Boehner Invites Netanyahu & Obama Flips Out

House Speaker John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress, which resulted in outrage from the Left. I saw some berserker comments on a Facebook meme-image by the Daily Kos (no link for you, Kossaks!) which were predictably unhinged. Boehner violated the Logan Act! Boehner the traitor! Yes, I know, the FB comments are as brain-damaged as YouTube comments, but still, it was somehow startling and amusing in terms of extremism in stupidity. Boehner is of course neither a traitor nor in violation of the Logan act, but it’s amusing in that Liberals are often accused of possibly violating the Logan Act and they shrug it off (You want a link? Feh. Go amuse yourself by Googling “John Kerry”, or “Barack Obama”, or “Nancy Pelosi”, and “Logan Act”). No, I’m not a lawyer, but if you’ve got a few brain cells to rub together it’s obvious that what Boehner did was not a violation of the Logan Act.

Eugene Robinson doesn’t quite go so far as to make that accusation in his latest column “Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu backfires on them both“, but he comes oh-so-close. Let’s begin:

“The political ramifications are clear: House Speaker John Boehner and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a colossal mistake by conspiring behind President Obama’s back, and the move has ricocheted on both of them.”

It’s not at all clear to me what the political ramifications are, but it is clear that the reaction from the White House and Liberals has been swift and hair-on-fire furious. OK, it’s clear in that respect, but otherwise? Pissing off Liberals is not a “ramification”. Nor is it clear that this was a “colossal mistake”. It’s not even clear to me that it was a mistake at all but we’ll see what kind of case Robinson can make for that later. Here, though, in the same sentence, Robinson characterizes this as Boehner “conspiring behind President Obama’s back”, and there in the first sentence of his piece we can see that this column was clearly a colossal mistake.

So, Boehner “conspired” with Netanyahu – it’s a conspiracy – as if this were a crime instead of an invitation to speak before our government and the American people. Israel is an ally of the United States, a liberal (note the small “L”!) republic with more freedoms than all other Middle Eastern countries combined, and as such I have no problem with his speaking here in the Capital on American foreign policy issues which are of vital importance to the survival of his country. Note that this spirit of open dialog does not extend to the enemies of the United States, such as “Supreme Leader” (*giggle-snort*) of Iran, Ali Khamenei, whom I invite, along with every other member of that criminal cabal, to go screw a goat.

“The big, scary issue underlying the contretemps — how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program — is a more complicated story. I believe strongly that Obama’s approach, which requires the patience to give negotiations a chance, is the right one.”

You don’t just believe it, Eugene, you believe it strongly. Of course you do. For Liberals, when dealing with the enemies of America, negotiation is the only path, whether it succeeds or fails. Negotiations, sweetened with incentives, and forgiving of transgressions and insults, is the way they snuggle up to our enemies. There’s a soft spot in their hearts for our enemies because they both share a similar anti-Americanism. Conversely, our allies get undermined and slighted, as with the United Kingdom, Australia, and of course, Israel, because in their minds the allies of the United States share in the imperialistic and capitalist crimes of the United States. Only the far Left says this out loud but it’s a sentiment which runs through all but the most centrist Liberals, and it’s a sentiment which gets translated into policy when Leftists come into power.

“To the extent that a case can be made for a more bellicose approach, Boehner and Netanyahu have undermined it.”

Well, no, they certainly are trying to dissuade us from this course, but it’s far from clear whether it’s working or not. For Liberals, it’s worth pointing out that the very act of “undermining” – well, actually, opposing and advocating for something different – their President is unacceptable, and that’s conditional on it being their President, i.e., of their party, whereas opposing the President when he’s a Republican is all kinds of patriotic speaking of truth to power.

“First, the politics. Why on earth would anyone think it was a good idea to arrange for Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress without telling Obama or anyone in his administration about the invitation?”

