Saturday, November 22, 2008

Victory in Iraq

Today, we declare Victory.

Victory over the forces of Muqtada Al-Sadr and his Mahdi army.
Victory over Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Since September, Iraq has been safer for US Servicemen and Women than it was during the No Fly Zone enforcement.

Since May, the average number of deaths per day has been .67 casualties/day. This includes deaths outside of the Theatre of Action, outside of Iraq, and deaths from accidents and mechanical failures.

In fact, it is safer to live in Baghdad right now, than it is lo live in Chicago.

Will there still be deaths? Yes, and some of them will come in combat. Remember, that some members of the Japanese Imperial Army and Navy where still fighting WWII into their old age.

While the deaths of US Soldiers is a tragedy, the more so after the war is actually over, the continued presence of Soldiers in Iraq means one very simple thing.

We learned from our failure at the end of Charlie Wilson's War, and we are not going to fuck up this end game.

Thank you to all those who have served, and my prayers for all who have died. You have done your job, it's our turn now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Putin Kills and Beijing Cracks heads

Well, yet ANOTHER reporter is dead in Russia today. And yes, he does fit the profile we have seen so far. He spoke out against Putin. It is kinda scary to watch the KGB thug kill people who stand in his way. The KGB is kinda like Eagle Scouts or the Marine Corps in one very important respect, once a member ALWAYS a member.

On the Chinese Front. Woo Hoo for Freedom of Speech violations. It would seem that China is going to war with Internet News. That's right, the Propaganda Ministry is hatching a plan to combat Internet News. But they are doing it in a strange method. Instead of HIDING the news until they feel that it is time to report on it and spinning it the way they want, they will report it as it happens, and then revising the coverage to as the events un fold and pretend it has always been the way they report it.

Propaganda Chief Li Changchun, in fear that the Ministry will lose control over Information in China stated, "Let us use the method of providing news as the way to control news." Wow, they are controlling the news!? Shocking. *rolls eyes* The faces change, but the facts seem to stay the same.

The Times Online quoted an unamed source (smart man, not giving his name in Bloody China) had this to say on the matter.

The new approach is aimed at ensuring that ultimate control of at least the most sensitive information remains in party hands. The source told The Times: “The principle is to report an incident as soon as possible without the need to inform the leaders in advance.”

Already this has streamlined official reporting of some events.

In the past, major news would be allowed into the public eye only after careful vetting by senior officials. The source said: “In the past, when something happened the usual practice was that a senior person would hold off and say he would report to the leadership. And once something was reported to the leadership then they would issue an order for a media blackout.”

They also said that they withold information that might prove incindiary. Really? They are afraid of Unrest? Well, that doesn't make any sense. After all, the people of China love the government right?

Yeah, they do. As much as the people of Iraq loved Saddam Hussein or the people of Russia loved Stalin. Love him or have your arms sawed off. [/hyperoble]

China is sitting atop a powder keg. It is why their military Districts are all internal, and up until recently, most of their personell have been trained in how to put down uprisings and peaceful protests (emphasis on the Protests if Tianmen Square is any indication).

The Times online had a list of soem of the best (read worst) violations of trust by the official media.

— It took China 18 years before it broke its silence to reveal that 694 people – including 597 children – had died in a Chinese New Year’s Day inferno in a crowded cinema in 1977. There was no explanation for the delay in the news

— In 1975, 62 dams in central Henan province crumbled over the course of three days or were intentionally destroyed amid record rainfall, killing at least 175,000 people in the worst such recorded disaster in history. Government figures were declassified only in 2005

— The extent of the 2003 outbreak of Sars, right, was originally underreported. The Chinese Government was eventually forced to release accurate figures only after a Chinese doctor blew the whistle

— Chinese officials paid high sums in compensation to families of workers who died during the building of the Bird’s Nest Stadium to ensure their silence. China admitted the deaths of two workers only after a report by The Sunday Times in January of this year

— The Government was slow to respond to contamination of milk that led to the deaths of at least four infants and the hospitalisation of 12,892. It admitted partial guilt in October and arrested 36 manufacturers

More on these can be found ont he Times Online story here.

