Monday, December 18, 2006

Do American politicians know how to fight wars in pursuit of national objectives?

This is a difficult article to write because I fear any criticism will be selectively used by my political opponents. My fear is of politicians and their employees who know how to complain, but not offer any solutions other than giving in to our enemies national and tribal objectives. I am from the school of thought that says complain all you want, but then offer up other courses of action for decision makers.

This article is also difficult to write because I can use hindsight, and who wouldn’t. I can also say hindsight for me is more an “I told you so” than “things turned out differently than I expected”.

This article is also difficult to write because it exposes a defect in our American culture and persona that I really don’t want my adversaries knowing about.

Last, this article is difficult to write about because we are in a shooting war, and the timing of criticisms is best postponed in most cases.

I hope this article does just the opposite and leads to achieving our national objectives.

I got the first hint of concern about our ability to prosecute a war when Congress and the President could not even declare war after 9/11. The alternative was a bill authorizing this and that, but it was not an old fashioned Declaration of War. The idea of wars being between states is historical, but we have also waged war against groups, as in the Barbary Pirates. Yet our leaders avoided the Declaration of War intimations by seeking the alternative legislation. The mistrust left over from the Gulf of Tonkin resolution was still there, even though New York City and the Pentagon and Pennsylvania were still smoldering. Hard to believe.

I got the first hint of hope in the prosecution of the Afghan campaign. It seemed the unity of effort between the Department of Defense, CIA, and the State Department implied one person was in charge, probably the President.

I got the second hint of concern right after the brilliant campaign to take Iraq in the three weeks it took to take Baghdad. It became obvious to me that while we had a plan to win the war, we did not have a plan to win the peace. I ate a lot of crow over this. Later even TV pundits were saying things like we have two months left in the window of opportunity to win the peace. Well the window closed, and look at the bag of worms we have today. I fault our President for not putting one person in charge for all to see, or stepping up and being that person who knocks heads to get unity of effort. Even today, I cannot find one person in charge of our Iraq effort below the President.

Along the way in Iraq, our Department of Defense started rebuilding the Iraqi military. What a monumental strategic mistake. Militaries are trained and equipped to defend borders. That’s where our time and money went in this area. What Iraq needed first was a trained and equipped constabulary to provide the normal police protections we expect. That got second shrift, and we are still paying for this mistake in winning the peace. If this seems confusing, just think about how our military is equipped and trained compared to our local police. In the case of Iraq, which force would you bring up first?

The third hint of concern I got was the apparent miasma and symbiosis of the media and the Democratic Party and left over anti-Vietnam types. Two things stuck out to me. One was the euphoria of the old 60’s in marching and protesting for all that is good in the world. The other thing was the use of old fashioned propaganda. Say one idea often enough, and it “must be true”, even if it isn’t. This was shameless work by those who thought differently about the war in Iraq. There are more responsible ways to proceed.

The fourth hint of concern was the inception of the “Green Zone”. If I were in charge, I would have done the same. After all, personal safety is a basic tenet of any government. Yet out of this good effort has come skewed perceptions and decisions and reporting that would come out of any protected bastion in any part of the world. Those who operate in a vacuum probably don’t know what is going on elsewhere. The best example today is the parachute type reporting of the horrible sectarian fighting in Baghdad. I suggest our reporters on TV most likely have no idea of anything else going on in Iraq. And if I were them, I probably would stay safely inside the Green Zone. Ditto for the State Department types.

If one gets out of the “Green Zone” in Baghdad, as in military people or engineers or NGO’s then much is happening to make an American and European proud. This is where the rubber meets the road. It has been a difficult process, and still is. We are good people, and without imperialistic ambitions.

The fifth, and last hint of concern is the blurring of the war against terror, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. To me it is as obvious as day and night. They are different, yes associated, but different. The Islamic fascist terrorists, yes I’ll say these words, are primarily Arabs, but the war is more cultural than locally tribal. I fear any Democratic Party opposition effort, if successful, may drag down another effort of our government to “fight terrorism”.

One of my heroes in life is Colin Powell. He has bridged the gap between national and party politics, the Department of Defense, and the State Department. His “Doctrine” is right on the mark to me. For those who may need a primer here is his doctrine:
The questions posed by the Powell Doctrine, which should be answered affirmatively before military action, are:
Is a vital national security interest threatened?
Do we have a clear attainable objective?
Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
Is the action supported by the American people?
Do we have genuine broad international support?

One thing his Doctrine lays out clearly is our American impatience. We are willing to get involved, and even fight, but we must get it over with and then get out. I agree. Most of our impatience is with do gooders, mostly with incompetence with these do gooders, be they Republicans or Democratics; civilian or military. This vulnerability is big enough for our enemies to drive a train through. All they have to do is drag things out while our do gooders stew.

During Vietnam, I thought all the ignorant, although well intentioned, appointed civilian leaders were Democrats. Now I know Republicans can suffer from the same, and have.

My father used to refer to educated fools. Now I think I understand him a little better.

I will digress to today and the problems in Iraq, most importantly Baghdad. As I read the news today, one option is a quick and short step up for more American troops in the capital city of Baghdad.

Back to the subject question: Do American politicians know how to fight wars in pursuit of national objectives?

Unless the elected leaders and their appointed civilian scribes dictate any “rules” change, no amount of extra military fighters will change things. Today’s rules proscribe a way of war that has failed. I am from the school that says “reinforce success” not “failure”.

Until our President and his minions change what they have been doing to date, then they have already ordained their losing to the dedicated opposition in Iraq, I think. And this will spill over to the entire war on terror if these same D.C. people have their way.

In the President’s defense, all of his predecessors in the Oval Office have passed the buck, starting with Carter in my calendar. Those in Congress are about as bad. At least this President is “not passing the buck”, be that good or bad. I just wish the decisions had been different.

It is my opinion that our politicians don’t know how to fight wars in pursuit of national objectives. They do know how to be American politicians that may reflect the public. More often they reflect themselves.

It is up to us voters to decide. Thank goodness.
How knowledgeable about the Middle East area are we Americans?

I am not sure of the answer the more I listen and read and use my prior education, civilian and military.

Forget TV in all its media means.

Most of my fellow citizens are just as well intentioned as I am, and often come to different conclusions. I suspect the reason is mostly personal experience. The other main reasons I suspect is their homework and their sources of information.

I also suspect this friction and dichotomy is as old as human history. It could be as short as American history.

Now I get to live the history during my life. I think most of the people reading this article are well informed and educated to their satisfaction. It is the rest of our citizens I will guess about.

Our nation has a long history of isolationism and withdrawal from the old world. FDR dealt with it, and this national instinct is still alive and well today. Now we will deal with it. Between our oceans’ protections and our new world principles, the idea is that we are better than the rest of the old world, and let the rest of the old world sort it out, without us. Another way it is expressed is “give peace a chance” and “diplomacy” first. Another way it is expressed is in terms of national strength, that is, we are simply too weak to do much about things without a national mobilization.

On to the latest old world problem that affects us USA types. On 9/11 we were attacked out of nowhere, and 3,000 people who simply went to work died just for being Americans in America. Somehow the oceans were no longer a simple defense, assuming we needed a defense.

Now I read and sense the political cross currents of those analyzing the people who killed 3,000 American citizens, and why and how. In this process, I evaluate how much information those who are still alive know and use. I also recognize the political aspect of all this, in that politicians and maybe media types will taint the information to promote their cause and be obtuse to the rest of us citizens, who vote by the way.

The preceding is a fancy way of saying politicians and media types can be disingenuous. We all know this.

What I think is that we American citizens are smarter than many politicians and maybe media types. We all know directly or indirectly the difference between Sunnis and Shiites; and Persians, Arabs, Kurds, Jews and the other polyglots of groups; Bathists and other dictatorial groups; and lastly nation-states and tribes. And we are familiar with all their frictions.

I just wish the oncoming Democratic head of the Intelligence Committee in the House knew as much, and he is a good guy.

Then there is the appalling (to me) ignorance and perceptions about our military, based mostly on lack of experience by those not trained in this most ancient and noble art. Yes, few of us are born to anything; most of us have to be trained. When I hear armchair generals describing why and how we can’t even subjugate a little country like Iraq, I wish they knew to look to their civilian leaders (both elected and appointed) first. And when I read about using nukes in Iran as a regional version of MAD, I often wonder if these proponents have thought about the tom foolery of Iran’s enemies, or the down range fallout pattern effects on Pakistan and India. Last on this subject, military experience is no guarantee of good judgment. Kerry and Rangel come to my mind.

The Middle East is a caldron of competing histories, ideas, religions, frustrations, and expectations. The USA would normally use our trained State Department in the old days to deal with this area. The 9/11 attacks changed everything, and now when we go to bed at night we often think about our USA security for us and our children. Often when we wake up, many go to their news to see what atrocity has occurred in the rest of the world while we were sleeping.

