The View From 1776

While Obama And Kerry Slept

Posturing in a vain attempt to persuade Abbas et al to forego the Muslim aim to destroy Israel, then blaming Israel for failure of peace negotiations, may be great PR moves for Obama and Kerry with their liberal-progressive, anti-Israel fanatics.  But focusing on that effort to bludgeon Israel left them blindsided by Russia and China. 

The need is, not for the U.S. to engage in belligerent confrontation with Russia or China, but to abandon liberal-progressives’ fairy-land view of international relations.  Somebody, somewhere in the administration, ought to be continually looking as far ahead as possible to foresee potential problems and to anticipate the consequences of our own foreign policy.  Weakening our military capacities or reneging on commitments to our allies in the name of socialism’s fantasy of harmonious world government is dangerous and foolish.

The now consummated deal between Russia and China had been widely known for many months, except to Obama and Kerry, who get all their information, after the fact, from TV reports of problems, if we are to believe the excuses offered for the IRS’s criminal actions and mismanagement at VA hospitals.

Read David P. Goldman’s commentary on The New Sino-Russian Alliance.

Mr. Goldman writes, “I may have lost most of my remaining Republican friends for ridiculing the sanctions and saber-rattling at Russia over Ukraine. We spoke loudly and carried a small stick. What do you propose to do now, big talkers?”

No doubt, Obama and Kerry will solemnly intone, “There will be consequences,” a threat that foreign governments by now know is empty rhetoric.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/22 at 06:08 PM
  1. Mr. B,

    I really doubt that Obama and Kerry will complain, solemnly or otherwise, about Russia's recent agreement with China to sell them natural gas, but let us wait to see. Many of your past predictions have failed to pan out, and this may be another one in that category.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/23  at  11:11 AM
  2. J Jay,

    And some of Thomas’ ‘observations’ have also proven unfortunately (for Democrats) artfully accurate, enough that you feel compelled to refute them endlessly. Your posturing is lame at making it appear Thomas’, and not your, view is the only chock full of errors

    First of all, you need to learn to differentiate between predictions, prescriptions and observations. A prediction is an assertion something will happen or may happen in the future; and, can only be judged according to its accuracy. A prescription is something recommended as a means to accomplishing something, of making it happen, happen sooner, or doing it better. An observation is a statement of fact or conjecture about something you have witnessed or learned; and, in the sense of performance, to have happened enough as to establish a pattern. Thomas’ comments above fall into the latter two definitions only. So, it is unfair you mischaracterizing his remarks as ‘predictions’ when they are no more than observations with some prescriptions attached.

    Secondly, while Thomas’ earlier predictions of a financial nature have yet to come entirely true, his timing regarding two recent recessions and their subsequent market impacts were essentially correct; and establish his bona fides as (at least) an ‘educated guesser’; which is all he ever presented himself to be. Moreover, there are good and sufficient reasons to worry those recessions could have been (or made) worse than they were; and that the market forces causing them are still in play. So, if he can be faulted at all, it is only in the arenas of magnitude and recoverability; and not the timing of those events. Yes, there are reasons to have confidence in our market to survive such blows, but not enough to get carelessly smug over (the way you now are), and certainly not enough to ignore the damage government (especially socialist government) does to every market.

    As to whether Obama/Kerry will or won’t “complain … about Russia's recent agreement with China”, they have already and ineffectually complained of Russian (Putin’s) behavior over Ukraine, Iranian over nuclear weapon development, Syrian over WMD usage, North Korean over missile threats, and Chinese over territorial grabs. Thus, what you regard an improbable (and unfair) overreaction is really a well establish pattern of behavior, so well as to be a near certainty. They have even done this with allies, with similarly embarrassing effect (e.g., the British gifting slight, the dressing down of Netanyahu resulting in a history lesson for our President, NSA spying on Angela Merkel, the Mexican gun-walking episode, &c). Does this mean one or the other of them will make toothless complaints at Putin? Not absolutely certain, but enough even you liberals worry team Obama is about to humiliate itself … again.

