Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

Refuting the myth of Reagan the Peacenik

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Ronald Reagan was such a successful President that, unsurprisingly, many people want to claim his legacy as their own. Many people, usually falsely, claim he would’ve supported their policy and ideology if he were alive today. Many falsely claim he implemented this or that policy instead of that one.

The Gipper was, depending on whom you ask, a neocon, a paleocon, an isolationist, an interventionist, a conservative, a liberal, a free-marketer, a welfare stater, a free trader, a protectionist, a warmonger, a peacenik, etc. The list goes on.

But if you read and listen to Reagan’s own words – rather than anyone else’s claims – and analyze’s Reagan’s real actions, a clear and correct image of Reagan prints itself.

Despite the Left’s, and a certain isolationist Senator’s, pathetic attempts to depict Reagan as a nuke-hating, pro-disarmament, war-weary pacifist, Ronald Reagan was very much a hawk, even though he was careful about when and where to intervene militarily in the first place.

But intervention was so rarely necessary BECAUSE Ronald Reagan had built up America’s military strength so much that America’s adversaries usually retreated in the face of that military might.

Rebutting Rand Paul’s Lies…

Writing recently in the leftist Politico magazine, Sen. Rand Paul claims that:

“This [foreign policy – ZM] is where many in my own party, similar to Perry, get it so wrong regarding Ronald Reagan’s doctrine of “peace through strength.” Strength does not always mean war. Reagan ended the Cold War without going to war with Russia. He achieved a relative peace with the Soviet Union—the greatest existential threat to the United States in our history—through strong diplomacy and moral leadership.

Reagan had no easy options either. But he did the best he could with the hand he was dealt. Some of Reagan’s Republican champions today praise his rhetoric but forget his actions. Reagan was stern, but he wasn’t stupid. Reagan hated war, particularly the specter of nuclear war. Unlike his more hawkish critics—and there were many—Reagan was always thoughtful and cautious.”

Paul is attacking a straw man here, as well as conveniently omitting an important fact. The straw man attack is “Strength does not always mean war.” Nobody in the Republican Party wants war, Senator, or thinks that “strength” means war. In fact, it is the Democrats, not Republicans, who are most likely to involve America in wars and interventions around the world, usually for reasons unrelated to US national interests.

Need I remind you, Senators, that it was the Democrats who involved the US in two huge wars in Korea in Vietnam which they were not willing to win nor to end? Wars which Republican Presidents extricated the US out of?

Or that, more recently, Presidents Clinton and Obama involved the US in pointless humanitarian crusades in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Libya, and Obama wanted to do that in Syria as well?

Yes, Ronald Reagan was much more cautious than Democratic Presidents about intervening militarily abroad. But when such invasions WERE necessary, he did not shy away from them. He intervened to stop Communism’s spread in the Carribean. He sent US troops to Lebanon. (He made a huge error by withdrawing from there after the Beirut bombing of 1983; America’s retreat from there emboldened Islamic terrorists in the region.) And most importantly, he conducted powerful strikes against Qaddafi’s regime in Libya in 1986, despite the Left all around the world (including your own father) condemning him for it, and despite no US ally, excluding the UK, supporting him.

No, Ronald Reagan did not hate (nor love) war. When intervention was required, he did not shy away from it.

But most of the time, he didn’t need to launch military interventions, because despite the resistance from the Democrats and from your own father, Senator, he build the strongest military in world history (of which today’s US military is just a shadow). By the late 1980s, America’s military might was such that no adversary dared to challenge the US head-first.

In parallel, Reagan supported anti-Communist movements and insurgencies (“proxies”) all around the world, including Latin America and Afghanistan.

You, Senator, are conveniently ignoring the “strength” component of peace through strength. Peace was possible ONLY because of US strength. Without that strength, there would’ve been no peace. There would’ve been war.

Weakness invites war. Strength guarantees peace.

But that lesson is totally lost on you, Senator. You have advocated, and continue to advocate, deep, crippling cuts in America’s defenses – including and beyond sequestration (a monstrous mechanism which, if not repealed, will cut $550 bn from the defense budget over the next decade).

Yet, you advocate even deeper cuts – and the withdrawal of US troops from abroad. This in spite of the fact that foreign bases – of which the US has far fewer than your kooky father claims – are necessary for power projection over long distances and help deter adversaries and reassure allies.

You are a faux-Reaganite, Senator, despite your desperate and pathetic attempts to cast yourself as Gipper’s acolyte. Your policy is not Peace Through Strength. Your policy is Hoping For Peace by Unilateral Disarmament and Withdrawal From The World.

It is no coincidence you are completely isolated in the GOP on foreign policy. That’s what advocating isolationism leads to.

If you’re advocating such foolish policies in the vain hope that doing so will win you votes and perhaps the White House, stop dreaming. Despite what the leftist media and pseudo-pollsters tell you, there is no popular demand for isolationist and anti-defense policies today, in stark contrast to the 1930s and the 1970s, and nobody in the GOP except Congressmen Amash, Duncan (TN), Massie, and Labrador shares your views.

You should run for the Democratic nomination instead. In that party, a man with your views would be warmly welcomed.

… And Peter Beinart’s

Your Politico piece contains a link to an utterly ridiculous garbage screed from 4 years ago by Peter Beinart, wherein the author falsely claims that Ronald Reagan abandoned his hawkish policies in late 1983 and thereafter pursued a conciliatory, dovish policy towards the Soviet Union until the end of his administration. Beinart explicitly calls Reagan’s post-1984 policies “dovish.”

But this is completely false – like the rest of Beinart’s claims. As Professor Robert G. Kaufman nicely sums up:

When circumstances changed during Reagan’s second term, he adjusted his policies—but not the premises underlying them. He responded positively to the changes in the Soviet regime during Gorbachev’s tenure. Ultimately, Gorbachev and the Soviet Union agreed to end the Cold War not on their terms, but on Ronald Reagan’s.

American pressure on the Soviet Union did not abate at any point during the Reagan presidency, despite his view that engaging Gorbachev could facilitate the implosion of the regime. Reagan refused to abandon SDI or the Zero Option calling for the elimination of all intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe; Gorbachev capitulated. American defense spending continued to rise, peaking at $302 billion in 1988 (6.6 percent of GDP). The Reagan Administration continued to aid freedom fighters, draining Soviet resources in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Nor did Reagan relent in his assault on the moral legitimacy of the Soviet Regime. In June 1987, over the objection of his so-called more realistic advisers, he called on Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, excoriating it as the symbol of Soviet totalitarianism

Reagan’s understanding of himself also demolishes the revisionist interpretation of his motives and policies. Summing up his foreign policy legacy to students at the University of Virginia on December 16, 1988, he welcomed the improvement in Soviet–American relations but urged Americans to “keep our heads down” and “keep our skepticism” because “fundamental differences remain.” He attributed that improvement to his policy of firmness, not conciliation:

Plain talk, strong defenses, vibrant allies, and readiness to use American power when American power was needed helped prompt the reappraisal that the Soviet leaders have taken in their previous policies. Even more, Western resolve demonstrated that the hard line advocated by some within the Soviet Union would be fruitless, just as our economic success has set a shining example.

Reagan contrasted his policies with the more conciliatory policies of his predecessors during the 1970s:

We need to recall that in the years of détente we tended to forget the greatest weapon that democracies have in their struggle is public candor: the truth. We must never do this again. It is not an act of belligerence to speak of the fundamental differences between totalitarianism and democracy; it is a moral imperative…. Throughout history, we see evidence that adversaries negotiate seriously with democratic nations when they know democracies harbor no illusions about their adversaries.

Those are Reagan’s own words – not mine, and not Professor Kaufman’s.

It was in 1987, not 1981, that Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate and loudly challenged Gorbachev to “open this gate” and “tear down this wall.” And at the very end of his Presidency, in December 1988, he STILL urged Americans “keep our heads down” and “keep our skepticism” because “fundamental differences remain.”

Nor did Ronald Reagan abate in his defense buildup and pursuit of military pressure on the Soviet Union. In his 1986 speech on defense issues, he warned that:

tonight the security program that you and I launched to restore America’s strength is in jeopardy, threatened by those who would quit before the job is done. Any slackening now would invite the very dangers America must avoid and could fatally compromise our negotiating position. Our adversaries, the Soviets — we know from painful experience — respect only nations that negotiate from a position of strength. American power is the indispensable element of a peaceful world; it is America’s last, best hope of negotiating real reductions in nuclear arms. Just as we are sitting down at the bargaining table with the Soviet Union, let’s not throw America’s trump card away.

 

Our Armed Forces may be smaller in size than in the 1950’s, but they’re some of the finest young people this country has ever produced. And as long as I’m President, they’ll get the quality equipment they need to carry out their mission.

 

We set out to narrow the growing gaps in our strategic deterrent, and we’re beginning to do that. Our modernization program — the MX, the Trident submarine, the B-1 and stealth bombers — represents the first significant improvement in America’s strategic deterrent in 20 years. Those who speak so often about the so-called arms race ignore a central fact: In the decade before 1981, the Soviets were the only ones racing.”

Beinart also falsely claims that in 1983, Reagan suddenly had a change of heart about defense issues, military might, and nuclear weapons in particular, and began pursuing dovish defense policies and overruling the supposed “hawks” in his administration.

These are also blatant lies – just like everything else Beinart (a far-left propagandist) writes.

Reagan’s defense buildup NEVER abated at ANY point during Reagan’s presidency.

Throughout his presidency, the American defense buildup continued, peaking, as Professor Kaufman, noted, at $302 bn and 6.6% of GDP in 1988. In the late 1980s, at Reagan’s insistence, dozens of new weapon types (including new strategic delivery systems) joined the US military’s inventory: MX Peacekeeper ICBMs, the B-1 bomber, the F-15E strike jet, W84, W87 and W88 nuclear warheads, and the AH-64 Apache helicopter to name just a few.

Not to mention the many weapon systems the Reagan Administration (or its predecessors) developed and began deploying earlier: the Ohio class of ballistic missile submarines, Los Angeles class attack submarines, PATRIOT missile defense systems, F-15 and F-16 fighters, Black Hawk helicopters, Ticonderoga class cruisers, Nimitz class carriers (two were ordered in June 1988, in the last year of the Reagan Admin), Trident ballistic missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles (nuclear- and conventionally-armed variants alike) M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, F-117 Nighthawk stealth attack jets, and so forth. These weapon systems, unlike those in the paragraph above, had already begun entering service in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but it was only in the late 1980s when they joined the military’s inventory in really large numbers… thanks to the investment of the Reagan Admin and at the insistence of President Reagan.

Moreover, Reagan also developed other cutting-edge weapon systems that entered service in the 1990s: the B-2 stealth bomber, the F/A-18 Super Hornet naval jet, the Arleigh Burke class of destroyers, the Trident-II ballistic missile, and so on.

Image the US military today without these cutting edge weapon systems.

Imagine the US Air Force without B-1 and B-2 bombers, F-117 Nighthawk stealth attack jets, and F-15E Strike Eagles, and without significant numbers of F-16 fighters.

Imagine the US Navy without Ohio class ballistic missile subs and Trident missiles – which the Left wanted to cancel – and the two carriers the Reagan Admin ordered in 1988 – the USS John C. Stennis and the USS Harry S. Truman.

Imagine the US Army and Marine Corps with just a puny number of M1 Abrams tanks, still stuck with obsolete M60 Patton tanks as the Left wished.

And of course, the Reagan Admin never cancelled or even curtailed the Strategic Defense Initiative. Nor did the Bush Administration. It was the Clinton administration that killed it.

Reagan Did Not Join the Nuclear Freeze Movement – He Defeated It

Nor did Reagan had a change of heart about defense spending and nuclear weapons, as Beinart falsely claims. Nor did he cave in to supposed public pressure to cut defense spending and implement a nuclear freeze, contrary to Beinart’s blatant lies. On the contrary, Reagan resisted these stupid, suicidal policies with every fiber of his body for the entirety of his presidency – and America is safer now because of that.

