Is NATO worth saving? 5

It is 70 years since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was established.

Theodore Roosevelt Malloch writes at American Greatness:

Only nine of its 29 member states pay their agreed dues—up from five last year, thanks to President Trump’s pestering. Not that he gets any credit for it.

Nevertheless, that is $130 billion more for NATO’s collective defense! Which is both more money than one can fathom, and simultaneously a pitiful fraction (around 20 percent) of America’s defense spending.

NATO’s membership is paying more thanks to constant hammering by President Trump. But many [more than two-thirds of the member states] have not yet reached the treaty’s required 2 percent threshold, including the richest countries, like Germany. So long as Angela Merkel remains in power with the votes of left-wing socialists (called the “Grand Coalition”) in the Bundestag, the chance is near zilch of this issue being dealt with. For her part, Merkel has promised Germany will hit the 2 percent target sometime in the “early 2030s”. …

By which time Germany will be a Muslim ruled country, a fate from which its only salvation might be Russian conquest.

That Russian domination could be considered by indigenous Germans preferable to Islamic subjugation is in itself a vivid indication of just how horrible the outlook is for Europe.

But Trump is turning [NATO] round. Give him credit.

The world has changed a great deal in the 70 years since the Washington Treaty was first signed and the North Atlantic Charter was put into force. American soldiers held the line on the free side of the Iron Curtain long enough for Moscow to trip on its own contradictions.

But 1989 was 30 years ago and the triumph that was the 50th anniversary celebrations (1999) is a distant memory. Today NATO is fully benefiting from nostalgia for the 1990s, despite the Balkan wars awkwardly underscoring the limitations of collective security in the new world order.

This week’s NATO summit is less of a celebration of the military achievements and the collapse of the Soviet empire than it is a day of reckoning.

Does NATO have a future or is it, as French President Emmanuel Macron recently called it, “brain dead”? Merkel herself famously criticized NATO in the months after President Trump’s inauguration in 2017 and backed Macron’s version of a European army, widely seen as a threat to the alliance.

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the enfant terrible of the alliance (whose rough neighborhood includes long borders with Iran, Syria, Iraq, all unstable war zones) has also come out swinging, this time against Macron. It is Macron who’s brain dead, the Turkish president said. His ambassador in Paris was called in for a stern dressing down.

Turkey has been not just an uncooperative member of NATO; it has been positively obstructive, in the past and again now.

The question has arisen whether Turkey could be expelled from NATO.

At [the 70th] anniversary summit of its members, President Trump, who has long thought the collective security arrangement “obsolete” … reiterated his demand that Europe pay more (South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Japan, as well) for their defense.

He suggested NATO should refocus on terrorism, Syria, cybersecurity, and most critically, China, the number one adversary NATO countries face. …

Can NATO adapt fast enough?

Can NATO adapt?

The Russians are in no state [at present] to take over Ukraine, much less Germany. …

The organization has certainly proven to be resilient—but is it relevant any longer?

Is it an alliance any longer?

Witness the differences in implementing nuclear sanctions on Iran—Europe has set up INSTEX, a sanctions-dodging mechanism for blockade-running. Iran’s regime, currently wracked by the worst protests in 40 years, when the mullahs came to power, is being thrown a lifeline by Paris, Brussels, and Berlin.

Why?

As the strongest and most successful military alliance in history—at least it is according to its own secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg of Norway—the crux of the matter on this birthday is, does NATO have an ability to change significantly? He certainly thinks so.

In our new book Trump’s World, Felipe J. Cuello and I argue that the “dog fight” over NATO is in a critical stage and the disruptor-in-chief, Geo Deus Donald Trump, may give it a second breath—but only if the alliance pays and it shifts.

GEO DEUS DONALD TRUMP.

 

 

An earthly Deus even we can believe in. Thank you Theodore Roosevelt Malloch and Felipe J. Cuello for that!

In his America First paradigm, but not alone, there is a new taskmaster in town and he plays by new rules not old ways and ideologies of globalism. NATO survives and grows in strength thanks to one Donald J. Trump.

That is to say, if it survives and grows in strength it will be thanks to Geo Deus Donald J. Trump.

Perhaps a new type of “alliance” is needed. States that want to be protected by the mightiest military in the world pay America directly; put their own forces – those few who have them in working order – under the command of the president of the United States; their ordnance, warships and aircraft, technological facilities, satellites, and foreign offices (yes, those too!) at his disposal. At least for as long as Donald J. Trump or successors approved by him are in power.

Would the world not then be a safer, more peaceful, more prosperous place? Could be. It’s at least a possibility.

Nazism and Communism embraced each other 3

… 80 years ago today.

On August 23, 1939, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed. Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany were in alliance. Nazism and Communism, twin religions, united with each other.

Victor Davis Hanson writes at The Daily Signal:

Eighty years ago, on Aug. 23, 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, formally known as the “Treaty of nonaggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.”

The world was shocked—and terrified—by the agreement. Western democracies of the 1930s had counted on the huge resources of Communist Russia, and its hostility to the Nazis, to serve as a brake on Adolf Hitler’s Western ambitions.

Great Britain and the other Western European democracies had assumed that the Nazis would never invade them as long as a hostile Soviet Union threatened the German rear.

The incompatibility between communism and Nazism was considered by all to be existential—and permanent. That mutual hatred explained why dictators Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin both despised and feared each other.

Yet all at once, such illusions vanished with signing of the pact. Just seven days later, on Sept. 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. World War II had begun.

After quickly absorbing most of Eastern Europe by either coercion or alliance, Hitler was convinced that he now had a safe rear. So he turned west in spring 1940 to overrun Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, and the Netherlands.

