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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Yearning for the Bush League

Sorry for the lag in posting. I have had a health issue to deal with, nothing serious, but it has consumed a lot of Ibuprofen and time, and has led me to reflect, again, on "Saber-tooth Tigers and the Design Specifications of Life." It also serves as a reminder that when young, you know why something hurts; when old, it hurts, and you have no idea why.

On to matters more glum than getting old. Yes, yes, I did make a quasi resolution to fight pessimistic tendencies for the new year, but I give up. Going around with a moronic smile on my face makes me look like I am going around with a moronic smile on  my face: I am not convincing anybody, least of all, me. Just about seventeen days into this new year of 2014, and things are bad, real bad, and not getting better. Can't pretend otherwise, or wish it away into the cornfield.

Before I get to the gist of today's message, let me reflect on the past. Back when I was a useful citizen and had a job, I got a good close up look into how foreign governments actually view the USA and its President. My best time in the foreign service was under Reagan and the Bush father and son presidencies. The worst time was under Obama, followed by Carter, and further back, Clinton. I particularly liked George W. Bush. I had a lot of respect for him as a leader, and as somebody who actually cared about his country, and the people in the field. Some foreign leaders liked Bush, some did not. Some agreed with his policies, some did not. None, however, dismissed him, laughed at him, or failed to take seriously any request or comment coming from him. This was a man not afraid to pull the trigger. That quality, unfortunately or not, is critical in foreign affairs. Working overseas, when I would go see a foreign official and say, "President Bush wants this," those were powerful words, backed up by the demonstrated power of the United States and the willingness of President Bush to use it. As I said, some people did not like Bush, did not like what he tried to do, but he was a serious president who needed to be taken into account.

Those were the Good Old Days. Who takes anything President Obama says seriously? The United States is increasingly irrelevant to major developments in the world. We fritter away our power and influence on nonsense, and on endless lecturing of others on residual issues such as global warming and gay rights. We undermine our network of alliances and disregard our friends' core interests: be it Israel's right to security; the abandonment of of our hard-fought victories in Iraq and Afghanistan; the sell-out of allies such as Mubarak; promoting the Muslim Brotherhood; sabotaging the UK on the Falklands; pushing for mindless regime change in Libya; the Benghazi fiasco; conducting a bizarre zig-zag policy towards Syria; helping make Russia a prominent player in the Middle East; paving the way for Cuba's return to the OAS; acquiescing to Iran's nuclear ambitions; ceding ground to China; and selling guns to Mexican drug cartels. Those are a few examples; I am sure you can come up with more.

