One of the many lowlights of this administration has been its many foreign policy failures. Many, if not most, are attributable to a lack of leadership and an abdication of the US’s role in world politics. As most observers of international politics have understood for centuries, when one power withdraws or becomes weak, other powers will both test it and fill the vacuum their withdrawal creates.
The NY Post editorial board provides a perfect example of this administration’s poor “policy” concerning Syria:
Secretary of State John Kerry says Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad has got to go. Where have we heard that one before?
Of course, it’s been a regular refrain of President Obama and both of his secretaries of state — Hillary Clinton even more than Kerry — for years now.
Kerry repeated the demand after talks with the British foreign secretary last week — but with one new wrinkle: Assad must step aside, said Kerry — but there’ s no rush. He added: “We’re not being doctrinaire about the specific date or time; we’re open.”
Not only is he not being “doctrinaire” he’s broadcasting weakness like a clear channel radio station. “We’re open” tells the world they haven’t a plan, a demand, or frankly, a clue. He’s telling Syria, and specifically Assad, that there is nothing to fear from the US. Nothing.
Remember those red lines we drew? Disappearing ink. Once they were crossed, it was like they never existed.
Cue the power vacuum. And, who moves in?
And the situation just got infinitely more complicated by Russia’s active military involvement in Syria. As Kerry said, the Russians “are bringing in more equipment to shore up Assad at the same time they say they are going after” ISIS.
That position, he said, has “a lack of logic.”
No: It makes perfect sense when Washington has abdicated leadership. Nature abhors a vacuum — especially on the world stage.
Exactly. What, you may ask, is in it for Russia? Well, for one it can put a thumb in the eye of the US (and it is). But it also helps reestablish old “client links” that the former USSR had in the area. And, as Russia works with Iran to defeat ISIS, it establishes links there and it is in a position to have a big say in Iraq. And it certainly makes sense that should Russia help Assad hang on and retake the country, Putin would have a solid client state in the middle east from which to base Russia’s influence operation.
So what has the US done? Well, according to testimony given last week before Congress, we’ve spent half a billion dollars training up 4 or 5 soldiers in an anti-ISIS effort. In fact, the effort has been so poor and haphazard that the chief anti-ISIS coordinator, ex-Gen. John Allen, is leaving out of frustration with the lack of a strategy or results.
Meanwhile our Secretary of State is left weakly complaining:
Meanwhile, Kerry complains that “Assad has refused to have a serious discussion and Russia has refused to help bring him to the table in order to do that. So that’s why we are where we are.”
Why in the world should Assad have a serious discussion with a paper tiger? Or Russia for that matter? What in the world is the downside for either if they don’t cooperate?
More disappearing red lines?
“Who would have imagined we would be giving up the conventional arms and ballistic missile embargoes on Iran? In nuclear negotiations?”
That’s the question Charles Krauthammer asked today.
Anyone care to make a guess?
When asked Wednesday at his news conference why there is nothing in the deal about the American hostages being held by Iran, President Obama explained that this is a separate issue, not part of nuclear talks.
Are conventional weapons not a separate issue? After all, conventional, by definition, means non-nuclear. Why are we giving up the embargoes?
Because Iran, joined by Russia — our “reset” partner — sprung the demand at the last minute, calculating that Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were so desperate for a deal that they would cave. They did. And have convinced themselves that they scored a victory by delaying the lifting by five to eight years. (Ostensibly. The language is murky. The interval could be considerably shorter.)
There is the second pregnant question – if the hostages are a separate issue, so are conventional weapons, aren’t they?
But then, you find out that both Obama and Kerry fell victim to a negotiating trick that only a rookie would cave too. The tactic is well known and has been associated with Cold War USSR negotiations for decades. They teach it in Negotiating 101. This is what they always do and you have to know your opponent well enough to expect it and have a strategy to counteract it. As usual, Obama and Kerry were unprepared.
What Obama said about the hostages, if he really believes it, was the perfect answer to the Iranians when they sprang this on them.
But desperation is what the Iranians and Russians were counting on. Anything to make the deal. They knew how desperate these two were. So they held one of the most outrageous demands until the seeming end of the negotiations. When the end was tantalizingly in sight and time was running out. The Iranians gauged well the desperate desire for an agreement that the Obama/Kerry cabal had.
And so they used it against them to make a mockery of the deal.
Stunning. The incompetence and ineptness aren’t what stun anyone – that’s been demonstrated so many times in the past 6 years it’s the new normal for this administration. What’s stunning is what they gave away when they didn’t have too.
