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Archive for the ‘International Relations’ Category

Petraeus: Iraq “Spiraling Upwards”

Posted by Ryan on September 3, 2008

David Petraeus indicated today that a pullout of MNF (Multi-National Forces) around the Baghdad area is probably possible by next summer due to conditions on the ground.  He also said that the area is “‘spiraling upwards’ towards normal conditions” and “it gives Iraq new hope.”  What great news from a straight-shooter and American hero who’s shown he would not deceive us for political reasons!

Before the Palin pick, General Petraeus and the increasing dividends of the successful “Surge” strategy were McCain’s best-friend and an issue I hope they return to in earnest once the Convention fever wears out sometime late next week. 

Both O’Biden and Obama were dead wrong on this issue.  And will someone in the McCain campaign please bring up O’Biden’s advocacy of the worst-thought-out foreign policy concept in a generation: splitting Iraq into a weak confederacy of three weak parts?  It wouldn’t take five minutes for civil war, regional conflict with the Kurds, Iran, and al Qaeda to plunge the region into an apocalyptic scorched-earth dead zone.  It would have truly been war without end.  Luckily, Biden wasn’t in a position to see his plan work.  Let’s keep it that way.

Posted in Election 2008, International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Day 3–The Truly Historic Moment in Denver

Posted by Ryan on August 27, 2008

There was a major historical moment tonight at the Democrat National Convention…

You guessed it!  At 6:49pm EDT the Democrat Party nominated a Presidential candidate with less experience than anyone in living memory! (see below)  He’s never really done anything of note, had to make a serious executive decision with true consequences, has no major legislation with his name on it, and apparently only “has a speech he gave in 2002.”

What’s worse is that he has to forever share this moment in history with the person who finally put him over the edge to secure the nomination: She Who Must Not be Named, herself!  This is shaping up to be the biggest Clintonian convention since 1996, beating out 2000 when Algore was consciously trying to avoid BJ’s political stench. 

Of course it’s historic that he’s the first half-African American to get the nomination of a major political party.  As a nation, we really should be proud of this moment.  However, after that quiet moment of reflection, we should move on and make sure he never reaches his goal — not because he’s half-black, but because he’s a dangerously inexperienced empty suit.

AP photo.

Some examples on the issue of experience:

JFK served in the House for three terms (1947-1953), the Senate for one full term and was reelected before beating Nixon for the White House in 1960.  JFK was 43 years old and already had 11 years as an elected national political figure over Barack Obama.

Bill Clinton was elected to non-consecutive terms as Governor of Arkansas, serving twelve of the fourteen years from 1979-1993 before defeating Bush 41 to be elected President in 1992.  BJ was 46 years old and already had 9 years as an elected administrator of a state over the experience of Barack Obama as a significant public figure who’s had to make consequential decisions.

The Dems made a real poor choice with Obama, given their track record of nominating young, experienced people.

Posted in Culture, Election 2008, International Relations, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Didn’t Like the Call? Just Kick the Judge!

Posted by Ryan on August 24, 2008

The latest controversy to arise out of Beijing deals with when Cuban Angel Matos disagreed with a judge’s enforcement of the rules during a tae-kwon-do medal round against Kazakhstan and decided to kick the judge in the face, spit on the mat and leave the arena. 

Here’s why Matos was mad:  He was up 3-2, but needed to take a time-out.  You get one minute for each time-out.  He took longer than one minute to gather himself.  He was disqualified.  It’s something like complaining that you don’t get 11 seconds to get up in boxing.  OK, but the rules say something different.  While Matos was ahead in the match, his extra-time would have been an unfair advantage.  While close, the rules are the rules and were set forth before you showed up. 

Get mad, or whatever, but striking a judge (en francais)?  This ain’t the mean streets of Havana; this is the authoritarian oligarchical dictatorship of China hosting the Olympic games! 

True class from our communist friends in the Caribbean!  Matos and his coach have been officially banned for life from all World TKD Federation [or appropriately the “WTF”!] events and his performances will be nullified.  I think he should also be charged criminally for assault and battery.

AP photo.

