The Middle East is Changing

So, Iranian forces in Syria attacked Israeli targets and Israel, naturally, responded – a big thing and important in itself, but this struck me:

Bahrain has backed Israel’s right to “defend itself”, following dozens of Israeli airstrikes on Iranian military targets in Syria overnight.

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid al-Khalifa said on Thursday that it backed Tel Aviv’s military response to attempted Iranian missile strikes on an Israeli army base, early Thursday morning, in the occupied Golan Heights.

“As long as Iran has breached the status quo in the region and invaded countries with its forces and missiles, so any state in the region, including Israel, is entitled to defend itself by destroying sources of danger,” the minister, whose country is a close ally of Saudi Arabia, said on his official Twitter account…

Bahrain is a tiny country and is allied with Saudi Arabia mostly for protection against Iran. So, no surprise that Bahrain would be pleased to see Iran harmed, but it is massively surprising that an official of the Bahrain government would publicly declare Israel – which, officially in most Muslim countries, doesn’t even exist – has a right to self-defense. This is a sea-change in Arab attitudes.

What I think has really broken the log-jam here is the fact that Trump pretty much dropped the Palestinian issue like a bad habit. As long as our actions in the Middle East were always tied to a theory that we had to remain somewhat neutral in the Arab-Israeli conflict – and thus had to pretend that the Palestinian leadership was a key element – we were tied to a false idea, and thus couldn’t really move. Trump moved; now, everyone is moving. Its been a couple decades since anyone in the Arab world really gave a darn about the Palestinians and while no one would object to a permanent peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, everyone with any sense at all knows the Palestinian leadership has staked out an impossible position (return to the 1967 border, return of “refugees” to Israel and, of course, still rhetoric about marching on Tel Aviv one day), and so there’s no chance of it right now. So, let’s move on until the Palestinian leadership changes.

And as people are able to move on – as people no longer have to pretend that a few fanatics in Gaza have to be appeased in order to do anything – the political realities which have existed at least since the Iranian revolution are rising to the surface…and are being dealt with. I’m not saying they are being dealt with properly – there’s a lot of confusion and an outsider like me really can’t judge all that well – but they are being dealt with. Saudi Arabia is determined to check Iran (wise move, Saudi Arabia) and in that effort, ignoring a powerful Israel which is also determined to check Iran would be foolish. I think we’re still a ways away from an Israeli Embassy in Riyadh…but I don’t think that far away. The times, they are a-changing…and it is Trump, the Agent of Change on Steroids, who is making it happen.

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Open Thread

President Trump is moving ahead on Welfare reform…which really works out, in the end, to undoing Obama’s un-reform of Welfare.

Everyone says the GOP is doomed in November. Poll results; levels of voter enthusiasm; all those special election victories for the Dems; numerous GOP retirements (especially of Speaker Ryan) all indicate that the historical norm of the party in power getting clobbered in its first mid-term will happen. Hard to argue with all that – but, I do. So does Da Tech Guy, who gives seven reasons 2018 may be different from 2010.

My view remains that Donald Trump has fundamentally altered the electoral dynamic of the United States. We’ll find out if I’m right in November – though 2020 will also play it’s role. My main contention is that people are abandoning the Democrats. This started right around 2014 as the reality of Obama fully sunk in, and Democrats – supremely confident that they would never lose the White House and could ignore Congress – went ever further left not just in their ideology, but in how they presented their ideology (meaning, there was less and less effort on the part of the Democrats to disguise what they wanted…they were more and more openly proclaiming the socialist future they envisioned). Do the American people want identity politics, amnesty for illegals, gun control, tax increases and the impeachment of Donald Trump? As I said, we’ll find out – but my guess is that the number of Democrats in the country is a lot smaller than it was before and that even though Democrats are at a fever pitch (they’re pouring money into the Texas Senate race, for crying out loud: that’s just stupid. They need that money in Missouri…but the far left hates Cruz), there simply won’t be enough of them in November in the State and districts that matter. Stay tuned.

Senator Warren set up the CFPB to be outside Constitutional controls – now she’s mad that its outside Constitutional controls. As I have said, Democrats thought they’d never lose the White House again.

Donald Surber gives his thoughts on Trump and Syria. My view: don’t go in unless we declare war. If we’re saying that a government using WMD’s against its own people is an act of war against us, then go ahead and declare war. Mobilize the reserves; appropriate the money; raise the taxes and send the boys over to compel an unconditional surrender. If we’re not willing to do that, I don’t want to do it.

Alan Dershowitz’ advice is not to fire Mueller, but to have Rosenstein recuse himself. It is an interesting idea. But, I still say Fire Mueller.

