Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

A Little Factoid: 77% Of Investors See Obama As ‘Anti-Business’

January 23, 2010

Stocks have tumbled 552 points as Obama announced his crackdown on American banks.  As a CNBC financial expert put it, “Obamanomics is a Chilling Experiment.”

From the AP on January 22:

NEW YORK – Stocks suffered their fourth sharp drop in five trading days as investors caved to growing anxiety about President Barack H. Obama’s plans to restrict big banks and earnings reports that just aren’t good enough.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 217 points Friday, having lost 552 points, or 5.2 percent, over the past three days. Over the past five trading days, the Dow has fallen 537 points, having gained 115 points on Tuesday.

The drop gave the Dow its worst week since the index hit a 12-year low in March.

Investors are saying to Obama, “Please don’t do this,” but he is showing the same deaf-eared fanatic-ideologue determination that he demonstrated in driving his awful ObamaCare forward.

Is it any wonder that most investors – by an overwhelming margin – now believe that Barack Obama is simply hostile to business and to the market forces that allow for economic growth?

From Bloomberg, via Yahoo News:

Obama Seen as Anti-Business by 77% of U.S. Investors
Heidi Przybyla Heidi Przybyla   – Thu Jan 21, 6:25 pm ET

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) — U.S. investors overwhelmingly see President Barack Obama as anti-business and question his ability to manage a financial crisis, according to a Bloomberg survey.

The global quarterly poll of investors and analysts who are Bloomberg subscribers finds that 77 percent of U.S. respondents believe Obama is too anti-business and four-out-of-five are only somewhat confident or not confident of his ability to handle a financial emergency.

The poll also finds a decline in Obama’s overall favorability rating one year after taking office. He is viewed favorably by 27 percent of U.S. investors. In an October poll, 32 percent in the U.S. held a positive impression.

Investors no longer feel they can trust their instincts to take risks,” said poll respondent David Young, a managing director for a broker dealer in New York. Young cited Obama’s efforts to trim bonuses and earnings, make health care his top priority over jobs and plans to tax “the rich or advantaged.”

Carlos Vadillo, a fixed-income analyst at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in San Francisco, said Obama has been in a “constant war” with the banking system, using “fat-cat bankers and other misnomers to describe a business model which supports a large portion of America.” […]

Obama’s 71 percent unfavorable rating among U.S. investors is almost matched by two members of his economic team. Both Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Lawrence Summers, president of the National Economic Council. U.S. respondents give Geithner a 63 percent unfavorable rating and Summers 67 percent. In October, 57 percent held a negative view of Geithner and 66 percent said the same of Summers.

Like Obama, both men do better with Asian and European investors.

One financial figure to find favor among U.S. respondents is Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who garners a 68 percent approval rating, which is in line with his marks from non-U.S. investors and the rating U.S. investors gave him in the October poll. […]

The U.S. investors’ overwhelming characterization of Obama as anti-business stands in sharp contrast to the results of a Bloomberg National Poll in December, when 52 percent of U.S. adults said the president had the right balance in his approach.

Obama gets considerably higher marks in Europe and somewhat higher marks in Asia.  Like I give a damn about what socialists think about our socialist president.

Take the Europeans (PLEASE!).  They claim to welcome Obama’s attack against banks, but at the same time announce they have absolutely no intention of killing their nations the way Obama is killing America.

One quote in particular that comes out of the above article:

“The Obama plan is really back to the future. These sort of plans were implemented after the Great Depression and then taken away in the 60s. He is sort of reinstating the same plans to deal with this crisis,” the source said.

Obama is taking us back to the Great Depression to “solve” our recession.  The problem is that economists now realize that FDR’s constant bureaucratic interference was what kept America in the Depression seven years longer than what was necessary.

Anyone with half a brain (which understandably rules out most Democrats) should readily understand that the cost of Obama’s taxes on and interference of banks will only end up being passed on to American consumers in the form of higher fees, charges, and penalties.  Obama is really only taxing us through the banks.  And he’s using populist demagoguery in hopes of making us want to punish the banks so much that we forget that we’ll be seeing higher fees as a direct result of that punishment.

Obama has lost more jobs in one year than any president has lost since 1940.  He has presided over the destruction of 4.1 million jobs.

This is NOT a “future” we should ever want to go “back to.”

Our investors – who far and away have been forced to live under Obama’s policies – pretty much realize he sucks across the board.

What does Obama have to offer?  No solutions, just more problems, and more attacks.  All to the tune of “It’s Bush’s fault.”

Bu-Bu-But I thought Obama Was Making The World Love Us After Bush

January 6, 2010

The world just loves that Barack Obama, the lamestream media keeps telling us, and they love America because of Obama.

Other than the fact that they don’t.

Sarkozy cools toward Obama

Source: Global Times
December 29 2009]

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has gone cold on his US counterpart Barack Obama, the Financial Times (FT) reported Monday.

Sarkozy, whose pro-Washington stance has seen him nicknamed “Sarko the American,” stressed that France and the US were “the same family” during his first face-to-face meeting with Obama in April since the US elections last year.

But the French president has clashed since then with his US counterpart on a series of issues, raising the question of whether Sarkozy is reverting to the anti-US posture of his predecessor, Jacques Chirac.

“He has now shifted from a pro-Bush position to an anti-Obama position,” the FT quoted Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, international affairs spokesman for the opposition Socialists, as saying.

Obama’s irritation with his French counterpart began when Sarkozy tried to grab the limelight at the G20 summit in London in April and talked condescendingly of the US President in private.

Sarkozy told colleagues that he found Obama to be inexperienced and unbriefed, especially on climate change, according to The Times of London.

In September, the French president expressed his frustration over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the priority that Obama attaches to the long-term goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.

The French government also refused a US request to send more troops to Afghanistan, while several other European allies are planning to do so.

The French press often publishes Sarkozy’s unflattering comments about Obama’s lack of prior government experience, his alleged difficulty in reaching decisions or his domestic electoral setbacks.

“The paradox of the situation is that in terms of the relationship with the US, he can do a Chirac in that he can criticize the Americans but he can do it from a position that is 180 degrees different from Chirac,” the FT quoted François Heisbourg, an adviser to the Foundation for Strategic Research, a Paris-based think tank, as saying.

“He can play to a habitual anti-American standpoint but not from a position that is fundamentally anti-American,” he added.

Agencies – Global Times

“Pro-Bush position”?  “Anti-Obama position”?  Blasphemy!!!  “Objective” journalists across the nation tear their robes at this crime against He-Who-Makes-Their-Legs-Quiver.

This “anti-Obama position” didn’t just happen overnight.  It began with Obama’s reckless spending plan also known as the stimulus.  Many leaders of European countries that had already seen the socialist road to hell did not want to go over it again, as Obama demanded:

But it is not just Canada where the unemployed are faring better. Other countries, too, decided against a massive stimulus plan. In March, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel nodding in agreement at his side, French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared: “the problem is not about spending more.” Later that month, the president of the European Union, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek of the Czech Republic, castigated the Obama administration’s deficit spending and bank bailouts as “a road to hell.” The Washington Post wrote that there was a “fundamental divide that persists between the United States and many European countries over the best way to respond to the global financial crisis.”

The unemployment rate in the European Union was higher than in the United States to begin with even before the Obama administration’s spending. By January, the EU unemployment rate stood at 8.5 percent — almost a whole percentage point higher than ours.  So what has happened since the big U.S. stimulus spending spree was passed? We more than caught up with the EU’s high unemployment rate.  By August, the last month data is available for the EU, the U.S.’s unemployment rate slightly exceeded the EU’s — 9.7 versus 9.6 percent.

And of course the leaders of Europe were right, and Obama is an  inexperienced, unqualified, and incompetent socialist nincompoop.  And watching your fellow leader on the other side of the pond fail doesn’t inspire either confidence or camaraderie.

Another issue has been the unrelenting march of Iran toward nuclear weapons while Obama dithered, pontificated, and showed his weakness while many European leaders are after years FINALLY beginning to understand the threat of a nuclear Iran.  From an article I wrote months ago:

And Obama is displaying his steely resolve…

Western diplomats had initially said the international powers would not accept any attempt to drag out the negotiations beyond Friday.

