Tag Archives: Naive

Trump will inherit many foreign policy disasters

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?
Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

The most difficult mistakes for Trump to fix will be the foreign policy blunders committed by the last administration – the creation of wars in other countries and the the supporting of our enemies (giving assault weapons to drug cartels, giving nuclear weapons to Iran, etc.) that are the most difficult to make right.

Consider this article from the Daily Signal.

It lists 5 crises created by the Obama administration in the last 8 years:

  1. ISIS in Iraq and Syria
  2. Afghanistan War
  3. Ukraine-Russia War
  4. Saudi Arabia-Yemen War
  5. Campaigns Against Terrorists in Africa

There was no “Islamic State” in Iraq or Syria when president Bush left office. Iraq and Syria, along with Egypt and Libya, were stable. Libya had just voluntarily given up their WMD programs without a shot being fired, because of concern that Bush would invade them, too. But then Obama became president and withdrew our troops from Iraq. What happened next? Genocide, rape and sex-trafficking on a scale unimaginable to naive American progressives.

Excerpt:

1. ISIS in Iraq and Syria

In response to rapid territorial gains made by the Islamic State during the first half of 2014, the U.S. and allied countries began a military campaign against the terrorist group, relying primarily on airstrikes and support of local ground forces.

As of Nov. 2, the U.S. coalition has conducted nearly 16,000 airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, the countries where ISIS maintains its largest presence.

The Defense Department reports that as of Aug. 31, the total cost of operations related to defeating ISIS is $9.3 billion and the average daily cost is $12.3 million.

Trump inherits the military campaign against ISIS during a crucial phase, as the U.S. undertakes missions to take back key territory controlled by the militants.

[…]In Syria, the Obama administration is supporting 30,000 Syrian-Kurdish and Syrian-Arab fighters, who announced last weekend they were launching a campaign to liberate the ISIS capital in Raqqa. There are roughly 300 U.S. special operations forces on the ground in the country.

The moves to take back ISIS’ remaining strongholds showcase the extent to which Obama has prioritized the counter­terrorism mission in Syria over efforts to help resolve the country’s civil war, which has resulted in as many as a half a million deaths.

On Monday, in a press conference, Obama acknowledged his Syria policy “has not worked.”

Another blunder by the Obama administration occurred with his decision to take a naive, pacifist stance with Russia. Obama and Clinton were following the liberal playbook, which states that the best way to stop a bully from being aggressive is to bow down to him and grovel. This is literally how progressives think about foreign policy – they think that weaknesses causes tyrants to back off, and that strength causes tyrants to arm up and attack their neighbors.

How well this the progressive view work with Russia?

3. Ukraine-Russia War

Europe’s only active war has resulted in the deaths of nearly 10,000 soldiers and civilians on both sides.

The conflict started in 2013, when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, under pressure from Russia, suspended talks on a trade deal with the European Union. Thousands of protesters hit the streets in the following days, supporting closer ties with the West.

The protests turned violent, and Yanukovych fled the capital, Kiev. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, and pro-Russian rebels began to seize territory in eastern Ukraine. Separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk eventually declared independence.

Two cease-fire accords are not being observed. The Obama administration’s policy has been to support a German and French-led effort to negotiate a settlement to the war, and maintain pressure on Russia by working with the European Union to uphold sanctions imposed on Moscow for its annexation of Crimea. The Obama administration has also delivered Ukraine tens of millions of dollars in nonlethal aid, but has not provided weapons.

Obama isn’t providing Ukraine with weapons, because his progressive playbook says that Russia will be more likely to attack if they stand to take more losses to anti-tank weapons. That’s how people on the secular left think. They make decisions based on what makes them feel superior and what makes them look idealistic to others – not based on what works.

But there’s more. Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio championed an idealistic intervention in Libya. They thought that if we got rid of Libya’s dictator, then there would be a spontaneous uprising of peaceful Muslim democracy-lovers. So they ordered air strikes with no ground invasion, and guess what they got?

