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Belmont Club

If the Phone Doesn’t Ring

April 25th, 2014 - 3:03 pm

It gotten harder and harder for the administration to find someone to talk to.  Hillary, Eric and even Michelle have had trouble getting an audience lately.  Hillary Clinton Cancels Appearance Where Benghazi Victim’s Mom, Protestors Await. Then there’s Holder cancels appearance in OKC amid angry protests, and Michelle Obama reschedules visit to Kansas school after protests.

ABC reports that Chuck Hagel Wants to Talk Ukraine With Russia by Phone, But No Response. Maybe he was going to ask the Russians about Ukraine: pro-Russian separatists hold European military observers captive, but they’re not even bothering to pick up the line. The Russians are just kidnapping the emissaries of the European soft superpower to show how much they fear its wrath.

Hillary wonders why Snowden didn’t call anyone she knows before handing the Crown Jewels to Putin. “I don’t understand why he couldn’t have been part of the debate here at home”.

Because maybe there is no debate; just the pretense of one. And it’s taking its toll: after years of being at the center of attention, people connected with the administration are suddenly finding they are getting the cold shoulder.

Are we seeing a trend? Maybe.

Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Make Friends and Influence People has a rule # 2 which says: “Give honest and sincere appreciation”. That’s a polite way of saying “try not to talk out of both sides of your mouth”. People eventually notice when you’re lying.  Telling the truth’s going to be hard when lying is an ingrained habit. Look at how president Obama draws a line in the water in the Pacific:

At his joint press conference with Prime Minister Abe, President Obama once again stated that the mutual defense treaty covers the Senkaku islands, which Japan administers but which China and Taiwan also claim as their own. He repeated the assertion twice, which Tokyo certainly welcomed.

The president, however, also noted that “we don’t take a position on final sovereignty determinations with respect to Senkakus.” This has been longstanding US policy and thus the statement comes as no surprise. Still, it does introduce a bit of ambiguity into the security guarantee.

If Obama doesn’t even believe the Senkaku’s are Japan’s how can he credibly undertake to go to World War 3, if necessary, to defend them?

Some people think Obama’s problem is an unwillingness to use force. Anne Marie Slaughter for example, who was a former director of policy planning in the US State Department (2009-2011) during the Obama administration writes: “the solution to the crisis in Ukraine lies in part in Syria. It is time for US President Barack Obama to demonstrate that he can order the offensive use of force in circumstances other than secret drone attacks or covert operations … Stopping Russia Starts in Syria”.

Close, but no cigar. Stopping the slide in American credibility starts by telling the truth. It starts by believing in something, not merely pretending to believe in something, but actually holding to something sincerely.

Obama’s been willing to use force, he’s just never leveled about why he does it and who he is ultimately supporting.  Nobody has been more active at changing the calculus of force: cancelling missile defense, debuilding the armed forces, supply arms to nameless “rebels”; or engaging in kinetic military action in places like Yemen, Pakistan and Libya for which no declaration of war exists. The Arab Spring,  Fast and Furious, the Reset, the Palestinian Peace Process — he has an actual Secret Kill List —  who was Obama actually backing? Darned if the public knows.

What distinguishes Obama is that he does these things outside the Constitutional framework of war, by executive action, through secret orders justified by secret findings, undisclosed pacts and “flexibility”.

Obama’s problem is not so much “will you act?” as “who’s side are you on?”

What got Obama into trouble in Syria in the first place was promising to use force (is there anyone who has drawn more Red Lines?) and not meaning it; vowing there would be “consequences” in Ukraine and not being truthful; declaring that he will defend the Senkakus, and then adding no sooner than the cameras were off that he didn’t know who those islands belonged to in the first place.

What really disturbed people about Hillary’s response to Benghazi wasn’t that she failed to save her men, but that she didn’t even try, an issue she dealt with by declaring it moot: “what difference, at this point, does it make?”

People would be so much happier with a president who declared. “I’m a Communist and/or a Muslim and I fully intend to do Commie and Muslim things,” if that’s what he was. The electorate has the right to elect a Marxist or Islamist or a white supremacist, so long as they know what they’re getting. Freedom is wrongly understood to mean that no consequences apply. But it really means the exact opposite: the right to make a mistake, so long as you’re willing to pay the price.

Buy the ticket, take the ride. But in this case, there’s a ticket but no ride. What Obama has done is pervert freedom by being a “blank screen” which means anything and nothing. If the administration wants to know why people are reluctant to take its calls — the Palestinians, the Russians, the survivors of Benghazi — it’s simply this: people, even the enemy, want straight talk. Instead they get nothing but meaningless lies. The noise to signal ratio is too high. Nobody wants to listen to a man with no center, not even when he is billed as the Lightworker.


