Chowan River Patriot
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. " - Ronald Reagan
The blog for talking about North Carolina happenings, especially around the Inner Banks... and the Patriot Blog site for humor, guest columnists, education and religion.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
A Conservative Viewpoint
- Christians Reaching
Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony
President Barack Obama recently appointed Harry Knox, a gay-rights activist and a critic of Pope Benedict XVI to the federal government’s faith-based initiative board. George W. Bush’s faith-based efforts focused on religious non-profit organizations. Cyber News Service reports that Obama will now target efforts toward community groups, religious and secular.
Knox will be joined by the Rev. Otis Moss Jr., whose son, the Rev. Otis Moss III, replaced the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as pastor at Trinity Church in Chicago. Also on the board are the Rev. Jim Wallis, who has been called the “leader of the religious left” by the New York Times, and Rabbi David Sapperstein, who denounced the U. S. Supreme Court decision in 2007 for upholding the ban on partial-birth abortions.
In January, Obama repealed rules that previously restricted federal tax dollars going to international organizations that promote or provide overseas abortions.
The Obama administration is also considering removing the Department of Health and Human Service’s conscience regulation - a regulation that protects health care workers against pressure or intimidation to perform medical procedures that oppose their conscience such as abortion and euthanasia. Yet, anyone declaring themselves a conscientious objector to avoid military service may continue to do so. It appears that when it comes to abortion and euthanasia there could be a double standard.
Obama continues to attempt filling his cabinet posts with tax dodgers and others with questionable ties. Fox News reported that Obama’s health secretary nominee, Democratic Gov. Katherine Sebelius of Kansas received three times more money in donations to her campaigns from radical late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller than she initially admitted. Her ties are disturbing to pro-life conservatives.
It’s obvious the Obama administration is veering hard to the left both socially and fiscally. Liberal Democrats like John Kerry, Teddy Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are driving a liberal agenda the likes of which this nation has never seen; nor perhaps, ever imagined possible.
Those on the left know how to play hardball when it comes to promoting their agenda. Anyone who opposes their initiatives is labeled a racist, hypocrite, bigot, homophobe or on a good day, all of the above. Conservatives hate homosexuality, Latinos, atheists and all other minority groups according to their outlandish liberal rhetoric. The mightiest weapon in the left’s arsenal is to frame any dissent as being politically incorrect, justifying in their minds the stifling of dissent or meaningful discourse.
Roger Hedgecock, a conservative talk radio host and former mayor of San Diego, recently posted an unclassified document by the Department of Homeland Security on the Liberty Papers blog entitled; Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Radicalization and Recruitment.
This is a sweeping indictment of conservatives. But there is no empirical evidence or data in this report to validate. Up until the tea parties, the “silent conservative majority” appeared to have been asleep. For those on the left who believe these peaceful demonstrations were simply an aberration, the continuing fallout from this DHS report should ultimately put that assertion to rest. That could be bad news for liberal Democrats and a few wayward Republicans in the upcoming`10 off year elections.
Columnist Michelle Malkin says, “In Obama land there are no coincidences. It is no coincidence that Tea Party bashing left-wing blogs compare the Tea Party movement to, ironically, a former domestic terrorist group.”
The Weather Underground was a terrorist left-wing movement co-founded by Obama “acquaintance” Bill Ayers in1969. It operated through the mid-70s. This group evolved by declaring a state of war against the U. S. government; blowing up public buildings resulting in the death of a police officer and orchestrating riots and a jail-break.
Looking at many of the signs and banners at tea parties, it became obvious that this protest was about more than tax, spend and waste. It was also about values.
For some on the left to infer that hundreds of thousands of patriotic Americans “peacefully” protesting their outrage with government spending and the all out assault by the left on Judeo-Christian values, to a domestic terrorist group and/or extremists, is not only hypocritical, but ludicrous.
