Monthly Archives: November 2008

Providing Stability in the Congo

In the past few months tensions have flared again in the Western region of Congo. A lawless place with little to no government control, this region has often been called the “wild west”. Congo has consistently had problems with rebels in its western territories, especially since the Rwanda genocide in 1996. A few years ago, the region calmed down with the aid of the UN, AU peace keepers, and a cease fire with the rebels, but those tensions have flared again as the rebels have soundly defeated the Congo army.

Most significant is the tacit support that the rebels are reportedly receiving from Rwanda. Many speculate that the continued support is a continuing revenge response by the Tutsi’s against Hutu’s living in Congo.

While nothing that occurs in Africa surprises me anymore, I doesn’t make sense to me why the Rwandan government would stir the hornets nest of violence and rebellion right outside of their border. Their President, Paul Kagame, is a bright man, forward looking, and has done a lot of good restoring Rwanda and making it one of the brightest locales of freedom and relative economic prosperity in Africa. Mr. Kagame has been lauded by Western governments and has the full support of the United States and European Union.

I suspect that if this rebellion is being funded out of Rwanda, that the support is not coming from the top, but from either lower Rwandan government or military officials or from non-governmental groups. Regardless of the source of support, this poses a huge danger to Rwanda’s increasing prosperity.

As has been evidenced by multiple African wars and disputes in the last half century, wars quickly spill over into neighboring countries. If the issue in the Congo continues to escalate it is quite feasible that Uganda and Rwanda will be forced into it. This is the last thing those countries, Africa, and the world need.

So what is to be done? I call for an international peace keeping force lead by the UN in concert with the African union to deploy to western Congo. They should be given authority to engage in combat, but only when they are engaged upon and under orders. Their primary mission should be to be a presence of stability and encouragement for the millions of civilians who have been forced from their homes. They should have the authority to stop tribal violence where they find and be tasked with assisting the distribution of food, medical supplies, and building infrastructure (to a minimal extent).

This is one location where the example of America’s recent strategy in Iraq can be partially implemented. That is, there is strength in numbers and soldiers given proper orders and instructions and deployed to the appropriate areas can be a huge benefit to regional stability and development. It is highly unlikely that the Congo rebels would attack international troops, aside from the occasional skirmish, which would be inevitable. They know that if they did, they would likely have the muscle of the international community fall upon them.

Ideally, the troops who deploy there would be a fairly standard UN force. It would be unlikely the United States could provide any significant number of troops, but that does not mean the United States should be excluded. On the contrary, the U.S. would arguably be the most important player from the international community. The U.S. is the only country that currently has the ability to deploy rapidly and to maintain an effective logistical supply chain to anywhere in the world. The U.S. should provide a majority of the logistical support, to include the use of C-130’s and other supply aircraft. The U.S. can also provide a significant number of multi-purpose vehicles and aircraft that can provide logistical, medical, rapid deployment, and attack support; tools like the Chinook and the Bradley.

Sadly, this conflict in the Congo is just another “issue” with Africa. The cycle of violence is so common place that it is difficult to be optimistic that something positive can be done to alter it. It is very easy for us in the comforts of the West to just shrug our shoulders and say, “well, that is Africa”. But that is wrong. There are too many places in Africa that showing hope and development for us to turn a blind eye now. Places like Botswana, Rwanda, Kenya (despite the violence a year ago), Ghana, and even Liberia. The U.S., EU, Russia, and China should all promote those places and provide support where appropriate. Because in the same way that violence spills across borders, so does prosperity. With good governance and self-criticism and reliance, Africa can stabilize. It won’t be anytime soon, but there is hope and it should be built upon and encouraged.

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Mormons Targeted in Anthrax Scare

Yesterday, seemingly innocent envelopes were delivered to representatives at the LDS temples in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, the two most heavily protest locations since the passage of Proposition 8 in California.  These envelopes were filled with a white powder that was apparently harmless, but required hazmat teams to shut down the locations.

