It seems that the next Cold War is going to have cleaner lines than the last one, with resurgent Russia and rising China presenting a united front against the dying Hegemon, also known as the United States.
For the US, the next time around, there will be no Sino-Soviet rift over world Communist leadership to exploit, no bitter Maoist memory of Stalin’s betrayal of the failed Chinese Communist uprising of 1927, no Maoist claim to Marxist truth, or Russian fear of Chinese hordes.
All of that belongs to the past. Masses of Chinese have traded their bicycles for gas-guzzlers, and their leaders have discarded their Mao books and Mao suits–and Communist ideology–to the dustbin of history. Red is gold, the color of money. To be a good Communist, or socialist, nowadays, means becoming a good capitalist, albeit with Chinese characteristics.
Energy-starved China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, wants secure supplies of oil and gas from Russia, the world’s second largest oil exporter. Politically, both countries have an interest in isolating and weakening the US. Hence, their adherence to a “multipolar world,” a term that refers to their opposition to US hegemony, and Russia’s participation in the Chinese-sponsored Shanghai Cooperation Organization that seeks to counter US power and influence in Central Asia.
Hence, too, the importance of the Year of China in Russia–and the significance of remarks by visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian leader Vladimir Putin at Monday’s ceremony at the Kremlin that formally opened the year-long celebration.
The two leaders called for peaceful solutions to the Iranian and North Korean nuclear issues, and pledged to stop an arms race in space. Translation: China and Russia will continue to block truly tough and meaningful sanctions on the nuclear armed and arming rogues, will never go along with use of force against the outlaw states, and will cooperate in a range of efforts aimed at ending US dominance of space, which is essential for US defense.
“I would like to emphasize with satisfaction that the positions of Russia and China on all the issues discussed either coincide or are similar,” Putin said.
Hu referred to Putin as “my good friend” and spoke of the “warm atmosphere of trust” at their meeting, underlining the growing friendliness between the two ex-rivals.
“We have agreed that strategic cooperation between China and Russia, permanent members of the UN Security Council, has major importance for international affairs in creating a favorable atmosphere, in making international relations more democratic and ensuring global peace,” Hu added.
Riots Enter French Politics
By ANGELA DOLAND Associated Press Writer
Wednesday March 28, 2007 4:31 PM
PARIS (AP) – It began with a routine ticket check at a Paris train station. What happened next – rioting, looting, tear gas – showed the anger that erupted into violence in France’s troubled neighborhoods in 2005 still smolders beneath the surface.
The rampage by youths, many apparently of African or North African descent, at a major rail hub Tuesday became an instant campaign issue in the French presidential race. It was a jarring reminder of the social tensions France’s new leader will contend with when he or she takes power in May.
Front-runner Nicolas Sarkozy of the governing right called the violence at the Gare du Nord unacceptable. His main rival, Socialist Segolene Royal, blamed Sarkozy’s camp, saying the right’s policing policies were an utter failure.
Anger erupted after a 32-year-old man without a Metro ticket punched two inspectors during a routine check, police said. The man, an illegal alien from Congo who has challenged France’s efforts to expel him, had been convicted in 2004 for insulting a magistrate, police unions said.
Dozens of youths gathered to defend the man from ticket agents, and the group swelled to 300 people and grew more and more aggressive, police said.
The youths wielded metal bars, smashed windows, looted stores and injured eight train agents and a police officer, police authorities said.
Rail lines connect Gare du Nord to the same troubled suburbs north of Paris that were gripped by rioting in October and November 2005. That violence was born of pent-up anger – especially among youths of Arab and African origin – over years of high unemployment, racial discrimination and economic inequality.
Since then, sporadic incidents have broken out in suburbs that many middle-class French people avoid. The violence at Gare du Nord was unusual because it is in the heart of Paris, the terminal for Eurostar trains linking France to Britain.
Far-right presidential candidate Philippe de Villiers, who wants to stop immigration to France, said the violence shows “there are ethnic gangs installed on our territory and who now feel that even the Gare du Nord is theirs.”