Also, there was a riot in Northwest China. Not much ont he story, but I bet they will be crackign down even more. This is China after all. The circumstances that sparked it kind of reminds me of Eminent Domain for some reason...

Oh, and Breitbart had this choice piece of information on a story about an Activist who is having her residence demolished out from under her. Makes my comments about Property Rights being the most neccessary and basic of all Individual Rights more relevant eh?
As all land belongs to the state in China, local officials enjoy immense powers to determine land-use rights, and critics say residents and farmers are often forcefully evicted in shady deals between the government and developers

Friday, November 7, 2008

The KGB is Back in town, and just as bad as ever

Well folks, if you are in Russia, say goodbye to any liberties you MIGHT have had. Medvedev, acting on the orders of Putin no doubt, has ordered their internal police to strike down dissent.

Citing the economic crisis, he has stated that his law enforcement should strike down on any group that protests publicly against the government. I expect that the Ultranationalists and the Communist Diehards will not be struck down there, as Putin seems to want to brign back their ideals.

Time will tell, but one thing is for sure.

The KGB is back, baby, and the reporters need to head for the doors. Those who remain will not live long.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Say goodbye to Lebanon

Hezbollah is actign the part of Fifth column right now. And Syria couldn't be happier. If you are wondering what I am talking about, read on.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Lebanon. Not as soft as Israel when it comes to the Middle East, but it is still a soft spot. Why such a soft spot? Because until we kicked out Saddam Hussein and gave Iraq a real democracy, the only other Arab Democracy in the Middle East was Egypt, and Egypt had a habit of kicking their Christians when they where down.

Lebanon on the other hand, had a 40% Christian Population and a 2% Jewish Population, and treated them well. Freedom of religion was very important to them. In fact, they where behind only Israel in terms of numbers of Foreign Inhabitants.

They have had their problems, with Muslim on Christian civil wars, sparked by refugees fleeing the Jordanian Occupation of the West Bank after the Seven Days War. The PLO set down roots in Lebanon during this time, and used it as a launching point to attack Israeli forces in the Golan Heights, and eventually led to the creation of the Pro-Syrian Terrorist Organization, Hezbollah.

For a long time now, Lebanon has been a vassal. A virtual slave state of Syria. However, that began to change with the Cedar Revolution. Following the assassination of Rafiq Bahaa El Deen Al-Hariri, an anti-Syrian leader in Lebanon, the people of Lebanon began to do everythign they could to throw off the bonds of Syrian Control and gain their freedom.

Now, Syria is massing troops on the border with Lebanon, and war seems imminent. I urge Israel to stand with Lebanon, and call on Egypt to stand beside both of them. Syria is a threat to peace, and has been funelling funds and weapons to Hezbollah. The best thing that could happen to the Middle East right now would be to see Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Egypt to become true Democracies and to stand beside Israel in times of conflict and across the table in opposition in times of peace.

I can hope and dream for this day of peace. I understand it is a logn way from coming true, but it is on the horizon, and the first steps will be for Israel and Egypt to stand with Lebanon, and create a union of Democracies in the Middle East.

Only time will tell.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Zimbabwe: A Problem and Solutions

Mugabe, Democratically Elected or a Self-Made Tyrant? It is a question that needs answering. Though opinions differ from place to place, the general concensus is that there is a problem in Zimbabwe that needs a solution. But first, we need to define the nation and what kind of government it has.

Ian Bremmer, author of The J-Curve, places the Republic of Zimbabwe in the category of Closed Stability. This is a dangerous position to be in. Should outside influence seep in, then the entire nation could collapse into instability where it will either be destroyed the way that Yugoslavia was, or it will survive the way South Africa was able to do.

However, with the increasing amounts of Human Rights Violations in Zimbabwe, a change will come. The problem is, that if the change is not timed right, then the nation will collapse.

In a nation categorised as Closed Stability, the government and nation are held together through force, both of Charisma and Strength, by the leader of the nation. This necessitates it being a Fear Society.

