Category ►►► Russkie Resurgence

May 3, 2012

A Crisis Obama Might Let Go to Waste

Missile Muscle , Presidential Peculiarities and Pomposities , Russkie Resurgence
Hatched by Dafydd

Finally, at long last, President Barack H. Obama has a chance to show off that big stick he totes.

See, the tragedy is that he has not yet had any real opportunity to prove that he could be a real, honest to goodies wartime president, like his idol, Franklin Roosevelt. Oh, sure, there are those two petty, vainglorious wars he inherited from his predecessor, may the flies eat out his eyes; but those wars were plodding, dreary affairs that simply had no dash, no shining White-House moment, no sex appeal at all.

They don't count. No future historian is going to point to Afghanistan or Iraq circa 2009-2013 and gush about how courageous Big Stick was in winding down those wars with neither victory nor even closure. That's just straight out of the Democratic playbook; Obama doesn't get any brownie points for doing what everybody expected him to do: snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Similarly, it's hard for even Mr. O. himself to get all het up about more drone attacks; heck, the very word "drone" sounds like your boring neighbor who just goes on and on about his pets, and how delicious they are in hollandaise sauce.

Of course the president did make a tremendous impact on the deadly military emergency in Mexico; but, well, for various reasons he can't really use that to burnish his national-security credentials.

But today, Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov, the highest ranking soldier in the Soviet in the Russian Republic, has given Barack Obama manna from Moskow: Makarov has issued a serious and credible threat to launch a preemptive strike on our ballistic missile defense (BMD) system in East Europe, unless we agree to negotiate it into the dustbin of history:

Russia’s most senior military officer said Thursday that Moscow would preemptively strike and destroy U.S.-led NATO missile defense sites in Eastern Europe if talks with Washington about the developing system continue to stall.

"A decision to use destructive force preemptively will be taken if the situation worsens," Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said at an international missile defense conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.

Should Obama save our commitment to BMD? Admittedly, the current system was initiated by that same vile predecessor, may he find scorpions in his breakfast cereal; but Big Stick already took care of that problem: He changed the previous system from the more powerful, effective, and versatile Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle atop our existing Ground Based Interceptor -- the system envisioned by the warmonger -- to the old Standard Missile 3 (SM-3), the same, off-the-shelf missile used by the Navy for shipboard BMD, emplaced in "Central Europe" by 2015. So you can see that the new system is totally different from the worthless piece of junk developed by the hateful hating hate-monger who ran the previous tyrannical regime.

Thus, President Stick has a golden opportunity to go toe to toe with the Russkies and tell them to just "bring it on" -- if, that is, they want to precipitate a shooting war between Russia and NATO. Show 'em who's boss! Grab that big stick, Mr. President, and throw it over your shoulder like a Continental soldier!

All Obama need do -- it's so easy! -- is instruct "Ellen Tauscher, the U.S. special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense," who "insisted the talks about NATO plans for a missile defense system using ground-based interceptor missiles stationed in Poland, Romania and Turkey were not stalemated," to stand firm, arms akimbo, look her counterpart in the eye (stepstool may be required), and say, "Yo' bubbie!"

If more elaboration is needed, she can add, "Just try an attack on American military forces, vodka breath, and after our Aegis ships shoot down your impotent missiles, we'll expand the BMD system to Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Georgia, South Korea, Japan, and not to forget Nome, Alaska. Stick that in your babushka and smoke it!"

Dear gentle readers, this is it: This is the chance for which the president has been waiting lo these many years. Let this be Barack "Big Stick" Obama's three a.m. phone call.

Is he going to knuckle under? Or worse, is he going to let the phone just ring and ring and ring? Heck no! My money's on the Stig the Stick to flex those Popeye muscles and give that dadburned Bluto Putin what for. Our man in la Casa Blanca certainly won't let this crisis go to waste; surely he'll swing for the fences at the low-hanging fruit.

Who's with me on this? Who's with me on this? It's time Obama draws his foot in the sand. If he stands up to the Russian bear on this point, if he tells them that we will consider any attack on our bases in Poland or anywhere else "casus belli," a justification for full-blown war against Russia, then nobody can call him a wimp, a mushmouth, an unprepared, dimwitted, poorly educated, godless, Castro-loving, commie prevert affirmative-action president ever again. So there.

All he need do is shut off the teleprompter, square up, and take a full-throated stand for America... and that will be Barack Hussein Obama's finest hour. (What's the over-under?)

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 3, 2012, at the time of 5:30 PM | Comments (2)

January 9, 2012

To Russia, With Servility

Military Machinations , Russkie Resurgence
Hatched by Sachi

The Washington Times newspaper reports -- take a deep breath -- that Barack H. Obama plans to share our ballistic missile defense (BMD) technology with Russia... including our newest mid-range missile, Standard Missile 3 (SM3).

When I heard this news, my mouth fell open, and I could not believe my ears (a bad face day). Surely even President B.O. wouldn't commit such a monumental stupidity!

Sadly, yes:

In the president’s signing statement issued Saturday in passing into law the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill, Mr. Obama said restrictions aimed at protecting top-secret technical data on U.S. Standard Missile-3 velocity burnout parameters might impinge on his constitutional foreign policy authority.

As first disclosed in this space several weeks ago, U.S. officials are planning to provide Moscow with the SM-3 data, despite reservations from security officials who say that doing so could compromise the effectiveness of the system by allowing Russian weapons technicians to counter the missile. The weapons are considered some of the most effective high-speed interceptors in the U.S. missile defense arsenal.

There are also concerns that Russia could share the secret data with China and rogue states such as Iran and North Korea to help their missile programs defeat U.S. missile defenses.

Really, you think?

Why whould Obama even counterplate such a thing? What's to gain, even for the capo di tutti capi of gangster government?

Their thinking is that if the Russians know the technical data, it will help allay Moscow’s fears that the planned missile defenses in Europe would be used against Russian ICBMs. Officials said current SM-3s are not fast enough to catch long-range Russian missiles, but a future variant may have some anti-ICBM capabilities.

Ah ha. So the president also plans to leak our most vital secrets from tomorrow's missile technology as well. It makes perfect sense; as a Progressivist, he's a forward-thinking guy.

But really, why shouldn't we keep Russia on its toes? Isn't it a good thing if they're too afraid to invade Europe because they're unsure about our BMD capability? What good derives from letting our previous and potentially future enemy know our vulnerabilities?

Frequent readers of Big Lizards know that I test missile systems for the Navy. I just completed a series of mandatory annual "releasability" training; the instructors drilled us on what information we can and cannot release even to our allies -- Aussies, Japanese, and some (but not all) European countries.

The rules regarding foreign disclosure of military technology are very complex; even though we don't anticipate that the U.K., for example, will use our own technology against us, we nevertheless don't give away our state of the art technology.

Except, evidently, to Obama's new BFF, Vladimir Putin.

Ballistic missile defense (BMD) is part of our AEGIS defense system. AEGIS BMD is a countermeasure against ballistic-missile attacks on our seaborne platforms: destroyers and cruisers, as well as any other ship defended by destroyers or cruisers, including carrier strike groups, supertankers in convoys, and so forth. If this technology is revealed to our pals at the Kremlin, it will quickly be shared with hostile countries; it's like giving a gang leader a spare key to your front door.

Not only this is very dangerous, it is also very illegal; if an ordinary person did secretly what Obama plots to do with great fanfare, he would find himself the defendant of a criminal trial for espionage (unless he was a liberal reporter):

Section 1227 of the defense law prohibits spending any funds that would be used to give Russian officials access to sensitive missile-defense technology, as part of a cooperation agreement without first sending Congress a report identifying the specific secrets, how they would be used and steps to protect the data from compromise.

The president also must certify to Congress that Russia will not share the secrets with other states and that it will not help Russia "to develop countermeasures" to U.S. defenses.

The certification also must show whether Russia is providing equal access to its missile defense technologies, which are mainly nuclear-tipped anti-missile interceptors.

But we are talking about the Obamunist, who thinks laws for paupers don't apply to princes:

Mr. Obama said in the signing statement that he would treat the legal restrictions as "non-binding."

"[M]y administration will also interpret and implement section 1244(sic) in a manner that does not interfere with the president’s constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs and avoids the undue disclosure of sensitive diplomatic communications," Mr. Obama said.

If Russia gets hold of our SM3s, then Red China will have them shortly. From Red China to North Korea is a short step... followed by Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and of course al-Qaeda. How do you think Chinese Silkworm missiles (derived from a Soviet missile) ended up on both sides in the Iran-Iraq war? Where do we suppose Hezbollah in Lebanon got the more advanced rockets they're now firing into Israel? Who supplied the sophisticated IEDs that flooded into Iraq in the late 2000s?

I can see only one political benefit to President Obama from giving up our most advanced mid-range missile technology to Russia: When SM3s wind up in the possession of radical Islamist terrorist groups, it might precipitate a terrible, worldwide national-security crisis; and if the timing is just right, Obama might be able to frighten people away from voting Republican, from "changing horses in mid-stream." At such a critical moment, we don't dare switch presidents now -- times are just too uncertain!

Better the Obama you know than the Obama you don't. What a wonderful "October surprise" that would be, and... happy Halloween!

Hatched by Sachi on this day, January 9, 2012, at the time of 4:16 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2010

Russia Yanks the Football Away

Iran Matters , Missile Muscle , Russkie Resurgence
Hatched by Dafydd

Examples of President Barack H. Obama's brilliant, inspired foreign policy just keep a-comin'...

A draft U.N. resolution that would impose sanctions on Iran, including limits on global arms transfers, will not block the controversial transfer of Russian S-300 missiles to the Iranian military, according to U.S. and Russian officials.

The Obama administration had opposed the S-300 sale because the system is highly effective against aircraft and some missiles. The CIA has said the S-300 missiles, which have been contracted by Tehran but not delivered, will be used to defend Iranian nuclear facilities.

Whoops! Somehow, the Obamacle seems not to have forseen that the Soviet Union Russian Republic would once again pull the football away just as Barack "Charlie Brown" Obama tries to kick it. But what clever trick, what devious ploy, what occult conspiracy did they employ to flummox our genius president this time?

A key provision in the resolution made public this week states that all U.N. member states will agree to block sales or transfers of weapons. It lists tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, combat aircraft, warships and "missiles or missile systems as defined for the purpose of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms."

A close reading of the missile section of the register defines those included in the ban as missiles and launchers for guided rockets, and ballistic and cruise missiles, and missile-equipped remotely piloted vehicles. However, the register states that the missile system category "does not include ground-to-air missiles," such as anti-aircraft missiles and anti-missile interceptors like the S-300.

Whew, that was sneaky; can't blame Team Obamarama for missing that one! Who on Earth would think of actually reading the U.N. Register that defined exactly which weapons were prohibited by the new sanctions regime?