Oh, dear, this has to be explained to Eugene. OK, here goes: Boehner violated the protocol of getting the informed consent of the President before inviting a foreign head of state to speak in Congress. This would be an issue if that foreign representative were from a hostile country, but we’re talking about Israel, our ally. The White House took extraordinary umbrage at this protocol violation because they do not consider Israel to be their ally – yes, an ally of the United States, but not the ally of the Liberal Left; again, something they dare not say out loud.

Boehner did this because he knew that the POTUS would try to put the kibosh on it. Israel doesn’t have a seat at the table of these “negotiations” and the Administration would like to keep Netanyahu from speaking to the United States government and people on this matter. Hearing the head of Israel tell us that these negotiations are a very, very bad thing for both Israel ans America is not what they’d like you to hear, and so they would have tried to put a stop to it before it happened, and especially before the offer was made public, the better to kill it quietly, in the crib.

So intent is the Administration to prevent further sanctions being levied on Iran that Secretary of State John Kerry falsely claimed that Mossad chief Tamir Pardo had opposed more sanctions on Iran. I’ll give them this: it takes a lot of chutzpah to tell a whopper like that. Still, with the Administration making up astonishingly flagrant lies like that, you can see how both Boehner and Netanyahu would want to address the American government and people directly.

“Yes, Congress has an important role to play in international affairs.”

In acknowledging this Robinson is also dismissing it; you can almost hear him add, sotto voce, “but not really…”  Not so much now that Congress is controlled by Republicans, that is.  When it’s a Democrat Congress vs. a Republican President, Robinson will be right there to tell you just how very important that role really is.

“And yes, the days are long gone when disputes among officials over foreign policy ended at the water’s edge; members of Congress routinely gallivant around the globe and share their freelance views of what the United States should or should not be doing. But inviting a foreign leader to speak at the Capitol without even informing the president, let alone consulting him, is a bald-faced usurpation for which there is no recent precedent.”

A usurpation! Our king Obama is being usurped! Although the definition of that word relating to the throne may not have been the one Robinson had in mind, it was the word that came to his mind, and the association doesn’t bother him or he doesn’t even hear himself. “Bald-faced” is, literally, “unshaven”, but in American English it is associated with the phrase “bald-faced liar” (and no other) and connotes “flagrant”, which is the word Robinson was looking for but could not find.  Happy to help, Eugene – see above for an example of the proper use of the word “flagrant”.

“Pending legislation, which Obama threatens to veto, would automatically impose tough sanctions against Iran if the drawn-out, multiparty nuclear negotiations fail.”

Now, remember, Robinson just asked the question of why Boehner would invite Netanyahu to speak before the House without checking with POTUS Obama. It’s as if he can’t see the connection between the two, but it’s right there. POTUS Obama’s threat of a veto in the event that negotiations with Iran fail means that the Administration wants for there to be no consequences for the failure of negotiations. For the Administration, and Liberals, the failure of a negotiated deal would necessitate another round of negotiations, as has happened multiple times in the past. This is not an acceptable outcome for Israel or the American Right because this series of failures is a win for Iran as it gives them more time to develop nuclear weapons and to produce weapons-grade fissile material. Sanctions have hurt Iran and slowed down their work, and stronger sanctions can be expected to have a greater effect on the slowdown of their nuclear weapons push. You don’t need to extrapolate here: the Obama Administration is running out the clock which will give Iran time to get the bomb. Again, something they dare not say out loud.

“If Boehner wanted to build support for sanctions, he failed spectacularly. Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and a vocal hawk on Iran policy, announced Tuesday that he would not vote for his own bill imposing automatic sanctions — at least not until after a March 24 deadline for negotiators to produce the outlines of an agreement. Nine of his pro-sanctions Democratic colleagues in the Senate joined him, meaning the bill is unlikely to win the necessary 60 votes for passage.”

In other words, Obama turned the screws hard on Democrats who are now falling in line, to the extent that these Democrats are willing to put off the vote on additional sanctions – until after negotiations fail. Not exactly a spectacular failure, but whatevs, Eugene.

