Friday, September 19, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Go Away, Hillary


By Alan Caruba

Other than earning her law degree, name one thing that Hillary Clinton has accomplished on her own. Her accomplishments—slim as they are—have been achieved on the coattails of either Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.

Had she not been the First Lady, would anyone have ever heard of her in the context of high power political posts? The short answer is no. She had traded on her celebrity and name recognition to become a Senator from New York and then, after a failed bid to become the Democratic Party’s candidate for President, accepted the position of Secretary of State.

Obama wanted to make sure she was “inside the tent” during his first term and, following that, her resignation has permitted her to now begin distancing herself from a man that many regard the worst President the nation has ever had.

Let’s back up a moment. Is there a single piece of major legislation during her term as a Senator from January 3, 2001 to January 21, 2009 attributed to her? The answer is no even though she served on important committees that included the budget; armed services; environment and public works; health; education; labor and pensions; and a special committee on aging. No point reviewing her voting record. If her former votes pose a political problem for her now, they will simply be dismissed.

During her four years as Secretary of State, can you name a single treaty that generated any significant media coverage? Again, no, If what political pundits believe and her own book reflects, her views on foreign affairs, strategic objectives and other weighty matters was entirely directed from the Oval Office of the White House. Now, it is true that the Secretary of State’s job is to carry out the President’s foreign policy, but at this point we know he had no consistent or strategic policy other than to ignore the Middle East and make nice with Russia.

As Secretary of State Hillary spent most of the time flying anywhere in the world so as not to be seen that much with Obama, but when the Benghazi consulate was attacked on September 11, 2012, killing our ambassador and three security personnel, what we learned was that she had previously paid little or no attention to the question of its protection at a time when other embassies in Libya were closing their doors to avoid attacks. The picture that emerged following the attack was that of someone simply occupying the office without devoting much time to the management of the State Department.

It’s one thing to allocate management to those in the Department responsible for its vast responsibilities, but the buck still stops at the Secretary’s desk and what we learned following the attack is that she backed up the absurd lies of the President who claimed that it was the result of a video no one had seen and a casual group of men who decided to attack the consulate. On the anniversary of 9/11!!!  Questioned about it by a Senate committee, she famously said, “What difference at this time does it make?”  It makes a lot of difference when the President and Secretary of State lie to the nation and the world.

After returning to private life following Obama’s reelection Hillary outrageously claimed that she and Bill were “dead broke” when they left the White House. Hillary’s inclination to say stupid things and lie without any need to should be especially troubling should she run for President and, yes, she has been running for a very long time.

In Hillary we have a person who has given little evidence of legislative or management skills who wants to be the first woman President of the United States. It will look good on her resume.

What, in fact, does she have to offer? Just as Obama offered voters the chance to say they had voted for the first black candidate for President, Hillary offers them the chance to say they voted for the first woman President.

That is not reason enough to elect anyone, black, white, man or woman.

We have learned from the Obama experience that his Marxist ideology, attachment to Islam, and disdain for the U.S. military has proven to be a formula for economic and foreign policy disasters. His signature legislation, Obamacare aka the Affordable Patient Care Act, has proven to be the antithesis of his promises that one could keep their own healthcare insurance and doctor if they wanted. It has been an unmitigated failure since a Democratic Party controlled Congress voted it into law in 2009 without a single Republican vote. In 2010 the voters gave political power in the House to the GOP.

Would Hillary allow Obamacare to be repealed if that was passed by Congress? Would she take steps to destroy the Islamic State threat in the Middle East? Or simply said, would she cease to be an extreme liberal masquerading as a moderate or centrist?

Do we want to elect a woman who in early September told a conference in Las Vegas that “Climate change is the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collections of challenges we face. The threat is real, and so is the opportunity…if we make the hard choices.” This is abject idiocy.

I find all the talk of her candidacy at this point to be obscene. It is an insult to the Democratic Party, but then so is Obama. If she is not opposed by primary candidates within the Party or she floats to candidacy simply as a political celebrity, simply as a woman, then the Party deserves to be massively defeated in 2016. We may get an indication of that in the November midterm elections.

I wish Hillary Clinton would simply go away and permit a serious election to occur.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Arab Muslims Suffer Mentally and Economically


By Alan Caruba

“For years there has been a rising tide of Islamic radicalism, starting in the Middle East, providing a hospitable environment in which terrorism grew naturally,” wrote former Ambassador John Bolton, in a May edition of The Washington Times.