The check “got out of hand and transformed into urban guerrilla warfare, into unacceptable, intolerable violence,” new Interior Minister Francois Baroin told Europe 1 radio. “Nothing can justify what happened.”
Thirteen people were taken into custody, including five minors, police said. They were in custody on suspicion of violence against state agents, vandalism and theft.
The incident gave added urgency to addressing the problems of France’s disenfranchised minority youths – already a central issue of the campaign leading up to the April 22-May 6 two-round presidential vote.
Some of the youths rampaging at Gare du Nord shouted slogans against Sarkozy, who is seen by many youths in poor neighborhoods as the symbol of French police repression. He has alienated many with his tough policing and talk – as minister he once called delinquents “scum.”
Sarkozy said the violence showed that French children need lessons in civic responsibility in school.
“When individuals come to the rescue of someone who is committing fraud, that is particularly unacceptable, and I hope that the justice system will firmly sanction people who behave like that,” he told reporters.
Sarkozy has won praise from some observers for handling the 2005 riots with no major bloodshed. But his leftist opponents say he has exacerbated the suburbs’ problems, and that his government deepened divisions in French society.
“Police are afraid to go in certain neighborhoods, or to carry out certain security checks,” Royal told Canal Plus television. “Sometimes people are afraid simply when they see police.”
Associated Press writers Jean-Pierre Verges and Jamey Keaten in Paris contributed to this report.
by Bull Dog Pundit @ 2:37 pm. Filed under Politics, 2008, Religion, Culture
Over in the sidebar area there’s a link to this story from US News and World Report in which Dr. James Dobson, the very influential Christian conservative commentator said the following about a possible Fred Thompson candidacy.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson appeared to throw cold water on a possible presidential bid by former Sen. Fred Thompson while praising former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is also weighing a presidential run, in a phone interview Tuesday.
“Everyone knows he’s conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for,” Dobson said of Thompson. “[But] I don’t think he’s a Christian; at least that’s my impression,” Dobson added, saying that such an impression would make it difficult for Thompson to connect with the Republican Party’s conservative Christian base and win the GOP nomination.
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Thompson, took issue with Dobson’s characterization of the former Tennessee senator. “Thompson is indeed a Christian,” he said. “He was baptized into the Church of Christ.”
In a follow-up phone conversation, Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger stood by Dobson’s claim. He said that, while Dobson didn’t believe Thompson to be a member of a non-Christian faith, Dobson nevertheless “has never known Thompson to be a committed Christian—someone who talks openly about his faith.”
“We use that word—Christian—to refer to people who are evangelical Christians,” Schneeberger added. “Dr. Dobson wasn’t expressing a personal opinion about his reaction to a Thompson candidacy; he was trying to ‘read the tea leaves’ about such a possibility.”
For the record, I don’t think that Thompson is running. But that’s beside the point.
My issue here is how Dobson is throwing around the term “Christian”. Now I don’t mean to sound like some left-winger who insists that those who favor no-limits on abortion and the like be referred to as “Christian” in the political sense.
Look, Dobson is flat out wrong. Thompson is indeed a Christian by the religious definition. Now, if Dobson had clarified his “Thompson isn’t a Christian” comment when he initially said it as meaning someone who doesn’t speak as publicly about his faith as Dobson would like then I wouldn’t have a problem with what he said.
But what I do have a problem with is Dobson claiming that Thompson isn’t a “committed Christian”, and thus would not excite Christians to vote for him. Can someone please tell me what ”committed Christian” means? I assume it doesn’t mean a Baptist who has been ordered to a mental institution.
Does it mean you have to mention “Jesus Christ, who is my Lord and Savior” in every interview or conversation?
Does that mean you have to go to a “born again” Church and sing along with the choir?
Does that mean you have to volunteer on so many church committees?
Have to volunteer at a soup kitchen?
