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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

August 28th, 2014 - 7:25 pm

The president has just held a press conference announcing he will do nothing much to counter the crises unfolding in the Ukraine and Syria. The New York Times reports:  ’Obama Urges Calm in Face of Two Crises’.

WASHINGTON — President Obama confronted a pair of volatile international crises with restraint on Thursday as he said he was not close to authorizing airstrikes against Islamic extremists in Syria and played down the latest escalation of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

With tensions rising in Europe and the Middle East, Mr. Obama emphasized that a military response would not resolve either situation and pledged to build international coalitions to grapple with them. Despite pressure from within his own government for more assertive action, he tried to avoid inflaming passions as he sought new approaches.

The president’s right: it’s not time to panic. The time to panic was about six months ago. It’s essentially too late to halt the dynamic of events now. Timing matters. Once the batter misses the ball it doesn’t matter how hard he subsequently swings. Someone should tell the president the time to bat is over and the janitor can’t keep the stadium lights on much longer. Shakespeare once wrote:

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

No, no, no. Shakespeare’s too fancy for this. How about: maybe you’ve had the experience of some tough guy coming up and asking for something just to see if he can get away with it. You know if you give the thug what he wants, he’ll be back in about an hour for more. So you politely but firmly refuse because a little grief in the beginning is better than a lot of grief at the end. Because human predators like their animal counterparts never take on something that might injure them, because any ding, matter how small, reduces their ability to hunt.  Predators have always gone for the weak and defenseless prey from the beginning of time.

Perhaps president Obama didn’t know that. But he’ll find out all about it now.

The Washington Post reported that ” Russian soldiers, tanks and heavy artillery began rolling into southeastern Ukraine in earnest Thursday, the Ukrainian government said, as well-armed detachments captured key towns, burned buildings and sent the underequipped Ukrainian forces into full retreat — a show of military force that the United States now considers an invasion in all but name.”

U.S. officials began saying privately for the first time Thursday that they consider the escalation of recent days tantamount to a Russian invasion, but President Obama stopped short of using the term at a news conference late in the afternoon. He said the United States would continue to rely on sanctions in an effort to deter Russia.

The sanctions of course, have done nothing to stop Russia so far. It will now take a frightening amount of either military or economic pressure to rein in the Bear. So what’s the president going to do? The only thing he can do: keep going down the road he started. Obama’s time to stand came a long time ago and it’s receding rapidly in the rear view mirror. They’ve taken the reset ring off Obama’s finger already. Now watch him give them the shoes.

The wolves now know that the sheepdog isn’t coming. ABC News says that persons unknown have just kidnapped 43 UN Peacekeepers on the Golan Heights. They are exhibit B of why you can’t feed bread to wolves. If they’re lucky they’ll come back with their underwear.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the 43 detained peacekeepers are from Fiji and are thought to be in the southern part of the area of separation. The 81 troops from the Philippines had their movements restricted.

“The situation is extremely fluid. Obviously, we are very concerned,” Dujarric said.

Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post, who is a long-time critic of the administration has gone from disappointment to bitterness. She writes, “there is no better example of the ruinous Obama foreign policy than Ukraine. The president has issued empty threats, diminished sanctions and refused to allow Ukraine to protect itself. If you are the leader of a Baltic state, you’re probably and justifiably panicked.”

Panicked because the president needs to find something else to give away, and some Baltic state might be it. The amount of force — or bribery — the president now has to employ to slow this rout will exponentially grow. It’s just like cancer. Catch it early and it could be a minor operation. Leave it till later and it will be major. Yet if there is one rival for the fecklessness in Eastern Europe, it is probably Syria. Just recently ISIS shot 250 Syrian prisoners and posted the video on YouTube.  They’re advertising their brutality.

Only a couple of days ago ISIS demanded $6.6 million in ransom for the release of a 26 -year old American woman “who was kidnapped a year ago while doing humanitarian relief work in Syria.”

What a long road we have traveled from dark days when the cowboy Ronald Reagan stupidly sat in the White House to the bright sunny mornings of today. Yet the world didn’t get here all at once. The finest description of the journey was provided by Winston Churchill whose generation trod a path that looked very much like ours.  All we can hope for is it doesn’t lead to the same place.

