May 28 2009

The nightmares of Kim Jong-il

Category: national security,North Koreaharmonicminer @ 9:28 am

N.Korea nuclear test sparks global condemnation (Read the whole thing for a flavor of the various national responses, all predictably outraged, of course.)

North Korea’s nuclear test explosion has been met by a wave of condemnation from countries around the world, with several leaders calling for sanctions.

I’m sure that the dreams of “the great leader” are filled with great fear of “sanctions” and UN Security Council resolutions.  Iran is watching, of course, and cannot fail to learn that no one (except, just possibly, Israel) will do anything to stop its acquisition of “the bomb.”

Lions, tigers and the UN Security Council, oh my.

Those who advise continued “negotiations” and advocating “pressure from China and Russia” to make North Korea behave had better deal with this:  Japan could have a deliverable nuclear weapon in a matter of months if it thought it needed to do so as a deterrent.  It has excellent missiles, a very sophisticated nuclear power technology, pleny of enrichable fuel, and brilliant scientists and technicians.  South Korea and Taiwan may not be far behind.    Do we really want all of North Korea’s threatened neighbors to ramp up their own nuclear programs, because we haven’t the will to do anything about North Korea’s?

China is playing a dangerous game.  It COULD end North Korea’s program fairly quickly, if it so chose.  But it is using North Korea as a negotiating tool against the US, and specifically Obama, who has displayed none of the strength of will that would convince China that it must end North Korea’s program.  China exports much of North Korea’s food.  China surely has explicit knowledge of exactly where North Korea’s program is situated, and could possibly even sabotage it without direct military action.  China could put an end to this, but continues to use it to weaken the US hand in the area, specifically the USA’s ability to project protection for its democratic allies, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.  It is in China’s interest to display a weak USA to China’s regional neighbors, a USA that is powerless to seriously affect even a pipsqueak, disfunctional power like North Korea.

The underlying message from China to its neighbors:  “The USA won’t protect you; it just talks big.  Your only real choice is to throw in with us.  We’re not such bad guys.  Really.”

Obama COULD make it plain to China that either China takes care of the problem, or he will.  Obama COULD use the economic levers he has on China to pressure it.  He probably won’t.   If he’s true to form for the Left (no reason to think otherwise right now) he’ll keep kicking the can down the road, hoping something will change.  It won’t…  except maybe for the worse.

In the meantime, he continues to reduce funding for USA and allied missile defense.  I’m sure that makes Japan and our other allies in the region feel safe.

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May 27 2009

Obama to Israel: pound sand

Category: Iran,Islam,Israel,national security,Obamaharmonicminer @ 9:50 am

President Obama has made it clear that he has no intent of taking any serious action to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, and that if Israel does take such action, he will blame Israel, not Iran. Caroline Glick reports. (much more at the link, all worth reading)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit with US President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday was a baptism of fire for the new premier. What emerged from the meeting is that Obama’s priorities regarding Iran, Israel and the Arab world are diametrically opposed to Israel’s priorities.

During his ad hoc press conference with Netanyahu, Obama made clear that he will not lift a finger to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And acting as Obama’s surrogate, for the past two weeks CIA Director Leon Panetta has made clear that Obama expects Israel to also sit on its thumbs as Iran develops the means to destroy it.

It’s becoming apparent that Obama is bluffing on a busted flush. He has no hole cards (at least that he’s willing to use), and he has no plans to do anything serious to deter or prevent either North Korea or Iran from becoming full-fledged nuclear threats complete with delivery systems. At the same time, he is reducing our commitment to missile defense, and weakening our military commitment to proven technologies that could defend us and our allies.

Iran will not bomb Jerusalem, which it considers to be a “holy city,” but Tel Aviv, Haifa, etc., are obvious targets.  And with its surrogates Hamas and Hizbullah, Iran has ways of getting the bombs into Israel without being the obvious launch site….  just enough to maintain “implausible deniability,” which would not prevent an Israeli response, futile though that response would be to save Israel.  About three or four bombs, and in essence there is no nation of Israel, at least none that could resist the following onslaught of conventional forces rolling in from its neighbors.