Just how much do you have to do to pass Dobson’s “committed Christian” test and get his blessing for his followers to vote for you?
For example, many of my older relatives attend mass (Catholics) on a daily basis, pray every day, and are nice people who do good deeds – but you never hear them talking about their faith, because it’s a private matter to them. What would Dobson consider them?
And what of the person who does all of things I mentioned above, but has secret life no one knows about (ala Ted Haggard) that runs counter to all those tenets they profess to live?
Just because that person talks about their faith, does that make them more of a “committed Christian” than someone like my elderly relative who never utters a peep to others?
If so, then Dobson’s definition is to me, meaningless. Hell, Bill Clinton used to talk all the time about his religious beliefs, which really didn’t seem to fit his behavior did it?
And in order to get Dobson’s blessing do you have to talk openly about your Christian faith? What if you don’t feel comfortable doing that? Or what if you talk openly about your faith, but are pro-abortion in your political views?
Call me crazy, but I’m just more than a little uncomfortable with someone being the arbiter of what constitutes a “committed Christian”.
Exclusive: Koranic Law Coming to America? ‘Useful Idiots’ bash Christians, ignore real threats to our freedom
Author: Joel Himelfarb
Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
Date: March 26, 2007
Another useful idiot in the Jihadists’ war against America is a former New York Times reporter (surprised anyone?) Chris Hedges who appears to be off his meds as he charges that the rise of “Christian fascism” is the real religion-based threat to America. FSM Contributing Editor Joel Himelfarb takes Hedges to task.
Koranic Law Coming to America?
‘Useful Idiots’ bash Christians, ignore real threats to our freedom
By Joel Himelfarb
In the early days of Communism in the Soviet Union, V.I. Lenin coined the term “useful idiots” to describe people nominally hostile to Marxism who could be tricked into engaging in commercial or other activities (like promoting disinformation through the media) that help the Communist side.
With the Cold War over, today’s useful idiots include elite journalists who can be relied upon to launch hysterical attacks against law-abiding Americans for no legitimate reason, while ignoring the real dangers Americans face. When it comes to our current existential struggle against Islamist radicalism, I would have to nominate Chris Hedges, a former New York Times reporter and former Middle East bureau chief for the paper, for this dubious honor. Currently, Hedges is promoting his new book about what he views as the “real” religion-based threat to America’s survival, and in his view it isn’t posed by al Qaeda, Iranian-backed Shi’ite terrorists or any other Muslim. Instead, it’s –get ready — the rise of “Christian fascism” in America.
Hedges wrote an article published March 2 by the Website www.popmatters.com in which he likens the appeal of Christian conservatives as represented by groups like Eagle Forum and the “Family Resource [sic] Council” to the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s. Hedges suggests that these American Christians, who have done such sinister things as buying television stations and sending their children to Christian schools, might try to seize control of the United States like Hitler and the Nazis did in Germany roughly 70 years ago. Hedges calls these Christians “the most dangerous mass movement in American history,” adding: “The unchecked rape of America, which continues with the blessing of both political parties, heralds not only the empowerment of this American oligarchy, but the eventual death of the democratic state and birth of American fascism.” (Hat tip to Robert Spencer, who runs the superb Jihadwatch and Dhimmi Watch Websites, for being among the first to point out Hedges’ attacks against Christians.)
When one looks at what is going on in the real world, Hedges’ analysis sounds positively deranged. Did Christians kill nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans on September 11? Did Christians bomb Khobar Towers or the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania or the USS Cole? Were Christians responsible for the bombings, shootings, beheadings and other depravity we have witnessed in places as diverse as London, Casablanca, Madrid, Beslan, Gaza, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ramadi, Baghdad, Kirkuk, Basra, Beirut, Riyadh, Bali, southern Thailand and scores of other locations? Of course not. The real threat to our freedom today is not posed by law-abiding American Christians who work long hours and take second jobs in order to enable their children to escape what they consider to be poorly-run public schools, but by radical Muslims seeking to replace our nation with a caliphate.
