Friday, November 30, 2012


ConfusionismIt is ignorance and stupidity that is behind international policy decisions.

. . . you've probably heard about the various "isms" in the field of international relations. There's realism, of course, but also liberalism, idealism, and social constructivism. And don't forget Marxism, even though hardly anybody claims to believe it anymore. These "isms" are essentially families of theory that share certain common assumptions. For example, realists see power and fear as the main drivers of world affairs, while liberals place more weight on human acquisitiveness and the power of institutions. 

But there's another major force in world affairs, and sometimes I think it deserves an "ism" all its own. With tongue in cheek and apologies to a famous Chinese sage, I'll call it "Confusionism." For Confusians, ignorance and stupidity are the real key to understanding state behavior, not fear, greed, ideals, class interests, or any of those other things that people think drive world affairs. When Confusians seek to explain why states act as they do, they start by assuming that leaders do not understand the problems they face, have only a vague sense of where they want to go, and no idea at all about how to get there. Instead of starting with the rational actor assumption beloved by economists, realists, and most liberals, Confusians hone in on all the reasons why humans typically get things wrong.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Hypocrisy.  The same media that praised the Republicans for signing on to sequestration in 2011 (Budget Control Act of 2011) is now criticizing them for having done this now that the fiscal cliff is near!  Even Obama and Harry Reid praised it--the votes of Democrats and Republicans were lopsided in its favor.  Poor Republicans cannot win.  This year the same deal is a disaster!

So my question to the media is this: Harry Reid celebrated this agreement, Tim Geithner likes it, Nancy Pelosi voted for it and The President signed it. Yet now this deal is responsible for a fiscal cliff that is apparently a disaster for all America.

And moreover, the MSM is laying the blame for said potential “disaster” squarely at the feet of the same GOP who the very same media urged to make the in 2011.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


From Red State:  Proposes a way for Republicans to win races by using campaign donations more effectively.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Michael Totten has an excellent summary of recent events.  He includes many of his conversations with Egyptians, including some disillusioned with the Muslim Brotherhood.  Mohammad Morsi is leading Egypt down the path of dictatorship and away from democracy under the direction of the Muslim Brotherhood. Many in Washington spoke of the Muslim Brotherhood as democratic, but events are proving them wrong.  But sure, the Brothers threw the word “democracy” around when they were on their way up, especially when gullible foreign journalists were in town.

How the Muslim Brotherhood recruits is interesting and he quotes from an article by Eric Trager in the New Republic.
It begins when specially designated Brotherhood recruiters, who work at mosques and universities across Egypt, identify pious young men and begin engaging them in social activities to assess their suitability for the organization. The Brotherhood’s ideological brainwashing begins a few months later, as new recruits are incorporated into Brotherhood cells (known as “families”) and introduced to the organization’s curriculum, which emphasizes Qur’anic memorization and the writings of founder Hassan al-Banna, among others. Then, over a five-to-eight-year period, a team of three senior Muslim Brothers monitors each recruit as he advances through five different ranks of Brotherhood membership—muhib, muayyad, muntasib, muntazim, and finally ach amal, or “active brother.”  
Throughout this process, rising Muslim Brothers are continually vetted for their embrace of the Brotherhood’s ideology, commitment to its cause, and—most importantly—willingness to follow orders from the Brotherhood’s senior leadership. As a result, Muslim Brothers come to see themselves as foot soldiers in service of the organization’s theocratic credo: “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.” Meanwhile, those dissenting with the organization’s aims or tactics are eliminated at various stages during the five-to-eight-year vetting period.


At the Soul Train Awards Jamie Foxx referred to Obama as "our Lord and Savior." 

Now there is a picture of Obama as a crucified Savior


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


There have been criticisms of her in the past.

A CNN article from 2008 discusses her involvement in the decision not to capture Bin Laden in the 1990s or help with the Rwandan genocide.

Terrorism experts blame Rice for having played a key role in blocking efforts to neutralize Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. According to Mansoor Ijaz, a former trouble shooter for Clinton, the FBI had their efforts to capture bin Laden "overruled every single time by the State Department, by Susan Rice and her cronies, who were hell-bent on destroying the Sudan." In a Washington Post Op-Ed published in 2002, Mansoor Ijaz and Tim Carney, U.S. Ambassador to Sudan blamed Susan Rice for being a major obstacle to accepting offers of help from Sudan and to share their intelligence on bin Laden's terror network. Rice was also influential in the Clinton Administration's remaining uninvolved in the Rwandan genocide that took place in that nation in 1994.