“If Boehner’s aim was to paint Obama as somehow soft on Iran, he failed at that, too. The speaker inadvertently turned the focus on himself and has had to spend the week explaining why he went behind the president’s back, not even giving the White House a heads-up until hours before the March 3 speech was announced.”

Boehner doesn’t need to “paint Obama as somehow soft on Iran” (“somehow“!). We have ample evidence that POTUS Obama is soft on Iran. Also note that here Robinson admits that Boehner did give a heads-up to the WH some hours before the announcement; recall that he started out this opinion piece by accusing Boehner of “going behind the back” of POTUS Obama and repeats it in the same sentence, because giving advance notice to the WH vs. going behind the back of the WH is completely the same, apparently.

“Netanyahu, for his part, may have thought this was a way to boost his prospects in the upcoming Israeli election, scheduled for March 17. Or he may have fantasized that somehow, by openly siding with the Republican Party, he could snatch U.S. foreign policy out of Obama’s hands. Judging by the pounding he is taking from the Israeli media, he was mistaken on both counts.”

If you think the Liberal media in Israel is giving Netanyahu a pounding – and, yes it’s the Liberal media in Israel giving Netanyahu a pounding – then consider what the Obama Administration had to say to the Israeli government: Netanyahu “spat in the face” of Obama, and “there will be a price”. Would that they would speak so forcefully to the North Koreans.

“Note to all foreign leaders: We have one president at a time. Americans respected this fact when George W. Bush was president, for better or worse. And we respect it now.”

It’s hard to know what Robinson means by his use of the word “respect” in this context, but no, Liberals did not respect POTUS W, neither in his being POTUS nor his being the only POTUS. They didn’t even believe he was the POTUS; they thought he’d stolen the election from Gore.

“The speech episode borders on farce, but the larger debate over Iran’s nuclear ambitions could not be more serious. The central issue is whether a negotiated deal will leave Iran with the theoretical capability to build a nuclear bomb if it were to decide to do so. No amount of diplomatic legerdemain, it seems to me, can avoid answering this question with a simple yes or no.”

Or, as the Blogfather noted in the comments of a WaPo “Right Turn” blogpost, the Iran nuclear deal will amount to this: “Iran pretends they don’t have a nuclear weapon program. And we pretend to believe them.”

“If you say yes, as Netanyahu does, then Iran must be stripped of all ability to enrich uranium. It is easy to understand why the Israeli government sees a nuclear-capable Iran as an existential threat — and also worries that other regional powers concerned about Iran’s growing influence, such as Saudi Arabia, might decide that they, too, need to get into the nuclear game.”

As the above paragraph clearly demonstrates, Robinson is not oblivious to the issues or stakes, which makes his position on a nuclear-armed Iran and these negotiations all the more despicable.

“Iran insists, however, that it has the right to a peaceful nuclear program. The government in Tehran is unlikely to give up that right but may be willing to limit itself to low-grade enrichment that produces material incapable of being used in a bomb. At least some infrastructure for high-grade enrichment would remain, however — and so would some risk of an eventual Iranian bomb.”

Wink-wink, nudge-nudge, the Iranians will pinky-swear to keep their uranium enrichment low-level, say no more, say no more! And make no mistake: Liberals are A-OK with that.  When the Iranians nuke Israel, directly or through a terrorist proxy, Liberals will wring their hands and lament it as if it were an act of nature, something that just sort-of happened, like a tornado that nobody could have seen coming, and in their next breath they’ll condemn Israel for bringing it on themselves.