In any event, the Russians assured B.O. that they would continue to "show 'vigilance and restraint' on arms sales;" so what's to worry? I'm sure they won't send the S-300s to their client state/proxy in the Middle East: That would give the Russia-Iran Axis an unfair advantage over all the other oil-producing nations in the region, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

But there's another point that seems a touch worrisome. Mull on this:

Yevgeni Khorishko, a Russian Embassy spokesman, said his government is aware that the draft resolution does not ban sales of air-defense systems. "The S-300s is not prohibited," he said. "It is not on the list of prohibited items."

Mr. Khorishko said that for unspecific "technical reasons" the S-300 contract will not be implemented at this time.

"At this time." Let's put a few facts on the table and see if anyone salutes them:

  1. Obama and the Russians just negotiated the New! Improved! Strategic Arms Reduction Talks, cleverly titled New START.
  2. One of Russia's major demands was that we scrap the Europe-based anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system. George W. Bush initiated the program to emplace a radar installation in the Czech Republic and ten interceptors in Poland, in order to stymie Iran, should it get a nuclear-missile arsenal after all.
  3. After threats from Russia, Obama canceled that version last September, replacing it with a similar though imaginary land-and-sea program. (I don't believe he has gotten as far as picking fictitious sites for the imaginary radar or interceptors yet.)
  4. Buoyed by their previous success, the Russians wanted us to kill the new program, too; but B.O. refused to cancel it outright. Russia is very, very unhappy about the prospect of an ABM system to protect us and what few allies we have left from Iranian nuclear threats.
  5. Along come the Iran sanctions... and for some odd reason, Obama agrees to a regime that does not prohibit Russia from selling one of its most advanced ABM systems to Iran, a system that would make it virtually impossible to take out said Iranian nuclear arsenal.
  6. But the Russkies don't deliver it right away; instead, they say that "technical reasons" are holding things up. "At this time," that is; for the future, who can tell?
  7. So we haven't deployed our ABM system in Europe yet... and the Russians haven't yet deployed theirs in Iran.

Is it just barely possible that Russia might, you know, offer a "deal?" And that Obama might accept the swap -- we kill ours if they kill theirs -- and then crow to the American people this November that he got the Russians to "back down" on arming Iran with an ABM system?

Wait a minute... who yanked away that football anyway... President Dmitry Medvedev, or President Barack Obama? I don't know, but I sure feel like we're the ones lying flat on our backs.


Charlie Brown and the Football

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 21, 2010, at the time of 1:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 10, 2010

Putin Orders Obama Not to Defend America

Missile Muscle , Russkie Resurgence
Hatched by Dafydd

Why do I have the awful premonition that Barack H. Obama is about to bow deeply from the waist again?

U.S. missile-defense plans are a threat to Russian national security and have slowed down progress on a new arms-control treaty with Washington, Russia's top military officer said Tuesday.

Gen. Nikolai Makarov said that a revised U.S. plan to place missiles in Europe undermines Russia's national defense, rejecting Obama administration promises that the plan is not directed at his country.

"We view it very negatively, because it could weaken our missile forces," Gen. Makarov, the chief of the Russian military's General Staff, said in televised remarks.

Translation: The Russkies agree with Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush that ballistic missile defense (BMD) works; and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is terrified that if we implement it, Russia will no longer have the ability to destroy America. From Vlad the Impeller's point of view, that's a very, very bad thing.

So the big question is -- is it also a very, very bad thing from the Obamacle's point of view?

Gen. Makarov's comments are the strongest yet on the revamped U.S. missile effort and signal potential new obstacles to an agreement on a new nuclear arms reduction treaty to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty [START], which expired Dec. 5.

I'd much prefer to rely upon American BMD than Russian BS in a new START. How about you? How about the president?

But I'm getting nervous, recalling how quick and servile Obama was in cancelling the Bush BMD plan. All that Putin, a "former" KGB agent, needed to do was hint that the missile-defense plans were an "obstacle" to a new arms reduction treaty, and our American president hopped to obey. Obama didn't even gain any concessions or promises; his appeasement was unilateral.

Experts have said the new plan is less threatening to Russia because it would not initially involve interceptors capable of shooting down Russia's intercontinental ballistic missiles....

Russian officials at first reacted calmly to U.S. plans to deploy Patriot missile systems in Poland, but have grown increasingly critical in recent weeks.

Romania last week approved a proposal to place anti-ballistic missile interceptors in the country as part of the revamped American missile shield.

Asked Tuesday about the plans in Romania and Poland, Gen. Makarov called the U.S. missile-defense plans a threat.

"The development of missile defense is aimed against the Russian Federation," he said.

Another translation: In this instance (and every instance from the Russian Federation), the term "Russian Federation" shall be understood to mean "reconstituted and reconquered Soviet Empire." When Gen. Zod Makarov says missile defense threatens the Russian Federation, he means BMD threatens Russia's plan to reoccupy Poland, Romania, the Baltic States, and Eastern Germany.

Makarov, a sock puppet for Putin, demands that the BMD program be part of the START talks:

"The treaty on strategic offensive weapons we are currently working on must take into account the link between defensive and offensive strategic weapons," Gen. Makarov said. "This link is very close; they are absolutely interdependent. It would be wrong not to take the missile defense into account."

When Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, issued an identical ultimatum to Ronald Reagan in 1986 at the U.S.-Soviet summit in Reykjavík, Iceland, Reagan called Gorbachev's bluff: He refused to sign a treaty that threw the Strategic Defense Initiative under the Gorby bus. I can't remember the exact quotation, but Reagan said something to the effect that America must never be afraid to walk away from a bad deal.

Is Barack Obama prepared to walk away from an equally bad deal with Vladimir Putin? I worry that he is so desperate for a treaty that he'll accept any treaty, even a bad one, rather than finish his term empty handed.

Cross-posted on Hot Air's rogues' gallery...

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 10, 2010, at the time of 6:18 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

February 2, 2010

Environmental Activism in Russia - Different in Kind, or Just Degree?

Enviro-Mental Cases , Russkie Resurgence
Hatched by Dafydd

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov -- personally appointed by Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin -- has ordered the wholesale demolition of houses in a Moscow neighborhood, based upon ambiguous land-title laws dating from the Soviet era; erstwhile residents are simply tossed into the street in subzero temperatures, while bulldozers obliterate their homes, whether "mansion" or "quaint cottage."

But here's the real kicker, Luzhkov's professed reason for decreeing such destruction:

Mr. Luzhkov, who in his 18 years as mayor has not been given to tolerating affronts to his authority, has stood firm. In an interview published Thursday in the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets, he called the residents “impostors” squatting on land that he said was zoned to be a park. “These cottages are located in a protected environmental zone,” he said. “The city has been saying for years that construction in this area was forbidden.”

The reality is quite another story -- a story of corruption, greed, raw power, and tyranny. (Corruption and tyranny in Russia? Say it ain't so, Uncle Joe!) We continue quoting:

Critics have accused the mayor, whose wife is a billionaire real estate developer, of using ambiguous land laws to acquire prime property and resell it to private interests. Just over a year ago, several dozen similar homes were destroyed in a neighboring community that was in the same nebulous legal situation.

So let's add it all up. We have:

  • A feigned and spurious exercise in environmentalist zeal by "watermelons" (green on the outside but red to the core) --
  • -- designed to cover up what appears to be naught but a tawdry land-snatching scheme --
  • -- enabled by corrupt but well-connected "nomenklatura," whose rank and whose friends in high places make them unassailable under the law, such as it is.

Say... sounds like tactics employed by every radical environmentalist movement in the world, from ELF to ALF to Greenpeace: They live for the chance to burn down a housing construction site or file a federal lawsuit expropriating private land to declare it a "preserve" for gnat catchers, snail darters, or Delta smelt.

Enviro-mental cases have colluded with the Obama administration and other Democrats to prevent us from drilling for oil in ANWR, in the Gulf of Mexico, in Colorado, or indeed anywhere else. They misuse and abuse litigation and "action directe" (fancy phrase for eco-terrorism) to stop nuclear-power plants, freeze construction, put the kibosh on animal testing of pharmaceuticals, ban the exhalation of carbon dioxide, and outlaw Capitalism.

In fact the only real difference I can see in the two situations, here and in Russia, is that in the United States, the watermelons have the ear of the government; whereas throughout Europe, the watermelons are the government.

Take a good look at Moscow, where the mayor throws Baba Yaga into the snow so Mrs. Mayor can buy the land for a song and make another cool billion. That's Barack H. Obama's America... if we let him.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 2, 2010, at the time of 8:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 14, 2009

Barack the Magic Statesman

Obama Nation , Russkie Resurgence
Hatched by Dafydd

Thank goodness we have such an eloquent spokesman for America's foreign policy! At last, we see the brave new world of hope and change wrought by Barack H. Obama. (And it has such people in it.)

Now that he has, for all practical purposes, taken off the table any military action against Iran -- which all now agree is indeed developing nuclear weapons, along with long- and medium-range ballistic missiles to deliver them anywhere in the world -- Russia is finally coming around to the sort of broad, sweeping sanctions that could produce a meaningful change in Iran's behavior:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned major powers on Wednesday against intimidating Iran and said talk of sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear programme was "premature".

Via the brilliance of the One and his mind-numbing rhetorical ability, his charm, his willingness to throw the goal of spreading democracy and liberty around the world into the dustbin of Obamunism, and his rejection of American exceptionalism, he has achieved what eluded two previous administrations -- one Republican, one Democratic... clear, specific, harsh, and biting sanctions that can only shake the nuke-loving mullahs to their very cores:

"There is no need to frighten the Iranians," Putin told reporters in Beijing after a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

"We need to look for a compromise. If a compromise is not found, and the discussions end in a fiasco, then we will see."

"And if now, before making any steps (towards holding talks) we start announcing some sanctions, then we won't be creating favourable conditions for them (talks) to end positively. This is why it is premature to talk about this now."

It turns out Obama's choice of Hillary Rodham Clinton Rodham as secretary of state, a.k.a. the Mouth of Obama, was absolutely inspired; she has turned out to be a gem, a diamond. (A diamond who throws the occasional lamp; but you can't expect the superintelligent and supercompetent to abide by rules of decorum written for We the little people.) Her tough, no-nonsense negotiating skills and pleasant, sunny demeanor have blessed the One We Have Been Longing For, leading to a Russia that now listens to America and shows tremendous respect for our needs and desires (and for our top government officials):

Putin, who many diplomats, analysts, and Russian citizens believe is still Russia's paramount leader despite stepping down as president last year, was speaking after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Moscow for two days of talks....

Clinton failed to secure any specific assurances from Russia on Iran during her visit, leaving her open to criticism at home that she had not received anything from Moscow after earlier U.S. concessions on missile defence....

Clinton said she would have liked to have seen Putin but that their agendas did not coincide. Putin left for a trip to the Russian Far East and China before her arrival in Moscow.

She has given him the tool he needs to excavate mountains of ill will left behind by the previous regime, anger, misunderstanding, and hopelessness that soured Russia on working hand in hand with us on sanctions. Now that the dross has been cleared away by change we can believe in, and the Millennium of Revelations has finally commenced, everything is falling into place.