And a 2001 article in the Atlantic by Samantha Powers is also critical of her decisions with regard to Rwanda. Evidently Rice has remorse for her involvement in failing to stop the genocide.  But the horrors were committed and in rereading the account, it is tragic that the Clinton administration was not held more accountable for its failure to act.  But today, I fear no one remembers the consequences of these decisions.

A few years later, in a series in The New Yorker, Philip Gourevitch recounted in horrific detail the story of the genocide and the world's failure to stop it. President Bill Clinton, a famously avid reader, expressed shock. He sent copies of Gourevitch's articles to his second-term national-security adviser, Sandy Berger. The articles bore confused, angry, searching queries in the margins. "Is what he's saying true?" Clinton wrote with a thick black felt-tip pen beside heavily underlined paragraphs. "How did this happen?" he asked, adding, "I want to get to the bottom of this." The President's urgency and outrage were oddly timed. As the terror in Rwanda had unfolded, Clinton had shown virtually no interest in stopping the genocide, and his Administration had stood by as the death toll rose into the hundreds of thousands.

Others, including a few members of the Africa subcommittees and the Congressional Black Caucus, eventually appealed tamely for the United States to play a role in ending the violence—but again, they did not dare urge U.S. involvement on the ground, and they did not kick up a public fuss.

November 29, 2012:  Further questions about her candidacy by Anne Bayefsky and Michael B. Mukasey in the Wall Street Journal.  There are many other questions about decisions she made in her various positions.  

From Foreign Policy (Nov. 29, 2012).   The ghosts of Rwanda's genocide are in her past.


From the Chronicle of Higher Education (November, 18, 2012)

In an interview the week after Barack Obama’s re-election, Cornel West said he was glad Mitt Romney hadn’t won, but he also expressed his displeasure with the president, calling him a “Rockefeller Republican in blackface.”

As for Cornel West’s recent rant, he invoked the name of Richard Nixon when talking about Obama’s shortcomings, arguing that Nixon was to the left of Obama on a list of issues, including health care, guaranteed income, and foreign policy. Meanwhile, Dorrien, despite his disappointments, offered a different historical comparison: “Obama is well on his way to becoming the best president since Franklin Roosevelt.”


From Peter Wehner at Commentary:  Yet with a few honorable exceptions—Fox News being the most conspicuous—the press has shown no real appetite for this story. It’s not that it hasn’t been covered; it’s that the coverage has lacked anything like the intensity and passion that you would have seen had this occurred during the presidency of, say, Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush.

The media needs to be equal opportunity investigators if it is to be the Fourth Estate protecting our freedoms.

Why was  General Carter Ham losing his job?  Is it because he wanted to help the personnel in Libya and disobeyed orders?

References to Watergate (by Democrats)! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


A case is made for General Petraeus's leadership in the Middle East.

But three points need to be made here. First, Petraeus had no way of knowing this at the time; both in Mosul and later, in 2007, as U.S. commander in Iraq, he saw his goal as giving the factions “breathing space,” creating a “zone of security,” where they might reach a settlement in peace. It’s not his fault that the factions had no interest in reaching such a settlement. Second, for as long as he was in command, Petraeus succeeded at what he set out to do, if only tactically and in the short term. In retrospect, a case can be made that it may have been wiser to pull out after Saddam fell, to let the Iraqis find their own way. But those weren’t Petraeus’ orders; whatever else might be said of him, he accomplished a great deal with what he had. Finally, America’s big mistake in Iraq was invading it in the first place—and neither Petraeus nor any other general had anything to do with that decision.

Emily Yoffe wants Petraeus back!

I have a great idea whom Barack Obama should nominate as his next CIA director: Gen. David Petraeus. With that simple announcement, Obama could strike a blow for civil liberties and against the silly and destructive sexual Puritanism that has taken down so many public figures. Since Petraeus’ departure both Democrats and Republicans have been mourning the loss of a public servant of extraordinary ability. 


This is an unusually sharp exchange between a journalist and a State Department spokesperson.  I haven't seen this kind of grilling of an administration spokesperson since the Bush administration.


Monday, November 19, 2012


It was marked by mistatements, which as the London Telegraph points out, would have been front page news if Bush had said them.

It is rather embarrassing, as well as sad, that the leader of the free world can’t even pronounce the name of the most famous human rights activist on the planet. Or that he is so quick to appease Burma’s authoritarian regime by calling it “Myanmar”. Barack Obama’s gaffes demonstrate not only a marked lack of attention to detail and a high degree of amateurishness on the part of the White House, but also a disturbing willingness to curry favour with unsavoury regimes. Hardly a good omen for Obama’s second term.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Obama knew on September 12th that it was a terrorist attack and not because of some film.  Even the New York Times, the paper of the left noted that in an article on September 12th.