The other nations in the Middle East, mostly Sunni, are not in favor of a nuclear armed Iran, but they have even fewer options to do anything about it than Israel.  If Israel does attack Iran to delay its acquisition of nuclear arms, the muslim nations around it will cry publicly, and cheer privately.  They know that Israel presents no danger to them, while Iran clearly does, especially a nuclear Iran.

We are on the cusp of a moral decision, nationally, not very different from the run-up to the Holocaust.   Obama will have to do more than talk and threaten.  He must act, decisively, and soon.  If he does not, Israel cannot be blamed for doing what it must simply to survive.

I hope and pray that, even if he does not care about Israel directly, Obama will recognize the enormous support Israel has in the USA, and realize what a political disaster it will be for him if Israel is destroyed on his watch.

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Apr 26 2009

The End of the World As We Know It

Category: national securityharmonicminer @ 8:22 am

Another brilliant column from Mark Steyn.  Read it all.

According to an Earth Day survey, one third of schoolchildren between the ages of six and eleven think the earth will have been destroyed by the time they grow up. That’s great news, isn’t it? Not for the earth, I mean, but for “environmental awareness.” Congratulations to Al Gore, the Sierra Club, and the eco-propagandists of the public-education system in doing such a terrific job of traumatizing America’s moppets. Traditionally, most of the folks you see wandering the streets proclaiming the end of the world is nigh tend to be getting up there in years. It’s quite something to have persuaded millions of first-graders that their best days are behind them.

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Apr 13 2009

America abdicates under Obama

Category: freedom,government,military,national security,Obamaharmonicminer @ 8:09 am

I rarely quote an entire post by someone else, but this is so clearly argued that I have nothing to add. The major media’s failure to provide this kind of analysis is another reason it deserves to go extinct.  From Caroline Glick

Like it or not, the United States of America is no longer the world’s policeman. This was the message of Barack Obama’s presidential journey to Britain, France, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Iraq this past week.

Somewhere between apologizing for American history – both distant and recent; genuflecting before the unelected, bigoted king of Saudi Arabia; announcing that he will slash the US’s nuclear arsenal, scrap much of America’s missile defense programs and emasculate the US Navy; leaving Japan to face North Korea and China alone; telling the Czechs, Poles and their fellow former Soviet colonies, “Don’t worry, be happy,” as he leaves them to Moscow’s tender mercies; humiliating Iraq’s leaders while kowtowing to Iran; preparing for an open confrontation with Israel; and thanking Islam for its great contribution to American history, President Obama made clear to the world’s aggressors that America will not be confronting them for the foreseeable future.

Whether they are aggressors like Russia, proliferators like North Korea, terror exporters like nuclear-armed Pakistan or would-be genocidal-terror-supporting nuclear states like Iran, today, under the new administration, none of them has any reason to fear Washington.

This news is music to the ears of the American Left and their friends in Europe. Obama’s supporters like billionaire George Soros couldn’t be more excited at the self-induced demise of the American superpower. CNN’s former (anti-)Israel bureau chief Walter Rodgers wrote ecstatically in the Christian Science Monitor on Wednesday, “America’s… superpower status, is being downgraded as rapidly as its economy.”

The pro-Obama US and European media are so pleased with America’s abdication of power that they took the rare step of applauding Obama at his press conference in London. Indeed, the media’s enthusiasm for Obama appeared to grow with each presidential statement of contrition for America’s past uses of force, each savage attack he leveled against his predecessor George W. Bush, each swipe he took at Israel, and each statement of gratitude for the blessings of Islam he uttered.

But while the media couldn’t get enough of the new US leader, America’s most stable allies worldwide began a desperate search for a reset button that would cause the administration to take back its abandonment of America’s role as the protector of the free world.

Tokyo was distraught by the administration’s reaction to North Korea’s three-stage ballistic missile test. Japan recognized the betrayal inherent in Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s announcement ahead of Pyongyang’s newest provocation that the US would only shoot the missile down if it targeted US territory. In one sentence, uttered not in secret consultations, but declared to the world on CNN, Gates abrogated America’s strategic commitment to Japan’s defense.