It is a fine broad stairway at the beginning, but after a bit the carpet ends. A little farther on there are only flagstones, and a little farther on still these break beneath your feet. Look back over the last five years. … historians a thousand years hence will still be baffled by the mystery of our affairs. They will never understand how it was that a victorious nation, with everything in hand, suffered themselves to be brought low, and to cast away all that they had gained by measureless sacrifice and absolute victory—gone with the wind!

How did we get here? Through vanity, my friend, vanity. In a fit of outrageous extravagance a vainglorious elite bought a fraud they couldn’t afford.

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Top Rated Comments   
Sometimes nothing is a real cool hand.

When you got nothing all the is sure to be a cold dead one.

Obamacare Summary: We have no strategy, we just want an outcome where we take from the "privileged" and that confiscation "subsidizes" the "oppressed". Result: farcically inept and convoluted system, skyrocketing prices, crappy coverage, collapsing and unworkable mess.

Benghazi Summary: We have no strategy. We just wanted to take out corrupt dictator and replace him with our installed Muslim Brotherhood buddies. Staging of 9-11secret event goes terribly wrong. Entire country erupts in chaos. Muslim Brotherhood is ousted from seen. (See also, Cairo). Libya is a hornet's nest of evil on steroids.

Iran: We have no strategy. A double secret deal is cooked up behind Congress' back, shielded from view, the deadline passes without an ounce of progress or even a serious attempt at honest participation by the Mullahfia who ANNOUNCE that the whole thing is a joke and a scam, Obama/ Kerry get punked.

Hamas/Palestine: We have no strategy. Hamas tunnels under Israel, hurls thousands of bombs, kidnaps high school kids and kills them and Obama/Kerry/Jarrett/Hagel/Malley let their Jew hatred freak flag fly. Their Hamas buddies and the Muslim Brotherhood behind the scenes are so obvious, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan try to help Israel not get flanked by
Obama/Kerry and their Qatar/Turkey/Hamas pincer move.

Russia/Ukraine, Russia/Tblisi, Russia/Warsaw, Iraq, Afghanistan, South China Sea, Mexican border, jobs, energy, debt, deficit, VA, ...we have no strategy.

When your faculty lounge bull$hit is given the reins of power...all the "theories" run face first into a fistful of reality. Hippies know how to protest, propagandize and prevaricate. They don't have a f****** clue how anything actually works.

THIS is the inevitable result. They are the ones they were waiting for...and now the ones we are waiting for them to slink and skulk back to their protest lines. They don't have a strategy because basically they suck. As economists, as scientists, as military commanders, at homeland security, at geopolitics, at healthcare designers, at website creation, at job creation, as countrymen.

Treasonous, totalitarian and tyrannical. They suck as humans.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
In January of 2006, Hugh Hewitt interviewed James Lileks, and they brought up the same themes. It struck me as so ominous that I saved it.

HH: Tell people what you thought about Steyn's piece [on Eurabia].

JL: Well, it's one of those sinking feelings in the pits of your stomachs, if you want to refer to yourself in the plural. It's what a lot of us have been thinking. It's this inability of some to confront the existential threat to Western civilization. And when you say things like that, people's eyes immediately start to roll. Half the people, when you say 'existential,' think you're talking about some Frenchman in a black and white striped shirt and a beret, smoking a Gaulois, talking about meaningless philosophy. And the other half just don't care and walk away.

But this is exactly that. This is the essence of Western civilization at risk for reasons exactly like Steyn laid out. And what stuns me is the number of people who just don't seem to get it, who don't seem to apprehend the nature of the threat, and consequently downplay nearly everything that Steyn would say, and go along with agendas which themselves are antithetical to this world that is coming.

In other words, it's very all well and good to spend your life advocating on behalf of Howard Stern to say naughty words on the radio. But if the end result of your civilization is radio controlled by the mullahs who want 24/7 verses from the Koran, then your advocating on behalf of Mr. Stern and his delightful mouth is going to be misplaced in the end.

HH: You know, it's an interesting juxtaposition, Stern and Steyn, because while Stern believes the essence of politics, and the fact concerns oppression of his ability to say whatever he wants over the airwaves, Steyn points to the reproduction rate in Spain, which is the real killer in there. 1.2, which is below the suicide rate, meaning in every generation, the Spanish disappear by half. That's remarkable.