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U.S. is a Specter of Death Going Door-to-Door

Here’s an image grab from a Russian LiveJournal blog, this time from a self-described “journalist”.   Via the magic of Google Translate the jist of the post seemed to be that we’ll only know in fifty years how Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was brought down, but really it’s all a game being played by the great powers (which, in the mind of this blogger, apparently includes Russia), and so, in conclusion, America promises democracy but instead brings war and death:

Specter of U.S. Door-to-Door Death Meets Russian Bear

 

Firstly, Alex, an amuse-bouche: If the United States wanted to “Rule the World” we’d have installed puppet governments in our conquered satellite states. You know, the way Russia just did in Crimea.  Instead, we conquer brutal tyrannies and replace them with constitutional republics, and after that they’re on their own (see Afghanistan, Iraq, Panama, South Korea, etc.)

Secondly, Alex, here’s bite of a clue sandwich for you: Your expansionist nation is waging a war, largely but not entirely by proxy, to annex Crimea and create a land bridge connecting it to Russia. Your proxy thugs and their Russian special forces enablers shot down a civilian airliner because they thought it was a Ukrainian military cargo, and so jet killed 298 innocent people.  After they learned of their mistake Russia has made every effort to cover up their responsibility and cast blame elsewhere. Only the willful blindness of fools like yourself are required for that to be successful.

 

 

Greenpeace Loses, Slab Smiles

Greenpeace International says they lost €3.2M ($5.2M) on currency trading contracts, but unfortunately that’s not enough to substantially hurt them as it represents only ~1.27% of their €300M annual worldwide budget.  Pity.

Why hate on Greenpeace?  Because they’re a bunch of Left-wing anti-science throwbacks who do more harm than good, that’s why.

– They oppose all usable forms of energy.  Oil, nuclear, coal, and now natural gas.  They used to be for natural gas until it got plentiful, so they oppose it now on the pretext that it’s dangerous.  They’ll oppose wind & solar too, but not until it finds wider use and acceptance.

– They are big proponents of “Climate Change” – or “Climate Disruption” as I think they’ve renamed it, after having already changed it from “Global Warming” which was necessitated by a global temperature plateau that lasted seven years, going on twelve.

– They’re opposed to Genetically Modified (GM) foods.  If you were to blame them for the lack of access poor countries have to those crops, the death toll would be in the millions and the scale of suffering would be unfathomable.

Naturally, they make no effort to change policy or practice in totalitarian countries like China, even though without changing China their efforts will come to naught no matter how successful they are elsewhere.  So, yeah, I’m glad they lost a “Rainbow Warrior”-sized boatload of money.  Funny, though, how they use the same typical excuses as the Wall Street firms they loathe – rogue trader, acting beyond his authority, in violation of procedure, without the knowledge of his superiors.

Who Are We to Criticize? Well, Who Do We Have to Be?

[N.B.: For whatever reason WordPress doesn’t seem to have sent out subscriber emails when my post (“Unicorn Dreams Melting in the Crucible of Reality” – EoT – 2014-03-03) was published last night. Go figure; click the link if you missed it.]  Moving right along…

Eugene Robinson. He seems like a nice guy, or at least not malicious and hateful; naive and ignorant but true to his principles. I have some respect for that, as opposed to the party hacks like E.J.Dionne who employ whatever situational principles will support their side. Yesterday Eugene weighed in on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and says – we have a credibility problem (“In the Ukraine crisis, the U.S. has a credibility problem” – WaPo – 2014-03-03):

Is it just me, or does the rhetoric about the crisis in Ukraine sound as if all of Washington is suffering from amnesia? We’re supposed to be shocked — shocked! — that a great military power would cook up a pretext to invade a smaller, weaker nation? I’m sorry, but has everyone forgotten the unfortunate events in Iraq a few years ago?

No, Eugene, it’s not just you – it’s Liberals (and pinko Lefties, and conspiracy nuts). Liberals like you have indeed forgotten that the Senate Select Committee on Iraq Pre-War Intelligence found that the case for Iraqi WMDs was not fabricated. That was the bipartisan Congressional investigation which Liberals demanded – Demanded! – because they just knew that W had lied – Lied! – about Iraqi WMDs. Bush, Cheney, Feith, and the rest of those criminal neocons, all lying liars who tell lies! So they stamped their little feet and banged their spoons on their highchairs until they got the Congressional investigation they wanted.