India, for its part, is concerned by Obama’s repeated assertions that its refusal to transfer control over the disputed Jammu and Kashmir provinces to Pakistan inspires Pakistani terror against India. It is equally distressed at the Obama administration’s refusal to make ending Pakistan’s support for jihadist terror groups attacking India a central component of its strategy for contending with Pakistan and Afghanistan. In general, Indian officials have expressed deep concern over the Obama administration’s apparent lack of regard for India as an ally and a significant strategic counterweight to China.

Then there is Iraq. During his brief visit to Baghdad on Tuesday afternoon, Obama didn’t even pretend that he would ensure that Iraqi democracy and freedom are secured before US forces are withdrawn next year. The most supportive statement he could muster came during his conversation with Turkish students in Istanbul earlier in the day. There he said, “I have a responsibility to make sure that as we bring troops out, that we do so in a careful enough way that we don’t see a complete collapse into violence.”

Hearing Obama’s statements, and watching him and his advisers make daily declarations of friendship to Iran’s mullahs, Iraqi leaders are considering their options for surviving the rapidly approaching storm.

Then there is Europe. Although Obama received enthusiastic applause from his audience in Prague when he announced his intention to destroy the US’s nuclear arsenal, drastically scale back its missile defense programs and forge a new alliance with Russia, his words were anything but music to the ears of the leaders of former Soviet satellites threatened by Russia. The Czech, Polish, Georgian and Ukrainian governments were quick to recognize that Obama’s strong desire to curry favor with the Kremlin and weaken his own country will imperil their ability to withstand Russian aggression.

It is not a coincidence, for instance, that the day Obama returned to Washington, Georgia’s Moscow-sponsored opposition announced its plan to launch massive protests in Tblisi to force the ouster of pro-Western, anti-Russian Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.

And as for Russia, like Iran, which responded to Obama’s latest ode to the mullahs by opening a nuclear fuel plant and announcing it has 7,000 advanced centrifuges in operation, so Moscow reacted to Obama’s fig leaf with a machine gun, announcing its refusal to support sanctions against North Korea and repeating its false claim that Iran’s nuclear program is nonaggressive.

Finally there is Israel. If Obama’s assertions that Israel must support the immediate establishment of a Palestinian state, his declarations of support for the so-called Saudi “peace plan,” which requires Israel to commit national suicide in exchange for “peace” with the Arab world, and his continuous and increasingly frantic appeals for Iran to “engage” his administration weren’t enough to show Israel that Obama is sacrificing the US’s alliance with the Jewish state in a bid to appease the Arabs and Iran, on Tuesday Vice President Joseph Biden made this policy explicit.

When Biden told CNN that Israel would be “ill-advised” to attack Iran’s nuclear installations, he made clear that from the administration’s perspective, an Israeli strike that prevents Iran from becoming a nuclear power is less acceptable than a nuclear-armed Iran. That is, the Obama administration prefers to see Iran become a nuclear power than to see Israel secure its very existence.

AMERICA’S BETRAYAL of its democratic allies makes each of them more vulnerable to aggression at the hands of their enemies – enemies the Obama administration is now actively attempting to appease. And as the US strengthens their adversaries at their expense, these spurned democracies must consider their options for surviving as free societies in this new, threatening, post-American environment.

For the most part, America’s scorned allies lack the ability to defeat their enemies on their own. India cannot easily defeat nuclear-armed Pakistan, which itself is fragmenting into disparate anti-Indian nuclear-wielding Islamist and Islamist-supporting factions.

Japan today cannot face North Korea – which acts as a Chinese proxy – on its own without risking a confrontation with China.

Russia’s invasion of Georgia last August showed clearly that its former republics and satellites have no way of escaping Moscow’s grip alone.

This week’s Arab League conference at Doha demonstrated to Iraq’s leaders that their Arab brethren are incapable and unwilling to confront Iran.

And the Obama administration’s intense efforts to woo Iran coupled with its plan to slash the US’s missile defense programs – including those in which Israel participates – and reportedly pressure Israel to dismantle its own purported nuclear arsenal – make clear that Israel today stands alone against Iran.

THE RISKS that the newly inaugurated post-American world pose for America’s threatened friends are clear. But viable opportunities for survival do exist, and Israel can and must play a central role in developing them. Specifically, Israel must move swiftly to develop active strategic alliances with Japan, Iraq, Poland, and the Czech Republic and it must expand its alliance with India.

