Category Archives: Interventionism

Hard times for Neocons

The most vivid illustration of how unnatural and unstable the DC regime has become was the orgy of mutual recrimination that followed the collapse of the Iraq and Afghanistan adventures. As the flimsy lies that united the bizarre coalition of war supporters became too glaring to deny, public support evaporated. Those who had convinced their constituencies to overlook their differences and rally ’round the flag quickly resorted to demonizing their former bedfellows. It got nasty at times.

You can deny reality for only so long. Really now: How long could we pretend the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan could hide behind such fantasies as Andrew Sullivan’s War of Global Gay Liberation, Charles Johnson’s Crusade against Tradition, and Free Republic’s Great Patriotic War?

Little wonder that the War Party is descending these days into increasingly shrill and unhinged attempts to revive public support for perpetual war. The silliest in recent memory is Michael Gerson’s warning that Americans have  ”overlearned” the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, to paraphrase Gerson, “Americans made a huge mistake in 2003: They trusted us Neocons. But that doesn’t mean you should never trust us again when we want to attack another country that has not threatened or attacked us.”

Even worse, says Gerson, by not invading Libya, Georgia, and Syria, just to name a few countries begging for another US-led “liberation,” Americans are increasingly showing “tolerance of crimes against humanity.” Yes, that’s what he said.

If we really cared about the people in other countries, we’d bomb them. Keeping out of other people’s wars demonstrates a lack of compassion.

Of course, Gerson somehow forgets the ACTUAL results of past US interventions. Just to list a few:

- Vietnam, 1960-75 — Two million Vietnamese killed in longest US war.
 - Indonesia, 1965 — CIA-backed overthrow of Sukarno in 1965 resulted in estimated death of one million people.
 - Cambodia, 1969-75 — US carpet bombing killed two million people.
 - El Salvador, 1981-92 — troops and air power assisted death squads, 75,000 people killed.
 - Serbia — Clinton’s ‘Wag the Dog’ Air War in 1999 killed 6,000 Serbian troops and 2,000 civilians.
 - Iraq — US-led sanctions result in the estimated deaths of over one million civilians, from 1990 to 2003. And the Iraqi invasion and occupation has killed over 700 US troops, 5,000 Iraqi troops, and 8,000 civilians.

But Neocons, like the leftists from which they mutated, are at war with reality. We’re supposed to focus on the nobility of their theories, not the real-world consequences of their policies.

Students for Liberty vs. Ron Paul on Crimea

In case you haven’t been following this, there has been a bit of a dust up in non-interventionist circles. Students for Liberty President Alexander McCobin publically criticized Ron Paul over his statements on the Crimean situatuion. Since then, it has been time, as they say, to “get the popcorn.” I’m working on a longer response to this. As you probably guess, I side with Ron Paul. But I figured I need to cover this situation so here is a list of links.

Here is the original McCorbin post that got it all started.

Here is the original, as far as I can tell, reaction from BuzzFeed.

The (anti-Paul) Washington Free Beacon quickly picked up the story.

Reason chimes in.

Ron Paul’s Institute responds. (Perhaps too harshly?)

McCorbin replies.

Dave Weigel of Slate opines. (Weigel is interesting in cases like these. Weigel currently has anti-paleo biases, but because he once traveled in our circles before going a different dirrection, he gets the subtext better than most.)

Justin Raimondo is his typical firey self at Anti-War.com.

John Glaser says not so fast.

Raimondo steps on the gas.

Anthont Gregory calls for a truce.

Robert Wenzel sides with Ron Paul at LewRockwell.com

Whew! See what I mean about getting the popcorn?

Crimea Votes to Secede and Join Russia … America and Europe Call it Illegal

The Crimean vote is illegal … but the coup against the duly elected* President in Kiev was legal?

Fireworks exploded and Russian flags fluttered above jubilant crowds Sunday after residents in Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. The United States and Europe condemned the ballot as illegal and destabilizing and were expected to slap sanctions on Russia for it.

*As duly elected as any person in that region can be given rampant corruption and outside meddling.

Hmmm … maybe I was on  to something when I pointed out neocon hypocrisy on this issue here.

Neocon Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

As a Southern paleocon who has often argued with Unionist neocons over the virtue of the Union invasion of the South and the merits of Lincoln, the current events taking place in Ukraine and the neocons’ reaction to it has me scratching my head. Let’s see…

Neocons, especially those of the Straussian variety, allegedly oppose secession. They oppose the historic secession of the South and reject secession as a legitimate political option for US states at present.