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Top Rated Comments   
Obama's a broken reed. He won't use force. He can't use sanctions. He won't drill. China is making a deal to buy Russia's natural gas in case Europe shops elsewhere. Putin sweet talked him out of every advantageous position; it was like taking candy from a baby. He has Obama over a barrel in Afghanistan, Syria and Iran.

It's pitiful. It's like watching a ventriloquist's dummy mouthing words on a teleprompter. The measure of the world's residual respect for America is shown by the formal deference still being shown to a man who is probably being laughed at behind his back. They are not doing it because they respect him. They are doing it for the memory of America, what it stood for, what it once was.

How he can stand it, to bring ridicule on his country and himself I don't know. Anyone with a lick of self-respect or self-awareness would leave the stage in shame.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's indulge a hypothetical for a moment. Imagine a generation that never knew hunger, never saw any of their childhood companions carried away by disease, whose every mistake could be covered up by money, a shot of antibiotics, a trip to the "family planning" clinic. Whose childhoods were so secure that they never even had to worry much about bullies. Who could dominate their environments by controlling the narrative -- spreading nasty stories about their rivals in first the playground and then the seminar room. In fact, they were rewarded by college faculty more for their sardonic wit and scathing commentary than for their hard work and deep understanding.

How would they react to real, existential challenges?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's a Monty Python air about events that requires a suspension of belief if one is to go on reading the news as a serious account of world events.

Assad makes a "deal" with Obama to surrender his chemical weapons and then goes and gases civilians again, while not surrendering his weapons. Russia undertakes to accept EU monitors under Geneva Four Party and then holds them hostage when they show up. Chuck Hagel is trying to call Russia but he's gets a busy signal. And just a few days ago Snowden -- yes Snowden -- shows up at Putin press conference.

And now ... "THE Pentagon says Russian warplanes have violated Ukraine’s airspace several times in 24 hours, in the latest sign of a mounting confrontation between Moscow and Kiev"

http://www.news.com.au/world/europe/ukraine-accuses-russia-of-seeking-third-world-war/story-fnh81p7g-1226896436027

It's like a bad, surreal dream. What's worst about it is that the administration is not only lying to the public, they are lying to themselves.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (108)
All Comments   (108)
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buddy larsen: "The interview takes place a month or so after the WTC attack, and that is obviously Phase 1. She describes Phase 2 as a financial attack that will swamp the western system. IOW, 7 or 8 years before the blow-off of 2008, she forecast it. Phase 3 seems to involve an end-game, and she says here that it will involve oil."

Buddy, with respect, it does not take a whole lot of perspicacity to forecast that governments which are running unsustainable deficits will be open to financial attack, or that governments which have turned their backs on technology (eg transportation fuels extracted from coal & oil shale using nuclear power) are likely to get stomped by real or political oil supply shortfalls.

Our question is -- where can we get a government which lives within its means and promotes technology? Sad fact is, in the world today, the closest approximation we could find would be in Putin's Russia. Tragic!
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly --what system of government doesn't have an Obama gang at the top? Putin's big problem when he came to power was the competition for --and in his case the retention of --human and financial capital. As he said, the contest was 'continental' --between continents. With everyone wanting to live and/or buy in to the USA cluster, what was a good KGB man to do? Granted he had half the time zones of the northern hemisphere to work free market magic on, he couldn't do it without representational govt --no good for the KGB state-within-a-state.

What's the old joke about the neighbor's cows producing more milk than yours? You can add more cows, add investment, labor, and risk, or, for the cost of a few bullets just shoot some of the neighbor's cows. We're now seeing a world littered with shot cows.

But as you say, we did it to ourselves, in the way the farmer with the shot cows left the herd wide open, and didn't punish the neighbor doing the shooting. It was the two-party system, and the rule of law, and the low entry barrier into the system, that invited the shooter farmer into the herd. Basel I was the first bullet. And the shooter wasn't Putin, it was Bill Clinton, neutralizing traditional good gray govt oversight of global bankers.

IOW, since 1992, with an almost meaningless (from a 2014 vantage point) Bush 43 interregnum, we've been working toward parity with Putin's level of free market and by-the-people self-governance, every bit of classic liberalism lost on our side of the globe becoming a bit of power gained for the reciprocal continent's guiding light.

As you say, this is how reality works. Marx or was it Engels, called the sequence Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis. We were --and still are, material-wise if not morale-wise, orating our Thesis, admittedly in a cacaphony of voices of Antithesis and Synthesis, and despite a terrible case of laryngitis named Obama, because a sore throat heals, under normal circumstances.
(show less)
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
https://www.google.com/search?rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-US&oe=utf8&q=rick+wiles+tatyana+koryagina&rlz=1I7GGLL_en&hl=en&sa=X&as_q=&nfpr=&spell=1&ei=IStcU7HWOIjO8wHL0IFI&ved=0CBoQvwU

Everything about the link is explained right there. You have to ignore the canned lead-in to the 58 minute interview --or else you won't listen to it.

