Monday, July 30, 2007

Nixonian to Wilsonian: A Book List

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Any Presidential candidate is going to have make a choice between foreign policies: The Wilsonian Idealism belief that spreading Democracy is the key to World Peace or by choosing Nixonian Realism, allowing Dictators to counter-balance against each other, giving a temporary peace until the next revolution. Collective security by the United Nations is fading like the League of Nations after Italy's invasion of Abyssinia. Thus, the power of the Executive Branch will force the individual holding the power to make a choice: Wilsonian idealism or Nixonian realism.

By nature, I am a reader. There are books everywhere. In my car, in my room, in my bathroom. Here are books that led me from Nixonian Realism to Wilsonian Idealism. You will be very surprised.

Books on Nixonian Realism
In the Arena by Richard Nixon -- This book helped a 21 year old understand Realpolticks in a Cold war world.

Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger -- How Realpolitick was once the provenience of Kings, Tsars and Presidents. How Wilsonianism begot the United Nations and the history of modern Foreign policy by the Master of Diplomacy.

Books on Central Asia
The Great Game Series by Peter Hopkirk -- Afghanistan and Iran as the Chessboard between two Empires: The British (City and Raj) and the Russians; later, The British and the Soviets.

Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden -- On November 4, 1979, the world changed. The first Islamic Republic changed the face of the Middle east and Central Asia. Because of the breach of protocol by taking hostages from the American Embassy, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and Iraq attacked Iran.

Ghost wars by Steve Coll -- The history of Afghanistan from December 25, 1979 until September 10, 2001. From a failed invasion by a nation scared by the Islamic Revolution to a failed state that gained succor by attracting NGO's with a dangerous purpose.

Charlie Wilson's War by George Crile -- Because of Prime Minister Zia of Pakistan, American troops were not allowed in Afghanistan. Our money and our weapons found their way through a shady Texas Congressman who found the Mujahideen, a Rebel force to be respected. Once the Soviets were defeated, the Democratic Congress pulled the plug and made Afghanistan a failed state. Tom Hanks will star as Charlie Wilson in the movie version.

A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin -- Sometimes, Diplomacy doesn't work.

The Prize by Daniel Yergin -- Oil and it's influence in war and Diplomacy. Again, why diplomacy is not always the answer.

Your assignment, if you so choose, Mr. Phelps, is to read these books. If Wilsonian Idealism doesn't work, then please do a Blog Post on why Thomas Friedman's Golden Arches Theory is wrong too.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Revolution Calling

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At work, there is a guy named Jimmy with whom I debate many things, the best Hot Dog in L.A. (Carney's), the best Burger (In-n-Out) and why revolutions that lead to dictatorships are not good for living people. Jimmy, takes the opposite view. Here is my view of modern revolutions, great and small:

Jimmy likes to cite Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez as better men then President Bush. If Revolutions are so great, why didn't the United States have any internal revolutions? Because, after India, most revolutions are simply a path to power. How are the people representated if they cannot vote? How are the people allowed to voice their opinions if their press' and television stations are shuttered? Or if they are thrown in prison for being devient?

The maturity of a political system is how the transfer of power occurs and if there are Central bankers still working in the country. Can anyone say that Castro has eased the path to power for a new generations of Cubans? Or is Chavez going to give up the reigns of power peacefully?

Even the Heathlander believes in Revolutions -- however, his version of the Palestinian Revolution means the death of every Israeli man, woman, and child from the Red Sea to the Galilee. What do Jimmy and the Heathlander have in common? They both live in the comforting light of civilization, at the upper reaches of the economic strata, and they both expect others to die for their beliefs. Sorry, but it's true. The Heathlander hasn't left for the Gaza Strip yet to promote his beliefs.

When I studied History during College, I read of the February Revolution of 1917. The new Government that formed was learning to be responsive to the Serfs for the first time since the Flood, and then came the October Revolution which begat Stalin. Under one party states, the Jews are the first to go (i.e. Stalin, Hitler). Just because you overthrow the old regime does not mean the new regime comes with democracy or capitalism.

