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.

Beware of the ‘Transies’ 0

Marxists, Greens, collectivists, call them what you will, are trying to convince us that national sovereignty is a nasty old thing of the past, and the way to the future happiness of the human race is through ‘transnationalism’ and global government. This opinion may be held by very few people, but they wield a lot of power. One of them is Barack Obama.

Frank Gaffney writes this on ‘international opinion’ and its effects:

International-law professors, jurists, and bureaucrats announce some piety that they think everyone should follow (e.g., the death penalty is an unconscionable human-rights violation). Once enough of them have followed it for long enough (in recent years, ‘long enough’ seems to have become ‘ten minutes’. . . or the time it takes to announce these new international standards), the piety is deemed – at least by transnationalists – to be universally binding. In their view, it thus becomes the obligation of every nation to fall into line, changing their laws to whatever extent is necessary to do so. That is, the sensibilities of the ‘international community’ (i.e., the elites of the global Left) void the democratic self-determinism of the American people.”

In giving Interpol carte blanche, the transnationalists in the Obama administration – a group that includes, notably, State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and, not least, the President himself – have sliced away at the corpus of American sovereignty. They have done so in order to ensure that America conforms to the same standards as the other nations that host Interpol offices (namely, Third World nations like Cameroon, El Salvador and Zimbabwe),

Unfortunately, the Transies are whacking away at our rights and liberties in a host of other ways, as well. The administration wants to subject the United States to: the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), which would allow (among other travesties) international regulation of U.S. air and water, even in the absence of the sort of climate change treaty sought at Copenhagen; the International Criminal Court, exposing our officials, troops and citizens to capricious, politicized foreign prosecution; radical “international norms” governing what the UN considers to be the “rights” of women and children; and a Shariah-mandated Islamic blasphemy code barring and criminalizing speech that offends Muslims, a blatant threat to the First Amendment.

Even if these myriad “cuts” were not in the offing, there would be powerful reasons for rejecting Team Obama’s efforts to expand Interpol’s powers in the United States. Towards the end of last year, the Islamic Republic of Iran enlisted Interpol in its campaign to intimidate, hunt down and, if possible, silence its opponents outside the country. Ten Kurds who became Swedish citizens after fleeing Iran twenty years ago are now on the international police organization’s wanted list – and at risk of arrest if they leave Sweden. The basis for these charges? Nothing more than Tehran’s unproven and highly political accusations that they have been involved in “terrorism” and “organized crime.”

Whether such abuses might be made more likely in America if this order is not rescinded or countermanded by Congress can only be speculated about at this point. What is unmistakable, though, is the cumulative effect of the thousand cuts being inflicted by the Obama transnationalists: a perilous bleeding out of the liberties and freedoms enshrined in and protected by our Constitution and sovereignty.

And here’s part of a report from PowerLine of  John Bolton’s keynote speech at the Hudson Institute’s ‘Reclaim American Liberty’ Conference:

Ambassador Bolton argued that several elements have combined to induce President Obama to enroll in the essentially European project of global governance. Among these elements are Obama’s sense that America is too powerful, and his desire to eschew old-fashioned patriotism in favor of a “post-American” presidency.

Although Obama is constrained by domestic political considerations from fully articulating his preference for ceding sovereignty in favor of global governance, Bolton finds clear evidence of that preference on several fronts. Obama’s approach to “climate change” is perhaps the clearest example. Climate change is the main issue through which the “global governance” crowd seeks to gain power. Far from resisting this attack on our right of self-governance, Obama has sided with the Europeans. …

Bolton also cited our approach to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. With respect to North Korea and Iran, we have deferred to the “global community” and now rely on a policy of begging these countries to negotiate with us. …

Thanks to an anonymous hero who published the ‘Climategate’ emails – and also, grudgingly on our part, to China – the Copenhagen Plot failed. But the ‘Transies’ won’t give up. Stay alert for whatever new ruses they think up to nudge us towards world government.

Trusted voices for a better world 1

How can we bear to miss it?

From Politico:

Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe plan to address negotiators at international climate talks in Copenhagen next week. …

The assistant president of Sudan [ you know, where Dafur is], Nafie Ali Nafie kicks off the speeches at noon on Wednesday. Nafie chairs the G-77 group, a block of developing nations pushing hard for more money and stricter emissions cuts from rich countries.

