It’s On

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What John Lennon poetically wished for, an end of biblical religion, the progressives will now openly declare. The platform they are nearly at, and will be at soon, is to remove all tax breaks, and to criminalize all non-private religious expression and practice on the basis of debased “public-reason test” thinking. It’s on.

Carl Eric Scott
via ‘Your Frame Is Too Small’
Rod Dreher
The American Conservative
April 30, 2015

Commentary is Not Happy with Ted Cruz

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In short, Ted Cruz is not, except for his highly distinguished academic career and legal clerkships, dissimilar to the present incumbent of the White House.  It seems to me that the last thing this country needs come January 20th, 2017, is a right-wing Barack Obama.

via Ted Cruz is a Right-Wing Barack Obama – Commentary Magazine.

Ouch, Ted, does that hurt? It looked real painful from here.

Kissinger on Putin

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“For the West, the demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one. Putin is a serious strategist – on the premises of Russian history. Understanding US values and psychology are not his strong suits. Nor has understanding Russian history and psychology been a strong point among US policymakers.’”

Henry Kissinger 
“Jackson Lears reviews ‘Hard Choices’ by Hillary Clinton and ‘HRC’ by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes”
London Review of Books
5 February 2015

 

Pentagon Problem Number One: Sycophants and Careerists

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Three years later, a broadside called Self-Destruction: The Disintegration and Decay of the United States Army During the Vietnam Era, by a military officer writing under the pen name Cincinnatus (later revealed to be a lieutenant colonel serving in the reserves as a military chaplain, Cecil B. Currey), linked problems in Vietnam to the ethical and intellectual shortcomings of the career military. The book was hotly debated—but not dismissed. An article about the book for the Air Force’s Air University Review said that “the author’s case is airtight” and that the military’s career structure “corrupts those who serve it; it is the system that forces out the best and rewards only the sycophants.” (emphasis mine)

James Fallows
The Tragedy of the American Military
The Atlantic
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anuary/February 2015

Nobody understands the dysfunctions in the Pentagon better than Fallows. He has been following the story for nearly four decades, and has perspective that few of us can match.

His point here about the corruption of careerists still applies. You can bet that not everyone with rank is a bootlicking mediocrity – I know several exceptions that disprove the rule. But the nature of the military’s career management system turns out a hugely disproportionate number of officers and top NCOs who are little more than self-interested careerists.

The officer procurement, development, and retention systems for each service are in desperate need of reform. That will demand political will and imagination. Eisenhower might have pulled it off. It will take a leader with great trust in the military to pull it off.

The Doomed Strategy

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Obama has failed to heed the wisdom of the U.S. Middle East policy of the 1950s, as explored by Alsop and others at the time. He remains mired in the same thinking that started with George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 and has generated growing chaos in the region ever since.

Robert W. Merry
Obama’s ISIS Strategy: Doomed for Failure
The National Interest
November 1, 2014

Let us criticize the President for his doomed strategy. But let us not forget that the problem is not one of politics, but of a worldview that he and his advisors have inherited.

This is not a partisan issue. This is an American issue. And we must approach it accordingly.