It appears the battlefield this week is within each of us, because after the last several days and the seemingly increasing pile of bad news under which we are buried it’s going to become more and more difficult to maintain a sense of peace and optimism.
Our challenge to remain the Americans we have been is greater now than at any time in recent memory. We have progressed beyond the mere malaise of the late 1970’s; our condition is more comparable to that of the 1930’s, if not worse.
America is in retreat on what looks like all fronts.
Most prominently, we’re in retreat geopolitically, and specifically in retreat where Syria and the Middle East are concerned. This week Vladimir Putin executed a diplomatic and military coup against American prestige and credibility that might not have an historical equal. The Iranian hostage crisis was certainly a humiliation, and the Vienna talks were an ignominious moment, but in neither case were the ugly consequences of weakness so pronounced as when Putin sent a general into a U.S. military office in Baghdad with a demarche to the effect that our air assets were to stand down so that Russian jets could bomb in Syria – and their targets would be American-supported rebel forces opposed to the Russian-allied Assad regime.
Bombing American-backed rebels, after entering the Syrian fray ostensibly to fight ISIS, was an act of brazen provocation America hasn’t seen since 9/11, and our response has been nonexistent.
Asked if we didn’t have an obligation to support our own allies on the ground, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter bumbled that Russia’s actions exposed its policy as self-contradictory. Carter made it sound as if the Russian offense was to have perpetrated an oxymoron, rather than a provocation — and a direct challenge to what’s left of the U.S. policy of supporting a moderate opposition.
The whole point of Russian intervention is to maintain Assad in power. Putin has no interest in fighting the Islamic State. Indeed, the second round of Russian air attacks was on rival insurgents opposed to the Islamic State. The Islamic State is nothing but a pretense for Russian intervention. And Obama fell for it.
Just three weeks ago, Obama chided Russia for its military buildup, wagging his finger that it was “doomed to failure.” Yet by Monday, he was publicly welcoming Russia to join the fight against the Islamic State. He not only acquiesced to the Russian buildup, he held an ostentatious meeting with Putin on the subject, thereby marking the ignominious collapse of Obama’s vaunted campaign to isolate Putin diplomatically over Crimea.
Putin then showed his utter contempt for Obama by launching his air campaign against our erstwhile anti-Assad allies not 48 hours after he met with Obama. Which the U.S. found out about when a Russian general knocked on the door of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and delivered a brusque démarche announcing that the attack would begin within an hour and warning the U.S. to get out of the way. In his subsequent news conference, Secretary Carter averred that he found such Russian behavior “unprofessional.”
Understand that the U.S.-backed rebels are (1) on their last legs anyway, (2) not particularly impressive as the Jeffersonian Democrats people like John McCain make them out to be, (3) anything but a priority for the Obama administration and (4) nobody we can particularly support. All of that is true.
But this is no longer about Syria or our allies. This is about us and Putin, and whether we’re going to allow him to dictate to us where our planes can fly or where our troops can be.
Putin has a plan. Here it is. He’s bombing what friends we have left in Syria to force us to have no interests left in that country, and making us make a choice between being a junior partner in the coalition supporting Assad or being on the side of ISIS. And since we can’t choose either one, we will have no place or influence in that part of the world at all.
And if we leave, then the Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians and Israelis won’t have any use for us. They will make a separate peace with Russia. Which will make the Russians a dominant player in the world energy market AND allow Russia the ability to control the Suez Canal. Couple that with Russia’s ally China exerting hegemony over the South China Sea (not to mention the Panama Canal), meaning Putin and the axis he’s building will control the world’s trade lanes.
And unless we act immediately to put a stop to Putin’s moves, we have no play here. This is going to happen exactly the way Putin has mapped it out, You’re free to consider the implications of the above, and while you do you can also consider how the Russians and Chinese have both chattered constantly about ending the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
There are things we probably ought to do which don’t involve Syria; some say that if Putin wants this so badly we should let him have it. In that case, sell as many guns to the Ukrainians as they can carry. Crank up our missile defense program in Poland and the Czech Republic that Obama shelved at the beginning of his presidency. Shut down Russia’s access to the world financial system as best we can. Immediately lift the ban on exports of oil from this country and open the door to the construction of export terminals for liquified natural gas so that we can become a competitor to the Russians for the Western European energy market. Open up U.S. military bases in the Baltic republics, Poland and even the Ukraine.
Do all of that, and then openly wish Putin well in his new Middle Eastern adventure.
There is no way to accomplish this, but it would be a good idea as well to find some place in the Muslim world to relocate all the “Syrian refugees” flooding into Europe, and use the U.S. military to provide security for that safe haven. In other words, a colony administered by America and NATO.
But let’s not kid ourselves. Obama will do nothing to address any of this. He’ll issue forth a salad of empty words and palaver about how Putin is on the “wrong side of history,” which is a patent falsehood. Putin is MAKING history with ACTION. If Obama wants him to be on the “wrong side” of history, then he’s going to have to take ACTION to that effect. Nobody else will, and if Putin’s efforts to make his backward, bankrupt nation the global superpower in concert with the Iranians and Chinese aren’t countered then it will be America on the “wrong side of history” just like the Romans, Greeks, Mongols, Aztecs, Spanish and imperial British were.
