Welcome to the MSM drivel mines. Kaplan is erudite but here is shilling of the USN's latest finance boondoggle. The problem fighting pirates is not ship classes or weapons. It is lawfare, PC, mediawar, post-imperialism and the usual transnational progressive tripe.
By defning this in a context of criminal law and human rights the entire initiative is given to the pirates. By reagrding dead hostages as unacceptable we make it worse.
We had no fly zones over Iraq. We could create a no sail zone and simply shoot Somalis at sea on sight. We could bomb the ports they come from. We could do a lot of things. We don't because we are so concerned with being Good People [tm] that we tie ourselves in knots. Adding 100 LCS's won;t change that. Being willing to look at pictures of dead children in the pirate ports we bomb and not get weepy is what is needed.
Labels: PC and tranzies oh my, pirates
posted by scott 9:57 PM
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Labels: something new from our friends at Elfin
posted by scott 12:44 PM
I love my country very much but sometimes despair on its politics. The Pelosi v Bush debate on the surge is classic. W makes Wilsonian promises to get a war of choice. Pelosi skewers him on it. The inside the Beltway hardball is amusing but basically besides the point. Five years into Iraq we have no notion of what victory means. Forget the partisan food fight. What does success look like and what is it worth? We know what failure looks like - Saigon 75. Is success Iraq becoming Sweden? We have already failed and it was never possible. Is success Iraq not invading its neighbors? We suceeded years ago and can leave.
posted by scott 11:22 PM
The spiraling towards dead GOP has managed to lose three special elections back to back. One can make nit picks district by district after the fact. Two of the three candidates were abysmal. The Illinois district was trending Dem. The Louisiana district took in more Katrina refugees than anyplace in the US and thus was not the same district. The MS district nominated a Republican from the Memphis burbs who failed to excite the yellow dog older white Dems needed to take the district. One can always make such distinctions after the fact. They are fun and have some surface validity.
However there are two metapoints here:
1. W has near destroyed the GOP brand the past few years. The tone deaf inside the Beltway GOP leadership and endless drum beat of scandals [personal, sexual, financial] are just the icing on the cake. The core is that the GOP coalition is made up of pieces that don't much like each other. Once you get past foreign and defense policy the economic conservatives and country club types have little sympathy for the small government Jeffersonians and suburban libertarians and all hve near loathing for the religious and traditional cons who dominate the grass roots party machinery. W's brain dead Iraq war and Wilsonian foreign policy has turned the traditional national security plus into a minus. Katrina turned the usual governance plus [even people who didn't like Republicans mostly thought they were better managers] into a minus. W's lack of interest in or skills on economics has allowed the subprime meltdown that now puts economics back on the table. And even much of the core GOP voter base voted GOP despite the party's economics not because of them. Noonan did a good piece (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121088369408596389.html?mod=todays_columnists) on this. W seems content since the 2004 election to do his own thing and the brain dead robots in the Congressional GOP seem content to go down with the ship.
2. As stupid as the GOP has been that is how smart the Dems have been. They are back to picking candidates who fit their house districts and states instead of the reverse. They have managed to control both Houses of Congress for almost two years without letting the voters figure out that they now have a good share of the blame for the current mess. W's deer in the headlights ineptitude, tone deaf public speaking and simple disinterest in whether the party dies with him have enabled the ruling party to run against itself. The fun ends next January when Obama is sworn in and the media admit the Democrats are in charge. Odds are the Congressional GOP goes fully oppositional. They have endured 8 years of it and know the playbook. Question becomes if the Dems learned anything from 93-94 when they made their Blue Dogs and DLC types repeatedly walk the plank to pass liberal measures. Pelosi has surprised me and been a pro about not pushing her moderates to take votes that would be unpopular back home. Will she be willing and able to do the same under President Obama? Don't ask/don't tell may be the first clue.
Labels: MS-1 and back to the future
posted by scott 1:32 AM
I read Foreign Affairs for the party line on a certain key segment of elite ruling class thinking. However there are times when the cluelessness is actually amazing. They keep blinking and moaning about how US power is in decline. Yes. It is. Their policies were designed to do precisely this.
Think about it. Our starting point is 1945. US had some 50% of the effective GDP of the planet as near to everyone else had been near destroyed by a world war. Germany and Japan were occupied and had ceased to exist. China was transitioning from a decade plus of war with Japan to a civil war that would devestate what was left. The British Empire was bankrupt and would within a year need North American aid to feed London. The US had never been stronger but mostly because everyone else was so much weaker.
Our policy since then was to rebuild Europe and Japan while holding out the hopes that the rest of the world could join the party once they dumped Leninism, stopped trying to invade their neighbors and joined the usual Western created international organizations [UN, GATT, WTO etc.]. Surprise - we won/it worked. Evil Empire is gone and without another war in Europe/ On the Beach. China is still ruled by something that calls itself a CP but is nothing Lenin or Mao would approve of. Brazil may finally be the giant of the present instead of the country of the future. Yes, there are still failures - Africa, Burma, some laggards in South America - but taken as a whole world is a MUCH better place than 1945 and most of it was because of things we supported and helped bring about.
So now the same elites that gave us these programs whine that this means US power is relatively MUCH less. Wasn't that the entire point? If they wanted a US hegemony [I don't and neither do the American people] they picked policies designed to do exactly the opposite. Overall those policies have produced a world of peace and plenty. The wars that are left are mostly internal wars of failed third world states. Except for the perpetual Palestine problem even the potential/likely wars are mostly between failed states and their neighbors. Again yes there are a few exceptions [US-Iran, Second Korean War, War of Pakistani Suicide, Taiwan Straights War] but by world historical standards there aren't that many flash points.