However, the United States said that it was now prepared to wait for Iran’s reply.

… by showing even less resolve than France.  In answer to the question, “Why Is a World Leader Distancing Himself From President Obama?”:

One major sticking point has been President Obama’s softer stance on Iran, while President Sarkozy prefers a more hawkish approach. Sarkozy said last month: “I support America’s outstretched hand. But what has the international community gained from these offers of dialogue? Nothing but more enriched uranium and centrifuges.”

This on top of other remarks Sarkozy has made about Obama’s naivete and weakness:

Sarkozy: “We live in the real world, not the virtual world. And the real world expects us to take decisions.”

Even pantywaist Europe is calling Obama a pantywaist.  And that is the definition of “pathetic.”

Our enemies have been smelling a weakling in the White House since Obama won the election.  Obama talked tough when he had to to win the election, but that tough talk was always a lie.

And of course Obama’s “deadline” for Iran to suspend its nuclear program has now come and gone without so much as a whimper from Obama.

With such profound differences on how to rebuild their economies and take care of their people (or not), and on how to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and protect their people (or not), you can see why the honeymoon might be over.  Just because a thrill goes up Chris Matthews leg doesn’t mean that one goes up Nicholas Sarkozy’s.

Well, at least the terrorists don’t dare attack us under the beloved Obama.

Oops, wait a second.  I guess we’ve had a dozen attempted terrorist attacks in 2009, including two that were completely undetected on Obama’s watch.  Versus years of being safe under George Bush after he took measures (which Obama dismantled) to keep the country safe.

Not to mention two successful domestic jihadist terrorist attacks in 2009 that resulted in the deaths of Americans.

Obama vowed to completely and fundamentally change the way the world views the United States, and inspire global cooperation.  But when it comes to Europe, Obama gets to talk to the hand.  Obama wants Europe to massively tighten its security.  But it appears he’s fixating on the splinter in Europe’s eye rather than the gigantic log in his own:

NEWARK (CBS) ― It’s a tale of shocking ineptitude: CBS 2 has learned a series of missteps unnecessarily added to the mayhem at Newark Liberty International Airport on Sunday. The six-hour delay stranded thousands of people, creating extreme crowding and chaos.

The mistakes made at the airport give new meaning to the term “domino effect.” It was a cascading series of missteps that cry out for action.

The sign at the Transportation Security Administration screening post at Newark read: “Premises Under Constant Video Surveillance.”

What it should add is: “If We’re Lucky.”

The Post and Courier has this to say about Dear Leader Obama’s handling of the war on terror – oops – make that the “overseas contingency operation” (sans the “overseas” part):

President Obama replaced the top intelligence professionals installed by President Bush on the grounds that they were tainted by what he considered the unethical practices of the last administration in fighting the war on terror. He damaged morale in the intelligence community by reopening a closed investigation of allegations of detainee mistreatment. President Obama has shunned the very concept of a war and has shown a preference for treating terrorist attacks as criminal acts.

Whether the president’s actions gave terrorists an advantage isn’t obvious, but this year for the first time in eight years there have been two undetected terrorist attacks on the United States. The first came on Nov. 5 at Fort Hood, Texas, when Army Maj. Malik Hassan killed 13 and wounded 30 in an attack apparently inspired by radical Muslim views. Hassan was known by U.S. intelligence to be in frequent contact with Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, the same man said to have counseled the unsuccessful Christmas Day bomber.

How’s that “the world loves us now because Obama is president” thing working for you?

I remember the words of Janet Napolitano as she changed “terrorist attack” to “man-caused disaster”:

“In my speech, although I did not use the word “terrorism,” I referred to “man-caused” disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear…”

There’s still time to use replace “man-caused disasters” with the phrase, “bury-our-heads-in-the-sand-and-hope-it-all-goes-away.”

Maybe “the politics of fear” had the virtue of bearing at least some resemblance to reality.

Hmmm:

Or…

Obama Pathetically And Pitifully Wrong On Iran Going Nuclear While He Dithers

November 28, 2009

The United States under Barack Obama look like a ship of fools captained by the grand fool.  The only question is whether Iran made Americans look like fools, or whether Obama made Americans look like fools.

I submit that the latter is the case.  Because any fool knew what game Iran was playing.  And yet Obama – out of arrogance, ignorance, and naivete – utterly failed to understand.  And continues to fail to understand.

A full month ago Iran reneged on an apparent deal to provide its nuclear fuel to France to process it for them.  Even had Iran fulfilled the deal, it was based on a fools’ premise; that premise being that Iran had not secretly processed any other uranium.

Iran’s negotiators have toughened their stance on the nuclear programme, signalling that Tehran will refuse to go ahead with an agreement to hand over 75 per cent of its enriched uranium. . .

Iran has amassed at least 1.4 tons of low-enriched uranium inside its underground plant in Natanz. If this was further enriched to weapons-grade level – a lengthy process – it would be enough for one nuclear weapon.

But Iran agreed to export 75 per cent of this stockpile to Russia and then France, where it would have been converted into fuel rods for use in a civilian research reactor in Tehran. This would have been a significant step towards containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Before talks, however, Iranian officials signalled they would renege. “Iran wants to directly buy highly-enriched uranium without sending its own low-level uranium out of the country,” reported a state television channel.

What kind of people continue to negotiate with a country that has already said it would renege on whatever deal they subsequently make?  Does the word “fools” not seem in order here?

Three weeks ago we learned that Iran had secretly tested an advanced nuclear warhead design – a strange thing for a country that isn’t attempting to build nuclear weapons to do, one would think.

The UN’s nuclear watchdog has asked Iran to explain evidence suggesting that Iranian scientists have experimented with an advanced nuclear warhead design, the Guardian has learned.

The very existence of the technology, known as a “two-point implosion” device, is officially secret in both the US and Britain, but according to previously unpublished documentation in a dossier compiled by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iranian scientists may have tested high-explosive components of the design. The development was today described by nuclear experts as “breathtaking” and has added urgency to the effort to find a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis.

No harm, no foul.  And certainly no rush.  Remember, we’re fools.

Now the SAME IAEA which only a few weeks ago was saying, “Nothing to see here, folks,” is now saying that Iran has been systematically covering up what is very obviously a nuclear weapons program.

The outgoing head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Thursday his probe of Iran’s nuclear program is at “a dead end” and that trust in Tehran’s credibility is shrinking after its belated revelation that it was secretly building a nuclear facility.

Mohamed ElBaradei’s blunt criticism of the Islamic Republic — four days before he leaves office — was notable in representing a broad convergence with Washington’s opinion, which for years was critical of the IAEA chief for what it perceived as his softness on Iran.

Six years of constant stonewalling all made up for by issuing one pitiful statement before leaving office.  Good job, ElBaradeid, you dirtbag.

If Iran does not comply this time, you can bet a politely-worded letter will surely follow.

JERUSALEM, Israel November 24, 2009
John Bolton Was Right After All

(CBS)   Richard Grenell served as the spokesman for the last four U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations: Zalmay Khalilzad, John Bolton, John Danforth and John Negroponte.
I certainly don’t expect the New York Times to admit that one of their greatest bogeymen turned out to be correct about Iran’s nuclear game-playing. However, the Times Editorial Board did once say “John Bolton is right.  Kofi Annan is wrong.”

Unfortunately it wasn’t about the Iran nuclear issue they were talking about – it was about his opposition to the UN’s ineffective Human Rights Council.

Nevertheless, someone needs to say it now. John Bolton was right.

When the Obama Administration proclaimed victory on October 1st by announcing that a break-through had been reached in Geneva and that Iran had committed to shipping 2,600 pounds of fuel to Russia, expert Iran watchers were appropriately cynical. Bolton cautioned, yet again, that the Iranians had used some of the same diplomatic nuances they had been using for years to successfully buy more time to continue enriching uranium and fake cooperation with the international community.

Usually, the Europeans were the first to take the bait but this time the Obama Administration got hooked first. Bolton, however, was the first to stand up and call the Iranian pronouncement a sham – and he did it within hours of the announcement.

