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Father Knows Best

April 11th, 2014 - 7:38 pm

When the US spotted signs of a Russian buildup on the Ukraine border, the Obama administration decided not to share the information with Kiev. Rep. Michael Turner, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee confessed himself nonplussed. “This is not an issue of means and methods and techniques. This is straight up, almost Google Earth-type analysis. Even giving Ukraine (intelligence) about how best to utilize its forces against Russia would be beneficial.”

It wouldn’t be the first time someone decided it was best for others not to know. “Senate insiders say that senior Treasury Department officials have been lying for years about their backroom efforts to oppose and dismantle Iran sanctions legislation that ultimately forced Tehran to the bargaining table over its illicit nuclear program.”  Because if they admitted the goal was to surrender to the Ayatollahs then how could they pretend they were containing them?

Bad news has a way of forcing politicians to face up to it. In order to avoid this problem the solution is to shoot the messenger. Foreign Affairs notes that Russia is probably cheating on arms controls agreements. If this knowledge became general, then it would undermine the goal of reaching more such beneficial agreements.

At the moment, Russia’s march on Crimea tops the United States’ list of issues with its onetime foe. But it is hardly the whole list. Rather, as The New York Times reported in January, Washington apparently believes that Moscow has also been busy violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a pact between the two banning the use of both nuclear and conventionally armed ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles within a certain range. This is no minor matter. When the treaty was signed in 1987, it was taken as a signal that the Cold War was finally thawing and, since then, it has been a been a defining element in U.S.-Russian relations, the United States and NATO’s deterrent posture, and the broader architecture of global arms control.

Wouldn’t it be better to lie for the sake up peace? Admitting Russia is dishonest would also make it politically difficult to cut defense spending. So the pretense agreements are in effect continues, so that at least half of the parties can live up to them, because admit it, a partial disarmament is better than none at all. “The Pentagon will shrink the number of its nuclear weapon-carrying bomber aircraft and reduce the number of submarine ballistic missile launch tubes as it modifies its force posture to meet the limits of the New START treaty with Russia, the US Defense Department announced Tuesday.”

The Air Force will convert 30 B-52 bombers to a conventional-only role, meaning they could not deploy nuclear weapons, a senior defense official said. That will leave the service with 66 nuclear-capable B-52 and B-2 bombers, 60 of which will be in deployed status.

There are 336 ballistic missile tubes on the Navy’s 14 Ohio-class submarines. Four tubes on each of the Navy’s 14 submarines will be converted “so that they cannot be used to launch missiles,” the senior official said. The submarine-launched ballistic missile tube limits under New START are 240 deployed and 40 in non-deployed status.

DoD plans to remove warheads from 50 of its 450 ICBM launch silos, the senior official said. The cuts will be distributed across the Air Force’s three ICBM bases in Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana.

A lot of problems can be solved by simply ignoring them. As the Washington Post‘s Fred Hiatt notes, the best way to respond to the return of tyranny in Hong Kong is to say ‘what tyranny?’ “In the global war of ideology that President Obama says is not happening, Hong Kong is on the front lines.”

democracy’s hold has grown more precarious — “I’m quite frankly surprised at the rate of deterioration,” she said during a visit to The Post — and she is hoping the United States will speak out.

Will it? Obama recently told an audience in Brussels that, though the future belongs to those who support freedom and democracy, “those rules are not self-executing” and “the contest of ideas continues for your generation.”

Yet he also insisted that there is no new Cold War. “After all,” he said, “unlike the Soviet Union, Russia leads no bloc of nations, no global ideology.”

If the coda of the Clinton years was there was “no controlling legal authority”  the Obama administration equivalent might well be “those rules are not self-executing”. That means that just because the administration says something doesn’t mean they have to do anything about it.