But then, this is the Obama administration and the Secretary of State is John Kerry.
If, in fact, you believe that Marie Harf was winging it and stating her own opinion about Islamic extremists (oh, wait, “frustrated job seekers”) needing jobs, etc., get a load of Sec. of State John Kerry:
“Why do people make what to many of us would seem to be an utterly wrongheaded choice and become the kind of terrorists that we’re seeing?” he asked. “It’s a question that we need to approach with humility, but also with determination, because you cannot defeat what you don’t understand.”
“Certainly, there is no single answer,” Kerry continued. “In our era, poisonous ideas can come from almost anywhere – from parents, teachers, friends, preachers, politicians – from the pretty woman on a radical website who lures people or the man in the next cell who proselytizes while in prison.
“They might grow from pictures seen on the nightly news or from acts of discrimination or repression that you don’t think much about on the day of occurrence, but which come back to haunt. It could come from the desire to avenge the death of a loved one,” he said.
“In some cases, they may come from a lost job or from the contrast between one family’s empty dinner plate and a fancy restaurant’s lavish menu. The poison might even come from within, in the form of rebellion against anonymity, the desire to belong to a group, people who want a moment of visibility and identity, or the hunger for black-and-white answers to problems that are very complex in a remarkably more complicated world.”
In general, he has a point. Depending on the problem, people are motivated by all sorts of things to become part of that problem. And it makes sense to remove that motivation. Figuring that out is how you put a strategy to defeat the problem.
Specifically, however, it isn’t at all hard to figure out what motivates ISIS and THAT is the problem we face today.
The motivator? Islam. The “holy texts”. The desire for the Caliphate set up under precise rules set out by Islam’s founder. That is why they fight. That’s why they do what they do.
Sometimes you just have to apply Occam’s razor for heaven sake.
So, to recap: what motivates those who proclaim ISIS and the Caliphate is their religion. That’s it. How they were “radicalized” is less important than the fact that they were and are now a threat. And understanding what motivates that threat is how you put together a strategy to defeat them.
Instead we get this institutional load of liberal angst that, for the most part, is nonsense. Why can’t they bring themselves to face and name the problem? They don’t have any problem in identifying “right-wing domestic terrorists” Why not religious terrorists?
As I said, it certainly makes sense to remove the “underlying cause” of the problem … if that’s possible. But if we think we can somehow be a credible force in doing that, we’re wrong. We – the US, Europe, the West – aren’t in any position to do that since we are identified as the enemy of everything they hold dear. More importantly, it has nothing to do with jobs or dinner plates. It is a religious movement.
So when you finally realize that attacking the “underlying causes” of something like ISIS is a fool’s errand, what should you do?
Well, this will be unpalatable to some out there who have been raised in the “precious princess” society we’ve enabled, but you have to “go medieval” on them. You have to obliterate them. You have to make it not worth pursuing their fantasy and something that those who might choose it decide to reject.
Jobs won’t do that. Dropping packages of money on them won’t do that. They have the job they want and they’re the richest terror organization going.
What we have to do is systematically and completely destroy them – root and branch – by using everything reasonable at our disposal. Now, I understand that’s sort of difficult with a religious death cult, but I’d bet, once the reversals started and the ISIS death toll rose, the marginal jihadis would think twice about joining up. Right now, there’s little downside.
Bottom line? If you want to stop the “pretty woman on the radical website” from having an impact, destroy her story so thoroughly that she can’t spin her web of lies credibly anymore – and then take down her freakin’ website.
But as long as we try to avoid naming the problem and take half-measures while wringing our hands like a bunch of old women, the problem will both persist and get worse.
And trying to lay the load of “nuanced” crap Kerry pushed out there on the problem of ISIS avoids naming the problem and thus identifying a workable strategy which certainly guarantees it will persist.
Anyone who is surprised by that simply hasn’t been paying attention. After all, look who is in charge.
To describe our State Department (and it’s spokes person) as boneheaded is an insult to boneheaded people. Here’s State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf and, of all people, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: How do we stop this? I don’t see it. I see the Shia militias coming out of Baghdad who are all Shia. The Sunnis hate them. The Sunnis are loyal to ISIS rather than going in with the Shia. You’ve got the Kurds, the Jordanian air force and now the Egyptian air force. But i don’t see any — If i were ISIS, I wouldn’t be afraid right now. I can figure there is no existential threat to these people. They can keep finding places where they can hold executions and putting the camera work together, getting their props ready and killing people for show. And nothing we do right now seems to be directed at stopping this.