We see members of allied governments openly expressing dismay with Obama. Prominent military historian, and senior advisor to the British Ministry of Defense, Sir Hew Strachan, tells the press that Obama is "incompetent." As reported in The Daily Beast,
President Obama is “chronically incapable” of military strategy and falls far short of his predecessor George W. Bush, according to one of Britain’s most senior military advisors.  Sir Hew Strachan, an advisor to the Chief of the Defense Staff, told The Daily Beast that the United States and Britain were guilty of total strategic failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Obama’s attempts to intervene on behalf of the Syrian rebels “has left them in a far worse position than they were before.” 
The extraordinary critique by a leading advisor to the United States’ closest military ally comes days after Obama was undermined by the former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who questioned the President’s foreign policy decisions and claimed he was deeply suspicious of the military. 
Strachan, a current member of the Chief of the Defense Staff’s Strategic Advisory Panel, cited the “crazy” handling of the Syrian crisis as the most egregious example of a fundamental collapse in military planning that began in the aftermath of 9/11. “If anything it’s gone backwards instead of forwards, Obama seems to be almost chronically incapable of doing this. Bush may have had totally fanciful political objectives in terms of trying to fight a global War on Terror, which was inherently astrategic, but at least he had a clear sense of what he wanted to do in the world. Obama has no sense of what he wants to do in the world,” he said.
We have Israeli Defense Minister Yaalon saying about John Kerry's obsession with the Palestinians,
"Secretary of State John Kerry – who has come to us determined and is acting out of an incomprehensible obsession and a messianic feeling – cannot teach me a single thing about the conflict with the Palestinians," Mr. Yaalon was quoted as saying in the country's largest daily, Yedioth Ahronoth. The paper said theLikud member's comments were made in private. He was also reported to have said that "the only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel prize and leaves us alone."
That is stunning language for a senior Israeli official to use about the American Secretary of State. It shows you how relations between the two countries have suffered during the Obama misadministration. North Africa is imploding; the Saudis are furious over the sell-out to Iran; the Iranians are gloating about their victory over the USA and the West; nobody knows what is happening in Syria; Al Qaeda has taken Falluja; Iraq is slipping into sectarian war; and the Taliban feels confident of victory. And our ahistorical Secretary of State? Well, he's obsessed with the phony Palestinian issue. As I wrote before,
The whole Palestinian homeland bit is a massive scam. Palestinians are Arabs just like the folks in Jordan and Egypt--Arafat was born in Cairo. When the Arab states invaded the nascent state of Israel in 1948, they did not do so for a Palestinian homeland. They just wanted to kill Jews, drive them into the ocean, and eliminate Western influence from the region. Egypt, Jordan, and Syria intended to take the tiny parcel of land allocated to the Jews by the UN and keep it. No Palestinian homeland, no "two state solution," just another "final solution" which would have seen tens-of-thousands of Jews killed, including those born in "Palestine," yes, Jews were also "Palestinians." That's all. Period. 
After the Arab states got their clocks cleaned, we began to hear the baying about a Palestine homeland which just so happened to coincide exactly with the boundaries of Israel. Amazing how that happens! Wherever Jews lived, THAT formed part of the Palestinian homeland. Jordan, of course, had the West Bank from 1948 to 1967; at no time was that then considered part of this definition of the "Palestinian" homeland. It was part of Jordan. There were no international cries to free that portion of Palestine from Jordanian occupation. The West Bank became part of the "homeland" only when Israel took it from Jordan in the Six Day War. 
We also saw the amazing phenomenon of Palestinian refugees. Arabs displaced by fighting started by Arabs were dumped by Arabs on the tender mercies of the UN. The Arab countries wanted nothing to do with them. The UN being all about programs, of course, created the monstrosities known as Palestinian refugee camps, and established a massive money-sucking bureaucracy to administer them and beg for ever greater amounts of money--most of it from Western countries, including the USA. 
 And it goes on. I have just ordered the Gates book, so I won't comment on it until I have read it except to say that from excerpts in the press, our former Secretary of Defense does not apparently hold the Obama misadministration in high regard when it comes to foreign policy and national security issues.

As I write this, President Obama is on TV (when is he not?) trying to put out the NSA fire. Much of what he says is blame shifting nonsense but even what he says that is true comes across as nonsense because of the messenger.  When Obama tells us we need an intel apparatus to defend our country from real enemies, we can probably all agree with the President. The problem is that we know the President does not really believe it and with his deliberate gutting of our military and economic strength, there is increasingly less we can do about those enemies, anyhow.  It's the difference between a threat by Clint Eastwood and one by Don Knotts. The words might be the same, but the message is quite different.

Enough said for now. Off to take my Ibuprofen and rage against old age.


  1. G'day Dip,

    Back in the days when I served HM I met George Bush Snr [in January '92] when he was here in Oz. The face to face meeting was only for about five minutes but I have an official photo of "The Prez" and myself signed by him. Hangs on my trophy wall near my Commission.

    I was part of the local security for his visit and during the time of his short visit he seemed genuinely interested in "the foot soldiers" looking after him and not just in the "big wigs" from Government, business, etc.

    In my then profession you learned to develop a rapid method of evaluating a person and his character [not always correctly I may add] and I thought this was a man you could follow.

    His son, GW, and our then Prime Minister obviously regarded each other favourably and such things are good in an alliance.

    On tonight's news here there was a coverage of Obama telling everyone that the US Intelligence Agencies would no longer "spy" on them. Apparently he is unaware of the old adage of "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer".

    1. Hi, Ozzie.

      I could fill Sydney Opera House with the old adages of which The One appears to be unaware. In fact, I'd rather like to.

    2. Not sure the Sydney Opera House would be big enough Alpha

  2. " Going around with a moronic smile on my face makes me look like I am going around with a moronic smile on my face" Good grief Mr. Mad, that is a sign of Kerryitis! If you have noticed any facial immobility and inability to grasp reality you will need extensive help before it becomes seared into your being!

  3. Dip, don't rage against old age because the alternative has its limitations.

    American presidents are not there to be liked or popular. With your accounts of the various ones you served under, it is clear the rest of the world knows the subtle changes between political parties. They want an American president to be dependable and decisive as most of the world depends on it so each country can set their policies accordingly. This is most true with friends and allies.

