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Belmont Club

The End of Animal House

July 17th, 2014 - 12:02 pm

The shootdown of a Malaysian Airlines 777 over Ukraine with the loss of all aboard may represent a new and disturbing trend in that conflict. For Ukraine represents the flashpoint between east and west at its most immediate.

The airplane was brought down from 33,000 feet by an anti-air system from parties unknown, yet almost certainly connected with the army of a great state. It follows the announcement of new sanctions by the Obama administration on Russia — and a connection between the two, even if factually nonexistent, will be drawn and hang like a cloud over the international scene.

Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone Thursday morning to discuss the new sanctions the U.S. imposed on Russia Wednesday, and near the end of the call Putin noted the early reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that Moscow requested the call between the two leaders, which provided the opportunity for the Obama “to make clear once again the important principles at stake here” when it comes to Russia’s support of rebel militias in Ukraine.

The destruction of the Malaysian airliner comes at a time when international tensions are very high. From fighting in Gaza, Syria and Iraq to the manifestly failing attempts to negotiate away Iran’s nuclear program to renewed attacks on Kabul’s airport — at no recent time have American efforts to preserve the Long Peace been under such threat.

If Leading from Behind is working, it’s not obvious.

The president has spent the last few weeks laughing at everything.  But now he is faced with something possibly new and disturbing, something which a speech or an executive order won’t handle. He must tread very carefully. Above all he must remember that foreign policy is not something he conducts out on the golf course.

It is past due for the other branches of government and the American people to be told what is going on. No more narratives about videos, no more talking points, no more Soros, no more Susan Rice.

The world is sliding into serious crisis under the most mediocre Western leadership since the Second World War. They do not even seem prepared to acknowledge the possible disaster they are causing. They have singularly failed to address the energy and security problems that have fueled instability, preferring instead to pander to the environmental and cultural obsessions that are relics of the halcyon days of the immediate post-Cold War. They have pursued narrow commercial and partisan agendas without regard to consequences.

The Mod Squad style of statesmanship is failing the world. And now, as events take us into ever more dangerous waters, Western voters must ask themselves: how much more reality TV, how much more anachronistic cool, how much more incompetence can they survive?


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Top Rated Comments   
Barack Obama is in over his head. He is being led by events he has allowed to gather too much momentum to be now easily restrained. He is a schoolboy amateur up against smarter, tougher guys. Our allies are frightened, confused, and betrayed. Our enemies are emboldened and openly contemptuous (does anyone else notice that Obama's foreign critics are never called 'racists') and believe that they will not suffer meaningfully no matter how great the outrage.

We will be fortunate if Barack Obama does not end up getting us all killed.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rhetorical speech. IMHO.

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Both rhetorical, and in this case, honest. F**K the progressives and every one of their damn supporters. When 9/11v2 hits NYC, I will NOT react as in 2001, "pulling together for the good of the nation.". I WON'T support sending our "best and brightest", mostly from conservative states, into the killing fields so that the Democrats can make political hay of the war, and UNDO everything that the kids bled for. The progressives hate me, are destroying my country, ARE putting my family at risk and under indentured servitude to an IRS run government.

Hell with it. Burn, baby burn, and bring the marshmellows. I'll cry for other victims, the innocent ones, because as I said before, this won't impact just one city.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
My family lives in Chicago...I don't think wishing such a thing is the answer.. - Janetoo

I'm not sure that the poster is wishing specifically for the destruction of Chicago. If you accept the premise that it'll take a "smoking crater" in a great American city to convince the low-info, MTV voters that America's security under Obama has headed south in a hurry, and that THIS IS RELEVANT TO THEM, then what logically follows is the question of "which city". He voted for the place that spawned Obama, as well as a great number of other corrupt progressives.

Not a bad pick. Washington, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago; the loss of any of these would impact this country and cause deprivation to millions of Americans nationwide - not just in Chicago. Such a strike would kill millions, cripple the economy, and interrupt the ability of the US Military to conduct basic operations (i.e. due to logistical problems) for 10 to 20 years.

That is in fact is the goal on the minds of most Muslim leaders, Chinese leaders, probably Putin, certainly some Western Europeans, and to America's enemies worldwide - death and destruction in America's on a vast scale and in a very personal way. While some will cry for America and understand what America's loss means for the rest of the world, millions - probably 100's of millions around the world will dance in the streets, dance upon the proverbial graves of the American dead when the news is first heard.

