Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Time for Some Common Sense on North Korea

During the Cold War with the USSR, NATO knew that there was little chance of repelling a Warsaw Pact invasion of Europe against an overwhelming number of conventional enemy forces. The Warsaw Pact armies greatly outnumbered NATO in just about every category of weapon and number of troops.

Yet, we were able to keep the big Russian bear out of Western Europe. And we did it with one simple threat.

If the USSR invaded Western Europe, we would use tactical nukes against their conventional forces. I know because I was one of those in US Army Europe that had the keys to the nukes and waited, 24/7, for the order to release them to NATO. And we had no reservations on using them.

The threat worked because the USSR knew that if we used tactical nukes they would respond with tactical nukes. Then we would respond with more and bigger tactical nukes quickly escalating to strategic ICBMs—and that would be all she wrote.

The Kremlin knew if a nuke exchange happened, their way of life would just as well end as ours. No winner. All losers.

Now we have a tin horn midget dictator who is blustering about starting a war if we touch his toys. The most obvious way and the one the Allies expect is an attack on South Korea. Specifically leveling Seoul which is a artillery shell distance from North Korea.

This fact has us all shaking in our boots.

But why. Jong is not Ahmadinejad or the Japanese in WWII- both of which are and were willing to commit national suicide.

Jong, and especially his generals, would not like to have their pretty little war toys removed from them. A threat like the one we used against the USSR will work just as well and keep Jong contained in his little asylum to rot.

The threat? Simple. If Jong lobs even one artillery shell at Soul or sends even one soldier across the DMZ, we will respond with tactical nukes to stop them and eliminate the artillery pieces that are suppose to be in the hundreds pointed at Seoul.

Jong is no suicide mania. A maniac, yes. Suicidal no. Or at least his generals aren’t and they want to keep their shiny toys.

So what the hell are we waiting for? Give him the ultimatum. Quit pussyfooting around.

BTW: China won’t respond if we use tactical nukes. They don’t want to lob strategic nukes at us and go to WWIII – at least not over North Korea.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Islamist Victory by 2020?

The holy war against the infidels being waged by al-Qaeda and other Islamic terror formations - will end in 2020 with the defeat of the West, predicts Author Fuad Hussein. His book ‘Al-Zarqawi - al-Qaeda's Second Generation' was published at the end of 2005.

Though a couple of years old, it might be an interesting exercise to see how his predictions turned out. But first, who is Fuad Hussein? As reported by Spiegel Online International, Hussein has not only spent time in prison with al-Zarqawi, but has also managed to make contact with many of the network's leaders. Based on correspondence with these sources, his book details the organization's master plan.

There must be something particularly trustworthy about the Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein. After all, he has managed to get some of the the most sought after terrorists to open up to him. Maybe it helped that they spent time together in prison many years ago -- when Hussein was a political prisoner he successfully negotiated for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to be released from solitary confinement. Or is it because of the honest and direct way in which he puts his ideas onto paper? Whatever the reason, the result is that a film which Hussein made about al-Zarqawi has even been shown on al-Qaida affiliated Web sites. "That showed me that they at least felt understood," the journalist says.

Hussein explains the seven phases that al-Qaeda hopes to establish to create an Islamic caliphate which the West will then be too weak to fight.

The First Phase Known as "the awakening" -- this has already been carried out and was supposed to have lasted from 2000 to 2003, or more precisely from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington to the fall of Baghdad in 2003. The aim of the attacks of 9/11 was to provoke the US into declaring war on the Islamic world and thereby "awakening" Muslims. "The first phase was judged by the strategists and masterminds behind al-Qaida as very successful," writes Hussein. "The battle field was opened up and the Americans and their allies became a closer and easier target." The terrorist network is also reported as being satisfied that its message can now be heard "everywhere."


We can say that Phase One has been accomplished. The Islamist propaganda machine has done well in convincing a large portion of the Muslim population into believing the West is waging war on Islam. The misquotes and missteps by the current Administration lead credence to this belief.

The Second Phase "Opening Eyes" is, according to Hussein's definition, the period we are now in and should last until 2006. Hussein says the terrorists hope to make the western conspiracy aware of the "Islamic community." Hussein believes this is a phase in which al-Qaida wants an organization to develop into a movement. The network is banking on recruiting young men during this period. Iraq should become the center for all global operations, with an "army" set up there and bases established in other Arabic states.


One can say they’ve been pretty successful at that. Case in point is the greater threat from home-grown terrorists rather than those infiltrating from abroad.

The Third Phase This is described as "Arising and Standing Up" and should last from 2007 to 2010. "There will be a focus on Syria," prophesies Hussein, based on what his sources told him. The fighting cadres are supposedly already prepared and some are in Iraq. Attacks on Turkey and -- even more explosive -- in Israel are predicted. Al-Qaida's masterminds hope that attacks on Israel will help the terrorist group become a recognized organization. The author also believes that countries neighboring Iraq, such as Jordan, are also in danger.


Some of this has come to fruition. Jordan has experienced al-Qaeda terrorism and Syria is noted for harboring terrorists and their plans for attacking Israel

The Fourth Phase Between 2010 and 2013, Hussein writes that al-Qaida will aim to bring about the collapse of the hated Arabic governments. The estimate is that "the creeping loss of the regimes' power will lead to a steady growth in strength within al-Qaida." At the same time attacks will be carried out against oil suppliers and the US economy will be targeted using cyber terrorism.


We’ve seen signs of this. Saudi Arabia is now actively fighting insurgent elements in its country seeking to damage or destroy oil producing facilities and overthrow the Saudi government. Yemen is experiencing an up tick in Terrorist activity. We can only believe that this will get worse and spread to the other oil producing emirates in the peninsula. How successful will al-Qaeda be? Yet to be seen.

The Fifth Phase This will be the point at which an Islamic state, or caliphate, can be declared. The plan is that by this time, between 2013 and 2016, Western influence in the Islamic world will be so reduced and Israel weakened so much, that resistance will not be feared. Al-Qaida hopes that by then the Islamic state will be able to bring about a new world order.

The Sixth Phase Hussein believes that from 2016 onwards there will a period of "total confrontation." As soon as the caliphate has been declared the "Islamic army" it will instigate the "fight between the believers and the non-believers" which has so often been predicted by Osama bin Laden.

The Seventh Phase This final stage is described as "definitive victory." Hussein writes that in the terrorists' eyes, because the rest of the world will be so beaten down by the "one-and-a-half billion Muslims," the caliphate will undoubtedly succeed. This phase should be completed by 2020, although the war shouldn't last longer than two years.

So, how realistic is the 7 phases? The Spiegel article has its doubts.

Nevertheless, there is no way the scenario he depicts can be seen as a plan which al-Qaida can follow step by step. The terrorist network just doesn't work like that anymore. The significance of the central leadership has diminished and its direct commands have lost a great deal of importance. The supposed master plan for the years 2000 to 2020 reads in parts more like a group of ideas cobbled together in retrospect, than something planned and presented in advance. And not to mention the terrorist agenda is simply unworkable: the idea that al-Qaida could set up a caliphate in the entire Islamic world is absurd. The 20-year plan is based mainly on religious ideas. It hardly has anything to do with reality -- especially phases four to seven.


This analysis is wrong. Saying that the plan is absurd because it’s based on religious ideas shows a deep lack of understanding. Ideologies that have a strong belief component – religious or secular – is what drives them to success until they confront an ideology that is as strong and there’s. And over the last year there have been mumblings and debates from the Islamic World of where the next Caliphate will be centered.

As for the ‘Islamic Army’, I have said in posts before that the tactic of terrorism will have to eventually lead to the creation of a regular conventional army if the Islamists want to achieve ultimate victory over the West.

What is interesting is that major attacks against the West are not even mentioned by Fouad Hussein. Terrorism here cannot be ignored -- but it seems these attacks simply supplement the larger aim of setting up an Islamic caliphate. Attacks such as those in New York, Madrid and London would in this case not be ends in themselves, but rather means to a achieve a larger purpose -- steps in a process of increasing insecurity in the West.


In other words, insurgents who use terrorist tactics can not win the war themselves. To do that, like in every war before this, you must occupy enemy territory to win and impose your ideology on the population. That means putting boots on the ground. Like all other wars, there will be a theater of battle. That theater stretches from North Africa through the Middle East through south-central Asia to Southeast Asia and Malaysia. Some Islamic nation or nations will lead the alliance in this war of fronts.

So we are left with an interesting phased development. How well it’s executed is yet to be seen.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The First Stage of Death

In her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, Swiss-born psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross outlined the five stages of grief of someone who is dying: 

Denial and isolation: "This is not happening to me."

Anger: "How dare God do this to me." 

Bargaining: "Just let me live to see my son graduate." 

Depression: "I can't bear to face going through this, putting my family through this." 