In 1983, when the nuclear freeze movement, led by Congressman (now Senator) Ed Markey, was at its peak, and when the House passed a resolution demanding the freeze, Reagan completely rejected it and went to his Evangelical Friends in Texas to ask them to support his continued hawkish policies towards the Kremlin… and called the Soviet Union “the Evil Empire.”

In his 1984 reelection campaign, Reagan unequivocally rejected all “nuclear freeze” proposals and was rewarded with a 49-state landslide reelection victory, one of the greatest in US history, over Democratic candidate Walter Mondale, who advocated a nuclear freeze.

Throughout the 1980s, the Reagan Administration continued to develop, test, and produce more and more nuclear weapons and delivery systems of increasing sophistication. In 1986, it deployed the MX Peacekeeper missile and the B-1 strategic bomber.

As for defense spending, in 1985, Ronald Reagan relunctantly agreed to slow down its growth – but in real terms it continued to grow, peaking in 1988 (not 1985, as many falsely claim) at $302 bn in then-year dollars and 6.6% of the economy – levels not seen since then, and not seen at any point during the 1970s or early 1980s.

That’s because Reagan was very cautious about and weary of the Soviet Union – even Gorbachev’s Soviet Union. He wanted the US to maintain a strong, ever-modernizing military at all times.

In 1993, after the Cold War was over, when the Clinton administration cancelled the SDI, Reagan condemned that, exhorting the administration to “open its eyes” if it thought there were no more threats to America’s security.

All in all, all of the Left’s claims about Reagan are blatant lies.

No, Ronald Reagan was never a peacenik, nor did he ever relent in his enormous military, economic, and diplomatic pressure on the Soviet Union at any point during his presidency. THAT is what ended the Cold War. On Reagan’s terms, not Gorbachev’s.

Rebuttal of Rand Paul’s straw man claims

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The National Review has recently published an article by Sen. Rand Paul wherein the junior Kentucky Senator falsely claims that there is no room allowed for disagreement on foreign policy in the GOP; that we defense conservatives have a “either you’re with us or against us” mentality; that he’s displaying some foreign policy nuance and strategic ambiguity that we fail to appreciate; and then spends the rest of his op-ed railing against the Iraq war, quoting William Buckley’s opposition to it, as if it were the only thing he disagrees with defense conservatives on.

Needless to say, he’s dead wrong on all counts.

As I refute his claims, I shall speak directly to him in this article.

Senator, you claim that:

“You are either for us or against us. No middle ground is acceptable. The Wilsonian ideologues must have democracy worldwide now and damn all obstacles to that utopia.”

That is completely false. No conservative that I know of is saying that, or advocating that the US try to democratize the world (and BTW, THIS hawkish conservative is a sworn opponent of democracy.) Stop making straw man claims, Senator.

Perhaps you are confusing conservatives with the liberals in the Obama admin who, everyday, sip coffee in the WH, point their fingers at a world map, and say which country should be invaded next :)

As for the Iraq war, it was indeed an error, and I opposed it from the start. But your foreign policy differences with us conservatives hardly end with the Iraq war – they barely begin with it, contrary to your false claim that:

“Foreign policy, the interventionist critics claim, has no place for nuance or realism.”

No, Senator. What you are displaying is neither nuance nor realism. What you are displaying is a LIBERAL policy of appeasement of America’s enemies and support for unilaterally disarming the US, and when you are justly criticized for those policies, you backtrack somewhat, thus making yourself sound totally incoherent.

There is a BIG difference between nuance and incoherence.

You are displaying neither nuance or realism. You are displaying a staunch disagreement and break with the entire GOP and the entire conservative movement on the whole gamut of foreign and defense policy issues.

You support deep, crippling defense cuts, up to and even beyond sequestration. You claim defense spending hasn’t been cut nearly enough. You have railed on liberal TV networks against Republicans who disagree. You support closing virtually all US bases abroad (which are crucial for power projection and for reassuring America’s allies) and dramatically cutting equipment spending. You advocate containment of Iran.

You accuse Dick Cheney, most people on the Congressional defense committees, and anyone who advocates striking Iran, of being war-profiteering warmongers. You have claimed that sanctions provoked Japan to attack Pearl Harbor. You were one of the very few Senators to vote AGAINST sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, and one of only four GOP Senators (along RINO Dick Shelby, RINO Thad Cochran, and Nebraska’s Mike Johanns) to vote to confirm Chuck Hagel.

You have even claimed that a nuclear-armed Iran would not be a threat to the US or even to Israel. You also consistently oppose all of the Bush admin’s war on terrorism policies that have proven very successful in eliminating terrorists: drones, effective interrogation techniques, GITMO, and so forth.

In one of your recent op-eds for WaPo, just as Russia was beginning to invade Ukraine, you claimed Obama’s appeasement (reset) policy towards Moscow was working very well and “we ought to be proud of that”, and you blamed any troubles in the relationship solely on your fellow Republicans, whom you falsely accused of being “so stuck in the Cold War that they want to tweak Russia.” You whitewashed Russia and absolved it of any blame and urged Americans to be “respectful” towards Moscow.

No, Senator, you are not displaying any “nuance” or “strategic ambiguity” on foreign policy, you are displaying utter ignorance, recklessness, and incoherence at best, and your father’s repugnant Blame America First, Second, and Third beliefs at worst.

You have falsely claimed that your refusal to say clearly whether you would or would not rule out the containment of Iran amounts to “strategic ambiguity” and have wrongly invoked Ronald Reagan as someone who would’ve endorsed such lack of clarity.

Strategic ambiguity means being ambigous about the strategy you’ll employ to achieve your goals – but not about what the goals themselves are. Ronald Reagan was never unclear about those and articulated them clearly, in public and in private. His goal was nothing short of sending Communism and the Soviet Union “to the ash heap of history.”

Your lack of clarity on one of the most important foreign policy issues of our time – whether or not to try to contain Iran – has nothing to do with “nuance” or strategic ambiguity” and would send absolutely the wrong signal to friend and foe alike. America’s allies in the Persian Gulf would be in the dark on whether or not the US, under your leadership (should you be elected President), would stop Iran’s nuclear program. America’s foes would be emboldened by such lack of clarity and would continually test your – and America’s – patience with ever-graver provocations.

Fortunately, as AmSpec’s Jed Babbin says, you stand NO chance of ever getting elected President. A man of your extremely-leftist views stands zero chance of ever being elected President. No matter when you run, you will be justly clobbered, if not in the primaries then in the general election. Because even if you do somehow win the Republican nomination, you will definitely lose in the general election, as nominating you will disenfranchise tens of millions of pro-defense voters.

You might want to take that into account when you decide whether to run for President in 2015-2016 – which will be the biggest decision of your life.

Rebuttal of Jack Matlock’s Blame America First lies

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The Washington Compost (not exactly a bastion of conservatism) has just published an utterly ridiculous screed by former State Dept. official and historical revisionist Jack Matlock Jr. Therein, Matlock blames the current crisis in the Crimea, and Russia’s entire hostility towards the United States, solely on America, falsely claiming that Moscow is hostile solely because “the United States has insisted  on treating Russia as the loser” since the Cold War’s end. Matlock falsely claims that since 1991, Russia has time and again tried to be a cooperative partner, only to receive “swift kicks to the groin” from the US.

(Only a congenital liar would make such claims.)

And like other liberals, Matlock also claims the US did not really win the Cold War or cause the USSR’s collapse. Furthermore, he claims in his book that Ronald Reagan’s sole (and secondary) contribution to ending the Cold War was supposedly abandoning the hawkish policies of his first term.

I will refute these other lies later. But first, I will utterly refute Matlock’s lies about the source of Russian hostility and about Moscow supposedly trying to be a cooperative partner.

Matlock: Blame America First

Matlock blames Moscow’s hostility solely on the US, claiming that the US invited it by bombing Serbia without UN Security Council Approval in 1999, invading Iraq without UNSC approval in 2003, withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2001, expanding NATO to include Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Baltic Republics, Romania, and Bulgaria; with supposed “plans” for US bases in the Baltics and the Balkans; by somehow “supporting” the democratic revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia; and by passing the Magnitsky Act, designed to punish Russian officials who violate human rights.

Matlock is essentially saying, “Russia under Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin tried to be a good partner and to follow a pro-Western orientation, but we alienated it with our aggressive actions.”

That is absolutely false, just like the rest of Matlock’s anti-American screed, and it comes straight from Moscow’s and its liberal American sycophants’ propaganda playbook. Matlock is merely repeating the same old anti-American lies for the umpteenth time.

Russia Has No Legitimate Grievances Towards The West

So let’s look at the issues he claims invited Russian hostility:

  • Serbia: in 1999, that country’s then-dictator, Slobodan Milosevic, was murdering thousands and thousands of innocent, defenseless civilians in Kosovo (where over 80% of the population is Kosovan, not Serbian) for nothing but the fact that they were Kosovan – just like the Germans murdered 6 million Jews for the mere fact they were Jews. We were witnessing a repeat of the Holocaust in Europe (albeit on a much smaller scale). The US was ABSOLUTELY RIGHT to act to stop this, and it was supported in this by ALL of NATO and the entire civilized world (to which Russia does not belong). Milosevic was a war criminal wanted by a UN tribunal in the Hague, was eventually handed over to it after losing power, and was tried for war crimes. The fact that Russia supported such a bloody war criminal only shows what an immoral country it is. As for “UN Security Council approval”, apparently Mr Matlock believes that the US should not act anywhere in the world unless it receives permission from that august council… where his beloved Russia, of course, is a veto-wielding member.
  • Iraq: say what you want about the wisdom of invading Iraq, but any claim that that invasion somehow threatened Russia’s interests in the Middle East is utterly preposterous. What Russian interests did it threaten? None. It actually undermined US interests as it replaced a Sunni dictator with a Shia, pro-Iranian government.
  • The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty: I guess Mr Matlock would’ve preferred for the US to forever remain vulnerable to even the smallest ballistic missile attack and for the US never to develop adequate defenses against such an attack… because that’s exactly what the ABM treaty prohibited. A treaty, by the way, signed with the USSR – a country that no longer existed by 2001. Considering how fast (despite all arms reduction treaties signed to date) ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons are proliferating (thus making a total mockery and failure of those treaties), the decision to withdraw from the ABM treaty was absolutely right. And it had no real impact on Washington-Moscow relations. Might I add that Russia – while strongly opposing America’s efforts to build ballistic missile defense systems – is quietly building such systems of its own?
  • NATO expansion: to say that this threatened Russia’s security is also a blatant lie. None of NATO’s new members (except Poland and the Baltics) even have a border with Russia; and all of them had and still have very good reasons to fear Russian subjugation and aggression. They spent half a century under the Soviet yoke; in the 1990s, Russia still tried to meddle in their affairs; and now Moscow is threatening them again. It was morally and strategically right to bring them under NATO’s defense umbrella. Moscow has something to fear from their accession to NATO ONLY if it intends to attack them. Moreover, the post-1991 NATO entrants (especially Poland and the Czech Republic) have proven to be among the staunchest allies America has anywhere in the world, participating heavily in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (Poland sent thousands of troops to both countries). What’s more, Poland is one of the few NATO countries that spend the agreed benchmark of at least 2% of GDP on defense and has more mechanized Army brigades than the UK, France, and Germany combined. Romania and Bulgaria have access to the Black Sea and have recently held exercises with the USN. Such allies are worth having.
  • The early 2000s’ revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia saw utterly corrupt and criminal pro-Russian dictators (and in Ukraine, President Kuchma’s hand-picked successor Viktor Yanukovych) ousted by their people. Contrary to Matlock’s lies, the US did not extend anything but rhetorical support for those revolutions.
  • The Magnitsky Act: contrary to Matlock’s lies, the US did not single out Russia with this Act as the worst human rights abuser in the world. But Moscow is one of the world’s most egregious human rights violators, and this act, named by a whistleblower murdered in prison by Putin’s prison guards, instituted targeted sanctions against Russian officials who violate human rights.

So all of Matlock’s excuses for Russia’s hostility have been utterly refuted, one by one. They’ve collapsed like a deck of cards.

