Perpetual war? 0

In authorizing limited strikes on Syria, Congress may inadvertently give its stamp of approval to an ideological revolution in the use of U.S. power. Our military can’t and shouldn’t be a global genocide watchdog.

So an Investor’s Business Daily editorial plausibly warns.  It goes on, in part:

Obama’s pointless intervention in Syria could be a blueprint for a new leftist foreign policy, long championed by his new U.N. ambassador, Samantha Power, in which America intervenes not to defend its strategic interests but to avenge victims of bloodthirsty thugs.

This comic-book internationalism would keep the world’s lone superpower busier than Superman.

Where do America’s armed forces go first to “change the course of mighty rivers and bend steel with their bare hands”? Zimbabwe, where Mugabe has tortured thousands? Nuclear-armed North Korea, the slave state where, under Kim Jong-un, over 40% of young children are seriously malnourished?

Or how about the mass murderers you’ve never heard of? Under Isaias Afewerki, in power for over two decades in Eritrea in northeast coastal Africa, thousands of young refugees have fled slavery-like indefinite national service — enforced by a shoot-to-kill policy — and government-tolerated human trafficking for sex and even organ extraction.

Over his quarter century in power, Sudan’s Omar Bashir has killed hundreds of thousands; thousands are being tortured today in Islam Karimov’s Uzbekistan, as tens of millions starve in Thein Sein’s Burma. …

We could add most other countries to the list. Only a minority of the world’s nation states are genuinely free democracies. (According to Freedom House’s 1973 through 2013 reports: Free, 90; Partly Free 58; Not Free 47.)

[Samantha] Power complains of “America’s toleration of unspeakable atrocities, often committed in clear view”, of Hutus slaughtering Tutsis, for instance. But America can no more save each of the world’s billions than it can give each of them green cards.

It is an extraordinarily ill thought-out idea, even for the ignorant and foolish people who now form the executive branch of the US government.

If it becomes policy for America to barge into every country that acts in a way a US administration dislikes, and if such a policy is implemented, it will mean that America will be engaged in perpetual war. Nation states will not allow invasion by self-appointed policemen or nannies in US military uniform to march in and take over. Or to subdue them with drones or missiles and then issue orders in conformity with American notions of human rights. They will defend themselves. There will be blood. There will be “collateral damage”.

It would take a Nobel Peace Prize winner to cause such global chaos.

No responsibility to report 1

Just how phony the claim is (put out by Obama and his henchwomen*) that the Libyan engagement is all about the “responsibility to protect” civilians, is demonstrated by this report published two days ago on July 18, 2011, by Asia News – and nowhere in the West:

Benghazi-based rebels took Brega over night. The town, which is 740 km east of Tripoli, is the country’s main oil hub. The National Transitional Council (NTC) called the fall of the city its greatest victory since the war against Gaddafi began. However, doubts remain about rebel intentions. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused them of retaliatory violence against pro-Gaddafi regime civilians. … HRW said rebels looted and torched homes in towns that had fallen under NTC control. In villages south of Tripoli, Gaddafi loyalists were beaten, their houses set on fire.

We have little respect for Human Rights Watch having observed their frequent incapacity or reluctance to tell the truth, but in this case their accusation is backed up by another source:

Tiziana Gamannossi, an Italian businesswoman in Tripoli, told AsiaNews that the rebels’ push is causing fear in the civilian population. …

In her view, NATO is funding and arming violent groups that lack any training or code of honour. …

For Gamannossi, a war that was launched to defend civilians is absurd. The latter watch powerless as their cities and country are torn down amid the silence of western media.

“These days, hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated against NATO in Tripoli, Zliten, Ajaylat and Sabha, demanding an end to the air strikes. No newspaper has given such news much importance, calling the protests ‘ demonstrations funded by the regime’.”

Last week the 30-member contact group on Libya, including the United States, China and Russia, “formally recognised the NTC as the sole representative of the Libyan people. This will give the council access to about US$200 billion in Libyan government assets held in foreign banks to fund the rebel advance.”

What makes this contact group expect that the people leading the National Transitional Council will be any better for Libyans, or for other states to deal with, than Gaddafi has been?

The answer is, absolutely nothing. They may even be worse.

