Archive for the ‘International Nonsense’ Category

Great Balls of Fire

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Did you hear the one about Mohamed ElBaradei the director general of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)? He wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his “efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way,” then in 2008 he threatens to resign his position if a military strike against Iran happens because “it would turn the Middle East region into a ball of fire.”

Not funny? Come on, don’t you get it?

Here you have an Egyptian lawyer in charge of the IAEA since 1997 being credited with preventing nuclear proliferation. But the Israeli Air Force did more on September 6, 2007 to prevent the military use of nuclear weapons by rogue nations than most any nation or UN affiliate since 1981.

In 1981, Israel took out Hussein’s French-built nuclear reactor in Baghdad. Since no other country had sufficient motivation to stop or deter Hussein, the Israeli’s did the job themselves. And it worked. Secretary of State Alexander Haig told President Reagan, “Before this is over, we’ll be on our knees thanking God Israel did what it did.” Over a decade later, Secretary of Defense Cheney referenced the 1981 attack when he told the Israeli ambassador to the US, “If it weren’t for you, Desert Storm wouldn’t have been a success.”

Now do you remember what happened on September 6, 2007? Yes, that was when Israel took-out Bashar al-Assad’s secret nuclear reactor in Syria. Israel’s motivation was probably similar to what they had in 1981. While we haven’t heard any public statements similar to Haig’s comment, I’d think somebody, somewhere must have said it.

In 2008, ABC news reported that Assad’s terminated Syrian reactor was strikingly similar to North Korea’s nuclear reactor in Yongbyon. North Korea? Do they have nukes?

Yes, their nuclear program dates back to the 1960s. The Clinton administration tried several appeasing techniques starting in 1994 to get Kim Jong-il’s newly-inherited regime to abandon the long-running program. While Kim Jong-il freely took the bribes, ultimately funded by the American taxpayer, he never lived up to his word on the North Korean part of the agreement. In 2003 Kim Jung-il’s regime admitted the North Koreans possessed nuclear weapons and then proved it with a successful test on October 16, 2006. The North Koreans apparently got busy exporting their proven nuclear weapons capability to Syria.

Diplomacy didn’t work. Sanctions didn’t work. Appeasement didn’t work. The UN didn’t work at all.

Lesson learned?

For several years, we’ve been listening to Iranian threats to blow Israel off the map. Meanwhile, plentiful evidence has piled up that Iran has been supplying the terrorists in their illegal war against the democratically-elected government of Iraq and its people.

While Israel is politically prevented from helping fight global terrorists operating within sovereign nations around them, they do have a pretty well proven record for doing something if they believe they are about to be blown off the map.

The charter members of the axis of evil identified in the 2002 State of the Union Address, Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, all made decisions to continue to defy post-911 America and the rest of civilization. Deterrence failed.

Iraq insisted upon forced regime change before it would change its way. North Korea flaunts their nuclear weapons program while their people starve and their cousins to the south prosper greatly. Iran defiantly is clinging to its threat to destroy Israel, supplying the terrorists invaders in Iraq, and desperately trying to get their nukes developed before it is too late.

But “too late” is defined by their nuclear weapons development progress. The sands of the hour-glass fall to obscurity as their program approaches completion. It is much like they are playing Russian roulette with the tactic of squeezing the rounds off as fast as possible in order to get the game over before they lose. It’s suicide.

The facts are simple:

1)  Israel refuses to die.
2) Therefore they can not allow those who wish them dead to acquire the weapons that can kill them.
3) Therefore if the UN, or America, or any other nation or collection of nations does not want Israel to do the job themselves, they have to do or find somebody to do the job instead.
4) Or Iran has to change.

    Iran needs to do a couple to things to rejoin the community of civilized nations. What they chose to do is totally up to them. But if Iran really wants not to be attacked, they need to completely abandon their nuclear weapons development program and then prove it to the world. And if Iran really really wants to end the Global War on Terrorism, they need to join the rest of the civilized nations in the war against global terrorists and then prove they have changed their ways.