It's no wonder that the One received the Nobel Peace Prize -- it was perhaps the most justly earned such award ever! (Only those given to Woodrow Wilson, Le Duc Tho, Yassir Arafat, Jimmy Carter, and Al Gore are even in the running.)

The world (outside the United States) loves him unconditionally, just as they loved the greatest figures of American history, from Michael Jackson to Mickey Mouse. What a change from the ogre we used to have, who the rest of the world merely feared and respected:

On the contentious issue of missile defence, which has divided Russia and the United States in the past, Putin said he hoped the United States would not renege on its promise to scrap plans for an anti-missile system in central Europe....

Putin said however Moscow "feels no euphoria" about Bush's successor Barack Obama's promise to roll back the shield plans.

"We treated this decision with reserve, calmly," he said. "In any case, the country's leadership accepted it with understanding and gratitude. We believe this was Obama's right and courageous decision."

I can only feel profound gratitude that so many conservatives and Republicans were big-hearted enough in 2008 either to vote for Barack Obama directly, or at least to throw away their vote by pulling the lever for Babar or writing in Ron Paul. If it hadn't been for them, who knows? We might have been deprived of the most transformative figure in all of American history.

Bless you, Christopher Buckley and Colin Powell! We could never have accomplished all this without your help.

Cross-posted to Hot Air's rogues' gallery...

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 14, 2009, at the time of 1:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 17, 2009

Gonna Lay Down My Missile Shield

Russkie Resurgence , Southern Exposure
Hatched by Dafydd

In Nukes for Kooks, we noted the mounting cooperation between Putin's Russia and Oogo Chavez's Venezuela, particularly on giving Venezuela nuclear technology... for peaceful purposes, naturally:

Venezuelan fascist dictator Oogo Chavez has just announced a joint venture with the Soviet Union Russia to develop "peaceful" nuclear power. At last, his poor, energy-starved country can stop shivering and provide power for its citizenry.

I suggested the tack that President Barack H. Obama would surely take to deal with this threat to American security:

I'm quite certain that the Obamacle, furthering his standard policy of friendly negotiations with all of our bitterest enemies (while snubbing and working against the interests of our closest allies), will immediately announce a diplomatic initiative to Oogo... run by the WMD Czar, Gary Samore, and a newly appointed Venezuela Czar, Jalapeño Spice, rather than by the Secretary of State (whoever he is).

The negotiating team (Samantha Power, Van Jones, Sen. Al Franken, and Keith Olbermann) will insist that Venezuela and Russia issue ironclad assurances, written in bold black ink on creamy white paper, that they never, ever, ever will help Oogo Chavez obtain nuclear weapons.

Oogo will be brought to the White House thirty-eight times over the next two years, where he will be feted and wined and dined. Then Obama will bow at the waist, kiss Oogo's Bolivarian hand, and call him "your highness."

In the end, the One will get his agreement, signed at the Western White House (Al Capone's old headquarters in Chicago). He -- Obama, not Capone -- will hold the piece of paper up for CNN to video, and his teleprompter will announce that Obama has achieved "peace in our time." We will then launch a massive foreign-aid money drop into Venezuela, to ensure they have enough aluminum tubing and nuclear-blast analysis software for the venture to succeed.

Well he hasn't yet gotten around to thinking of a response -- to Oogo; and it's puzzling, since our president is known world-wide for the roadrunner-like alacrity with which he responds to crises (such as backloading the recession stimulus plan so that nearly all the spending occurs two, three years out -- rather than, you know, during the recession itself). But at least he believes in firm but fair negotiations with Russia, the other half of the deadly equation; kind of like "tough love":

The Obama administration will scrap the controversial missile defense shield program in Eastern Europe, a senior administration official confirmed to CNN Thursday....

The Bush administration had cited the perceived nuclear threat from Iran as one of the key reasons it wanted to install the missile shield in eastern Europe.

The U.S. reversal is likely to please Russia, which had fiercely opposed the plans.

Our president displays the magnanimity that characterizes the American heart: He did not even demand some equivalent concession from Russia (such as abandoning the Venezuela nuclear deal), as some haggling Republican would have; Obama simply gave generously, as one friend to another, without insisting upon any quid pro quo.

But it's wonderful policy for America as well, dismantling our ability to defend ourselves from missile attack. To explain the deep, thoughtful reasoning behind the abrupt switch in policy to what Vladimir Putin has demanded, in increasingly bellicose tones, B.O. sent out America's top nuclear-policy expert, the man with more experience in the subject than any homo sapiens sapiens since Henry "Hammerin' Hank" Kissinger: Vice President Joe Biden:

Vice President Joe Biden earlier refused to confirm to CNN that the George W. Bush-era plan was being shelved.

But he did explain the logic of doing so, saying Iran -- a key concern for the United States -- was not a threat.

"I think we are fully capable and secure dealing with any present or future potential Iranian threat," he told CNN's Chris Lawrence in Baghdad, where he is on a brief trip.

"The whole purpose of this exercise we are undertaking is to diminish the prospect of the Iranians destabilizing that region in the world. I am less concerned -- much less concerned -- about the Iranian potential. They have no potential at this moment, they have no capacity to launch a missile at the United States of America," he said.

Now crabby, hysterical, Nazi-regalia sporting critics of the One We Have All Been Waiting For might raise the point that the purpose of ballistic missile defense in Eastern Europe is not necessarily to protect us from an Iranian ICBM launched against the continental United States, but rather to protect our European allies from Iranian threats from the intermediate-range ballistic missiles that they already have, ready and waiting for the nuclear warheads that they are so desperately trying to obtain (by hook or by Russian crook).

Those who are simply trying to kill the policy point out (in an enraged and emotional tone of voice) that the flight path from Iran to every country in Western Europe passes very near the Czech Republic or Poland -- or directly over them.

The missile shield was also intended (say those crybaby critics, who are all wee-weed up) to deter Russia itself from trying to reconquer the lands it lost when the Soviet Union collapsed, obliterating (perhaps temporarily) Communism's motherland. There are some loons who still insist, despite all evidence, that Russia herself has access to ICBMs that could be launched towards CONUS.

Such an argument is of course racist, so we need not bother responding.

But in fact, as anyone understands who has been paying attention, Russia has pointed all those missiles away from us and at other, more pressing threats to the Russian republic. I'm thinking Georgia, or maybe Tibet. Therefore, Putin poses even less of a threat to us than Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly refuted the cockamamie right-wing notion that he wants nuclear power for any but peaceful purposes -- just like Oogo.

The decision to unilaterally tear up our agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic shows the Obamacle's mastery of diplomacy, pleasing enemy and ally alike:

Czech Prime minister Jan Fischer said in a statement that U.S. President Barack Obama told him in a Wednesday phone call that the United States was shelving its plans. Fischer did not say what reason Obama gave him for reconsidering.

A spokeswoman at the Polish Ministry of Defense also said the program had been suspended.

"This is catastrophic for Poland," said the spokeswoman, who declined to be named in line with ministry policy....

Poland and the Czech Republic had based much of their future security policy on getting the missile defenses from the United States. The countries share deep concerns of a future military threat from the east -- namely, Russia -- and may now look for other defense assurances from their NATO allies.

Our lifelong, beloved national friend Russia has yet to respond, but we must assume this will cement the alliance between two countries joined by a common goal: the complete transformation of humanity to more closely match the spiritual qualities, ideology, and bipartisan outreach of, well, the One Himself:

By contrast, Russia may view the move as a diplomatic victory after complaining about the program consistently for years.

There was no comment Thursday morning from Russian officials. But the issue has been a sore point in relations between Washington and Moscow, with Russia believing the shield would ultimately erode its own strategic nuclear deterrent.

Any fair-minded supporter of world peace, security, and United Nations hegemony must agree; it's patently obvious that a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic threatens the nuclear deterrent of Russia.

After all, if we had the capability to intercept Russian missiles and prevent them from obliterating American cities, think how that would throw a monkey wrench into their ability to deploy Mutual Assured Destruction -- their only gambit to frighten us out of launching an unprovoked first strike against them. Such a savage and senseless American first strike would kill hundreds of millions of innocent civilians for no reason whatsoever -- beyond the sick love of genocide that riddles American history. And it's very likely, if a Republican ever manages to steal another presidential election, as in 2004, 2000, and 1980.

Thank the One I have seen the light. I shall spread the Good News -- that we finally have a president, the first since Jimmy Carter, who honestly believes in real negotiations (without preconditions) as the only arrow in the quiver of American foreign policy!

Truly we live in the New Millennium of hope and change.

Cross-toasted by Hot Air's rogues' gallery...

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 17, 2009, at the time of 2:16 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 12, 2009

Time to Fish or Get Off the Pot

Iran Matters , Missile Muscle , North Korea Nastiness , Obama Nation , Russkie Resurgence , War Against Radical Islamism
Hatched by Dafydd

While President Barack H. Obama tries to make up his mind how to respond to the Somalian pirates (the larger group, not just the ones who were holding Captain Richard Phillips hostage), he's not wasting any time... he's simultaneously dithering about how to respond to a Somalian Islamist "extremist" group, al-Shabab, that is allied with al-Qaeda. Neither dilemma appears close to resolution; in fact, the paralysis and refusal to use swift retaliatory force reminds me more and more of the 444 days of national humilitation in Jimmy Carter's first term in office.

His second term -- under his standby, Barack Obama -- seems no more decisive on the foreign-policy front than the first term, back in the late 1970s. This stands in bizarre contrast to Obama's firm resolve in his domestic agenda to remake America as a socialist country.

But why not launch a massive attack on the pirates in their lair, to punish them for having attacked an American vessel in the first place? We note with some interest that the entire "community" of Somalis in that modern-day Tortuga (the eighteenth-century pirate island) appears to be on the side of the pirates:

Talks to free [Capt. Phillips] began Thursday with the captain of the USS Bainbridge talking to the pirates under instruction from FBI hostage negotiators on board the U.S. destroyer. The pirates had threatened to kill Phillips if attacked....

Before Phillips was freed, a pirate who said he was associated with the gang that held Phillips, Ahmed Mohamed Nur, told The Associated Press that the pirates had reported that "helicopters continue to fly over their heads in the daylight and in the night they are under the focus of a spotlight from a warship."

He spoke by satellite phone from Harardhere, a port and pirate stronghold where a fisherman said helicopters flew over the town Sunday morning and a warship was looming on the horizon. The fisherman, Abdi Sheikh Muse, said that could be an indication the lifeboat may be near to shore.

The district commissioner of the central Mudug region said talks went on all day Saturday, with clan elders from his area talking by satellite telephone and through a translator with Americans, but collapsed late Saturday night.

"The negotiations between the elders and American officials have broken down. The reason is American officials wanted to arrest the pirates in Puntland and elders refused the arrest of the pirates," said the commissioner, Abdi Aziz Aw Yusuf. He said he organized initial contacts between the elders and the Americans.

Two other Somalis, one involved in the negotiations and another in contact with the pirates, also said the talks collapsed because of the U.S. insistence that the pirates be arrested and brought to justice.

