North Koreas threatening spate of missile launches including an unsuccessful try with an advanced version of its Taepodong 2 Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile that is capable of hitting the United States has sparked a cacophony of talk from leaders and foreign policy experts around the world.
As they debate and discuss various options at the United Nations and in capitals around the globe, the rudimentary U.S. missile defense system is poised to shoot down anything launched from North Korea that threatens the American homeland or the critical interests of our regional allies like Japan and Australia.
Noticeably absent are the voices of those who, since President Reagan first proposed such a system in 1984, have fought development and deployment of the missile defense system the U.S. must now depend upon in dealing with North Korea. These folks have claimed over and over that the system they derisively call Star Wars cant possibly work, would be too expensive, would incite a new world arms race, etc., etc. Names that come to mind in this regard include senators like Joe Biden, D-Del., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., and the Clinton-Gore administration that delayed and dilly-dallied with work on missile defense for most of the 90s.
It is important that the American people understand two aspects of the current crisis as it relates to missile defense. First, the system President Bush recently ordered advanced from its testing stage to operational status when the North Koreans began preparing the Taepodong 2 launch is extremely rudimentary because it is still being developed. The system now includes only 11 ground-based launch sites in Alaska and California capable of knocking out long-range missiles like the Taepodong 2, and four Aegis-class Navy destroyers equipped with missile defense battle management systems and Standard-3 missiles capable of hitting medium range threats.
Second, they will no doubt protest to high heaven, but Star Wars critics must bear the major burden of responsibility for the delays and setbacks that have prevented the missile defense system from becoming fully operational long before the present crisis with North Korea. There have been technological problems, especially in the very early stages, but those were temporary and subject to American technological prowess.
Far more serious have been the setbacks engineered by the critics like then-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchells maneuvers to kill the first Bush administrations Global Protection Against Limited Strikes (G-PALS) plan, the Clinton-Gore gutting of the Strategic Defense Initiative office in 1993 and the delaying tactics used by Senate Democrats in the first years of this decade to reduce the current programs funding.
It is a sobering thought to wonder how much more secure the United States and its allies would be today in the face of madness like North Koreas launches if instead of a limited defense still in development we could depend upon the robust protection first proposed many years ago.
Had that Dong headed in the vicinity of Hawaii and we missed on the intercept (or used too many of our interceptors in the process) these same politicians -- who spent 20 years retarding BMD progress -- would have been blaming Bush "incompetence" for not getting BMD to work as well as it could.
This is why, after 8 years here in DC, I now have UTTER contempt for the legislative branch of government. Most members of congress are opportunistic Monday morning quarterbacks.
The anti-BMD crowd is among the worst. Most are motivated by a leftist ideology that taught them that developing this technology was 'destabilizing.' What always angered me is that -- in their concept of 'stability' -- the US had far fewer options for its own defense yet somehow it was wrong to question their patriotism. Also, their doctrine -- to the extent that their sentiments amounted to one -- relied exclusively on a massive nuclear counterstrike for deterrence. Yet somehow it was wrong to question their judgement or sense of morality.
I might not agree with Bush all the time but at least, when he (or for that matter any of his predecessors) takes a position on something, he makes a commitment to action and is judged accordingly, unlike these legislators who will happily go on the Sunday morning shows to bash the administration (for instance, to demagouge a BMD test) regardless of what happens.
I have respect only for the people in government service who lose sleep at night over things like Kimmie's nukes and missiles. I seriously doubt Levin or any of the anti-BMD crowd has lost a wink over the demonstrable bankruptcy of their strategy over the last 20 years.
I like this op ed for setting the record straight. Unfortunately, IMO, right wingers like me have had too many reasons lately to say 'I told you so.' While the current NK situation proves us right on BMD I believe 9/11 pretty much settled the death penalty debate and the Washington snipers -- and fear of do-it-yourself jihadis -- pretty much ended the 'gun control' debate.