But as Obama officials were rushing to pat themselves on the back and the New York Times was proclaiming atop the paper “Iran Agrees to Send Enriched Uranium to Russia,” Iranian officials were telling reporters that they had not committed to anything. The Iranians called it “an agreement in principle” – code words for “we’d like to but…”

The Times’ reporter in Geneva, however, was taking what the Obama officials were saying and running wildly with the incredible news. Surprisingly, or maybe not, the Times had either not checked with Iranian officials or ignored their warnings in favor of the Obama Administration’s good news. Roughly a month later, the Iranian official statements confirmed the fact that the Obama Administration had been duped. The Times subsequently inched its way back to reality through multiple follow-up stories that increasingly showed skepticism in the Victory claims culminating with October 30th’s headline “Tehran Rejects Nuclear Accord.”

Today, while the Iranians reprocess more fuel, the Obama team continues to compromise and offer even more incentives to them. No wonder Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is waiting – the deal keeps getting sweeter. President Obama has offered the Iranians more time, more sites to place their illegal fuel, more personal correspondence with the Ayatollah, more excuses as to what happened to the original deal they announced and no Chinese and Russian arm-twisting. The Obama team also keeps claiming that if Iran ships 2600 pounds of fuel out to Russia for re-processing then Iran will be unable to pose a nuclear threat for at least a year.

This often told claim is a dangerous calculation based on an assumption that Iran doesn’t have more hidden fuel (we just found out about another reprocessing plant in September) and can’t quickly convert what would remain if the plan had been accepted. Additionally, the low enriched uranium in question was produced in violation of UN Security Council resolutions so any deal to help Iran convert illegal fuel undermines Security Council credibility. The naivety of President Obama could be chalked up to hope and inexperience in foreign policy matters if it wasn’t routinely and consistently happening.

Bolton should know. No American Ambassador has produced more Security Council Resolutions on the issue of Iran than John Bolton. Bolton was able to produce three UN Security Council resolutions on Iran, two with the increasing pressure of sanctions. The deadlines in the resolutions that Bolton insisted upon were kept mainly because he held his counterparts to their word.

When Iran tried to manipulate the process by asking for more time, more talks or giving empty and last minute commitments, Bolton enforced the deadlines. Bolton was incredibly patient and willing to have round the clock negotiations but in the end forced a vote of the Security Council to the dismay of the Europeans and the consternation of Russian and China. It’s true that John Bolton would not win the most popular Ambassador award at the UN but being popular shouldn’t be the priority.

I hope that the Obama team can now see that being popular at the UN doesn’t get us support from the Europeans on sanctions resolutions or an affirmative vote from Russia and China. If it did, President Obama would have passed another Security Council Resolution on Iran, North Korea and Sudan by now. Obama is so popular in foreign countries that one begins to wonder who is happier. But being popular only means you aren’t asking Countries to do anything different.

This month, the world is seeing the pressure turned down on Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions. France’s Foreign Minister has signaled their refusal to block shipments of refined fuel to Iran, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov called sanctions “counterproductive when there are talks underway” and China needs Iran’s oil so badly that it not only is refusing to consider further sanctions but is cutting new energy deals with Iran.

Where is the Obama Administration’s pressure on Iran to stop enriching uranium? Sadly, the Americans are getting hoodwinked by Iran and Europe is happy that they don’t have to vote for more sanctions or enforce the ones that are in place now. While the President gives up our missile shield to Russia, relaxes financial restrictions on Cuba, allows North Korea to violate their signed agreements and breaks campaign promises on a Sudan no-fly zone, the world applauds the most popular American President in history.

And here at home, Fareed Zakaria continues to call for more American compromises and more talk while characterizing Conservatives as unwilling to talk. It isn’t that Conservatives think speaking to Russia about Iran is bad, a claim Fareed Zakaria erroneously tries to tag Conservatives with, it’s that giving something without getting something in return is foolish and naïve. Zakaria and the other elites blinded by Obama’s global reset button want America to compromise and negotiate but fail to expect the same from the other side. Zakaria is that typical internationalist that views diplomatic success as merely sitting down to talk. Talking is the goal for them.

And if America needs to compromise in order to ensure that there are more talks, well, then so be it. Talking is success, right?

What I find almost as laughable as Obama’s never-failing ignorance and naivete is his weakness.

There’s that whole, “Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me” thing.  How many times does Obama have to be fooled?

How did Obama get China to sign on to the meaningless IAEA censure that doesn’t offer any sort of call to actual action at all?

The Sniveller-in-Chief says that – unlike gutless ObamAmerica – Israel will actually do something if Iran continues its nuclear program.  Get a load of the headline:

‘US warned China that Israel could bomb Iran’
By JPOST.COM STAFF AND AP

Two senior officials from the White House, Dennis Ross and Jeffrey Bader, made a trip to China on a “special mission” to garner support in Beijing over the Iranian nuclear program, according to a Thursday report in The Washington Post. The officials visited China two weeks before US President Barack Obama arrived in Beijing.

The officials reportedly carried the message that if China would not support the US on the issue, Israel would be likely to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. The paper quoted the officials as saying that Israel saw the issue as “an existential issue,” and that “countries that have an existential issue don’t listen to other countries.”

They stressed that were Israel to bomb Iran, the consequences for the region would be severe.

Here is Obama, leader of the free world, telling communist Iran that they’d better do what he says or big tough Israel will fight.

Just gag me.

At least Obama understands something, though.  Obama himself is a gargantuan fool and a pathetic weakling, but he does at least have a clue that genuinely strong and courageous people won’t just sit idly by and allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.  And Obama thought he’d better warn China.  Because that’s just the sort of stand-up guy he is [HURL!].

I have one thing to differ with Richard Grenell over: the story isn’t that John Bolton is right.  The story is that Barack Obama is as wrong as he has always been.

Iran will have nuclear weapons soon.  And Obama will ensure that outcome – every bit as much as Neville Chamberlain ensured that Adolf Hitler would invade Czechoslovakia followed by Poland.

Blaming Bush Lacks Virtue Of Being True

May 19, 2009

The following article comes from the American Thinker:

How Did Bush Do This?

Randall Hoven

Europe is in its deepest recession since World War II, so reports the UK’s Telegraph .
“German economic policy is ‘bankrupt,’ economists have said.  The declaration was made as it emerged that Europe’s biggest economy has now suffered a worse ‘lost decade’ than Japan and is deeper in recession than any other major economy.  On a day of dismal news for the European economy, official figures also showed that Italy, Austria, Spain and the Netherlands are facing their biggest combined slump in post-war history.”

Eurostat provides the raw data.  Here are real GDP growth numbers for some selected countries and averages for the latest quarter (1st quarter of 2009, or January through March).
From Previous Quarter From Previous Year

Austria                                                 -2.8%                                     -2.9%
Belgium                                                -1.6                                          -3.0
France                                                  -1.2                                          -3.2
Germany                                              -3.8                                          -6.9
Italy                                                     -2.4                                          -5.9
Netherlands                                         -2.8                                          -4.5
Portugal                                               -1.5                                          -3.7
Spain                                                   -1.8                                          -2.9
UK                                                      -1.9                                          -4.1
Europe (EU27)                                    -2.5                                          -4.4
US                                                       -1.6                                          -2.6

Do you notice anything funny about these numbers?  Here is what I notice: the recession in the US is milder than that of Europe.  Every country on this list had more economic shrinkage from 2008 to 2009 (Q1 to Q1) than did the US.

How could this be?  Did they all have George Bush for President?  Did they all succumb to free market ideology in the last eight years?  Did they all repeal part of Glass-Steagall?  Did they all spend wildly on an unnecessary war in Iraq?  Did they all bankrupt themselves with out-of-control defense spending?

Perhaps we need to look deeper, into the last eight years, in order to discover how bad President Bush was.  Here are the average GDP growth rates over the last eight full years.

Ave. GDP Growth, 2001-2008
Austria                                                 1.5%
Belgium                                                1.3
France                                                  1.1
Germany                                              0.4
Italy                                                     0.1
Netherlands                                         1.3
Portugal                                               0.3
Spain                                                   2.3
UK                                                      1.6
Europe (EU27)                                     1.2
Japan                                                   0.6
US                                                       1.7

Well I’ll be darned.  With the minor exception of Spain, the US did better than all these countries over the last eight years as well.