Making an effort is so much trouble. Why not just issue a press release and forget about it? Instead it is far easier to do nothing and to simply pretend things are other than they are. Why not? If the press will let you get away with it then go for it. Recently the Obama administration demonstrated an obscene eagerness to say anything — anything at all — in order to paper over the problems in Egypt over and get back to business as usual. The Washington Post writes:

Secretary of State John F. Kerry has made clear that he is eager to certify that the Egyptian regime of Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi is “taking steps to govern democratically,” as Mr. Kerry is required to do by law before military aid to Egypt can be fully resumed. But Mr. Kerry conceded a few weeks ago that the generals “need to help us help them . . . by implementing some of the reforms that we’ve been talking to them about with respect to inclusivity, journalists, some of the arrests and so forth.”

The administration could of course, embrace the current authoritarian regime in Cairo, having embraced the previous authoritarian regimes in Cairo. But that would be too forthright, and too direct an admission to fly. What would happen to their reputation for being Lightbringers to the Middle East? So it’s a lot better to simply pretend that the Egyptian junta is not a junta and ask Congress for aid money to bribe said junta into not becoming a junta. At least not openly. This is exactly what John Kerry, without a shred irony, is asking for. Who cares if it’s doesn’t fool anyone.  So long as we fool ourselves that will be sufficient.

If there is any shortcoming at all to current political process, it stems from the persistently bad habit of critics to pull aside the curtain. Our unwillingness to credit the administration with intelligence or competence makes it hard for them to sustain the illusion. And illusion’s a valuable thing when it is considered a substitute for reality.

The Weekly Standard notes that “in his Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony last week, Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Israel for the breakdown in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.” The negotiations were dead to begin with. The failure of the talks to return from the dead is likened by the Standard to the Tinkerbelle scene in Peter Pan.  If you believe in its possibility hard enough you can always blame the doubters.

The argument seems to be that peace is possible because Kerry has relationships with leaders, Kerry is trusted, Kerry was in the Senate for 30 years, Kerry chaired the Foreign Relations Committee, and Kerry was on the White House lawn when Rabin shook hands with Arafat. So our job is to have faith in him, and if we believe that peace is possible, it will come.

But I think this is wrong. Perhaps neither Kerry nor Obama believe in a thing they say. It’s only an act. They only hope the audience believes it, because “those rules are not self-executing” is another way of saying the action on stage ain’t real.

Recently the Washington Times observed that the next Iranian ambassador to the United Nations once took hostages from the US embassy in Teheran. “Asked if the U.S. is aware that Mr. Aboutalebi was a member of the militant group, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf declined to comment.” If they commented they might have to do something about it. And they don’t do action, so Silence is Golden.

Asking embarassing questions is like inquiring into whether Russia is cheating on nukes, or massing troops at the Ukrainian border, or reigniting the Cold War or whether the “peace process” has failed, or asking whether the Iranian UN diplomat once kidnapped diplomats would be OK. It’s like asking whether the stage king’s crown is real gold or just gold-painted. Asking puts the public in a position where it must question their faith in Obama.

If pressed the administration may even admit that the UN ambassador was in fact a once hostage taker, but now nothing can be done since he is protected by diplomatic immunity. A Radio Free Europe story demonstrates that such logical somersaults are not only conceivable but normal today. Recently a NATO official said “the alliance does not expect the use of Russian territory to transport supplies used by Western forces in Afghanistan to be affected by NATO’s suspension of cooperation with Moscow.” Of course not.

And so one doesn’t see the buildup on the border of Ukraine because it may — you know — affect the supply lines that won’t be affected by spotting Russian troops massing on the border of Ukraine.

The administration is now in complete contempt of the facts.  Falsum in omnibus is Latin for “trust me.”

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Top Rated Comments   
I suspect that they don't look at these contradictory messages themselves. There isn't some complex and well designed plan to hide this information to protect their plans.

These are instances where reality is intruding into the "correct" way of thinking about these issues. Russia as an enemy is so 1980's, cold war thinking. They are an ally, Putin a partner that could bestride the world beside Obama and spread peace and light. If all these details are just ignored, no one talks about them, then they will go away and be forgotten.

I do troubleshooting for a living and the biggest challenge is not the equipment or the problems. They can be sorted out. The weak point is our mind, our natural and built in tendency to look for patterns and try to impose the pattern in our mind to the evidence before us, as opposed to having the evidence establish the pattern.

