What happens when you see American power as a problem?

October 22, 2013
"You're not welcome."

This is a problem?

Simple: You do whatever you can to make sure it won’t be a problem much longer.

While the president of the United States pitched his crumbling healthcare program like a late-night infomercial barker, the Army’s chief of staff made a shocking admission about national defense.

Gen. Ray Odierno told a Washington conference Monday that the U.S. Army had not conducted any training in the last six months of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

And, he said, there currently are only two Army brigades rated combat-ready. That’s a total of between 7,000 to 10,000 troops and less than one-third what the combat veteran regards as necessary for proper national security.

“Right now,” Odierno said, “we have in the Army two brigades that are trained. That’s it. Two.”

Odierno also revealed that troops shipping out to Afghanistan now are prepared only to train and assist Afghan troops, not to conduct combat operations themselves. But, of course, there’s no guarantee the Americans won’t find themselves in combat while accompanying Afghan soldiers.

All this to obey Obama administration orders to drastically cut the Army and military spending and meet cuts under sequestration. Since the Obama Pentagon began the troop draw-down two years ago under the president’s orders, more than 33,000 active duty soldiers have been cut.

Current plans call for additional reductions of 42,000 soldiers in the next 23 months to a total of 490,000, down from 570,000. Those cuts have been accelerated by two years under Pentagon orders and will involve involuntary separations of thousands.

Read the rest for Andrew’s take on what looks like a purge of the generals. Funny how it’s only the military that’s being held accountable…

There was a time, from FDR through LBJ, when American liberals saw American power as a good thing for the world. No more. Since the takeover of the Democratic Party by the New Left, beginning in the 1960s, progressives and their allies to their Left have seen American power as a source of the world’s problems, not a cure or a preventative. For the new liberal internationalists, decline is a choice.

We’re now seeing the results of that choice, and the world is being made more dangerous because of it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) The President on the North Korean threat

April 11, 2013

The Virtual President, that is. “President” Bill Whittle holds a press conference to explain American policy (and opinion of) North Korea in no uncertain terms:

Honest, direct, and no diplomatic weasel words such as “unacceptable,” “world opinion,” or my favorite, “the international community.” (1)

Neither bellicose nor warmongering; no chest-thumping to be seen. Just a clear, confident statement of the problem and the actions the president will take in defense of American national interest, American lives, and American allies. It’s like Walter Brennan used to say in “The Guns of Will Sonnett”No brag, just fact.

Isn’t that how an American president should be?

Footnote:
(1) Imagine me pausing for a moment to gag. Actually, no. You’re not imagining it at all.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Quote of the Day: fading exceptionalism edition

November 8, 2012

Roger Kimball of PJM (who, like me, has egg all over his face from predicting a big win for Romney) heard from an English friend after the election and shared this excerpt from the email:

You just don’t care about being a Great Power any longer. That’s what this is about. The world should start sucking up to China instead now, as Americans have shown they’ve no appetite for world leadership any longer. You’ve had a century in the sun, and now you’ve decided to become Sweden instead of shouldering the burden. The 47% have won and you’re going to slip into social democracy and in 4 years time no-one — Christie, Rubio, Ryan — will be able to do anything about it.

RIP American Exceptionalism

Perhaps I’ll feel better in a few days/weeks/months, but, right now, I fear this nameless Englishman is all too right.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) Up or Down? American greatness is a choice.

June 10, 2012

In his latest Firewall, Bill Whittle looks at two recent incidents  — a MSNBC host having trouble referring to Americans killed in battle as heroes, and the resupply of the International Space Station by a private American company — to illustrate two possible paths for America: “Up or Down.”

Bill ends by saying “decline is a choice,” perhaps echoing the title of Charles Krauthammer’s brilliant analysis of modern liberal foreign policy.

But I prefer a more positive framing: that national greatness –American greatness– is our choice. It’s the choice between the diffident, enervating, and self-absorbed navel-gazing of a Chris Hayes on the one hand, and the belief of Americans-by-choice that here humanity can still achieve great things — liberate a nation, defend civilization, or build rockets to carry us into space. We have all the resources and people we need; we have the spirit.

We just have to make a choice.

LINK: More at Hot Air.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Sunday Links Fiesta, debate-skipping edition

January 8, 2012

I still can’t bring myself to watch the Republican debates: the quiz-show format, the never-ending quest for the gotcha moment or highlight soundbite, and (usually) liberal MSM hacks asking questions of conservative Republicans. (And on that last, I say “WTF??”)

Thank God there’s NFL football on.