HARF: Well, I think there’s a few stages here. Right now what we’re doing is trying to take their leaders and their fighters off the battlefield in Iraq and Syria. That’s really where they flourish.
MATTHEWS: Are we killing enough of them?
HARF: We’re killing a lot of them and we’re going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians. They’re in this fight with us. But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether —
MATTHEWS: We’re not going to be able to stop that in our lifetime or fifty lifetimes. There’s always going to be poor people. There’s always going to be poor muslims, and as long as there are poor Muslims, the trumpet’s blowing and they’ll join. We can’t stop that, can we?
HARF: We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people…
Good grief, these people don’t want better “governance” and they’ve got the job they want … building the Caliphate. For heaven sake when are these ass-clowns going to wake up?
I’m again going to recommend an article that does the best analysis and explanation of ISIS that you’re going to find. It is very clear that those who rally to the ISIS banner think they’re building a righteous future with the Caliphate and that what they’re doing is preordained by their religion.
But the fools who run this country and our foreign policy – that would be the White House and State Department – are terrified of facing the threat and calling it what it is. It’s absurd and cowardly. It makes them come up with the sorts of pitiful nonsense that Harf is told to go out and spread.
This is a religious movement which is based, at its very core, on Islam. It is as religious a movement as you can get. In fact, as explained in the Atlantic article I’ve pointed you too, it is based in a literal interpretation of Islam’s holy book and its history. Let me hit you with that one particular quote again:
The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.
Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.
Note what the author points out – that “pretending it isn’t actually religious … has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it.”
See above! Harf is just a symptom of the idiocy and cowardice that infests our highest levels of government. When you refuse to actually identify the enemy and his motivation, you cannot hope to devise and develop a plan to counter his threat. History is littered with the failure such nonsense brings. Chamberlin thought Hitler could be reasoned with and would keep his word. He was clueless. And, as such, he developed a “strategy” that was an abject failure and, in fact, played right into Hitler’s hands.
Obama and Kerry are no different. They refuse to face the reality of the threat. That’s why we have no strategy, or at least no strategy (patience? really?) that will counter the threat. What they are doing is cowardly and reprehensible, not to mention being derelict in their sworn duties. This is unacceptable, but then neither Obama nor Kerry have ever been mistaken as leaders.
And when you elect or appoint people with no leadership experience and no real world experience, you get this. Something 50% of the idiots who live in this country approve of (sorry, I’m a little grumpy today).
There’s a lot to talk about as we begin this week.
First and foremost, I wanted to note that Word Press found something I wrote in my EPA post to be unpublishable. Try it with the first sentence, nothing. Take out the first sentence and it published. But that was discovered after a long session of trying to figure out if it was a computer problems, internet problem … etc. Here’s hoping this publishes.
Saw an article that said Hillary was looking for a slogan for her run for the presidency. I have a great one: “No more Clintons”. I’d apply the same slogan to the Bush campaign: “No more Bushes”. And Romney … etc. I’m becoming convinced we could leave the office vacant and probably do better. Especially when you consider those who want the job.
If you’re wondering what I thought of the John Kerry/James Taylor attempt at diplomacy last week, I thought is was pathetic and embarrassing. It was like the diplomatic equivalent of the ObamaCare website rollout.
I am thoroughly enjoying the left’s melt-down over the success of Clint Eastwood’s film “American Sniper”. Here’s a typical bit:
But Academy members seem to be paying attention to the criticism that Eastwood and star/producer Bradley Cooper shouldn’t be celebrating a man who wrote that killing hundreds of Iraqis was “fun.”
“He seems like he may be a sociopath,” one Academy member told TheWrap, adding he had not yet seen the film but had read the article, which is being passed around.
“He seems to be a sociopath, uh, but I haven’t seen the film yet …I did read an article however”.
And that made it into the critique of the film because it used a word that apparently found favor with the author – “sociopath”. Because this academy member knows all about sniper operations and how they’re used in warfare and somehow soundly concludes that the guy must be a sociopath. Gee, I wonder what he thinks about, oh, I don’t know, regular infantry guys in the Army and Marine Corps? Would it be too much of a stretch to think he might hold the same thoughts about them?