And jihad and terrorism are not the only tactics that radical Islamists are using to remake American society: People with a similar political/religious agenda are also seeking to make Shariah law (definitions vary, but in general it is taken to mean permitting harsh traditionalist interpretations of Islamic law including a husband’s almost unlimited right to use violence to “discipline” his wife). A 1993 article in The American Muslim outlined a plan to use the precedent of American Indian courts to set up a system of “Muslim family law.” It adds that: “Such a radical change in American law — allowing Muslims to take control over their family law issues — must be initiated from the indigenous Muslim community here in the United States.”
Could Minnesota (which seems to have become a testing ground for Shariah advocates) portend what the future holds, with a few well-organized Islamists trying to force Shariah on the rest of us? Some Muslim cashiers at Target stores refuse to swipe bacon through checkout scanners and insist that customers bag their own pork products. At Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, for example, Somali cab drivers are asserting their “right” to refuse service to passengers carrying alcohol or traveling with service dogs, both of which they deem unclean. Airport officials have proposed stiff penalties including suspension of airport taxi licenses for any cab drivers, Muslim or non-Muslim, who refuse service for reasons other than safety.
Hassan Mahmoud, director of the Islamic Law Institute at the Muslim American Society (MAS) of Minnesota, depicted Shariah as a civil-rights issue and has been lobbying airport officials against penalizing the recalcitrant drivers. But some of the Somali drivers say they have no problem with the penalties. Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, supports them. “We tell the taxi drivers, if you don’t want to do this [transport dogs or liquor], change your job,” Jamal said. “You are living in a country where alcohol is not viewed the way it is in your country.”
The major push to impose Shariah in this country comes from the MAS. In 2004, the Chicago Tribune published a series detailing the fact that the MAS, with more than 50 chapters nationwide, is in fact the American affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood. Founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian schoolteacher, the Brotherhood has affiliates in nearly 70 countries. International terrorism consultant David Gartenstein-Ross points out that al-Banna, who to this day remains the spiritual inspiration and guide of MAS, said violence was an acceptable way to promote Islamic ideology and implored his followers to “[c]ompletely boycott non-Islamic courts and judicial systems.”
Mustafa Saied, a Floridian who formerly was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, left the organization in 1998 because of its anti-Semitism and support for violence in the Middle East. He told the Tribune that members preferred to operate in secret, in the event that U.S. authorities cracked down on Hamas supporters — many of whom are members of the Brotherhood.
What would our legal system look like if these people get their way and succeed in imposing Koranic law? One very plausible example came from Germany on Wednesday; the newspaper Der Spiegel reported that a German divorce court judge cited the Koran in rejecting a 26-year-old woman’s application for a speedy divorce from a husband who beat her and threatened to kill her. Because the husband and wife were both from Morocco, the judge reasoned, she would have to wait up to a year for divorce.
The bottom line is that the freedom and dignity of Americans — Muslim and non-Muslim alike — is indeed threatened by people who seek to impose this sort of agenda upon us — either through terrorism and violence or by judicial fiat. Chris Hedges’ ravings against the American Christian “threat,” by contrast, suggest that part of our country’s journalistic elite is so consumed with its petty hatreds that it has lost touch with reality and forfeited the right to be taken seriously.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Joel Himelfarb is the assistant editor of the editorial page of the Washington Times.
Just months after 9/11, videotapes were confiscated in Afghanistan showing al-Qaeda terrorists training to takeover a school. Six months later, spokesman Suleiman Abu Gheith boldly declared al-Qaeda’s “right” to kill 2 million American children. In 2004, an Iraqi national with known terrorist connections was caught with a computer disk containing information detailing Department of Education crisis planning for U.S school districts.
Last year, two Saudi men – one wearing a black trench coat despite the Florida heat — terrified a busload of Tampa schoolchildren by boarding a school bus and remaining for the entire ride to school, all the while laughing and speaking Arabic.