    A peace-starved world will not hold their past sins against them. If the Iranian did those two simple things, they would not be attacked. They would improve the life of their people. They would prosper like never before. They would even be considered heroes by many.

    However, if Iran stays-the-course and doesn’t do those two things then ElBaradei’s opinion that “attacking Iran would be worse than anything else,” would be wrong. Not attacking would be much worse.

    It just makes sense.

    Beware of the “Global Poverty Act”

    Sunday, May 4th, 2008

    On the sixty-sixth anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Barack Obama introduced S.2433. It is a Senate Bill with a couple of other names. One is the “Global Poverty Act,” which sounds nice and caring. Who would dare oppose a bill designed to reduce global poverty? The other name is the “Obama Bill,” which sounds friendly enough. Who would dare to oppose the handsome, baritone Senator from Illinois? The answer to both of those question is, only those Americans who would rather maintain our sovereignty than to become a puppet state under the rule of the United Nations.

    I know this sounds like a stretch. In fact, it sounds nearly insane. So I’ve included a few supporting documents for you to reference if you’d like to read them for yourself. Here’s the bill that was introduced and here’s the updated version from April 24 that added names to the supporting list. You’ll notice that this is not just a Democratic Party member backed event, but Republican Party members are on record and sponsors of this attempted raid on American coffers and liberties.

    Ready for the sticker shock? The bill’s backers refer to it as .7 percent of the nation’s GDP. However, over a 13-year period it adds up to $845,000,000,000. That’s 845 billion US dollars to fund the United Nations’ program. Of course that is in addition to the $300 billion we already plan to invest in global aid. And it doesn’t count the tremendous amount of foreign aid that comes from American churches and private organizations. That’s a lot of money.

    Obama’s Global Poverty Act is not a source document. It is built from, and is designed to advance the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (General Assembly Resolution 55/2). Back in the year 2000, The UN came up with the plan to not only fix global poverty, but a lot of other things too–all for only .7 percent of the productive world’s GDP.

    As I read it, the UN will basically become the controlling legal authority on Earth. The International Criminal Court will trump our Supreme Court, private ownership of small arms and light weapons will be banned, the Kyoto Protocol will become law, they will control the use of fresh water and all types of forests, and they’re going to end war.

    End war? Now, how are they going to do that?

    Well, they’ll use the billions of dollars coughed up by American taxpayer to establish a standing UN Army, and they will eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Don’t you feel safer already?

    Imagine a squad of goose-stepping, blue beret wearing, international-socialist storm-troopers kicking in your front door and demanding you surrender your illegal small arms. While they’re there they’ll make sure you’re Kyoto compliant. And after they have your guns and your money, I guess they’ll be able to do just about anything else they’d like to do. If you have a complaint, take it up with the World Court.

    Imagine that. With the humanitarian goal of ending global poverty, we’ll surrender first our money, then our sovereignty, and finally our liberty.

    Back in 1776, a resilient breed of Americans, who loved liberty above life, put everything they had on the line so you and your children could have the liberty you enjoy today. Now 232 years later, we’ve freely elected enough “representatives” who believe in the hollow promises of international socialism that they are willing to give it away.

    What founding father ever said Americans should surrender their hard-earned money to support the rest of the world? What American today believes we can add 1.5 billion people to our welfare roles without destroying ourselves? After decades of UN failures, which includes exposed corruption with fraud, waste, and abuse of the resources they have controlled, is there any American taxpayer who really believes the UN will be a good steward of the money?

    Once we surrender all, what will it take to get it back? You don’t want to know.

    You might want to know how to contact your Senator. You might want to send them a message about how you feel about the “Global Poverty Act.” You might want to tell them that you could never vote for the re-election of a Senator who votes for S.2433.

    Do you want to know how to contact your Congressman? Not much sense in doing so. It was already rushed through the House and passed with a “unanimous” voice vote under the title of H.R. 1302. The backers of the bill did a great job of getting the sheep to vote for a bill they hadn’t researched or even heard about. I guess most of us would have fallen for the same trick. However … most of us aren’t Congressmen.