But there are also good articles to read on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Here are a few I want to commend to your attention:

Debt-Watch: Senator (and future president) Marco Rubio has had enough with debt ceiling increases and wrote a scathing letter to President Obama to announce his opposition to another increase. Key phrase: “…the first three years of your presidency have been a profile in leadership failure.” Ouch!

Operation Fast & Furious: Three key ATF officials have been reassigned pending the DoJ Inspector General’s report. More scapegoats to protect Eric Holder and President Obama?

High-Speed Railroad-mania: For some reason, the statist Left are obsessed with high-speed railroads. (I suspect it’s a control-thing for them.) China’s vaunted program has been mired in scandal, while California’s proposed high-speed boondoggle has neared $100 billion in projected costs. So, what does the supposedly conservative (and definitely broke) government of the UK propose to do? Build their own high-speed railroad! James Delingpole calls it Britain’s “latest suicidal gesture.”

American Decline-Watch: President Obama announced massive cuts in military spending and active forces. The President says this will make American forces leaner and more efficient, while meeting our defense needs. Analyst Max Boot say these cuts put America on a “suicidal trajectory.” I agree with Max. For a reminder that American decline is a deliberate choice by Obama and his allies, have a look at Charles Krauthammer’s brilliant “decline is a choice.”

ObamaCare: The Supreme Court will be holding hearings on the constitutionality of ObamaCare soon. In preparation, Mario Loyola and other conservative-libertarian scholars have filed a brief explaining why not only should the individual mandate be struck down, but other key provisions, too.

Candidates-Watch: I’ve announced my support for Governor Perry for president, but other candidates are worth looking at, too. Fred Barnes argues that Governor Romney is more conservative than we think. I’m not wholly convinced, but thought there was enough here to chew over to make it worth passing along. Meanwhile, at Conservative Commune, a conservative, pro-life, Catholic woman makes the case against Rick Santorum.

Liberal Fascism-Watch: Call it “statism,” “the Chicago Way,” the “thugocracy,” whatever, President Obama is showing an arrogance and disregard for constitutional government that I have never seen in my lifetime. (In fact, I suspect this is what a Huey Long presidency would have looked like). At City Journal, Fred Siegel and Joel Kotkin write about “The New Authoritarianism.” It’s alarmist, but rightfully so. Meanwhile, former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy takes Obama and the Democrats to the woodshed for violating the constitutional order and the Republicans for doing nothing to stop it.

Birthday-Watch: It was Kim Jong-Un’s birthday this weekend, though it’s a state secret as to just which day it is. The Telegraph has video of the latest Dear Leader celebrating by doing his best Michael Dukakis impression and driving a tank. Really, these NoKo propaganda videos are almost an entertainment genre themselves. My favorite is the happy soldiers jumping up and down for joy at the little Un’s visit.

Finally, food: After all those annoying or depressing articles, doesn’t some comfort food sound good? And what’s a better side dish for breakfast than potatoes? You’ll love these “Perfect Breakfast Potatoes,” from Crepes of Wrath.

Hey, I’m not all-politics, all the time, y’know!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Your daily dose of Marco Rubio: his speech at the Reagan Library

August 24, 2011

What’s the matter, bunky? The “Washington blues” have you down? Depressed from having a president with no understanding of basic economics or economic history, no love for or even comprehension of the nation he leads, and and an attitude toward our unemployment problem worthy of Versailles in 1789? Ready to pull your hair out at the thought of having Vice President Biden  a total buffoon represent us at the court of our chief rivals?

Well, cheer up!  I have just what you need!

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke at the Reagan Library yesterday. The major part of the address was on the proper role of government, on which he was solid in my book. Then he turned to one of his favorite topics, the nature of the United States and of American exceptionalism, where he scores a home-run. Enjoy.

Am I mistaken, or did he choke up a bit with emotion there at the end?

via Legal Insurrection

UPDATE: What a guy — he rescues elderly ladies, too!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


And so it ends not with a bang, but a whimper

July 21, 2011

Yesterday was the 42nd anniversary of America’s greatest triumph in space exploration, the first manned landing on the Moon. Here’s a video commemorating that moment:

(via GinTheGin)

And late last night, 42 years after Neil Armstrong first stepped on another world and 49 years after John Glenn became the first American to enter orbital space (1), our manned space program came to an end with the landing of the shuttle Atlantis.

In the dark, as if to spare us the embarrassment:

(via The Jawa Report)

And, yes, I know there are plenty of reasons why a private space exploration program is a good idea; I even agree with many of the arguments. But I don’t want to hear them just now.

I’m not in the mood.

