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Rotting Fish and the American Future

April 22nd, 2013 - 12:26 am

Roger L. Simon is right (he’s always right);  leadership is crucial, and when leadership is rotten the whole body politic rots and stinks.  Our biggest problem is rotten leadership.  Until and unless we fix that, we’re gonna have lots of trouble.  Of all sorts.

SIDEBAR:  This is why I have no patience for so many of my friends who constantly say the president has the right to choose his team (whether a new “czar” or a new judge or justice or a secretary of something or other).  If the choice is bad, we should say so and fight it. Good leaders are worth fighting for and bad leaders have to be challenged.

BACK TO SERMON:  Roger understands the way the system works by saying that the FBI’s failure to look carefully and long enough at Tamerlan-the-terrorist has a lot to do with our leaders’ reluctance to call a terrorist a terrorist or to accept the fact that radical Islamist terrorists exist.  The people who do counterterrorism shy away from seeing such terrorists, or potential terrorists, because if they point to such people, several bad things (from the investigators’ and analysts’ standpoint) happen.  First, the policy makers aren’t going to do anything; second, the investigators and analysts aren’t going to get promoted, or rewarded with bonuses; third, they may get sued or sent to the bureaucratic equivalent of Siberia.

So when the president had to gnash his teeth before pronouncing the T-word, it had real consequences. Language matters a lot.  Ask Ludwig Wittgenstein, who would probably chuckle and ask you right back, if there’s an Islamic terrorist in the forest, but we can’t say so, can it possibly fall?

Way back in the days right after 9/11, I wrote that we were going to have a hell of a problem dealing with religious-inspired terrorism.  You can’t really do a decent job of intelligence gathering without taking a hard look at the mosques.  That’s where a lot of radicalization and recruitment takes place, and many mosques all over the world have served as key links in the transmission belt from the terrorists’ home base to the terrorists “in the field.”  But the First Amendment protects religious speech, even when it incites the faithful against others.  So it’s a problem we need to address.  But we can’t begin to address it if we can’t say the words “Islamic terrorist” or “radical Islamist terrorist.”

This a tough problem, and when the president acts as chief censor it makes things even worse.  The rot spreads and stinks.

To all this, add the refusal of significant numbers of scribblers and academics who, in sync with the president, refuse to admit the existence of the Ts and Is.  And add the attorney general, who, like the president, thinks that we are the root cause of most of this world’s basic problems, insisting that it’s all about race.  “It” isn’t all about any single thing, but we do need a serious national debate about religious hatred, and especially about jihad.  It seems to me we’re not getting there yet.

NEW BUT UNEXPECTEDLY RELATED THOUGHT:  The American way of war.  We’ve had a few brilliant generals, but we’ve won the big wars because  of our amazing energy, strength, wealth, and power.  The Germans and Japanese had some fabulous generals and admirals, probably more than we did, but they had no chance.  It didn’t matter how many American soldiers, ships, planes, and tanks were destroyed, because there were twice as many the next day.  The country turned into an awesome assembly line of fighters and materiel, and we overwhelmed our enemies.

When I read comments about Operation Boston, in which the cops and the Bureau are criticized for overdoing it, I remember the American way of war.  Did they have to put an entire city under military rule?  Probably not.  There were more elegant ways of doing  it.  But those aren’t our ways, as a general rule.  We overwhelm them.  And in the end, we won and they lost.  Which is what matters.

It isn’t always the best way, you need hardly waste breath trying to convince me.  I’m fully convinced.  I keep arguing that we don’t have to fire a shot or drop a bomb to bring down our main enemy, the Islamic Republic of Iran.  All that talk about “keeping the military option on the table” worries me to no end (parents of Marines don’t much like military options).  We can do a lot just by pronouncing the right words, like “we want a free Iran,” and “we support the Iranian people,” or “the Iranian regime is our enemy.” Those words would give hope to the regime’s opponents, and it would–as it would have in Boston–improve the quality of our own government’s investigators, analysts, and strategists.

But our leaders don’t say that. It’s not permitted.  The rot spreads and the stench intensifies.

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Top Rated Comments   
"we have the leaders we deserve"
I have reluctantly reached the same conclusion. As much as I dislike our current crop of politicians, I am forced to accept that it is a failure of citizenship. We citizens have failed our civic duty to educate ourselves, educate our children (specifically outside of public education), failed to do our homework, failed to pay attention, failed to think through the problems, placidly accepted the excuses fed to us, and have (by rote) selected the same politicians repeatedly and with the same result.

The fault lies not only in our politicians but in ourselves.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Career politicians" and the two-party system are the cancer that is destroying this country. The founders envisioned a nation where citizens served short stints in the government and then returned to their businesses or farms. We have ended up with a bunch of power mad bureaucrats who only care about holding on to their power and enrichining themselves. The only way to end this is to have a vibrant and competitive third party and to limit terms in office. Term limits will not happen because the the same bureaucrats who want to remain in government forever are the ones who would have to make it happen. The political landscape in this country is also dictated by the two parties holding power where the rules make it extremely difficult for any third party to thrive. Just about the only thing the Dems and Republicans agree on is that they MUST retain their power.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Michael, Roger was right in more than one way as well.

