Saturday, August 20, 2011

Way Up North: Quote for the Weekend

Way Up North: Quote for the Weekend: "We don't need no stinkin' permission to exercise our rights. We need to exercise our rights whether they, the government, want us to or ...

Is Ron Paul's Revolution Now At Hand?



h/t: The Daily Paul

Archbishop Chaput: Dangers of Catholic Institutions Losing their Identity - Living Faith - Home & Family - Catholic Online

Archbishop Chaput: Dangers of Catholic Institutions Losing their Identity - Living Faith - Home & Family - Catholic Online

No Firm Decision on Keeping U.S. Troops: Iraq - Defense News

No Firm Decision on Keeping U.S. Troops: Iraq - Defense News

RESTORE AMERICA NOW! Ron Paul 2012 - Spirit of 76 Aug 20th, 2011 Birthday Money Bomb!

Rep. Michele Bachmann Speech In South Carolina

Bachmann stands by $2 gas pledge - Washington Times

Bachmann stands by $2 gas pledge - Washington Times

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bad Weather

We got lucky today, there was a tornado not too far from where we live. Regrettably, the news is reporting that one person lost their life and several others were injured. Our prayers go out to everyone affected.



I was working on my book when the kids came into my office and said that there was weird lightning to the North. I thought they were exaggerating until the alarm went off on the TV and they were advising everyone to get into their basements. Luckily, we had no damage whatsoever, the worst appeared to be to the east of us.

Ron Paul Birthday Money Bomb

Money bomb just started 6 min ago and already they have raised over $ 97,000.  If you'd like to stand for limited government, a strong dollar and a return to our founding fathers' vision of America, please consider donating now.

Reagan & Ron Paul

Way Up North: Another Quote

Way Up North: Another Quote: "The more things a government undertakes to do, the fewer things it can do competently. When the government tries to do everything, it mus...

Neither Party Stands Against Illegal Immigration: It's Tea Time - HUMAN EVENTS

Neither Party Stands Against Illegal Immigration: It's Tea Time - HUMAN EVENTS

Largest Roman amphitheater discovered in England - International - Catholic Online

Largest Roman amphitheater discovered in England - International - Catholic Online

New Sarah Palin Web Ad "Iowa Passion" Highlights State Visit

New Sarah Palin Web Ad "Iowa Passion" Highlights State Visit

Panetta says he will seek to protect benefits - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times

Panetta says he will seek to protect benefits - Army News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times

Way Up North: Quote of the Day

Way Up North: Quote of the Day: "Our Founding Fathers constructed our Constitution in such a way that emphasized trust in one another and distrust in the governme...

Big Labor Bet Big, Lost Big in Wisconsin

Big Labor Bet Big, Lost Big in Wisconsin

RON PAUL is EXPLODING

New organizational structure of the Russian Armed Forces

RIA NovostiNew organizational structure of the Russian Armed ForcesNew organizational structure of the Russian Armed Forces
14:08 19/08/2011 The organizational structure and the number of personnel in the Russian Armed Forces have changed drastically since the beginning of the current military reform in 2008>>

Ron Paul Doesn’t Fit Media Script

Ron Paul Doesn’t Fit Media Script

Ron Paul On The Economy

Russian company unveils 'bomb in a box' cruise missile system

RIA NovostiThe bomb in the boxRussian company unveils 'bomb in a box' cruise missile system
19:19 17/08/2011 A Russian company has unveiled a unique "Pandora's Box'"cruise missile system which is deployed and can be fired from a standard 40-foot shipping container, from ships, rail cars or even off the back of a truck.>>

Russian air forces will acquire 120 Su-34 bombers - News - Russian Aviation - RUAVIATION.COM

Russian air forces will acquire 120 Su-34 bombers - News - Russian Aviation - RUAVIATION.COM

Amid melting ice, Navy assesses strategic demands in Arctic - News - Stripes

Amid melting ice, Navy assesses strategic demands in Arctic - News - Stripes

Founding Fathers Quote

[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.

Zacharia Johnson

Taiwan's Defense Show in Decline; F-16s in Limbo - Defense News

Taiwan's Defense Show in Decline; F-16s in Limbo - Defense News

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Buffer Between Mexican Cartels and the U.S. Government

The Buffer Between Mexican Cartels and the U.S. Government is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By Scott Stewart

It is summer in Juarez, and again this year we find the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes organization (VCF), also known as the Juarez cartel, under pressure and making threats. At this time in 2010, La Linea, the VCF’s enforcer arm, detonated a small improvised explosive device (IED) inside a car in Juarez and killed two federal agents, one municipal police officer and an emergency medical technician and wounded nine other people. La Linea threatened to employ a far larger IED (100 kilograms) if the FBI and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) did not investigate the head of Chihuahua State Police intelligence, whom the VCF claimed was working for the Sinaloa Federation.