    To be fair, we (conservatives, not just Thomas) long ago voiced concerns Obama would prove a weak president, especially in the economic and foreign-policy realms, based on past performance, ideological declarations, experience (lack of any), commitments made to fellow radicals, and rhetoric. And, so he has. Can those be classified as ‘qualified’ predictions? I would say so, and am not the least embarrassed in admitting I long ago predicted he would prove a weakling before toughs (like Putin), and would talk loudly imperious while wielding nothing stronger than a puff-ball. Or, it could be we are simply taking these men at their word.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/26  at  06:09 PM
  3. An "observation" : Because America's international leadership has been squandered (Obama-Kerry), and our president has become the laughing stock of both our friends and our enemies, a historic world power vacuum has been created. This new Russo/China relationship spells the end of American hegemony. The Pacific Ocean, from Siberia to Vietnam, could become a Russian/Chinese pond. Lets hope Australia, the Phillipines, and Singapore do not get subjugated by the new powers to be.

    As for a "prescription," I suggest that the best course for America is to stop meddling abroad, reinstate the Monroe Doctrine, strengthen our own finances and military, accelerate energy independence and exports, and promote (w/o force) free markets and personal liberty. But keep out of everyone else's crosshairs. If history teaches us anything Russia and its ally de jour will end up at war, and/or that the Islamic radicals will go after them instead of us--Indonesia lies in the path of Russo-Chinese expansion in the South Pacific. And if we are energy independent we can simply get out of the Middle East--totally--close the embassies and say bye-bye.

    As for "predictions," it is safe to assert, as Bob S. indicated, that Obama and Kerry will claim victory on every issue and threaten "consequences" against all opponents. The only safe odds in the world today are for a continuation of their consistent record of meddling, waffling, threatening, and retreating, with a compliant media covering their tails.

    And, thank you, Bob, for the lesson in Aristotelian logic and semantics. A prediction is quite different from an observation!
    Posted by BILL GREENE  on  05/26  at  07:53 PM
  4. While Obama was recently in Europe, pouting over Putin's jabs at him, and making a spiteful point of not attending the Olympics, after lecturing Putin on Gay rights, and stonewalling the Keystone pipeline, and posturing in anger over the Crimea takeover, and holding up energy export licenses which could actually help the Ukraine in its hour of need, and imposing relatively ineffective sanctions on individual Russians, And, while all these embarassing actions came from our Executive Branch, one of America's most eminent and successful organizations was getting along just fine with the Russians.

    I copy below a news item from today's Daily Finance:

    On April 16, 2012, Rosneft, the leader of Russia's petroleum industry, announced that Rosneft and Exxon Mobil signed agreements to implement a long-term Strategic Cooperation Agreement concluded in August 2011 to jointly explore for and develop oil and natural gas in Russia and to share technology and expertise. The agreements form joint ventures to manage an exploration program in the Kara Sea and Black Sea. They also set the terms for investments to be made by the partners in Russian offshore projects. The initial cost of preliminary exploration is estimated at over US $3.2 billion.

    Commenting on the agreements, Rosneft President Eduard Khudaynatov said:

    Today Rosneft and ExxonMobil enter offshore projects of unprecedented scale in the Russian Arctic and Black Sea regions, which are home to the world's largest hydrocarbon resources base. In so doing we lay the foundation for long-term growth of the Russian oil and gas industry. I am certain that 15 years of Rosneft and ExxonMobil partnership, as well as the use of the latest environmentally safe technologies and unique experience will allow Rosneft to become one of the global leaders in the oil and gas industry.

    According to International Business Times:

    On May 24, Exxon signed agreement with Rosneft's CEO, Igor Sechin, at a forum in St. Petersburg, an event that some U.S. oil companies avoided after U.S. State Department officials called for a boycott. The pact solidifies a joint project to drill for oil in the Arctic and Siberia and to liquefy natural gas for export to the Far East, according to a statement from Rosneft.

    Some investors are worried that in case the U.S. and its allies will strengthen measures against Russia, it will put at risk Exxon's investment in this country. So far, U.S. sanctions against Russia have targeted individuals like Sechin and not entire industries. In my opinion, this possibility is already discounted in the stock price, and Exxon is taking a calculated risk since the deal with Rosneft promises strong growth prospects for Exxon. Furthermore, by withdrawing its troop from the Ukraine border, it seems that Mr. Putin is not interested in escalating the crisis."


    This Exxon deal is one of thousands being made every year throughout the world by America's hundreds of multinational corporations. Our major companies are building plants, shipping products, employing foreign workers by the millions everywhere on earth. If you read the summaries of these companies, each of them have buildings, plants, and personnel in dozens of countries. Somehow, their "foreign policy," based on free market principles, has no problem coexisting with any and all foreign regimes. And they help bring jobs and prosperity everywhere they go. When a regime becomes too oppressive, they pack up and leave. Maybe the State Department could learn from them? Maybe we don't need a State Department?

    Ironically, the flow of oil and gas from Russia to China that this post deals with, and worries about, will be powered in part by Exxon. And this is because its esecutives do not play by the fairy-land rules that Obama plays by. If the president opened up some areas for drilling for Exxon and other American companies, here in North America, maybe the corporations would help speed up our energy independence, instead of going to Siberia and helping Russia. As soon as we are exporting energy the sooner we can supply Europe instead of having Russia hold them by the short hairs. Those exports would create a stonger foreign policy than lecturing everyone and threatening meaningless sanctions!
    Posted by BILL GREENE  on  05/26  at  08:45 PM
  5. Bill,

    While I agree with you Obama’s refusal to attend the Olympic ceremonies smacks of petulance, he was not alone in his refusal to attend over the Russian unwillingness to bow to the gay agenda. This got me wondering why all the fuss. I was expecting to find Russian police rounding up gay Russians and herding them into gulags for gelding. Instead, I find Russian offense is they refused to allow children to be homosexually indoctrinated (see http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/09/us-olympics-skijumping-iraschko-stolz-idUSBREA1806T20140209). Okay, not new-age wonderful but not exactly terrible either, I think. Surely our President has bigger fish to fry and would not refuse to grace the games with his august presence over this trifle. So, there must be more to it we are not seeing, right? There must be some real Russian crimes being perpetrated behind the scenes to have stirred 'The One' to such wrath. So, I dug a little deeper to see what has happened (recently) in Russia for which every red-blooded American should stand shoulder to shoulder with our peerless leader against Russian bigotry. I was all set for a long list of atrocities by brown-shirted thugs; including: forcible evictions, imprisonment, beatings, rape, torture, hangings, murders, etc. all with Putin’s blessing.

    Instead, I find (see http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/russia ) neither the Russian people nor government are engaging in attacks on gays, at least not enough as has got the rights watchdog attention. Their crime appears to be the same of which a good many Americans are equally guilty, that is: an unwillingness to allow children to be indoctrinated into thinking ‘gay’ is normal, of opposing recruitment of kids to the gay lifestyle, and/or an unwillingness to recognize gay marriage – and about to the same extent as us (Russians 74% versus Americans 70%). That, and some censorship (which, BTW, is completely constitutional in Russia). You would think for this much of a fuss there would, at least, have been a few state-incited muggings.

    Now, mind you, I have to support Obama’s protest if it was about censorship, because (heaven knows) Obama is above reproach on that score … right? Yeah, I realize that IRS business of rigging elections by intimidating the opposition into silence looks pretty bad on paper; but, gosh, that was just some rogue partisans abusing their power without his knowledge … wasn’t it? IRS aside, Obama’s got a pretty good record of defending civil-liberties wouldn’t you say (see http://www.wnd.com/2012/03/obama-crushes-civil-liberties-like-bush-never-did/ ; http://www.salon.com/2012/11/03/why_does_obama_get_a_pass_on_civil_liberties/ ; http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/subjects/civil-rights/ and http://www.gall-holl.com/blog/2013/06/obamas-police-state-a-list-of-obamas-assault-on-civil-liberties/ ). Moreover, Obama would never allow kids to be subjected to a one-sided political agenda nor interfere in the parental prerogative (see
    http://www.usnews.com/news/special-reports/a-guide-to-common-core/articles/2014/02/27/who-is-fighting-against-common-core - violates state, religious, civil, parent and children’s right of privacy and educational choice), would he?

    You’d think with all the real human and civil rights violations going on in Russia today (political assassinations, journalist intimidations, torture, threats against family, ethnic violence, state monopolizations, govt/mob-ties, &c) and sovereignty violations (Ukraine), you would think Obama would be able to find a better excuse to avoid (being seen) shaking hands with Putin than this trifle.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/28  at  05:51 AM
  6. PS

    Maybe the real reason is Team USA is having an Olympic spandex problem, and this distracts from that. So, Obama is just sacrificing (what little remains of) his credibility for the Team?
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/28  at  05:55 AM
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