Fine; then the "clan elders" of "the central Mudug region," which contains that "port and pirate stronghold" of Harardhere, are clearly not with us... they are with the pirates. So what is to stop us from launching a series of devastating retaliatory strikes against these strongholds? Nothing, evidently, but Barack Obama's infamous inability to make a decision. (This disability applies even to ongoing wars; in Iraq and Afghanistan, he simply decided not to decide, accepting the Bush doctrine in both theaters by default.)

In fact, Obama is so indecisive that he's not even sure he's ready to commit to criminal charges yet:

U.S. officials said a pirate who had been involved in negotiations to free Phillips but who was not on the lifeboat during the rescue was in military custody. FBI spokesman John Miller said that would change as the situation became "more of a criminal issue than a military issue."

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said prosecutors were looking at "evidence and other issues" to determine whether to bring a case in the United States. The pirate could face a life sentence if convicted, officials said.

Well, that will certainly put the fear of the Judeo-Christian God into Long John Somali!

But back to the problem of al-Shabab. It appears that Obama is not only unwilling to attack pirates, he's also unsure whether we should attack militant Islamist terrorists in Somalia; from the Washington Post article:

Al-Shabab, whose fighters have battled Ethiopian occupiers and the tenuous Somali government, poses a dilemma for the administration, according to several senior national security officials who outlined the debate only on the condition of anonymity.

The organization's rapid expansion, ties between its leaders and al-Qaeda, and the presence of Americans and Europeans in its camps have raised the question of whether a preemptive strike is warranted. Yet the group's objectives have thus far been domestic, and officials say that U.S. intelligence has no evidence it is planning attacks outside Somalia.

An attack against al-Shabab camps in southern Somalia would mark the administration's first military strike outside the Iraq and Afghanistan-Pakistan war zones. The White House discussions highlight the challenges facing the Obama team as it attempts to distance itself from the Bush administration, which conducted at least five military strikes in Somalia. The new administration is still defining its rationale for undertaking sensitive operations in countries where the United States is not at war.

Yes, that's a toughie that would stump even a leader as decisive as Carter, let alone our current President Hamlet; it's especially tough when the president acts as if there never was any discussion in the previous administration about the rationale for launching strikes against terrorists -- and when the most important criterion of the brand new Obamaic rationale is whether such an attack would make the current administration look too much like the Bush administration.

In the meantime, a decision must be made, and the clock is ticking: Do we attack a terrorist group allied with al-Qaeda, which runs terrorist training camps full of domestic and foreign Moloch worshippers (including Europeans and Americans, who could presumably fly under the radar into the United States), which is trying to violently overthrow the current Somali government that we helped install (by supporting the Ethiopian invasion that overthrew the previous, al-Qaeda-friendly government), because we have "no evidence it is planning attacks outside Somalia?"

Of course, neither did the Taliban; they isolated themselves, completely fixating upon Afghanistan and Pakistan. But they also leased their country to the demonic Ayman Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden, offering them safe haven from which they could launch the September 11th attacks, and aiding and abetting them in other, more tangible ways. Somalia looks ready to do exactly the same... for exactly the same group. And say what you will, bin Laden is not an isolationist.

I suppose the alternative course under consideration is to make it "more of a criminal issue" and "determine whether to bring a case in the United States." We might even file an indictment with the International Criminal Court at the Hague... though we'd probably have to agree to give them jurisdiction over American citizens as well.

(No matter -- the ICC's first action against Americans would doubtless be to put George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Douglas Feith, John Yoo, Mark Steyn, Rush Limbaugh, and a cast of thousands on trial for crimes against humanity, such as advocating war against terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, spying on al-Qaeda without a world search warrant, and lowering taxes on the rich. What's not to like?)

What is the argument against striking at al-Shabab? Primarily that other countries in the world might object:

Some in the Defense Department have been frustrated by what they see as a failure to act. Many other national security officials say an ill-considered strike would have negative diplomatic and political consequences far beyond the Horn of Africa. Other options under consideration are increased financial pressure and diplomatic activity, including stepped-up efforts to resolve the larger political turmoil in Somalia.

That is, all those heads of government who praised Obama to the heavens at the G-20 might instead accuse him of being just like George Bush, and the president's self image would be shattered. Not that those same leaders respected him enough to acquiesce to any of the three major policies he wanted them to implement -- stronger sanctions against Iran and North Korea, stimulus spending, or enlarging the NATO commitment to Afghanistan; but at least they said really nice things about Obama personally.

The most recent discussion of the issue took place early this week, just before the unrelated seizure of a U.S. commercial ship in the Indian Ocean by Somali pirates who [were] holding the American captain of the vessel hostage for ransom.

But are these two questions -- what to do about al-Shabab and what to do about the Somalian pirates -- truly "unrelated," as the Post declares? And even if they are discrete today, how long will they remain so? It stands to reason that terrorists, who oppose the new government of Somalia for being insufficiently Islamist, and pirates, who oppose it for cracking down on piracy, may very well make common cause against their shared enemy.

Barack Obama already fumbled his first test on foreign policy -- the debacle in London at the meeting of the G-20. He appears to have flunked on every measure except cordiality (the leaders all liked him as a person, so long as he kow-towed to China, Russia, the Arab countries, and Europe). I suggest that how we respond to the two Somalian threats represents Obama's first big military-policy test: If he cannot even muster up a military response to pirates and terrorists in the Horn of Africa, then how will he ever respond to the subtler but far deadlier perils of Iran's centrifuges, North Korea's missiles, the Palestinians' pratfalls, Red China's increasing economic dominance, and a resurgent "Soviet Union?"

The answer, I fear, will be even grimmer, and the damage even longer lasting, than his response to the economic crisis.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 12, 2009, at the time of 5:22 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 6, 2009

Obamunism - Through the Eyes of a Child

Commies , Iran Matters , Israel Matters , North Korea Nastiness , Obama Nation , Russkie Resurgence , ¡ Rabanos Radiactivos!
Hatched by Dafydd

Well, I think we all knew, somewhere in the back of our collective minds, that Barack H. Obama was planning it; most of us just thought it was so ludicrous, so retro, that he would never really propose it.

But now he has. Great leaping horny toads, it's Dr. Helen Caldicott's unilateral nuclear disarmament all over again:

Just hours after North Korea launched a long-range rocket, President Barack Obama called for "a world without nuclear weapons" and said the United States has a “moral responsibility ” to lead the way, as the only nation ever to use them....

The president directly addressed the Cold War history of this former Soviet bloc city, calling the remaining nuclear weapons “the most dangerous legacy” of that era.
He again pointed to history to say that America must lead. “As a nuclear power -- as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon -- the United States has a moral responsibility to act,” he said.

Obama proposed doing so by reducing America’s arsenal, if not altogether eliminating it; hosting a summit on nuclear security; seeking ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; and pursuing a new agreement aimed at stopping the production of fissile materials.

Also, he proposes gathering up all vulnerable nuclear material -- or “loose nukes” -- within four years. That’s an issue Obama also worked on in the Senate, with Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.).

As we all know, the only reason that Russia, Red China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and soon to be North Korea and Iran have nuclear weapons is self defense against the United States... and if only we would unilaterally eliminate our nuclear arsenal -- ¡ Si, su puede! -- these other countries would no longer fear us -- and they will surely follow suit. As the New York Times succinctly sums up the theory:

Mr. Obama said that his administration would “reduce the role of nuclear weapons” in its national security strategy, and would urge other countries to do the same. He pointed to the agreement he reached last week with President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia to begin negotiations on reducing warheads and stockpiles, and said the two countries would try to reach an agreement by the end of the year. He also promised to aggressively pursue American ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which in the past has faced strong opposition in Congress.

It is a strategy based on the idea that if the United States shows it is willing to greatly shrink the size of its atomic arsenal, ban nuclear testing and cut off the worldwide production of bomb material, reluctant allies and partners around the world will be more likely to rewrite nuclear treaties and enforce sanctions against North Korea and Iran.

That is, if America weakens itself by unilaterally dumping its nuclear weapons, then other nations will feel more empowered to aggressively enforce already existing sanctions against rogue nations. But why? By definition, "already existing sanctions" already exist; if our allies are not willing to enforce them now, why would they be more willing if we become weaker? Does Obama truly believe that the world defies us because we're too powerful? Does he believe that we're evil, imperialist warmongers oppressing the world, causing them to resist us the way that the Jedi knights resisted the imperial storm troopers of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader?

This is magical thinking at its most emblematic: There is no obvious connection between the United States eliminating its nuclear arsenal and Pakistan following suit -- the latter is far more concerned about India (and vice versa) than about us -- or North Korea and Iran abandoning their own nuke hunt; they see nuclear weapons as their route to power in their own regions or protection against their own enemies. It's silly storytelling, jaw-dropping narcissism, and childish "wishing on a star" to imagine that every other country in the world that has or wants nuclear weapons is only driven by fear of America's nuclear arsenal.

But if there is any other reason why they want to be members of the nuclear club, then our reduction or even complete nuclear disarmament will have no effect upon them at all... except perhaps to encourage them tenfold: It's easy for third-world countries to believe that if they have nukes and we don't, they will no longer be third world -- they will be the first world; they will be the masters!

The childishness of this Obamic policy betokens an equally childish worldview, full of good guys (who are always good) and bad guys (eternally bad), superficial understandings, a view of history based more upon melodrama than reality, and magical thinking.

Heroes and villains as world actors

The One is the Lightbringer, whose devoted acolytes are trying to spread the "good news" around the globe (America alone is too small a stage). There is no "in-between," only a vast sea of unenlightened souls awaiting but a touch, a glance from the Obamacle to fall into the rapture.

The Bad Guy in Chief is George W. Bush, of course; and all Republicans are his henchmen. We are consciously evil, in that we sit around and cackle about our latest evil plans, perhaps chewing on the odd pinky or two. (Note that there is another shadowy group of conspirators who may be the real villains in this piece, "working the machinations behind the scenes," as Louis Farrakhan put it; we'll get to them in a moment.)

The great advantage of such hero-villain thinking is that it forces an automatic devaluing of opposing viewpoints: Of course you don't think government should take over the economy... you're a Republican! You want to kill and eat the poor anyway.

Superficiality as a guiding principle

Obamunism is centrally focused on a series of superficial and (upon analysis) meaningless catch phrases, slogans, and jingoisms: hope, change, the One we have been waiting for, audacity, coming together, post-partisan, post-racial, diplomacy, an end to torture, and so forth. While each of these words or phrases could impart meaning in other contexts, as Barack Obama and his apostles use them, we have no earthly idea what he means. Hope for what? Change from what to what? The One we have been waiting for -- to do what?

Even "diplomacy" is an empty concept by itself: Gandhi practiced diplomacy; so did Hitler.

Bear in mind, the more superficial a policy, the more ill-defined and vague, the less able critics are to attack it. It assumes radically different dimensions in the mind of each person who hears about it... and each tends to envision it in a way that resonates with him, personally, satisfying that specific individual's wish-fulfillment fantasies. It's very, very tough to tell someone that his dreams are unrealistic and unattainable; he tends to react emotionally -- and sometimes violently.