La Linea did attempt to employ another IED on Sept. 10, 2010, but this device, which failed to detonate, contained only 16 kilograms of explosives, far less than the 100 kilograms that the group had threatened to use.

Fast-forward a year, and we see the VCF still under unrelenting pressure from the Sinaloa Federation and still making threats. On July 15, the U.S. Consulate in Juarez released a message warning that, according to intelligence it had in hand, a cartel may be targeting the consulate or points of entry into the United States. On July 27, “narcomantas” — banners inscribed with messages from drug cartels — appeared in Juarez and Chihuahua signed by La Linea and including explicit threats against the DEA and employees of the U.S. Consulate in Juarez. Two days after the narcomantas appeared, Jose Antonio “El Diego” Acosta Hernandez, a senior La Linea leader whose name was mentioned in the messages, was arrested by Mexican authorities aided by intelligence from the U.S. government. Acosta is also believed to have been responsible for planning La Linea’s past IED attacks.

As we have discussed in our coverage of the drug war in Mexico, Mexican cartels, including the VCF, clearly possess the capability to construct and employ large vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) — truck bombs — and yet they have chosen not to. These groups are not averse to bloodshed, or even outright barbarity, when they believe it is useful. Their decision to abstain from certain activities, such as employing truck bombs or targeting a U.S. Consulate, indicates that there must be compelling strategic reasons for doing so. After all, groups in Lebanon, Pakistan and Iraq have demonstrated that truck bombs are a very effective means of killing perceived enemies and of sending strong messages.

Perhaps the most compelling reason for the Mexican cartels to abstain from such activities is that they do not consider them to be in their best interest. One important part of their calculation is that such activities would remove the main buffer that is currently insulating them from the full force of the U.S. government: the Mexican government.

The Buffer


Despite their public manifestations of machismo, the cartel leaders clearly fear and respect the strength of the world’s only superpower. This is evidenced by the distinct change in cartel activities along the U.S.-Mexico border, where a certain operational downshift routinely occurs. In Mexico, the cartels have the freedom to operate far more brazenly than they can in the United States, in terms of both drug trafficking and acts of violence. Shipments of narcotics traveling through Mexico tend to be far larger than shipments moving into and through the United States. When these large shipments reach the border they are taken to stash houses on the Mexican side, where they are typically divided into smaller quantities for transport into and through the United States.

As for violence, while the cartels do kill people on the U.S. side of the border, their use of violence there tends to be far more discreet; it has certainly not yet incorporated the dramatic flair that is frequently seen on the Mexican side, where bodies are often dismembered or hung from pedestrian bridges over major thoroughfares. The cartels are also careful not to assassinate high-profile public figures such as police chiefs, mayors and reporters in the United States, as they frequently do in Mexico.

The border does more than just alter the activities of the cartels, however. It also constrains the activities of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies. These agencies cannot pursue cartels on the Mexican side of the border with the same vigor that they exercise on the U.S. side. Occasionally, the U.S. government will succeed in luring a wanted Mexican cartel leader outside of Mexico, as it did in the August 2006 arrest of Javier Arellano Felix, or catch one operating in the United States like Javier’s oldest brother, Francisco Arellano Felix. By and large, however, most wanted cartel figures remain in Mexico, out of the reach of U.S. law.

One facet of this buffer is corruption, which is endemic in Mexico, reaching all the way from the lowest municipal police officer to the presidential palace. Over the years several senior Mexican anti-drug officials, including the nation’s drug czar, have been arrested and charged with corruption.

However, the money generated by the Mexican cartels has far greater effects than just promoting corruption. The billions of dollars that come into the Mexican economy via the drug trade are important to the Mexican banking sector and to the industries in which the funds are laundered, such as construction. Because of this, there are many powerful Mexican businessmen who profit either directly or indirectly from the narcotics trade, and it would not be in their best interest for the billions of drug dollars to stop flowing into Mexico. Such people can place heavy pressure on the political system by either supporting or withholding support from particular candidates or parties.

Because of this, sources in Mexico have been telling STRATFOR that they believe that Mexican politicians like President Filipe Calderon are far more interested in stopping drug violence than they are in stopping the flow of narcotics. This is a pragmatic approach. Clearly, as long as there is demand for drugs in the United States there will be people who will find ways to meet that demand. It is impossible to totally stop the flow of narcotics into the U.S. market.

