Archive for the ‘war and peace’ Category

Spitzer and Weiner should learn from John Profumo

July 13, 2013

Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner are just two low-grade amoral politicians who abused their offices during the past few years. Spitzer abused his position as Governor of New York to rack up some $87,000 in payouts to high-end call girls. Weiner used his position as a U.S. Congressman to mail out photographs of his naked genitals to supposed female admirers. Both men were married at the time. Both wives – in Lady Macbeth roles of career advancement – followed the appalling example of Hillary Clinton in standing by their men. Both Spitzer and Weiner initially lied about their behavior. Both ultimately were nailed, and resigned their positions. But not for long. Like Gary Hart, following his Monkey-Business debacle, they are both running again.

Fifty years ago, in the spring and summer of 1963, an English scandal erupted involving John Profumo, Secretary of State for War in the government of Harold Macmillan. Profumo, aged 48, had become involved with a loose set of people who gathered at Clivedon, the country estate of the Astor family. At a pool party, hosted by the society doctor, he met a young woman, 19-year old Christine Keeler, who was either a dancer or prostitute, depending on who one spoke to. They commenced an affair, which was over by 1962. Keeler was romantically involved, during that period, with Yevgeny Ivanov, the Soviet Naval attache assigned to London. All mature adults were aware that such a person must be a Soviet spy.

Profumo was caught out, and lied, just like Spitzer and Weiner. On the advice of his movie-star wife, he then came clean and resigned his position. Profumo – humiliated on every front page as an adulterer, a liar and a war minister who consorted with enemy spies – was finished. What would he now do? Surely he never stood for public office again. Profumo, unlike Spitzer and Weiner, had a conscience. He wanted to repay his moral debt to England.

He removed himself to a poor, run-down settlement house, called Toynbee Hall, in the East End of London.There he engaged in social work of the lowest order, washing dishes and cleaning toilets. He visited prisons for the criminally insane, helped with housing for the poor, and worker education. This was not for show. he worked at Toynbee Hall in that manner for the following 40 years, until he was 88 years of age.

Now there is a real man whose wife should be proud to stand by him. When he died in 2006, at the age of 91, the front pages of all Britain’s newspapers wrote about him with respect, even awe. He had truly redeemed himself, through humility and genuine public service.

When I view photographs of Spitzer and Weiner cavorting before the media with no sign of humility or conscience, it makes me want to vomit. For I know full well what they were, still are, and will be for the remainder of their wretched lives.

“When they caught him makin’ whooppee
And the campaign had to cease
Gary went into seclusion
He just had to find some peace.
He’s been out in Colorado
Since I can’t remember when
But he must be gettin’ horny
Cause he’s runnin’once again.

So he’s running into the Politics Game
Yes, he running into the politics game
Warren Beatty told him ‘lookie’
You can get a lot of nookie
If you get into the politics game.

John Denver, The Ballad of Gary Hart.

Hat Tip: Peggy Noonan, ‘How to Find Grace After Disgrace’, The Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2013

More on Edward Snowden

July 12, 2013

Today, Edward Snowden has accepted all three offers of political asylum – from Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. He has applied for asylum in Russia until such time as his safe passage to Latin America can be secured. It is difficult to reach any of the three destinations from Russia without flying through United States or European territories

What a sorry situation this has become. A patriot who has alerted all countries including his own of massive surveillance by the United states government, is stranded until some method can be developed to get him out of Obama’s flight interceptions.

One method springs immediately to my mind. Vladimir Putin may decide to make a state visit to one of those countries, flying in his own Air Force One. Because of what happened recently to the President of Bolivia, Putin might let it be known that Russian advanced fighter planes will protect his flight from interference of any kind.

Then see how quickly President Obama and his international cronies will climb down and allow the flight to proceed.

If Obama keeps his promise, he will pardon Edward Snowden

July 9, 2013

“In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama called upon ‘We the People’ to preserve America’s ideals of individual freedom and equality.’ When Edward Snowden disclosed the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programmes, he was rising to this challenge. Like the nation’s ‘founding fathers’, hw was also defying the usurpations of an increasingly intrusive government. Mr. Obama should therefore call off the campaign to apprehend him and offer Mr. Snowden a pardon instead.” Stephen Walt*, ‘Snowden deserves an immediate presidential pardon’, Financial Times, July 9, 2013

“Mr. Snowden’s motives were laudable: he believed fellow citizens should know their government was conducting a secret surveillance programme enormous in scope, poorly supervised and possibly unconstitutional. He was right….Once a secret surveillance system exists, it is only a matter of time before someone abuses it for selfish ends. Richard Nixon kept his own ‘enemies list’ and used the Central Intelligence Agency to spy on american citizens. Former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, J. Edgar Hoover, helped keep himself in office by collecting dirt on officials.” Stephen Walt*,ibid.

“Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush pardoned the officials who conducted the illegal Iran-Contra affair, and Mr. Obama has already pardoned several convicted embezzlers and drug dealers. Surely Mr Snowden is as deserving of mercy as these miscreants. Pardoning him would also show that Mr. Obama’s rhetorical commitment to ‘We the People’, and to open and transparent government, is not just empty words.” Stephen Walt*, ibid.

* Stephen Walt is Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University

English history offers a parallel for Egyptian political reform (1)

July 5, 2013

A revolution against Stuart tyranny erupted in England in 1642. Following a violent civil war, King Charles 1 was executed by Parliament in 1649 on the instructions of Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell’s Model Army then instituted a newly-empowered parliament. That parliament quickly fell under the dictatorship of Lord Protector Cromwell. When Cromwell died in 1658, and his son Richard (Tumbledown Dick) assumed the position of Lord Protector, the English army, split and its leading generals rebelled against parliament. In 1660, a repentant parliament, acting under military orders, restored Charles II to the throne. Charles II, followed by his brother James, ruled England as Divine Right autocrats until James was deposed in a bloodless revolution in 1688. An outside army from Holland then re-established order and introduced a new constitutional order.

Thus far a parallel with Egypt is clear, though the Egyptian time line is dramatically shorter. President Mubarak played the role of Charles I of England, and was deposed by popular revolution, aided by the Egyptian army. The army played a transitional role in arranging for a president and a parliament to be elected. As with England in 1649, the Egyptian electorate proved to be insufficiently mature to support a pluralistic democracy. As with Tumbledown Dick in 1660 England, the Egyptian army once again intervened to depose the utterly incompetent, religious bigot, President Morsi.

In tomorrow’s column, I shall briefly outline the error made by England in the 1660 restoration, an error that resulted in 28 further years of autocracy before England eventually resolved its political quandary. I shall then outline hoe the Egyptian army might usefully proceed to shorten the time-horizon for evolution to effective governance.

Cause for concern this Independence Day

July 4, 2013

Lovers of freedom in the United States will rightly celebrate the Fourth of July, as the day when courageous colonists challenged the authority of the World’s greatest military power.They will rightly savor the words penned by Thomas Jefferson, words, that boldly put the People before the State.

Many such American freedom lovers, however, will blend their joy with concern and sorrow at recent trends in the governance of their nation. They are now aware that two United States presidents – George W Bush and Barack Obama – have created a comprehensive surveillance system designed to collect and evaluate every telephone, call, email, twitter and facebook message transmitted by any American citizen. Agents of some of the most ruthless and authoritarian agencies of the federal government make such use as they choose of information so garnered. This is a prerequisite for any effective police state. The network massively exceeds that established by the East German Stasi prior to 1989.

They are now aware that a vengeful United States president, Barack Obama, is so fearful of information leakages that may emanate from patriot Edward Snowden, that he has pulled the airplane of the President of Bolivia from the skies, in order to have it searched for Snowden by agents of a country, Austria, that once willingly merged to become a compliant component of Hitler’s Third Reich.

They will be aware that Julian Assange, another messenger of freedom, is holed up in the Ecuardorian Embassy in London, a refugeee from Obama vengeance, and that the British government is compliantly providing the police cordon that prevents his run from Obama’s hounds of Hell.

So we shall celebrate the memory of July 4, 1776, while mourning the loss of the vision of those Founding Fathers who risked their lives to create a once exceptional Nation.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi ousted by military coup

July 3, 2013

On July 3, 2013, after tanks and troops were deployed close to the presidential palace in Cairo, Egyptian Defense Minister, Abdelfatah al-Sissi appeared on television to announce that President Morsi had been deposed.An army-backed plan for political transition in Egypt will begin immediately with a short period of interim rule before new presidential and parliamentary elections. The coup occurred two years after President Obama bribed the Egyptian military to stand down and allow U.S. ally President Hosni Mubarak to be removed by a popular revolution.

I wonder how President Obama and his three witches – Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Powers-Sunstein – are reacting to this welcome news. After all they were so besotted by the Muslim Brotherhood and its extremist version of Sharia Law that they allowed a loyal ally of Israel to be displaced in favor of an an overtly anti-Semitic government in the most important country in the Middle East. Earlier this week, Obama deflected all relevant questions targeted at his Middle Eastern policy. The U.S. President is either politically clueless or in favor of the implementation of Sharia Law with respect to the governance of this once great country.

News of the successful coup must be largely welcomed by lovers of freedom. Of course, there are risks that the military may attempt to administer the country for longer than they have suggested. That is the nature of an autocracy. However, some autocracies are much to be preferred to some democracies. Egypt is clearly not yet ready for democracy in its effective pluralistic form. If the military, even though motivated solely to raise the value of the many Egyptian assets that it owns, reverses Morsi’s disastrous thrust to socialism, that alone will provide Egyptians with economic freedoms that they desire. Political freedom can wait a while, until the population at large matures and comprehends the nature of the secular choices that should be made at some future ballot box.