 

* Samantha Power, Senior Director of Multilateral Affairs, National Security Council;  Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN;  Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State.  See our post A siren song from hell, April 1, 2011.

 

The deceptive report used to justify Obamacare 0

The UN’s “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine (see our posts A siren song from hell, April 1, 2011; and The danger of R2P, March 23, 2011), in the name of which Obama has taken America into a third war on a Muslim enemy while insisting it is all for the good of the Muslims populations as a whole, is an extension, a perversion, and potentially a contradiction of the real responsibility to protect, which is the most important duty of the national government of every nation-state.

The chief reason to have a national government is that it’s the only or best institution for protecting the nation from foreign enemies, and every individual from harm by others to his or her person and property. That it can effect such protection is the chief virtue of the nation-state, a reason why nation-states are necessary and – if not ruled by oppressive despots – essentially good.

To interpret R2P as a high moral pretext for allowing a bunch of communist and/or Islamic nations to manipulate America and other strongly armed Western nations into using military force against states they dislike, is to take away its purpose by depriving the nation-state of its defensive power, the very thing the “responsibility to protect” needed, and so to render every state vulnerable to conspiring enemies.

The sinister purpose behind the re-interpreting maneuver is to establish “world governance” by turning the corrupt, hypocritical, worse-than-useless United Nation Organization into an institution of world government.

To achieve this collectivist end, cabals of collectivist powers, organizations, and individuals have tried a series of ploys.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and all that followed from it, was one. They hoped that they could convince governments, through heavily propagandized public opinion, that the only way to save the earth from the catastrophic man-made global warming they invented, was to hand over power to the UN, which would set about redistributing wealth equally among the  nations, thus crippling the developed world where the liberty they loathe still prevails.

Another ploy, not as widely known or as dramatic in its immediate effects as IPCC and R2P, was the World Health Report 2000, put out by the World Health Organization (WHO).

There is an excellent article about it, by Professor Scott W. Atlas in the April 2011 issue of  Commentary magazine, on which we have drawn for the following information, analysis, and comment:

[The Report’s] most  most notorious finding – that the United States ranked a disastrous 37th out of the world’s nations in “overall performance” – provided Barack Obama’s transformative health-care legislation with a data-driven argument for swift and drastic reform, particularly in the light of the fact that the U.S. spends more on health than any other nation.

Professor Scott proceeds to demonstrate that –

In fact, World Health Report 2000 was an intellectual fraud of historic consequence – a profoundly deceptive document that is only marginally a measure of of health-care performance at all. The report’s true achievement was to rank countries according to their alignment with a specific political and economic ideal – socialized medicine – and then claim it was an objective measure of “quality”. … It sought not to measure performance but something else.

That “something else” was a figment of its compilers’ collective dream. They wrote:

“In the past decade or so there has been a gradual shift of vision towards what WHO calls the ‘new universalism’,” WHO authors write, “respecting the ethical principle that it may be necessary and efficient to ration services”.

So we’d all be subjected to the lowest common standard of health care – not for the sake of good health, but for the sake of ideological equality.

Professor Atlas substantiates his case by explaining in some detail the criteria the compilers of the report used to make its ranking assessments. The report, he says “went on to argue, even insist, that governments need to promote community rating” and “a common benefit package” .

And he comments aptly:

It is a curious version  of objective study design and data analysis  to assume the validity of a concept like “the new universalism” and then to define policies that implement it as proof  of that validity.

The report endorsed wealth-redistribution and centralized administration – ie. socialized health-care, the authors’ very definition of good quality health provision. A country’s rank depended on the extent to which its health care was government controlled.

The policy recommendation preceded the research.

Just as – we would point out – the policy recommendation of IPCC preceded the research.

Automatically, this pushed the capitalist countries … to the bottom of the list.

Professor Atlas concludes:

If World HealthRreport 2000 had  simply been issued and forgotten, it would still have been a case study in how to produce a wretched and unreliable piece of social science masquerading as legitimate research. That it served so effectively as a catalyst for unprecedented legislation is evidence of something more disturbing. The executive and legislatoive branches of the United States government used WHO’s document as an implicit Exhibit A to justify imposing radical changes to America’s health-care system, even in the face of objections from the American people. To blur the line between politics and objective analysis is to do violence to them both.

The whole of Professor Atlas’s article is well worth reading.

