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Where the HELL is the President???

After that last multi-part post I thought i could relax a little and not worry about any subsequent postings for at least a week.  But reality has a way of influencing our most ardent desires.  And as stupid as the postings on Facebook have been relative to the presidential race, the silence on recent events is far more stunning and far more indicative of a population totally self absorbed and out of touch with things in the broader world that can turn round and bite them.

Are you all paying attention or does Prince Harry’s latest streak or Bradjalina’s latest spat demand your full attention?  Do you have even the remotest clue that possibly, just possibly, very recent events concerning the middle east, while they may not have actually lit the fuse, certainly opened the box of matches?

In two countries in the middle east, Egypt and Libya, Islamists principally following the Muslim Brotherhood, yes, that same group our administration declared were good guys, stormed and took over the American Embassies. These were factions that we had recently helped to overthrow the former governments and from whom, in any intelligent part of the world, we might have expected some loyalty.  But none was evident as the walls were scaled, fires were set, flags were torn down, and violence and murder were perpetrated on our representatives to those countries.

This is not like having some tourists attacked, heinous as that would be.  Are you aware that an embassy is considered by all governments to be the sovereign soil of its country?  The other countries with embassies here demand that status of us and in past administrations we have demanded it of them.  Two of our embassies were just attacked and overrun.  By the language of international law, when any, much less two areas of American territory were attacked an overrun, that is an overt act of war.  Once inside the compounds they tore down the American flag, burned it, and replaced it with their own.  That is an act of war.

But it gets worse.  In one of the attacks, an American ambassador was killed – no. let’s call it what it was, he was murdered.  THAT is an act of war if one ever existed.  In scale only does this depart from the precedent of Pearl Harbor.

And what set off this attack?  A cheap, independent, stupid movie was what.   A F*****G MOVIE was all it took to rouse adherents to the “religion of peace” to attack U.S. territory and murder its Ambassador.  In my opinion the moment word was received of the actions, the congress should have been convened, the acts of war recognized for what they were, the governments of the countries put on notice that we would be considering responses but that in the meantime not another dime of foreign aid would flow into their corrupt coffers… and they could stand by for the REAL response…

But what did we actually do?  The following day – not that very evening – the following day our fearsome guardian of the American way essentially apologized for the affront of the movie.  He did mention the attacks and murder really shouldn’t have happened and were perhaps a bit over the top, but the major thrust was that we were sorry and that our values did not include insulting someone else’s religion.  Apparently however, they do condone murder of our own people based on the provocation of an insult to someone else’s beliefs.  THat is news to me and not news i find positive since it tosses out the 1st amendment.  Remember this murder did not happen on foreign streets, it happened on U.S. territory.

And wait a minute, was the government the one who created the film?  Were its comments about violent Muslims coming from any official voice of the country?  Did embassy personnel or the ambassador himself offer free screenings of the film on the embassy lawns and speak on its behalf?  Did the movie even act as if it were speaking for the country as a whole?  No, they did not.

But both attacks took place after some time passed as the crazed, ignorant savages worked themselves into a frenzied froth before launching the actual assaults.  There was enough time for message to be sent here asking for guidance. The governments of those countries then had more than enough time to become aware of the growing mob, assemble their troops to, as all countries agree to do, defend the embassies of countries they host, but they did not. We apparently didn’t even ask them to.  That overt, purposeful lack of action on their part is tantamount to a tacit official OK of the actions and, it turns out, neither has offered any sort of apology or offer of restitution for the actions of their countrymen.

Do you truly believe we are respected in those areas more so for being patently weak-kneed in a response to attack?  Do you truly imagine a warrior culture such as theirs would look up to such cringing cowardice and seemingly paralyzed leadership?

But it gets still worse.  A flashpoint that nearly everyone agrees has the potential for escalating into a conflict that will inure to the benefit of NO ONE is the issue of Iran and its nuclear ambitions.  So far, the rhetoric has served both sides if, and only if, the leadership of Iran truly are completely rational persons fully in command of the realities of the world and history despite idiotic assertions and saber rattling rhetoric.

If that rationality it true then we (the U.S., Iran, and Israel) are playing a dangerous but understandable game where the rhetoric serves to keep the people stirred up but the reality is far less inflammable.    If that is true, Iran may indeed NOT have any nuclear weapons ambitions but is using the possibility for international credibility, Israel may actually not feel threatened with their very existence but wishes to test its so-called “friends” relative to their actual support, and we can cleverly, if cruelly, play them off against each other by holding to the public rhetoric that we want to give Iran more time to ‘come clean’ and stop their weapons plans but in the meantime we will hold Israel back from precipitous action.