As a result of their inherent nationalism and opposition to secession, neocons venerate Abraham Lincoln above any other American.

Ukraine is a product of a quiet recent, historically speaking, secession from the former Soviet Union.

Putin is reoccupying part of Ukraine.

Therefore, if neocons are to be intellectually consistent, shouldn’t they support Putin as a Lincolnesq figure attempting to restore a political entity, the USSR, that traitorous upstart secessionist in Ukraine have recently ripped apart? And just as they should view Putin as a modern day Lincoln, shouldn’t they view the Russian Army as a modern day equivalent of the Union Army, and the Ukraine military as a modern equivalent of the Rebel Confederate Army?

But instead, the neocons are supporting the former secessionist Ukrainian revolutionaries and opposing Lincolnesq Putin’s attempt to reoccupy a former Soviet territory.

Hmmm…?

In a similar situation, Bill Clinton’s ordered American troops to intervene in the Balkans.

In the Balkan intervention, American troops were facilitating the secession of Bosnia from part of the former Yugoslavia.

If neocons are to be intellectually consistent, shouldn’t they have opposed the secession of Bosnia? Shouldn’t they have likened the US forces in the Balkans to the Confederate Army for facilitating secession and Clinton to Jefferson Davis?

Instead, neocons enthusiastically supported Clinton’s Bosnian intervention even while many conservatives at the time were returning to their non-interventionist roots and opposing the action.

Hmmm…?

Perhaps it isn’t really secession that neocons oppose. They seem quite happy with secession when it is breaking up countries that they view as challenging US hegemony. Perhaps the real problem they have with the secession of the South or the modern secession of US states is that it challenges their (mistaken) conception of America as a unitary modern state with a special mission to spread the values of liberal democracy across the globe.

Hmmm…?

Originally posted at Intellectual Conservative.

Archived at www.danphillipsmd.com.

Is Rand Paul the Best Non-interventionists Can Hope For?

My new column “Is Rand Paul the Best Non-interventionists Can Hope For?” is up at Intellectual Conservative. I plan to submit full length columns there more often. Here is an excerpt:

Bolton and King are clearly attempting to counter Rand Paul and his perceived libertarian tendencies, but this says at least as much about the paranoia and absolutism of the uber-hawks as it does about Rand Paul. Among non-interventionists, Rand Paul is widely viewed as a disappointment. The reasons for this warrant a separate article, but suffice it to say that while Rand Paul is better on foreign policy than your average Republican, he is not his father by a long shot.

Principled non-interventionists are often lectured by more pragmatic types that Rand Paul is the best we’ve got so we should make the best of it, but if the uber-hawks want a clear messenger like King or Bolton for their hawkishness despite the presence of more credible candidates who are mostly with them, why shouldn’t non-interventionists yearn for a clear messenger for their cause? While I think the super hawks are dangerously wrong, I admire that they are pro-actively seeking a spokesman to their liking for their message.

Read more…

I would prefer that you comment at IC if you would like to comment, so it looks like my articles are attracking interest. Registration is required. Thanks.

Update: This article has now been added to my personal blog.

A Christian/Biblical Case for Non-intervention

Joel McDurmon has an article up at the American Vision website discussing a Greg Bahnsen lecture on the Christian perspective on war. He links to the article from his FaceBook page, which is how I came across it.

Those familiar with Bahnsen and McDurmon will know that they are arguing from a theonomic premise, but one does not have to be a theonomist to understand the importance of making an explicitly Biblical case regarding the proper justification for and conduct of war. Too many evangelical Christians have been cheerleaders for our current interventionist foreign policy. While they may not end up being persuaded, they at least can’t reject out a hand an argument that is based on Biblical exegesis. They will at least, if they are sincere, be forced to examine their beliefs. It is important to have an explicitly Christian argument against war that is not just pacifism out there.

As an aside, as I said in the FaceBook thread, I’m curious what the American Vision boss, Gary DeMar, thinks about this. My FaceBook comment is below:

As a long time conservative non-interventionist, I’m thrilled that Dr. McDurmon is making this case, and glad it is finding a home on the American Vision website. But as a blogger who often covers intra-paleosphere conflicts, I am very curious to know what the boss thinks of this. As far as I can recall, Gary DeMar has been generally supportive of America’s interventionist foreign policy, or at least hasn’t spoken against it. If I’m wrong about this or if DeMar has a had a change of heart I would be glad to know that, but for certain he has vocally spoken out against third party voting which has unfortunately been the only option for conservative non-interventionists for many years.