Sort of. They got the bipartisan Congressional  investigation, all right, but the results were not to their liking. What the report said was that while some of the evidence was flawed, none of the evidence for WMDs was fabricated, and actually there was even more evidence which would have made an even stronger case but was withheld by the White House because they didn’t deem reliable enough. The intelligence agencies were, however, unanimous in their confidence that Iraq had WMDs (chemical, probably biological, and maybe nuclear), which is why the liaison to the White House of all of those agencies, CIA Director George Tenet, told POTUS W that the case for Iraqi WMDs was “a slam-dunk”. The intelligence agencies of our allies concurred; Germany even thought Iraq would get a nuclear weapon within five years.

As you might expect, this was not the conclusion Liberals were expecting or hoping for, so they demanded – Demanded! – an investigation into the intelligence agencies, because surely they had been pressured to cook up the “right” answers.  Surely Dick Cheney had paid an unofficial visit to Langley, put his arm around the shoulder of those quaking analysts, and told them just exactly what they were going to “find”, right?  They got their bipartisan Congressional investigation – see the Robb-Silberman report – and after all the intelligence analysts were interviewed, in private, with assurances of immunity, each and every one stood by their reports and denied categorically that anyone had influenced their conclusions in any way.  In fact, every bipartisan Congressional investigation has failed to deliver what the Liberals were really after – a basis for impeachment and trial for the “war criminals” of the Bush Administration – and despite that Liberals have always gone right back to accusing W and his cohort of evil neocons of cooking up a pretext to invade Iraq.  They openly maintain that fiction to this day, as above.

[…] the United States, frankly, has limited standing to insist on absolute respect for the territorial integrity of sovereign states.

This straw-man set-up needs some work. The United States does not and never has insisted on an “absolute respect for the territorial integrity of sovereign states” – Robinson is just making this up.  It should be noted, however, that after overthrowing the bloody dictatorship of Hussein and his psychopathic sons in 2003 we turned Iraq into a self-governing constitutional republic, while simultaneously crushing the internal and external jihadists and Baathists who tried to keep Iraq in thrall.  Again, not exactly a good counterpoint to Russia and Crimea today.

Before Iraq there was Afghanistan, there was the Persian Gulf War, there was Panama, there was Grenada.

Yeah, Panama and Grenada, I’ll give him those, but the Persian Gulf War? You’ll recall that this was precipitated by Saddam Hussein outright invading and annexing Kuwait – and subsequently we smashed his military and then we handed Kuwait right back to the Kuwaiti emirates, so that flies in the face of his claim, yes?  For Robinson, it doesn’t matter; at this point he’s just rattling off U.S. wars that he opposed, because War, Man, y’know, it’s just Bad!  We’re Bad!  We warmongers, bad bad people are we.  All wars bad.  We’re bad.  So thanks for clarifying that, Eugene.

Come to think of it, Panama and Grenada were also handed back to their citizens, free and democratic. This is in sharp contrast to what Russia is doing, and did you notice that Robinson throws in Afghanistan? So, let me get this straight: Afghanistan hosted terrorists who attacked the United States, and so we changed their regime into a constitutional republic and went after those jihadists who opposed us – and Robinson is effectively saying this was bad, because we didn’t respect the territorial integrity of Afghanistan? What jackassery.

And even as we condemn Moscow for its outrageous aggression, we reserve the right to fire deadly missiles into Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and who knows where else.

Robinson has a legitimate grievance here but it doesn’t apply to his thesis. I agree with him that there are problems with firing missiles into other states unless those states allow us to do so (as does, for example, Pakistan). However, in contrast to Russia/Crimea, we are not seizing territory or doing regime change, so this doesn’t really belong in Robinson’s opinion piece. Not this one, anyway.