JL: I don't like to think these things ... but in the back of my mind, I know that I've already written Europe off. And it's a very strange feeling. It's almost as if I've just regarded them as a lost cause, and I'd like to see it before it goes, and I'd like my daughter to go there before Notre Dame is deconsecrated. But it's just a very peculiar feeling, saying 'well, all right, we've lost Europe. Let's concentrate on keeping New York.' And then I shake my head and I look out, and it's a beautiful day, and I think whatever am I thinking?

HH: Just like they did in '33 through '38.

JL: That's exactly it.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I blame George Bush. If the US had kicked serious butt in Iraq in 2003, an awful lot of this might have been avoided.

I was not entirely happy with Bush, either. He ceded post war Iraq to liberal State Department policy wonks. (Look who his Secretary of State was year 1 of his administration.)

Truth is, Bush was a LAWFUL, Constitutional President, and he sought both Congressional approval and International justification for military action, prior to committing troops anywhere. If he had "kicked butt" as he should have, if he'd have used the legitimate geo-strategic justification for the Iraq war, and not just a State Department trumped up "WMD's", if he had not stopped until Syria and Iran were both done, all would have been lost. Either through the 2004 election or Impeachment, President Kerry or another progressive Democrat would have undone it all, just as the Democrats did Vietnam, as Obama has done now, and just as they have in every military challenge since 1945.

Bush did what he could. Bush let the budget balloon because he was a wartime President, and "buying off" the Socialists in Congress with social-engineering dollars, was all that he could do to keep the country together long enough to execute a war campaign policy.

As it was, he faltered, and ultimately lost when Obama was elected. NOTHING that Bush accomplished will remain when Obama leaves office, as that was Obama's plan from day one. The idea that fighting the war properly, not "winning hearts and minds" nor "rebuilding" until the war was over, until neither the Iranians, Syrians, Qatarians, Egyptians, et. al. could no longer resist, was never in the cards, as long as the Democrats hold any significant office.

That quote of Lenin, "The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them" - those capitalists would be the Democrat Socialists, and they would be standing in line to help manage the ropes. I consider every Democrat in this country who voted for Obama a traitor to the country, to the Constitution on which it was based, and for which thousands of American fighting men and women have gave their lives.

I'm far from entirely happy with Bush, but at least he had the guts to do the right thing post 9/11, to take this country to war in spite of the fact that he KNEW that the Democrats would use the war and turn the country inside-out, for benefit of political gain.

That Kerry is now the U.S. SOS is a huge joke. Could you imagine him leading this country in 2004, in the middle of the Iraq war, when Al Queada was aggressively attacking US interests? That would have been a prayer answered by Allah, for U.S. adversaries.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (106)
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Canuck 49

For a proper response to terrorism anywhere anytime follow this link.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
First, let me say that the functionality of PJM is on a par with the functionality of the legal system of the UK. At 0100 local this morning, the PJM pages were working and comments could be read and made. From 0800-0930 when I gave up, all the pages showed no comments and it was not possible for me to log in, let alone comment. Now, this afternoon, I can log in and we will see if I can comment.

Moving to the ride we are on. It is going to be even worse than we think. It is a basic tool of analysis to factor in what is not said and done, when the normal reaction would be for someone to scream like a ruptured Ban Sidhe. Call it the "Silver Blaze" test.

We can measure the extent of the fall of Britain and its terminal status based on the Rotherham betrayal of the British people by their governing elites . . . . and the relative silence of the British people and the sure and certain knowledge that no one is going to be punished and that the practice will not be stopped.

Today, we have Russian troops openly pouring into Ukraine, the Russian Air Force probing into Finnish airspace, ISIS/ISIL setting up an operational base in Juarez-freaking-Mexico just across the border deliberately left open by Buraq Hussein, the Chinese trying to bar us from the Western Pacific, an Ebola epidemic in Africa, and epidemic diseases pouring across the border [see above]. And the smart corporate money is running for the border, outbound.

And Buraq Hussein Obama, Lightworker, Lowerer of the Raging Seas, on track to have played more rounds of golf during his term than Tiger Woods in the same period [I believe he is within 2 dozen games], and incidentally President of what remains of the United States; gets up in front of God and Everybody and proclaims that he does not have a strategy to react. Subtext, "or a freaking Clue how to get one and/or desire to do so".