Islamic State taking root in the anarchy they created:

5. Campaigns Against Terrorists in Africa

Obama has described his efforts to destroy al-Qaeda’s core leadership as one of the successes of his national security policy. But the terrorist threat has spread to new regions in recent years, prompting a U.S. military response, and Trump will have to decide how to proceed.

Unrelated campaigns in Libya and Somalia are prime examples of the diffuse threat.

In Libya, the U.S. has conducted more than 360 airstrikes in support of pro-government forces trying to expel ISIS from the coastal Libyan city, Sirte. A small number of U.S. special operations forces are also providing on-the-ground support.

Since the 2011 American intervention in Libya that led to the death of the country’s deposed dictator leader, Muammar Gaddafi, the country has been plagued by instability.

Today, the U.S. is supporting a project to build a unity government in Libya. But the unity government has not yet won the approval of Libya’s various rival factions.

“Libya is a quintessential civil war,” Middle East expert Pollack said. “ISIS makes their home in civil wars.”

Separately, in another African nation, Somalia, the U.S. has been engaged for more than a decade in an air campaign against al-Shabab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda. The group is responsible for one of the deadliest attacks in Africa, when in 2013 it struck a mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

The terrorist group spawned in 2005, taking advantage of chaos in a country that has been split apart by civil war for 25 years.

This year, The Washington Post reports, the U.S. has conducted more than a dozen airstrikes and drone strikes against al-Shabab.

According to The New York Times, as part of a multifront war against militant Islam in Africa, American forces are also involved in helping to combat al-Qaeda in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso and Boko Haram in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad.

Although progressives like to style themselves as being “anti-war”, they actually cause a lot of wars and deaths with their misguided idealistic military interventions. Obama inherited a peaceful situation in Russia and in the Middle East, but he screwed everything up.  To stop wars you must understand military issues. Just because a person says they don’t like war, it doesn’t mean that they know what actions to take to avoid war.

Least qualified president ever leaves Trump foreign policy disasters

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?
Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

Of all the things that the least qualified president did in the last eight years, the most difficult for the incoming Trump administration to fix are the national security and foreign policy blunders.

It’s not just that he gave away all our classified secrets via Hillary’s unsecure e-mail server is a problem. And then there were the leaks of our national security secrets from people like Edward Snowden and gay private Bradley Manning. And of course the hacking of our computers by the Chinese. What else would you expect from a political party that focuses on free condoms and gay marriage?

But the worse mistakes are the foreign policy blunders – the creation of wars in other countries and the the supporting of our enemies (giving assault weapons to drug cartels, giving nuclear weapons to Iran, etc.) that are the most difficult to make right.

Consider this article from the Daily Signal.

It lists 5 crises created by the Obama administration in the last 8 years:

  1. ISIS in Iraq and Syria
  2. Afghanistan War
  3. Ukraine-Russia War
  4. Saudi Arabia-Yemen War
  5. Campaigns Against Terrorists in Africa

There was no “Islamic State” in Iraq or Syria when president Bush left office. Iraq and Syria, along with Egypt and Libya, were stable. Libya had just voluntarily given up their WMD programs without a shot being fired, because of concern that Bush would invade them, too. But then Obama became president and withdrew our troops from Iraq. What happened next? Genocide, rape and sex-trafficking on a scale unimaginable to naive American progressives.

Excerpt:

1. ISIS in Iraq and Syria

In response to rapid territorial gains made by the Islamic State during the first half of 2014, the U.S. and allied countries began a military campaign against the terrorist group, relying primarily on airstrikes and support of local ground forces.

As of Nov. 2, the U.S. coalition has conducted nearly 16,000 airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, the countries where ISIS maintains its largest presence.

The Defense Department reports that as of Aug. 31, the total cost of operations related to defeating ISIS is $9.3 billion and the average daily cost is $12.3 million.

Trump inherits the military campaign against ISIS during a crucial phase, as the U.S. undertakes missions to take back key territory controlled by the militants.