With Israel’s technological capabilities, its intelligence and military expertise, it can play a vital role in shoring up these countries’ capacities to contain the rogue states that threaten them. And by containing the likes of Russia, North Korea and Pakistan, they will make it easier for Israel to contain Iran even in the face of US support for the mullahs.

The possibilities for strategic cooperation between and among all of these states and Israel run the gamut from intelligence sharing to military training, to missile defense, naval development, satellite collaboration, to nuclear cooperation. In addition, of course, expanded economic ties between and among these states can aid each of them in the struggle to stay afloat during the current global economic crisis.

Although far from risk free, these opportunities are realistic because they are founded on stable, shared interests. This is the case despite the fact that none of these potential alliances will likely amount to increased support for Israel in international forums. Dependent as they are on Arab oil, these potential allies cannot be expected to vote with Israel in the UN General Assembly. But this should not concern Jerusalem.

The only thing that should concern Jerusalem today is how to weaken Iran both directly by attacking its nuclear installations, and indirectly by weakening its international partners in Moscow, Pyongyang, Islamabad and beyond in the absence of US support. If Japan is able to contain North Korea and so limit Pyongyang’s freedom to proliferate its nuclear weapons and missiles to Iran and Syria and beyond, Israel is better off. So, too, Israel is better off if Russia is contained by democratic governments in Eastern and Central Europe. These nations in turn are better off if Iran is contained and prevented from threatening them both directly and indirectly through its strategic partners in North Korea, Syria and Russia, and its terror affiliates in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

For the past 16 years, successive Israeli governments have wrongly believed that politics trump strategic interests. The notion that informed Israel’s decision-makers – not unlike the notion that now informs the Obama administration – was that Israel’s strategic interests would be secured as a consequence of its efforts to appease its enemies by weakening itself. Appreciative of Israel’s sacrifices for peace, the nations of the world – and particularly the US, the Arabs and Europe – would come to Israel’s defense in its hour of need. Now that the hour of need has arrived, Israel’s political strategy for securing itself has been exposed as a complete fiasco.

The good news is that no doubt sooner rather than later, Obama’s similarly disastrous bid to denude the US of its military power under the naive assumption that it will be able to use its new stature as a morally pure strategic weakling to win its enemies over to its side will fail spectacularly and America’s foreign policy will revert to strategic rationality.

But to survive the current period of American strategic madness, Israel and the US’s other unwanted allies must build alliances with one another – covertly if need be – to contain their adversaries in the absence of America. If they do so successfully, then the damage to global security induced by Obama’s emasculation of his country will be limited. If on the other hand, they fail, then America’s eventual return to its senses will likely come too late for its allies – if not for America itself.

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Mar 23 2009

The Deteriorating State of Mexican National Security

Category: Mexico,national securityharmonicminer @ 9:11 am

In the last year, 150,000 men have deserted the Mexican military forces.  Read that number again.  What do you suppose they’re doing now?   If even 10% are now using their military training for other purposes, we have a big problem, and indications are that the percentage is much higher.  Mexico is in the midst of an insurgency, not just a crime wave.  It’s safer in Baghdad right now.  Is Mexico about to become the failed state on our border, our Pakistan-style “no go” area, providing a safe haven for gangs preying on the US population?  Well, no, it’s not about to become that…  it’s already happening.

American Sentry

Three sources underscore the severity of the situation in Mexico and its potential near term and far reaching effects to US National Security

As our operations wind down from the successes in Iraq, and the National Command Authority is ramping up our presence in Afghanistan with an additional 17000 combat forces, little has been addressed in the mainstream policy wonkery about Mexico’s instability and brush with Civil War between the brave, but by all measures ineffectual, Mexican security and law enforcement forces, and the ruthless, well funded, well equipped, and increasingly brash Drug Cartels. I have been monitoring this for several weeks, and there are those within the periphery of National Strategy and Policy that recognize this as a serious emerging problem, but is just now getting some greater play within the Mainstream Media. What coverage it does get focuses on the crime and corruption aspects and doesn’t link the severity and scope as a National Security issue for the US. I am more and more convinced that this is in fact a serious challenge to US national security, and three recent reports substantiate my position.

