For today’s commentary please visit:
STORM WARNING! at:
Rid The Sea Lanes Of Piracy.
I reside just minutes from the Atlantic Ocean and the coast of North Carolina and those barrier Islands along our coast which made for wonderful hiding places for the pirates of yesteryear. The Coast of North Carolina is drenched in folklore about pirates. The infamous Blackbeard was captured here and decapitated. The sports teams of at least one noted university here are named “The Pirates.” So, we Tar Heels have a colorful history of interaction with pirates as does our sister state to the south. .
That was then. This is now.
Again the high seas are infested with pirates. Their aim is the same… to rob and steal. But now, they have added ransom.
Recently we heard of an Ocean Liner being attacked, but managing to speed away. A few days later, in the same waters, a freighter was attacked. It, too, managed to get away. As I write, at least one of the largest vessels afloat, an oil tanker, is being held for ransom by a handful of modern day blackhearts in full view of the world, and the world’s navies, including warships of the US Navy.
Our own Caribbean is littered with modern day pirates. Yachts disappear to show up at some other location, with a different registration, and different name. Sometimes passengers disappear, too.
On at least two different occasions in our history, under two Presidents, Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt, the US Navy, and Marines, had to rid the coast of Africa of pirates. The Barbary Coast Pirates.
I bring up these particular pirates because they were based along the African coast, mainly the North African coast. The pirates we seem to be having the most trouble with today are also on the African coast, but the east African coast…the coast of Somalia to be more exact. So far this year, alone, those pirates have attacked over 90 ships. They have managed to hijack 39 freighters, tankers, and fishing vessels. At least 14 of them are currently anchored, under heavy guard, off pirate villages along the coast of Somalia. Estimates run as high as 30 million dollars paid in ransom money.
Turns out it is not as easy today as it used to be to take on the pirates. All sorts of national and international laws tie the hands of governments and makes them less than eager to take on a couple of dozen men with small arms and two or three rubber boats. But there is an outfit, based here in North Carolina, eager to do what the governments of the world sea powers are reluctant to do. I speak, of course, of Blackwater Worldwide.
Equipped with their own warship, the McArthur, Blackwater is looking to provide a new service to the merchant navies of the world. Blackwater offers to escort paying customer’s ships through the pirate infested waters, safely. Their plan is simple: Issue verbal warnings to approaching vessels which appear to have piracy in mind, followed by a few shots in the air, and if that fails… then the sharpshooters aboard a couple of helicopters, flown from the deck of the McArthur, will do their job by taking out as many barefooted pirates as it takes to discourage the attack.
Already Blackwater is receiving inquiries from dozens of shipping companies and shipping insurance companies concerning Backwater’s services in escorting their ships through the world’s most dangerous waters.
There is an excellent article on all of this at:
The country of Somalia still has no functioning government and it is a breeding ground for this type of activity.
Teddy Roosevelt, the last President of the United States to deal with Barbary Pirates, had the opportunity to use the big stick he carried and, he did just that. He sent seven battleships from the Atlantic Fleet to the North African Coast. It worked and the pirates backed down.
This blight on the oceans will not go away if we turn a blind eye. It will get worse. Eventually they will manage to stop and board a passenger liner and death and destruction will be the result. Or, terrorists will seize an oil tanker, sail her into the harbor of one of the world’s great cities, and blow it up with unbelievable death and devastation as the result.
Now is the time to hunt them down and destroy them… even if that means following them to their center of operations in the seacoast villages of the country, or countries, providing them safe haven.
J. D. Longstreet
November 22, 1963
By Alan Caruba
I doubt that most Americans will recall that, forty-five years ago, on November 22, 1963, the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
Clearly, part of the reason is that a lot of Americans have been born since then, but the other part of the reason is that, according to a newly released study, most Americans simply have not been successfully taught American history or civics since the 1960s. They have no real knowledge, facts, dates, events, to call upon.
That is no accident. There has been a deliberate effort to “dumb down” Americans to a point where they literally do not know how their government came to be and what its guiding principles, embodied in the U.S. Constitution, permits, proscribes, and limits.
Assassination is the ultimate act of treason. It renders the entire electoral process null and void despite the rule of succession that elevates the vice president to the position of chief executive. Only once in our history, the accession of Theodore Roosevelt to the presidency, has an assassination produced a President of truly great stature.
I recall hearing the news of JFK’s assassination. I was working in Miami at the time, a callow youth of 26, well educated, but lacking any real insight to the event. Two other things happened that day. Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the new President and I quit my job and returned home. Shortly after, I became a journalist.
What would follow in fairly short order would be the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy while campaigning in Los Angeles against a first full term for Johnson and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. At that point, the nation was engulfed in the turmoil of the Civil Rights movement and, with the election of Johnson, would find itself mired in the Vietnam War. The streets of Washington, D.C. would fill, time and again, with Americans protesting that war.
Johnson would decide not to run for a second term. The nation would elect Richard M. Nixon twice, only to see him disgrace the office with the Watergate scandal and become the first President to resign.
In a very real way, all of these events began on November 22, 1963.
I was struck by the adulation, the exuberance of the huge crowds that turned out during President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign. It reminded me a great deal of the same response the then-youngest President, John F. Kennedy, engendered. Rumors would circulate after his election that the Chicago machine, led by then-Mayor Richard J. Daley, had stuffed the ballot boxes to ensure his victory.
The reason it is essential to know something of the history of the nation is the ability to draw lessons from it. As popular as JFK was, he quickly blundered into the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, having won office in 1960. This was redeemed only by the standoff with the Soviets that forced them to withdraw their missiles from Cuba in 1962. A year later, JFK was dead; the victim of what some have said was an extraordinary feat of marksmanship attributed to Lee Harvey Oswald, a leftist malcontent.
The election of Barack Obama has been hailed as historic and, as the first Afro-American President, it surely qualifies, but history has a relentless repetition to it.
I am not suggesting the President Obama will fall to an assassin’s bullet, but I am suggesting that whoever holds the office of President will determine whether America continues to lead the world economically, militarily, culturally, and—yes—physically. If 9/11 was just a taste of what the Islamofascists have in mind for us, we are surely as threatened today as ever in history. Taking a longer view, we need to be mindful of the military buildup in China.
That is why it is essential to pay attention to Obama’s expressed views on homeland security and defense issues. President Ronald Reagan said that there was no evidence in all of human history that a nation was attacked because it was too strong. Even the ancient Romans knew that truth. “Si vis pacem, para bellum.” If you want peace, plan for war.
That’s why, as we commemorate the loss of John F. Kennedy to an assassin’s bullet, we need also to ask why an Arizona Governor, Janet Napolitano, is being considered for Director of Homeland Security. If she could not or would not defend the border of her State with Mexico against illegal aliens and drug smugglers, why should we expect her to do this and more for the entire nation?
President-elect Obama is already on record saying, “I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear systems.” It can be argued that nuclear weapons have deterred a fourth world war and conflicts between nations that possess them.
Leaving America defenseless or at least greatly weakened in a dangerous world is a suicidal policy.
It is said that Obama sees himself as some kind of national and international “transformative” figure. History will write the final chapter on that.
Religious Conservatives Should Leave the GOP!
By J. D. Longstreet
If I have said it once, I have said it a dozen times! The Republican Party no longer wants conservatives, especially RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES! As if one needed proof, here comes an article by Kathleen Parker to end the discussion. The article is titled: “ Heresy and Other Truths.” In her article, Ms. Parker says:
“As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.
Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.
I’m bathing in holy water as I type.
To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.
You can read the entire article at:
This underscores the on-going battle within the Republican Party these days. Religious conservatives are flat-out at odds with the moderates and liberals in the party and they (The moderates and liberals) want us (The conservatives, including the religious conservatives) gone. In fact, they seem to want GOD gone from the party.
I am indebted to Ms. Parker for “backing up” what I have been saying for many years now. Conservatives need to get out of the GOP and found their own political party and be done with it. When I refer to CONSERVATIVES, I, of course, mean the religious conservatives because there are very few, if any, non-religious conservatives. You must understand that, in my opinion, the term “religious conservatives” means ALL conservatives.
There has been worry in recent years that the union of social and religious conservatives and the Republican Party is beginning to fray. I beg to differ. As far as I am concerned, it isn’t fraying. It is threadbare! It’s OVER! It’s long since time for conservatives, social, AND religious, to move on.
Look, as a social, and religious, and fiscal, and political, and every other kind of conservative, I can tell you, with no hesitation, conservatives need their own party. We are not wanted any longer, if we ever were, in the GOP. It is getting embarrassing for me as a staunch conservative to maintain my allegiance to a party that so obviously wishes I would LEAVE!
Turning the tables on the GOP would taste very good at this point. They know they have a snowball’s chance of winning another election without conservative support. If we leave the party they will be forced to come to us and beg for our support in any future elections. That’s fine by me!
Yes, founding a third party is going to be tough. Yes, we may never have a Conservative Party candidate on a national ticket. But, conservatives would be able to swing elections and you had better believe our support would be sought. That alone would give us more input into future elections than we have now. Much more.
I am a conservative first and a republican second. I am a republican because there was no conservative party, as such, to turn to. Given a choice, I would have joined the Conservative Party and never been a Republican in the first place. There are hosts of southern voters who feel the same way. I suspect there is another host of voters across the other regions of the country that feel the same way.
In two years we have another extremely important election coming up. If conservatives want to see any gains for conservatism in the Congress we had better get ourselves organized and ready. We cannot do that by staying in the Republican Party.
J. D. Longstreet