Posted in International Relations, Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Dominoes Are So Last Century

Posted by Mike on August 14, 2008

There were discussions.  There were negotiations.  They lasted years.  For some reason, today is the day Donald Tusk agreed to allow American-made missile interceptors on Polish soil.  In exchange, the United States will provide assistance to Poland so that they can strengthen their military. The timing of today’s agreement is obviously anything but a coincidence.

Having a long history with Russia that includes partition and Communist occupation, few nations have more knowledge of Russia’s national pastime than Poland.  Having experienced firsthand brutal occupation by both Germany and the Soviet Union during the 20th Century and now having witnessed Russia’s forceful return into the “near abroad” within the last week, Poland has decided that teaming up with the United States to strengthen its own forces and to help protect freedom-loving nations around them is in everyone’s best interest.

Free Poland is a country that suffered for too long to turn its back on liberty now.  Today’s agreement is another example of the resolute pride that has sustained Poland throughout its all too interesting history. Kocham Polske!

Posted in Europe, International Relations, Politics, Russia, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sweet “Sixteen”?

Posted by Ryan on August 14, 2008

I’ve been watching some of the Olympic coverage on part of Obama’s media network, NBC.  All the human interest stories make me puke so I tend to flip around between “Family Guy” reruns and “Hannity and Colmes” before finally settling on the Olympics, which had the US Women’s Gymnastics team going up against China and Russia the other night.  So I watched.

Now, we have some young-looking girls on our team (Shawn Johnson, for example, looks about 12, but is really 16).  So I heard with interest that one has to be at least 16 during the year the Olympics take place in order to compete.  OK, teaching 16 year olds, I know some look very young, but when the Chinese girls got up there I was absolutely shocked that they weren’t all 13. 

Well, some of them might be!

One girl was actually listed as 13 last year.  Suddenly, when pressed, her new birthday is January 1, 1992, making her 16 years old this year!  I didn’t know China was such an amazing place that time had special rules!  In reality, our team should have performed better (obviously having more experience than some of their opponents).  But, it is a legitimate gripe — if China cheated, they should face the consequences.

AP photo.

Posted in International Relations, Sports, tyranny | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

He Can See Clearly Now: Bush Takes A Second Look at Putin

Posted by Mike on August 13, 2008

Most criticism of George W. Bush is off base and will look downright silly in a few years; however, one criticism of Bush is completely warranted. When Bush looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw a man he could trust, he should have done a double take. Today was the double take.

When the Soviet Union Russia invaded Georgia a couple of days ago, President Bush was a little slow in reassuring our ally that the US would stand by its side. At the very moment our ally was invaded by its former slave master, the U.S’s reaction should have been repeated statements of support coupled with actions that would make Russia take notice. Thankfully, John McCain is on record stating that Russia should be kicked out of the G8 and that the U.S. should build a missile defense system in Eastern Europe. Since it is now clear that Iran is not the only threat in the region, that would be fine with me. So would fast tracking Georgia, Ukraine and other willing members of Russia’ near abroad into NATO.

A healthy friendship with Russia is in the United States’ best interest. The thing is, a healthy friendship with the United States is also in Russia’s best interest. The world has basically ignored Russia while it whittled away at its civil liberties, armed American enemies in the Middle East, and poisoned people on foreign soil. The world’s reaction to this crisis has been reassuring. It seems that partying like its 1968 was a step too far.

Reuters photo

Posted in Election 2008, Europe, International Relations, Politics, Russia, tyranny, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Not Pretty Enough to Sing in Chinese Games

Posted by Ryan on August 12, 2008

The opening ceremonies of any Olympic games are full of spectacle.  Now, we usually assume that this spectacle does not include lip-syncing the host country’s patriotic songs, but we are dealing with China here!  It’s not that little Yang Peiyi (on the right) isn’t talented, it’s that she’s not as pixie-like as Lin Miaoke according to Chinese officials.  I think that’s a little harsh to tell a seven-year-old girl who has talent.  

My other issue is this: China has 1.3 billion people and they can’t find a cute kid who ALSO sings well?  That’s a totalitarian work ethic, I suppose — just fake it (which is as normal as reading/watching/or getting online news in China).  But, this isn’t good PR for the PRC, thus I’m surprised they even admitted it.