Mostapha Zaher, director-general of Afghanistan’s Environmental Protection Agency [who knew there was such a splendid thing?], is listed as the final speaker. …

Health derangement syndrome 1

If starving isn’t unhealthy, what does the word ‘unhealthy’ mean?

There are powerful persons who believe with fanatical conviction that (other) people should starve to death rather than eat something ‘unhealthy’.

As a result, millions are deprived of food.

Even Bill Gates protests about this state of affairs. We say ‘even Bill Gates’, because he usually goes along with the thinking of those who believe in government control of individual lives, aka socialists. (See in the quotation below a list of lefty organizations he supports.)  He doesn’t seem to realize that he is one of the greatest benefactors of mankind ever, through supplying billions of people with something they want: the products of Microsoft, which are put to trillions of productive uses throughout the world. Doing so –  as a model capitalist – has rightfully made him rich, and he has no moral obligation to redistribute his wealth in a secondary and much feebler attempt to do good. But he apparently thinks there is, perhaps out of some unwarranted feeling of guilt.

Whatever prompts him, he has undertaken to alleviate the chronic hunger of whole populations in Africa. And he has run into an impediment: the adoption, by stupid African rulers, of two Western ‘progressive’ notions: that people must be made to eat healthy food, and that genetically modified foods are unhealthy.

This article is from FrontPageMag:

The left-of-center philanthropist says starving Africans should be allowed to eat genetically modified foods.

Bill Gates took on the Famine Lobby while addressing a forum on the world food supply in Iowa. Speaking at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Gates took aim at the chorus of environmental leftists and organic food advocates who believe Africans should starve rather than eat genetically modified (GM) foods. “Some voices are instantly hostile to any emphasis on productivity. They act as if there is no emergency, even though in the poorest, hungriest places on earth, population is growing faster than productivity,” he said.

The opposition is significant, because Gates is left-of-center himself. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with assets of $29 billion as of 2005, has focused on the “population” side of the “problem” in the past, sending billions of dollars in grants to such pro-abortion groups as Planned Parenthood; Population Action International, Population Services International, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, and the Population Resource Center. Gates has also financed such organizations as the [Soros supported] Tides Center, the Tides Foundation, the National Council of La Raza, and has supported a gun control initiative in Washington state.

However, Gates announced he will issue a $120 million grant to increase food productivity in sub-Saharan Africa through the planting of genetically modified seeds. In Des Moines, Gates cited a Stanford study from 2008 concluding African farmers will lose one-quarter of their productivity within 20 years if they continue to plant the same strains of corn. However, “If the seeds perform well, African farmers can expect to produce two-million more tons of maize in a year of moderate drought.” Radio Iowa reports Gates has “committed more than a billion dollars” in all.

In proposing this initiative, he is standing up to the Green Left, which has long favored environmental “purity” [over] human well-being. Greenpeace cooked up the term “Frankenfood” to demonize genetically modified foods a decade ago. …

Dire predictions aside, GM foods not only potentially increase food production but have replaced the need to spray crops with chemical pesticides, which sickened or killed Africans. Those farmers who spray can now streamline the process, saving them much time and money. The modified crops are more resistant to cold, drought, herbicides, pests, and disease. They also supplied nutritional gaps in the consumption patterns of the poor. For instance, so-called “golden rice” spliced Vitamin A into rice, which could stave off blindness among the world’s poor who eat little more than rice. …

Greenpeace has long claimed GM foods increase allergies; however, the World Health Organization – hardly a corporate, capitalist shill – concluded, “No allergic effects have been found relative to GM foods currently on the market.” Although six EU nations ban GM foods, Jaap Satter, a senior policy adviser at the Dutch Agriculture Ministry, has said, “You cannot say anymore that there is a scientific reason to be against genetic modification.” The National Research Council summed up the situation: “no conceptual distinction exists between generic modification of plants and microorganisms by classical methods or by molecular techniques that modify DNA and transfer genes.”