Koryagina almost certainly is doing a form of damage control here. i think that Putin knew 9/11/01 was coming, and had to do something to indemnify his people holding dollars and dollarized assets, before the event. In this hypothetical, such notification would've had to've been too public a project to run out through the insider ratlines --too many retail holders, enough to potentially bust the Russian economy if 9/11/01 had had all of its potential effect, which it didn't.

So enter Tatyana Koryagina.

Anyhoo, the thing to look at here is her characterization of the attack as having three phases, separated by some amount of time.

The interview takes place a month or so after the WTC attack, and that is obviously Phase 1. She describes Phase 2 as a financial attack that will swamp the western system. IOW, 7 or 8 years before the blow-off of 2008, she forecast it.

Phase 3 seems to involve an end-game, and she says here that it will involve oil.

This may be all stupid occult nonsense, but it only takes an hour to judge for yourself, and it IS a weekend.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's a way to stop the military build-down, if it could be gotten out into the country in time:

Cost-out the difference between the Dollar now and the Dollar post world reserve currency.

Compare to the Dollar cost of the military on which it rests.

This is not as arcane a task as it might appear, if the language is in plain English and only footnoted in the math. 'Probability' and 'regression analysis' and 'von Mises crowd behavior' and all, can be an appendix, but someone the media follows needs the conclusion in a slogan aimed directly at American women shopping in the grocery store and sitting in the mortgage banker's office.

The net could over-ride the busted classroom.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Buddy,
That argument should have been made by the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader of the Senate years ago, and repeated at least twice a month or maybe every week. But no, there is seemingly no one in Congress with an "R" tag who dares make that argument.

Maybe you could send you idea to Ted Cruz. Maybe he will make that argument. It's about time.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's the weekend... so I listened to Rick Wiles interview. Intriguing, but with a lot of generalities and evasions. But she is consistent with what other ladies such as Catherine Austin Fitts and the controversial Karen Hudes have been saying with regard to the shadow global elite. If we know their names, it's not them. Gary Kay was another very early investigator
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gary KAH...
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
--i'll work it up and do just that. Can't hurt --

But truth is, this is well-known --it HAS to be --in policy circles. As far as hoi polloi, we might as well be back in the Napoleonic Era as far as vital information transmission is concerned.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Presidents greatest talents are his ability to co-opt credit and shift blame.
Though this ability seems to be fading a bit with over use.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
By reading comments I've got an impression that the majority here considers ruling elite to be stupid. They are not since they are mostly able to achieve their goals.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The ruling elite are certainly clever, which I suppose is a form of not being stupid. However, they have not a smidgen of wisdom.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are differences between Smart and Cunning. And Efficient and Ruthless.
The Elect can't seem to tell the difference.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Allow me to expound further. If one believes that the Universe is just a giant con, he can then apply his intelligence to working the con and may, in some sense, be "successful". Nonetheless, we can argue that his fundamental assumption is incorrect.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
But if their goals are evil or destructive, aren't those disqualifiers?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Depends on the point of view, even the literal longitude/latitude points of view. The 'globalist' point of view doesn't see a national leader as an advocate of that nation, but as an advocate of Planet Earth (as opposed to say, Jupiter, or even further out to say, the great M13 globular cluster in the constellation Hercules --considered to be the finest globular cluster in the northern half of the heavens).
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
What does Obama truly believe?

He believes in two things (not mutually exclusive):

1. He believes that conservatives/libertarians are the real enemy.

2. He believes in the con.

On second thought, maybe it is just one thing. Obama believes in the con and therefore conservatives/libertarians are the real enemy because they are instinctively opposed to the con.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
President Obama is just another conflicted Liberal...

Decisions, acting on those decisions, and living by those decisions are not actions normal to them. They are conflicted and never make a decision, never act on the decision they did not make, and obviously never live by those un-decisions...
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wretchard: "is there anyone who has drawn more Red Lines?"

I think we should start mailing red magic markers to the White House, to ensure Obama never loses the ability to draw more red lines.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
And our political posture on the Ukraine has been reduced to a campaign of aggressive tweeting. How will Saturday Night Live be able to parody something that is already a joke?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hillary won't win in 2016:

Nicco Mele, author of ''The End of Big'' who engineered Howard Dean's successful online fundraising campaign, believes that Barack Obama's transformation from little-known senator to president shows the strength of upstarts and the vulnerability of establishment candidates like Hillary Clinton.

http://www.reuters.com/video/2013/04/17/reuters-tv-crowdsourcing-the-boston-bombing-investi?videoId=241911070&videoChannel=117773

The End of Big:
How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath

http://www.amazon.com/The-End-Big-Internet-Goliath/dp/1250021855
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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