And just this month, the FBI and Homeland Security Department issued a “routine advisory” bulletin to state and local officials warning that foreign members of “extremist groups” either already possess or are attempting to procure licenses to drive school buses. Additionally, according to the AP:
“[The bulletin] noted ‘recent suspicious activity’ by foreigners who either drive school buses or are licensed to drive them.”
The dispatch went on to say that some of these same unnamed foreigners have been able to buy school buses right here in the homeland.
Yet the news of such a potentially immediate threat to our children was carefully spoon-fed to us on a Friday afternoon — not a good indication of transparency — with a curious lack of concern as a chaser.
A Tepid Warning of an Incendiary Threat
While the report did spark some media fire the weekend it was announced, now — not two weeks later — the embers are all but cold. As parents, we are now forced to discover why. Surely, there’s something awry in the cloudy ping-pong game of facts being played by FBI and DHS spokespeople, who have absurdly dismissed any possible terrorist linkage.
For starters, officials have shown neither the fortitude nor the decency to properly identify the suspects authorities — and diligent parents — should be on the lookout for. Moreover, after stating that law enforcement agencies should “watch out for kids’ safety,” they then claim that “parents and children have nothing to fear.” Really?
So, just what is the extent of the threat and who are these unnamed, undescribed “extremist groups?” We’ve been down this road before. Refusing to specify race or ethnic background is probably a clear sign that we’re not talking about some backwoods militia. And, while there are whispers of an al-Qaeda connection, no officials have yet been willing to go on record with any affirmation.
If they were protecting sources or other secrets vital to their investigation, why issue such an impotent warning at all?
No, it seems more likely that the PC police are now protecting the feelings of Arab male Wahabbist Islamic extremists – or themselves from accusations of profiling – even at the risk of our children’s wellbeing.
Of course, anyone doing so would be culpable for delivering our most vulnerable of citizens to our most ruthless of enemies, literally inviting their all-too-well-known barbaric extortion methods.
Terrorism, of course, promotes its goal by its very name. And, what better way to terrorize and demoralize than to target our children — to exploit the inborn drive of all living creatures to protect their young in order to inflict maximum emotional impact on our country? And what easier a soft target than a bus or classroom filled with many highly visible yet defenseless victims and few, if any, in a position to actually protect them? Plus — can anyone imagine a more horrific hostage crisis?
The Beslan Horror – An Omen All But Ignored
Sadly, envisioning such a nightmare doesn’t require a vivid imagination, as images are readily available by simply googling the word “Beslan.” Indeed, the Beslan school massacre remains, to date, modern history’s most horrendous example of a cowardly assault on school children. And we ignore its lessons at the peril of our young.
On the first day of school in September of 2004 in the Russian town of Beslan, approximately 100 pro-Chechan Islamic terrorists – many embedded as school workers — seized over 1,200 children and adults in School Number One. While the details of the siege are quite disturbing, they must be absorbed in order to properly understand the threat before us.
Men, women, and children (including babies) were herded into an unventilated gym, where temperatures rose to 115 degrees. Hostages were given no food or water and women (and some children) were repeatedly raped. Adult and stronger male students were forced to help fortify the building; then shot without mercy; their bodies tossed out a second story window into the courtyard.
Hostiles warned Russian Security Forces that if stormed, they would detonate the building and that for every one in their ranks killed, 50 hostages would be butchered. Armed guards stood amongst prisoners on “deadman switches” which were wired to explosives. Others wore “black widow” suicide vests, which could be triggered by remote control at the whim of their sadistic leaders. Doorways and stairways were booby-trapped and children were forced to sit on windowsills as human shields from snipers.
Unspeakable sadism and horror continued for three long days, and can be graphically experienced by those wishing to do so by a 9 minute slideshow put together by officialmastersofchaos.com (Video). Warning – this is pretty ghastly stuff.
