Istanbul and Moscow: The Capitals of an Emerging Axis of Evil

Istanbul and Moscow: The Capitals of an Emerging Axis of Evil

Joel J. Sprayregen

I logged over 15,000 air miles in the past three weeks, my ports of call including Moscow, Kiev, Istanbul and London.  I enjoyed opportunities to exchange views with informed leaders of government, business and think tanks.  Changes — many repugnant to believe in — are proceeding rapidly in each country I visited.  I choose to focus on changes in Turkey and Russia which are harmful to the national interests of the United States.

Turkey presents the more immediate concern.  Ataturk’s secular republic, established after the Ottoman collapse in World War 1, was long hailed as the enlightened model for Muslim countries.  Turkey is pivotal because of its location as the boundary between Europe and the Middle East (remember, Napoleon said “Geography is destiny”), its large population, industrial capacity (15th largest economy in world) and formidable army (second largest in NATO).  For more than a half-century after World War 2, Turkey anchored NATO’s front-line southeast flank against Soviet/Russian aggression and even (until 2004) against Saddam Hussein.  Turkey evidenced democratic values in striking contrast to the Muslim despotisms in neighboring Iran, Iraq and Syria, the latter two countries sometimes abetting Kurdish terrorism against Turkey.
The Dismantling of Ataturk’s Secular Republic
That rosy view of Turkey has vanished.  Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan and his AK Party are dismantling the foundations of the secular republic and pursuing Islamist domestic and foreign policies.  This process is facilitated by the corrupt ineptitude of sclerotic secular political parties.  It was also facilitated by oafish bungling of European Union officials.  EU officials titillated Turkish desires for membership but were blindsided when Europeans predictably balked at making 72 million Turks citizens of Europe and extending borders of the EU (which aspires to be a United States of Europe) to the suburbs of Damascus and Baghdad.  Europeans remembered what Napoleon had said.  Turks, a justifiably proud people, resent Europe’s rebuff.
Exacerbating their misjudgments, EU officials insisted that the powers of the Turkish army be curbed.  This suited Erdogan because he knew that the army was the historic guardian of secularism.  Aggravating the exacerbation, the Europeans insisted that Turkey empower its AK-dominated Parliament to assume powers of the courts to protect the secular republic.  All this was coming to a head while I was in Istanbul.  The Parliament was able to abolish some but not all judicial prerogatives.  Other initiatives–including court-packing proposals reminiscent of Franklin Roosevelt’s which enflamed Americans in the 1930s–may be submitted to referenda in coming months. Turkish friends told me that–although it is a long shot–Erdogan’s remaining Islamist constitutional initiatives could yet be defeated by voters.
Turkey Confirms Vacuity of Obama’s “Engagement” and Joins Up with State Supporters of Terrorism
The domestic Islamist transformation of Turkey-a country with  vast secular population, excellent universities, emerging civil society and a previously free press now being intimidated-is tragic enough.  But the transformation of Turkish foreign policy increasingly presents a clear danger to American interests. The “zero problems” foreign policy of AK Foreign Minister Davutoglu advertises friendliness with proximate neighbors.  In practice, this means allying with rogue states Iran and Syria (whom even President Obama recently saw fit to designate a state sponsor of terrorism).  Worse, Turkey now embraces terrorist murder squads like Hamas and Hezbollah and fetes their leaders as honored guests.  Turkey hosted Sudanese President Bashir, who is under indictment for crimes against humanity by the International Court of Criminal Justice.  Turkey’s new alliances have left in tatters-but not yet completely dismembered-its traditional military alliance with Israel.   Turkish-Israel ties were important because they brought together two countries that were military powers and the only democracies in the region.  I have sat through disconcerting meetings in which Erdogan likened Hamas terrorists to “boys throwing rocks at helicopter gunships.” 
A country with a worldview that demonizes resistance against terrorism is a problematic member of NATO, which was founded to protect democratic values proclaimed by Roosevelt and Churchill in the Atlantic Charter.  It also exposes the danger in Turkey’s present role as a non-permanent member (backed by the U.S. in elections) of the U.N. Security Council.  I was not surprised upon return to the U.S. to find that Turkey and Brazil cooked up a scheme to avert sanctions against Iran.  The Turkish-Brazilian announcement of “ending” the Iran crisis with possible enrichment in Turkey of some Iranian uranium galvanized our State Department to announce that it had secured Russian and Chinese agreement on a weak sanctions resolution, but this was a lie intended to mask exposure of the complete failure of Obama’s “engagement.”  Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov knocked the wind out of our State Department’s sails by stressing that the resolution is far from complete and adding:  “Our position on Iran is to give them another chance.” 