Resistance to DC rising

“The Yankee is compelled to toil to make the world go around.” Admiral Raphael Semmes, CSN

Pat Buchanan has a must-read piece that is perfect in every way except for its inappropriate title, “Why Neo-Isolationism Is Soaring.” My nit-pick is that “isolationism” is what interventionists use to slam those who question their endless wars. It’s the equivalent of the use of “racist” to put down anyone who objects to socialism — which is exactly what that term means. And as I’ve argued before, the interventionist abroad validates and reinforces the interventionist at home. Both have an other-worldly ideal that mere humanity never quite lives up to, requiring the noble idealists to spill a little more blood. All in the name of doing good, you see.

Pat points out that the interventionists have directly harmed this country. The facts he presents cannot be argued:

We invaded Panama, intervened in Haiti and Mogadishu, launched Desert Storm to liberate Kuwait, bombed Serbia for 78 days to force it to surrender its cradle province of Kosovo.

Came then the blowback of 9/11, following which we had the Afghan war to overthrow the Taliban and create a new democracy in the Hindu Kush, the invasion and occupation of Iraq to strip Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction he did not have, and the air war on Libya.

Others may celebrate the fruits of these wars but consider the costs:

A decade of bleeding with 8,000 U.S. dead, 40,000 wounded, $2 trillion sunk, Iraq and Libya disintegrating in tribal, civil and sectarian war, Afghanistan on the precipice, and al-Qaida no longer confined to Tora Bora but active in Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

While America was caught up in these wars, China swept past Britain, France, Germany and Japan to emerge as the second largest economy on earth. Using her $250-$300 billion annual trade surpluses with the United States, she has been locking up resources across Africa, Latin America, Australia and Asia.

Now Beijing has declared its own Monroe Doctrine to encompass the East and South China seas and all islands therein and to challenge the United States for hegemony over the Western Pacific.

The Afghan and Iraq wars, we should note, were supported by big-government interventionists of both the left and right. What’s scary is that the same coalition is still at it today, demanding war on Iran, and blasting those who courageously uncover illegal surveillance by the federal government. Despite their differences, the left and right interventionists are united in their support of a powerful centralized government and the demonization of dissent.

The bottom line is that they’re both cheering while the federal government chips away at what’s left of our liberty. That makes them part of the problem, not the solution. Let’s not forget that.

We need a dictator!

David Brooks is frustrated. Congress won’t grant amnesty to all those potential Americans “hiding in the shadows,” it can’t pass gun control, and it hasn’t given us any fun wars lately. Brooks is also disappointed by the American public’s lack of enthusiasm for DC’s military adventures. Members of Congress, always mindful of the next election, aren’t about to further alienate voters. That makes Brooks sad. Brooks, a thorough Neocon, gleefully backed the Iraq War as a means to achieve “national greatness.” To him, a strong central government is the answer to everything, since, in his own words, “ultimately, American purpose can find its voice only in Washington.”

The solution? Brooks says it’s time for the president to assume more power and get things rolling again. Here’s his argument, from an opinion piece entitled Strengthen the Presidency:

Here are the advantages. First, it is possible to mobilize the executive branch to come to policy conclusion on something like immigration reform. It’s nearly impossible for Congress to lead us to a conclusion about anything. Second, executive branch officials are more sheltered from the interest groups than Congressional officials. Third, executive branch officials usually have more specialized knowledge than staffers on Capitol Hill and longer historical memories. Fourth, Congressional deliberations, to the extent they exist at all, are rooted in rigid political frameworks.

What should Obama do, in Brooks’s opinion? Simple: “So how do you energize the executive? It’s a good idea to be tolerant of executive branch power grabs and to give agencies flexibility.”

Yeah — nothing like a few “executive branch power grabs” to liven things up.

Don’t dismiss this as just the ravings of a typical government supremacist. What Brooks is advocating is a very real, very frightening possibility. Obama is already taking steps to do exactly what Brooks is talking about. Obama has appointed long-time DC insider John Podesta to his senior staff. Podesta has long been an open advocate of a powerful chief executive. In a Center for American Progress paper in 2010 entitled, “The Power of the President: Recommendations to Advance Progressive Change,” Podesta wrote: “Concentrating on executive powers presents a real opportunity for the Obama administration to turn its focus away from a divided Congress and the unappetizing process of making legislative sausage.”

