Filed under: Foreign Policy, Middle East, National Security, Russia, The United States | Tags: Being Played by Putin, Nations Have Interests, Negotiating from Weakness
Filed under: Foreign Policy, History, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Russia, United Nations | Tags: Bill Whittle Explains, Nations Have Interests, The UN is Corrupt and Ineffective
Once Upon a Time, there was Munich, and Neville Chamberlain waving a piece of paper and proudly proclaiming “Peace in Our Time!” If we don’t learn from history, we’re apt to get in trouble.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Intelligence, National Security, Politics, Russia, The United States | Tags: Defending the Indefensible., It's a Tough Job!, There Are Limits
This one’s going to go in the record books of inane comments by a Press Secretary:
“When it comes to being a commander in chief, the American people, at least in my estimation, appreciate a commander in chief who takes in new information and doesn’t celebrate decisiveness for the sake of decisiveness.”
Lets not have any decisiveness around here. Sheesh.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Foreign Policy, Iran, Islam, Liberalism, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Russia, The United States | Tags: "The Burdens of Global Citizenship", "The International Community", Barack Obama's Worldview
Commentary Magazine has published a preview article from its September issue at their “Contentions” blog: “The Citizen of the World Presidency” by Elliott Abrams. He is a deeply thoughtful Foreign Policy scholar, and the lengthy essay is quite wonderful. If you are not alarmed about American foreign policy, you haven’t been paying attention.
It is perhaps more a growing sense of unease, trying to figure out what our foreign policy, if any, is? Mr. Abrams spells out where we are, and shares the unease. The essay is, in a way, comforting, for it clarifies that our worries are not unique and we are not alone. Do read the whole thing, it is deeply informative, and if unsettling, will give you not only food for thought, but new direction. Probably the most important essay you will read this year.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, History, Humor, Iran, National Security, Politics, Progressivism, Russia, The United States | Tags: Rudy Giuliani, The Power Game, Vladimir Putin
Said Rudy Giuliani :
“Who would you
give greater odds
a former KGB agent
or a former
know how to
play this game.
This is why,
I wasn’t kidding,
this is an
of world power,
against a man
who has extremely
“This is the price
we pay for
voting for an
This is incompetence
elected a president
who was never
to be president,
the job out
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Iran, Islam, Military, Russia, The United States | Tags: Brutality in Libya, Misunderstanding the Middle East, Our Administration Mired in Scandal
Obama came into office as the Progressive Messiah, brilliant, a polymath, who was going to fix all the depredations committed by George W. Bush. “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; that while we breathe we hope; and where we are met with cynicism, we hope; and where we are met with cynicism and doubt; and those who tell us that we can’t —we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes we Can.” That went well.
Didn’t happen, any of it. It was just talk. But the people wanted to believe. Obama’s second term was not based on what he promised to do, but upon the sheer awfulness of Mitt Romney, with some serious help from the Internal Revenue Service, plus putting off anything disagreeable until after the election. After the election, the disagreeable stuff started to assert itself. We began to grasp just what had really happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, and that the administration had sent out administration officials to lie about it. The details began to come out, and the “Arab Spring” was noticeably falling apart, while Obama offered support to the new Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. to keep it in power, without noticing that this was a radical Islamist administration.
Then the details of the IRS scandal began to appear, blamed on a couple of low-level rogue workers in a back room in Cincinnati. The use of a government bureau to help to swing an election by refusing 501(c)(4) status to groups that disagree with the administration, releasing information to their political opponents, frightening donors, and the appalling consequences of loss of trust were just beginning to sink into the American consciousness, when the unsuspected reach the government’s surveillance of telephone records, email and Facebook pages into the activities of U.S. citizens without their knowledge shocked America. We had Edward Snowden’s revelations from Honk Kong, for whatever they are worth, to disturb nations around the world. There were the AP subpoenas, and the Fox investigation revealing another scandal involving the Justice department.
The reaction to the information that telephone carriers were supplying the government with call logs and leading technology companies were participating in a secret surveillance program known as PRISM, was a direct assault on public trust, for the public uses telephones, and email, and computers, and Facebook and Twitter. So where is the president? Out of the country, but he reappeared just long enough to remind people that he was not
Darth Vader Dick Cheney, who reminded the country in the president’s absence, that there are terrorists out there and the law is supposed to protect the privacy of American citizens while trying to track down terrorists under close control of the courts.
So in the center of all this scandal, the president sent forth an aide to announce that the “red line” in Syria had been crossed and Assad was indeed using poison gases on his own people. Somewhat late, but better late than never? The CIA will supply weapons to the rebels, and supposedly we are able to sort the nice rebels from the al Qaeda ones.
We apparently have some 4500 troops practically on the Syrian order engaging in “wargames” with Jordan, which has incensed the other neighbors. Obama clearly does not want to really do anything, but on the other hand there are all those people dying and some want him to do something. Iran has announced that it is sending 4000 troops to aid Assad. The general opinion of those who really know something about the region is that we should stay out entirely, and send food and medicine to alleviate the suffering of the innocent.
This does not bode well, and promises to become another mess.
Filed under: Freedom, History, Military, National Security, Politics, Russia, The United States | Tags: CIA Director William Casey, Herbert E. Meyer, The Cold War - Revisited
Here is a fascinating take on Grenada, Poland and the Pope — and the history of the Cold War. This is from a lecture Herbert Meyer recently gave to the Young Americans Foundation on the occasion of the 100th birthday of William Casey, Ronald Reagan’s extraordinary CIA director. I was so interested in this (he’s a good storyteller) that I wish I had been there to hear the whole speech. And the next segment is equally good. So who is Herb Meyer?