So now we are again seeing the true colors of the far-left liberals.  They love to preach tolerance and openness, kindness and peace.  But they do not believe in these things, they talk like pacifists but act like militant marxists, or dare I say Stalinists.  So what did the Mormons do to deserve the treatment they are getting?  They actively supported a bill that defined marriage between a man and a woman.  Nevermind that this bill only affected what the word “marriage” referred to. The bill does not call for any rights to be taken away or any unequal treatment.  It just stipulates that marriage is between a man and a woman. In fact the church supports equal rights under the law for gay couples when entered into civil unions.  The church agrees that they should be privy to the same tax benefits and other entitlements that married couples receive.  So while gay and lesbian couples really lose no rights whatsoever, those who profess tolerance and openness are threatening the church with anthrax scares, defacing church property, threatening LDS members, etc.  What a bunch of hypocrits.   Liberals are only keen on freedom of speech and tolerance when it benefits them or people sensitive to their opinions.   They need to grow up and act like adults instead of like a bunch of babies.  The fact anyone takes those groups seriously is a joke.

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Filed under LDS, Liberalism

Romney’s Advice to Obama

In an interview with Fortune Magazine, Mitt Romney gave President-elect Obama some advice on the economic crisis we are now in. Perhaps the most profound advice he gave was that Obama “should forget about re-election and focus on helping the nation at a critical time. He should dismiss the people who helped him win the election and bring in people who are above politics and above party. He should surround himself with statesmen and economists, businesspeople and leaders.”   How true that is.  Besides if Obama took this advice and worked the economy issue, re-election would work itself out.

In further addressing the economy Mitt gave some great points:

  • Regarding unions:

The unions have helped Barack Obama. They will hope to be paid back. I’m particularly concerned that organized labor would call on Barack Obama to pass the card check program. This removes from American workers the right to the secret ballot in deciding whether or not to accept a union. This legislation would do more to harm America’s long-term competitiveness than almost anything I can imagine. It would be a partisan payback for organized labor but it would come with devastating consequences for the nation.

  • On the Auto Industry

Right now, the auto industry is on life support, and its prospects look extremely dim. But they don’t need to be. The industry could be turned around. There is no inherent reason why America can’t build and sell cars to Americans at least as well as the transplants are doing. Any effort to help the auto industry has to be made as part of a comprehensive strategy. Before the government issues loans to the auto industry, as has been authorized by Congress, it should insist on seeing credible and independent strategies that will return the companies to long-term sustainability. Government should not finance ongoing losses and declining market shares.

  • On the Global Economy

Far too little attention was paid to America’s long-term competitive position during the campaign. I see four major economic strategies at play in the world today: the first is ours. It combines freedom and free enterprise.

The second is China’s. It combines free enterprise with authoritarianism.

The third is Russia’s. No longer is Russia’s plan for dominance based upon industrial capacity but rather upon controlling energy throughout the world. Hence Russia’s cozy relationship with Iran and Venezuela as well as its belligerent entry into Georgia. Russia’s strategy is based on energy and authoritarianism.

The fourth strategy is represented by radical violent jihad. The intent of the jihadists is to cause the collapse of the other three, such that the “hidden Imam” or the Caliphate remains the last man standing.

The real challenge for America is how to strengthen our competitive position so that our economy outperforms those of the other three. If we’re successful, freedom will be preserved for the world. If we’re unsuccessful, the results are unthinkable.

  • On the apparent populist shift in American ideology

I can only hope the President abandons the populist current, which seems to be growing in our country. An effort to block foreign trade will only hurt America. Ultimately products in this country would become uncompetitive. Look what happened to the Soviet Union. Its cars, its watches, its goods became a joke.

The only way to remain the leading economy in the world is to be successful on a level playing field around the world. Some individuals, at the behest of special interests, seek to prevent trade with other nations by imposing America’s labor requirements and other peculiarities. That is a disguised form of protectionism.

And the GOP chose McCain!  What a bunch of idiots.  Mitt Romney is smarter than any of the candidates that ran in 2008.  And America lost when he did.  Anyway, enough of looking backwards, we need to get him in the White House in 2012, but I digress.

The fact is, on the economy he is right.  Capitalism and ‘free’ trade are what made America great and strong.  Our military might is a result of our economic might.  Our freedoms are because of economic freedom.   Protectionism and isolationism will fail every time.   The thing with capitalism is that it is not an easy pill swallow all the time.  Sometimes the market is booming and other times it is crashing, sometimes people succeed other times people fail.   But all of that is what makes capitalism great, everyone has an opportunity and everyone can pull themselves out of the “social class” they were born into.  While socialist and other economic models may succeed in bringing equality (though they never have yet), but if they do, they undoubtedly make everyone equally poor and miserable.  Capitalism is not perfect, but it is the best system in the world none the less and America’s movement away from it would be a danger to us and to the world at large.  Russia and China aren’t going to be as benevolent and nice as America and ultimately, those are the three countries that will determine the world’s future.   I would certainly rather live in a world guided by America.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans

Gracious in Defeat; Still Proud of America

I had contemplated writing my first post the morning after an Obama win and discussing why Obama will be a disaster, how McCain lost the election, how this election was wholly based on emotion and not issues, and how I think the country will be in a worse way for the next few years.  There will be plenty of time to write about things, things I will begin to write about shortly, including getting Mitt elected in 2012.  But for this post’s purposes I want to really speak from the heart and express the pride I feel as an American.