Liberty activists should fear this man. Podesta’s progressive ideology is a blueprint for the welfare-warfare state:

In 2008, Podesta authored his book The Power of Progress: How America’s Progressives Can (Once Again) Save Our Economy, Our Climate, and Our Country. In it, he articulates a vision of progressive values based on four core lessons: 1) Progressives stand with people, not privilege; 2) Progressives believe in the Common Good and a government that offers a hand up; 3) Progressives hold that all people are equal in the eyes of God and under the law; and 4) Progressives stand for universal human rights and cooperative global security.

(Catch that last line? And some people don’t believe me when I argue that civil rights and militarism are DC’s yin and yang.) Like all DC insiders, John Podesta knows how to deploy his noble-sounding ideals to turn a buck:

Since President Obama entered office in 2008, Boeing has spent $840,000 on The Podesta Group’s services, relying on the firm to lobby in favor of lucrative defense appropriations at the White House and on Capitol Hill.

What can we expect from Obama in the coming months? More wars, more forced multiculturalism, more authoritarian government.

In other words, what we can expect from ANY administration.

A Couple of Links on the Budget Deal

We criticized Jack Hunter here for his PC inspired backtracking, but that doesn’t mean he is no longer capable of good commentary. Here is a Hunter column on the budget deal. The GOP can’t be trusted to cut spending because they are too wedded to big spending on the military. Military spending is the untold story behind why so many Republicans went with Ryan’s budget cave. On a side note, I guess Hunter is back with a regular column at The Daily Caller. I suppose his Politico mea culpa was the price of re-admission.

We also recently criticized Jim Antle for his attempt to finesse the Mandela issue, but he is still capable of good commentary as well. Here he is on the budget deal. He sees the budget deal as what it is, a big cave-in for the House GOP.

Potential 2016 GOP Candidates not Looking Good

Here is a Townhall 2016 straw poll. Vote if you like. It’s quick. You do have to enter your e-mail which will get you on some e-mail list, but I already get Townhall e-mails so no biggy. You can also always unsubscribe. I post this mainly to illustrate how abysmal the potential 2016 lineup is. I voted other/none of the above because write-in were not allowed.

Here is the list of candidates:

Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida
Benjamin Carson, Doctor of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University
Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey
Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas
Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana
John Kasich, Governor of Ohio
Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska
Rand Paul, Senator from Kentucky
Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana
Rick Perry, Governor of Texas
Marco Rubio, Senator from Florida
Paul Ryan, Congressman from Wisconsin
Rick Santorum, former Senator from Pennsylvania
Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin
Other/None of the Above

What a sorry lot. Rand Paul is the closest to acceptable. As I said before, we need to start talking up potential acceptable GOP primary candidates and potential Constitution Party and Libertarian Party candidates.

Here is the comment I left.

There is no one in this list that represents non-interventionist conservatives. Rand Paul comes the closest, but he has already drifted too far away from the principled non-intervention of his father. I will not vote for a GOP interventionist. If they don’t do better than this it will be third party for me in 2016.

Let’s Discuss the Iran Deal

I was away for Thanksgiving so please excuse the recent lack of posts. Let’s get things started back up by discussing the Iran deal, which has already come up in a different thread anyway.

First of all, I’m glad there was a deal. I think a deal makes war with Iran less likely, not more, despite the objections of the war hawks that it makes war more likely. The reason they don’t like the deal is because they really don’t believe it makes war more likely and war is what they want. If they really thought it made war more likely then they would be cynically cheering it on.

That said, the deal irks me on a visceral level because I reject the premise upon which it is based. As I have said before, I think it is in America’s best interests that Iran not get nukes. I don’t think Iran is suicidal enough to use nukes on us, but a nuclear Iran would likely change the regional balance of power. And while the regional balance of power isn’t all that great at present, I would file these concerns under the “Devil you do know” catagory. So I have no objection to the US using regular mechanisms of diplomacy (which don’t include sanctions which are arguably an act of war) to attempt to dissuade Iran from getting nukes. The premise I reject is that a sovereign nation and/or some international outfit (in this case the 5 + 1) can ultimately tell another sovereign nation what weapons it can or can’t have.