What could it be?  Could it be possible that Bush was not the cause of our global economic meltdown?  Could it be possible that the economic illness spread from Europe to the US, rather than vice versa?

Could we have the whole thing wrong?

Whatever it is, I’m sure if our government does what it did in the 1930’s — raises taxes, spends more, regulates more, restricts trade, and “fine tunes” monetary policy — we will get through this just fine.  Just like we did then.  I think we’re seeing the results already.

President Obama Not Ready For Coming International Crisis. Are You?

November 9, 2008

There’s a coming crisis looming that may make every situation the world has faced since World War II look like a children’s game.  President-elect Obama isn’t ready for it.  Are you?

There is already historical precedent that Israel will attack Iran during the U.S. Presidential transition.  Israel attacked a target in Lebanon in December of 1988 – during the Reagan-Bush transition.  In a Jerusalem Post article  Historian Benny Morris describes that operation, and notes:

The operation took place one month after US President George H. Bush was voted into office, and a month before he was sworn in, replacing the popular Ronald Reagan, a leader widely viewed as a staunch ally of Israel.

Operation Blue and Brown says nothing about the likelihood of an Israeli strike on Iran today. But it does show that IDF operations have been ordered in the interim period between the election of a new American president and his inauguration.

And it is this same period in 2008/09 that provides an “attractive date” for Israel to strike Iran’s nuclear program, according to historian Benny Morris.

In June, Morris wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in which he theorized that Israel would likely strike Iran between November 5 and January 19, the day before Obama is sworn in.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post this week, Morris said he continued to believe that time period was a “reasonable” one for Israeli action.

“There is certainly a friendly president in the White House until January 20. There is no certainty over what will happen after that, in which direction the wind will blow.

The second thing is the advancement by the Iranians in creating the bomb,” Morris said, speaking from his home in Li’on, southwest of Beit Shemesh. Morris said the Iranian regime was guided by messianic clerics who could not be trusted to act logically in a state of mutually assured destruction (MAD).

“These men are not rational like the men who ruled America and Russia during the Cold War. When [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad talks about destroying Israel and denies the Holocaust, we hear no contrary voices from the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei saying that Ahmadinejad is crazy,” Morris said.

“So long as Iran makes progress, we are under pressure, if we plan on doing something. Iran is supposed to purchase advanced anti-aircraft guns from Russia at the start of 2009. All of these point to the fact that if the US provides support, an Israeli strike is reasonable,” he said.

Acknowledging the lame-duck nature of the Olmert administration, Morris said the difficulties posed by a weak government could be overcome by notifying the leaders of the major political parties in advance of the attack. He even raised the possibility that a date had already been chosen.

Joe Biden warned of an “international crisis” to test a young and inexperienced President Obama:

“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.”

And, somewhat disturbingly, Biden said, “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.”

Biden went on to say:

I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, ‘Oh my God, why are they there in the polls? Why is the polling so down? Why is this thing so tough?’ We’re gonna have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years. So I’m asking you now, I’m asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point because you’re going to have to reinforce us.”“There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don’t know about that decision’,” Biden continued. “Because if you think the decision is sound when they’re made, which I believe you will when they’re made, they’re not likely to be as popular as they are sound. Because if they’re popular, they’re probably not sound.”

“Gird your loins,” Biden warned.

Have you “girded”?  I have a feeling you’ll be using your girdle for a much-needed diaper when this mess hits the rotary oscillator.

Former Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton flat-out stated that if Obama won, Israel would have no choice but to attack Iran.  He said:

(IsraelNN.com) John Bolton, former American Ambassador to the United Nations, told a London newspaper Tuesday that Israel will attack Iran if Senator Barack Obama is elected President. He predicted the attack would take place between the day after the elections, in early November, and January 20, when the next president succeeds George W. Bush.

The interview with Bolton continued:

Bolton told the newspaper that if Senator Obama is elected in November, Israel cannot afford to wait until he takes office on January 20, before taking action. “An Obama victory would rule out military action by the Israelis because they would fear the consequences given the approach Obama has taken to foreign policy,” according to Bolton, who served as ambassador to the U.N. for less than two years until 2006.

“My judgment is they would not want to do anything before our election because there’s no telling what impact it could have on the election,” he added. “The Israelis have one eye on the calendar because of the pace at which the Iranians are proceeding both to develop their nuclear weapons capability and to do things like increase their defenses by buying new Russian anti-aircraft systems and further harden the nuclear installations.”

He said that Israel might be able to delay a strike if Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain is elected. Bolton said the Republican candidate’s position is “much more realistic than the Bush administration’s stance.”

It’s not just John Bolton.  The former head of the Israeli Mossad – one of the most esteemed figures in the Israeli intelligence establishment – has also openly advocated an major strike against Iran in the immediate future.  And Western intelligence sources are saying, “An Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program “will most probably take place before 2009.”

And Israel’s Debka File has stated that US intelligence is warning that Iran may have the bomb as early as February of 2009.

Israel has been practicing for something big.  On June 20, more than a hundred Israeli aircraft staged a massive exercise.  The Jerusalem Post, in an article titled, “Iran: IAF drill jeopardizes global peace,” opened by saying, “Iran criticized on Saturday a recent Israeli military exercise that US officials said was designed to show Jerusalem’s ability to attack Teheran’s nuclear sites.”

Hot dang, would it ever get have-a-massive-coronary-terrifying if a major ally of the United States attacked a major ally of Russia to attack nuclear facilities (as in unleashing massive radioactive debris?).  The world would go to hell in a hand basket so fast it you’ll have to lie down or else fall over, and all this with that naive young appeaser President Obama not even sworn in yet!  I mean, Israel would be bombing stuff in Iran that Russia built for them.  Iran is already ranting and raving about Israel, and Israel hasn’t even done anything to them yet.  How close do you think we’ll get to World War III, sports fans?

I hope you’re ready to ride that roller coaster, because, judging by the polls, it is more probable that you voted for it than that you voted against it.

You voted for it in spite of watchmen on the wall like me have been shouting, “We warned you! We warned you! WE WARNED YOU!” over and over and over again.

I have been writing about the problem of Iran for months.  Given the fact that we will now have a President who fundamentally opposed the reasoning of the Iraq War, how on earth can he justify a war with Iran?

Sanctions haven’t worked, and they won’t work.  The United Nations – which has never done anything useful anyway – will again be no help, with key Iranian allies Russia and China wielding veto status as permanent members of the Security Council.  Both nations have already repeatedly blocked US and European sanction efforts against Iran’s nuclear program.  They will continue to guarantee that no international measure with any teeth passes.  And Europe – which relies heavily on Russian and Iranian oil, can hardly be counted upon as a strong ally.

Europe doesn’t want Iran to develop nuclear weapons.  But that doesn’t mean all that much.  I didn’t want Barack Obama to be elected President.  Fat lot of good “not wanting” did me.  Only a steel-eyed unyielding commitment to the use of massive military force has any chance of swaying Iran from its goal.  And Europe simply isn’t willing to go that far.

This would be comical, if the stakes weren’t so incredibly deadly, and if this same game hadn’t already been played before in Iraq.  The United States was ultimately forced to attack Iraq because there was no chance of passing international sanctions that would have been able to force Iraq to demonstrate that it had disarmed.

Barack Obama, by having opposed an attack on Iraq, fundamentally opposes any attack against Iran.  The situations are nearly identical politically.  Just as with Iraq, the United States can never know for certain that Iran has nuclear weapons, and isn’t merely bluffing, as Iraq was alleged to have done.  Every major intelligence service in the world believe Iraq had WMD; and even senior Iraqi officials believed Saddam had WMD prior to the invasion.  Given the persistent failure to get any meaningful sanctions passed against Iran – just as was the case against Iraq – there is no reason whatsoever to believe that we will be able to do so in the future, whether President Obama is personally charming or not.  And – just as was the case against Iraq – we have a coalition of enemies actively aiding and protecting Iran in international diplomacy efforts, just as we have weak European allies that benefit from the product Iran is producing.

