Beyond the Cusp

June 2, 2017

Where Will the Spiraling End?

 

The United States new President, Donald Trump, apparently is not reacting to the threats from North Korea in the routine and usual manner, giving in and sending money, food and meet whatever demands are made by the current psychotic leader of that Communist death trap claims must be met or else he will destroy the world starting with South Korea and moving on to Japan and finally the United States. The past administrations have all responded with the goods every time the North Korean leader has rattle sabers making foul sounding threats if his little realm had used all the treasure from the previous confrontation has reached its end. This was the routine which wound itself repeatedly over time. Apparently, this time may end differently. First, China has called an end to their calling their attack-dog to heel and desist or even make an effort which also was a change in the normal routine. Everything appears as if the forces who might make a difference and avoid the most horrific of results has decided that they prefer to stand aside and see what the mettle of the new President is made of. The Chinese are preparing to sit this little game out and watch from the sidelines after making the feeblest of attempts to calm their friend to their south and instead allowed him to continue bellowing his threats. It appears that China is not receiving the reaction they expected as it was likely their impression that President Trump was not versed in the game of brinkmanship and would simply fold and give in to the threats from Kim Jong-un and provide North Korea with a renewed treasury, feed their starving masses and walk away simply licking his wounds and broken ego, tarnished reputation.

 

Apparently President Trump does not respond well to threats from a proven madman, a leader who has murdered a general for contradicting him, executed his uncle simply because he thought him a threat to his leadership and ordered the assassination of his half-brother in a foreign country so there could be no successor to his leadership other than whomever he should designate. President Trump initially sent the aircraft carrier fleet with the USS Carl Vinson and Kim Jong-un simply continued his ranting and threats. Then President Trump sent the aircraft carrier fleet with the USS Ronald Reagan and Kim Jong-un simply continued his ranting and threats. Now President Trump has further upped the anti and sent the aircraft carrier fleet with the USS Nimitz. We are willing to bet that Kim Jong-un could not care less and might even react unkindly or he might respond with more missile tests and possibly even a full-blown nuclear test. This situation, to put it mildly, is rapidly spiraling and where it might end is simply terrifying to imagine.

 

Kin Jong-un (김정은) is the grandson of Kim Il-Sung (김일성), the founder of North Korea; the son of Kim Jong-il (김정일), the second leader of North Korea, and is the current leader of North Korea, obviously. His threats are not to be taken so lightly as to make it appear that he is being taken lightly, something this ever-escalating response could impart. Seoul, South Korea, the national capital city is the first place threatened to be destroyed by Kim Jong-un, a threat he could carry out in under fifteen minutes from making the decision. North Korea has approximately 13,000 artillery pieces positioned along the border which could be fired striking Seoul leveling most of the capital city. Making matters even more troubling is the report by the Federation of American Scientists telling of the North Korean known quantities of anthrax, mustard gas, sarin, botulism and phosgene. Such weapons placed in artillery shells designed to release poison gas would not only permit Kim Jong-un to all but flatten Seoul, but to guarantee his artillery fire murdered most of the over ten-million people living within the city. That would be the opening scenario of Kin Jong-un deciding to raise President Trump’s move of positioning three aircraft carrier groups within striking distance of North Korea.

 

The Kim Family

 

The problem in this situation is that President Trump may have stated that all options are on the table, but this does not mean, as some in the media have claimed, that he is out looking for a fight, that he wants a war to prove something. The hope has to be on settling this problem, this saber rattling, with the least amount of violence and a lowering of the threat options. Unfortunately, this is apparently not going to be an option which either side is wishing to utilize, opting instead to raise the stakes, or at least the consequences, should the other side opt to initiate violence first. This is the idea behind placing so much power within the theater surrounding North Korea. This hopefully is the idea behind President Trump placing sufficient firepower within range of North Korea thus making any threats for use of force by Kim Jong-un suicidal at best and foolhardy at the least. The problem is that Kim Jong-un has all the classical signs of numerous psychological disorders one of which is obviously paranoia. A preliminary analysis of Kim Jong-un’s personality by Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics reveals him to apparently be agreeable, acquiescent, charming, placing a high premium on external approval, sympathetic to others’ needs and socially gregarious on the plus side along with a few other lesser traits resulting in an assessment that he is relinquishing too much authority, failing to assert himself sufficiently, delegating too much responsibility, as well as showing hesitation in taking the initiative when circumstances demand boldness or daring. As they say next, just who is really in charge and pulling the strings presumably controlling Kim Jong-un from the background.