The heroic epic as public policy

When Obama and his fellow Democrats recount history (particularly the economic history of the United States and the history of the conflict in the Middle East), it's clear their "understanding" is based not upon what actually happened but upon what should have happened to make things more coherent and plot-driven, like a novel.

We didn't have a financial crash because of foolhardy (and bipartisan) government policy to encourage poor people to buy houses they couldn't afford, regulation and oversight that was badly written by Congress and poorly implemented by several administrations, and increasingly complex financial instruments that few people understand, including those who invented them. No, it's much more gripping if there is a vast banking conspiracy -- or as a disturbingly large number of Obama appointees would see it, a vast Jew-banker conspiracy). The conspiracy (or "lobby") controls everything behind the scenes, like a bad John Grisham melodrama (sorry for the redundancy).

This reductionism is signalled by the use of capitalized terms beginning with "Big," personalizing the enemy without actually naming them: Big Tobacco, Big Carbon, Big Business, Big Money.

And the continual conflict among Arab countries is not driven by a religious interpretation of Islam that demands constant "jihad;" that's boring... and it smacks of racism, too. But if everything bad in the entire region is driven by a single rogue villain (Israel) which causes all the problems for the sole purpose of "taking over" -- an alien presence that exploits the traditional peoples of the region -- well then we have an enemy we can focus upon, a much tighter plot to follow, somebody we can actually defeat!

Conspiracy mongering is always based, at core, on a sense that the universe should really be more coherent, more linear, and more dramatic than it actually is. It should follow literary rules of plot development, causality, a climax, and a satisfying denoument. Here is where Obama's man-crush on Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers becomes the synecdoche of his worldview. It's not very satisfying if blacks are doing badly because they have a lousy culture, or if kids aren't being educated because they have egregious work habits and have never enjoyed thinking. It's much more thrilling if Republican big business has busily been suppressing children's education because they need more worker-drones for capitalist imperialism -- and Whitey has been holding down "people of color" for a thousand years.

(By a curious coincidence, among much of Obama's inner circle, it appears that both plots have the same conspirators, the same villains: Jews. As antisemitism rises across the rest of the globe, it now finds a sympathetic ear at the highest levels of the American government.)

The Childe Left hate and fear complexity and constructive chaos more than anything in the world (just as literal children do); they also project this fear onto the Right, pretending that it is conservatives who embody "black and white" thinking, and liberals are the ones who understand shades of gray... but the Left's actions and policies belie the proclamations of maturity and wisdom.

Waiting for a miracle as grand strategy

Obamunism, and its larger parent New Leftism, deeply believe in the "magic bullet" theory of governance: For every intractable problem, there is a single, simple solution that will solve everything -- which has been missed by generations of previous, unenlightened souls, leaving its discovery to the hero of the saga. Some hitherto unsuspected connection exists between (seemingly unrelated) events A and B; Doing A will, as if by miracle, bring about B:

  • Many times in our past, and currently in the rest of the world, governments tightly control the economy via wage and price controls, overtaxation, heavy-handed regulation, union boosterism, and "five-year plans." This has never resulted in an economic renaissance, but generally recession and depression. But wait -- that's because it wasn't done by the One! This time, under the encyclical circulated by Barack Obama, when the government seizes control of the economy, it will cause the greatest economic boom in American, nay world, history... and the world will forever revere Obama as its champion eternal. (Don't ask how; it just will. And of course you're skeptical... you're a capitalist.)
  • Unlike all previous diplomatic overtures, when the great man just sits down and talks to his fellow world leaders (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-Il, Raul Castro, Ayman Zawahiri) -- when he explains to them that, unlike the previous regime, the current administration doesn't want to conquer and annex their lands, kill their children, and violate their women -- then the light from his heart will shine through, and these national leaders will realize that they need fear America no longer. They will all fall into each other's arms (in a manly way, I mean), have a good cry and a wonderful laugh, and all will be well. Nuclear warheads will be beaten into solar-power plants, war will be obsolete, the Jews will be driven into the sea, and all will live happily ever after. "And guns and swords and uniforms lay scattered on the ground." Barack Hussein Obama is, quite simply, the One that Ahmadinejad has been waiting for.
  • Due to stubborn resistance and ignorance, generations have closed their ears and stopped their eyes to the deadly, global peril of man-made climate change. But as soon as Congress enacts the divine vision of the Obamacle -- instantly, the world will cool, the seas will subside, the harvest will be bountiful, and disease and famine will be driven into the void. The word of the king is the blood of the land. We won't even have to wait for the policies to take effect... directly the word is uttered, the Earth will shake, the sky will brighten, and peace and plenty will rain upon all -- equally -- like manna from heaven.

Achievement without effort; success without setback or disappointment; like a Michael Jackson video, Captain Eo points his finger and a bolt of lightning obliterates the bad guy in a puff of CGI. It's magic!

Obamunism - through the eyes of a lizard

It took me a while to realize it, but it's the childishness of Obamunism that irritates me more than any other element... its reduction to heroes and villains, its soap-bubble superficiality, its melodramatic story telling, and the magical thinking that underpins all the rest. Our country is ruled by the inmates of an excessively permissive and progressive preschool.

The entire Obama administration needs a long time-out. Alas, what we're more likely to see is a time-out from history for the entire country... followed by a very rude and deadly awakening.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 6, 2009, at the time of 2:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 3, 2009

Putin Bootin' Obama Piñata

Russkie Resurgence
Hatched by Dafydd

One good thing about an entry-level president, a "citizen of the world" with no experience whatsoever, is that America gets smacked around like a tetherball by wilier players on the foreign stage, leaving the most powerful leader in the free world stunned and gobsmacked. Or maybe it's not a good thing... but it's entertaining, at least -- in a morbid, triumphalist, I-told-you-so sort of way:

Kyrgyzstan is ending U.S. use of a key airbase that supports military operations in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan's president was quoted as saying Tuesday.

Wha -- ? Huh? Where'd this come from?

Interfax and RIA-Novosti quoted Kurmanbek Bakiyev as making the statement just minutes after Russia announced it was providing the poor ex-Soviet country with billions of dollars in aid.

The amount in question is $150 million in direct payments to Kyrgyzstan plus $2 billion dollars of loan guarantees, dwarfing the $150 million we send to Kyrgyzstan annually (that figure includes the $63 million rent we pay for the airbase itself).

But what's the connection? What would hooking up with the Soviet Union Russia have to do with Kyrgyzstan booting American forces out of a base there?

A Kyrgyz decision to end the U.S. use of Manas, just outside the Central Asian nation's capital of Bishkek, could have potentially far-reaching consequences for U.S. and NATO operations in Afghanistan. Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, said during a trip to Central Asia last month that Manas air base would be key to plans to boost U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan by up to 30,000 soldiers in the coming months....

The United States set up the Manas base in Kyrgyzstan and a base in neighboring Uzbekistan after the September 2001 terror attacks, to back operations in Afghanistan....

Russia has long been suspicious of the U.S. presence in what it considers its strategic backyard.

The 'Stans

The 'Stans

Kyrgyzstan is the squiggly, little green country just to the left of China (speaking geographically, not politically); Uzbekistan is the equally squiggly but somewhat larger yellow country that pokes into Kyrgyzstan. Directly below those two are Turkmenistan (teal), Tajikistan (purple), and of course Afghanistan (brown). Russia is the big, orange blob at the top of the map.

Let's recall the sequence here:

2001: That 9/11 thing happens. President George W. Bush somehow persuades the notoriously isolationist and authoritarian Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to let U.S. attack and figher aircraft operate from airbases in those two Islamic former Soviet subect nations, providing air support for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, helping to crush and expel the Islamist militancy of al-Qaeda and expunge the sharia tyranny of the Taliban.

2005: A government trial in April of Moslem businessmen (or Islamist extremists, depending who is describing them) in Uzbekistan sparks large protests in the city of Andijan. (Uzbekistan routinely cites Islamic militancy as the reason for their repression of freedom and civil liberties.) Armed insurgents eventually break into the prison and free the defendants, take government officials hostage, and set some fires. In retaliation, the Uzbek troops open fire on the protesters; estimates of deaths range from 400 to 5,000 (Uzbekistan insists it only slew 187).

Most of the West utterly condemns the killings, but the Bush administration calls for a more balanced investigation, noting that the incident had begun with an armed insurrection against the Uzbek government that included killing, hostage taking, and the forcible release of many prisoners, including members of known Islamic terrorist organizations.

At this point, four moderate Republicans (John McCain, AZ, 80% in 2005; Lindsey Graham, SC, 96%; John Sununu, NH, 83%; and Mike DeWine, OH, 56%) join with two hardline partisan Democrats, Patrick Leahy, VT, 100% in 2005 and Joseph Biden, DE, 100% -- now Vice President of the United States -- demanding that Bush immediately break off all negotiations with Uzbekistan to make our airbase there permanent. In response to this pressure, Uzbekistan expels all U.S. forces; this leaves the airbase in Kyrgyzstan as Air Force's only home base for close-air support in Afghanistan.

The senators also urged the Bush administration to consider the repercussions of building a permanent base in Uzbekistan, and asked whether the US is exploring alternative military facilities in neighbouring countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in order to provide the US with more flexibility to alter its relationship with Uzbekistan.

"We appreciate that these are difficult questions that cut to the heart of our relationship with the government in this strategically important region," the senators wrote. "But we also believe that, in the aftermath of the Andijan massacre, America's relationship with Uzbekistan cannot remain unchanged."

2005: Meanwhile, despite the "Tulip revolution" in March, through all the changes of government, Kyrgyzstan continues to allow us to use the Manas Air Base so long as George W. Bush is president.

2005-2008: Russian President (until 2008) and Prime Minister (2008- ) Vladimir Putin grows increasingly aggressive and antagonistic towards the West while simultaneously buddying up to the Iranian mullahs and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; Putin also begins a much more proprietary policy towards the huge reserves of natural gas and oil in the Caspian Sea... which happens to be the nearest sea to the 'Stans; the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which flows through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey to the Mediterranean Sea, begins at the Caspian, as do the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline, the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline, and the proposed Trans-Caspian natural-gas pipeline, which would pump natural gas under the Caspian to Turkmenistan, giving the 'Stans their own source of energy not under the control of Russia.

Hydrocarbon pipelines originating at the Caspian Sea

Hydrocarbon pipelines originating at the Caspian Sea

This is all basic geopolitical common knowledge -- or it should be -- which Bush understands, as do Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her puppetmaster husband and even many senators and representatives in Congress (the brigher ones).

2009: Evidently, however, it all comes as a complete shock to President Barack H. Obama that the price of Russian financial aid might be to close the Manas Air Base and kick the Americans out of the country... which also has the side-benefit of isolating our forces in Afghanistan from the air support that is an indispensible component of contemporary American warfare.