[…]In Syria, the Obama administration is supporting 30,000 Syrian-Kurdish and Syrian-Arab fighters, who announced last weekend they were launching a campaign to liberate the ISIS capital in Raqqa. There are roughly 300 U.S. special operations forces on the ground in the country.

The moves to take back ISIS’ remaining strongholds showcase the extent to which Obama has prioritized the counter­terrorism mission in Syria over efforts to help resolve the country’s civil war, which has resulted in as many as a half a million deaths.

On Monday, in a press conference, Obama acknowledged his Syria policy “has not worked.”

Another blunder by the Obama administration occurred with his decision to take a naive, pacifist stance with Russia. Obama and Clinton were following the liberal playbook, which states that the best way to stop a bully from being aggressive is to bow down to him and grovel. This is literally how progressives think about foreign policy – they think that weaknesses causes tyrants to back off, and that strength causes tyrants to arm up and attack their neighbors.

How well this the progressive view work with Russia?

3. Ukraine-Russia War

Europe’s only active war has resulted in the deaths of nearly 10,000 soldiers and civilians on both sides.

The conflict started in 2013, when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, under pressure from Russia, suspended talks on a trade deal with the European Union. Thousands of protesters hit the streets in the following days, supporting closer ties with the West.

The protests turned violent, and Yanukovych fled the capital, Kiev. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, and pro-Russian rebels began to seize territory in eastern Ukraine. Separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk eventually declared independence.

Two cease-fire accords are not being observed. The Obama administration’s policy has been to support a German and French-led effort to negotiate a settlement to the war, and maintain pressure on Russia by working with the European Union to uphold sanctions imposed on Moscow for its annexation of Crimea. The Obama administration has also delivered Ukraine tens of millions of dollars in nonlethal aid, but has not provided weapons.

Obama isn’t providing Ukraine with weapons, because his progressive playbook says that Russia will be more likely to attack if they stand to take more losses to anti-tank weapons. That’s how people on the secular left think. They make decisions based on what makes them feel superior and what makes them look idealistic to others – not based on what works.

But there’s more. Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio championed an idealistic intervention in Libya. They thought that if we got rid of Libya’s dictator, then there would be a spontaneous uprising of peaceful Muslim democracy-lovers. So they ordered air strikes with no ground invasion, and guess what they got?

Islamic State taking root in the anarchy they created:

5. Campaigns Against Terrorists in Africa

Obama has described his efforts to destroy al-Qaeda’s core leadership as one of the successes of his national security policy. But the terrorist threat has spread to new regions in recent years, prompting a U.S. military response, and Trump will have to decide how to proceed.

Unrelated campaigns in Libya and Somalia are prime examples of the diffuse threat.

In Libya, the U.S. has conducted more than 360 airstrikes in support of pro-government forces trying to expel ISIS from the coastal Libyan city, Sirte. A small number of U.S. special operations forces are also providing on-the-ground support.

Since the 2011 American intervention in Libya that led to the death of the country’s deposed dictator leader, Muammar Gaddafi, the country has been plagued by instability.

Today, the U.S. is supporting a project to build a unity government in Libya. But the unity government has not yet won the approval of Libya’s various rival factions.

“Libya is a quintessential civil war,” Middle East expert Pollack said. “ISIS makes their home in civil wars.”

Separately, in another African nation, Somalia, the U.S. has been engaged for more than a decade in an air campaign against al-Shabab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda. The group is responsible for one of the deadliest attacks in Africa, when in 2013 it struck a mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

The terrorist group spawned in 2005, taking advantage of chaos in a country that has been split apart by civil war for 25 years.

This year, The Washington Post reports, the U.S. has conducted more than a dozen airstrikes and drone strikes against al-Shabab.

According to The New York Times, as part of a multifront war against militant Islam in Africa, American forces are also involved in helping to combat al-Qaeda in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso and Boko Haram in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad.

Although progressives like to style themselves as being “anti-war”, they actually cause a lot of wars and deaths with their misguided idealistic military interventions. Obama inherited a peaceful situation in Russia and in the Middle East, but he screwed everything up.  To stop wars you must understand military issues. Just because a person says they don’t like war, it doesn’t mean that they know what actions to take to avoid war. President Trump is inheriting disasters from his incompetent predecessor.