Director Petraeus statement this morning is at complete odds with the Administration’s narrative. The CIA did its job on September 11 and reported the facts as they saw them.

Someone else was responsible for editing the report. But Ambassador Rice has a very difficult position. When she was trooped out to mouth the party line to the talk shows a few days after the assault, there was only one person who was authorized to approve her talking points; the President himself.

State reports to the President. The U.N. Ambassador reports to the President. The Director of National Intelligence reports to the President. The Director of the CIA reports to the President. The buck stops there.

The President has been caught in a web of his own lies. It is now up to us to hold him accountable.

November 28, 2012.  London TelegraphThe lack of clarity from the White House on Benghazi is proving a disaster for the Obama administration, giving every impression that it is lacking in transparency, competence and accountability. During the second presidential election debate, Barack Obama promised to take responsibility for what happened. It is time for him to do so, and for his presidency to come clean over its handling of the intelligence relating to the Benghazi attack, and be held to account.


Michael Gerson analyzes the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the 2012 election, but also discusses the evangelical Protestants.  Both have failed to reach out to the Hispanic voter.

Catholics have a historical advantage in understanding the imperative of inclusion in modern politics. They belong, after all, to an institution that has been multicultural since Peter first set foot in Rome. But white evangelicals are now getting their own education in coalition politics. They gave Mitt Romney a remarkable 79 percent of their vote — the same share that George W. Bush received in 2004 — while constituting a larger percentage of the electorate than they did in 2004. But their energy and loyalty were rendered irrelevant — washed away — by GOP failures among other groups. 

“Rather than a repudiation of cultural conservatism,” concludes Green, “this was an election in which cultural conservatives did everything they could, but the party fell short.”

In the long run, social conservatives will have serious trouble exerting influence unless they are allied with rising ethnic populations, which tend toward conservative social views. But social conservatives are now in a toxic alliance with political forces — the wall-builders and advocates of self-deportation — that are alienating rising ethnic populations.


Anne Applebaum argues that British conservatives could teach a thing or two to the GOP.  Among other issues she addressed she raised the failure of the GOP to reach out to Hispanics.  McCain gets a lot of criticism, but when the GOP rejected his reforms, it began to dig a hole for themselves in the 2012 election.

If Republican leaders really want to appeal to Hispanic voters, for example, they don't need clever Spanish-language marketing or better slogans. Nor do they need to steal political positions from across the aisle. Instead, they could resurrect the only sensible comprehensive immigration reform bill not passed into law—a bill largely written by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. The McCain-Kennedy Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 was a grand compromise: It attempted to win support from immigrants' rights groups, which tend to be on the left of the political spectrum, and business leaders who employ immigrants, who tend to be on the right. It would have created not only a sensible path to citizenship for illegal immigrants but also a "guest worker" status for people who want to work for short periods, and it would have enhanced border security. The Bush White House supported the bill, which was defeated largely by congressional Republicans.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Recently Admiral Charles M. Gaouette was recalled from deployment with the Persian Gulf Fleet.  According to some reports from Iran and Israel, he was involved in a coup to overthrow Obama.  But a coup from the Persian Gulf?????

"The decision was made based on a conversation with the Secretary of Defense who, at the end of the talk, believed Gaouette was part of a group of military officers who have been under suspicion for planning a 'Seven Days in May' type overthrow of the US government if President Obama is re-elected," columnist Gordon Duff wrote.

"This is not conjecture," he insisted. "[D]ozens of key officers face firing, hundreds are under investigation, all with direct ties to extremist elements in the Republican Party and the Israeli lobby."

ABC News reports that there were questions of leadership judgment.

There is quite a list of officers being questioned for a variety of questionable behaviors. 


From Buzzfeed.   It is sad to see liberals who are so disgusted by certain jokes or comments about some groups do not seem to have that sensitivity when it comes to religion.


This article in the Daily Mail says it stopped 16 years ago.

The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea, was issued  quietly on the internet, without any media fanfare, and, until today, it has not been reported. 

This stands in sharp contrast  to the release of the previous  figures six months ago, which went only to the end of 2010 – a very warm year. 

Ending the data then means it is possible to show a slight warming trend since 1997, but 2011 and the first eight months of 2012 were much cooler, and thus this trend is erased.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


The Middle East gets even more interesting. Saudis tell the UN that Iranian helicopters and boats are intruding in its air and sea space. 

Monday, November 12, 2012


Robert Samuelson challenges the viability of the increasing costs to support America's welfare state.  And some programs like social security have "strayed from their original purpose."  The future will be interesting. There is a point where there will not be enough people paying taxes to support the welfare state.