The Obama administration has been clear in its condemnation of Putin’s operation. Critics who blame the Russian action on “weak” or “feckless” U.S. foreign policy are being either cynical or clueless.
It is meaningless to rattle sabers if the whole world knows you have no intention of using them. There is no credible military threat by the United States that could conceivably force Putin to surrender Crimea if he doesn’t want to. Russia is much diminished from the Soviet era but remains a superpower whose nuclear arsenal poses an existential threat to any adversary. There are only a few nations that cannot be coerced by, say, the sudden appearance on the horizon of a U.S. aircraft carrier group. Russia is one of them.

The accusations that POTUS Obama is weak and feckless are not predicated on his lack of a military response to the Russian invasion of Crimea. He is weak and feckless because he has not pursued economic pacts and undercut military ties to Eastern European countries (abandoning plans for missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic come to mind, by way of example).  In doing so he created a power vacuum, which is now being filled by the ruthless Russians.

I’d also add that POTUS Obama is an utter fool for pursuing arms treaties with and making unilateral preemptive concessions to Russia despite their having violated every major weapons treaty they’ve ever signed, as well as having repeatedly flown nuclear bombers into our Air Defense Identification zonesimulated an attack run on our missile defenses in Asia, and prowled around our East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico with attack submarines.   I’ll further add that POTUS Obama has pursued this despite Russia having been most helpful to Iran and Syria in waging wars against their own people.  I’ll further assert that the “weak” and “feckless” accusations are probably based more on Obama’s tendency to stay out of world political events in the hopes that they’ll resolve themselves without his having to say or do much of anything, and then when the problems get bigger he wades in cautiously and noncommittally, usually too late.  Much as he did with Iran in 2011/2, Syria 2011-present, and today in the Russia/Crimea invasion.

If the man had brains or balls, in response to the Russian invasion of Crimea, he’d be publicly and enthusiastically invite former Soviet Bloc countries into talks on free trade and military preparedness.  Countries like (what’s left of) Ukraine, (what’s left of) Georgia, Poland, Hungary, and Romania.

Message: “There’s a big bad bear in them thar woods; let’s partner up.”

Who’s Red Line Is It Anyway?

Today POTUS Obama declared that it wasn’t really his red line in Syria, but the world’s red line, so, you see, it wasn’t his credibility on the line, it was the credibility of the world, and the U.S. Congress.  That’s just – what’s the word I’m looking for?  that’s just adorable.

He’s right, you know.  Chemical weapons use is a war crime, and that’s an international no-no, and in theory you can get in real trouble for breaking the rules, mister.  Here in the real world there is no red line, per se, only the words, which mean nothing until they do.  You need to really sincerely piss off the movers and shakers, and also make yourself useless to any of them, before you’ll get hauled into a prison hotel and face an interminable trial.  Call that “the Milošević Option”.  So he’s right, after a fashion – the credibility of the nations and peoples is being put to the test; it’s just that you’d have to have been a fool to think there was any credibility there to begin with.

International Law, and international “norms” for that matter, don’t matter.  Not that they shouldn’t, it’s just that they don’t, unless there’s a strategic advantage in pressing the point.  That advantage may be offensive or defensive, but it’s the self-interested principle of the thing that counts, nothing more.  The U.N. yawns and snores when it’s not huffing and puffing, but in general it accomplishes nothing in geopolitics.  To understand the role of the U.N. in the minds of American liberals you have to understand that they see it as the prototype for a unifying planetary government, Star Trek style.  You know, like when Federation bureaucrats talk about what the Tellarites say about such-and-such political matter, as if this entirety of the race speaks with one singular voice, and it’s the more primitive Federation wannabes who have any political diversity which is, of course, divisive in practice.  But I digress.