In addition to corruption and the economic benefits Mexico realizes from the drug trade, there is another important element that causes the Mexican government to act as a buffer between the Mexican cartels and the U.S. government — geopolitics. The Mexico-U.S. relationship is a long one that has involved considerable competition and conflict. The United States has long meddled in the affairs of Mexico and other countries in Latin America. And from the Mexican perspective, American imperialist aggression, via the Texas War of Independence and the Mexican-American War, resulted in Mexico losing nearly half of its territory to its powerful northern neighbor. Less than a century ago, U.S. troops invaded northern Mexico in response to Pancho Villa’s incursions into the United States.

Because of this history, Mexico — as with most of the rest of Latin America — regards the United States as a threat to its sovereignty. The result of this perception is that the Mexican government and the Mexican people in general are very reluctant to allow the United States to become too involved in Mexican affairs. The idea of American troops or law enforcement agents with boots on the ground in Mexico is considered especially threatening from the Mexican perspective.

A Thin Barrier


While Mexican sovereignty and international law combine with corruption and economics to create a barrier to assertive U.S. intervention in Mexico’s drug war, this barrier is not inviolable. There are two distinct ways this type of barrier has been breached in the past: by force and by consent.

An example of the first was seen following the 1985 kidnapping, torture and murder of U.S. DEA special agent Enrique Camarena. The DEA was not able to get what it viewed as satisfactory assistance from the Mexican government in pursuing the case despite the tremendous pressure applied by the U.S. government. This prompted the DEA to unilaterally enter Mexico and snatch two Mexican citizens connected to the case. Because of his involvement in the Camarena case, Honduran drug kingpin Juan Matta-Ballesteros was also rendered from his home in Honduras by U.S. government agents.

As a result of the U.S. reaction to the Camarena murder, the Guadalajara Cartel, Mexico’s most powerful criminal organization at the time, was decapitated, its leaders — Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo and Rafael Caro Quintero — all arrested and convicted for their part in ordering the killing. The tremendous pressure applied to Mexican authorities by the U.S. government to arrest the trio, coupled with the fear that they too might be rendered, ultimately led to their detention, although they did maintain sufficient influence to ensure that they were not extradited to the United States.

The Guadalajara Cartel also lost its primary connection to the Medellin cartel (Matta-Ballesteros) as a result of the Camarena case, and the cartel was eventually fractured into smaller units that would become today’s Sinaloa, Juarez, Gulf and Tijuana cartels. The Camarena case taught the Mexican cartel bosses to be careful not to provoke the Americans to the point where it will bring the full power of the U.S. government to bear upon their organizations (a lesson recently demonstrated by the unilateral U.S. operation to kill Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan).

But in addition to unilateral force, sometimes the U.S. government can be invited into a country despite concerns about sovereignty. This happens when the population has something it fears more than U.S. involvement, and this is what happened in Colombia in the late 1980s. In an effort to influence the Colombian government not to cooperate with the U.S. government and extradite him to the United States, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, leader of the Medellin Cartel, resorted to terrorism. In 1989 he launched a string of terrorist attacks that included the assassination of one presidential candidate, the bombing a civilian airliner in an attempt to kill a second presidential candidate and several large VBIED attacks, including the detonation of a 1,000-pound truck bomb in December 1989 targeting the Colombian Administrative Department of Security (DAS, Colombia’s primary national intelligence and security service) that caused massive damage in the area around the DAS building in downtown Bogota. These attacks had a powerful impact on the Colombian government and Colombian people and caused them to reach out to the United States for increased assistance despite their concern about U.S. power. The increased U.S. assistance eventually led to the death of Escobar and the systematic dismantling of his organization.

The lesson in the Escobar case was: Do not push your own government or population too far or they will turn on you and invite the Americans in.

Full Circle


So, in looking at the situation in Mexico today, there are indeed cartel organizations that have been hit hard. Over the past few years, we have seen groups such as the Beltran Leyva Organization, the Arellano Felix Organization, the VCF and Los Zetas heavily damaged. Many of these groups, particularly the VCF, the Arellano Felix Organization and Los Zetas, have been forced to resort to other criminal activity such as kidnapping, extortion and human trafficking to fund their operations. However, they have not yet undertaken large-scale terrorist attacks. The VCF tiptoed along that line last year, with La Linea’s small-scale IED attacks, as did the Gulf cartel, but these groups were careful not to use IEDs that were too large, and La Linea never employed the huge IED it threatened to. In fact, the overall use of IEDs is down dramatically in 2011 compared to the same period last year — despite the fact that explosives are readily available in Mexico and the cartels have the demonstrated capability to manufacture and employ them.