Here is where America's two foreign policies gets involved:

Using Nixonian Realism, after the Revolution, the new dictator sets up shop. America allows the Dictator to kill his own people (and thus fomenting a future rebellion) and play chess in the balance of power games. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Under Wilsonian Idealism, the Revolution is squelched by the neighbors and maybe the U.S. Democracy begins and trade circulates, people live after the time of transition is over. The President and parliament play poker in the United Nations with their neighbors. There is a secure transfer of power. Roads are built, schools open, business' flourish.

Jack Kemp had something to say about Revolutions, it still rings true now:

"The only true 'Permanent Revolution' the world has seen is the American Revolution,"

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Calm before

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If you check the Archives of the Valley, one of the themes mentioned is the upcoming storm of terrorism and complacency. Even though the theme taken a backseat to the Anti-Semites at Kos, The GOP in California, Power in a Uni-polar world and Iraq as a pillar in American Middle East policy, I have always looked for the storm clouds.

Aurora at the Midnight Sun has been more vigilant at spotting the upcoming darkness ahead. Before a summer storm hits, there is a quiet that even cicada's are silenced. Here is where the edges of the cumulonimbus clouds are forming:

Israel - Anyone who saw the war last year between Lebanon (Hezbollah), the Palestinians (Hamas) and Israel saw that Olmert cannot lead. Nor can Olmert run things domestically. Olmert had his chance, call the election soon. Bring back Bibi!

The United States -- In the "silly season" of the '90's until September 10, 2001, America did not see how failed states and dictatorships could affect us domestically. Democrats are only focused on election 2008 (and only that) whereas Republican politicians are worried about the Long Game being played against the United States. Iraq is not Vietnam -- It is Spain 1936.

Islam -- Unlike the Judeo-Christian world, their was no version of the Reformation in Islam. In Buddhism and other eastern religions, there is talk of Karma and Dharma, peace by way of communing with the world. Islam does not offer that. Just like you need a Conservative Right Winger to shut Ann Coulter up, just like you need a major Democratic politician to stop the Heathlander's writings on Kos, Islam itself must be reformed from within.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Follow the Leader

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What you see above is the American Government as it was from 1776 - 1789 under the Articles of Confederation. The American Government under the Confederation had a stronger Legislative Branch and Local Power than Executive power. That system begat Shay's Rebellion and gave America, the Constitution.

The test of how mature a Political party is, can it give power to another branch, knowing that their party does not own it? Nixon signed onto the War Powers Act of 1973; Newt's Congress gave President Clinton, the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 (eventually overturned by the Supreme Court)

Today's Democrats squeal every time President Bush signs an Executive Order or writes a Signing Statement; Rather then challenge each individual power in court, the Democrats let that power slide because, should their own people get into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the next Democratic President will use the same powers President Bush has. Within the presidential Branch, there is the the power of the precedent. What one president does, another will follow. If you know your history, Nixon did nothing different then Kennedy or Johnson. Bush's precedents lie within the Clinton administration.

I've been in both parties,, I've been up and down the scale in politics and policy; What I do understand, we dropped the Articles of Confederation because of the lack of concentrated power in an Executive -- a weak President domestically has no influence in foreign affairs and vice versa. Karma has a way of coming round when you least want it, do the modern Democrats wish to cut powers from the Executive Branch? Any powers lost under a Republican will be lost under a Democrat as well.

President Clinton has the right of Executive Privilege regarding his staff, as does president Bush. You deny one, you deny both. My question is simply: would you take powers from the Executive Branch of a President you dislike, knowing that a President you support will not have those powers either?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Peace, according to Anti-war Democrats, to the World

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Everyone in the world wants Peace. From the Pope in Vatican City, to the lowliest peasant in Zimbabwe, who doesn't want it? The world hears from the Anti-war crowd on how important Peace is. What type of Peace are the Anti-war Democrats and Liberals offering?