And so will, in a minute, Matlock’s myth that Russia has tried to be a cooperative partner whom the US has needlessly antagonized. In fact, since Vladimir Putin’s ascension to power, Russia has been increasingly arrogant and hostile towards the US and the West as its power has grown since the nadir of the 1990s. It has started a new Cold War against the West and is the biggest threat to US, European, and world security.

Russia Is Behaving Aggressively In Cold-War Style

In recent years, Russia has:

  1. Repeatedly flown nuclear-armed strategic borders into US, allied (Japanese), and even neutral (Swedish) airspace and said the Russian Air Force was “practicing attacking the enemy.” What on Earth have SWEDEN and JAPAN done to Russia? For that matter, what has America done to Russia? Nothing.
  2. Repeatedly (on 15 separate occassions) threatened to aim or even use its nuclear weapons against the US and its allies.
  3. Invaded two sovereign countries that dared to try to break out of Moscow’s sphere of influence and align themselves with the West (Georgia and Ukraine) and continues to occupy both countries.
  4. Repeatedly violated several arms reduction treaties, including the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty and the INF Treaty, the latter being violated by Russia by repeatedly testing and deploying nuclear-armed missiles banned by that treaty.
  5. Deployed nuclear-armed ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad District, next to Poland, threatening that loyal ally of the US, while the US has no nuclear weapons anywhere in Eastern Europe.
  6. Backed America’s enemies around the world – North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba – to the hilt, with diplomatic protection at the UN Security Council, weapons (including the advanced S-300VM air defense system), nuclear fuel (Iran), and nuclear reactors (Iran), thus also threatening the existence of Israel.
  7. Stationed a spy ship, the Viktor Leonov, in Cuba (it’s still there).
  8. Conducted, and continues to conduct, a wave of hateful anti-American propaganda in domestic and foreign (e.g. RussiaToday) media.
  9. Sent an Akula-class nuclear-armed submarine close to the US submarine base in King’s Bay, GA.
  10. Domestically, assassinated high-profile dissidents (Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko) and jailed hundreds of others.
  11. Just recently, began negotiations with Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela on opening bases for Russian ships and nuclear-armed bombers there.

Yet the US is somehow to blame for Russia’s actions? For Moscow’s hostility? Who is threatening whom with nuclear weapons, Mr Matlock? Who is flying nuclear-armed bombers close and sometimes into US, Japanese, and Swedish airspace? Who is stationing spy ships close to the other party’s shores? Who is now reopening naval and bomber bases on the other party’s doorstep?

Are you a paid pro-Kremlin propagandist, Mr Matlock? Or are you just on drugs?

Matlock also falsely claims that the current West-Russia spat we’re witnessing now is not a new Cold War but the result of “misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and posturing to domestic political audiences” – as if Russia’s ultra-aggressive behavior against the US, its allies, and even neutral countries like Sweden was the product of mere “misunderstading.”

He’s completely wrong. Russia’s behavior is the result of resurgent, renewed Russian imperialism, of the Kremlin’s imperial ambitions, and of the hatred of the West which Vladimir Putin and his fellow KGB thugs imbued when trained by the KGB.

We didn’t see that behavior in Putin’s first years because at that time Russia was still too weak to try such actions. But as Russia began to rebound militarily and economically under Putin, it also began to be increasingly aggressive towards the West and towards Moscow’s former Warsaw Pact vassals.

Matlock also falsely claims that Russia has cooperated with the US on Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

This is also false. Moscow has backed, and continues to back, Syria, Iran, and North Korea to the hilt, affording them diplomatic protection at the UNSC, weapons (except North Korea, at least so far), and, in Iran’s case, nuclear reactors and nuclear fuel – which Iran will use to produce nuclear weapons.

Moscow has absolutely opposed any but the weakest sanctions against Iran, and continues to back the genocidal, anti-American dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Matlock also falsely claims the New START treaty was a significant achievement, but the converse is true: New START was an utter failure and a treasonous treaty. It requires unilateral disarmament on America’s part: only the US required by the treaty to cut its nuclear arsenal, while Russia is allowed to increase its own. Even worse, the treaty doesn’t count Russia’s 171 Tu-22M strategic bombers as such, contains a pathetically weak Potemkin-like verification regime, and imposes restrictions on US missile defenses.

As Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) has rightly said, the US should immediately withdraw from that treaty.

Finally, I will refute Matlock’s also utterly false claim that the US didn’t win the Cold War or cause the collapse of the USSR.

The fact is the US did both, no matter how hard Matlock and other revisionists try to deny it.

The Soviet Union lost the Cold War, and collapsed in 1991, because of the fatal blows Ronald Reagan dealt to it. In his eight years, President Reagan:

  • Dramatically increased US defense spending, to levels not seen in real terms before or since, and US defense programs to a pace the Soviet Union could not keep up with.
  • Began the development of a missile defense system the USSR could never match.
  • Convinced Saudi Arabia to increase oil output dramatically, thus cutting oil prices from $30/bbl to $12/bbl in 5 months, and thus dealing a fatal blow to Moscow’s oil-revenue -dependent economy.
  • Instituted a bevy of sanctions on the USSR, including an embargo on drilling, pumping, and construction equipment, and successfully pressured West Germany to reduce the planned Yamal Pipeline from 2 lines to one, and to delay that project by many years (as a result, it wasn’t completed until 1999).
  • Supported anti-Soviet proxies around the world, most notably in Afghanistan, where they defeated the Soviet Army in a war that cost Moscow hundreds of billions of dollars (if only the US had learned from Moscow’s mistakes and had not gotten mired in that country!).
  • Deployed Pershing and GLCM missiles in Europe to counter the USSR’s deployment of SS-20s.
  • Successfully used the tons of secret Warsaw Pact documents stolen by Col. Ryszard Kuklinski as leverage in negotiations with the Soviets.

These are the fatal blows that brought the Soviets back to the bargaining table, forced them to make major concessions, and eventually caused the Soviet Union’s collapse, as the USSR was unable to continue the Afghan War, the arms race, or counter US missile defense development with its sclerotic, stagnant economy, especially not after the Reagan-induced late 1980s oil glut. And not with the Yamal Pipeline delayed.

As Professor Robert G. Kaufman has rightly written, “the Cold War ended on Reagan’s terms, not Gorbachev’s.”

Matlock is wrong on all counts. All of his claims are utterly false. Not one of them is correct – not even one. Russia has NO legitimate grievances towards the West, it has never been a truly cooperative partner in the last 25 years, and its hostility is due to the revival of imperialist ideology and ambitions in Russian political circles (greatly enabled by KGB thug Vladimir Putin’s ascent to power). Russia is now waging a new Cold War on the West. How the West, led by the US, will respond to this challenge, remains to be seen.

Rand Paul is the one distorting Reagan’s foreign policy

ReaganPeaceQuote

 

Ronald Reagan was such a successful President – especially in the foreign policy realm – that virtually all Republicans today want to project themselves as the next Reagan and claim that their foreign policy is the same as Reagan’s in order to woo national security oriented voters.

One such politician is Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). Because his principal rival for the 2016 Republican nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), has distinguished himself from Paul by adopting Reagan’s foreign policy principles while exposing Paul as the neo-isolationist that he is, the Kentucky Senator is desperate to defend himself.

Therefore, he has recently launched an attack on unnamed “Republicans” (presumably Cruz) on the Breitbart website, falsely accusing them of “warping” Reagan’s foreign policy.

But in fact, it is Rand Paul, NOT Ted Cruz or other Republicans, who is warping and distorting the Gipper’s foreign policy. Let me demonstrate how.

Rand Advocates Deep Defense Cuts

Rand advocates deep, crippling cuts in America’s defenses, including and beyond sequestration; withdrawing US troops from strategically important bases around the world which are needed for power projection; isolationism masquerading as noninterventionism; and opposes even the most modest sanctions on Iran, claiming they would lead to war (a false claim that the anti-defense Left, including the Ploughshares Fund, also makes). Indeed, Rand has said that “not only should the sequester be maintained”, but that government spending, including defense spending, should be cut even further – as if the sequester’s and pre-sequester Obama defense cuts were not deep enough.

As a reminder, in his first two years, Obama killed over 50 crucial weapon programs, including the F-22 Raptor fighter (the only aircraft capable of defeating the newest Russian and Chinese fighters), the Zumwalt class destroyer, the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, the Multiple Kill Vehicle for kinetic missile defense interceptors, and much more. In 2011, Obama cut another $178 bn from the defense budget under the guise of efficiencies. And in August 2011, Obama demanded and obtained another $1 trillion in defense cuts over the FY2012-FY2012 decade, including a $550 bn sequester that will take defense spending to $493 bn (less than 3% of America’s GDP) next year and keep in there until the mid-2020s!

Yet, Rand Paul thinks these defense cuts are not sufficient and demands even deeper, more crippling, defense cuts. This completely belies his claim that

“I believe, as he did, that our National Defense should be second to none, that defense of the country is the primary Constitutional role of the Federal Government.”

If the cuts required by the sequester (let alone the deeper cuts Rand demands) are implemented, the US military will be gutted. It will be a paper tiger, not a military force “second to none.”

Reagan would NEVER advocate such idiotic policies, and indeed throughout his entire presidency implemented the very OPPOSITE of the policies Rand advocates. OTOH, Ted Cruz – unlike Rand Paul – does support a Reaganite foreign policy: rebuilding America’s defenses, standing up to dictators like Putin where it matters, but avoiding being drawn into irrelevant or murky jihadist viper pits like Syria.

But it gets even worse. In the Breitbart article cited above, Rand not only distorts the Gipper’s foreign policy, he shows he completely doesn’t understand what that policy was and how it worked, and demonstrates – there, as well as in his recent (Feb. 25th) Washington Post op-ed – that he does NOT support a Reaganite “Peace Through Strength” foreign policy.

He claims that:

“Reagan also believed in diplomacy and demonstrated a reasoned approach to our nuclear negotiations with the Soviets. Reagan’s shrewd diplomacy would eventually lessen the nuclear arsenals of both countries.”

Leaving aside the undisputable fact that cutting America’s nuclear deterrent has proven to be a foolish mistake, it was Reagan’s toughness, not diplomacy, that won the Cold War. In fact, it was his toughness that brought the Soviet Union back to the arms reduction barganining table in the first place.

The Soviets returned to the negotiating table because they knew the US could keep up the arms race for long, while their own economy was flagging (and in 1991, it collapsed, as did the USSR itself) and couldn’t really sustain the arms race any longer, especially with the costs of the Afghan war, the Chernobyl disaster, and the late 1980s’ oil glut added. (Reagan convinced Saudi Arabia to dramatically increase its oil output to cut global oil prices and thus undermine Moscow’s oil-dependent economy).

I’ll repeat it again: it was Reagan’s TOUGHNESS, his harsh policies towards the USSR, that brought the Soviets back to the bargaining table and eventually won the Cold War. Not diplomacy, not detente, not nice words, not his friendship with Gorbachev.

Reagan never sheathed the sword – the sword was always hanging over the Soviets’ heads. And that’s PRECISELY why Gorbachev agreed to make concessions.

Rand further claims that:

“Many forget today that Reagan’s decision to meet with Mikhail Gorbachev was harshly criticized by the Republican hawks of his time, some of whom would even call Reagan an appeaser.”

But, as demonstrated above, it was Reagan’s TOUGH POLICIES, not diplomacy or nicety, that brought the Soviets back to the bargaining table. And Gorbachev initially wasn’t in a mood to make concessions. It was not until he understood the US was in a far stronger negotiating position, and when Reagan revealed the documents Col. Ryszard Kuklinski (a Warsaw Pact defector) handed over to the CIA, that Gorbachev began to make concessions.

(At the first Reagan-Gorbachev meeting, in 1985, the Soviet leader was initially as stubborn as his predecessors, not willing to make policy concessions. Then, Reagan’s Defense Secretary, Cap Weinberger, took his ace out of his sleeve: he gave the maps [stolen by Colonel Kuklinski] of secret Soviet bunkers, built for nuclear war, to Reagan, who gave them to Gorbachev, who in turn gave them to Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev, the Soviet Chief of the General Staff, who accompanied Gorby. Akhromeyev was very scared upon seeing the documents, and explained their importance to the civilian Gorbachev. From then on, the Soviets were more willing to make concessions.)