Are Christians who use other people’s money to help others “generous”?

Gross public debt, Democrats control spending in 2007
Gross public debt, Democrats control spending in 2007

Normal Americans who work for a living know that you cannot be generous with someone else’s money – you have to earn your own money and give your own money away if you want to be “generous”. And this is actually what the Bible says – be generous to others with your own money. There is no support in the Bible for discharging your obligations to people in need by having a secular leftist government subsidize their abortions, etc. But many Christians escape the need to be generous with their own money by voting for the secular government to take someone else’s money. This way, they can have the feelings of being generous without having to make the sacrifice themselves.

So here are my points in response to this “stolen valor” view of generosity, which seems to be so popular with dependent professors and dependent pastors who do not work in the private sector.

First, illegal immigration and refugee asylum typically costs us money, since unskilled immigrants and asylum’d refugees do not typically pay as much in taxes as they using in taxpayer-funded benefits.

Evidence:

  • Under current law, all unlawful immigrant households together have an aggregate annual deficit of around $54.5 billion.
  • In the interim phase (roughly the first 13 years after amnesty), the aggregate annual deficit would fall to $43.4 billion.
  • At the end of the interim phase, former unlawful immigrant households would become fully eligible for means-tested welfare and health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act. The aggregate annual deficit would soar to around $106 billion.
  • In the retirement phase, the annual aggregate deficit would be around $160 billion. It would slowly decline as former unlawful immigrants gradually expire.

These costs would have to be borne by already overburdened U.S. taxpayers. (All figures are in 2010 dollars.)

Meanwhile, the same people who want big government to help the poor probably do not even realize that the national debt has doubled under Obama to $20 trillion, as of January 2017. Now do the people who want to give away all these benefits via big government intend to pay for it with their own money as the Bible says? No, they intend to pass the costs onto generations yet unborn via the national debt. They want to feel generous themselves, but with someone else’s money. There is a word for that – we call that slavery. It turns out that big government Christians really are in favor of slavery. They want to force the next generation to work tomorrow, so that they can feel generous today.

Government not serious about protecting the public

Second, we know that big government cannot be trusted to deport criminals, because we saw that on display in the Kate Steinle affair, where an illegal immigrant who had many prior convictions was released to commit worse crimes. If you think that illegal immgrants get deported after committing serious crimes, you really need to reconsider how trustworthy government is about border security.

For example, Senate Democrats blocked a bill to crack down on sanctuary cities.  Although amnesty and asylum for refugees sounds good, it relies on big government being serious about enforcing the law, and protecting the public. During the Obama administration, we have seen the Snowden leak, the Clinton private e-mail server which was hacked by foreign governments, the Benghazi coverup, the arms smuggling to drug cartels by the ATF, the China hack, the wikileaks leak by gay private Bradley Manning who got a taxpayer funded sex change, etc.

Previously, we saw how the parents of the Boston bombers were granted asylum as Chechen refugees. That was a failure of national security. And the FBI has already explained that our procedures for vetting refugees is inadequate. The refugees, by the way, are selected by the United Nations and a Muslim organization affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. So it’s just wishful thinking to think that this is a priority for the government. And recall that about 5 seconds after Obama bragged about how he had “contained” ISIS (Islamic State), the Paris attack happened. Democrats do not care about national security, so we cannot trust them to vet refugees. The people who want Syrian refugees to come in are depending on big government to take national security seriously. But we have zero evidence that they can do that.

Here’s Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton focused on her real enemy – Americans who disagree with her – in a campaign speech on Thursday.
In a statement her own campaign Tweeted out as her marquee comment, Clinton declared: “Let’s be clear: Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”

The UK Daily Mail describes Clinton as “reading her speech at a brisk clip from a teleprompter at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City,” but slowing down to mock Republicans over the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism,” which “Republicans often accuse President Barack Obama of purposefully avoiding.”

