Saturday, September 06, 2014

Obama's ISIS Strategy

It is impressive. Too impressive to excerpt. John Merline did it at

Clik here.

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Friday, September 05, 2014

American Responses Which Islamists Would Respect

I sent a link to the Romney column in the post below, and got a link back to a Peter Beinart column in The Atlantic magazine in return. In 'Pursuing ISIS to the Gates Of Hell', Beinart discusses Walter Russell Mead's analysis of American foreign policy, which argues that America has four foreign-policy traditions.

Ignoring the issue of four camps, I disagree with a couple things Beinart said.

>>These aren’t policy prescriptions. They are cries for revenge.<< The entire Arab world accepts revenge as an ideal policy prescription. If Beinart doesn't understand that, he is not very knowledgeable about that which he writes. The Islamist plan to take over the West is based on the so far correct belief that the West will never adopt the Islamists' strategy of terror and revenge. If we were to do so, much of Iran, Afghanistan, Gaza, and now Egypt, Somalia, and Libya would no longer exist. Also the suburbs of London, Paris, Marseille, and Rome would be cleansed of Muslims. The Islamists would rage, but they would respect us for not only our strength, but our willingness to use that strength without mercy. In our position it is exactly what they would do. It is, in fact, exactly what they are doing now where they can: Kill all the Yazidy men, sell their daughters into sexual slavery. Slaughter the Christians in Syria. Bomb Jewish temples. Slaughter the infidel in Africa, sell their daughters into sexual slavery. Take 1700 prisoners in Iraq, and slaughter them in front of video cameras, distribute the video to the world. Pol Pot didn't have the guts to do that, nor Mao, nor Stalin, nor Hitler. This is what they value. What would the Islamists respect if Islamists held hostage an American soldier and demanded the release of prisoners from Guantanamo? They would respect Obama bringing those prisoners to the lawn of the White House, forcing them to kneel, then personally blowing their brains out on world wide television. When he was done, the bodies would be shown being sewn into pig skins filled with pig manure, then buried in unmarked graves. That is what the Islamists would respect. Instead, ISIS slaughters 1700 prisoners, and Obama calls for "better political inclusion".

>>The Iran hostage crisis did not lend itself to a simple policy response either.<<

Rubbish. Utter, pure, unadulterated rubbish.

The people who took the Americans hostage expected that Jimmy Carter, the most powerful man on the entire planet, would unquestionably tell them that if the hostages were not released unharmed within 24 hours, that America would commence bombing Iranian cities. They planned on doing so, having made their point. End of crisis.

Instead, Jimmy Carter, the most powerful man of all, wailed and whimpered and sobbed about having supported the wicked, wicked, evil Shah, and opened talks to determine the wants and needs and concerns and just complaints of the Iranian revolutionaries.

The Iranians, as well as the Arabs, were stunned by Carter's refusal, his cowardice, in not using America's power to get the hostages back immediately. That is why they were also stunned when George Bush invaded Afghanistan: They expected another Jimmy Carter response.

Arabs and Persians have little respect for those without power, but the person lower still is the person with great power who is afraid to use it ruthlessly. For him they hold utter contempt. The purpose of power is to use it to subjugate your enemies. Carter had the power but he didn't use it. Except, of course, when swinging his canoe paddle at a vicious swimming bunny.

If we want to respond to challenges from the Islamists which they will respect on their own terms, we are going to have to shut up with the fantasies of "bringing democracy" and stomp our enemies flat. Then go home, with a warning to their successors that anyone who tries peeing on America's foot will get the same treatment. No nation building, no voting, no democracy, no mercy. We will just stomp them flat and go home, leaving any survivors to rebuild the rubble.

That is what they would respect. That is what they are doing wherever they can. That is why they have no respect for the British or the French, who allow them to operate openly in their capital cities, burning hundreds of cars a night, raping those they want to rape, not merely with impunity, but with the protection of the national governments which are afraid of offending their delicate sensibilities.

Since we are not going to use our power ruthlessly, I think the Islamists are going to win.

