Archive for the ‘War’ Category.

Black Americans Ignoring Hard Truths

I’m a white man so to some it doesn’t matter what I say or do by my very nature I’m racist. I find it ironic that the people who believe that consider themselves “open minded” or “progressive,” but honestly it doesn’t matter to me because they could be on fire and I wouldn’t waste my spit on them.

And speaking of fires, a very large city in my neck of the woods is burning at night. Charlotte North Carolina, a purple city in a sea of red, is now under siege after a black cop supposedly gunned down for no apparent reason an avid bibliophile who happened to be a black man. To protest this shooting rioters looted the Charlotte Hornet’s team store, because evidently nothing advances the cause of social change faster than free basketball jerseys. They’ve also dropped bricks from highway overpasses onto cars passing below because, well let’s be honest.

They’re savages.

America needs to face some hard truths if it is to survive. Ignoring them as it has done over the past few years just makes it more likely that our country as we know it is in its death throes.

Black culture has failed black Americans. Look at the “values” portrayed by hip hop. Would Martin Luther King jr be proud knowing he had given his life for the misogyny, racism, separatism, homophobia and materialism held up for emulation by young blacks? These values even infect college students as shown by the demand by black students at Claremont college for race-based student housing. Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.

Liberals have failed black Americans. Chicago has had what, 80 years, of Democratic rule, which is why it is a progressive utopia. Ditto most eastern cities including Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Washington and Boston.

Then there’s 8 years of President Obama. President Obama may have the same skin color as black Americans, but he’s not a black American. He was born to a white intellectual and raised by his white grandmother in Hawaii as well as by his Indonesian stepfather. Obama did not grow up in black American culture and has less connection to black culture than many white Americans who grew up with hip hop and rap do. Stop for a moment and consider: Are race relations better today than they were 8 years ago when President Bush sat in the Oval Office? How many race riots happened on his watch?

Liberals have been quick to demonize marriage  for everyone except the LGBTQ+ community, yet poverty and single-parenting go together. There is no faster way to improving your economic lot than through marriage, yet the Left mocks this institution except for gays. The liberal obsession with victimization encourages blacks to blame others for their plight instead of taking action to alleviate it.

Black Americans have failed Black Americans. For decades black Americans have watched one ethnic group after another arrive here, start with nothing often living among them, then in a generation accumulating wealth and moving out of poverty. Even immigrants from Africa have done this, as have a number of black Americans making up the black middle class. But instead of trying to lift themselves out of poverty they look for scapegoats, encouraged by the race-baiters of the Left who literally profit from their misery. Black children who do well in school are bullied for “being too white“. Blacks who rise up from poverty into the middle and upper classes feel little responsibility to help those who share the same skin color but different values, and who can blame them? I come from the white underclass and care little about those who tormented me as a child for studying and now remain there as adults.

Rioting Encourages Racism. White Supremacists have been warning of race wars for decades, and the voices for tolerance and moderation become drowned out by those calling for the imposition of Order, often dispensed at the tip of a rubber bullet. Liberal whites will have a harder time justifying their support for Black Lives Matter when videos of innocent white people being beaten up by gangs of blacks make the rounds of Twitter, and the vast moderate non-racist majority will see this and pay more attention to extremist voices.

Rioting Makes Ghettos Worse. The rioters care nothing about the future, but their actions will make life harder for everyone, especially black Americans who they live among. Watts, East LA and other areas scarred by riots decades ago are economic deserts. Looted stores won’t reopen, forcing locals to travel further for groceries and essentials. Whatever burns won’t be rebuilt.

Black Americans Pay the Price for the War On Drugs. It’s estimated that one out of three black men will spend time behind bars during his lifetime. Many of these crimes are non-violent drug offenses, but a conviction is a conviction making it all but impossible for black men to get a job once they’ve done time. There is no doubt that drug addiction blights lives, but turning it from a criminal problem into a medical one would make it easier for black men to become contributing members to society.

Will black Americans recognize these truths and rise to the challenge to create the color-blind society they were promised by Civil Rights leaders generations ago? Will they ignore the siren call of the wealthy white liberal elite which stokes their grievances without offering a brighter future? Will black Americans take back their streets from the thugs who claim them? I’m just a white guy so I don’t have a clue, but the tiny bit of hope I have left wishes it so.