In my conversations with U.S. officials, I have found dismaying unawareness of the consequences of the ugly reality that Turkey is now a functional ally of Iran and not of the United States. Our officials are hardly aware that-while Erdogan and Obama have fulsomely flattered each other-Erdogan uses his controlled media to incite populist hatred of the U.S.  The Turkey-Brazil machinations confirmed the vacuity of Obama’s Iran policy. Perhaps our Government will begin to understand what Turkey has become.  A Turkish deputy defense minister came to my farewell brunch on the Bosporus.  Upon my return to the U.S., I was the dinner guest of Turkey’s Ambassador in Washington, a brilliant diplomat and friend of democracy.  Both tried to convince me that Turkey aspires to lead the Islamic world in a moderate direction and to deny nuclear arms to neighboring Iran.  To this point, they have not convinced me, but at least dialogue continues.
Challenges from Russia:  More Complex but Less Imminent
The challenges to U.S. foreign policy I found in Moscow are more complex but less imminent.  This may sound strange after all the years of the Cold War in which the USSR was Global Enemy Number 1.  Smart Russians do not want to reignite even a Cold War with the U.S.  Moscow was girding for its High Holiday period-from May Day to the 65th anniversary of V-E Day.  On Moscow’s outskirts, I saw posters depicting the Hammer and Sickle as holiday symbols.  These were banned from central Moscow, along with posters depicting Stalin.  The Russian government wanted to make clear that heroism-and massive sacrifice-of the Russian people defeated Nazism and that Stalin, whatever his accomplishments, committed unpardonable crimes.  I witnessed restrained but effective dispersal of pro-Stalin demonstrators.
Well-connected Russians with whom I spoke regretted the dissolution of the Soviet Union and were opposed to assertions of U.S. military power in east Europe.  But of more immediate concern were the problems of (1) Islamic terrorism (Russia’s Muslim population may be as high as 20%), as evidenced in recent subway bombings and (2) Chinese expansionism, particularly as threatening Russia’s vast Far East-three times the size of Europe-which has a shrinking population of 7.5 million while hundreds of millions of Chinese live just across the border.  China’s economic engine is securing access to resources everywhere it can.  Our hyped sanctions “deal” allows the Chinese exemption from energy sanctions on Iran (which, if implemented, would constitute real pressure on Tehran).  Thus, Obama has achieved a double whammy in foisting “sanctions” that are guaranteed to fail while abetting China in its competition with out country and the rest of the world to near-monopolize global access to resources.
Obama policies have encouraged Russians to believe we lack coherency.  Obama caved in to Russian demands and reneged on a commitment to provide missile defense to the Czech Republic and Poland without getting anything in return, as acknowledged to me in a dinner meeting  with David   Sanger, chief diplomatic reporter for the N.Y. Times, a consistent flack for the President. The Russians have played a clever cat-and-mouse game in fending off tough U.N. sanctions against Iran, but they have to this point practiced restraint in neither finishing the Busheir nuclear plant nor supplying Iran with the S-300 ground-to-air missiles. (though an egregious lacuna in the proposed START treaty allows them to do so, if they choose.)  A Russian announcement of new arms supply to Syria gives reason for vigilance, but I would be surprised if the Russians try to undermine Israel’s security.  Picking up some loose Arab money while annoying Washington is a familiar Moscow tactic.  Obama’s obsession with nuclear disarmament (we have now idiotically proclaimed that we will not respond with nuclear weapons to a massive biological or chemical attack by a hostile country) has aided the Russians in allowing them to destroy obsolete weapons while we destroy deployable stock. 
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty which Obama and Russia’s president signed in Prague in April so grotesquely favors Russian and undermines U.S. interests that our Senate may refuse ratification.  Peter Brookes, former deputy assistant Secretary of Defense, provided worrisome details in a May 14 N.Y. Post article, pointing out that “the Russians got a great deal” on the new treaty “at our expense.”  Obama seems to believe that unilateral U.S. shedding of strategic weapons will incentivize Iran and North Korea to obey U.N. arms resolutions.  Watch the Senate ratification hearings. And who knows what the Russians made of Joe Biden’s foolish remarks about diminished Russian power.  In Kiev, I learned that the Russians have largely succeeded in forcing Ukraine-with its 60 million people and strategic location-back into relative servitude.
Does Our Government Understand the Implications of a Turkish-Russian Strategic Partnership?
Nature abhors a vacuum.  Both Russia and Turkey perceive the naive vacuity of our foreign policy.   They, along with the rest of the word, heard Obama recently say that we are a super-power, “whether we like it or not.”   Thus, I was not surprised to read upon returning to the U.S.  that   Russian President Medvedev had made a state visit to Turkey’s Islamist President Gul.  Medvedev proclaimed establishment of “a full -scale strategic partnership” which includes Russia’s building a nuclear power plant in Turkey as well as energy pipelines. This is hardly a new Warsaw Pact, nor an existential axis of evil. But neither can it be dismissed casually by incantations of “engagement” or defaulting, as the Europeans do, to soft power.
A Russian-Turkish alliance stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea presents a new set of problems for American diplomacy.  A NATO member in “strategic partnership” with Russia is contrary to more than a half century of NATO doctrine.  The problem is magnified when the NATO ally becomes an ally of Iran and holds joint military exercises with Syria.  My soundings in Moscow suggest that the Russian government comprehends these changing dynamics and the advantages this gives to the Kremlin.  I see no evidence that the same can be said of our government.