AFP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, International Relations, Politics, Pop Culture, tyranny | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

UN Takes on Russian Invasion

Posted by Ryan on August 11, 2008

…And I’m sure Putin is reeeally shuddering!  Of course, it’s only a matter for the UN because Georgia’s Black Sea oil supply-line and port is being targeted, otherwise they’d wait for a few more Russian-on-Georgian calamities, like a decade of famine or ethnic cleansing policies, to take place. Either way, Russia’s Security Council veto will be exercised until Russia’s goals are obtained.  Gotta love the UN!

After an attack coinciding with the Olympic Games, Russia decided not to stop with simply coming to the aid of ethnic Russians in the separatist South Ossetia region (North Ossetia is actually in Russia).  They’ve made airstrikes and incursions into central Georgia Proper — way beyond the mere defense of Russians in South Ossetia.   Possibly one to two thousand people have already died; add all civilians and soldiers and that number should rise once the dust settles.  Plus, the EU tried an unsuccessful ceasefire agreement, 170 American nationals have been taken out of Georgia, and now the majestic UN is involved.

We can learn a few things about this whole incident:  it’s obvious that Putin still controls Russia, the UN cares more about oil pipelines than people, and the old Cold War fear of Russian expansionism is not fully over.

EPA service photo.

Posted in Europe, International Relations, Politics, Russia | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The 2008 Beijing Olympics

Posted by Ryan on August 8, 2008

Berlin 1936:  Hitler’s Nazi Germany hosts the Olympics not only to showcase the prosperity which National Socialism had brought the Reich in the middle of the Great Depression, but also to bask in the attention given to such clean streets and orderly very white people.

Beijing 2008 will not sell such a facade.  We all know the deal with China and have not been living through a period like the 1930s.  China offends than it impresses people.  The changes China has made which it would like to showcase are those that make China look more Western, more like the rest of the world.  Yet, the smog cannot be whisked away at whim, which serves as an appropriate pall over the games — as if even the air in China is somehow sending a message that not all is right in the Middle Kingdom.  I applaud President Bush for making human rights statements while IN China, like he did today at our new embassy.

I’m going to watch some of the games, rooting for America to win some gold.  I appreciate the notion that being more engaged with China will put the appropriate pressures on them with the appropriate forces so that our ideals may be achieved with a maximum amount of political stability for China, but I can’t help but root against them and their form of totalitarianism. 

So: Free Tibet, Falun Gong, and everyone else in those Chinese jails there for simply expressing their human dignity in the face of a pseudo-fascist commie state!

Photo snuck out of China in a toy panda bear placed at the bottom of a rusty transport ship on a non-descript dock in Shanghai… not really, it’s AFP

Posted in Culture, economy, International Relations, Politics, tyranny | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Moqtada al Sadr Ready to Stand Down

Posted by Ryan on August 6, 2008

Little “Mullah Atari” himself, Moqtada al Sadr, has signaled that the various factions of Sadr’s Madhi Army will put down their guns and become glorified “community organizers” who will help rebuild Iraq when (or if) he issues his dictates this Friday.

Something that the above article brings home is the flood of good news out of Iraq lately:  most senior AQI (al Qaeda in Iraq) members have fled to Pakistan, US troop casualties dropped to the lowest level of the war last month, troop deployments have shrank from 15 to 12 months, Iran’s influence in the South is diminishing, and we’ll get a SOF (status-of-forces) agreement before Bush leaves office.  Add the collapse of AQI across Iraq this year and now the potential capitulation of Sadr’s Mahdi Army and at this moment the US, Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces “no longer faces any significant organized military foe in [Iraq].”

It could all change tomorrow, but for now it seems like victory is no longer an illusion, but a certainty in due course.  When looked at another point of view, the Surge has brought about the speediest and most significant tide-turning of any major military conflict since American entry into World War I ninety years ago. 

AP photo.

Posted in International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Hamas, Fatah and the Elusive Mustache!

Posted by Ryan on August 3, 2008

Of course, Hamas is the instigator here, shaving the mustaches of Fatah prisoners or dissodents in public in order to humiliate them.  I know the whole cultural thing about facial hair in that part of the world, but I would not be surprised if lack of a mustache could get you killed in Gaza one day. 