While numbers vary with their source, across the bloody 3-day standoff some 700 people were wounded and 338 killed, including 172 children. The memories of the rows of little body bags stretched out in a makeshift morgue are destined to haunt the ages. The murderers, many of whom are still at large, and their methods must also share a special place in our memories – such that similar inhumanity to children is never permitted to occur here.
Children of a Jihadist’s God – Acknowledging the Terrorist Mindset
We live in a crazy world in which more than a few Palestinian parents proclaim pride in the “martyrdom” of their own children and promote a culture in which suicide bombers are revered as teen idols. To them, youngsters are seen potentially as both weapons and high-visibility targets. And, while most Islamic scholars can cite passage after passage declaring the killing of children as an abomination, to the extremists, children are obviously a disposable commodity. They’ve been strapping explosive belts onto their brainwashed kids and rejoicing in the shrapnel and guts of their own bloodline painted onto charred walls for decades.
And, as any IDF soldier will readily tell you, “brave” Palestinian terrorists routinely take innocent children of their own people as human shields (video).
But last week, jihadist cowardice sank to a new low when Iraqi terrorists used the presumed innocence of two young children to breach a military security checkpoint in Baghdad. Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero, deputy director for regional operations on the Joint Staff, told reporters that the vehicle was waved through because two children were visible in the back seat:
“Children in the back seat lowered suspicion, (so) we let it move through, they parked the vehicle, the adults run out and detonate it with the children in the back. The brutality and ruthless nature of this enemy hasn’t changed.”
I must take issue with the Major’s final assessment. This new ploy does, indeed, represent a change for these barefoot barbarians in that they’ve taken a cue from their murderous brethren in Palestine, sacrificing innocent children to further their loathsome cause. The significance of this malignant mindset must never be trivialized.
It’s up to us to see to it that the kids ARE alright
Of all the “soft” targets the United States has to offer these madmen, it’s hard to find any more vulnerable than a school.
And, as al-Qaeda has a history of plotting spectacular and awe-inspiring attacks, you’d be equally challenged to find a more inviting one.
Plus, as explained by Joliet, IL Police Sgt. Dwayne Killian, an instructor in school safety drills, a few successful attacks on schools might be seen as a method to topple the U.S. economy:
“To protect their children from possible terrorist attacks, parents would pull them out of school and day-care centers and stay home from work to be with them — and the economy collapses.”
Abu Gheith’s 2002 warning; school plans in the hands of terrorists; Saudi’s terrorizing American schoolchildren on buses; 172 Russian school-kids slaughtered; “extremists” seeking to get behind the wheels of bus-loads of our children; jihadists sacrificing children to kill a few Americans; now a new story of a nutjob in Manilla taking 30 kids hostage on a bus – ENOUGH!
It’s become glaringly obvious that — contrary to the words of both the FBI and the famous song by The Who – our kids are not alright. And it’s high time that we parents see to it that appropriate and resolute action is taken to change that condition without delay.
Granted, fortifying our schools against such incursions is a daunting task. Nevertheless, the carefree days of obliviously sending the tots off in the morning with blind faith in their safekeeping are over. And, while authorities claim to be working on “hardening” schools as targets, it’s hard to discount this amazingly lame shot at reassurance from the FBI/HMS memo:
“Most attempts by foreign nationals in the United States to acquire school bus licenses to drive them are legitimate.”
Comforting? Try reprehensibly bungling. Do we need any more confirmation that there are “foreign nationals” out there bent on our destruction? That the privilege to drive hundreds of our precious and beloved children every day should be reserved for U.S citizens only and then only after extensive background checks? That these checks should not be less stringent (as is often the case) than those of the schools’ janitors or lunch ladies, which, in this age of Columbine, run-away sexual abuse of children and the nefarious plots discussed herein, are themselves often recklessly relaxed?
In the unlikely event that you need further convincing that it’s time to become actively involved in your school district’s safety plans, here’s a stark reminder of terror’s reach that Sgt. Killian routinely gives educators:
“Osama bin Laden promised that the terrorist attack on a Russian school in 2004 will happen many times over in the United States.”
