Saturday, June 20, 2009
Obama and the Mullahs
Obama could take the following position on the Iranian situation:
1. The United States wants to protect our nation from harm and to promote freedom and liberty in the world.
2. We have shown in the past, and in two on-going wars, that we are willing to fight for the cause of our freedom and liberty, and the same cause of freedom for many other nations and their suppressed people around the world, when their cause is just.
3. Because of the continuing development of threatening military capabilities in the world, I have deemed it prudent for the United States to enhance its defensive capacity by sending to Congress a bill that would add 6 new composite divisions (about 30 Brigades) and their support units to the Army, 250 aditional multipurpose aircraft to the Air Force, 200 new tankers, 20 additional warships of several types for the Navy, 50 of the latest landing and support craft for the Coast Guard, and two new divisions for the Marines. Other significant provisions will be included for bombs and ammunition, vehicles, artillery, and especially a major upgrade for Abrams tanks, and significant other classified capabilities as well.
4. We will use these new resources as they come on line over the next years to meet our defensive requirements in today’s increasingly dangerous situations in the world, notably in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Israel/Palestine, and perhaps Iran.
5. The United States does not want war, nor do we seek domination of anyone in the world, but we do want to ensure that adequate military resources are available to us in the event of a conflict arising that we did not seek.
Degrading our Military
It is not being augmented
For many years during the cold war the guiding principle for sizing our military was to be able to fight two major wars, and a minor one at the same time. This principle was cast aside by Bill Clinton during his presidency, resulting in an approximate 35 or 40% reduction in our armed forces.
This post-Nam "peace dividend" was quickly oversubscribed, and we have been paying for it ever since with hurry-up and expensive procurements and heavy recruiting, plus using our Guard and Reserves on tour after tour. If we come up short in the near future, it will be because of the denial or soft playing of the principle by both Clinton and GW Bush. The idea of our nation being able to afford both guns and butter now is probably over, and our power in the world will suffer, if only because we must avoid conflicts where possible, and our opposition knows that.
I do not see Obama at all interested in growing the military, which means we can be intimidated by relatively small, poor nations that happen to have a large army, such as North Korea and Iran.
Let us hope that we can keep the big bangs in their boxes as we struggle ahead.
Israel versus Iran
Where do we come in?
The key assumptions I have made, which are based on precedents and statements by the respective parties, are: 1) That the Israelis will attack Iran when they are convinced that there is no other way; and 2) That Iran will respond to this attack by their own attacks on Israel and the US, using terrorist-type assaults; and, 3) That the US will respond to the Iranian attacks.
If (1) is not true, then neither will (2) or (3) be true. If (1) is true, then (2) may or may not be true, depending on the Iranian response. If (2) is not true for the US, it is very problematical whether (3) would be true. But, if (1) and (2) are true, I assert that (3) will be true also.
So, engagement is not inevitable. It depends on the Israelis to begin with. Would you care to make a bet that they will not attack Iran? Given that they do attack, would you make a bet that Iran will not attack US assets in response? Finally, if Iran does attack US assets, would you make a bet that we will not respond with our own attacks? I will gladly take those bets.
The other side scenario is that the US decides to join the Israeli attack, reasoning that we will become involved anyway, so why not do a good job in neutralizing the nuclear threat from Iran? Further, it is possible that Israel does not succeed in their attack, and it leaves them very short of trained pilots and aircraft, and thus more vulnerable to the Iranian, and perhaps Syrian responses. We end up being drawn into the fight anyway since I believe we would come to Israel's defense. We end up with real damage to our people in both scenarios, and end up attacking Iran.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Obama:Loved and Unloved
Where the puzzling poll statements love Obama for himself, but not his policies!
Over and over, I hear this meme: the public adores Obama, but they are learning to hate his policies. So he is portrayed as a very nice man, generous, caring, devoted, and certainly energetic. But he institutes policies that leave the citizens to wonder if they are not reading the media correctly. How can such a nice man overspend the budget by such a large margin, with no plan to pay it back? How can he allow cabinet choices to be approved when they have tax deficits. Just why is he firing Inspector Generals, that are supposed to keep things on the level? Why is he so apologetic about America when he speaks to foreign audiences? In the face of a nearly two trillion dollar deficit, how can he propose a health plan that will defy all projections of cost, and place us in more trillions of dollars in debt? Why is it that he doesn't come out strongly for the Iranian dissidents?
For those, like me, that have lost track of the wild and speedy spending of this year's government, I suggest a look at this site:
Adoration may have its place for leaders, but when that leader heads the nation further into bankruptcy, shows great weakness to our pledged enemies, actually hates the military, and allows Congress to write and not read their huge pork-filled spending bills under the rubric of "stimulus" that isn't stimulating the economy, and he violates the Constitution by vesting huge power to his "czars" which downgrades his cabinet members, why has he decided to own the lion's share of GM and Chrysler? Is he heading us towards socialism?...and on, and on...
I cannot see how anyone can continue to admire him. He says one thing and does the opposite so often that it is hard to nail down just what he believes. It will take two full terms for a Conservative President and Congress to reset us on the right path. I hope that will start in 2012.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Iran Versus Israel and the US
The key actor is Israel!