If you doubt there’s an American welfare state, you should read the new study by demographer Nicholas Eberstadt, whose blizzard of numbers demonstrates otherwise. A welfare state transfers income from some people to other people to improve the recipients’ well-being. In 1935, these transfers were less than 3 percent of the economy; now they’re almost 20 percent. That’s $7,200 a year for every American, calculates Eberstadt. He says that nearly 40 percent of these transfers aim to relieve poverty (through Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance and the like), while most of the rest goes to the elderly (mainly through Social Security and Medicare).

Friday, November 09, 2012


A crash course!


Radical Islamists have taken over northern Mali and now there is talk of US and European intervention.  

The harshest form of Islamic law in the world is now being imposed at gunpoint. Ancient tombs and shrines are being bulldozed for the exact same reason the Buddha statues were destroyed in Afghanistan. And the place has turned into a rat’s nest of the who’s-who of terrorist organizations operating in North Africa. 

This time around, we aren’t waiting for a devastating attack against an American city to do something about it, and not only because Al Qaeda is already a clearly identified enemy of the United States. Northern Mali may already be the return address for an attack against the United States. Some of the leaders of Al Qaeda in the Maghreb, which was presumably behind the terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, are believed to be based there.

There are war plans that seem to involve the US.

Thursday, November 08, 2012


An interesting graphic from the Washington Post.  The Republican Party is not necessarily dead--it just has to do a better job of taking advantage of changing voting patterns and interests.

From the New York Times.   The chart goes back to 1972 to show how votes have shifted in presidential elections.


It is Christianity according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Her viewpoint is interesting because I don't see her as particularly devout.  But she evidently believes that German foreign policy should try to protect Christians around the world.  I wonder how the Obama administration  and State Department view Christian persecution?  Somehow I don't think Washington takes Christian persecution seriously.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Romney may lose, but his ads have been far superior to those of past Republican candidates.  Love vs. Revenge.


Two years ago, Oliver Stone announced that he was preparing to make a documentary about recent American history. It premieres on the CBS-owned cable network Showtime on November 12.

Titled Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States, it is written by Stone and historian Peter Kuznick and narrated and directed by Stone. The series reflects the view Stone expressed in 2010 that the Soviet Union’s leader in the 1930s and ’40s, Joseph Stalin, has “been vilified pretty thoroughly by history,” so what is needed is a program allowing viewers to walk in both his and Hitler’s shoes “to understand their point of view.”

This story caught my eye because it would appear Stone is promoting Stalin, the greatest genocidal killer in history, into a "good" person that America could have worked with.  The Cold War would never have happened, according to this argument, if President Truman had listened to the advice of American communists and their sympathizers.  Stone is just rehashing the history of a WW II era American communist to create his narrative which makes President Truman the bad guy.  I just don't think America would be a better place from listening to the advice of Soviet agents.


From the London Telegraph.  I am sure this won't get much coverage because of the power and influence of the Saud family.

In Mecca, the house of one of Mohammed’s wives has been demolished to make space for public lavatories. His birthplace may disappear, too, as part of King Abdullah’s scheme to complement the skyscrapers and shopping malls with a Grand Mosque fashioned from the same materials as a multi-storey car park in Wolverhampton.

As for Islam’s second holiest place, the city of Medina, a recent article by Jerome Taylor in the Independent revealed a megalomaniac plan to pull down three 7th-century mosques. Taylor added: “Ten years ago, a mosque which belonged to the Prophet’s grandson was dynamited. Pictures of the demolition that were secretly taken and smuggled out of the kingdom showed the religious police celebrating.”

And there is more happening.

But what sticks in the craw is the hypocrisy of Muslims who throw a fit if Israeli archaeologists carry out non-intrusive work underneath the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, “Islam’s third holiest place”, as we’re constantly reminded. Such anger would be more convincing if the first and second holy sites weren’t being ploughed up by a police state. Likewise, are cartoons of Mohammed really more offensive than reducing the remains of his life to rubble?


Bill Maher on Real Time (HBO):  "If you're thinking about voting for Mitt Romney, I would like to make this one plea: black people know who you are and they will come after you."


The health-care bureaucrats are rushing to create the structure for Obamacare by the 2014 deadline.  There is the issue that some of the private contractors may not be vetted appropriately.  And the Security Exchange Commission has not been informed as it should have been.  So is there some under-handed wheeling and dealing taking place?

Friday, November 02, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Alla Axelrod is not too happy with Obama!  But I don't think losing the Russian immigrant vote will really matter much in the end.