Saturday, March 27, 2010
Obama’s legacy and the Iranian bomb
The gravest threat faced by the world today is a nuclear-armed Iran. Of all the nations capable of producing nuclear weapons, Iran is the only one that might use them to attack an enemy.
There are several ways in which Iran could use nuclear weapons. The first is by dropping an atomic bomb on Israel, as its leaders have repeatedly threatened to do. Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president of Iran, boasted in 2004 that an Iranian attack would kill as many as five million Jews. Mr. Rafsanjani estimated that even if Israel retaliated with its own nuclear bombs, Iran would probably lose about 15 million people, which he said would be a small "sacrifice" of the billion Muslims in the world.
The second way in which Iran could use nuclear weapons would be to hand them off to its surrogates, Hezbollah or Hamas. A third way would be for a terrorist group, such as al Qaeda, to get its hands on Iranian nuclear material. It could do so with the consent of Iran or by working with rogue elements within the Iranian regime.
Finally, Iran could use its nuclear weapons without ever detonating a bomb. By constantly threatening Israel with nuclear annihilation, it could engender so much fear among Israelis as to incite mass immigration, a brain drain, or a significant decline in people moving to Israel.
These are the specific ways in which Iran could use nuclear weapons, primarily against the Jewish state. But there are other ways in which a nuclear-armed Iran would endanger the world. First, it would cause an arms race in which every nation in the Middle East would seek to obtain nuclear weapons.
Second, it would almost certainly provoke Israel into engaging in either a pre-emptive or retaliatory attack, thus inflaming the entire region or inciting further attacks against Israel by Hezbollah and Hamas.
Third, it would provide Iran with a nuclear umbrella under which it could accelerate its efforts at regional hegemony. Had Iraq operated under a nuclear umbrella when it invaded Kuwait in 1990, Saddam Hussein's forces would still be in Kuwait.
Fourth, it would embolden the most radical elements in the Middle East to continue their war of words and deeds against the United States and its allies.
And finally, it would inevitably unleash the law of unintended consequences: Simply put, nobody knows the extent of the harm a nuclear-armed Iran could produce.
In these respects, allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons is somewhat analogous to the decision by the victors of World War I to allow Nazi Germany to rearm during the 1930s. Even the Nazis were surprised at this complacency. Joseph Goebbels expected the French and British to prevent the Nazis from rebuilding Germany's war machine.
In 1940, Goebbels told a group of German journalists that if he had been the French premier when Hitler came to power he would have said, "The new Reich Chancellor is the man who wrote Mein Kampf, which says this and that. This man cannot be tolerated in our vicinity. Either he disappears or we march!"
But, Goebbels continued, "they didn't do it. They left us alone and let us slip through the risky zone, and we were able to sail around all dangerous reefs. And when we were done, and well armed, better than they, then they started the war!"
Most people today are not aware that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain helped restore Great Britain's financial stability during the Great Depression and also passed legislation to extend unemployment benefits, pay pensions to retired workers and otherwise help those hit hard by the slumping economy. But history does remember his failure to confront Hitler. That is Chamberlain's enduring legacy.
So too will Iran's construction of nuclear weapons, if it manages to do so in the next few years, become President Barack Obama's enduring legacy. Regardless of his passage of health-care reform and regardless of whether he restores jobs and helps the economy recover, Mr. Obama will be remembered for allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. History will not treat kindly any leader who allows so much power to be accumulated by the world's first suicide nation—a nation whose leaders have not only expressed but, during the Iran-Iraq war, demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice millions of their own people to an apocalyptic mission of destruction.
If Iran were to become a nuclear power, there would be plenty of blame to go around. A National Intelligence Report, issued on President George W. Bush's watch, distorted the truth by suggestion that Iran had ended its quest for nuclear weapons. It also withheld the fact that U.S. intelligence had discovered a nuclear facility near Qum, Iran, that could be used only for the production of nuclear weapons. Chamberlain, too, was not entirely to blame for Hitler's initial triumphs. He became prime minister after his predecessors allowed Germany to rearm. Nevertheless, it is Chamberlain who has come to symbolize the failure to prevent Hitler's ascendancy. So too will Mr. Obama come to symbolize the failure of the West if Iran acquires nuclear weapons on his watch.
It's Tea Partiers and Republicans against the elitist Democrats
America’s current political war is less a struggle between the Left and the Right than one between populism, represented, however imperfectly, by the “big R” Republicans, and the elitism of President Obama.
