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Shooting First and Aiming Later

Posted in Election 2012,Foreign Policy,National Security,President Obama,War on Terror by Ryan on the September 12th, 2012

President Obama takes a full swipe at Romney with this statement in the wake of Romney’s criticism of the Obama Administration’s handling of the Cairo Embassy’s confusing condemnation of “hurtful” free speech:

 “There’s a broader lesson to be learned here,” Mr. Obama told “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft at the White House. “And I — you know, Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later.”

One is left to wonder, what does “aiming before you shoot” look like then? Apparently like this:

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

So Obama says that Romney is mixed up in his awareness of the facts, after he just delivered the exact same message his administration disavowed and that Governor Romney is criticizing.

Mr. President, it doesn’t matter if you say how unacceptable violence is, if you criticize “hurtful speech” in the same breath, you are tacitly justifying the violence.

As Governor Romney put it:

I spoke out when the key fact that I referred to was known, which was that the Embassy of the United States issued what appeared to be an apology for American principles. That was a mistake. And I believe that when a mistake is made of that significance, you speak out.

President Obama Still Fantasizing

Posted in National Security,President Obama,World by Ryan on the March 26th, 2012

I just saw that our President is still advocating a position that extends beyond reality.

The president said he believes the United States has a “moral obligation” to act and lead the world in reducing nuclear stockpiles.  He continued, “I say this as president of the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons.  I say it as a Commander-in-Chief who knows that our nuclear codes are never far from my side.  Most of all, I say it as a father, who wants my two young daughters to grow up in a world where everything they know and love can’t be instantly wiped out.”

His comments build upon stuff he talked about in his Prague Speech a couple of years ago, and I mention it here.

I’m not sure what the end goal really is behind this kind of rhetoric.  It is hard to believe that the man occupying the Presidency actually believes that we can eliminate nuclear weapons.

As Bill Kristol says,

Yet to justify a world without nuclear weapons, what Obama would really have to envision is a world without war, or without threats of war.

I would take it further.  To eliminate any kind of weapon that gives you any advantage, you have to remove human nature from humans.  Evil exists in the hearts of men across the world, and to deny that is to deny reality.  Past, present and future.  I know Obama said that the rise of the oceans began to slow during the primary last cycle, but can he really perfect us all?  Has the messianic vision of himself extended beyond his followers of 2008 and permanently affixed itself upon his mind?

More concisely explaining the general theme of that point of perfection, Jonah Goldberg was recently on Uncommon Knowledge and explained how progressives will never be satisfied because they believe in perfection.  Conservatives recognize that humans are flawed and that perfection is not attainable.  At least for the time being.  It is these diverging world views that drive much of the political debate.  (An unconstrained vision versus a constrained vision.)  Progressives believe that a utopia exists somewhere out there, and will enact policies in an attempt to achieve their vision of it.  Conservatives recognize the failings of humans and are more interested in establishing conditions through which imperfect beings can best thrive and prosper, despite their imperfection.  The US Constitution, traditional morality and ethics, etc…

This ambition to reduce nuclear armaments, with the goal of reaching zero, embodies this difference in vision of what is real, and what is not.

“Incompetence” to Blame for Incompetence

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/11/23/pistole.threat.delay/index.html

“Frankly it just came down to the fact there was not a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed administrator in place until I was confirmed at the end of June to make a really significant decision like that, that would have impact on a number of people,” Pistole said. “That was a big part of it.”

TSA Director Pistole is basically telling us that the White House was so inept in responding to the threat of underwear bombers, that it took the actual confirmation of a TSA director over 7 months later to then begin the process of implementing the pat downs, which wouldn’t take effect until another 3 months later.

So this Christmas, if you’re flying, as we celebrate the 1 year anniversary foiling of the “Underwear Bomber,” we can also join hands in celebrating the 2 month anniversary of nationwide pat downs.

US Military in Context

Posted in Foreign Policy,National Security,U.S.,World by Ryan on the April 30th, 2010

Just came across a fascinating website called Information is Beautiful.

One of the articles that caught my eye was one about military spending & size when taking wealth and population into account.

It doesn’t seem fair to not factor in the wealth of a country when assessing its military budget.

So, if you take military budgets as a proportion of each country’s GDP, a very different picture emerges.

