“Statists relish ‘crises’ because they can be used to force more controls into our lives.” – William P. Hoar Source: Tampering With the Markets,
On June 20, 1936, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia addressed the League of Nations following the annexation of his nation by Italy the previous year, after Mussolini’s army had invaded. Both nations were members of the League. It condemned the invasion and had imposed economic sanctions that were weak and ignored by its members.
In the wake of having been driven from Ethiopia, Selassie warned the League’s assembled diplomats “It is us today. It will be you tomorrow.”
World War II would begin three years later when Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939.
There are lessons to be drawn from history if one is inclined to learn history. On Thursday, September 27, just as he has for the last few years, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Natanyahu again addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations and again warned that time was running out for a confrontation with an Iran intent on producing its own nuclear weapons to fulfill its repeated threats to destroy Israel.
The fact that Netanyahu was back again in front of the General Assembly, essentially giving the same warning tells you how weak the United Nations is, much like its predecessor, the League of Nations. Stalin once asked how many divisions does the Pope of Rome have, mocking his moral authority, and Iran is doing the same, but it is mocking the entire world.
Netanyahu said, “If the Western nations had set red lines in the 1930s, I believe World War II would have been avoided.” He said that a clearly stated “red line” forbidding the enrichment of uranium to weapons grade levels would induce Iran to stop. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say, he hopes for that outcome.
“Today a great battle is being waged between modernity and the medieval,” said Netanyahu in the opening minutes of his address, warning that what was at stake was “not just the future of my country, but the future of the world.”
He asked of a nuclear Iran, “who would be safe in the Middle East, in Europe, in America, anywhere?” Just as Selassie had told the League of Nations, Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly a blunt truth, but it has not stirred many, including the U.S., to action except to park warships in the Persian Gulf, a familiar warning.
Netanyahu produced a simple chart in the familiar shape of an old-fashioned bomb and discussed the role and outcome of enriched uranium, noting that seven years of diplomacy has not deterred Iran from its continued, relentless program. “Sanctions have not stopped Iran ever.”
And then he said something that I suspect many in the Assembly and those watching on television probably missed. He talked of the plants in which the enrichment process is taking place and said, “These plants are visible and vulnerable.”
“The relevant question,” said Netanyahu, “is not at what point Iran will get the bomb, but when they can be stopped from getting it.”
This observer thinks Israel is on its own and knows it. There may be cooperation from other nations who take the Iranian threat seriously, but whatever steps Israel must take to stop Iran from having a nuclear weapon, it will largely have to do while the diplomats and leaders of Western and other nations cower in their embassies, chancelleries, consulates, and seats of government in storied capitol cities.
Israel will be tasked to save the West because the West, once again, cannot find the courage to save itself, just like in 1936.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
The case against casting a ballot for the president — even if you think he’s better than Mitt Romney
Tell certain liberals and progressives that you can’t bring yourself to vote for a candidate who opposes gay rights, or who doesn’t believe in Darwinian evolution, and they’ll nod along. Say that you’d never vote for a politician caught using the ‘n’-word, even if you agreed with him on more policy issues than his opponent, and the vast majority of left-leaning Americans would understand. But these same people cannot conceive of how anyone can discern Mitt Romney’s flaws, which I’ve chronicled in the course of the campaign, and still not vote for Obama.
Don’t they see that Obama’s transgressions are worse than any I’ve mentioned?
I don’t see how anyone who confronts Obama’s record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. I do understand how they might concluded that he is the lesser of two evils, and back him reluctantly, but I’d have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers.
There are folks on the left who feel that way, of course. Some of them were protesting with the Occupy movement at the DNC. But the vast majority don’t just continue supporting Obama. They can’t even comprehend how anyone would decide differently. In a recent post, I excoriated the GOP and its conservative base for operating in a fantasy land with insufficient respect for empiricism or honest argument.
I ended the post with a one-line dig at the Democratic Party. “To hell with them both,” I fumed.
Said a commenter, echoing an argument I hear all the time:
I mean, how can someone who just finished writing an article on how the Republican Party is too deluded, in the literal sense, to make good decisions about anything not prefer the other party?
Let me explain how.
Blaming George W. Bush doesn’t get Obama off the hook for an economic recovery he’s choked off at every turn.
During his lackluster speech at the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama mocked Republicans for prescribing tax cuts as the solution to every problem. Interestingly, Obama and the Democrats have had their own stock response line to every problem — it’s George W. Bush’s fault.
Blaming the current economic mess on tax cuts, as Obama and his warm up act, Bill Clinton did, is a bit bizarre, but the Democrats don’t have a whole lot to work with. Tax cuts had nothing to do with the financial panic of 2008 or the real estate bubble that preceded it. At no time in American history can a tax cut be shown to have caused a recession. Perhaps there is some new theory being pushed by left wing economists, always looking for reasons to justify government taking away more economic freedom from individuals, that allowing people to keep more of their money results in an uncontrollable urge to borrow irresponsibly.
There was a lot of blame to go around — in both the public and private sector — for the real estate bubble and resulting financial panic. But “deregulation” was not a cause and Democrats have never actually forwarded a coherent argument making this case. The real culprits on the public policy side were government mandates put on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac supported by President Bush, but pushed by Democrats. From 2005 to 2007, driven by a mandate by HUD that 50% of Fannie and Freddie’s loans were to be “affordable,” Fannie and Freddie purchased over $1 trillion of lower quality subprime and Alt-A loans, which in turn stoked the demand for, and hence the profitability of, those types of loans. This is a big reason why nearly 40% of U.S. home mortgages were lower quality subprime or Alt-A loans when the housing bubble burst. It wasn’t deregulation that increased the demand for lower quality loans (just the opposite, actually) and deregulation didn’t cause a lot of people who should have better understood the risks from buying, or insuring, pools of low quality loans.
It has been said that anything has its price.
Concerning patriotism and the actions of being an American, I have grown increasingly sickened as all kinds of gnomes now offer to share their new information that will harm Obama……..but it comes at a price.
My patriotism is not for sale. There are many web pages that feel the same way and there is a great effort to spread facts that, in normal times, would absolutely kill the Obama run to be re-elected.Those of us who write, who investigate and who share their information freely and without reservation are the real Americans in this urgent battle to save our Republic.
Countless young men and women have volunteered to serve their nation and many have died while others have suffered terrible wounds as they give of themselves for our benefit. They are America’s real patriots.
Those who will sell their patriotism need to quietly steal away into the darkness from which you emerged. You fatten your wallets at a time when America need people who care of and for this nation. Greed does not fit into the real world of the true American Patriot.
You sell the scare – the doubt and the veiled threats along with the very real threats that would shatter our very way of life. You are not Patriots !
Please just go away. America really does not need you.