A siren song from hell 1

Ben Johnson lists what he believes are the real reasons why Obama started the war on Libya. See them all. We quote parts of the two we find most interesting:

It advances fundamentalist Muslim interests.

A West Point study found Libyans made up a large section of Iraq’s foreign jihadists, perhaps as high as 20 percent. Libyan rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi has admitted he fought the Crusader enemy (that’s us) on the hills of Pakistan before personally leading 25 Libyans to the Iraqi front. …

The civil war has reportedly given al-Qaeda the opportunity to steal surface-to-air missiles. ..

Empowering al-Qaeda in the Sahara is a risk the Community-Organizer-in-Chief is willing to take as part of his outreach to the Muslim ummah. Other examples include his limp-wristed approach to Iran, his support for the Muslim Brotherhood in neighboring Egypt, his instruction for NASA administrator Charles Bolden to make Muslims “feel good about their historic contribution to science,” his financing of mosques around the world, his pledge to make a priority of prosecuting anti-Muslim “hate crimes,” his promotion and financing of Al Jazeera broadcasts, and his lawsuit on behalf of a Muslim teacher seeking three weeks leave to make hajj. This is just the latest way of begging the world’s Mohammedans to like him.

Add to that his deliberate distancing of the US from Israel and his obvious personal hostility to the Jewish state – strong enough, we think, to connive at its destruction.

Strengthens the globalist socialists at the UN.

Obama stated Monday night if he had not gone into Libya, “The writ of the United Nations Security Council would have been shown to be little more than empty words, crippling that institution’s future credibility to uphold global peace and security.” He had no trouble ignoring more than a dozen UNSC resolutions about Iraq before that war, but the Left typically genuflects at the altar of the UN and the “international community.” …

American liberals congregate at the UN, because they believe other nations are more enlightened than their fellow citizens and they hope Eurosocialists can save them from American yokels. They often say things like, “America is the only industrialized nation that….” Obama shares this view. He has derided “our tragic history” and said the U.S. Constitution “reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.” He has appointed Supreme Court nominees who believe in placing international law on equal footing with the U.S. Constitution. His UN-worship reached its apogee when he hauled Arizona before the United Nations Human Rights Council over its common sense immigration law, having the people of Arizona judged by the cronies of Cameroon. His first-ever U.S. report to the UNHRC provided a blueprint for socialism, which stated bluntly, “Our commitment to the rights protected in our Constitution is matched by a parallel commitment to foster a society characterized by shared prosperity.” The internationalist Left defers to the UN on domestic and foreign policy, including when to send American troops into harm’s way.

We think a very strong inducement, perhaps the strongest, was the siren song of the three harpies (to mix a couple of classical myths), Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and Hillary Clinton. We hear them singing an ominous lyric along these lines: “Let’s set a precedent for international action carrying out the UN approved Responsibility To Protect, and then we can attack Israel on the grounds that we are protecting the Palestinians.” See our post, The danger of R2P, March 23, 2011.

See also an article by Alan W. Dowd at Front Page, titled A Dangerous Doctrine, from which this comes:

Who at the UN, ICC, Arab League or European Union decides what justifies an R2P intervention? R2P advocates are quick to answer that an R2P intervention can only be triggered by genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity or inciting such actions. Of course, all of these are subjective terms. Just ask Armenia and Turkey, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia, Russia and Chechnya, the people of Sudan. Everyone from Tony Blair to Tommy Franks was accused of war crimes during the Iraq war. Today, Libya’s rebels and Libya’s government, NATO’s leaders and Khadafy’s henchmen, are all accusing each other of war crimes. This isn’t to say that there aren’t genuine cases of war crimes, genocide and the like in the world, but rather that Americans may define these terms differently than the bureaucrats who roam the UN. …

if Khadafy is guilty of violating R2P principles, what about Syria’s Assad, Sudan’s Bashir, Cuba’s Castro, Iran’s Ahmadinejad, North Korea’s Kim? The list could go on and on. In fact, if I made the list, it might include China’s leaders and Russia’s leaders (see Tiananmen, Tibet and Chechnya). If they made the list, it might include the United States or Estonia. If Kosovo made the list, it might include Serbia. If the Serbs made the list, it might include Kosovo. If Pakistan made the list, it might include India. If India made the list, it might include Pakistan. You get the point.