Hitler accomplished all that relatively easily, failing only to conquer Great Britain with an exhaustive bombing campaigning.

During all these Nazi conquests, a compliant Stalin shipped huge supplies of food and fuel for the German war effort against the West. Stalin cynically had hoped that Germany and the Western democracies would wear themselves out in a wasting war—similar to the four horrific years in the trenches of the Western Front during World War I.

Communism then easily would spread to the Atlantic amid the ruins of European capitalism. Unlike Czarist Russia in 1914, this time around the Soviets wanted to stay out of a German war. Instead, Stalin rearmed during the nonaggression pact with Hitler.

Stalin, of course, had no idea he had created a Nazi monster that would quickly devour all of Continental Europe—and turn to its rear to eye a now-isolated Soviet Union.

Much less did Stalin realize that the battle-hardened German war machine would soon overrun his country in a surprise attack beginning on June 22, 1941, a little less than two years after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

The nonaggression pact in a way had also ensured that a European war would soon turn into a global massacre that left roughly 65 million dead.

At the time of deal, imperial Japan was fighting the Soviet Union on the Manchurian-Mongolian border. The Japanese were de facto allies of Nazi Germany. They had assumed that Stalin’s fear of an aggressive Germany meant the Soviet Union would have to worry about a two-front war against both Germany and Japan.

But now, the surprise agreement stunned the Japanese, who saw it as a German betrayal. It left them alone against the superior forces of Russia’s eastern armies.

Japan quickly withdrew from its losing Russian war. In time it signed its own nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union, in April 1941—ironically, just months before Hitler’s planned Operation Barbarossa, the massive invasion of Russia.

Japan correctly concluded by the betrayal that Hitler’s Germany could not be trusted and deserved tit-for-tat duplicity. So Japan never joined Hitler’s surprise invasion of Russia. Instead, the Japanese turned their attention to the Pacific and especially the vulnerable British and American bases at Singapore, Burma, the Philippines—and Pearl Harbor.

In sum, the August 1939 nonaggression pact ensured the German attack against Great Britain and Western Europe. It also convinced Hitler that Russia was vulnerable, gullible and appeasing, and could be overrun in weeks following an invasion.

Finally, the deal ended all Japanese ideas of fighting the Soviet Union on the ground from the East in partnership with Nazi Germany invading from the West. Instead, Japan turned toward the vulnerable British and American eastern forces.

In sophisticated times, we sometimes forget that time-honored concepts like the balance of power and military deterrence—not good intentions and international peace organizations—alone keep the peace. When the pact destroyed fragile alliances and encouraged German adventurism, war was certain.

The final ironies? The Soviet double-cross of the Western democracies eventually ended up almost destroying Russia, which bore the brunt of an empowered Germany.

The redirection of Japanese war strategy to target America finally brought the United States into World War II, which ensured the destruction of Japan and Germany.

Add this all up, and in some sense World War II really started on Aug. 23, 1939, 80 years ago this summer.

Davos goes down 1

Have those arrogant globalist elites trying to rule the world been stopped at last?

Have the nationalists, slowly awaking from their passivity and apathy to vote for Brexit and Donald Trump, to put on yellow vests and shout angrily in the streets of their Western cities, stopped them?

We quote Michael Barone writing at Investor’s Business Daily on 2/1/2019:

Turnout at Davos was lousy this year. President Trump, preoccupied by the government shutdown, was a no-show at last week’s World Economic Forum there. So were British Prime Minister Theresa May (Brexit) and French President Emanuel Macron (“gilets jaunes”). Chinese President Xi Jinping, Davos’ 2018 star, and Russian President Vladimir Putin weren’t there either. Neither were some of the usual financial and media big names.

From all of this, you might get the impression that the world’s political, financial and media elites have lost much of their prestige these days, which, of course, they have.

It’s an enormous contrast with elites’ sunny confidence, over much of the quarter century after the fall of the Soviet Union, that they could remake the world … 

Consider Mexico. The NAFTA trade agreement was proposed by the Reagan administration, negotiated by the Bush administration and ratified by the Clinton administration, with plenty of support from both parties, especially Texans (Lloyd Bentsen, the Bushes) close to the border. They hoped to make Mexico more like the United States, and to regularize Mexican immigration.

There has been some convergence, with life in much of Mexico resembling Texas, but also with large parts of California resembling Mexico. Illegal immigration surged up until the 2007 economic crisis.

Even more ambitious was the bipartisan elites’ project of bringing China into the world trading system. The hope was that an increasingly prosperous Chinese populace would demand more freedom and democracy. That hasn’t happened; instead, Xi Jinping has regressed toward one-man rule.

Meanwhile, serious academic studies have substantiated non-elite charges that Chinese imports have cost America hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs. In return, American consumers have been able to buy clothes, toys and gadgets at increasingly low prices. But for many, it is at the cost of the dignity and sense of self-worth achieved by earning a paycheck.

The chief project of European elites, the “ever-closer” European Union, has arguably worked out worse. The Euro currency that was supposed to tie Europe together has instead (as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher predicted) widened the rift between the Mediterranean countries and an increasingly dominant Germany. Britain voted for Brexit — leaving the EU — in 2016, and elites, despite astonishing contempt for voters, have so far failed to reverse that verdict. …

In each case, these elites have underestimated the force and persistence of national cultures

Perhaps the success of American military leaders in transforming post-World War II Germany and Japan turned out to be misleading. Those two countries drew on ethical and parliamentary traditions rooted in those societies and not wholly destroyed by short periods of dominance by Nazi thugs and murderous militarists. Mexico and China have different traditions, and there is no vital tradition of European unity.

