Archive for the National Defense Category

John Kerry Misses the Spotlight

Posted in Change You Can Believe In, Culture of Death, Middle East, National Defense, War on Terror with tags , , , on April 11, 2009 by thedunadan

Good news for those sailing near the Somali coast: John  Kerry is on the case.  More than four years after running one of worst elections in history, he’s been craving the spotlight – especially after Hillary got the State Dept gig over him.  In an effort to see his hair on television, he’s holding pirate hearings.


“When Americans, including at least one from Massachusetts, are endangered, you’ve got a complicated and dangerous international situation brewing, and that includes questions about a hot-pursuit policy on Somalia’s coastline.”

Yes, Senator Kerry, it’s especially complicated and dangerous when someone from Massachusetts is endangered.   Not sure why having someone from Massachusetts makes it more complicated and dangerous.

“I plan to hold hearings to further examine the growing threat of piracy and all the policy options that need to be on the table before the next fire drill becomes an international incident with big implications.”

It’s a good thing he’s decided to hold hearings a year or more after the piracy off the Somali coast has been a pressing problem.   And it’s a good thing he’s going to examine those options before the next fire drill is held  off the Somali coast.

I suppose he doesn’t think this “fire drill” has big implications since he’s talking about the next “fire drill” having them.  Even the Somalis themselves like the fire analogy when discussing maritime matters.

Somali Foreign Minister Mohamed Omaar said Thursday, “The pirates are playing with fire and have got themselves into a situation where they have to extricate themselves because there is no way they can win.”

If Kerry is interested in really examining the problem as opposed to simply getting his face on the news, he might want to call Andy McCarthy as a witness.

Turns out it’s a jungle out there. What impresses, as all America’s enemies from the Barbary pirates through Osama bin Laden have always known, is the strong horse against the weak horse. What makes possible global trade, which turns into American wealth, which turns into unparalleled American largesse, is American might — American might and an American commitment to use that might as necessary to ensure a civilized global order.

“Civilized” is a much-misunderstood word, thanks to the “rule of law” crowd that is making our planet an increasingly dangerous place. Civilization is not an evolution of mankind but the imposition of human good on human evil. It is not a historical inevitability. It is a battle that has to be fought every day, because evil doesn’t recede willingly before the wheels of progress.

There is nothing less civilized than rewarding evil and thus guaranteeing more of it. High-minded as it is commonly made to sound, it is not civilized to appease evil, to treat it with “dignity and respect,” to rationalize its root causes, to equivocate about whether evil really is evil, and, when all else fails, to ignore it — to purge the very mention of its name — in the vain hope that it will just go away. Evil doesn’t do nuance. It finds you, it tests you, and you either fight it or you’re part of the problem.

Unfortunatley, those in power don’t see evil that way.  They only see evil in their own country.  These pirates are only victims of American evil.  We only need to discard our principles and ask the to forgive us for our past sins and then we can negotiate with them.

Senator Kerry needs to have David Rivkin and Lee Casey testify before his committee.

Experience — especially that of colonial America — suggests that a few sporadic antipirate efforts will not be enough to solve the problem. Only a dedicated naval campaign, along with a determined effort to close the pirates’ safe havens, will succeed in sending piracy back to the history books.

Does President have the cojones to order such a determined effort?   So far, his silence is deafening.  There may be reasons to delay speaking, such as letting actions speak for you.  I hope that is the reason for his silence: that he is planning major actions.  We obviously have the strength to shut down these goons in row boats.  Do we  have the will?  Will Obama’s base allow him to fight the way we need to fight? Will there be a few missile attacks or a sustained campaign?

Capturing pirates is not the critical problem. Rather, the issue is how to handle those in captivity. Traditionally, pirates fell within that category of illegitimate hostiles that once included slave traders, brigands on the roads and, in wartime, unprivileged or “unlawful” enemy combatants. As Judge Nicholas Trott, presiding over a pirate trial, explained in 1718: “It is lawful for any one that takes them, if they cannot with safety to themselves bring them under some government to be tried, to put them to death.”

Something tells me Obama’s base won’t like this approach.

The key problem is that America’s NATO allies have effectively abandoned the historical legal rules permitting irregular fighters to be tried in special military courts (or, in the case of pirates, admiralty courts) in favor of a straightforward criminal-justice model. Although piracy is certainly a criminal offense, treating it like bank robbery or an ordinary murder case presents certain problems for Western states.

To begin with, common criminals cannot be targeted with military force. There are other issues as well. Last April the British Foreign Office reportedly warned the Royal Navy not to detain pirates, since this might violate their “human rights” and could even lead to claims of asylum in Britain. Turning the captives over to Somali authorities is also problematic — since they might face the head- and hand-chopping rigors of Shariah law. Similar considerations have confounded U.S. government officials in their discussions of how to confront this new problem of an old terror at sea.

The left doesn’t want us to fight terrorists and they don’t want us to fight pirates either.

Bret Stephens also shares some history on how we defeated piracy two hundred  years ago.  Senator Kerry would be wise to consider this as well.

Piracy, of course, is hardly the only form of barbarism at work today: There are the suicide bombers on Israeli buses, the stonings of Iranian women, and so on. But piracy is certainly the most primordial of them, and our collective inability to deal with it says much about how far we’ve regressed in the pursuit of what is mistakenly thought of as a more humane policy. A society that erases the memory of how it overcame barbarism in the past inevitably loses sight of the meaning of civilization, and the means of sustaining it.

