Sunday, February 27, 2011

Making Sense of it All
Part I

It's been a while since I've written an original post. I think I know why I fall out the mood to write, though. It would be easy to blame the fact that there are (as of February 16th) 156 million different blogs on the web. Of course, many of them have long been abandoned and even more of them are simply created as advertisements for products (or porn).

I don't know how many blogs have lasted as long as this one has. I started mine way back in April 2004 - almost 7 long years ago. I think that alone is a terrific accomplishment. Heck, aside from being a parent and a husband (the latter ending after 20 years), I don't think I've ever dome anything for 7 years!

I think what causes me to be so inconsistent lately are a couple of different things. For one thing, my latest job takes up a great deal of time and since I work mostly in the afternoons and evenings, by the time I get home I'm often too damn tired to write.

Another reason is more political. While it doesn't really bother me that I don't average a lot of readers (I did when I was more consistent), I sometimes feel like I have nothing tangible to add to the conversation. Many of my influences write about certain topics so well, that I feel I'm just echoing their comments. What would the point of that be? That's why I have been posting articles from these writers who tell it better than I could ever hope to.

That being said, I do feel there are certain topics that I have to ability to discuss in perhaps ways that aren't always so easy to understand from the big guys. My hope is that perhaps my way of writing, with the passion I have for the subject may influence, or educate you, the reader.

1. The Middle East

A number of people I have heard from, or spoken to, often contradict themselves in regard to what has been happening in the Mideast and Northern Africa. It soon dawned on me that the reason for their confusion can be traced to the White House. Unfortunately, President Obama has been completely void of a true policy regarding the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Where that has been most glaring has been in his incoherent mixed messages to the leaders of these countries.

A year ago, when the Iranian students rose up to challenge Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Obama was eerily silent. At the time, he claimed it was not "our place" to interfere in other countries affairs. While there was some truth to that, it was clearly seen as Obama's way of sucking up to Iran, in hopes they would reconsider their nuclear ambitions.

It failed and all it accomplished was to show the Iranian protesters that the leader of the free world didn't care about their desire for freedom.

When Tunisia fell to revolution, gain the President voted "present." Assumedly, since there really was no connection between the Tunisians and the United States, it appeared that Obama was following his original doctrine. Of course, this doctrine did not include Israel - whom Obama was clearly willing and able to interfere, and did - much to the chagrin of the Israelis.

However, when the Egyptians rose up to overthrow Hosni Mubarak - like the Israelis, a friend and ally of Washington - suddenly (after a few days) Obama found his voice. Of course, he also changed his mind daily as to what to do. Because he had no coherent policy and seemed to be completely taken by surprise (which was odd, since both the Israeli government and his own State department warned him of the unrest and, if nothing else, Tunisia should have woken him up). At first, Obama called for calm. Then he announced Mubarak MUST step down. The next day, he changed his stance and told Mubarak to stay and orderly transfer his power. A day later, Obama told Mubarak to resign immediately.

Of course, by this point, Mubarak understood the weakness of our President and told him to stick it.

And then, Libya erupted. And where was Obama? Well, Libya poses a different problem for the President. For one thing, members of his inner circle have been great supporters of Libyan President-for-Life
Moammar Khadafy (or however you spell it today). While it would be cynicle to claim that these connections caused Obama to delay interfering, it is hard to assume it wasn't an issue.

Still, as
Khadafy began turning his military against the people, Obama sat on the sidelines - even though the Libyan ambassador pleaded with Obama to take the threat of what was happening seriously - even going so far as informing the State department that Khadafy was willing to use chemical weapons to stave off the revolution.

Now, almost a week later, Obama has finally made some noise and informed
Khadafy he must step down.

Ouch. That must really sting, huh? How about sending a naval fleet to Tripoli to force him to step down?

All this has shown is that when it comes to American allies, Obama feels no shame in demanding his way. But when dealing with America's enemies, he changes his direction. Of course, to the rest of the world, this shows Obama to be not only very weak, but also incompetent. It's one thing to be caught off guard - hey, it happens. But to then do it again and again, it shows a basic lack of understanding about the world in general, and the region in particular. Especially painful was watching how poorly Obama treated Mubarak.

The other side of the coin is how poorly the State department understands the dynamics of the Middle East. It started recently with the
Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper testifying that the Muslim Brotherhood was mostly secular. Of course, anyone who actually listens to their representatives know just how insane that comment is.

But in fact, this fecklessness can be traced all the way back to the Jimmy Carter administration and how they handled the Iranian revolution of 1979. But Carter was not the only culprit. As much as it pains me to admit it, every President - including Reagan - failed to fully appreciate the growing threat of radical Islam. I cringed whenever President Bush (W.) called Islam the "religion of peace."

By failing to recognize - or if they did recognize, but simply ignored - the death cult of Islam, they allowed the American left to control the conversation. Students in schools were taught all about the virtues of "multiculturism" - a subject that Germany, Denmark, Great Britain and France have all admitted to be a colossal mistake. Yet, as the European countries begin to take measures to correct this monumental blunder (which, in some cases may be too late), the American left, led by President Obama, continue to stick their heads in the sand.

I'm amazed at the fact that poll after poll claims that the United States is a "center-right" nation. In fact, there are more than twice as many people who consider themselves "conservative" than there are those who consider themselves "liberal." Yet it seems, in almost every instance, policies and laws put in place in this country over the past 50 years have moved the country leftward.

The midterm elections this past year may have actually slowed the tide, however. But from what we are witnessing in Wisconsin shows that the left is not about to concede any ground. In 32008, President Obama famously announced that "elections have consequences." Yet in Wisconsin, it seems the left didn't get the memo.

I'll discuss more of this in part two.

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