Elites are impatient with people they regard as their inferiors. If you question Eurocrats’ undemocratic drive for an “ever-closer Union”, you are told that without the EU, France and Germany would once again go to war — obvious nonsense. If you advise more respect for nationalist traditions, you are told that all nationalists are Nazis — obvious nonsense again.

If you say that competition from low-wage workers in Mexico and China might cause substantial job loss in the United States, you are told what every college grad learns in Economics 101 (but what sounds counterintuitive to non-college grads), that free trade benefits both importers and exporters. You can argue that Mexican immigration and Chinese job competition peaked before 2007, but they still obviously rankle many voters.

So the political, financial and media elites have taken beatings at the ballot box … Their failures to make course corrections and their lack of respect for decent nationalism have been costly. Something to talk about if they slink back to Davos next year.

“Slink back” is good!

But to answer our opening questions: No, there is still many a battle ahead before Merkel, Macron and May – probably never accepting that they were wrong – are driven from power. The rickety EU is not yet about to be pushed over to explode in a cloud of dust. And in the US, because badly educated 18-24 year olds who have no stake in the economy are allowed to vote, there is a real danger of socialist environmentalist race-obsessed feminist globalists coming to power in the next decade.

Socialism rising for demons and dummies 4

 

Commenting on what is said in this video, John Hinderaker writes ironically, shockingly, and accurately at PowerLine:

[The] entertaining video of Tucker Carlson and Cornel West … offers a good explanation of why socialism always fails, from the perspective of the vast majority. … Tucker asked West: If democratic socialism works, why doesn’t Venezuela have toilet paper?

Of course West’s answers are lame –“real” socialism has never been tried, blah, blah, blah. You could infer from this that West is an idiot and, if he were arguing in good faith, that would be a fair assessment.

But I think the truth is worse. I think the leaders of the socialist movement are perfectly well aware that the inevitable result of socialism is tyranny and mass poverty. But for them, this isn’t a bug, it is a feature. In fact, it is the whole point. Socialism is now, and always has been, a pretext under which power-mad psychopaths seize power and terrorize their fellow humans.

Viewed with cold realism, socialism works very well for those who bring it about. It worked for Lenin and Stalin. It almost worked for Trotsky, but socialism is like Game of Thrones – it is a risky business. It didn’t work for the Old Bolsheviks for the same reason: they lost out to the more vicious and more power-crazed socialist, Stalin. It worked for Yezhov, Yagoda and Beria, although they, too, lost out after years of demented revels. It worked for Khruschev, Brezhnev and Andropov.

Socialism worked for Mao. It worked for Fidel Castro. It worked for Erich Honecker and Nicolae Ceaușescu, until the very end. It worked for Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, again with sad ends that didn’t inflict anywhere near enough pain to negate the years of glory and power that went before. It worked for Hugo Chavez, who like Castro, parlayed socialism into a multi-billion dollar fortune, and it has worked so far for Nicolas Maduro. All of these psychopaths, and many others, got exactly what they wanted out of socialism. From their point of view, it is a successful ideology.

While the vast majority suffer under socialism, such suffering is by no means universal. Any number of commissars, Stasi informants, Cuban snitches, petty apparatchiks with dachas, etc., have parlayed their sadistic tendencies into good livings and what they want most, power over others. If you follow Twitter, or generally pay attention to the American Left, you see an army of would-be commissars who yearn for the day when they can accuse a neighbor of wrongthink and have him sent to an American Gulag. In the meantime, they settle for mob action, “doxxing,” and so on.

Socialism isn’t misguided, it is evil. Socialism isn’t a failure, any more than the Black Death was a failure. Sadly, it has worked all too well for more than a century. 

Those cunning human demons who get power, riches, and sadistic satisfaction out of imposing Socialism, need dumb believers to let them impose it.

Kurt Schlichter, a master of sardonic derision, writes at Townhall:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is less hideously unattractive than the usual Democrat potentate or potentatette and has therefore been anointed the new face of her pathetic party. This dumb woman, who looks like Huma Abedin without the pedohubby and the weird relationship with Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit, took advantage of her even dumber New York district in order to get elected to Congress by calling herself a “socialist”.  Yeah, the subject of a thousand Trader Joe’s house brand chardonnay toasts is a proud adherent of the ideology that butchered 100 million people in the last century. …

Ocasio-Cortez is an idiot, like all adolescent socialists, so she qualified to be the Great Pinko Hope for a party in decline. Here’s how bad she is – she apparently went to college, got a degree in economics, and still ended up a socialist. If she went to med school, she would have probably left a chain smoker.

As for life experience, she was a bartender. Now, being a bartender is an important occupation that provides demonstrable social benefits, and everyone should have at least one crappy job on their resume because it builds character, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you’ve ever done if you want to be in Congress. …

It was only a fun job for her anyway. Not a necessary one. Contrary to what she pretended – in typical socialist style – she did not grow up in the Bronx (though she was born there). She is the daughter of a successful architect and grew up in one of the richest counties in America.

The left is always trying to make [Socialism] happen. It’s not going to happen, not least of which because us militant Normals have about 400 million or so guns and we aren’t super excited about giving up our stuff or our freedom to a bunch of Marxist weirdos who think we should work harder so their voter base doesn’t have to. But they keep trying to sell us this polished fecal matter of an ideology. In 2009, they put Obama’s smug mug on the cover of Newsweek and announced “We’re all socialists now, but it soon became obvious that we aren’t anything like socialists now. And, in fact, Newsweek is barely anything at all now, though under socialism, instead of teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, it would be nationalized and we’d all be working to subsidize it so its hack staff could keep their loser sinecures.