The eruption of the Islamic State (ISIS) has demonstrated how swiftly it has been able to recruit thousands of jihadists to its ranks. The millions it is earning from selling oil on the black market enables it to provide salaries to those recruits. And weapons.

“This radical wave has been spreading throughout northern Africa, into Asia, and now around the world,” warned Bolton.

There is a reason why there is such a supply of recruits to the self-proclaimed caliphate that controls a large swath of northern Syria and Iraq. Jim Clifton, CEO of the Gallup polling organization, says. “The Middle East has collapsed into a state of chaos, conflict, and suffering that was unimaginable and unforeseen just four years ago.”

Clifton took note of the incident that triggered the “Arab Spring” in which dictators were deposed in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. “Food vendor Mohammed Bouazis set himself on fire. Bouazizi didn’t yell ‘Death to America’ or ‘U.S. out of Iraq’ or ‘Allahu Akbar.’  He cried out, ‘I just want to work!’”

No Customers

Clifton said, “Here’s an explanation you don’t hear very often that is likely the root cause of the entire meltdown in the Middle East: no customers.” 

He noted that “When a society fails to create jobs, as in countries throughout the Middle East, young men get up each morning with zero hope for a great life, zero hope to get married (you usually can’t marry in Middle Eastern society without a real job), zero dream of a family, zero dignity, and zero self-respect.”

“What millions of young Middle Eastern males wake up to every morning is unimaginable humiliation, indignation, desperation, and a form of dangerous boredom.” Clifton noted that “There are over 100 million young people aged 18 to 29 in the Middle East/North Africa area—meaning there are probably 50 million young males.”

That is more than enough to recruit a huge army of holy warriors who find meaning in their lives by joining ISIS and other groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria. We are witnessing a war between Sunnis and Shiites, and Clifton warned that “Western leaders prefer to operate through delusional wishful-thinking policies.”

I received an account by an unidentified Lockheed employee who cited research by a Danish psychologist, Nikolai Sennels as published in 2010. The Lockheed employee had been in Saudi Arabia on three assignments and noted that Saudi pilot trainees often had “dim memories and had to be constantly reminded of things that were told to them the day before.” They also had very limited night vision, “even on the brightest of moonlit nights.”

The larger problem as noted by Sennels was attributed to 1,400 years of inbreeding, the Muslim practice of marrying first cousins; it has been in effect for fifty generations and is based on the teachings of Muhammad, their revered prophet, and the prohibition on marrying outside of the Muslim faith.

Sennels noted that “The consequences for offspring of consanguineous marriages are unpleasantly clear: Death, low intelligence or even mental retardation, handicaps and diseases often leading to a slow and painful death.”

“Other consequences are: Limited social skills and understanding, limited ability to manage education and work procedures and painful treatment procedures. The negative cognitive consequences also influence the executive functions. The impairment of concentration and emotional control most often leads to anti-social behavior.”

“The economic costs and consequences for society of inbreeding,” said Sennels, “are of course secondary to the reality of human suffering.” 

Sennels concluded that “A lower IQ, together with a religion that denounces critical thinking, surely makes it harder for many Muslims to have success in our high-tech knowledge societies.” In the case of the United States, He noted “One study based on 300,000 Americans shows that the majority of Muslims in the USA have a lower income, are less education, and have worse jobs than the population as a whole.”

There are many ramifications of the inbreeding that Judeo-Christian faiths prohibited from their inception. It explains in many ways why it is wrong to believe that Muslims in the Middle East, North Africa, and elsewhere “think” in the same fashion as those in the West.

It permits them to believe that beheading westerners is a way to impose their will by videotaping this ancient, barbaric practice. It encourages the belief that all non-Muslims are worthy of death.

The flow of Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa into Europe has created a massive problem for its native population. In Great Britain measures are being taken to crack down on those who go abroad to become jihadists and return.

According to Wikipedia: ”The Muslim population of the U.S. increased dramatically in the 20th century, with much of the growth driven by a comparatively high birth rate and immigrant communities of mainly Arab and South Asian descent. About 72% of American Muslims are immigrants or "second generation". In 2005, more people from Islamic countries became legal permanent United States residents— nearly 96,000 — than in any year in the previous two decades. In 2009, more than 115,000 Muslims became legal residents of the United States.” The other element of the American Muslim population is African-Americans who have been converting to Islam.

Westerners are perplexed by the rise of fanatical Islam, but the answer comes down to a lack of entrepreneurism in Middle Eastern and other Muslim nations, combined with the problems resulting from generations of inbreeding. 

It still means war at some point and for some time to come.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

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