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Fake Dictionary, Dictionary definition of the word hubris.

The Hubris of Nation Builders

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Guest Post by Lee A. Presser

My friend Bill Hennessy wrote an excellent 11-12-16 blog analysis of Anglo-American history and how it relates to Mr. Trump’s victory (http://hennessysview.com/2016/11/12/how-the-second-born-twin-can-be-older-than-the-first/).  After reading that blog I phoned him to add a tangential thought.  Bill suggested I share the thought with you.

It took 561 years (from the Magna Carta to the Declaration of Independence) for the idea of limited government and political equality to infuse itself into Anglo-American culture.  By 1776 enough people believed in the possibility, that they were willing to fight for it and organize a government based on it after a battlefield victory.

In 2003 George W. Bush sent American troops into Iraq to remove its leader, Saddam Hussein.  At the start of the war, 72% of Americans interviewed in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll were in favor the war, while 25% were opposed.  That support rapidly eroded when the public discovered that after Saddam Hussein was in custody, President Bush intended to keep troops in Iraq until that country was democratized and a representative form of government was inaugurated.

President Bush had a strong mandate from the American people to win a war and remove an evil leader.  He did not have a mandate to sacrifice American lives to democratize Iraq.

Unlike the Anglo-American quest for limited government and political equality, the Iraqi people had been on no such journey.  They never imaged limited government as a cultural goal nor were they going to organize a government based on it after a battlefield victory.  Their culture, like most Middle-Eastern and Asian cultures, believed in strong leadership from the top down.  Individuals owed allegiance to the head of the family, the various family leaders submitted politically and militarily to the strongest leader.

Had President Bush crushed Saddam Hussein, hung him and his immediate chain of command, warned the successor leaders of Iraqnot to attack American interests again, he would have ended the war there and then.

Apparently, President Bush thought the Iraqi people could immediately achieve what it took Anglo-American culture over 500 years to accomplish; for the idea of limited government and political equality to infuse itself into a culture.  He insisted on providing the Iraqi people a form of government they did not seek and most knew little about.

Greek philosophers had a word for President Bush’s thinking process, hubris.

iwo-jima

The Only Rule of Engagement Will Be Victory

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Guest Post by Lee Presser

When FDR sent the troops to fight World War 2, he sent them to win.  Since 1945, the political class has not given America’s military that clear instruction when being sent to war.  Political considerations have modified the goal of winning.  In Korea, it was fight but do not anger the Chinese.  In Viet Nam, it was fight but do not attack the enemy if they are standing on the other side of line drawn on a map.

By the time we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, the Rules of Engagement were so restrictive, winning was not an option.  The Political Class sent our young men and women to be maimed and killed, to be afflicted with psychological trauma, but not with the one instruction which would have made the sacrifice worth the effort; Win. 

By the start of the 2016 Presidential election cycle, polls reported that Americans did not want to send more sons and daughters to fight a ground war in the Middle East.  Can you blame them?  In the past mothers and fathers had the internal satisfaction of knowing their child was doing his duty and protecting the family from an enemy.  Grief stricken families proudly displayed Gold Star flags. 

In this post 911 world, sacrifice is questioned.  Some see the fallen and the maimed as patsies rather than as patriots.  Families feel regret without the satisfaction that comes with victory. 

Paris changed people’s minds.  The American public sees the danger of allowing our undefeated enemy to continue fighting while we sit dumbly awaiting his arrival at our local mall, coffee shop, or music venue.  Americans are ready to act decisively but fear the political class is not. 

It is time for the American military to be allowed to take the gloves off.  We must fight to defeat the enemy.  A strategy which starts with words ‘degrade an enemy’s capability’ is actually a formula for degrading the fighting will of Americans.  The goal of war is to break the enemy’s will to fight, forcing him to the table for a negotiated peace.  If they will not give up, they all must be destroyed.  The Battle of Guadalcanal, the Battle of Peleliu, and the Battle of Iwo Jima are but three examples of destroying an enemy who failed to surrender to the American military. 