HAWAII = HQ of US Navy's Pacific Fleet + major US Commands; A US State - read, influence over [pro/anti-North Korea]national budget-politics; has large, politically-econ active Asian population; BMD-GMD locale; is heavily Welfarist-Nanny US State; Yamaoto failed to invade and isolate Pearl Harbor = Hawaii during or after December 7th, 1941, i.e. support IJN-desired "decisive battle" against US fleet in Pacific; locale for Norkie-supported Mafia operations in USA; Chicom plans for Asian-Pacific hegemony > substitute China for America in entire Pacific; Commies need Hawaii + parts of ALCAN to cover the Pacific flanks of Mother Cindy's Airborne Army of US Liberation-OWG = Amerikkan Peacekeeping Force as they fight to "liberate" all of NORAM-CONUS from Dubya's fascists, i.e "purge" America's sacred National Communist, pan-Socialist, Totalitarianism-Regul Absolutism = Perfection/Utopianism, pro-Stalinist, pro-OWG anti-US sovereignty mainstream from its defective klutz/simpleton = criminal, Male Brute, mere Authoritarian, limited Govermentist, etal. Fascist SOCIALIST GOP-Rightist minority faction. LASTLY, threatening a lawful, de facto US State > hopes to scare US politicians into diverting powerful US forces to cover Hawaii AT EXPENSE OF US ALLIES IN ASIA. ITS A QUANDRY FOR THE NORKIES > they know their [starving] 3-Milyuhn plus population are expendable fodder for the Chicoms yet Norks too have a moral duty to protect and save the lives of as many of their people as they can.
We have much to cover before this year's elections, but I can't shake my political-junkie fixation on 2008.
It doesn't get more wide open. For the first time in 80 years, neither the sitting president nor vice president will make a peep about running. While the 1952 Eisenhower-Stevenson race was the last featuring neither the incumbent president nor his second in command, President Harry Truman did run unsuccessfully in the New Hampshire primary that year, and his veep, Alben Barkley, proceeded even further before falling short.
Throw in the developing cast of characters for the race to succeed President Bush, and it's no wonder there's early buzz. Who doesn't have some sliver of opinion about the possibility of Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democrats or Condoleezza Rice for the Republicans?
In an age when even most Dems concede that, nationally at least, advocating for or legislating more gun control is a) political suicide and b) nigh on impossible to get passed even if you ARE suicidal, look for Rudy G to back off on any "gun grabbing". He's a pol, after all, and like most of his ilk he'll round his rough edges to get where he wants.
If Carville knows that pushing for gun control is like drinking a growler full of hemlock, it stands to reason Giuliani's people have hipped him to the same.
Posted by: no mo uro ||
07/07/2006 19:50 Comments ||
I agree with No Mo Uro as to Rudy maintaining anything resembling a gun-grabber position. To win in NYC, a successful Republican mayoral candidate needs to promise to at least maintain the status quo re the (idiotic) local gun control laws in order to peel off a big enough chunk of the Dem electorate. I think Rudy's smart enough to know that NYC-style gun control ain't gonna play in the red states.
I've said this before, but I'm happy to say it again...IMHO, what will make a Rudy candidacy interesting is how his admittedly messy personal life is going to play with voters, specifically Republican women. I remember some feminist hack said she'd have been willing to polish Slick Willie's knob out of gratitude for abortion remaining legal, but conservative women take adultery very, very personally. Where I live, a big "famliy values" Repub congressman lost his seat when he made the reeeeally big mistake of squiring his 20-something extracurricular cutie to some public events. This spread among the district's Republican women like wildfire - one friend estimates his wife personally cost this guy at least a dozen votes.
Rudy can still make inroads among Republican women by emphasizing his proven leadership in a crisis - I think they'll grumble a bit, grit their teeth and go with the guy who'll keep them safe even if he lets Thumper out to play a bit too often. Newt couldn't pull this off - despite his great contributions as an ideas guy and a political strategist, he's never saved a city or demonstrated cool leadership under (literal) fire.
Posted by: Ricky bin Ricardo (Abu Babaloo) ||
07/08/2006 0:12 Comments ||
Throughout this war there are various truths generally recognized, but rarely voiced.
First, before 9/11 the Western hard right-wing allowed radical Islam a pass and then afterwards the Left did worse. That fact helps to explain the strange exemption given radical Islam in the West even today.
In the 1980s some conservatives saw the jihadists in Afghanistan or the Wahhabis in the Gulf as valuable bulwarks against global Communism. On the Western domestic front, even extremist Muslims in their embrace of family values and resentment against modernism were considered bedrock conservatives. Supposedly, they shared the same understandable concern about Western decadence, such as promiscuity, homosexuality, crass popular culture, and family dissolution.
So, despite clear evidence that many conservative mosques in the West were promulgators of a sick backward extremism, many social reactionaries hardly wished to upset their fellow travelers. Add in common distrust of Israel, and no surprise that the pages of The American Conservative will still sometimes resemble those of the Nation.