Herbert E. Meyer served during the Reagan Administration as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council. In these positions, he managed production of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimates and other top-secret projections for the President and his national security advisers. Mr. Meyer is widely credited with being the first U.S. Government official to forecast the Soviet Union’s collapse — a forecast for which he later was awarded the U.S. National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, which is the Intelligence Community’s highest honor.
Steven Hayward has posted these three videos over at Powerline, and his comments are certainly worth reading in their entirety. We are so apt to have little knowledge or understanding of fairly recent history, because we have always to a certain extent been low-information voters. I don’t use the term in a pejorative way. We are all busy our lives and work and activities and keeping up with news, politics and world affairs is why we elect representatives to do it for us, as they make the laws that will govern our lives. (Our hope is that they will do a better job of it than we do. Uh huh). But how many, even of those who lived through it, have any real understanding of the Cold War? Steven Hayward said:
American Cold War policy might be said to have begun with the famous “Long Telegram” from George (“Mr. X”) Kennan, and then NSC 68, the equally important strategy document written largely by Paul Nitze. Both of these documents routinely find their way into nearly every history of the Cold War that has ever been published.
But a third document deserves to take its place next to Kennan’s “Sources of Soviet Conduct” and Nitze’s NSC 68: Herbert Meyer’s November 1983 memo to Casey (and Reagan) on “Why the World Is So Dangerous.” ¹ It was in this remarkable document that Meyer predicted that the United States under Reagan was on its way to winning the Cold War, and why. His analysis of what was going to happen in the USSR (before Gorbachev, remember) was dead on. The memo was later leaked in an attempt to embarrass Casey and Meyer (and Reagan, of course), but we can see who ended up embarrassed. The CIA bureaucracy sniped at Meyer, but Casey told Meyer: “Not to worry. You have two important fans and allies. Me, and the president.”
Meyer’s description of Casey explaining why being a member of the Soviet Politburo in the 1980s was “not a lot of fun.”
¹ Herb Meyer’s memo is hard to read. It says “OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible.” Which is an understatement. But it’s kind of interesting to take run-together words apart and translate where they are missing. Worthwhile anyway.
Filed under: Entertainment, Heartwarming, Music, Russia | Tags: Kremlin Capella, Russian Winter, Tradtional Folk Song
The Kremlin Capella sings a beautiful Russian Folk Song, with chilly pictures of Moscow in winter. The song is popularly called “The Little Bell.” In Russian Однозвучно гремит колокольчик. We posted this last year, and now it’s winter again. Enjoy.
Filed under: Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Junk Science, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Russia, Science/Technology | Tags: A Win For Obama, Climate Change Dead, Russian Winter
Russia is enduring the harshest winter in over 70 years, with temperatures plunging as low as – 50° Celsius. Dozens have died from the cold and nearly 150 have been hospitalized. The country has not experienced such a long cold spell since 1938. Temperatures are 10 to 15 degrees colder than normal.
Across the country, 45 people have died in the cold, and 266 have been taken to the hospital. The Moscow region saw temperatures of –17° to –18° Celsius. Thermometers in Siberia have hit –50° which is unusual for what we often think of as one of the world’s coldest regions.
The combination of cold weather and more snow has played havoc with traffic and transportation. Flights have been cancelled across the country.
There are more pictures here. Makes you want to grab another sweater or turn up the heat. What the climate alarmists don’t seem to understand is that warmer weather is generally beneficial. The most perfect climate known to man occurred in the Medieval Climate Optimum, around 900 – 1300 when wine grapes grew in Britain, the Vikings farmed Greenland and the earth bloomed. We can adapt to warmer temperatures, but cold kills.
President Obama, in an interview for TIME’s person of the year issue, as identified climate change as one of his top three priorities in his second term after coming under fire from environmentalists for not doing anything in his first term (a carbon tax, CO2 limits ). Well, not to worry. The IPCC is admitting that CO2 is not a big deal after all. The IPCC admission has the climate world buzzing, but the news hasn’t reached the White House yet.
The models the IPCC uses for its predictions of catastrophic warming have overestimated the climate’s sensitivity to CO2. We can now estimate, based on observations, how sensitive the climate is to forcing from CO2, aerosols and other sources, minus ocean heat uptake. The conclusion suggests that the best observational estimates in decadal-average global temperatures between 1871–1880 and 2002–2011 is this: A doubling of CO2 will lead to a warming of 1.6°– 1.7°Celsius or (2.9° –3.1° F). We can handle that. We do every day.
Academic scientists may be reluctant to admit that what they have been maintaining for many years is wrong. We’ll see. But consider the possibilities. President Obama can claim that the end of the global warming scare took place on his watch. He can quit squandering taxpayer money on windmills and solar shingles, plug-in cars, 500 lb. batteries, and stop shutting down the coal-fired power plants and restore our cheapest source of energy. He can send the environmental activists packing. He’s got a win-win situation there.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Iran, Middle East, National Security, Russia | Tags: Condoleeza Rice, Important World Figure, Outstanding American Woman
Former Secretary of State, Former National Security Adviser, Stanford Professor, Hoover Institute Fellow, Concert Pianist. She has some important things to say.