A few years later, they tried again by releasing Bernie Sanders from the Old Commies Home to nearly beat Stumbles McMyTurn. That failed and now it’s this nitwit’s turn to spray perfume inside the outhouse.

Naturally, the Pink Dummy was summoned to make the rounds of MSNBCNN in the wake of her win over some other liberal tool. This avatar of a failed nineteenth century death cult was hailed as the future of the Democrats because as the leftist precincts in New York City go, so goes America. She did the same tap dance about socialism that all these twits do – see, socialism isn’t scary. Why, “socialism” is just another word for things we all do together, except when the socialists are in charge they kill you if you defy them. …

Pampered spawn of history’s most prosperous and freest society, these goofs are really excited about something they can barely articulate, so they sputter and spit out words like “justice” and “equality” and then get on their iPhones to call their disappointed dads because they are short on cash …

It’s amusing that so many of us Normals understand socialism better than the socialists do not only in terms of what Marx said, and what history says, but in terms of firsthand knowledge. A lot of us Normals have seen socialism up close and personal. Guys like me actually went and lived in its ruins. If you spent significant time, as I have, in the former Yugoslavia, or Ukraine, or even helping to guard the West German border from those friendly fraternal socialist dudes to the east, you’ll be stripped of any illusions about that garbage ideology.

Socialism is about taking your stuff and your freedom and killing you if you complain. They try to pass it off as just Liberalism 2.0, but then you usually don’t call something by a name unless you mean it. If they don’t mean “socialism” why do they call themselves “socialists”?

They use the term, counting on the stupidity of people educated in public schools (Yah government!), but they are coy about what they really mean. They always point to Sweden and Denmark and Norway when they talk about “socialism”, as if those were their role models … Yet, how come we always see the most excited champagne socialists trekking off to visit the dictators in Havana and Caracas and not the elected leaders in Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo?

Venezuela is the socialist paradise that dare not be spoken of. I guess when people are so equal they all have to break into the zoo to eat the zebras, equality stops sounding so awesome.

But see, Venezuela isn’t true socialism. Nothing is ever true socialism, which is super convenient since any country that has ever dabbled in socialism tends to run short of food, medicine, and toilet paper. But I bet smart people like Gulag Barbie can totally make socialism work this time, and you’ll be prosperous and free and have your own pet unicorn.

They are always sure to stick the “democratic” in front of the “socialism” when they try to sell it to the suckers, but that’s a grift. Do they contend that if we vote in socialism and find that it sucks – as every single country that has tried it has found – we can vote it out again? Yeah, uh huh. Seems legit.

[But] Socialism is a train that, once you board, never stops except if you derail it – which we would have every moral right to do if this hateful creed were imposed upon us.

You see, socialism is the doctrine [by which] people like you and I get to slave away for the benefit of the people those in charge decide are worthy – especially those in charge. …

Socialism means what’s theirs is theirs and so is what’s yours. Our private property – what we have worked for and accumulated over decades – is no longer ours. It’s theirs, to be done with – to be redistributed – as those in power wish. And if you object, they will send people with guns to make you comply.

In contrast, in freedom and capitalism, the people with guns protect you from having what’s yours taken.

They don’t say it, but we Normals are the engine that they intend to power their socialism. We’re supposed to continue working and building and creating just as hard as we did when we kept the rewards. Note how the recipients of socialism – the elite, the bums, the hipster doofuses with their stupid Che T-shirts – never seem to expect that they might be asked to sacrifice too? We’re supposed to give up our property and labor to benefit them, but what do they contribute? New grievances? …

Marxgirl wants to start off with free college, which means you pay for other people’s college too. Notice how there’s no expectation that her fans contribute toward the benefit they are receiving? And then she’s for free health care, which means you pay for other people’s doctors too. Again, the recipients are not expected to work for their own benefit. Want to guess what she wants to do with the means of production? And with private property? And the rights of people who oppose her schemes?

Oh, and she’s also for banning guns. Gee, I wonder why.

The biggest issue of our time 11

…. is that people have no issue.

People of Europe, people of the West in general, and people of Japan, have no children.

“The people who built our modern world are going out of business – voluntarily,” Mark Steyn tells all who will listen, in this video published yesterday (July 23, 2027).

He impresses on his listeners that he is speaking of present fact, not making a prediction.

On the bad side, the Muslims migrating into Europe and the West (not into Japan which is dying as a purely Japanese nation) are having many children.

“This demographic transformation and substitution” is the most important issue of our time.

And, as Mark Steyn says, the media don’t – won’t – even mention it. (In America, the media prefer to concentrate on making up ludicrous scandals involving President Trump, in the hope of destroying his presidency. Meanwhile, however, President Trump himself is aware and concerned that our civilization is under threat, as he showed in his great speech in Warsaw.)

.

So most of the more knowledgable, more enlightened, more inventive nations of the world are choosing to die.

No children! It is an overwhelmingly bleak thought. Could any prospect be more desolate? Could there be a greater loss? It means, of course, the loss of our civilization.