If you believe that Barack Obama is going to be able to talk Iran out of developing nuclear weapons, you are the very worst kind of naive fool.  Neither Iran or Russia will join hands with the choir Barack Obama will be able to assemble to sing, “We are the world.”  The “harmony” and “unity” Obama has inspired will be proven to be completely artificial the moment the first real test comes along.  And it is coming.

Iran has demonstrated that it is utterly determined to develop its nuclear program to its logical conclusion: weaponizing.  US intelligence has said that it can “Assess with high confidence that Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure.”  In fact Iran has only blinked once: in 2003, immediately after the United States invaded Iraq over that country’s alleged WMD arsenal.  Bottom line: Iran didn’t want to be next.

By opposing the Iraq War, Barack Obama de facto opposed Iran’s halting its nuclear program, and opposed the only meaningful threat that would stop Iran from its determined course in the future.

John McCain – by standing on the principles of the Iraq War, and by standing by his commitment to employ the successful surge strategy to win that war – was the only hope the world had to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons without war.  Iran very likely would have believed an assurance from John McCain that he would attack Iran rather than allow it to possess nuclear weapons.  It is extremely unlikely that Iran will believe Barack Obama, given his history of opposing a virtually identical war with Iraq.  The difference between John McCain and Barack Obama was the assurance of military action versus the rhetoric of a meaningless threat.

And that is why it is highly likely that Israel will attack Iran.  The only thing that will prevent them from attacking before Obama takes the oath of office on January 20, 2009 is the fact that their own government is in transition and may not be able to act effectively before then.  That is why I have said that a vote for Obama would be a vote for a nuclear Iran.  It’s why I ultimately believe that a vote for Obama will ultimately result in a vote for Armageddon.

A nuclear-armed Iran will be able to pursue both direct and indirect (via terrorist organization intermediaries) global jihad with complete impunity.  Again, that was exactly what President Bush feared would occur if Iraq was able to develop WMD.  For to attack them with such weapons at their disposal would be to risk a nuclear holocaust.

Israel is a tiny country.  A single nuclear weapon of sufficient megatonnage  could destroy the whole nation and produce in just one day a worse Holocaust than Hitler achieved in years.  And Iran’s leadership has clearly demonstrated that they are insane enough to do anything, given their apocalyptic religious fanaticismA nuclear Iran is far more terrifying than a nuclear Russia, or even a nuclear North Korea.  Both President Ahmadinejab and the Ayatollah Khamenei (who called for the destruction of “cancerous tumor” Israel) have made their position clear.  Iranian leaders have consistently voiced their determination to wipe Israel off the map.  Israel simply cannot take a chance.

Just as was the case with World War II – when Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s aversion to war and determination to pursue dialogue (without preconditions, by the way) invariably resulted in a far greater and far more destructive global conflagration – President Barack Obama’s aversion to face a preemptive war with determined evil tyrants may well result in the deaths of untold millions.

I hope we’re ready.  We voted for it.

Just so you know, the Bible speaks of the war of Gog and Magog in the last days, with Russia and Iran leading an Arab-African coalition against Israel.  The Book of Ezekial chapters 38 and 39 spell it out to any who have ears to hear.  The Antichrist/beast of Bible prophecy won’t come in a time of prosperity and peace; he’ll come during a time of crisis.  And we are headed for the very crisis that will see the world welcome the son of perdition as a savior.

My personal view: President Barack Obama will be one of the “false messiahs” that Jesus described.  He too is seen as a savior, but he will lead the United States to catastrophe.  Ezekiel 38:13 describes the rest of the world as merely standing idly by and wondering what is going on as the Russian-Iranian-Arab/African confederation attack a lone Israel.  The nations are potrayed as worrying only about what the attack will have on the global economy.  And for the first time in the history of the Israeli-American alliance, the United States is virtually at that point right now.  Somehow, the United States – the historic ally and protector of Israel – had to be rendered unable or unwilling to come to Israel’s aid when it most counts.  I see the United States being too weakened to help Israel both in terms of its economy and its loyalty.

The pawns are all in position.  The board is nearly set.  The most terrifying game in human history is about to be played out across the global stage.

Some Points On McCain vs. Obama Debate 3

October 16, 2008

On taxes and the economy:

The Joe the Plumber issue began with Barack Obama having a conversation with a plumber who planned to buy his employers’ business, but realized with concern that he would be paying much higher taxes under Obama’s plan.  Obama responded:

“It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance for success too,” Obama responded. “My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody … I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Please realize: we’re talking about a PLUMBER and a SMALL BUSINESS – not a Wall Street tycoon or a big corproation.  He would pay more in taxes under Obama’s plan.  It turns out that half of the over 8 million taxpayers in the top 5% of income earners are small business owners.  And it is small business owners who are and have been the engine of the economy and who are hiring the most workers.  All the small businesses that are driving that engine – the businesses that employ at least 20 workers – would pay more taxes under Obama’s plan.

Obama keeps claiming that he’ll cut taxes for 95% of Americans.  but about 40% of Americans don’t pay federal taxes.  Obama will give these free riders an IRS welfare check paid for by taxpayers, amounting to nearly $400 billion dollars a year.  Obama’s tax credit goodies will be “fully refundable,” which is taxspeak for government payments that do not require a tax liability on the part of recipients in order to be paid out.  This is a transfer payment, a transfer of wealth, and socialism.

Corporations don’t pay taxes; they pass them on to you through higher prices.  Obama’s tax increase on corporations will amount to a de facto higher cost of living for you.  To the extent that it cuts into their profits, corproations will increasingly outsource jobs to save on labor costs, or they will simply relocate their operations to countries with lower corporate tax structures (that currently means anywhere on the planet except Japan unless taxes are lowered here).

If you want corporations and businesses to hire more workers and provide goods and services at low prices, you have to lower their tax burdens.  You don’t create an incentive to hire more workers when you increase their costs of doing business.

“Spread the wealth around,” Obama says.  From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.  Bottom line, if you design a system which does not sufficiently reward people based on allowing them to enjoy the fruits of their hard work, than no one will have incentive to work hard.  The hard worker will eventually get tired of working for the lazy person unless he can keep what he produces for the benefit of himself and his family.

In Europe, the steep rates create a disincentive to continue working.  If you have to pay skyhigh taxes after $200,000 (as a single filer in Obama’s plan), why keep working hard after you’ve made your $200,000?  Obama will confiscate most of your profits (for New Yorkers, as an example, it would be 65 cents of every dollar!).  If you’re a small business owner, you have good reason to simply shut down and take a long vacation until next April.  We don’t want that here.

Investors’ Business Daily describes Obama as “the most anti-capitalist politician ever nominated by a major party.”  And for good reason.  Sadly, the media has largely given inspection of Obama’s economic and tax plans a pass.  The specifics are largely unknown to the American people.  Barack Obama will regard the recent socializing of much of our financial system as a leaping-off point.

On health care:

One thing is extremely important to understand: Obama’s health care plan is modeled on the Massachusetts plan.  How are things going there?  Well, in couple of years of the program’s existence, the tiny state is now already facing cost overruns of over $400 million.  Does that sound like a rousing success?  Massachusetts is facing a projected 85% increase in its costs by 2009 – which should set up a serious red flag that such programs are MASSIVELY underfunded.

Obama is claiming that his plan will save money.  It won’t.  It has been tried, and it has failed.  He is overestimating the “savings” of his plan, and massively underestimating the costs.

Barack Obama’s health care plan is estimated to cost $1.6 trillion in 10 years.  And that’s if everything goes wll.  But it won’t go well.  The numbers don’t take into account the very sort of cost overruns and cost increases that are even now plaguing the very state that Obama is basing his own plan upon.  What is going to happen to our economy given the extremely real likelihood that Obama’s massive national plan runs into similar issues?  Do you believe our economy is strong enough to bear the brunt of these massive cost increases?