And the Yahoo who ate Detroit, Michael Moore, felt it necessary to “weigh” in:
Michael Moore, an Oscar voter and former Academy governor from the Documentary Branch, tweeted an anti-sniper comment on Sunday — “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards … Snipers aren’t heroes … ” — but said it wasn’t about “American Sniper.”
Of course its not about “American Sniper” … just a gratuitous out-of-the-blue cowardly shot. What pisses Moore and the other off is you people out in flyover land are making “American Sniper” a box-office success.
And by the way, Michael … why are all the Oscar nominees white?
Yeah, that’s right … that’s the latest Hollywood scandal to rock Tinsel-town these days. Apparently it’s not the perfection of your craft that’s important but the mix of skin color. I wonder if anyone would have said anything if there were no whites nominated? My guess is, “no”.
Finally to Jane Fonda – sorry what you did wasn’t a “huge, huge mistake” anymore than what John Kerry did was a mistake. It was a carefully thought out and pursued strategy that has made you wildly unpopular and despised by a very respected community – veterans. So trying to rewrite history isn’t going to work:
“It hurts me and it will to my grave that I made a huge, huge mistake that made a lot of people think I was against the soldiers. … This famous person goes and does something that looks like I’m against the troops, which wasn’t true, but it looked that way, and I’m a convenient target. So I understand.”
No, you don’t understand … you apparently don’t understand at all. You were against the troops and made it known by your actions. But like much of the left, after a despicable and reprehensible act you think all you have to do is give some sort of apology and all is right with the world. Uh, no.
For a few decades, Jimmy Carter has been thought of as the modern president with the very worst foreign policy. He’s also been considered the bottom of the heap of modern presidents as well. But James Kircheck makes the point that the one positive accomplishment in all of this is the Obama administration’s ability to elevate Jimmy Carter from worst to next to worst when it comes to both the presidency and foreign policy. An objective look at the foreign policies of both presidents shows some remarkable similarities, but there are also striking differences. The biggest is that upon examination, Carter’s foreign policy, while poor, wasn’t at all as inept and incompetent as the current president’s. When the Iranian hostage crisis and the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan took place, Carter at least had a plan and executed it:
By January, Carter announced a series of proposals directed at weakening America’s adversaries. First was a 5% increase in defense spending, a move that angered many of his Democratic allies in Congress who had taken to slashing the defense budget in the wake of the Vietnam War.
In his State of the Union address, Carter announced what would later come to be known as the Carter Doctrine: that the United States would use military force to protect its vital interests in the Persian Gulf.
Next came an embargo on grain and agricultural technology to the Soviet Union. Carter also declared that the United States would boycott the 1980 Moscow summer Olympics unless the Soviets withdrew their troops from Afghanistan. When they did not, he began covert funding of Afghan rebel fighters.
Conservatives like to credit Ronald Reagan with ending the Cold War. To the extent that the collapse of the Soviet Union was brought about by American policies and not the internal contradictions and weaknesses of the communist system itself (a debate that engages historians to this day), the last year of the Carter administration laid the groundwork.
Now you may disagree with what he did and how he did it, but at least he took action. On the other hand:
The correlations between the world situation in the twilight of the Carter administration and in the second Obama term are hard to ignore. Once again, Russia has invaded a neighbor. Only this time, that neighbor is on the European continent, and Moscow went so far as to annex — not merely attack — its territory. And once again the Middle East is in flames, with the prospect of another Islamist movement taking control over a state, this time in Iraq.
But rather than respond to the collapsing world order by supporting our allies and undermining our adversaries, the Obama administration dithers. It is an indication of just how worrisome the situation is that many in Washington are pining for the resolve and fortitude of Jimmy Carter.
For months, the beleaguered Ukrainians have requested the most basic of military aid. The administration sends Meals Ready to Eat. Even hard-hitting, “sectoral” sanctions aimed at the Russian economy are viewed as too provocative.
Last year, Obama declared a “red line” on Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people. Assad’s deployment of such weapons, the world was told, would constitute the sort of breach of international law and norms requiring an American response.
When Assad did use such weapons, Washington allowed itself to be coopted into a farcical deal — proposed by that most altruistic of world leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin — that saw the purported removal of Assad’s chemical arsenal. The message from Washington to Assad: You can continue murdering your people en masse and destabilizing the entire Middle East, but just do so using conventional weapons.
When you analyze what this administration has done, or in may cases not done, you’re left scratching your head. At least what Carter did had some short term and long term plan. As pointed out, it laid the basis for future foreign policy (whether or not you agree with its direction).