Similarly the whine about the growth of non-state actors is the quite pushed for result of policies our elites have pushed for on everything from civil society to human rights to financial liberalization. Unlike the direct state to state policy much of this had ripple effects the tranzies / rootless cosmopolites at places such as the Council on Foreign Relations claimed not to have anticipated. YMMV on how honest they are being [i.e. much of this was pointed out by nationalists and paleo-cons 1945-2008 and was dismissed by elite opinion as reactionary twaddle]. However from preaching the Atlantic as a common cultural community to flower revolution this was in the main a Trans-Atlantic elite project and in the main it worked.
Yet now that we live in the Brave New World our betters pushed for we get whining such as this about how the independent and increasing powerful actors [state, transnational and supernational] have their own agendas and won't take US direction. DUH! As world civilizations we are the children at the table. Even Brazil was a century old before Jamestown. Others had to pay some attention to our whims when we were the only source of wealth and protection. Those days are LONG past. Others will pursue their own interests whether or not be approve. The trick is not to pine for the long lost 'more powerful' US of 1946. It is to adjust to our place. We are a major power. We are a source of much technology and pop culture. We are not the next Rome. We should accept that many times the world will not agree with us. And sometimes that means accepting that some situations are beyond our power to fix unilaterally. W seems to have accepted this with NK and their nukes. We can be part of a solution. We cannot force a solution. The other powers involved [Japan, China, SK, Russia] have their own mix of interests and find NK nukes less scary than other things such as an NK implosion or intrusions on state sovereignty. Sixc power talks may fail but they are the only option.
Yet the same administration that accepts this on NK refuses to accept this on Iran. Issue is not would the world be better off if Iran didn't have nukes. Issue is that the rest of the world does not agree with us [China, Russia, India] or puts higher priority on energy supplies and commercial transactions [EU, Japan]. We are going to live in a world where Iran has nukes and Iran and Israel may have a nuke war. Limits of power.
US cannot right every wrong, decide every matter etc. US is stronger when it picks its fights VERY carefully. This is so obvious as to be absurd. Our rulers may get us all killed/bankrupt yet. Sad.
Labels: our clueless ruling class
posted by scott 4:46 AM
She was outspent maybe 3-4 to 1. She was out organized. She had nothing new to say. She had Bill trip over his tongue yet again and hog the air time for the last two days with yet another cascading set of transparent lies [more and more Bill seems a man of the early 90's who simply does not grok that google, youtube etc. make his old sort of lies near impossible - it is ALL on the public record these days]. She's winning by ten points anyway.
But that isn't the real story. The REAL story is the county breakdowns. Leave out Philly plus the inner burbs and Obama could have stayed home. Now many of the HRC voters who swear they will never vote for Obama will come home. Nature of our system is that given any Democrat v any Republican a lot of these people are and remain hereditary Democrats. A lot more will just vote against the party in power - war, Bush fatigue, economy, general feeling of lack of governnance, health care, gasoline prices...- BUT Dems are clinging to dozens of House seats across the US in what based on 1994-2004 are red districts. If 10% of the national Dem base defects [stays home, votes Republican, votes third party] that translates as 20-25% in those Blue Dog districts. GOP lacks the cash and candidate recruitment to cash in on ALL of this but the HRC argument that she can bring out the base is looking better all the time, the more so if McCain somehow acquires a political brain and nominates a VP with appeal to those demographics.
Labels: The Ice Bitch Comes
posted by scott 8:31 PM
No need to post URL's to the endless videos as You-tube will probably take them all down as fast as they go up. Obama managed to avoid getting tagged with his wife's views. He must be thanking Eliot Spitzer for giving him the ONLY thing helping him bury this one.
The issue isn't Wright's views which as Wright himself said on Fox are reasonably within what passes for progressive thought in the US. Pearl Harbor was a conspiracy. AIDS was created to kill black people. All white people think about in the world is how to fuck over black people. Anyone who disagrees with them is a Nazi Klansman. We deserved 911. The usual. The usual mix of liberation theology, black separatism/anti-white racism and consipracy kool-aid.
However it was Wright's Church that validated Obama as a real black man instead of an oreo. My words are not sugar coated but this has been widely reported. Obama was active in the congregation. He gave tens of thousands of dollars. He was married by this man. He kept calling him his spiritual adviser and using Wright to validate him against accusations that he was a crypto-Muslim. Yet Obama now knows nothing of the views of the man whose sermon was the title for his book "The Audacity of Hope". I could sooner believe that Eliot the Penetrator thought he was giving testimony to Congress when he was banging little Ms. Kristen.
So the leading candidate for President of the US runs on his biography but essentially declares the views of his wife and his pastor off limits. Bringing up his middle name is xenophobic and out of bounds also. Yet he runs as Barak Hussein not as Barry. Obama has been allowed to be a transracial educated moderate and an authentic great black hope all at once. See Shelby Stelle's book ( http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Man-Excited-About-Obama/dp/1416559175) discussed further at
It has taken six weeks to go from the Audacity of Hope and a transracial future free of the stale old politics to the new messiah's partisans calling anyone who won't drink the kool aid a racist. It may well work with the MSM and with progressives but I expect to see learned articles on the Bradley effect come December. Three clowns competing to lose and we are stuck with one for the next four years in the worst financial mess since 1929. [glyph of cow retching].
Labels: Obama's pastor
posted by scott 11:49 AM