It is to our advantage to learn as much as we can, assuming we are starting from scratch. Then keep learning. And I think most of us are way past “scratch” in determining America’s national interests and America’s path to going forward.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sex as young people, has anything changed?

The buzz word today is: a friend, with privileges. To this naïve old guy this means she puts out.

And oral sex is not considered a sexual act by many of todays high school and earlier girls. God, I wish I could go back to high school. And damn Clinton. A blow job is a blow job. I like it.

I could go on, but the bottom line is the principal of boys and girls and hormones raging is something we parents want to try control, but they probably will do what we tried to do, in our way. I think my parents thought the same, and I think teenage sex in the back seat of cars is more normal than parents money buying motel rooms. Maybe I am out of step.

Girls help me out. Hormones count both ways.

We adults need to promote chastity and marriage. That is a good solution.

Now I read books about the obvious. The style and politics have changed, but boys and girls want to get together in the mean time. Nothing has changed, in the end.

Maybe some of the third world (to include Islamic) friction has to do with the ability of our society to ignore boys and girls getting together.

As a parent of a daughter, I want to protect her from hormonal male instinct to have sex with her. I think I know all the lines about putting out. As a father, I also think she wants to connect because of her hormones, albeit with some counseling, I hope. Wish me luck. I will be hard and direct. I may lose.

You know what. Maybe some of our old time old world standards may still apply. To me this means women run the world, albeit indirectly. Their control of birth control has huge implications, to include in the west and the east, and is an obvious example. Mature women know this, teenage girls don’t.

Reinventing the past may be a path to our future.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Sometimes you have to fight for your way of life

I never thought I would get to this point of even mentioning the subject. It is all too obvious to me.

But here it is for those who think we can always talk our way out of confrontation with those who want to do us and our children in.

The talk-our-way-out-way solutions tend to follow three lines of reasoning as I hear them.
A. Our society and beliefs are the problem.
B. We can change to win the hearts and minds of those who want to kill us and our children.
C. We can wait them out, and it will all go away.

Then there are the realist solutions that tend to follow three lines of reasoning, again as I hear them.
A. The third world middle east is culturally a cesspool that only dictators and oil oligarchies can manage to our benefit; if we support them militarily, financially, and with policy of our country to continue them in control.
B. Let them kill themselves, all.
C. The Israeli and Palestinian friction is the real cause of today’s problems in the region. Get them to sing Kum Ba Yah together and the rest will go away.

Last there is the U.N. question about why establish a Jewish Homeland, and where. The idea came out of WWII after the holocaust, and then where. Sites all over the world were considered to include Alaska, Ohio, Madagascar, west Africa, the present location, and even parts of Europe. In the end it was a political decision, and our President Truman had something to do with strong-arming the decision of the U.N. to establish Israel where it is today. Good or bad, it is a legal U.N. decision. I personally think it was a bad decision, but it was legal and I support it today.

For even doing this history in an earlier article, I have been threatened by a muslim. So much for public debate and free discussion. And where I live, his life is in jeopardy just by showing up. He will find out.

Back to the point of this article. Three thousand of my fellow citizens who just went to work on 9/11 died under attack, no fault of their own. The attack worked in my mind tactically because it cost us lives and billions of dollars in our economy. The bad guys attacked our centers of gravity, and affected some of them. Strategically, they lost. Between our President and our citizenry, they awakened a “sleeping giant”. Subsequent political efforts to say otherwise are off the mark. Even the terrible results reported in the main stream media about the war in Iraq don’t change my idea of going to sleep in my home tonight and thinking I and my children are safe. I thank my government for this good feeling, to include federal, state, and city people. Good on ‘em and thank you.

Now it is time to fight. I mean in Iraq to chose sides and kill our local enemies that interfere with OUR goals. It will be amazing how quick this can be done within Iraq; and then we can revert to the nation building ideas where Iraqi normal people like you and me can do the things that help their families to include expecting safety and yes, having to pay taxes to the government and not the local mufti.

Now it is time to fight the Syrians and Iranians by war. No holds barred. Just using intelligence and attacking the sources is reasonable. Borders of these nation states are now a two way street. They started it, now let’s use it. Eventually, enough people will run away, be killed, or the politicians who send them in harms way will have to recalculate.

In the end, the question I have is are we willing to fight for our way of life? Others may pick another course of action. But, by golly, this is my recommended course of action.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It’s a wash

I’ve just read another D.C. based article about the near political future. It’s boring for one who seeks to be an informed citizen. The article implies that those who write can influence the D.C. types, which I believe; and even extrapolates that these words can influence us unwashed citizens of the country, sometimes called the USA.

I’ve recently read another article that suggests the times have changed. The bottom line is who cares what they write because we don’t care or give any credibility to this speech. Common and family sense applies. It is our sons and daughters, after all.

In a reverse sort of way, maybe we children of the 60’s can really implement the goals of bettering the world, in our vision.

So why is there any fashion interest in today’s media reporting. I do wonder when I hear that People magazine now makes more money than Time magazine, which I ignore. I did not leave Time, it left me.

Let’s go forward. People seeking to be informed citizens just need to shop around. Maybe 20 years from now, it will be easy, but that is not the case today.

I do not offer sales pitches as to what to read to be an informed citizen. You go figure. You do have good choices. Just know what comes out of NYC and D.C. may suffer from “union type” words, media megalomania, and the intense news cycle. None of this is natural. It has all appeared since the 60’s and will disappear of its own weight, eventually.

The present example is what to do in Iraq. I ignore anything written inside the beltway and NYC as the opinion of those writing to each other. Their words don’t help this common citizen think and decide. I have to throw my news net farther. In my case, any Iraq news from a media person reporting from the “Green Zone” in Baghdad is just reverberation reporting of other reports from mostly locals. And time after time this method has been subject to the normal propaganda methods that are endemic to the society that thinks deceit is normal, which it is to most. I know this. Why has most US media become complacent? I don’t think it is as much politics as ignorance. Either way, I tune them out.

All I want to be is an informed citizen who can debate the issues of our day in a civil manner. Today, this is difficult.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Maybe America may survive

The times they are a changing.

The recent takeover of Congress by the Democratic Party says many things.

One thing I feel in my Tennessee part of the country is concern for the country, not the party. This means those elected are more American patriots than blind followers of the old guard (and left over from the 60’s) that will assume leadership positions.

Those extreme politicians on the left and right that plot to take power have been superseded by patriots that act in the USA (our) interest. They may not know it yet.

I want to wish the new Democratic leaders bad luck in trying to impose their politics on their serfs. I am confident bad luck for them will follow. Unless the serfs take over, which is my hope, then it will take an election to do all this. I am also confident that good luck will follow those that vote for the country, be they be Republicans or Democrats.

Those media pundits (newspaper and internet) that write to each other are dinosaurs. For example, they cannot nominate and elect Barack Obama, only we citizens can.

And they cannot decide in their way how our Iraq war will turn out. We citizens will vote and decide all this after reviewing how our President is doing. After all, it is our sons and daughters. In Tennessee, we are harsh in our review of his performance to date. And always we think about how the bad guys may get us in our homes. Our thoughts and votes count more than all the daily articles that come out of the beltway and its associated urban links. I think we have advanced beyond Rome, I hope.

In the same way, our enemies who use a strategy of defeating the USA in Washington, D.C. appear to have a good plan. One can lose in the local area, but one can win in D.C.

For my fellow 3,000 citizens in the World Trade Center who went to work and died, and my fellow 240 mostly Marines who died in the Beirut barracks bombing I don’t forget. Add in Col. Rich Higgins.

Anyway, this is what I think and report.

Friday, December 01, 2006

It is a privilege in life to live and vote in the USA

There is much friction in our country, mostly about are we a best society the world can produce.

I think the New World idea still works as an objective for the whole world, and I mean the whole world. Two obvious things come to mind. The Old European style we emigrated from is not our USA style. And the Islamic voice from the past is also not our USA style. And there are many other styles around our globe, I call them tribes.

All tribes just want to reproduce their progeny, and along the way preserve a way of their life. Most are like normal humans, and will accept changes in their way of life based on circumstances. And all tribes will tolerate their leaders going about things in their way.

For us Americans, many bad people, mostly international thugs guised in religious and political causes, fight us, and the media is sympathetic to their cause. Why they are sympathetic is still up for grabs. Right now I predict this “child of the 60’s group” will die out in the end and the media will begin to look more like we American people. As a Marine, a thug is a thug. Sort of sounds like the USA in the 1930s fighting the then invaders, the mafia and its culture and the Nazi’s. I can go back to the Civil War but I will stop here now.

We Americans are a good people. Our ancestors made it this way when they invented a constitution for loyalty. We have a naturally golden rule idea of discourse.

I predict and encourage the idea of discourse. Let’s civilly debate ideas, argue, vote, and go forward. This idea is the American way.

I think we in the New World are the hope and example for the humans future on our globe. We in the USA are especially privileged. We may have to fight for this idea. Right now I think the light bulb is dim, but I think it will go on.