Some environmentalists seem concerned the foods will be too successful at feeding the poor. Al Gore has worried, “The most lasting impact of biotechnology on the food supply may come not from something going wrong, but from all going right…we’re far more likely to accidentally drown ourselves in a sea of excess grain.” Given the environmentalist movement’s hatred of population – best exemplified by Obama Science Czar John Holdren’s justification of compulsory abortion in the United States – this may be the real locus of their disdain.

So deep is the Green Left’s hatred of GM foods that even an organization Gates founded has given genetically modified food a chilly reception. “The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa was established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” and the Rockefeller Foundation in 2006 “with the objective of improving agriculture in Africa.” However, its leader, former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, vowed in 2007: “We in the alliance will not incorporate GMOs [genetically modified organisms] in our programmes. We shall work with farmers using traditional seeds.”

The scare tactics and shunning of American and Euro-socialist leftists is theoretical and faulty – but their mania has reaped a deadly harvest among the world’s most vulnerable people.

In 2002, Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa refused to accept tons of U.S. food aid for his starving nation, because the aid contained genetically modified food (maize, specifically). “Simply because my people are hungry, that is no justification to give them poison, to give them food that is intrinsically dangerous to their health,” he said. The deluded president continued, “I will not allow Zambians to be turned into guinea pigs no matter the levels of hunger in the country.”

The levels of hunger were staggering. Nearly one-third of Zambia’s 10 million people faced famine. Some 14 million Africans faced starvation region-wide. Nonetheless, the president privately upbraided officials in the UN World Food Programme for distributing GM foods, which fed 125,000 people in five camps. The WFP reported some impoverished Zambians “resorted to eating little more than twigs and ash from the fire in a brown soupy concoction.” Desperate, rural villagers broke into the palace where the stockpiles were rotting and stole 2,000 bags of maize.

In response, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg in 2002, signed a “statement of solidarity” with Zambia. Charlie Kronick of Greenpeace went further, alleging the humanitarian aid constituted a sick capitalist ploy. “There is a constant drip of pressure from the U.S. government and biotech industry to make sure Africa is softened up for GM,” he theorized. “Europe is closed to them and they need a market for it.”

Others offered more than ideological support. Zimbabwe joined the boycott, preventing GM grain’s importation. Angola followed suit in 2004. Lesotho and Mozambique milled all such grain so it would not be planted and “infect” other crops.

Not all were limited to the EU and Africa. In 2004, Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez passed “possibly…the most sweeping restrictions on transgenic crops in the western hemisphere.”

At home, the opposition has been remarkably well-heeled. National Review’s Deroy Murdock found:

In 2001, the 30 leading anti-biotech groups…spent $341.4 million, including Greenpeace USA’s expenditure of $23,748,737, Environmental Defense’s $38,794,150 and the Natural Resources Defense Council’s $41,625,882. Between 1996 and 2001, this crusade’s lavish underwriters included the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation ($11,906,500), the Ford Foundation ($39,978,020) and the Pew Charitable Trusts ($130,996,900).

It also included a large portion of the organic food market. Somehow, this story of an industry trying to spike a competitor did not make MSNBC or the pages of Mother Jones.

Whatever the dangers, the prohibition of GM foods is a moral issue. As Velasio De Paolis of the Pontifical Urban University has said, it is “easy to say no to GM food if your stomach is full.” However misled he is on other issues, Bill Gates deserves credit for standing up against the Green Left on this point.

But on another, closely related, issue he has so far failed to take the right stand:

The question remains, will he do so on the issue that seems closest to his heart: the eradication of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa? In a recent speech on the topic Gates admitted, “two tools helped to bring the death rate down: One was killing the mosquitoes with DDT.” Before Rachel Carson’s crusade – based entirely on scientific theories that never panned out – DDT use had nearly eradicated malaria. Now, according to one report, “there are approximately 350 to 500 millions cases of malaria, killing close to one million people” annually. “Every day, malaria takes the lives of 2,000 children in Africa alone.” Yet instead of backing DDT use, Gates has sought to find a vaccine.

If Gates truly wants to put the well-being of Africans above political correctness, DDT is the best place to start.

From bad to worse in southern Africa 0

Read here about the deplorable treatment in South Africa of refugees from Zimbabwe.

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, May 28, 2008

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