Friday, July 11, 2014

Review: Clash of Civilizations

Recently, after the June 25th post, I was encouraged to read, "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order" by Samuel P. Huntington. And so I did.
This is an academic writing, analytical and focused on the Civilizations in this world, by a very respected late Harvard Professor. The writing examines the civilizations' relationships among each other and themselves. Not especially main stream writing, but very important nonetheless. What I expected to be an abject critique of all the tenets of Republican foreign policies turned, in the end, to be a harrowing indictment of Liberal domestic policies.
Written in 1994, and updated once since, this book covers history up to the late 1990's. Its relevant today for many reasons, not the least of which stem from the current policy decisions of the Obama Administration, and more pointedly, his border policies.
The damage of the border crisis on going today is a matter of record, whether or not sensationalized or diminished by partisan politics. The fact it can get this bad is, to me, a fault of both parties, but especially the Administration. Its bad in the sense that no matter how you view it the capabilities aren't there to administer to this, as well as to ask whether its cause was inadvertent or not.
Another reason the lessons in this book are important is this love affair some American's have with Hillary Clinton. Grounded as it is in this romantic notion that all things during the Bill Clinton Administration were well thought out and the root of all that was good during the times that were then.
I usually disagree, and this book reinforced one gripe I had then, but which continues to be championed today. Diversity.
Diversity is usually portrayed as an Idyllic cultural growth factor by liberal politicians. But what's hiding behind that pep slogan is really an effort to encourage the voting rolls in a particular direction.
There is no hard evidence, despite rationale to the contrary, as author Huntington details late in the book, that encouraging diversity in your civilization is at all beneficial to the survival of your civilization.
The reality is that the ambition of the Diversity crowd isn't doing anyone here any favors. Provided of course that by "anyone", I mean people who view the USA as a darn good culture, and part of a darn good civilization -- the Western Civilization.
Mexican immigrants may or may not be good people and potentially good citizens, but they aren't good members of Western Civilization because they aren't part of the Western Civilization. Same with Islamic, Hindu, and Chinese people just to identify a few. By encouraging this dilution, under the guise of Diversity being good for us all, the left has really just made a power grab for votes, to enrich a political party. The cost to be reaped, like most government decisions, by the future
I've been quick to point out smart ideas from the left, this isn't one of them.
Unless of course you don't like Western Civilization or our subset, the American Culture.
We should be encouraging assimilation, not diversity. But really my writings here aren't ground breaking opinions, and yet this lack of originality doesn't make the clash of civilizations any less dangerous.
Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama may be good Democrats, but are they being good Westerners? Who will be considered good Westerners by our future civilization, if they would to look back in consideration and to understand our shared history?
If they should find themselves in some less idyllic setting than we'd hope, I bet they could fine some culprits. At this point, don't be so certain Bush would be to blame for that too.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Liberal Foreign Policy

Just some general observations.
There are events that, if only as perceived by me, demonstrate clearly why Democrats don't own as strong a winning hand on matters as they like us all to believe.
What I mean by that is in reading sites like the Huffington Post, which I do regularly, one is led to believe that the bad things in this world that do happen, happen with no due influence from them, from liberal intent.
Sites like HuffPo, in particular partisan left, admit no culpability of their words or actions -- or in actions, as the case may be. Its the fault of the past, or the other side.
Its bad luck too, I'll give them that. Sometime bad things happen, and bad decisions are made in the moment of things that we can all criticize, but we'd probably screw up too somehow. That's politics as well though. Taking responsibility usually shuts up the petty critics, but absent responsibility petty critics thrive.
The Democrats do have some reasons to gloat however. There are some really smart people on the left. Many prefer the term Progressive, and I see no harm in that. They are less concerned about abortion than they are about the environment. They don't want big government, but they want government working well, in the lead, efficient.
I'm with them, as they are with me. That's where the Right used to be, but complaining about the Right I'll save for another day.
On the left then, its these strengths that allow them to suffer no criticism. They think.
But I'm seeing a whole lot of influence leading to bad news, where the influence of negativity from the left is underplayed but ought to be spoken of for posterity. At least I think so.
Going back now, a little history. Bush became President and walked into a recession, then 9/11. The invasion of Afghanistan followed, with Iraq a couple years later. Democrats won congress in 2006, and then the markets crashed again, and Obama won.
Without rehashing each and every moment, to say that the Democrats, from the start, never did like the Bush economic recovery, is every bit a truth. The stats weren't as good as Bill Clinton's, the jobs weren't coming back quick enough, and we were not better off than we were four years before.
They wanted austerity then, which is a comedic contrasts to their warnings that now is not the time for such measures.
The surplus was squandered they plead. Never once reflecting, in this "either or" establishment, that had Gore won in 2000 he had too promised to spend the surplus anyways.
...and they beat that drum for years and years, until they won Congress, with no small help from that constant, repressive mantra.
...and when the markets tanked again, when real estate collapsed, when consumer and banking confidence wain to next to nothing, it wasn't at all a product of their(the left's) intentions or makings!
It was their policies and rhetoric that led in part to uncertainly and panic. But we should only believe otherwise? No where is economics immune to political commentary and actions.