But when you look at the Obama foreign policy (or lack thereof), it shows no direction, no leadership, no nothing. Add to that a feckless John Kerry preceded by an equally feckless Hillary Clinton and the US suffers on all fronts in the world arena. Where there was a discernible lack of respect that emerged due to Carter’s bungling at times, it was nowhere as deep or as widespread as the lack of respect in the world for Barack Obama. The two examples above typify both the emptiness and toothlessness of this administration’s attempts at foreign policy. The lack of leadership is telling. And again, Obama et. al. seem to think that symbolic acts serve the purpose and that talking equals action. For instance:
Few take America, least of all Secretary of State John Kerry, at its word anymore. Earlier this week, Kerry demanded that Russia urge separatists in Ukraine to disarm “within the next hours, literally.”
Or what? This empty threat followed months of similar reprimands from Washington.
Precisely right – or what!? Same in Syria, with Russia, Iran, well, you name it. Empty threats and hand-waving. Red lines drawn, erased and redrawn.
And, of course there’s the “blame Bush” side of their “foreign policy”:
Obama and his surrogates endlessly complain about the “disaster” they inherited from the Bush administration there, but the country was largely pacified by the time Obama entered the White House. Today, due largely to American absenteeism in the region, Islamist militants that make Al Qaeda look like a Rotary Club control a large chunk of the country.
There is no real reason we should be witnessing what we’re seeing in Iraq, had this administration not made the SOFA agreement conditions unacceptable. Its handling of that was “failure by design”. And now, well now the inevitable has happened hasn’t it? Our answer? “Buy jets from the Russians”, a move that will let them steal another step in the region.
Global instability is on the rise and faith in America’s stabilizing presence is on the decline, and all we have from Washington are empty, millennial-friendly buzz phrases. “Leading from behind” was how one, too-clever-by-half administration official termed Obama’s global strategy. Hitting “singles” and “doubles” is Obama’s own, jocular assessment of his foreign policy. And now, “Don’t do stupid s—” is the mantra being repeated throughout the halls of the White House and State Department.
“Don’t do anything at all” seems more apt a description of this administration’s approach.
I disagree slightly – the mantra being repeated through the halls of both the White House and State Department isn’t preceded by “don’t”. They’ve been doing “stupid s—” since day one and continue to do it on a daily basis. And there is absolutely nothing that seems to indicate that won’t be the case for the rest of Obama’s term. While the majority of the nation and the world are seeing the horrific downside produced by this inept and incompetent administration’s “foreign policy” and lack of leadership, there is at least one winner – Jimmy Carter.
Another day another foreign policy gaffe or disaster.
This time we’re in the gaffe department where, as usual, this administration is in the act of further alienating our friends. In this case it is perhaps the worst Secretary of State we’ve yet had to suffer’s turn … again:
Secretary of State John F. Kerry has stepped in it again — with a gaffe that this time not only makes him look foolish but makes a mess of U.S. foreign policy and destroys any chance he had of realizing his legacy pipe dream of brokering Middle East peace.
In a private meeting with senior international officials Friday, Kerry said that if the Israelis and Palestinians can’t achieve a two-state solution, Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state with second-class citizens.”
Israelis are aghast — especially with Kerry’s remarks being reported yesterday on Holocaust Remembrance Day — and have started issuing calls for his resignation. Foreign policy experts are stunned, saying Kerry’s racially charged statements are major setbacks to peace negotiations in the Middle East.
“No wonder our diplomacy in the Middle East is so wretched,” former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton told the Herald, calling Kerry’s remarks “outrageous and defamatory.”
Caroline Glick of The Jerusalem Post said, “Kerry’s remark was openly anti-Semitic. Apartheid is a crime of intent. There is no Israeli politician that will ever be in a leadership position that harbors any such bigoted intention towards the Palestinians. On the other hand, there is no Palestinian leader or faction that does not demand the ethnic cleansing of Jews from every inch of any territory that will come under Palestinian control.”
How to explain someone as inept and useless as Kerry rising to this position of power is unfathomable until you see who resides in the White House. It’s all about politics and paying political debts.
Meanwhile, David Brooks, one of the millions of reasons we’re suffering under this atrocious administration (ask him who he voted for in 2008) today complains that “all around, the fabric of peace and order is fraying.” Well it likely didn’t have to be this way, but it certainly was predictable when you and others voted to hire clueless freshman Senator as President of the US, Mr. Brooks. A man who has no respect among other leaders in the world and certainly isn’t feared by anyone. “Leading from behind” may be a clever way of saying “abrogating leadership”, but it didn’t fool those who are actually playing international hardball out there, did it? So, unsurprisingly (history … try it some time) we now see them acting. The phone’s been constantly ringing at 3am and no one — no one — is answering it.