 

North Korean Artillery Display

North Korean Artillery Display

 

Should this personality inventory be accurate, then there is an even greater danger in the threats emanating from North Korea, the person making them is hiding behind a figurehead which they are taking the precaution of making appear pompous and unpredictable. Hiding behind this figurehead making threats may make such a figure so assured of their safety from acting in the shadows that they might take chances believing that boldness would force President Trump to weaken and possibly fold or meet their demands with a simple promise from China that they have received assurances that if a basic set of demands were met by the west that North Korea would end their missile tests and enter negotiations over their nuclear program. Then it would be up to President Trump to react to such an offer. The main risk is that should they send a warning shot such as trading artillery fire as happened and reported in the New York Times on August 20, 2015 when the two nations still technically at war exchanged rocket and artillery fire in the first major armed clash across their border in five years. This was an exchange which reportedly resulted in no casualties and was a show of intent and test of wills and response. North Korea has taken an offensive stance with threatening with missile tests into the Pacific Ocean when testing potential ICBMs, shorter-range ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan to threaten Japan and claiming to be ready to test a new and more powerful nuclear weapon. The threat to Japan has been sufficient that the parliament has been deliberating to revise the Japanese stance since the end of World War II and enlarge their navy and other military strength beyond simple island protection in response to threats perceived from both North Korea and China.

 

China is another reason that President Trump may be placing so much naval and air power into the west Pacific Ocean near both China and North Korea. China has been extending claims challenging Islands claimed by Japan, Viet Nam, Taiwan and the Philippines. These challenges are in addition to their building islands in the South China Sea moving towards the East China Sea and militarizing many of these islands even to the point of placing airstrips on the larger of these water-bound embankments. This challenges one of the most heavily traversed sea-lanes in the world which handles close to one third of the sea trade making it as important as the Suez Canal, Strait of Hormuz which controls the world’s oil flow from the Middle East, and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait which controls the southern exit from the Red Sea into the Arabian Sea. Both the Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait (see map below), through their control of Yemen using the Houthis Rebels, are currently under threat of control from Iran, an ally of North Korea, allowing the two to exchange information and technology regarding missiles and nuclear weapons as they share a common enemy, the United States and the Western world. Iran is also allied with Russia as well as China which makes for a real threat in response to the presumed former sole super-power, the United States. The power of the United States is formidable but would face a serious challenge from the combined strength and nuclear power of the combined forces of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. The real question could at some point become are Iran and/or North Korea really worth facing down the United States for either China or Russia, especially with a presumed unknown in President Trump whose most powerful weapon might be his reputation of being a bit of a hot-head.

 

Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

 

Still, one can be assured that President Trump would be best served and likely prefer some assistance from China defusing the current situation with North Korea. What is troubling is if the situation is as the personality profile of Kin Jong-un is accurate and he really is just a puppet being worked by a rogue general or party official working from the presumed safety of anonymity, then President Trump and his advisers plus those in the Pentagon all actually are operating blind as they do not know who they are working against. It is difficult to find a solution if you have no real clue who is the operator on the other side. Kim Jong-un either completely baffled those trying to inventory his personality or is just as unstable as he appears or somebody finds it advantageous to make the ruler of North Korea appear unstable. All of this leads one to really feel that North Korea is, and will continue for the time being, one threat which is front and center. But if that does not frighten you, then keep in mind that standing right alongside them is Iran that has spread terror armies throughout the world and thought to have more operatives living under cover inside the United States simply waiting for the code for them to strike a predetermined target or even instructions of where to strike. They have a training center in South America in an area known as the Tri-Border Area which sits at the borders of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. And you thought that you could sleep comfortably tonight. Well, probably for tonight, but for how many more nights is the big question.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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August 8, 2016

China and Words Whispered on the Winds

 

For as long as there have been predictive winds of the economic variety, the prediction has been whispered from quiet corners to shouted from the rooftops claiming this would be the time that China was finally going to pay for their economic shenanigans and face economic collapse. We have been extremely quiet about these predictions of doom on the horizon as the one thing the Chinese had been very adept at was finding some manner of continuing to meet predicted gains month after month, year after year. Their predictive gains have become somewhat more reasonable from the early 1990s where the reported gains stood around 11% to this past year where they reported merely 6% and are continuing to predict this can be continued. The problem the Chinese leadership is facing is they have pretty much run out of rabbits to pull from their hat and it is time to accept that even in China there can be a recession. But perhaps a little look back might help to explain.

