon, are taking desperate measures. Which will fail.
This is from Investor’s Business Daily:
With Saudi Arabia ramping up oil production, prices are tumbling, and the world’s petrotyrants — Iran, Russia and Venezuela — are taking a hit. Seems the old high-price, low-production tactic isn’t foolproof.
The Saudis don’t seem to be interested in budging. As prices fell to $83 a barrel for November-delivery crude, they’ve ramped up production even as others call on them to stop.
The first call came from fiscal shambles Venezuela, for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC] for a production hike. They were coldly rebuffed.
And on Tuesday, Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal — a Saudi entrepreneur with a lot of non-oil money who sometimes plays gadfly to the regime — warned that the kingdom would fail to balance its own budget if oil prices went below $80. But he, too, was rebuffed.
It all may be because Saudi Arabia has a strategic need to check Iran over its nuclear program and financing of Islamic State terror and to discipline Russia for its support for the Assad regime in Syria.
It’s also almost certainly a response to the great shale revolution in the U.S., which has slashed U.S. dependency on oil exports to 20% from 60% a decade ago.
A Chilean-based entrepreneur told IBD last year that the greatest fear of Saudi Arabia’s king was America’s shale revolution, which was cutting into Saudi’s role as the world’s swing producer of oil.
However it spills out, the Saudi move to raise production may be the most dramatic move to shake events since President Reagan forced the bankruptcy of the Soviet empire by … asking the Saudis to raise production, which they did.
With this most recent move, the petrotyranny model of using oil as a weapon against smaller neighbors and the U.S. is effectively dead. Over the past decade, all of the states that have staked their futures on the power of oil have effectively burned their bridges to other models for building their economies.
When Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez took over in 1998, he scrapped that nation’s high-production, low-price, high-market-share strategy. In its place came a “model” based on high prices for consumers, low output and the expropriation of state oil company profits to pay for bigger government and an expansive welfare state, leaving the company without investment.
Foreign oil properties were also expropriated, including Exxon Mobil’s in 2007. It provided a short-term boost but left the country one of the most unattractive in the world for foreign investment and capital.
Russia, meanwhile, adopted a somewhat similar strategy after its 1998 crash. It focused on becoming a petropower, much to the detriment of the rest of the economy.
Today, more than three-quarters of Russia’s economy is oil-based, leaving it dependent on high oil prices with no balance from other sectors and wasting its most valuable asset: a well-educated workforce.
Instead of diversifying, Russia used energy as a weapon, repeatedly cutting off Ukraine’s natural gas supplies since 2009 in a bid to force its neighbor to toe the Moscow line, as well as to “Finlandize” its eastern and central European neighbors into fearing more energy cutoffs.
Then there’s Iran, whose illegal nuclear program has enjoyed soggy indifference in Europe based on the region’s dependence on Iranian oil.
These three troublemakers share one thing in common: a strategy of high oil prices and low production, plus a willingness to interfere with markets to make them into power games.
But as it turns out, that strategy was another kind of dependency. And the Saudis, egged on by the shale revolution, have just ended it.
Market manipulation is peculiar. In 1998, the Saudis tried to cut output to keep crude prices from falling further. It didn’t work. From that, they learned a valuable right lesson: Nothing is bigger than market forces.
Now, the world’s remaining petrotyrants are about to be schooled as well.
Time for a little quiet celebration. And it doesn’t have to be only a little or very quiet.
Let us crow.
Remember Tony Blair? He was Prime Minister of Great Britain in President G.W. Bush’s era.
Well, he’s found out that Islam is a threat.
Muslim immigrants poured into Britain under his watch. But suddenly he’s discovered that it was a bad idea.
The Clarion Project reports:
Tony Blair, the Former British Prime Minister, delivered a keynote speech at Bloomberg HQ in London entitled Why the Middle East Still Matters. In it he described radical Islam as the greatest threat facing the world today.
He specifies “radical Islam”, and speaks of “Islamism”, so evading the stark fact that there is only one Islam, and that it is Islam per se that is the greatest threat facing the world today. Its armies are actively waging the jihad by terrorist tactics.
Islam is not a race or a nation. It is an ideology. But like a nation, when it goes to war, its armed forces do the fighting, not everyone born into it or adopting it.
Blair is not a clear – let alone a deep – thinker. But he has at last come to an understanding that the non-Islamic world is under attack by Islam:
Wherever you look – from Iraq to Libya to Egypt to Yemen to Lebanon to Syria and then further afield to Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan – this is the essential battle.
Addressing those who regard these conflicts as distinct he said:
There is something frankly odd about the reluctance to accept what is so utterly plain: that they have in common a struggle around the issue of the rightful place of religion, and in particular Islam, in politics.
Not a good way of putting it. No Reagan-like plain speaking, let alone any felicitous Churchillian phrasing.
Yes, in all those countries Muslims fighting the Islamic jihad are engaged in the same “struggle”. But it would be hard to find a jihadi who would say that his “strugge” is “around the issue of the rightful place of religion, in particular Islam, in politics”.
Blair means that they are fighting a religious war, and he doesn’t think that religion should be a political issue. Religion has a “rightful place”, and it is not on a battlefield. He seems to have the thought swimming round in the shallows of his mind that religious wars are not the thing nowadays; that wars are fought in modern times over up-to-date political differences. (And that implies that he doesn’t see Nazism and Communism as the religions they most certainly are.)