We have seen numerous instances in the past short while where people desperately work to prevent an opposing viewpoint even to exist within their hearing.

The funny thing about this is that these are well trod paths for those in leadership positions. The habit of surrounding oneself with yes men has been the downfall of powerful men, and someone in power who is smart would recognize the exigency of not letting this happen, and set up methods to prevent it.

Those in power today go out of their way to rid themselves or isolate themselves from any opposing opinion or annoying reality. They are fools, and failure is inevitable.

I hope we survive their stupidity.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
1) Us not passing information to Kiev can be expected. We do not want there to be any speedbumps in the way of the Russia Army as it conquers the whole country. If it is a fait accompli, Buraq Hussein can claim he can't do anything about it. Ukraine, and all of Europe really, is on their own. Ukraine has one and only one way to defend itself successfully, as I have described.

2) It has been over 30 years since I was writing for military journals. [not getting old, bloody well am old]. The Soviets NEVER complied with any of the arms treaties they signed, and the post-Soviet Russians are the same way. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the field knows this. But it is always easier for the State Department collaborationist weenies to lie to the American people and the world about it. We have, by now, used up the design margin that made the lie relatively harmless. Now the entire government has to pretend that the truth does not exist for internal ideological reasons.

3) As far as Kerry and the Israeli negotiations; a fellow PJM site, INSTAPUNDIT, broke that the US State Department has been deliberately planting false stories in media around the world to undermine the Israeli negotiating position with the Palestinians.

No foreign country in their right mind can assume that anything the US says is honest, is not a trick to destroy them, or that the US is not actively hostile to them. To grant faith in anything this regime says; foreign or domestic, is to qualify for a Darwin Award.

4) JoeNobody

I almost wish that Putin would. Your description of the forces surrounding the ranch may have been meant to be sarcastic, but there is more than a little truth there. The arrival of Vozdushno-desantnye voyska would make Obama's Einsatzgruppen flee in panic.

n.b.- I have lived and worked on a ranch. Long ago. I knew BLM, National Parks Rangers, etc. They were, in the main good people. Not the SWAT-happy, MRAP-equipped, totalitarian Liu2 kou3shui3 de5 biao3zi5 he2 hou2zi5 de5 ben4 er2zi5men5 we have today.

Subotai Bahadur
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Breaking News!

Putin considering sending airborne forces to Nevada to protect small cattleman and family and cows from invasion by latter day Nazis. Will promise not to annex Nevada and leave just as soon as the invading Nazi forces are eliminated.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (48)
All Comments   (48)
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If you really want to get sick to your stomach, read the wiki on Ellen Tauscher.

And it ignores her role in the START II treaty. More on that later --i'm trying to find something short and sharp. A lot of 2010 mtrl is hard to find --i may have to (gulp) search my own Library of Incongruous.


BTW, in addition to the disarming the host mentioned, a naval person on Fox over the weekend said we may not refuel a carrier parked in Japan, and that the order was just issued to mothball eleven cruisers.

Have to check this stuff out. What do we do if we don't want a nuclear first strike to land on us while Reggie Love has the football?

46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
PS, last week i didn't have the heart to link Nyquist's Sunday column, ''When Conservatives Go Wrong''.

This week i don't have the heart to even READ the new one, ''Betrayal by Leaders''.

...but it begins with a ref to Bill Gertz' 2008 book, "The Failure Factory". (sigh) Guess i'll go read it. have to hide the razor blades first, as usual. Hide 'em from who? Well, me, of course. One of the gifts of age --you can hide your own Easter eggs --and anything else too, i think
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ah, but Russia DOES have an ideology.

Their ideology holds that the evil in the world comes from the United States and its close allies, especially Israel, all of which are under the control of their evil, selfish greedy banker leaders.

It is the belief that unites Russia, Iran, north Korea, Venezuela, Hamas and Hezbollah. And a million internet trolls.