    If this bill is passed in the Senate, then every American will have one last chance to let our President know how you feel about him signing it in to law. He shouldn’t have the chance to veto the bill, if we can just stop the Senate from passing S.2433.

    If you lived in Lexington back on 14 April 1775, a knock would have sounded on your door. Then a neighbor would have told you to collect your musket and to assemble on the village green. All the men, and some of the boys, in the small village answered the call. Later that afternoon, a few of them died at the hands of foreign soldiers, but it started a movement that led to a free America.

    That same America fought itself to end slavery, defeated the National Socialists of Germany and the fascist regimes of Italy and Japan, contained Soviet Socialism until it imploded, and now stands as the primary obstacle to global terrorism. But international socialism lurks in the darkest, waiting for it turn to control the world.

    Today, you might get an email or read this column. All you need to do is click here, find your Senators’ names and then send a respectful message saying you will not tolerate them voting for S.2433, the Global Poverty Act.

    We shouldn’t surrender freely what our founders gave their lives for us to have.

    It just, makes sense.

    The Food Standard

    Sunday, April 27th, 2008

    As Americans have carried the lion’s share of the war against the global terrorists, we seem to have come under assault from all directions:

    1. A former US senator and vice-president leads a world-wide publicity stunt to destroy our economy backed by millionaire Hollywood singers, dancers, and pretenders. He is given an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize along with an an opulent lifestyle for his prevaricating power-point presentation.
    2. Our trade policies have fueled an ever threatening Asian giant with tens of billions of dollars, which they are using to transform themselves into a military superpower.
    3. Our once solid dollar is losing value against almost every other currency in the world.
    4. A nuclear North Korea seems intent on exporting that technology to nations that back global terrorists.
    5. Iran is openly defiant about not only developing their nuclear capabilities, but also about continuing to promise to “wipe Israel off the map” as soon as they can.
    6. And even our allies in OPEC cooperate with the malevolent voices that call for greater efforts to pump up crude oil prices, even though they have risen over 94% in the last year, nearly 380% in the last five.

    OPEC does not completely control the price of oil. They influence part of the supply, but academics will tell you that the total supply and demand for oil drive the price.

    Other countries also produce oil, thus affecting the supply. The environmentalist movement in the United States, and the members of Congress that agree with it, have prevented drilling for the known American reserves, which would have helped to keep down prices by increasing supply. Meanwhile, the oil-thirsty, rapidly growing economy of China and other nations help to prop up prices by increasing demand.

    At least the Chinese are doing what they can to increase oil supplies. Among other things, they are drilling between Cuba and Florida. A place where our government’s environmental policies prohibits US companies from drilling.

    The US has been pursuing other ways to affect supplies. From investing in the development of various emerging technologies to converting corn into biofuels.

    All this has generated some unintended consequences for everyone.

    Food supplies have dwindled, which has pushed the price up. The record harsh winters of the last couple of years, despite Hollywood’s global warming, along with the biofuel movement have reduced the world’s food supply. Additionally, the parasitic price of oil has driven up the costs to produce food and to deliver it to where it needs to go. Food prices are soaring, and the world can’t do without food.

    Unlike the oil-crop of OPEC nations, food-crops require more than simply harvesting it and sending it to processing. Farmers work their magic the world over, but especially in America.

    American farmers have some advantages. They are blessed with great crop lands and an abundant supply of fresh water, something lacking in most countries–especially OPEC nations. If food-exporting nations wanted to extract a payback for the inflated oil prices it wouldn’t take long to recoup the looting of past years. Even without an organized effort, that may happen anyway.

    If oil exporters continue their artificial pumping up of oil prices, it will be met with market-driven price increases in food products. When their cost of food imports exceed their return on oil exports, it will be too late for them to make smart corrections in oil production to save themselves.