The CIA World Fact Book states that the U. S. population at the end of `08 was 316 million. The number of Christians here is estimated to be 240 million. Yet the “Christian majority” finds their values under a continuous siege by the calculating efforts of a distinct “liberal minority.” The left uses many of the tenets of the Christian faith against them. Love thy neighbor, turn the other cheek and forgive those who trespass against us, they remind the faithful. Christians must understand how those beliefs are being exploited by the left to further their agenda.
In any social struggle there reaches a tipping point. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., a registered Republican, led millions of disenfranchised black Americans in their struggle to secure equal civil-rights. King peacefully channeled their indignation and resentment into a mighty fortress of peaceful resistance that could no longer be ignored nor denied.
The tea parties may also become a harbinger for continued peaceful protests by millions of folks who are fed up with government waste, fraud, corruption and excess. Many also sense that the Judeo-Christian value system, the bedrock of this great republic, is in danger of slipping away because of the liberals vision for a more secular and amoral society.
In the Gospel of John, even Jesus, the example of peace and forgiveness to all of mankind, tipped over the tables in the temple when he had had enough of the fiscal and moral extortion that was taking place before his very eyes. Christians in this country may be nearing their tipping point as well.
For Libertarians who think of ourselves as Christians politics is a tough choice nowadays. The Democrat Party has long been the choice of Christians who think they have the right to make it mandatory under law to "help our fellow man". For a party that so openly denigrates the very idea of a God, it is curious that progressives demand legal titheing to the state for welfare.
Yet because of the backlash against the progressive judiciary's institution of abortion at will with absolutely no restrictions, Republicans have also become almost as determined to legalize the punishment of sin by the state. For those of us who respect God granted "free will", the choice between the parties is tough. Where do we find support for the idea that sin is personal and not intended to be made a law? Where do we find support for the concept that Christian Charity will be granted to the sinner who is trying to deal with life's rough choices and can do so privately between their conscience and their God?
Nevertheless, Bob is right when he says Christians are reaching the breaking point. It is not just that Barack Obama and his Alinsky style of lying and deceit, using the subversion of democracy to destroy America, is unacceptable. It is due to the fact that the attacks on Christians by Democrats are so openly contemptuous and so personally insulting. How can anyone who thinks of themselves as a Democrat fail to be embarrassed at the hatred the liberals in their party openly spew at Republicans? Do they think that they can pretend they are not accountable for the actions of their partners in politics? Barack Obama is a master at aligning himself with evil partners and then insisting when it is convenient that you can't prove he agrees with them. True Christians are getting sick of this hypocrisy and double standard by Democrats.
The time to stand up and be counted is coming fast.
Friday, April 24, 2009
North Carolina -
The State Of Our Constitution
The John Locke Foundation, along with the North Carolina History Project and the NC Institue for Constitutional Law, presented an incredible forum on:
The North Carolina Constitution
and The Power to Tax
... held at the Historic 1767 Edenton Court House in Edenton, NC last night!
As we arrived, the Courthouse was beautiful in the late afternoon sun of a typical spring day in the Inner Banks.
The John Locke Foundation had a crew of young ladies handing out name tags to all the registered attendees as they arrived.
There was also a great reception with food and wine to get everyone in the mood for the evening's events.
A large number of people gathered, greeting old friends from our area, and getting to know some of the attendees who drove long distances.
The Mayor of Edenton, Roland Vaughan (below), opened the event and welcomed everyone to Edenton, NC.
The speakers for the event included (from left below), John Hood, President of the John Locke Foundation, Gene Boyce, Attorney Representing North Carolina to recover taxpayer settlements, Jeff Broadwater, Historian from Barton College, John Dinan, Wake Forest Professor of Political Science, and Justice Robert Orr, formerly on the North Carolina Supreme Court and currently Executive Director of the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law.
The crowd (below) was jam packed, with a number having to stand around the back of the chamber.
And since the event was filmed for a documentary production, there were cameras everywhere.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
- Challenging Times
Article by Pastor Wallace Phillips
- Ahoskie, NC
I think you would agree with me that these times are indeed challenging to say the least. It seems the news on the tube is always bad news – jobs lost, stocks dropped, damage done, and the list goes on. I think we are being positioned for that coming leader who will arise to announce “peace” to those who are left after the church is raptured or “caught away”.
