On June 15, 1961, Walter Ulbricht, the communist ruler of East Germany (known officially as the German Democratic Republic) held a press conference in East Berlin to promote a cause he had long advocated: the signing of a treaty between the Soviet Union and Ulbricht’s German Democratic Republic (GDR) so that the East German government would control all land and air routes to Berlin, which would then be, in Ulbricht’s terms, a “Free City.” As Frederick Taylor noted in The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989, Ulbricht’s aides “went out of their way to invite the Western press corps.”
Although I remain something of a talk radio junkie, it has been some time since I recognized that the “conservatism” of the air waves is really nothing of the kind. That is, much to my disappointment, it isn’t “conservatism” that “conservative” talk radio tends to promote but neoconservatism, or at least Republican Party politics (which is for all practical purposes the same thing). Still, I continue to listen to talk radio regularly, and just as regularly find it instructive. For the latest pearls, I have nationally syndicated host Mike Gallagher to thank. Gallagher expressed incredulity over the response of some “on the left” to the recent killing of Navy Seals in Afghanistan.
The Afghan war, being a decade old, is the longest war that America has ever waged. In spite of this, our military suffered more casualties in a single day this past weekend than it has suffered on any given day since this war began. Not surprisingly, these facts are being taken by an ever growing number of Americans as further confirmation of their skepticism toward this Middle Eastern adventure. Our mission in Afghanistan, they reason, if it ever had any coherence at all, has lost intelligibility: it is time to either radically revisit our objectives or, at long last, to bring the troops home.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) schooled former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on foreign policy issues in the August 11 GOP presidential debate in Ames, Iowa.
Asked by Fox News channel anchor Chris Wallace why Paul was "soft" on Iran in his opposition to economic sanctions against the country, Paul told the debate audience that the threat from Iran was small when looked at through the lens of history: "Just think of what we went through in the Cold War when I was in the Air Force, after I was drafted into the Air Force, all through the Sixties. We were standing up against the Soviets. They had like 30,000 nuclear weapons with intercontinental missiles. Just think of the agitation and the worry about a country that might get a nuclear weapon some day."
Paul concluded of sanctions: "That makes it much worse.
The recent horrendous casualties suffered by our military forces in Afghanistan must lead the average American to ask the simple question: Why are we still there? Of course, we are told that we are there to prevent the Taliban from coming back into Afghanistan and imposing their radical Islamic dictatorship over that country’s hapless population. But as we all know, the moment we leave Afghanistan, the Taliban will be back, and it will be up to the government in Kabul to prevent them from imposing their cruel and despotic rule.
We cannot be there much longer, nor is it the responsibility of the American people, at great sacrifice in lives and treasure, to see that Afghanistan is turned into a western-style democratic society. Not only is it not our responsibility to do so, but the simple truth is that we are incapable of turning a very large, backward, primitive country into a modern state. Nations are responsible for their own destinies, and the United States does not have the right or the means to remake other nations.
Despite the touted secrecy of the Navy SEAL assassination of Osama bin Laden, the White House is apparently collaborating with a Hollywood production company on a movie documenting the incident. The film’s production is being undertaken by the team behind the 2009 Best Picture Oscar winner The Hurt Locker. The project is provoking Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Peter King (R.-N.Y.) to call for a Pentagon investigation into the collaboration. There are a series of concerns raised by the production. The Blaze writes, “The Pentagon confirmed it‘s giving mission information to the film’s screenwriter Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow.”
"This film project is only in the script development phase, and DoD is providing assistance with script research, which is something we commonly do for established filmmakers," Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said. "Until there is a script to review, and a request for equipment or other DoD support, there is no formal agreement for DoD support."
The sight of the former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, lying in a hospital bed in a courtroom cage reminds me of the saying, “how the mighty have fallen.” It could also be said of the United States, “How the mightiest, richest, most advanced capitalist nation in the history of the world has fallen into a bumbling, dysfunctional confused, debt-ridden state run by the most corrupt government in its history.” In the case of Mubarak, it was the Egyptian people who brought the dictator down. In the case of the United States, it was the American people, who put their trust and faith in the hands of anti-constitutional politicians, who brought America down. To put it bluntly: treason is the reason.
For 30 years Mubarak was America’s best friend in the Middle East. He was the recipient of valuable U.S. military aid, and he maintained Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel to the letter. For Israel, Egypt meant stability on its southern border. But for the Egyptian people it meant an authoritarian regime with little political freedom. Mubarak was not like Saddam Hussein of Iraq — he didn’t commit the kind of atrocities against his own people that Saddam was known for. Nor were Mubarak’s sons the kind of pathological sadists that Saddam’s were.
Most Americans are aware that U.S. forces are involved in missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Those who pay closer attention to the news may know that American troops are also active in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. But according to Nick Turse of TomDispatch.com, those six nations comprise only five percent of the total number of countries in which the Department of Defense is conducting operations. “A secret force within the U.S. military,” says Turse, “is undertaking operations in a majority of the world’s countries” — at a rate of 70 such operations per day.
This “secret force” is known as the U.S. Special Operations Command, or SOCOM. “SOCOM carries out the United States’ most specialized and secret missions,” Turse writes. “These include assassinations, counterterrorist raids, long-range reconnaissance, intelligence analysis, foreign troop training, and weapons of mass destruction counter-proliferation operations.”
The Seventh U.S. Court of Appeals ruled August 8 that two American citizens detained and tortured without trial or court hearing by the Bush-era Defense Department may sue former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
U.S. Navy veteran Donald Vance and fellow American Nathan Ertel were employed by the private U.S. government contractor Shield Group Security in 2006 outside the Baghdad green zone and witnessed the sale of U.S government munitions to Iraqi rebel groups for money and alcohol. After becoming FBI informants, the two were detained and tortured by federal officials for 97 days (Donald Vance) and six weeks (Nathan Ertel) at Camp Cropper in Iraq after contacting the FBI about corruption in the now-defunct federal contractor.
Judge David Hamilton wrote in a 2-1 appellate court decision that concluded, "The wrongdoing alleged here violates the most basic terms of the constitutional compact between our government and the citizens of this country." The district court had earlier ruled that the allegations are the kind that “shocks the conscience."
With Texas Governor Rick Perry expected to make an "announcement" on Saturday at a conservative conference in South Carolina, scrutiny of his record is more important than ever — particularly a look at his record with regard to China. In spite of posturing as an independent Christian conservative, Perry has consistently contributed to what is called the Chinafication of America.
In a video produced by Vince Wade, Wade points out that Perry “preaches less government, less taxes, and other conservative cliches,” but his record says otherwise.