Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Our Pathetic President


By Alan Caruba

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that Syria and Iraq are now just lines on a map at this point. They don’t exist as national states because the former is locked in a civil war that will replace its dictator one way or the other and the latter’s alleged government is deeply divided between the usual schism of Sunni and Shiite.

More to the point, Iraq’s government is led by men who are the friends and pawns of Iran. In a recent issue of the Iranian newspaper, Eternad, an Iranian analyst commented on the new Iraqi cabinet noting that its new prime minister “enjoys Iran’s support and spend his formative years in Iran, and continued (the operation of the Islamic al-Dawa party) until the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.”

That fall was the result of the war waged against Saddam by President George W. Bush. The Iranian analyst noted that Iraq’s new foreign minister, Dr. Ebrahim Jafari “until recently lived in Tehran in Iran, and enjoyed Iran’s support in spite of his differences with Nouri al-Maleki (the former prime minister). The new Iraqi oil minister, transport minister, and minister of sport and youth were all described as “close to Iran, who either lived in Iran before, fought against the Ba’ath regime with Iran’s help, or constantly traveled to Iran.”  

Iraq and Syria came into being when French and British diplomats created them as colonies following the end of World War I, the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and the Treaty of Versailles.

In his September 10th speech, President Obama uttered the word “war” only once and then only to say “We will not be dragged into another ground war in Iraq.” 

The speech, like everything he says, was a lie constructed to undue the truth he inadvertently admitted when he revealed “We have no strategy.”  If you do not intend to go to war, you do not need a strategy. Instead, you can pretend to the American public that the war will be fought by Iraqis and Syrians.

So far the Syrian civil war has cost that “nation” 200,000 lives and driven a million Syrians out of the country. As for the Iraqis, their military fled in the face of the ISIS forces, leaving behind the weapons we gave them. Between Iraq and Syria, ISIS now controls a landmass larger than the size of Great Britain.

In the course of the speech, Obama said he had dispatched 475 more troops to Iraq. We have an estimated 1,500 or more troops on the ground. That is barely the size of an infantry regiment, composed of two battalions of between 300 and 1,300 troops each.

Significantly, though, Obama opened the speech by reminding Americans that he had “brought home 140,000 American troops from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year.”

President Obama has announced he intends to send up to 3,000 troops to West Africa to help combat Ebola. He can find troops to put in harm’s way in Africa, but not to combat ISIS.

All he has ever wanted to do is to flee from our declared enemies whether they are al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS or other Islamic holy warriors. Those numbers signal his failure to follow up our sacrifices in those two nations.

Years after World War II and the Korean War, we still have combat troops in Europe, South Korea, and on bases around the world, but he is pulling out troops in the two nations where our interests are currently threatened. He called the enemy “small groups of killers.” He claimed that “America is safer.”

He appears to think the greatest threat of our time, the holy war being waged by fanatical Muslims, can be won with air strikes and measures that do “not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”

Fighting on foreign soil is what American combat troops did throughout the last century and into this one. They helped defeat Germany and the Japanese Empire in World War II. They stopped the communist North Korean attack on the South, but had less success in the long Vietnam War. They were successful in the Gulf wars until Obama was elected.

We have a President who has displayed a lack of leadership, a lack of judgment, ignorance of history, a cowardly approach to the threats we face, and who has demonstrated over and over again that he is a liar. His administration is likely to be judged the most corrupt in the history of the nation, indifferent to the Constitution and our laws.

Proclaiming that he “could not be prouder of our men and women in uniform”, this is a President who has engaged in dramatically reducing the size of our military to pre-World War II levels. After a two-star general, Major General Harold J. Green, was killed in Afghanistan in April not one single member of the White House attended his funeral. Obama was playing golf.

America must survive a man who many have come to believe is “the worst President” in our history. An essential stop toward that will be to defeat as many Democratic Party incumbents and candidates for office in the November 4 midterm elections. Americans—patriots—can do no less at this point.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Liberated Women and the Traditional Family


By Alan Caruba

My generation, born in the late 1930s and the 1940s, has witnessed a dramatic change in the role and the rights of women in America. A significant result of the women’s liberation movement is a change in the role of traditional marriage that was reported in early September.

“If you count a generation as spanning 20 years,” wrote Terence P. Jeffery, an editor of CNSnews.com, “then approximately 36 percent of the American generation born from 1993 through 2012—which has begun turning 21 this year and will continue turning 21 through 2033—were born to unmarried mothers.”