Red lines are established when they are specifically declared to exist. POTUS Obama did just that, without consulting the Joint Chiefs of Staff, his cabinet, either branch of Congress, or our allies, and that’s how an American POTUS builds a coalition of support to carry out a military action, and he had a year to prepare. It looks to me as if he has been caught flat-footed, relying on the power of his word to keep Syria from using chemical weapons, and by setting that as the trigger he also hoped to avoid getting involved in the conflict entirely by setting such a high threshold.

Note that tens of thousands have been killed in this war and he’s avoided blame for it – you know, allowing it to happen.  For the Liberal Left, it’s always America’s fault: we did the wrong thing, we did it too late, we did too little, we didn’t do anything, one way or another we’re to blame.  Domestically, and it seems internationally, he’s gotten a pass on this. What I think he failed to realize is that it would be obvious to outside intelligence agencies that the U.S. was not preparing for a conflict.  No coalition building was going on inside or outside the United States, and that doesn’t go un-noticed by Russia, Iran, or China, and they’re more than likely to pass that information along to Syria.  I’m guessing that this is another example of how preparing for war is the best way to avoid it.

Still, POTUS Obama is taking the position that it’s up to everyone else in the U.N. to live up to their rhetoric about chemical weapons being off limits and their use incurring severe repercussions.  That’s – adorable?  No, strike that, the word I’ve been looking for is pathetic.

Obama’s Syria Box

POTUS Obama has boxed himself into a no-win geopolitical mess in Syria. From what I’ve read, the warning to Syria’s dictator Assad that using chemical weapons in their ongoing civil war would “cross a red line” was off-the-cuff.  That’s just remarkably inept, amateurish, and egotistical.  The POTUS should never issue a “red line” warning without consulting his cabinet, the DOD, and State Department, and that’s just for starters.  There are probabilities to estimated and risks to be weighed, but no, he just walked right into Mordor.

I’m guessing he was, once again, playing at being presidential, just like he’s seen past presidents do.  It’s worth noting that those “red lines” have a mixed track record; note that POTUS W issued an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein, and Hussein doubted its sincerity and so tried to call that bluff.  The difference was that W was no wishy-washy warm-n-fuzzy Bill Clinton; W had issued the ultimatum to placate wishy-washy allies rather than to try to get Hussein to fall in line; what’s more, W had correctly assumed that Hussein would ignore the warning and so we were prepared for that eventuality, but had Hussein caved then we would have gotten our way with just words – a geopolitical win-win for the U.S.

The dilemma for POTUS Obama is that we don’t want either side to prevail.  Syria’s Assad is a monster, and the insurgents are mostly Al-Qaeda monsters, so it’s better that they kill off as many of each other as possible in this meatgrinder of a bloodbath war.  As for the innocent casualties of this war, I have, at best, a moderate sympathy for the anti-American anti-Jew Syrian civilian population – sort-of a combination of the mild sensation of “that’s a shame” which is overshadowed by a chin-jutting angryfaced “screw them!”

POTUS Obama’s threat was ill-considered and he was unprepared for the eventuality of his bluff being called, even though he’s had a year to man-up and consult with wiser minds. Granted that the State Department is staffed almost entirely by liberal world citizens and socialist policy-wonks who are as useless and stupid as Obama, but had he consulted the Joint Chiefs of Staff beforehand he would probably have been advised that the extent to which POTUS Obama was willing to punish Syria would probably not be sufficient to act as a deterrent.  Assad, fighting a devastating 2-year long civil war, might welcome a limited airstrike.  It might ignite a regional firestorm, as Iran has threatened it will; that would draw fighters out of Syria and into Lebanon, shifting the conflict in Syria’s favor.  Alternatively, it might garner sympathy and support from anti-American a-holes from around the world – the usual a-hole countries, like Russia, China, Venezuela, Cuba, the Norks, and so on.  The downside is that there might be more airstrikes if he uses chemical arms again – maybe, and then again maybe not.  All things considered, it’s not a bad bet for Assad.

