Here We Go Again! Russian Military Bases in Cuba!
Opening phase of Cold WarTwo?
Remember the Cuban Missile Crisis? (October 15th, 1962 through October 28th, 1962) I do! Man… do I remember! Well, in case you don’t… allow me to jostle your memory a bit… or… inform you a bit. The Russians decided to place their missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles off our southern shore that year. They had already begun building the launching pads, the whole nine yards, before we discovered (?) them. One of our spy planes, with which we did not fly over Cuba and spy on them, er…spotted them while, uh, not flying over Cuba. Anyway, we went toe to toe with the Russians (then known as the “Soviets”) for 13 days, or so, with a blockade of Cuba.
For two weeks the world was as close to an all out nuclear war as we have ever been… before or since. Army Reservists and National Guardsmen, were placed on “alert” to report for duty, immediately, to the nearest military post or base upon reception of a phone call with the orders. The entire US Armed Forces were put on highest alert and we were ready to go to war. It was a hair-raising time for the people of America. Every time a jet flew overhead everyone stopped what he or she was doing and looked skyward. Finally, when the Soviet ships, bearing their missile cargo, turned around, when coming face to face with US Navy warships, the entire world exhaled as if we had been holding our collective breath for two weeks. In a manner of speaking … we had been.
So why am I bringing this up at this particular time? I mean, the Russians are our FRIENDS, right? Well, NO!
The first rule of diplomacy should be: NEVER trust the Russians! You see, the Russians are so eaten up with their national paranoia and their super-sized national inferiority complex that you can never turn your back on them. Currently they are PO’ed at the US for wanting to place a missile shield, made up of interceptor missiles (emphasis on “interceptor”), in eastern Europe to protect friendly nations from incoming ballistic missiles from such rogue states as Iran… to name the rogue nation at the top of that list these days. The Russians see that, somehow, as a threat to THEM. Go figure!
do they do? They decide to “poke the tiger with a stick”. The “stick” just happens to be nuclear bomber bases in Cuba! Yep! Same song, second verse! Plus, it is reliably reported that a refueling station for those bombers is being planned for Venezuela, as well.
The “Times Online” has an excellent report, by Tony Halpin, who filed his piece from his post in Moscow. It is titled: Nuclear bomber base’ raises fears of a new Cuban crisis”. We strongly recommend you read this article. You’ll find it at:
Now, I have to ask: What the hell happened to the “Monroe Doctrine”? Chances are you have never even heard of the Monroe Doctrine. Basically, it says, specifically to Russia: “Hands off the Western Hemisphere. That is the backyard of the US and you trespass at your peril”.
The Monroe Doctrine dates back to December 2nd, 1823… and… President James Monroe was it’s author. The Monroe Doctrine said that European powers were no longer to colonize or interfere with the affairs of the newly independent nations of the Americas. At that time in history, the United States planned to stay neutral in wars between European powers and their colonies. However, if, later on, those types of wars were to occur in the Americas, the United States would consider such action as hostile.
President James Monroe first stated the doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress. It was a defining moment in the foreign policy of the U.S.. Most recently, during the Cold War, the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine (added during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt) was invoked as a reason to intervene militarily in Latin America to stop the spread of Communism. (More about that later.)
At that time Russia had aspirations on the northwestern lands which would later become the northwestern United States. They had minor settlements and military forces stationed in what was called, in those days, the “Oregon Country”. We eventually tossed them out. But at the time, it WAS worrisome. So, in Monroe’s State of the Union Message in December of 1823, President Monroe flatly told the European powers that colonization, by them, in the Western Hemisphere was over, done with, kaput! President Monroe just flatly told the European Powers that the US would stay out of their business and they had better stay out of ours… and if they found they simply HAD to meddle in our “area of influence” then, they’d better be prepared to pay the price… which meant… the US military would make every effort to stop them.
