Home > Uncategorized > The Democrats Vietnam lessons, Emperor Obama, and the new but not so improved Jimmy Carter (complete with Iranian nightmares)

The Democrats Vietnam lessons, Emperor Obama, and the new but not so improved Jimmy Carter (complete with Iranian nightmares)

July 1, 2010

June 25, 2010

Have the Democrats Learned Anything from Vietnam?

By Michael Filozof

The Vietnam War was the defining event for the modern Democratic Party. Nearly four decades after the war ended, we ought to ask if the Democrats learned anything from Vietnam that is applicable to Afghanistan.

In Vietnam, the U.S. fought an insurgency in a remote, forbidding jungle that neutralized our tactical advantage. In Afghanistan, we are fighting an insurgency in remote, forbidding mountains that neutralize our tactical advantage.

In Vietnam, the insurgents had no armor and no air power. They attacked American patrols with jury-rigged explosives called “booby traps.” In Afghanistan, the insurgents have no armor and no air power. They attack American patrols with jury-rigged explosives called “IEDs.”

In Vietnam, a socialist country tried to defeat the insurgents before the U.S. became involved. It failed. It was called “France.” In Afghanistan, a socialist country also tried to defeat the insurgents before the U.S. became involved. It also failed. It was called the “Soviet Union.”

In Vietnam, American involvement began by sending advisers, Special Forces, and CIA operatives. Nine years later, we had hundreds of thousands of troops in combat brigades stationed there. In Afghanistan, American involvement began by sending in advisers, Special Forces, and CIA operatives. Nine years later, we have combat brigades and over a hundred thousand troops stationed there.

In Vietnam, the insurgents routinely obtained assistance and sanctuary in a foreign nation where U.S. forces were forbidden to go. It was called “Cambodia.” In Afghanistan, insurgents routinely obtain assistance and sanctuary in a foreign nation where U.S. troops are forbidden to go. It is called “Pakistan.”

In Vietnam, the U.S. sought to protect the population from insurgents through a program called “Strategic Hamlets.” It didn’t work. In Afghanistan, the U.S. is seeking to protect the population from the insurgents with a program called “Clear, Build, and Hold.” It isn’t working, either.

In Vietnam, the U.S. supported a corrupt ruler who rigged elections in an attempt to give his regime a veneer of legitimacy. His name was “Diem.” In Afghanistan, the U.S. is supporting a corrupt ruler who rigged elections to give himself a veneer of legitimacy. His name is “Karzai.”

In Vietnam, the U.S. declared that its goal was to train and equip an indigenous force to hold off the insurgents by themselves. They were called the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam). The ARVN turned out to be incompetent and corrupt. In Afghanistan, our strategy is to train and equip indigenous forces called the ANA (Afghan National Army). The ANA is also incompetent and corrupt.

We fought in Vietnam for over a decade, but Congress never declared war on Vietnam. We have fought in Afghanistan for nine years with no end in sight, and Congress has not declared war on Afghanistan, either.

The Vietnam War was escalated by a Democratic president named “Johnson.” Johnson could not afford to look soft on communism in the 1964 campaign because his Republican opponent was a hawkish fighter pilot from Arizona named “Goldwater.” The Afghanistan war was escalated by a Democratic president named “Obama.” Obama could not afford to look soft on terrorism in the 2008 campaign, because his Republican opponent was a hawkish fighter pilot from Arizona named “McCain.”

Although Johnson was responsible for escalating the Vietnam War, his real interest was in domestic politics, where he presided over a massive expansion of the welfare state and created expensive federal health care programs called “Medicare” and “Medicaid.” While Obama is responsible for escalating the Afghan war, his real interest is in domestic politics, where he has massively expanded the welfare state and created an expensive federal health care program called “Obamacare.”

Rather than leave the battlefield tactics in Vietnam up to his field commanders, Johnson was known for micromanaging the war and manipulating bombing strategies and other rules of engagement that prevented the U.S. forces from going all-out. In Afghanistan, Obama has micromanaged the war with restrictive rules of engagement that prevent the U.S. forces from going all-out.