The Concept of Free vs. Fear Societies was explored by Natan Sharansky in his book, The Case for Democracy. In it,he described Fear Societies as those that fail the "Town Square Test." The "Town Square Test" is a very simple one. Go out into the town square, and express your opinions and beliefs. If you are beaten down and oppressed for stating an opinion contrary to the government, you live in a Fear Society.

Thus, we have a dangerous situation in Zimbabwe. For a Fear Society to remain stable, they must have an enemy that allows them to remain closed. Though the United States has provided that enemy to Cuba and North Korea, cracks are showing there to indicate our continuing pressure on the government is working.

However, there is no such activity in and around Zimbabwe. Though we give aid to the people of Zimbabwe, we have not put any real pressure on Mugabe to change. Thus, he is able to name a successor who will continue to run the government the way that Mugabe wants it run, which will see further Human Rights abuses until critical mass is reached.

While our Food Aid to the starving people of Zimbabwe is all well and good, there is more we can do. These unarmed aid runs are vulnerable to the military forces of the nation. There is a solution though.

Armed Food Runs. During Operation Restore Hope, whose sub-operation, Gothic Serpent, was the subject of the Blockbuster Black Hawk Down, US Special Forces sent in to escort the food shipments where force to sit and watch as Technicals operated by forces loyal to Aidid shot and killed food distrubuters and seized UN Food shipments.

Thus, a new Paradigm must be put into place. The government need to use Armed Escorts of Food Aid into Zimbabwe, and authorize the gunners of Balckhawk Helicopters to fire on any who would fire on the distributors and victims. We can park a Nimitz Class Air Craft Carrier off the coast of Africa, and use the Sea King, and SH-60 Sea Hawks to run food and medicine to the people.

This can be done all over Africa, and thus, we can help the people rise up non-violently, and create the institutions that allow for long term stability within a nation. The days of Monarchies and Dictatorships is over. With the Freedom of Information available to the world these days, closed societies are doomed to failure. Thus, we must do what we can to change them from Closed to open, and try to maintain their stability in the process.

The United States is already trying that through the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly the School Of Americas, and we can do it here too.

Next, I will discuss the SOA, and the myths that surround the school.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I would like to start this blog by commending the protesters across the route of the torch for making their voice heard, and special kudos to those protesters in Paris who doused the Olympic Flame thrice during the run. Despite the paramilitary thugs who have been "Guarding the Torch," the pc term for manhandling any and all protesters away from the cameras in a try to silence all opposition, these protesters have been doing everything they can to show the world that the IOC made a huge mistake in sending the games to China.

This is not the first time they have done something this stupid. the first example being the 1936 Olympics in Germany during the height of NAZI rule, and the second being the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Why where these mistakes? Because both times they were placed in an Oppressive Regimes. The United States did the right thing when they boycotted the 1980 Olympics, and I urge them to do so again. Germany is already considering doing that, and nations all across The Continent, are going to be boycotting the Opening Ceremony.

China has a horrible Human Rights Record, and with the entirety of the world stage turned to look at China, I hope that those going to them do everything they can to highligh the Chinese Human Rights Record, hopefully including the Tibetan and Taiwanese flags in their processions if possible.

From here on out, the IOC needs to take into account the current Human Rights record of a nation when they place the Olympics, and need to look to Brazil, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, France, Germany, Greenland, etc. These nations have shown them selves to be upright citizens of the world, and are worthy of hosting the Olympics.

Oh, and that nonsense by Iran of not allowing them to compete with Israeli athletes, if you are so much better, then prove it by meeting them on the field.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Protesting China's Hosting of Olympics

In San Francisco today, Tibetan immigrants made the city a center of Protest against the People's Republic's continuing domination of their nation, and the on-going torture being used in China on any and all who disagree with the government.

The protesters called on the mayor of San Francisco to reject the carrying of the Olympic Torch through the city due to the nation's use of torture. Though I can not be there on the 9th of April to help with the protesters, I plan on doing what I can to show my solidarity with the Tibetans on this issue, along with those of the countless people within China who shall be protesting in their hearts.

China's policy of torturing and or killing those who disagree with them is coming to light.

And thus, the red star continues to crack.