Dare we leave these dots unconnected any longer?
Marc Sheppard is a technology consultant, software engineer, writer, and political and systems analyst. He is a regular contributor to American Thinker. He welcomes your feedback
The Free-Trade Dilemma
Free trade may no longer be the winner of the past, but liberal prescriptions will only make the problem worse.
The March 28, 2007, edition of the Wall Street Journal carries a front-page, feature article titled Pain From Free Trade Spurs Second Thoughts.
The article opens with the following paragraphs:
For decades, Alan S. Blinder — Princeton University economist, former Federal Reserve Board vice chairman and perennial adviser to Democratic presidential candidates — argued, along with most economists, that free trade enriches the U.S. and its trading partners, despite the harm it does to some workers. “Like 99% of economists since the days of Adam Smith, I am a free trader down to my toes,” he wrote back in 2001.
Politicians heeded this advice and, with occasional dissents, steadily dismantled barriers to trade. Yet today Mr. Blinder has changed his message — helping lead a growing band of economists and policy makers who say the downsides of trade in today’s economy are deeper than they once realized.
Mr. Blinder, however, is definitely opposed to protectionism. Instead:
He wants government to do far more for displaced workers than the few months of retraining it offers today. He thinks the U.S. education system must be revamped so it prepares workers for jobs that can’t easily go overseas, and is contemplating changes to the tax code that would reward companies that produce jobs that stay in the U.S.
For more regarding Mr. Blinder’s emphasis upon education, see:
Our present liberal-Progressive-socialist dominated Congress eagerly grasps Mr. Blinder’s warning, but ignores his emphasis upon education, rather than protectionism.
Democrats get their largest funding from labor unions and the tort bar. The one hamstrings industry; the other, bankrupts it with class-action lawsuits.
Having been bought and paid for by the unions and the tort bar, the Democrats reflexively revert to the pro-labor and anti-business polices of Franklin Roosevelt that prolonged the Depression for eight years. If they link future outsourcing problems to education, it will be only to rationalize more members of the teachers’ unions to teach the anti-Americanism of multi-culturalism and PC indoctrination.
Following the labor unions’ imperative, the Democrats in Congress will indulge in their own brand of imperialism: they will try to force our trading partners to implement American unions’ stifling work rules in their countries. The idea is that, as American business is uncompetitive because of unionism, in good socialistic egalitarian fashion, let’s reduce all other nations to our level.
Just as industrial unions under Federal protection during the Depression got higher wages that forced disproportionate lay offs non-union labor, today’s labor unions will self-righteously foreclose improved living standards for workers in lesser developed countries.
Free-trade policies and laissez-faire economics first were applied in England after Adam Smith’s 1776 “Wealth of Nations” gradually converted Parliamentary opinion. Under that regimen, Great Britain in the 19th century became the world’s dominant economic and military power. The British navy kept the sea lanes open around the world for commerce with all nations.
During that period, the United States adopted protectionist tariffs for domestic industry. At the same time, we maintained close diplomatic ties with Great Britain, our biggest trading partner. Our 1823 Monroe Doctrine to keep European colonial powers out of Latin America would have been an empty gesture had it not been for the secret backing of the British Foreign Office and the British navy.
In the 1898 Spanish-American War, we began our experiment with imperialism, acquiring Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippine Islands at the end of the war.
Activist President Theodore Roosevelt got his political impetus from service with his Rough Riders in that war. Ascending to the presidency in 1901, after an anarcho-socialist assassinated President William McKinley, Teddy began building our navy (The Great White Fleet). He also began meddling in the internal affairs of Latin American countries, among other things, in connection with building the Panama Canal.
To counter the resulting ill will, President Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) instituted the Good Neighbor policy toward Latin America. To rebuild diplomatic relations, the United States pledged not to interfere militarily in Latin countries’ affairs and to foster free trade among Western Hemisphere nations. President Franklin Roosevelt in the New Deal continued the policy.