I am worried that some of my fellow citizens think our way of life is normal, that is there is no threat to this way of life. Others have felt this way, to include the Romans.

Our ideas can be different. Our goals can be similar, I suspect.

Clay Williams

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I think we won in Vietnam…a long term perspective from the 60’s to today

Why should I even bring this subject up? We all know America lost the war in Vietnam…right!

Losing the war is written and in pictures and video, so it must be right! The evacuation pictures and video of Saigon says it all, right! The shots of panic are particularly disturbing, right! The North Vietnamese conventional army won, right! The South Vietnamese government was corrupt enough to deserve to lose, as it did! In the end the nationalists from the North won this civil war through determination and nationalistic objectives when throwing off the colonial restraints, right!

And back then the western “falling dominoes idea” had validity as part of a “containment of communism strategy” we were acting on. The communist politicians, mostly in the USSR, were aggressively trying to expand their influence and political power in the world. In hindsight, this seems hard to believe knowing the problems they had. The North Vietnamese were being used as pawns by China and the USSR to try extend communist hegemony over the entire South East Asia area. This meant Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma should fall to the North Vietnamese.

Now that reason for the USA engaging in war is long forgotten and seldom taught to younger people educated in conventional history.

And I will never forget Douglas McArthur’s advice about avoiding a general land war in Asia.

Fast forward to today.

Maybe the South took over the North. The entrepreneurial instinct bred in the South has taken over the whole country. Vietnam as a whole seeks to enter the world wide economic market, the communists and their dictatorship and failed ideas from the North be dammed. But the old nationalists and communists are the same today, I think, and did win; so today’s entrepreneurs must work through the obstacles the old time leaders continue to put up.

Just become friends with young Vietnamese forced to live and work in the USA. They communicate with family and friends in the “Old Country”, and many would generally go home but for the stupid communist dictatorship’s ruin of “their” country through its policies. Fortunately this dictatorship group is aging, and will die off. I also don’t think nepotism will survive against the entrepreneurs in this tribe.

Let’s go on. My suspicion back then that the North Vietnamese communist leaders were as much imperialists as civil war nationalists was confirmed when they did not stop in South Vietnam. Their successful efforts to take over Laos and Cambodia confirmed this to me. Thank goodness time and North Vietnam’s limited strength caused them to leave later, and the people of Laos and Cambodia threw off their latest yoke. Apparently, North Vietnamese civil war fervor was best appropriate to themselves, and not the neighbors.

Are these communist party people starting to sound like imperialistic politicians and not nationalists?

One thing really does bother me in all this discussion. It is the waste of all the mostly young men from North Vietnam whose lives ended in the war. In my mind a big chunk of a whole generation of young people died in this war. It is on such a scale that there are profound impacts decades later within the Country. What a waste. And Vietnam is still suffering from this gap in number of young men being killed in the war. Damn the old French Vietnamese revolutionaries who sent these young men to their deaths.

And the Vietnamese are a sharp tribe. As a retired Marine, I can say in my opinion that they are respected.

And we Americans are a sharp tribe, too. I think that all who went in harms way, to include those killed, injured, maimed, and served without injury should be thanked. They "done good".

If war is imposing one’s will, then I think we won from today’s perspective. The “falling dominoes” never came to pass, and Vietnam is becoming more prosperous and an economic ally of the USA. We have more in common than not. The nationalist forces deserve some credit (some in the South I would say), but so do some of our USA leaders at the time.

They imposed the USA’s will in their political judgment, and I think most of us are pleased with the results.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The American political world has changed, and DC and pundits don’t get it…yet

I would not even write about this except for two headlines I scanned today. One implied Kerry thinks his boo boo about troops is just a bloop in his coming 2008 campaign. He has a position he often points out about Reagan failing on his first try (in this case a Republican nomination). The second headline implied some Republicans are plotting an expose of Nancy Pelosi to gain some advantage by embarrassing her. Don’t they know most of us have figured her out, already. In this case, let her be herself, and that should work just fine.

I am from the common citizen view that we did vote, and sent a message along the way. Mostly, though, we voted locally. In the end, most of us citizens voted people to represent us, Party be dammed. Part of the vote is a return to civility in Congress. That means, in my simple citizen’s mind, being cordial, debating, and voting. To take this farther, I am a selfish citizen, and how people vote is more important than some Party affiliation.

I am particularly disgusted, not frustrated, at the inside the beltway pundits discussion of the Iraq war. Perhaps the General in charge there is correct when he said he senses despair when he comes to DC, but senses better things in Iraq. Since I think most pundits write and read to each other, and not JQ citizen or the people on the ground, his idea is plausible. I too am frustrated at the progress of our war, but most of my frustration is with the DC types. If any of these men and women in DC leadership positions had any practical experience in prosecuting a war in a third world place such as Iraq, I think things would be much simpler. Perhaps I am not intellectual enough to understand why we should lose this war. Losing a war means the objectives set by our President are not achievable, so come home and let them (the locals) kill themselves. I respectfully disagree.

I think most of us voted “centrist”. Whoa be to those who do not perceive the American change in DC, and are probably from the old 1990’s school. America is returning to its national personality. It is still an ugly picture, but civility and debate and voting are coming back. Most importantly, the nation’s interest is coming back. The recent ideas of Party power, control of the treasury, focus group policy, and dirty politics are fading. It will take time. One cannot turn the aircraft carrier around immediately is my naval analogy.

So where do we go as Americans. I have been trained never to complain unless I can offer a solution. Otherwise bitching is a waste of time.

My solution is too see what happens in Congress. I will also watch what our President does. I expect some semblance of returning to our national character and method of governance.

If they cannot govern because of all the past dredges, then in two years I get a chance to vote again. If they cannot ruin our county in the next two years, then God help them when the vote comes.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hope for our future…the American people have voted for it

Boy, have I been surprised! I always assumed if the Democratic Party took over Congress, then the ultra-liberal leftist wing of the Party would run things lock step. Well it looks like the Democratic Party is changing towards the center of American politics, and we Americans may benefit.

It appears the almost evenly split Congress, in both houses, will have to cooperate to get things done. And getting things done is on the many Democrats and Republicans minds. The ultra-liberal Democratic process of just saying no is passé. It never was a policy, often called hate is not a policy.

The recent Democratic squabbles over leadership selections is a good example of their problems of the ultra-liberal leftist leaders against the rest of their Party. Business as usual the way they grew up is over. The countries interests come first.

Not that many seats changed on a percentage basis, so I think there is a latent desire to be civil, debate ideas, and vote.

Any statements out of the new Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, are suspect, especially in regards her leadership of the Democratic Party. Most of what she says reflects her San Francisco political background. The school board there just booted Junior ROTC from high schools, a citizen training program, by the way.

So I have hope for our future at the national level.

If the criminally and ethically challenged new Senate Majority Leader Reid thinks he can dictate how his people will vote, I think he has another thing coming. Let him plunder until he goes to jail. Somehow I expect Senators of both parties to vote for our countries interests and this will cross Party lines. Good luck telling Senators Leiberman and Webb how to vote.

When I read between the lines, the era of Arkansas politics as brought to our Nation’s Capitol by former President Clinton is almost over, also. He has been out of governance for now six years, and it is about time we return to our national personality of the talking, debating, and voting. The national interest has superceded his egotistical interest using the Democratic Party, I think.

If I am wrong, then the next vote is in two years.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Going down the tubes…and we voted for it