    We have recently been informed by our Presidente that he "has a pen and a phone" and is threatening to use them. Shudder. Maybe he actually gave his oath of office to these objects instead of that musty old Constitution that seems to always be getting in his way. Something about "enemies foreign and domestic". Well, he himself appears to fill the bill for the latter. Three more years.

  4. ". . .we know the president does not really believe it. . ." Our foreign allies and adversaries also know it.

    In addition to our military and economic strengths, our commitment to certain principles was something other governments could depend upon for nearly a full century. Now that is no longer the case. A new generation has taken the reins of power in Washington, and they are guided by the bumper stickers and shibboleths of the 1960s anti-war movement. And their knowledge of American diplomatic and military history is formed by TV programs and movies glorifying quick-on-the-trigger intelligence (?) operatives. Only a red-diaper baby raised in Indonesia could abuse our history like this, and then only if he is supported by moral cretins like Bill and Hillary, John Kerry, Eric Holder, Harry Reid and others whose names are familiar. Not to ignore the complicity of journalists who want to change the world rather than report on it.

    If it weren't so horrible to witness, it would be amazing to sit on the sidelines and watch the unfolding of this tragedy. In the days when we had two political parties with different visions of the world and our place in it, one could hope for a change in direction as a result of an election. Now, not so much. I think I'm getting to that point I've heard my elders complain about: "I've lived too long."

    1. I think you are absolutely correct to note that it is not just Obama. His supporters, and their numbers depress me, are as clueless as he is. They are obsessed with social issues like abortion and gay marriage. They say it is the conservatives but it is themselves. Nothing else matters to them. They should read "Mask of the Red Death" and ponder its lesson. The evil outside cannot be ignored.

  5. n/p lag in posting. I haven't posted in a while myself.

    Sorry to hear about your health issue and pain. When I just hurt, I blame Obama. Why not?

    I have never thought that your smile was moronic.

    Who takes anything President Obama says seriously? We, his domestic enemies. (We think of ourselves as his opponents. He thinks of us as his enemies. The Chicago way.) We would have done well, for instance, to take seriously his 2009 "joke" about tax-auditing his enemies. On us, he is willing to pull the trigger.

    Sir Hew Strachan thinks Obama incompetent assuming the latter *wants* to further the interests of the United States. Alas, he is chonically *uninterested* in military strategy.

    Obama’s attempts to intervene on behalf of the Syrian rebels “has left them in a far worse position than they were before.” But Obama wasn't attempting to intervene on behalf of the Syrian rebels. He was just trying to redeem a campaign rhetoric marker, to spare himself embarrassment.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates questioned the President’s foreign policy decisions and claimed he was deeply suspicious of the military--but he didn't resign in protest.

    By contrast, John Kerry at least has a foreign policy objective, not to say obsession. Unfortunately, he got it out of a Cracker Jack box.

    The "Palestinian people" have the same role as the Vietnamese "National Liberation Front" (Viet Cong): called into existence, and maintained, to be the political tip of the spear. In the event of victory, the former will suffer the fate of the latter: dissolved (and leaders killed) by the victor. The Palestinian Arabs will become perfectly happy South Syrians or North Egyptians or whatever country occupies the ground--but only after Israel is destroyed. (Which, to be clear, I don't think will happen.) Oh, and according to the U.N., only Palestinian Arabs can inherit the status of refugee.

    1. Life still offers a few undiminished joys ... such as Justice Antonin Scalia, whose dissent in U.S. v. Winsor I somehow had not read before just now. He actually says of the majority: you guys must be thinking of some *other* constitution.

      "The majority must have in mind one of the foreign constitutions .... See, e.g., Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, Art. 93."

      My regard for Justice Scalia barely stops short of the homoerotic.

    2. He does have quite the solid legal mind. I have watched him in informal debate with the wispy beta male Justice Breyer on a few occasions. Scalia represented intellect and adult thinking power, and Breyer came off as your worried Aunt going on about how well you got along with your school mates. Scalia mopped the floor with him on substance, but Justice Breyer, well, your Aunt will always be your Aunt. The battle of "left brain/right brain". Which ultimately is the division in American politics today I believe.

  6. Hello Dip,

    I'm a regular lurker here and very much enjoy your stories of the Foreign Service and reportage. I'd like to make a comment on Gates affair.