Sept 11, 2016

I have a lot to say about Sept 11, 2001. But today is not the day for it. Instead I’ll say it with an image from Sept 11, 2003.

Most Wreckless National Security Officials Label Trump Wreckless

A group of 50 national security officials who served on Republican presidents from Nixon on to Bush 2 have signed a letter saying Trump “would be the most wreckless president in American history.”

I’m not delving into the names here, but I’d like to know the answers to the following questions.

  1. How many of these officials supported leaving the South Vietnamese to their own devices in the last two years of the Vietnam conflict?

  2. How many of these officials thought it was a great idea to put hundreds of marines into a indefensible location in Beirut where they could easily be wiped out by a single truck bomb as happened in 1983?

  3. How many of these officials actually thought it was a great idea to get involved with the evacuation of the PLO in the first place?

  4. How many of them supported the arms for hostages swap with the Iranians under Reagan?

  5. How many of them convinced George Bush to support Saddam in the Iran-Iraq war?

  6. How many of them turned on Saddam after the invasion of Kuwait?

  7. How many of them thought it was a great idea to not remove him from power the first time and stop the advance into Iraq outside of Baghdad?

  8. How many of them supported the sanctions regimes and no-fly zones which Saddam used to great propaganda effect during the 1990s?

  9. How many were absolutely certain that Saddam was pursuing a viable nuclear program and had bomb-making material?

  10. How many of them supported the North Korea agreement brokered by Jimmy Carter in 1994 that froze the NK nuclear program?

  11. How many were surprised when North Korea detonated a nuclear device in 2006?

  12. How many supported the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001?

  13. How many supported thought taking out Saddam once and for all was a great idea in 2003?

  14. How many of them consider the Saudis our allies – and aren’t on their payroll?

You see, I’m no expert, but when I look at American Foreign Policy over the past 40 years, years during which I’ve been alive and sentient of such things, I don’t see much that any “national security official” should be proud of.

In fact it’s quite the opposite. It is clear that we are today in the worst possible worlds, one where rogue states like North Korea and Iran have or soon will have the Bomb, where indigenous strong men we took out (Khaddafi, Saddam) once kept a lid on religious zealots that are now slashing women to death in the streets of London and gunning down gays in Miami. In fact, if I was an American national security official, I might be so embarrassed to call myself such, especially since I likely contributed to the deaths of thousands of American soldiers in Iraq for what turns out was no purpose at all.

I supported the war and I feel duped. I feel like a patsy, but more importantly, I feel angry towards the very people who now have the audacity to crawl from their little hide-holes and spout their so-called “wisdom” once again.

If they want to sign a letter and print it in the Washington Post, they should print an apology to the families of those who died putting their ideas and strategies into place.

 

The Internet’s Designated Nazi Rule

A long time ago I was once called a Nazi by a roomful of Jews.

My crime? I dared stand up against a Chabad Lubavitch rabbi at a town hall meeting who wanted to build a parking lot on land owned by the power company.

A proud gentile Zionist who supported the state of Israel more than some of the Jews in the room, and I was spat at by a Holocaust survivor and called a “Nazi thug.” Afterwards I spoke to an ex-roommate of mine, a Jewish biker who assured me that there was enough anti-Semitism in the world that his tribe didn’t need to go making more up.

We are 70 years removed from Hitler putting a bullet through his own brain yet Hitler and Nazis are still trotted out by people to demonize their opponents. It’s gotten to the point where Jews are regularly called Nazis by the very people who WERE Nazis, the German Left and their Palestinian terrorist pals who were fervent Nazi sympathizers, and every death of a handful of people or more becomes a Holocaust.

I’ve studied the Holocaust in detail and the Nazi regime from its pre-WWI roots to its end in a shell crater in Berlin, covered in gasoline and set aflame. I read the transcripts of the Nuremberg trials and watched movies and documentaries (personal fave the Wannsee Conference) . Although I was born an entire generation after the end of the Nazi period I studied as much as I could stomach of that regime (there are things I read and pictures I saw twenty-five years ago that I can’t read or look at today).