 

China had some really rough years where Chairman (and virtual god) Mao Zedong was the absolute ruler and was executing the usual five year plans which are so precious to so many dictators. Equally precious to such five year plans is that they completely and utterly destroy the national economy and tens of millions die of starvation and other privations. The Chinese have literally tried everything in order to assure that whomever was at the top made a relatively high prediction of economic growth even to have gone to a fairly complete privatization resorting to a market based free enterprise system which had kept growth at around six to as high as nine percent for the past decade plus. To continue reaching such unrealistic goals the Chinese government has gone so far as to build entire cities where nobody was going to live just to add to profits. This also assisted the areas of the Chinese economy which is dependent on the price of copper. Building cities, even those nobody is going to inhabit, still required a fair amount of copper to install all the wiring necessary for a modern environment and using so much copper supports a higher price aiding the Chinese economic indicators.

 

Can the Chinese leadership find some miracle to pull off continued reported gains? Of course they can. After all, lying is always an option and that will work until the people rise up and overthrow the government demanding real and honest leadership. The Chinese watched the breakup of the Soviet Union and know that a contributing factor was pretending they could manipulate and lie their way to prosperity and the people would not be bothered by their lies. Apparently they were misled and paid the consequences. The problem in Russia was despite the change in governance there was little change in who governed and who owned all the wealth. China has wisely decentralized their economy and relied on free market principles throughout almost all sectors of their economy.

 

The Chinese leaders have found the one main problem with a free market economy, eventually even these engines need to cool off for a while and that causes an unavoidable recession. This creates one big headache for the leadership in China; they are expected to show profits and economic growth of at least five to six percent every year, period. That will be a real stretch in the next couple of years as their free market sector has reached the apex as things stand and now need to cool the system and take a few quarters, possibly a year or even two of reset and a settling of the economy before the next drive and prosperity again making all happy. The problem is the Chinese Communist Party insists in progress and growth every year or else heads will roll. In China, that is meant quite literally, thus the excessive need to find some way or reporting progress and gains in the economy. This would have been less of a problem had the economy not been buoyed with false growth figures in construction of uninhabited cities and the enforcement of a one child policy cause a drastic set of circumstances. Now China is facing a recession with a glut of male children entering adult life with poor prospects for matrimony coupled with an economic downturn thus even their rescinding the one child policy, it came far too late for these men in a society bereft of women. This adds another component which historically has almost always been solved in the same manner, finding a means of sacrificing a significant number of male citizens between the ages of twelve to twenty-something. That method has always been war.

 

This brings us to another side of China of late, pressing her claims to areas beyond her natural borders and the stationing of troops as a provocation on these fronts. Much of these provocations have been taken in the South China Sea where Chinese activities and demands are threatening long existent and heavily traveled sea trade routes. Add in the Spratly Islands which are claimed somewhat obviously by the Philippines and Viet Nam and add in China and you have instant conflict. This conflict over the Spratly Islands goes far further than the land based claims as should China successfully claim the islands they would also set solid their claim to the South China Sea as their own little private bathtub square in the middle of some of the most heavily travelled sea lanes in the world. This would allow China to control these sea lanes demanding taxes be paid on all cargo, disrupt naval exercises and travel in what are considered as international waters and be a provocation to war all rolled up in one package. The Spratly Islands are likely the end goal of the island building exercises taken by China in the South China Sea and could quickly escalate into an open confrontation should China use their newly built Blue Water Navy to enforce their claims to these waters. Additionally, there are the conflicting claims over the Diaoyu Islands as the Chinese claim and the Senkaku Islands as the Japanese claim (see map below). These two sets of claims are both very sensitive areas but thus far the Chinese appear to be more concerned with their claims for the Spratly Islands as they would cement the South China Sea as strictly Chinese and thus grant China control of the busiest Asian sea lanes and one of the most heavily traveled sea lanes internationally. This might also be the case simply due to the Japanese having a far more developed naval capability compared to Viet Nam and the Philippines and nothing more.

 

Diaoyu Islands as the Chinese Claim Senkaku Islands as the Japanese Claim

Diaoyu Islands as the Chinese Claim
Senkaku Islands as the Japanese Claim

 

The likelihood of an actual war breaking out over the Spratly Islands is considered by many to be a remote possibility. Of course the possibility of China building an island chain to the Spratly Islands and then placing Chinese troops, aircraft and shore batteries and placing naval assets moored to the Spratly Islands is also considered remote. The potential for open conflict with the Philippines calling in their support guaranteed by the United States could be a potential for a quickly escalating situation over the South China Sea, an area the United States desires to be open and free of any interference with trade as much as anybody. Even the Japanese have direct concerns over the Chinese increased territorial claims into the South China Sea. This could easily become a future flashpoint though such is unlikely until some situation would force the United States to emphasize their presence elsewhere pulling assets out of the western Pacific region. One such scenario would be a war in the Middle East threatening the oil shipments from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf oil kingdoms where the United States would also be bound by treaty obligations. With the current United States Navy cut down to well under former levels of actual warships and also less support vessels meaning that the Navy would not be capable of staging on two separate fronts without leaving large segments of the world outside the reach of American naval assets. This is the situation faced currently as the number of front-line aircraft carriers has been reduced such that with one being refurbished then there would not be a full battle group to send into a crisis area forcing the redistribution of assets from areas considered less threatened, though where that might be is a difficult judgement in itself.

 

China is facing economic downturn for the immediate future barring some unforeseen manipulation of forced conflict requiring wartime production which would permit direct government infusions stimulating the economy in an unnatural means which would only make recovery from such a step even more drastic when the correction comes. No nation can continuously show the kinds of gains China has claimed indefinitely and eventually there must be a cooling-off period as the market resets and decides on its next direction for expansion. China did have the advantage of not being a modern, first-world economy after World War II and then struggling through the Mao Zedong five year plan years where things actually managed to worsen thus allowing for a long stretch of recovery, modernization and finally incorporating free market principles and now China is at a top point from which a reset is long, long overdue and pretty much unavoidable short of declaring war. One hopes that even China has progressed beyond using war as an economic stimulus where all markets are crashed to support the war effort allowing for a period of growth and rebuilding when the war is over. One had also best pray that the same is true in the Middle East where the people have reached the end of patience with dictators and are revolting in nation after nation which could threaten to engulf the Middle East, North, the Horn and parts of Central Africa and potentially Europe starting from Turkey and moving westward and northward and even including Russia in a bid to regain some of the lost power of the Soviet Era. Any blow-up in the Middle East and affected areas could be exactly the opening China would need to cement their claims to the waters and international shipping lanes of the western Pacific-Indian Ocean routes and disrupting world trade in hopes of using taxation of trade and other measures to continue to show profits at any cost. As long as tariffs and trade wars are considered a viable economic tool to be found in some national tool kits, then the world is still a dangerous place as long as that remains so.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 14, 2015

Is the United States Allied with Shiites Against Sunnis?

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This must be a question fermenting and fomenting minds across the Middle East and beyond into North Africa and around the world where Muslims reside, meet, mingle and discuss the political intricacies of the hour. The evidences could be actual tactics and planned policy or it could be only innuendo and hyperbole caused by the situational ethics, policies of the moment, sole remaining available alternatives, or the preferences of the man in the White House, President Obama. The truth is that come later January of 2017, a potentially long eighteen months plus a week give or take a few days and the foreign policies of the United States could take as violent a swing as they did when President Obama set out to be the most un-Bush-like President in American history. Will we see a return to the dull and predictable and similar policies as we had with George W. Bush? Not very likely. The one consistency in the Presidency is the lack of consistency in the Presidency. One would be hard pressed to find two consecutive Presidents whose policies and mannerisms in any manner or way resembled their predecessor which often is considered a good thing. Even after a popular President who often served two terms, a full eight years, at some point usually early in the second term the media finally starts to turn and from there it goes directly downhill and by the time inauguration day both the American people and the President themselves are anxious for them to leave Washington far in their wake never to return. With time the opinions of a President begin to average out between their high points and their lowest lows to somewhere which will resemble their standing in history. So, whether President Obama has chosen to support Shiite Islam over Sunni Islam is an intentional policy or the result of situations and a culmination of events leading him without his realizing how his actions may be perceived, in the end it really does not matter. Still, there will be those who will assign great importance, as has already graced many an article and editorial, both supporting and critiquing the President’s actions with both sides and assigned credit or blame all being pretty evenly split such that I have no idea which side of this is brilliance and which should be taken for buffoonery.

 

What we outside the world of Islam think, feel, argue or critique is of far less importance than what is the opinions of the leaders of the Sunni and Shia Islamic worlds; the Imams, the national leaders and the Muslim peoples themselves are where the consequences will be formed and fall. The thing the rest of us should fear is should alliances in the Muslim world start forming either favoring, fearing or targeting the United States become reality and end up forcing future policy alternatives and resulting in a United States firmly stuck on one side of this divide and because of such the rest of the world choosing up sides accordingly and then not only will the Muslim world be split in adversarial camps but the rest of the world also aligning down the very same divides as that is the thing that world wars are made of. It was the alliances which caused the spread of what should have been a quick skirmish and within a few months the scores settled after the assassination of Duke Ferdinand but then the two sides began calling in allies and those nations sympathetic and before one knows what was actually happening the entirety of Europe and Japan and all the respective colonies around the world were at war and World War I was born and before it died it eventually including the United States whose entry will be debated as to whether it was manufactured and if so by whom. World War II might have been far shorter had the British and French honored their commitments with Czechoslovakia and not given Hitler the Sudetenland or even after that foolishness had at least honored their subsequent promises to Czechoslovakia when Hitler marched through the now unprotected passes and gobbled up the remainder of Czechoslovakia. Instead they waited until after Czechoslovakia fell and Hitler had added much of the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire from World War I vintage to his side before finally striking at Poland still feeling sure that surely after all their previous gutlessness that the French and British threats were still as empty as before. For those still wondering, the French and British honored their treaties with Poland not that this was of much use to Poland who was swallowed in halves to Hitler’s Germany from their west and Stalin’s Soviets from their east and a few scant weeks until the two armies met in the center and Poland was divided between the two temporary allies. Eventually Hitler turned on Stalin as well making one of the two largest mistakes of the war with the other contender was not following the British across the Channel immediately after Dunkirk. If this reference troubled you, look up “mosquito armada World War II Dunkirk” and read about one of the strangest and most noble acts by the British people without requiring anything other than a call to arms, or at least to assist.

 

Should the Muslim and also the Arab worlds neither one decide that the United States has taken sides in their centuries old conflict between the Sunnis and the Shiites and thus one side have closed off all relations with the United States, then the next President will have the luxury of mending fences and restoring balance in the United States Middle East policy. In President Obama’s defense, he was and still appears to be a strong supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood which is as Sunni as Islamic organizations get. The President has a couple of suspected Muslim Brotherhood affiliated or at least sympathizers in the administration as well as in high profile positions in the State Department and there are not many accusing him of being a sympathizer and solely allied with the Sunnis because of these facts. Certainly such is an easy match for his lack of bombing Assad while bombing the Islamic State despite Assad having murdered vastly more peoples all of them Sunni or non-Muslims while the Islamic State has murdered far fewer Shiites and non-Muslims. The problem with such reasoning is it takes a sophomoric view that numbers of fatalities and casualties is the sole reason for policy and ignores other influences such as perceived threat that one group or nation may present over the threat of another plus the reactions of the people of the United States who also have influence over decision more often than politicians or media care to admit, though the media goes to great lengths to influence the populace and their political conversations and should anybody likely be behind the apparent Shiite support over Sunni Muslims than anything else could ever hope to possess. Of course you will never hear the media taking the blame for the reactions from the people driven by the mainstream media which in turn influences the elected officials thus potentially changing the policies of the United States including foreign policies and position taken by a President. That is both the blessing and the curse of a free society which has open and supposedly transparent elections despite much of what some conspiracy theorists claim to have proof is untrue to which we should simply tell them to file their evidence with the courts of the FED (Federal Election Commission) and let the world, or at least the rest of the United States, settle these claims and force remedial action and a higher level of scrutiny and enforced compliance with security providing for honest elections.