The Monroe Doctrine covered the area of North America, Central America, South America, and the Carribean Islands. Summed up, the Monroe Doctrine basically says that any, ANY, attempt at colonization in these countries, and Island nations, would be looked upon as a threat to the National Security of the United States of America… and… would be dealt with accordingly.
Much later in US history, President Teddy Roosevelt added his two cents worth with the memorable statement: “Speak softly and carry a big stick!” The “Roosevelt Corollary” was a hugely important amendment to the Monroe Doctrine by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. Roosevelt’s extension of the Monroe Doctrine set out the right of the United States to intervene to stabilize the economic affairs of small nations in the Caribbean and in Central America if they were unable to pay their international debts. At the time, the US feared “assured intervention” by the European powers, especially Britain and Germany. These two European countries had loaned money to some of the countries within our sphere of influence and were never repaid.
The catalyst of the new policy was Germany’s aggressiveness in the “Venezuela Affair” of 1902-03. Suffice it to say Germany and it’s allies were threathening to invade Venezuela, and had already set up a naval blockade of Venezuela when Teddy Roosevelt sent in the US Navy to, uh, “practice” some war-time manuevers, at sea, more or less in sight of the German Armada. Roosevelt declared, “we cannot afford to let Europe get a foothold in our backyard, so we’ll have to act as policemen for the West.”
Jumping ahead a bit, Teddy’s cousin, FDR, issued his “Good Neighbor Policy” which weakend the Monroe Doctrine, in our opinion, and opened the Western Hemisphere up to, shall we say, European Adventurerism, on the US’s side of the pond.
So, here we are, once again, in 2008, and Russia is set to test the resolve of the US to protect it’s immediate neighbors and, at the same time, insure the National Security of the United States.
This can only end badly. There is simply no way to tell Russia to “butt out” without offending them. They have the thinnest of thin skins. Saving face is almost a religion to the Russkies.
I have proposed a number of times that the US invade Cuba and liberate the Cuban people. We made a HUGE error in giving it up in the first place. BY rights it ought to be a part of the United States, and eventually, I believe it will be.
In the meantime, though, we have to keep those Russian bombers off that island.
If the Russians are looking for a “trade-off”, as we agreed to in 1962, in order to end the Cuban Missile crisis, well, frankly, I cannot see President Bush agreeing to that kind of diplomatic blackmail. (President John Kennedy agreed to take down the batteries of missiles we had in Turkey if Khruschev would remove the Russian missiles and disassemble the missile bases in Cuba.) Taking into account the Russians see Obama, as the “heir apparent” to the US Presidency, and, as a “wet behind the ears” youngster with no gravitas, at all, it is my belief this new crisis in Cuba will not end well. There may well be a military confrontaion as those Bear Bombers skirt US Air space to land in Cuba.
Yes, there are, at least, two other directions from which to approach Cuba by air but the Russians don’t think like that. You will be kidding yourself if you do not think they will fly right down the Eastern Seaboad of the US to reach Cuba. They did it frequently during the Cold War. (I’m going to begin, today, referring to the previous Cold War as Cold War One, or CW-1, for, in my humble opinion, we have entered the opening phases of Cold War Two.)
I say again, this can only end badly.
Drilling Our Way Out of This Mess!
You know what is frustrating? Having a problem and having the answer to that problem within reach but being prevented, by the government, from utilizing that answer to solve the problem. Now… THAT is frustrating! And it happens to be right where we Americans find ourselves today.
We don’t have enough oil. Well, actually we DO have enough oil. Only… the government won’t let us get at it. You see, we have this bunch of intellectual midgets in charge of the US government, currently, and they are driving our country to ruin… and loving every minute of it!
Look, if you think the American economy is bad now… you ain’t seen nothing yet! And, listen up, citizens of the world! If America goes down… you go down, too.
Oil is the fuel that powers the American engine of democracy. It drives everything about this republic. The business of America is business. We’re a capitalist society. If business suffers, America suffers. Businesses closing down because of high fuel costs, means Americans out of jobs. Americans out of jobs means higher unemployment rates and a bigger drain on the US treasury, which means, inevitably, higher taxes for all of us, which means some more small businesses will have to close their doors because they cannot afford to stay in business, which means more Americans out of jobs… and the cycle continues. No matter how you dissect it, the business of America IS business. Without it, we will implode and fairly quickly.
We are on the edge of the precipice these days and we have no leadership in Washington we can count on to do what is truly needed. Since the dems took over the Congress, America has slowly ground to a halt. Their emotion based decisions and feel-good messianic tendencies look good on paper (to some) but are totally worthless when there is an attempt at implementation. Common sense has no place in a world of “make believe” such as the liberal democrats are busy constructing.
Those of us who live out here in the real world can’t survive on the good intentions of a congress so out of touch with reality as the one we have now.
Out here in the real world, we need oil. We know we already have sources of oil on lands owned by the people of America to satisfy those needs and yet the vacuous ninnies in DC deny us that oil… thereby forcing us to purchase the oil we need from nations that hate us and “soak” us, for every penny they can squeeze out of us, for a barrel of oil. The fault for godawful prices at the pump, to run our vehicles, can be laid at the feet of the US Congress. They have done this and… they are doing this to America. See… they are going to save us from ourselves. They are going to save the world from some non-existent global warming, which in our opinion, is another scam dreamed up by an international cabal of con men. (Just my opinion, you understand.)
The US needs oil. Sorry, but that is a fact of life… well, life, as we know it, anyway. Without it, America will implode. We won’t be able to produce and transport food from the farm to your table. Medicines, LOTS and LOTS of medicines depend on petroleum. Take a look at the labels in the clothing you are wearing… chances are very good that the fabric is made, at least partly with a petroleum product… even the shoes on your feet.
Financially… well, I really don’t even want to go there. But, we will venture to say America will have a recession on a scale much larger than anything Americans living today have ever experienced. It will be crippling nationally AND personally. Looked at your 401K lately??? I have… and I shuddered.
We have the oil we need. Plenty of it. Off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, on the outer continental shelf, in ANWR, in shale rock in our western states, in Tar Sands, but our “leaders” have put drilling off shore and in federally controlled lands off-limits. Why, we have enough shale oil available to us to give the US an oil reserve of three times that of Saudi Arabia! That’s JUST in that oil bearing Shale rock in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Estimates on the amount of oil in that rock go as high as 2 trillion barrels. Some say that is more oil that we have used since the first well in punched in the Pennsylvania soil in 1859!
So, why are we not going after all this available oil? You can lay the blame for that squarely at the feet of the US government. Our government has succumbed to the global warming hoax and being the good liberals that they are, they are going to save us from ourselves by taking us, and our standard of living, backward in time to an era prior to the American Civil War.
We need to rattle cages in Washington, DC! This is totally unacceptable behavior by our government and they need to hear it from America’s citizens and they need to hear it loudly and unceasingly until we drive the message home. We need oil, and we want our OWN oil, and we want it NOW.
Yes, WE CAN DRILL OUR WAY OUT OF THIS MESS! But we have to start now… RIGHT now!
Who Needs NATO?
By Alan Caruba
What I know about NATO, the North American Treaty Organization, you could put in a bug’s ear. Well, that’s not quite true. I do know the treaty was signed April 4, 1949. It was the result of Cold War fears that the Soviet Union represented a military threat to Europe.
A commentary by E. Wayne Merry that appeared in The Journal of International Security Affairs, “An Obsolete Alliance”, caught my eye. The author is a former State Department and Pentagon official who is now a Senior Associate of the American Foreign Policy Council.
Merry posed a question that had buzzed around in the back of my brain for a long time. Why is the United States still a member of NATO, an alliance that initially was intended to exist for twenty years, but whose life and mission has been expanding now for nearly sixty years? Since the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s and the Cold War is over, why does the U.S. or Europe need NATO?
“Over the years, NATO has turned its back on its inherently defensive and conservative origins to become a shameless hustler after engagements to justify its own perpetuation,” writes Merry. He quotes Manfred Woerner, its Secretary General in the early 1990s, who said that in order to survive NATO “must go out of area or go out of business.”
NATO was established by the Treaty of Washington and Merry points out that it was “purely defensive; nothing in it can legitimize use of force other than in response to a direct attack against its members. Article V, contrary to popular myth, does not even commit its members to the use of force.” As such, “NATO lost its basic raison d’etre years ago, as Europe’s need for American troops ended long before the Cold War did.”
Thus, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO was left without a threat or a legitimate purpose. Merry correctly reminds us that “It is axiomatic that nothing in government is so long lasting as temporary measures. Policies, programs and appropriations initiated to respond to a transitory issue take on lives of their own, spawning institutions which not only outlive their purpose, but themselves create new problems to justify their continued existence.”
Merry noted that “the collapse of Yugoslavia was a gift from heaven.” It supplied a rationale to become “an international peacemaking force, something its founders never conceived and the U.S. Senate never would have ratified.” I must confess that I never understood Clinton’s decision to initiate military action because, as Merry points out, “the Yugoslav wars did not compromise the security of the United States at all.”
Significantly, “Europe remains a net security consumer from America” despite the fact that its member nations maintain their own military capacity, organized on a national, rather than regional, basis; thus creating “vast duplication, overlap and waste of resources.”
In effect, Americans provide Europe a low-cost service that frees European public funds for more popular programs “such as subsidized health care and opera.” Why should the American budget underwrite a prosperous Europe with manpower and defense spending? Surely the European Union would not collapse if the American military was not on their continent.
Bluntly stated, “European purposes in NATO are clear; to subordinate American power and resources to their interests and to maintain a mechanism by which to constrain the United States.” The unhappiness of Europe with America’s projection of power in Afghanistan and Iraq is hardly a secret.
So, as NATO readies itself for its seventh decade, well beyond its original stated purpose and need, it is surely time for the next U.S. administration to consider ending this one-sided relationship. It has solved the conflicts that produced two world wars. There is no need for it to remain an American security protectorate.
Alan Caruba writes a weekly column posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, http://www.anxietycenter.com/. He blogs at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/.
© Alan Caruba, July 2008
Remove That Offensive Flag!!
By: J.D. Longstreet
Recently, I have become aware of an uneasiness in my soul when I find myself in the presence of a national symbol which, during it’s history, has been present at disgusting events of offensive conduct on the part of the nation it represents.
When I think back over the history of this National Flag I find that I am now offended by it’s presence and I believe it is in the best interests of the people of this country, especially the children, the people of color, and the native, indigenous, peoples of this land, that it be removed from public view and placed in a museum, under glass, so that future generations, interested in it’s history, can hear a sanitized version, a “less offensive” re-telling of the events, places, and circumstances, of the long, and less than glorious, history of this piece of offensive cloth.
The early history of this flag finds it flying proudly over a rag-tag bunch of rebels determined to secede from a country which, of course, wished only the best for it, which, of course, it held in the highest esteem. This dirty bunch of rabble did manage to wrest their separation from that amiable country and they forced the troops of their former country to board ships and leave for home immediately. It was forced deportation… at gunpoint. How deplorable!
Another hurtful incident in the history of this flag…the same raggedy bunch created what they called a “republic” from the remnants of a country left after the “genocidal” war they started. Now comes the REALLY corrupt part…. they agreed to legalize slavery in the country they created, because, they said, if they didn’t, it would be impossible to form a country and a government. So, slavery was instituted, under law, in the states of the new country, north and south. But, the new government would not allow the southern states, where the plantations were, to use their own resources, as in ships and ports, to bring in new slaves from Africa, No, this bunch of dastardly people, made sure the slave ships only were allowed into northern ports in New England. And horrors of horrors, that national flag, the one I now find offensive, was flying over every one of those slave ships from this new upstart country. As the newly arrived slaves stepped, shackled, down the gangplanks, and onto the shores of the country which had enslaved them, they saw that deplorable flag flying above the docks and piers of the harbor in the northern ports of this country. (The “old” country had her own slave trade but she flew, of course, her own flag.)
Then, in the middle part of the 17th century, the southern half of this fairly new country wanted to separate itself and form a new nation just as the constitution said it could. The government of the country said “no” and sent troops into the south to pillage, rape, and burn the homes and factories of the south. All the time, that national banner I now find offensive, was snapping in the smoke and shot and shell above the troops in blue as they ripped apart a society, like none other on earth, and destroyed it, killing innocent women and children, sometimes by starvation, as at Vicksburg. Needless to say, their sheer numbers forced their southern brothers to capitulate. Then followed seven years of even harsher punishment by the northern part of that country on what had so recently been their brothers to the south. It was a “calculated decimation” of a people such as had never before been seen in the annals of history. And… that offensive flag was flying above the perpetrators the entire time.
Soon after that atrocity, that same country decided the native people of the country, the people who were here when the white man’s ancestors stepped off the first ships, were now an “inconvenience” and they began a crusade of genocide to wipe them from the face of the earth. One of their generals, so recently the marauder of the Shanadoah Valley, even stated, “A good Indian is a dead Indian”. All the while that banner of theirs was flapping in the air above all those atrocities.
Even today hate groups, some wearing white robes and some with shaved heads, meet beneath that flag as they pontificate about destroying the “people of color” in this country. They also meet beneath the Christian Cross and the Battle Flag of the southern people of this country. You see, these patrons of hate know the Southern battle flag will receive the attention of the press… and NOT the flag I find offensive… nor the Christian Cross, because the Christian creed enjoins those, who subscribe to it’s tenants, to forgive this kind of conduct. So, the offensive flag flies happily above these hateful events in total impunity to harsh treatment by the “oh, so easily offended “ media.
The early histories of the people who are represented by this offensive flag were times of overbearing hate, and conquest, and genocide. Yet, that same flag flies above legislative buildings, schools, post offices, courthouses, and even private homes in a boisterous manner designed to offend the sensibilities of every “right thinking” man and woman. This must be brought to a close. That flag must be removed from public display.
Those of us who band together and form organizations to further the progress of our group of “right thinking” peoples must insist that this blood stained banner, this hateful rag, be pulled down, and never again allowed to be seen in public for fear of offending someone.
If we must, we will seek legislation towards that end. The people under that flag must not allow their self esteem to be diminished by this blatant display of an emblem with such a tarnished past.
Yes, the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, must come down. It is offensive. We cannot have if displayed over the graves of veterans, and such, because passers-by, who know of it’s ugly history, may be offended.
A new flag must be designed for all the people… for this nation. May I suggest a very simple flag? I suggest one, which represents all the sensitivities, of all who reside under it.
I hereby suggest… a solid white banner!
Dear Reader: If you are now “incensed” by the scribbling above, I ask you to consider the following: It was written to be an absurd depiction of a truth that is, itself, absurd. What is happening to the Confederate Battle Flag today, in places like South Carolina, is beyond absurd. My point is… if we continue to capitulate to groups who are offended, how long do you expect it will be until the scenario I describe above will play out in the courts of this country?
So, next time you read of someone offended by the Confederate Battle Flag, stop for a moment and consider the words above. Then lean on your political representatives to bring some kind of sanity back to our country, which finds itself in the dictatorial grip of Political Correctness, which is driving a wedge between us and ending any hope for a future as one people.
It is Political Correctness, Dear Reader, that offends me!