Rand also believes firmly in a soft, appeasement-like policy towards Russia – ignoring the fact that it was such policy that led to the current  Crimean crisis in the first place. He falsely claims in his WaPo op-ed that America’s relationship with Russia should be “respectful” and that:

“There is a time for diplomacy and the strategic use of soft power, such as now with Russia. Diplomacy requires resolve but also thoughtfulness and intelligence.”

No. Diplomacy has had its time – and has dismally failed, as usual. Now is the time for FIRMNESS and MANLINESS. Now is the time to impose the harshest sanctions on Russia that are possible and to dramatically increase oil and gas production in the US (ANWR, NPRA, OCS, shale formations, authorizing the Keystone Pipeline) and to export these fuels to Europe to dramatically reduce its dependence on Russia for hydrocarbons. This would strike Russia where it would really hurt Moscow – and accomplish America’s goals without a single soldier and without firing a shot.

As for a “respectful” relationship with Russia – tell that to Vladimir Putin. Lecture him about “respectful” relationships, Mr Paul, not your fellow Republicans. Putin’s Russia has, in recent years:

  1. Invaded two sovereign countries on false pretexts, and in reality because they started aligning themselves with the West.
  2. Threatened a nuclear attack on the US or its allies at least 15 times.
  3. Repeatedly flown nuclear-armed bombers into US and allied airspace (and even into the airspace of neutral Sweden) on many occassions, even once on July 4th,
  4. Provided diplomatic protection to Iran, North Korea, and Syria, nuclear fuel and reactors to Iran, weapons to Iran and Syria, and sold tons of advanced weapons to China – weapons which will be used to kill American troops.
  5. Murdered journalists and other dissidents (e.g. Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko), and jailed many others, opposing the Putin regime.
  6. Conducted a huge military buildup that continues to this day and is slated to continue for long but which long ago has exceeded Russia’s legitimate defense needs.
  7. Repeatedly violated the INF treaty by testing and deploying missiles banned by the treaty.

And the US is supposed to have a “respectful” relationship with such a hostile regime, Senator Paul? Are you on drugs? Who is your foreign policy advisor, Pat Buchanan?

In short, Rand has shown, once again, that he is NO Reaganite, that he is virtually indistinguishable from his father on policy matters, and that he clearly does not believe in a “peace through strength” policy. Furthermore, he’s distorting the Gipper’s foreign policy record. Conservatives must not allow him to fool them; he would continue and even double on Obama’s failed twin policies of unilateral disarmament and appeasement of America’s adversaries. Just like Obama, Paul advocates appeasement towards the world’s most dangerous regimes, from Russia, to Iran, to Syria. No real conservative would ever vote for him.

What Western powers should do in response to Russia’s aggression

 

ReaganPeaceQuoteThe Russian aggression against Ukraine, initiated by President Vladimir Putin, has surprised many but not me, and should have surprised no one.

It is simply an inevitable consequence of the West, and especially America’s, shameless appeasement policy towards Russia combined with a long-running policy of unilateral disarmament (while Russia, under Vladimir Putin, has been arming to the teeth).

For many years, and especially the last five, Western nations have been dramatically cutting their militaries, defense budgets, weapon programs, and ambitions, while Russia has been dramatically expanding its own.

And for the last five years running, this writer has been sounding the alarm about these suicidal policies, warning that they would only lead to Russian intimidation, coercion, excesses, muscle-flexing, and eventually, aggression.

This writer most notably sounded the alarm in May 2009, writing that:

“Unless European states and America suddenly adopt a hawkish foreign policy and strengthen their militaries, Europe will become a mere province of the Russian empire.”

And as usual, this writer was right all along.

Meanwhile, all those who falsely claimed that “the Cold War was over”, “Russia is our friend/partner, not our enemy”, “you are a Cold War dinosaur”, “you need to shed this Cold War mentality”, and “the 1980s are asking to have their policy back” were dead wrong.

All those who claimed Russia was a partner and not a foe, that it should be appeased and accomodated, that Obama’s “reset” policy was right, that the US could afford to cut its nuclear arsenal further – from Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and the Cato Institute, to the CNAS, Michele Flournoy, Michael McFaul, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Henry Kissinger, and Pat Buchanan – were DEAD WRONG ALL ALONG.

These people should now publicly admit being wrong and shut their ignorant mouths up. But we should be under no illusions that they will.

Now Ukraine, a strategically important country and a weak neighbor of Russia, has been invaded by that country under the utterly false pretext of protecting Russian citizens and ethnic Russians in the Crimea – who were not threatened by Kiev in any way – just like Hitler annexed the Sudetenland in 1938, ostensibly to protect the Sudetenland Germans from the Czechoslovakian government.

In any case, what can and should Western powers do to stop Putin from going any further?

The first and most important thing is to immediately and permanently STOP listening to the advice from the Powell-Kissinger-Flournoy-Clinton school of foreign policy, which has once again (but not for the first time) been proven DEAD WRONG.

This means no more cuts in the West’s nuclear or conventional arsenals, no more “arms control” treaties, no more accommodating of the Russians’ demands. By committing such a blatant act of aggression, they’ve forfeited the right to be heard on any issue and to make any wishes or demands.

But the West must do much more to convince Vladimir Putin that it’s serious. Mere promises of toughness, verbal condemnations, and “dialogue” won’t stop him from committing further aggression.

Therefore, the US, Canada, and European countries should, until such time as the Putin regime collapses:

1) Immediately institute a TOTAL embargo on ALL Russian products except raw minerals.

2) Hasten the deployment of all stages of the European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense in Europe, and build an East Coast missile defense site.

3) Immediately withdraw from the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Partial Test Ban Treaty, the New START, and the CFE Treaty.

4) Ban the Russian national air carrier, Aeroflot, from flying into US, Canadian, or EU airspace.

5) Warn Russia that any of its military aircraft that venture into US, Canadian, or EU airspace will be shot down without warning.

6) Expel Russian ambassadors from Western countries.

7) Boycott the upcoming G8 summit and Paralympic Games in Sochi.

8) Reverse all defense (budget, programmatic, force structure) cuts undertaken in the last 12 years and start building Western militaries up. In particular, the US should reverse all the cuts in its nuclear arsenal and fully modernize it; revive the MEADS, Airborne Laser, Kinetic Energy Interceptor, and Multiple Kill Vehicle programs; cancel the F-35 program and resume F-22 Raptor fighter production; develop the Reliable Replacement Warhead and the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator; increase its inventory of MOP bombs; reintroduce S-3 Vikings into service; improve its Navy’s ASW equipment and skills; build a Conventional Prompt Global Strike system; develop ASAT weapons; order more THAAD brigades; speed up naval railgun and laser development and deployment; and make more Aegis-class warships BMD-capable.

9) Lastly, and most importantly, Western countries should strike Russia where it is weakest: its economy. Specifically, Western countries, led by the US, should:

a) Impose total economic sanctions, including a total embargo and asset freezes, on Russia; and

b) Start freeing itself from Russia’s oil and gas domination by opening the Outer Continental Shelf, the ANWR, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, all shale oil and gas deposits throughout the West, and the reserves in the Everglades; liquifying coal; using methane in lieu of natural gas; cancelling the South Stream pipeline; authorizing the Keystone Pipeline; and building the Nabucco Pipeline instead (and as quickly as possible). In addition, the US, which is already a net oil and gas exporter, should immediately start exporting these fuels to Europe to help it wean itself off Russian hydrocarbons.

The Russian economy is terribly dependent on raw minerals exports; 66% of the Kremlin’s revenue comes from these exports, while manufactured goods exports account for only about 10%. Moreover, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has already caused significant unrest at the Moscow stock exchange, whose main index has seen a 10% fall (and a 20% decline in the Russian currency’s value to the dollar) just today (as of 8:24AM ET, 18:24 Moscow time).

Moreover, Putin’s totally incompetent interference in the affairs of Gazprom, the Russian gas producing and exporting company, has driven it into a debt of $50 billion – equalling its turnover of one year.

This invasion, and Vladimir Putin’s entire buildup of the Russian military, would NOT have been possible absent the boon provided by high oil and gas prices (oil now stands at $105/barrel) and Russia’s stranglehold on their supplies to Europe. If that stranglehold is broken, and if these prices decline dramatically and soon, Putin will have no choice but to withdraw his troops, and his wannabe Evil Empire Redux will fall like a deck of cards.

Those who advocated the ridiculous policy of appeasement and unilateral disarmament that brought us into this mess in the first place now falsely claim that the only alternative to dialogue with Russia is war with that country. That is completely false.

No one wants war with Moscow. And since the Russian military is already more than strong enough to defeat the US military easily, it would be ill-advised.

But as stated above, Russia has one great glaring weakness – its economy – and as Sun Tzu wisely counseled, the right way to defeat your opponent is to strike his weaknesses, not his strengths.

Just as Ronald Reagan (who was vilified as a warmonger who would cause nuclear war) won the Cold War without firing a shot, the West, if it applies the right policies, can defeat Russia today, also without firing a shot, by pulling the economic lever. It absolutely can do so. The question is whether Western leaders will now have the intellectual courage to acknowledge the utter failure of their appeasement policy.

Amnesty: The Next GOP Leadership Betrayal

House GOP leadership prepares to negotiate amnesty with Democrats.

House GOP leadership prepares to negotiate amnesty with Democrats.

House Republican leadership is preparing to betray the base. Again. To illustrate the magnitude of the sellout I was going to use a hypothetical analogy with Democrats and their base. Initially I was going to posit that Sen. Tim Kaine (D–Secular) had changed his mind about abortion.

For years Kaine has said that although he’s personally opposed to abortion, he is not willing to impose his beliefs on a ‘woman’s right to choose.’ Essentially confessing that his Catholic faith is not strong enough to get in the way of his political ambitions. (In his last campaign he became even more weaselly, saying he didn’t want to stand in the way of a woman exercising her “constitutional choices,” unless the choice involved a handgun.)

In my hypothetical Kaine would announce he had decided that what the Catholic Church teaches and the Bible says is the truth and he will no longer support any abortion unless it is to save the life of the mother. Kaine would also declare that he will no longer vote for any taxpayer dollars to be given to Planned Parenthood since both his beliefs and opinion polls show Americans don’t think tax money should pay for or help support abortion facilities.

It’s a great analogy but it has one problem: No one would believe it. The analogy is too fantastic for even temporary suspension of disbelief. Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, put it nicely this week: “So what’s the difference between Boehner and Pelosi and McConnell and Reid? Answer: The Democratic leadership honors its promises. Republican leaders have abandoned theirs.”

This House GOP leadership betrayal is passage of an amnesty bill, probably before the November election. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R–Sellout) says leadership supports an amnesty bill for 12 million illegals that includes tighter border enforcement as a sop to conservatives.

Boehner pays far more attention to agitation from people who shouldn’t be in the country than they do to conservative citizens. And unprincipled businessmen who want a steady supply of imported serfs are far more influential than mere voters.

National Republicans are forever pursuing the ‘independent voter’ at the expense of the base. Democrats on the other hand solidify their base first and then move to the independents. You think that might be why they win elections?

Besides the betrayal of the base, which is bad enough, what political goal do these masterminds in House leadership (to borrow an adjective from Mark Levin) think they are going to accomplish?

Boehner has picked an issue that was a failure the last time Republicans supported it. Ronald Reagan signed a one–time–only–amnesty–that–will­–also–seal–the–border–tighter–than–a–teenage–miniskirt.

The results of that amnesty were fourfold:

  1. Granted citizenship to people who came and stayed illegally
  2. Produced millions of new votes for Democrats
  3. Legalized low–skill labor for employers & reduced wage rates for citizens
  4. Attracted another 12 million illegals who want their amnesty now.

Does Boehner expect amnesty to attract Hispanic voters? California Hispanics now make up the largest ethic group in the state as a result of amnesty and Democrat failure to seal the border. There is not one Republican statewide official. California is a GOP desert as Hispanics proved singularly ungrateful.

Does Boehner think amnesty will improve the party’s image? A Gallup poll lists a total of 3 percent of the populace ranking immigration “reform” as a top priority and I’m guessing all their names began with Jesus.

