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Barack H. Obama’s Legacy, Part 12

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It would be easy to criticize Mr. Obama for his policy toward North Korea, but it would be likewise unfair.  His policy was to do the best he could to ignore Mr. Kim Jong-Un, the North Korean dictator, and not attempt to “negotiate” (which is to say, pay him off), as did Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton.  Mr. Obama’s administration referred to his policy as “strategic patience”, which means to take a wait-and-see attitude on Mr. Kim’s actions, while attempting to use diplomatic means to influence China to in turn influence Mr. Kim.  As expected, as Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton both found out, North Korea’s ultimate objective is to develop a credible nuclear force which (they claim) is only to serve as a deterrent to any invasion by the U. S. or South Korea.  They continued to develop nuclear arms, and set off several nuclear tests in 2013, despite diplomatic pressure from the Obama administration.  (They did so even in the face of an actual United Nation press conference during which the U. N. issued three formal harrumphs!  Mr. Kim is playing with fire now).  Whether Mr. Kim has intentions of conquering South Korea are not known, but it is reasonable to assume he will try to use his nuclear leverage to do so.  Mr. Obama either failed to realize or failed to accept the notion that Mr. Kim is not an independent actor.  Because the Stalinist economy of North Korea operates at a bare subsistence level, it is necessary for Mr. Kim to arrange for support from elsewhere, namely Communist China. China provides a great deal of military materiel, technical expertise, and food to North Korea.

Mr. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, (in essence, dictator of China) is likely in complete control of Mr. Kim.  Mr. Xi had throughout the Obama administration resisted repeated calls for tighter sanctions or other measures to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions on the grounds that he did not want to provoke a revolution in North Korea that would lead to many refugees crossing the border into China.  It is a patently absurd notion.  First, China certainly has the means to prevent all crossing of the Yalu River separating the two nations.  Secondly, with a population of 1.3 billion, it is hard to see how a few million more from North Korea would make any material difference; and besides, they are already trained slaves, easy to incorporate into China’s economy.  Third, there will never be a revolution in North Korea unless Mr. Xi orders it.  He will not order it so long as Mr. Kim remains his loyal puppet.  When Mr. Xi says ‘jump’, Mr. Kim asks “How high, what color, and how else can I serve you, Mr. Xi, my lord and master?”  One phone call from Mr. Xi and Mr. Kim, his family, and his regime will disappear from history. North Korea is allowed to exist because China finds it useful to have a client state capable of unnerving the U. S. and its Asian allies (South Korea, Japan, Australia, the Philippines, and sometimes New Zealand).  While North Korea’s antics keep the West off-balance, and unable to develop a coherent strategy against Eastern Asia, China does what it pleases elsewhere, especially in the oilfields of the Middle East and Africa.   Lastly, North Korea serves as a buffer state between China and South Korea.  Communist regimes have absolute power but also absolute paranoia.  Communist China needs a buffer state (like North Korea) to separate their nation from South Korea lest any notion of freedom leak over the border into China.

In the long run, there are three outcomes regarding North Korea.  The first is that China desires North Korea to conquer South Korea, thus drawing the U. S. into an Asian land war.  This attractive to China only if North Korea could do so quickly while not inflicting any casualties on U. S. forces in South Korea.  If the U. S. forces were to become trapped, they are handy bargaining tools by which China could promote an arbitration by the U. N., in which China gets whatever it wants, and China is seen as a peacemaker. Secondly, China may be using North Korea’s antics as a means to drive a wedge between the U. S. and its Asian allies, leading the U. S. to abandon South Korea and turn away from Asia in general.  That would allow China to become the dominant and uncontested power in the Southern Hemisphere.  A third possibility is that China allows North Korea to attack the U. S. directly, to which the U. S. will respond accordingly, and China will remain neutral.  This is highly unlikely, as it would put America at China’s doorstep, and would likely result in the U. S. turning Japan into a nuclear power, the situation the Chinese probably fear the most. In the long run, our main adversary is China, not North Korea.  Because it is too soon to tell what China actually wants, Mr. Obama’s policy of wait-and-see was probably correct.  I would say however, that Mr. Obama’s failure to identify the real culprit did not help our cause.

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Barack H. Obama’s Legacy, Part 11

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It is no secret that Mr. Obama detests Israel and their Prime Minister Mr. Netanyahu.  Mr. Obama even went so far as to try to influence the Israeli election, seeking to oust Mr. Netanyahu (yet he complains about alleged Russian interference in America’s election).  Mr. Obama did however, find himself obligated by previous commitments to Israel made by his predecessors, and during his term, much as he wishes it were not so, the U. S. continued to supply Israel with arms and intelligence about the activities of Hamas and Hezbollah.