Reaction to the deal has generally been as expected. Non-interventionists cons have generally been supportive (See TAC for example.) Interventionist cons have been skeptical at best and in panic mood at worst (See Jennifer Rubin for example.). Our friend Sempronius pointed out in the other thread that Thomas Fleming has expressed some skepticism about the deal in the comments of this Srdja Trifkovic’s article. I’ll admit I was a little surprised by his remarks, but not totally. Dr. Fleming believes that Carter responded inadequately to the hostage crisis, and that he was honor bound to respond in a way other than how he did. Dr. Fleming has always been concerned, from my reading of him, with the issues of honor and appearances. Once you have publicly made known your allies and interests then you are honor bound to stick with them lest you appear feckless and untrustworthy on the international stage. I don’t want to put words in Dr. Fleming’s mouth. Read his replies. While I don’t agree, his points make sense in context and aren’t quite the abandonment of non-intervention that Sempronius and company are making it out to be.

I agree that the complicity of the Iranian Regime in the hostage situation potentially warranted a military response and that Carter could have handled that situation better, but at this point I don’t think that has much to do with the current situation except to the degree that it supports Dr. Fleming’s contention that Iran (and Iranians) just aren’t to be trusted. And I do appreciate the issue of appearances and honor on the world stage. While I’m glad we avoided war in Syria for example, it isn’t good for appearances that America publicly got played on the world stage by Putin. I don’t think this agreement necessarily appears bad for the US. In fact, it potentially appears good for us because it demonstrates we are capable of reasonableness. But the issue of appearances is one reason why I think declared neutrality is such an appealing option. If you simply declare your neutrality and lack of desire to meddle anymore, then you can’t look weak or dishonorable. No one thinks Switzerland looks bad because of how something went down ib Syria.

Townhall Publishes Review of Paul Gottfried’s Book on Leo Strauss – Progress?

Recently I asked if Townhall’s publication of an anti-neocon article represented progress? Now they have published a review of Paul Gottfried’s Leo Strauss book (which is now available in paperback and reasonably affordable.) I don’t know if Townhall just likes Jack Kerwick and publishes most of what he sends them, or if this demonstrates some sort of progress. Thoughts?

One thing that I think is hurting the neocons with the activist base, is that they are being increasingly associated with the Establishment faction in favor of moderation, compromise and coming to terms with big government. This association is not at all unfair as most of the notable neocon spokesmen sided with the Establishment against Cruz and the defund ObamaCare effort. I don’t believe that most of the base has abandoned interventionism in theory, but I do think they now have little stomach for actual wars as demonstrated by their strong opposition to intervention in Syria. And I do think they are becoming increasingly aware of the budgetary consequences of our current policy. This linkage of the strongly interventionist faction with the centrist faction can only help the cause of non-intervention.

Pentagon training manual: white males have unfair advantages

Imagine a deluded soul who claims to despise the Mafia, but gets teary-eyed about the bravery of its gunmen. That’s pretty much what housebroken conservatives do when they rage about DC’s assaults on our liberty but insist true patriots support the regime’s wars and armed forces.

This story should open some eyes about what those armed forces are armed to enforce:

A controversial 600-plus page manual used by the military to train its Equal Opportunity officers teaches that “healthy, white, heterosexual, Christian” men hold an unfair advantage over other races, and warns in great detail about a so-called “White Male Club.”

“Simply put, a healthy, white, heterosexual, Christian male receives many unearned advantages of social privilege, whereas a black, homosexual, atheist female in poor health receives many unearned disadvantages of social privilege,” reads a statement in the manual created by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI).

The military document advises personnel to “assume racism is everywhere, every day” and “notice code words for race.” They are also instructed to “understand and learn from the history of whiteness and racism.”

“Assume racism is everywhere, everyday,” read a statement in a section titled, ‘How to be a strong ‘white ally.’”

“One of the privileges of being white is not having to see or deal with racism all the time,” the manual states. “We have to learn to see the effect that racism has.”

DC has pursued an egalitarian agenda since it squared off with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Our handlers decided that the best way to counter Soviet ideology was to emulate it. Thus was born the Civil Rights Revolution, which birthed open borders, the homosexual rights movement, and a domestic army of race hustlers.

Check out who authored the diktats from the Pentagon’s new manual:

I obtained a copy of the manual from an Equal Opportunity officer who was disturbed by the course content and furious over the DEOMI’s reliance on the Southern Poverty Law Center for information on “extremist” groups.

