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Posts Tagged ‘Somalia’

The UN, having obtained US Support, has now moved to create a “no fly” zone over Libya.  Oh, what can we say.

Obama is now getting on the train he couldn’t get off after saying–unwisely in my opinion–Kaddafi must go.  That’s the problem with threats . . . they cascade upon themselves. This appears chiefly an emotional reaction to disturbing and violent news from the region, coupled with a self-fulfilling prophecy of presidential rhetoric.  There is no real moral reason to intervene here and not, say, Iran a few months ago or Bahrain or Egypt or many other places. And the reasons here are many times less compelling than Iran, which has, unlike Libya, been hostile to the US in very recent times.

We should all be concerned that Obama is moving without any congressional authorization.  Indeed, there’s been almost no debate.  It’s weird.  Wake up one day, and we’re at war. This is a terrible precedent, not so different from what the first President Bush tried to pull in the First Gulf War, though he ultimately did get a congressional resolution. Obama spoke out against this sort of thing when he was in Congress.  But like most presidents, he has fought to preserve and expand the power of the office once he was in it, even as he has used that increased power to undermine America the nation.  But even strong presidents have generally recognized in the momentous matter of war, the people’s representatives deserve a say.

Obama is turning against the one thing he had going for him in the last campaign:  relative realism and restraint on foreign policy.  Contra my putatitively conservative brethren, I do not embrace the US-as-global-cop role.  It is expensive, it does us little good, and it allows small regional conflicts to become global ones.  Many Americans agreed in 2008, fed up as they were with the indeterminate outcomes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the antagonism these wars fueled in the Muslim world.  Now we have a President who eloquently spoke to these themes going down the road to permanent war counseled by the psychotic duo of Senators McCain and Lieberman.  And worse, he is doing so at the insistence of Britain and France, nations whom we should respect, but not nations whom we should follow into every hare-brained European-style human rights war.

Worst of all, we have no strategy here. Though legally required, a congressional debate may not do any good, because, in both parties, we see a reactive, emotion-laden, and vaguely Wilsonian approach to the world that has no end game, cannot distinguish the important from the irrelevant, and, through a misplaced concern for “human rights,” makes no distinction between a genuine threat to the global order from what used to be called “internal affairs.”  So today we go to war with Libya.  Iran, not so much.  We are this big, lumbering, powerful country, but our leaders’ thinking is worse than that of children.  It’s like that of adolescents:  impulsive, overly self-satisfied, contemptuous of risk, ignorant of potential pitfalls, forgetful of recent failures, and a product of peer pressure.

Finally, in Europe and in America we have this confused idea that “no fly zones” are something short of war.  It’s true, they’re much safer for our guys than a land war.  In Kosovo, we had zero casualties, even as we bombed Serbian bridges and cities. In that sense, air strikes are sometimes the right tool to use.  But they are still acts of war, with bombing and killing and violations of another nation’s sovereignty, as well as some risk to the life and limb of Americans.  Yes, Kaddafi is a bad man.  He killed Americans back in the day and was punished for it (or made recompense in the case of Lockerbie).  If this were a merely retaliatory raid, I might be more sympathetic.  But American no longer does retaliatory raids. Every campaign is wrapped not in the flag but in the mantle of concern for democracy. This is the Democratic Party’s version of neoconservatism, plain and simple, where the lack of national interest is held up as proof of our purity of motive.  But this type of “freedom” is no formula for peace, as it makes a potential enemy of every nation on earth that is not governed like us.

While I am no pacifist, for moral and self-interested reasons, I must prefer peace to war.  Peace is not just a state of mind.  It involves something tangible and fundamental:  not undertaking aggressive military action unless it is a last resort connected to national interest.  The concern for the national interest, if widely shared and enshrined in international law, limits the effect of war.  It certainly limits the impact of war on our own nation.

A strong principle once existed for condemning war unless it was a defensive act.  This was the European system of the last 400 years, particularly after the Congress of Vienna.  But it’s been degraded since the end of the Cold War in the name of human rights.  It faced an earlier challenged in the name of ethnic homogenization, as in the Franco-Prussian War.  But even this principle had natural limits, and it was thoroughly discredited (or rendered irrelevant by ethnic cleansing) after World War II.

Now even this limiting principle is gone.  Americans will suddenly go to war for Rwandans and Libyans and Chadians and God knows who else.  We can’t go to war for everyone everywhere, and say we’re for peace.  If we’re engaging in “humanitarian” wars without even a patina of concern for national interest, then our nation is acting like naked imperialists.  Just because a handful of nations, in the name of Europe, team up and say they’re in the right doesn’t make this conglomerate non-imperialist.  It’s just cooperative imperialism.  It doesn’t change the reality.

I genuinely felt sick during the Kosovo War.  I knew what it meant to be “ashamed” of your country.  It was a new feeling for me.  Not only was our nation getting into an unnecessary war, but it was doing so for stupid reasons, badgered by confused Europeans, swindled by propaganda, and we were on the wrong side.  Today it’s the same.  While I feel much less sympathy for Kaddafi compared to Christian Serbia, it’s otherwise a nearly identical situation.