    I want to know what drives a man to continue to serve an administration that he no longer agrees with nor respects. While his allegations are certainly juicy and probably true, his having waited to the bitter end and then publish a tell all book ,in my eyes, diminishes the man and damages his credibility. The better path would been to resign and immediately declare his reasons for doing so. It would have been a powerful indictment of the Obama administration, IMO.

    Best regards,
    Rob. S

    1. Maybe Gates is the "EL Cid" that is loyal to his country but not its corrupt king ?

    2. I think that is it. We can look at his successor in Hagel and ask ourselves: "Who would better serve the country and the military?"

    3. Or maybe Gates is an ambitious man who, having reached the top of a greasy pole, cannot stomach--cannot even imagine--life out of office.

    4. My suspicion is that he was doing what he could to do right by the men in uniform. Out of office, he'd have to wonder about his successor.
      I'm not sure he disagreed with Obama as much as the rumors have it. My guess is that Obama did what he wanted, but didn't put those intangibles behind it that exemplify real leadership.
      That would take a long time to really ascertain, even when you're nominally being given what you ask for.

      - reader #1482

    5. Mio Cid, El Campeador! --Re the comment about Gates. Only wish I knew how to do the upside exclamation point

  7. And I recall how the MSM loudly touted how much the rest of the world (apparently, Western Europe) welcomed the advent of the O's administration! And weren't we all inspired how the O won the Nobel Peace Prize for being the non-Bush, and is now up in the pantheon with such worthies ad Le Duc Tho and (the highly overrated) Henry Kissinger?

    However, I'd urge us to be grateful for small favors. I'm glad that the O's Syrian policy is in shambles. The Syrian rebels are a mess of Qaida sympathizers and Muslim Brotherhood types who, if victorious, will be a haven for all sorts of baddies, while also doing their damnedest (and I don't use "damn" lightly) to rid Syria of its Christians, Druze, and 'Alawis just as its former regimes rid Syria of its Jews. And, if Assad is allied with Iran and Hizbolshaitan, something tells me that troubles with Sunni groups will be chronic for a long time; making life a little bit difficult for Iran and the hizbolshaitan.

    Saving some of the fine folks who brought us 9/11 just isn't something in which I'd like to invest a few tax dollars, and possibly a son's life, or possibly the life of a neighbor's son.

    Further, I strongly suspect that one reason why the O and Shrillary Shrew put Amb. Stevens in ultimately lethal danger was some kind of secret deal with people we shouldn't have trusted in the first place (and I include the reprehensible radical Islamicist Erdogan in that category, too).

    As for the Palestinians, were I president, I'd make it a mandatory talking point for every US diplomat in the Mideast, from ambassadors down to the lowliest visa scuts, that if the US could make passport-holding, property rights-enjoying, voting, and (some) public office-eligible citizens out of those victims of an-Nakhbar who washed up on our shores (while losing track of their no-questions-asked citizen US-born children and descendants), it is inexcusable that countries which have the same language, culture, and religion should keep the descendants of the 1948 refugees stateless after now five generations. It is all the worse when we have seen Delhi-born Parvez Musharaf and Lahore-born Manmohan Singh sitting down to discuss the relaxation of Indo-Pakistani tensions. Given that the subcontinental countries resettled tens of millions of post-1947 refugees without a penny of international aid makes the continuing saga of the Falastin refugees an obscenity. Finally, what of the Mizrahim, those offspring of Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, Shams, and Maghreb who are now no-questions-asked Israelis? This alone is one reason why I feel Kerry's obsession with the Palestinians to be folly. If displacement and uprooting are so sacred, let's also demand the restoration of Jewish property that was Jewish before a word of Arabic was ever heard in the streets of Cyrenaica, Egypt, Pumbita (Fallujah), Babel, and wherever.

    My own guess about Kerry and those other ageing New Leftists is that former Soviet clients can do no wrong. Hence the concern over the "Palestinians".

    1. The Syrian rebels are a mess of Qaida sympathizers and Muslim Brotherhood types who, if victorious, will be a haven for all sorts of baddies, while also doing their damnedest (and I don't use "damn" lightly) to rid Syria of its Christians, Druze, and 'Alawis just as its former regimes rid Syria of its Jews.


      And for emphasis (disclaimer : the following text appears in some of my "jottings" thus, I'm unable at present, to cite "who" I was listening to. It's dated though - 10 SEP 13).

      Thus, the US promise to not attack Asad would amount to a protection agreement because the Islamists and the moderate Islamists will not make a similar guarantee. Yesterday, even so-called moderate rebel groups announced that they recognized Israel as their enemy and would attack it if they came to power.

      Re Gates.

      Media spots I've watched (including Hannity's interview on FOX) seemed SOP. With one notable exception - Charlie Rose had Mr. Gates on [PBS - Tuesday] for a full hour. Unlike the more limited timeslotting as is SOP for "News-Shows" Mr. Gates was given opportunities to explain in more detail what he meant with the 'excerpts" --- he seemed indeed to be oh, 'uncharitable' toward O, but he included some stuff likewise on O's predecessors.

      He was far more 'uncharitable' toward Congress.

      Best I too think - first read the book.


    2. Further, I strongly suspect that one reason why the O and Shrillary Shrew put Amb. Stevens in ultimately lethal danger was some kind of secret deal ...

      I've yet to change my suspicions/hypothetical either Kepha

      January 27, 2013 at 10:58 PM

      ... the hypothetical Benghazi was primarily an Agency op funneling arms to (most likely) Syria, … hypothesizing further, during the confusion of "get rid of” [Gaddafi] some of those [arsenals] facilitated by McCain, Obama et al - some of the former operators noted in the Sinjar Files, took a sizeable portion of those same weapons stockpiles which were then turned on us in Benghazi. ...


    3. It seems that one way or the other, these useful idiot "red diaper babies" that now own the "Democratic Party", are trying to apologize to the old Soviet bloc for causing them to collapse fall down and go boom. We can "reset" ourselves to Carter era stupidity and with our current president, he can even act like he is America's Gorbachev...all warm and fuzzy with perestroika. A "cold war mentality" also lives within the Left.

    4. Good point, Mr. Wall. They too are still fighting the Cold War--from the other side.

      Permit me a language quibble, however.

      Only a small minority of the Democratic Party reds are genuine red diaper babies. Most acquired their political coloration--diaper rash?--in school, along with their babyish intolerance of opposing viewpoints.

      Moreover, not all red diaper babies remain reds. Some even cross the aisle (chasm?) and become champions of democracy and liberty, like David Horowitz.

      Also, a red does not call another red a "useful idiot"; that epithet is for a non-red who, because he's an idiot, plays along with the reds.

    5. A fair quibble you have. Their acquired "diaper rash" probably came from wearing other's diapers too. You know how they are. Some red Diaper babies seem to graduate to disposable diapers and then make the leap to dry pants and clear thinking. Clear minds dry up wet pants and eliminates "that smell".

    6. Kepha?

      Just on the offchance you happen to revisit here. A post has appeared elsewhere. Though this post seems primarily intended to put the kibosh on assertions made by the NYTs David Kirkpatrick - there's loads of clickable links leading to - in my humble opinion, an inescapable conclusion.



  8. re: Kerry's urgency concerning Palestine -- He's looking for a "legacy" issue that will propel him to the front of the Democrat hopefuls in a couple of years. If he can succeed where Hillary failed, he thinks he's got a leg up on her.

    1. It's even worse than that, my monographemic friend. He actually *believes* in what he's doing--and above all in himself.

    2. John Kerry has perfromed a political full circle, from being a long-haired scruffy whiner against the administration of the day to being a self-serving asshat member of the current shambolic administration. "Here are my principles, if you don't like then I have others".

    3. Alas, Mr. Front, Mr. Kerry does have consistent principles. I mean, in addition to marrying rich widows. He is a man of the (fairly extreme) left.

  9. As worrying as all of those matters are; looking forward to 2016, who can the GOP nominate in 2016 that has any realistic chance of defeating Hilary? Chris Christie has has be caught up and out (and shouldn't be reward for undermining Romney any way) and the Tea Party seems intolerant of any centrist; and the GOP mainstream seems more interested in warring with the Tea Party than winning the election. Unless America wants this situation to continue until 2020 and beyond someone must be found. The long term picture is looking very bleak.

    1. I beg your pardon, Mr. Brett. We of the Tea Party are not intolerant of centrists, although we disrelish a sell-out. The difference is significant.

      More to the point, we *seem* intolerant (of many things, to most people) because the Legacy Media makes it seem so--and if they can do that to us, and Sarah Palin, and oh-for-heaven's-sake Mitt Romney, which they did, then they can do that to anyone. So you simply have to factor that out of your choice calculus.

    2. Political declension: I am principled, you are stubborn, he is intolerant.

  10. Whenever I'm feeling depressed about what is happening to our country, there is a little island on the 'net where I can go and ..... get to feeling suicidal.

    More seriously, it is depressing just how many people have bought into the cult of O. My SIL has successfully registered and paid for health insurance on the NY exchange. I haven't the heart to suggest to her that she better have a plan B in two years or so when the lack of enrolled healthy youngsters causes an implosion or a skyrocketing premiums. An administration that can't do anything as straightforward as set up a plan that is potentially viable with an e-commerce site that works and has a back office that works (is it even written yet) is unlikely to be able to come up with a foreign policy that serves our interests. Given the domestic side is a confederacy of dunces, its not unreasonable to find the foreign policy side is also. That doesn't even address malign intent.

  11. Do not scorn old age, it is a privilege denied to many. As for the aches and pains. learn to welcome them as a chance to explore your body. Each day I find I hurt in a part I I had forgot about, or didn't even know existed. Doleo, ergo sum.


  12. hope ya didn't get a type 3 AC shoulder joint separation like I did.

    yeah.. I'm going to read the Gates book... I am a big fan of Rumsfeld, but I think Gates really did a fantastic job within the limits of his superiors.
    I hope Pres. Hillary isn't as bad on foreign policy, but somehow I doubt it.
    Why isn't there *anybody* in the GOP field with a shred of credibility and a modicum of interest that can run against her? I mean, I know that no *sane* conservative would want to have their entire extended families savaged by the liberal media, but isn't the sacrifice worth it for *someone* competent?

    - reader #1482

    1. A Republican like that will be taken out "early and often" by the agents of the Left as part of battlefield prep. The media will use sympathetic local talent to begin close to the family stories that pick up speed to get a reaction from the candidates family and friends and then it is off to the races. This is what I think happened to a solid candidate like former Indiana Gov Mitch Daniels. His family made it known that they were against him running. And thus with all solid Reps. An approved Liberal candidate on the other hand, can be caught on camera with an intern bent over the Speaker's podium and after a few days, their media turd lappers will spin stories about how "honest healthy human behaviors" can be refreshing in a candidate as opposed to the usual "scripted and staged" candidate with no human "depth".

    2. I think Romney's family is interested in having him run again. They were opposed, I think, last time but have had second thoughts. If Obamacare is really the "Stalingrad of the Democrats" I could see him getting into another run. I thought he was almost the ideal president last time and would not rule him out in 2016.

    3. Nice to see you again, Mr. Wall.

      I'm not sure I go for the "battlefield preparation" meme. It assumes that the battle has not yet started--which, for the left, is always false.

    4. Michael K--I hadn't thought about Mitt running again himself. Maybe so. The party base may not warm to him as I suspect many of us are out for blood. I am.

      A6Z...hi yourself. For a while I thought you had misplaced yourself. I always enjoy reading what you have to say and your sly humor. Good to see you among us. Glad to know you are a Scalia fan too.

    5. There is more talk about this, especially since the new movie "Mitt" is out this weekend. Maureen Dowd is on the case.

      I would far prefer Mitt to Christie. Mitt knows how to run things beside his mouth. Scott Walker would be a far better VP than Ryan.

    6. Maureen Dowd, the ageing in place scribbler. I didn't know there was a Mitt movie. I agree that Mitt redux would be far better than His Rotundity the governor of NJ. Ditto Walker as VP....or vice versa.

    7. Former lieutenant colonel Allen West. He would restore dignity to the tattered remains of the republican party and the once-great USA.

      Mitt is a RINO, real conservatives did not and will not vote for him.

    8. I like West but he has no chance of election. I hope you enjoy President Hillary.

    9. Cascadian, I regret to say that "real conservatives" did no better in 2012 than RINO squishes. What does that tell us?

      I like West too, but he isn't an experienced politician which (alas) the president must be. As we see from the incumbent, it isn't an entry-level position.

    10. Seems to me the Diplomad was looking for a candidate to restore some sense of dignity to the post of president and somebody who believed in US exceptionalism. I suggested one, how about you giving it a try?
      The idea that the candidate needs to be an "experienced politician" is a relatively new one, and really has not served you well in the last half century. Kennedy onwards. Seems to me they thought Reagan was not up to the job either.
      As to real conservatives doing no better than Romney, that is probably related to them being starved of funding by the RINO establishment.
      But feel free to ignore me I don't even have a vote, luckily I live in a country that supports Israel, and understands what is happening in the Middle East.
      Vote for, support and work for West and you could possibly say the same. Support a RINO, keep voting for trillion-dollar-a-year increases in debt, and watching your neighbours become unemployed so you can pay for his families healthcare too. Your choice my friend.