We have a wonderful country compared to the rest of the world.
We can screw our country up, as in make it fail and be replaced. Just read about Rome.
This article is about our future, not our past.
We do have foreign enemies, believe it or not. Our foreign enemies are motivated by both our decadent excesses, mostly cultural; and envy of our system that promotes our common citizen, and not theirs. And many are just despots trying to advance and protect themselves, their families, and their tribe until they can collect the loot and then leave. Unfortunately, our western nation-state legacy even gives these despots political cover that we presently respect. And most global companies deal with these despots just to get through the local loops.
We do have domestic enemies, believe it or not. These people represent a scattering of objections to our way of life. Some are idealistic, some are anarchists, and some are politicians who thrive on power. Almost all know the power of control of the national treasury is important.
I think our most recent 2006 election provides we citizens a path to our future. And things in the media have changed, also.
I believe the fear that we citizens are too stupid to do the things that are best for us is just wrong. I also believe that the media cannot manipulate we citizens in order to favor one group or opinion or even a Presidential candidate. We citizens can see through all this, I think. And last, I think most of us do think long range, mostly for our progeny.
I think the change in Party control of Congress is a big yawn for me. It is how they vote that is very important to me.
In this I am enjoying the friction I read about within the Democratic Party. The friction I read about is between the leftists and the more conservative centrists. Let me say that again, just in case you can’t believe it, the Democrats can also have more conservative lawmakers. I enjoy this because I am selfish, and want a choice of who to vote for when the time comes. The Republican Party no longer owns the centrist idea, I think.
The media, in this case the Associated Press (AP), shocked me with its investigative report about Senator Reid’s (Nevada and soon to be Majority Leader of the Senate) criminal and political use of his power to make money for himself. While this story was later suppressed leading up to the election, it will not die if the AP example is followed up on, which it will be, I believe. He can use all his new power to suppress ethics investigations within the Senate, but he can’t run from the law. And don’t leave out the House lawmakers such as John Murtha’s ethics problems; and Alcee Hastings congressional impeachment and integrity problems. Just how will the latter get a security clearance given the same rules that apply to we common citizens?
Within the Democratic Party, it will be interesting for this common citizen to observe the friction between the leftists and the centrists.
If the leftists take control, then we are potentially going down the tubes, in my opinion. Only the Presidential veto and override votes are up for grabs as I read the tea leaves. For Iraq, the cut and run idea, now stated as a “an announced phased withdrawal by the leftist Democrats”, will bring on the invigorated bad guys. God help us and our children and our way of life. And if we pass an amnesty law for the illegals, then God help us again as our way of life and customs and laws change. As I said before, it is not the Party, but how they vote.
I am personally pleased the Republican Party got the boot in 2006 in Congress. Spending excesses via earmarks and corruption is a non-starter. And if the Democrats do it again in during the next two years and in their own way, then they will suffer the same fate from our smart voters, I believe.
Sometimes we are not sure who to vote for, but we can often be certain about who to vote against.
While this article has focused on the national parties, the importance of state and local lawmakers serving us common citizens is just as important. For example, I have personally had children in both private and public schools. I today support public schools because the private schools have let me down. But with Gwinnett County Schools in the Atlanta metro area having an annual budget of well over a billion dollars, this is a big deal, and a good example of local lawmakers importance to our children’s future.
This article is about the future for we common citizens, and not the past.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Over intellectualizing, and steadfastness

In wars, physical combat, one can win buy killing the enemy and reconstructing their society in the way victors do. In the USA’s case, we have only done this after being physically attacked, as in WWII. And then we imposed ourselves on the defeated. What a good deal for the western defeated, it turned out to be. The alternative eastern Russian rape of the German land is the obvious least preferred alternative.

Now we are in another war for our survival, in my opinion. As in WWII, we were attacked. I thought what we were gonna do was obvious, but now I am not so sure.

The attack on the USA with about 3,000 deaths of innocent people at work seems to be a sideshow for many of my fellow citizens. I add in the billions of dollars damage to our economy and wonder what is forgotten or assumed? Am I missing something?

When I joined the Marines it was rough and tumble. It still is, but today it better reflects our kids schooling, and is more intellectualized. It is easier to mess with a persons mind than their body. In all cases, the Marines hone their minds and bodies.

But can we be too smart for our own good? Can we be educated fools?

The answer is yes.

Let me define steadfastness. It, in my Marine term, simply means being able to calmly aim in and pull the trigger of my rifle. Being smart or dumb is not a factor. Accomplishing the mission is paramount. This is steadfast for a Marine.

So the friction comes in with the State Department. If this group is not a cabal of over educated people, no organization is. There are books written about this, to include the Small Wars Manual of 1940. My friction today with the State Department is the apparent intuitional loyalty to itself compared to whoever the people elected.

So what do the people want?
Going forward to the future

I have deliberately stayed out of writing on the mid term elections for 2006. Many can express themselves better than me, especially when encouraging get out the vote for my conservative allies. In the end I will accept any results because I am a good citizen who supports the “system”. Only time will tell.

Our country has a future. We citizens can define it. I don’t think politicians we elect at all levels can define it. Only we citizens can define our future.

There is a good argument that our republic will fail because we citizens can vote for redistribution of wealth from the rich people to us poor people. The majority rules idea will bring us down in this idea. Along this path of ideas is one that demonizes the old fashioned American way of hard work and sacrifice equals money for families and progeny and egos.

We are not too shabby! The third world friction with our consumption social habits are well publicized by our media, who of course live in our social habits. I don’t know of any who have gone overseas to another world to live and report from. What hypocrisy and megalomania! I would dredge up the media except all poll type stuff already shows we peoples’ low esteem for those who work in this industry.

So on to the future. Our country has problems, as always. One is the invasion/sneek in immigration by those who seek our system and benefits. Many are from south of the border, but those who read will recognize the other big source is Asia. The other problem I call complacency by our newest voting citizens. Many think our way of life is forever. History is replete with such examples.

We have enemies, believe it or not. Many of my fellow citizens just cannot believe there are peoples who hate our system and peoples enough to attack us and try kill us, and our system.

On this point I react. I have children and progeny to protect, right or wrong. And I think I am correct about my defense of my progeny. What is wrong with our system I choose to fix from within as opposed to letting our enemies decide. For example, my objection to all the Hollywood liberalism is a boycott of most of the movies these people make. I only get one political vote, but my DVD pocket book vote can be many times, and does.

So until the immigration trend becomes away from the USA, I think we, and our future is special. I can try define it, but the immigration trends say it better. There is something special going on in the USA. My guess, by the way, is a devotion to a constitution and not an individual.
This is unique in our country because we live it.

Our future is hopeful. It is worth fighting for.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Prehistory…a perfect subject for conjecture, those that read one or two books, and politicians who can claim about anything

By definition, prehistory is about things that were before we wrote things down, or if we did, it is long lost over time.

The main idea of those pursuing prehistory is that they are trying to “connect the dots” of all the limited archaeology work today. Knowing what I know today, prehistory is a job for those drawing a retirement and have the time. For a young college person pursuing an academic career, there may be better choices, especially because funding is always short. Or, to make a living, one must toe the line and play up to sponsors.

And then there is the cultural disdain of “professional” archeologists from colleges towards those “amateurs”. This disdain is a two-way street, but tie goes to the college types. Whether it is resistance to competition or simple pursuit of a rigorous scientific process is up for grabs in my mind.

So why try?

Pursuing the truth, or history, is a big deal!

Trying to connect the dots is difficult, but few are doing it these days.

Those that read one or two books, and then promote what they read, are distracters.

Those that read a lot, to include internet links, are better resources than the alternatives.

Sorting all this out and connecting the dots seems like a Sherlock Holmes novel. There are many clues, but who can pick up on them and make sense of it all is difficult.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Who’s in charge of the democratic party?

I wish I knew, but here’s my guess. I think the former president Clinton is still driving the democratic train. If I am correct, then the worst part of Arkansas politics is still having its effect in D.C. This is just as it was during his time as the President. This includes focus group government and media rapid response work.

And I still do not know what their principles are. The agenda has changed at least seven times in the last year. This is an inherent defect in this type of governance.

And why are democrats tolerating people such as him (and there are others). They have bigger fish to fry. If it is money, then they should go on another path and see what happens. It may surprise them.

For those that remember, the biggest tax increase in history occurred in 1993 just after Clinton became the president on a lowering taxes promise. Then we (us citizens) learned by press releases that he had “discovered” how bad things were, and only tax increases would solve the problem he announced. The vote came down to Al Gore voting to break the tie in the Senate, and along the way most of what I read was Clinton’s sales pitch to the voters in the democratically controlled Senate. The sales pitch as I read it had nothing to do with our country; it was about how bad he would look if the vote were lost. Well, I guess it worked, and then and there I knew the old fashioned democratic party had been taken over by a person who could and would use the party for his personal objectives/ego.

Arkansas politics continued in D.C. under Clinton. National politics descended to low levels. When Bush came in, he promised change in the tone, but he has failed. In spite of his golden rule approach, he has been rebuked and stained enough to get my attention. I have almost given up hope for “the old days” of honest debate and conflicting points of view reported as same. In my selfish way, I had two reasonable alternatives back then.

Let me make it seem worse, before it gets better.

It appears that after the 2004 election of the President, all of the House, and 1/3 of the Senate, things might settle down to just doing “the people’s business”. Then I read that the democrats had changed their strategy leading to 2006 by not cooperating, and even more, being totally anti-Bush. If he says A, they say B. That hate is not a policy is obvious to me, but maybe not to others. And this is from one who has a visceral disrespect of Clinton, and can believe others have the same feelings towards Bush.

Let me make it seem better. Clinton is six years out of office and direct national power, and on the way out. That his wife still is in the game, extends his influence only so far. They and Arkansas politics have had their heyday, and are on the way out. After all, we Americans are more reasonable and golden rule oriented. I believe that also applies to most good people in Arkansas.

So if you can get through the democratic political ads today, what are their principles today? I don’t know, myself. I am beginning to think that former democratic senator Zell Miller’s book about “A National Party No More” is mostly on the mark.

History does prove that nations and parties can “become part of history”. It is possible to “screw it up”; that is abuse what we have been born to and ultimately lead to our demise. And whole groups of voters can switch in mass. How the federal government would respond to the natural disaster of the Mississippi River flood of 1927 is just such an example.

The democratic party I knew in the old days is alive and well, albeit in small areas. There are many “centrist” democrats still politically alive and well. They can be the genesis for the future of their party and maybe our country, I hope. Again I am selfish in expecting two reasonable alternatives to vote on.