You need to understand something else that emerged from the second debate: is health care a privilege, a right, or a responsibility?  Obama answered “It should be a right.” What does that mean?  It means that a government has a fundamental duty to guarantee me my health care the same way it has a duty to guarantee me right to free speech or my right to assembly.  You have a constitutional, government-imposed duty to give me health care – no matter what – regardless of how much it costs you and your family to do so.  Am I an alcoholic who needs a liver transplant?  You owe me a new liver.  As an American citizen (or an illegal immigrant, under Obama’s plan) I have a right to that liver.   Did I sustain a brain injury riding my motorcycle without a helmet because I like to feel the wind in my hair?  Doesn’t matter.  Do I want a sex change?  Give it to me!  I have a fundamental constitutional right to that liver, or to that brain surgery and all the long months of incredibly expensive therapy, or to my sex change operation.  I also have a right to years of incredibly expensive psychological counseling with highly paid professionals.  And if I have any pre-existing conditions, you still have to cover me (and illegal immigrants because we don’t deny fundamental rights to anyone in the United States, even if they are here illegally), no matter what.

Do you understand how expensive this can all get?

Do you understand that Barack Obama is essentially talking about socializing a quarter of our economy?  Do you trust your government’s track record to do that?

On the mortgage industry collapse:

Neither candidate brought up the fact that there was a gigantic elephant in the room.  And it was ridiculous.  A lot of people are livid over this collapse and the subsequent $850 billion bailout package Congress approved.  But Democrats are all over this.  From their passage of the Community Reinvestment Act, to Bill Clinton’s radical expansion of the program (particularly in the last two years of his 2nd administration); to the almost exclusively Democratic leadership of Government Supported Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (e.g. Jim Johnson, Franklin Raines, and Jamie Gorelick who collectively took over $300 million from the GSEs even as they played around with the books); to the repreated stubborn refusal of congressional Democrats to regulate Fannie and Freddie during the first six years of President Bush’s presidency.

Barney Frank repeatedly said that Fannie and Freddie were fine, and that regulation was unnecessary.  The last time was on July 14, 2008 – only a couple months before they went belly up.  He assured the American people – and American investors – that Fannie and Freddie stock were strong going forward.  The stock of Fannie and Freddie and declined 90% during the Democrats’ watch.  And oversight of Fannie and Freddie was Congress’ job, NOT President Bush’s.

This was a Democrat-created disaster.

And the level of propagandizing and demagoguery blaming Republicans for “the failed policies of the last 8 years” has reached a level of deceit not seen since Hitler blamed the Jews for all of Germany’s problems.

On abortion:

Abortion is an issue that not only displays how radical Barack Obama is, but how deceptive and disingenuous he is.  Factcheck.org has a thoroughly researched article titled, “Obama and ‘Infanticide’: The facts about Obama’s votes against ‘Born Alive’ bills in Illinois” which will shock you.  Obama DOES support infanticide in the name of abortion rights.

Barack Obama is deliberately misrepresenting his position on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.  He has given fallacious reason after reason for wanting babies who have been born and are surviving outside of their mothers’ bodies to be killed.  Obama supports late term and partial birth abortion, too; but this evil transcends even that abomination against the sanctity of human life.

It is for this reason that I will refuse to support a President Obama or any country that elects him to lead it.  If the American people vote for Barack Obama, I will agree with Jeremiah Wright to this extent: “No, no, no.  Not God bless America.  God damn America!”  God damn an America that would vote for a certified baby killer.

Conclusion:

Our already-most-expensive education system in the world (around $65 billion a year) that isn’t producing education for our kids is going to get another nearly $20 billion a year from Barack Obama.  But the government throwing money at schools is clearly not the answer: Washington D.C. spends more money per student than any public school system in the world, but provides the worst education in the country.  As John McCain pointed out several times last night, again and again, Barack Obama sees big government spending other peoples’ money as the solution to every problem.

The obvious question to ask should be, where’s all this money going to come from?  From “the rich”?  Fat chance.  Half of the rich are no longer “rich” after all their investments went south; they invested themselves out of Obama’s 5% group.  The other half are going to shelter their money from Obama so they won’t have to pay Obama’s new taxes.  Where’s Obama going to get his money?  He’s going to come after you, and – given the polling figures – chances are you are too damn stupid to know it.

Economists by the truckload have come out against Obama’s plan, because when it fails – and it will fail – the costs will be catastrophic.

I liken this society to a culture that has been transformed into a lemming colony by a biased liberal media voting to jump off a cliff.

Biden Reported Stating Israel Must Accept A Nuclear Iran

September 2, 2008

Did Joe Biden say it or not?

I think he said it.  I think a guy who has generally been considered a friend of Israel said what he thought Israel needed to hear.

Biden denies having made the statements.  And given the nature of the way they were reported, we certainly can’t claim that he made them for sure.

But we can examine what he is alleged to have said, consider the possibility that he said it, and then jump into the larger issue as to just how an Obama-Biden administration would go about ensuring that Iran not develop nuclear weapons.

I believe that I can demonstrate that, regardless of what did or didn’t come out of Joe Biden’s mouth, an Obama White House would grudgingly allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapons stockpile.

The article from the Israeli paper Haaretz says: (more…)

Looming War In Eastern Europe: Deja Vu All Over Again

August 15, 2008

For the historically literate, the picture of Eastern Europe today is disturbingly reminiscent of the view circa 1939. That was the year that Nazi Germany – having provided pseudo-justifications based on staged provocations – invaded first Czechoslovakia and then Poland. Throughout the entire period leading up to these military invasions, the Western world weakly stood by and did nothing but “dialogue.”

As hundreds of Russian tanks poured into his country, CNN reporter Susan Malveaux asked Georgian President Saakashvili:

MALVEAUX: Have you reached out to them? Do you feel there’s any room for negotiation or at least to begin a dialogue or discussions?

The problem has been that Russia has done its “negotiating” with tanks.

The UK Telgraph runs a story by Josh Bolton the editors titled, “The US fiddled while Georgia burned.” And this is undoubtedly true (as Bolton himself acknowledges). But at least the US’ “fiddling” involved doing something (in the sense of trying to get Georgia admitted to NATO, which would have circumvented this entire sad affair). Europe stood by and did absolutely nothing while Georgia burned.  And the so-called “cease fire agreement” that France proffered essentially allows Russia to remain in Georgian territory for as long as they like.  Many believe that the presence of Russian forces only a few miles from the Georgian capital is a naked attempt to topple the democratic government.

Just as with Iraq, European intransigence to sound diplomatic policy led to war. By refusing to accept the United States’ demand to require meaningful weapons inspections on Iraq, the U.N. in general and France and Russia in particular took every option but open war off the table for America. And by refusing to allow the U.S.-backed Georgian bid to join NATO, our European “allies” left a democratic and pro-Western former Soviet State vulnerable to precisely the sort of attack that totalitarian Russia launched.

Josh Bolton describes the European diplomatic initiative in shades of the infamous Munich Agreement:

The European Union took the lead in diplomacy, with results approaching Neville Chamberlain’s moment in the spotlight at Munich: a ceasefire that failed to mention Georgia’s territorial integrity, and that all but gave Russia permission to continue its military operations as a “peacekeeping” force anywhere in Georgia. More troubling, over the long term, was that the EU saw its task as being mediator – its favourite role in the world – between Georgia and Russia, rather than an advocate for the victim of aggression.

After Neville Chamberlain returned from signing the infamous agreement with Hitler, and appeasing an evil tyrant in the name of “peace in our time,” an embittered Winston Churchill observed:

“You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”

Josh Bolton believes that “the extent of the wreckage [of Georgia] reaches far beyond that small country.” He goes on to write:

The West, collectively, failed in this crisis. Georgia wasted its dime making that famous 3am telephone call to the White House, the one Hillary Clinton referred to in a campaign ad questioning Barack Obama’s fitness for the Presidency. Moreover, the blood on the Bear’s claws did not go unobserved in other states that were once part of the Soviet Union. Russia demonstrated unambiguously that it could have marched directly to Tbilisi and installed a puppet government before any Western leader was able to turn away from the Olympic Games. It could, presumably, do the same to them.

Fear was one reaction Russia wanted to provoke, and fear it has achieved, not just in the “Near Abroad” but in the capitals of Western Europe as well. But its main objective was hegemony, a hegemony it demonstrated by pledging to reconstruct Tskhinvali, the capital of its once and no-longer-future possession, South Ossetia. The contrast is stark: a real demonstration of using sticks and carrots, the kind that American and European diplomats only talk about. Moreover, Russia is now within an eyelash of dominating the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, the only route out of the Caspian Sea region not now controlled by either Russia or Iran. Losing this would be dramatically unhelpful if we hope for continued reductions in global petroleum prices, and energy independence from unfriendly, or potentially unfriendly, states.