Coming out of World War II, with Western Europe and Japan devastated, the United States, for both diplomatic and economic reasons, continued its free trade policies. Politicians in both parties supported free trade.
At the time, we had effectively the benefits of both free trade and protectionism, since there were no real challengers to our manufacturing industries until the 1960s.
In that unsustainable interlude, labor unions took advantage of businesses’ urgent rush to continue supplying the pent-up demand for consumer goods by a public unable to buy much of anything during the Depression and World War II. Unions, knowing that strikes would be very costly to manufacturers in lost sales, began extorting unrealistic wages, benefits, and restrictive work rules that promoted featherbedding (excessive numbers of workers).
When European and Japanese manufacturers began their assault in force upon the American market in the late 1960s, unions had made impossible nimble competitive reactions by American companies.
Liberal-Progressive-socialists are eager to bring back the glory days of the New Deal, when the world had not yet understood the devastation wrought by socialism in the USSR.
Three generations of students made ignorant of history by our corrosive educational system don’t understand any of this. Moreover, educated in John Dewey’s Darwinian belief that there is no such thing as morality, they frankly don’t care. They have been instructed that anything relating to the American past is evil.
“We teach the students complete Islam…Jihad is a big pillar of Islam.” And while putative Muslim reformers in the West self-righteously remind us that Islam is not a monolith and jihad is a spiritual struggle, these clerics and students in Islamabad teach jihad is warfare and peaceful Muslims have mounted no effective theological response to them.
From DPA, with thanks to Jeffrey Imm:
The hostage-taking of three police officers by students attached to Islamabad’s notorious Red Mosque Wednesday again highlighted the rising strain of religious militancy in the very heart of the Pakistani capital.If the police did not to release several of his students and teachers they would face a jihad, or holy war, warned cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi, deputy head of the Lal Masjid, or red mosque, and adjacent madrassa religious school where Osama bin Laden is regarded as “our hero”.
But their arrest and the seizure of the officers and an alleged manager of a local brothel during a morality dispute is a sideshow to more sinister activity inside the giant complex with 11,000 students.
“We encourage our people to go and fight (foreign troops in Afghanistan),” Ghazi told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa during a recent visit.
Any means of stopping the “aggressors” was justified, including suicide bombings, and it was just a matter of time before the international contingents are forced to leave, he said.
Pakistan is a key ally of the United States in the war against terrorism, yet hatred towards the western “occupiers” in Afghanistan is openly preached a short distance from the offices of the prime minister, parliament and the Supreme Court.
Earlier attempts to take action against the complex were dropped amid fears of a broad backlash, leaving Ghazi free to impress the call to arms upon the 6,500 females and 4,500 males who take classes and worship on premises he jointly administers with his brother.
While a generation of young fighters appears to be taking shape under their tutelage, the state’s authority now seems to end at the heavily guarded gates….
Foreign armies had no right to invade Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, says Ghazi, who in 1998 met al-Qaeda leader bin Laden in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.
“They will never succeed, they will go, defeated like the Russians,” he pronounces, before rhetorically asking how many of the 50,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan would be willing to carry out a suicide attack on the Taliban.
Hearing the answer “none”, Ghazi says opposition among the masses to western intervention can produce “hundreds of thousands of suicide bombers” eager to sacrifice themselves….
“We teach the students complete Islam,” Ghazi explains, but noting that, “Jihad is a big pillar of Islam.”
“We teach them the concept of jihad, not how to fight,” he clarifies, confident of the superior determination of those waging the armed struggle.
“For us this life does not matter,” says Ghazi. “(The fighting) will continue for some time, there will be a lot of casualties on our side, no doubt, but finally (the foreign troops) will retreat.”
A return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan is the only solution for the country, he believes, while claiming that his men have contacts with the militant resistance and al-Qaeda.
Bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar are alive and actively continuing the fight and neither their death or capture would not significantly weaken the effort, according to Ghazi.
“In our jihad a person is not important – another would just take over,” he says.
As we have often noted here.