Only a blind idiot (and/or a progressive Democrat) can miss the fact that America is on a trajectory where events impacting American security are now out of the control of the US leadership. Opening the borders, "leading from behind", degrading US military capability to achieve a second "peace dividend" (Bill Clinton claimed the first and then touted a balanced budget), and simply feckless foreign policy and intelligence decisions CLEARLY puts America on a trajectory to "hit alpha" on an American city.

We have enemies who are motivated to hit an American city with a Nuclear or Biological attack. It may be without finger prints, or the enemy may THINK it's without finger prints - little difference to the dead and dying - but it will happen, and probably within the next 3 years. Never doubt the incompetence of the enemy, but Obama has given our enemies reason to think that they can pull the trigger on America and get away with it. So they will.

Chicago's as good a target as any.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (307)
All Comments   (307)
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"brought down by parties unknown" ... no guts to say what happened . goodby richard fernandez
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
An interesting read from James Miller of the Daily Beast ( I know,I know the Daily Beast)
Why Putin Let MH17 Get Shot Down
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/18/why-ukraine-erupted-again.html

A snippet:
"Russia has been escalating its war in Ukraine for weeks. The urgency to win turned to recklessness.

President Putin has been recklessly escalating the crisis in eastern Ukraine since he was embarrassed and outmaneuvered by the Ukrainian president three weeks ago. Allowing a passenger jet to be shot down is the act of an increasingly desperate man.

The Kremlin ordered tanks, heavy weapons and Russian fighters to pour over the border stoking up the crisis until tragedy struck. We should have seen it coming; on Wednesday morning the front page of Foreign Policy magazine had a headline that should have sent shockwaves through the geopolitical landscape: Russia Is Firing Missiles At Ukraine."

Read the whole thing. Basically Vladie is on the verge of losing the war, and worse still, as a result dramatically losing support at home. So he got reckless. That is why this tragedy happened.

You're welcome Mr. X.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
First, I don’t think that MH17 was shot down as a specific act of terrorism. Today they showed data on Fox News that’s showed that almost all airline traffic had been routed well to the west of the disputed area; MH17 flew right over it. It is believable that those on the ground that controlled the SAMs could have been firing at a Ukrainian military aircraft and locked up on MH17 as a mistake. But it is also believable that given the paucity of air traffic they were shooting at anything and everything that showed up on their scope and was not squawking the right IFF code. MH17 would have been squawking its transponder but not the correct code.

It is also quite believable that the Russians decided to help out their friends in Ukraine by extending a “no fly” zone over the disputed area using SAMs and fighter interceptors based on Russian territory. Recall that very thing was discussed as an option relative to Turkey in the Syrian Civil War and in fact assets were moved to enable that.

I think that the fact that the Ukraine shot down an airliner while conducting a military exercise nearby makes it less likely they shot down MH17 – aside from the fact that Ukrainian aircraft were downed near that area earlier this week.

So I do not think that Putin specifically ordered that 777 to be shot down, but there is little doubt he set in motion the war that led to the act.

Doug: Firefox is working A-Okay for me now on PJM
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
"MH17 flew right over it."

A brilliant move, given that another of their aircraft is still in limbo.

I read that several other airlines had chosen the same fuel saving route.

...bet they don't now.

Guess I'll try the load that is Firefox, again.
Thanks!
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
"We were unable to return you to pjmedia.com

Internet Explorer has stopped trying to restore this website.

It appears that the website continues to have a problem..."

Does anyone at PJ"M"

Give a S...?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
OD, if you are compelled to run a Windows system there is unfortunately no single utility, add-on, fix, etc. that will magically solve these types of problems. Their causes are not always singular, but sometimes multiple and also cumulative, and to tame them to a manageable level sometimes requires a combination of steps and applications. You've been given several good suggestions, and I'd like to offer some additional.

I suspect your system is badly infected with a variety of malware, not limited to your browser, so first, as others have noted, you need to switch from IE to another browser. I recommend Firefox, with the Adblock Plus add-on, simply because it has the greatest number of available tweaks and add-ons to strengthen its protection. You've indicated you've already done that, so that's a good first step.

However, many malware applets and scripts do not necessarily operate through your browser and once they have burrowed into your system, adding Firefox/Adblock does not automatically remove them. I suggest going to C/Net's www.download.com and downloading and installing the free utility MalwareBytes Anti-Malware. Update it and run a full scan, then tell it to remove everything it finds.

Third, open Control Panel, then Add/Remove applications and uninstall all third party "toolbars" and "search" applications.