When we go back to the Middle East, it must be with overwhelming military force.  The only rule of engagement will be victory.  It is time America puts the fear of God in those barbarian cowards who hide among the civilian population and expect that will shield them and their heinous acts from American justice. 

God bless America!  God protect those who fight in her name. 

If this sounds familiar, see Rules of War

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The New Russian Empire

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The last two years of Barack Obama’s presidency will see the rise of a new Russian empire.

This new empire will resemble the Soviet Union in shape, the Czars in style.

We looked at this subject over the summer (here and here). To summarize those blogs:

  • The US-led coup of Ukraine convinced Putin to reassert safer borders
  • Russia wants to build a buffer between itself and NATO

  • Putin wants to re-establish a Russian Empire to revitalize Russian pride and influence

  • Western debt and war-weariness make NATO impotent

  • Putin knows the next US president might be more of a man than Obama, even if its Hillary

  • Putin will want to complete his expansion by January 20, 2017

  • Ukraine is as good as done and Poland will fall under Russian influence

I still believe all of that. And today we learned that Ukraine has entered its death-spiral as an independent country. Hyperinflation–the thing Krugman says went extinct with the gold standard–has returned. As ZeroHedge points out, this is the end-game for Ukraine.

And here’s more, also via ZeroHedge:

So as the Ukraine government watches its country go down in flames, with the blessings of the US State Department of course, it decided to take action. According to Reuters, with the hryvnia in free fall (see above) the central bank tried to call a halt on Wednesday by banning banks from buying foreign currency on behalf of their clients for the rest of this week.

To summarize:

  • The US backed a coup of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president (because US foreign policy had been so successful backing coups in Bay of Pigs, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Syria)
  • Putin retaliated by seizing Crimea

  • Then Putin attacked Ukraine proper

  • Then the US and Saudi Arabia flooded the oil market to hurt Russia

  • Then Ukraine went into hyperinflation, which will end with capitulation to Russia

  • Then Poland will ask, “should we trust America’s promises or Russia’s threats?”

  • If you were Poland, how would you answer that question?

    Obama Smug

    We Interrupt This World War For a Democratic Fundraiser

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    Obama Smug
    “What, me worry?”

    Russian troops or Russian proxies murdered 293 people, today, including 23 Americans by many reports.

    Israel was forced to invade Gaza to destroy tunnels Hamas uses to invade Israel and murder children.

    The world teeters on the brink of all-out war.

    But the President refused to cancel partisan fundraising efforts tonight.

    Via The Blaze:

    At 2:25 p.m., the White House press office e-mailed a response to an inquiry from TheBlaze, “No scheduling changes to be reported at this time.”

    Again, numerous reports say 23 Americans were on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17’s manifest. There were no survivors. Since Obama raised about $32,000 each from 30 donors, the fundraiser generated about $41,000 for each American killed. Mission accomplished!

    Barack Obama is beneath contempt, and any defense of his actions and failures as President deserve the sort of pity normal felt for the ignorance of animals.

     

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    Why I’m Changing My Mind About Impeaching Obama

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    A lot of good people I know grumble that the House Republicans don’t try to impeach Obama.

    I usually don’t say much in response. After the disaster of the ill-conceived Clinton impeachment fiasco, impeachment seems like a superstition. Like a unicorn. I think impeachment is a dangerous tool and should never be used for political purposes.

    Besides, Harry Reid’s Senate wouldn’t consider articles of impeachment if they included NSA video of Obama throwing adorable, drooling toddlers off the George Washington Bridge.

    Even further, I’m not sure that he’s committed a crime worthy of removal from office.

    Until now, that is.

    The Bergdahl terrorist exchange changes everything in my view. Everything.

    Here’s what we know about the bizarre and troubling Bergdahl-for-murderers swap:

    The United States has lost 2,323 troops in Afghanistan. Fourteen of them were reportedly lost looking for Bergdahl in the weeks after Bergdahl deserted–a crime punishable by death in wartime.

    Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s Susan Rice extolled Bergdahl’s honor and heroism on the Sunday talk shows. This was the same Susan Rice who lied to the nation about the video tape after the Benghazi 9/11 massacre. Soldiers who served with Bergdahl prior to his desertion are “appalled” that anyone would call Bergdahl a “hero.”

    Add it all up, and you have a pretty clear case. Obama dishonored every man and woman who ever wore the uniform with honor. He released enemy combatants to return to the field of battle and kill more innocents. He did so on behalf of an Army deserter with dubious allegiance to the United States and whose actions reportedly took the lives of 14 soldiers.

    For these crimes against the United States and by aiding and abetting terrorists wanted for crimes against humanity, I now want the House of Representatives to start impeachment hearings against the President. The next Congress would have to hold the hearings and trial, but this Congress can get the ball rolling.

    The Obama Administration has insulted millions of American service members and veterans. It traded terrorists for one deserter. The President broke the law in his quest to aid the enemy or to make himself look like a badass or whatever. I don’t really care what his motives are. I just want him punished for his crimes.

    Russia's Ukraine Adventure

    Maybe I’m All Wrong About Putin and Poland

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    When you’ve stated your opinion or belief about something important, do you defend your belief to the hilt? Or do you immediately begin questioning your own conclusions?

    Most of my life, I would defend my opinion to the point of losing friends. Even if I was wrong. Even I knew I was wrong. I’m a coward, what can I say?

    I’m trying to get better, though. One practice I’ve developed and recommend to everyone is pretty simple but difficult. The week between Christmas and New Years, I list my Top 10 Unquestionable Beliefs. Then I try my best to debunk each one.

    I don’t blog them. I don’t carry around my list and review it every day. It’s a one-day exercise. And each round begins the same, with the Apostles’ Creed:

    Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem; Creatorem coeli et terrae.

     

    You could say the Apostles’ Creed is eight beliefs, but I consider it one. Then there are other beliefs, like, I am a terrible father and son, I’ve wasted most of my life seeking instant gratification, and the like. I’ve never debunked any of those, but I keep trying.

    I have debunked a few of my beliefs with this process. One such belief involves my prior faith in the Republican Party to create a more perfect society. I think the GOP would suck less than the Democrat Party. But I no longer trust the GOP, as it’s currently formed, to actually improve things very much. There’s just too much money and power in perpetuating the crap.

    The biggest benefit to my faith challenges, though, has been in my ability to question my own opinions about everything. It’s liberating. I finally get to admit I’m wrong when I’m wrong and celebrate that I found a better idea than the one I had.

    I mention all this because I’ve been writing lately about Putin’s intentions in Eastern Europe. In What Will Putin Do? I speculate that he will advance into Eastern Ukraine. In What Would You Do If You Were Putin, I point out that Putin’s window for restoring Soviet borders and buffers might close with the next US presidential election. In Now The White House Says Russia Preparing to Invade Ukraine, I explain why seizing more land and conquering or intimidating more countries could be in Putin’s best interest.

    Today, though, I read Charles Hugh Smith’s blog Have We Reached Peak Putin? I read it, and I agree with many of his points. I only wish my posts had been as thorough, intelligent, and well-reasoned as Mr. Smith’s.  His conclusion contradicts my own, as he says:

    Given the context laid out above, it seems increasingly likely that we’ve reached Peak Putin. The capture of a few pawns has cleared the chessboard, but the strategic choices already made have greatly reduced Putin’s room to maneuver.

    I still believe that Putin is far from finished. I’m not saying Russian tanks roll tomorrow (though they might). I am saying Putin intends to restore Soviet borders and buffers.

    Still, you should read Smith’s post before accepting my arguments. I could be wrong. Or I could be right. History will tell.

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    King Abdullah Kicks Obama Out of Saudia Arabia ? **Video Added**

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    You’d think American foreign policy couldn’t sink any lower than standing by while Vladimir Putin re-conquers the Warsaw Pact nations. Then you’ve underestimated Barack Obama’s incompetence.