1) The first rule of the Anti-war crowd is "As long as a Nation-State does not invade another Nation-state, America should not get involved," Using this rule, that means, Saddam Hussein can gas the Kurds, Hitler can massacre the Jews in Germany, because after all, America should not use her troops to invade another Nation State.

2) The next rule is, "End American Military Recruitment" As the only Nation State with 6 million citizens, would these groups allow New York City to be protected? How about San Francisco? The years when Kaiser Wilhelm compared the British military to a police battalion are long gone. The Police Departments around the country do great work, should we post them overseas too?

3) "Americans should not engage in other's Civil Wars," That lesson was taken from the Vietnam war (even though it was a war for Colonial powers that went awry). Let that rule stand, and understand that there is no reason to go to Darfur .

3a) "America should not expand it's 'Empire' under any circumstances" Let's bring the troops home from South Korea, Germany and Japan. Who cares that we protected the world from Communism during the Cold War? Kim Jong-Il and Vladimir Putin are not expanding threats according to the Left.

3b) "Dictatorships are fine as long as they don't invade anyone else," Accordingly, Robert Mugabe is fine under this rule, as well as Putin. Why should the Anti-war crowd care about people living under dictators? Wasn't the whole Iraq war about ridding the Middle East of a dictator and bringing democracy? Even if it was not, if you can speak freely in a society, why shouldn't someone else halfway across the world? But if you're a Leftist, not speaking truth to power in Venezuela and Cuba is fine.

A Peaceful world using the Anti-war groups rules means poeple still die by unnatural causes because of the power of the State. As long as the State doesn't invade anyone else, a dictator can rule with impunity. And if the Dictator hates Republicans and Israel (Read: Hugo Chavez), why should the Anti-war Leftists do anything to bring peace to the world?

Robert Mugabe and Hamas have nothing to fear from a Democratic administration should one be elected in 2009.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Teacher, A Preacher, and a Comedian

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Live Earth came and went. Did you see it? However, to get a little perspective on Global warming and mankind's relation to the Earth -- Here is a teacher named Dr. Carl Sagan. This is from Cosmos, his show from PBS that was shown in 1981:

The next post is from a Graduate Divinity student who became Vice President for eight years. With all the Governmental power under him, what did Vice President Gore do to stop Global Warming? This is from An Inconvenient Truth:

This last piece is from George Carlin. The language is harsh, but why are Carlin and Sagan closer then Gore and Sagan?

As the Joker said in Batman, "Who do you trust?" The teacher (Sagan), the Preacher (Gore) or the comedian (Carlin)?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Having Faith abut Faith (continues ad infinitium...)

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One of the biggest debates riding the Blogosphere is about God. Does He exist? Is evolution an act of His or is it by dint of science alone that Humans are created?

My own personal tale began when I was brought to Israel in 1983 for my Bar Mitzvah. Going to Jerusalem during December, I was Bar Mitzvahed at the Western Wall, walked the Via Delarosa, and was at the Dome of the Rock. So I have seen all three major Religions act on their best behavior. I have visited Churches and gone to many Jewish Temples. In a way, I am a secular Jew, but I have Faith that God exists. Why?

Throughout my lifetime, Rabbi's have spoken, "We are attacked in every generation," Not by reason of what the Jews have accomplished, not by reason of how well we adapt to any other country, but by reason of our very existence.

The last major person to try to wipe us out? A vegetarian, German, National Socialist, Athiest. A lack of Faith in a higher being aloud Hitler to believe he was the highest being of all. Lack of faith did not hinder Stalin from murdering millions either, or Pol Pot, the list goes on.

How can we, as finite beings, measure anything against the infinite? Growing up in New York City, I learned evolution at school and followed up with a trip to Museum of Natural History. I also went to Hebrew School and learned that the first words of Genesis were not written until King David's time. Between storytelling and evolutionary history, both stories are similar. After all, how do you measure the seven days when there is no reckoning of time?

And how does humanity get it's start? Do you believe we are random beings thrown up into the world like Pizza on a ceiling? What caused the evolutionary spark that brought us from one-celled organism to carbon based life form? As you can see, I do not deny the existence of science. It is just the beginning I see us betting against the infinite.