    When their economies finally collapse, so will the price-bubble of oil. It will take a couple of growing seasons after that for food prices to drop accordingly, but they will just have to be patient and tighten their belts, while the food-producing nations of the world save them again. First from a life of goat herding, then from their home-grown global terrorists, and then finally from starvation.

    Our problem with China’s growing militarism may also be solved with rising food prices. Over the last several years the Chinese standard of living has increased, but it still lags behind what we enjoy in America. The average American spends 10% or less of their income on food, but in China it is different–it is nearly 50%.

    America produces much more food than it consumes. If our supplies dwindled, we’ll take it out of our exports, but we’ll still have food. And if food-prices double, Americans will just spend less on Hollywood movies and maybe eat at home more often. But we still eat and many of us will still be fat. But if food-prices double for the Chinese . . .

    The Chinese government will be forced to curtail their massive offensive weapons build-up and then to subsidize food for their people. Those billions of dollars they’ve collected in trade imbalances with America and the rest of the world will be their solution to impending starvation and unrest. When that happens, the Chinese will be the first to wish the US dollar was worth more.

    The Chinese people are smart and hard-working. They are aware of the world around them–they have more internet users than we have in America. They will not sheepishly permit themselves to starve as the people of North Korea have. They know a starving people do not a great nation make. And they want to be great.

    While this may not be exactly “beating swords into plowshares” as prophesied in Isaiah 2:2-4, it might be an interesting start to a better state of peace.

    In the long run it all boils down to the food standard.

    It just makes sense.

    We’re Going to Lose a City

    Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

    That’s what Newt Gingrich told the National Press Club he was afraid was going to happen before America would react to the growing menace to our way of life. Part of our reaction would include a ruthlessness imposed on ourselves. What we would do to our enemies was left to the imagination.

    More recently, Hillary Clinton discussed what she would do as President concerning nuclear attacks from terrorist nations against our allies. She strongly suggested we would obliterate Iran if they nuked Israel. That means to destroy utterly. To cause to become invisible. Strong words from a Senator who declared in February that any action against Iran would have to be first approved by Congress.

    That provides an interesting chain of command for those familiar with what it takes to employ nuclear weapons. I’ve been out of it for a while, but I don’t think Congress carries the football. But it is an election year, and sometimes the arguments get interesting.

    For instance, my last article explained how Barack Obama’s intentions to rid the United States of nuclear and technologically advanced weapons was near suicide as a nation. After viewing his mini-speech on YouTube, the lesser evil of the two international socialists became very obvious. Even with Hillary as the most desirable democratic party nominee hopeful, her doctrine is flawed in at least two areas.

    First, the American President should chose words of threat carefully. If you say you’re going to obliterate a country for attacking an ally, and you don’t when they do, you’ve made yourself into a liar. A weak liar. An afraid, weak liar. The President needs to keep a bit of a veil over how much of a price an antagonist will pay.

    Better words are something like, “We view any nuclear attack on our allies the same as a nuclear attack on ourselves. It is completely unacceptable, and we would deal with that in a most harsh manner.”

    It gives America the latitude to be flexible in our immediate and long-range responses, without making the terrorists think they have a chance of getting away with it.

    Secondly, the massive retaliation doctrine was tailored for Soviet expansionist ambitions. The Soviets sought to dominate a world of puppet governments, hand-picked by them. If in the process of waging war with the United States the USSR became militarily the equal of the post-war Germany, they wouldn’t get to pick anything. A world of third, fourth, and fifth place nations would have run the show.

    Sure, the outcome of a Soviet attack would have been terrible for the US, but it would have ended even the slightest dream of Soviet world domination. The implosion of Soviet Socialism changed the world. While some individuals in Russia might dream of being Earth King, it is not a national policy. And that makes all the difference.

    In order to deter an antagonist like the USSR or the folks in charge of Iran, you have to understand what is most precious to them. Deterrence must go to the core values of decision makers for it to work best. To attempt to apply a Cold War deterrence strategy to a Global War on Terrorism antagonist presupposes that their core values are the same as Stalin’s. Nobody really believes that, do they?