    Apparently, Obama didn’t bow low enough to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Whatever happened, an “intimate” evening planned for Obama and Abdullah was abruptly cancelled after a two-hour meeting between the two leaders. A meeting intended to “mend fences” between the two men.

    UPDATE: Here’s the video from Lou Dobbs on Fox Business

     

    The White House is now denying there was  dinner scheduled. They’ve scrubbed all references from the White House web site, they’ve demanded return of printed copies of the schedule (and the state media complied). They’ve even deleted a State Department tweet about the dinner. Before the MSM finishes scrubbing their sites, I grabbed a few screens. Here’s what WaPo said this morning:

    Washington Post reports Obama's overnight stay and dinner with King Abdullah
    Washington Post reports Obama’s overnight stay and dinner with King Abdullah

    And USAToday:

    USA Today Story Reports Dinner with King Abdullah.
    USA Today Story Reports Dinner with King Abdullah.

    But the dinner was cancelled:


    Fox News reported that a State Department tweet posted earlier today was deleted after the White House announced that there never was a dinner planned between Abdullah and Obama. The White House would not explain why the dinner appeared on the President’s official schedule and the press briefing.

    What we do know is this: King Abdullah thinks Obama’s a wimp who screwed up the whole Syria thing then appeased Iran on nuclear weapons. Abdullah has stated flat out that if Iran gets nukes, Saudi Arabia will go nuclear.

    Apparently, Obama’s fawning, bowing, obsequious routine didn’t impress Abdullah. In fact, I’m pretty sure the King takes Obama for a child playing a man’s role.

    It’s highly unusual for a US President to be effectively kicked out of a country–especially an allied country. Coming on the heels of Obama’s feckless deterrent in Eastern Europe, Iran’s flouting of the toothless agreement we signed in the fall, and Obama’s collapsing support at home, the world now witnesses a weird scenario in which Saudia Arabia and Israel become the only “Western” countries capable of bare-knuckle diplomacy with the world’s land-grabbers.

    What’s to stop Putin from marching through Ukraine straight into Poland? As I said, Putin knows he has an open window to seize all the land he wants until January 20, 2017.

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    Now, the White House Says Russia Preparing to Invade Ukraine

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    This morning, a White House aide told reporters that Obama’s sanctions are visibly “weakening” Putin and Russia.

    Hours later, the White House recognizes that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could come any moment.

    Speaking from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, Mike Rogers, the chair of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, said US intelligence officials were convinced “that Putin is not done in Ukraine”.

    Surprise. As I’ve written, Russian paranoia demands a larger sphere of influence and a large buffer of puppet governments, all the way to the German border with Poland. Plus, Putin has no strategic reason to stop with Crimea. Having articulated the Putin Doctrine that allows Russia to invade any country where two or three gather to speak Russian, any tweet from a Russian-speaking person in any country as a pretext for invasion and occupation.Finally, Putin knows that his window for re-establishing the Soviet Union’s extensive collection of occupied nations could slam shut when the United States elects a new President in 2016.

    Here’s my best guess on Putin’s map for 2016:

    russian-aims-5

    Red is conquered. Pink represents countries forced, by Western weakness, to accept Russian dictates.

    To me, the question is no longer “will Putin continue to conquer Europe,” but “will the West survive?”

    The US and Europe have no economic means to go to war without first defaulting on trillions of dollars in debt. The Obama Pentagon has systematically dismantled the US military, currently working on a plan to reduce forces to pre-World War II levels. (Because man is too advanced to ever fight another war.) Plus, the US public’s tolerance for war is near zero. From left to right on political dial, the energy comes from those who want America to get out of the World’s Policeman role.

    Put it altogether, and we could be in a for nasty 2014-2015.

    This might not be a bad time to learn some basic disaster preparedness skills. Start with Peak Prosperity blog. If the bad thing never comes in your lifetime, you’ll at least learn how to live a little cheaper.