And then there was the terrible mass shooting in Oregon yesterday. We don’t know exactly who this Chris Harper Mercer individual was, but we do know that he deliberately executed those victims in that Umpqua Community College classroom who identified themselves as Christians. This would seem to be a highly important factor in the shooting, and yet it wasn’t mentioned by our president who immediately played the role of gun-grabbing ghoul in his post-shooting harangue. Obama actually had the gall to announce that the shooting was something that ought to be politicized, while spoiling for some indeterminate form of gun control.
If you want to understand why Obama is constantly taking to the microphones to politicize these shootings, this is what’s going on. The Left wants a full-on gun ban in this country, but they are well aware the public absolutely is not with them. So when something like Umpqua happens, and it becomes more and more obvious that we need to do something about mental health in this country, you’ll get no discussion of that from the Left. They want the public to change its mind on the 2nd Amendment, and they’re happy to see us careen from one crisis to the next until that opinion does change.
Forget about the fact that in places like Chicago, where the gun laws are the strictest, the level of gun violence is highest. Forget about the fact that in the UK, where there is a full-on gun ban like the one Obama and his pals want, the violent crime rate is actually much worse than it is here. Forget
They want your guns, because they’re not comfortable with you having them. They know that if they were to admit that now you would see to it they couldn’t get elected dog-catcher, so they won’t go that far publicly. But it’s what they want, and they’ll never stop trying to get it. Remember, these people tried to get socialized medicine for 70 years before they managed to pass Obamacare; you will never stop them from trying to take your guns away.
And of course there’s the job this buffoon in the White House is doing with the economy. The September jobs report said only 142,000 jobs were created, a pathetic number, and the labor participation rate is through the floor. Zero Hedge has the graphs…
Politically, culturally, economically…decline and retreat.
We’re not done yet as a country, but we need leadership and inspiration in a colossal way. And none is forthcoming from the guy in the White House. We’re going to have to fight to provide leadership and inspiration ourselves until he’s gone.
– Billy Nungesser is running ads on TV this week talking about a plan he has to create 60,000 Louisiana jobs. The idea of the Louisiana Lt. Governor creating 60,000 jobs scares the hell out of me. There is nothing in the state constitution that talks about the Lt. Governor creating jobs.
I like Billy, but when he ran for Lt. Governor four years ago one reason he didn’t do as well as he could was he talked about lots of things that aren’t in the Lt. Governor’s portfolio. Big government happens when politicians aren’t willing to stick with the things they’re charged to do, so he keeps disqualifying himself with all these grandiose plans.
Dardenne exemplifies what you want in that position. He’s worked his butt off to be really good at those things the constitution charges him to do, and the rest he’s left alone. Nungesser’s talking about doing too much, and that’s going to hurt him.
– By now our readers have probably seen the latest Triumph Campaigns poll of the statewide races. Here’s a bit of analysis on the Attorney General’s race.
Triumph has Buddy Caldwell all the way down to 27 percent, which is staggeringly low for an incumbent, with Jeff Landry and Ike Jackson (the Democrat) both at 24.
But the poll doesn’t have Geri Baloney, who is also a Democrat, listed as an option for the respondents to choose. And Baloney is well-connected to the New Orleans Democrat machine; in fact, Mary Landrieu is raising money for her now. She’s going to get some of Jackson’s 24 percent.
But if Caldwell is down at 27 and Landry is only 3 points behind him, it’s going to be almost impossible for Caldwell to win. At 27, that means 73 percent of the voters want somebody else in that job.
The AG’s race was always going to break late, and now it’s getting late and the race is breaking.
Caldwell is on TV with some really terrible ads. One of them misspells “employment” within the first 10 seconds. Another essentially accepts the premise of all of Landry’s messaging about the Buddy System and then says it’s OK because those contingency fees didn’t cost the taxpayer anything. Which is arguable at best, but even if it’s true it’s not exactly a political winner for Caldwell to ask the public to accept that he made his cronies rich on the basis that we’re not out any money. Who does he think he is, Edwin Edwards?
“Barack Obama’s not a failure because he was a first-term senator, or even for lack of experience. He’s had seven years of presidential experience and, in my mind, he’s still failing. Barack Obama has failed as president because his ideas don’t work. And they wouldn’t have worked if he’d been in the senate for 40 years. And they wouldn’t have worked if he was the CEO of a major company. And they wouldn’t have worked if he was a governor. His ideas do not work. They don’t work in America, they’ve never worked anywhere in the world. Here’s what works: free enterprise, a limited government, a strong national security. That’s what we need from our next president.”
– I’ll probably do something more on this next week, but you should all read this piece by Doug Ross about Hillary Clinton’s emails and how they relate to the catastrophic OPM hack…
My contention is that Hillary Clinton’s use of a bathroom server led directly to the OPM hack, which cyber experts have called “a digital Pearl Harbor.”
Joe Biden would call this a “big f*cking deal.” If Ross is correct, the consequences of this thing are mind-blowing and there is no way Hillary will stay out of jail.