By comparison, Jeffrey noted that “Back in 1940, only 3.8 percent of American babies were born to unmarried mothers. By 1960, it was still only 5.3 percent.” There was a time when being a single mother was regarded as a reflection of the woman’s moral values. How a society deals with issues affecting the family as its single most important factor reflects its attitudes regarding marriage.

“It is a statistical fact that the institution of the family,” wrote Jeffrey, “has been collapsing in American over the past 45 years.”

Another statistic has significance as well. Today 51% of the U.S. population is single. A new generation of Americans, men and women, have decided that a committed relationship holds little allure.

The call for women’s rights has a long history. In 1794, Mary Wollstonecraft wrote “A Vindication of the Rights of Women.” She would have felt at home in today’s society. After affairs with two men, giving birth to a daughter by one of them, she married William Godwin, one of the forefathers of the anarchist movement. She died ten days after giving birth to a daughter, Mary Shelley, who grew up to be the author of “Frankenstein.”

Militant political action in Britain began with the formation of the Woman’s Social and Political Union in 1903. Following World War I when women participated in the war industries and support services, they were granted the right to vote in 1918, but it would take until 1928 for the age to be lowered to 21. In the United States in 1848 Elizabeth Cady Stanton led a Women’s Rights Convention followed in 1863 of the Women’s National Loyal League by Susan B. Anthony who wrote and submitted a proposed right-to-vote amendment in 1878. It would take until 1920 for it to be ratified as the 19th Amendment.

The women’s rights movement as we know it gained momentum in the 1960s. It was led by a feminist, fellow writer and friend, Betty Friedan, who was also a committed Leftist and, in 1966, she would help create the National Organization for Women (NOW). In 1971, the National Women’s Political Caucus emerged, led by Bella Abzug, Shirley Chisholm, and Gloria Steinem. Other groups were created as well. The effort to secure an Equal Rights Amendment, however, failed.

Aside from political rights, the issue that most concerned feminists was reproductive rights with the repeal of laws against abortion being the priority. The issue was decided, not by Congress or the states, but by a 1973 decision of the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, that ruled 7-2 that the 14th Amendment extended a right of privacy and by extension the right of a woman to opt for an abortion.

That decision freed women both within and outside of marriage to abort an unwanted child. Unforeseen by the Court, was the rise of single-parent families led primarily by women.

As Jeffery noted “In the latest annual report to Congress on “Welfare Indicators and High Risk Factors,” the Department of health and Human Services pointed to the high rate of births to unmarried mothers, saying ‘data on non-marital births are important since historically a high proportion of welfare recipients first became parents outside of marriage.’”

We have reached a point in just over a few decades in which the government, through bad economic policies and a myriad number of programs, Medicaid, food stamps, public housing, and others, has produced 109,631,000 people receiving benefits. They represent 35.4 percent of the overall population.

That’s a long way from the traditional family and it means that half of the working population is providing the funds for those who are unemployed or have stopped looking for work thanks to a stagnate economy.

The single-parent family led by women has denied generations of the young men they are raising the male role models they need to understand that being a father is as great a responsibility as being a mother.

Men have become dispensable except as sperm donors.

Male values of courage, comradeship, and leadership have to be learned from sources outside the single-mother unit.

Then, too, the feminist goal of being in the workplace also frequently means that pre-school children’s early formative years are handed over to strangers in childcare centers whether they come from one or two-parent families. The economy has required that both parents have to work—if work can be found in a society where more than 92 million Americans are unemployed or have, as noted above, ceased looking for a job.

This is not a screed against women’s rights. It is a look at the consequences of the goals feminists have fought to achieve over the past decades.

It’s not about their right to vote or to secure an education to achieve success in the business sector.

It’s about generations of young men and women growing up in a society where a “father” is not an integral part of the “family” and the price our society pays for that.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The War Neither Obama, Nor Any Other Nation Wants to Fight


By Alan Caruba

Two trends have emerged since President Obama’s September 10 speech regarding his intention to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State.  
 
One is the understanding that he will not commit U.S. troops as “boots on the ground” to fight a force estimated variously between 10,000 and 30,000 depending on intelligence guesswork.

The other trend is the reluctance of any other nation to engage in the warfare that would be necessary to defeat the terrorist army occupying northern Iraq and a swath of Syria.