    The arrogant zeal associated with plotting and executing the 9/11 attacks clearly demonstrates that something else is at play here. The bold, defiant, near-public pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran suggests they are either not afraid or they don’t believe America will kill 70 million people, no matter what they do.

    They have a low opinion of America. They call us names, and we shrug. They call their children to become sucide-martyrs, and we express astonishment. They declare war on us, and we bicker with ourselves. They seek the most destructive weapons on Earth, and we say, “You’d better not.”

    Declaring that we’re going to kill all of them after they destroy one of our cities is not enough. Unless we quickly learn how to use the value system of the terrorist’s centers of gravity to our advantage, they will obtain nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons in the control of terrorist nations will shortly turn into detonations on our allies and ourselves. We have to do something now, before we lose a city.

    It just makes sense.

    The Global War [of Attrition] on Terrorism

    Sunday, February 10th, 2008

    It can be argued as to when the terrorists began their war against the world. It was certainly before the suicide-terrorist attacks of 9/11. Some say it began in 1983 Lebanon with the horrific suicide-terrorist attack on our Marine barracks, others say it began in 1979 Tehran with the unlawful invasion and seizure of the US Embassy. Some historians argue that it was much earlier during the Crusades of the 11th century or even at the beginning of the Muslim invasions of their neighbors dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries. Regardless of when the terrorists began their war against the rest of the world, the United States began fighting with a purpose after 9/11.

    Our President called it the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).   He established objectives that were refined and spelled out in the 2006 publication National Military Strategic Plan for the War on Terrorism, also known as the NMSP-WOT:

    1. Deny terrorists the resources they need to operate and survive
    2. Enable partner nations to counter terrorism.
    3. Deny WMD/E proliferation, recover and eliminate uncontrolled materials, and increase capacity for consequence management.
    4. Defeat terrorists and their organizations.
    5. Counter state and non-state support for terrorism in coordination with other U.S. Government agencies and partner nations
    6. Contribute to the establishment of conditions that counter ideological support for terrorism.

    The NMSP-WOT identifies the enemy as “extremists.”  The extremists oppose the right of people to live as they chose and they support the murder of ordinary people to advance their ideology.  Moderates or mainstreams are the folks who don’t support the extremists and oppose the killing of ordinary people.  Finally, terrorists are those who conduct acts of terrorism.  It goes on to stress that this is not a war between Islam and the West and then refers to some of the extremist organizations in the transnational movement responsible for the terrorism.

    It even spells out an end state, sometimes referred to a better-state-of-peace:

    “The national strategic aims are to defeat violent extremism as a threat to our way of life as a free and open society; and create a global environment inhospitable to violent extremists and all who support them.” 

    Victory is achieved only after those aims are met.

    In 2006, Mitt Romney referred to the enemy as “jihadists” suggesting more than extreme behavior, but also extreme belief. His web site declared that victory will be achieve through a combination of American resolve, international effort, and the rejection of violence by moderate, modern, mainstream Muslims. He stressed that we need to support modern Muslim nations both militarily and diplomatically.

    While the NMSP-WOT spells out a theoretic strategy that appears sound, the practice of the GWOT appears to be more of a war of attrition.  We seem to have so limited the definitions of the enemy that our fielded forces invest most of their time killing individuals, occasionally capturing or killing one of the ring-leaders and confusing that with strategic success.

    Strategic effects are those that have far-reaching consequences with a cascading effect that result in paralysis of the enemy.  Killing foot soldiers, even a few of their regional leaders is not strategic if there is a continual supply of replacements.  The surge’s success in the Iraqi Theater of the GWOT worked well towards satisfying GWOT objectives 2 and 4.  But the results will be temporary if the terrorists/extremists/jihadists are allowed to rebuild their forces.  GWOT objectives 1, 5, and 6 are essential to achieving victory.