Footnotes:
(1) Of course, Alan Shepard went first in Freedom 7, but that was a suborbital flight. Impressive and heroic, but not quite slipping the “surly bonds of Earth.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Independence Day link-a-palooza

July 4, 2011

None voted "present" here

Happy Independence Day! While you’re enjoying cookouts and fireworks, here are some links I think you’ll find of interest:

The Basics:

The Fourth of July commemorates the publication of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. Take a moment to read what is, in essence, our vision statement. And while the 4th isn’t specifically about the Constitution, a refresher-reading of our nation’s operator’s manual is never out of order. (Unless you’re a progressive Democrat in Congress, but that’s another story.)

Further Reading:

The 4th of July isn’t just our Independence Day, but it was also the day of freedom for the Israeli hostages held at Entebbe Airport, Uganda. Today is the 35th anniversary of that amazing operation.

Some of the lesser-known Founders, signers of the Declaration, are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

We’re at war with Muslims who’ve chosen to wage jihad against us. Robert Spencer compares what we defend to what we defend against.

We’ve all heard of the Declaration of Independence. But, let’s face it, folks: it’s old and probably too hard for some to understand. Thankfully, Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute has the lowdown on its replacement, perfect for the modern age: The Declaration of Dependence.

At Big Peace, a Cuban refugee says thank you to America.

The Republic is in danger, and the Fourth of July is its source! According to a Harvard study, patriotic events like Independence Day parades create more Republicans. The horror…

(Actually, it probably is horrifying in Harvard.)

Finally, and speaking of Republicans, here’s a transcript of an essay Ronald Reagan wrote on the eve of his first Independence Day as president: What July Fourth Means to Me. He was truly special.

Enjoy the holiday, folks!

UPDATE: One last link. At Blood of Prokopius, Father Dave, an Orthodox priest with an interest in roleplaying games and religion, looks at the Declaration of Independence from a Christian perspective.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Bolton: the ‘Stache rocks CPAC

February 12, 2011

Foreign affairs and national security issues are my primary interest*, so I was glad to see they got some extended attention at this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference in DC, which has mostly (and understandably) focused on domestic policy issues. I was even happier that the speaker was John Bolton (and his mustache), who is not shy about insisting that the primary duty of the federal government in foreign affairs is to defend American interests, not to be a team player in the Club for Transnational Statists. He is a very, very sharp observer of foreign affairs and what they mean for the United States. Click on the image below to watch his speech, courtesy of The Right Scoop. At 25 minutes, it’s worth every second:

Let’s just say I’m in 99% agreement with The ‘Stache.

John Bolton is considering running for president in the next election, in order to make sure national security issues are brought before the public. To be honest, I don’t think he’ll get out of Iowa, but I do think he’d make a fine National Security Adviser for President Palin.

*Though I often get distracted. I really need to get back to covering them more.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The greatest country ever? No brag, just fact.

January 2, 2011

American liberals and people outside the United States often roll their eyes in patronizing sufferance when an American, such as Senator-elect Marco Rubio (R-FL), states that the USA is the greatest country in the history of the world. It’s dismissed as naive and provincial, a chest-thumping nationalism about as out of date in a transnational world as the horse and buggy after the coming of the auto.

National Review’s Rich Lowry takes exception to that condescension. Reviewing the great powers that have come along since the birth of the modern nation-state system in 1648, he compares the record of each to that of the United States and comes to a straightforward conclusion — we are indeed the greatest:

Which brings us to the U.S. We had the advantage of jumping off from the achievement of the British. We founded our nation upon self-evident truths about the rights of man, even if our conduct hasn’t always matched them. We pushed aside Spain and Mexico in muscling across the continent, but brought order and liberty in our wake. Our treatment of the Indians was appalling, but par for the course in the context of the time. It took centuries of mistreatment of blacks before we finally heeded our own ideals.

The positive side of the ledger, though, is immense: We got constitutional government to work on a scale no one had thought possible; made ourselves a haven of liberty for the world’s peoples; and created a fluid, open society. We amassed unbelievable wealth, and spread it widely. Internationally, we wielded our overwhelming military and industrial power as a benevolent hegemon. We led the coalitions against the ideological empires of the 20th century and protected the global commons. We remain the world’s sole superpower, looked to by most of the world as a leader distinctly better than any of the alternatives.

Our greatness is simply a fact. Only the churlish or malevolent can deny it, or even get irked at its assertion.

Not to dismiss or denigrate anyone else’s pride in their own nation, but I have no argument with Lowry’s point; our accomplishments, including many Lowry doesn’t mention, speak for themselves. There’s no need for bluster or braggadocio; neither is there any reason denigrate and abase ourselves before other nations.

Now if we could just get a president who feels the same way.

Via Twitter from a lot of people.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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