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Mitt Romney On The Disruption Of Trade Routes

Mitt Romney has an opinion column in the Washington Post, in which he advocates for a stong US military force, in part because:
The history of the 20th century teaches that power-hungry tyrants ultimately feast on the appeasers — to use former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour’s phrase, we would be paying the cannibals to eat us last. And in the meantime, our economy would be devastated by the disruption of trade routes, the turmoil in global markets and the tumult of conflict across the world.
Funny that disrupting trade routes is a point I hardly ever see, but it has been an issue ever since the Muslims cut off European trade routes to the East, leading to Europeans exploring both the west coast of Africa to find a new route to the Indies, and Columbus searching for new routes by sailing west. The Soviets targeted specific places for revolution, like South Africa because it controlled the trade and naval route around the Horn of Africa, and Kenya and others which could close the Suez Canal route and the Persian Gulf.

The great farm houses designed by Andrea Palladio in the 16th century were built for Venetian merchants who saw their trade routes through Turkey about to be cut off, so they bought swamp land, drained it, and replaced their trading income with agricultural income. The rise of European power and agriculture in Malta and later in the West Indies and Brazil were a direct response to the Muslim conquest of the Middle East, where Europeans had had huge sugar plantations.

Funny how disrupting trade routes can have world wide effects which last for centuries.

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Thursday, September 04, 2014

ISIS Slaughters Hundreds Of Prisoners, Obama Calls For "Better Political Inclusion"

The New York Times has video and a story on the ISIS slaughter of hundreds of bound prisoners in Tikrit:
DIWANIYA, Iraq — Ali Hussein Kadhim, an Iraqi soldier and a Shiite, was captured with hundreds of other soldiers by Sunni militants...

The militants, with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, separated the men by sect. The Sunnis were allowed to repent for their service to the government. The Shiites were marked for death, and lined up in groups.
Then they were shot in the back of the head. At least 560 of them, possibly the claimed-by-ISIS 1700, or more.
In its campaign of blatantly sectarian- or ethnic-driven massacres like the one in Tikrit, ISIS has been tearing open Iraq’s wounds, creating a new wave of factionalism that has sent American officials scrambling to call for better political inclusion and reconciliation.
That's a joke, right? ISIS slaughters perhaps 1700 unarmed, cuffed prisoners, and President Obama calls for "better political inclusion". Obama actually thinks ISIS mass murderers should be "better included"?

Why doesn't the New York Times highlight that?

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Honolulu Teachers Are The Worst Paid In America, Milwaukee's The Best

The Hawai'i Free Press has this from a report by the National Center for Policy Analysis:
When adjusted for cost of living, teacher...median adjusted salaries in the 60 metro areas range from $32,312 in Honolulu, Hawaii to $73,078 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The national median salary for an elementary school teacher is $53,590.
No wonder Hawaii doesn't produce enough teachers, and can't keep the teachers hired from the Mainland. The cost for Mainland teachers to go home to visit family even once a year is one of the costs which may not be included in the cost of living. Tack on $600 to $850 for that item, just for airfare, out of an effective salary of $32,312.
The national median salary for an elementary school teacher is $53,590.
So just to reach the national median, Hawaii would have to increase the median teacher salary by roughly 65%. Imagine the taxpayer's response to that.

Also: Don't forget that while Hawaii teacher pensions get a 2.5% bump for inflation every year, the adjustment is applied only to the original amount of the pension and is not applied to the pension at the last raise: that is, it isn't compounded, only added to the original benefit. A couple of years of 5-8% inflation will devastate retirees, already the worst paid in America.

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"De-civilization and its Discontents"

“It was fun watching the applecart being upset,” Schrader said, “but now where do we go for apples?”
I have long wondered about the reflectiveness, or lack thereof, in those old enough to have experienced the 1960s, who in their own sixties still enthusiastically say "The Sixties were f-ing GREAT, Man! We stuck it to the Man!"

Which Man was that, exactly? The President who was assassinated? The presidential candidates who were murdered? The civil rights workers, and Martin Luther King, murdered? The cities, like Oakland, which were burned down, destroying jobs and preventing others from ever being created? The Man who was killed in Vietnam, winning a war so that we could walk away from that victory in defeat? The Man who had to watch as drug abuse and drug addiction, glorified in song and sub-culture, exponentially increased in America? The Man who had to watch as bastardy exploded across the country, destroying the lives of mothers and children by the tens of millions? The Man who looked at such destructive behavior and decided we must subsidize it?

Those great 1960s?

Ed Driscoll has a short column on "De-Civilization and its Discontents" which brought that sickness to mind.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Our Side Garden

As in: The garden on the Diamond Head side of our house. It's small, so it was the first one I made. Much less intimidating a project than the front yard.

As usual, clik on the pic to see a big version, without the list of posts interfering.

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