    The seemingly endless supply of willing replacements for the attrited terrorists has to be denied.  Otherwise we will be forced to continue to kill them, one at a time, as they present themselves.  If that happens, this war of attrition could easily last the 100 years John McCain has talked about.

    State and nonstate support to the terrorists has to become completely unprofitable.  Leaders must be convinced they will face the same consequences as Saddam Hussein and the former leaders of Afghanistan before they will alter their policies.  And ultimately, a counter ideology has to be established before victory can be won.

    Shortly after 9/11, columnist Ann Coulter wrote the politically incorrect statement that we should, “invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.” That statement generated a lot of criticism for her as it ironically blended the horrors of 9/11 with harsh Western humor and pointed out the realization that Western religious tolerance, which is sometimes credited with making us strong, may be our greatest weakness. Conversion to Christianity has always been by the word, not by the sword.

    Since we obviously lack the national resolve to execute Ms Coulter’s suggestion, we must develop a different strategic course of action that renders terrorism equally unacceptable to the present supporters and future recruits of the violent extremists.

    It just makes sense.

    Perception is Everything

    Friday, December 7th, 2007

    The November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s nuclear intentions and capabilities has been lauded by some as proof that we have no reason to be concerned about Iran. Sadly this is far from reality. Most people will not read the NIE report, even though it is available to the public on the Director of National Intelligence’s home page and it is only nine pages long, counting the cover, instead they will rely on second hand commentary to develop their opinion. Maybe this is because, like most reports, intelligence reports are often imperfect. Interesting enough, they never claim to be perfect, only accurate based on the data available at the time. Much like a weather report, which even when backed up by the greatest technologies available in the 21st century, is better at observing than it is forecasting weather.

    Did you ever have the experience of planning and then attempting an outing, maybe a picnic in the park or a softball game, based on a forecast of “sunny skies with a slight chance of isolated showers in the afternoon” only to be drenched in a downpour as your family ran for cover? If you complained to the weather folks, they would have said, “We said there was a slight chance of rain.” After you reviewed the forecast, you would have had to admit they were correct and then might have thought that you should have carried some umbrellas with you. In retrospect, you would have been considered the hero if you had made the effort to plan for “the slight chance of rain.”  Being a hero is so difficult.

    What seems like ancient history to many might shed some perspective on this. A NIE 85-3-62 “The Military Buildup in Cuba” forecasted on 19 September 1962, while the USSR could gain military advantage with ballistic missiles based in Cuba, such action would be incompatible with Soviet practice, strongly suggesting it would not happen. However, photographic evidence on 14 October provided an observation to the contrary. Forced to become reactionary, the US President publically stated his intentions to deal with the USSR in the harshest manner possible when matters escalated. To many, it appeared that nuclear warfare was imminent. Only after the USSR decision-makers repented from their nuclear Cuba plan did the high-level tensions subside.

    Observations beat forecasts every time, but you can’t plan based on observations—they come too late. The forecaster needs to collect, interpret, and provide the data as his science and expertise allows. However, much like weather forecasts, intelligence reports are not everything a decision-maker relies on to make important decisions. That craft requires science and expertise also. Part of that expertise is to understand the imperfect and somewhat ambiguous nature of forecasts. Much more complicated than planning events based on weather, is planning actions based on the evolving perception of antagonist decision-makers.

    Basing nuclear weapons in Cuba was probably a logical, progressive course of action for USSR decision makers if they interpreted US resolution against their world-domination objective to have faltered. What could have given them that perception? How about apparent communist successes at the Bay of Pigs, the Berlin Wall, and in Laos? These could have been interpreted as a US fear of USSR nuclear might as demonstrated by their late 1961 Tsar Bomba, declared at the time as a 100 Megaton weapon. But whatever the catalyst for the USSR’s initial motivation, their interpretation of the modified US stance against their actions and their knowledge of US military capabilities, via their well-established spy network, convinced them that a nuclear show-down over Cuba was not worth the price they perceived they would pay in return for continued aggression. Perception is everything.