But with the fall of Communism, and the subsequent revelation that Islamists did not worry about the unfortunate direction of contemporary Western culture so much as they wished to destroy it, culpability then mostly fell to the Left.
Multiculturalism (no culture is worse than the Wests) and its twin of cultural relativism (those with power have no right or ability to judge others) gave a wide pass to radical Islam and its 7th-century primitivism. Apparently most Leftists thought the dearth of women in the clubhouse at the Masters Tournament at Augusta National was far worse than the Arab worlds honor killings, burqas, and coerced female circumcision.
Indeed, a radical Leftist always faces a dilemma when a fellow anti-American sounds fascistic. The usual course, as we have seen since September 11, is either to keep silent about such embarrassing kindred spirits, or to weasel out by suggesting our own hegemonic tendencies pushed a once reasonable Other in lamentable directions.
The result? Killers and terrorists have been able to operate openly in European capitals. Here in North America, in the 58 months after the Twin Towers fell, numerous cadres of terrorists still continue to be rounded up without a peep of condemnation from mainstream Muslim groups, who have instead crafted an ingenious cult of victimization, predicated on sympathy from the Left. Ask yourself: In the fifth year since September 11, is it more likely that Islamic associations in Canada or the United States will condemn global Islamic extremism or complain about purported Islamophobia and the sins of Zionism?
Another undercurrent to this war is the abject failure to do anything about imported petroleum the hundreds of billions that accrued to the Middle East and Gulf when petroleum skyrocketed from $30 to $70 a barrel. . . .
. . . Finally, there are a number of influential Americans let us be frank who want us to forfeit this effort in Iraq. For some prominent Democrats, like a Sen. Kennedy or Sen. Durbin, who compares our wartime military on occasion to Saddams Baathists or Nazis, it is an issue of simple partisanship. If Iraq blows up in the face of the United States, and we can still avoid another September 11, then they wager that Bush and his cohorts, in the manner of a wrecked Johnson or Nixon administration, might alone suffer the political consequences. For them, collateral damage to America is worth the risk incurred by their own sleazy rhetoric.
Others of the Michael Moore / Cindy Sheehan brand are far more unbalanced, of course. They have either praised the enemy outright (jihadists as Minutemen) or slurred the present administration (Bush as worlds greatest terrorist) as consistently as any al Qaedist mouthpiece. Still, we cant call these folk exactly fringe-types not when the Democratic elite queue up for Moores premiers or praise Sheehans madness. Just as mainstream Muslim organizations dont rush to condemn Islamic radicalism, so too liberal Democrats rarely denounce the rhetoric of their own fanatical Left.
There is a final unspoken truth as well. Al Qaeda might not go away soon. The Europeans, as in the Clinton years, will always triangulate. North Korea and Iran, both of whom started nuclear programs in the 1990s, will still issue unhinged threats. Barring its discovery of some clandestine government effort to monitor radical Christian fundamentalists better left secret, the New York Times will keep leaking confidential national-security measures. But the time will come when there is once again a Democratic administration.
In that climate, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, and Howard Dean, or their epigones, will still have to persuade the American people that radical Islam means to destroy us. They cant say their war is cooked up in Texas, but will instead have to deal with the Sheehanites and the loose-cannon bloggers they either appeased or encouraged.
Who knows perhaps President Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Wesley Clark, and Attorney General John Edwards may soon appear on television extending support for democrats in Baghdad or deploring unlawful disclosures that emboldened terrorists plotting to blow up Washington.
Because this generation of the opposition, in a foolish and short-sighted manner, has turned an American struggle into George Bushs futile war, it will either have to abandon the democracy in Iraq or recant and assure the rest of us that its past hateful and extremist rhetoric was just politics, and they are now going to unite us and lead us on to victory over the primevalists after all.