Did Iran outmaneuver the Obama Regime?

Did Iran outmaneuver the Obama administration?

May 18th, 2010

BY ED MORRISSEY, Hot Air

This must be what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton mean by “smart power.”  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, not exactly known for his erudition or deep intellect, has managed to outmaneuver the US on uranium enrichment, reaching a deal with Brazil and Turkey to exchange raw nuclear fuel for processed fuel rods.  That deal still allows Iran to enrich some of its own uranium, but even while the US objects, it allows political cover to Russia and China:

Iran backed the Obama administration into check in its ongoing nuclear chess match by announcing its own fuel swap deal after a Western-backed plan fell apart last fall.

The country, trying to avoid sanctions after it rejected a deal with the U.S., Russia, France and the International Atomic Energy Agency in October, steered around the United States in brokering a swap with Turkey and Brazil.

In a sense, Iran left the Obama administration an out by declaring it would continue producing 20 percent enrichment uranium even as it proposes shipping nuclear material to Turkey. To become official, the deal still has to be agreed to by the same group of nations that pursued the deal last fall — and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a written statement that while the fuel swap would be a “positive step,” any move to continue enrichment internally would be a “direct violation” of Security Council resolutions.

Read More:

Enough Already — Just Move the UN to Iran

Enough Already — Just Move the UN to Iran

The UN’s Economic and Social Council has just elected Iran to a seat on the UN’s women’s rights commission. Wouldn’t it be easier to just ship the entire UN, lock, stock and seating arrangements, to Iran?

Obama’s stealth attack on our legal foundations

Obama’s stealth attack on our legal foundations

Walt Elgin

Bowing to foreign power was not just a matter of misplaced etiquette. As its creeping socialism morphs into a quirky gallop, Obama’s State Department is supporting an International Criminal Court (ICC) with jurisdiction over what has always been sovereign U.S. powers:

…”Pragmatic cooperation” with the ICC-for example, helping it with investigations and sitting in on court bodies, [proponents argue] would give the U.S. a voice on decisions that affect its interests, such as helping the ICC define the “crime of aggression.” U.S. officials were stunned that a recent draft defining aggression was so wide-reaching that NATO would have been criminally liable in the 1999 Kosovo war…

…The ICC’s indictments have so far targeted nasty characters in Africa, but the court has always resisted outside oversight, especially from the U.S. What’s more, no amount of reform of the founding treaty will change the ICC’s inherent flaw. The ICC is a child of the doctrine of “universal jurisdiction,” which holds that courts can adjudicate crimes [by their definition] committed anywhere in the world.

And other Obama acolytes support a constitutional overhaul to allow more direct control to those in power, without the messiness of congressional action – as originally stipulated in the Constitution. Stephen Markman, Michigan Supreme Court Justice, has warned about Obama’s “living constitution” views :

…the important decisions would increasingly be undertaken by courts, especially by federal courts. It will be the California referendum process writ national, a process by which the decisions of millions of voters on matters such as racial quotas, social services funding, and immigration policy have been routinely overturned by single judges acting in the name of the Constitution – not the Framers’ Constitution, but a “constitution for our times,” a “living constitution,” resembling, sadly, the constitutions of failed and despotic nations across the globe…

As various advocates of a 21st century constitution have urged, [the constitution should] be interpreted to allow the invention of a host of new “rights,” and thus be construed to guarantee social or economic equality. However pleasing this might sound to some people, there should be no mistake: adopting this interpretation will supplant representative decision-making with the decision-making of unelected, unaccountable, and life-tenured judges.

 

Morning Bell: The Ahmadinejad Victory Tour AHMADINEJAD TO ATTEND CONFERENCE AT UN NEXT WEEK…

Morning Bell: The Ahmadinejad Victory Tour

Posted By Conn Carroll On April 29, 2010 @ 9:26 am In American Leadership, Protect America | No Comments

[1]

Yesterday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley confirmed [2] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had submitted an application for a visa to attend the United Nations nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference in New York next month. Since Crowley also confirmed that Ahmadinejad is likely to be awarded the visa, the Iranian President can now look forward to witnessing first hand the failure of President Barack Obama’s Iran policy.

At first the White House believed that President Barack Obama’s sheer power of personality and persuasion would be enough to convince the Iranian regime to give up their nuclear program. So the President gave a conciliatory speech in Cairo [3], sent a direct message to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [4], and opened up direct talks with the Iranian regime [5]. The results have been crystal clear: the Iranian regime has only accelerated its nuclear program [6], accelerated its ballistic missile program, and further crushed internal dissent, all while the Obama administration remained silent [7] as the Green Revolution was brutally crushed [8].