In Vietnam, the United States lost. In Afghanistan…we’re not winning.

Have the Democrats learned anything from Vietnam? Actually, they have learned many important lessons.

First, they have learned that anti-war riots and protests should be conducted only against Republican presidents, not Democratic presidents. (Isn’t it amazing how Code Pink and Cindy Sheehan disappeared after George W. Bush left office?)

Second, they have learned to not send Jane Fonda to enemy territory to pose for enemy propaganda photos. Unlike the warm reception she received in Hanoi, the Taliban would probably behead her live on the internet for failing to wear a burqa.

Third, they have learned that if a Democratic presidential candidate plans to conduct a foreign policy of national self-abasement and groveling before our enemies, it is probably better to not announce it during the campaign. George McGovern promised that he’d “crawl on his hands and knees to Hanoi and beg for peace” in 1972 and lost 49 states. Obama did not apologize to the Muslim world and bow before foreign monarchs until after he was elected.

Finally, the most important lesson the Democrats have learned is that they should not draft long-haired, stoned hippies and America-hating radicals on college campuses and send them to war. They’ll only riot and try to bomb the Pentagon (like Bill Ayers did). And it makes no sense to offend the voters who are virtually guaranteed to support the Democratic Party anyway.

It’s far better to prosecute a war with patriotic, America-loving volunteers from red states who probably voted Republican in the first place, and to play them for suckers by sending them on a mission about which you’ve said you’re “uncomfortable” using the term “victory.”

The Democrats have indeed learned a lot from Vietnam, haven’t they?

June 25, 2010

Commodus Castigates a Centurion

By Jeannie DeAngelis

Emperor Lucius Aurelius Commodus, son of Marcus Aurelius, the “last of five good emperors,” ruled Rome from AD 177 to AD 192. History tells us that Commodus “proved to be a self-indulgent, disconnected leader.” In fact, Commodus‘ “accession to power ended a spell of 80 years in Roman history which had brought men to the throne by merit rather than birth.”

Supposedly, Imperator Caesar Lucius Aurelius Commodus Augustus was filled with “cruelty, vanity, power and fear,” which “formed into a terrifyingly dangerous mix of bloodlust, suspicion and megalomania.”  

Thousands of years have passed, and presently, America is being ruled by Barack Obama. Obama also maneuvers his way through the political empire like a Roman emperor whose objective is retention of power by way of wile, stealth, and intimidation.

Defy or disparage Obama, and a suspicious president adopts dealing with the offender as his top priority and behaves like an obsessed Commodus, pursuing enemies who are armed only with blunted weapons. In fact, Obama’s ancient predecessor Commodus “is said to have feigned a plot against his own life, in order that he might have an excuse for putting many to death.”

Take for example Arizona daring to enact immigration law as a means of self-preservation. Obama views the state as under siege, defending itself from mutiny against the empire, and intends to drag the Grand Canyon state into the coliseum to spank the living daylights out of defiant politicians and policy.

Top commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal also did the inexcusable. In a Rolling Stone article entitled “The Runaway General,” McChrystal candidly described an encounter with Commodus-in-Chief. 

McChrystal thought Obama looked “uncomfortable and intimidated” by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn’t go much better. “It was a 10-minute photo op,” says an adviser to McChrystal. “Obama clearly didn’t know anything about him, who he was. Here’s the guy who’s going to run his [expletive] war, but he didn’t seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed.”

A highly trained general at the pinnacle of his military career certainly has experience enough to recognize “unpreparedness” when he sees it. Yet the observant general found that one dare not defy Obama, because harsh recompense can befall the mighty at the hand of the weak. Remember, “Whosoever ridiculed [Commodus] he cast to the wild beasts.”

The president, like a power-hungry Roman emperor, seems driven by insecurity and exhibits disdain for disagreement. McChrystal’s comments were defined as flippant insubordination by the “furious” Obama. Thus, America’s highest-ranking legate was summoned from the heat of battle for a face-to-face reproof in Washington, D.C.

If McChrystal thought fighting the Taliban was rough, the Afghan war is nothing compared to being dressed down by a Chicago community organizer whom McChrystal all but called a “wimp in the White House.”

Although imprudent, General McChrystal and his aides spoke with unadulterated veracity about Obama’s inexperience and ineptness. Obama chastising a “Spartan commander” of McChrystal’s caliber can be likened to a Roman emperor throwing an unarmed centurion to the lions.

Though reported as a resignation, truth is President Barack Obama “ousted Gen. Stanley McChrystal” as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan for contemptuous remarks about administration officials, which Obama contends “undermined civilian control of the military and eroded trust on the president’s war team.”

Ironically, Obama’s irresponsible international diplomacy and “poor judgment” have compromised the safety of our troops numerous times. For an amateur like Barack to intimate that McChrystal’s personal statement compromises the safety of the military in Afghanistan encapsulates the paranoid character of a current-day Commodus.

The comparisons between Barack Obama and Commodus are unsettling. According to historical texts, Commodus was a weak, inexperienced leader who came to power with great pomp and ceremony and fancied himself the god Hercules. Yet Commodus’ reign is credited with “ending years of Roman stability and prosperity.” 

Like Barack Obama, Commodus entered Rome “in a triumphal procession, receiving a hero’s welcome.” To the young, “Commodus [was] an icon of new, happier days to come; his arrival sparked the highest hopes in the Roman people.”

In the name of peace, Commodus relinquished military advances the Roman Empire celebrated under Marcus Aurelius. Militarily, the Roman emperor “surrendered all his father had achieved” and retreated from “direly contested territories.” Emperor Commodus’ retreat was viewed as “an utter betrayal of everything the beloved Marcus Aurelius had stood for.”

Similar retreats from hard-won military advances may be at the crux of General McChrystal’s beef with Obama.

Like Obama, Commodus was “loved by the lower classes” because “generosity was indeed a part of his imperial program … the emperor obtained some of this funding by taxing members of the senatorial class.” The emperor “nearly bankrupted the imperial treasury with his expensive lifestyle” and then “replenished it by accusing senators of treason and having their property seized.”

Can anybody say $13-trillion deficit, “BP shakedown,” or tax the rich and “redistribute the wealth?”

Commodus identified with Roman gladiators who were drawn from the dregs of society. Commodus “played gladiator” while “the empire itself faced hard times.” Two thousand years later, Obama plays golf while Americans experience hard times.   

According to Roman historian Herodian (1.15-17), “In his gladiatorial combats, [Commodus] defeated his opponents with ease, and he did no more than wound them, since they all submitted to him only because they knew he was the emperor, not because he was truly a gladiator.”

Even today, Emperor Obama nibbles clusters of grapes while terrorists sneak over the border, the economy falters, Ahmedinejad is in the process of starting a nuclear friction fire by rubbing a bomb between Iran’s Israel-hating hands, and oil hemorrhages like a severed artery into the Gulf of Mexico, smothering the American coastline.

At a sensitive time in the Afghan conflict, retribution for impertinence toward the Imperious One takes precedence over both strategy and security. General Stanley McChrystal’s resignation is merely additional collateral damage delivered by a disgraceful administration that makes sport of “degrad[ing] the most honorable either by insulting them directly or giving them offices far below their deserts.” 

Commodus’ reign was filled with bad decisions, causing the people of Rome to suffer.” Truth be known, Obama is nothing more than a high-handed modern-day Commodus whose disproportionate focus is on dealing harshly with critics while Rome burns

Author’s content: www.jeannie-ology.com

June 26, 2010

Islamic Republic of Iran’s Smoke and Mirrors

By Arash Irandoost

Since 1977, no two men have contributed more to the erosion of America’s credibility and prestige than President Carter and his foreign policy advisor, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski (with the verdict not yet in on President Obama).  Jimmy Carter, aided by Mr. Brzezinski, introduced new directions in foreign policy that would ultimately trick Russia to invade Afghanistan in a cold blooded eagerness to payback Moscow for Vietnam and betray one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East.  By orchestrating the Shah’s failure and supporting Khomeini, they created one of the most militant anti-American dictatorships, considered by many as the most dangerous threat faced by the United States today.

Their short-sided and ill-conceived policies have been a source of frustration and disappointment towards America leading to lack of trust and loss of respect for this great nation.  Carter’s policies have contributed to making the Middle East an extremely turbulent region giving rise to militant and ideologically-driven Islam that has been reigning terror ever since. Indeed, Taliban and the Islamic Republic are the byproducts of such miscalculated foreign policy decisions. 

Out of character for America in terms of her history, sense of morality and basic decency, policy makers in administration after administration of American continue with their failed policies aided by the intelligence community and liberal ideologues, and orchestrated by Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) financed lobbyists and “so-called: reporters; university professors; opposition and human rights activists; and Iran experts.  America is no longer the nation of Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower or Ronald Reagan. Gone are the days of America standing with democracy and freedom seeking groups.” Bending down and bending backward to appease dictators, extending an open hand to terrorist nations, allowing a regime that randomly arrests, imprisons, tortures, stones, hangs and rapes women to have a seat on UN Women’s Right Commission and ignoring blatant human rights violations by the United Nations member nations have become routine.  

Such policies of appeasement have not gone unnoticed by various friends and foes.  The United States’ continuous acquiescence to IRI leaders has disenfranchised many pro democracy Iranians. Their last glimmer of hope was painfully dashed by Obama soon after his election when he extended his hand and addressed the rapist government of Iran on the occasion Iranian New Year. Frustrated by America’s silence, demonstrators risked their lives and chanted “Obama are you with them or with us?”, providing the United States with yet another opportunity to redeem itself.   Obama turned his back on them and their cries for freedom and democracy went unnoticed. Sadly, such actions have emboldened the mullahs. Reports of torture, rape and hangings continue to pour out of Iran.

Cognizant that its weapons program and human rights violations might eventually be condemned by the world community, the Islamic Republic has been spending millions of dollars on a campaign of smoke and mirrors to legitimize, justify, and hide its criminal activities and weapons program. 

Lobby groups and IRI agents are hard at work to discredit pro-democracy opposition groups and dissuade the world community from taking a decisive action against Iran.  Deceitfully, they have infiltrated the universities, established foundations and mosques, bought out ethnic television stations to shape public opinion and the US policy.  They appear on American television and news stations, write books and articles, and organize public events and orchestrate rallies. Their concerted and coordinated strategy is designed to fool the United States into thinking that Regime is pragmatic, can be reformed and Mousavi is the man to bring about the needed reforms. They oppose sanctions and claim sanctions only hurt ordinary people. They push for dialogue and diplomacy, and assassinate or smear those who oppose them as CIA, Israeli agents or belonging to MEK. All aimed at buying mullahs enough time to build their nuclear bomb to continue their vile existence.

Such handlers never talk about the elephant in the room, which has systematically monopolized major business and economic sectors of the Iranian community, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the real power in Iran. IRGC will not allow any major economic reform to be implemented.  Mousavi and any other “reformist leaders” will be powerless against them. IRGC has a lot to lose and little to gain by reforms. To some degree decisions on the nuclear weapons program indirectly rest with IRGC and not Khamenei.  IRGC drives massive revenues by keeping the nuclear program alive.  Forcing IRI to abandon its nuclear program translates to loss of a great revenue source for IRGC.

The schizophrenic position of IRI and its propagandists is indeed bizarre at best when it comes to sanctions. On the one hand, Ahmadinejad dares the West to impose strictest of sanctions, yet behind the scene he is frantically engaged in preventing it from happening.  Despite what regime’s handlers have made you believe, sanctions do work and the majority of Iranians are desirous and demanding of the strictest sanctions.  Those who claim that sanctions will hurt the ordinary people are yet to provide any credible evidence to support their assertions. Such false claims are based on a few fabricated and phony surveys. A closer examination of such surveys reveals that they were sent to very few select individuals sympathetic to the regime. There is evidence now to support that lobbyist intentionally mislead Americans and lied to Congress using fabricated information. The majority of Iranians are angry at the West and the UN by not imposing the strictest sanctions in light of regime’s blatant human rights violations.  

Another strategy embedded within the propagandists’ mission is to use the potential for war as the scare tactic and portray opposition groups as “war mongers.” This is yet another ploy to push for dialogue and diplomacy with the rogue regime.  In my opinion, just the opposite is true. Facts are, despite their differences of opinion, the world community is united on one issue.  They are intent on preventing Iran from going nuclear and will not allow Iran to possess a nuclear bomb.  If successful, it is the IRI propagandists, lobby groups and IRI policies that are inching Iran towards an all out war.  Their strategy of aiding IRI to develop a nuclear weapon will ultimately lead to confrontation between Iran and the West.  

The West was fooled once by Khomeini.  He was sold to American as the great visionary, a Ghandhi- and MLK-like character with saintly qualities by agenda driven propagandists. Many of IRI’s criminal activities and human rights violations were initiated by Khomeini and carried out by Mousavi and Mousavi-type characters. Mousavi sees Khomeini as his source of inspiration and dreams of returning Iran to that era. Mousavi is an anti American and a staunch supporter of the nuclear weapons program and was instrumental in establishing Hezbollah.

After the imposition of a fourth round of watered down sanctions to stop IRI’s nuclear weapons’ program, and anticipating yet another failure, decision makers in the United States must ask themselves whether they want to continue to be hoodwinked by masterful IRI propagandists and buy in their fuzzy and deceptive logic that dialogue and diplomacy is the answer, or change the course and work towards regime change and support pro democracy groups?  They need to consider that:

  • Thirty one years of appeasement and failed attempts at dialogue has been a source of frustration and embarrassment for various US leaders at various times from Carter, to Reagan, Bush, Clinton and perhaps in the not so distant future, Obama.
  • The regime is intent on developing nuclear weapons. It is a mandate from Khomeini in the aftermath of his failed war with Iraq, and a part of an ideologically driven expansionist agenda to export Islam beyond Iran’s borders.
  • An examination of IRI’s constitution, elections process, and power structure makes it abundantly clear that reform is not possible. In the regime’s mind, it is the West that needs the reform. Theirs is a religious duty and a mandate from Allah. They perceive their theocratic system of governance superior to that of any other nation.
  • Inaction by the West will have disastrous consequences for the world. With nuclear weapons at their disposal, mullahs are bent on wiping Israel off the map, expand their religion to remote corners of the universe and settle some unsettled issues.

 

Dr. Brzezinski’s strategy of using militant Islam against Russia has been obviously abysmal failure.  IRI not only has not served as a defense against Russia, but has intimately allied itself with her.  Many Iranians, having seen the real face fundamental Islam over the past 31 years, are turning away from it in large numbers and are converting  to Christianity and Zoroastrianism, something which Islamic Republic paid pundits do not tell Americans about. The notion that Iran is going to fall into Communist hands is no longer a valid theory. Iranian Communists and Marxists, after a sequential love and hate relationship with IRI, have now allied themselves with IRI and are working toward regime’s survival.

Regime change, if successful, will kill two birds with one stone, and hopefully get rid of both IRI and the Iranian Left.  Iranians during the demonstrations chanted several significant slogans expressing their prevailing views.  Chief among them were slogans directly aimed at Russia, another in solidarity with Israel, and yet another one against Hamas and Hezb’allah.  In reality, this is a great opportunity for the United States to seize the moment and support the Iranian prodemocracy demonstrators, since their political views are closely aligned with that of the United States.

Dr. Arash Irandoost is the founder of Pro Democracy Movement of Iran (PDMI) which focuses on human rights and pro democracy initiatives.  He can be contacted at hakemiat.e.mardom@gmail.com. The pen name Arash Irandoost is used due to his concerns for personal safety. Read more of his blogs hakemiat-e-mardom.blogspot.com.

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