Ron Paul in New Hampshire

March 29, 2007


The Exit Strategy Delusion

March 28, 2007

Interesting article about Exit Strategies when the Democrats wanted to be involved in a war, Bosnia to be exact.

Note how Democrats advocated AGAINST exit strategies and deadlines while Republicans like John McCain advocated FOR exit strategies.

From Foreign Affairs, January/ February 1998

[…] “A consensus is developing,” says Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, “that there will be or should be some form of U.S. military presence” after the current force leaves.

“If we pull out on an arbitrary deadline,” says the architect of the 1995 Dayton Accord, Richard Holbrooke, “the situation in Bosnia will become chaotic, eroding the achievements so far.” Such talk does not sit well with Congress, where many were hostile to the original mission and outraged at its first extension last year. The stage is set for a battle this spring over U.S. policy in Bosnia.

The administration and Congress do seem to agree on one important issue: any new Bosnia mission must have an “exit strategy.” In her confirmation hearings, Albright assured Senate questioners that she “would never advise using American forces . . . where there is no exit strategy.” In his confirmation hearings, Secretary of Defense William Cohen explained that before deploying troops he would ask questions such as, “Do we have a so-called exit strategy? We know how to get in. How do we get out?” In 1996 then-national security adviser Anthony Lake even crafted an explicit “exit strategy doctrine,” which had as its centerpiece the principle, “Before we send our troops into a foreign country we should know how and when we’re going to get them out.” Congress has mandated an exit strategy for any new Bosnia deployment.

The extent to which the concept has become conventional wisdom was underlined when Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) rebuked the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Henry Shelton, for what he saw as the Bosnia policy’s missing ingredient: “Usually, we don’t go into things without an exit strategy, as you know, General.” Read the rest of this entry »


Good News North Dakota

March 26, 2007

With 3 weeks left in the legislative session, your representatives that began the session with a $580 million surplus have cut the current deficit from $370 million to $126 million as of today.


Welcome to Reality

March 26, 2007

Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R – MI) has joined reality with this OpEd:

Maybe I missed the memo, but when did the party of Ronald Reagan stop being anti-communist?

Was it when some conservatives started espousing how the collapse of Russian and eastern European communism was “the end of history” (or, more accurately, “the end of historians” whose services were ostensibly no longer required)? Sure, the billion or so people still trapped under Asian and Latin American communism might quibble about how our moral duty to emancipate them, too, was unfinished. But it was time for the West to reap the spoils of winning the Cold War against the Soviet Union, and the enslaved souls in China, Vietnam and Cuba posed no bar to international capitalists rushing through the ruins of the Berlin Wall to grow rich without regard to human suffering.

Parroting America’s global businesses, Republican leaders began sounding like European leftists in their quest for “peaceful co-existence” with communists, terrorists, and any bum bent on killing them. Apparently, while he was right about winning the Cold War by economically strangling the barbarous Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan was wrong about how to defeat our more sophisticated communist “competitors” in China, Vietnam, and Cuba. Rejecting the notion America’s rapprochement with communist China was but a strategic convenience to leverage the demise of the Soviet empire, the “Party of Reagan” now touted trade as the best weapon for eliminating regimes still wedded to the passé philosophy of atheistic dialectical materialism. Oblivious to the political fact happy people don’t have revolt, many Republicans perversely inverted Lenin’s dictum and espoused the theory communists will buy the rope they use to hang themselves.

This “logic” devoid of precedent bred to the Permanent Normalization of Trade Relations with communist China, a Free Trade Agreement with communist Vietnam, and a clamor to end the embargo on communist Cuba. It further spurred the pathetic specter of Republicans claiming these captive nations are “progressing,” since the Chinese, Vietnamese, and Cuban peoples may now exercise their God-given, self-evident, and inalienable freedom of conscience to vote for the communist candidate who most feels their pain rather than inflicts it. While absurd on its face, such demonstration elections do at least prevent these “voters” from having to hold their noses and choose between the “the lesser of two evils,” because there isn’t one.

Another popular GOP justification for trading with totalitarians is these communist countries’ peoples are now prosperous and secure. This is heartening news to all involved in the global capitalist conspiracy to eradicate communism. Imagine the revolutionary masses inspired to throw off their Rolex yolk of totalitarianism by such phrases as “Peace, Land and Bread – Delivered!”; “Well-Off of the World Unite!”; and “Live Free or Thrive.” When their blessed emancipation magically occurs, we must be honest about our own nation’s revolutionary faux pas: instead of dressing as Native Americans and tossing barrels overboard, our early patriots should have attended the Boston Tea Party in casually elegant garb with their pinkies extended and contentedly requested the formation of a Royal Commission to study the effects of the Townshend and Stamp Acts upon colonial commerce.

A third prevalent Republican rationalization for bartering with butchers is how these communists are “not really” communists any more. This is based on the in-country, eye-witness testimony of Westerners whose great-grandfathers’ personal diplomacy once belied the myth there was a famine in Stalin’s Ukraine. There is only one problem with capitalists’ pronouncements Mao, Ho Chi Minh, and Fidel’s spawn have renounced their invidious ideology.

These communists didn’t get their memo, either.

Welcome to reality Rep. McCotter, those of us who don’t view folks like Tancredo and Buchanan as simply racist kooks have been asking this for quite some time.

Free Trade Agreements are not Free Trade, they are simply terms of trade dictated in a different way.


ATR: Double Check Your Figures

March 26, 2007

The Friends of Americans for Tax Reform Blog has some numbers depicting how much more the Average person will pay if the House allows the Bush Tax Cuts to Expire and based on the figures they have for North Dakota I would like to advise them to double check their figures.

ATR says that the average North Dakotan will pay $2,613.80.

However, when you look at the ND Federal Taxes as compiled by the Tax Foundation the Bush tax cuts only amounted to $200 decrease in taxes in the first place.

So either the Democrats are proposing the largest tax increase in the nation’s history and no one is talking about it, or someone’s numbers are hinky. I will leave that to the experts.


Flashback: “Ron Paul: Beware of Iranian version of Gulf of Tonkin”

March 26, 2007

In January, Presidential Candidate Ron Paul warned of a potential Iranian Version of Gulf of Tonkin.

The president stated last week that, “Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity- and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria.” He also announced the deployment of an additional aircraft carrier battle group to the Persian Gulf, and the deployment of Patriot air missile defense systems to countries in the Middle East. Meanwhile, US troops stormed the Iranian consulate in Iraq and detained several Iranian diplomats. Taken together, the message was clear: the administration intends to move the US closer to a dangerous and ill-advised conflict with Iran.
[…]

I am concerned, however, that a contrived Gulf of Tonkin- type incident may occur to gain popular support for an attack on Iran.

The recent capture of British sailors is leading some to believe this may be it.


Earl Pomeroy, misRepresentative from North Dakota

March 26, 2007

It seems every month there is another story about how our federal delegation is so powerful. Why is it then that our lone Congressman, Earl Pomeroy, was unable to convince his own party’s leadership to support the farm disaster relief on its own? Instead, it was tied to withdrawing troops from Iraq.

Last July, the good Congressman voted against raising the minimum wage because the Republicans tied it to abolishing the Death Tax. In that case the good Congressman chose to “stick it to a handful of rich folks rather than give minimum wage workers a raise.

Why is it that our Congressman believes that North Dakota is so against the Iraq war that farm relief should be tied to it?

He criticized Republicans for putting the interests of “the rich” above giving the working poor a raise, then he sat and watched while his own party did the exact same thing by tying farm relief to withdrawing troops.

I wonder if he can spell hypocrite.