The Left finds it hard to oppose this belief, because, after all, it's theirs, too.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
No way that there is pretense
For we all know the best defense
Is to close your eyes and say there’s nothing there
If you know that Putin’s cheating
The best way to stop the bleeding
Is to trash your own defense to please the bear

46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sharyl Attkisson

When I'd Begin Getting the Under Surface of an Obama Scandal, CBS Would Pull Me Off

"There is unprecedented, I believe, influence on the media, not just the news, but the images you see everywhere. By well-orchestrated and financed campaign of special interests, political interests and corporations. I think all of that comes into play."
Fast and furious:
O'Reilly: "Playing one off against the other. You said something interesting that you had to abandon the story for lack of interest. Can you clarify that?

Attkisson: "It just came to be that, I don't think on the viewers' part, but on the people that decide what stories go into the broadcast and what there is room for, they felt fairly early on that this story was over when I felt as though we had barely begun to scratch the surface. They didn't ask me what was left to report. They decided on their own the story was done."

O' Reilly moved to her investigation into Benghazi...
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"They decided on their own the story was done."

Pretty well sums it up.

Move on, nothing to see here.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Shouldn't Single Women' Suffrage be on the table when considering options for increasing our nation's security?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
These are instances where reality is intruding into the correct way of thinking about these issues. Russia as an enemy is so 1980's, cold war thinking.
They are an ally, Putin a partner that could bestride the world beside Obama and spread peace and light. If all these details are just ignored, no one talks about them, then they will go away and be forgotten.


We should all go through our days repeating this to achieve enlightenment, sprinkling in "Om" occasionally to simultaneously achieve moral greatness.

Thank you Derek from the bottom of my black heart.

46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
So what is the real truth? A suspension of disbelief with the Russians, with the 'hope' that some how, some day, wiser heads will rule Russia, and 'peace' will be maintained, somehow? What's a few nukes dismantled, here or there, to keep the illusion of peace with Ivan?
It's the narrative.
It is of a piece with the mockery of Romney on this topic in the last election. THE COLD WAR IS OVER!! NO MORE NUKES!

At some point in a not too distant future, in a country not too far from the United States, I hope that people wake up to the eternal dilemma of nation states living in a world with conflicting national goals. But as long as we have fantasists like Kerry, Obama, Biden, Rice and others playing a make-believe game because they covet the money spent on national defense, and want to spend it on buying votes in future elections, the risk to real peace actually is growing.
Interesting the Obama would say that Russia has no ideology or block of nations opposed to us. Since Obama actually would feel more closely aligned the 'intellectuals' of the USSR and their ideology for worldwide communism. No, Russia is playing the Great Game, a game far older than Marxist inspired Soviet socialism.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is there anything the Obama regime does in the USA’s best interest and not a lie?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wretchard wrote "Asking puts the public in a position where it must question their faith in Obama."

Simon and Garfunkel had a song about that.

Can you imagine the cognitive dissonance of progressives having that song come back to haunt them? Here's another golden oldie for them.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment

"Sounds of Silence" live, very small venue --like a supper club almost. Looks a couple years farther back than the one you posted. Sooooo good --we had no idee HOW good, until the years kept passing with no match.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
MP--that first link never gets old; have no use for the second.

This could be the anthem for the Oba admin:
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Annoy Mouse: "the tragedy here is that the putative opposition, Speaker Boehner should shirk his responsibilities and duties to uphold the constitution"

Indeed! With the further tragedy that several hundred Republican "Representatives" fail in their obvious duty to remove Boehner immediately. And the tragedy that the Judge who authorized the BLM to seize the cattle did not revoke his order as soon as the BLM showed up with 8 helicopters and sharpshooters. And the tragedy of the Nevada Governor who did not call out the National Guard to repel the assault by Barry Soetero's evil BLM.

And the greatest tragedy of all -- the BLM pilots & sharpshooters (ordinary American citizens) who aimed their force at innocent Americans instead of turning around and fragging their illegitimate officers.

Unfortunately, the apples are rotting all the way down from the top to the bottom of the barrel. We all know how this is going to end.

Still, Harry Reid has become extremely wealthy while supposedly representing the people of Nevada in Congress. Maybe it was worth destroying a civilization so that Democrat Fascists could temporarily live in the lap of luxury.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
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