Tuesday, July 7, 2009
One the conflict in Honduras:
Help me out here. President Obama immediately 'meddles' in the affairs of Honduras, denouncing a military coup, the intent of which is to preserve the country's constitution, but when it comes to Iran's fraudulent election and the violent repression of demonstrators who wanted their votes counted, the president initially vacillates and equivocates. Are we expected to accept this as a consistent foreign policy? Even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was reluctant to call the removal of President Manuel Zelaya a coup, if for no other reason than it would stop U.S. aid flowing to the impoverished Central American nation. The fingerprints (or in this case the boot prints) of the Castro brothers, Venezuela's dictator Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua are all over this. If one is known by the company one keeps, the specter of the Castros and their protégé dictators joining President Obama in denouncing the Honduran military coup is not reassuring. Clearly Zelaya was the choice of the dictators to help spread 'revolution' to America's back door. ... The threat by Chavez to send his troops into Honduras ought to be another signal to the Obama administration that thugs can't be made nice by talking to them. So far, the world's tyrants have been unresponsive to Obama's offer of a new start. They are getting the message, but it's a different one than President Obama hoped to send. The message is that Obama is weak and can be had. It is one thing for a president to be liked, but in a dangerous world with dictators who have, or wish to acquire, nuclear weapons and by these and other means destroy the United States, it is better that an American president be feared.
Is the U.S. at least consistent in its promises not to meddle? Not all the time. When Benjamin Netanyahu came to power in Israel, the Obama administration made its distaste clear. It also has tried to find ways to isolate Hamid Karzai's elected government in Afghanistan -- and was initially not happy about the prospects of its re-election. Most recently, the U.S. condemned the Honduran military's arrest of President Manuel Zelaya. The nation's supreme court had found his efforts to extend his presidential tenure in violation of its constitution, once Zelaya tried to finesse an illegal third term. In other words, the U.S. pressures other nations as it pleases -- though strangely now more to lean on friends than to criticize rivals and enemies. In contrast, had President Obama voiced early, consistent and sharp criticism of the Iranian crackdown, the theocracy would have worried that the president's stature could have galvanized global boycotts and embargos to isolate the theocracy and aid the dissidents. And the reformers in the streets could have become even more confident with a trademark Obama 'hope and change' endorsement. Internal democratic change in Iran is the only peaceful solution to stopping an Iranian bomb, three decades of Iranian-sponsored terrorism and a Middle East arms race. When thousands risked their lives for a better Iran, a better Middle East and a better world, we, the land of the free, simply were not with them. Well, maybe we were, but our President wansn't.
Well, Ronaldus Magnus said:
"Ludwig Von Mises, that great economist, once noted: 'People must fight for something they want to achieve, not simply reject an evil.' Well, the conservative movement remains in the ascendancy because we have a bold, forward-looking agenda. No longer can it be said that conservatives are just anti-Communist. We are, and proudly so, but we are also the keepers of the flame of liberty. And as such, we believe that America should be a source of support, both moral and material, for all those on God's Earth who struggle for freedom. Our cause is their cause, whether it be in Nicaragua, Afghanistan, or Angola. When I came back from Iceland I said -- and I meant it -- American foreign policy is not simply focused on the prevention of war but the expansion of freedom. Modern conservatism is an active, not a reactive philosophy. It's not just in opposition to those vices that debase character and community, but affirms values that are at the heart of civilization."
On Cap & Trade:
Here's how to get a dubious bill into law, or at least past the U.S. House of Representatives, which of late has deserved to be called the lower chamber: -- First, make the bill long. Very long. So long no one may actually read it, supporters or opponents. Introduce a 310-page horse-choker of an amendment at 3 in the morning on the day of the roll-call vote. So it can't be examined too closely or too long. Only after the bill passes may its true costs emerge. ... -- Make sure that the bill itself, which was already 1,200 pages long before this super-sized amendment was added, surpasseth all understanding. (Which may be the only thing it has in common with the peace of God.) ... -- Insert all kinds of exceptions into the bill so those special interests that stand to benefit by them -- whether regional, economic or ideological -- will join the stampede. -- Coat the bill and the campaign for it with high-sounding sloganspeak, if not hysteria. Warn that The End Is Near unless this bill is passed, at least if you consider the year 2100 near. ... -- If necessary, change the subject at the last minute. Say, from climate change to creating jobs. And, hesto presto, though the vote may be close (219 to 212), a confusing bill can be on its way to becoming even more confusing law. Which is just what happened the other day in the U.S. House of Representatives. ... -- Forget the actual content of the bill, since few if any can understand it anyway. Instead, just recite talking points. It's a lot easier than actually thinking. ... Whoever said you never want to see sausage made or laws passed did a grave injustice to sausage-makers, who are surely engaged in a much more wholesome enterprise."