Archive for the ‘foreign policy’ Category

I saw “Borat” and I regretted it, until now.  Is Barack Obama really sure that Sasha Barron Cohen wasn’t on the other side of this conversation?

President Obama said Sunday that the United States is still “working on” democracy and a top aide said he has taken “historic steps” to improve democracy in the United States during his time in office.

The remarks came as Obama met with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev Borat Sagdijev– one of the U.S. president’s many meetings with world leaders ahead of this week’s nuclear summit.

But wait!  It gets better:

The Wall Street Journal‘s Jonathan Weisman asked McFaul to clarify.

“You seemed to be suggesting there was some equivalence between their issues of democracy and the United States’ issues, when you said that President Obama assured him that we, too, are working on our democracy,” Weisman said. “Is there equivalence between the problems that President Nazarbayev is confronting and the state of democracy in the United States?”

“Absolutely not … There was no equivalence meant whatsoever,” McFaul said. “[Obama's]   taken, I think, rather historic steps to improve our own democracy since coming to office here in the United States.”

Oh, no equivalence whatsoever- meaning that the Glorious Historic Progress for the Improving of Democratic Learnings of America are almost to Supreme Superiorness of Kazakh Democratic Republic of Repressionia, thanks to the miraculous achievings of Egotist-in-Chief, Borack Obama.

[and thanks to Paulding, for the visual]

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Sad news from Texas.

I loved Charlie Wilson’s War.

Best quote: “You know you’ve reached rock bottom when you’re told you have character flaws by a man who hanged his predecessor in a military coup.”

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Barack Obama evidently plans to endorse the Saudi peace plan—recognition of Israel in exchange for withdrawal to pre-1967 borders. That would give the Golan Heights back to Syria and split Jerusalem.

Since “land for peace” has worked so well before….

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He disapproves:

Barack Obama has the kind of cocksure confidence that can only be achieved by not achieving anything else.

Anyone who has actually had to take responsibility for consequences by running any kind of enterprise– whether economic or academic, or even just managing a sports team– is likely at some point to be chastened by either the setbacks brought on by his own mistakes or by seeing his successes followed by negative consequences that he never anticipated.

The kind of self-righteous self-confidence that has become Obama’s trademark is usually found in sophomores in Ivy League colleges– very bright and articulate students, utterly untempered by experience in real world….

For someone who has actually accomplished nothing to blithely talk about taking away what has been earned by those who have accomplished something, and give it to whomever he chooses in the name of “spreading the wealth,” is the kind of casual arrogance that has led to many economic catastrophes in many countries.

The equally casual ease with which Barack Obama has talked about appointing judges on the basis of their empathies with various segments of the population makes a mockery of the very concept of law.

After this man has wrecked the economy and destroyed constitutional law with his judicial appointments, what can he do for an encore? He can cripple the military and gamble America’s future on his ability to sit down with enemy nations and talk them out of causing trouble….

Add to Obama and Biden House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and you have all the ingredients for a historic meltdown.

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Joe Biden points out something that ought to concern us all:

“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”

This is absolutely right. (Well, except for the ‘brilliant’ part.) Here’s the most likely scenario, in my opinion: a nuclear device—a missile, maybe, or a dirty bomb—is going to destroy a major Israeli population center. Obama will do nothing significant in response. But there are other possibilities: (1) Putin invades the Ukraine or the Baltic states. (2) Iran shuts down the Straits of Hormuz. (3) Chavez invades Colombia. (4) Hamas and Hezbollah attack Israel. (5) Radical Islamists launch major assaults in Thailand, Indonesia, Kashmir, or the Phillipines. (6) Al-Qaeda launches a major terror attack on the United States.

The probability of each of these scenarios rises dramatically if Obama wins the Presidency. Isn’t that a strong argument in favor of his opponent?

Two other things intrigue and trouble me about Biden’s statement. He’s saying this to get people ready for something, and he’s admitting that the administration’s response is going to upset people. I can (just barely) imagine a candidate pointing out the likelihood of a test to reassure people that the new leader will be ready and will not be found wanting. The act of saying so would itself lower the probability of the event taking place by warning our enemies that they had better not get the wrong idea.

But notice that Biden isn’t doing that. He’s not warning our adversaries that they’ll find Obama tough; he’s not reassuring the public that Obama will be tough. He’s warning us that Obama will do what appears to be the wrong thing. He’s saying, in other words, that Obama won’t be tough.  That can only encourage our enemies and increase the probability of unpleasant scenarios.

Put this together with the more than $200 million that Obama has raised in small amounts, much of which appears to come from overseas sources, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries, and you get a picture that I, for one, do not like at all.

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Here’s the speech Sarah Palin wasn’t allowed to give yesterday—and a powerful speech it is.

Caroline Glick reacts.

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Francis Beckwith and Meryl Yourish have details on how the Democrats have played hardball to prevent Sarah Palin from showing up at a protest of Iran. I like David Bernstein‘s comment best:

Let me get this straight: if the only prominent American politician to attend a rally against Iran is Hillary Clinton, the rally is a neutral, nonpartisan event. If Hillary Clinton AND Sarah Palin attend, then the rally becomes a partisan political event, and Clinton couldn’t possibly agree to appear. Very, very strange.

UPDATE: A reader comments: What’s the difference between [Malcolm] Hoenlein [who invited Palin, and then disinvited her under pressure from Democratic activists] and Ahmadinejad?

Ahmadinejad isn’t intimidated by the Democrats.

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…isn’t necessarily a strength or a qualification. Caroline Glick reminds us just how terrible he’s been on dealing with Iran.

UPDATE: It’s been reported that, behind closed doors, Biden told Israeli officials that they would have to get used to a nuclear Iran.  The campaign is denying it, trumpeting his support for Israel, but unfortunately it’s consistent with his long-term softness on Iran.

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Have we switched sides?

Are we now treating Iran as an ally? Is Robert Gates the reason why? And what have they done with George W. Bush, who used to demonstrate a grasp of foreign policy and his own administration?

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The Empire Strikes Back

I guess history didn’t end after all. Russia’s appalling attack on Georgia demonstrates how unprepared we are to defend the post-Cold-War independence of former USSR republics. John McCain gave an excellent speech on Georgia; Austin Bay has worthwhile reflections. Melik Kaylan points out the strategic significance of Georgia. The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, gives some sensible policy advice:

Much as it respects and owes Georgia, the U.S. is not going to war with Russia over a non-NATO ally. But there are forceful diplomatic and economic responses at its disposal. Expelling Russia from the G-8 group of democracies, as John McCain has suggested, is one. Barring Russia’s long desired entry into the World Trade Organization is another. Russian leaders should also be told that their financial assets held abroad aren’t off limits to sanction. And Moscow should know that the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi on the Black Sea are in jeopardy. A country that starts a war on the weekend the Beijing Olympics began doesn’t deserve such an honor.

The Georgian people also deserve U.S. support. One way to demonstrate that would be a “Tbilisi airlift,” ferrying military and humanitarian supplies to the Georgian capital, which is currently cut off by Russian troops from its Black Sea port. Secretary of State Rice or Defense Secretary Robert Gates should be in one of the first planes. After the fighting ends, the U.S. can lead the recovery effort. And since the Russians are demanding his ouster, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili deserves U.S. support too.

Putting things in a broader context, this might not be a bad time to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities that have been built with Russian help.

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