Once Again, We Have to “Do Something” in Syria

There was a gas attack in Syria – everyone is pointing fingers, but the most likely culprit is the Assad regime or elements aligned with it. Personally, I don’t care who did it – some set of bastards, who are fighting other bastards for control over the rubble of a nation. But, its a gas attack and we’re all supposed to wring our hands and demand something be done.

I’m not so interested in doing something.

The reason is because we’re not allowed to win. That has been the problem since the end of World War Two: the United States has been strictly prohibited from winning any wars. There are a lot of things which go into this prohibition, but the primary thing I can see is that the Ruling Class of the world – including that part of it which is allegedly American – doesn’t want us to win. It is too scary for them.

People don’t realize how powerful we are. To be sure, there is a vague memory of World War Two in there, but even in that, the full extent of our power is not understood. When the Japanese signed the official surrender document on September 3rd, 1945, we had been at war for not quite three years and 9 months. We had, in that time, increased our Army from about 200,000 men to 11,200,000. We had already built 162 Fletcher class destroyers, 58 Sumner class destroyers and had started work on 98 of what were to be 152 Gearing class destroyers. We had built 24 Essex class carriers and were starting on the Midway class (just FYI, that class of carriers, designed in WWII, were used by the United States until 1992). During WWII, the Air Force went from 800 planes to 80,000. And here’s the real thing: our power was still waxing when the Japanese surrendered. We hadn’t really begun to impose our full power. It would have been 1946 or 1947 before we were able to do so (like this: you might have seen the Band of Brothers series…but please note those men got into the military in 1942 and their first combat action was more than two years later: it takes a while. Most of those who went in from mid-1943 on didn’t see much action). So, even without maxing out our effort, we still managed to fight and win to major conflicts on different sides of the world against first class powers. We were the only nation in the world in 1945 that could do that.

We still are.

Militarily, we are a lot weaker than we were 25 years ago – but we still have 11 fleet carriers; 9 amphibious assault ships; 53 attack and 14 ballistic missile subs; 22 cruisers, 66 destroyers; 950 self propelled guns; nearly 1,200 mobile rocket launchers; more than 150,000 transport vehicles; 2,300 main battle tanks; 6,100 armored combat vehicles; 155 heavy bombers; 1,700 fighters…you know, quite a lot. And with Trump’s new defense budget, we’re about to get a whole bunch more. No other nation on Earth has quite so much, nor the capacity to build so much. A direct attack on the United States amounts to national suicide…and yet here we are, about to send kids to Afghanistan next year or the year after who weren’t even born when 9/11 happened. Why?

Because we’re not allowed to win. Think about it. Do you really think a few thousand Jihadist/drug dealers could really withstand us for 17 years if we were serious about winning? Its not like the Taliban has an armaments industry – someone is sending them weapons and ammunition. We’re not doing anything about that. We also know where they are, and yet we don’t really go out and get them (the US military which dug the Japanese out of Iwo Jima is quite capable of dragging the Taliban out of whatever caves they are hiding in). And now people are calling for us to go deeper into Syria…but you just know they will be the first to complain if we ever used the sort of force which victory requires.

As I was saying, people in charge are afraid of our power – afraid, that is, that if the American people found out how very powerful they are, they might go on a bender of conquest. At the very least, we wouldn’t give a damn what anyone says about us. We simply wouldn’t have to care what the world says…and an America like that is just what the Ruling Class doesn’t want. They don’t trust us. The wars have to be controlled; America has to be controlled; if America isn’t harnessed, then things like the UN won’t work. See where all this goes?

So, the heck with it. No war in Syria – not unless we are allowed to win. If Trump gets up there and says we’re going in for victory and we’re not going to give a damn what the world says about us, then I’ll say “ok, we go”. But absent that, I just want us to stay out of it. I don’t want to see the picture of a 19 year old kid who got blown to pieces in a fruitless battle because some REMF saw a picture which gave him the sadz. Enough is enough.

Syria Strike

Just was watching Twitter for an extended period of time tonight – astonished at the wide variety of heart felt, differing opinions about it. Some Trumpsters upset, some Never Trumpers finding a strange, new respect for Trump. Honest questions. Sincere hopes. Support for the troops without cheap rah-rah patriotism. It was refreshing.

I don’t know what will come of this – I’m not sure I support the action (though I support the actions of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, of course). I hope there is a plan behind all this – there could be, and it might work out to a brilliant stroke of diplomacy backed by military force (the only sort of diplomacy which actually works, by the way). We’ll just have to see.