In my opinion, it is not possible for any Western force, military, economic, political, or otherwise, to arbitrate or resolve the problems of the Middle East.  Those issues date back to before the establishment of Israel (1948), before the British Mandate (1922) that created the political Middle East as we know it; prior to the conquest by the Ottoman Turks (1517); prior to the conquest by the Mongols (1258); prior to the “Crusades” (intermittently from 1096 to 1291); prior to the conquest of Arab lands by the Seljuk Turks (1055); and some of them prior to the establishment of Islam by Mohammed (622).  The Arab tribes fought the invaders; sometimes they joined the invaders, and when not dealing with them, they fought among themselves.  It is no more realistic for a Western power to resolve the hatreds and dissensions of the peoples of the Middle East than for a Buddhist monk to have mediated peace between the medieval Scottish clans.  The Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Afghans, Pakistanis, and Persians, comprising various tribes and Islamic sects, will have to fight it out for themselves.  The less we are involved, the better for everyone.  Either Islam goes back to what it was originally (as revived by al Qaeda and ISIS), or it is a private set of rituals and practices independent from civil society.  It is up to the established political and military forces in the region to resolve this on their own.

It seems to me then, that Mr. Bush’s policy, following President Wilson’s moronic mandate to make everyplace “safe for democracy”, was destined for failure. The people of the Middle East do not want democracy, nor do they want freedom (other than to kill their enemies, real or imagined); nor are they ready for it.  Mr. Obama, despite his protests to the contrary, continued Mr. Bush’s policy in many regards.

Mr. Obama’s policy of withdrawing from Afghanistan and Iraq was the correct policy: but he failed to anticipate the civil wars that would naturally result.  Then he went back on the policy, getting involved once more by sending U. S. forces there and initiating numerous drone strikes against ISIS.  Mr. Obama was correct to ignore the uprising in Iran in 2009; he was correct in ignoring the rebels in Syria.  He was wrong to announce a red line against the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and then doing nothing when Assad crossed it.  He was wrong when he allowed the nitwit Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to instigate the revolt against Libyan President Ghaddaffi and his ultimate removal.  The correct policy for the U. S. in the Middle East is to protect Israel as much as practical, and let the rest of them fight it out.  If that battle spills over onto U. S. territories, then, and only then, should the U. S. get involved, and in doing so, make the entire region a free-fire zone.  As Westerners, we are finding it difficult to treat Oriental peoples in terms they understand: brute force, tyranny, and death.  Mr. Obama’s policies failed because he wanted it both ways: to withdraw, but at the same time prevent the Arabs from doing what comes to them naturally.

Mr. Obama’s tilt toward Iran and the “nuclear deal” appears to have been done purely as a political claim of “having done something”; nothing was gained by it.

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Barack H. Obama’s Legacy, Part 10

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Continuing an analysis of Mr. Obama’s Middle East policy, it is obvious that he, like his predecessor Mr. Bush, failed to understand the source of “Islamic terrorism”.  Actually, it is worse than that.  At least Mr. Bush was willing to call it what it was: a certain branch of Islam that adheres to the original definition of ‘jihad’ as handed down by the Prophet Mohammed and his immediate successors.  That is, anyone who is not a particular type of devout Moslem has to be killed in the service of Allah.  Mr. Obama, sympathetic to Islam, and also convinced that America is first and foremost an oppressor and exploiter nation, declined to admit that the problem was even related to the Islamic religion.  Instead, he and the members of his administration referred to the work of al Qaeda and ISIS using euphemisms such as ‘workplace violence’, ‘personal issues’, ‘hate crimes’, or whatever he could get the compliant media to repeat.  He went so far at one point to deny that ISIS (which established an Islamic Caliphate) was even Islamic.

The incorrect policy pursued by Mr. Obama, imitating somewhat the policy of Mr. Bush, was to enlist the Arab nations in a coalition against the terrorist group. As expected, none of them did much.  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not part of the solution to Islamic based terrorism. Saudi Arabia is the problem with Islamic terrorism.  The Saudi royal family maintains it power by allowing the Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam to control the subjects by a religious secret police that also controls the legal system and the education system.  (The Wahhabi’s prefer to be called Salafi.) The Saudi royal family supports and defends the Wahhabi sect as the de facto national religion and in return the Wahhabi’s educate the subjects that they are obligated to support the House of Saud.

The Wahhabi sect is the one branch of Islamic “theology” that has revived the original definition of ‘jihad’ as a viable political and religious system, hence the cause by Al Qaeda, ISIS, and many other like groups to enforce their objectives: a) kill as many Jewish people as possible; b) force the U. S. and other Western nations out of Middle Eastern affairs; c) establish a Caliphate to emulate the grand position once held by the early successors of the Prophet Mohammed (they had conquered vast tracts of the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Spain); and d) use the power of the Caliphate to kill anyone who embraced any other system of faith, starting with Christians. To do that, it is necessary for them to gain control of the Middle East using the terror methods to intimidate the Arab dictatorships, whom they accuse of being too closely aligned with the evil West.  It is notable that they have never attempted any terrorist activity inside Saudi Arabia: it is too soon to attack their current protectors.  The Saudi royal family claimed to be opposed to ISIS, but they never put a division in the field or a squadron in the air against them.