The best bet for Assad would be to call POTUS Obama’s bluff, and make no mistake, that was Assad’s intent – he ordered the attack to coincide with the very  day of the one-year anniversary of the red-line threat.  With no serious repercussions he would be free to use chemical weapons (provided his soldiers actually carry out those orders), and that would tilt the conflict in Syria’s favor.  As it’s shaping up, POTUS Obama, unable to parlay his smart diplomacy and personal charm into a coalition of the willing, is now in the position of having to back up his threat using U.S. warpower alone, which is a loss of face for Obama and America.  It’s also a rebuke to the dumbass Liberals who elected him, who are apparently too stupid to experience the cognitive dissonance which should have them screaming themselves to sleep every night.  Going to war, without Congressional approval, without U.N. approval, against an enemy that is posing no threat to the United States, again.  Remember Libya, folks?  Again.

Still, we have to make a token effort, something that will inflict a stinging punishment but not a crippling blow.  We can do that, and we must in order to preserve the credibility of POTUS-issued “red line” threats.

Russia invades Georgia: Blame America First

[by Mr.Hengist]

When there’s trouble in the world, Western Liberals are usually sure of one thing: Somehow, America is to blame. Whether it’s war, famine, pestilence, or just a fly in your soup, it must be the result of some fault of the United States. We did the wrong thing – or nothing, we did too much – or too little, we started it – or didn’t stop it. At best, all other actors on this stage are reacting in response to us; at worst, they are like mindless forces of nature or animals acting on an instinctual level, unaccountable to their own actions.

Russia’s war of aggression on Georgia provides clear examples of this mindset. Yesterday, two senior Clinton Administration officials wrote an op-ed for the WaPo in which they said, in passing, “The West, and especially the United States, could have prevented this war.” No explanation is provided other than the magic Liberal pixie dust of Diplomacy and “transatlantic unity” as the preventative medicine which would have kept the peace, nor is any other needed for the Liberal readers of the Liberal MSM because for them it rings true. I’ll refrain from speculation on what they might have had in mind and let the insubstantiation of their accusation speak for itself. Read this otherwise stinging piece, if only for the unintentional humor of their disdain when noting that Russia “hardly demonstrates its commitment to Olympic ideals.”

Today the NYTimes published an article entitled, “After Mixed U.S. Messages, a War Erupted in Georgia”, from which we can deduce that we are to blame for a war that “erupted” – almost like a natural disaster. War? It just sort of happens, like a tornado; the only thinking actor represented in this headline is the United States, and we are, of course, to blame. What’s remarkable is that there’s nothing in this article about mixed messages from the United States to suggest that our messages were mixed at all. Over and over, in the clearest possible terms, the article quotes Bush Administration officials as having warned the Georgian government not to succumb to the provocations of the Russians and their proxies, even as it makes the unsubstantiated assertion that “Georgia may have been under the mistaken impression that in a one-on-one fight with Russia, Georgia would have more concrete American support.”

As for the Russians, the NYTimes tells us that we provoked them. We provoked them by starting work on an anti-missile shield for Western Europe against missiles from Iran and Syria, friendly client-states of Russia, in the former Soviet slave-state of Poland. Self-defense, and the defense of our friends, is no excuse when it comes to thwarting the ambitions of our enemies, according to Liberals. We are also told we provoked them by recognizing the independence of a free Kosovo; the Russians are now citing this as analogous to their invading the Abkhazia and South Ossetia provinces of Georgia. Of course, we didn’t so much invade Kosovo as save them from the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs, also a friendly client-state of Russia.

Lest you think that Liberals believe that action in defense of the free or helpless is tantamount to aggression in the Liberal world of universal moral equivalence, I refer you to the ethnic cleansings in Rwanda and Darfur, where America has once again been cast into the role of being the world’s only policeman only to be castigated for failure kiss the world’s boo-boo’s and make it all better. It might seem contradictory, but it’s not when you remember that for Liberals, what the U.S. does is wrong – and whatever we don’t do, that’s wrong too.