    11. West does seem reasonably legit. If he appeared serious, I might support him... fwiw
      A good president has to be popular... likable enough to get a bunch of the center behind him to win an election, and all this without going RINO.
      Democrats have an easier time speaking out of both sides of their mouths, unfortunately... like Obama "I'm going to close gitmo... wait...", "I'm going to win in Iraq and Afghanistan.... wait...", "I don't support gay marriage... wait...", "I don't support legalizing marijuana... wait...".
      And they call Romney a flip-flopper?

      - reader #1482

  13. Professor Sir Hew Strachan

    Is an military historian and advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence.

    I would not take much from this guy. Military Historians' are good at telling you how past battles were lost, not how future one can be won.

    And given the quality of our very Senior Officers, I can only assume that this man has said more than we wish to hear.

  14. Professer Brigadier Sir Hew Francis Anthony Strachan
    Has made quite an impression before he is gone
    Not only, he says, does The One want to do less
    But, not to put too fine a point upon it by half, he is utterly clueless

  15. " the abandonment of of our hard-fought victories in Iraq and Afghanistan"

    Why did you have to go and add this and ruin an otherwise very fine case? I might have let Iraq pass but adding Afcrapistan is a Trillion Dollar Bridge too far.

    BTW, if something is an actual victory, it should stand on it own, not fall apart like some piece of you-know-what just about as soon as the cast or molding is removed.

  16. Last evening I found myself uncomfortably listening to some very uninformed "historically speaking" wannabe foreign policy/social policy experts offering disjointed harangues as to why, "Sochi is an excellent place/opportunity to take on Putin and at the same time, enlighten those mean Russians on the excellences of our agenda."

    And now I find I can't sleep. I too find myself Yearning for the Bush League - not so keen on regretting either of our retiring from Iraq or not soon enough retiring from Afghanistan though.

    I rather, find myself not so vaguely discomfited at the ignorance of pols out for votes, willing to push Putin in the name of LGBT, cough-cough, "values."

    I wanted to scream, "Don't you guys [two ladies too] know the Russian law does not criminalize the behavior rather what the law does is it forbids propagandizing to children! Why, I'd bet if the US population at large were to be given an opportunity to vote on the same law, it would pass by a Duck Dynasty Majority!"

    I had to sit through some stupidly inane observations as to how "We enlightened Americans have a much better way of handling terrorists so that if we were doing this Olympics in Sochi there wouldn't be any threat to security." (As if, if Americans were doing an Olympics we'd be holding games anywhere near the Caucuses.)

    I was supposed to get up to a podium and give a presentation. I lied and told my hosts I was experiencing chest pains and thought maybe I should drive to the hospital - I'm pretty sure nobody who was there reads Diplomad. At least I hope.

    I did have a talk prepared though I think had I given it - I likely would've caused a few heart attacks. I was gonna speak on one Shamil Basayev.

    What? Nobody here has heard of him either?

    When President Bush congratulated Putin on Basayev’s death, he only made a partial point—one missed by many in Moscow and Washington: America and Russia do cooperate on Islamist terrorism, but that does not mean they are allies, friends, or engaged in a common global struggle. The very fact that a Basayev, a self-defined terrorist, attracted so many Europe-based (or born) Muslims, as well as Saudi/Gulf and Jordanian (among others) helpers and volunteers, also suggests that any local cause could easily be hijacked by global jihadism, whether in Grozny, New York, London, or Kashmir. For we are in a global war.


    1. Your presentation would have been a good one if your post here is any indication. In certain gatherings, causing a few heart attacks and some ruffled feathers is a good thing and probably over due. Maybe next time. Russia is not as you point out, our ally. They are experiencing what was termed "white AQ" located in the Balkans and the Caucasus regions.

      Isn't it, in your experience, accurate to say that we are all fighting the tactic of terrorism, which the radicals refer to as "jihad", but the underlying cancer behind all this is Sharia?

  17. Mr Mad. Interesting your comments regarding GW Bush. Seen from outside (I'm a f@@king Limey) he looked a very poor president. He did a tremendous amount to increase the size and cost of the state and initiated a wholesale power grab/invasion of privacy which has been continued by Obama.