He does see that the war is global.
He argued that this struggle does not end at the borders of the region. Rather, “The reason this matters so much is that this ideology is exported around the world.”
He asked listeners to “Take a step back and analyze the world today: with the possible exception of Latin America (leaving aside Hezbollah in the tri-border area in South America), there is not a region of the world not adversely affected by Islamism and the ideology is growing.”
Bravo, Blair! You have seen that the battle is also being fought by immigration, propaganda, and intense proselytizing:
He notes that:
The Muslim population in Europe is now over 40million and growing. The Muslim Brotherhood and other organizations are increasingly active and they operate without much investigation or constraint. Recent controversy over schools in Birmingham (and similar allegations in France) show heightened levels of concern about Islamist penetration of our own societies.
He gets better still:
The main thrust of the speech focused on “two fascinating things.”
The first is the absolutely rooted desire on the part of Western commentators to analyze these issues as disparate rather than united by common elements. They go to extraordinary lengths to say why, in every individual case, there are multiple reasons for understanding that this is not really about Islam, it is not really about religion; there are local or historic reasons which explain what is happening. There is a wish to eliminate the obvious common factor in a way that is almost wilful. …
The second thing is that there is a deep desire to separate the political ideology represented by groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood from the actions of extremists including acts of terrorism.
He acknowledged the motivation behind these fears, saying “We feel almost that if we identify it in these terms, we’re being anti-Muslim, a sentiment on which the Islamists cleverly play.”
And then he gets almost very good:
Blair swept these distinctions aside, acknowledging the laudable motives behind such interpretations, but ultimately pinpointing the profound danger posed by the Islamist ideology, and that it is fundamentally incompatible with the modern world.
He urged the West and indeed the entire world, to unite against the ideology Islamic extremism.
It’s a speech that may help to wake up European leaders. Though it has its weakness, and the columnist Douglas Murray, clear-sighted as always, put his finger on it:
Douglas Murray argued in the Spectator that Blair went too far in his efforts to brand Islamism as disconnected from Islam and called on moderate Muslims to help combat radicalism by driving extremists from their communities.
Blair came on to suggesting what might be done about the profound danger he’d identified:
Blair outlined potential foreign policy options for the West vis-a-vis various Middle Eastern countries in order to combat Islamists and to support religiously open and tolerant elements.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any – there cannot be any – “open and tolerant elements” among Muslims. Unless they are Muslims-in-name-only. (MINOs?)
In particular he focused on Egypt saying:
On the fate of Egypt hangs the future of the region. Here we have to understand plainly what happened. The Muslim Brotherhood government was not simply a bad government. It was systematically taking over the traditions and institutions of the country. The revolt of 30 June 2013 was not an ordinary protest. It was the absolutely necessary rescue of a nation.
All of these different policies are facets of the same policy:
Across the region we should be standing steadfast by our friends and allies as they try to change their own countries in the direction of reform. Whether in Jordan or the Gulf where they’re promoting the values of religious tolerance and open, rule based economies, or taking on the forces of reaction in the shape of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, we should be supporting and assisting them.
Hmm. Right about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt having to be overthrown. Wrong about the West having friends and allies among Arab and other Muslim countries. None want reform of a kind that would turn them into reliable friends and allies.
Perhaps this statement by Blair sums up the message of his keynote speech best: “When we consider the defining challenges of our time, surely this one should be up there along with the challenge of the environment or economic instability.”
It’s his saying “up there with the challenge of the environment” that shows how his mind is still murky with leftist pollution. But for a leftist to put Islam “up there” with climate change is an admirable advance. He deserves loud and quite long applause. Even more so if his speech encourages other European politicians to start facing the truth: that war is being waged on their countries by the barbarous hordes of Islam.
The Clarion Project does not report the last paragraph of the speech. Blair ended with this:
Consider for a moment since 9/11 how our world has changed, how in a myriad of different ways from the security measures we now take for granted to the arenas of conflict that have now continued over a span of years, there is a price being paid in money, life and opportunity for millions. This is not a conventional war. It isn’t a struggle between super powers or over territory. But it is real. It is fearsome in its impact. It is growing in its reach. It is a battle about belief and about modernity. It is important because the world through technology and globalisation is pushing us together across boundaries of faith and culture. Unaddressed, the likelihood of conflict increases.
Applause, applause. But then:
Engagement does not always mean military involvement. Commitment does not mean going it alone. But it does mean stirring ourselves. It does mean seeing the struggle for what it is. It does mean taking a side and sticking with it.
While it is true that military engagement alone won’t stop Islam’s subjugation of the West, and that the West needs to stir itself, and that every European country should side against Islam, if there is going to be reluctance to use military force at all, the war will be much harder to win. Perhaps he knows this, but feels it necessary to acknowledge – as he does – that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken away the West’s appetite for war.
The full text of the speech can be found here. Those who read it will find that Blair erroneously believes – or at least says – that Islam has a “true message” which “Islamists” distort. And that he praises Secretary of State John Kerry for his (absurd) attempt at yet another Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” and thinks his “commitment has not been in vain”. (It has been, and could not have been anything else.)
So – two cheers for Mr Blair. And let’s hope his speech stirs up the dhimmis of Europe to start resisting the onslaught of Islam.