Now let us imagine the same situation with a different president making the same statements. He could be named Reagan or Bush, Clinton or Carter.

The organic waste impacting the rotating airfoil from the media and the political opposition [regardless of party] would require scraping and sanitizing the entire continent.

Have you noticed how bloody quiet it is, outside of a few blogs and those of us who are watching the world? The lack of reaction is, in and of itself, data.

We might be able to rationalize the State-Controlled Media being circumspect. They have taken the King's Shilling and will march where they are told.

The Institutional Republican Party would, if they were not several Shillings richer also, have every reason and incentive to make the Ban Sidhe mentioned above sound like a Marcel Marceau marathon.

Put not your faith in the political system. It is a Platonic shadow play. The constitutional system is meeting its end. It is going to be a really kinetic 6-12 months of death throes.

Subotai Bahadur
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26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is there perchance a Gaius Julius or an Augustus waiting in the wings?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, gosh, let's hope not. Is that what you want--dictatorship? But we're getting that now with Obama. He IS Gaius Julius and Augustus. I'm hoping for a Washington and Jefferson, maybe a Jackson.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
The circumstances that brought Octavian to power entailed the destruction of the Roman Republic. Are you advocating the destruction of the American republic with a Franco- or Pinochet-like coup d'etat? That's a fascist vision. Beware: once you bring in the man on the white horse he always proves awfully hard to get rid of.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nope. But realizing that such things have happened before. And that men with a hunger for power are ever ready to take advantage whist the rest are going gaga over the latest Reds - Blues - Greens celeb conflict to pay any real attention to the running of the country. As long as the Bread & Circus's keep coming who cares who's in charge...
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just hope I don't have to eat my dogs. I hope it doesn't come to that.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Timing matters. Once the batter misses the ball it doesn’t matter how hard he subsequently swings."

An even better better baseball analogy was one I heard a few years back. After a batter struck out swinging on a nasty breaking ball out of the strike zone, the play-by-play announcer stated that no one could have hit that ball.

The color guy agreed but said that wasn't the question; the hitter had lost control of the count by that point and was at the mercy of the pitcher. To find the cause of the strikeout we had to look earlier in the count because a major league batter is always given one pitch to hit; if he misses that pitch then odds are later in the count he is chasing balls he has no prayer of hitting.

We are ill-served by the public commentary which focuses only on the here and now because that implicitly assumes that all of the concurrent crises are just a matter of bad luck, a perfect storm of events out of control of any particular man. Such commentary is provided as a hole by the most highly educated but least intelligent commentariart. The real answer is not to look at the pitch the batter (Obama) is striking out on because it's beyond the reach of any mortal to hit that pitch but to look earlier in the count and understand how the batter/Obama got into that mess in the first place.

Then again, readers of this blog already knew that

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26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
“We don't have a strategy yet.” -- BHO

Oh he means "we" as in the White House not "we" as in the Pentagon. There are people whose job it is to plan for everything. There are plans upon plans upon plans. Its all on paper, worked out to incredible detail. What he's saying is he has no strategy that he likes. He's rejecting all the plans. Pretty soon he won't have any options left.

LoTR's The Two Towers:

Theoden: I will not risk open war.
Aragorn: Open war is upon you whether you would risk it or not.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Web of Deceit and the Spirit of Sabinus:

different story, same story.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who is the Obama in this story from Rome's subjugation of Gaul? Is he Sabinus, and open to persuasion yet, with the fortified camp not yet evacuated? Or is he the Gaul tribal leader Ambiorix? In which case it's all over but for whether or not you'll be one of Cotta's few who lived to tell the tale.

Most of us do not know which he is. When will we know --what will it take to tell us?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth" - Jack Reacher

We need to bring back the punch in the mouth. You know that thing the "Greatest Generation" used to use when some idiot became dangerous... Sure you have a right to free speech but it doesn't stop a free thinker from cleaning your clock after you've said it.