Fourth, although not required, it might be helpful to also download the free CCleaner utility from www.download.com and run it. It will clean out an amazing amount of "junk" that clogs your system and often give you a surprising boost in performance.

These steps may not solve all your problems, but using these utilities I'm able to use PJM and other previously difficult sites with Firefox and have no problems anymore.

Unfortunately, as far as the PJM site itself, no utilities can correct the deliberate hack job the new PTB's implemented a while back... ;-)

I hope this plan of attack I've suggested will be of help to you. I ask also our host's indulgence for this long OT post.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I use Firefox with Ghosterly plug-in, and run both CC cleaner and Malwarebytes weekly (the free versions). I also invested in Kaspersky Pure 3.0 and run a full scan weekly. Now my biggest problem is backreading 300+ comments when RL prevents me from keeping up with BC daily.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks, I'll give it a try.

When I see anonymous ads for such things, I hesitate to take action.
Forever.

Your presence here is good enough for me.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anyone stupid enough to run IE except after a fresh install of Windows, and then only to download Chrome or Firefox, deserves what they get. But for you Doug I recommend a Chromebook, and let Google keep the OS updated. I never have any problem with PJ Media on Chrome OS.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Even though you may be smarter than the rest of us, don't go calling people stupid.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
--jeez, that was a short romance --
:-)
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I decided she only wanted my money. Plus I didn't know what she was talking about--stupid I guess.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
You have already congratulated me on my graduation to a Chromebook:

Despite the fact that I have not.

Your credibility is zero.

I will continue to flagellate myself, and all fellow Windows Users in our Quest to Reform PJ"M"

FOR THE CHILDREN!
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is a difference between stupidity and ignorance, as the adults here know full well. You merely need to climb the learning curve to solve your problems. Rest assured, the adults also know the difference between class and crass... ;-)
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I suggest PaleMoon webbrowser, plus adblock and noscript plugins.

I have no trouble with the website, once I allow the score of scripts to run when I fist visit after clearing browser history.

9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks.

Sounds like something which should work.

I like the idea of a separate browser with no history.

Sounds simple enough for my simple mind.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, I came late to this party, but I wanted to let you know that I feel your pain. I had an unsupported IE browser which used to work well for me, but now I could no longer even get to the Belmont Club without crashing the computer. I thought it was my computer or the website. Then I downloaded Google Chrome, and nary a problem since.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
The British representative at the UN says “searching questions” must be asked, as it emerges a quarter of the 298 people on board the downed jet were children. He said it is “clear” where responsibility for the shooting down of a passenger plane with 298 people on board lies, saying Russia must “reflect carefully on the situation it has created”.

Now if we can all hold hands and share a moment to send disapproving vibrations toward Moscow.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Malaysia Air routes a flight from the Netherlands over a war zone where three planes had been shot down in the preceding week, and Malaysia Air hires pilots prone to say Allahu Oinkbar. Caveat Emptor.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pure Genius

Let the traveler beware.

If I were in CONUS, I'd probly fly Southwest, given my limited data set.

...They did do their best to reduce their Carbon Footprint, however.

(and their bank account, TEMPORARILY.)
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry,
I meant to say they will probably (If God is truly good) go bankrupt for choosing to save money at the expense of their passengers and crews saftety.

"Oinkbar:"

Isn't that culturally insensitve?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I became officially anesthetized to the culture of the Crescent Moon tradition when they sawed off Daniel Pearl's head on YouTube.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I did not watch, so I am still undecided.

A smooth move a for groovy party life in the tropics,
...at least while it lasts.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yup, same here.
That pretty much ended my attempt to keep an open mind and heart.
That and their expressed wish and fervent attempts for all of us to die.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, my give a f___ meter pretty much bottomed out there too.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
OldSaltUSN:

Adblock plus - add it to your browser and see a whole different internet.

Doug:

Thanks, I did, what might I STILL be doing wrong?

(At least IE helpfully restarted the page when I killed the correct instance
(by accident) of IE in Task Manager,
so "only" 5 minutes were wasted, and only one additional esophageal perforation occured.

My Doc says I may not have to be hospitalized...
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
From a European perspective, Obama is not doing too badly on this one. US sanctions have bite in the banking area - Russia needs corporate cash. Its the Europeans who need to wake up and fast.