 

The claims by some are likely part of a concerted effort to pressure the United States to alter its foreign policies in some manner probably more favorable to the Sunni Muslim and potentially the Sunni Arab states. The main reasons being given dance around one major foreign policy currently being pursued by the United States which is hugely obvious by the omission we have read claiming that the United States policies are highly anti-Sunni and pro-Shiite; that omission is the ongoing and ongoing and ongoing negotiations with Iran and the seeming falling all over themselves by the United States negotiating team which appear to be leaving Iran able to breakout and make nuclear weapons on an industrial scale within six to ten months from deciding whether they want to announce before or after they leave the restrictions from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or after as North Korea did before announcing their first nuclear weapon test after breaking their agreement which was negotiated by many of the same team members as are members in these negotiations as well. The main difference is the Secretary of State where one may not have great amounts of faith in Secretary Kerry’s abilities for a multitude of reasons most likely starting with his testimony about his fellow soldiers from his service in Viet Nam where he served with distinction even if not entirely with honor as he managed to receive three Purple Hearts and an immediate trip home with great haste and ease only to give the following testimony before the Senate here in transcript of the complete two hours and forty minute excerpt from his testimony where the below can be heard roughly between 5 minute 45 seconds through 7 minute mark:

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

 

By now I believe almost everybody other than those so sold on the theory that President Obama is the smartest and most knowledgeable person to walk the halls of power in the history of the universe have realized that when it comes to foreign policy his expertise is that of the level of a neophyte and that is being generous. President Obama has done damage to the United States that may never be rectified as he has broken promises made by former Presidents whose guarantees were ratified by both houses of Congress with levels which if the letter of intents and promises given a certain leader of Israel where no such treaty was feasible without harming the standing the United States cared to retain with the Arab world thus a “mere letter which is not binding on any who followed President Bush” was really much more, but then again the bust of Winston Churchill was not given to any particular President to be an ornament that he found pleasing but a gift to the people of the United States and a gift he had not the authority no matter what his position to demand the British take away as he found it odious, many Americans including most of the ones I have ever known would have objected loudly and strenuously and offered to proudly house that gift in their own home just to retain it and offer it to a new President when such a gift might be more appreciated. That was also the treatment President Obama showed the Saudi Arabian Royals when he discounted their preferences and warning about Iran and simply gave them what in their culture would be considered a scolding for getting out of place for having the audacity to not only oppose him but to doubt his intentions, his intelligence, or his expertise as President Obama knows.

 

I guess one of the worst of all things one can ever commit would be holding any doubts about any and everything President Obama says or does as he is, in his own words we quote from a September, 2008, New York Times profile of Obama where he reportedly told Patrick Gaspard, his political director, at the start of the 2008 campaign, according to The New Yorker,

I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.

Well, guess that tells us all we need to know, the rest of us are in a second class league in any expertise we may have because there is a man who likely would meet us and in casual conversation at some point tell us we need not try to inform him on any subject as he already knows twice as much as any of us do on everything. It is little wonder that it has been reported that President Obama often has his daily morning intelligence briefing either told to be given to somebody else or simply waved it off completely often for weeks maybe months at a time and often when he does receive it interrupts to do personal affairs and appears to be distracted and not actually paying attention. I bet he really hears it all and has likely absorbed it all out of the ether and finds such reports unnecessary. According to the Washington Post article By Marc A. Thiessen from September 13, 2012, titled Obama alone: This president does not need intel briefers we quote from almost half the way down,

Vietor’s reply is quite revealing. It is apparently a point of pride in the White House that Obama’s PDB is “not briefed to him.” In the eyes of this administration, it is a virtue that the president does not meet every day with senior intelligence officials. This president, you see, does not need briefers. He can forgo his daily intelligence meeting because he is, in Vietor’s words, “among the most sophisticated consumers of intelligence on the planet.”

 

Though I really should just let this lie as is, I just am unable to resist a little more fun. I am willing to bet that President Obama does not know better than I what I am thinking right about now, nor likely what your reaction has been either. Imagine being the candidate’s political director at the start of the campaign and have the candidate say to your face, “And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.” How does one not just get up and silently walk out the door and simply not return, how? I would be incapable of even supporting such a boorish and ignorant person who is so involved with themselves that they are a more narcissistic egomaniacal megalomaniac than I imagine I am in my wildest dreams, which is why I gave up dreaming long ago as I can dream while awake better than my subconscious can dream when I’m asleep, so top that President Obama.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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