A couple of lines from an old song (composer unknown), The Maidens’ Song, come to mind, hauntingly:

Tell me now what beauty’s for,

What is the use of the cradle?                                                                                             

Posted under Demography, Europe, Japan, Muslims by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 24, 2017

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Japan then, Iran now 1

We continue commentary on the article we discussed yesterday in our post How to defeat Islam (immediately below):  

In his well reasoned article recommending that Iran be treated as an enemy of the US – and the world – and utterly defeated, John David Lewis argues:

Given that we should win, how then must our government confront Islamic Totalitarianism? Let us call again upon the defeat of Japan in 1945 as a valid, and vital, historical precedent. …

The basic similarities between the two conflicts begin with the ideas that motivated the attacks. The Japanese were motivated by a politicized religious ideology — Shintoism — that posited an all-powerful deity, indoctrinated their children, infected every aspect of their culture, and drove them to suicidal military actions that killed millions.

Islamic jihad is motivated by just such a “politicized religious ideology”. It too posits an “all-powerful deity” in whose name Islam “indoctrinates its children” with its aggressive, supremacist, totalitarian ideology that “infects every aspect” of Muslim culture, and “drives them to suicidal military actions”.

An educational rescript of 1890 — an Imperial decree, and one of the most influential documents in Japanese history — built this “mytho-religious ideology” into the classroom, making worship of the Emperor and duty to the State into the primary goals of education. Japanese people memorized its tenets, and were inculcated with what one Japanese scholar called “socialization for death’. A Japanese civilian remarked how, when she heard that the Emperor was going to address his people — an unprecedented event — the words she had memorized as a child rose in her mind: “Should any emergency arise, offer yourself courageously to the State.” Such ideas, deeply internalized and mandated by law, motivated suicide bombers — kamikaze — to throw themselves fanatically against superior U.S. forces, and gave them hope for a final battle over weak-willed Americans. This kamikaze fire was extinguished by the crushing American offensive of 1945.

The key to extinguishing this fire, I submit — the sine qua non required to end the spiral of indoctrination, jihadand suicidal attacks on the West — is to do what was done against Japan: to break the political power of the state religion. State Islam — Totalitarian Islam — rule by Islamic Law — must be obliterated.

He describes how this was done in the case of Japan:

Waves of bombers obliterate dozens of enemy cities. His food is choked off, his military is decimated, his industry is bombarded, his ships are sunk, his harbors are mined — his people are psychologically shattered. In a single night, a hundred thousand civilians die in a firestorm in his capital. Americans drop leaflets telling the enemy population which cities could be next. …

When they face starvation, we remind them that their miseries are their own fault. We charge them for many of the costs of the occupation. Not one dime of aid arrives until they demonstrate their complete surrender, in word and in action, including their repudiation of the militaristic ideology that motivated their attacks.

We agree with him that “State Islam — Totalitarian Islam — rule by Islamic Law — must be obliterated”. And we agree that war on Iran, the utter defeat of the Iranian Islamic theocracy, would go a long way to achieving that end.

But there is an important difference between Japan then and Iran now.

He makes it clear that the Japanese people were heart and mind, unquestioningly, with the Emperor; with his government and his military in wanting to make war on America and the world.

In the case of Iran, however, it is apparent that the people are not in agreement with the tyrants who rule them. It is not their will that war – ultimately nuclear war – should be waged on America and the world. 

The Iranian people rose in rebellion against the regime in 2009. The uprising was called “the green revolution”. [Nothing to do with environmentalism.] Much regret has been expressed that President Obama did not help the protestors. Had he helped them, the reasoning goes, the regime might have been toppled.

But Obama did not want regime change. He wanted to make friends with the Ayatollahs. Why remains a matter of conjecture. The explanation given by his administration was that negotiating a “deal” with the Iranian government would stop the development of Iranian nuclear bombs. But that is belied by the terms of the “deal” itself, which allows Iran to become a nuclear armed power in little more than ten years after the date of the agreement.

To want regime change is to want to save the Iranians from their oppression.

To want regime change is to want the defeat of the Ayatollahs – but not of Islam.

And Lewis’s whole point is that the defeat of Iran would effect crushing defeat on Islam as a whole. It would prove that Islamic state totalitarianism would not be tolerated. It would be a severe deterrent to jihad.

In which state is Islam most solidly linked with political power, dedicated to the violent spread of Islamic rule, and infused with hatred of America? What state is founded on these ideas, and their practice, as a matter of principle? There is a clear answer, which is known, admittedly or not, by almost everyone today. The political centerpiece of Islamic Totalitarianism today — the state in which Islam is most militantly welded to political power and contempt for America and the West — the world leader in the violent spread of Islam — is Iran. …

The road to the defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism begins in Tehran. America, acting alone and with overwhelming force, must destroy the Iranian Islamic State now. It must do so openly, and indeed spectacularly, for the entire world to see, for this is the only way to demonstrate the spectacular failure and incompetence of the Islamic fundamentalist movement as a whole.

So by his well-reasoned argument, war on Iran – not regime change – is essential. War and total defeat.

And the methods he advocates – the methods used on Japan, now capable of being much more quickly applied, including the deployment of nuclear weapons before Iran has them to retaliate with – could achieve the objective.

But unlike the Japanese in the Second World War, the Iranian people are not deserving of retribution. So war cannot be waged on Iran as it was waged on Japan.

The bombing would need to be targeted on nuclear facilities. And Obama stopped Israel doing just that in 2014 with threats of forcefully intercepting Israeli bombers. He would have ordered Israeli planes to be shot down before they could reach their target, according to credible reports (which were neither officially confirmed or denied by the US or Israel).  

Lewis makes a strong case that the devastation of Japan, the starvation of the people, the use of nuclear bombs was morally justified, and so too would be the devastation of Iran.