Democrats Call in the George W. Bush to Save Their Party

As polls show Obama and the Democrats in the distinct political minority in dealing with radical Islamic terrorism, they’ve decided only one person can save them:

I guess we really all do miss W, now.

This ad is nauseating – for 8 years Democrats routinely insulted President Bush in the most disgusting terms possible. He was Chimpy McSmirk BusHitler. He was evil. He lied to get us into Iraq so that Cheney could make money. He was a war criminal. But here are the Democrats at their shameless worst – using the reasonable words of a good President to try and shore up support for the disastrously failed policies of President Obama.

We all know why President Bush downplayed the Islamic aspects of our enemies – in order that it would be easier for us to defeat those elements within Islam determined to kill us. And to this day, no wise person wants any sort of war on Islam – which is why the GOP candidates of 2016 are careful to state that our problem is with radical Islamic terrorism – not with Islam, as a thing. But Obama doesn’t see anything in Islam as a problem – he has decided that there is no problem within Islam. That Islam has absolutely nothing to do with what is happening in Syria – or what happened in Paris last week. Or what may happen in the United States when the terrorists attack here, again.

It is Obama’s miserable failure in Iraq and Syria which has led the world to a crisis where half the population of Syria has been displaced and a sea of humanity is now seeking safety anywhere they can find it. In what must be some sort of pathetic attempt on Obama’s part to make up for his failure, he has decided that he’ll get 10,000 Syrians into the United States – a drop in the ocean of suffering. This allows Obama to preen himself on his generosity – while doing nothing to actually solve the problem his failures have helped to bring about. But in the aftermath of Paris, everyone is wary – everyone with any sense at all wants to have much more careful screening of refugees. This is just common sense – but as it wasn’t Obama’s idea, he wants no part of it. But the people are against him – and so this cynical use of President Bush.

I think this will go over like a lead balloon. Nothing in the past 7 years has to completely demonstrated the moral bankruptcy of the Democrat party.

Monday, Monday

Things are not looking too hot in Syria:

CIA-backed rebels in Syria, who had begun to put serious pressure on President Bashar Assad’s forces, are now under Russian bombardment with little prospect of rescue by their American patrons, U.S. officials say.

Over the past week, Russia has directed parts of its air campaign against U.S.-funded groups and other moderate opposition in a concerted effort to weaken them, the officials say. The Obama administration has few options to defend those it had secretly armed and trained.

The Russians “know their targets, and they have a sophisticated capacity to understand the battlefield situation,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who serves on the House Intelligence Committee and was careful not to confirm a classified program. “They are bombing in locations that are not connected to the Islamic State” group..

If they are really hitting the necessary targets – and I suspect that they are – then we can only assume that our security has been breached. This would come as no surprise as security under the Obama Administration has been notoriously slack. Syria is turning into a geo-political debacle for us.

The LA Times asks if Clinton can change the gun debate. The answer is “no”, but I’m very hopeful that she’ll make this a key element of her campaign. The American people are, if anything, more in favor of the individual right to bear arms than at any time in our nation’s past. I can’t think of anything better for us on the political front than Hillary, desperate to shore up leftwing support, going on a gun control rampage.

Just to set the record straight for any Trump supporters out there – if Trump does emerge as the nominee, then I’ll vote for him. But Trump is flat wrong on eminent domain.

The Libertarian Moment is stated to be over. I’ll state that it never began. I respect my Libertarian-minded fellow conservatives. I fully understand where they are coming from. I agree with them on a lot of issues. But the United States will never be Libertarian – and any desire for it, if pressed too hard, will just backfire. Better to just get with the right balance – the maximum freedom possible consistent with orderly government.

The Carson campaign finds some uses for Hillary’s Hard Choices.

Weekend Open Thread

The rumors are starting to fly thick and fast about a Biden run. My view: he’ll get in…but it might be a lot later than people think. Could even be after the New Hampshire primary. It has happened before – specifically, in 1968 when Bobby Kennedy entered the race after New Hampshire revealed the weakness of Johnson.

A few liberal fascists are urging Uncle Sam to bring RICO charges against global warming doubters – nothing says “science” like using the heavy club of government to stifle debate.

More and more people are coming to the understanding that our inaction in Syria is because we don’t want to upset our new friends in Tehran. The Syrian people are being thrown to the wolves in the name of this new policy – much as the Poles were thrown to Stalin in service to FDR’s idea that Stalin would be a nifty post-War partner for us. I suspect our Syrian policy will work out as well as our Polish policy did.

Turns out, The View sucks. But you already knew that.

No one at the EPA has been fired over the EPA’s poisoning of a river. Government is just a word for things we do together – and it’s ok that all of us dumped pollution. It’s only bad if a private company does it, you see?