    So let’s take a look as the 2007 NIE about Iran’s nuclear intentions and capabilities. It never really says what the anti-Global War on Terrorism advocates are saying. It only gives several low to almost high confidence statements about what is probably happening. Some of the higher confident statements are that Iran halted their program in 2003 as a result of international pressure. What was the nature of that pressure?

    Do you remember what was happening to Iran’s neighbors in 2003? To their east, the government of Afghanistan had already fell, and to their west, the mighty forces of Saddam were rolled over, scattered to the four winds, and the ones that wanted to continue fighting joined up with the terrorist organizations operating in their former country. Tehran did not halt their nuclear weapons program because they were seeking peaceful negotiations with the rest of the planet; they were hoping to avoid an OPERATION IRANIAN FREEDOM. The report makes the declaration, “In our judgment, only an Iranian political decision to abandon a nuclear weapons objective would plausibly keep Iran from eventually producing nuclear weapons—and such a decision is inherently reversible.” That is undeniably the truest statement in the report.

    Political leaders make decisions based on their perception of the most desirable outcome according to their value system. Iran is the antagonist in this international drama. When their terrorist-supporting neighbors defied the demands of a resolute US-led coalition of nations, Iran watched them experience a force-fed regime change. Iranian decision-makers might have had the perception that such a future was in store for them if they continued their nuclear weapons development program. If so, they might have discontinued it in the hope of getting some sort of multinational support via some third-party or UN inspectors once they were confident it was their turn to endure the torched-end of the US spear. But something else has happened since then.

    The antagonist may have perceived some weakness in the willingness of the US to take action against Iran. The will of a nation is derived from a product of three factors: population, government, and military. While the US military boldly executed OEF and OIF and showed no wavering of dealing with other enemies if needed, the same was not necessarily true of the US population and government, at least from a totalitarian’s perception.

    Antagonists can be emboldened in their plans when even lesser officials in the protagonist government express opposition. The noise coming out of Washington inspired many people to argue about the validity of the regime changes in Iraq and Afghanistan, some arguing unrelentingly, though absurdly, that the US was the terrorist and the actions were illegal. Americans mostly understand that such debate is better than giving up the constitutionally recognized right of free speech. At the same time, we have historically expected our elected leaders, even when not in control of the country, to speak more respectfully of our President and to at least stay close to the truth when they disagree with national policy. Still, we are a free nation and disagreement is certain to exist in a nation of such diversity. We deal it in our own way. But we are the United States, and our internal bickering should not be misinterpreted as disunited resolve. It is important that we understand our enemies are listening to our words as we debate.  We send a message to the world with our words.

    Sometimes that message is the toughest one for antagonists to understand. That was why Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, they believed we couldn’t or wouldn’t fight back. This was why the planes flew into the towers, they believed we couldn’t or wouldn’t hunt them down. If the result of the political debate during this upcoming election-year encourages Iran’s decision-makers that we won’t or can’t inflict the most serious of consequences on them for their development and use of nuclear weapons, who are we going to blame?

    Certainly, we’d have to blame ourselves some along with our enemies, but only after we do what the majority of Americans expect us to do. We’d blame ourselves in the history books for the suffering that would follow, but it hasn’t happened yet so we don’t have to do it that way.  We can do something else.

    We can tip the scales of the deterrence equation back towards producing acceptable behavior from the antagonist. As it now, the voices that are really just saying, “Look at me,” by demanding we should never attack Iran based on a report that clearly explains that the report might be wrong, may very well be the catalyst that motivates the terrorists to do the very things that will force our violent response against them.

    Hang on tight because as I see it now—irony rules and common sense drools—this is going to be one ugly ride, unless Americans, especially our elected officials or those seeking to be one, learn how to debate without appearing unwilling or incapable of decisive action against those who choose to be our enemy.

    It just makes sense.