Does Boehner think amnesty will mean more contributions from big business? Possible and it may last a cycle or two, but once the amnestied voters gravitate to Democrats, Republicans will start losing. And the Business Roundtable doesn’t back or finance losers for long.

Immigration polling, which has evidently frightened the GOP leadership, is dishonest. Respondents are offered unrealistic or nebulous choices. For instance the Public Religion Research Institute proclaims, “Support for a path to citizenship has remained unchanged…an identical number (63%) supported a path to citizenship for immigrants currently living in the United States illegally.”

Yet their poll offers three choices that are false or too general to be useful: “become citizens provided they meet certain requirements,” “become permanent legal residents but not citizens” or “Identify and deport them.”

“Certain requirements” is not defined and therefore is useless in determining public policy. Poll respondents can interpret “certain requirements” in a number of ways ranging from “learn to speak English like Tom Brokaw” to “stand in a long line for an autographed photo of Obama.”

“Legal residents but not citizens” is an outcome that creates a permanent helot class that won’t survive the first Democrat Congress. And no sane conservative has ever advocated mass deportation. We believe they got here under their own power and they can leave the same way.

I have yet to see a poll that asks a question that offers a conservative choice. For instance: Do you support a step–by–step approach to the immigration problem that begins by removing the economic incentive for illegal immigration thru a law that makes it a criminal offense for employers to hire illegal aliens?

If illegals can’t work and they can’t collect welfare or rebates from the IRS then the invasion will begin to reverse. Presto the “immigration problem” solves itself! Sure the bill won’t pass the current Senate, but so what? It offers a conservative alternative to the amnesty now crowd and it preserves the rule of law, but that pales in comparison to Boehner’s dreams of campaign contributions from the Business Roundtable.

Before elected officials — Republicans again — got cold feet in Prince William County, illegals were fleeing after an anti–illegal enforcement act was passed. The county saved millions as they fled to nearby “sanctuary” cities and states. The same can happen in a nation that takes its own immigration laws seriously.

Unfortunately that is not this nation and it’s not this Republican Party.

The Few, The Proud, The Unisex

Crisp Pullman Porters CapWhen Ronald Reagan was president he described members of the U.S. Marine Corps in a memorable phrase that is featured on the Marines’ Heritage Museum website: “Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.”

The generation of paper–pushers and PR–minded behind–kissers that inhabit the Pentagon and the Obama administration do not reflect that view of the Corps. In fact the levelers in the White House view the Marines’ independence and combative nature as a problem. All that aggression and testosterone looks out of place in the elite circles where citizens of the world reside.

Modern military management (they don’t deserve the term ‘leaders’) has been taken over by the “everybody gets a trophy” crowd. That’s why in the Army all soldiers now wear a beret, instead of just Rangers and Special Forces. Chelsea Manning’s feelings were hurt when he couldn’t wear a fashionable French–style chapeau. No need to recognize the additional motivation of troops that go the extra mile if it discriminates against those who don’t or can’t. Now it’s Bless Them All the “big and the fat and the small.”

But while other branches of the armed forces are marching in lockstep to the administration’s tune of women on the front lines, the Marines are fighting a rear guard action. The Corps has been reluctant to lower physical standards for combat soldiers (in bureaucrat–speak this degradation of standards is called “gender norming,” too bad wars are not also “gender normed”).

In fact, every woman that has ever been allowed to attend the Marine’s infantry school has washed out. In the long run, unless there is an outbreak of sanity, this means Marine commanders will have to justify why their standards are keeping women out of the front lines. The fact women have no business there is irrelevant to Pentagon sociologists who have never had a bullet whizz past their ear. It’s inevitable that eventually women will fill combat slots in the Marines.

That’s a long–term project though. In the short term the empire strikes back where it’s been successful before. As the New York Post puts it, “Obama wants Marines to wear ‘girly’ hats.”

According to the Post, the Obama administration wants to “create a ‘unisex’ look for the Corps.” The plan is for the Corps to discontinue the current caps — known as “covers” and in use since 1922 — and go to a new cap that bears a remarkable resemblance to a Pullman Porter’s cap.

This is not to disparage Pullman Porters. They set a standard for service and dedication, but they didn’t do it under fire.

This similarity between hats could be an unexpected advantage for the taxpayer. Since changing to the new headgear will cost $8 million, its possible some of the expense could be covered by civilians who mistakenly tip Marines after asking for help with their luggage.

As poster Carol Robinson on the Post site commented, “Now the Marines look like WACS [WWII Women’s Army Corps]. This is stupid and a waste of money.”

This imperial hat edict is actually the second time the Marines have been asked to alter their appearance so they would appear less warlike to outsiders.

Marine Corps lore has it that during the early weeks of the Korean War, Communist troops received the following command: “Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army.”

Immediately Marines were ordered to no longer wear their khaki leggings, which was the cause of the “yellowlegs” description, so the Army would not have to bear the brunt of the fighting alone. The Korean War proceeded with the Marines getting their fair share of attacks.

It must be comforting for America’s enemies to know how worried the Obama Administration is about the difference in appearance between male and female Marines. I fear Obama may also start agitating for the Marines to remove the ‘blood stripe’ from their uniform pants, since it may have unfortunate associations for him due to his own “red line” problem.

But who knows, maybe it’s time for the tradition–bound Corps to embrace change and become a softer, gentler Marine Corps.

In a spirit of cooperation (or fighting withdrawal, if you will) the Corps could even alter the lyrics of the Marine Hymn to something like:

From the halls of Montezuma,

To Barack’s haberdashery.

We will fight our country’s battles,

In this cute accessory.

First to fight for right and freedom,

We will keep this cover clean.

Even though it’s true Obama,

Could have never made Marine.

A Review of The Butler Starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey

by Jeremy Griffith
Cross-posted from AmericanMillenniumOnline.com

Director Lee Daniels of The Butler with leading actors Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker. source: Alberto E. Gonzalez/Getty Images

Director Lee Daniels of The Butler with leading actors Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker. source: Alberto E. Gonzalez/Getty Images

The Butler movie in theaters right now, starring Forest Whitaker and Opera Winfrey offers wonderful insight into the evils committed to the black communities in the history of our country. Whitaker and Winfrey offer emotional and rich performances in the telling of this story, but the writing of the script depicting Republican presidents as weak, ineffectual or downright racist is jaw-droppingly inaccurate, unfair and detrimental to the historicity of the film.

 

I had high expectations for this film as it was warmly reviewed prior to it’s release. And in reviewing the film myself for the first time I can honestly say I would recommend it to anyone, despite it’s obvious flaws. The story follows the life of a black man, Cecil Gaines, who escapes from life as a sharecropper in the south to become a butler at the White House. After the rape of his mother and the murder of his father, the grandmother of the rapist takes young Cecil into their house and trains him to be a “house nigger”. Through that employment and good luck, Cecil gets a rudimentary education and training in the skills as a butler that eventually helps him launch a career in the service industry.

 

Cecil leaves his old life behind and gets work as a butler, getting some mentor ship from and older black butler. Eventually he gets hired by the White House and the story continues to follow his life in that role, through the presidential administrations of Eisenhower to Reagan. The story largely takes place in the ’60s during the height of the Civil Rights movement. There is conflict between two schools of thought, that of Malcolm X and the more peaceful resistance of Martin Luther King. It is unfortunate that Malcolm is not actually ever mentioned in the film, but the violent resistance of the Black Panthers is. Cecil’s son gets involved in this movement and it causes friction in the family.

 

Predictably, Hollywood has painted Democrats such as Kennedy and Obama as heroes of Civil Rights while painting Republicans like Eisenhower and Reagan as merely tepid, unwilling participants. Nixon gets the worst treatment, depicted as insincere, two-faced and pathetic.

 

The historical background of this film is so bad that even Wikipedia cites its obvious factual inaccuracies. According to Wiki, the story of The Butler is loosely based on the life of a real life African-American Butler Eugene Allen, who was employed at the White House. From there the similarities end. In the movie, the Cecil character resided as as sharecropper in Macon Georgia where he witnesses the horrible crimes committed to his family by white farmers. In truth, Allen lived in Virginia, and there is no evidence that any such crimes ever took place. In the movie Cecil has two sons, one a right leaning young man who dies in his country’s service in Vietnam and another a radical leftist who joins the Civil Rights movement and ultimately the ultra-violent Black Panther Party. In fact, Allen had only one son, who was indeed an activist, but not nearly as far left as portrayed in the movie.

 

In the Movie, Ronald Reagan gets some positive treatment as he and his wife Nancy invite the Cecil character and his wife to a White House dinner as a gesture for Cecil’s efforts to increase the pay and benefits of black White House employees to the same level as the white employees. Right after this scene however the memory of Reagan gets a slap in the face. Reagan’s gesture to Cecil and his family is marginalized as merely for show as the President is depicted as a shill who vindictively vetoes congressional efforts to pass measures to punish Apartheid in South Africa.

 

In fact, the historical records show that Reagan hated Apartheid and did everything he could to nudge the South African government to adopt a more moderate tone. He did indeed veto the congressional boycott, but the movie never explains why. In fact, Reagan was working with moderates to push the South African government and shied away from more radical elements so as to avoid unnecessary violence. In deed, Reagan feared that if the government fell it would be replaced by a more radical leftist totalitarian regime like many other African governments already had. At the time the US had a small contingent of free-market investments in South Africa and black Africans were being employed at US based firms in that country, earning a better wage and benefits than they could expect otherwise. In overcoming the President’s veto, congress forced sanctions on South Africa limiting the ability of private firms from investing in that country and hurting blacks that were finding a better life through employment in American firms as a result, just as Reagan feared it would.

 

Reagan was not the only politician libeled by this film. Eisenhower takes a hit too. Conversations overheard by Cecil indicate that President Eisenhower was weak on Civil Rights and unwilling to send troops to protect black children attending school in Little Rock Arkansas. Indeed the Supreme Court ruled segregation of public schools unconstitutional in its decision Brown vs. Board of Education that year, and Eisenhower did send troops to uphold that decision. Previous to the time line of the movie, Eisenhower desegregated the military when he was the Supreme Commander of allied forces in Europe during WWII in opposition of the wishes of his chief of staff. Government documents showed that Eisenhower was moving to desegregate schools on military reservations prior to the Supreme Court decision. Eisenhower further drafted sweeping Civil Rights legislation that would grant even more rights to blacks in this country, but the efforts were opposed and watered down by a democratically controlled senate. Eisenhower implemented a Civil Rights commission to focus attention on the issue of voting rights for black Americans and he was the first to hire an African-American to an executive position in the White House.

 

Ultimately, Eisenhower gets no credit from this movie script for his efforts to help black citizens struggling for their rights during his administration. President John Kennedy gets the credit though, as a hero for passing legislation in his administration granting those rights to blacks, a legislation by the way that mirrored the original intent of the Eisenhower bills.

 

It’s unfortunate that leftist Hollywood has to do this injustice to history. Indeed blacks in this country have suffered under the unfair and crushing yoke of oppression and slavery since the founding. But the selective interpretation of history by Hollywood is an unfair and an inaccurate representation of what actually happened. A millennial viewer of this movie will likely not dig into the facts of history to find out the truth, rather they will get their impression of history solely from movies like this, which is what the left intends. Disarmed by the propaganda, they will be continually led to believe that only Democrats and black leaders are responsible for their progress towards Civil Rights and not any white man, and certainly not one with an R behind their name.

 

This historical dramatic license prevents blacks in this country from getting the full picture and ultimately damages them by keeping the facts from them. That in my view prevents this movie and this script with its many great performances from elevating itself from a merely good movie to a great one.

 

I was a little uncomfortable with end of this movie as it seemed like a free endorsement of the Barack Obama administration. I think it accurately portrays the feelings of many blacks that at last someone would arrive in the White House who will finally make advancements for oppressed colored people in this country, and as such we get a sense of what they were feeling when Obama was elected.