While certain events have come close enough to being a Holocaust to warrant the term genocide such as the Killing Fields under the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s and the systematic slaughter of Tutsis in 1994 Rwanda, there has only been one Holocaust in our written history. Nothing else can touch it. Nothing can match its bureaucratic and systematic barbarism. The entire European continent, its economy, society and even its culture were all reconfigured for one purpose: the annihilation of the Jews. The war that Hitler fought on two fronts wasn’t about German military conquest: It was about creating the space needed for the true task of the Nazi regime: the destruction of Jewry. By exterminating the Jews Hitler saw himself as creating the Master Race and 1000 Year Reich. In the Nazi mind Killing Jews led to these goals, not the other way around which is why trains with cattle cars filled with doomed Jews were granted priority over troop transports and military supply trains.

Nothing in our history compares to the Holocaust. The genocide of native Americans? Ad hoc policies over a period of centuries with no systematic plan. Manifest Destiny was an idea, not a systematic program implemented at every level of the government. Even Stalin’s purges and Mao’s Great Leap Forward that killed tens of millions weren’t as methodically planned and executed by a powerful bureaucracy as the Nazi regime used against European Jewry.

Are we clear on that?

So when I see The Daily Beast article, “Trump Versus Hitler: What We Can Learn From Weimar Germany written by Nathan Stoltzfus, the Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies at Florida State University and the author of Hitler’s Compromises: Coercion and Consensus in Nazi Germany, I pretty much know the answer before I read the first sentence.

Elites are so terrified by an outside politician that they instinctively rush to portray him (or her in the case of Sarah Palin) in the worst possible light. Trump is Hitler, although the article approaches the subject through rhetoric that equates Weimar Republic with current conditions in the United States.

What can we learn from the Weimar Republic?

Plenty of things but none of them are the author’s point. And few economies compare to the absolute disaster that Germany’s was between 1919 and 1933.

The Weimar Republic’s economy was a nightmare thanks in large part to the onerous war reparations the Allies levied on Germany. This led to inflation to a degree that people regularly ran out of money, and the printing presses were running so furiously they often ran out of paper. At coin shows I’ve seen Weimar currency printed on bits of leather, even wood. It was a lesson that was learned  and applied after the Second World War whereby both Germany and Japan were given extended time frames to pay war reparations and the US even gave the former Axis powers money to help rebuild their economies and societies as exemplified by the Marshall Plan.

Trump says our economy is bad, but he doesn’t say it’s that bad. The only place on the planet with a comparable economy to Weimar Germany right now is likely the Leftist poster-child Venezuela where even toilet paper is being rationed. Equating the US economy to that of Weimar proves ignorance of European history or a tendency towards excess by the writer. How is Trump’s calling for background checks on Muslims from warzones like Libya, Iraq and Syria different from the Left’s demand for background checks on ammo buyers? It’s not as if he’s slapping on yellow crescents on every Muslim that enters the country.

History is filled with lessons, but determining which one is more of art than a science. For example, as a student of Ancient Roman History I’m wondering whether the Edict of Caracalla which extended the right to vote to all non-slave residents of the empire including women contributed to the decline of the Empire. Left-wing historian Mary Beard views the edict in a positive light, like a 19th amendment of the Roman Empire. But I see it as anti-democratic, diluting the power of the Senate even further and boosting the power of the Emperor.

There should be a rule on the internet banning the designation of anyone as Hitler. It proves the ignorance of the writer and does an injustice to the millions who suffered because of him, minimizing their horrific experience for the sake of scoring cheap political points. Nathan Stoltzfus, the Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies at Florida State University should know better.

Blue Lives Matter

Although nothing that I say about it, or you say about it is going to stop people gunning down cops. Dead cops doesn’t fix dead innocents killed at the hands of cops. But Black Lives Matter has now made Blue Lives Matter. It’s 1969 all over again, just with crappy music and no moon shots.

Update: 7/19/16 -  Another day another dead cop: “Kansas City, Kansas, police Captain Robert David Melton was killed in a shooting Tuesday afternoon.”

This is not the country I want.

More Gun Violence In Europe

A truck plowed into a crowd of Bastille Day revellers, running over hundreds before coming to a halt. The driver and an accomplice emerged, shouted “Allahu Akbar!” and opened fire. 77 are reported dead and hundreds injured. Police shot the driver dead but the accomplice escaped. The truck was filled with grenades and automatic weapons – all of which are illegal to possess in France (and by civilians in the USA too).

This is the second large-scale terror attack in France in less than a year. France has some of the strictest gun control laws on the planet, yet terrorists seem to have no difficulty in finding guns and grenades to use in their attacks.

Should we be surprised?

Right now there’s a heroin epidemic in my community, replacing the painkiller epidemic when pill-mills and shady prescribers and pharmacies were raided and closed. People in rural America are still dying using a completely illegal drug from a plant that is grown, whose resin is then processed, packaged, shipped and distributed from central and south Asia to rural North Carolina on the other side of the planet.

Prohibition never works. It didn’t work with alcohol in the US, it doesn’t work for drugs and it doesn’t work for guns in Europe. Yet that doesn’t stop otherwise intelligent people from wanting to ban guns in the US.

No one is complaining about the gun laws in France tonight. There are no terror euphemisms like “gun violence” being using to describe tonight’s events in Nice. But it’s important to keep this in mind for the next terror attack in the US, when the “T” word is avoided and the “gun violence” term is bandied about, along with the assumption that San Bernardino and the Pulse Nightclub attacks would have been prevented with European style gun controls.

Gun control in Europe hasn’t worked to stop terror attacks, and it won’t work here either.

Plain Facts

1. Too many black people are being gunned down by the police without justification. Black Lives Matter didn’t start for no reason. We have seen too many grainy videos of black men being shot in circumstances that don’t justify the death penalty. Broken taillight. Selling single cigarettes. In these cases unarmed civilians are shot by law enforcement. Under these circumstances the standard police tactic of overwhelming force – aggressive demands, guns drawn – failed. Such shock and awe tactics may work on the battlefield but they should be the last resort in a civil society. There is a place for SWAT tactics, but that place is not in America’s streets during traffic stops.The best tool a cop has is his or her brain, and they must be trained to use it. Currently cops rush in and their goal is to gain the upper hand and control a situation. This tactic minimizes the danger to law enforcement but strips civilians of all power and dignity, leaving them vulnerable to police misconduct. Such vulnerability can often boomerang and lead to more physical aggression by those detained. Instead cops must be trained in deescalation tactics and learn how to operate in an uncontrolled environment. American gun owners are often told how we could learn from gun-free societies such as the UK and Australia. Perhaps American cops can learn new tactics from law enforcement that don’t escalate into a fight/flight situation for everyone involved.

2. It is possible to be pro-cop AND pro-black. Trevor Noah is a liberal asshat in my view, but he’s right on this one topic: It’s possible to be pro-cop and pro-black. This is America in the 21st century. We shouldn’t have to choose between living in total anarchy or a police state. If we cannot come up with a solution that navigates between these two extremes than we do not deserve to live as a free people and our society is doomed.

 

3. Dead cops won’t fix dead black people. 5 dead cops in Dallas do not increase the sympathy for dead black men like Philando Castile. Neither does this fix the problem unless you believe the problem can only be solved by a full-on race war, and if that’s the case then pick up your shit and leave my country.

4. We have a problem and we have to fix it. As the parent of a teenager and one who is considering becoming a LEO I don’t want my kid to be gunned down for no reason, either for a broken taillight as a civilian or in revenge as a cop. Our leaders continue to fail us, so it us up to we Americans to step up and begin to fix this problem ourselves. The first thing that we can do is to recognize we have a problem. The second thing we can do is accept that we can be pro-cop and pro-black. We shouldn’t have to pick sides. The next thing we can do is reach out to others and search for solutions that don’t involve promises that lead to anarchy or a police state.

There will be more videos. There will be more dead civilians and likely dead cops. This is not the America we want and it is our responsibility to change it.

PS: Yes, white kids and Hispanics are being gunned down by cops too, but the fact remains that most of the incidents are white cops shooting black men. The solution, whatever it is, will be color blind.

Gun Violence In Turkey

Just a reminder that both full-auto and semi-auto weapons such as this AKM (AK-47 variant) dropped by ISIS attackers at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul are illegal to possess or own in Turkey, as are the two 30 round mags. Full story here.

FWIW, the full-auto version of this weapon is also illegal to own in the USA. I showed  this pic to the in-house weapons expert (the Kid). He confirmed it was an AKM with a sawed-off flash-hider and noticed it was set to full-auto. “Idiot,” he smirked. “Everyone knows semi-auto kills more.”

I find it interesting that the only difference between whether an attack is called a “terrorist attack” or “gun violence” is where it occurs. Anything happening abroad is a terrorist attack. Anything occurring within the United States: Gun violence.

A Presidential Apology to the People of Japan

Mr Prime Minister, distinguished guests. It is an honor to speak to you here today. This history of our two nations is long and at times painful, and I believe the time has come for me, the president of the United States to apologize to you the Japanese people for the actions of my predecessor over 70 years ago.

On August 6, 1945 he made what he believed at the time was the best decision for my nation and yours. History has proven him wrong, and for that I stand before you as his direct successor to offer you my deepest personal condolences as well as those of my office and my nation. So, to the people of Japan, please accept this apology as I bow deeply in complete humility to you.

I do so knowing that my actions are controversial. There are many Americans who believe that the President’s action that day do not warrant an apology from our nation to yours. But the horror that the world witnessed starting that day cannot be dismissed by any human being. And as the last survivors of those terrible events are silenced one by one, Time becomes pressing for an adequate accounting by my office and my people. Here it is.

As every Japanese and American school child knows, on August 6, 1945 President Truman rescinded the order to use the atomic bomb against Hiroshima. During his impeachment proceedings in 1948 he stated that he could not in good conscience authorize the destruction of tens of thousands of innocent Japanese men, women and children even if it meant millions would die during the invasion that followed. President Truman followed his conscience and in doing so changed History forever, levying a high price on you, the Japanese people as well as on the countless Americans who husbands, sons, and brothers left the shores of our nation never to return.

His biographers have argued that he could have achieved complete victory without loss of any more lives had the first atomic bomb exploded on Bikini Atoll in front of the Japanese contingent invited by the Swiss ambassador as planned, but the failure of the bomb to detonate properly only hardened the resolve of the Japanese junta running your country. After the incident the second bomb was sent back to New Mexico for further testing even though it was of a completely different design and would never be used. The controversial shelving of the Manhattan Project rages to this day.

Instead the final stages of Operation Downfall to attack the island of Kyushu were put in place, even though the US lost one third of its invading forces in Okinawa, an island that wasn’t even viewed by most Japanese as a part of Japan. The civilian death toll there was even worse, with between 100,000 and 150,000 civilians killed during the 82 days of fighting. Extrapolating from that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had predicted upwards of 300,000 American casualties and at least a million civilian deaths from the invasion. It’s hard to believe that these were on the high end of the estimates given what we now know, but we must not dishonor the additional million American dead and the five million Japanese lost in the years that followed, for their sacrifices were not in vain. Victory was purchased with a terribly high price and Japan now is free and prosperous, at least the half below the 38th parallel. For those of you whose relatives still reside above that line, rest assured that America has not forgotten them.

It is my dream, as I know it is your dream, for Japan to emerge from decades of occupation as a united, independent and peaceful nation, ready to take its place on the world stage. In the remaining months of my presidency I will do whatever I can to make this dream a reality. The destinies of our peoples have been intertwined, forged in the fire of a long and debilitating war, and it our duty to make this bond endure for decades to come.

Thank you, and may God bless the peoples of Japan and the United States of America.
—————-

Thanks to The Glittering Eye for inspiring this post.

The Islamic Terrorist Attack Narrative Arc

On Rome

I’ve recently returned from a long vacation in Rome Italy, a city that I had never been to and had only seen through the eyes of the great historians Suetonius, Livy and Cassius Dio. Recently I’ve become an otaku on all things ancient Roman, so it was easy for me to spend time walking in a city where every few minutes a piece of that history comes into view. Sure the major attractions like the Colosseum and the Forum are impressive, but so are smaller sites like the Theater of Marcellus, an ancient Roman amphitheater capped by Renaissance era apartments, and the Largo di Torre Argentina, ruins of 4 ancient temples that host a no-kill cat shelter.

While not an overpowering presence, Italian soldiers stood every few blocks bearing holstered Beretta 92FS sidearms and SCAR 17 automatic rifles. A fan of both weapons I resisted the urge to tell them how much I particularly love the Beretta line of weapons. Given their no-nonsense appearance it was clear to all, even idiot foreigners like me, that they were there for a purpose and were fully trained in executing their mission well.

But as I walked through the large crowd in St. Peter’s Square or the throngs the crowded between the Colosseum and the Forum, I knew danger wasn’t far away. Islamic State is as far away from Rome as Dallas is from New York City, and the chaos of Libya is only a short boat ride away. The security of Rome struck me as very fragile, and the government ill-prepared for the onslaught rising on not-so-distant shores. For 500 years Ancient Rome had no walls, and it was illegal to station soldiers within its boundaries. Instead the security of Rome was guaranteed by its legions stationed at the frontiers of its empire. The presence of the well-armed and trained soldiers was meant to assure visitors like me, but instead it made me realize just how endangered the city is.

Two days after my return the jihadis struck Paris.

I haven’t been to Paris, and really had no urge. For most of my life the contemporary French have struck me as a bunch of spoiled slackers. Over the past 14 years I have written several essays critical of the free-loading French, but the attacks weren’t on the French. They were on Civilization, the one that Augustus Caesar helped lay the foundation of, the one that so many Leftist intellectuals take for granted.

Fourteen years of living in a post-911 world and Civilization feels more under threat than ever. Rome was sacked in 410, 135 years after the Emperor Aurelian surrounded the city with walls. I’ve often wondered what the Romans must have felt as they remembered their former greatness and reveled in their past accomplishments but knew, instinctively knew that Darkness was closing in on them fast. The loss of allies, the presence of soldiers within the cities, the gradual decline in the power and pride of being “Roman”. With each passing day it must have seemed that society was getting more fractured, more incoherent and ultimately more disturbed.

I now have a pretty good idea.

The Razor Celebrates 14 Years (of Disgust)

14 years ago I bought an available domain name for Occam’s Razor, created a few HTML pages in the Dreamweaver editor, and figured out how to upload them, all because I felt that I had to express myself. There was grief and anger from the World Trade Center site, still a smoking heap of rubble and ash, and while my anger flamed white hot for the men who murdered thousands of innocents, they were not the focus of my writing and were incidental characters in my first published essay, “Rohrschach Test for the Left.” Instead that essay, and The (Occam’s) Razor that I slowly built around it, was inspired by the self-delusion and self-hatred of the politically correct Left that justified the attacks in the days immediately after the attacks.

Coming of age in the 1980s I was subjected to PC dogma in college, and watched it infect the Left that I identified with at the time and gradually change the American Left from a grassroots labor-based ideology rooted in classical liberal thought into an elitist derived identity-based movement we find today. This Left had little to do with the government programs that kept my family alive during the Depression or helped my father find a job after the War, but the draft-dodging elites of the 1960s who had prospered in the Ivory Tower and become ascendant by educating an entire generation of policy makers derived not from the working class but from the Bourgeoisie.

There was no shared experience between working class leftists like me and the leftists that controlled the college campuses at the time. They saw me as a “Reagan Democrat” and I saw them as arrogant, narrow minded fools who had been cocooned for so long from reality that they had no concept what the real world was like. The jump from America’s college campuses to the government by this elitist-derived Left was first attempted in Howard Dean’s candidacy of 2004, and was resurrected by his takeover of the DNC the eventually lead to the election of Barack Obama.

Obama is one of them. He was picked from Academia and pushed into increasingly higher levels of power by academics or their powerful acolytes in government. Obama represented them completely. For a group that is nearly all white but ashamed of their skin color (known euphemistically as “white privilege”) he was a minority. But unlike minority politicians like Jesse Jackson he had been educated by them and shared their belief that America is the root of all evil in the world, and that our nation could only be saved by a repentant America apologizing to the world for our sins, embracing our enemies, and dropping our allies who supported our evil doing.

Starting with his Apology Tour in 2009 Obama did just that, following it up with the “reset button” with Russia, an extended hand to Iran and rude gestures towards American allies such as the UK and Israel. He then let Iraq fall into Iran’s hands and ignored what he once called the “good war” in Afghanistan. He put into practice exactly the foreign policy the elitist Left had been demanding for years, using the power the Constitution grants to the Executive to achieve its aims, but was stymied by domestic opponents from putting into place their domestic agenda.

Today they control not only America’s campuses but they control our government, and worse, our military. If America is the root of all the world’s problems, why are the problems getting worse without American involvement? Shouldn’t they be getting better?

America is not the root of all evil in the world no matter how many books Chomsky writes or how many professors say it is so. America created a prosperity and peace unseen in the world since Augustus Caesar ruled 2000 years ago. Pax Americana was not perfect, but it did create an order that allowed smaller nations to prosper. The ranks of the world’s middle class grew under Pax Americana in ways that the average ancient Roman, 95% of whom lived in abject poverty, would marvel at. It also allowed the freedom of an elite to coalesce around an idea that would eventually lead to its demise.

Today a morally and economically bankrupt Russia invades any territory it desires without consequence. In the US a wealthy elite rigs the economic system against small business and the working class. A group of jihadis too radical for al Qaeda now hold sway over the very territory purchased through American blood a decade ago. Red-lines crossed in Syria and a “leading from behind” effort in North Africa results in failed states, creating a tsunami of refugees in Europe.  China extends its territory and influence without constraint. A decade ago the sound of North Korea rattling its cage would have made the headlines. Today it barely warrants mentioning.

14 years ago I saw the enemy and it was us – or rather the Left that I had once considered myself part of. At the time I was determined but hopeful that 9-11 would shake the Left off of its anti-American foundation, but it didn’t. And the results are self-evident.

I’ll admit I am pissed. Leftist ideology was always so naive and lacking in detail. The world could have been so much better if we had kept the levers of power from them, but we failed and now everyone from the retiree living on a pittance thanks to near-zero interest rates to the Iraqi Christian trying to stay alive in her homeland pays the price.

Happy anniversary.

September 11, 2015

American Magical Thinking – Flag Edition

I remember immediately following the 9-11 attacks everyone needed to fly the American flag. Suddenly they were hard to come by, even the flag stickers that people slapped on their cars to show their patriotism.

Today something similar is happening to the Confederate battle flag. Because of the Charleston Church attack people have decided to remove or outright ban the sale or display of the flag to show their anti-racism.

Both cases show the power of symbolism to the American psyche, and their meaningless outside of it. In the aftermath of 9-11 people felt they needed to do something to help, so they waved flags. Today a week after the church attack people want to do something, so they want to burn the Confederate battle flag.

The sudden appearance of the American flag didn’t damage al Qaeda, the perpetrator of the 9-11 attacks, and the removal of the Confederate battle flag from our society will not stop racism. Islamic terror and violent racism won’t succumb to such magical thinking no matter how well-intended the gestures may be.

Update: Reason.com, in “Massacres and Magical Thinking“, points out several examples of magical thinking in statements of the Left and Right.

Grow Up Europe!

Here’s the cover of this week’s Economist magazine.

In this issue The Economist argues the US should avoid pulling out of the region. First, America has interests in the Middle East, “Today’s chaos is trashing human rights and torching values that many, including this newspaper, look to America to defend. Not everyone will agree—some Americans are tired of their country acting as a global policeman, and others rightly point out that its geopolitical priority is China’s growing ambition… But even allowing that, the Middle East still matters.” Second the Economist states that even though America is becoming petroleum self-sufficient, “If it cannot keep the oil flowing, its economy will suffer grievously and so will its claim to global leadership.” Finally it must stop nuclear proliferation, “it must be a brake on other regional powers who might think of launching weapons programmes of their own.” In the detailed analysis that follows the lead, it goes on to blame Bush’s excessive hubris for wanting to remake the region while taking Obama to task for his neglect and reticence to engage there. “One president went too deep into Iraq, the next got out too soon; the first over-reached, the second under-shot; the Republican wanted to use American power to strike enemies everywhere; the Democrat often seemed to treat American power itself as dangerous. But whereas Mr Bush improved in his second term, writes Mr Rothkopf, Mr Obama has not learnt from his mistakes.”

Yet nowhere in the 3,000 word piece does it state why Americans have to be the ones who have to die in order to “save” the Middle East. Why does it always have to be us?

Is it because the Europeans have shown themselves time and again to be able to stand on their own and protect themselves? The weakness of the European states during the Cold War was understandable, but the EU was unable to sort things out in the former Yugoslavian states in the 1990s. It couldn’t counter Russia when it partitioned Georgia in 2008 and rolls on its back when Russia does the same to the Ukraine today. Even taking Khaddafi out wasn’t possible without the US “leading from behind.”

It’s been 70 years since the end of World War 2. When will Europe be able to stand on its own?

Anti-American sentiment has grown like a cancer throughout Europe and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by those of us who travel there frequently. I don’t understand why I as an American have to put up with snide comments from complete strangers while traveling on one hand, then be expected to put my military-age son’s life at risk on the other. When we act in our own best interest we get criticized for doing so unilaterally, but when we step back from the line, thereby forcing the Europeans to step forward we are slammed for isolationism. For 14 years we have faced a barrage of criticism for our imperialism in the Middle East from the Europeans, and now we face complaints about wiping the region’s dust from our boots.

I am not an isolationist as 14 years of writing in this journal proves, but I do recognize that isolationism runs red through the veins of our nation. America was founded by people trying to escape  some place, whether religious tyranny in Europe or economic stagnation in central America and Asia. People didn’t come here to integrate with the rest of the world, they came here to avoid its insanity and stupidity. Every American realist or neo-con recognizes this yet outsiders (and our own idiot Left whose ideas were imported for the most part from Europe) are so quick to label us as “imperialists” whenever we act in our interest or whine when we fail to act. I don’t even agree with Obama’s policy of abandoning the Middle East yet take offense at the Economist, a magazine which supported not only the Iraqi Invasion of 2003 but the election of Barack Obama not once but TWICE, chiding us that we must not abandon a region that Europe has done f**k all to help. That’s chutzpah, but then again chutzpah is a word Jews thought up while living among Europeans.

Instead of criticizing the US for abandoning the region why don’t the European take a good look in the mirror and ask themselves why they can’t stand up for themselves in the first place. Why does America need to provide them with not only their spine, but their brains, hearts and claws? Why are the EU nations cutting defense budgets a year after Russia shot down a plane full of Europeans, annexed the Crimea and is about to take serious chunks out of Ukraine? Why is the UK facing “inevitable” defense budget cuts a month after Russia flew a bomber carrying a nuclear missile over the English Channel? It’s easy to develop extensive socialist safety nets while living under a protective umbrella paid for by the American taxpayer and built from skin and bones of American youth.

Nearly 100 years ago the United States came to Europe’s rescue, and our soldiers returned home carrying Spanish Flu, killing 675,000 Americans, double the number killed or wounded in Europe. America then turned its back on Europe, which quickly birthed Stalin and Hitler. 25 years later Americans were once again dying for Europeans, and that time we stayed. And what has it gotten us?

The Economist may fret about America abandoning the Middle East. I wonder how it would feel about America abandoning Europe, but regardless of how it feels, perhaps it’s time America returned to its isolationist roots. Think of it as a “growth experience” for Europe, which would have to either learn how to take care of itself or speak Russian (given the laziness of the Greeks I know which way they’d go.) Perhaps then the Europeans wouldn’t be so quick to attack the US for acting – or not – in a region that is much closer to and much more important for Europe. But given that the Europeans can’t even clean up their own sport, relying upon the newly installed US Attorney General to take down FIFA’s Sepp Blatter, I’m not holding my breath waiting for the EU to shoulder the burden of its own defense. Oh, and of course the Europeans are already whining about American overreach there.

My ancestors may have been Slavic peasants and Irish sod-cutters, but at least they had the brains – and chutzpah – to leave Europe.