Now the Obama administration is seeking “crippling” sanctions on Iran through the U.N. Security Council. This is another Obama fantasy that plays right into Iran’s “cheat, retreat, and delay” [9] nuclear strategy. Whatever goodwill the Obama administration hoped to get from Russia by caving into their New START demands has not paid off [10]. With help from Turkey [11], China and now Egypt [12], Iran’s rope-a-dope [13] U.N. diplomacy will render any U.N. sanctions regime completely toothless [14].

All these Ahmadinejad victories over President Obama would not be so alarming if the Obama administration were not actively undermining our nation’s ability to deter and defend against Iranian nuclear attack. First there was President Obama’s decision to cancel missile defense installations in Eastern Europe [15]. The Obama administration claimed that their alternative system, called the Phased Adaptive Approach, could defend U.S. allies by 2020. But a recent Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report [16] warns Iran may be able to reach the United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by 2015. This means President Obama has created a new “window of vulnerability” [17] for our enemies to exploit.

And then there is President Obama’s New START agreement which limits U.S. conventional, nuclear and missile defense options. Former director of the Missile Defense Agency, Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, noted in The Washington Times [18] this week: “Strangely, New START may actually rest on what Russia permits the United States to do to defend Americans and our allies from such a missile attack. This equation is both bizarre and unsafe.”

“Bizarre and unsafe” is a generous assessment of the Obama administration’s efforts to protect America from Iran’s nuclear ambitions so far. The Obama administration must change course. The United States should impose and enforce the strongest possible sanctions [14], even if doing so requires action outside of the U.N. framework, and step up public diplomacy efforts to discredit the regime’s legitimacy and offer support to opposition groups, such as the Green Movement [19]. Most importantly the Obama administration must make the commitment to create and sustain a layered missile defense system [20], designed to counter every range of Iranian missiles in all stages of flight, including those that threaten the territory of the United States and its allies. This would include scrapping New START, returning missile defense installations to Eastern Europe and fully funding missile defense. For more, see 33 Minutes [21].

Quick Hits:

  • According to USA Today [22], starting in 2014 the Internal Revenue Service will become the chief enforcement agency for Obamacare.
  • USA Today also reports that starting this summer Obamacare will trap about 200,000 Americans [23] in high cost insurance plans.
  • A new Pew Poll [24] shows that 62% of Americans believe President Obama’s $862 billion economic stimulus has not helped the job situation.
  • Business leaders and economists say [25] they have seen few results from President Obama [26]’s five-year plan [27] to double U.S. exports.
  • Venezuela’s economy is set to contract by as much as 5% under Hugo Chavez’s 21st-century socialism [28] this year, while free-trad- embracing Chile is set to grow by 4%.