The crux of the Iranian situation is their pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the time it takes to marry the weapons with a suitable vehicle. We and the key Europeans have been pursuing the diplomatic approach for 5 or 6 years now, with virtually zero results.
Meanwhile under the sands of Iran is a growing pile of weapons grade material and launch vehicles that our intel projects to be ready anywhere from 6 months from now to 10 years away.
The intel we have is not reliable. That is the unfortunate truth, or else we would have a far better idea of the timing. We most likely do not have the time for a leasurely, multi-year diplomatic ploy now.
The second crucial element is Israel. I suggest that when their own intel tells them it is the critical time to stop Iran from further weapons development, they will attack Iran by air. For them it is a matter of survival, and they will ignore US attempts to stop them. To me, it is obvious that the US would not use military force to stop the Israelis.
Further, I suggest that the IAF will have to reduce Iran's air defenses before going after the nuclear sites, and that will include communications, command and control and airfield sites in order to limit the Iranian defenses seriously.
Some of the nuclear sites are carefully placed adjacent to or under population centers in order to guarantee civilian casualties in the event of attack. There will be many casualties publicized by the Iranians.
The third critical element is the question of what the US will do in this event? It has been stated by Iran officials that, if the Israelis do attack, they will go after the US as well around the world and in Iraq with their in-place supporters. This is no idle threat.
It seems logical to me that the US would respond to such attacks with full force on Iran, mainly by air, to ensure the destruction of nuclear sites, but also to reduce the shore-based missile sites that threaten the Gulf, and will by necessity reduce the Iranian air force and navy to near nothing.
I also suggest that US ground forces may well seek to capture and occupy the Western oilfields of Iran, and hope to draw the Iranian forces out into a pitched battle, which would be hugely in our favor. Without this crude oil for export, Iran will be destitute. They may also extend their occupation to Southern Iran to dig out any missile sites still operational.
Thus, our moral position would be global self-defense against Iran, and the reduction of the threat wherever found.
I suggest that once we have been attacked by Iran as threatened, the will to action would be no problem, and thus the means to "defend" ourselves would be found quickly.
This, to me, is a very likely scenario.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Islam in the US
Whither Goist Muslims in the US?
I assert very strongly that SOME Muslims are bad indeed! Whether it originates in Islamic teaching or not may be a function of the particular imams or other Islamic functionaries preaching to their flocks. Certainly, the Koran and Hadith preach jihad and violence, especially the latter Suras. Certainly, we have been exposed to raw executions by Muslims. It is well documented by the FBI that MANY imams in the US preach violent jihad and the need for Sharia in the US to their people.
It is comforting, today, that MANY Muslims are not violent. It is to be hoped that they all stay that way, despite the teachings of their imams and their Koran--the holy word of God as reported by Muhammad.
Monday, June 08, 2009
(Pseudo)Anonymous Blogging and Commenting
It is an abomination to out anyone--blogger or commenter!
First, you comment on some matter, however free of nastiness, and the blogger decides he doesn’t like the comment.
So, second, he sends sleeze back in his usual way, and that angers the commenter.
Retorts fly back and forth, until the blogger decides to out the commenter, and publish his real name.
Third, with this name, and a few other hints, any creep or pervert on the internet can find your home address, and begin harassment, or worse, on the net, through the mails, by telephone, or even in person. Some creeps that object to the comment think they are avenging a wrong, or are simply evil. If you live in a city, the likelihood of 25-50 creeps or perverts living nearby is very high, and it only takes one of them on the net to make home life miserable.
Such revolting activities are unacceptable, and threaten the home and family. All because of some comment that was objected to by the blogger. Anyone that does do that, and threatens the home life, should be barred from all sites possible.
Note that it isn’t the outer that is necessarily the danger–think about it!
The old phrase: "The names have been changed to protect the innocent!" is applicable.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
We need fiscal responsibility in government--fast!
Most fiscal conservatives would support an agenda that included: 1)taking a very hard look at every government program and agency to reduce its budget responsibly; 2)to eliminate duplication and regulatory redundancies in government; 3)to plan and execute a greatly decreased spending agenda more fitting to our GNP and revenues; 4)to reduce the number of personnel in government accordingly in a humane manner, such as not replacing retirees in the sectors reduced; 5)to work to reduce the deficit and reach a balance in a responsible manner over time; 6)to align defense budgets with both long and short-term threats; and, 7)to stop nation-building efforts where possible, while living up to our commitments.
Most fiscal conservatives would go along with tax increases to pay down the debt and stabilize Social Security and Medicare, if they could be assured that the increased revenue would be spent for the purpose intended.
The problem is, any increase today would most likely go to programs that have the effect of growing government greatly, and not to the economic stability we want. Universal health care, universal college education for all, subsidies and earmarks left and right, and little fiscal restraint or careful supervision is what we believe would take place. As Senator Grassley said, government agencies go over theirauthorized limits in a heartbeat if they think they can get away with it. Those universals may be highly desirable, but not when we are serious debtors. Nations that have such benefits also have tax levels that are onerous: 60-70-80% at the high end plus VAT at 18-20% for everyone for everything purchased.
The key is fiscal responsibility, and the current Congress and Administration leave us with zero faith and trust that they are acting responsibly.
Labels: Fiscal Responsibility