Only after we understand that we should defeat these enemies, can we ask how. This point is vital, for the question of moral rightness is logically and psychologically prior to any question of strategy or tactics. If we do not understand that we should defeat them — if we think that we are as bad as they are, or that they have legitimate grievances that justify their attacks, or that we have created a situation that morally demands that we compensate them — then our lack of moral self-confidence will undercut our motivation to fight. But the facts do not warrant such a conclusion. We are morally right and the Islamic Totalitarians are evil — not merely in their methods, but, more fundamentally, in their values and goals. We have a moral responsibility to defeat them

But would it be morally right to kill millions of Iranians whose “values and goals” are not those of their government? If not, then only something less than total war would be morally justified.

Iran’s nuclear facilities are now deeper underground and so much harder to destroy. Still, they must be destroyed. Iran must be kept from becoming a nuclear power. May President Trump find a way to achieve that end!

The destruction of Islam will be even harder.

Posted under Iran, Islam, Japan, jihad, middle east, Muslims, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Monday, January 9, 2017

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A narcissistic fool and his terrible legacy 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obamacare will be repealed? I doubt it.

Gitmo still open. Damn!

Israel f***ed. Yay!

Now carve my head on Mount Rushmore.

Ben Shapiro writes at Townhall:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hiroshima, Nagasaki 5

It is patently absurd to apologize for doing something you did not do. Obama likes to go round the world apologizing for what past American governments did. Is he about to apologize to the present Japanese government for the bombs President Truman decided to drop on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945? And ought they to be apologized for?

Victor Davis Hanson writes at Townhall:

The dropping of two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 remains the only wartime use of nuclear weapons in history.

No one knows exactly how many Japanese citizens were killed by the two American bombs. A macabre guess is around 140,000. The atomic attacks finally shocked Emperor Hirohito and the Japanese militarists into surrendering.

John Kerry recently visited Hiroshima. He became the first Secretary of State to do so – purportedly as a precursor to a planned visit next month by President Obama, who is rumored to be considering an apology to Japan for America’s dropping of the bombs 71 years ago.

The horrific bombings are inexplicable without examining the context in which they occurred.

In 1943, President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill insisted on the unconditional surrender of Axis aggressors. The bomb was originally envisioned as a way to force the Axis leader, Nazi Germany, to cease fighting. But the Third Reich had already collapsed by July 1945 when the bomb was ready for use, leaving Imperial Japan as the sole surviving Axis target. Japan had just demonstrated with its nihilistic defense of Okinawa – where more than 12,000 Americans died and more than 50,000 were wounded, along with perhaps 200,000 Japanese military and civilian casualties – that it could make the Americans pay so high a price for victory that they might negotiate an armistice rather than demand surrender. Tens of thousands of Americans had already died in taking the Pacific islands as a way to get close enough to bomb Japan. On March 9-10, 1945, B-29 bombers dropped an estimated 1,665 tons of napalm on Tokyo, causing at least as many deaths as later at Hiroshima.

Over the next three months, American attacks leveled huge swaths of urban Japan. U.S. planes dropped about 60 million leaflets on Japanese cities, telling citizens to evacuate and to call upon their leaders to cease the war.

Japan still refused to surrender and upped its resistance with thousands of Kamikaze airstrikes. By the time of the atomic bombings, the U.S. Air Force was planning to transfer from Europe much of the idle British and American bombing fleet to join the B-29s in the Pacific.

Perhaps 5,000 Allied bombers would have saturated Japan with napalm. The atomic bombings prevented such a nightmarish incendiary storm.

The bombs also cut short plans for an invasion of Japan — an operation that might well have cost 1 million Allied lives, and at least three to four times that number of well-prepared, well-supplied Japanese defenders.

There were also some 2 million Japanese soldiers fighting throughout the Pacific, China and Burma — and hundreds of thousands of Allied prisoners and Asian civilians being held in Japanese prisoner of war and slave labor camps. Thousands of civilians were dying every day at the hands of Japanese barbarism. The bombs stopped that carnage as well.

The Soviet Union, which signed a non-aggression pact with Japan in 1941, had opportunistically attacked Japan on the very day of the Nagasaki bombing.

By cutting short the Soviet invasion, the bombings saved not only millions more lives, but kept the Soviets out of postwar Japan, which otherwise might have experienced a catastrophe similar to the subsequent Korean War.

World War II was the most deadly event in human history. Some 60 million people perished in the six years between Germany’s surprise invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, and the official Japanese surrender on Sept. 2, 1945. No natural disaster – neither the flu pandemic of 1918 nor even the 14th-century bubonic plague that killed nearly two-thirds of Europe’s population – came close to the death toll of World War II. Perhaps 80 percent of the dead were civilians, mostly Russians and Chinese who died at the hands of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

Both aggressors deliberately executed and starved to death millions of innocents.

World War II was also one of the few wars in history in which the losers, Japan and Germany, lost far fewer lives than did the winners. There were roughly five times as many deaths on the Allied side, both military and civilian, as on the Axis side.

It is fine for Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama to honor the Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims. But in a historical and moral sense, any such commemoration must be offered in the context of Japanese and German aggression.

Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan started the respective European and Pacific theaters of World War II with surprise attacks on neutral nations. Their uniquely barbaric war-making led to the deaths of some 50 million Allied soldiers, civilians and neutrals – a toll more than 500 times as high as that of Hiroshima.

This spring we should also remember those 50 million – and who was responsible for their deaths.

The world owes America gratitude for winning two world wars – and the Cold War. And for so much more that a book as long as the Obamacare act or the IRS’s tax rules could not contain all the reasons.

In praise of waterboarding 5

Frankly, the waterboarding, if it was up to me, and if we changed the laws or had the laws, waterboarding would be fine. I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from these people.