The fish rots from the head, but the bacteria infects the entire body.

Runaway, rampant, and unchecked treason is afoot. Our very institutions are infected with the rotting flesh of a sepsis of the American soul. Leftism is treason by design.

One cannot be a leftist without engaging in lies, slander and traitorism.

Our media is toxic and poisoned. Our education system is an indoctrination farm. Our pop culture is a seething cauldron of spewed venom.

And,...our leadership today reflects the very system that has produced them. The self-loathing that is now a permanent feature on our daily "news" outlets...feeding us lies to digest about who we are as a people.

Designed to weaken our morale, collapse our spirit, deaden our resolve.

The terms treason and traitorism do not fall gently from our lips. We will be accused of being "conspiracy theorists" or "tinfoil hat wearers". Of course, we will. What traitor would say otherwise in the face of the accusation?

We will be accused of being "McCarthy-like". Of course, we will. What small c communist wouldn't use that appellation as his trump card against being found out?

Yet, Michael...unless and until we find the intestinal fortitude to go chest to chest, belly to belly and toe to toe against rabid and radical leftism...we won't be able to fight rabid and radical Islam effectively. Because we will be whipsawed in a pincer between the two enemies. One outside...and one inside our gates.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (72)
All Comments   (72)
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Pied Pipers leading Americas political fortunes down a "trap-door" with Information Technology enablers leading the way.
While America slept, a revolution was underway. This revolution was the late 1990's "Dot.com"; bubble. Surviving organizations of this and subsequent "Y2K" bubble went on to innovate and develop Information Technology on a scale and size unimaginable to all mankind. Clinton/Bush administrations (politically) saw little if any relevance this "nerdy, techie world" had to offer Any politician, let alone America's political process.
Quite the opposite has happened! This "nerdy, Techie, Information Technology world" has fundamentally transformed America's Democratic form of Constitutional Republic to a Centralized form of Information Technology gathering and centraliztion in both the hands of a select few dominant leaders of the Information Technology World AND one political party...mostly Democratic!
In 2008 forward America's political process has been transformed from a decentralized form of governance to a mostly centralized form of ABSOLUTE governing (Top Down). Is there proof? YES! We The Elite people of culture of corruption in ALL of Washinton DC have total control over everything America:its Land, Its Labor and Its Capital, aided largely by IT. The USA of yesteryear is gone forever...politically the USA is now dominated by crony-capitalists whose sole interest in politics and America's political process is:1)power, 2)greed and 3)corruption. Erosion of America and American fundamentals of:1)religion, 2)education, 3) finance and its 4)governance are goal posts to this newly crafted "We The Elite" class of politicians AND InformationTechnology capitains of everything "bits and bytes." Pray. Amen. The wedding of total control by politicians and IT businesses over everything AMERICA is very ominous for the very survival of Its Constitutional Republic...just think about this. God Bless America, she's on life support. IT will snuff out everything Constitutional and politicians will wrap their arms around this. IT profits will trump The Constitution...Wake-up America!!!
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I read a book a few years ago called A Distant Crossing. It was a fiction novel predicated on a financial meltdown. We are living the plot. We assume that our system, no matter how distorted or abused, will always exist. History has taught us otherwise.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Too many keep saying "we" have the government "we" deserve. They must have a mouse in their pockets because I neither want nor do I think I deserve the lousy leadership that now sits inside the beltway...on both sides.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
So long as we have a radicalized two-party, three-party or four-party system, which is what we have in these times, nothing is going too get any better -- only worse. The best intersts of the nations and its people is no longer on the table of governance. Only the self serving battle of special interest groups and partisan ideological supremacy reigns over our government in these times. Corrupted from top to bottom and inside out.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you make a Venn diagram with Muslims as the large circle and All Terrorists as the small circle - there is very little of the Terrorists circle outside the Muslim circle - it seems to me.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Remember the fable of the six blind men and the elephant. They each felt a different elephant body part and came away with a seperate opinion of the elephant. The progressives are feeling the elephant (terrorism) and are trying to call it everything but an elephant. Just like the fable they are to blind to see. The progressives wouldn't admit the truth if the elephant sat on them. Boston is an example of people being sacrificed on the alter of political correctness. Remember, do not profile LIke the Israelis.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Have I got this right? The government thinks Christian Evangelicals, U.S veterans, Catholics, NRA members and critics of our government are radicals, even terrorists. At the same time repeated bloody Muslim terrorist attacks (Fort Hood, Boston, ect.) and attempted Muslim terror attacks on the United States are said to have nothing to do with Islam. Hassan yelled Allahu Akbar as he gunned down dozens at Fort Hood. The Boston Marathon bombers linked themselves to extremist Muslim web sites and ideology. The Russians warned the FBI about suspected radical Muslim links to the eldest Boston Bomber to no avail. Any critic of Islam is branded Islamophobic and our "free" press plays along. President Obama, himself spawned and raised by Muslims and mentored by communists and former Weathermen bombers, cannot bring himself to label the Boston bombing Islamic terrorism. The Fort Hood massacre was labeled "work place violence" by craven US Army generals under pressure from the White House. America, we have a problem starting in the White House and trickling down through our political and military "leadership" extending to the media. No one seems able to admit Islam is an aggressive, evil ideology bent on enslaving or killing all non-believers. Islam is at war with the United States. I suspect more Muslim terror attacks until there has been enough slaughter to prompt event the most craven of our leaders to admit the truth. Islam is evil and must be contained or destroyed.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
So...