The first of these predictions that got considerable play back in January came from the outgoing Director of the CIA, Gen. Michael Hayden. He commented in numerous interviews that the CIA concluded that after a potential development of a nuclear weapon from Iran, the possibility and ramifications of Mexico failing as a state as a result of the inability of the Federal government quelling the violence perpetrated by the Cartels in their continued fight for smuggling routes and market share was the second most threatening issue to US National Security. With Al Qaeda lurking around, having found proof of their desire to weaponize a biological or chemical agent to unleash on innocent Americans, let alone a dirty bomb, that is quite a statement on Hayden’s part…and ominous.

The second such report was from the Department of Defense in the form of the 2008 Joint Operating Environment Report, or JOE. It concluded that a failed state in Pakistan, the chance of nuclear technology or weapons falling into the hands of terrorists, was most disconcerting. The JOE, however, listed Mexico as a failed state was also the number two threat to US National Security. (http://www.jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarchive/2008/JOE2008.pdf)

The third, and in my assessment, the most concise and telling (at least in an unclassified venue) was a recent trip to Mexico and a report conducted by retired Army General, Barry McCaffery in December 2008 while he attended the International Forum of Intelligence and Security Specialists which acts as an advisory board to the Mexican Federal Law Enforcement leadership. ( http://www.mccaffreyassociates.com/pdfs/Mexico_AAR_-_December_2008.pdf) Though McCaffery’s report goes beyond the standard USG reporting that is swaddled in a law enforcement perspective, it has some stark and convincing statistics and conclusions that highlight this issue, for me anyways, as a national Security challenge, and beyond the single scope approach as a law enforcement challenge specifically relating to the drug trade.

Much more at the link.

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Mar 21 2009

Russian missiles in Iran

Category: Iran,Israel,national security,Obama,Russiaharmonicminer @ 9:05 am

While Russia complains that the USA is being provocative in moving to install anti-missile defenses in Europe, defenses designed to intercept Iranian nuclear-tipped missiles, but certainly unable to counter a full-scale Russian attack, Russia is selling missiles to iran, supposedly for “air-defense.”

Russia confirms Iran missile contract

Russian news agencies cited a top defense official Wednesday as confirming that a contract to sell powerful air-defense missiles to Iran was signed two years ago, but saying no such weapons have yet been delivered.

We’re certainly happy to hear that.

Russian officials have consistently denied claims the country already has provided some of the S-300 missiles to Iran. They have not said whether a contract existed.

Except now they have apparently confirmed that it does.

The state-run ITAR-Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies and the independent Interfax quoted an unnamed top official in the Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service as saying the contract was signed two years ago. Service spokesman Andrei Tarabrin told The Associated Press he could not immediately comment.

What would he say?  Nyah Nyah Nyah?

Supplying S-300s to Iran would change the military balance in the Middle East and the issue has been the subject of intense speculation and diplomatic wrangling for months.

That’s an understatement.  If Iran is able to easily defend itself from any Israeli attack to defang its nuclear weapons production program, there will be no remaining barrier to full development and deployment of nuclear weapons.  No one wants this in the Middle East, except Iran and Russia, apparently.

Israel and the United States fear that, were Iran to possess S-300 missiles, it would use them to protect its nuclear facilities — including the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz or the country’s first atomic power plant, which is now being built by Russian contractors at Bushehr.

Of course, Obama can just talk to the Russians and make them see reason.  They’re really all just good, internationally spirited statesmen who want world peace.  And Iran is just misunderstood and aggrieved over the vicious US incursions in the Middle East, and just needs to feel safe from the Great Satan.

And Joe Biden is the tooth fairy.

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Jan 02 2009

Self-defense is your duty and a form of community service

Category: education,national security,societyharmonicminer @ 10:43 am

When you don’t defend yourself from attack (when that option is available to you), you are a co-dependent with your attacker, and bear at least some responsibility for the fate of future victims of your attacker. Doug Giles has an interesting article about giving his daughters martial arts lessons here. It’s all very interesting. The money quote:

If you decide to attack your aggressor, do so quickly and with complete conviction. Attackers are most often cowards and prefer to attack easier and more submissive targets.