I don't believe that Vladimir Putin has ever reconciled himself to the Soviet Union's loss in Afghanistan; I suspect he still sees that country as a natural part of the new Russian empire he is trying to recreate in the 'Stans, in Georgia and Ukraine, and in Poland and the former Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Worse for us, it appears that Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is not as comfortable in his relationship to Obama as he was with Bush. From the AP article linked above:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has made increasing overtures to Russia in recent weeks. His office released correspondence between the two countries saying Russia is ready to cooperate on defense matters.

"Recent weeks" appears to be a euphemism for "since November 4th," which was thirteen weeks ago today.

During his visit last month, Petraeus said that Manas would be key to plans to boost the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan. He also said the United States pumps $150 million into Kyrgyzstan's economy annually, including $63 million in rent for Manas.

Russia agreed Tuesday to provide Kyrgyzstan with $2 billion in loans plus another $150 million in financial aid.

...And then Kyrgyzstan immediately announced -- "just minutes" later -- that they were kicking us out. Gen. David Petraeus and Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell are acting as if this were nothing more than an attempt to extort more money out of the United States:

[Top U.S. Military spokesman in Afghanistan Col. Greg Julian] also dismissed Kyrgyzstan's threat to close access to the Manas air base as nothing but "political positioning." Gen. David Petraeus, who oversees the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, met with officials in Kyrgyzstan last month and "came away with the sense that everything was fine," Julian said.

"We have a standing contract, and they're making millions off our presence there. There are no plans to shut down access to it anytime soon," Julian told The Associated Press.

But what if they do? So what if we have a "standing contract?" The Russians are offering them far more money than we ever have or than the Congress would enact or the public tolerate. What are we going to do if Kyrgyzstan jumps ship, sue that country in the International Court of Justice for not allowing U.S. military forces on their soil? That would drive them even deeper into Putin's pocket, along with the rest of the 'Stans, including the biggie: Afghanistan. Per above, Karzai seems already to be trying to insinuate his nose into Putin's tent pocket.

Yes, I certainly am glad that Obama is going to throw out all the old agreements and instead start treating Iran and al-Qaeda with respect, unlike the 600 times that George W. Bush reassured Moslems that we were not at war with all of Islam, which he routinely called "the religion of peace."

I'm ecstatic that Obama won't bully the world, as we've evidently been doing for eight years, but will start cooperating with Syria, Pakistan, and Russia, and with North Korea and Red China.

And thank goodness he won't go it alone, as Bush and 40 allied countries did, but will instead sign treaties and security agreements; Obama must have meant signing agreements with militant Islamists and resurgent Communists, since those were the only entities left out of the Bush administration's direct diplomatic efforts.

Maybe I should think it wonderful to have an inexperienced president who has never run anything before in his life, who is not locked into all that negative thinking -- you know, war, force, killing; maybe I should be more euphoric about the "courage" shown by Obama in eschewing all that doddering "experience" and the obsessive pursuit of America's selfish "interests;" maybe I should believe in miracles, all this hopey changitude, internationalism, and a visionary, high-minded concern for the world's interests, instead.

An awful lot of conservative Republicans didn't believe it when many of us said it was vital to bestir ourselves to vote... and to vote for the lesser evil (John S. McCain), not for Ron Paul or that supposed libertarian Babar, both of whom reassured third-party voters that it didn't matter whether McCain or Obama won, because theey were just Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber, representing Republicrats and Demoblicans.

But you know -- I told you so.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 3, 2009, at the time of 9:13 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 28, 2008


Presidential Campaign Camp and Porkinstance , Russkie Resurgence
Hatched by Dafydd

Here's an eye-opening comparison. First, read this:

The international community collectively held their breath waiting for the reaction of Russia after the savage, brutal, criminal attack by Georgia on South Ossetia. After having offered a cease fire in hostilities, the back stabbing Georgians immediately violated the cease fire, invading South Ossetia and causing massive destruction and death among innocent civilians, among peacekeepers and also destroying a hospital....

Georgian troops attempted to storm the city [Tskhinval] much as Hitler‘s Panzer divisions blazed through Europe. Also noteworthy is the fact that Georgian tanks and infantry were being aided by Israeli advisors, a true indicator that this conflict was instigated by outside forces....

Relating what has become common practice among war criminals, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reported: "A Russian humanitarian convoy has come under fire. Panic is growing among the local population, and the number of refugees is increasing. There are reports of ethnic cleansing in some villages... The situation is ripe for a humanitarian catastrophe...."

Ask anyone in the Caucasus region, and they will tell you never to trust a Georgian because they would shake your hand with a smile and then stab you in the back. On Friday morning, we saw a perfect example of this treachery, when hours after declaring a ceasefire, Georgian military units launched a savage attack on the civilians of South Ossetia.

Hours after Georgia President Mikhail Saakashvili, the pro-western Washington-backed anti-democratic stooge (attacks on opposition policians in Georgia are rife) declared a unilateral ceasefire, the Georgian army lanched a savage attack on the capital of the province of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, with tanks and infantry, while the air force bombed a village and strafed a Russian humanitarian aid convoy.

And now tell me if you don't detect a certain similarity of style here:

Tonight, WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears. He's currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers.

Tell WGN that by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of political discourse...

Kurtz has been using his absurd TV appearances in an awkward and dishonest attempt to play the terrorism card. His current ploy is to embellish the relationship between Barack and Ayers.

Just last night on Fox News, Kurtz drastically exaggerated Barack's connection with Ayers by claiming Ayers had recruited Barack to the board of the Annenberg Challenge. That is completely false and has been disproved in numerous press accounts.

It is absolutely unacceptable that WGN would give a slimy character assassin like Kurtz time for his divisive, destructive ranting on our public airwaves. At the very least, they should offer sane, honest rebuttal to every one of Kurtz's lies.

The first is a pair of propaganda pieces anent the Russian-Georgian war, taken from Pravda, as you probably guessed. The second is an e-mail sent out by the Barack H. Obama campaign to activists in Chicago.

One thing is clear: Those many years Obama spent poring over the purple prose of Saul Alinsky have certainly paid off.

But what has the rest of us gotten ourselves into?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 28, 2008, at the time of 6:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 14, 2008

"A Plot to Stop Barack Obama"

Russkie Resurgence
Hatched by Dafydd

Pravda and the little pravdaniks have a new party line on the rape of Georgia:

Russians were told over breakfast yesterday what really happened in Georgia: the conflict in South Ossetia was part of a plot by Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, to stop Barak Obama being elected president of the United States....

The Obama angle is getting wide play. It was aired on Wednesday by Sergei Markov, a senior political scientist who is close to Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister and power behind President Medvedev.

So I begin to wonder: How long before this same Kremlin meme begins showing up in the unbiased, nonpartisan elite Western and American media?

At least it's quite clear which presidential candidate the Kremlin favors. Is it not fascinating that virtually every enemy of America is hoping against hope for Barack H. Obama to be elected president -- not John S. McCain?

Here's another juicy bit from the Soviet -- whoops, Russian news agencies:

A classic of Soviet-speak also came from Vasili Lickhachev, a former Russian Ambassador to the EU. “The West has spent a lot of time, energy and money to teach Georgia the tricks of the trade... to make the country look like a democracy,” he said.

“We and many other nations see through this deceit. We understand that the seditious tactics of the so-called colour revolutions are a real threat to international law and the source of global legal nihilism.”

And this one is particularly jolly:

The coverage goes down well in developing countries that want an alternative to CNN and BBC World Service, a Russian official said. “We have learnt from Western TV how to simplify the narrative.”

Thank you, Ted Turner; we're now to be inundated by "McPravda."

A very chummy bilateral relationship is developing between the Russian establishment "press" and the paranoid Left in America... between the Cossacks and the Kossacks, if you will: Each feeds off the other's conspiracy theories, citing its counterpart as a "source" for its own recycled insanity. They're a pair of cannibals, each consuming the other; when do they finally run out of meat?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 14, 2008, at the time of 10:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Sweet Georgia Blown

Russkie Resurgence
Hatched by Lee

Russia and its supporters within the Democratic Party constantly charge that Georgia engaged in "provocations" that justified at least some military response by Russia, if not quite as severe a one as it actually undertook. Yet among the provocative actions that Russia itself committed was issuing Russian passports to large numbers of separatists and sympathizers in South Ossetia. In fact, this is what finally gave Russia its pretext for this operation, as it claimed the need to protect "its citizens in South Ossetia."

This would be equivalent to Mexico offering Mexican passports to any "Aztlan"-supporting Hispanic-American radicals living in the American Southwest, then sending Mexican troops into Arizona to stop ICE raids, calling them war crimes against Mexican citizens.

A majority of Ossetians gleefully accepted these passports; and as John S. McCain noted, there are billboards across South Ossetia and Abkhazia reading "Vladimir Putin is our president."

Russia insists it was acting as a peacekeeper in South Ossetia, rejecting Georgian accusations that it has been supplying arms to the separatists.

But it has vowed to defend its citizens in South Ossetia -- of which there are many. More than half of South Ossetia's 70,000 citizens are said to have taken up Moscow's offer of a Russian passport.

Clearly, residents of those provinces think of themselves as Russian citizens (of Iranian descent), not Georgians; and they declare all of Ossetia (North and South) and Abkhazia to be independent and sovereign nations... notwithstanding the fact that no country, not even Russia, has recognized that independence.

The ceasefire, brokered by Nicholas Sarkozy, between Russia and Georgia -- which Russia has already violated -- calls on all military forces to return to the status quo ante. When (if) the Russians do withdraw, and if Georgia is somehow able to gain control of the breakaway territory, I would not like to see the passport fiasco ignored.

What should be Georgia's response? Very simple: Accepting a Russian passport should be considered the same as renouncing Georgian citizenship. I'd like to see Georgia begin deporting every Ossetian or Abkhazian who took Russia up on its offer.

Peacekeeping forces from NATO may be able to help them implement this. The inevitable charge of "ethnic cleansing" will ring hollow; their deportation would not be based on ethnicity but on self-selection: The deportees willingly renounced Georgian citizenship and were being deported as "undesirable aliens" who knowingly participated in activity that destabilized South Ossetia and promoted secession.

The Ukrainians are probably planning to sit tight and hope their turn doesn't come before the US election. If McCain wins, Ukraine should take a good hard look at NATO and EU membership. The alternative may be a return to vassal status under a new Evil Empire.

Hatched by Lee on this day, August 14, 2008, at the time of 3:21 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 13, 2008

AP Charges McCain with Democracy Mongering

Presidential Campaign Camp and Porkinstance , Russkie Resurgence
Hatched by Dafydd

The Associated Press, in the body of Pete Yost, has made serious accusations of impropriety against presumptive Republican nominee John S. McCain... charges that surely warrant federal investigation and possible disqualification from the presidential race:

McCain stands charged with deliberately and maliciously supporting democracy over the increasingly progressive, humanitarian, and laudible People's Federation of Russia.

More serious is the accusation that the senator, who is older than dirt, took onto his campaign staff a man, Randy Scheunemann, who willfully and with malice aforethought accepted money from the liberal democracy of Georgia -- but pointedly refused to do the same for Georgia's progressive neighbor to the north, which we can unanimously agree he should have done, in all fairness. To discriminate between democracy and progressivism, as McCain continues to do, is to engage in out and out discrimination.