You're starting to get it.

Now spread the word.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
What on earth is Mr. Ledeen talking about? The "American Way of War"? Sorry, but the last war we "won" was nearly 70 years ago, unless you count Grenada and Panama (existential threats if there ever were). Did the American military put whole cities under rule? Yeah, and whole countries.

"Take out our main enemy Iran"? Wait, those guys were from Czechoslovakia, or Chechnaya, or somewhere. So...let's bomb Iran!

But Mr. Ledeen really gives his game away when he says that the First Amendment is something "we need to address".

The Boston police over-reacted, FBI failed, Obama didn't scream "terrorist", and Obama picks people we don't like. This isn't thoughtful commentary, this is picking some word-salad flash cards and phoning it in.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
You've overlooked the Cold War.

It's the one wherein America dang near got wiped off the face of the Earth -- more than once, as it turns out.

We're now in WWIV.... so it's three down and still counting.

The 'defeats' so much in your mind were but campaigns in a multi-decade global war. ( Shades of the Thirty-Years War, The Eighty-Years War, and the Hundred-Years War.)

Europe and Russia don't hold to your arithmetic.

As for the BPD, they're looking pretty good from here. The jihadi duo had put it out that they'd emplaced IEDs all over the local neighborhood -- the triggers of which were only a phone call away.

Not surprisingly, BPD shut down the cell phone towers and kept the civilians off the streets -- until they could be swept -- a very labor intensive, slow, tricky process.

Naturally, they didn't blast this reality to the general public. Everyone is terrified enough. Now that things have died down, BPD is admitting that they've found additional bombs -- here and there.

Fortunately, the fanatics didn't have all that many bombs. But it was a pretty good way to slow down the pursuit.

As even you might imagine, just the prospect that you're walking through a minefield is going to really slow you down.

(Kelly's Heroes, anyone?)
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is NO such thing as a "Cold WAR" you speak to. You've been conditioned by populist rthetoric to believe such nonsense. Foreign relations strategic policies is not remotely the definition of war as defined by international law and the militaries.

On the otherhand, using the secondary common definition of the word war, the world is at war on a constant contiuum -- especially the U.S., its Allies and the predominate communist nations in addition to the major theocracy nations of Islam.

In the U.S. according to the constitution war is clearly defined and must be authorized by congress.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's NO such thing as an intelligent lefty either. You're a tiresome a**.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Words of wisdom from a government welfare employee hand fed by taxpayers.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks, thoughtful reply.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dude, what on earth are you talking about? I understood Mr. Ledeen perfectly well. "Word-salad flash cards" . . really?

I get that you are probably left/liberal Obama supporter and it is disconcerting to hear uncomfortable things like this. But mix in some coherent thoughts in your rebuttals.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Even the Wall Street Journal, to which I subscribe, misuses language in the area of radical Islam. In describing the now-dead Bostonian gentleman, the WSJ refers to his change on character when he began to show an interest in "religion." Which religion was scarcely mentioned.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
when someone belongs to a group of people that actively tell us that they want Israel, little satan, destroyed and then destroy big satan, USA. I don't need to know the motive, nor do I care.

Take them out, and be done with them.

And as long as we have Pee-C BS from the libs/dems/ lame stream suck up medai telling us to be nice, to our enemies, maybe they will like us more, the worse it will get.

Major Hasan is not a killer he is work place violence. What a joke.

And here we years later arguing over whether or not he can wear a beard when he goes to trial.

He was caught red handed, I don't care his motive, or his state of mind. I will personally delight to fly on my own dime and put the needle in his arm, and would have no problem putting the needle into pork fat, and telling him so, prior to doing so.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
The First Amendment does not protect incendiary speech. If you read the works of the Framers you will read that they did not intend it to protect yelling "fire" in a crowded theater or fomenting riots in the streets. The problem here is the corrupt leadership at the top. We already know that whilst ignoring real threats like the Islamists and radical leftists who have actually carried out attacks they are instead focusing on tax and corruption protestors, whistleblowers, patriots, etc.

So, while government could indeed be cracking down on these radical imams, they won't because of the threat from the radical left. Also, like all corrupt governments teetering on the verge of collapse, they turn on enemies to their power that are safe targets, like those mentioned above. Just remember: after the amnesty, patriots will be outnumbered at the polls and will no longer matter in the eyes of government, except as a hindrance.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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