What truly bothers me is that things will continue to escalate and WWIII will happen. ISIS doesn't respect the rules of engagement. We may be forced to commit acts of war that are unthinkable today. The Geneva Conventions were created to avoid horrific war tactics such as nerve gas and the execution of prisoners, etc. Well ISIS is straight up telling us they don't respect those rules and they are not playing by those rules. They will hide among civilians because they know we won't carpet bomb them into oblivion.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just seen on FNC:

1. The White House is explaining that Obama's, "We don't have a strategy" applies ONLY to attacking targets in Syria.
2. The White House says it is waiting for the Pentagon to come up with a strategy.
3. The Pentagon says that it is ready to go as soon as the White House tells them what we are going to do.

These are people who think that "Strategy" is a target list and that they don't have a Strategy until the military tells them what it is going to do.

You could not decide what to eat for dinner today using that approach.

And it makes Vietnam look like Desert Storm in comparison to what this current crew is doing.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Has anyone read Miller's "A Canticle for Liebowitz"? Here's something:

"The closer men came to perfecting for themselves a paradise, the more impatient they seemed to become with it, and with themselves as well. They made a garden of pleasure, and became progressively more miserable with it as it grew in richness and power and beauty; for then, perhaps, it was easier for them to see that something was missing in the garden, some tree or shrub that would not grow.

"When the world was in darkness and wretchedness, it could believe in perfection and yearn for it. But when the world became bright with reason and riches, it began to sense the narrowness of the needle’s eye, and that rankled for a world no longer willing to believe or yearn. Well, they were going to destroy it again, were they—this garden Earth, civilized and knowing, to be torn apart again that Man might hope again in wretched darkness."

The secular man's anguish.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh yes, read that novel many years ago, in the 1960s. One of the great works of the scifi canon, with a huge cult following. We had discussion groups for it at the University of Colorado in the early 70s. Once described, accurately, as "that most Catholic of novels." Addresses the issue of abortion, from a Catholic perspective and as an aspect of the end of civilization, even before abortion was legalized. I also read the author's sequel, published posthumously; not as good as "Canticle," not by a longshot. The author, Walter Miller, was a deeply troubled albeit brilliant writer. Makes for a good companion piece to McCarthy's "The Road."
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
CU Boulder? Early 70's? I was there Sept. '69 - May '71. And by chance I also read Canticle in the 1960's. Granted that there were a bunch of people there at that time but sometimes the coincidences amongst the readership here are interesting.

Subotai Bahadur
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are you pro-''amnesty''? ..... Gotcha!!!

''Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas.''

Ciudad Juarez is now confirmed as the anus of the Western World.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would suggest the target would not be Juarez but Ft Bliss in an attempt at shock and awe towards the US military. They don't have a beef with Juarez, it is small potatoes compared to the US. Brownsville is a port, it would also be on a hit list, and remember those panga boats in California? Just across the border? Trial? Unfortunately we just might find out soon.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
As someone said about 2 threads ago, it's probably misdirection. While everyone is staring nervously at the Mexican border, they're winding up for the big hit on Chicago we were worrying about last week.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Parallels to the Past?

1936 - Hitler militarizes Rhineland
2007 - Putin annexes 2 provinces in Georgia

1938 - Hitler moves into Austria
2011 - Putin moves into Crimea

1938 - Hitler takes over part of German-dominated Czechoslovakia
2014 - Putin taking over part of Russian-dominated Ukraine

1939 - Hitler takes over all of Czechoslovakia
2015-16 - Putin takes over all of Ukraine?

1939 - Hitler invades and takes over Poland - WW 2 starts
2016 - Putin moves into Baltic States - WW 3 starts?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hitler said after the fact that the 48 hours after he invaded the Rhineland DMZ were the most nervous of his life. He had so few soldiers there in comparison to the divisions France could muster, that they could have flicked him away like a fly.

Had they only had the will.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
had the pols only not staked themselves to the Maginot Line
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
President Obama says, “We don't have a strategy yet.”

He never has. And he never will. The problem is that the President of the United States is paid to have a strategy against threats such as ISIS. The speeches, the dinners, the theatrics – those are extras. Defending the United States is the core responsibility of the Commander in Chief – it is what he is paid to do.

Hope is not a strategy. Paralysis is not a strategy. If the President does not have a strategy against our enemies, he should get out of the way of those who do. If he is truly tired of the responsibilities of high office, he should resign so someone else can lead our country to victory. Either that, or Congress needs to find some means to do an end-run-around our President.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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