Finally, the most serious charge: Before McCain hired Scheunemann, he was a paid lobbyist, frequently granted access to McCain's inner office; this allowed Scheunemann to argue in favor of democracy over progressive, peaceful consolidation and internationalist coalition-building -- without McCain ever giving the latter equal time, as the Progressive Fairness Doctrine-Plus (soon-to-be introduced in Congress) requires.

These astonishing lapses call McCain's judgment into serious question and raise ethical concerns. Concern at the highest levels about McCain's moral qualification are mounting, as Yost elucidates:

John McCain's chief foreign policy adviser and his business partner lobbied the senator or his staff on 49 occasions in a 3 1/2-year span while being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the government of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

The payments raise ethical questions about the intersection of Randy Scheunemann's personal financial interests and his advice to the Republican presidential candidate who is seizing on Russian aggression in Georgia as a campaign issue.

The implication that a sitting United States Senator's position on an important issue might be influenced by a paid lobbyist is disturbing enough; but when the issue is the conflict between the so-called "elected" "President" Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia and the progressive, action-oriented, people's government of Vladimir Putin -- and the lobbyist in question (Scheunemann) is paid by one of the parties to the conflict (the wrong one) -- it raises the moral stakes to EthCon 4.

Progressive law professor Stephen Gillers puts the whole issue on the back of his hand:

"Scheunemann's work as a lobbyist poses valid questions about McCain's judgment in choosing someone who -- and whose firm -- are paid to promote the interests of other nations," said New York University law professor Stephen Gillers. [Particularly nations that cling to the discredited political theory of "democracy."] "So one must ask whether McCain is getting disinterested advice, at least when the issues concern those nations."

"If McCain wants advice from someone whose private interests as a once and future lobbyist may affect the objectivity of the advice, that's his choice to make."

But the choice McCain has made about Herr Scheunemann speaks volumes.

Gillers' credentials and wisdom are certainly beyond reproach; he was, for example, the first unofficial John Kerry advisor in 2004 to suggest that he pick former President Bill Clinton as his running mate. The raised eyebrow of Gillers alone should provoke an investigation by the appropriate congressional committee; does the fact that John McCain allowed himself to be lobbied by a democratic nation, while rejecting the support of nondemocratic, illiberal nations, legally disqualify him from the presidency?

Even McCain's own spokesman was forced to admit that the senator has an unhealthy obsession with democratic nations... and a well-known bias against progressive people's republics, such as the People's Federation of Russia, the Joyful Worker's Friendship Republic of Cuba, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam:

McCain has been to Georgia three times since 1997 and "this is an issue that he has been involved with for well over a decade," said McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers.

McCain's strong condemnation in recent days of Russia's military action against Georgia as "totally, absolutely unacceptable" reflects long-standing ties between McCain and hardline conservatives such as Scheunemann, an aide in the 1990s to then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.

The ongoing collusion between McCain and Scheunemann -- first pointed out by the campaign of Barack H. Obama -- has now drawn the scrutiny of the fourth branch of the federal government, the Associated Press; RICO charges have been considered, as well as accusations of conspiracy:

Scheunemann, who also was a foreign policy adviser in McCain's 2000 presidential campaign, has for years traveled the same road as McCain in pushing for regime change in Iraq and promoting NATO membership for Georgia and other former Soviet republics.

While their politics coincide, Russia's invasion of Georgia casts a spotlight on Scheunemann's business interests and McCain's conduct as a senator.

Scheunemann's firm lobbied McCain's office on four bills and resolutions regarding Georgia, with McCain as a co-sponsor or supporter of all of them.

AP unearthed a bombshell when they reported that McCain personally telephoned the putative "Mikheil Saakashvili" under highly suspicious circumstances involving $200,000 changing hands -- and then again yesterday; sensing the possibility of skulduggery, Barack Obama made his own follow-up call to begin the investigation into the potentially unethically and possibly even criminal behavior of his rival, behavior which could, in theory, result in John McCain being disqualified for the presidential run, clearing the way for Obama's ascension:

Four months ago, on the same day that Scheunemann's partner signed the latest $200,000 agreement with Georgia, McCain spoke with Saakashvili by phone. The senator then issued a strong statement saying that "we must not allow Russia to believe it has a free hand to engage in policies that undermine Georgian sovereignty."

Rogers, the McCain campaign spokesman, said the call took place at the request of the embassy of Georgia. And McCain campaign spokeswoman Nicolle Wallace added that the senator has full confidence in Scheunemann. "We're proud of anyone who has worked on the side of angels in fledgling democracies," she said in an interview.

McCain called Saakashvili again on Tuesday. "I told him that I know I speak for every American when I said to him, today, we are all Georgians," McCain told a cheering crowd in York, Pa. McCain's Democratic rival, Barack Obama, had spoken with Saakashvili the day before [obviously in an investigative capacity only, which has not been denied so far by either campaign].

The McCain campaign has likewise issued no statement whatsoever answering the unasked question of whether yesterday's call also involved hundreds of thousands of dollars going into the pocket (or pockets) of person (or persons -- or people, even) unknown.

The extent of Scheunemann's treacherous lobbying of McCain is jaw-dropping... always on behalf of democracies, and actually specializing, it appears, in those which have turned perversely against progressivism and the will of the people by rebelling against centrally planned, rational, scientific authority:

In addition to the 49 contacts with McCain or his staff regarding Georgia, Scheunemann's firm has lobbied the senator or his aides on at least 47 occasions since 2001 on behalf of the governments of Taiwan and Macedonia, which each paid Scheunemann and his partner Mike Mitchell over half a million dollars; Romania, which paid over $400,000; and Latvia, which paid nearly $250,000. Federal law requires Scheunemann to publicly disclose to the Justice Department all his lobbying contacts as an agent of a foreign government.

After contacts with McCain's staff, the senator introduced a resolution saluting the people of Georgia on the first anniversary of the Rose Revolution that brought Mikhail Saakashvili to power.... [!]

In 2005 and 2006, McCain signed onto a resolution expressing support for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia; introduced a resolution expressing support for a peace plan for Georgia's breakaway province of Ossetia; and co-sponsored a measure supporting admission of four nations including Georgia into NATO.

It hardly comes as a shock, then, when that same pair, McCain and Scheunemann -- now conspiring in the open to deny the American presidency to yet another progressive hero of the people -- issue utterly biased, partisan propaganda speeches opposing the reunification of Georgia with the motherland. In stark contrast, the response of Obama has been measured, uncertain, and far more nuanced; he has consistently supported both sides in this conflict, thus exhibiting perfect fairness and cultural relativism, magnificently positioning himself for his upcoming coronation over the pretender.

The aged and increasingly cranky McCain, who personally witnessed the destruction of Pompei, may not himself be as culpable as Scheunemann; many of McCain's Senate colleagues have said for years that something funny happened to him during his lengthy prison term, and he may just not be quite right anymore.

But there is no such extenuating circumstance that can explain Randy Scheunemann's persistent refusal to give the same benefit of the doubt to progressive people's republics that he routinely extends to democracies that hold "elections" -- elections that rarely produce the popular unanimity that accompanies the true elections found in the People's Federation of Russia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the Free and Progressive Islamic Republic of Iran.

Scheunemann is widely suspected of being a neoconservative, leading a cabal of neoconservatives who are trying to impose their crabbed and narrow worldview on the rest of the country. Troubling questions about McCain's moral fitness to lead -- which were already mounting -- continue to mount, as AP enumerates:

  • Scheunemann "relentlessly pushed for war in Iraq;"
  • Scheunemann and his neoconservative cronies relentless called for phony "regime change" in Iraq to create a new "world order;" yet now they hypcritically oppose the honest regime change in Georgia;
  • Scheunemann and his co-conspirators have the temerity actually to defend the supposed "surge" in Iraq... even having the gall to expropriate the noble word "progress" to describe it;
  • Scheuenemann has been described (for example, in this sentence) as the "fuhrer" of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which nakedly called for the overthrow of a popularly elected government by force and violence -- though Scheunemann himself may have remained clothed;
  • Scheunemann has been linked to the Project for the New American Century, which propagandized about various alleged "links" between Iraq and "terrorists;" yet a massive investigation by a blue-ribbon federal commission clearly debunked PNAC's purple prose, finding that Iraq and al-Qaeda never carried out any joint operations simultaneously commanded by senior officers in both organizations under an order signed by both Osama B. bin Laden and Saddam O. Hussein at a signing ceremony held in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Not even once;
  • Most damning, Scheunemann has been connected to "a Who's Who of neoconservative luminaries including William Kristol and Richard Perle." Confronted with this evidence, Scheunemann was utterly unable to deny it.

While it may be eye-opening, mind-boggling, and astonishing, it should not be surprising that a creature like the Scheunemann is able to seduce a man with the questionable history of John McCain (whose first forray into the Senate required him to wear a toga) into supporting a brutal democratic regime like Georgia, that has engaged in some of the most aggressive, warmongering behavior that we've seen since the dark days of Ronald Reagan. Consider these accounts from a highly respected news agency (hat tip to John Hinderaker at Power Line, who is evidently just as concerned about this neoconservative unilateralism and democracy-mongering as I):

War between Russia and Georgia orchestrated from USA

Russian officials believe that it was the USA that orchestrated the current conflict. The chairman of the State Duma Committee for Security, Vladimir Vasilyev, believes that the current conflict is South Ossetia is very reminiscent to the wars in Iraq and Kosovo.

Russia: Again Savior of Peace and Life

The international community collectively held their breath waiting for the reaction of Russia after the savage, brutal, criminal attack by Georgia on South Ossetia. After having offered a cease fire in hostilities, the back stabbing Georgians immediately violated the cease fire, invading South Ossetia and causing massive destruction and death among innocent civilians, among peacekeepers and also destroying a hospital....

Georgian troops attempted to storm the city [Tskhinval] much as Hitler‘s Panzer divisions blazed through Europe. Also noteworthy is the fact that Georgian tanks and infantry were being aided by Israeli advisors, a true indicator that this conflict was instigated by outside forces....

Relating what has become common practice among war criminals, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reported: "A Russian humanitarian convoy has come under fire. Panic is growing among the local population, and the number of refugees is increasing. There are reports of ethnic cleansing in some villages... The situation is ripe for a humanitarian catastrophe."

The two-faced, underhanded foreign policy of Georgia

Ask anyone in the Caucasus region, and they will tell you never to trust a Georgian because they would shake your hand with a smile and then stab you in the back. On Friday morning, we saw a perfect example of this treachery, when hours after declaring a ceasefire, Georgian military units launched a savage attack on the civilians of South Ossetia.

Hours after Georgia President Mikhail Saakashvili, the pro-western Washington-backed anti-democratic stooge (attacks on opposition policians in Georgia are rife) declared a unilateral ceasefire, the Georgian army lanched a savage attack on the capital of the province of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, with tanks and infantry, while the air force bombed a village and strafed a Russian humanitarian aid convoy.