It profits us little to blame Georgia for “provoking” the Russian attack. Nor is it becoming of the United States to have anonymous officials from its State Department telling reporters, as they did earlier this week, that they had warned Georgia not to provoke Russia. This confrontation is not about who violated the Marquess of Queensbury rules in South Ossetia, where ethnic violence has been a fact of life since the break-up of the Soviet Union on December 31, 1991 – and, indeed, long before. Instead, we are facing the much larger issue of how Russia plans to behave in international affairs for decades to come. Whether Mikhail Saakashvili “provoked” the Russians on August 8, or September 8, or whenever, this rape was well-planned and clearly coming, given Georgia’s manifest unwillingness to be “Finlandized” – the Cold War term for effectively losing your foreign-policy independence.

And now we are already beginning to see not only “how Russia plans to behave in international affairs for decades to come”, but right in the here and now.

In a statement about Poland that ought to send shivers up the spine of any thinking human being, a top Russian general added to the rhetoric of President Dmitry Medveded:

Only 24 hours after the weapons agreement was signed Russia’s deputy chief of staff warned Poland “is exposing itself to a strike 100 per cent”.

General Anatoly Nogovitsyn said that any new US assets in Europe could come under Russian nuclear attack with his forces targeting “the allies of countries having nuclear weapons”.

He told Russia’s Interfax news agency: “By hosting these, Poland is making itself a target. This is 100 per cent certain. It becomes a target for attack. Such targets are destroyed as a first priority.”

Russia’s nuclear rhetoric marks an intense new phase in the war of words over Georgia. The Caucasus conflict has spiralled into a Cold War style confrontation between Moscow and Washington in less than a week.

The stand off between the two cold War powers was underlined by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, who dismissed US claims that the silo is a deterrent against ‘rogue states’ like Iran as “a fairy tale”. He told reporters at the Black Sea resort of Sochi: “The deployment of new missile defence facilities in Europe is aimed against the Russian Federation.”

Poland and a few other former Soviet Republicans who do not want to become future Russian republics are moving toward official relationships with the United States and Western alliances such as NATO. We must stop attempting to appease rogue and tyrant states for the sake of going along to get along in the short term and clearly and strongly back Western-leaning democratic states.

Again, Bolton is right on target:

Europe’s rejection this spring of President Bush’s proposal to start Ukraine and Georgia towards Nato membership was the real provocation to Russia, because it exposed Western weakness and timidity. As long as that perception exists in Moscow, the risk to other former Soviet territories – and in precarious regions such as the Middle East – will remain.

Obviously, not all former Soviet states are as critical to Nato as Ukraine, because of its size and strategic location, or Georgia, because of its importance to our access to the Caspian Basin’s oil and natural gas reserves. Moreover, not all of them meet fundamental Nato prerequisites. But we must now review our relationship with all of them. This, in effect, Nato failed to do after the Orange and Rose Revolutions, leaving us in our present untenable position.

By its actions in Georgia, Russia has made clear that its long-range objective is to fill that “gap” if we do not. That, as Western leaders like to say, is “unacceptable”. Accordingly, we should have a foreign-minister-level meeting of Nato to reverse the spring capitulation at Bucharest, and to decide that Georgia and Ukraine will be Nato’s next members. By drawing the line clearly, we are not provoking Russia, but doing just the opposite: letting them know that aggressive behaviour will result in costs that they will not want to bear, thus stabilising a critical seam between Russia and the West. In effect, we have already done this successfully with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Diplomacy is always worth pursuing. But diplomacy that is not backed with power and the willingness to use it is meaningless, and will always be recognized as such by tyrants and terrorists.

As we look at Russian totalitarian imperialism in Eastern Europe, and contemplate the looming menace of a nuclear-weapons-armed Iran, we must realize that much of the world is in the same mindset that the world was in in 1938. Only by recognizing that we must stand strongly against such developments will we be able to avoid the next catastrophic global harvest of death.

This is as certain as the fact that World War III follows World War II.

Obama’s Berlin Speech Reveals Europeans Gutless On Terror

July 26, 2008

Correspondent Major Garrett filed this report for Fox News Special Report that appeared Thursday, July 25, on Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin, Germany:

MAJOR GARRETT: The scene, unprecedented in contemporary European politics, was unlike any a U.S. presidential nominee ever had the audacity to expect, or the cultural candlepower to attract. But to the upbeat throngs estimated by Berlin police to be in excess of 200,000 Obama did not sing a sweet song of hope and change. Instead he zeroed in on the threats of terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

OBAMA SPEECH VIDEO: “This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO’s first mission beyond Europe’s borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.”

MAJOR GARRETT: That means Germany and other NATO nations must throw more into the battlefield in Afghanistan, where a resurgent Taliban and its terror-plotting al Qaeda allies have recently launched increasingly lethal attacks.”

As for Iran and its headlong pursuit of nuclear weaponry, Obama said While Europe may welcome his call for direct unconditional talks, europe must back such an initiative with a heretofore missing committment to using all economic and diplomatic tools to isolate and punish Iran if it proves intractable.

OBAMA SPEECH VIDEO: “This is the moment we must help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East. My country must stand with yours and with Europe in sending a direct message to Iran that it must abandon its nuclear ambitions. We must support the Lebanese who have marched and bled for democracy, and the Israelis and Palestinians who seek a secure and lasting peace. And despite past differences, this is the moment when the world should support the millions of Iraqis who seek to rebuild their lives, even as we pass responsibility to the Iraqi government and finally bring this war to a close.”

“A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more — not less.”

MAJOR GARRETT: On a continent weary of Pres. Bush Obama spoke of a new era, but hastened to add, if he’s elected, his administration will not represent a cost-free alternative to the status-quo.

The crowd, which did not applaud that much, filed quietly away. If Obama hoped his words would galvanize the audience and his message would thereby reverberate in capitals throughout Europe, there was no evidence of it. The tepid response may stand as a silent declaration that calls for new sacrifice and anti-terror tenacity – whether spoken by the current president or the presumptive Democratic nominee – meets similar European skepticism.

Garrett noted that Obama’s speech did garner some applause lines – on the issues of global warming, a call for “just peace” between Israel and the Palestinas, and especially on the call to end the war in Iraq.

But the real story was the absence of applause on Obama’s presentation of his foreign policy.

One of the biggest delusions Democrats suffer from is the perception that if only their guy were president, the world would love us. They believe that Europeans hate President Bush because he’s a cowboy who ignored them and decided to do it all on his own.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

We saw a little bit of the real problem in Berlin on Thursday: if Barack Obama wants to stand up to terrorists and demand Iran renounce its nuclear weaponry, he better expect that he will be acting alone.

Europeans are not willing to sacrifice. They don’t want to “renew their resolve to rout the terrorists.” They don’t want to have a stake in seeing the NATO mission in Afghanistan is a success. They don’t want to send troops to Afghanistan. They don’t want to send “a direct message to Iran that it must abandon its nuclear ambitions.” They don’t want to commit to “using all economic and diplomatic tools to isolate and punish Iran.” They don’t want to “be required to do more–not less.”

Now, personally, I don’t really believe that Barack Obama wants any of this either. I think he was simply pandering to American public opinion and mouthing the slogans that Americans want to hear from a man they rightly believe is weak on foreign policy.

But don’t expect squat from Europe if you want to stand up and act in order to secure a better and safer world.

I came across an interesting article titled, “Why Europeans Doubt Colombia’s Hostage Rescue,” that sheds some light on European’s attitude.

The story presents the fact that European papers and television across the continent were presenting and believing the myth that Columbia bribed the terrorist organization FARC to release the hostages, and the rescue by the army was just a ruse. It provides details of how France, Denmark, Italy, Germany, and Spain have paid one ransom after another for hostages. And then it concludes:

European friends of the FARC are angry. How dare Colombia join the ranks of Britain, Israel, and the United States by refusing to negotiate with terrorists? How dare Colombia disprove the European mantra that all conflicts be resolved through diplomacy? How dare Colombia upstage post-heroic Europeans who, having lost the will to fight, believe anything can be bought for money?