A few questions come to mind, however:  before performing jihad and getting to rape those afterlife virgins, isn’t it prescribed that one shaves off any excess hair?  Could (by some interpretation) facial hair be considered “excess” hair in that regard?  If so, doesn’t this act put these members of Fatah on a fast track to wear that snug and hardly-noticeable suicide belt faster than those Hamas folks could, say, if they wanted to blow up Jews or Hamas members?  And ultimately, isn’t that an unfair advantage which could backfire on Hamas one day?  If that all follows, I’m not sure Hamas quite thought this renewed policy through fully. 

Either way, sarcasm aside, there seems something very 7th Century about this whole thing.  It is clear that Fatah, by cooperating with Israel and the West, is in a much better position to achieve independence than Hamas, who continues to be violent obstructionists with their sights set squarely on the mustaches of their enemies for the purpose of humiliation and degradation.  I just don’t think that’s a winning strategy in the long-run. 

Reuters photo.

Posted in International Relations, Israel, Religion, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“He Ventured Forth…”

Posted by Ryan on July 25, 2008

The latest piece from Times Online editor, American Gerard Baker, first came to my attention about an hour ago and it’s a doozy! 

His latest op-ed is absolutely awesome.  Baker takes the media’s open desire to make Barack Obama the Savior/Messiah and completely pokes fun at those who have this view (he also calls Gordon Brown, Gordon the Leper!) through colorful and biblical-style language.  I don’t think the New Yorker crowd will misunderstand this satire, but one never knows.  Here’s a sample from the beginning:

“And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.”

I wish Obama would have “ventured forth” to the wounded troops at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, but that would have seemed “too political.”  The Pentagon simply told him not to bring his media and campaign troglodytes, but he could go as an elected official, rather than a candidate.  He chose not to go.  However, he made it to the gym though.

AP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Europe, International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, Religion, The Iraq Front, UK Politics, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

We’re Not an Obama Nation Yet, But Try Telling That to His Campaign!

Posted by Ryan on July 22, 2008

One of the major themes of Obama’s trip abroad has been trying to make him look Presidential.  In all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the trip, Obama’s people sometimes forget that he, in fact, is not yet President.  Also, sometimes they have to be reminded of that little detail a second time on the same day.

What I’ve taken from Obama’s trip thus far is that it is just an elaborate campaign event, he openly disagrees with Petraeus which makes Obama on the record being on the wrong side of history, and he’s endorsed President Bush’s and John McCain’s plan to have a phased withdrawal based loosely on benchmarks and that we need to increase US troop presence in Afghanistan.  Of course, that’s not how it’s being spun, since Obama adds the 16 month caveat, which he can rescind the moment he’s in office.  He wants to have it both ways so he doesn’t have to take any real position at all that he’ll need to stand behind — very brave, Barry, but unless you decide to cancel this Fall’s debates, you’re going to be toast.

I certainly hope there’s some kind of noticable backlash to all of this trip’s media bias and Obama’s arrogant, presumptive behavior.  He is naive, just plain wrong or elusive about national security, and isn’t good on his toes.  This man thinks he’s President already.  As they say the more inflated one’s ego, the harder the fall.

Posted in Election 2008, International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama’s Media Darlings to Follow Him on Trip

Posted by Ryan on July 18, 2008

As if there was any doubt about the MSM’s Big Three network’s bias towards Barack Obama, this removes all suggestion to the contrary.  Charlie Gibson, Brian Williams, and Katie Couric are all going along on the trip!  John McCain’s been to Iraq three times since campaigning began last year (that sound you hear is crickets), and eight times total since the war began.  The MSM isn’t even trying to hide the bias anymore!

Yet, Obama hasn’t been to Iraq since January 2006 and has never visited the “real war” in Afghanistan, so all Big Three anchors will follow their clinically narcissistic and vain Good Shepherd around Europe and the Mideast, drooling, fawning, basking.  I guess that it should be big news that Obama was guilted and cornered into taking this trip… by John McCain of all people!  No mention of that in front of the Savior.  In fact, some in the MSM are blaming the McCain camp for making this a bigger story than it otherwise would have been!  So, McCain controls the media now?  Hmm.