Dubya correctly interpreted the meaning of 9-11 as that either America [in its own way]overtly rules the world, or America/e enemies will destroy America. IMHO I believe the Amer mainstream knows the nation is in a war for its very survival - the DemoLeft's on-going rants against the war and Dubya for the sake of OWG and political advantage is only hurting and weakening the Party of Jefferson-Jackson evermore, ergo the Demoleft's curr RINO-ism and CINO-ism = POTEMKINISM!? MOUD > warned that Israel's moves in Gaza may induce a ME explosion, but that Iran will attack American and Western targets. IOW, ASYMMTERIC ANTI-US-ISRAEL-WEST "PEOPLE'S WAR OF RESISTANCE/ANTI-IMPERIALISM" REMAINS A PARALLEL PC/PDENIABLE WAR FOR GLOBAL MUSLIM STATE = GLOBAL IRANIAN MUSLIM ISLAMIST SHIA CALIPHATE-EMPIRE. Iranian/enemy-alleged "self-defense" is also simul Iranain/enemy-specific wilful imperialism and geopol-internat bellicosity. SHOWS THE GWOT IS IN REALITY A DE FACTO WAR TO THE DEATH OF ONE SIDE-CAMP OVER ANY AND ALL OTHER SIDES-CAMPS. ARMISTICE > MEANINGLESS, TEMPORARY INTERIM PERIOD OF PC PEACE = LIMITED COLD WAR.
A President responds to an unprecedented war with unprecedented measures that test the limits of his constitutional authority. He suffers setbacks from hostile Supreme Court justices, a critical media and a divided Congress, all of which challenge his war powers.
Liberal pundits and editorial pages would have you believe this describes President Bush after the Supreme Court last week rejected military commissions for trying terrorists. But it just as easily fits Abraham Lincoln when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves or Franklin D. Roosevelt when he made the United States the great "arsenal of democracy" in the lead-up to World War II.
The court's decision in Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld ignores the basic workings of our separation of powers and will hamper the ability of future presidents to respond to emergencies with the forcefulness and vision of a Lincoln or an FDR.
Long-standing U.S. practice recognizes that the president, as commander in chief, plays the leading role in wartime. Presidents have started wars without congressional authorization, and they have exercised complete control over military strategy and tactics. They can act with a speed, unity and secrecy that the other branches of government cannot match. By contrast, legislatures are large, diffuse and slow. Their collective design may make them better for deliberating over policy, but at the cost of delay and lack of resolve.
Make them elected, 12 year terms, for the area they cover, district, appellate or national. If it was good enough to clip the wings of the Senators a hundred years ago by making them directly accountable to the people, were way behind the power curve on these [Jonathan Swift] yahoos.
Posted by: Captain America ||
07/07/2006 11:58 Comments ||
Hardly a power grab by the court. They get no new power, they just told Bush to get Congress' permission before he exercises his. A bad decision in my opinion for all the reasons Scalia outlined, but hardly arrogation of power.
NS - SCOTUS ruled in 1946 in Yamashita vs Styer that the Executive could assemble such courts -
The military commission appointed to try the petitioner was lawfully created. P. 9. (a) Nature of the authority to create military commissions for the trial of enemy combatants for offenses against the law of war, and principles governing the exercise of jurisdiction by such commissions, considered. Citing Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1, and other cases. Pp. 7-9. (b) A military commission may be appointed by any field commander, or by any commander competent to appoint a general court martial, as was respondent by order of the President. P. 10. (c) The order creating the military commission was in conformity with the Act of Congress (10 U. S. C. @@ 1471-1593) sanctioning the creation of such tribunals for the trial of offenses against the law of war committed by enemy combatants. P. 11.
SCOTUS knows no bounds other than that they place upon themselve, just like kings, above the people.
You don't get it. The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 passed by Congress exercised their power under the Constitution to limit the federal court system's authority and purview over the detainees. Congress's authority under the Constitutioin , Art III, Section 2, "In all the other cases before mentioned, teh supreme court shall have appeallate jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such exceptions, and under the regulations as the Congress shall make." SCOTUS did a big f***you to that. It is a power grab to have oversight on the conduct war that the court did not exercise during the last major worldwide conflict. And as Yamashita versus Styer shows, theyve created a NEW requirement. Be sure, that it is the first of many. But please, enlighten us with the appropriate writing [Federalists Papers, et al] which showed the founding fathers intended SCOTUS to referee a war.
Nimble, the SCOTUS has no jurisdiction in the case of foreign terrorists being detained by the US military in a foreign country. This was a power grab of epic proportions, no matter how you spin it. It was also a gross distortion of the Constitution's separation of powers. The executive wages war. Not the Judiciary. Also, the twisted logic of Stevens and Ginsberg in somehow applying the Geneva Conventions to non-signatories from non-nations is a travesty. F*ck off SCOTUS.
NS - the "power grab" per se was siezing powers they are not entitled to. They essentially ran over the Executive and Legislative branches in proclaiming the President's role as Commander in Chief during wartime no longer counts. This was evident by their requiring the CIC obtain authority from Congress during an ongoing war.