 

But when it comes to historical facts, again, the Obama administration will be judged as severely lacking. Under the George W. Bush administration, African-American students have been suffering in inadequate schools in the Washington DC school district. Bush implemented a plan to offer vouchers for such students so they could get out of failing schools and attend private schools. This policy offered hope to many African-American students to finally get the better education that they deserved, but predictably, Bush doesn’t get any credit for this. In fact, the Obama administration’s first action does not uphold this program. Rather, the nation’s first black president reverses this progress and closes the program down, committing future students in those same schools to be forever trapped in schools that under-serve them.

 

Today you can’t visit the Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Washington D.C. The park police have barricaded this open air memorial because of the government shut-down, under the orders of the nation’s first black president.

 

Overall I give this movie three and a half out of five stars. It is enjoyable and educational in the treatment of the feelings surrounding the black experience here in America during the Civil Rights era. It’s lack of historical realism leaves something to be desired. Cuba Gooding Jr’s performance shows his capacity as an actor even in a supporting role and we could have seen much more of him in this film.

 

For more on this topic, try some of these historical and entertainment links.

 

Barton, D. (2003, March). Black history issue 2003. Retrieved from http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=134

 

Wikipedia. (n.d.). The butler. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Butler

 

Poland, D. (2013, August 09). Review: The butler. Retrieved from http://moviecitynews.com/2013/08/review-the-butler/

 

Freidman, R. (2013, August 17). Reagan diaries: Detested apartheid but refused to support sanctions, never mentions mandela. Retrieved from http://www.showbiz411.com/2013/08/17/reagan-diaries-detested-apartheid-but-refused-to-support-sanctions-never-mentions-mandela

 

Civil rights: Brown vs. board of education. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/research/online_documents/civil_rights_brown_v_boe.html

Engaging Young Voters on Defense Issues

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A study released recently by the national leaders of Young Republicans (YRNC) polled young voters on numerous issues, including defense and foreign policy. The study reports that only 17% of youngsters believe that protecting the country should be the government’s top priority; that defense is “the place to start” budget cuts; that 35% of young voters, including 45% of young independents, believe defense spending should be cut [further]; and that in general, many if not most young voters want to reduce the size and budget of the military, withdraw it from foreign countries, and entrench America behind the oceans.

Why do so many youngsters hold such mistaken views? I believe this is due to confusion, as well as Republicans’ failure to clear up that confusion and explain why America needs to stop cutting its defense budget, retain the military at no less than its current size, and generally remain involved in the world.

This article aims to explain these issues and clear up the confusion. If you are a young voter, please give me 10 minutes of your time to explain.

Firstly, why shouldn’t the US cut its defense budget further?

Because, quite simply, significant cuts would seriously weaken the US military. There are many building bricks of military strength: brave troops, good training, competent leaders, world-class equipment, force size, a steady supply of ammunition and other provisions – but other than bravery, none of this is possible to have without sufficient funding. Without an adequate budget, the military will be very weak.

An army marches on its stomach, as Napoleon said – or more precisely, on its budget. To have an adequately-sized military, quality training and care for the troops, decent base and housing infrastructure, a sufficient supply of goods, and world-class weapons in sufficient quantities, you need adequate funding.

The military is not too big; if anything, it’s too small. The Navy, with the smallest ship fleet since 1915, is able to meet only 59% of Combatant Commanders’ needs for ships; the Air Force is strained beyond hope, flying its smallest and oldest aircraft fleet (average age: over 24 years, meaning the USAF’s aircraft, on average, were produced before you were born; they’re older than the pilots flying them). The Marines are on track to shrink to 182,100 men – but if sequestration sticks, they’ll have only 145,000 – not enough for even one major operation per the USMC’s Commandnant. The military is a shadow of its former self; in the Reagan years, it ahd over 2.6 million personnel and the Navy had 600 ships.

Some question why the US spends as much as it does compared to other countries.

But in all non-Western countries, one dollar can buy several times as much as it can in the US. And in countries like China, central governments pay only for capital military expenditures like weapons development and acquisition, while basing and personnel costs are borne mostly by regional governments. Thus, China’s military budget (up to $215 bn according to the DOD) is actually worth several times that amount. In Russia, the Defense Ministry gets much of its property as “free goods” from other ministries.

Moreover, total US military spending, including Afghan war costs, are only 4.1% of America’s GDP, the lowest share of GDP going to defense since 1948 (excluding the late Clinton years). That was a time of total military demobilization. Speaking of which, history shows that everytime the US has deeply cut its military’s size and budget, it later had to rebuild the military at a high cost when a new adversary perpetrated, or threatened, aggression – after both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War.

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Moreover, the US has a much larger economy (the world’s largest) and the 3rd largest population, so its natural that its military budget, in raw dollars, would be larger than those of other countries. Proportionally to its economy and population ($1,990 per capita, compared to almost $2,500 per capita during the Reagan years), the defense spending burden is quite low – especially by historical standards.

Many young voters are certainly frustrated with the waste in defense (and nondefense) spending. Believe me, so am I. That is why I’ve written, over the years, the largest DOD reform proposals package ever devised by anyone. But there isn’t enough waste in the DOD budget to pay for the budget cuts being contemplated by many young citizens – or those scheduled under current law. Because, you see, under the Budget Control Act of 2011, defense spending is on course to be cut by $1 trillion over the next decade (through FY2022, $550 bn of that under a mechanism called sequestration – which, making matters worse, doesn’t distinguish between legitimate defense priorities and waste, and instead requires cuts across the entire defense budget by 10%, in missile defense as much as in DOD bureaucrats. The DOD has zero legal flexibility to distribute those cuts.

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Before the sequester, the BCA had already mandated $487 bn in defense budget cuts; before that, Secretary Gates cut $178 bn in “efficiencies”; and before that, he had already killed over 50 weapon programs, including the F-22 fighter, the CG-X cruiser, and the Airborne Laser. Defense spending, in short, has already been subjected to deep, excessive cuts during President Obama’s tenure – while nondefense spending had not, prior to sequestration, faced any cuts (and even under sequestration, nondefense spending cuts will be shallow). And a full 60% of sequestration’s cuts are from defense.

Moreover, you could eliminate military spending entirely, and there still would be huge budget deficits for perpetuity. So defense spending is the wrong place to look for further cuts. It’s time for entitlements – which are exempt from sequestration – to face reductions now.

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Furthermore – and most importantly – defense is the most important function of the federal government, indeed its highest Constitutional duty, as made clear by the Constitution’s Preamble and Sec. 4 of Art. IV, and by the fact that half of all enumerated powers of Congress listed in Sec. 8 of Art. I of the Constitution pertain to military matters. Defense is therefore far more important than, say, farm aid or mass transit. And that is what the Founding Fathers believed.

George Washington told Congress in 1790 that “Among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention, that of providing for the common defense will merit particular regard. (…) To be prepared for war is one of the effective means of preserving the peace.” John Adams said wisely that “National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.” James Madison asked in one of the Federalist Papers: “How could readiness for war in times of peace be safely prohibited, unless we could prohibit, in like manner, the preparations and establishments of every hostile nation?”

Some will say, “But the US should do less around the world. It should be less interventionist.”

But less is not better. More is not better, either. Only better is better.

The US, of course, shouldn’t make every conflict around the world, and every nation’s governance or security problems, its own. But in crucial parts of the world, the US needs to intervene when (and only when) its interests or its key allies are threatened. Who rules in Bosnia, Zambia, or Lesotho is irrelevant to US interests.

But when North Korea tests nuclear weapons and missiles and threatens US allies and Guam; when China bullies and threatens countries across East Asia; when Russia flies bombers close to US airspace practicing attacks on the US; when Israel’s security is threatened, the US cannot stand by; it must do something. The key is to determine what constitutes an American national interest and thus when and where to intervene, if at all; I’ve attempted to do so here. Also, if and when the US intervenes, it needs to achieve victory quickly and then go home. Prolonged wars don’t serve the national interest.

You may ask, “What about Iraq and Afghanistan, then?” I believe the invasion of Iraq and the nationbuilding campaign in Afghanistan were big mistakes. The US, like other countries, sometimes makes them. But it’s crucial not to shift to the other extreme of the position spectrum and oppose any overseas interventions completely. The right path lies in the middle; the US should sometimes intervene, but only in defense of its vital interests and allies. Historically, that has been the policy of Republican Presidents such as… Ronald Reagan and his Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. The latter officially enshrined this policy as the Weinberger Doctrine.

Dear Young Reader, if you’ve read all of this to the end, I want to thank you – even if you don’t agree with me completely, or even in 50%. The US military needs the engagement and support of every US citizen – especially young citizens, who are the future and the hope of any nation and its armed forces.

Michelle Fields is completely wrong on amnesty and Latinos

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Libertarian Fox News contributor Michelle Fields. Photo author unknown.

Fox News’ Latino website has recently published an opinion piece by libertarian FNC contributor Michelle Fields, who therein attacks conservative columnist Ann Coulter for pointing out the inconvenient truth about amnesty’s consequences and the majority of Latino immigrants. Fields believes Ann Coulter’s written remarks are xenophobic and based only on stereotypes.

Essentially, Fields’ claims, and her attacks on Coulter, can be summed up as follows:

Claim #1: Latinos are not a bunch of government dependents, but mostly a community of hardworking taxpayers, and they do not support Big Government or liberal/socialist ideologies. They share many beliefs with Republicans, such as faith and belief in hard work, and could very well vote GOP. Thus, the GOP is to blame for its failure to win over Latinos.

Claim #2: Amnesty will not kill the GOP.

Claim #3: Rejecting “immigration reform” because it could harm the GOP is unpatriotic and unjust.

All of her claims, without exception, are dead wrong. I’ll show you why.

Firstly, while I don’t want to generalize, and while not all Latinos are government dependents, the vast majority of them are. The typical Latino family in the US is led by a single mother. If she works, her income is so low she doesn’t pay any income taxes and receives the Earned Income Tax Credit – effectively a subsidy from US taxpayers. If she doesn’t work, she receives various forms of welfare, including 99 weeks of free unemployment compensation.

For food, mom gets food stamps and other aid, while her kids get 2-3 free meals at school every day.

Her kids are educated at taxpayers’ expense K-12 and can receive student loans, college aid, and in-state tuition rates.

For healthcare, there’s Medicaid and Obamacare. (Latinos have the lowest insurance rate of any demographic group in the country.)

Why would those people vote for a party (the GOP) that pledges to cut taxes they don’t pay and reduce the government programs they do live off?

Wouldn’t self-interest dictate voting for a party that will let them continue receiving all the current giveaways from Uncle Sam, and perhaps give them even more?

Most Hispanics in America today are born out of wedlock to teen mothers. Hispanics are more likely than anyone else except blacks to be born out of wedlock to a teen mother, to do poorly in school, to drop out of high school, to be unemployed and on welfare, to commit crime, and to go to prison. (Of course, the former social ills lead to the latter – children born out of wedlock, especially to teen mothers, have their lives screwed up at the start, if you pardon my language.)

Therefore, it is not surprising that the vast majority of Hispanics overwhelmingly supports Big Government. According to very recent polling by Pew Hispanic Polling, the Kaiser Foundation, and others:

While this is the first time I agree with Rachel Maddow on anything, Maddow was nonetheless absolutely right to note that:

“There’s no great mystery here. Latino have the lowest rates of health coverage in the country, and strongly believe public access to affordable care should be a basic societal guarantee.

In other words, most Latinos believe the exact opposite of most Republicans. The GOP wants to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety; Latino voters want it protected. Republicans want to gut Medicare and Medicaid; Latinos see both programs as critical.

“This is going to hurt Republicans,” Matt Barreto, cofounder of Latino Decisions, a nonpartisan national polling firm, told Levey. “When Republicans keep saying they will repeal the health law, Latinos hear the party is going to take away their healthcare.”

Since the 2012 election, we’ve heard repeatedly from Republicans that Latinos are a natural constituency for the GOP and, if the party could only use more effective language, Latino voters would gravitate to the conservative party. And yet, the evidence to the contrary is increasingly overwhelming.”

Or, as the LA Times has noted:

“As Republican leaders try to woo Latino voters with a new openness to legal status for the nation’s illegal immigrants, the party remains at odds with America’s fastest-growing ethnic community on another key issue: healthcare.”