It is a potential win-win-win in a macabre and ugly game of international politics.  But it will work only if Iran and its leaders are (a) rational and actually do not really have the desire to build a nuclear arsenal and (b) there is not a hidden agenda that would make the Iranian government have fish other than Israel to fry, oh, such as re-establishing the Persian empire and Hegemony of old and, at the same time, settling once and for all the under the table war between Sunni and Shiite sects of Islam.

If either (a) is not true or (b) IS true then we, the U.S. have been suckered (or strode knowingly) into a huge problem likely to spill over into regional and then possibly global war.

And then… into that uncertain environment steps Iran’s leader who, purposefully as an insult, comes to speak to the U.N. Security Council on Yom Kippur, one of the holiest of Jewish Holidays.  The next day, Israel’s leader then comes to New York to speak.  Israel is internally seriously divided in purpose between those that want to do a pre-emptive strike before Iran can develop a weapon and those who believe that since they have not even tested a device yet, there is no hard evidence they are developing one and a strike is a very bad idea.  The U.S. certainly acts as if it is in the second camp while, officially, being a firm back-up to Israel if that is wrong, something the Iranians cannot ignore.  We back worthless sanctions for the PR value but do virtually nothing else even though the sanctions have only the effect of irritating the Iranian public who attempt to clean up their government went unsupported while we whole-heartedly backed the Muslim Brotherhood’s take over of an Egyptian leader who was at least sometimes an American ally.

And what happens?  The Israeli leader asks to meet with the American leader.  Of all the people in the world you would think we would want to chat with and both press our point while getting a feel for his real intentions it would be him, especially since he is given to rhetoric as volatile as that of the Iranians.  But the response from us is that our leader is too busy.  His schedule is full.  He cannot meet.  And what IS on his schedule that day?  Appearing on the Letterman show.

I know Letterman is a huge fan and supporter, but what private citizen, even George Soros or Michael Moore, could be more important than meeting with a person who may hold the key to war in the region?  For that matter what government official would not happily re-schedule a meeting if in doing so they could help promote the agenda of at least delaying such a war?  Well, now we know the answer to that question and it is not some lower level functionary, it is our dear leader himself.

There is a complex geopolitical high wire act going on with global stakes and our President does not seem to get it.  If our stance and rebuff make the Israelis feel they truly are on their own and all decisions have to be based solely on their own beliefs about a potentially existential threat, and the Iranians are made to think that despite blanket and outdated comments of support, we will not get involved in their squabble, just how much more secure do you think we have made the situation?

The only thing that even remotely makes sense, other than potted plant levels of stupidity, is that the Administration wants Israel to either act first or so frighten the Iranians that they perform a pre-emptive strike to forestall the feared Israeli pre-emptive strike and hopes that this time, finally, Israel looses.

No?  Give me another logically sound way to look at it?  You cannot separate these two actions happening so close together.  You cannot think that the rebuff to Israel which happened first fell on deaf Islamic ears and did not play some part in the thinking that led to the belief in an assault on American soil that could be done without consequences.

And regardless of your conclusions about the Israeli leader’s rebuff, do you think it is good for us to have the Muslim militants assume, based on experience, they can mess with us and get no more than a few words about how we wish they had not done it but we understand why they might be mad at us?   Is that a position for the U.S. to occupy in the world that you honestly think will lead to others respecting us and to a greater likelihood of world peace?

If you do, then I think that while the jury is still out about the administration being rock stupid, there is no longer any question about you.

(ADDENDUM… to be fair…)
Finally, today, our President, after a round of criticisms from a number of fronts, went BACK before the cameras and actually condemned the actions and said we would punish the people responsible.  i applaud that position but it should have been the FIRST reaction, not one as part of damage control.  We shall see if something actually happens…  However AFTER that the countries involved now are apologizing and offering to help.  Perhaps they think that now Obama is forced into real action so they had better shape up.  That would indicate they do not know the lengths he will go to to avoid that but it is informative to indicate that when we DO at least act or talk like we are still America and mean business it gets a response.