If there is an acid test for God, it is in the personal life. Beliefs are shaped not by Scientific method, but by our lives and what happens during that time. Even if I am wrong, Faith has gotten me through some hard times. If you do not believe that is fine, but don't laugh at individual faith, who knows how close they have been to the infinite?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Thank You Ann Althouse!

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Thanks to the link at Althouse, the Valley was visited yesterday by 880 people. Best numbers on the Valley so far. As always, thank you Aurora, Jason and Chess Novice! And thank you Ann!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Owning Pennsylvania Avenue: Real Estate in Cyberspace

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Remember the game, Monopoly (the original version, not the new adapted ones)? If you write a Blog, you own property in Cyberspace. If ads are houses, then corporate sponsorship are hotels. Commenter's are those pieces that run around the board and visitors to your site help with the rent. Where is this leading?

Every Blogger imagines their space online as Real estate (i.e. Monopoly spaces); When I go to Aurora's site, I imagine an Australian pub with American and Israeli flags near the jukebox; With Jason's, I picture a loud Hollywood club with music blasting and his movie playing; In Chess Novice's Blog, it feels like a library at Tea Time. But I want to discuss the Blog that birthed the Valley: The Blog of Ann Althouse. And what do I picture the Althouse Blog to be? A living Dali painting with a fruit garden.

I used to comment on her Blog before I started this one. She is a a Democrat who is shifting rightward. I took the same journey back in 1992. Her Blog is commentators heaven. She posts, and the comments go flying. However, since she chose Bush over Kerry in 2004, the Left Wing Blogosphere has charged her with heresy and never forgiven Professor Althouse's vote.

Here is some dramatis personae who comment:

AlphaLiberal: Does not want Althouse to write on politics
Dave(TM): Posts only to insult Althouse; Liberal hate Speech at it's finest.
Downtownlad: A gay Blogger who thinks Christians are not to be trusted compared to Islamists.
Doyle: Hates Althouse for her opinions and tries to shut down debates; Luckeyoldson does that too.
Freder Frederson: Doesn't have a kind word to say about Althouse.
Hdhouse: Until I mentioned, I treated President Clinton with respect to his position (even though I despised him), he refused to even acknowledge President Bush's name.
Luckeyoldson: Claims to be a TV writer, but has not linked to his IMDB resume. Writes homophobic pieces about Republicans and yet does not know any. Downtownlad says nothing about his homophobic pieces.
Steve Simels: A pop music reviewer who comments in the same style as Dave(TM).

Basically, all Bloggers let commentators in for a variety of reasons. But Liberal hate Speech is never called on by Democrats. Ever. In 1974, Sen. Goldwater went to President Nixon to tell him there was no votes to stop impeachment among Republicans. There is never any Democratic leader to say to the younger folk, "Stop!" That's why a Conservative Republican exposed the evil Heathlander and his love of terrorists, not a Democrat.

I love having different opinions in the Valley (Jason, take a bow). Just show up with a name and usually (unless I know you in real life), you get published. But showing up with threats to a Blogger, any blogger, is wrong and must be despised. Argue the point of the post, not personal attacks.

The Democratic Party may have won 2006, but how do you gain votes unless you win by conversion, not inquisition. As long as these commentators act the way they do, as long as the Heathlander publishes on Kos, the democrats have lost this vote.

Every Blogger should feel at home on their piece of their Monopoly Board. What happens to Althouse might happen to the rest of us.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

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This is last year's post. Every year, I still read the book Patriots by AJ Langguth for the holiday. Today, there are no Democrats or Republicans, only Americans. God Bless America. This is an excerpt:

"When members of the [Continental] Congress came to Jefferson's stirring conclusion, a majority thought it should include one last appeal to the power even greater then George III....They did not meddle with Jefferson's last oath, more solemn than anything they might devise:

"'And for support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortune and our sacred honor'

"On July 4, 1776, independence was declared in language worthy of it."
-- Patriots, AJ Langguth, pg.362

Here is a copy of that famous document. Enjoy the fireworks tonight.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Moral Relevence

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Before I hear the rants and raves of the Left Side of the Blogosphere, please explain why, that a President impeached for perjury, finds the Democratic Congressmen and women standing beside him even though they were in the Jury box? The picture above was taken after the House vote on December 19, 1998, thus proving that the mainstream of Democrats do not think Perjury is a crime.