According to other polling by Pew Hispanic Research and others, Latinos aren’t any more conservative on social issues, either. In fact, they support gay marriage and abortion by wider margins than anyone else except Jewish Americans, women, and youngsters (themselves also traditional Democratic electorates).

For example, a June 19th, 2013 poll by Pew found that 52% of all Hispanics, including 54% of Catholic Hispanics, 57% of “native-born” Hispanics, and 59% of those Hispanics for whom English is their first language, support gay marriage legalization. Among ethnic groups, only Jewish Americans support the legality of gay marriage and abortion by wider margins.

So Ann Coulter was absolutely right, and Michelle Fields was dead wrong, about Hispanics’ political views: the vast majority of them ARE strident liberals, ARE dependent on the federal government from cradle to grave, and DO support Big Government. Those are not stereotypes. Those are facts.

And Republicans can’t woo these people. You can’t convert a Big Government liberal to free-market conservatism anymore than you can convince an Islamist to forego jihad.

The GOP cannot win the Hispanic vote unless it becomes the second party of Big Government and social liberalism. But that would defeat the party’s purpose, and the Dems will always outdo Republicans in the “handing out taxpayers’ dollars” game.

But remaining (or making the GOP again) the party of limited constitutional government means foregoing the vast majority of the Hispanic vote. That is a fact. Latinos love Big Government.

Miss Fields claims that the Latino vote is winnable for the GOP. But that is impossible for the above reasons. And all election results show that.

In fact, in 1984, while the general American populace voted for Ronald Reagan in even greater numbers than in 1980, Hispanics voted for Walter Mondale in even greater numbers than they had for Jimmy Carter: 61% for Mondale versus “only” 56% for Carter.

In other words, Latinos missed the Carter Administration so badly that they voted for Walter Mondale, an advocate of the “nuclear freeze” and tax hikes, in even greater numbers than they had for Carter!

Ronald Reagan won only 35% of the Hispanic vote in 1980 and only 37% in 1984.

But Republicans passed, and he signed, amnesty in 1986. Didn’t Latinos reward Republicans for amnesty thereafter?

Actually, no, they didn’t. Just two years later, they voted for Dukakis in even greater numbers (69%) than for Mondale (61%) and Carter (56%)! George H. W. Bush won only 30% of the Hispanic vote in 1988.

But he made it easier to immigrate to the US, created the Diversity Visa Lottery, and eliminated the English language test on the naturalization exam. Didn’t that earn him the Hispanic vote?

No, it didn’t. He won only 25% of the Hispanic vote in 1992 – even less than Mitt Romney did in 2012. Bill Clinton won 61% of the Hispanic vote in 1992 and 71% in 1996.

But didn’t George W. Bush show Republicans can win the Hispanic vote?

No, he didn’t. He won only 35% of the Hispanic vote in 2000 and only 40% (not the 44% Miss Fields claims) in 2004. Even then, Latinos voted overwhelmingly for Al Gore (62%) and John Kerry (58%).

Even America’s loudest advocate of amnesty for illegal aliens, John McCain, won only 31% of the Hispanic vote in 2008; Latinos backed Obama then by 67%.

But most outrageously, four years later, Latinos thought Obama deserved a second term, and they voted for him in 2012 in numbers even greater than in 2008 (71% vs 67%). This is consistent with their entire history of overwhelmingly backing stridently liberal presidential candidates: Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and Obama. They’ve never met a strident liberal they didn’t love.

(Source: Pew Hispanic polling.)

And now, very recent polling shows that if Joe Biden was the Democratic and Marco Rubio the Republican nominee, Biden would handily beat Rubio – a leading advocate of amnesty and a Hispanic himself – 60% to 26%, i.e. Rubio would receive even less of the Hispanic vote than the strongly anti-amnesty Mitt Romney, despite being a Hispanic himself!

The Latino vote is utterly unwinnable for the GOP. Therefore, it is in the Party’s and the Country’s interest to halt further immigration (from all countries of the world, not just Latin American ones) and to ensure that the illegals already in America are deported.

Ann Coulter is also absolutely right to point out, and Michelle Fields dead wrong to deny, that amnesty will kill the GOP.

Just look at Miss Fields’ home state of California to see what would happen to the GOP.

Massive immigration – both legal and illegal – from Latin American countries (mostly Mexico) has turned California into such a liberal state that NO Republican can be elected statewide in California anymore. Not so long, it gave America such great Senators and Governors as Richard Nixon, S.I. Hayakawa, Ronald Reagan, and Pete Wilson.

But now, California is such a liberal state that the Dems have the governorship and supermajorities in both houses of the state legislatures, allowing them to raise taxes anytime without limits. In 2010, Californians chose Babsy Boxer and Governor Moonbeam over two bright conservative women – Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman – one of them pro-life, the other pro-choice, and rejected a proposal to suspend California’s cap-and-tax scheme until the state unemployment rate shrinks.

Last year, Californians gave the Dems a supermajority in the State Senate.

Similar stories are repeated throughout the country. New Mexico, like California, is lost forever. Colorado, Nevada, Florida, and Virginia haven’t voted Republican since 2004. Only Texas and Arizona remain secure – for now.

When Texas goes, America goes.

As Ann Coulter rightly points out, if amnesty is passed, the entire country will have the electorate of California. And there will be no going back. Look again at the Hispanic voting patterns of the last 33 years to see what electorate America would have. An electorate 71% of which thought Barack Obama had done a good job and deserved a second term. An electorate 61% of which missed the Carter Administration so badly that it voted for its vice president. An electorate 69% of which voted for Michael Dukakis.

But it would actually be much worse than that: as Sarah Palin points out, amnesty would be a heinous betrayal of working-class Americans, who would see their jobs stolen by illegal immigrants.

Thus we come to Miss Fields’ last claim: that rejecting “immigration reform” is unpatriotic and unjust. A patriot is one who does what is good for his country.

Amnesty – as Miss Fields herself has noted – would be very bad for the country. It would reward lawbreaking and put a huge new strain on American taxpayers. It would also turn the entire country into California. That would be disastrous for America.

Thus, by blocking amnesty, House Republicans are doing the PATRIOTIC thing. They’re doing the right thing for the Country and the Party.

To conclude, Miss Fields is dead wrong on all counts. The vast majority of Latinos ARE government dependents and DO support Big Government. Amnesty would kill the GOP, and conservatism in general, forever. And stopping it is the patriotic thing to do.

If Miss Fields is the classy young woman I believe she is, she should and will apologize to Ann Coulter. She’s certainly a knowledgeable and intelligent person and has been right on many issues. But on these, she’s flat wrong.

Remembering D-Day

Freedom is not free!

Let’s remember this somber day with words from a REAL leader!

This is Ronald Reagan commemorating the 40th Anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 1984.

Most Americans OPPOSE defense spending cuts

Another leftist myth has been debunked and shown to be a farce: the myth that a majority of Americans support deep defense spending cuts.

You may remember, folks, that last year, the University of Maryland and the extremely leftist “Center for Public Integrity” commissioned a rigged poll which claimed that 66% of Americans supported cutting defense spending to the tune of $100 bn per year. Anti-defense groups such as the misnamed, Soros-funded “Project on Government Oversight”, and anti-defense writers such as Micah Zenko falsely claimed on that basis that most Americans support deep defense spending cuts, including sequestration.

There were, however, other polls saying something completely different, including one by the National Journal and one commissioned by the Foreign Policy Initiative.

Then, earlier this year, Pew conducted a poll showing that 73% of Americans oppose any cuts to defense spending (and similar percentages oppose cutting anything else).

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And most recently, Gallup has released a poll showing that 36% of Americans believe the US spends the right amount of money on defense and another 26% think the US, if anything, isn’t spending enough – so in total, 62% of Americans oppose cutting defense. According to Gallup, only 35% of Americans think the US spends too much.

Moreover, the “don’t cut defense spending” view is held even more widely among the Independent and Republican electorates. 73% of Indies and 78% of Republicans share this pro-defense view, believing the US spends the right amount or an insufficient one.

Only among the Democrats does a majority think the US spends too much – and even among them, it’s barely a majority (51%). See here for details.

Gallup’s poll’s results mean that there is NO popular demand for defense cuts today, unlike the Vietnam War years and the late 1980s. All of that despite over 40 years of uncessant anti-defense leftist propaganda (particularly intense in the last 5 years). Gallup tells us that:

  • “In the late 1960s and early 1970s as the United States was fighting the Vietnam War, Americans’ dominant view was that the U.S. was spending too much on defense.
  • In 1981, just after Ronald Reagan took office after making concerns about U.S. military strength in light of the Iranian hostage situation and the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan a major theme of his presidential campaign, Americans shifted to the view that too little was spent on defense.
  • As the Reagan administration built up military spending in the 1980s, Americans again came to believe the U.S. was spending too much in this area.
  • Near the end of the Clinton administration, as the government made an effort to reduce military spending and George W. Bush’s presidential campaign questioned U.S. military strength, an increasing number of Americans said the United States was spending too little on defense.
  • In the first several years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which included U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Americans most commonly said defense spending was “about right.”
  • Over the last five years, Americans have alternated in their views between believing the U.S. spends too much and believing it spends the right amount on defense, including this year, when roughly equal percentages of Americans hold each view.”

But what Gallup doesn’t tell us is that, in addition to the 36% of Americans who think the level of defense spending is “about right”, another 26% think the US isn’t spending enough, meaning that 62% of Americans – almost two-thirds of the society – oppose defense cuts.

This debunks yet another myth being spread by the left. Not only is defense spending NOT bloated, not only would deep cuts to it severely weaken the military (as sequestration is already beginning to do), not only would such cuts utterly fail to meaningfully reduce the budget deficit or attract new voters to the GOP, but also they are very unpopular: the vast majority of Americans OPPOSE them. There is NO popular demand for such policy, unlike the Vietnam War years – the time of the “guns vs butter” debates – and the late 1980s.

Not only that, but in contrast to the Vietnam War years and the 1970s, the US military is now held by the majority of the public, including 54% of young Americans, in very high regard.

Why deep defense cuts MUST be avoided at all costs

I could just as well title this article “why defense must always be fully funded” or “why America must always maintain a strong, second-to-none defense”, but all three titles effectively mean the same thing, so I have chosen the above one.

We are being told from all directions by various kinds of people – from liberals like Clinton Admin official Gordon Adams to libertarians like Justin Amash and Mick Mulvaney to supposed conservatives like Rush Limbaugh that America can afford deep cuts in the defense budget and still have a strong military; or, in the case of other libertarians, like the Students For Liberty/Ron Paul crowd, that America doesn’t need a strong military, that it would only be a tool of oppression, and that America can safely retrench and hide behind oceans and nothing will threaten it.

But all of those claims are garbage, and in this article, I’ll show you why. They might’ve made some sense during the 18th century, when any attack on America would’ve had to be a seaborne invasion or one from Mexico or Canada.

But in the 21st century, when America has vital interests around the world, when its economy is deeply interconnected to those of its allies and friends (such as Japan and South Korea), and in the era of nuclear weapons, ICBMs, ballistic missile submarines, intercontinental bombers, EMP weapons, and cyber attacks, such beliefs are utterly ridiculous. Those who indulge them live in a kum-ba-yah world.

Let us start with this timeless principle taught by Sun Tzu in his Art of War (ch. 8, v. 11):

“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”

We should not delude ourselves that we will never be attacked, or not for a long time, or that America is somehow invincible or unassailable, or that its military is overwhelmingly superior when this is clearly not the case.

Providing for the common defense is not only necessary, it is the Federal Government’s #1 Constitutional DUTY. Art. IV, Sec. 4 of the Constitution clearly imposes this obligation on the government; the majority of enumerated powers granted to the Congress deal with military matters; and the Preamble to the Constitution – makes it clear that one of the reasons why the federal government was create in the first place is to “provide for the common defense”. Furthermore, the military is the ONLY significant expenditure authorized by the Constitution. Federal entitlement and welfare programs are utterly unconstitutional and thus illegal.

Furthermore, the claim – often made by proponents of deep defense cuts in order to lull Americans into a false sense of security – that the US military is still overwhelmingly superior to those of other countries – is completely false (although I wish it was true). The militaries of China and Russia, as documented in detailed analysis here, have already closed the vast majority of the gaps between their and the US military’s capabilities, and are now working hard on closing the remaining few gaps. Where those gaps still exist, as in aircraft carriers, for example, China and Russia have created asymmetric advantages of their own with anti-access/area-denial weapons such as aircraft carrier killing missiles.