In other words, another leaker who couldn’t stomach what his government was doing made the courageous decision to expose what was going on—much like Edward Snowden. And just as in the Snowden affair, the heel-clickers will howl that only unpatriotic, hating extremists oppose what “our” armed forces are doing. That’s because the post 9/11 definition of a patriot is a person who supports all of the Pentagon’s urges, no matter how totalitarian and self-destructive they are.

Finally, click on the following story if you aren’t convinced the US military, like every other tentacle of the DC Empire, is a force of evil:

Two men married at West Point chapel for first time

Are you mad enough yet?

2 years after US military departure, Iraq asking for new help to battle al-Qaida

Oh, good Lord, here we go again:

Nearly two years after pushing out the U.S. military, Iraq is asking for more American weapons, training and manpower to help fight a bloody resurgence of al-Qaida that has unleashed a level of violence comparable to the darkest days of the nation’s civil war….

Al-Maliki is expected to ask Obama for new assistance to bolster its military and fight al-Qaida. Faily said that could include everything from speeding up the delivery of U.S. aircraft, missiles, interceptors and other weapons, to improving national intelligence systems. And when asked, he did not rule out the possibility of asking the U.S. to send military special forces or additional CIA advisers to Iraq to help train and assist counterterror troops.

First of all, let’s remember that al-Qaida DID NOT EXIST in Iraq until W the Conqueror invaded, destroying the existing political order and unleashing fresh conflict between the Sunnis and Shiites. al-Qaeda is Sunni, and represents the most visible example of 4th generation warfare, which is characterized by long-term, decentralized conflict conducted by non-governmental entities. For any government, especially the US government, to stick its nose into such a conflict would be worse than poking a hornet’s nest–imagine the barriers collapsing between the honey badger, wolverine, and dingo exhibits at the zoo, and rushing in with a butterfly net.

But surely Obama, that “peacenik liberal,” would never consider getting us mired in that nightmare. Would he? From Fox News:

Administration officials consider the insurgency, which has rebranded itself as the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant, a major and increasing threat both to Iraq and the U.S., the official said.

Well, it WOULD get people’s minds off the ObamaCare fiasco…

Op-ed Specifically Denouncing Neoconservatism Published at Townhall.com

Townhall.com is as generic a movement con organ as you can find, yet they published this op-ed from Jack Kerwick specifically condemning neoconservatism. This is progress. I don’t think this would have passed muster five years ago, certainly not ten years ago.

If the Democratic Party’s control of the presidency and the Senate can succeed in provoking the base of the GOP to reevaluate its collective political identity, then it all may just have been worth it.

Maybe—maybe—the internecine conflict currently on display in the GOP indicates a breakdown of that political philosophy that has dominated Republican Party politics, as well as the so-called “conservative movement,” for decades.

The name of this philosophy is neoconservatism, and it isn’t a version of conservatism at all.

Read more …

The truth that neoconservatism is not a form of conservatism is one that can’t be repeated often enough, even though it’s a point that is well understood by most readers of a site like this. Sometimes repetition is necessary if people have repeatedly been told the opposite.

Obama to tap ex-Pentagon official for Homeland Security

What do you think is going to come of this changing of the guard at the Department of Homeland Security? I have an idea:

President Obama plans to nominate former Pentagon attorney Jeh Johnson as the next secretary of homeland security, officials said Thursday.

Johnson, general counsel for the Defense Department during Obama’s first term, will be introduced by the president at a ceremony on Friday.

Mr. Johnson has compared DC’s wars and assassinations to the work of Martin Luther King—a prime example of how liberalism and especially Civil Right Mythology provide cover for militarism.

In his new position, Johnson will certainly push aggressively to expand DC’s reach and power, while continuing to promote a leftist agenda—again, giving a benign face to global bullying while silencing potential dissent from the left. From the USA Today article:

His specialties include cybersecurity, officials said. He played a key role in repealing the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prohibited gay service members.

Johnson, who left his Pentagon post in 2012, also provided legal guidance in the use of unmanned drones against terrorism suspects overseas, and the use of military commissions — rather than civilian courts — to try suspects.

The homeland security nominee also led a crackdown on unauthorized new leaks at the Defense Department, including a warning to a former Navy SEAL who wrote a book about the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

After all, now that Republicans have caved to EVERY Obama demand, they’re washed up as a brake on Obama’s agenda. Obama now only has to satisfy his left wing–and they’re looking pretty contented at the moment.

Before You Rejoice…

The pro-war, any war crowd is whooping and hollering over Obama’s kidnapping of Abu Anas al-Libi. These folks may not like many of Obama’s policies, but any exercise of executive force makes them melt into puddles of red-white-and-blue love.

Judge Andrew Napolitano offers these words of warning to this kind of behavior:

Fact: We are not at war with Libya. Fact: We cannot lawfully – under international law, American law or Libyan law – engage in law enforcement or offensive operations in Libya without the express consent of the local and national authorities. Fact: As a defendant in federal court in the Second Circuit, al-Libi must be brought to a federal judge in New York City within 48 hours of his arrest.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for him in lower Manhattan, as the feds will “debrief” al-Libi aboard ship before turning him over to federal prosecutors for trial. One can only imagine what that debriefing will be like. It will no doubt consist of torture. That’s why the interrogation is being conducted on the high seas, where the government will claim it is free to disobey any federal law. And that’s why the Geneva Conventions prohibit housing prisoners of war aboard ship.

The rogue regime in DC knows this, but does not care. At the moment, it feels immune to blowback, despite the lesson of 9/11. Let’s see how much longer it can keep its eyes shut to reality.

Those patriots who swoon at the sight of “our” boys in action had better remember that this is a “global” war on terror, and the armed forces of the DC Empire not only claim that its power extends to the “homeland,” but that the rules of engagement–actually, no rules limiting who can be detained or even snuffed–also apply to the entire globe. That includes the place where you live.

“American Exceptionalism” = Yankee Supremacy

In a recent open letter to the American people, Russian president Vladimir Putin assured us he likes and respects us, but asked us to realize we’re embarrassing ourselves and doing a lot of harm with our delusion of “American Exceptionalism.” Both the mainstream American left and right rushed to prop up our most beloved myth against this iconoclastic Cossack.

What’s interesting is that both wings of accepted American thought agree on what “exceptionalism” means–and more significantly, that both, though supposedly rivals, are actually in lockstep on all other major issues as a result.

For example, liberal columnist Dana Milbank shot back at President Putin with this bristling retort:

When we say we are exceptional, what we really are saying is we are different. With few exceptions, we are all strangers to our land; our families came from all corners of the world and brought all of its colors, religions and languages. We believe this mixing, together with our free society, has produced generations of creative energy and ingenuity, from the Declaration of Independence to Facebook, from Thomas Jefferson to Miley Cyrus. There is no other country quite like that.

Americans aren’t better than others, but our American experience is unique — exceptional — and it has created the world’s most powerful economy and military, which, more often than not, has been used for good in the world.

Miley Cyrus? Really? My pride floweth over.

And former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint, now president of The Heritage Foundation, also defended “exceptionalism” by invoking the image of America as the Multi-Culti Empire that roams the globe doing good:

We are, in other words, not a nation based on ethnicity, but on beliefs, and not coincidentally, that is why we attract people of all ethnicities and they become proud Americans…. When we have used our power, however, we have done it for good.”

Both echoed what Madeleine Albright said as secretary of state:

It is the threat of the use of force [against Iraq] and our line-up there that is going to put force behind the diplomacy. But if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us.

That self-image still inspires the Obama regime’s global aggression:

In their more honest moments, White House officials concede they got here the messiest way possible — with a mix of luck in the case of Syria, years of sanctions on Iran and then some unpredicted chess moves executed by three players Mr. Obama deeply distrusts: President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, and Iran’s erratic mullahs. But, the officials say, these are the long-delayed fruits of the administration’s selective use of coercion in a part of the world where that is understood.

“The common thread is that you don’t achieve diplomatic progress in the Middle East without significant pressure,” Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, said Thursday. “In Syria, it was the serious threat of a military strike; in Iran it was a sanctions regime built up over five years.”

If your identity is that of a polyglot hegemon endowed with greater wisdom than the rest of the world, how can you NOT support open borders? Or the invasion of Iraq? Or Iran? Or Syria?

First of all, the US was NOT founded as a unique blend of whatever ethnic group decided to elbow its way in; it was founded as an outpost of Western civilization.

More important, the notion that the American people have always been committed to a never-ending global war to impose democracy and equality is a pure lie, and a fairly recent one at that. Previous “Wars of Liberation,” including Lincoln’s invasion of the South, the Spanish-American War, Vietnam, and Iraq, later turned out to be based on massive propaganda and misinformation.