And since the thugs and thieves of the world know no one is home, they’re beginning to take full advantage of the situation.
Wow. What a freakin’ surprise, no?
Brooks consults an expert for an explanation of what’s going on and he gets an answer – one we’ve been talking about for years:
“The ‘category error’ of our experts is to tell us that our system is doing just fine and proceeding on its eternal course toward ever-greater progress and global goodness. This is whistling past the graveyard.
“The lesson-category within grand strategic history is that when an established international system enters its phase of deterioration, many leaders nonetheless respond with insouciance, obliviousness, and self-congratulation. When the wolves of the world sense this, they, of course, will begin to make their moves to probe the ambiguities of the aging system and pick off choice pieces to devour at their leisure.
Consequences of this nonsense?
“This is what Putin is doing; this is what China has been moving toward doing in the maritime waters of Asia; this is what in the largest sense the upheavals of the Middle East are all about: i.e., who and what politico-ideological force will emerge as hegemon over the region in the new order to come. The old order, once known as ‘the American Century’ has been situated within ‘the modern era,’ an era which appears to be stalling out after some 300-plus years. The replacement era will not be modern and will not be a nice one.”
We’ve certainly gotten a full ration full of obliviousness. And the world certainly is moving toward a less modern and much more deadly era. But the obliviousness (or “whistling past the graveyard” as mentioned earlier) is what drives the absurd self-congratulation that this administration tries to heap on itself while they hasten the “the American Century” to a disastrous end.
Realty is a bitch and she keeps slapping these clueless backslappers over and over. But they pay no attention. These petulant fools continue to spin “success” when to anyone with the IQ of a pear, it is clear almost everything in the foreign policy field (and domestically as well) has been an utter failure or foul up. Behold: “Reset”, lead from behind, Arab spring, UN, sanctions, “Smart diplomacy”, R2P, blah, blah, blah. They blew Libya, gave Egypt to the Russians, are giving Iraq back to the terrorists along with Afghanistan, reducing the military to pre-WWII levels and have thus signaled our withdrawal to all around the globe.
Unsurprisingly, the wolves of the world are beginning to feed on the sheep because the former shepherd has withdrawn while telling those that want to believe it that everything is just fine. Just fine. Peachy. Trust them. They’ve got it all figured out. Nothing to see here. Nothing to worry about. Move along citizen. War is so … 20th century. And besides, we’ve blocked their Netflix account!
With all that nonsense circulating, why shouldn’t the wolves feel free to feed?
Let’s make something clear here before we start. The argument in science, about climate change, isn’t whether or not man is contributing to climate change – it’s whether what man is contributing makes a big difference in the climate (and should therefore be addressed) or an insignificant contribution to climate change (and therefore “remedies” which are likely economy wreckers should be foregone). The former is the “alamrist” side. The latter is the skeptical side.
The science of the situation, i.e. the data, seems to support the skeptical side. So what you don’t want to fall into is the trap of agreeing that man is contributing nothing. Just by living we contribute to the mix. What skeptics are arguming is the contribution of man, in reality, is insignificant and doesn’t warrant huge costly taxes, significant change or monsterous government programs. Skeptics offer that the atmosphere doesn’t react signficiantly to rising CO2 produced by man (and that seems to be the case).
Therefore when you hear all this nonsense about skeptics denying man’s contribution to climate change, it is just that – nonsense. Every living creature contributes to the gasses which make up the atmosphere of our planet and some of those gasses do indeed have a role in climate. To deny that is silly. What we skeptics are saying is those contributions simply aren’t significant because their effect on climate is minimal and certainly nowhere near on par with natural events. When the alarmist thow out numbers like “97% of scientistst agree man is contributing to climate change” it is a partial truth. However, there’s a huge split among scientists as to how significant man’s contribution is to any climate change. But alarmists never go there.
In fact, we’re just in the middle of the latest round of “catastrophe hype” that the media has been complicit in for years. Whatever it takes to sell papers. Remember:
“U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming,” said a Washington Post headline in 1971. “The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts.” The New York Times went one further, saying: “Climate Changes Called Ominous.” But it wasn’t just theory. “There is a finite probability that a serious worldwide cooling could befall the Earth within the next hundred years.”
Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. Not to mention forgetting about how we’d all be starved to death by now because the population wasn’t sustainable and … well, you know them all.
Which brings us to the latest attempt by the alarmists to redefine both the “problem” and the skeptics. Our buddy John Kerry in Indonesia over the weekend had this to say:
Kerry, who delivered the speech on Sunday in the capital, Jakarta, spoke critically about climate change sceptics adding that everyone and every country must take responsibility and act immediately.
“We simply don’t have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation,” he said, referring to what he called “big companies” that “don’t want to change and spend a lot of money” to act to reduce the risks.
He later singled out big oil and coal concerns as the primary offenders.
“The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand,” Kerry said.
Right. Interestingly, Indonesia is huge coal producer. Our boy Kerry knows how to pick ’em.
Of course the science isn’t “unequivocal” where it counts. I.e. what is driving climate change (you know, beside the big yellow thing that appears in the sky each day like magic but is, for the most part, roundly ignored by alarmists – no pun intended) is, well, many natural forces. Our Earth has seen climate change for its entire existence. We have two warm periods in our past which were warmer that the warmest period of modern history. And we’re not warming now, despite increased CO2. So, if one wants to really do science, i.e. demand “unequivocal” proof, one has every right to be skeptical of the current science being pushed by the alarmists. Skepticism is the root of science.
And, of course, Kerry had to over dramatize the supposed problem in order to alarm the gullible even more:
John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, has stressed the importance of tackling climate change in a speech in Indonesia, saying that it may be the world’s “most fearsome” weapon of mass destruction.
Wow. That’s just a …. silly comparison.
But alarmists seem to pay no attention to reality as they push their mantra. For instance, Al Gore, Alarmist-in-Chief had this to say just a few days ago:
Earth’s ice-covered regions are melting. The vanishing of the Arctic ice cap is changing the heat absorption at the top of the world, and may be affecting the location of the Northern Hemisphere jet stream and storm tracks and slowing down the movement of storm systems. Meanwhile, the growing loss of ice in Antarctica and Greenland is accelerating sea level rise and threatening low-lying coastal cities and regions.
Not a word of that is true. None. The jet stream’s move south?
One of the Met Office’s most senior experts yesterday made a dramatic intervention in the climate change debate by insisting there is no link between the storms that have battered Britain and global warming. Mat Collins, a Professor in climate systems at Exeter University, said the storms have been driven by the jet stream – the high-speed current of air that girdles the globe – which has been ‘stuck’ further south than usual. Professor Collins told The Mail on Sunday: ‘There is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter. If this is due to climate change, it is outside our knowledge.’
Who are you going to believe? Al Gore or Professor Collins? Who has the real chops. And note to that the Professor makes it clear that we don’t have the knowledge to make such a claim anyway. Not that such an impediment of factual knowledge ever stopped Al Gore.
Antarctic sea ice has grown to a record large extent for a second straight year, baffling scientists seeking to understand why this ice is expanding rather than shrinking in a warming world.
On Saturday, the ice extent reached 19.51 million square kilometers, according to data posted on the National Snow and Ice Data Center Web site. That number bested record high levels set earlier this month and in 2012 (of 19.48 million square kilometers). Records date back to October 1978.
So what do real scientists note?
“This modeled Antarctic sea ice decrease in the last three decades is at odds with observations, which show a small yet statistically significant increase in sea ice extent,” says the study, led by Colorado State University atmospheric scientist Elizabeth Barnes.
You might also remember that 2013 was the year the sophisticated models the alarmists base their claims upon said that the Arctic would be ice free. The gullible and true believers ate it up, and some even acted upon it.
Only six years ago, the BBC reported that the Arctic would be ice-free in summer by 2013, citing a scientist in the US who claimed this was a ‘conservative’ forecast. Perhaps it was their confidence that led more than 20 yachts to try to sail the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific this summer. As of last week, all these vessels were stuck in the ice, some at the eastern end of the passage in Prince Regent Inlet, others further west at Cape Bathurst.
Shipping experts said the only way these vessels were likely to be freed was by the icebreakers of the Canadian coastguard. According to the official Canadian government website, the Northwest Passage has remained ice-bound and impassable all summer.
D’oh! I think they ought to bill the forecasters for the cost of rescuing the yachts, don’t you?
So, I don’t know, given all of that, maybe we ought to be skeptical of the fidelity of the models and the science? You think?
I certainly do.