Acceptance: "I'm ready, I don't want to struggle anymore." 

It seems that the MSM is in stage one: DENIAL. From the Huffington Post. (I'm holding my nose.)

Nine years ago, when FoxNews sprinted past CNN to become America's number one news network, I attributed its ratings gains to the election of George Bush and the triumph of Fox-watching conservatives. I figured conservatives would be savoring their victory while liberals were averting their eyes in disgust. For the next eight years, I measured political sentiment in the United States by comparing the size of the FoxNews audience with the combined size of the CNN/MSNBC audience. In this space, I even predicted, with reasonable accuracy, the percent by which Barack Obama won the election based on the split in the news audience. 

Hmm... Could what follows be a portend of the future? 

Now, seven months after Barack Obama's victory, CNN's ratings have gone down the drain. From May of last year to May of this year, CNN lost 22% of its total primetime audience. MSNBC was down 2%, while FoxNews was up 24%. 

In the key advertising demographic (25-54), Fox was up 31%, CNN was down 37% and MSNBC was down 26%. In hard numbers, Fox had 109,000 more viewers than last year while CNN lost 113,000. CNN averaged fewer than 200,000 25-54 viewers in primetime. Even MSNBC averaged more viewers than that. 

Total day was nearly as bad, with Fox up 24% and CNN down 7%. MSNBC was down 2% in total viewing. Fox is beating CNN almost two-to-one in most categories. 

There's no need to throw any more numbers at you--Fox is gaining, CNN is wilting. Why is this happening when the country still seems about 58-42 in favor of Obama? My best guess is the passion of those who detest Democrats, liberals, and in particular, Barack Obama. 

Yes. Please inform us. Enquiring people want to know.

Conservatives seem so angry at their loss, so ready to blame Obama for all their problems that almost 400,000 more of them are watching FoxNews this year than they did last year. I think they turn to Fox for comfort and confirmation. They need to hear the ranters and ravers tell them that it's not their fault, it's all because of those "Socialist Democrats." I have believed for years that it's "comfort and confirmation" that drove conservatives to talk radio. Now it's television, too. 

I had thought better of the television audience, particularly younger viewers who tended to watch CNN and MSNBC. But even that's gone now--Fox leads in 18-49 year-olds. 

Here are the best excuses I can think of: maybe a lot of middle-of-the-roaders have just tuned out on all the cable news noise. Maybe other people have better things to do with their lives than listen to pandering pundits. 

Including the pandering pundits and supposed journalists of the MSM. 

Maybe more generous souls accept that Obama's doing the best he can in a very tough job, and they don't want to hear the details because they know the stars are not shining on America right now. 

Gawd!! How lame!! 

How about this excuse. The MSM is dying and they are in denial.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA from Lou Pritchett

Lou Pritchett is one of corporate America 's true li ving legends- an acclaimed author, dynamic teacher and one of the world's highest rated speakers. Successful corporate executives everywhere recognize him as the foremost leader in change management. Lou changed the way America does business by creating an audacious concept that came to be known as "partnering." Pritchett rose from soap salesman to Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development for Procter and Gamble and over the course of 36 years, made corporate history.

 
AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA

Dear President Obama:
 
You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.  
 
You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.
 
You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and  your upscale lifestyle and housing  with no visible signs of support.    
 
You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.
 
You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.
 
You scare me because you ha ve never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core.
 
You scare me because you lack humility  and 'class', always  blaming others.   
 
You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself  with radical extremists who hate America and you  refuse to publicly denounce  these radicals who wish to see America fail.
 
You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America ' crowd and deliver this message abroad.
 
You scare me because you want to change  America to a European style country where the governmen t sector dominates instead of the private sector. 
You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government  controlled one. 
 
You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.
 
You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.
 
You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion'= tactics against certain banks and corporations.
 
You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.
 
You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.
 
You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.
 
You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.
 
You scare me because you demonize and want to silence  the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative  points of view.
 
You scare me because you prefer  controlling over governing. 
 
Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably  not feel safe in writ ing a similar letter in 8 years.
 
Lou Pritchett 

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Greatest Generation


The ‘Greatest Generation’ that gave so much, to so many, is becoming so few. 

What made this generation so great?

Was it the service and the self-sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of this generation to free the world from fascist tyranny?

Or was it the un-selfish generosity of rebuilding the world after its defeat while making no demands of homage from those who followed and prospered economically, politically, and culturally because of this generation’s sacrifices?

Or perhaps it was the strength steeled during the Depression Years that forged responsible adults and not whimpering victims? 