So said Donald Trump on NBC’s Today show last Tuesday, March 23.

We agree with him. And, somewhat to our surprise since PowerLine has declared itself to be anti-Trump, Paul Mirengoff of that excellent website does too.

He writes:

According to reports, the terrorists who carried out last week’s attacks in Brussels acted sooner than originally planned because they feared that captured terrorist Salah Abdeslam would inform authorities of the attacks. Apparently, they need not have worried.

Belgian officials questioned Abdeslam only lightly, and not at all about possible new attacks. Instead, using the discredited law enforcement model, they focused on the Paris attacks of last November, presumably hoping to obtain a confession.

Back in the days of the controversy over waterboarding, there was talk about a “ticking time bomb” scenario. The question was: When we know there’s time bomb ready to go off, but don’t know the location, is it okay to waterboard a captured terrorist who likely has knowledge of the impending attack?

Opponents of waterboarding, having no satisfactory answer, tended to pooh-pooh the question. It was based on an unrealistic scenario, they insisted.

Tell that to the victims of the Brussels attacks.

In reality, most captured terrorists present a variation of the ticking time bomb scenario. These days, organizations like ISIS are constantly planning new attacks. A captured terrorist who has been active recently might very well know something about upcoming attacks in his locale.

It’s unlikely that even in the Age of Obama, the U.S. would have handled Abdeslam as ineffectively as the Belgians did. One can imagine our people declining to question the terrorist for 24 hours because he was hospitalized and then questioning him only for a fairly short time because “he seemed very tired” after surgery. But I doubt that we would have failed to ask about future attacks.

But how far would we have gone to obtain answers? … What if Abdeslam proved to be among the one-third of detainees who don’t cooperate without enhanced interrogation?

In that scenario, no one with a decent regard for innocent human life could object to the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on a terrorist like this. Abdeslam was the mastermind behind the Paris attacks. … This was a ticking time bomb scenario.

It’s time to revisit the question of enhanced interrogation, a question that the U.S. answered incorrectly during a lull in the terrorist threat.

The writer, it seems to us, clearly enough implies that the “correct” answer is Donald Trump’s.

It will be interesting to see whether, if Trump is elected to the presidency, the mere fact of his coming to power will deter Muslim terrorism – as the mere fact of Ronald Reagan’s entering the Oval Office on January 20, 1981, persuaded Iran to release the American hostages it was holding, on that very day.

The taking down of America 18

President Obama believes that America is arrogant.* If his foreign policy can be explained by anything, it would be his intention to bring America down a peg or ten. Looked at like that, the disasters we see happening in many parts of the world are testimony not to  Obama’s failure, but to his success.

Not that President Obama can have any objection to arrogance as such. He is an arrogant man. He just doesn’t want America to be proud of its superiority. He hates the very idea that it is superior. But while he would not even acknowledge its political-moral superiority as a republic constituted for liberty, he cannot deny that it is economically and militarily stronger than any other country. So he’s been working to change that for the last six years.

The whole world is the worse for his efforts.

This is from Front Page, by Bruce Thornton:

The 6 years of Barack Obama’s foreign policy have seen American influence and power decline across the globe. Traditional rivals like China and Russia are emboldened and on the march in the South China Sea and Ukraine. Iran, branded as the world’s deadliest state sponsor of terrorism, is arrogantly negotiating its way to a nuclear bomb. Bloody autocrats and jihadist gangs in the Middle East scorn our president’s threats and behead our citizens. Countries in which Americans have shed their blood in service to our interests and ideals are in the process of being abandoned to our enemies. And allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia are bullied or ignored. All over the world, a vacuum of power has been created by a foreign policy sacrificed to domestic partisan advantage, and characterized by criminal incompetence.

Incompetence is what it looks like. But if failure is the aim, then either the incompetence is only an appearance, or it is a means to the end.

How we have arrived at this point, the dangers to our security and interests if we don’t change course, and what must be done to recover our international prestige and effectiveness are the themes of Bret Stephens’ America in Retreat. The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder. …

A clear sign of American retreat is the precipitous decline in military spending. “In the name of budgetary savings,” Stephens writes, “the Army is returning to its June 1940 size,” and “the Navy put fewer ships at sea at any time since 1916.” The Air Force is scheduled to retire 25,000 airmen and mothball 550 planes. Our nuclear forces are being cut to meet the terms of the 2010 New Start Treaty with Russia, even as its nuclear arsenal has been increasing. Meanwhile Obama … issues empty threats, blustering diktats, and sheer lies that convince world leaders he is a “self-infatuated weakling”.

Unfortunately, 52% of the American people agree that the U.S. “should mind its own business internationally”,  and 65% want to “reduce overseas military commitments”, including a majority of Republicans. This broad consensus that America should retreat from global affairs reflects our age’s bipartisan isolationism, the centerpiece of Stephens’ analysis. This national mood is not a sign of decline, according to Stephens, who documents the enormous advantages America still enjoys globally, from its superiority in research and entrepreneurial vigor, to its healthy demographics and spirit of innovation. But it does bespeak a dangerous withdrawal from the policies that created the postwar Pax Americana – even though this global order policed by the U.S. defeated the murderous, nuclear-armed ideology of Soviet communism, and made possible the astonishing economic expansion that has lifted millions from poverty all over the world. …

For Stephens, isolationism has not been the only danger to American foreign policy success. What he calls “the overdose of ideals”, specifically the “freedom agenda” of the sort George W. Bush tried in Iraq and Afghanistan, has misdirected our efforts and squandered our resources in the pursuit of impossible goals. The success of the Cold War and the subsequent spread of democracy and free-market economies suggested that the world could be not just protected from an evil ideology, but “redeemed” by actively fostering liberal democracy even in countries and regions lacking the necessary network of social mores and political virtues upon which genuine liberal democracy rests. But in attempting to redeem the world, Stephens notes, policy makers “neglected a more prosaic responsibility: to police it”.