It is also important to recognize that in the past couple of years, when the United States has become heavily interested in attacks linked to the Mexican cartels, the cartel figures believed to be responsible for these actions have been arrested or killed. This has happened in cases such as the March 2010 murders of three people with ties to the U.S. Consulate in Juarez, the September 2010 murder of David Hartley on Falcon Lake, the February 2011 murder of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jaime Zapata, and even the previously mentioned July 27 threats against U.S. interests in Juarez. This means that the chances of a cartel such as the VCF getting the United States directly involved without the cartel being directly impacted are probably quite slim. In other words, if the VCF attacks the U.S. Consulate in Juarez, it can expect to be targeted directly by the U.S. and Mexican governments, instead of the governments focusing on other cartel players in the city, such as the VCF’s rival, the Sinaloa Federation.

As noted in our last cartel update, we anticipate that in the coming months the Mexican government campaign against Los Zetas will continue to impact that group, as will the attacks against Los Zetas by the Gulf cartel and its criminal allies. We also anticipate that the aforementioned Sinaloa pressure against the VCF in Juarez will not diminish. Nor will Mexican government pressure: We have seen reports that Luis Antonio Flores (also known as El Comen 2 or El Tarzan), El Diego’s replacement as the leader of La Linea, was arrested Aug. 16. However, we have seen nothing that would indicate that this pressure will cause these groups to lash out in the form of large-scale terrorist attacks like those associated with Pablo Escobar. Even when wounded, these Mexican organizations have shown that they seek to maintain the buffer protecting them from the full power of the U.S. government.


Read more: The Buffer Between Mexican Cartels and the U.S. Government | STRATFOR

Pentagon Clears F-35 Test Fleet to Fly Again - Defense News

Pentagon Clears F-35 Test Fleet to Fly Again - Defense News

White House must make visitor logs public, court holds - Washington Times

White House must make visitor logs public, court holds - Washington Times

Ron Paul Leads Bachmann, Perry in Two Recent Polls; Media Doesn’t Care

Ron Paul Leads Bachmann, Perry in Two Recent Polls; Media Doesn’t Care

PEJ: Yup, Ron Paul Gets Less Coverage Than Other Candidates - TVNewser

PEJ: Yup, Ron Paul Gets Less Coverage Than Other Candidates - TVNewser

Overcriminalization: An Explosion of Federal Criminal Law

Overcriminalization: An Explosion of Federal Criminal Law

Ron Paul Interview on ABC13 Houston 8/16/11 (raw footage)

STRATFOR: Bus attacked in shooting in Israel (footage)



STRATFOR

The Heritage Foundation: Excessive Criminal Laws Trap Honest American Businessman



http://www.overcriminalized.com

Israel Today magazine: 6 dead in terrorist assault near Eilat

Article courtesy of Israel Today magazine, www.israeltoday.co.il.

6 dead in terrorist assault near Eilat



6 dead in terrorist assault near Eilat
Terrorists who infiltrated southern Israel from the Egyptian Sinai on Thursday launched a two-hour assault on civilian vehicles and security forces near the Red Sea resort town of Eilat that left six Israelis dead and dozens more wounded.

The attack began when at least three terrorists riddled a passing passenger bus with bullets, wounding at least 10 people. The bus continued to drive, and the terrorists pursued in their own vehicle. Israeli soldiers traveling on the bus reportedly exchanged fire with the terrorists as the two vehicles continued toward Eilat.

Around the same time, a large roadside bomb was detonated against an IDF patrol near the border with Egypt. There were casualties, though exact numbers were not available at press time.

A third attack occured near the small community of Beer Ora, which sits on the main highway just a little further north from Eilat than the first two attacks. In the third assault, machine gun fire was also directed against a passenger bus and passing civilian vehicles. There were also reports that the terrorists fired at least one anti-tank missile or mortar shell.

The third attack saw the most casualties, with six killed and at least a dozen wounded.

Israeli forces pushed the terrorist cell further north, where they engaged in a brief but fierce gunbattle that left at least three of the infiltrators dead.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak vowed to hunt down the remainder of the attackers and those responsible for sending them.

Barak said he believes the attack originated from Gaza, which shares an often porous border with the Sinai. He also said the attack demonstrates Egypt's lack of control over its own territory.

It has long been warned that radical Islamic groups determined to destroy Israel - including Al Qaeda - were setting up bases of operations in the Sinai Peninsula, and had won many of the local Bedouin tribes to their cause.

Israelis have been repeatedly warned to avoid traveling to the Sinai Peninsula, which is home to several popular Red Sea resorts. But if terrorists are now crossing from Sinai into Israel, the Jewish state has a whole new problem on its hands.