The Daily Mail cheekily notes that Clinton “referred repeatedly to ‘radical jihadism’ as a global scourge, but didn’t explain how the concept of jihadism is consistent with the notion that adherents of the world’s second largest religion are wholly uninvolved.”

Remember, this is the person who sent and received classified e-mails on a private unsecure email server, and blamed a terrorist attack on a YouTube video – for political gain. And it’s people like her who are promising us that they are serious about deporting illegal immigrants who commit crimes, and vetting refugees who are coming from Muslim countries.

What I have found in asking people who want amnesty and asylum for refugees is that they are incredibly uninformed about things like the national debt, the costs, the risks, etc. I don’t see why people trust the government to enforce border security law, deport lawbreakers, and vet refugees carefully. I think people who clown around advocating for policies based on their feelings and a misreading of the Bible need to be more cautious and humble. You don’t know how the world works, so shut your ignorant mouths before you get more people killed, and pass more debt onto the next generation. If you want to do something for refugees, do it yourself. If you want to do something for the poor in other countries, do it with your own money.

UK Supreme Court rules against Christian B&B couple’s conscience rights

Dina sent me this article from the UK Telegraph about a recent Supreme Court decision from the UK.

Excerpt:

The devoutly Christian owners of a Cornish hotel who refused to allow two gay men to take a double room have lost their final appeal to the Supreme Court. It ruled that Peter and Hazelmary Bull had discriminated against the couple, even though they had long operated a rule that unmarried guests had to sleep apart. One of the judges, Lady Hale, said such a case would have been unthinkable less than two decades ago, and it is a measure of how both the law and societal norms have changed that the Bulls should have found themselves in such a predicament.

It is also a pity this matter was not settled amicably when the Bulls made an offer of redress; but campaigners were intent on making an example of them. The aggrieved men, Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, who were in a civil partnership, were supported by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The Bulls were perplexed as to why the EHRC should act against them, since their right to exercise their religious beliefs was being set against that of the men not to be discriminated against on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

Dina also sent me this article from the pro-gay Spiked Online.

Excerpt:

[A]s the systematic unequal treatment of gays has ended, so another problem has grown. One pernicious social force has been replaced by another: the willingness of the state to outlaw minority or eccentric views and behaviours. State-backed oppression has yielded to state-backed intolerance.

The Bulls have been hauled before the courts and told they can no longer practise what they preach. To deny a couple the right to make a living in a manner consistent with their Christian values is draconian. The Bulls’ fate is similar to that of Lillian Ladele, an Islington marriage registrar, and Gary McFarlane, a Relate counsellor, who were both sacked after declining to provide their professional services to lesbians and gays. Equality laws did for them all.

The problem here is not, as it appears, merely a slap in the face to Christians. It is a slap in the face to the right of all individuals to act free of state control absent a compelling reason for intervention. As John Stuart Mill put it in On Liberty (1859): ‘The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.’

As if to satisfy Mill’s harm principle, the Supreme Court went in search of Preddy and Hall’s ‘harm’. What they found was that when the Bulls’ house rules were explained to Preddy and Hall, they found it ‘upsetting’ and ‘very hurtful’. Even in the touchy-feely twenty-first century, where self-esteem is seen as so important and so fragile, this is pretty lame.

The Supreme Court judge, Lady Hale, may have been aware that this ‘affront to their dignity’, as she put it, was not the sort of harm, in the Mill sense, that should justify the state’s coercive power. She bolstered her argument by linking Preddy and Hall’s hurt feelings to a bigger historical picture. ‘We should not underestimate’, she said, ‘the continuing legacy of those centuries of discrimination, persecution even, which is still going on in many parts of the world’.

Fascism happens when the normal desire for compassion is taken out of the family context and becomes the policy of a powerful feminist welfare state. And that’s when it becomes a threat to the right of individuals to make moral judgments and to exercise religious liberty.