Secondly, they essentially established a treaty with Al Qaeda by unilaterally applying Geneva Convention Section 3 to enemy combatants, even though AQ does not meet the qualifying criteria set out in GC.
Charles Krauthammer lays this out well in today's Washington Post.
Posted by: Captain America ||
07/07/2006 22:22 Comments ||
Why do I have a mental pic of Dubya standin' before the Supremes (who will try and "enforce" this ruling) saying "Oh yeah, you and what Army?"
I imagine the military will be standin' behind him (as CiC), much like the verizon "network" (thousands of people) do behind 1 guy in all their cell phone commercials.
. . . and lays down a few inconvenient truths of his own.
like I always do when i sit in a theater with my arm around a complete stranger and my pants loosely buckled, my thoughts begin to wander. And they wandered toward a few "inconvenient truths" I had of my own about the movie, about Al Gore, and about all of you, my dear Huffpo brethren.
-the left refuses to believe that the biggest threat to mankind isn't man's destruction of the planet, but ideology-based envy-driven homicidal maniacs who kill their own people for selling ice and falafel on the street. Granted, I hate falafel (it's fal-awful!), but that's no reason to behead someone. Cut off a hand - I can live with that.
-the reason why the left cannot agree that terrorism and islamic fundamentalism are the real threat is because to do so would force them to agree with George Bush. This is a horrifying thought, since for them Bush is a far bigger enemy than the soulful types who fly planes into buildings. People who fly planes into buildings are simply misunderstood, and it's America's fault for not understanding them. This makes me feel sad! Being misunderstood is hurtful. I would fly a plane into a building too, if I wasn't so scared of flying. And buildings.
-So rather than focus on real threats, the left must turn to rabid environmentalism as a point of difference. They cannot betray their own egos and agree with the rest of us about the nature of present-day evil- they need to carve out that one last spot on the wrongway world of the leftwing ideology to plant their feet and say, "You are a bad person for ignoring humanity's horrors committed against Mother Earth." The left clings to the ideology like a urine-stained teddy bear because it's all they've got. (Well, except for movies about electric cars. I would like an electric car. But I can't help but think that the extension cords would get tangled up at intersections)
You can quote me: "An Inconvenient Truth: it's laugh out loud funny!"
Because while jihadists have stated openly -- and acted quite assertively --that they want to kill us, all of you would like us to think global warming is a greater pending problem. Just to remind you all: Gore was VP for 8 years. That's 56 years in HuffPo dog years and your dogs did nor said NOTHING to stop the global warming hyper-phenomenon. NOTHING. You can check! (wait...I'm going to check myself. Be back in a few minutes...yep, i'm right) When the senate voted against Kyoto 49-0!!! Did Gore do anything? Did he have a press conference announcing how America is defying and defiling the world? Of course not. Nor did you, and that is, like I said, LOL!! (Note: LOL is a phrase young people use that really means Laugh out loud!)
And furthermore, Gore and Huffposters alike: If you are so sure of man's hand in global warming -- unlike your evil rightwing trolls who think the evidence for human culpability isn't there -- you have the burden to act on your beliefs and provide an unambiguous example. And the fact that almost all of you don't -- Ed Begley Jr. notwithstanding -- your political hysteria makes you out to be highly immoral laugh riots in the eyes of those with even partial eyesight (I am very nearsighted, which is hereditary). Until you force Laurie David, Arianna and her pals out of their luxury jets, until you drive cars when only absolutely necessary, until you have solar panels fueling your houses' addiction that also fuels your media and dietary addictions, you will be looked upon as the transparent hypocrites that you are. Maybe your level of uncontrollable rage is a function of your subconscious knowing you are more the problem than SUVs, second hand smoke and Ann Coulter combined. And when global warming is YOUR issue and you can't even come up with a plan or an example, it's no wonder you are objects of cosmic-levels of mockery when it comes to being taken seriously on the war on terror.
There is only one reason for this stark contrast in Huffposters rhetoric and action. You are not serious people. You are laugh riots -- and deep down you know it.
Gutfield is quickly replaceing P.J O'Rourke as the conservative comedic commentator. Come on P.J, pickup the pace.
Gutfield should have made the point that the libs should get over their luddite fears of nuke power as its the cleanest, least destructive power source we've got. If they all hammered away at pro-nuke stuff they'd at least be providing an alternative beyond simple fearmongering and anti-Bush, anti-capitalist nonsense.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.