Obama Is Enabling Nuclear Breakout

Obama Is Enabling Nuclear Breakout

By James Lewis

Jimmy Carter didn’t want to be known as the Ayatollah Appeaser, but that’s how history has him chalked up. Bill Clinton played dumb about the 1994 World Trade Center bombing, actually blocking the flow of foreign intelligence between Justice and the CIA, and thereby enabled 9/11/01 — the second al-Qaeda attack on Manhattan in seven years. The liberal media are still in shrill denial of those facts, but history will not forget their failures. Historians will ask over and over why yet another feckless Democrat was elected in 2008. How could Americans be so blind to the circling jackals of this world? 
Now Obama seems intent on reversing the Cold War and letting nuclear proliferation explode. In Congress, the Democrats are committing mass suicide for him. FDR gave us the New Deal, and Obama is giving us the Raw Deal.
But FDR presided over the bloodiest war for America since the Civil War. He didn’t want to be a war president, but when Pearl Harbor came, he did not deceive himself the way the Left has deceived itself since 9/11. Pearl Harbor was a plain act of war, and Americans in 1944 got that instantly. Four years later, Harry Truman didn’t plan to begin the Cold War against Communist aggression with a defensive war in Korea. But that’s how it turned out. “Events, my dear boy,” said Harold McMillan. Events decide how presidents will look to history.
Obama is now set to be the biggest loser of the last sixty years — the man who let nuclear weapons explode out of control by fundamentally misunderstanding the nature of the threat. The implications for the future are  unpredictable, but just as World War II was more consequential than the New Deal, there is nothing an American president can do that is more important that his national security actions. When — not if — nuclear proliferation runs out of control, it won’t look like the Cold War, when only two superpowers had usable missiles and weapons, and when, after Stalin died, both sides acted fairly rationally.
Instead, Obama’s towering failure means a multi-polar race to get the baddest bombs, with the mullahs racing the Sunni Arabs and a very real chance that Hezb’allah or al-Qaeda will get enough material to build a dirty nuke. Only advanced missile defenses will save us, and if America doesn’t speed up our defense development, then the saner nations in the world will do it. They are not going to wait for us.
When unstable tyrannies like Iran, North Korea, Libya, and even Venezuela have nukes, Obama’s self-glorifying ego trips will fade by comparison. The only question Americans will ask will be: How well did he protect his country? We forget that for the last ninety years, America’s military power has been kept at the razor’s edge — not because we somehow decided to conquer the world, but because we had to resist the imperialistic aggression of the Kaiser, Hitler, Stalin, Mao (by proxy in Korea and Vietnam), and the Soviet Empire. Liberals pretend that war is all the past, but history hasn’t ended.
Today we see murderous tyrannies rising again, and Obama is too busy navel-gazing to see them for himself. Hugging Mugabe is more his style. So nobody is driving this train, and an abyss yawns just ahead of us. 
Jimmy Carter actively enabled the Islamofascist overthrow of the Shah of Persia, one of the great traditional imperial powers of the Middle East. Turkey, another great power for five centuries under the Ottomans, has now slipped back from a century of increased political tolerance toward radical Islam, and is now siding with Iran against Israel. Iraq, another imperial center that goes back six thousand years to Sumer, is torn between Sunnis and Shiites, which means Iran against the Arabs. The Saudis helped finance Pakistan’s nukes and missiles, and they can import them as soon as they give the signal. Arabia is the heartland of Islam, and Iran has had its eyes on Mecca and Medina since Khomeini. The end of war? Only in Liberal Land.
Radical Muslims are ideologically resistant to the Enlightenment values of tolerance, science, free speech, elected governments, and free trade. They are not like India and Japan, which have adopted modernism at a very deep level in the last half century. But since Khomeini took over Iran, all the modernizing forces in Muslim lands have been forced backwards. Islamic radicalism was much less of a problem before that huge defeat for civilization. Jimmy Carter was therefore criminally naïve (and still is today), Clinton didn’t even try to face the facts of international life, and Obama is the worst of all. He is mentally stuck in third-world Leftism, and he has shown no capacity to learn. So much for “progressive” politics driving us back to the past.
A small but ominous event happened two weeks ago at the “nuclear summit” of 45 nations, most of which have no nuclear capacity at all. At the summit, Obama publicly snubbed the president of Georgia. The American media were too dumb and ignorant to get it, but Putin and Eastern Europe took notice, all right. Georgia was, after all, the first country to be invaded by Russian tanks since Afghanistan, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany.
Two years ago, Putin stole the province of Abkhazia from Georgia, and today they are committing ethnic cleansing there. For Obama to snub Georgia’s president at a big international powwow sends the clearest possible signal to Czar Putin: Go ahead — we won’t stop you. That’s why the Russian Bear is snarling again in the Ukraine, Poland, Syria, (where it is building deep water ports), Iran (where it just declared its intention to complete the Bushehr nuke reactor), and anywhere else it sees easy prey. Predators act like predators. It’s not a surprise to saner folks.
The astonishing thing about Obama is that he actually signals American weakness deliberately; he is the anti-Reagan to the ultimate. Only the American people are kept in the dark.
A week after Obama’s snub of Georgia, a Russian-maintained, Russian-manufactured airplane carrying Poland’s president Lech Kaszinksy, its army chief, its central banker, and 94 other leaders died in a suspicious crash at Smolensk. We don’t know if Putin sabotaged the plane — easy enough to do — but we know that he regularly assassinates his opponents, domestic and foreign. Putin poisoned the president of the Ukraine with dioxin and killed a former KGB spy in London with radioactive Polonium. Is there a link between the death of Poland’s political leadership and Obama’s signals of weakness? Well, the timing was perfect. It also happened to be the anniversary of Stalin’s massacre of Polish officers in Katyn forest. Coincidence? Nobody who knows that history will believe that.
Obama has now publicly humiliated the Prime Minister of Israel, the PM of Britain, the Queen of England, the Czechs, the Poles, and the Japanese. He has bowed ostentatiously to the Saudi king, the former god-emperor of Japan, and the president of China. Those are not slips of diplomatic etiquette. They aren’t even eccentricities for this ultimately weird president. They are deliberate signals to the world, and our enemies know exactly what they mean.
The United States has plainly failed to stop North Korean and Iranian nukes. Saudi Arabia just announced plans to build a nuclear plant. North Korea just blew up a South Korean warship. All the little mad tyrannies around the world see nuclear weapons as their key to survival and power forever.
Nuclear breakout can’t be far away.

The Provocateur-in Chief

The Provocateur-in Chief

Neil Braithwaite

President Barrack Obama seems to relish making provocative statements and generally antagonizing his opposition. Whether it’s out of habit as a community organizer, or just a major character flaw, this president can’t seem to hold his tongue.The Provocateur-in Chief aimed his latest statement at the Tea Party movement, telling a group at a DNC fundraiser, “So I’ve been a little amused over the last couple of days where people have been having these rallies about taxes. You would think they would be saying thank you.”

With the economy in the tank, unemployment hovering at ten percent and over four million jobs lost since he was elected, one would think President Obama would have more important things to talk about than what his opposition says or does on a daily basis. In fact, most former presidents would rather focus on their job than be distracted by a daily war of words with their opposition. In an effort to stay above the fray and maintain their “presidential” status,” former presidents usually let their surrogates do political hand-to-hand combat.