You know, there was a reformation in europe centuries ago that, in my mind, was both a rejection of what was happening, and also a path forward.

I think we may be at the same kind of crossroads today. Who knows.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Hindsight…and maybe a way out

This article is about Iraq.

I have eaten a lot of crow with my relatives and some friends. I confidently told them back in 2003 that we, our D.C. types, were smart enough to know and implement winning the peace was key. And they listened to me. Winning the war was an intermediate step. The strategic goal evolved to be western democracy in Iraq to be the beginning of an ink blot spreading idea throughout the Arab world that would take decades, but by golly, we had to start somewhere. Winning the peace was key. That the goal had evolved set me off, some, as in nervous with a low hover.

Before I go forward, let me say I have an agenda. First, for lack of knowing what to do, I do what I know. Second I am a retired Marine, and this Marine Corps’ institution, along with the Navy, have some historical experience in winning the peace, or at least setting up the means to try win the peace. We can do what we know. Mostly that means listening to the people we are trying to subjugate for all the right reasons.

Next is hindsight. Right after we won militarily in Iraq, I listened to occupation friction on Fox News (that was all I watched and listened to back then). The friction between DOD (Department of Defense) and SD (State Department) popped up right away in the dispute about who would “win the peace”, although it was never expressed in this term. My antennas went up. General Garner was “in charge” for a short period, only to be replaced by the SD fellow, Paul Bremmer, who had previously chaired a report and committee that made him look like he was the guy. In hindsight, he had worked for Kissinger Associates, which brings in another what if dimension. But it was not long after all this that I would listen to reports on Fox News “that the window was closing” on opportunities to win the peace. Usually it was just providing jobs and security to families to live, even at the existence level. And of course it was area specific. My antennas were even higher then, because all this is so fundamental. I could see the problems coming, but then it got worse, in my hindsight opinion. First there was never a D.C. imposed person in charge, and I fault our President. So we had, and still have, a divided chain of command. This is as bad as what Hitler (SS party vs. the military) and Tojo (Army vs. Navy) did or allowed to happen in WWII. Second I read reports, to include a Newsweek cover report, of what we, our military, were doing to create a new Iraqi military. I was incredulous as this, to me, seemed at the time, to be more like a constabulary/gendarme problem that should have had priority, especially as to creation and training. Now I hear there are problems with police forces.

And if I were a normal Iraqi citizen in any zone, all I really want is the basics, and that includes local police security for my family.

Next is kinda half hindsight and my Marine and Navy education about winning the peace. It is pretty much do the basics: police, local government (mostly infrastructure like water, sewage, and electricity), schools, medical, and tax collection. That is a tall order, by way, if one is in many of the lawless areas of the world. But this tall order is just what we should have prioritized in Iraq, in hindsight. It was a freebie since Saddam Hussein failed to do it before.

Last hindsight thoughts. This is really kinda agenda oriented. I think the nation-state idea is from European colonial countries, and since they are gone as colonial empires, the idea does not work today, and even more importantly, reflect our present world. This may apply to Iraq as it seems to be a conglomeration of three tribes, Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis. I mention this because we did go in to Iraq with our strategic goals. For the naïve, homework as to Kurdistan is mandatory. From my military experience, the Kurds are just as devious as the Sunnis and Shiites in trying to involve us in their causes. For the kurds, the Turkish military draft always assigns young Kurd men far away from the Kurdish area in Turkey, and for good reason.

So much for multiculturalism in the USA. The melting plot better explains who we are, I think.

On a maybe way out

I am not a politician, nor a pundit who can write well, nor a manipulator of what ever kind these days. All I am is a citizen who can vote.

And I hear the Army fellow in charge of the military part of our present effort in Iraq has seen the light about things about winning the peace. He is a sharp fellow. But as my mother used to say, sometimes what could have happened is just hoping for something else. The window of opportunity has passed, I think.

Now here’s the good news.

I think we have recently put more of our military effort into the constabulary/gendarme part of the strategic goal. This is good for the future of us and Iraq.

Now here’s the bad news.

I think our SD (State Department) has let the President down by pursuing its own institutional goals, as compared to our electively elected President’s stated objectives. I always thought our vote counted, but maybe not in the SD.

Here’s more thoughts on strategic goals that should influence our way out.

We should always operate in our own national interest.

Promoting Iraqi freedom is a proper strategic objective. But the wise man must recognize it will be a unique Iraqi freedom and republic, not the unique American republic we enjoy here in the USA. The two may not even look similar.

Only the Iraqis can win the peace. That we could have done better in setting up their winning the peace is now water over the dam. And then, off course, there really are no Iraqis, only three main tribes of kurds, sunnis, and shiites.

It is this last strategic goal that provides us a way out that is in our national interest. The only real question is one of timing.

Here’s some thoughts on tactical and some operational details.
As I read the tea leaves, there are two main conflicts going on inside the nation-state called Iraq.

One is the foreign invasion of insurgents who do the bombing that attacks our military and Iraqi infrastructure, mostly in limited areas of the entire country. Unfortunately, one of these limited areas is the capital Baghdad. Any country must control its capital to be called in charge. So control the city, or move the capital.

The other is the increasing local sectarian violence which looks like a civil war in some ways and places, but is both more complicated than that, and also simpler than that. This is a unique Iraqi conflict, not a foreign invasion. In some parts of the world the leaders of this type conflict are called warlords, or even crime bosses, but in Iraq I would call them theocratic thugs looking out for their personal and local and tribal interests. Most importantly, they can raise the monies to finance themselves. And in a better world, these same monies could go to the government and its attempts at control and asserting itself.

A properly planned and lead USA winning the peace plan should have avoided where we are today, but again, that is water over the dam. Yet the principles remain the same, that is, winning the peace is in the end, an Iraqi problem demanding an Iraqi solution. The future tactical goals for the USA are derived from all this. And the Iraqi solution may not look like what we either hope for or expect. A federal confederation of the three tribes is one possibility, for example. But it will be an Iraqi solution because we did win the military conflict. And because we seem to be losing the peace in some areas, our ability to influence what the Iraqi solution looks like is much more limited. So be it. And never forget, all this is area specific. Some parts of Iraq make the USA look pretty good, and some areas make us look shabby. For all those military people and NGO’s who have done wonderful infrastructure improvements, thank you and good on ya.

So all the preceding leads to what to do; how to get out with a sense of mission accomplished and the politicians did not waste our time and lives and national monies; how to save our wonderful military there, and the military warriors come home to their families.

Here’s where the politicians come in to do their magic. Bottom line, our politicians must tell the present Iraqi politicians it is now their problem to sort out. How they do all this is part of their magic. Our politicians must get a time schedule from the Iraqi politicians. If they don’t produce such a schedule within months, then our politicians produce a schedule, which we then execute.

Given our strategic goal of the ink blot idea (my words, again), we will have for a long time logistical and financial support obligations that support our national interest in this part of the world. Since it is in the national interest, so be it.

For those readers who wish to do further homework and readings about the details of how we might get out, please read these links from those with more local experience than me:

A summary follows.

While I have no idea how all this Iraq stuff will sort out, I am confident the USA and our President did the right thing in invading Iraq. I just wish there was a class for Presidents and Secretaries of Defense and State Department. I’ll bet they wish the same.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It’s a wash

I’ve just read another D.C. based article about the near political future. It’s boring for one who seeks to be an informed citizen. The article implies that those who write can influence the D.C. types, which I believe; and even extrapolates that his words can influence us unwashed citizens of the country, sometimes called the USA.

I’ve recently read another article that suggests the times have changed. The bottom line is who cares what they write because we don’t care or give any credibility to this speech. Common and family sense applies.

In a reverse sort of way, maybe we childs of the 60’s can really implement the goals of bettering the world, in our vision.

So why is there any fashion interest in today’s media reporting. I do wonder when I hear that People magazine now makes more money than Time magazine, which I ignore.

Let’s go forward. People seeking to be informed citizens just need to shop around. Maybe 20 years from now, it will be easy, but that is not the case today.

I do not offer sales pitches as to what to read to be an informed citizens. You go figure. You do have good choices. Just know what comes out of NYC and D.C. may suffer from “union type” words.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Like the story of the wise blind men describing an elephant to a village of blind people, another what if drill has brought up the subject of who is a native american and who is an immigrant or explorer from the old world. In the story, all the blind men were correct in what they felt.
Another story. While I worked at a 23,000 acre plantation in SC (mapmaker, comptroller, and later president) the subject of deer hunting results and population biology came up. Did we have too many for the land, or two few, as an example. In this case, and to continue the story, we brought in PhD "experts", or deer bigots as we would joke. We could choose from Clemson, UGA, and Auburn (there are other groups). We chose the UGA group for people reasons. At the conference, the retired professor emeritus of wildlife biology got up after the others, and basically said, in my words, that everybody could be correct, and proceded to explain himself to my satisfaction. It reminded me of the wise blind men story.
Let me continue to construct a question for this mooring stones research in south dakota. It has to do with who is a native american and who is an old world european immigrant.
If an old world european comes to the USA area, and in my question intermarries with local indigenous people, are their offspring native americans or old world europeans? Using my 30 years per generation belief, if we continue for 6 generations (180 years), is one progeny who is 1/64 old european a native american or an old european?
There is no "official" answer best I can figure. The rules for tribal membership for the 500+ Indian tribes vary all over the place.
My answer for this investigation as to the origin of the mooring stones in south dakota; who did it, and when, may have to do with the answer or opinion as to an answer to this question of who is an old european or a native american.
There is much I read in my research that "counter attacks" all the old world immigration ideas, often stating or implying that it was native americans who did what ever. To suggest otherwise is racial prejudice or even simple poor archaeology. Since I am retired and old enough not to care, this is water off a ducks back. All I want to do is research. And traditional archaeology does count.
So like the professor emeritus story, I wonder if we can all be somewhat correct. In practical terms, could some of what we are researching be a combination of some old world idea, and people who are mostly native american, by whatever definition of native american?
To me, culture counts. For lack of knowing what to do, we do what we know. This includes our religion.
There are many present day analogies. Many christian and muslim missionaries in the past have "converted" indigenous peoples only to find today that they practice a combination of the "new" religion and the previous animist religion(s).
Since I am culturally from the south of the USA, I am out of my league in the midwest native american cultural and political stuff.
And I think there are immigrants, and their progeny; then, and today.
So two questions follow:
- Has any of the above discussion come across the readers experience to date?
- Could the origin of the south dakota mooring stones possibly be some combination of old world ideas and new world people?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

What’s unique, and what’s not

America, the USA, is unique. Never in the world’s history has such a land occupied by various peoples coalesced into a nation state where the sum is bigger than the addition of the parts.

In biblical terms, we are now fat and lazy and capable of killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Nation states are not normal…tribes are. Yet we have transcended all this to be a shining beacon to the world. Just look at emigration directions and numbers to see how people vote with their feet and their family’s futures. In fact, we are such a good deal that the illegal immigration problem is real, and a threat to our good deal if not controlled.

One uncontrolled borders number is that over one billion people would come here given the chance. Since we USA types are 300 million, imagine the impact of this immigration.

We have to thank our parents, and their ancestors for much we have today. Every time I can drink clean water out of the tap, go from A to B and expect to eat along the way and get fuel, all without paying bribes, says much to our earned society. This is unique.

Women having the vote is unique. Others have borrowed the idea. Compared to societies where a man can legally kill a women who does not bleed on her wedding night, we have a better deal. And the duplicity of families sending daughters to Syria to have their hymens restored is below our USA experience. Forget letting your daughter ride a tricycle as a kid.

Compared to “old world europe”, we are unique. No wonder we left them to themselves. The latte remembrances of colonies and other such imperial responsibilities have dragged them down to their historic prejudices. They are different from us, the USA types. We are better in all the ways you can imagine and hope for. For present USA companies trying to compete in “old world europe”, best wishes.

We, us USA people, the nation state, are not colonial in our intentions. This is unique. That attack and occupation can be political, military, or economic is obvious. Even globalization is not a USA plot.

The world is not unique.

Pick your part of the world to see how bad things can be for humans. Forget all the environment people making it worse, albeit with good intentions.

Never discount the part that criminals play in many societies.

Never discount historic tribal frictions, be it in china, the trancaucaus, dafur, the former ottoman empire, and even bolivia.

Never discount criminals wrapping themselves in political causes.

Never discount the naivety of western reporters, born and bred in the west, who try to “report” what is going on in the east, or even the rest of the world. Between their safety issues, good intentions, naivety, and educated prejudices, I think they are my last source of the real news. There are better alternatives, today.

We USA types have a good deal today. It is worth fighting for.

I measure D.C. political efforts as to fighting for our good deal as deliberate, do gooderism, or blatant attempts to gain power for access to the treasury.

Please vote your own way.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Enough is enough for this citizen who can vote

The latest media turmoil over the homosexual congressman from Florida tripped me off.

First me, then the media reporting and D.C.

Long ago, my media filters turned off any reporting out of New York and D.C. as hopelessly misaligned. Today this is often called the main stream media, but I think it is worse than that. I would like to think it so simple as leftist agenda reporting, but I think it is more like the some combination of a wicked brew of dumb reporting, peer inside the ring reporting (worse than high school cliks we all went through), and a simple lack of integrity. Forget patriotism for our children’s sake. That it has happened in my lifetime (born 1948) is just amazing.

Again me. The double standard I have observed, and I read a lot, is almost acceptable because of repetition, until duplicity and overt turning of the heads becomes apparent to me. Is this criminal, cultural, or some obtuse belief that all the voters are major fools and idiots and whatever the media bubble of the day is affects them and they respond to all this.

Again me. The coverage of Bob Woodward’s latest book is beyond me, again. I tuned him out years ago over his lack of integrity. There are better books to read if you want to become an informed citizen. The issues are many, but why do media even ask him questions today. That he is selling a book to enhance his retirement and trying to influence an election is so blatant.

Again me. Having been an inside the beltway person fighting for funding for my cause, I understand how people can come to think they have an important job, that is, fighting for funding. And it is important from the cause point of view. But just go outside of the beltway or the new york city area to your home town, and read the local papers, and you know there are two different worlds living apart, not together, I think.

Again me. Fox News Channel is driving me away. The ten year old days of “fair and balanced” looks to me to be replaced by new york living people who read locally and have passed the pretty boy or girl standard, to include high school graduates who spout news that is blatantly incorrect. Since all I want is the news, good bye. Maybe it’s the producers. I don’t care.

Again me, the last. I’ve had enough of reading and thinking that the pundits can favor and maybe even try elect a person to the Presidency. While I trust these smart, well read, well researched, and well opinioned people, they only have one vote, and I think it often reflects their job, geo location, and clik pressures. As always, never have some few had such a potential to influence so many people.

Now for D.C. and media reporting about the homosexual congressman.

This behavior, by the media reporting, is one of a sexual predator pursuing his victims. That he quit his job immediately pleases me. The overreaching reporting of some kind of coverup by congressional leaders seems to be overboard compared to earlier such flagrant sexual predators pursuing their targets, and condencending reporting. Why did Congressman Gary Studds from Massachusetts have homosexual sex with a male page, and politically and medially survive the experience? Same applies to Gary Condit in his pursuit of young female interns.

This behavior also applies to President Bill Clinton. The Monica Lewinsky drill says it all. Since his “retirement” his Chappaqua time has the locals irate as he bangs a local old gal. Where is my relief?

It’s obvious to me, the usual citizen, that my simple standards have been changed by others. I think that the moral code about right and wrong is about correct. I would even reduce it to the golden rule.

So where to go? I would suggest just to vote.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Our country’s future

Another election is on the way and again we vote for our house, and some of our senate, all in 2006.

This election is important to me because it will affect my progenies future. I could care less about my future. I’ve had my run.

So what might be best for my progeny (ages 11 through 31)?

Security from Islamic attack is number one.

Number two is a chance to earn a good job that rewards them. If they don’t want to work hard, screw them. Somebody else will. And I will still love them, albeit with tough love.

After this opportunity, I am almost ready to put up with about any western alternative lifestyle, except hard work and dedication every day is mandatory.

So if my progeny is lazy or lacking, I think my country will survive to go forward. This idea applies to myself, also.

The world is bigger than me, of course.

And the power of ideas is enormous. The pen is mightier than the sword, so to speak.

And the idea of ideas, culturally applied, suggests some of us just want to do good to feel good, and some other of us want to do good to make things happen. I think this is fair.

So at this time in the upcoming election, I suggest we lead.

Ignore all the election experts in your area and your regional and national areas and just vote yourself. I think we are common sense smarter than all the hype, focus group party platforms, and media experts that make their living assuming they can manipulate us.

I, personally, can accept the results.
Where have all the flowers gone? …Long time passing.

I was born in 1948 and my generation was taught standards and opportunities earned by those who taught me. This group to me includes my parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and some cousins. They experienced the death and injury of relatives from combat in both World Wars, and later.

It was wonderful for me to be idealistic, educated, protected, and willing to lead by example in the 60’s. We knew our cause and style of applying it would change the world.. It was obvious that the Western World’s lead would influence the rest of the world for the best, as we knew it. Bob Dylan, even if he could not really sing, had the messages in his poetry.

Back then teachers even taught me history that included the strong American character of isolation from foreign threats to we the people. Today I can see one history teacher’s face, just not remember her name.

The light bulb went on about age 17. If I believed it, I would have to serve…like do the military and go in harms way. No talking the talk, just walk the walk. I voted that way with my feet and joined. My younger brother planned on going to Canada.

I did the Newport Folk Festival when it was changing from a folk musical festival to a protest festival about 1967. It was the first time I experienced prejudice as the young gals there taunted people like me with sexual type displays (I had to be in a Naval ROTC uniform during my summer requirement). I got my feelings hurt. I was in the political minority there and then, for sure.