Iraq, at its worst, still had some arguable connection to national interest, even if the war ultimately proved unnecessary or based on a mistaken premise.  Afghanistan clearly had such a connection, even if it’s dragged on too long, having metamorphisized into a democracy-building campaign.  But Kosovo?  Somalia?  And now Libya?  These are the military interventions of an idiotic national leadership, Republican and Democrat.

Obama, after waxing and waning, has made a choice.  He neglected to tell the American people why this is so important. And now, showing solemn regard for the seriousness of war, he is off . . . to Brazil!?!

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Byron York writes in the Washington Examine regarding liberal Portland’s politically correct refusal to cooperate with the FBI on antiterrorism:

In 2005, leaders in Portland, Oregon, angry at the Bush administration’s conduct of the war on terror, voted not to allow city law enforcement officers to participate in a key anti-terror initiative, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.  On Friday, that task force helped prevent what could have been a horrific terrorist attack in Portland.  Now city officials say they might re-think their participation in the task force — because Barack Obama is in the White House. . . .

What is ironic is that the operation that found and stopped Mohamud is precisely the kind of law enforcement work that Portland’s leaders, working with the American Civil Liberties Union, rejected during the Bush years.  In April 2005, the Portland city council voted 4 to 1 to withdraw Portland city police officers from participating in the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Mayor Tom Potter said the FBI refused to give him a top-secret security clearance so he could make sure the officers weren’t violating state anti-discrimination laws that bar law enforcement from targeting suspects on the basis of their religious or political beliefs.

Other city leaders agreed.  “Here in Portland, we are not willing to give up individual liberties in order to have a perception of safety,” said city commissioner Randy Leonard.  “It’s important for cities to know how their police officers are being used.”

Bush was wrong, terrorists don’t hate us because our freedom.

And Obama (and his liberal followers) are wrong, in that terrorists don’t hate us because we’re mistreating certain Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, though that is their contemporary pretext for attacking the United States and Europe.

Muslims hate us because we’re not Muslim.

The more radical (i.e., pious) ones believe this justifies terrorism.  The less radical believe that they must conquer us through persuasion, coupled with the ongoing demographic and moral collapse of the West.  They hate the West because, historically, the West was Christendom, the great anti-Muslim force in history.  It was other things, of course, the land of Michaelangelo and Kant and Issac Newton.  That is, our identity was not solely anti-Muslim, though it was primarily Christian.  And this Christianity required it to be anti-Muslim in self defense, which the West accomplished with great energy at Lepanto, Tours, and Vienna, as well as the Crusades.

After the Enlightenment, the West lost its way a bit; it stopped being self-consciously Christendom, but it never stopped being the dominant, attractive, wealthy, accomplished, anti-Muslim citadel to which the entire non-Muslim world looked to for leadership, technology, and also a bit of envy. We outshone the Muslim world, and this was unbearable to a people whose political, economic, and social system was supposedly divinely ordained, allegedly a formula not only for other-worldly happiness but also for worldly success.

Portland thought it was safe from this kind of thing because it felt so guilty for being Western and so consciously and publicly distanced itself from Bush’s wars to inculcate western freedoms to illiberal Muslim lands.  But Portland’s deracinated leadership forgot one thing:  that sometimes hate and injustice and aggressive rage arise naturally and predictably from the Others whom they hold so high on a pedestal.  Appeasement does not work to appease the uneappeaseable, world-historical program of Islam, which demands complete submission by every person on Earth.

It’s not clear if an event like this, even if successful, can remove the politically correct scales from the eyes of Portland’s leaders.  Theirs is a web of deception that will likely detect, even in this, a clarion call to redouble their efforts of outreach, tolerance, and the like.  Liberalism like that of Portland’s mayor renders intelligent people stupid and blind to basic reality.  It also can render whole societies dead if they do not have a revival of clear thinking and an affirmation of their right to continue to exist in their traditional form.

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Excellent Video of Russian Navy sorting out Somali Pirates.

America, before the left tried its damndest to destroy our military power with a web of unrealistic rules and regulations and anti-American indoctrination in the public schools, had the same style as these Russian sailors:  brash, contemptuous of the superficial, and willing to mistreat enemies of the human race the way they deserved.  That is the American way of General Patton, Theodore Roosevelt, and Andrew Jackson.

Now we have an entire cottage industry devoted to the world’s worst people at GITMO, even though in no previous war were enemy combatants allowed to interfere with the war effort by getting entangled in U.S. courts that were built and designed for loyal U.S. citizens.

America and Britain destroyed piracy in the late 17th and 18th Century by capturing and killing pirates wherever they were found.  Now we practice “catch and release.”  It’s sad that we have to take our cues from Russia to see how it’s supposed to be done.

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