This was initially signaled at the NATO meeting in Wales and, according to a September 12 page one report in The Wall Street Journal, “A day after President Barack Obama outlined a strategy to combat Islamic State militants, Washington’s international allies didn’t make clear how far they would go to join military operations even as they pledged support.”

Who would support a President who said he had no intention of being “dragged back into a war in Iraq”?

That is not a “strategy.” It’s surrender. It is an admission of a lack of intent to confront what will surely emerge as a major threat to the Middle East and the West.

Word Games

The Obama administration was initially reluctant to even call it a war. It was a “counter-intelligence operation” according to Secretary of State Kerry.  The President and his administration have spent six and a half years labeling terrorist attacks as anything other than acts of war. But 9/11 was an act of war.

The killing of soldiers at Fort Hood was called “workplace violence” when it was clearly a terrorist act. Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told us that the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed our ambassador and three security personnel was just a bunch of militants angered by a video no one ever saw.

In Iraq—a nation now in name only—its military fled from combat with ISIS. The result has been a demonstration of the barbarity of ISIS, killing Muslims and “infidels” alike in large numbers. The videos of the beheadings of two American journalists sent the U.S. a message that dramatically altered the simmering reluctance of Americans to make war on the Islamic State. The beheading of a British citizen will no doubt echo the U.S. population's desire for revenge and a full-scale war on ISIS.

Middle East expert, Walid Phares, says ISIS's message is that it has concluded that neither the U.S. nor Great Britain will engage it with troops, preferring only air strikes. No military expert believes that will be sufficient to defeat ISIS.

Turkey, that shares a border with Syria, Iraq and Iran, is fearful for the lives of nearly fifty of its diplomats taken hostage in Mosul when it was captured in June. They have cause, but Turkey has been increasingly Islamic in its outlook for nearly a decade, shedding its secular approach to governance. It has refused to allow the U.S. to use bases there to fight ISIS.

In Europe, Germany said it would not take part in any airstrikes against ISIS. Other EU nations will likely follow its lead. In a similar fashion, Arab nations have not indicated any intention to actively—militarily—participate in what appears to be a “coalition” in name only.

A post by Steve Eichler, CEO of Tea Party, Inc. says it all:

“We are in the gravest of situations. Our military—once the most powerful in the world—is crumbling.

Obama is purging every branch of the US armed forces at an alarming rate.

He's deliberately crippling our military, setting them up for failure and defeat. Through his actions he is rapidly demoralizing our troops en masse, creating a dangerous situation at home and abroad, leaving our troops, our country and we citizens open to attack.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, recipient of the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, as well as other top retired officers, say Obama’s agenda is decimating the morale of the U.S. ranks to the point members no longer feel prepared to fight or have the desire to win.
 
 
Our Army has not trained for six months. Meanwhile there is tremendous domestic and foreign unrest taking place. "To have the Chief of Staff of the Army confess to the world that our Army has not trained for six months is highly disturbing,” says former Florida Congressman Allen West. ‘[It] should make us all sleep less soundly at night.’”

Obama has been destroying our military in every way he can and, other than air power, he has a greatly reduced infantry and other forces with which to wage a ground war in Iraq. ISIS knows this and so does the rest of the world.

Not since the end of World War II and our ascendance as a superpower has America fallen to such a loss and lack of real power both militarily and economically.

The years since Obama’s election in 2008 have been an unqualified disaster for the nation, the West, and the rest of the world. They have looked to the U.S. to lead and now see a U.S. that has twice elected a man whose entire agenda has been to abandon leadership.

To some, his actions reek of treason.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

Warning Signs Passes 3.7 Million Visits


More and more people are discovering Warning Signs and visiting to read my commentaries, posted from Sunday through Thursday every week. I am pleased to report we have passed 3.7 million visits and I am looking forward to making it to 4 million before the end of 2014.

That many visits are very welcome and they are an indication of the value given to the commentaries that range over issues, events and personalities in the news. The goal is to provide information that you will not necessarily find in the mainstream media, often with a historic context for what is happening in our complex world and nation.

It is donations that make this happen. It is donations that defray the IT and office costs. The value you put on having access to Warning Signs’ commentary must be measured by the donation you make.

Donate now and congratulate yourself for being part of the effort that makes Warning Signs possible.
 
Thank You!
 Alan Caruba

 

Cartoon Round Up

 

 

 



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Islam is the Face of Evil


By Alan Caruba

"ISIS is not Islamic", said  Barack Obama as he gave yet another vapid speech to say what he will or will not do next about the threat of Islam. What he said is both idiotic and a lie. ISIS calls itself the Islamic State.

