American Elephants


Can This Really Be Obama’s Middle East Policy? Astonishing! by The Elephant's Child
July 8, 2013, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Politics

2013-07-08T160135Z_01_GHA02_RTRIDSP_3_EGYPT-PROTESTS

The Demonstrations in Egypt’s Tahrir Square continue, growing ever more bloody. In the face of advancing totalitarianism in the Middle East, American foreign policy has been a dramatic failure. The United States has from the beginning completely misunderstood what is going on, and our actions have done more damage than help. Morsi supporters have been throwing people off roofs to their death, the Army has opened fire on rioting Morsi supporters. Egyptians seem united only in their anger at America and Barack Obama, and the American Ambassador as a proxy.

We got all excited about the “Arab Spring.” They were rioting for freedom and democracy, popular elections, weren’t they? “Democratic processes —elections, referenda, constitution-drafting—must be conditioned on a preexisting democratic culture. Otherwise, in a majority-Muslim country like Egypt, you end up giving totalitarianism the patina of democratic legitimacy. Quite predictably, when Morsi put the draft constitution to a countrywide democratic vote, the vast majority of Egyptians used their self-determining liberty to enshrine liberty-devouring sharia as their fundamental law.”

Here is the hard truth: that the world contains many cultures inured to tyranny from time out of mind. These are peoples who may long for freedom, but have no practical idea how it can be got and maintained; or if they know, no energy for the task. (David Warren)

Egypt cannot afford to feed its own  people. For the past several months, the bottom half of Egypt’s population has had little to eat besides government subsidized bread, and the bread supply is threatened by a shortage of  imported wheat. Some neighboring nations help, but Egypt is struggling to meet a financing gap of perhaps $20 billion a year. Malnutrition is epidemic as is protein deficiency,  where 40% of the population is stunted by poor diet.

Nearly half of Egyptians are illiterate. Seventy percent live on the land, yet the country imports half its food.  It has two cash earners: the Suez Canal and the tourist industry, which dries up completely when the population is rioting and foreigners are attacked. Qatar has sent $2 billion, and the Emir is an enthusiastic supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Saudis hate, fear and oppose the Muslim Brotherhood, which wants to overthrow the Saudi monarchy.

The Obama administration has called on Egyptian leaders to pursue “a transparent political process that is inclusive of all parties and groups” and ” avoiding any arbitrary arrests of Morsi and his supporters.”

According to Bloomberg News: (The following is quoted by Barry Rubin in an important article)

Two U.S. officials who asked not to be identified commenting on [Obama’s] private communications said the administration is concerned that some in the military may want to provoke the violence and provide a rationale for crushing the movement once and for all.

Then the two National Security Council senior staff members offered this critical statement that explains Obama’s Middle East policy. We need pay close attention.

Such a move would fail and probably prompt a shift to al-Qaeda-type terrorist tactics by extremists in the Islamist movement in Egypt and elsewhere, the U.S. officials said.

The White House believes that if the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafists are denied power in Muslim-majority countries, they cannot be defeated, and further, will be radicalized to pursue September 11-style attacks on America. The United States must surrender and betray its allies or else it faces disaster.

This is why, for example, Obama wants the Turkish and Egyptian armies to accept an Islamist regime, why he is for Syria getting one too, and why he wants Israel to accept whatever risks and to make whatever concessions are required to end the conflict right away no matter what the consequences. (Though American officials say that the demographic issue — which is simply nonsense — means that Israel better make the best deal possible now.)

The Obama administration, on the basis of the John Brennan Doctrine — the current CIA director — has given up the battle. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists are holding the United States for ransom. The demand for not attacking the United States is — the Middle East. (Barry Rubin’s article is here. Do read the whole thing).

Is this preemptive surrender the source of all the condemnation of “Islamophobia,” the insistence that our Constitutional freedom of religion must give our Muslim immigrants whatever they desire in the name of sharia? There is a very powerful voice in contemporary America that says we must not speak unkindly, or object in any way to Muslim demands. Such speech would be “hate speech” and could subject us to condemnation or even prison. The definitions of free speech are shrinking rapidly.

We live in an age of inversely proportional deterrence; the more militarily powerful a civilized nation is, the less its enemies have to fear the full force of that power ever being unleashed. They know America and other Western powers fight under the most stringent self-imposed etiquette. Overwhelming force is one thing, overwhelming force behaving underwhelmingly as a matter of policy is quite another.
(Mark Steyn)



Here Are The Numbers The Media Isn’t Telling You About: by The Elephant's Child

“This is our moment. This is our time— to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream; and reaffirm the fundamental truth— that out of many we are one.”   Well, that didn’t work out so well.

Oddly enough, according to Gallup, Obama’s perceived honesty, and his display of good judgment in managing a crisis is what drives his job approval numbers.

The unemployment rate for African Americans is a devastating
23.7 percent.

The unemployment rate for Hispanics is 13.2 percent.

The unemployment rate for women is an unbelievable 11.6 percent.

The unemployment rate for youth is 16.1 percent.

For the entire first half of 2013, only 13,000 full-time jobs have
been created.

The media hailed the 7.6 official unemployment number as a sign that the economy is perking up. But true unemployment which includes part-time workers seeking full-time work jumped to 14.3 percent. The percentage of people in the work force— those who actually have a job— started dropping in November of 2008, from over 66 percent and has dropped slowly to 63.5 percent at present.

Wal-Mart is the nation’s largest employer. The second-largest employer in America is Kelly Services, a provider of temporary work. Part time jobs are at an all time high, with 28 million Americans now working part-time. Ask yourself why employers prefer to hire a temp at present.

A new study from the Center for Immigration Studies called “Immigrant gains and Native Losses in the Job Market, 2000 to 2013,” shows that all of the net gain in employment over the last 13 years has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal.

From  the first quarter of 2000 to the first quarter of 2013, the numbers of native-born Americans working fell by 1.3 million while the overall size of the working age (16-65) native population increased by 16.4 million. Over the same time period the number of immigrants (legal and illegal) increased by 5.3 million.

Jobs, of course, are always being created and lost, and the numbers of workers rises and falls with the economy. The theory behind the Schumer-Rubio Immigration bill is that the nation does not have enough workers. That idea does not seem to be supported by the numbers. Another part of the theory is that immigration always creates jobs for natives, but it seems that large-scale immigration can go hand-in-hand with weak job growth and persistent high rates of unemployment among the native-born population.

“It would be a mistake to think that every job taken by an immigrant is a job lost by a native. But it would also be a mistake to think that dramatically increasing the supply of workers has no impact on the employment prospects of natives. The idea that there are jobs Americans don’t do is simply not supported by the data. There is good research showing that immigrants displace natives from the labor market.” from the CIS conclusion.

Our immigration system is badly broken. The federal government is deliberately ignoring laws regarding border enforcement, the Senate is playing politics with the problem, and the so-called “path to citizenship” is not a solution to the real problems that make our immigration system “broken.” The law that has passed the Senate makes clear the administration’s approach to the rule of law. The immigration bill, at last count, had 222 instances of a discretionary “may” and 153 instances of “waive.” No teeth. The clear intent written into the bill is to give whoever is in charge maximum ability to ignore the law.




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