But not President Obama. He could care less that his provocative statements might show him as unfocused or even un-presidential. In fact, the President’s provocative statements are a calculated political strategy intended to divert attention from his socialist agenda.

President Obama’s is just following Saul Alinsky’s methods from his book, “Rules For Radicals,” to change America into a socialist European-style socialist nation.

Excerpts from Alinsky’s book help illuminate, in part, President Obama’s propensity for making frequent provocative statements: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also, it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” These rules have worked for President Obama his entire political and community organizing career, and continue to work to advance his socialist agenda today.

Putting Alinsky’s methods into practice, President Obama will continue to say and do provocative things in order to identify the target so he can; ” freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

Following the President’s lead, the liberal media will reinforce and defend any and all of his provocative statements. Once the opposition is identified, they will be branded as dangerous right-wing radicals and railed against, on a daily basis, by the liberal media until they are marginalized. This scenario has been playing out since before President Obama was elected, and will continue throughout his tenure in office.

Unless the Republicans can take back the House and Senate this November, President Obama, with the help of his willing accomplices in the liberal media, will lead America slowly and methodically into socialism. Like a frog in a pot of cold water, gradual warming will result in the frog being boiled without making any effort to escape.

Feel free, fellow Americans – while you still are – to investigate the facts regarding President Obama’s radical strategies and socialist agenda.

When these facts become clear, read the following words from the “Declaration of Independence,” and see what “we the people” have a “right” to do when “any form of government becomes destructive.”

“…that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Exposing President Obama’s socialist agenda, and getting enough people to declare their independence from it, may be the only way to keep America’s melting pot from boiling.

Neil Braithwaite writes political commentary and satire and is a regular contributor to PoliticalDerby.com.

The President Who Won’t Grow Up–Everything I need to know about Barack Obama I learned as a Cub Scout den leader.

The President Who Won’t Grow Up

By Carol Peracchio

Everything I need to know about Barack Obama I learned as a Cub Scout den leader.

Last week I watched an American president and a Russian leader sign a START treaty. I almost checked the calendar, wondering if I’d been transported back to 1980. In news stories of the summit I found a link to an article Barack Obama had written in 1983 while at Columbia University titled “Breaking the War Mentality.” Back then, Obama was firmly in the nuclear freeze camp. It’s true that many of us held views as college students that seem quaint and naïve after two or three decades. But compare the (nearly incomprehensible) writing of the 22-year-old Obama to the news reports last week. Incredibly, Obama’s worldview has not changed. The Soviet Union is kaput, he is the leader of the free world, and he’s still thinking the same way. He’s the president who won’t grow up.

Years ago, R. Emmett Tyrell characterized Bill Clinton as the “Boy President.” In Barack Obama, I believe we are seeing the return of the little boy as president. As a former Cub Scout den leader, I spent a lot of time around boys. It struck me that the president exhibits classic little boy behavior. Here are a few examples:

Boys are bored by day-to-day work. Almost immediately after his inauguration, Obama started complaining. At a photo op at a school in February, 2009 he said, “We were just tired of being in the White House.” The First Couple constantly leave the White House, putting the “frequent” into frequent flier.

Anyone who has been a Scout leader, coach, or teacher knows how quickly boys get bored. I used to plan extra activities, just in case the Cubs got fidgety. But an amazing thing happens as boys grow up: They are able to stay put for an hour. They stop whining, “This is boring!” and put in the necessary work to earn a merit badge or progress to the next rank. President Obama, however, reminds me of the Scout who would goof off and refuse to work during the meetings but return the next week with all the requirements for the merit badge signed off by his parents. Everyone, even his fellow Scouts, knew he didn’t do the work. Which brings us to:

Boys don’t respect things they haven’t earned. Every parent I know has a story of a child given an expensive toy who treats it carelessly. But the toy that he has saved his allowance for months to purchase is treated with respect and reverence.

Barack Obama doesn’t respect the presidency because he didn’t earn it. He had a wafer-thin résumé, no paper trail, and a suspect autobiography. It took massive lifting from the media, Hollywood, and his PR team to put him over the top. He is like the college student whose mom is writing his papers. He doesn’t value the education he’s receiving because he isn’t earning it, and he certainly isn’t paying for it. He also doesn’t respect the professors who are letting him get away with it. Note how President Obama treats the media.

Boys love snack and game time. It didn’t matter how much I lectured or how formal the occasion — as soon as grace was over, my Cubs shot to the front of the buffet line like a horse heading back to the barn. The best way to get them to pay attention to me during meetings was by threatening withholding of the cupcakes.

I’ve been fascinated by what  foodies the First Couple are. Last year, we were treated to breathless reports on the gourmet food being served at the White House and the hot restaurants the Obamas were jetting off to. Even pizza became a “big f-ing deal” (as the Vice President would say). Perhaps the Republicans could coax Obama into listening to them by threatening to withhold the Wagyu beef.