    Musharraf Needs to Stay

    Friday, November 23rd, 2007

    Recent headlines give the impression that Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf is a bad guy who suppresses his people and disrupts the legal system of a peaceful nation.  Our state department appears to be pressuring him to relinquish his power and allow the good people of Pakistan to elect new popular rulers in a spirit of democracy.  To me, all that brings back memories of 1979, when the Jimmy Carter-led government put enough pressure on the terminally ill Shah of Iran that he surrendered power to the people in what was once our greatest ally in region, even more so that Israel was.  The bloody mess that followed needs little review to anyone much over 30.

    For those younger, here it is in brief.  A global, fundamentalism movement grew out the popular rebellion in Iran.  It directly led to the deaths of thousands of Persians, Arabs, Americans, and just about every group of people who do not agree with them.  The religious foundation of the Pakistanis is quite similar to that of the folks who took power in Iran back in 1979.  One glaring difference is that Pakistan is a nuclear power.

    Following 9/11, Musharraf had a choice to make.  He decided to cooperate with the United States, even though a majority of the people in his country sided with the terrorists targeted by the US for attack.  Had he gone the other way, the US would have had to resort to employing our own nuclear weapons to subdue them, because we were going to Afghanistan either way.  Musharraf saved his people from themselves, and has remained a loyal friend of the US ever since.

    That is not to say the Pakistani people follow his leadership because they are our friends.  Talk to any B-52 aviator who flew missions against Afghanistan.  If you’re polite enough, they’ll tell you about the anti-aircraft fire coming at them from Pakistan positions during their ingress and egress over “friendly” territory.  Altitude is another loyal friend of the bomber crew dog.

    In a civilized world, international relationships are dealt with based on the policies and decisions made by established governments, not the prevailing popular opinion of the population.  This paradigm allows for the US to wage war against governments as opposed to killing everyone who lives in a country that has provoked us to violence.  If you consider human life to be valuable, it really is a better way to solve our differences.

    Traditionally the US avoids getting too involved in the inner workings between the governments and population inside their countries.  When a government crosses a certain level of unacceptable behavior, we usually respond with a combination of political, economic, or even military influence.  The most obvious recent exception to that has been China, but that is another subject, so lets get back to Musharraf.

    Musharraf recently declared emergency rule in Pakistan, shut down their media, and fired the Supreme Court justices.  If we simply mirror-image those decision into our lives, it seems easy to label Musharraf as a bad guy.  However, mirror-imaging is one of the great errors when it comes to judging the actions of others.

    In our country, the check and balances between the three branches of government and an open and free press, no matter how slanted they might be from time to time, are held up as pillars of a free society.  All of that is made possible by the Constitution.  James Madison said, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.  Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  That’s why mirror-imaging doesn’t work.

    Musharraf won the democratic election in Pakistan.  However the Pakistani Supreme Court refused to acknowledge his victory on the grounds that he is disqualified because he is still wearing a military uniform.  It is interesting that a lot of US media joined the Pakistani media to support the view of the Pakistani Supreme Court, especially when they seem to care so little about Syrian president Bashar Assad who basically inherited his Axis of Evil position or the boisterous outspoken anti-American Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.  Many US editors prefer to broadcast news that assaults the leaders of governments that are our allies in the Global War on Terrorism.  The American people could fix that quickly by refusing to consume or support the sponsors of so-minded media.  As it is, until the taste of the American people change, those editors will provide news they believe is financially fruitful to them. 

    In Pakistan, it is not uncommon for courts to order women to be raped as punishment for the crimes of their male relatives.  One bizarre charge against Musharraf is based on his promotion of the Women’s Protection Bill, which would punish the act of rape, instead of using it as punishment against women for being related to criminals.  It is obvious that the Pakistanis are not like Americans.  They need a shepherd with an iron-staff to keep them from following the bad example of the poor company they’ve been associating with. 

    With enough faith in humanity’s potential, you might see a time when the Pakistani people may morally evolve to the point where their unbridled passions will be suppressed by a changed heart.  However, until that time comes, we can be thankful that they have General Pervez Musharraf in command.  It just makes sense.