Rapture? What is that? That’s why you that have placed your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ (for those of you that have). Paul told Timothy that “the Lord Himself would descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, and the dead in Christ would rise first; then we, which are alive and remain, would be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (I Thess. 4:16,17). He talked of that awesome event that would take believers away from the earth into the presence of God. He concluded with this – “wherefore, comfort ye one another with these words.”
That should bring you hope. That should give you a reminder that even though the events of this present age are challenging, you and I who place our faith in Jesus Christ will be taken away just prior to the terrible time on earth called The Tribulation.
During this time of tribulation mankind will be faced with a leader who will emerge. He is Antichrist. The scripture speaks of him in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 – “ Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
Challenging times? You bet. But you and I have a way of escape from all this that is to come. His name if Jesus. If you don’t know Him, I would encourage you to find Him today. He has a tremendous family of believers dispatched on this earth. They are CHRISTIANS. Any one of them should be able to lead you to faith in Christ for salvation. This will prepare you for the future and for eternity.
If you have a hard time finding someone to share this blessed hope with you, call us at (252) 332-6113.
Have a great day, even in the midst of challenging times.
Please visit us on the web at http://www.cscministries.com/ or http://www.wallacephillips.org/
Monday, April 20, 2009
Inner Banks Humor - Politics
I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
-- Winston Churchill
Do you thiink this quote has anything to do with the reason that Barack Obama hates Winston Churchill so much?
Saturday, April 18, 2009
A Very Polite Tea Party
by Mary Katharine Ham - April 27th, 2009 - The Weekly Standard
Every day, Jackie and Ben Hobbs go about their modern lives inside walls hewn by hand before the Industrial Revolution. The sounds of their TV and telephone mingle with the quiet creaks of wide slat floorboards laboring under 200 years of foot traffic, as the couple runs a small country bed-and-breakfast and restaurant outside Hertford, county seat of Perquimans County, North Carolina.
But this small business was not the only echo of colonial life in northeastern North Carolina last week. In nearby Edenton, a historic town of about 5,000, residents gathered for a "Tax Day Tea Party"--one of about 800 grassroots protests against expanding government held across the nation on April 15. The demonstrations drew more than 250,000 supporters [or up to 750,000 supporters if you believe some of the more positive estimates] and some openly hostile news coverage, as reporters painted the gatherings as rage-fests filled with antigovernment crackpots.
Ben, who laid aside his tools to head to the tea party, was unsurprised by the tone of the coverage. After all, he said, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had just labeled small-government entrepreneurs like him potential terrorist threats. He was referring to the Department of Homeland Security's report on the danger of "right-wing extremism," which was fodder for many jokes at the Edenton Tea Party, as church ladies, veterans, and young moms chuckled about their allegedly subversive activities.
It was nice that we got coverage from a big name magazine like The Weekly Standard. Our Tea Party deserved it if for no other reason than the history of Edenton as a bastion of political activism. However I guess we didn't create enough of a stink to justify coverage like they received over the raucous happenings in Chapel Hill the same day. Maybe we would not have been described as "polite". At the University of North Carolina a bunch of protesters showed up and started busting windows at an immigration rally by Tom Tancredo. The police didn't punish the protesters. They shut down the rally. That is how conservatives and libertarians are treated these days. Liberals and progressives create a riot and we get punished.
I wonder what would have happened if they had tried that with some of the farmers and local deer hunters that populated our Tea Party? I bet it would have had a different outcome. Maybe that is why ACORN doesn't show up anywhere that is heavily populated with guys who regularly carry guns in their trucks. These city liberals just don't undertsand, we are polite as long as visitors are polite.
For more coverage of the Edenton Tea Party scroll down to check out the articles already posted, including the one with lots of great pictures.
A Conservative Viewpoint
- Were Tea Parties Extremism?
Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony
Edenton held one of many tea parties across the nation on April 15. The purpose: to send a loud and clear message to Washington and Raleigh that many citizens have had enough taxation, pork, waste, fraud, spending, takeovers and corporate, bank and mortgage bailouts.
The national debt being incurred is beyond comprehension, most likely unconstitutional and certainly beyond the ability of many current and future generations to repay. George W. Bush was a reckless spender, much to the chagrin of the conservatives who supported him for other reasons, but this administration has raised the bar to new heights.
The tea parties were also designed to remind our national and state leaders that we have constitutional rights, including the right to peacefully assemble and protest against our government, when necessary.
The event here was peaceful as were all but one event held on tax day. In spite of an unusually cold, damp, dreary afternoon, close to 650 citizens gathered here upon the historic 1767 Court House green to protest against what they view as their governments out of control spending. The folks were a mixture of old and young, retired, employed and unemployed. There were parents with young children. And white collar, blue collar, clergy collar and frayed collars. There were of all races. Many brought homemade placards of protest.
Looking upon this scene, I was reminded of a Norman Rockwell portrait; it was a picture that could have graced the cover of a Saturday Evening Post.
The American, state and flags of many military branches, provided a subtle background to the often poignant words being spoken at the base of a monument dedicated to Joseph Hewes, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Dr. Troy Kickler with the North Carolina History Project shared the history of political protest and dissent, particularly in northeastern North Carolina, then a hotbed for political debate. He paid homage to Ms. Penelope Barker and the 51 brave local women who in 1775 held what became known as the Edenton Tea Party; a peaceful protest against England’s oppressive rule over the colonies.
Dallas Woodhouse of Americans for Prosperity addressed the irresponsible and inefficient manner our state government has been operating for many years. He emphasized the need to break the cycle of corruption, cronyism and wasteful spending that has become all too common place. North Carolina, he reminded the audience, has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation and among the highest taxes in the southeast.
Woodhouse said Raleigh sees tax and spend as the only solution to every problem. To regain fiscal sobriety there needs to be a wholesale house cleaning of the Democratic majority that has ruled all but a handful of years since the days of Reconstruction. Absolutely no one can blame the state mess on Republicans, he said, and have even an ounce of credibility.
The keynote speaker was Mason Weaver, a black motivational speaker, author and syndicated radio talk show personality. Weaver said that the Democrats in Washington, led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, along with those in the Obama administration, seek to take us back to the plantation, where we’re all provided with housing, food, clothing and healthcare along with a job that would pay little. Government will control everything, he said, and we won’t have a worry in the world. The only things we’ll lose are our individual freedoms.
I received an e-mail from a 60- year- old Hyde County woman who was appalled with the entire concept of tea parties. She wrote that I and the other conservative protesters are part of America’s lunatic fringe. She accused us “tea baggers” of playing to underworld militia groups, stoking their anger until it causes a revolution that will incite bombings of federal buildings, like Oklahoma City in 1995 by Timothy McVeigh. “There are those of us that will make you pay,” she wrote, actually suggesting that law-abiding citizens would consider such madness.
The Department of Homeland Security may be partially responsible for stoking her fears. An unclassified document entitled, Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, was recently uncovered and reported in the media. This report is based on no substantive matter of fact and appears instead like a bad Junior High term- paper.
Conservatives who vocally oppose illegal immigration, are pro-life, who are angry with the economic downturn and may “exploit” it and may also be unhappy with the new president are viewed as potentially dangerous extremists, according to this report.
Veterans returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are seen as particularly vulnerable to recruitment by rightwing extremists. The American Legion and the Vets for Freedom immediately demanded an apology for that inference and got it from the sheepishly apologetic DHS head Janet Napolitano.
Apparently all who refuse to go along to get along may now be reclassified by this administration as potentially dangerous right wing extremists. Many of the 60 million Americans who voted against Barack Obama could now fall into this new category.
Only one event on tax day was marred by violence. Liberal protesters shut down a forum on illegal immigration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A stone was thrown through the window of the meeting room and protesters entered with signs and chants of, “Shut it down, no more racists in our town.” The signs they were carrying read, “No one is illegal.”
The DHS is targeting responsible law abiding citizens and military veterans as extremists and these radical left university fringe groups get a pass? None were arrested and in fact were even allowed to continue protesting. There’s something wrong with this entire picture. If this doesn’t scare the bejeebers out of most Americans, nothing will.
Intimidation is what Obama represents. His supporters, and Obama, see this confrontation as war with American values. They will quietly and secretly keep on working to shut down all opposition to any position they hold. To them opposition is unacceptable. Bob is right. It should scare the bejeebers out of anyone. If people do not wake up soon they are going to find out to their great sorrow that IT CAN HAPPEN HERE.
To answer Bob's question, no. The Tea Parties were not extremism. They were opposition to tyranny and promotion of freedom. Neither is extreme if you are an American.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Second Edenton Tea Party
It was COLD. It was WET. It was HISTORICAL! It was GREAT!
We expected 200 people. More than 650 showed up ... despite the weather! Awesome.
If the weather had been like it was Thursday, we would have had 1500! Here are the pictures received to date. Check back for more as we receive them!
Pictures courtesy of Garry Terry.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Hundreds Protest Taxing, Spending
by By Jennifer Preyss and Vernon Fueston - April 15th, 2009 - Daily Advance
“We’re not here as Democrats, we’re not here as Libertarians, or Republicans, we’re here as concerned citizens,” said Betty Downey, 78, of Harbinger, who organized Currituck’s Tea Party that drew a crowd of 150 on the lawn of the county’s government complex.
Nice article on 3 of the local tea parties, Elizabeth City, Edenton and Currituck.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Inner Banks Philosophy
"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
— Thomas Paine
This says a lot about why Thomas Paine was Ronald Reagan's favorite founding father.
Inner Banks Philosophy
"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!"
— Samuel Adams
I guess they had progressives (liberals? - socialists?) back in those days too.
Did Integration Negatively Affect Discipline For Black Kids?
by Carol Forsloff - April 8th, 2009 - Digital Journal
Outcomes of integration haven’t been as positive as hoped. According to a number of African Americans equal opportunity was the goal of civil rights, not integration. Results have shown negative consequences, some say.
I interviewed Ophelia Dumars, mother of Joe Dumars, the famous basketball player and athletic manager for the Detroit Pistons, about parenting in the African American community. She is somewhat of an authority, based upon positive outcomes for her children. She has seven children, four of whom completed college and the fifth in process of doing so. None of her children have been in prison, nor have any of her grandchildren. She has a total of 30 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom respect her, she reports. And well they might, because the people of Natchitoches, Louisiana respect her as well for the raising of her children.
Dumars declares that “after integration discipline broke down.” New ways of parenting from the white community were introduced that conflicted with the strict parenting set down by black parents. She said in her day there weren’t the high percentages of African Americans in jail because parents and community members made sure they were disciplined strictly and understood consequences of bad behavior. That was passed on down to the next generation until new ideas were introduced that seemed to bring consequences that didn’t end up with positive results. Corporal punishment was the means of disciplining that seemed to make children behave. These days Dumars believes parents don’t do that anymore and so many of them don’t know their limits.
Randy Stelly, native Louisianan who grew up with strict parents who had successful businesses in Opelousas in South Louisiana, believes also that integration interfered with the raising of black children. His concern was that discipline in school wasn’t even-handed and was fraught with suspicion and distrust. Black parents resented white teachers disciplining their children. Conversely white parents didn’t want black teachers disciplining theirs. The lack of understanding and preparation for adults prior to integration meant that children had unequal treatment in discipline and those for whom expectations were less, often black, ended up with discipline problems. What black folks wanted, he said, was decentralization, equal opportunity. He too is concerned that too many black children end up in prison for lack of effective, consistent discipline.
The dialogue about this has been part of African American conversation on the Internet as well as locally in Natchitoches. Attorney Roy Miller on a blog post writes that integration has been cruel to black children. He works in the legal field in Macon, Georgia and says he has challenged black leaders with his claims about how integration has failed black children. He said before integration black teachers had very little problem with discipline of students, a point verified by Dumars as well, who was often at school involved with her children. She too believes that black teachers had stern control and were trusted by the children at the time. Miller reinforces this concept in his posting as well.
Miller goes on to discuss how integration broke down black values. He said that after integration black teachers were disciplining black students and white teachers were as well, and then “all hell broke loose.” He continues by saying that after integration blacks got new learning materials and books, however black moral and religious values were broken down, which brought an increase in black crime. These are some of the issues he relates:
“In majority Black school districts, White kids left and went to private schools. Public schools were segregated all over again. The reality is that Blacks are now right back in what amounts to segregated public schools. What was lost in the journey can perhaps never be recovered. How cruel, when you look at the peace, love, lives and respect that were lost, all for text books and educational equality. We need to admit it. White parents are not ever going to let Black teachers paddle White children, Black parents are not ever going to let White teachers paddle Black children and Black parents are distrustful of their children being disciplined in the public school system. “
“We've got to have discipline.” Wilson further declared, reaffirming what Dumars and Stelly maintain. Back to basics in “spare the rod and spoil the child” is Dumars recommendation. How all of that will develop is likely to be controversial given the issues of child abuse raised by physical discipline, but some say that may need to be the road back for the crisis of discipline and increase in crime in the black community.
Unintended consequences! The root of evil in almost every action by government. For 60 years we have had a serious attempt to FORCE a cultural revolution on both the black community and on the conservative and libertarian white community. White liberals (progessives - socialists, whatever they want to be called) have won this battle hands down. The consequence of the victory has not quite worked out the way they claimed it would though.
Racism is a bigger problem than it was 60 years ago. Many in the black community can accurately claim that they not only have equality, but superior rights, thanks to affirmative action. Today they ridicule and despise "honkeys" with the same arrogance that the KKK expressed in the time when whites were on top. Yet many poor in the black community have worse lives than before integration and affirmative action.
Numerous studies prove that white male children are ridiculed and treated with contempt by many teachers, and have withdrawn from competition to avoid the sneers of their peers when any success is credited to "special advantage". Only jokes about white males are politically correct and acceptable. They hate the cultural denigration and their resentment is fueling a growing backlash.
Christianity is under assault. In school systems nation wide, Muslims get to have classes on their religion under the pretense that it is a cultural issue, and Christians are expelled if they dare even pray. The war against their religion does not sit well with the faithful.
Obama's regime has now proposed 4 candidates for Ambassador to the Vatican, every one of which is pro-abortion and thus an insult to the Catholic religion which the Vatican represents. To any objective observer this is either stupid or arrogant. You choose which.
Whichever it is, it is consistent with the indifference to the opinions of the faithful which is the hallmark of the hatemongers of the liberal-progressive-socialist (they can't decide which label they will accept - in reality they all mean the same thing) community which has pushed this culture war.
Those of us in the Inner Banks community, white and black, are poorer as a result of this vicious cultural confrontation, politically driven for purposes of political power.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Inner Banks Humor - Politics
For more great cartoons check warrentoons.com
A Conservative Viewpoint
- Peace Through Strength
Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony
Like many neighborhoods growing up, ours had a bully. Whenever he appeared, a fight most assuredly followed. One day I had had enough and decided to stand up to him. I said, “Look, if we're going to fight, at least let’s fight fair.” He then hit me with the proverbial sucker-punch and a fight ensued. I lost.
My dad taught me to play, and if provoked, fight by the rules. Unfortunately when others don’t, the outcome can be less than hoped for. The lesson learned: Know thy enemy, hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
Barack Obama has returned from his first trip abroad. Some things went well, others not. The European socialists showered him with adulation, as one might expect from a continent that has been moving further and further to the left; a direction they hope Obama can steer us. It’s clear they like him personally. Unfortunately, liking him doesn't translate into liking us.
Obama sought from the Europeans a more active roll in Afghanistan, the emerging front in what used to be known as the War on Terror. Additionally, he asked our European allies to commit to a more aggressive economic stimulus program. He got neither.
Obama addressed other topics of concern, including nuclear proliferation, especially in North Korea and Iran. He seeks improved relations with Russia and China, perhaps still military adversaries. He is an advocate for arms control, especially nuclear. Obama is hoping that reductions first and then the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons would reduce the tensions that exist today among nuclear and non-nuclear adversaries alike.
Ronald Reagan also dreamed of a no-nukes world. But Reagan recognized that as noble and worthy a vision that is, it’s a theory that can’t be put into practical application without putting at risk national security and sovereignty. A president’s primary responsibility is to keep America safe. Reagan believed the best way to do that was to achieve “peace through strength.” It worked. He was the architect for ending a Cold War that had dominated international relations for 44 years.
Idealistically, the fact the U. S. or any nation needs to maintain a nuclear arsenal is regrettable. The nuclear devastation wreaked upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki in southern Japan in the closing days of World War II was devastating. President Truman used this “weapon of mass destruction” to bring to an end a long and horrific conflict. Many lives were spared-perhaps a million casualties had a land invasion been the only option to end the war.
Practically speaking however, our nuclear arsenal has acted not only as a deterrent to those nations who wish to do us harm, but as an umbrella for our allies. Europe, Japan and our other allies have relied on our protective shield for decades. Yet, when Obama asked the Europeans to help us keep them safe by joining with us in fighting terrorists in Afghanistan, they not so politely declined. With the exception of Great Britain, and a former Soviet bloc nation or two, the only thing we can rely on lately from our European “allies” is an occasional scolding.
Obama told those in Europe that America has a moral responsibility to act. Moral is defined as involving right or wrong as to how individual people should behave.
There are those in the world who understand what moral responsibility is and seek to embrace it. With those nations we can engage in honest and open dialogue to try to reach a mutually satisfactory understanding. With others, a treaty of any kind with the west means nothing. Their idea of moral responsibility is different than ours: suicide bombings, beheadings, torturing and maiming women, children and other innocent civilians.
Rogue nations like North Korea and Iran who either have, or are on the brink of developing nuclear warheads, aren't exactly the type of regimes the U. S. can count upon to uphold a treaty of any kind. The Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s zeal for the obliteration of Israel precludes him ever being trusted, regardless of his “promises.” His hatred for Israel is galvanized so deeply into his soul, that he would risk the total destruction of Iran as a trade-off for destroying his Jewish neighbor.
North Korea is equally problematic. Kim Jong il has turned his nose up in the air to any who have tried to stop his nuclear ambitions. The launch of a missile last week, in spite of its failure, took place in the face of the U. S. and others.
Whether its terrorists, Iran, North Korea or any other adversary, the only certainty is that they respect strength. To date, they have shown no interest in being world partners through diplomacy. There is little reason to believe that will change.
Europe was caught with her pants down in the late 1930s, as was America at Pearl Harbor in 1941. As recently as 9-11, we learned again what happens when we errantly believe all of us play by the same set of rules.
Mr. President: We all want to live in peace. But most importantly, we wish to remain free. To insure that, it will require more than spineless diplomacy. When it comes to foreign policy, you would do well to remember Teddy Roosevelt’s words of wisdom: “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.”
This article is a good example of how close conservatives and libertarians are on most issues of foreign affairs. I think the only difference comes down to the outcome worked for after we have gone to war. If a war is necessary, and we have to go in (like we did preemptively in Iraq), libertarians think we should leave Democracy behind. That changes how we handle the aftermath of war. However both libertarians and conservatives understand the real world enough to realize, we better be strong in this nuclear age because losing any war will be a disaster.
Clinton gutted our Navy, reducing our major ships from 600 down to 300. Bush fought a war, but never really focused on keeping us strong by building up our military capacity to fight anything but the insurgency wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He at least maintained it though.
Now, under Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is abandoning the new generation aircraft that are needed to win the first stage in future high tech wars. China is launched on a massive military buildup, and Russia is doing the same. We are cutting back to "save money" for Obama's domestic agenda.
How comfortable do you feel with a pacifist President who displays a naive belief in diplomacy leading our nation at this dangerous time?