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe summed it up well: “There are some who are bitter and who are seeking to discredit the operation. But these bitter people only know Colombia from afar. Aloof Europeans, what do they know about Colombian ingenuity? They believe that Colombian genius lies with the FARC. Someday they will know these military boys who carried out this operation.”

The fact of the matter is that Europe looks at diplomacy, negotiation, and compromise as end-all solutions. Look at what they have accomplished, they would argue: we formed our European Union on the basis of compromise. We who were former enemies united; why can’t we likewise come together with opponents such as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran?

What they don’t realize is that the United States of America has a rather enormous advantage of experience in the process of “uniting,” having done so nearly two centuries before Europe got into the act; that Americans aren’t much interested in hearing moral lectures on politics from the inventors of monarchism, communism, fascism, Nazism, and socialism; that the only reason Europeans aren’t speaking first German and after that Russian is because the United States stood up and fought for their freedom; and that Europeans ought to be therefore grateful enough and generous enough to stand with the United States as we continue to fight for the freedom of other oppressed peoples.

What Europeans have conveniently forgotten is that their freedom was won for them, and not by them. What they have forgotten was that their diplomacy, negotiation, and compromise didn’t mean squat to the Nazis or the Soviets; only American power and our willingness to use it mattered to these determined enemies of human freedom.

If Barack Obama becomes president (and, I must admit, there’s a part of me – and I’m ashamed to admit this – that wants Obama to get elected so that everyone can see just how spectacularly liberalism will fail) he will be shocked to discover that Europe will be nothing but an obstacle to his every effort to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

An article titled “Why Europe Won’t Sanction Iran” provides a lot of the underlying reasons for this behavior.

The reason President Bush ultimately was forced to attack Iraq was because France and Russia did everything they could to prevent any meaningful sanctions being applied to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in a corrupted and incompetent United Nations. We had good reasons for believing that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD, and were frustrated at every turn by Europe in obtaining the tough sanctions that would have forced Saddam to open up his program to inspection. Unable to obtain a diplomatic solution, we were forced to either attack or risk a WMD-armed Iraq.

And Russia and China are doing the same thing now in protecting Iran even as it is almost certainly developing a nuclear weapons program.

We’re going to see the same demand to let diplomacy and sanctions work – even as every meaningful effort at diplomacy and sanctions is thwarted; we’re going to see the same aversion to war – even as war becomes the only option; we’re going to see the same international condemnation and isolation all over again.

Or we’re going to see a nuclear-armed Iran that will be free to carry out terrorist campaigns by proxy and even shut down the Strait of Hormuz at will with absolute impunity.

Europeans have largely degenerated into Nietzsche’s portrayal of the “Last Man,” the end result of decades of creeping cynicism and mediocrity.

Today, Europeans are frankly both pathetic and apathetic. They won’t stand up for anything; they won’t fight for anything. The people who are literally dying out due to extremely low birth rates don’t care if they are consuming benefits paid for by massive debt that will crush the next generations after them. And their most cherished desire is that the mighty United States would be as weak, as pathetic, and as insignificant as they are.

Americans would have a different view of the world – and a different view of President George Bush – if they learned that lesson. It may take the election of a liberal president, and the crisis of a nuclear Iran, to drive that reality home.

Obama’s “Education Birthright” Underscores Sweeping Socialist Agenda

June 9, 2008

What’s the difference between liberalism and socialism?

Whatever it is, Obama has clearly crossed the line between the two.

Socialists believe that “the people” – which has always invariably ended up meaning “the government” – should own and control the means of production. And the candidate of “change” is clearly proposing more and more of just that very thing.

During the final primary night remarks of Senator Barack Obama on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Barack Obama said:

It’s not change when [John McCain] offers four more years of Bush economic policies that have failed to create well-paying jobs, or insure our workers, or help Americans afford the skyrocketing cost of college — policies that have lowered the real incomes of the average American family, widened the gap between Wall Street and Main Street, and left our children with a mountain of debt…

And maybe if he spent some time in the schools of South Carolina or St. Paul or where he spoke tonight in New Orleans, he’d understand that we can’t afford to leave the money behind for No Child Left Behind; that we owe it to our children to invest in early childhood education; to recruit an army of new teachers and give them better pay and more support; to finally decide that in this global economy, the chance to get a college education should not be a privilege for the wealthy few, but the birthright of every American. That’s the change we need in America. That’s why I’m running for President.

If a college education is a “birthright”, then you and I and everyone else classified as an American (and a lot of Democrats are very quick to point out that “undocumented immigrants” are “Americans” too), are entitled to it. And only someone really awful, like that awful President Bush – or that awful McCain, who as we all know is exactly like Bush (just ignore McCain’s entire career and listen to any Democrat’s demagoguing instead) – would deny it to you. Come on, it’s your birthright.

Students should have the absolute right to treat their college years with the same contempt that many of them treated their K-12 years, shouldn’t they?

Now, whenever one person is entitled to a right, it by necessity follows that everyone else in society has the duty imposed upon them to provide for (read “pay for“) that right. So let’s be straight here: you OWE me the PhD I’ve always wanted; heck, you probably owe me room and board for the next several years while I study for it and write my dissertation.

What’s that, you’re happily working as a janitor who wants to go to college the way most people want root canals? That’s okay; you can just get extra busy mopping those floors so you can fork over the dough for me to get mine. It’s my birthright. You owe me; Barack Obama said so.

Barack Obama’s words that clearly call for a socializing of education so that every American can have his “birthright” of a free college education follows a number of serious similar moves over sweeping aspects of our economy and our very way of life.

According to a major energy study, it will cost $45 trillion to combat the bogeyman of “Global Warming.” It’s too big of a problem for the free market to solve; only Big Brother can do the job.

Democrats just tried to get an energy bill passed that would have actually provided no new energy but imposed an additional $5 trillion to the cost of energy providers’ bottom lines by imposing penalties on energy emissions. The fact that the bill would have resulted in higher energy cost when Americans are already paying record prices, and the fact that it would have put more of the economy under direct federal control than at any time since the 1930’s was not a relevant factor to the many Democrats who voted for it.

Recently, in a very political decision, the Interior Department used the Endangered Species Act to declare polar bears as an endangered species – in spite of the fact that their population has doubled since the 1970s – because they might be endangered within the next 45 years or so if global warming alarmism is true.

The Endangered Species Act was written in 1973, at the very time climate Cassandras were saying that the world’s climatologists were agreed that we must prepare for the next Ice Age (see Science Digest, February 1973).

As George Will recently commented:

Now that polar bears are wards of the government, nad now that it is a legal doctrine that humans are responsible for global warming, the Endangered Species Act has acquired unlimited application. Anything that can be said to increase can – must – be said to threaten bears already designated as threatened.

Want to build a power plant in Arizona? A building in Florida? Do you want to drive an SUV? Or leave your cell phone charger plugged in overnight? Some judge might construe federal policy as proscribing these activities.

Thomas Jefferson – who presumably knew something about how our government was actually supposed to work, wrote:

“To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.”
—Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820. ME 15:277

Yet these are the very types of judges that Barack Obama has vowed to appoint if he is elected president.

The same activist judges who once found penumbras and emanations in the Constitution that somehow gave them license to create from scratch a right of a woman to kill her child, the same activist judges who recently overrode an overwhelming majority of California voters to radically redefine marriage, can do pretty much whatever they want.  And a swath of decisions are revealing that they want a lot.

Now that a federal judge can step in at darn any time he or she wants and put the kibosh on anything that could add to “global warming” and harm polar bears, and now that we are on the verge of socializing our health care industry – which represents more than 1/6th of the U.S. economy – it only makes sense to socialize our education system as well.

Barack Obama promises sweeping changes if he is elected president, and there is no question he fully intends to bring unparalleled changes to the United States. He intends to change our country from the classical liberalism of our history as a Democratic Republic – in which Americans have been free to choose for themselves, and been held responsible for themselves and for their choices – and embrace a form of socialism that has already bogged down the economy of Europe.