Russia Challenges Obama

Posted in National Defense, Russia, Venezuela with tags , , , , , on March 14, 2009 by thedunadan

Putin is wasting no time with the neophyte community organizer sitting in the oval office.

First, he persuaded Kyrgyzstan to kick us out of a strategic base in which they hosted our troops, providing a key transportation hub for US and NATO troops to travel into Afghanistan. Putin took this action almost immediately after Obama took office.  Obama shrugged and apparently did nothing to prevent this.

Now, he’s looking to use bases in Cuba and/or Venezuela for Russia’s strategic bombers.    Will Obama throw away the Monroe Doctrine?  After all, he’s all about “resetting” our policy with them.  I guess the Monroe Doctrine is outdated in this era of hope and change.

Putin made this provocative move shortly after Obama’s disastrous letter to Medvedev in which he caved to Russia without even negotiating.   Obama slapped our European allies in the face with his promise to give up strategic missile defense in Europe in exchange for a promise from Russia to try to get Iran get rid of their nuclear weapon program.

The Russians gladly indicated a willingness to discuss an American surrender on the issue of missile defense but rejected any talk of linking it to the Iranian issue.  Of course, they’d be happy to have Obama surrender Europe to Russian influence, especially Eastern European countries who used to be under their boot.  But Russia has no interest in having Iran give up their nuclear ambitions.  One, they benefit financially from Iran’s pursuit.  And two, having the US focus on that issue means Russia can pursue their interests elsewhere while the US is distracted.  Three, as Iran gets closer to their dream, tensions will rise in the Mideast and drive up the price of oil; of course this will help Russia stave off bankruptcy.

Obama, however, is too naive to think that Russia would have interests that diverge from the liberal dream that everyone would just get along Rodney King-style if it weren’t for the Bush Neo-Cons ruining everything.

Ed Morrissey points out that Biden has really proven prophetic with his prediction that Obama would be tested.

At the rate things are going under Obama, we are going to be a third rate power with a third rate economy.

Head Explosion Countdown With Keith Olberman

Posted in Change You Can Believe In, Economy, National Defense, The Permanent Campaign with tags , , on February 11, 2009 by thedunadan

Nothing irritated the BDS suffering portion of the Left more than the Bush Administration notion that the US could hold terrorists caught on the battlefield without a trial.  Nevermind that this position has been the position throughout our history.  The Left has always refused to believe that we are at war with Al Qaeda and their allies and tended to ignore their declarations of war or their behavior which constituted them as unlawful combatants under any serious reading of the Geneva Conventions. Now comes Obama’s choice for Solicitor General, an attorney with nearly zero trial experience and no appellate advocacy experience.  Apparently, Dick Cheney has got to her. Harvard Law Dean Elena Kagan, President Obama’s choice to represent his administration before the Supreme Court, told a key Republican senator Tuesday that she believed the government could hold suspected terrorists without trial as war prisoners. I have to admit I share in Moe Lane‘s glee.  On the other hand, despite the humor of the situation, there isn’t something disturbing about a presidential candidate placating the extremists in their  party and encouraging that extremism for two years on the campaign trail with false hope about changing so many policies.  And then once the campaign is over, reverse course as if nothing was ever said.  On so many security issues, the new Administration is keeping policies they relentlessly attacked throughout the campaign. Combine this with the reverse on economic positions.  Whatever happened to that tax cut for 95% of us?  What happened to that promise to go through the budget line by line to eliminate pork spending?  Obama ran to the right of McCain on these issues – now he’s socializing the economy in a breathtaking fashion. And lastly, we could point to his wholesale repudiation of his campaign to be the new kind of post-partisan candiate who was all about being open and transparent.  That’s all out the window. Has there ever been such a dishonest campaign before?  Doesn’t this guy make Clinton appear honest?

More Money For Condoms; Budget Cuts For Defense

Posted in Change You Can Believe In, Economy, National Defense, War on Terror with tags , , on January 31, 2009 by thedunadan

In the Age of Obama, we don’t really need a military, apparently, because the world loves us now.  Since it may take a little while before all the hatred caused solely by the existence of George W. Bush, we can’t just eliminate the entire defense budget. So we’ll do it 10% at a time.

The Obama administration has asked the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to cut the Pentagon’s budget request for the fiscal year 2010 by more than 10 percent — about $55 billion — a senior U.S. defense official tells FOX News.

A $55 billion spending cut on defense during a time of war is pretty irresponsible.  Especially in light of the $825 billion “stimulus” package.  We need to spend millions on condoms, not on our military.

Erick Erickson at RedState has a list of 20 facts about this “stimulus” package which is so much more important to the Messiah than his Constitutional duty to defend the nation.  For example:

4. Here are just a few of the programs and projects that have been included in the House Democrats’ proposal:

  • $650 million for digital TV coupons.
  • $600 million for new cars for the federal government.
  • $6 billion for colleges/universities – many which have billion dollar endowments.
  • $50 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts.
  • $44 million for repairs to U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters.
  • $200 million for the National Mall, including $21 million for sod.

5. The plan establishes at least 32 new government programs at a cost of over $136 billion. That means more than a third of this plan’s spending provisions are dedicated to creating new government programs.

The whole piece is worth reading.  In Obama’s mind, paying back unions and other special interest groups who got him elected take precedence, not only getting the economy back on track, but also having a strong defense.  Change you can believe in.


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