Conservative Political Commentary

...usually with an attempt at historical and economic context

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rand Paul's Warning: Orwell's "1984" Is in America

Decrees of the Obama Administration and various laws passed by the U.S. Congress seriously threaten our individual liberty. By the Patriot Act, the NDAA, NSA surveillance, TSA, etc., government shows less and less concern about liberty or the Constitution, and greater and greater willingness to violate these rights in the name of “security.”


Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Those who can give up essential Liberty. to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Is this beginning to describe our country?


It is said that freedom, once lost, is not easily regained.


By the way, many of today's younger people have barely heard of, let alone read, George Orwell's 1984. I would urge everyone to read it. In my opinion, it may be the most important book of the twentieth century. At least three feature films of it have been released. The latest has John Hurt as Winston Smith and Richard Burton as Inner Party member O'Brien.

Senator Rand Paul is one of the too-few legislators who believes in the U.S. Constitution. We are allowing our protections to erode. When voting for Senators and Congressmen, we must pay attention to their voting records on important issues and choose accordingly. The liberty issue is one that overrides the temporary political controversies of the day. It can be seen that serious votes and events are taking place which the mainstream media will not report on, or, if they do, it's with a minimum of mention. How many of the issues Senator Paul speaks of have been covered significantly in the MSM?





The trends are clear. Big Brother is already watching!


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Monday, September 2, 2013

Obama's Mistake: Ready to Turn Syrian Tragedy into American Failure

English: Cropped version of File:Official port...
Cropped version of File:Official portrait of Barack Obama.jpg.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Why, oh, why does President Obama think he can correct or improve anything by launching a military attack on Syria? There are so many things wrong with this, it's hard to know where to start. I am listing a few of the major reasons why I believe Obama's proposed attack is a very bad idea.

  1. Obama has waited too long for military action to be of any benefit. Two years ago was the time to do something, if something was to be done. He chose not to. That was a good choice, but now the situation has changed so much that even if military action were a good idea now in some kind of theory, which it definitely is not, there are many complications that make it very unlikely to succeed in any significant way. Russia is Syria's supplier and champion. Hezbollah and various other entities have reinforced Assad to the point that without America's actual participation in the civil war, Assad is virtually assured of victory. Even if he were deposed, his replacement would be someone even worse. The rebels would soon set about to create an Islamic state that would hate America as much as Assad does, or more.
  1. If there were any practicality to attacking Syria now, and there isn't, telegraphing the intention weeks in advance could only harm the chance of success of actually destroying anything that would affect the outcome in Syria.
  1. The leaders of the so-called “free world,” not necessarily the sharpest these days, are at least smart enough to see that Obama's desired attack is a misguided idea. There would be little support in the international community for his actions, and much blame for America for things that would go wrong.
  1. Just about everyone can see the utter hypocrisy of overreacting to the tragic gas attack – when Saddam Hussein was gassing his own countrymen during the George W. Bush years, Obama and his friends saw no need to do anything about it. Saddam killed many thousands more than Assad has thus far. Also, Obama knows that under Assad over 100,000 Syrians have died by means of bullets and bombs, but that has warranted no action on the part of the U.S. in Obama's estimation. But the people killed by conventional means are just as dead as those killed by poison gas.

  2. Obama brought this “crisis” upon himself with his “red line” statements. It was a red line that seemed definite, but the consequences of crossing it (more than once) were anything but. It is mainly to avoid the embarrassment of not enforcing the red line at all that Obama now wants to attack Syria. As bad as the evil gas attack was, it does not warrant the response Obama wants to use.

  3. Obama's proposed attack would require a supplemental appropriation by Congress since there is not sufficient funding to do it otherwise. It is doubtful that Congress wants to approve Obama's plan (to the extent he has any plan), and doing so would cost many millions and kill a good many people – for what? To save Obama's ego?

  4. It seems obvious that this idea is poorly thought out in terms of its consequences. Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized that this would not be like Iraq, but if one examines the history of U.S. interventions in the Middle East under Obama, it's easy to see that nothing has worked out as well as was hoped. Libya has been changed from a dictatorship under Qaddafi into an Al-Qaeda stronghold. Egypt, where we have not intervened militarily but diplomatically, has endured an Islamist regime only recently removed. Egypt is now a horrifying place for its citizens, especially the Christians. The economy is in shambles. How long before someone thinks we must intervene militarily there, too? “Mission creep” is inevitable in military interventions. The war in Afghanistan has dragged on for over a decade without really accomplishing the whole mission, not because of our military, but because of our politicians.

    After the U.S. Attacks Syria, if such an attack takes place, what happens to the neighboring countries, especially Israel? Neither Syria nor Iran nor Hezbollah would feel constrained from sending multiple rockets there if they feared no U.S. response, or maybe even if they did. In any event, Israel would be left in a very difficult position, and the result could well be a wider Mid-East war in which we would have to fight.
Probably, some big financiers think they would profit from an attack on Syria, as they typically do from any war. As I see it, it would be of serious harm to America and Israel and would not be of any benefit to Syrian people vulnerable to Assad's attacks with either conventional or chemical weapons. The only realistic solution is a negotiated settlement, to be reached, hopefully, before Assad destroys even more thousands of people. The U.S. can probably have very little influence on such a settlement.

The Obama Administration and Congress need to think this through a lot more thoroughly than they have up to now. They should listen to Sarah Palin's advice: Let Allah sort it out.
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