Archive for August, 2014

A View of the Islamic State

A View Of The Islamic State  <– PDF version

The Islamic State (IS), formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), formerly known as an offshoot of Mr. bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization, continues to demonstrate that they are incapable of any semblance of civilized conduct in either peace or war.   It has thus far conquered and controls an area bridging both Syria and Iraq encompassing about 12,000 sq. miles, more or less.  It has seized military equipment from the Iraqi army (which fled the scene); this is the same U.S. equipment left behind after the Iraq war, supposedly for Iraqi self-defense.  It has captured and then summarily executed numerous Syrian army personnel.  It has beheaded an American journalist, James Foley, and displayed the video on the internet.  It has forced many thousands of people which adhere to Christianity and the Yazid religion from their homes under pain of “conversion to Islam or death”.   Its leader, Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi, (formerly a resident of the Guantanamo Bay prison) has claimed that IS intends to establish a worldwide Islamic Caliphate, and that the organization’s symbolic black flag will one day fly over the White House.  Some American commentators have suggested that IS constitutes an “existential threat” to the U.S. and must be defeated, preferably with a coalition, but by the U. S. alone if necessary.  That would require land forces in both Syria and Iraq, something the American people are not prepared to support.  President Barack “I lied, period” Obama, leading with his behind as usual, has ordered a series of minor air strikes against IS forces scattered in Iraq, but recently admitted he has no strategy to deal with IS in general.

If the dictionary definition of words matters anymore, I am doubtful the IS could actually conquer America.  It could launch some internal attacks, disrupt some segments of the economy temporarily, and put a scare into the weak-minded.  Those attacks would encourage any Islamic jihad sympathizers already here, and may cause a rush of more such supporters over our non-existent southern border.  Naturally the American politicians would use those attacks to justify further encroachments upon the liberties of Americans, as they did after the 11 Sep 2001 attacks.  This last characteristic is the true threat from IS.

However, IS may well constitute an existential threat to some nations in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Lebanon, and of course, the ultimate prize, Israel.  King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has addressed the threat posed by the IS, stating [1]:

“If we ignore them [IS], I am sure they will reach Europe in a month andAmericain another month.  … You see how they carry out beheadings and make children show the severed heads in the street.  …  It is no secret to you, what they have done and what they have yet to so.  I ask you to transmit this message to your leaders: ‘Fight terrorism with force, reason, and (necessary) speed.’ “

Fine speech, Your Majesty, fine speech indeed.  So, Your Majesty, tell us dumb Yankees how many divisions of heavy armor, how many infantry divisions, and how many squadrons of fighters and bombers has the mighty kingdom of Saudi Arabia committed to fighting IS?  None.  How many divisions and squadrons have been committed to fighting IS by the other nations at risk mentioned above?  Zero.  There won’t be any, not now, and not ever.  How many of the principal clerics of the above Moslem nations have issued a fatwa against IS?  None; they never have and they never will.  Why is that?

There are two reasons.  First, IS is what you get when Islam, the “religion of peace”, is no longer constrained by secular dictators or tyrannical monarchs.  Since the above named nations are devoted to Islam, they probably support the goal of IS, but would like to avoid being its victims.  King Abdullah conveniently forgot to mention that the official religion of his nation, the Wahabbi (Salafi) form of Sunni Islam, is the ideological force behind IS, al-Qaeda, and other jihadists worldwide.  What they really want is a kinder, gentler IS, chastened by limited American force, that will share power with the existing entrenched monarchs and dictators.  Second, the above-named nations have grown comfortable from the proceeds of the oilfields, and desire the Europeans and dumb Yankees to do their fighting for them in order to protect their delicate sensibilities.  In this way the Saudis and other Moslem nations can share in the global expansion of radical Islam with its attendant wealth, power, and underage girls without giving even the appearance of opposition to their Moslem brethren.  We shall see if Mr. Obama will take the bait.

[1]  “Saudi king warns West will jihadists next target”, 30 Aug 14,  http://news.yahoo.com/saudi-king-warns-west-jihadists-next-target-093701543.html

 

 

 

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On Richard Nixon

OnRichardNixon   <– PDF version

It was 40 years ago this week (9 Aug 1974) that Republican President Richard M. “I am not a crook” Nixon resigned his office because he was discovered to be a crook.  He had willingly and knowingly covered up a burglary of the Democratic Party offices at the Watergate office building in Washington, committed by his supporters, some of whom worked in his campaign or his administration.  Nixon had waged a long internal battle to save himself from disgrace, but in the end the facts came out about his knowledge of the burglary and his abuse of power in covering it up.  We will probably never know if the burglary itself was his idea.  Many people in his own Republican party, understanding enough about history to know that honest government is always preferable to raw power, assisted in Nixon’s decline.  Nixon himself knew by then that he was about to be impeached, and would probably be removed from office, so he resigned in order to prevent a drawn-out political turmoil to the exclusion of other important issues (the Vietnam War being one of them).

So Nixon said good-bye and retired with full benefits to his mansion in San Clemente.  He was subsequently given a full pardon by his successor, President Gerald R. Ford, ostensibly to avoid seeing his old buddy have to stand trial for abuse of power and other crimes.  It was the worst mistake Ford ever made because it set the precedent by which future Presidents knew they could get away with anything.

Nixon was a crook.  He knew he was a crook, everyone else knew he was a crook, there was no means left by which he could talk his way out of it, and few in Congress or the courts were willing to tolerate any more of his corruption.  But let’s give old Tricky Dick some credit here: at least he retained some semblance of integrity such that deep down, he recognized that the American people deserved better than him.  Therefore, he did what was right by resigning.

We do not have that sentiment in politics any more.  The respective political parties have become so ideologically motivated towards the acquisition of power by any means that they will defend their crooks no matter what.  There is no limit to the crimes and abuses of power that will be tolerated so long as they expand their powers and associated privileges.  We have suffered with recent Democratic President William J. Clinton who even now cracks a smile whenever he is reminded of the massacre at Waco, the IRS targeting of his enemies, and the undermining of American elections with Chinese money (not to mention his personal victims).  Our current Democratic President, Barack H. Obama, regarded as the messiah by some of his supporters, has violated his oath of limited powers per the Constitution too many times to count, has once more encouraged and tolerated IRS abuse of his political enemies, and has implemented socialism at home and weakness abroad.

Unlike Nixon, who believed the American people deserved better, these two moral midgets believe the American people are not good enough for them.  I suspect the Republicans are no better.  So it will continue until “we the people” start demanding better, and start ignoring the slick political advertising extolling the alleged virtues of those who love power for its own sake.  In that spirit, I have three recommendations for elections:

1.  Regard every word by every candidate as being submitted to you, the citizen, as under penalty of perjury.

2.  Never vote for anyone who has committed perjury per #1.

3.  Only vote for those who have demonstrated a willingness to limit themselves to the enumerated powers granted to their offices under the appropriate local charters or state and federal constitutions.

 

 

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