In the article, Giles interviews the martial arts trainer of his daughters, and it’s all pretty good advice, not Hollywood unrealistic, just straightforward common sense, highly recommended.

I think this is something most parents should consider providing for their children. And parents should teach children to be aware of their surroundings, by sharing with their children what they are thinking when they’re out and about. Sadly, most parents have been taught to be victims by schooling and television/movies, where any sort of weapon waived around is thought to be a magic wand causing complete paralysis in the victim, and where only heroes with black belts can successfully defend themselves.

If you can possibly do so, put your kids into training in something that is not oriented to “dojo ballerinas” but is more practically oriented to getting the job done, without what Bruce Lee called “the flowers”, i.e., moves that look pretty but are complicated, hard to remember, and depend on your opponent doing what you expect in order for your counter to work.

My personal recommendations: 

1)  JKD (Jeet Kune Do), Bruce Lee’s “system” (it isn’t, exactly) that borrows the most practical aspects of many different arts

2)  Krav Maga, an Israeli adaptation with enormous amounts of real world experience backing it up

3)  Jiu Jitsu -  a Brazilian adaptation of Judo and other arts

These are all “current generation” arts, i.e., they are not essentially the same as they were 300 years ago (or 1300!), but represent evolutionary adaptations and blending of multiple streams and traditions, a blending that took place in the last few decades, and represents the best of the best.

My kids study JKD.  We were lucky enough to live near one of the few students of Bruce Lee.

And, to requote:

If you decide to attack your aggressor, do so quickly and with complete
conviction. Attackers are most often cowards and prefer to attack
easier and more submissive targets.

This has a certain bearing on foreign policy and war-fighting, does it not?  I have wondered more than once what would have happened in Iraq if we had shot looters from the beginning, and responded forcefully to the first couple of terrorist acts, especially in Fallujah, Mosul and such.  Our weak initial response to these events left the populace feeling that we would not or could not protect them, and left the Islamofascist cretins with the impression that we could be had.  And that was very nearly true, before the surge.  If we had taken early, very stern action, showing we just would not tolerate looting, terrorism, or people who provided safe haven for terrorists, we would have been criticized for harshness, but consider the tens of thousands of lives, mostly Iraqi, that would have been saved.

When your enemy (the one who has decided HE is YOUR enemy) is allowed to think, even for a moment, that he can proceed with minimal resistance, you have just multiplied your problem by an order of magnitude.  It is still possible to defeat a confident enemy who thinks victory is assured…  but it’s lots harder, and costs more.

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Dec 28 2008

What will Obama do to forestall a nuclear Iran?

Category: Iran,national security,Obamaharmonicminer @ 10:43 am

A couple years ago there were speculations in many quarters that George Bush would not allow a nuclear Iran. I read more than one column suggesting that he would take military action against Iran’s nuclear program, sometime before the end of his presidency, especially if a Democrat was elected. That seems less and less likely, based on any reasonable reading of the tea leaves. If he still plans such a thing, it is the best kept secret of his administration.

So, what will Obama do to stop Iran from getting the bomb? Make no mistake: if Iran has the bomb, the world is changed, hugely. When Iran has the bomb, we won’t know which terrorist organization has been given the bomb. We won’t know when or if Iran plans to destroy Israel, even at the price of the enormous retaliation that would follow. Iran will surely shake its nuclear stick at Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, et. al., and Iran probably has, or will have soon, missiles capable of reaching large parts of Europe.  Within 10-20 years, it is likely to have missiles that can reach the USA.

Even more concerning, if terrorists got a nuke from Iran and destroyed a US city, how would we prove the origin of the nuke? Would our response be paralyzed?

Continue reading “What will Obama do to forestall a nuclear Iran?”

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Dec 22 2008

When La Raza loves your work, you’re doing the wrong thing

Category: illegal alien,Mexico,national securityharmonicminer @ 10:53 am

A recent appointment by President-elect Obama draws praise from the National Council of La Raza, a frightening thing indeed when one considers the basic intent of La Raza, which is essentially open borders between the US and Mexico, at a minimum.