BOLTON: Why Tea Party should resist gutting defense - Washington Times

BOLTON: Why Tea Party should resist gutting defense - Washington Times

Re-Examining the Arab Spring

Re-Examining the Arab Spring is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By George Friedman

On Dec. 17, 2010, Mohammed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor, set himself on fire in a show of public protest. The self-immolation triggered unrest in Tunisia and ultimately the resignation of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. This was followed by unrest in a number of Arab countries that the global press dubbed the “Arab Spring.” The standard analysis of the situation was that oppressive regimes had been sitting on a volcano of liberal democratic discontent. The belief was that the Arab Spring was a political uprising by masses demanding liberal democratic reform and that this uprising, supported by Western democracies, would generate sweeping political change across the Arab world.

It is now more than six months since the beginning of the Arab Spring, and it is important to take stock of what has happened and what has not happened. The reasons for the widespread unrest go beyond the Arab world, although, obviously, the dynamics within that world are important in and of themselves. However, the belief in an Arab Spring helped shape European and American policies in the region and the world. If the assumptions of this past January and February prove insufficient or even wrong, then there will be regional and global consequences.

It is important to begin with the fact that, to this point, no regime has fallen in the Arab world. Individuals such as Tunisia’s Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak have been replaced, but the regimes themselves, which represent the manner of governing, have not changed. Some regimes have come under massive attack but have not fallen, as in Libya, Syria and Yemen. And in many countries, such as Jordan, the unrest never amounted to a real threat to the regime. The kind of rapid and complete collapse that we saw in Eastern Europe in 1989 with the fall of communism has not happened in the Arab world. More important, what regime changes that might come of the civil wars in Libya and Syria are not going to be clearly victorious, those that are victorious are not going to be clearly democratic and those that are democratic are obviously not going to be liberal. The myth that beneath every Libyan is a French republican yearning to breathe free is dubious in the extreme.

Consider the case of Mubarak, who was forced from office and put on trial, although the regime — a mode of governing in which the military remains the main arbiter of the state — remains intact. Egypt is now governed by a committee of military commanders, all of whom had been part of Mubarak’s regime. Elections are coming, but the opposition is deeply divided between Islamists and secularists, and personalities and ideological divisions in turn divide these factions. The probability of a powerful democratic president emerging who controls the sprawling ministries in Cairo and the country’s security and military apparatus is slim, and the Egyptian military junta is already acting to suppress elements that are too radical and too unpredictable.

The important question is why these regimes have been able to survive. In a genuine revolution, the regime loses power. The anti-communist forces overwhelmed the Polish Communist government in 1989 regardless of the divisions within the opposition. The sitting regimes were not in a position to determine their own futures, let alone the futures of their countries. There was a transition, but they were not in control of it. Similarly, in 1979, when the Shah of Iran was overthrown, his military and security people were not the ones managing the transition after the shah left the country. They were the ones on trial. There was unrest in Egypt in January and February 2011, but the idea that it amounted to a revolution flew in the face of the reality of Egypt and of what revolutions actually look like.

Shaping the Western Narrative


There were three principles shaping the Western narrative on the Arab Spring. The first was that these regimes were overwhelmingly unpopular. The second was that the opposition represented the overwhelming will of the people. The third was that once the unrest began it was unstoppable. Add to all that the notion that social media facilitated the organization of the revolution and the belief that the region was in the midst of a radical transformation can be easily understood.

It was in Libya that these propositions created the most serious problems. Tunisia and Egypt were not subject to very much outside influence. Libya became the focus of a significant Western intervention. Moammar Gadhafi had ruled Libya for nearly 42 years. He could not have ruled for that long without substantial support. That didn’t mean he had majority support (or that he didn’t). It simply meant that the survival of his regime did not interest only a handful of people, but that a large network of Libyans benefitted from Gadhafi’s rule and stood to lose a great deal if he fell. They were prepared to fight for his regime.

The opposition to him was real, but its claim to represent the overwhelming majority of Libyan people was dubious. Many of the leaders had been part of the Gadhafi regime, and it is doubtful they were selected for their government posts because of their personal popularity. Others were members of tribes that were opposed to the regime but not particularly friendly to each other. Under the mythology of the Arab Spring, the eastern coalition represented the united rage of the Libyan people against Gadhafi’s oppression. Gadhafi was weak and isolated, wielding an army that was still loyal and could inflict terrible vengeance on the Libyan people. But if the West would demonstrate its ability to prevent slaughter in Benghazi, the military would realize its own isolation and defect to the rebels.

It didn’t happen that way. First, Gadhafi’s regime was more than simply a handful of people terrorizing the population. It was certainly a brutal regime, but it hadn’t survived for 42 years on that alone. It had substantial support in the military and among key tribes. Whether this was a majority is as unclear as whether the eastern coalition was a majority. But it was certainly a substantial group with much to fight for and a great deal to lose if the regime fell. So, contrary to expectations in the West, the regime has continued to fight and to retain the loyalty of a substantial number of people. Meanwhile, the eastern alliance has continued to survive under the protection of NATO but has been unable to form a united government or topple Gadhafi. Most important, it has always been a dubious assertion that what would emerge if the rebels did defeat Gadhafi would be a democratic regime, let alone a liberal democracy, and this has become increasingly obvious as the war has worn on. Whoever would replace Gadhafi would not clearly be superior to him, which is saying quite a lot.

A very similar process is taking place in Syria. There, the minority Alawite government of the al Assad family, which has ruled Syria for 41 years, is facing an uprising led by the majority Sunnis, or at least some segment of them. Again, the assumption was that the regime was illegitimate and therefore weak and would crumble in the face of concerted resistance. That assumption proved wrong. The al Assad regime may be running a minority government, but it has substantial support from a military of mostly Alawite officers leading a largely Sunni conscript force. The military has benefited tremendously from the Assad regime — indeed, it brought it to power. The one thing the al Assads were careful to do was to make it beneficial to the military and security services to remain loyal to the regime. So far, they largely have. The danger for the regime looking forward is if the growing strain on the Alawite-dominated army divisions leads to fissures within the Alawite community and in the army itself, raising the potential for a military coup.

In part, these Arab leaders have nowhere to go. The senior leadership of the military could be tried in The Hague, and the lower ranks are subject to rebel retribution. There is a rule in war, which is that you should always give your enemy room to retreat. The al Assad supporters, like the Gadhafi supporters and the supporters of Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh, have no room to retreat. So they have fought on for months, and it is not clear they will capitulate anytime soon.

Foreign governments, from the United States to Turkey, have expressed their exasperation with the Syrians, but none has seriously contemplated an intervention. There are two reasons for this: First, following the Libya intervention, everyone became more wary of assuming the weakness of Arab regimes, and no one wants a showdown on the ground with a desperate Syrian military. Second, observers have become cautious in asserting that widespread unrest constitutes a popular revolution or that the revolutionaries necessarily want to create a liberal democracy. The Sunnis in Syria might well want a democracy, but they might well be interested in creating a Sunni “Islamic” state. Knowing that it is important to be careful what you wish for, everyone seems to be issuing stern warnings to Damascus without doing very much.

Syria is an interesting case because it is, perhaps, the only current issue that Iran and Israel agree on. Iran is deeply invested in the al Assad regime and wary of increased Sunni power in Syria. Israel is just as deeply concerned that the al Assad regime — a known and manageable devil from the Israeli point of view — could collapse and be replaced by a Sunni Islamist regime with close ties to Hamas and what is left of al Qaeda in the Levant. These are fears, not certainties, but the fears make for interesting bedfellows.

Geopolitical Significance


Since late 2010, we have seen three kinds of uprisings in the Arab world. The first are those that merely brushed by the regime. The second are those that created a change in leaders but not in the way the country was run. The third are those that turned into civil wars, such as Libya and Yemen. There is also the interesting case of Bahrain, where the regime was saved by the intervention of Saudi Arabia, but while the rising there conformed to the basic model of the Arab Spring — failed hopes — it lies in a different class, caught between Saudi and Iranian power.

The three examples do not mean that there is not discontent in the Arab world or a desire for change. They do not mean that change will not happen, or that discontent will not assume sufficient force to overthrow regimes. They also do not mean that whatever emerges will be liberal democratic states pleasing to Americans and Europeans.

This becomes the geopolitically significant part of the story. Among Europeans and within the U.S. State Department and the Obama administration is an ideology of human rights — the idea that one of the major commitments of Western countries should be supporting the creation of regimes resembling their own. This assumes all the things that we have discussed: that there is powerful discontent in oppressive states, that the discontent is powerful enough to overthrow regimes, and that what follows would be the sort of regime that the West would be able to work with.

The issue isn’t whether human rights are important but whether supporting unrest in repressive states automatically strengthens human rights. An important example was Iran in 1979, when opposition to the oppression of the shah’s government was perceived as a movement toward liberal democracy. What followed might have been democratic but it was hardly liberal. Indeed, many of the myths of the Arab Spring had their roots both in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and later in Iran’s 2009 Green Movement, when a narrow uprising readily crushed by the regime was widely viewed as massive opposition and widespread support for liberalization.

The world is more complicated and more varied than that. As we saw in the Arab Spring, oppressive regimes are not always faced with massed risings, and unrest does not necessarily mean mass support. Nor are the alternatives necessarily more palatable than what went before or the displeasure of the West nearly as fearsome as Westerners like to think. Libya is a case study on the consequences of starting a war with insufficient force. Syria makes a strong case on the limits of soft power. Egypt and Tunisia represent a textbook lesson on the importance of not deluding yourself.

The pursuit of human rights requires ruthless clarity as to whom you are supporting and what their chances are. It is important to remember that it is not Western supporters of human rights who suffer the consequences of failed risings, civil wars or revolutionary regimes that are committed to causes other than liberal democracy.

The misreading of the situation can also create unnecessary geopolitical problems. The fall of the Egyptian regime, unlikely as it is at this point, would be just as likely to generate an Islamist regime as a liberal democracy. The survival of the al Assad regime could lead to more slaughter than we have seen and a much firmer base for Iran. No regimes have fallen since the Arab Spring, but when they do it will be important to remember 1979 and the conviction that nothing could be worse than the shah’s Iran, morally or geopolitically. Neither was quite the case.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t people in the Arab world who want liberal democracy. It simply means that they are not powerful enough to topple regimes or maintain control of new regimes even if they did succeed. The Arab Spring is, above all, a primer on wishful thinking in the face of the real world.


Read more: Re-Examining the Arab Spring | STRATFOR

How Washington sees you

U.S. To Deny Taiwan New F-16 Fighters - Defense News

U.S. To Deny Taiwan New F-16 Fighters - Defense News

Nullify the Fed! And Much More. – Tenth Amendment Center

Nullify the Fed! And Much More. – Tenth Amendment Center

China's Aircraft Carrier Ends Maiden Trip: Xinhua - Defense News

China's Aircraft Carrier Ends Maiden Trip: Xinhua - Defense News

Texans Prefer Paul Over Perry

Texans Prefer Paul Over Perry

Paul in Top Tier in NH

Paul in Top Tier in NH

Defense-Less | CNSnews.com

Defense-Less CNSnews.com

Ron Paul's Speech At New Hampshire Campaign Headquarters Opening



h/t: The Daily Paul

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wisdom From Ron Paul

"The country's bankrupt, and nobody wanted to admit it. And when you're bankrupt, you can't keep spending,"

Ron Paul

Ron Paul Ad - THE ONE

Don't Forget To Vote Today!


Election day is finally here. Don't forget to get out and vote, please encourage your family and friends to also vote. It is vitally important that we elect Kim Simac.

RINO Talk Radio Goes Postal On True Conservatism

In a display that rivals the mentally damaged liberals, RINO Talk Radio hosts have gone postal on the only true Conservatives in the Presidential race; Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann. I am tired of the Republican media using people's desire for freedom and liberty to thrust themselves into a spot light they obviously never deserved. Championing values and stands they never believed in, or are willing to fight for once the battle starts, they mask themselves in brands they don't even understand.

The true meaning of words such as conservative, liberty, freedom, and anarchy have been lost and mutated into meaningless chants to gain favor and power. These people who have imposed themselves on the American people masquerade themselves as if in Hamlet, but in actuality don't even measure up to a mediocre act of Cats. The saddest part of all is the fact that there are people who actually swallow their drivel.

Don't go on the air, in any form, and raise the black flag of our honorable founding fathers to the chants of the people while holding the white flag of surrender to the enemy on the other side of the hill. If you are going to use your war-cry you better know who friend and who foe really are. The Republican media figures have assumed more than enough power and it is time for them to step aside and abdicate to the true champions of the cause who have the fortitude to support the candidates that common sense, wisdom, and history proves are the only choice if you value your job, your home, your family, and your freedom.
When Ron Paul wins second in the Iowa Straw Poll and the media ignores it, one has to wonder if they have enough mental capacity to count.  Even John Stewart can see the idiodicy of Republicans gone RINO. 


h/t:  The Daily Paul

Ron Paul On Freedom Watch

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

STRATFOR Dispatch: Kyrgyzstan's Presidential Election Impact

Ron Paul: S&P States the Obvious


S&P States the Obvious


Politicians did not get much time to pat themselves on the back for supposedly rescuing the economy with the debt limit deal last week. The ink was barely dry when Standard & Poor's downgraded the US debt ratings anyway, roiling world financial markets. Anyone who has taken an honest look at the government's fiscal situation, taken into account how Washington works and the direction it is going would have a very difficult time arguing with S&P's decision, although a strong case can be made that this was too incremental a downgrade and that it took far too long for S&P to admit the obvious.

Nonetheless, the administration nitpicked over a $2 trillion "mistake". S&P rejoined with the fact that $2 trillion here or there hardly makes a difference in the time frame under discussion. That, if nothing else, should tell you the magnitude of the problem. $2 trillion has become a drop in the bucket.

S&P cited Congress's inability to act like grownups and make necessary, meaningful cuts, which is true. I must take issue however, with their suggestion that tax increases are part of the answer. Taking capital out of the private sector, where it can create real value in the form of new jobs and products, and instead giving it to Washington to waste and squander is not the solution. Tax increases may seem penny-wise to some, but in reality they would be very pound-foolish. The government currently takes in $2.2 trillion in taxes per year, which is far too much already. It spends $3.7 trillion, which is ridiculous and criminal. The problem is runaway government spending, not the American people having too much money.

And yet we can't even have a serious discussion about bringing our troops home and ending our expensive occupations around the world – things the president used to claim to favor!

Even without this downgrade, major investors are waking up to what lies down the road for the United States in fiscal terms. China is showing more signs of losing its taste for our debt. Others are following suit. What we are about to see is the end of the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. When that happens, we will no longer be in a position to have pretend debates about things we probably should spend a little bit less on - we will be forced to implement serious spending cuts as our sources of credit dry up. Of course, we can try to postpone the day of reckoning by printing more money but the resulting “inflation tax” will be far worse than a reduction in government benefits.

Hyperinflation devastates the middle class. After Weimar Germany hyper-inflated their currency in the 1920s, an entire life savings couldn't buy a postage stamp. The bank wouldn't even send customers a check for all the money they had saved their whole lives. It wasn't worth the paper it was printed on or the stamp to send it. This is what is meant when it is said that the middle class gets wiped out. The pieces for this to happen here are all falling into place, and have been since 1971. The only way to avoid that sort of chaos now is for Congress to immediately reduce federal spending and take the Constitution seriously again. The welfare/warfare state will end either way, but winding it down responsibly is a far better way to do it.

Ron Who? But Fourth-Place Santorum Gets “New Life”

Ron Who? But Fourth-Place Santorum Gets “New Life”

Texas RLC Sends Out Warning on Rick Perry

Texas RLC Sends Out Warning on Rick Perry

Wisdom From Ron Paul

"I believe in a very limited role for government. But the prime reason that government exists in a free society is to protect liberty, but also to protect life. And I mean all life,"

Ron Paul

Voting Early and Often in NC: Four Charged with Crime the Left Says Doesnt Exist

Voting Early and Often in NC: Four Charged with Crime the Left Says Doesnt Exist

Founding Fathers Quote

Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?

James Madison

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why Rick Perry Is The New Obama

Things have a way of changing.  We all know that.  It is a fact that sometimes people, or organizations, morph into the very thing they fight against.  With that in mind, if we take an honest look at history we cannot deny that, in general terms, Republicans have morphed into Democrats, Conservatives have into Republicans, and the Independents, Libertarians, the Tea Party, and other Third Parties have become the grassroots voice of the people.

The political elites are quickly becoming old news and the intend on going out kicking and screaming.  They liked their two party system, where they could screw you, the people, over and over and simply blame each other.  A never-ending cycle of drawing blood from a turnip, when collecting taxes, and stripping away your freedoms and power.  They have taken control of the education system and instituted an indoctrination of the people that has dumbed us down to the point we are no longer competitive on the world stage.  Americans have lost so much of their history in this educational black hole that they no longer even understand that they control the government, not the other way around.  Rick Perry oversees one of the worst educational systems in our nation.  Do we really want to go there? 

Keep this in mind as I put into writing that Rick Perry is as politically dangerous as Obama.  He is no different from Obama, except the party affiliation he laughingly claims.  He is so far left of conservative that even though I am proud to have been a Texan, I am thankful I never had to call him my governor.  His extreme stands already read like a laundry list from the Obama administration and now he is bringing in former Bush foreign policy team members?  We lived through the crushing effects of the Bush administration policies once, do we have to relive that torture?  Hell, we are still suffering losses from the Bush administration year after year as our sons and daughters die on foreign sand so Bush could Bush's war and agenda.  Now Obama continues to crush us under the boot heal of unrestrained government and Rick Perry intends on doing the same. 

Can't Americans learn from a person's record? Learn from the past?  There is a point where turning the other cheek is simply putting a gun to one's own temple.  When Rick Perry believes it is acceptable to force potentially deadly vaccinations upon little girls, take money out of your paychecks and eminent domain your homes and neighborhoods to pave an intercontinental superhighway, allow illegals to overrun your cities with drugs and crime, increase the taxes of barely minimum wager earners over and over, attend a Bilderberg Group meeting, and serve as Al Gore's campaign chairman in Texas in 1988 and still call himself a Republican, then he is the kooky extremist and those who blindly accept the establishment's and media's praises of him are sheep to the slaughter.

Do the right thing, vote for Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann, and take back your America.  If liberal, socialist Democrats and Republicans want to relive communism, they should consider changing their citizenship. 

Alex Jones: Fascism Fears Ron Paul!