This trip will strain one’s objective credulity worse than Greta Van Susteran’s hanging out in Aruba for months looking for Natalee Holloway — what a hard assignment that must have been: very few breaks in the story but lots and lots of sunshine!  It’ll be like watching the Big Three have spontaneous orgasms every night on TV, as they swoon over their chosen savior.  Get your V-Chips ready!  Good thing I don’t watch those networks.  I honestly don’t know anyone under 50 who does watch them more than once a week.  I’ll hear what’s going on when Brit Hume lets me know. 

What makes this whole affair worse is that Obama’s trip to Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan will probably be paid for by the taxpayers since the trip is being billed as a “fact-finding mission.”  Belonging to a Union I know what it feels like to have your money going to a campaign of someone you do not like and would never vote for.  I hope people take notice of this:  that, in the words of Rush fill-in Jed Babbin, the MSM has become a very large and very powerful “527” in Obama’s favor.

Posted in Blogroll, Election 2008, Europe, International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, Religion, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Finishing the “Real War” in Iraq

Posted by Ryan on July 17, 2008

There’s this story going around the AP this morning which indicates that some soldiers are longing to go to the “real war” in Afghanistan, as Iraq is becoming the more quiet of the two battlefields lately.  With violence against Coalition troops in Iraq on pace to be the lowest in years and the Dems even having to accept the Surge’s success, this story reveals two major points in my opinion: 

1.  Our soldiers are awesome, ready for a fight wherever they happen to be sent, even longing for a chance to kill the bad guys.  As professional soldiers, soldiering is their job, so I’m very glad they take pride and have enthusiasm for their work. 

2.  The AP and the MSM are essentially embracing the Democrat’s position on Iraq, that the “real” bad guys are in Afghanistan and that the fight there should be escalated quickly.  This has been their narrative for five years, stating that Iraq was a distraction from the real War on Terror, even though Bin Laden himself believes that Iraq was the central front in the War on Terror.  What does he know, right?  Nonetheless, it’s a position designed to attack Bush and the Republicans on their strongest electoral issue historically, dealing with terrorism, and it’s obviously transparent and won’t work with flip-flop Obama as their spokesman.

Posted in Culture, Election 2008, International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Terror in Turkey Kills Six

Posted by Ryan on July 9, 2008

The US Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, was attacked today by four men in what the American and Turkish authorities are calling an act of terrorism.  Three of the attackers were killed, but not before taking out three policemen, one point blank to the head.  The fourth attacker unfortunately got away in a speeding car, as Turkish authorities are frantically looking for him and are currently reviewing video tape to help. 

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but this has put everyone in Turkey on high alert, especially Americans in Turkey.  Aside from incursions into Iraqi Kurdistan, one hasn’t heard much from the War on Terror in Turkey — it’s been pretty quiet so to speak.  The attack was small, probably cellular.  That could mean the beginning of a new series of attacks, or that this attack was the best they could pull off.  I hope it’s the latter.

The US Consulate was refitted after al Qaeda’s 2003 bombing of the British Consulate, bank and two synagogues.  Yet, our rules of engagement forbid Americans to fire back at anyone outside the compound, hence, they ducked for cover rather than take out the assailants early.  I think those rules needs to be renegotiated.

AP photo.

Posted in Blogroll, Europe, International Relations, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Real Progress in Iraq

Posted by Ryan on July 1, 2008

A dismal report from the AP suggests that Iraq has slowly, ploddingly, and grudgingly met 15 of 18 important “benchmarks” as of May 2008.  From the tone of the story, one might think that something bad happened!  But no, in fact, slow but measurable progress is being made despite the Left’s efforts to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with every negatively spun story they can throw at the public.  I wonder if Detroit could meet the same benchmarks in the same timespan?

Also, one can tell that Iraq has turned the corner by simply noticing the media coverage of Afghanistan — as Coalition fatalities in Afghanistan surpassed those in Iraq for the month of June 46 to 31 respectively.  The Taliban’s “resilient insurgency” is a persistent scourge plaguing the war effort.  Sure.  It’s summer.  It’s warm enough to fight, so they fight.  The Taliban did the same thing last summer.  Yet, the MSM drum beat remains turned to defeatism, so without enough defeat in Iraq, they’re focusing more on defeat in Afghanistan.  Whatever it takes to ensure Bush loses something militarily while he was in office!

Posted in International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »