Category Archives: Diane Feinstein

An Ill-Timed and Unnecessary Genocide Resolution againt Turkey

This week, Democratic leaders in the House will seek to pass a non-binding resolution officially classifying the mass-murders of Armenians by the Turks in World War I as genocide.  This is a terribly ill-timed and strange move on the part of the Democrats.   If it passes there could, and likely will be, significant detrimental effects on U.S. – Turkish relations.  Detrimental effects that we cannot afford.  

Certainly, what the Turks did to the Armenians in 1915 is a genocide.  There is no argument here and there should be no argument anywhere.   Additionally, genocide needs to be condemned wherever it is found. 

But why now?  Our relations with Turkey are already strained by the coalition forces’ inability to curb the increasing number of Kurdish militias staging incursions into Turkish territory.  Also, we need Turkey.  They are one of our few Muslim country allies and the most moderate of Muslim states.  Passing this resolution will only prove to have negative effects on our relations with little good in return.  

Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that Turkey’s top general, General Yasar Buyukanit, warned that the passing of this resolution may result in the U.S. losing access to Incirlik Air Base, a key cargo and transportation hub for our military.  He also added that, “If this resolution passes the House, our Military ties with the U.S. will never be the same.”  These are huge implications not only for us, but for the greater war on terror.  We need Turkey on board and we need Incirlik Air Base. 

It is indeed important that history be accurate and refer to genocide for what it is.  But why can’t this be done during a time of peace or at least when our key international issue is not bordering the country we are about to deeply offend.  This genocide occured nearly 100 years ago, what will a few more years of waiting to do this harm?  If Congress is intent on this, they should  pass this measure in 2015 at the 100 year anniversary or when it is less politically harmful.  But now is not the time. 

So, there are two options that we have that may serve to solve the problem, we could pull the resolution from the table or have it defeated.  Or we could pass the resolution then encourage the Turkish parliament to offically classify our treatment of the American Indians in the 1800’s as genocide and then call it even.  I prefer the former.  This is a strange and unnecessary move on the part of the Democrats, if it passes and Turkey does indeed follow through on their threats, we had better place full blame on Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. 

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Mitt & Hillary Extend Leads in New Hampshire

The latest CNN/WMUR Presidential Poll gives Mitt Romney a 15 point lead in New Hampshire.  While we are still early, 6 months from the first primary, Mitt has incredible momentum riding in these early states.  Most analysts are already conceding Iowa to Mitt and it now looks like he has a iron grasp on New Hampshire.  Naturally, anything can happen and change, and there is a good chance it will.  But this is certainly good news for the Romney camp.

GOP Results:

Romney: 33%     Giuliani: 18%     F. Thompson: 13%    McCain: 12%

In the Democratic race Hillary also extended her lead but Obama is well within striking distance.  It looks to me like Hillary is a fore gone conclusion on the Democratic side, but with Obama’s fundraising and if he can somehow manage to pull out at least one of the first two states it could get interesting.   No other Dem candidate has a shot.

Democratic Results:

Clinton: 33%    Obama: 25%     Richardson: 10%    Edwards: 8%    Gore: 8%

How about Richardson leap frogging Edwards!  Edwards is done, he is tied with a guy who isn’t (and won’t be) running.  Good for Richardson, his hard work is paying off.

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“If America were a Stock, it would be a Buy”

It seems that all we hear about is the continuing demise of American influence in the world. It is true that we have lost some respect, we are not as feared as we once were – Russia and Iran have no problem defying us. Our actions in Iraq have had a negative effect on our influence abroad. But all is not lost with America’s place as the world’s superpower of influence. The Economist of all publications has written a very interesting and thought provoking piece on the future of America in the international arena. It is refreshing to hear some optimism on this issue.

American Power: Still #1 – The Economist

Here is a segment of the article:

If America were a stock, it would be a “buy”: an undervalued market leader, in need of new management. But that points to its last great strength. More than any rival, America corrects itself. Under pressure from voters, Mr Bush has already rediscovered some of the charms of multilateralism; he is talking about climate change; a Middle East peace initiative is possible. Next year’s presidential election offers a chance for renewal. Such corrections are not automatic: something (a misadventure in Iran?) may yet compound the misery of Iraq in the same way Watergate followed Vietnam. But America recovered from the 1970s. It will bounce back stronger again.

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The Real Guantanamo

When we hear about the detention centers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba that are run by our Military and government we tend to think of mush for food, dirt floors, inmates dressed in orange with bags over their heads, even severe torture. Rarely do we here how Gitmo is actually run and operated on a day to day basis. Certainly, we would never expect to hear another side of the story from a “liberal rag” like the New York Times, but today that is just what was printed in their editorial page. It is about time that someone who can get the ear of the national audience starts defending, at least, the conditions in Gitmo.

It is disappointing that so many embrace a contrived image. Reality for Guantánamo Bay is the daily professionalism of its staff, the humanity of its detention centers and the fair and transparent nature of the military commissions charged with trying war criminals. It is a reality that has been all but ignored or forgotten.The makeshift detention center known as Camp X-Ray closed in early 2002 after just four months of use. Now it is overgrown with weeds and serves as home to iguanas. Yet last week ABC News published a photo online of Camp X-Ray as if it were in use, five years after its closing.

Today, most of the detainees are housed in new buildings modeled after civilian prisons in Indiana and Michigan. Detainees receive three culturally appropriate meals a day. Each has a copy of the Koran. Guards maintain respectful silence during Islam’s five daily prayer periods, and medical care is provided by the same practitioners who treat American service members. Detainees are offered at least two hours of outdoor recreation each day, double that allowed inmates, including convicted terrorists, at the “supermax” federal penitentiary in Florence, Colo.

Standards at Guantánamo rival or exceed those at similar institutions in the United States and abroad. After an inspection by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in March 2006, a Belgian police official said, “At the level of detention facilities, it is a model prison, where people are better treated than in Belgian prisons.”

Critics liken Guantánamo Bay to Soviet gulags, but reality does not match their hyperbole. The supporters of David Hicks, the detainee popularly known as the “Australian Taliban,” asserted that Mr. Hicks was mistreated and wasting away. But at his March trial, where he pleaded guilty to providing material support to a terrorist organization, he and his defense team stipulated he was treated properly. Mr. Hicks even thanked service members, and as one Australian newspaper columnist noted, he appeared in court “looking fat, healthy and tanned, and cracking jokes.”

What a contrast to the image that we have been fed to believe! And I have no doubt, having been a former Service member, that the statements in the NYT piece are true and accurate. The Military, Defense Department, and other federal organizations are fanatical with oversight and compliance. Don’t you think they don’t recognize that every media outlet, NGO, and left-wing organizations are hovering like vultures around the US Military looking for any story to try to shame it and the United States. Of course they recognize this and as a result they are meticulous to ensure proper treatment of detainees.

Now, certainly there are going to be mistakes and failings. Having been an enlisted man, I can testify that there are some stupid people in the Military (the key word is ‘some’ and there are some stupid people in every organization on earth) and they are going to do stupid things, even among the officers and the leaders. Is this Bush’s fault or America’s fault, no. It is the fault of the moron that performs the actions. Of course the hovering groups I mentioned above don’t care, they just want to push their own agenda, and that’s fine, we are free to act and interpret all we want, but know that the Government knows they are watching and waiting for mistakes. The United States treats the detainees humanely and with respect. Far more humanely and respectfully than any of our soldiers could ever expect to be treated, even by “bona fide” governments like Iran, or even Russia or China. Gitmo is not Hell on earth.

One final note, I am not debating in this post the legality or illegality of keeping detainees there who have not been tried. While it relates to the issue, that is a discussion for another time and does not pertain to the point of this post. (The NYT article goes into this and it is well worth the read).

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Diane Feinstein: The worst Senator ever?

This quote by Dean Barnett on the Hugh Hewitt blog is fantastic, I laughed a lot (and couldn’t agree more!)

“Let’s talk about why Diane Feinstein is the worst Senator in history. And I’m not just talking about American history. I’m talking Roman history, all the mock student governments in history, the whole ball of wax. I’m also including fictional Senators in this assessment like that really mean guy in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and that scummy Nevada Senator from “Godfather II.”

Of anyone who has ever borne the title Senator under any circumstances, Diane Feinstein is the worst.”

The context, by the way, is regarding her desire to see the “fairness doctrine” reimplemented.

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