As far as games are concerned, boys are always ready to play. Red Light Green Light, marbles, even paper football across the dining room table brought joy to den meetings. The president also loves game time, whether he’s playing or watching. When an unexpected day opened up last weekend, he hit the links. I’ll never forget an interview I saw when Obama was President-Elect. He was answering questions in that serious, dull manner, when the interviewer asked him about college sports. The change in Obama’s demeanor was startling. He sat up straight, his voice became animated, and for the first time, he seemed interested in the conversation.

Boys have difficulty grasping the importance of tradition and protocol.
We had a strict rule for our Cub Scouts: When we were in public as a den, they had to wear their uniforms. We discovered that the simple act of wearing the traditional uniform encouraged the boys to behave and to be proud of being a Scout. As the boys got older, we would rejoice to see them teach the Tiger Cubs to take their hats off during prayer, or stand and salute when the flag passed by. The boys learned these traditions were part of what made them Scouts.

It breaks my heart to see our president making a serious statement without a tie, or giving the British Prime Minister a cheap, thoughtless gift. By belittling tradition, he diminishes the magnificence of the office of which he’s been given temporary stewardship. This past weekend, the president was unable to attend the funeral of the Polish president. Instead of visiting the Polish embassy to sign the condolence book, or even staying quietly out of sight, President Obama decided to play golf

Boys are always in a hurry.
Watch any boy at a computer. It doesn’t matter how fast the connection speed is, he’ll soon be tapping his foot and sighing in frustration as he waits for a page to load. By the time they start crawling, boys are hardwired to hurry up.

A President who hasn’t grown up says “We don’t have a moment to spare” concerning his nearly trillion-dollar stimulus bill. He tells a pro-health care reform rally:

My question to them is, ‘When’s the right time? If not now, when? If not us, who? Is it a year from now or two years from now or five years from now or ten years from now?’ I think it’s right now …

Hurry up! Do it now! There’s no time — to read, to discuss, to compromise, to think. Cub Scouts have den leaders to slow them down, to teach them about tradition, to reinforce the rewards of work. But there are no den leaders surrounding our president. That could change in November, however. If Republicans win the Congress, Representative Boehner and Senator McConnell will be leaders. Hopefully they can encourage our Cub Scout president that it’s time to grow up.

Carol Peracchio is a registered nurse.

Morning Bell: The Wall Street Bailout Bill Threat to Your Bottom Line

Morning Bell: The Wall Street Bailout Bill Threat to Your Bottom Line

Posted By Conn Carroll On April 20, 2010 @ 9:42 am In Enterprise and Free Markets | No Comments

[1]

This past Friday, President Barack Obama again threatened to veto [2] any financial reform bill that fails to tightly regulate financial derivative products which many blame for the 2008 economic crisis. Derivatives [3] work like insurance to protect certain investments, and provide stability to the price of most goods and services. For example, farmers buy derivatives on the price of their crops, so if the price of their crop plummets, the price of the food at the grocery store won’t change that much. Airlines buy derivatives on oil, so if the price of oil goes up drastically, they won’t have to immediately hike ticket prices.

Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld shares President Obama’s view on derivatives. He also blames them for the downfall of his Wall Street firm. But a closer examination of Lehman’s failure shows that derivatives may just be a convenient scape goat. Bankruptcy examiners found that it was bad business decisions hidden by complex accounting tricks [4], not addressed by the current Wall Street Bailout Bill at all, that brought Lehman down. In fact, Lehman’s derivatives positions represented only about 3.3 percent of its net assets, and the bankruptcy examiner found [5] its derivatives trades were reasonable and more carefully monitored than Lehman’s other assets.

So whenever Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) says his Wall Street Bailout Bill “would have prevented that kind of events from happening” [6] he needs to explain how. If anything, the Dodd plan will only make future Wall Street bailouts more likely and more costly while also stifling consumer choice.

Increases Chance of Future Bailouts: Obama administration officials are claiming their plan “outlaws bailouts [7],” but in fact it institutionalizes them forever. Just go straight to page 134 of the 1,334 page Senate bill. On that page begins a section titled “Funding for Orderly Liquidation.” The text reads that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the designated federal receiver for failing financial firms, “may make available…funds for the orderly liquidation of [a] covered financial institution.” Where are those funds to come from? Well, on page 272 the bill creates an “Orderly Resolution Fund” within the U.S. Treasury. The target size of this fund? Fifty billion dollars. [8] The Obama administration claims no funds could be provided to compensate a firm’s shareholders. But the failing firm’s other creditors would be eligible for a cash bailout at the discretion of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner who has described the bill’s new bailout authority in exactly the same way he described how he bailed out AIG. [9] This is why Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) told Politico: “The Dodd bill has unlimited executive bailout authority. That’s something Wall Street desperately wants but doesn’t dare ask for. The bill contains permanent, unlimited bailout authority.”

Increases the Costs of Future Bailouts: The second administrative fall back position is that while the bill does bailout Wall Street, the bailouts will be paid for by Wall Street so taxpayers won’t foot the bill. But where does the left think Wall Street will get the money for the bailout funds? The tooth fairy. Just as airlines will ultimately just recoup the money they would have charged for carry on bags in higher ticket prices, Wall Street will suck the bailout money from American consumers in the form of higher bank fees. The Congressional Budget Office has confirmed this the last time the Obama administration proposed a new bank tax [10]. Worse, The New York Times [11] reports: “The Obama administration does not support the $50 billion fund, partly out of concern that more money may be needed if one or more big financial firms ever collapse and that creating a fund could make it difficult to authorize more money.” In other words, the only reason the Obama administration does not want a set $50 billion fund is so it will be easier to ask for even higher bailout funds later.

Limits Consumer Choice: One of the new Super Regulators [12] Dodd’s Wall Street Bailout Bill would create is a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection that would make it harder for consumers to utilize new technologies. Debit cards, for example, are common today. Just a decade or so ago, though, customers had to carry bulky checkbooks and two forms of ID in order to pay for many purchases. What might be the next innovation to revolutionize how Americans pay for products? It’s impossible to say, and under the Dodd bill we may never know. Under a CFPA, a cell phone company that wants to offer an even more convenient payment mechanism would have to submit to a massive set of regulations. [13]

Heritage fellow David John concludes [14]:

A better approach to preventing another crisis is to modify U.S. bankruptcy law to accommodate the special problems of resolving huge financial firms and to allow the courts to appoint receivers with the specialized knowledge necessary to best deal with their failure. By creating an open process controlled by an impartial judiciary guided by established statutory rules, financial firms, investors, taxpayers, and others would have the advance knowledge that large financial firms that were once known as “too big to fail” can now be closed if necessary without risking disaster.

Quick Hits:

The Democrats’ Orwellian Attempt to Bully Republicans and Takeover the Rest of the Economy

The Democrats’ Orwellian Attempt to Bully Republicans and Takeover the Rest of the Economy

by Capitol Confidential

Democrats’ collective fixation on Frank Luntz’s memo on Financial Reform misses the point entirely but it is very telling.

DallasTeaParty_ProtestBabe_1

The now famous Luntz memo makes strategic recommendations based on an aggregation of voters’ responses to being informed about various portions of the Dodd Blank Check Bailout bill in factual, common sense, simple language.  The public spoke and Luntz recorded it. He didn’t make up the fact that there is a $4 trillion dollar bailout in the bill. Its right there in black and white.

But what has Democrats completely possessed is that what the public said is inconvenient to their Orwellian plan to dupe America into believing that up is down, black is white and that the Dodd bill will end “too big to fail”, contains no new bailouts and will possibly save endangered animals.

Their plan is a two step process: First, use oblique language about “protecting consumers” and “ending too big to fail” to convince the public that the Dodd bill is somehow “financial reform”. Then, bully Senate Republicans into voting for Dodd’s government takeover bill by portraying them as against said “financial reform.”

So Democrats are pulling out all the stops. They have launched attacks to discredit the Luntz memo and label legitimate criticism of the Dodd bill “poppycock”.  And President Obama has engaged to reassure the public that the bill will stop bailouts.

But here in the real world, Dodd’s bill is in fact an attempt to takeover the other 5/6 of the economy left after health care and makes bailouts the official policy of the US Government.

Did small businesses cause the Financial Crisis? Of course not. Nevertheless, small businesses take a huge hit in this bill. A little noticed provision tucked into the bill is a death blow to the American Dream that will severely limit the ability of the average American to finance a start up small business.

Dodd’s bill adjusts the net worth requirements for a person to be considered an “accredited or qualified investor” by the Security and Exchange Commission.  The change would dramatically reduce the number of informal investors financing small business and start up companies across the nation.  Even the Huffington Post — a cheerleader for the Dodd bill — has recognized the dangers of this provision:  ”Meanwhile, in his zeal to regulate the monster banks of Wall Street, Senator Christopher Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee is about to kill the most vital and exciting part of the American economic miracle in all of these areas — start-ups.”

Whether it is the next eBay or the next Joe’s Hot Dog stand, the bill will dry up the ability of people to invest their own capital in a small business.  So, even though the words coming out of Democrats mouths say “reform” it sure sounds, looks and smells a lot more like “takeover”.

On bailouts and “too big to fail”, Democrats have repeatedly pointed to the $50 billion dollar fund created by new taxes and fees on banks and disingenuously said that “taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay.”  Aside from the fact that taxpayers will pay regardless when banks pass along the costs, there is a bigger omission here that puts taxpayers directly on the hook.  While the $50 billion fund is certainly in the bill, the bill also gives the Fed unlimited authority to use taxpayer money as well.

So, rather than eliminating bailouts Dodd’s bill actually gives big bank CEO’s TWO bailout funds to catch them when their risky bets don’t pay off.  Yet, Democrats continue their propaganda campaign with a straight face and repeat over and over that the Dodd bill will end “too big to fail” and contains no bailouts.

The public should not be fooled and should make sure that their senators aren’t either.