The failures to create stability, let alone true democracy, in Iraq and Afghanistan have enabled what Stephens calls the “retreat doctrine”, one to be found in both political parties. Barack Obama is the master of this species of foreign policy, incoherently combining idealistic democracy-promoting rhetoric with actions that further withdraw the U.S. from its responsibility to ensure global order. Under the guise of “nation-building at home,” and in service to traditional leftist doubt about America’s goodness, Obama has retreated in the face of aggression, and encouraged cuts in military spending in order to fund an ever-expanding entitlement state.

But also, equally, in order to make America weaker.

Meanwhile, “Republicans are busy writing their own retreat doctrine in the name of small government, civil liberties, fiscal restraint, ‘realism’,  a creeping sense of Obama-induced national decline, and a deep pessimism about America’s ability to make itself, much less the rest of the world, better.”

The “retreat doctrine” is dangerous because global disorder is a constant contingency. The remainder of Stephens’ book approaches this topic first from the perspective of theory and history, and then from today’s practice. History teaches us that all the substitutes for a liberal dominant global power have failed to prevent the descent into conflict and mass violence. The ideas of a balance of power, collective security, or the presumed peaceful dividend and “harmony of interests” created by global trade did not prevent World War I or its even more devastating sequel. Nor are they any more useful in our own times.

As for today, Stephens identifies several challenges to a global order fragilely held together by the commitment to liberal democracy, open economies, and the free circulation of ideas and trade. The “revisionists” attack this model from various perspectives. Iran sees it as a fomenter of godlessness and hedonism, Russia is moved to oppose it by “revanchism and resentment”,  and China believes that it “is a recipe for bankruptcy and laziness”,  lacking a “sense of purpose, organization, and direction”.  All three see evidence for their various critiques in the failure of the U.S. to exercise its massive power in the face of challenges, and in the willingness of American elites to revel in guilt and self-doubt. These perceptions of national decline invite rivals and enemies to behave as if the U.S. is in fact declining.

The other international players that could worsen disorder are “freelancers” and “free radicals”.  The former include those countries like Israel or Japan who, convinced that America will not act in its own or its allies’ interests, will understandably take action that necessarily entails unforeseen disastrous consequences. Much more dangerous are the “free radicals”, the jihadist gangs rampaging across 3 continents, and the nuclear proliferators like Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan’s A.Q. Khan, whose collaboration with each other and rogue regimes like Venezuela endangers the world through provoking even further proliferation on the part of rivals, or by handing off nuclear weapons to terrorist organizations. And then there are “free radicals” like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, who have undermined global order by publicizing the necessarily covert tools, practices, and institutions that undergird and protect it.

Finally, there are the structural weaknesses of the globalized economy and its continuing decline in growth, which may create “breaks” in national economic systems that “will be profoundly disruptive, potentially violent, and inherently unpredictable”. Add America’s retreat from world affairs and reductions in military spending, and in the “nearer term”, Stephens warns, “terrorists, insurgents, pirates, hackers, ‘whistleblowers’,  arms smugglers, and second-rate powers armed with weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles will be able to hold the United States inexpensively at risk”,  provoking further American retreat from world affairs and the inevitable increased aggression by our enemies and rivals.

 So what can be done? In his conclusion Stephens applies to foreign affairs the “broken windows” tactics of urban policing that caused rates of violent crimes to plummet over the last few decades. Thus “the immediate goal of U.S. foreign policy should be to arrest the continued slide into a broken-windows world of international disorder”.

This foreign policy would require increasing U.S. military spending to 5% of GDP, with a focus on increasing numbers of troops, planes, and ships rather than on overly sophisticated and expensive new weapons. It would mean stationing U.S. forces near global hotspots to serve as a deterrent and rapid-reaction force to snuff out incipient crises. It would require reciprocity from allies in military spending, who for too long have taken for granted the American defense umbrella. It would focus attention on regions and threats that really matter, particularly the borderlands of free states, in order to protect global good citizens from predators. It means acting quickly and decisively when conflict does arise, rather than wasting time in useless debates and diplomatic gabfests. Finally, it would require that Americans accept that their unprecedented global economic, cultural, and military power confers on us both vulnerability to those who envy and hate us, and responsibility for the global order on which our own security and interests depend.

No matter how understandable our traditional aversion to military and political entanglements abroad, history has made us the global policeman, one committed to human rights, accountability, and political freedom. If we abdicate that position, there is no country powerful, or worthy enough, to take our place.

We agree with that.

And Thornton tantalizes us with this:

Stephens ends with an imagined “scenario” of how a serious global disruption could occur, one grounded in current trends and thus frighteningly believable.

When we’ve found out what that scenario is, which is to say when we’ve read the book, we’ll return to this important subject.

 

*  “In his first nine months in office, President Obama has issued apologies and criticisms of America in speeches in France, England, Turkey, and Cairo; at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and the United Nations in New York City. He has apologized for what he deems to be American arrogance, dismissiveness, and derision; for dictating solutions, for acting unilaterally, and for acting without regard for others; for treating other countries as mere proxies, for unjustly interfering in the internal affairs of other nations, and for feeding anti-Muslim sentiments; for committing torture, for dragging our feet on global warming and for selectively promoting democracy.” – Mitt Romney, quoted by PolitiFact.com

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