Moreover, what level of negligence or outright willfulness constitutes “failure to protect”—disproportionate death rates among different ethnic groups, mass-arrests, seizure of property? These sorts of things could be twisted to apply to the United States, especially in a world awash in moral relativism. Before scoffing at this, recall that Belgian lawyers tried to put U.S. commanders in the dock for failing to stop postwar looting in Iraq. One wonders where their outrage was when a bona fide war criminal reigned in Baghdad. But this points out one of the problems with many R2P advocates. They are surprisingly silent on the obvious cases: the Saddam Husseins and Kim Jong Ils and Fidel Castros of the world. It’s difficult to understand why.

It’s only difficult to understand if one is so credulous as to believe that the Left gives a damn for victims of  persecution as such. They only weep their crocodile tears over the plight of this or that  selected group if doing so suits their agenda: Serb victims? Not interested. Bosnian or Kosovar victims? How terrible, let’s protect them with bombs and diplomatic outrage. Cuban victims? Shrug. Palestinians? Let’s send a “mammoth”  force (Siren Samantha’s word) against Israel. Israelis? They’re asking for it by building homes where they shouldn’t be allowed to. Christian victims in Muslim lands? Don’t take any notice. Muslim “victims” in the US? Appalling.

Whatever their motives, it seems that advocates of R2P are opening the door to the further weakening of national sovereignty and the further weakening of the nation-state system—a system which has served America well. It pays to recall that the United States has thrived in the nation-state system. We were born into it, raised in it, grew to master and shape it, and today we benefit from it, sustain it and dominate it. When and if it ceases to be the main organizing structure for the world — if R2P seduces America into taking sides everywhere, weakening the responsibilities and benefits of sovereignty along the way — there is no guarantee that Americans will have the same position and place they enjoy today.

Too mildly imagined! It would be a communist-governed or Islam-governed world. In other words, one total global inescapable hell.

The danger of R2P 7

R2P is the doctrine according to which Obama has authorized US military intervention in the Libyan civil war.

Its name in full is “the responsibility to protect”.  The UN. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, referring to it as a justification for the use of military force against Gaddafi’s regime in Libya,  said that it sets an “international security and human rights norm to address the international community’s failure to prevent and stop genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”’

One of its most enthusiastic proponents is Samantha Power, adviser to Obama in the role of Senior Director of Multilateral Affairs [sic] at the National Security Council.

It seems that she and Hillary Clinton (once bitter enemies, now allies) persuaded a hesitant Obama to go to war against Gaddafi in the name of R2P.

Power may be sincerely keen on protecting civilians in Libya. Obama may be too. But there is reason to believe that for Power the attack on Libya in the name of R2P will serve a purpose nearer to her heart. It will provide a precedent for a military intervention she has been advocating for at least eight years.

In an article at Front Page, Chris Queen tells us more about her:

Much of the motivation behind Obama’s Libya policy stems from from the ideology of Samantha Power, the Irish-American, hard-Left humanitarian activist who has been the president’s Director for Multilateral Affairs at the National Security Council since 2009 (and, incidentally, the wife of Obama’s “Regulatory Czar” Cass Sunstein). Power is the woman behind the curtain in terms of Obama’s policy on Libya, but a look at what she advocates reveals a troubling agenda.

Power has advocated a foreign policy that can easily be described as …  “humanitarian interventionist.” Power and other activists like her seek to build American foreign policy around merely stepping into situations in the name of preventing genocide and other humanitarian aims. This type of foreign policy relies heavily on international law and multilateralism. …

While this type of foreign policy agenda might in some small way make sense to some people in a situation like the one in Libya, it is absolutely dangerous as the basis for an entire foreign policy. You see, Samantha Power and her supporters have Israel in their sights as a target for American military intervention on humanitarian grounds.

He posts a video clip here of Samantha Power declaring that the US should use military force against Israel to protect the Palestinians from Israel.

And he notes:

In another interview five years later, Power stated that we in the United States brought terrorist attacks on ourselves because of our relationship with Israel.

We don’t know what arguments she used to Obama, but we think it likely that if she pointed out to him how an attack now on Libya would be useful for future action against Israel, that may have been the very one that persuaded him.

Read more about this here and here and here.