If only it were true…

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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Seminal Event? We’ll See…

San Diego – OK, it is no secret that I share about zero political philosophy with the President and even think he is leading the country into incredibly deep and dangerous waters from which we may not be able to recover.  But having said that, I think he hit a home run with the speech he delivered tonight at the Tucson Memorial Service following the shootings this past weekend.  In the “moment” of the event, and seeing it was not quite the expected somber memorial service touted but a dynamic crowd clamoring for something positive and inspirational to be made from all of this, he, in my opinion and as a dedicated political opponent, rose to the occasion and delivered precisely the right inspirational speech at exactly the right time and place.  And I am willing and happy to applaud him for it.

We are one of the few countries in the world where the Head of Government and the Head of State are the same person.  It is a very tall order to follow and often a President good at one role is not all that good at the other.  I have been open that I have not thought highly of him as the Head of Government but tonight we really needed to see the Head of State and, admittedly to my surprise, he showed himself equal to the task.  He not only eloquently praised and memorialized the fallen and wounded along with the heroes of the event, but he addressed the rancor and moronic venom spewing from those who sought to turn this tragedy into political points.  He flat out stated that approach was not accurate and not appropriate and then said what really needed to be said by our Head of State, which is that we need to turn this tragedy into a stepping stone to raise the discourse to a new and positive level.  We can still disagree and need to; it is from that adversarial environment that truth is often found.  But we have reached a point where the truth is being ignored because the partisanship is so entrenched as to be blind to it.   He asked that we instead live up to the expectations of the child who was killed and perhaps the expectations of all of America’s children and use our debates not as arenas to pound each other into submission but rather as foundations from which to lift each other up and in doing so grow the country.

Bravo!  I applaud it all.  I have no doubt some will be able to find fault or spin or something negative about it but I chose, this time, to take him at his word and use his admonitions to us to view, positively, what he had to say.

Of course time will tell whether the current crop of politicians are able to rise to that lofty goal, including him.  I hope so.  Perhaps all he really meant was that the other side needs to give in more to his side.  But I hope that is not all he meant because if not then we are facing incredibly dangerous times ahead that will overwhelm us while we fight each other.    We and the world are staring down the barrel of a perfect storm of deadly crises headed directly at us.  If not we will be like my ancestors the Highland Scots who were too busy fighting each other to mount much of a serious challenge to the British; or like our American Indians who were too busy counting coup on each other to recognize the larger threat to their ways of life encroaching on their territory until it was too late.  For us today, issues of water, oil, aging/changing demographics, economics, plus rogue states and organizations with nuclear capabilities are of far more real and present dangers to us all than any worry about the effects of climate change and Mayan Calendars.  Asteroids and super volcanos and mega-earthquakes are all in earth’s future and could hit tomorrow and be actual or near extinction events; but there is nothing we can do about it to prepare for or mitigate them so other than fun conversational topics are politically pointless.

But those issues noted above are all issues that, left unaddressed will, in a fairly short span of time measured in years and decades not centuries, cause great calamity and devastation, cultural catastrophes, and the breakdown of our ways of life.   And, every one of them is subject to our human political intervention.  But only by a government of leadership and legislators able to get beyond their partisan bickering and have quit worrying more about re-election, power-brokering, ideology and their own self service than service to the country.  It is possible that after this speech, we will collectively take a deep breath, and look in the mirror at the angry faces staring back and follow his suggestions to focus less on what divides us than on what can bring us together.  I’ve been harping on that very theme since my dear friend Hadley and I proved it possible years ago.

As in the discussions Hadley and I have, I expect the President and those who agree with him to passionately explain their positions and I expect those who agree with me to do the same.  Voters sent a new set of legislators to the table in the last election and I expect them to follow the obvious mandates they were given by their constituents.   But wouldn’t it be something if they all could do it civilly and focussed not on personal gain but on the country’s gain; not on the fun of the fight but the wonder of a workable result that took the nation forward?  What if proponents of laws were honest about the pros and cons and so open to improvement on them?   What if they actually read them and discussed each part of them openly to the people for final approval?  What if whatever they passed for us had to be applied to them as well?  Perhaps we, as the named REAL heads of government, THE PEOPLE, have arrived at a time when we need to demand it.

Two posts before I suggested such re-examination would be a good outcome of the tragedy but was not going to hold my breath for it.  Maybe this would be a good time to, at least for a little bit, hold one’s breath…???   The President proved tonight he can rise to a profoundly serious occasion and be a very effective Head of State.   Now let’s see if he can buy into his own eloquent rhetoric and become as effective at being the Head of Government as he was tonight at being the Head of State.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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