The Executive Branch has the power of commutation or pardoning. Clinton used it for Susan McDougal in a case that affected President Clinton personally; Bush commuted Lewis Libby in a case close to his office.

Intelligence agencies have Analysts and Agents. Agents actually get the information while overseas, from sources and write reports for the home office. Analysts are the home office. If Plame was an Agent, what was she doing based in Virginia? Being an intelligence agent means you are based overseas in embassies or newspapers, etc. not in a cubicle in Virginia. And who released her name to Novak? A guy who I respect, Richard Armitige.

How does Armitage leaking Plame's name to Novak cause Libby to be prosocuted? That is like Sandy Berger getting a slap on the wrist for stealing Top Secret National Archive documents. And if Berger can do it, why can't anyone else?

Berger stole documents, President Bill Clinton commited Perjury, Libby committed perjury. The Democratic party supports both stealing Top Secret documents and perjury. Prove me wrong

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Gordon Brown hears the Thunderclap

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Gordon Brown wanted to be Prime Minister, does he still want it?

Two car bomb threats in London (against soft targets), and one exploding car at Glasgow Airport. Whether the Terrorists are attacking because Brown is still new as PM or Rushdie is receiving his Knighthood does not matter. How do you negotiate with someone who only wishes to kill themselves or you?

The storm was started in Israel by the Palestinian Suicide Bombers. A week before September 11, they attacked three times (twice in Jerusalem, once in Netanya). Then came 9/11, and everyone forgot those attacks.

Say what you will about President Bush and Vice President Cheney, but why hasn't the United States been attacked since 2001? And that includes embassies. The template of these attacks have occurred throughout Israel's existence, do you choose to ignore them or do you bring the fight overseas?

Now my question to my liberal readers is: How do you defeat the terrorists?

Remember, since 2004, we can't track funds, listen to domestic conversations or rely on intelligence reports as per Democratic rhetoric. Given those rules, how do you actually find and defeat the terrorists before they attack Universal City or the Golden Gate Bridge in 2009?

The British Empire's Setting Sun

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On 27 June 2007, Prime Minister Tony Blair stepped down and gave the reigns of Westminster to Gordon Brown. Both men are members of New Labour (formerly Labour); Same party, but different political styles.

PM Brown, because of the Westminster system, does not have to call an election until 2010. Brown is not known for his charisma or policies, but that he was Blair's Chancellor of the Exchequer during the past 10 years. Imagine if President Ford, unelected, had chosen to not hold elections until 1980 -- that is the situation the UK is in.

Many American journalists could not fathom how PM Blair could support President Bush after supporting President Clinton. He supported President Clinton during the bombing of Kosovo and President Bush during the Iraq invasion. Why is this important?

Under the Nixonian world view, what a dictator does in his country does not change foreign policy. With the Wilsonian vision, citizens of a country should be free, politically and economically. Blair supported the Anglosphere over the European Union [EU] almost at the cost of his Premiership. Given the current terrorist threats (to be discussed in the next post), should Brown trust the EU and NATO which has no aspect of fighting these multi-national NGO's? Or should the UK try to negotiate with an NGO instead of a Nation-state?

Gordon Brown is known as a technocrat. As Gov. Cuomo once said, "You campaign in poetry and govern in prose," Can anyone quote Brown's campaign speeches?

Until the next PM Elections, everything in England is on a holding pattern (not unlike Israel), but Blair should be commended for supporting Wilsonianism and the Anglosphere. Will Brown do the same or will he kowtow to the bureaucrats of the EU?


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