The terrors of the earth 0

Obama in China, at a ‘press conference’ where no one was allowed to ask questions, read a statement in which he said:

We [himself and President Hu] agreed that the Islamic Republic of Iran must provide assurances to the international community that its nuclear program is peaceful and transparent. Iran has an opportunity to present and demonstrate its peaceful intentions but if it fails to take this opportunity, there will be consequences.

Tremble! What might they be?

Again extending the time Iran has been given to change its policy while yet more diplomatic efforts are made to dissuade the mullahs from developing nuclear weapons.

Gosh! But if they still go on developing them?

Well then … there will be consequences.

As the powerless King Lear threatens:

I will do such things —

What they are yet I know not, but they shall be

The terrors of the earth!

Posted under China, Commentary, Defense, Diplomacy, Iran, Islam, jihad, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, November 17, 2009

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‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being Obama’ 0

As Obama descends from the clouds to touch down on Japan, Singapore, China, and South Korea, he claims to be the ‘first Pacific president of the United States’.

The following is from a piece about this by Tony Fratto, published by The Roosevelt Room under the apt title which we quote.

This is a president absolutely unburdened by what came before. “Being Obama” means to fly high and lightly above the evidence of the past.

“Being Obama”, for the purposes of this White House, is more than sufficient — it is all.

On his inaugural visit to Asia, President Obama announced a “new” orientation toward Asia, leaving an impression that prior White House maps merely employed pictures of sea monsters to depict the strange lands beyond the Hawaiian Islands.

If you were looking for a new initiative, a new program, some new evidence breaking with the past to mark the end of the old era, you would be disappointed. Understand that “Being Obama” is the difference.

“Being Obama” is the self-proclamation of “America’s first Pacific president”.

Never mind the previous presidents who hailed from the Pacific rim state of California. Never mind that a prior president served as an ambassador to China. Never mind that prior presidents served in battle in Asia, negotiated peace in the region, opened China, initiated historic diplomatic, security and economic initiatives with Asian nations and guaranteed the region’s safety.

“Being Obama” is to lightly, and without shame, disregard the irony that the nation he visits today, Singapore, was the first Asian nation to sign (during the era of disengagement!) a free trade agreement with the U.S. …

It would be unbearable to acknowledge that the key initiative cited to highlight a “new” engagement with Asia in the Obama era — the Trans-Pacific Partnership — was actually agreed to and announced by President Obama’s predecessor after years of careful work and engagement.

The President spoke of a “new” engagement with China, one that recognized that nation as important to the U.S. economy, welcoming its economic rise — not a competitor, but as an engine of growth and opportunity in the global economy. An enterprising reporter with access to Google might find these very same words, almost verbatim, used by President Bush and a succession of Bush Administration Treasury and Commerce secretaries.

Never mind that.

Never mind that the hallmark forum for engagement with China in the “new” era of engagement — the Strategic and Economic Dialogue — is a continuation of the Bush Administration’s Strategic Economic Dialogue. (A new era accomplished by the mere addition of a conjunction.)

Never mind that the hallmark multilateral forum for engagement with China on the priority strategic regional security concern — the Six-Party Talks to deal with a nuclear North Korea — is a continuation of a Bush Administration initiative.

Never mind that the hallmark multilateral forum for engagement with China on climate change — the Major Economies Forum — is, once again, a continuation of President Bush’s initiative.

Never mind all that. Shed the heavy burden of the work and sacrifice of history that preceded and fly lightly above it.

“Being Obama” is enough, and it is all.

Talking Turkey 0

The Ottoman Empire sided with Germany in World War I, and was broken up by the victorious allies. Parts of it became Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel.

Mustafa Kemal, later known as Kemal Atatürk, was the president of the first Turkish republic brought into existence by the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.

The Turkish sultan had borne the title of Caliph. Under Atatürk the caliphate was abolished in 1924. Turkey became a constitutionally democratic state with an elected parliament. Even women were enfranchised in 1934.

From 1928, Islam ceased to be the state religion. Men were forbidden to grow beards. If they did, Atatürk had them forcibly shaved. He forbade polygamy. Women threw off the veil. In fact, despite the institutions and procedures of democracy, Atatürk wielded dictatorial powers, but he used them to modernize his country.

By the time he died in 1938, the republic was firmly established as a secular state.

In 1952 Turkey became a member of the (then three year old) North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The second Turkish republic, established with a new constitution in 1961, proved itself a firm friend and ally of the United States.

After an outbreak of civil violence in 1980, in which more than 2,000 people died, the army intervened, martial law was declared, General Kenan Evren seized control of the government and restored order. A new constitution of 1982 established the autonomy of the army and gave it extraordinary powers over civilian affairs. The army remained the guarantor of Turkey’s secularism, even after martial law was lifted in 1987.

In 1991, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and the US went to war to force his withdrawal, Turkey permitted the American air force to launch strikes against Iraq from its territory.

A woman, Tansu Çiller, became prime minister in 1993 – to the consternation, no doubt, of the Islamic world. A year later a downturn in the economy led to loss of faith in the secular government among some sections of the population, and Islamic fundamentalism began to spread. In elections of 1995 the largest share of the vote went to an Islamist party, which acquired modified power in a coalition government under Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan of the Islamist party. This development threatened an end to the secular state.

The army intervened. It forced the resignation of Erbakan and his replacement by a secularist.

In 1991, Turkey took military action to put down an armed rebellion of Kurdish nationalists. The Kurdistan Workers Part (PKK) used terrorist methods, including suicide bombing. In 1999, with the capture of the rebel leader, the conflict died down. In that year Turkey was invited to apply for membership of the European Union (EU).

The invitation did not provide an easy path for Turkey’s accession. First the Brussels bureaucracy objected to Turkey’s ‘human rights’ record. When Turkey made reforms in order to become more acceptable, it was told that the power of the army was an impediment to its joining. Woodenly, the EU decision-makers either didn’t understand or deliberately ignored the fact that the Turkish army was what kept Turkey the sort of country that could co-operate successfully with Western powers, by keeping it from becoming an Islamic state.

Popular support for Islamism grew. Relations between Turkey and the West deteriorated. In 2003 the parliament refused permission to the United States to invade Iraq from US bases in Turkey. At that point Turkey should have been expelled from NATO. It wasn’t, but a rift came between Turkey and the United States. A long-established friendship between Turkey and Israel also began to cool.

Islamism continues to gain popularity in Turkey. An Islamist party is in power. Beards and the veil have made a comeback. The army is losing power. It has not succeeded in opposing a developing alliance between Turkey and Iran. It was almost certainly against the wishes of the army that Turkey recently cancelled joint military exercises with Israel.

On October 28, 2009, the prime minister of Turkey, Tayyep Recep Erdogan, and the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, met for talks. According to Israeli sources (in a report of November 10, 2009), they agreed that Turkey, still a member of NATO, will pass on intelligence to Tehran concerning any preparations Israel makes for a strike on Iran’s nuclear development facilities. Presumably this would mean that intelligence concerning Israel-US military co-operation can fall into Iranian hands.

What seems certain enough is that Turkey is now aligned with the Islamic enemies of the United States, and NATO is harboring a traitor. The US should be taking damage-limiting action. But we don’t expect Obama to be troubled enough by this development to do anything about it. He’s probably in favor of it.

Jillian Becker  November 14, 2009

The thoughts of a turnip head 0

Far from stopping Iran from making nuclear weapons, the Obama administration has legitimized its efforts and given it yet more time to advance its project.

From Investors.com (Investor’s Business Daily):

The mullahs ruling Islamofascist Iran are having a fine laugh at the easily beguiled infidels running U.S. foreign policy. First they agree to a nuclear “diplomatic breakthrough.” Then they say no.

The week before last, when Iran’s negotiators agreed to send most of its enriched uranium out of the country, diplomats in the U.S. and Europe were popping the champagne corks.

But last week Iranian officials backtracked on the agreement reached in Vienna to send three-quarters of its nuclear material to Russia for processing, after which it would be returned. Some 2,600 pounds of uranium was to be shipped by mid-January.

The pact was supposed to give the U.S. a year of extra time to work its negotiating magic on the Islamist terror state, as well as hold off an attack by Israel on Iran’s nuclear facilities. …

Iran now wants to keep its uranium until it gets fuel from the West. And this change of mind comes right after dubiously re-elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared: “We welcome cooperation on nuclear fuel, power plants and technology, and we are ready to cooperate.” …

Even if the Vienna deal had stuck, it makes a mockery of three U.N. Security Council declarations by legitimizing Tehran’s violations of the U.N. and allowing this fanatical, terrorist-supporting regime to continue its “peaceful” nuclear program.

How can a theocratic government with a stone-age worldview take the most sophisticated, modern, industrialized nation in the world for a ride, as if we just fell off the turnip truck?

Because those who run Iran realize they are engaged in a global war. Those who now run American foreign policy, on the other hand, think “war on terror” is passe. Peace must be given a chance first, they think. And “yes, we can” make it work, without firing a shot. Hope will triumph. …

Think? Those who now run American foreign policy think?

Does this burble (from The Times of India) by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – delivered in Pakistan on Friday  when Iran said  ‘no’ – sound like thinking?

“We are working to determine exactly what they are willing to do, whether this was an initial response that is an end response or the beginning of getting to where we expect them to end up,” Clinton said.

Posted under Commentary, Defense, Diplomacy, Iran, Islam, Israel, jihad, Terrorism, United Nations, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Saturday, October 31, 2009

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An answer 3

One of our readers, Hawk2, has commented on our post below, Question, providing the sort of answer we are looking for.

We think his/her comments are so interesting that we are posting them in full here on our front page.

US foreign policy should be grounded in two essential considerations, and only these two:

1. Profitable trade

2. National security

With these in mind, the only recent war that must be seen to have had no justification whatsoever is President Clinton’s war in the Balkans. It did nothing for trade. It gained America nothing. It was not worth what it cost. What is worse, its rationale was the protection of Muslim rebels, at a time when Islam was fast becoming the major enemy of the Western world.

Oil is a very good reason to go to war. It satisfies both considerations. If the US had gone to war to seize the Saudi Arabian oilfields in 1974 when the price of oil was hyped as an attack on the US economy, it would have been right to do so.

If the wars against Saddam Hussein were waged for oil, they were necessary and worth what they cost. Also if they were waged to protect America from WMD, they were necessary and worth what they cost. If, on the other hand, they were waged to protect Kuwait from conquest, or Iraqis from tyranny, they were unnecessary and not worth what they cost.

The war against the Taliban/al-Qaeda was justified by 9/11. But having soundly beaten the Taliban, the US should have withdrawn, leaving a clear message that if the US were struck again the Taliban would be beaten again. Staying on to build schools and clinics which the Taliban will demolish is senseless, and not worth what it costs. There is no saving the Afghans from themselves: from corruption, the subjugation of women, the growing of opium.

As to the argument that it is always in the interests of the US to protect freedom in the wider world, that is true, but the threat to freedom must be a real one. It was why America was right to go to Europe’s aid in the in the First and Second World Wars. It may be a reason for America to go to war again. America’s own freedom was under threat then as it is now, this time by the creeping colonization of Europe by Islam. ‘Spreading democracy’ – another reason given for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – does not guarantee the spread of freedom. Germany was a democracy when Hitler came to power by being democratically elected. Zalaya was democratically elected in Honduras, and was deposed because he was trying to establish his dictatorship. But the State Department insists that he should be reinstated. This is staggeringly stupid if not treacherous. The preservation of freedom on the South American continent wherever it exists is plainly essential to US security. Hostile regimes in the hemisphere are a serious threat, as Hugo Chavez proves by his alliance with would-be-nuclear-armed Iran.

This reasoning would fully justify an immediate military attack on Iran and North Korea.

Just as the Russians like it 0

Here’s how Charles Krauthammer ends his delectable must-read article on the continuing failure of Obama and his Secretary of State to achieve anything good for America with their ‘smart power’:

Didn’t Obama say in July that Iran had to show compliance by the G-20 summit in late September? And when that deadline passed, did he not then warn Iran that it would face “sanctions that have bite” and that it would have to take “a new course or face consequences”?

Gone with the wind. It’s the U.S. that’s now retreating from its already flimsy position of just three weeks ago. We’re not doing sanctions now, you see. We’re back to engagement. Just as the Russians suggest.

Henry Kissinger once said that the main job of Anatoly Dobrynin, the perennial Soviet ambassador to Washington, was to tell the Kremlin leadership that whenever they received a proposal from the United States that appeared disadvantageous to the United States, not to assume it was a trick.

No need for a Dobrynin today. The Russian leadership, hardly believing its luck, needs no interpreter to understand that when the Obama team clownishly rushes in bearing gifts and “reset” buttons, there is nothing ulterior, diabolical, clever or even serious behind it. It is amateurishness, wrapped in naivete, inside credulity. In short, the very stuff of Nobels.

Posted under Commentary, Defense, Diplomacy, Iran, Russia, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, October 17, 2009

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Why? 0

From The Blog:

If Iran can credibly hold Washington and New York City at risk, we’ll be essentially locked in to a Cold War style deterrence paradigm with Tehran — a country that will have no problem unleashing their proxies against US interests and allies (like the Soviets did) without fear of serious conventional reprisal.

The president has at his disposal two tools to ensure that Iran can never threaten the United States: either an offensive, decapitating, conventional strike on Tehran’s leadership, ballistic missile inventory, and nuclear weapons program, or a defensive missile shield so tight a bottle rocket couldn’t slip through. In a critical juncture in history, where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans can no longer assure our security, Obama has opted for neither.

Why? For the answer, see our two posts below, Promoting American weakness and US security will depend on the kindness of (evil) strangers.

Posted under Commentary, Defense, Diplomacy, Iran, Islam, jihad, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Saturday, September 19, 2009

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Promoting American weakness 0

From John Hinderaker at Power Line, we learn about a cause for despair:

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright spoke at a forum in Omsk, Siberia. Pravda reported that her speech “surprised the audience.” No wonder. The Russians in attendance must have wondered how they managed to lose the cold war:

Madeleine Albright said during the meeting that America no longer had the intention of being the first nation of the world…

The former US Secretary of State surprised the audience with her speech. She particularly said that democracy was not the perfect system. “It can be contradictory, corrupt and may have security problems,” Albright said.

America has been having hard times recently, Albright said. “We have been talking about our exceptionalism during the recent eight years. Now, an average American wants to stay at home – they do not need any overseas adventures. We do not need new enemies,” Albright said adding that Beijing, London and Delhi became a serious competition for Washington and New York. “My generation has made many mistakes. We give the future into the hands of the young. Your prime goal is to overcome the gap between the poor and the rich,” the former head of the US foreign political department said.

There you have it. And Albright was Secretary of State during the relatively moderate Clinton administration. I’m afraid she speaks for most Democratic foreign policy “experts.” Promoting American weakness: it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

By the way, since “overcoming the gap between the poor and the rich” is the world’s number one priority, do you suppose Albright waived her speaker’s fee, which is listed coyly as more than $40,000? No, I don’t think so, either.

Posted under Commentary, Defense, Diplomacy, Russia, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, September 19, 2009

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Yes, we could 0

Today it is officially announced that Obama has broken America’s promise to Poland and the Czech Republic to supply them with anti-missile defense shields – as we said he would two weeks ago (Obama abandons Poland and Czech republic to the enemy, September 3). Why is he doing it? The Russians were furiously against the plan, so that’s one poor reason. But the main and outrageous reason is, of course, that Obama is not interested in defending America or its allies or the free(-ish) world.

At ‘the corner’ of the National Review Online, Jay Nordlinger writes:

I thought Barack Obama would be a poor and troublesome president. Did I think he would yuk it up with Hugo Chávez, smirk with Daniel Ortega about the Bay of Pigs, turn his wrath on a Central American country trying to follow its constitution, denounce President Bush abroad, bow to the king of Saudi Arabia, endorse a radical Middle Eastern view of how Israel came into being, knock Western countries that try to protect Muslim girls from unwanted shrouding, invite the Iranian regime to our Fourth of July parties, stay essentially mute in the face of counterrevolution in Iran, squeeze and panic Israel, cold-shoulder the Cuban democrats in order to warm to the Cuban dictatorship, scrap missile defense in Eastern Europe, and refuse to meet with the Dalai Lama [this item doesn’t annoy us as much – JB] — in addition to his attempts to have government eat great portions of American society? No, I did not. You?

Yes, we did. We said so, in generalized prediction. We only don’t understand why the whole country couldn’t see what Obama would set about trying to do: at home, turn America into an impoverished socialist country, and abroad, ally America with its enemies and alienate its friends.

The dreaded moment draws near 0

Iran was given until this month to respond to Obama’s appeal to negotiate over its nuclear threat. Do we expect Ahmadinejad any moment now to say, ‘Okay, world, I was only kidding about wiping Israel off the map – we’re don’t really want to threaten anybody, least of all with nuclear weapons, so come and inspect us to your entire satisfaction’?  No, not many of us, we’d guess. Maybe the folk at Foggy Bottom who see, hear, and speak no evil.

Jennifer Rubin writes:

At some point, even the Obama team may recognize that diplomacy, however “smart,” isn’t paying off. What then? Well they might have to do something. They might need to take a breather from hollering at Israel over East Jerusalem apartments and begin to rally international opinion to take some meaningful action in an attempt to dissuade Iran from going down this path [to nuclear war capability].

Now, you may think that’s not likely — because the Obama team lacks the ability or the will to get tough with any power (well, other than Honduras and Israel), or because it’s getting to be too late for economic sanctions. And then we arrive at the real choice: military action or a nuclear-armed Iran. You can see why so many would rather not take “no” for an answer.

Posted under Commentary, Defense, Diplomacy, Iran, jihad, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Monday, September 7, 2009

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