Or was it the courage to face and defeat a second global tyranny in the form of communism by not bending to the perennial appeasers that were ever present throughout the lives of this generation?

Or perhaps it was the loyalty shown to not just his country but his commitment to marriage and instilling a set of values in children that who in turn cares for those in crisis and need?

All these and more made this generation one of greatness.

The values of self-respect, personal responsibility and the delight in the celebration of the rituals of life are hallmarks of a great generation. 

We will not soon see a generation like this pass this way again.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Mr. Clarke Concerned that We Had a Shocking Response to 9-11

Just yesterday, Richard Clarke of the Washington Post wrote a hand-ringing article on how the Bush Administration overreacted to 9-11. 

Basically, he, like all liberals, can’t see the forest before the tress and are unable to bring themselves to realize that our response to 9-11 was quite measured and very, very retrained. 

 I’ll get into that in a minute. But first let’s have Mr. Clarke pontificate. 

Top officials from the Bush administration have hit upon a revealing new theme as they retrospectively justify their national security policies. Call it the White House 9/11 trauma defense. 

"Unless you were there, in a position of responsibility after September 11, you cannot possibly imagine the dilemmas that you faced in trying to protect Americans," Condoleezza Rice said last month as she admonished a Stanford University student who questioned the Bush-era interrogation program. And in his May 21 speech on national security, Dick Cheney called the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, a "defining" experience that "caused everyone to take a serious second look" at the threats to America. Critics of the administration have become more intense as memories of the attacks have faded, he argued. "Part of our responsibility, as we saw it," Cheney said, "was not to forget the terrible harm that had been done to America."

 

I won’t bore you with the rest of his introduction. Here’s the meat of his issue.

Yet listening to Cheney and Rice, it seems that they want to be excused for the measures they authorized after the attacks on the grounds that 9/11 was traumatic. "If you were there in a position of authority and watched Americans drop out of eighty-story buildings because these murderous tyrants went after innocent people," Rice said in her recent comments, "then you were determined to do anything that you could that was legal to prevent that from happening again."

I have little sympathy for this argument. Yes, we went for days with little sleep, and we all assumed that more attacks were coming. But the decisions that Bush officials made in the following months and years -- on Iraq, on detentions, on interrogations, on wiretapping -- were not appropriate. Careful analysis could have replaced the impulse to break all the rules, even more so because the Sept. 11 attacks, though horrifying, should not have surprised senior officials. Cheney's admission that 9/11 caused him to reassess the threats to the nation only underscores how, for months, top officials had ignored warnings from the CIA and the NSC staff that urgent action was needed to preempt a major al-Qaeda attack.

Thus, when Bush's inner circle first really came to grips with the threat of terrorism, they did so in a state of shock -- a bad state in which to develop a coherent response. Fearful of new attacks, they authorized the most extreme measures available, without assessing whether they were really a good idea.

Shock? Lack of coherent response? 

Well, Mr. Clark, let me tell you how non-liberal most Americans felt after 9-11. It wasn’t debilitating shock. It was revenge! 

I remember it oh so well when my good old friend called me and asked me how I felt about the attacks. I send kill ‘em. He showed his true colors, and like Mr. Clarke, wanted to know what we must have done to them for them to do such a terrible act. 

It was time to sit down and talk. I told him that was insufficient and hung up. 

Now, Mr. Clarke, let me tell you what Bush and Cheney IN SHOCK did not do. What this country and its citizens DID NOT do. 

We DID NOT have incidents where Muslims were attacked on the streets. 

We DID NOT burn down Muslim establishments 

We DID NOT close down Muslim organizations. 

We DID NOT find and export Muslims here illegally back to their country. 

We DID NOT find and send back Muslims preaching hate in this country back to their country for arrest and execution. 

We DID NOT arrest and jail Muslims preaching sedition in this country. 

We DID NOT demand that all Muslims be rounded up and put in concentration camps. 

We DID NOT demand that Saudi Arabia close all its Muslim schools and mosques in this country. 

We DID NOT burn down mosques in cities around the country. 

We DID NOT demand our government nuke Medina or Mecca

We DID NOT demand that we nuke Afghanistan

You see, Mr, Clarke, Bush and Cheney were successful in restraining the American people from doing what many wanted to do. That kind of measured thinking does not come from reacting in shock. 

Reacting in shock is a liberal trait. An inability to act, caught in the self-imposed restraint of your ideology with your eyes in the headlights like good little sheeple.

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