Mr. Obama’s policy of tilting toward Iran as an American favorite was poorly received in Saudi Arabia, as Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia regard each other as mortal enemies.  But the capitulation to Iran’s demands did not deter Mr. Obama from continuing to advocate for weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, as well as confirmations of security agreements made in the past.  Why did he do that?  Because ISIS had gotten stronger in late 2013 and early 2014, and started making noises that they might like to attack Saudi Arabia and remove the royal family.  The House of Saud realized there was no prospect of an alliance with ISIS so they turned to the U. S. for protection, and Mr. Obama came through.  He then began to attack ISIS positions and towns controlled by ISIS, and with it the inevitable collateral damage in the form of civilian casualties.  Those casualties only served ISIS’ propaganda methods, by which they induced more young impressionable idiots to join with them and fight against America, the great Christian evil.

In the end, Mr. Obama he affirmed that the Saudi policy of supporting Wahhabism has no opponents in his administration. On the other hand, his support for Iran and his reluctance to attack Syrian President Assad made the Saudi regime uneasy.  In other words, Mr. Obama acted against a traditional ally’s interests, while ingratiating himself with Iran, Saudi’s greatest enemy.  He dug himself deeper into the moral and political cesspool known as the Middle East, reducing the U. S. to a position of being hated as either an infidel or an unreliable enemy.  Meanwhile, Wahhabism continues to be endorsed by the Saudi regime.

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Barack H. Obama’s Legacy, Part 9

–>  ObamaLegacyPart9

Mr. Obama’s policy in the Middle East was confused as usual.  To be fair to Mr. Obama, he did inherit a difficult situation left by his predecessor President George W. Bush.  Mr. Bush’s great failure was the invasion of Iraq in 2003; that in turn was caused by his failure to understand either the cultural or religious history of the Middle East.  Mr. Bush learned from his father President George H. W. Bush the idiotic foreign policy of President Woodrow Wilson, in which America’s job is allegedly to make the world “safe for democracy”, or some other equally inane phrase.  Mr. Wilson was divorced from reality, and those who follow his general foreign policy prescription demonstrate the same.  Mr. Bush actually believed, or told us he believed, that the U. S. military would be greeted as liberators if it removed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from power.

Here is how the Arab Middle East actually works. It is possible for an Arab who is not a Moslem to live peacefully and function in a normal society.  It is possible for a Moslem who is not an Arab to live peacefully and function in a normal society.  There is something about the Arab culture and the Moslem religion that in combination causes people who are both to turn into raving retards fit only for the desert wastelands.  A person who is both Arab and Moslem is incapable of living in peace in any society, not even his own; and his main function even within his own society is to kill anyone not of his tribe, or Moslem sect, or family.  The duration of feuds between Arab factions is measured in millennia.   That is why the best that can be achieved in a nation populated by Arab Moslems is that it be ruled with an iron fist by a secular dictator (or absolute monarch).  Such a government is the only way a nation full of Arab Moslems can prevent widespread chaos, destruction, and murder.  Therefore, Mr. Saddam Hussein was the best that could be hoped for in a place like Iraq: at least he suppressed all the crazies that were crazier then him.  History showed after he was gone that about half the population was in fact crazier then he was. Mr. Bush never did learn that lesson; what is sadder is that Mr. Obama never learned it either, even with Mr. Bush’s failure staring him in the face.  To be fair to Mr. Bush, Iraq was sufficiently pacified when he left office, although requiring a U. S. military force of considerable size.

Rather than make the best of a bad situation, Mr. Obama, in his “leading with his behind” approach, decided to withdraw the U. S. military forces from Iraq in the belief that they were capable of rational self-government.  The result was a series of civil wars, culminating in the establishment of ISIS in Eastern Syria and Western Iraq.  That in turn re-ignited the war, which is still going now.  He also decided to remove  Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Ghaddafi, dictator of Libya, and allow him to be replaced by a set of warring factions, all of whom proved themselves crazier than Mr. Ghaddafi.  Likewise. Mr. Obama’s policy in Syria showed the same confused approach.  At first, he wisely failed to support the Syrian rebels.  But then he turned against President Bashar al-Assad because Assad (supposedly) used chemical weapons against his enemies after Mr. Obama promised a “red-line” response if he did.  Assad crossed the line, and nothing happened.  After ISIS got rolling, and the Syrian rebels promised to fight them, Mr. Obama provided some nominal support, and some of those Syrian rebels joined up with ISIS.  All this dithering around in Syria served only to increase the power and influence of the Russians there.

An Arab dictator used chemical weapons against his own people? What else is new?  Arab history continues as it always has and always will.  Al-Assad is the best that the Syrian people can achieve.  But Mr. Obama never gave any support to the Kurds in the northern part of Iraq; the only force willing to actually defeat ISIS.  Mr. Obama apparently was afraid to anger the pathetic excuse of a government in Iraq, which even now, cannot keep peace inside its own borders.  The Iraqi government is concerned that a suitably strong Kurdish faction may seek independence from Iraq.  The Kurds are not Arabs, so an independent nation of Moslem Kurds could in fact function as a normal nation.

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