Vietnam later provided friction to this idealism, but so did MTV. And my brother was at Vanderbilt.

Then I lived overseas and perceived the local disgust of the media coming out of America. “Sex, drugs, and rock and roll” is cute here only.

The repression of ideas by inquisition, murder, and mayhem I studied has not gone away as I was sure the human race had evolved. It still happens, even morphing into character and integrity tainting.

The USA continues to be a melting pot of peoples that emigrate to this land and country because of hope.

The balance of idealism and pragmatism in our religious and educational institutions continues to swing as a pendulum. All out-of-balances will naturally correct over time, and they will.

Journalism is a business. Media control will always be attempted by politicians.

The effects of television and its myopic tendencies will balance out with other medias as we citizens gain another 50 years experience with all of the mediums which includes the internet.

The political institutions will always be about the frictions between performance and ideal intentions.

Greater civility in American cultural discourse will return and grow because that is who we are.

The techno outburst of 500 TV channels for many of us with young children is fraught with perils. Even NOGIN now has teen programming that includes teen girls making out.

I grew up without TV, and even radio was limited. Back then we had to read (or be read to) books, or play Family games together, like Scrabble. The games could be tough as we fought each other, and talked.

It seems less that I have changed over time, but that the world has changed more. I feel I have been more forced away from groups that changed than been pulled towards groups that have changed less.

Now is the time for more flowers to grow, again. We, the people, are the planters.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Don’t forget about bandits

They have many names in American English: bandits, banditos, criminals, mafia, guerillas, freedom fighters, terrorists, Islamic fascists, Apaches, Pancho Villa, and sometimes ideologues.

This article is about the criminals who wrap themselves in political cover to protect themselves and cover their tracks of criminal behavior.

It does appear there may be an increase in criminal behavior, often exhibited as rogue militias in the third world. I think this behavior is about the same, given my discount of poor western media reporting. Others with more local information may disagree, and even see a vacuum of civilization as exhibited by poor governance. This view may be right, also. Also consider the influence of drug money ultimately from our USA drug users.

Complicating all this is history. The fog between bandits and local criminal gangs is close. It is confusing for all the right reasons.

In my local area on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, the civil war is still alive and well, and one local hero who was probably a bandit on the side was later, after the war, tried and hung and buried in this land. And his burial site is still a place to visit.

And then I listen to my Brit friends who compare NYC crime rates to northern Ireland during the worst IRA guerilla actions, and things do look different. Since most of us Americans are revolutionists at heart (I think), the idea of being an IRA kind of guy is appealing: sleep in, plenty of sex, lots of booze, work periodically, get paid now and then, and be a well respected freedom fighter.

I think all of the aforementioned type of people are low life criminals at heart, and they need to be killed (as opposed to the politically correct term of eliminated).

Do not be confused as to criminal motivation. If in doubt, tie goes to killing them as part of a war. This is not a legal action against criminals. Our ancestors have been through this drill, and tie has always gone to war, not legal action.

We do have a way of life to defend. And for those who disagree, let’s vote.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Responsibility for communicating is a two way street, I think

Most of us have experience with the subject. It may be our siblings, our spouses, our families, our politics, our nation, our tribe, and even our religion. But most of us have experience in the communication process in one or more of the preceding.

Recently the communications gap between parts of the world seems appalling, to me.

It appears people are often talking past each other. This problem is as old as history, but terrible things can come out of this problem.

The confusion around whether it’s nature is religions, cultures, nations, tribes, local vs. international causes, or just despots and megalomaniacs is made worse by inflaming media reporting. To me it is all of the above. I can pick any confusing issue, and really get wound up.

For me, it’s personality dependent.

For example, when it is reported that some low level Muslim cleric or citizen tells the Pope to convert and die, I get really wound up. But should I? And I am not Catholic.

“Should I” means like going to a shooting war with all its terrible consequences. But then I calm down some when I think about communications.

I have busted my tail to think like the other side on the Islam stuff in the forefront today. I am not Muslim, but I used to be in the Marines, so I know how important it is to know the other side, respect his values, and seek ways to help him help me. If that doesn’t work, then we kill him. It hardly gets to the last point, since we all know we will leave and come back home to the USA, and he will still be there with his family.

Much of the recent media reporting and many other resources that focus on the other side I have inhaled. History, culture, values, religions, tribes, nation states, political systems, and economics have all been consumed by my homework.

It is especially important for me to realize, and state to the readers, that many issues and conflicts and frictions are at play. One size does not fit all.

So where am I today?

The subject says it all. Communications is a two way street, I think.

Where is the effort on the other side to listen to us, know our values, our intents, our bottom line determination to protect our families and defend our way of life?…and to state all this for later media reporting. Are there leaders on the other side who do their “inhaling”?

I answer my question as follows: The effort is there by those on the other side who believe and understand that communications is a two way street. We don’t have to agree with them necessarily, but edicts and non-negotiable demands are a non-starter. That all this is not well media reported is obvious.

So, as I believe, that communications is a two way street, then it is time to hear more discussion from the other side.

The other side I think of are not the fascist, racist, megalomaniac, criminal religious types, but the regular people like you and me.

Somebody, please step up to the plate…in western terms.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Only a child a mother could love

Historical guesses and today’s marital opinions are confusing for most of our younger readers.

The immigration to the Americas occurred long before Columbus sailed. It was a two way street, and came from the east, and the west. This theory, though not agreed upon by all, is probably correct. The details are still being researched and up for grabs. Depending on where you live in the USA, if you live in the Dakota Minnesota area, for example, there was probably an Icelandic and earlier immigration, for example. If you live on the west coast and up to Canadian B.C., there is a Polynesian example. Since I am on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, I am probably a true mongrel from Melungeons and other such occupiers of this land from across the Atlantic.

And of course, after Columbus, a lot more emigration occurred.

Almost all of us USA Americans are mongrels, in the genealogy and dog breeding sense.

Many elitists and purists look down on mongrels of all kinds.

What little I understand about dog breeding is that inbreeding of a kind, like a golden retriever, may reinforce introducing defective genes. In the same method, mutts tend to reinforce the suppressing of defective genes.

The USA seems to reinforce the mutt/mongrel idea of breeding.

While most USA children still get married for “first comes love, then marriage, then baby in the baby carriage”, I think the more eastern method of “first comes marriage, then baby in the baby carriage, then love “may work better for my progeny. Who knows. In the end, we are mongrels or mutts, genealogy wise.

So all mothers love their children. And most kids are of good mongrel blood, as if forget the western adage, even if the breeding does occur.

After they are bred, let’s go forward in time.

What bothers me, as in to ask in this article, is why are children of Christians of the same faith, and the children of Moslems muslim, the children of Buddists buddist, and so on?

Is this a human foible? Of course it is, I think.

So how can a mother love such a person?

Is it just humanity, or religion, or politics, or something else?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Don’t trust anyone under 30

It is a profound time in anyone’s life when something trips you that gradual aging has passed a critical point, a node, a surprise, a jolt, a kind hint, a sarcastic hint, maybe an injury, and even a real report that my age has become generational. I have become of another generation that has, or may have been, superseded in the old fashioned normal way. In my case this is the old fashioned USA way.

Politics come to mind now as I think of war and peace and being passed by, and knowing I am too old to serve. I do want to serve again, but my presence may do more harm than good. Boy, does that thought hurt. And yet, I also think how very important it is now to think of war and peace and how it might affect my progeny. The normal human instinct is to say I am willing to go in harms way, but committing my progeny to the same is another matter. I want them to succeed where I don’t really give a darn about me.

And there are other cultures where the “old” have different positions in families, societies, and life in general. I tend to read about these cultures in aging articles and National Geographic magazine articles. And I have lived in some of these cultures, and seen all this with my own eyes. Obon in Okinawa especially impresses me.

And now to today’s friction between Islamic wackos and us decadent western types. Maybe we old people can bring something to the plate. And I speak of a plate that is two way, and I put ideas on and take ideas off of the plate.

Much friction today is from ideas from long dead people. Maybe they were intellectuals worthy of reading today, and maybe they were megalomaniacs operating in their small world. The ideas of Salafism and Qutbism from those objecting to the Arabian dictatorships come to mind. Wahhabism and its oil and desert tribe funding in Arabia are apparent to old people like me. Then there are Madrasah’s in Pakistan, but the evil Moslem input is totally over reported, in my humble opinion. And Pakistan is the sixth biggest country in the world, by the way.

And all I want is for my progeny to have a chance to go forward in their own lives.

Here’s what maybe old USA people like me can bring to the plate. We have the time to read and research, and then say what we think. That is very powerful. And probably it is.

In the other cultures, I am not sure.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Shooting wars 101...a western perspective

I am going to be negative, then I will be positive

There seems to be an incredible amount of misunderstanding between cultures as they talk past each other. I think the Muslim and Christian communities have more in common than not.