That a member of "the world's greatest deliberative body" would align himself with such "democracy" against a progressive people's state is deeply troubling. That he would do so on the advice of a being of pure, existential evil, who used to accept filthy lucre from the bloodstained hands of a democratic state, to conspire against historical inevitability... is despicable.

I stand foresquare with the Democratic Party, the presidential campaign of Barack H. Obama, and the progressive supermajority of Americans in demanding that John S. McCain, firstborn son of Cain the fratricide after he betook himself to the land of Nod and got himself a wife, be ruled ineligible for the high office of President of the United States. And that the Republican Party, as punishment for knowingly nominating a man with such a disgraceful and stomach-turning predeliction for democracy over progressivism, be disallowed from substituting any other criminal, thuggish Republican for such an august office.

The only appropriate response to these staggering revelations from AP is for Obama's path to be cleared, so the vast majority of the American people do not have to spend months on tenterhooks, worried that the Republican-Diebold axis might once again saddle the country with one of their mindless orcs.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 13, 2008, at the time of 6:23 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 11, 2008

Georgia On My Mind

Russkie Resurgence
Hatched by Dafydd

I admit up front my innate antipathy for Russia, dating from the days of the Soviet empire. I took a wait and see attitude following the breakup of the USSR, and I certainly cheered on that drunken sot, Boris Yeltsin, as he climbed atop a tank and dismantled Communism. I was even fooled at the beginning by Vlad "the Impaler" Putin -- who evidently fooled President George W. Bush as well. But for a number of years now, I have thought that Putin's spy-eye view of Russia made it the second gravest threat facing the United States, ahead of China and North Korea and second only to the Iran/al-Qaeda Axis.

Thus, the moment I heard about Russia's invasion of the democratic, free-market nation of Georgia, I knew who was the aggressor and what side I was on. I'm quite gratified that John S. McCain is on the side of the angels. I'm not shocked that Barack H. Obama cannot make up his mind but leans towards the creeping totalitarianism of Russia, in which he perhaps sees a good model for America under himself. And I'm sympathetic to the frustration felt by many Americans that we seem unable to do anything about the barely concealed Russian re-expansionism.

The most urgent point, however, is not who started the war... it's that we cannot allow Russia to slip back across the border unobstructed, their goals accomplished. Putin must pay a severe price -- enough to make him think twice about trying it again. We cannot even allow it to end in stalemate, like the Israeli-Hezbollah-Hamas war of 2006; in the case of such well-planned "spontaneous" aggression, a tie goes to the aggressor.

KGB rules

In a monument to poor timing, Georgia did actually poke the Russian-identifying separatists in South Ossetia; but the Russian separatists have been aggressively pushing the Georgians ever since the bloodless Rose Revolution of 2003, which booted the corrupt former Soviet foreign minister, Eduard Shevardnadze, out of office and brought current Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to power.

And the Russian response has been out of all proportion -- in fact, beyond all sanity -- and too swift and effective to be spontaneous. The logical conclusion is that they have been planning this invasion for a long time, only waiting for the eyes of the world to be turned elsewhere (the Olympics did nicely), and for some action on Georgia's part that Russia could seize upon as casus belli.

Russian troops have squatted in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another ethnically Russian enclave in Georgia, since 1994; and Russia has encouraged the separatists in both regions to launch terrorist attacks against Georgia citizens, engage in ethnic cleansing, and in general, to aggress towards Georgia about like the Chechens aggress towards Russia. So in the realm of "who provoked who first," I don't think any fair-minded person can dump the major blame anywhere but on the heads of the resurgency-minded Russian emperor, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

(Yes, I know that the current president of the Russian Federation is Dmitry Medvedev; but as I've said since the "big switch" this year, and as has now conclusively been proven, Putin leaving the presidency and becoming prime minister was just a ruse to get around term limits. He still controls Russia; Medvedev is simply Putin's catspaw.)

Putin still operates by the philosophy of the KGB, in which he was a rising star, in the Soviet Union he used to serve. Their strategy has always been to:

  1. Provoke trouble in some state or region they coveted;
  2. Then, in the guise of riding to the rescue of some Russian enclave somewhere, send an army to overturn an election;
  3. Then install their own man on the throne and dare anybody to do anything about it.

Thus, to me, it has been pretty clear from the first thrust that Russia desires nothing less than to reconquer Georgia, turning it once again into an unwilling satellite state to Russia, a slave-state run by a puppet government (or perhaps even directly by Russia itself).

Putin has expanded the war far beyond the borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and has even bombed Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. And as John Hinderaker at Power Line noted over the weekend, Russia tried mightily -- and unsuccessfully, so far -- to destroy the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which runs from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey, connecting the Caspian oil fields to the Mediterranian Sea, thence to the international oil markets.

But what to do, what to do? I know you're shocked -- but I actually have a suggestion: We need to accelerate NATO membership for former Soviet slave-states -- those that have now reorganized as democratic powers (not including Georgia until the war ends, since that would oblige us to immediately enter the war). And if current NATO member states threaten vetos, then we need to put as much pressure on them as it takes to change their minds... up to and including a counterthreat to veto any future action that member state might want.

I especially suggest accelerating membership for a few particular nations:


Ukraine is probably the most important of the breakaway Soviet states, and they're already on track to submit a "membership action plan" at the end of this year. Let's speed that up -- get our ambassador there, William B. Taylor, to go into marathon meetings with them to resolve any outstanding issues. The goal would be immediately to offer them either full membership or -- if Ukraine still wants to hold a national referendum -- some sort of "interim membership."

The threat is immediate and urgent: Ukraine is one of Russia's primary international seaports (on the Black Sea); in fact, Russian navy ships have left Ukrainian ports to launch attacks on Georgian ships. If Russia succeeds in reconquering Georgia, it would be tempted to turn around and seize the main Ukrainian naval base of Sevastopol as well. And possibly Odessa.

The Ukrainian ports of Odessa and Sevastopol are shared by Russia, and they're Russia's main access to the Mediterranean -- through the Strait of Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles (all controlled by Turkey, a NATO member since 1952) to the Aegean Sea. If Ukraine were to deny Russian access to Sevastapol and Odessa -- and if Ukraine could make it stick, which would be much more plausible if they were members of NATO themselves -- this would be a staggering blow to Russia's military power... and a fitting punishment for starting a war of aggression against Georgia.

If Russia began threatening them anyway, despite NATO membership, then we certainly could decide to engage in joint Naval and Marine maneuvers with our newest military ally, right?

I think we have a very good entre to the current Ukrainian president, Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko: During the 2004 presidential election, Yushchenko was poisoned with dioxin by political allies of his main rival, Prime Minister Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych... who is widely considered to be Putin's toady. I suspect that President Yushkenko does not feel particuarly friendly towards Russia nowadays... especially if he looks at what's happening in Georgia and wonders, rationally enough, whether Ukraine is next on the menu.


Moldova is nowhere near as important as Ukraine; but it's also saddled with Russian "peacekeeping" forces. They have settled like a miasma in Transnistria, another breakaway Russian-leaning province or republic (the status is not yet settled). It is one of the four main "frozen conflicts" of ethnic Russian regions (or ethnic Armenian, in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh) which are trying to break away from their current countries and join Russia (Armenia) instead:

  • South Ossetia (Georgia)
  • Abkhazia (Georgia)
  • Transnistria (Moldova)
  • Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan)

I certainly don't think we should weigh in on the side of Moldova and Azerbaijan in their conflicts with their ethnic separatists; but we could offer expanded trade deals and military cooperation, both to cushion the blow of losing those regions -- and more important, to negate any military advantage the Russians might gain from separation.

In particular, we must slam the door on Russia's main plan: Using the Russian-leaning regions in the "frozen conflicts" as springboards for an attempt to reconquer the former Soviet satellites, as they appear to be doing in Georgia. NATO membership is a very quick and unambiguous way of doing so, since an attack by Russia on a NATO member would bring other NATO members into the war, including the United States, Great Britain, and of course Turkey.

Azerbaijan (and Armenia)

As above, Azerbaijan is another country with a "frozen conflict." In addition, Azerbaijan is the other victim in Russia's attempting bombing of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (Baku is the largest port, the largest city, and the capital of Azerbaijan): Without that pipeline, Azerbaijan would have no way of bringing their oil to market other than turning to Russia, which would charge a horrendous price. The Azeri are not stupid; they know what a Russian victory in Georgia would do.

Then there was the war with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. Initially, the Soviet Union seemed to favor Azerbaijan; but after the collapse of the USSR, Russia increasingly supported the Armenian separatists, both with regular forces and with mercenaries. (In fact, both Armenia and Azerbaijan accused the Russians of playing both sides to keep the West from extending NATO into the Caucasus.)

Azerbaijan is problematical as a NATO member. It's a Shiite Moslem country, though not part of the Iranian axis; it appears more aligned with Turkey and Georgia than Iran, working with them on both the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the South Caucasus natural-gas pipeline.

More dicey is the autocratic rule of "President" Ilham Aliyev, son of Soviet-era strongman Heydar Aliyev who came to power in a coup d'état against democratically elected President Abulfaz Elchibey in 1993. Aliyev the lesser continues rattling his scimitar against Armenia and has recently escalated the military clashes.

However, Armenia also is moving towards NATO membership; so we could probably mitigate any bad feelings by pushing to induct them both simultaneously. This would probably give Putin a myocardial infarction... or at least a serious case of acid reflux.

The G8

John McCain called for Russia to be expelled from the Group of Eight, the international economic-political forum that is held every year. Barack H. Obama, continuing his reactionary campaign -- McCain speaks, Obama hems and haws, then finally gainsays whatever McCain said -- came out against expulsion, on the grounds that we need Putin's cooperation, Obama says, in the fight against "nuclear proliferation"... though in the most urgent of such cases, it sure appears to many that Russia is more on Iran's side than on the side of non-proliferation.

McCain wants to strip Russia of G8 membership not only because of its invasion of Georgia, but also because of the steady and accelerating erosion of fundamental rights and liberties within Russia itself. But it certainly is another, rather more drastic action we can take. (It's more drastic to try to kick Russia out of an international organization to which they were just formally admitted 11 years ago than to invite Russia's intended victims into an alliance that was formed to counter the erstwhile Soviet Union.)

As an aside, Obama's floundering on this issue demonstrates beyond all doubt that the man is simply not prepared, or equipped by nature, to lead the United States of America. When an emergency arises, the president must respond swiftly; we can't wait around for Obama to decide which liberal special-interest group to kow-tow to this time.

Bram Stoker rules

So we do actually have a number of actions we can take against the resurgent Russian empire, so long as we can induce our longtime allies to go along with us. With the increasingly brazen invasion of Georgia, that looks a lot more likely now than it did even just a week ago.

But if we do nothing, if we allow Vladimir Putin to get away with such naked aggression and empire building, then in a very short period of time, the Soviet Union itself will rise again, vampire-like, from the dead past... a very apt and worrisome image in the land of Vlad.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 11, 2008, at the time of 5:35 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

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