American Elephants

Gravitas. Dick Cheney Speaks at the Center for Security Policy. by The Elephant's Child

Vice President Cheney gave a speech last night at the Center for Security Policy.  Once again, he proved why he is probably the most consequential vice president in the Nation’s history.

An excerpt from the speech:

Most anyone who is given responsibility in matters of national security quickly comes to appreciate the commitments and structures put in place by others who came before. You deploy a military force that was planned and funded by your predecessors. You inherit relationships with partners and obligations to allies that were first undertaken years and even generations earlier. With the authority you hold for a little while, you have great freedom of action. And whatever course you follow, the essential thing is always to keep commitments, and to leave no doubts about the credibility of your country’s word.

So among my other concerns about the drift of events under the present administration, I consider the abandonment of missile defense in Eastern Europe to be a strategic blunder and a breach of good faith.

It is certainly not a model of diplomacy when the leaders of Poland and the Czech Republic are informed of such a decision at the last minute in midnight phone calls. It took a long time and lot of political courage in those countries to arrange for our interceptor system in Poland and the radar system in the Czech Republic. Our Polish and Czech friends are entitled to wonder how strategic plans and promises years in the making could be dissolved, just like that – with apparently little, if any, consultation. Seventy years to the day after the Soviets invaded Poland, it was an odd way to mark the occasion.

You hardly have to go back to 1939 to understand why these countries desire – and thought they had – a close and trusting relationship with the United States. Only last year, the Russian Army moved into Georgia, under the orders of a man who regards the collapse of the Soviet Union as the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. Anybody who has spent much time in that part of the world knows what Vladimir Putin is up to. And those who try placating him, by conceding ground and accommodating his wishes, will get nothing in return but more trouble.

What did the Obama Administration get from Russia for its abandonment of Poland and the Czech Republic, and for its famous “Reset” button? Another deeply flawed election and continued Russian opposition to sanctioning Iran for its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

In the short of it, President Obama’s cancellation of America’s agreements with the Polish and Czech governments was a serious blow to the hopes and aspirations of millions of Europeans. For twenty years, these peoples have done nothing but strive to move closer to us, and to gain the opportunities and security that America offered. These are faithful friends and NATO allies, and they deserve better. The impact of making two NATO allies walk the plank won’t be felt only in Europe. Our friends throughout the world are watching and wondering whether America will abandon them as well.

Big events turn on the credibility of the United States – doing what we said we would do, and always defending our fundamental security interests. In that category belong the ongoing missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the need to counter the nuclear ambitions of the current regime in Iran.

A full transcript of the speech is available here.

The IPCC Does Not Do Research, Nor Does It Monitor Climate-Related Data. by The Elephant's Child

From the website of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) website:

The IPCC’s mission is to reflect the science, not create it. As the IPCC states,  its duty is:

assessing the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human induced climate change.  It does not carry out new research nor does it monitor climate-related data.

When the EPA is regulating CO2 on the basis of the IPCC”s assessments, and Congress is attempting to pass vast cap-and-trade legislation that will cripple the American economy on the basis of IPCC increasingly flawed assessments, it is interesting to learn the IPCC’s own evaluation of just what it does and what its mission is.

There has been no significant warming since 1998, and the climate has actually cooled since 2002. The temperature sources that showed alarming warming have been proven to be faulty.  The major “greenhouse” gas is water vapor — clouds, fog, mist — in far, far greater quantities than CO2, that has far more influence on climate, yet clouds are poorly understood.

Yet on the basis of IPCC global warming claims, laws are being put in place to force our economy to depend for its energy needs on the portion of our energy sources that currently accounts for only 2.4 percent of our electricity needs.

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