Info-is-beautiful-defence-001

The US is knocked down into 8th place by such nations as Jordan, Burundi and Georgia. The UK plunges to 29th.

Valerie Plame & The Unicorn Express

Posted in Foreign Policy,National Security,President Obama by Ryan on the February 15th, 2010

Valerie Plame Wilson must be involved in what I dub the “Unicorn Express,” borrowing from other sources.  A seemingly mystical and illogical quest for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.  I first caught a glimpse of her on CNN.com and thought, “Was that Valerie Plame?”  Indeed.  Skip to 0:35 for her sound byte.

Then check out TED’s website about the session she opened where her name links to this group’s website.

I think my thoughts are pretty much in line with Bill Kristol’s back after Obama’s speech in Prague.

From Bill Kristol’s “A World Without Nukes — Just Like 1939” April 7, 2009 Article  —-

Of course, we had a world without nuclear weapons not so long ago — say, in 1939. The war that began in that nuclear-free world led to a crash project to develop nuclear weapons. It ended with America’s use of them…

Yet to justify a world without nuclear weapons, what Obama would really have to envision is a world without war, or without threats of war.

As soon as we get rid of nuclear weapons though, we ought to get rid of unicorns.  They have a pointy horn.

Keep America Safe

Posted in Foreign Policy,National Security,President Obama,War on Terror by Ryan on the October 14th, 2009

A new organization started by Liz Cheney, someone I love seeing debate democrats on foreign policy and national defense.

Their “Rhetoric vs. Reality” video is excellent.

Right Wing Extremism Report

Posted in Government,National Security,U.S. by Ryan on the April 17th, 2009

While news of this report circulated, many on the right were flabbergasted that this administration’s Department of Homeland Security would release such a report. There seemed to be an overall knee jerk reaction to it from many republicans.  However, I think that when one considers it as a report dealing primarily with white supremacist groups and the like, it seems plausible, but still in line with the juvenile mistakes Obama’s administration has been making since day one.  Some of the language is ambiguous at best, identifying extremists as advocating fundamental conservative issues such as states rights and abortion.

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

Can you imagine a report during Bush’s administration that said to “be on the lookout for left wing extremists that advocate an anti-war opinion and favor impeachment of the President?” And on top of that, states for all to see that there is no evidence of anything bad being planned.

Overall, the report lacks a solid foundation when it comes to details and facts.  Jonah Goldberg seems to capture my feelings in his article at the National Review.

The problem with it is that it makes little effort to document or demonstrate its contention that “extremist” groups are resurgent, that they are right-wing, or that they may be formed from the ranks of “disgruntled military veterans.” Worse, it’s very sloppy about what qualifies someone as “extremist” in the first place. Basically, it’s fancy bureaucratese for: We’re guessing bad people will do bad things because the economy is bad and the president is black. But we have no real evidence.

Pirates vs. Industrialized Nations

Posted in National Security by Ryan on the April 14th, 2009

I find the current situation off the coast of Somalia surprising.  It seems a lot of people are discussing how the US Navy is not going to be able to manage patrolling an area that large.  I don’t see how massing uber-powerful warships will do much more than simply provide a mechanism of response, as the recent episode with the Maersk’s captain shows.  To me, the simplest solution seems to be to put several well trained and heavily armed professionals on these cargo vessels.  Some indicate this would only escalate the level of violence and weapons the pirates would employ.  So match them.  At some point, the extensive wealth and power of industrialized nations needs to show that it is futile for puny thieves to take people hostage.

Instead of spending however much money to patrol with however many warships, use those resources to simply blunt any sort of attack right there on the ship.  If a few determined merchant sailors can disrupt a pirate attack, imagine what a dozen urban trained soldiers with firepower can do.

In the scheme of things, it seems like this pirate thing is like gnats and we’re a human.  Instead of trying to swat at them with our giant hands when they bother us, lets just put some insect repellent on and see how they like it.

“A Childish Fantasy”

Posted in Foreign Policy,National Security,President Obama by Ryan on the April 7th, 2009

Charles Krauthammer has some choice words for Obama’s recent statements about nuclear weapons.

Again, Hat tip: Greg Hengler at Townhall.com’s blog