For a detailed analysis of China’s and Russia’s military capabilities, see here.

Another oft-made false claim which is supposed to justify deep defense cuts is that they could supposedly be done safely if the military were just granted the flexibility to decide where to make the cuts and that if such reductions are made “strategically”, in a “targeted” manner, they can supposedly be done safely.

The “studies” produced by CATO, the “Project on Defense Alternatives”, the Center for American Progress, POGO-TCS,  the NTU, and Sen. Tom Coburn (RINO-OK) are often invoked as examples and as supposed “proof” that deep defense cuts can be done safely.

But I have read and analyzed virtually all of these “studies”, and ALL of them would, if implemented (God forbid), result in the utter gutting of the US military. Why? Because the vast majority of the cuts they call for would be directed at the muscle and bone of the US military – the force structure (i.e. the size of the military), its personnel, weapons, munitions, and forward deployments.

These “studies” call for deep personnel, weapon inventory, weapon program, and force size cuts across the board to all four Services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force) and to the already barely-adequate nuclear deterrent. They call for killing dozens of crucial modernization programs, including the Long Range Strike Bomber, the ICBM replacement program, the V-22 Osprey, the F-35, the Virginia class, and many others.

If one were to plan on how to completely gut the US military, one could not come up with a better plan than those produced by the above-mentioned leftist think-tanks (most of which, including CATO, POGO, and the CAP, are co-funded by George Soros) and by Sen. Coburn. These plans seem to be deliberately designed to gut the US military.

And NONE of these proposals or “studies” are really “strategic”, because none of them are underpinned by any strategy, only by a desire to gut the US military. Strategy is about setting priorities, funding them fully, and cutting back only on non-priority programs/objectives/activities; failure to set priorities and to fund them adequately is essentially the same thing as sequestration.

But in those “studies”, there are no priorities – like sequestration, they all call for deep, across-the-board cuts to everything the US military has and does – mostly to the muscle and bone of the military.

The first and only “priority” of these studies’ authors is to gut the US military, plain and simple.

I have refuted these ridiculous “studies” here, here, here, and here among other articles.

For his part, HumanEvents columnist Robert Maginnis wrongly claims that the US can make these cuts safely if it simply scraps a number of current missions.

But that is wrong. To make cuts on the scale of sequestration, the US military would have to jettison dozens of missions – including many crucial, necessary missions connected to America’s own national security (not just that of its allies). For example, air, naval, and ground superiority, nuclear deterrence, and missile defense.

Those who call for jettisoning many military missions and cuts on the scale of sequestration need to be made to say what exact missions they think the military should scrap and be forced to admit that doing so would mean not meeting America’s security needs and thus imperiling national security.

As then-SECDEF Robert Gates said in 2011:

“These are the kinds of scenarios we need to consider, the kinds of discussions we need to have.  If we are going to reduce the resources and the size of the U.S. military, people need to make conscious choices about what the implications are for the security of the country, as well as for the variety of military operations we have around the world if lower priority missions are scaled back or eliminated.  (…)  To shirk this discussion of risks and consequences – and the hard decisions that must follow – I would regard as managerial cowardice.

In closing, while I have spent a good  deal of time on programmatic particulars, the tough choices ahead are really about the kind of role the American people – accustomed to unquestioned military dominance for the past two decades – want their country to play in the world.”

Then there are those like Rush Limbaugh and Rand Paul who falsely claim that sequestration would be a mere cut to the growth rate of defense spending. But that is a blatant lie.

As the CBO has proven, and as I have documented here, sequestration would cut the base defense budget from $525 bn today to $469 bn in March and keep it well below today’s level (and even below $500 bn) for the next decade at least. By FY2022, the last year of the “sequestration decade”, the base defense budget would be at $493 bn – still below $500 bn and well below today’s level of $525 bn.

defensebudgetaccordingtothecbo2

Meanwhile, OCO (war) spending is shrinking annually from its FY2011 peak and is set to disappear in FY2016, once all US troops leave Afghanistan.

The DOE’s defense-related (nuclear) programs and the DOD’s unspent balances from previous years are also subject to sequestration, as are all other national-security-related agencies.

In other words, sequestration would be an IMMEDIATE, REAL, DEEP, and PERMANENT cut in defense spending. It would not be a mere cut in the rate of growth. In other words, Rush, Rand, and other sequestration pooh-poohers are blatantly lying. (And the people spreading that lie are children of the Father of Lies himself.)

President Ronald Reagan articulated the need for a strong military – and the case against defense cuts – well here and here.

Let Robert Gates – a man of whom I’ve been very critical – nonetheless have the last word here:

“Since I entered government 45 years ago, I’ve shifted my views and changed my mind on a good many things as circumstances, new information, or logic dictated.  But I have yet to see evidence that would dissuade me from this fundamental belief: that America does have a special position and set of responsibilities on this planet.  I share Winston Churchill’s belief that “the price of greatness is responsibility…[and] the people of the United States cannot escape world responsibility.”  This status provides enormous benefits – for allies, partners, and others abroad to be sure, but in the final analysis the greatest beneficiaries are the American people, in terms of our security, our prosperity, and our freedom.

I know that after a decade of conflict, the American people are tired of war.  But there is no doubt in my mind that the continued strength and global reach of the American military will remain the greatest deterrent against aggression, and the most effective means of preserving peace in the 21st century, as it was in the 20th.”

Ronald Reagan’s 102nd birthday: What Would Reagan Do?

Today, February 6th, would’ve been Ronald Reagan’s 102nd birthday. As is frequently done on February 6th and indeed, everyday, the question “What would Reagan do?” will be asked today. And it should be.

And I believe that if he were alive today, he would’ve been appalled to see what the GOP is today.

He would’ve been appalled to see the GOP slavishly agree to unfavorable, unilateral disarmament treaties (such as New START) and to massive defense cuts, including the sequester, which most Republicans voted for in August 2011 even though the sequester was Obama’s idea. By foolishly agreeing to it, they gave Obama and the Democrats a weapon with which to blackmail them and have forced themselves into choosing between two very bad options: either allowing Obama to execute the hostage (i.e. gut defense) or agreeing to tax hikes as a condition of sparing defense from draconian, salami-slicing budget cuts.

He would’ve been appalled to hear some Republicans advocate this (or a similar) course of action and agree with the disastrous, treasonous proposals of leftist, anti-defense think-tanks such as the “Project on Defense Alternatives”, the Cato Institute, POGO, TCS, and the Center for American Progress (three of these groups, namely Cato, POGO, and the CAP, take money from George Soros).

He would’ve been appalled to hear Ron Paul badmouth America and its troops everyday, call for isolationism and unilaterald disarmament, and call for a “hear no evil, see no evil, everything bad is America’s fault” foreign policy. He would’ve called on the GOP’s leaders to expel such politicians from the Party. He would’ve also deeply regretted ever endorsing Ron Paul for Congress, especially considering the fact that during his time, Ron Paul and his sidekick Lew Rockwell fought against him every step of the way.

He would’ve been appalled to see and hear pseudo-conservative, anti-defense, leftist libertarians such as Justin Amash (a Ron Paul clone), Tim Huelskamp, and Raul Castro Labrador be hailed as “Constitutional conservatives” and heroes.

He would’ve been appalled to see these people vote against a passable, fully workable, fiscally conservative budget plan, such as the Ryan Plan, simply because it wasn’t as good as they wished and to see the better become the enemy of the good.

He would’ve been horrified to see Republicans lose faith in supply-side, pro-growth economics and claim that the Ryan Plan would not jumpstart economic growth and balance the budget within 10 years under dynamic scoring. He would’ve been horrified to see Republicans reject dynamic instead of static scoring (a classic liberal method).

He would’ve been terrified to see that Republicans can’t prioritize federal spending and make cuts where they can be made safely – in domestic discretionary spending – even cut an Energy and Water Approps’ bill’s price tag by 1%!

He would’ve been horrified to see Republicans failing to understand the Constitution, let alone commit themselves to abolish unconstitutional federal agencies and programs.

He would’ve been horrified to see Republicans unable to commit themselves to abolishing the Departments of Education and Energy – a cause he fought for – even long after George W. Bush has left the White House.

He would’ve been horrified to see Republicans attrite and weaken each other in nasty primary battles, thus helping them lose the general election.

He would’ve been horrified to see Republicans prioritize abortion and gay marriage above all other issues, while America’s defenses are atrophying, China and Russia are on the march, and the US is sinking deeper and deeper into debt.

He would’ve been horrified to know that Republicans prioritize – and are dividing the party over – such divisive issues instead of uniting the party and the people around common-sense bread-and-butter issues like deficits, debt, taxes, spending, defense, and so forth.

He would’ve been horrified to see Republicans not only accept, but even embrace and advocate, the use of police-state-like measures to fight “terrorism” but in fact to expand the federal government’s power over American citizens through the cynically-named PATRIOT Act (AKA the Ermaechtigungsgesetz), Know Your Customer provisions, warrantless wiretaps, indefinite detention, and so forth.

And he would’ve been horrified to see Republicans repeat his own mistake from 1986 – accept and even advocate amnesty for illegal aliens, thus rewarding criminals who have broken the law and also committing suicide as a party.

He would’ve been horrified to see that, thanks to unlimited legal and illegal immigration, California has become a majority-minority state and such a liberal one that it’s incapable of electing any Republicans statewide anymore, with the consequence that state taxes and spending are rising and there’s no one left to pay the bill as most productive Californians leave the state in droves.

Come to think of it, maybe it’s better for Ronald Reagan not to be here today. He would’ve been horrified to see the state of the party and the country.

But we can finish his work and make him proud if we commit ourselves to doing the right thing and do it.

So today, on Ronald Reagan’s 102nd birthday, let us, as conservatives, pledge to each other that:

  • We will identify and work on issues that unite us, not divide us.
  • We will adhere to Reagan’s principles of fiscal and defense conservatism.
  • We will work to elect the most electable conservative/Republican candidate in each district and state.
  • We will work to make the entire GOP adhere to the Constitution’s strict limits on the federal government.
  • We will work to recommit the GOP to abolishing the Departments of Education, Energy, and Housing & Urban Development as a start.
  • We will stop pretending that the federal budget can be balanced by simply eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse (as important as that is).
  • We will work to commit the GOP to fundamental tax reform – either a flat tax or the FairTax.
  • We will not tolerate within the Party or the conservative movement those who have slandered America, its honorable military, or Ronald Reagan, nor will we tolerate those who, like Amash, Labrador, Huelskamp, and Mulvaney, advocate gutting the military and are collaborating with the House’s most strident liberals towards that goal.
  • We will commit ourselves and the Party to a commonsense, Reaganesque foreign policy: building the world’s strongest military while intervening militarily only where and when crucial American interests are at stake – and even then, only with clearly defined goals, a clear strategy to achieve them, an exit strategy to avoid endless entanglements.
  • We will never advocate anything that would infringe US citizens’ civil liberties and will commit ourselves and the Party to repealing all of the existing such measures, including the cynically-named PATRIOT Act, KYC provisions, warrantless wiretapping programs, and indefinite detention. And we will not tolerate within the GOP those who, like John McCain, Lindsay Graham, and Kelly Ayotte, advocate such police state measures.
  • We will wholeheartedly support the Ryan Budget Plan (at least until someone devises a better plan that can pass the Congress instead of being voted down by huge bipartisan margins) and work to secure its passage.
  • We will work towards the repeal of the 16th and 17th Amendments and the abolition of the Federal Reserve.
  • We will leave divisive social issues, such as abortion, gay marriage, and euthanasia, to the states to decide. We will support the 10th Amendment all of the time, not selectively when it suits us.

Let’s win this one for the Gipper.

PS: A record 40 states, including even liberal states like California, Illinois, and New York, have issued proclamations designating today as Ronald Reagan Day. Only 8 states run by liberal Democrats have refused to do so, and 2 states run by Democrats are sitting on the fence.

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