Fast-track Ukraine into NATO and deploy a missile shield etc in Poland and two fingers to Putin. There is a window for that to happen now. The Russians may be nasty but the West still has the tech edge. We hope.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama ended the Polish and Czech missile defense plan...
- because Russia is not a problem,
- the Middle East is not a problem
- and the Middle East doesn't have long range missile to hit that far, which they do.
Of course, Obama says that Ukraine is surrounded by NATO and that is why Putin and Russia are retreating....can't make this stuff up. The government there states they have no interest in joining NATO even though it would thoroughly tick off the Russians.
So, it is sad the Europeans think Obama is doing a great job. Must be their media.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
--he made that announcement to Poland on the 70th anniversary of the Red Army invasion of Poland --when Hitler and Stalin had divvied up Poland under the Molotov/von Ribbentrop Pact. Accident? ISIS and the Chidren's Crusade --invasions both --commencing during the week of the 70th anniversary ceremony of the Normandy invasion? Coming out of the hole after boilerhousing results of failed casing shoe pressure tests, without pumping bottoms up, displacing 40% of the hydrostatic pressure on the failed P-test zone, without monitoring returns, on the day that Earth Day had been set on Hitler's birthday? I'm sure there's been others --cuties no one happened to catch --but it looks like a calculated insult to WWII to me. That certain wing of the Party being effin' symbolists and all.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
--oops --reference to Macondo, there.

BTW --don't believe there's effin' symbolists?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efrem_Zimbalist,_Jr.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
"From a European perspective, Obama is not doing too badly on this one."

Translated:

"Obama is doing everything we thought he would do (i.e. nothing), and everything he promised. Things are going swimmingly well for the motherland, comrade!"

As to the missile shield to Poland and Ukraine, and putting NATO assets into the Ukraine, NATO doesn't have those assets to deploy. Plus, the individual European countries of NATO will become quite jealous of their military resources, and will be reluctant to forward-deploy them. I think that leaderless NATO is toast, and I'm sure the Bear recognizes that.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Bear Is Loose
- Obama fundraises while Putin runs amok

The bear is loose!" President Obama has been saying, whenever he leaves the White House to visit Starbucks, or sandwich shops, or burger joints, or BBQ shacks, or neighborhood diners, in his increasingly rote and pathetic attempts to “connect” with “real people.”

Obama, we have been told, is frustrated, “restless,” bored with the responsibilities and chores of office. He thinks of himself as the bear—intimidating, wild, untamed, roving—escaping his den. But he is flattering himself. Obama is not the bear. He is the cub: aimless, naïve, self-interested, self-indulgent, irresponsible, irresolute.

President Obama, in his speech at West Point, trumpeted his Ukraine policy as an example of “our ability to shape world opinion” and “isolate Russia.”

The bear is in Moscow.

http://freebeacon.com/columns/the-bear-is-loose/
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
"“The bear is loose!" President Obama has been saying, whenever he leaves the White House "

Is he talking about the Teddy Bear??? Is he leaving to sh*t in the woods?? Isn't he afraid that Goldilocks will show up when he is gone and will steal his choom supply?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think it was a brilliant stroke,” Hillary Clinton says of the “reset” policy the United States pursued toward Russia when she was secretary of State.

She has an odd understanding of brilliance.
The “reset” gave us a world where Georgia remains illegally occupied, where Poland and the Czech Republic lack missile defenses, where American parents cannot adopt Russian babies, where Russian bombers fly within 50 miles of the Pacific coast, where Ukraine is sundered, where the prospects for ground war in Eastern Europe are high, where Putin says U.S. sanctions against his cronies will take bilateral relations to a “dead end.”

When I hear comments such as Clinton’s, when I listen to White House press secretary Josh Earnest say, in all seriousness, that his administration has “substantially improved the tranquility of the global community,” I feel as though they are lost in the postmodern funhouse of the Kremlin’s “non-linear war,” as though they, too, are casualties of Russian Maskirovka, of deception, concealment, propaganda, and disinformation.

“It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep,” Hillary Clinton’s campaign imagined in 2008. “But there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing.” Things are “happening” in a “dangerous” world. “Who do you want answering the phone?”

Today we know the answer: The phone isn’t ringing in the White House. It’s ringing in the Kremlin. And the man answering it is Vladimir Putin.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I sure as S**T don't want either O or C around any communication device.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
..or the phone is ringing at a campaign fund raiser but the noise level is too loud so no one hears it.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
A strong, unequivocal response to Russia's invasion of the Ukraine would have prevented this. Of course, that presumes a whole bunch of things did not happen here in America way back when. The dominoes have been falling for a long time. Chaos theory better explains what has transpired.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama is always right.

Trust me.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
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