There seems to be a rising tide of exasperation with Islamic actions by western media pundits.

This frustration is more and more mentioning a shooting war as a reluctant alternative. Most of these authors have not served, nor will have to serve, or have their kids serve in harms way. For those who I have insulted, I apologize. A lot of today’s kids are stepping up to the plate.

If ever there were a time for media to be responsible about “just the news” it is now. The BBC’s inflamed reporting of the Pope’s comments, and in all the local languages broadcast over short wave, is appalling because it looks to this westerner as either really ignorant broadcasting, or a deliberate effort to start a war and get people killed. What megalomania in either case. I suspect none of the BBC people so responsible will serve in harms way, either. This principle also applies to al-Jazerra.

Could this be the yellow press in a new reincarnation? I think so. If it is, I will not be drawn in!

The Colin Powell principles still apply, especially for the USA. Right now I don’t think the criteria will lead us to a greater shooting war with Islam’s fascists. In fact, I think US will is so divided, thanks to my political opponents by the way, that the USA will just tolerate about anything as long as it does not harm us.

The USA does have a long history of isolationism and pacifism that is part of our culture. I am not sure of why, but I think our physical isolation in the old days may have had something to do with all this. We had bigger fish to fry.

It’s a confusing time, since the end of the cold war with communism should have brought an end to the idea of war and apocalypse and other religious end of days terms.

Now we western types are in the soup again. Why?

The question presumes we can influence the world, and that we will try to do so.

Now I will be positive.

The friction with Islam’s fanatics is not national. The USA may be a big gorilla, but that is all we are. That the president of France back in January threatened a nuclear bomb response tells me he was responding to a valid threat as reported to him by his intel people.

The EU countries will not be Islamized inspite of present trends. The obvious comment is that these good family people come to the EU for economic and political reasons. And the other obvious comment to this USA commenter is that, in the long run, the immigrants will adopt their new countries standards. I have heard much the same from a relative living in a Bengali community in London, for example. And I think all this in spite of all I read about EU countries inherent prejudice. The British example recently makes me nervous, but I expect in the end british society will dominate, as always, I hope.

Women are key. The power of female emancipation throughout the world will change everything. A world ruled by listening to ½ the population will be different. While I don’t like it, I agree that the world will different.

Between the USA and EU, people should pay attention as to economics, and more importantly politics.

Do not ignore Japan, India, Brazil, and even Australia.

All deserve a place in the UN security council, but that is another article.

And yes, we the USA types are learning from our mistakes in Iraq.

It is still amazing to me that a very small group of mostly arab western educated people will move to Iraq and kill themselves, and as many other tribal enemies because of religion, politics, and power.

Will this very dedicated group influence our western and USA policy. Right now it looks so.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Things in perspective…revolutions in Iran and China

I would rather be the leader of any western country today than the leaders of Iran, and China. Here’s why.

One country at a time.

Iran’s government is a dictatorship run by theocrats (ayatollahs) and a slightly lunatic president who has only known success, to include his university time taking over the US Embassy in 1979. Much of this dictatorial group is more arab oriented than the majority Persian population.

Here are population statistics:
Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other 1%

Here are language statistics:
Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%

Some of the theocrats can barely speak Persian. This says legions. And their pernicious imposition on the population of their visions is tenuous, at best.

Their power today seems to be less idea based than oil based. Present Iranian threats to disrupt their oil output and even to interrupt the Persian Gulf output through the Strait of Hormuz are mostly talk from weak third world tin despots that are full of themselves. Most of the Iranian oil and even Persian Gulf oil goes east, as in to China and others, and they can not and will not tolerate this effort to hurt the west. I feel confident this has already been “expressed” in the appropriate way.

If you believe a nation's government has one responsibility to at least try to improve the lot of its citizens, then the present Iranian government is failing, and no amount of secret police, intimidation, and even billboards extolling martyrdom can change what mothers and fathers think. Because the older Iranian people have lived under other regimes, they especially know the difference.

Of such situations, revolutions are made. More to follow.

On to China, first.

My opinion about revolution there is strategic in nature, though I will drop down to operational a little bit.

China has never been able to rule itself for any historically extended period of time. This inherent principle still applies. China is not homogeneous, just like Iran is not homogeneous.

The normal historical friction is usually expressed as the inland Chinese tribes vs. the coastal Chinese tribes. It is more modernly called the friction between the governing inland Chinese tribes vs. the more entrepreneurial coastal Chinese tribes (to include the Vietnamese by the way). At the operational level, it is the massively corrupted communist Chinese government (to include the military that runs entire business empires) vs. the business people running on rampant capitalism vs. the regular people being overrun by too fast an economic change, tribal change, and even environmental change. People do not take birth defects well if they think, as they do, that it is not mother nature at work.

And somewhat as in Iran, no amount of secret police, intimidation, and media control efforts will change what mothers and fathers think. And we all really resent nepotism.

When China took over Hong Kong, some wondered if, in the end, Hong Kong might take over China?

Of such situations, revolutions are made.

The last part of this article is difficult for me, for now I am somewhat out of my league.

Of what are revolutions made? What precipitates a revolution?

I use an historical approach. As a child of the 60’s, I think the US went through a revolution, though it was different from what I think will happen in Iran and China. And for sure the Soviet Union’s dissolution was another revolution of sorts, in my opinion.

I think one size do not fit all. Iran’s and China’s revolutions will be local… and violent with much blood let.

Iran seems like a case of the majority being ruled by a minority bent on its objectives.

China seems like a case of historical friction exacerbated by resentment of corruption and nepotism and “birth defects” .

Only time will tell.


The USA was born through revolution. So some revolutions can have good consequences.
I think some English still think of George Washington as a terrorist.

When I told my Israeli classmate at Command and Staff College at Quantico that I at the time considered Menachem Begin an imperialist, and compared him to my Leon Uris novel writer motivations, he knew and agreed with my disappointments and frustrations, at least he said so, and I believed him.

Menachem Begin was a terrorist in his youthful time. This comment in the class by a Delta Force fellow got a big protest from the Israeli embassy. So much for schooling, except in the USMC school, it stuck.

Predicting is a human foible. For anyone who has read this far, focus on your judgment about enemy capabilities. That is where the meat is. Judging intents from media reports is a waste of your intellectual time. Do use media reports to figure out what is the other sides objectives, sometimes even called centers of gravity.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Cutting through the noise to get to the basics

Examples of noise that get my emotional attention are:

70% of Quebecers blame US policy for 911. But there are more people in New York City than in Quebec. And New York City people are very patriotic.

Charlatan pontifications get main stream media attention, such as from the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Yet while he was being a “spiritual advisor” to our President Clinton about his running around on his wife, Jesse was banging a University of Georgia professor, and apparently not using safe sex, since she conceived and he paid, somehow.

Teddy Kennedy can say anything, anytime, and any place, to include mispronouncing Supreme Court nominee Alito’s name in front of Congress. Yet now there is no mention of that embarrassment, or of his manslaughter of Mary Joe Kopechnie while he and his running mates was running around on their wives. Yea I know, the government did not prosecute, but I think we all can guess why.

Any normal comment about Muslims, such as by Pope Benedict, or even some dumb cartoons in Denmark, can set off an Islamic firestorm in the press. Most of the whole world agrees with the Pope, to include most Muslims. They have bigger fish to fry. All the press reports add up to maybe a couple thousand people out of 1.4 billion Muslims. You do the math.

In the meantime, western media types publish articles about the Pope’s lack of mastery of media control and spin. Where’s the beef? Substance does matter. People focusing on spin and taking the least common denominator and moral equivalency are not the people I would vote for. Who cares that they can “report”.

Democratic party news releases are omnipresent. Who thinks this stuff up? After about the fifth brochure about what the party thinks (long since superseded by another brochure), they lost credibility with me. Of course, who believes them at this point?

Al Jazeera can publish anything without any western coughs, like BS. Beheadings of innocent civilians are apparently normal to western reverberations of “the news”. I assume all the high tech they use is from the employees’ western educations and life styles, to include alcohol and bacon. This is not theoretical.

My life has been threatened before by such people. Go figure. And all I am doing is saying what I think. And I am a common citizen.

BBC and even Reuters employees have killed the “goose that laid the golden egg“. These employees have abused all the legacies their predecessors earned by hard work and standards, and people like me have been run off. I am old enough to know the difference, and it is profound. For those not old enough, just read about staged events then reported as news to be concerned. How the BBC still gets government money is probably because the BBC also does good social work. Sounds a little bit like Hezbollah, doesn’t it. In the end, citizens wanting to be informed of the news should ignore the BBC.

Some wacko PHD professor somewhere says the USA government and conspiracy did 911, not the attackers. Where is the outrage as to the vetting process for awarding the title PHD to such educated fools. Is there a review process for the awarders of such a degree?

OK, I am naïve. My two plus years overseas from the US don’t help me form my own opinions that will sell. The opinions of the educated fools who have never been overseas will dominate politically.

I can’t wait to vote.