Obama is so extremely elitist as to blithely torture, and possibly destroy, the Democratic Party itself.
An article in the March 15th New Yorker, “Obama’s Lost Year,” by George Packer, contains a telling detail about the White House decision-making process, noting that “… the surest way to win Obama over to your view is to tell him it’s the hard, unpopular, but correct decision.” Key word? Unpopular.
Small "r" republicanism neatly is summed up by the Wikipedia: “Citizens choose their leaders and the people … have an impact on [their] government.” Republicanism is the antithesis of elitism, of which monarchy is the extreme form. Our president is, in spirit, a modern monarchist.
The Gallup poll invariably shows that about 40 percent of Americans identify themselves as conservatives, while 20 percent are liberals, and 40 percent are independents.
A pattern can be traced back to our national beginnings. About 40 percent of colonial Americans favored the American Revolution, 20 percent were loyal to the Crown, and 40 percent were uninvolved, according to historian Robert Calhoon in his “'A companion to the American Revolution.”
Behold a law of nature, “the 40-20-40 rule,” and call it “Bell’s Postulate,” after Jeffrey Bell, author of the defining modern classic, “Populism and Elitism.”
By placing himself in opposition to the popular will, and treating this opposition as a virtue, Obama aligns himself with the spirit of monarchy. He takes it as a virtue to thwart the consent of the governed.
Our “Mr. President” makes inappropriately deep, cringe-worthy, bows to the Emperor of Japan and the King of Saudi Arabia because … Obama is, if not exactly the King of America, the crown prince of an elitist/monarchist faction self-styled as “Liberal.”He knowingly sacrifices his, and his political party’s popularity and legitimacy, on the altar of elitism.
Thousands of Tea Party Patriots descended upon the Capitol March 16th to oppose the health care bill. Hundreds of thousands flooded the Capitol Switchboard in protest. Millions will assemble to petition the government for the redress of grievances on April 15.
Meanwhile, the White House launches elitist salvo after salvo, including more bailouts, cap and trade (under which, in Obama’s own words, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket”), proposals to gut teacher accountability, and to expropriate the Internet. Obama’s elitism intensifies daily.
Pollster Scott Rasmussen may have written the most important book for this moment, “In Search of Self Governance.” Rasmussen summarizes by saying “Americans don’t want to be governed from the left, the right or the center. They want to govern themselves. The American desire for – and attachment to – self-governance runs deep.”
What is at stake today is identical to the stakes of the American Revolution itself. It is a battle between those who respect republicanism and those who reverence elitist rule.
From our very beginnings, only 40 percent of us supported republican principles and could accurately be called populists. Another 20 percent were monarchists in support of centralized command and control; they were elitists.
The prospects of the original revolutionary republicans often were dire. Thomas Paine, on a drumhead by firelight in Gen. George Washington’s camp wrote: “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
Against ferocious odds, the republican minority prevailed against the elite-supported monarchist faction. Against ferocious odds, republican forces have continued, and will continue despite tactical setbacks, to prevail against resurgent elitism.
US House passes “health reform” amendments: "The House of Representatives cleared the final hurdle in Congress’ overhaul of the nation’s health care system, passing a health care reconciliation bill by a 220-207 vote. The amendment bill, which included the fixes made to the Senate version of the health care bill, will now go to President Obama for his signature. The Senate passed the legislation this afternoon by a 56-43 margin after defeating 41 amendments offered by Republicans.”
Bond markets reflect the true cost of Obamacare: "Not many people noticed amid the Democrats' struggle to jam their health care bill through the House, but in recent weeks United States Treasury bonds have lost their status as the world's safest investment. The numbers are pretty clear. In February, Bloomberg News reports, Berkshire Hathaway sold two-year bonds with an interest rate lower than that on two-year Treasuries. A company run by a 79-year-old investor is a better credit risk, the markets are telling us, than the United States government. Buffett's firm isn't the only one. Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Lowe's have been borrowing money at cheaper rates than Uncle Sam."
Poll: 79% Say U.S. Economy Could Collapse: "The latest Fox News poll finds that 79 percent of voters think it’s possible the economy could collapse, including large majorities of Democrats (72 percent), Republicans (84 percent) and independents (80 percent). Most American voters believe it’s possible the nation’s economy could collapse, and majorities don’t think elected officials in Washington have ideas for fixing it. Just 18 percent think the economy is "so big and strong it could never collapse." Moreover, 78 percent of voters believe the federal government is "larger and more costly" than it has ever been before, and by nearly three-to-one more voters think the national debt (65 percent) is a greater potential threat to the country’s future than terrorism (23 percent)."