Obama used the word "war" only once, but ISIS is all about war---an Islamic holy war that has been waged since 632 AD. 

The one person neither named, nor blamed is the so-called prophet, Mohammad, yet everything being done by the jihadists today is being done in his name.

In his memoir, “Dreams from my Father”, Obama, in the preface to its second edition, wrote: “Nor do I pretend to understand the stark nihilism that drove the terrorists that day (9/11) and that drives their brethren still. My powers of empathy, my ability to reach into another’s heart, cannot penetrate the blank stares of those who would murder innocents with abstract, serene satisfaction.” And therein is the problem that he, as President, and we as citizens must address.

Political correctness is so dominant in the Obama White House that no one in the U.S. government dares say anything that might be deemed critical of a so-called “religion” that sanctions beheadings, amputations, stoning, kidnapping hostages, ransoms, polygamy, and slavery. To anyone deemed an infidel or unbeliever or a Muslim who questions anything about Islam, death is the only option other than dhimmitude, a second-class citizenship.

The pure evil of Islam was seen most recently in the two videos of American hostages being beheaded by the Islamic State, but despite decades of attacks on U.S. embassies, the taking of U.S. hostages in Beirut and Tehran, attacks in Bali, Madrid and London, and the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and on the Pentagon, Americans have been slow to realize the intensity and size of the threat that the Middle Eastern and North African nations represent along with wherever else a large Muslim population exists.

As the U.S. and threatened Middle Eastern nations hurtle toward a military confrontation with the Islamic State, the name it has given to territory it has seized from northern Syria and into Iraq, a new book, Fault Lines: The Layman’s Guide to Understanding America’s Role in the Ever-Changing Middle East, ($19.95, Elevate, Boise, Idaho, softcover) provides one of the best, short histories on U.S. involvement and why, at this point, its influence has reached a low point.

Liebich writes of the way the U.S. policy regarding the Middle East changed over the years, particularly in the wake of World War II and the Cold War that followed as the Soviet Union challenged us for the implementation of communism worldwide. Dependent on the flow of oil from the Middle East, much of our strategic interest in the region was based on exercising our influence, often bringing about the removal of leaders whom we regarded as a threat to that necessity. After 9/11 that went into overdrive.

Liebich notes that our concept of nation-building proved costly, not just in the lives of our troops, but which included $50 billion in Iraq “and it didn’t work. Before you can build a nation you have to have a nation and only the citizens of that nation can decide what kind of a country they want to have.” The problem the U.S. encountered was that “In the Middle East, people related much more to the Ummah (the Muslim community) and to their own tribes.”

The problem that George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, encountered was that “The Middle East is a part of the world where many odd alliances appear. One is never sure who is allied with whom and whatever one thinks may all change tomorrow.”

Liebich takes note of the “Arab Awakening” that followed the U.S. invasion of Iraq that deposed Saddam Hussein. It began “with so much promise” followed by “its subsequent descent into chaos, has drastically changed the geopolitical landscape in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Liebich says “My definition of a vital national interest is one that deals with an existential threat to the United States, and one for which the U.S. is willing to spill its blood and to spend its treasure in order to accomplish its objectives. By this definition, the U.S. has no vital national interest in events in the Middle East.” Written prior to the emergence of the Islamic State, a new existential threat is facing the U.S.

Liebich says our strategic interests in the Middle East for many years included access to stable supplies of oil at reasonable prices; support for the state of Israel; preventing adversaries or potential adversaries from coming to power or achieving influence in the region; improving life for the people of the region; and preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. territories and citizens.

“The region has become the epicenter for terrorist groups, some of which have ambitions for a global reach.” That alone will require a renewed military involvement by the U.S. as we are the only nation with the capacity to alter the facts on the ground.

It comes at a time when the U.S. is close to having developed its oil reserves to a point where the oil of the Middle East will not determine our policies, but it is that oil which other nations such as those of Europe depend upon. China and India need it as well so its protection by and for the West as well as the developing Asian nations affects our decisions. Even Russia whose economy is dependent on oil and natural gas has cast its support for Syria along with Iran.

Everything, though, depends on understanding the true nature and intent of Islam.

Liebich ends his book with a quote from Winston Churchill who said, “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all other possibilities.”

Right now, the right thing is the destruction of the Islamic State.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014