The courage of Edward Snowden

July 3, 2013

First they came for the Tea Party
and I didn’t speak out because I was not a member of the Tea Party

Then they came for the rich
and I didn’t speak out because I was not rich

Then they came for private market entrepreneurs
and I didn’t speak out because I was not an entrepreneur

Then they came for the advocates of freedom
and there were insufficient numbers left in America to speak out for me.

Thank you Edward Snowden for speaking out for me and my fellow patriots!

The increasing tyranny of Emperor (Caligula) Obama

July 3, 2013

How do you think Barack Obama would feel and behave if Air Force One was intercepted by two allegedly peaceful nations and forced to land for a 12 hour search of his plane to determine whether he was ferrying a refugee from tyranny to freedom? Not the kind of situation that this particular president would relish, I surmise.

Well President Morales of Bolivia was treated in exactly this way by the governments of France and Portugal, who denied the equivalent of Bolivia’s Air force One the right to cross their air-space during his return flight from Moscow to his own country. Apparently, Emperor (Caligula) Obama has demanded just such a network of blocked air-routes from any country desperate for the continued goodwill of the United States as long as Edward Snowden remains on the loose from his hounds from Hell. President Morales’ plane was uncontaminated by this fugitive from tyranny, but no apology so far is forthcoming from the United States.

Maybe Obama should attempt to have President Putin’s presidential aircraft grounded in a similar manner? If so, I predict that Obama would have to hire a Caligula-type poison-taster for all his meals. And the price-tag on the appointment would be high indeed, especially if tea consumption had to be policed.

How far will this wretched administration go in order to protect itself from evidence of its despicable network of spies, eaves-droppers and wire-tappersD Do you now believe that President Morales has any residual belief in the United States as the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?

On Independence Day, tomorrow, you may well want to say a few words of sad remembrance for that noble concept, before you watch the Emperor’s firework display.Bear in mind how Caligula and his successors controlled the People of Rome through a ‘generous’ provision of circuses!

Egypt’s President Morsi threatened with army coup

July 1, 2013

General Sisi today gave President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government forty eight hours to satisfy those demonstrating against his government or to expect an immediate Egyptian army intervention.This follows a rising wave of popular uprisings against Morsi’s attempt to thrust Sharia Law down the throats of a once secular nation. Muslim Brotherhood corrupt socialism has taken the Egyptian economy to the very edge of an economic black hole. Only ill-advised financial support from Qatar stands in the way of this total collapse.

When a political party is voted into office by religious zealots with no understanding of global economics, this is the fate that awaits its under-educated leaders. No doubt the military will force Morsi and his closest advisers into exile, rather than executing them. Wisely the army will restore secular rule to Egypt and make some marginal moves towards a market economy.

However, an enormous burden of responsibility for this disaster rests on the shoulders of President Obama and his three witches – Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Powers-Sunstein – who deliberately cast off a trusted ally when President Mubarak asked for support during the first phase of the so-called Arab Spring. Any serious reading of the Tahrir Square occupation should have advised the U.S. government to leave things alone, and to allow Egypt to take the slow road to democracy.Instead, the Obama administration bribed the Egyptian army to stand aside in order to allow Mubarak to fall.

At a minimum, one might have thought that Obama would have learned the lesson from Jimmy Carter’s stupidity in encouraging a similar fateful upheaval to occur in Iran.

The House of Cards

July 1, 2013

Some readers may be acquainted with two popular television/dvd series on the corruption of democratic political systems promoted under the title: The House of Cards. The earlier series focuses attention on the British parliamentary system. The later take-off of that series focuses attention on the U.S. republican system of government.

In both series, a central figure – Francis Urquart in Britain and Francis Underwood in the U.S. – plays the key role in dirty, greedy, self-obsessed, sexually harassing, politicking. Readers may notice that in both instances the leading characters’ initials are FU. That is no accident, but rather a signal as to how precisely they operate. In both cases, the wives of these despicable individuals are co-dependents who grease the wheels for their mates in return for perceived side-benefits; that is until the side-benefits are no longer quite so apparent.

I shall not provide details of the two series, since I encourage readers who desire to have a good understanding of politics, as it really is in Britain and in America, to access both series. it is best to watch the British series first since this is the model for the second.

When you view the succeeding episodes, and wonder whether the stories truly reflect reality, I Suggest, in the case of Britain, that you think back to the prime minister-ships of Lloyd George, Harold Wilson, and John Major. In the case of the United States, I suggest that you think back to the presidencies of FDR, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Bill Clinton. In each case those corrupt individuals operated with the full complicity of their co-dependent spouses.

Watch, enjoy, but always remember when you cast your vote in the ballot box!