Gas up $1 a gallon on Obama's watch: "Gas prices have risen $1 since just after President Obama took office in January 2009 and are now closing in on the $3 mark, prompting an evaluation of the administration's energy record and calls for the White House to open more U.S. land for oil exploration. The average price per gallon across the U.S. hit $2.81 this week, according to the Energy Information Administration. That was up from $1.81 the week of Jan. 26, 2009, just after the inauguration, and marks the highest price since Oct. 20, 2008. Gas prices have been on a roller-coaster ride over the past decade, dropping to near $1 after President George W. Bush's first year in office"
Average Americans' words harsh for Obama: "Certain robust public perceptions about President Obama have surfaced among average citizens rather than so-called "wingnuts" and "lunatic fringe." A Harris Poll released Wednesday found that 40 percent of Americans say Mr. Obama is a socialist, a third think he's a Muslim, a quarter think he was not even born in the U.S., is not eligible to be president and is a "domestic enemy that the U.S. Constitution speaks of. Among other things, the poll also found that three-out-of-10 Americans think Mr. Obama "wants to turn over the sovereignty of the U.S. to a one-world government." About an equal number - 29 percent - said he had "done many things that are unconstitutional" while 27 percent said "he resents America's heritage."
GE Exploits Reagan Legacy to misrepresent itself: "In response to GE's recent announcement of its sponsorship commemorating the Centennial Celebration of President Ronald Reagan's birth, today the Free Enterprise Project of the National Center for Public Policy Research is criticizing GE CEO Jeff Immelt for exploiting Reagan's legacy to curry favor with conservatives. "I'm outraged over Immelt's shameless exploitation of President Reagan's historic presidency to improve GE's reputation among conservatives. Reagan is the champion of conservatives because he fought for liberty and limited government. In contrast, Immelt uses GE's vast lobbying resources to expand the size and role of government in order to create markets for its products and loot Americans of their liberty," said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., Director of the Free Enterprise Project. Borelli notes that GE is an aggressive supporter of cap-and-trade legislation"
No ObamaCare for Obama: "President Obama declared that the new health care law "is going to be affecting every American family." Except his own, of course. The new health care law exempts the president from having to participate in it. Leadership and committee staffers in the House and Senate who wrote the bill are exempted as well. A weasel-worded definition of "staff" includes only the members' personal staff in the new system; the committee staff that drafted the legislation opted themselves out. Because they were more familiar with the contents of the law than anyone in the country, it says a lot that they carved out their own special loophole."
Moscow: US-Russia nuclear deal has some worried: "A sweeping new bargain to slash the offensive nuclear arsenals of Russia and the US — what they used to call the ‘balance of terror’ — appears almost ready for Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama to sign. Unofficial sources say the signing may take place as early as April 8, in Prague, Czech Republic, the venerable eastern European capital in which Mr. Obama launched his campaign for a nuclear weapons-free world just one year ago. Experts say the new agreement, designed to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, will reduce strategic nuclear warheads by one-quarter, to around 1,600 on each side, and halve the number of delivery vehicles — missiles, bombers, and submarines — to 800 for each country.”
They fly first class … on your dime: "“Will you and your family put off a vacation this year because you can’t afford it? Too bad, because you have paid for some terrific trips — for government bureaucrats. The Washington Times reports that last year $13 billion in tax dollars was spent to pamper ‘public servants’ on trips that double as vacation junkets. The Securities and Exchange Commission, for example, frequently sent employees overseas on first- or business-class airplane tickets that cost taxpayers up to $10,000 each … Likewise, agencies spend millions sending employees to private industry trade shows that just happen to be in resort locations such as Las Vegas. The Department of Commerce spent $7.5 million on conferences of this sort in 2007.”
Is WikiLeaks being tailed by the government?: "For those unfamiliar with document hosting site WikiLeaks.org, here’s a little primer for you. WikiLeaks acts as the internet’s Fort Knox for the whistle blowers of the world. … According to tweets from Wikileak insiders, members of their editorial advisory board are being tailed by State Department and CIA officials, and have been shown ominous photos taken secretly during their production meetings.”
Why the mainstream media panders to statism: "It stands to reason that the mainstream media is supportive of statism. It loves things that cause drama. Murders get ratings and so do government actions. The health care takeover is just one example. It isn’t big news that people can take care of their own needs if government steps aside. However, the resistance and opposition to this scheme has the possibility of getting very dramatic and messy.”
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 12:39 AM