The EHRC, you’ll remember, was a project of the Labour Party of the UK, which is the socialist party in the UK. There is also a communist party called the Liberal Democrats. The striking thing is that many church-attending Christians not only vote for the Labour Party, but they also vote for the Liberal Democrats, which are even more liberal. A lot of this is because British Christians are so far to the left on economic issues that they sort of go along with the assault on their own religious liberty out of ignorance. They vote for bigger and bigger government, and then they are surprised when they actually get it.

The same thing happened in Canada with the Liberal Party and their introduction of Human Rights Commissions and Human Rights Tribunals, which criminalize offending people with free speech. The very Christians that voted for expanding government to reduce poverty were the ones who were then persecuted by the same big government they voted to create. This goes to show why we need to have better economics knowledge among Christians, because many of us are voting for left-wing parties because we think that private, voluntary charity can be replaced with government-controlled redistribution of wealth. Not only does that not work to reduce poverty, but in the end, we lose our liberties, too.

In the UK, you’ll find a lot of Christians who think that rent control is a good thing, that price controls are a good thing, that raising minimum wage is a good thing, that tariffs on imported goods are a good thing – positions which are generally viewed as incorrect by academic economists across the ideological spectrum. That’s why churches need to teach the Christian worldview, including economics. The UK church should be training Christians to undo this ignorant, patriotic confidence that UK Christians have in their welfare state. We all have a lot of work to do to educate ourselves on how the Bible applies to the real world (e.g. – economics), or else we will end up undermining our own liberties.

Additionally, I find it very frustrating that so many churches are so focused on providing emotional comfort and a sense of community to the people in the pews that they neglect to talk about these religious liberty issues. Pastors don’t want to alert ordinary Christians about how dangerous it’s becoming to take unpopular stands on issues like gay rights in public – it’s scary and divisive and drives people away from church. You’re not going to hear them trying to apply the Bible to moral issues or economic issues, etc. from the pulpit, because that spoils the “experience” and “the show” – the comfort and entertainment that people expect from church. We need to do better at helping Christians to be aware of threats to our liberties. They need to be trained to connect their faith to specific laws and policies in the real world.

Chuck Hagel hammered for pro-Iran, anti-Israel statements

(Video H/T American Power Blog)

Fox News reports on the Senate hearings to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

Excerpt:

Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel endured a barrage of criticism Thursday during his all-day confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, challenged repeatedly by Republican lawmakers about his past positions on Israel, Iran, Iraq and other issues he’d be sure to confront at the helm of the Pentagon.

The former Nebraska Republican senator was compelled under questioning to walk back a series of past statements, including one in which he complained about the “Jewish lobby.” He had several sparring partners throughout the day, but was questioned perhaps most aggressively by fellow Vietnam War veteran Sen. John McCain and freshman Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, both Republicans.

Hagel was caught by surprise when Cruz played two tapes from appearances on Al Jazeera — one of which showed him not challenging a caller who accused Israel of war crimes, another in which he appeared to agree with the assertion that America is “the world’s bully.”

Of the Israel interview, Cruz said: “The caller suggests that the nation of Israel has committed war crimes, and your response to that was not to dispute that characterization.” He then asked Hagel directly whether he thinks Israel has committed war crimes.

“No, I do not,” Hagel said, while saying he wanted to see the “full context” of the interview.

Cruz called the war-crimes suggestion “particularly offensive given that the Jewish people suffered under the most horrific war crimes in the Holocaust.”

“I would also suggest,” he continued, “that for … a prospective secretary of Defense not to take issue with that claim is highly troubling.”

Cruz then played the tape of Hagel being asked about the perception and “reality” that America is the world’s bully. Hagel could be heard calling the point a “good one.”

Cruz said the answer is “not the conduct one would expect of a secretary of Defense.”

At other times in the hearings, Hagel was also asked about his previous opposition to sanctions against Iran, his desire to let Iran have nuclear weapons and then “contain” them, and his support for eliminating nuclear arms (note that ours are the only ones he could eliminate). In short, the man is a naive left-wing radical who makes Neville Chamberlain look like George S. Patton. Why would anyone vote for him to have control of our military?