Indeed this is an historic election for the United States and even the world.  Last night American’s overwhelmingly elected out first Black president.  This accomplishment is nothing to push aside considering America’s history with Black’s.  150 years ago slavery was still prevalent and was only about to be defeated by Lincoln in the civil war, yet even after the emancipation proclamation race continued to be a major issue and the Blacks had little opportunity for success and integration into American society.  It was not until the mid-1900’s and the great civil-rights movement that broke down most of the barriers to Black progress in America.  I have longed believed that true-racism has largely been eradicated in most of America for the last 20 years; certainly there are pockets of bigots and racists throughout the country, but this holds true for whites being racist against Blacks and Blacks being racist against whites (see Jeremiah Wright).  But largely the it seems to me that race has been an overblown issue of late, driven largely by Black activists who need charges of racism to drive there personal agendas.  (I should write a full post about this, because we could even get into the actions of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson regarding Obama’s campaign, but I digress).   Finally, my belief has been validated.  The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States should eradicate the overblown charges of widespread racism in America.  Issues of race will never be fully gone.  There will always be whites killing blacks because they are black and there will always be blacks killing whites because they are white; sadly, that is reality.  But race is no longer a systemic issue and problem in our country and Barack’s election is the culminating event in Black progress.  I think it reflects great maturity and progress in the U.S. and for that, and that alone, I applaud the election of Barack Obama and the American people.

So congratulations to President Obama and his family on his victory.  I now plan on spending the next four years fighting to get you out of the White House.  That being said, you have a great opportunity to win a lot of McCain voters, like myself, over if you govern as a moderate and pragmatically.  If you show that you recognize the importance of maintaining processes that made America great, like capitalism and small government, freedom of speech, freedom or religion, etc.  I highly encourage you to avoid moving full speed ahead and implementing a large left-wing agenda and socialist policies.  Doing such will alienate many of the people who voted for you (and in 2012 expect the GOP to nominate someone who is not near as terrible a candidate as McCain was).  You and your party have the opportunity to accomplish what the GOP failed to do in last decade when they had all the power, that is to uphold American ideals such as limited government.   A left-wing agenda is the surest way to defeat in 2012, even you had to run to the right to win this election – every Democrat does.   Best of luck for you and your cabinet, I will be praying for your Presidency.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Election 2008, John McCain, Politics, Progress, Progressive

Obama’s American Basij

he more I hear Obama speak the more he scares me. Either he has crazy ideas and frightening motives or he doesn’t really think his ideas through. But consider the statement in the following video:

A Civilian Security Defense Force? So not only is the military not doing a good enough job, but neither is our police force, firemen, paramedics, first responders, emergency response teams, or rent-a-cops. Nope, we don’t have enough security so we need to create a Civilian National Security Force.

Do you know what a Civilian National Security Force is? It is a Basij. If you don’t know what the Basij is, it is Iran’s internal security force made up originally of civilians. Is that what you want in this country? Are you ready to give up more freedom Americans? I AM NOT! Increased security is inversely proportional to freedom. With freedom comes risk, with more security comes less freedom. Well I want my freedom. I can live with the risk of terrorism, but I refuse to live in fear of my own country people and government; but that is exactly what will happen if Obama creates his Civilian National Security Force that is just as big and well funded as the US Military. Do you want an entity that massive and indestructible in charge of domestic security? NO, NO, NO.

I can’t believe how so many voters are so blinded by Obama. Now that I have gotten past the speaking and presentation skills he has and I have focused on his words and ideas, the more I fear him. Nevertheless, I believe in America. I believe the American political structure is more resilient than the damage that one man and one party can do. Barack is a disaster waiting to happen if he actually accomplishes 1/3 of what he says.

One final note, if the government funds a Civilian National Security Force and the “civilians” working in this force are paid by the government, they are no longer Civilians. They are either soldiers or government employees.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Democrats, Election 2008, Politics