And Billy Nye? You’re an engineer and an actor – not a climate scientist. If you want to be among the alarmists, then be one. But do us all a favor and do it quietly.
Yes, I called it a surprise facetiously. Does Obama do anything that doesn’t fail (other than campaign)?
Meanwhile, two-faced government continues because, well you know, telling the real truth outloud just isn’t politically smart – especially with this administration’s record:
Two prominent Republican senators say that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told them — along with 13 other members of a bipartisan congressional delegation — that President Barack Obama’s administration is in need of a new, more assertive, Syria policy; that al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria pose a direct terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland; that Russia is arming the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and is generally subverting chances for a peaceful settlement; that Assad is violating his promise to expeditiously part with his massive stores of chemical weapons; and that, in Kerry’s view, it may be time to consider more dramatic arming of moderate Syrian rebel factions.
Kerry is said to have made these blunt assertions Sunday morning behind the closed doors of a cramped meeting room in the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich, as the 50th annual Munich Security Conference was coming to a close in a ballroom two floors below. A day earlier, Kerry, in a joint appearance with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on the ballroom stage, gave an uncompromising defense of the Obama administration’s level of foreign engagement: saying that,“I can’t think of a place in the world where we’re retreating.”
Really, Mr. Kerry?
Obama/Kerry’s Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan, Syria and Russian policies have been failures. Israel has taken to actually ridiculing US efforts. Saudi Arabia is said to be looking for a new patron in the Middle East.
And yet, given all of that, Kerry is still the loyal waterboy making false claims when anyone with an IQ higher than warm spit can see that during the Obama administration we’ve done nothing but retreat.
Being charitable, maybe Kerry meant we’re no longer retreating because, well, we’ve retreated about as far as is possible to retreat.
Oh, and yes, I saw the Obama/O’Reilly interview. It had the same gripping suspense and entertainment content as the Superbowl. In the case of Denver it was safety, interception, fumble, collapse. Obama was deny, deny, deny, blame, deny reality some more and then cast even more blame.
Well you’ve all seen the Putin op-ed in the NY Times so I’m not going to spend too much time on it other than to say it is another indicator of the lack of respect the President of the United States has internationally. I can’t imagine Putin trying this with any other president. This is just “in your face” stuff from the Russian president. On the other side of that, I can’t imagine an op-ed like that ever being given the okay in Pravda or any like publication.
But it is another among many indicators of how outclassed and how outplayed the administration has been in this foreign policy mess of their own making.
That said, it’s time to look at the status and likely progress on the quest to bring Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.
Secretary of State John Kerry headed late Wednesday to Geneva with a team of arms control experts for intensive talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Lavrov, to try to reach an agreement on how to secure and ultimately destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.
Mr. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, was taking his own arms control experts to the negotiations, holding out the possibility that there would be depth and detail to the talks. But sharp divisions remained between the two powers less than 24 hours after President Obama said he would hold off on an American military strike on Syria and gave a qualified endorsement to a Russian proposal for international monitors to take over the country’s chemical arsenal.
“Sharp divisions” is diplo-speak for “we’re miles and miles and miles apart – don’t expect any agreement anytime soon.”
Or as we said the other day, “Syria has all the time in the world to do whatever it wishes to do.”
American officials said the Syria debate would now unfold largely in Geneva, where the United States wants the talks to focus not only on Syria’s chemical weapons but also on securing munitions like bombs or warheads that are designed for chemical attacks. The officials acknowledged that securing the delivery systems for attacks goes far beyond what Mr. Lavrov has offered or is likely to agree to in Geneva this week.
Adding to the complexity of the diplomatic task is the reality that even if a deal is reached, it would take a year or more to destroy Syria’s chemical stores. One estimate by Pentagon officials determined that Mr. Assad has 1,400 tons of sarin, VX and mustard agents, and that it would take at least 200 to 300 days to take control of the weapons and, short of destruction, to make them unusable.
A lot can be hidden in “200 to 300” days, can’t they. And, talks can easily stall, be delayed, be postponed, be suspended, etc., all while Russia plays hardball to our T-ball.
With Putin’s op-ed and Russia leading on the Syria debacle, while the administration plays defense, you’re seeing a leadership shift right before your eyes. Barack Obama has all but ceded the superpower role the US has enjoyed … he’s squandered it with is inept handling of foreign affairs, his abject lack of leadership and his inability to attract any support for his policies.
I’m pining for Jimmy Carter for heaven sake.