The core idea expressed in “American Exceptionalism” is that the role of America’s elite is to serve as the global mind bringing reason and order to a chaotic, degenerate world. That is Gnosticism, an anti-Christian concept that explicitly glorifies abstract knowledge while scorning the physical. I argued here that Northern thought degenerated from its Puritan roots into militant Gnosticism, while Southerners upheld and lived by a balance between the spiritual and the physical.

Author John C. Wright said this of the Gnostic foundations of today’s statists and their leftist enablers:

In sum, they are idolaters who substitute the worship of Caesar for the worship of Christ; they are Gnostics in the posture of eternal rebellion both against God in Heaven and civil society on Earth. They are chameleons who adopt any ideals or values or party lines needed for so long as needed to destroy them, including Pragmatism, including Worldliness. They are Politically Correct and factually incorrect.

They seek to destroy civilized institutions here on Earth and drag Utopia down from heaven to replace them, indifferent, or even glorying, in the bloodshed required.

To avoid confusion, let us call them Ideologues. They are utterly unworldly, rejecting the pragmatism of the Worldly Man as cold and loveless and unspiritual.

The Ideologues are as nearly a pure evil as mankind has ever produced or can imagine, but please note that their motives are the highest and noblest imaginable: they seek things of the spirit, peace on earth, food for the poor, dignity given to all men, and all such things which are the only things, the holy things, that can electrify dull mankind and stir him to take up the banner and trumpet and shining lance of high and holy crusade.

Ever wonder why leftists see “education” as the cure to all ills? Or why they fancy themselves superior to those they see as living in the darkness of tradition and irrationality? Their contempt for the physical explains their hatred of heritage and tradition–and of life itself. But as John C. Wright pointed out, there’s a terrible price to pay for the spreading of their concept of the good. When Madeleine Albright proclaimed the death of a half-million Iraqi children as “worth it,” she was expressing what all Gnostics believe.

By their fruits ye shall know them.

Obama Sends Fresh Aid to Syrian Rebels

From the Washington Post:

The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.

Although the Obama administration signaled months ago that it would increase aid to Syrian rebels, the efforts have lagged because of the logistical challenges involved in delivering equipment in a war zone and officials’ fears that any assistance could wind up in the hands of jihadists.

U.S. officials decided to expand nonlethal assistance to Syria’s armed rebels after they delivered more than 350,000 high-calorie U.S. military food packets through the Supreme Military Council in May. The distribution gave U.S. officials confidence that it was possible to limit aid to select rebel units in a battlefield where thousands of fighters share al-Qaeda’s ideology, U.S. officials said.

“We feel we’re able to get these local councils off to a good start,” said Ward, a veteran U.S. Agency for International Development official who has worked in Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan. “We vet individuals who are getting our assistance to make sure they are not affiliated with terror organizations.”

The initiatives are part of a $250 million effort to support moderate factions of the Syrian opposition. Of that, the United States has earmarked $26.6 million in aid for the Supreme Military Council.

Meanwhile, Russia Today reports on Syrian government fighting jihadists to win back Christian village of Maaloula:

Some residents, who claim rebels have resorted to looting, executions and forcing residents to convert to Islam, chose to join the Army to defend their village. Among them, Saba Ubeid, a store owner, said when filmed by RT in 2012 that he was sure the rebels would never come to the village. This time he was armed with a gun and fought alongside Syrian soldiers.

“They sent terrorists here from all corners of the world to kill Syrian people and each other. Why? I ask the world, why?” he cried out. “While in Europe if a citizen is simply slapped in his face, there’ll be a scandal. While Syrians – how many victims, how many hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered? When it will stop?”

Maaloula, a mountain village of 2,000 people, is the center of Christianity in the region. Alongside with Catholic and Orthodox monasteries there are the remains of numerous convents, churches, shrines and sanctuaries. It is also one of the very few places in the world where people still speak Western Aramaic, a Biblical language that Jesus is believed to have spoken.

The village, built into a rugged mountainside, is a major pilgrimage destination for Christians and Muslims from around the world. It is an ancient sanctuary on a UNESCO list of proposed World Heritage sites.

10% of Syria’s 22 million people are Christian, according to wikipedia. Obama isn’t going to protect them anymore than Bush protected Christians in Iraq.