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) hailed today’s announcement by President-Elect Barack Obama that Cecilia Muñoz will become the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in his administration. Muñoz currently serves as Senior Vice President for NCLR’s Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation.

“I am deeply honored and very heartened that one of the Obama Administration’s first Latino appointments is someone who has so ably served this organization and the Latino community with dedication and distinction for more than 20 years,” stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.

“Cecilia leaves a legacy of advocacy and accomplishment virtually unmatched in the Latino community, and we will miss her greatly,” continued Murguía. “But I can say with absolute certainty that no one will work harder for her country and for the ideals and priorities of the Obama Administration. We congratulate her and salute President-Elect Obama for this inspired appointment.”

“We hope to see more Latino appointments in the upcoming weeks,” concluded Murguía.

Combined with the appointment of (anti-fence) Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as head of Homeland Security, this is pretty bad news to anyone who had any hope of Obama finishing the fence, let alone delaying the declaration of straight amnesty for illegal aliens, past and future.   Cecilia Muñoz is a well-known open borders activist.

Obama may be planning a “moderate” foreign policy, but it’s getting ever clearer that domestic policy is going to go pretty far left, as Obama pays off on his campaign obligations.

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Dec 20 2008

Realities of stopping terrorist acts

Category: national security,Obama,terrorismharmonicminer @ 10:08 am

I’ve commented before that there are certain realities to our situation vis a vis Islamofascism that the major media don’t seem to understand, or want the public to really grapple with. There is fundamental background at the link above, which takes a little reading time to acquire, but which is guaranteed to change your thinking about the matter.

In the meantime, President-elect Obama has surely gotten some national security briefings that have gotten his attention. Unless I miss my guess, he has been informed about things he had no idea of when he was on the campaign trail making sweeping statements about how different his administration would be from that of the evil Bush. But, reality is going to intrude, and unless he plans to totally abrogate his responsibilities as commander in chief, to protect the American people, he is going to have to “get real” quite soon.

Mr. Obama will soon face the same awful choices that confronted George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and he could well be forced to accept a central feature of their anti-terrorist methods: extraordinary rendition. If the choice is between non-deniable aggressive questioning conducted by Americans and deniable torturous interrogations by foreigners acting on behalf of the United States, it is almost certain that as president Mr. Obama will choose the latter.

Of course, he and his senior officials seem to believe now that they don’t have to make this choice. For them there is a better way to combat terrorism, by using physically non-coercive questioning of suspects and civilian courts or military courts-martial to try and punish jihadists.

But this third way, which is essentially where America was before the Clinton administration embraced rendition, is plausible only if Mr. Obama is lucky. He might be. If there is no “ticking time bomb” situation — say, where waterboarding a future Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (the 9/11 mastermind) could save thousands of civilians — then there is neither need for the C.I.A.’s exceptional methods, nor the harsh services of Jordan’s General Intelligence Department.

Will Obama be that “lucky”? Meaning, of course, will we?

If the Islmaofascists are smart, they’ll wait a few years for the military build-down to occur (the one constantly encouraged by the Democrat congress, and promised in several ways by Obama). The best time to hit your opponent is when he’s looking the other way.

On the other hand, the Islamofascists clearly miscalculated with the 9/11 attacks. I think they truly did not expect the vigor of the American response. And when they put all their eggs in the Iraqi civil war basket, they again miscalculated both American will (well…  George Bush’s will, anyway) and the effect of killing Iraqi civilians on the Iraqi will to fight.

So we can hope: if they must attack, let it be soon, while we have the resources left to fight and respond to the source(s) of the attack, whatever they turn out to be. They’re going to attack; it’s just a matter of time. That being the case, better a less developed, hasty blow, than a finely calculated, thoroughly prepared and perfectly timed one.

And best of all: a hasty blow that is nevertheless stopped because we have not lost the will to resist, using whatever tools are available to us.  This is not a call for random torturing to see what turns up, but it is a call for finely calibrated strategy and tactics without ruling out necessary tactical options in advance, just because it makes for good public relations and sound bites.

If thousands or tens of thousands of Americans are killed in a terrorist event on our own soil, no one, absolutely no one, will be comforted by how righteously forbearant we were in interrogating people who knew something about it in advance.

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