The truth is Democrats never did like the War in Iraq. That's no slight, they'll tell you that. Its why the bad info that Bush used to justify the war is characterized as fraudulent, as lies. It was bad, it wasn't a lie. But that's a dog I'll leave on the porch.
But having been misled into war, they still couldn't wait for the truth to come out. The day after the war, some leaders of the left had already begun the "bad war plan" meme.
That was long before the lack of WMDs became the cause celeb.
By having initiated the opposition movement to the war, they had everything to gain then from escalating the thoughts. America became divided and our collective standing in the world was inversely proportional to the lefts' rise at home.
After having voted for the war, by and large, what should of been a Responsible Left, became a Petulant Left. No good was going to come of of this unjustified war they felt, and if fact they were going to make sure of that.
Obama ran for the White House as the Opposition Man. He had all the answers, and that included winning in Afghanistan what ever the cost, and quitting on Iraq, no matter the price.
As it became evident Obama was playing the winning hand then, the more farsighted thinkers at the time did what they could in Iraq. They hastily hammered out force agreements and relationship quid pro quo.
The on going Administration, the Iraqi's, were not impressed with the division in America, and were boxed into doing what was primarily self reliant. They were never blind to American politics, and what looked like a fickle alliance.
Obama was always the favorite to beat McCain, the Iraqi's saw this early and often, and reacted in accordance to their own self preservation and pride. Could you expect them to behave any different to an America that was, clearly, not 100% behind them?
The out going Administration, the Bush people, were trying to salvage what they could out of a bad situation. They were trying to impress upon the Iraqi people of America's resolve and commitment.
The incoming Administration, the Obama, was doing everything plainly possible, since the opening rhetoric of the election campaign, to tell the Iraqi's that what the Bush people were saying wasn't shared by them.
Yet to hear of the heralds of the left put it, their negativity was never a factor in the politics of war. That our enemies, and our presumptive allies would never comprehend what a divided America could and would mean in the war arena.
The fault always lay somewhere else.
Now I'm not going to be able to make more out of this than what it is, just some personal observations.
With that being said, I think its wise to remember some history moving forward.
The left lacks no hubris in their claims of righteousness and their "I told you so" mentality. I happen to believe that a certain part of that is not good, and a product of their own choosing. They are absolutely not above reproach, but try telling them that.
Manifest destiny and/or willful neglect? The balance lies somewhere between the two in respect to the issues this country continues to face. Issues the left has been thick as thieves in producing.
And if you think otherwise, that the Democrats are always right, gaze upon yonder Afghanistan. If I recall correctly, that was the fight Obama was going to win right, to pay the price, to show America's strength.
Well that is screwed up now too... It's not Bush's fault, its well documented how this Administration bungled that relationship.
But even in the face of this latest Iraq turmoil, which at this point Obama is hands off, his supporters still say its Bush's fault. I can't see how, for example, Iran providing assistant to Iraq is either 1.) good and 2.) Bush's fault.
I used to hear another meme constantly from the left, that is how the world hates us because of Bush. I never was sold on that either. But I do know our enemies hated us. Whereas today, more allies are strained from us, while our enemies are filling the void left by us.
When they are not laughing at us.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Review: Innovative State.

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Although a small book, what it brings to light should open even the most partisan of minds among us, to what really should be discussed and considered when choosing a candidate for office today.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Great Opportunity to Not Police the World

Stemming from a conversation I was having with my lovely wife I declared that I wouldn't be surprised if Obama and I, and her, all shall the same opinion about being involved in Ukraine or Crimea. The opinion being we shouldn't. Although he, Obama, doesn't have much of a choice.
While its not legally binding to do so, historical precedent along with the Budapest Memorandum obliges the U.S. to do something.
So what's the history and the affects this past has in the present situation?
The first realization is that we are talking about Russia because of Putin. Which really puts into question why should we be concerning ourselves over there anyways.
From a historical perspective only, Putin characteristically is like many other of his predecessors, but I also could reasonably argue that he has been one of the better angels by comparison. Ever hear of Catherine the Great, or Ivan the Terrible, or Peter the Great? Sure you have, that's because they made a name for themselves through tyranny, brutality, and also territory expansion.
Putin may be like all three of those, but he isn't one of them. Not quite yet. The reassuring thought is the fact that those other three did what they did before the mighty United States was a player. For this reason alone, I'm not too afraid of Mr. Putin's grand ambitions. Real or imagined.
Especially in regards to Crimea and Ukraine. Honestly, he may gain territory, but he also gains head aches. If one thing has been born true in this modern age, its that super states have problems staying cohesive or solvent. He wants to expand his state? That is his folly. He'll just have that many more to take care of, if he can.
Considerations of oil pipe lines, Europe held hostage, etc. are mitigated by the fact he already has that undue influence on those matters without the added burden of a trouble some population to govern and bankrupt to begin with.
So what if he has plans to reunite the old Russia, or Soviet Union? I can live with that. It may not be optimal, but its not unprecedented. In fact, for only twenty of the last hundred years has it has been otherwise.
And Obama surely is not unaware of my generalities. Certainly there are concerns I'm glossing over, but where aren't there in the world? If we are going to stop policing the world, here may be the first opportunity.