    His so-called war on tourism is a ridiculous concept, allied to a dangerous and wholesale ignoral of basic human rights, which are there for a reason. To ignore your wonderful constitution in such an egregious manner is not acceptable.

    The perception is he was a puppet run for the benefit of a clique of bigwigs in the military-industrial complex, and nothing that has ever been said or done has diminished this impression. That said he was fortunate to have a team of advisors who, in their cynicism and greed, were at least competent, and so the presidency was able to give a much better illusion of competence than the hapless Obama.

    In fact their competence in extracting money from working America and placing in the overstuffed wallets of a few well connected individuals in Washington and environs at the moderate cost of 4000 of America's finest killed, heaven only knows how many maimed physically and mentally, and hundreds of thousands of dead towel heads.

    Bush was dangerous and Obama is dangerously incompetent - not sure which was worse, but the outcomes are good for NO ONE.

    Keep it up Mr Mad, your blog is a daily read, and I agree with you on I think everything else except GW Bush.

    1. Nice to see another Englishman on the blog, though I haven't come across the term "limey" in many years. The Bush years were indeed problematic and some lingering perceptions were hostile media created. Though our US Constitution is a fine document, we here do not view it as a suicide pact in the face of a murderous reality.

      Hope you drop in here often among us scribblers.

  18. Excellent blog. I am a regular reader and occasional commenter. Some days I breeze the header and move on. I am either just too sad or too angry. Like you I had resolved to deal with my pessimism in the new year. This quickly ended when I realized that it was not so much pessimism, but honesty in the face on the onslaught of reality of Barack Obama and his marauders.

    Thanks for all you do. Feel better.


  19. Having to listen to how Obama ended the war, put AQ on the run, saved Detroit, solved Syria, etc. makes me feel like I'm living in the Twilight Zone. I don't remember being offered the red pill, but it's clear most people took the blue one. Anyway, appreciate your words and hope you feel better soon.

  20. On his Monday radio program, conservative talk show host Mark Levin reacted to President Barack Obama's remarks about football and not allowing his son to play football if he had one:

    "So he wouldn't let his son play football -– this pretend son that he has," Levin said. "It's like Jimmy Stewart with the pretend rabbit. Well let me tell you something Mr. President -- I wouldn't let my son be an ambassador under you. I’d much rather that he played football."

  21. All over the world, the current Administration of the United States, separating itself from the American Constitution, Declaration, and the underpinning of the Judeo-Christian Ethos, is deliberately acting with policies that further Collectivist policies.

    When I think of Israel, of the Middle East itself, I am enveloped by a sense of the sheer magnitude of all that has come to us from that profoundly prolific arena wherein Western Civilization was born and the great monotheistic Fountainhead was first given to us. So much promise; so much potential for disaster. I am haunted by Eric Hoffer’s words: “I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the Holocaust will be upon us all.”

    When I was about 10, I read “Seven Pillars Of Wisdom” T. E. Lawrence’s tale of his Middle East adventure as “Lawrence of Arabia”. It was one of the hundreds of books that had found their way into our home and, as usual, I filled a spiral notebook with passages I thought were particularly striking. The one I have had most reason to recall throughout my life is: “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”

    Some Dreamers of the Day founded America, built great hospitals, created the Internet, developed vaccines for smallpox and polio, liberated people, brightening the future. These Dreamers were and are dangerous to those who would cage the human spirit. Others, whose Dreams are Nightmares, are destroying America, threatening the functioning of hospitals, trying to censor communications, discouraging innovation, turning the force of the government against their opposition, darkening the future in every way possible. They are dangerous to those who prize our God-given rights, and to the austere government model and the policies that would protect them and expand them worldwide.

    For all the public strutting and fretting, the Progressive’s actual machinations are behind the scenes. Henri Amiel said that: “Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be outraged by silence.” Surely there is a silence of actions as well as a silence of words. To those who support Israel, to those who would advance the cause of Liberty throughout the world, the silences of the Obama administration’s policies are deafening.

    Minta Marie Morze

  22. Any comments Mr Amselem for folks Down Under?

    And you also promised in the new year to post on why the USA with so much treasure and brains (thinktanks, universities, relevant immigrants, State Dept, CIA, NSA, etc) can get its foreign interventions so wrong/bad/ineffective/counterproductive e.g.Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria.