Freedom’s Never Easy – Amanda Green

Freedom’s Never Easy – Amanda Green

Last week, I read a comment from someone on Facebook that brought back memories. Not good memories, not by a long shot, but not terrible ones either. No, the memories were of a time when the nation had been beaten down emotionally and psychologically. It was also a time when I saw up close for the first time just how dedicated so many of my fellow Americans are to the continued survival of this country. It is a memory I mean to hold onto and not let be overshadowed by the white noise of everyday life.

No, I’m not talking about 9/11. In many ways, that was the Pearl Harbor of the current age. Unfortunately, our leaders in Congress and in the Pentagon – and, yes, in the White House – didn’t have the guts to do the job that needed to be done. We are constrained to fight a civilized war, something that is an oxymoron at best and, at worst, the slow surrender of our country to an enemy the powers that be don’t want to defeat.

But that’s another topic and many other posts.

What I’m talking about is 1979. Yes, I know, a number of you weren’t alive back then. But a lot of us were and we remember those days. Trouble was brewing in the Middle East, particularly in Iran. The Shah was losing power. His son was in Lubbock, TX, training at Reese Air Force Base. Gasoline prices had gone through the roof and the supply was limited – at least that’s what we were told. In parts of the country, gasoline was being rationed. Here in TX, you were able to buy gas based on the last digit of your license plate. Odd numbers could buy on odd numbered days and even on even. If you were traveling – and I don’t remember for sure but I think it was 100 miles – from home, you got an exemption. IF you could find a station with gas where you were. Yes, there were even lines at stations to fill up.

My grandparents talked about how it reminded them of the Depression. Oh, not that it was anywhere near as bad but the signs were there that, if something didn’t happen soon, it could be. We looked to Washington and nothing happened. We had a president who very well may have been a very good man but one who was totally out of his element and in over his head. We had a Congress that took more pleasure in harping across the aisle than in taking direct action to deal with the problem. Instead, we were told to conserve. Turn down the thermostat. Use public transportation – which was a laugh in this part of Texas because there was no mass transit, not even on the drawing board.

Then came the Iranian Revolution. Protests against the Shah and his rule had begun approximately two years earlier. Those protests had grown, despite the attempts by the Shah to not only quell them but to silence his detractors. January 1979 saw the Shah fleeing Iran. Gone was a supposed ally and in his place was a government that had no respect and even less regard for this country. In fact, that enmity extended to any western country that wasn’t ready to fall in line with what the Ayatollah and his advisors wanted.

As a country, we watched – much like we are now – as journalists and businessmen, government officials and more – were kidnapped in Iran and held for ransom. We were worried about those people but there was a part of us that said they should have realized the danger of the situation and gotten out. That changed the morning of November 4, 1979 when the American Embassy in Tehran was stormed and more than 60 Americans were seized. Thus began 444 days of uncertainty and anger and frustration for this country.

I’ll never forget that morning. I was living in Lubbock at that time and attending school at Texas Tech. When I walked into the Commons, the group I usually met for coffee before class were all there. Like me, they had already heard the news. Unlike me, they had been busy in the hours since it had been announced.

You see, each and every one of them were either retired military or in the Reserves. Every one of them, male and female, had been on the phone to either the commanding officers or former commanders to see what they needed to do. They were ready to pull on their BDUs, lace up their boots, grab their battle rattle and go bring our people home.

They were determined. They were angry. They were ready to take action. They were, in short, willing to lay down their lives to protect the lives of not only our citizens who had been taken hostage that day but all those the Iranians had abducted over the years.

Unfortunately, it didn’t appear that our government was willing to do the same thing.

Instead of answering the calls that we do something, the government told us to be patient. They were doing their best to get our people home. Negotiations were underway.

Those failed. As did the one attempt by the military to rescue our people. In April 1980, Operation Eagle Claw was launched. We lost 8 servicemen, an Iranian civilian was killed and we also lost two aircraft. And back home we took another blow to the solar plexus.

Each night we listened to Frank Reynolds, and then Ted Koppel, on Nightline, which first broadcast four days after the embassy was stormed. I don’t think I will ever forget the way the show would display America Held Hostage Day (and the appropriate number was inserted). We watched, praying to see good news but, all too often, seeing instead images of our countrymen and the others held hostage. For many, it brought back memories of the films the Viet Cong would release of our POWs.

We truly were held hostage.

As Texans, some of us looked at H. Ross Perot and what he did to try to free two EDS employees who had been arrested not long before the revolution. He put together his own team of experts, former military and paramilitary, and tasked them with getting his two people out of the prison where they were being held. When they realized they couldn’t come up with a plan to do so, a plan that had a higher chance of success than of failure, they started thinking outside the box. They saw the writing on the wall, to continue with the clichés, and knew the day would come when the followers of the Ayatollah would storm the prison in an attempt to free their compatriots who the Shah had imprisoned. When that did, in fact, come about, the EDS employees managed to slip out and meet up with Perot’s team and they were whisked off to safety.

And yet we continued to watch as nothing, seemingly, was being done to free all those other hostages.

What had happened? When had the United States gone from a respected country, one the rest of the world knew would rise up like an angry giant when provoked?

A country is only as respected as its leader. If those who hate us have no respect for our president, if they know he will not take quick and decisive action to counter any move they make against our interests, they will do as they wish. We saw that in 1979. We had a “nice” man in the White House, one with little to no real experience on the national level, much less the international. He wanted to hold out the olive branch to the wolf who was waiting to eat the lamb. With each day that passed, the Iranian revolutionary government thumbed its nose at us because it knew Carter would not order a decisive action against it.

As a country, we were frustrated. We were demoralized. We knew we needed new leadership. We needed someone who would stare the Ayatollah in the eye and not blink. So, when the Republicans nominated Ronald Reagan, we had the cowboy we wanted to ride, not into the sunset but into the thick of the battle. The results at the polls and in the Electoral College showed just how tired the country had gotten of having a “nice” man in the White House. In the popular vote, Reagan received 43,903,230 votes to Carter’s 8,423,115. Reagan received 489 electoral votes to Carter’s 49.

And we still had hostages being held in Iran.

What we didn’t know, and probably shouldn’t have, is that negotiations were going on behind the scenes. Carter and his advisors were negotiating paying what was nothing more than a ransom to get our people out. The Algiers Accord was finalized January 1981. The election had put pressure on Carter and others to quickly conclude the negotiations because Reagan had made it clear during his campaign that he would not pay ransom for our people. The implication, if you want to be nice about it, was that he would take a much more direct form of action.

Would the election have turned out differently if we had known Carter and company were in serious negotiations with the Iranians? Probably not. Most of us wouldn’t have had much patience for the fact the Iranians refused to deal directly with Carter or his advisors. Instead, they would work only with the Algerians. According to Carter, that meant translating anything he or his people said into French for the Algerians who then had to translate it into Farsi for the Iranians.

Am I the only one who has visions of the Keystone Cops dancing in her head?

So, how does this apply to today?

It’s simple really. We have another president, now a lame duck, who has proven to be much like Carter when it comes to foreign relations. Instead of standing up to our enemies, he tries to court them, often to the detriment of our allies. He has shown, in my opinion, that he puts our relations with those enemies above the safety of not only our troops but of our country as a whole. Once more, I see a country that is beaten down. Will our next president be the one to bring us out of this depression, for lack of a better word, or will he (or she) drive us further down the hole?

That is the question we have to ask ourselves when we look at the candidates. If the answer is yes then, for the love of all that is holy, we have to do everything we can to make sure that person is not elected. Unfortunately, I’m afraid we will be faced with a “lesser of two evils” choice. Sometimes, that’s the hand we’re dealt. If that is the case, we do whatever it takes to make sure our senators and representatives are held accountable until the next presidential election.

In short, it is time to make America great again. It is possible but it won’t be easy.

238 responses to “Freedom’s Never Easy – Amanda Green

  1. Get out, get involved and get your neighbors up to speed on the issues. Don’t assume they know the score; we are inundated with low information voters. Be the source of information they need to make an intelligent choice.
    And since national security is at an all time high as a topic, puch the candidates who have rational and determined policies.

    • Note: I didn’t mention either political party or any candidate. With enough information, a choice will present itself.
      And that should have been PUSH, not puch.

    • Yep. That is especially true when it comes to local elections and is something I will be doing over the next few weeks. I would normally do so but yesterday we received a letter from one of our neighbors, who also happens to be the precinct chairman, endorsing the incumbent in a state race. The problem, this particular person has accomplished nothing in two terms, has been the targets of at least one ethics investigation and has a failing grade when it comes to too many important issues. Worse, this same incumbent is a bully in the truest sense of the word. He needs to be out of office, in my opinion, and replaced by someone who is a bit more in touch with what is important to our area and who will at least try to get something accomplished.

      • adventuresfantastic

        Well said. (I didn’t realize you attended Tech.)

        You’re absolutely correct when it comes to the local elections. I’ve been paying close attention to the Congressional race in my district (which includes your alma mater). The current office holder has retired, and we’re blessed with more good candidates than we can elect. One of them is the former mayor (who stepped down to run), so I need to research the people who want to replace him.

        • Living in Lubbock is when I first started getting involved in local elections. I’ve tried not to forget the importance of being involved. Hopefully, I’ve passed that on to my son.

      • I was a senior Mechanical Engineering student at UT Austin in Spring 1979. We had a buttload of Iranian students in the engineering schools then, and quite a few of them, at least half, started growing beards and carrying around korans, an early form of virtue signaling. Most were mediocre engineering students.

        Two who I was acquainted with were aghast at Khomeini getting in charge, and both told me they would NOT go back home after graduating, and that their families were leaving the country too.

        I was disgusted with how Carter handled the whole crisis. He had failed to impress me from the day he took power in January 1977, and all subsequent events re-enforced that opinion, especially giving up the Canal.

        He was in the words of a former nuke sub sailor friend, “a pussy”.

        • You got me thinking about when I did some post-grad work at UT Arlington a couple of years later. There were parts of the campus, mainly around the student union, you could barely walk through without being stopped by someone wanting you to sign a petition to stop the Iranian embargo. Some would follow you and try to stop you if you didn’t talk with them.

          • Oh yeah? The “Jesus Freaks”, Scientologists, and krishnas hanging around the UT campus back in the mid to late 70’s were bad about that. Sometimes even the threat of getting punched would not make them back off.

          • My uncle was NROTC in college, then did his time in the Navy before going to grad school. He flew an ASW plane off a carrier, and was eventually squadron commander.

            On his return to school (MIT, mid-to-late ‘60s) he was walking across campus with a Navy buddy (also recently out of the service). They were approached by a bright young undergrad who wanted them to sign a petition to “Ban the Bomb.” My uncle politely said “no thanks.” His buddy, on the other hand, gave the undergrad an incredulous look, and loudly replied “Why on earth would I want to do that? I just spent four years learning how to DROP the damn thing!”


        • Your nuke sub friend would know. Adm. Rickover wouldn’t let Carter stsnd a watch because he was that useless.

          • All the Navy Nukes I knew said the same thing in those late night conversations waiting on hold to get started testing……. I learned a lot about the world of the nuclear navy in those bull sessions.

  2. I think that Obama is worse than Carter.

    • So do I – and I had a pretty low opinion of Carter. I was on active duty, oversees, and we were frustrated beyond all words, watching the peanut farmer fumble around.

      • Not everything that happened under him was Carters fault. He was a compromise candidate; the Democrats knew that if they ran a talking dog against “the man who pardoned Nixon” they would win. Each major faction thought THEIR man should be the one, and none of them could gain full enough control. Carter was chosen because nobody hated him enough to make an issue of it, but just about everybody in the Democrat power structure considered him a place-holder for “their man”.

        So, Carter arrived in Washington with no allies IN HIS OWN PARTY. Everything he did cost him more in political capitol and energy than it should have. His administration’s frustrations are an object lesson as to why to not vote for third party candidates for President.

        Add to that, that the military was at its lowest ebb since Valley Forge. Carter didn’t order a military rescue because the military wasn’t up to taking on a troop of truculent Boy Scouts.

        I think this is why Carter went full-bore neurotic post Presidency and spends so much time kissing up to the likes of Castro; he was “Leader of the Free World” and was treated like a shoeshine boy by his own party.

        • That is an interesting point of view. Whatever the extenuating circumstances, one of a handful of worst presidents.

          • Certainly a failure, and bad for the country. Worst? Compared to Andrew Johnson? Or Woodrow Frickin’ Wilson, that progressive pustule of a bigot whose Presidency we have YET to recover from?

            Carter was a sad sack, and has gone so far around the bend he can’t look back and see it anymore. But we have had MUCH worse Presidents. Carter isn’t INTERESTING enough to be the worst.

            • I only claim among bottom five.

            • Anonymous Coward

              While Carter may be ONE OF the worst presidents, he has worked hard to be THE worst ex-president. However I expect Obama will give him a run for his money.

              • This. Carter’s been a pain, and borderline dangerous, despite his work with Habitat (back in the early 1990s, before he drank so much of his own ink). The current POTUS will zoom around the world trying to be made king and sticking his, fingers, into every pie he can see. And the current FLOTUS, eh, Sarah won’t let me use those words on her blog. Rosalynn Carter knew how to act like a First Lady.

                But I will admit I enjoyed reading Carter’s book _Waiting for Daylight_ about his parents and life in Georgia when he was a child.

              • He’ll go to every pesthole in the world and bad mouth us.

            • This! Wilson and Johnson are by far the worst. Johnson, set back race relations by at least 100 years, may have done irreparable harm. Wilson is to blame for the last hundred years of progressive governance in this country.

              • In the run for Worst President Ever™, everyone forgetting about James Buchanan. The man who led us into the Civil War.

                I figure until another President gets us to shooting at one another in large organized groups, Buchanan gets the prize.

                • Yep, Buchanan is by far #1. Though Barry is a strong second and seems committed to taking the “honor.”

              • Bibliotheca Servare

                Seriously? Johnson *opposed* the insanity of the “Radical Republicans” and their desires to ravage the south even more than the horrors of the Civil War had already ravaged it. Congress overruled him at every turn, made his veto power useless by outnumbering him to an incredible degree, and finally tried to impeach him for replacing a member of his own cabinet without consulting them about the matter beforehand! And I learned all this in a few minutes of searching! The legislative branch, not the executive, set race relations back “at least 100” years. Andrew Johnson certainly wasn’t a good president, but as far as I can tell, he’s not the person to blame for the rape of the south that guaranteed that race relations there wouldn’t recover for more than a hundred years. That was the House and Senate of our great nation. Now, I’m gonna shut up before I get any more tar on my boots, heh. (The CWar is a “tar pit topic” iirc)

                • Let me dance around the tar pit here: Andrew Johnson hated blacks, much as a lot of mountain whites did, because he saw them as the source of the planter class’ wealth, and was unwilling to deal with a lot of the trouble that arose in the South immediately following the war. Thaddeus Stevens and crew messed things up royally, but Johnson brought a lot of it on himself.

                  • Bibliotheca Servare

                    Huh, I didn’t know that. I just looked up the fellow, and it seemed to me that he wasn’t as bad as someone like Wilson, or Buchanan, I guess. But I get what you mean, I think. 🙂

                • Umm… I think he meant Lyndon Johnson

            • In a name — James Buchanan, Jr., the fifteenth President. Under him the country suffered political, sectional and financial wreckage and disaster …

        • Bjorn Hasseler

          Leaving policy aside, Carter adopted a spokes of the wheel organizational arrangement where lots of people had access to him in the Oval Office. Ford’s chief of staff – Dick Cheney – left a mangled bicycle tire on the desk that would become Jody Powell’s (press secretary), with a note that strongly advised not using the spokes of the wheel arrangement. Carter didn’t have a chief of staff for the first two and a half years. As a result, he got drawn into relatively low-level scheduling stuff that somebody else should have been doing. Finally he appointed Hamilton Jordan chief of staff, reverting to the gatekeeper system that just about every other post-WW II president has used, where one of the chief of staff’s major functions is to control access to the president and give the less important stuff to somebody else to do.

        • Amongst Carter’s other famous failures was his inability to delegate. It was famously reported in the New Yorker that he even managed the White House tennis schedule, which is not something that a President should spend valuable time on.

          (The most charitable rendition of this is that Carter was an avid tennis player and who got to play tennis with him represented ‘access’ but that doesn’t explain him taking over the task.)

        • By the time that the Iranian Islamist Revolution took place, Carter had been in office, presenting military budgets, for over two years. I was AD during that time (and got in arguments with the BC before the ’76 election because he was going to vote for Carter) and watched as funding for repair parts dropped drastically.

        • Quite – the presidency was supposed to go to Teddy Kennedy, but a minor kerfuffle involving a bridge blocked his ascension. George Wallace was out of the party, too, but much of his base remained. Add to that the fact that Carter was pretty much the only candidate who understood how to game the new, “more democratic” primary system installed to preclude another disaster like McGovern and you see he had a fundamentally weak hand as president … which he proceeded to play badly, wasting cards when he should have been building melds.

          Like James Buchanan, he had inherited a bad situation and managed to make it worse.

        • Carter, from what I’ve learned, was an example of an “inflated resume.” In over his head at *all* levels. Worse yet, he was/is a *control freak, micromanager.*
          I fear Obama _more_ for one reason. He has “retreated” into “madness,” like Carter did, but *before* leaving office. I see him, and his cronies, ordering Martial law, to prevent losing control, and being charged with criminal activities. Obama _may_ be able to skate, but Jarret and others can’t. All signs point to Valerie Jarret being the *sole* source of most info. Michelle probably helps control what he sees and hears. (She also is *not*protected.) With Emmanuel “running” Chicago, VJ is in “charge.”

          • Related (is the WH circling the wagons?):

            White House questions Schumer’s national security credibility
            By Nicole Duran (@Duranni1) • 2/17/16 4:50 PM

            The White House on Wednesday called into question Sen. Chuck Schumer’s credibility when it comes to national security, after Schumer and other New York politicians have said the Obama administration is short-changing the Big Apple’s counter-terrorism fund.

            In addressing those complaints, White House spokesman Josh Earnest also took a shot at Schumer, saying it’s unclear how much Schumer should be trusted on security at all, given his opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement.

        • Nah. Mr. Carter is just very good at failing up.

      • I was in SAC at the time… Not as much fun as it sounds…

    • Oh, I agree when you look at the full picture. At least Carter didn’t throw the Constitution out the window whenever he liked the way the current administration has. But, when it comes to the overall “feel” of the country, it is much the same. Or at least that is how it seems to me.

      • I truly believed that The the country would never suffer a worse President than Carter. But it is so hard to underestimate the American electorate. We must do our part to get good sensible people out to vote.

        I have always felt that going to a caucus was too much trouble. Not this year. I will attend the Nevada caucus next week and push for my candidate!

        • Unfortunately I’ll be out of town for the CO one…

        • Oh, Carter wasn’t that bad. Andrew Johnson was a lot worse. Wilson was a rotating sonofabitch, and set the mold for a lot of Pious Liberal racism and ham handed intermeddling. LBJ deserves most of the loathing that is directed at Nixon.

          • Sometimes you just wish more presidents could be as productive as Harrison during their time in office.

            William Henry, not Benjamin.

          • Carter suggests a useful distinction — his was a bad presidency but he wasn’t a bad president (but a terrible ex-president.) He managed to not block Sadat and Begin’s deal at Camp David, even though he tried, and he was a useful ameliorative following the Nixon presidency (as counterpoint, Nixon was a bad president but not that bad a presidency.)

            Obama, of course, is a bad president and his is a bad presidency, while Coolidge was both a good president and a good presidency.

            Most of the loathing aimed at Nixon preceded his presidency and had little to do with his actual policies.

    • Reality Observer

      In effects, absolutely.

      But… The more I have seen of Carter, I think he had just as tyrannical a mind-set. He was just a bit more constrained by the tatters of Constitutional restrictions on the executive, and the “imperial” Presidency of Nixon (far less “imperial” than FDR, Wilson, etc., IMHO).

      • The Other Sean

        In defense of Wilson, FDR, Nixon, and Carter, they usually had Congressional legislation supporting their tyranny. All Obama has is a phone and a pen.

        (Now I need to go wash my hands for having written something in defense of those four. Ick.)

        • I used to believe that Nixon was a conservative. He was socially conservative but, in other areas he was as progressive as FDR and Wilson. Carter did, at least, begin some deregulation. Of course my leftist friends consider that to be Carter’s biggest mistake.

          • What Nixon was was anti-Communist.

            The Cold War imposed a stasis on political systems in this country that was unnatural and has engendered awkward long-term consequences as factions attempt to realign. Many minor disputes were swept under the rug of anti-Communism and now that the carpet is up we’re having to deal with the results.

            • Yes, but so were JFK & LBJ. 21st century labels don’t really fit in the 60s & 70s.

              • THIS is why I despise the label “Cuckservative” and the RINO thing. A lot of these people are simply older. Like, say, McCain. That’s how republicans were in their day. It’s realigning, yes, but most of us are too old to realize it. And so are a good number of their constituents.

                • It’s been a snark decade. I hope it doesn’t devolve into a snark century.

                  How can you debate when the judges only tally Snark Points.

                • Kid, I’m so old I saw real RINOs, in the wild. I remember John Lindsey, Lowell P. Weicker, and Lincoln Chafee. It hasn’t been so very long since to be a Republican didn’t require being a conservative, all it took was being more conservative than the Democrat running for that seat (often an appallingly easy task.) The GOP was an anti-Communist party long before it was a conservative (thanks to Ronald Reagan) party.

                  Part of the problem I have with many of the attacks on Trump is how closely they resemble attacks on Reagan from 1976. Unfortunately, the similarity of attacks does not mean a similarity of men.

                  • Yes, and conservative Democrats like John Connolly and George Wallace. And the whole world considered the John Birch Society wacko. I thought my friend’s dad was insane when he said there wasn’t a bit of difference between Nixon and Humphrey.

                    • Yeah there was a big difference between Nixon and Humphrey. Humphrey was a weak man and not very decisive. Nixon was the opposite.

                    • People tend to not be aware that Humphrey was making his political bones fighting communists even before Nixon painted California congressman Jerry Voorhis red.

                  • Anonymous Coward

                    Lots of young folks (Get off my lawn !) don’t remember the long period from Eisenhower to Clinton during which the Dems owned the House and
                    (except for 3 yrs under Reagan) the Senate too. The Republican leadership is all too willing to go back to that Happy Time when the GOP was a permanent minority party, getting their share of the loot while being able to tell the rubes back home that they couldn’t do anything with the Dems in control. While Our Hostess (PBUH) may not like the terms RINO or cuck, they are pretty consistently used to label those who wish to return to/maintain the old status quo (at the expense of their own constituents’ interests).

                    • No. It’s not that they want to return to/maintain, it’s that they arent’ aware things have changed. They are what they always were (and so is a large portion of their constituency) and with what they are, they are anti-communist, which took effort and courage, and might again.
                      Recognize most of them are old, replace them when you can, but don’t treat them like they betrayed you. They don’t know any better. They’re the generation that left Egypt. We shall not see the promised land until they have died out. BUT they did what they had to do.

                    • Anonymous Coward

                      Sarah, with respect, I believe you are being too charitable. Arguing that 70-somethings like McConnell or McCain are from an older political culture is defensible (although I would say that McCain is just a fighter-jock a**hole who only agrees with people who massage his ego). But it makes no sense (at least to me) to claim that Cantor, Ryan, Preibus, McCarthy, Boehner, etc. are cut from the same cloth. Most of these guys are from a younger generation, have the examples of Reagan and the Gingrich years to draw on, and despite that are deliberately moving the GOP back to a 1960s/1970s model of the Permanent Minority Party. No issue highlights this more than immigration, in which the Dems, the Chamber of Commerce, and the GOP leaders are arrayed against 80-something % of the US voters. And yet they are STILL baffled as to why a yutz like Trump is running rings around their favored candidates like Yeb! and Rubio. I despair.

                    • Okay, if you want to send a message supporting a democrat like Trump will send the opposite of what you want. What? Democrat? Good heavens, every policy he talks about with the exception of immigration is in Obama’s camp and now he’s revealed himself as a code-pink-like believer in 9/11 conspiracies and “Bush lied people died.”
                      Yes, they are baffled. They’re going “Wait, we didn’t go to the left ENOUGH?”
                      Seriously. THAT’s the only message one can take.

                    • Anonymous Coward

                      No, I’m not a Trump supporter (I’m old enough to know exactly what he is). However the GOPe’s steadfast refusal to take a stand on immigration has left the field clear for Trump. They want their amnesty bill and they don’t seem to care how much damage it causes the party or the country.

                    • Part of this, and part of a lot of the betrayals of the base is that the GOP reps in DC believe the damn press, and the press has convinced them the future is hispanic and if they vote against immigration they’ll “die”. It’s wrong and stupid. first it’s extrapolating from current population trends. they’re never true in the long run. Second, a lot of latins came here to escape the culture (raises hand) as much as anything else. we don’t want it following us.

                    • This is why it is important to be “at the table” when policy is made. While the GOP is too prone to take for granted many of those sitting at their table, the Democrats won’t even allow such people in the room except to empty the ashtrays.

                    • Anonymous Coward

                      Yep, the GOPe will believe the press, the lobbyists, the corporate donors – just about anyone but the GOP voters. With regard to Latins coming to America, I am particularly amused by the MSM’s recent theme of ‘Cubans are not REAL Hispanics’. I guess the Rubio and Cruz families simply failed to see the arc of history bending towards socialism (snicker).

                    • They don’t HEAR the republican voters. Sorry, but blogs are not that big yet, and it’s easy to sound like a “little fringe”

                    • I don’t think they’ve learned to distinguish between blogs and comments — and one factor in the trolling that goes on is to force bloggers to “step carefully” lest they put their foot in a steaming pile of horse[feces].

                • Mmmm.. McCain was a political weasel even pre-Vietnam. Personally honorable, but yes, the very model of a cuckold-consevative.

                  I prefer the term Country-club Republican (like it’s parallel, limousine liberal) but it’s a similar phenomenon. And a phenomenon, mind you, in full flower back in the day when hot-headed young conservative activists like yours truly were campaigning door-to-door for Prop 13 and rallying for Mr. Reagan in the face of our generation’s GOPe.

                  So no. That’s NOT how “republicans” just were. I was there.

                  Which isn’t to say that “cuckservative” isn’t an obnoxious piece of alt-right virtue signalling that would make an SJW rabbit proud. It is. But that’s a different problem.

                  We need a way to hold the quislings accountable. Human beans gonna human: there are ALWAYS quislings.

                  • See, I see Country Club Republicans as the old style republicans. I’m not defending them. A lot of what they got up to is because people had to vote for the party who’d defend us from the commies.
                    Reagan was the front runner of the turning point leading to what republicans are and want now, or dare I say the one who made good. Goldwater was arguably the front runner.

                    • Political Science used to teach that the D & R candidates for any office in a district/state were prone to resemble each other more than represent their parties’ ideologies. Each sought to capture the majority of the vote which meant fighting for the middle while highlighting the ways the opponent failed to represent the center. Confronting versus conciliating communism was one of the favorite ways to do this, having as it did very little to do with the actual policies of concern to the locals.

                      Changes in the media and voting maps changed that premise. Creation of “majority-minority” districts tended to make Democrat districts more liberal and Republican districts less so, giving each party’s candidates less reason to work for the votes of “the other party” and making primaries the decisive elections.

                      This has exacerbated the polarization of national parties and reduced their inclination to “work across the aisle” for the public good. Most of the practicing pols of our day were raised in the old perspective, however, and have been slow to adapt — this is especially the case the more successful a politician has been, success being self-reinforcing.

                      Our agenda needs to focus on those politicians capable of understanding the new conditions while minimizing the influence of those unable to adapt. Snarkish sniping at the ancien régime does little to advance this agenda and tends to paint those engaging in it as needlessly churlish. Far better to recognize that such holdovers will be resolved by the march of time and devote effort to promoting the adaptable, the chaos-dancers who can mold the future.

            • “What Nixon was was anti-Communist.”

              And yet he instituted Stalinist wage and price controls.

              • You had to be there — “We are all Keynesians now” is a 1965 phrase coined by Milton Friedman. In 1971, after taking the United States off the gold standard, Nixon was quoted as saying “I am now a Keynesian in economics”, which became popularly associated with Friedman’s phrase.*

                It was only as a consequence of the failure of Keynesian economics that the need for a new alternative became recognized. Keynes’s theories were as much a part of the zeitgeist of that era as is climate change now — more, as there was far less opposition, Hayek, Rothbard and Mises being engaged as much in squabbles with one another as with the dominant economic theory.


              • They thought a controlled economy was best and more efficient. They were against the dehumanization of communism, but they didn’t realize it was inherently linked to the economics.
                It was what it was. The past is another country and we should be too smart to judge it by our standards.

              • Anonymous Coward

                If you liked Nixon’s wage & price controls, just wait until the Fed (and other central banks worldwide) start stoking inflation to keep their governments solvent. Maybe I have some of Jerry Ford’s WIN (Whip Inflation Now) buttons up in the attic.

                • You know, if the Right were to start noting that one of our recent most economically socialist presidents was Nixon, I wonder if it might have some blowback on Bernie?


                  Few presidents are as openly despised as Nixon.

                  • Nixon was despised not for his economic policies but for his anticommunism. They could never forgive him that, his successful conclusion of the war in Vietnam, nor his reversal of the leftward drift of the Supreme Court.

                    After 45 years of conservative rulings, here’s what a liberal Supreme Court would do
                    The court could revive a progressive push stalled since 1971.
                    By Linda Hirshman
                    Nothing separated the odd couple of the Supreme Court — the late Justice Antonin Scalia and his best buddy, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — more than their visions of the Constitution they both loved. Scalia saw the Constitution as a “dead” document, limited to the meaning of the original words at the moment the ink was dry, a moment when white, propertied men ruled. Ginsburg’s Constitution, by contrast, is the expansive charter of an evolving society. She celebrates “the extension (through amendment, judicial interpretation, and practice) of constitutional rights and protections to once ignored or excluded people: to humans who were once held in bondage, to men without property, to the original inhabitants of the land that became the United States, and to women.”

                    While Scalia’s originalism certainly has its disciples among conservatives, with his death, Ginsburg’s vision of a living Constitution becomes more likely to prevail. President Obama (or his successor) has a chance to appoint at least one more liberal to the Supreme Court. That would give the court a liberal majority for the first time since 1971. It would allow the court to resume the progressive push — on issues including school desegregation, reproductive rights, organized labor and voting rights — that stalled almost a half-century ago. It would enable a revival of a dramatically different role for the court: as an institution that drives social change instead of halting it.

                    Before President Richard Nixon’s four conservative appointments abruptly tilted the court to the right, the country was in the middle of a social revolution, or what we now call the Sixties. Relations of race, gender and, less obviously, class were mutating at warp speed. The federal courts, and the Supreme Court in particular, were at the heart of the transformations.

                    DON’T Read The Whole Thing. It just gets more appalling from there.

  3. “330 million people, and *these* are the bozos we have to choose from?”

    I still maintain a Presidential lottery system couldn’t be any worse.

    “Yes, but we might get someone who was senile, criminal, or insane.”

    “So? How could we tell the difference from what we get by election?”

    • Yep, and probably have a better chance of having someone who loves this country and the foundation upon which it was built.

    • “Polity and Custom of the Cameroi” by R. A Lafferty looks better and better every day.

    • Under a presidential lottery system, we might get Congress to remember that they’re a co-equal branch of government and get them to defend some of their prerogatives. If the President is the head of your party, the average Congressman feels some obligation to fall in line, but if he’s a complete nutball from the Alien Space Lizard party, Congress might remember that they have backbones.

    • Perhaps we could do a lottery followed by a vote. If the person in question gets a majority of the electoral college, they become president.
      If not, pull another name out of the hat.

    • Anonymous Coward

      I suggest we keep the current two-party system, but replace the primary/general elections with Thunderdome from Mad Max. While there is no reason to expect the surviving candidates to make better leaders, I believe that continually ‘thinning the herd’ of wannabe politicians would eventually improve the breed.

      • That doesn’t sound too different from the British Parliament. It already turns into an occasional scrum; allow edged weapons and you could turn a profit on sessions with pay-per-view. It might even rival the Coliseum Channel…

  4. Oh, and how H. Ross got his EDS employees out of Iran is a perfectly gripping book – On Wings of Eagles. (Ken Follett)
    A few years later, in 1982, H Ross Perott Junior flew a teeny helicopter around the world, and one of the stops was where I was stationed, in Sondrestrom, Greenland. Of course, I went out with another broadcaster to interview him. Honestly, that helicopter looked to me to be barely the size of a mosquito – I wouldn’t have wanted to fly to the other side of town in it, let alone around the world. Nice interview – but all the time we were doing it, H Ross Jr.’s co-pilot was pottering around the plane, taking out his overnight bag, checking this, or that.
    If I had only known … I should have asked to interview him as well – he was Jay Coburn, who had played a huge part in getting the EDS people out.

  5. Yes, the Iranian Hostage Crisis was a dark time — historian Paul Johnson called the late Seventies “America’s Suicide Attempt” — but what I find most striking about the denouement is the comparison with the Pueblo incident. The Johnson Administration literally apologized to North Korea for the ship, which had been in international waters when it was taken. The widespread suspicion was that LBJ commanded this to deprive the incoming Nixon Administration of any opportunity to show greater resolve and willingness to fight.

    Carter pursued the possibility of ransoming back our own embassy personnel, in a disgusting display of spinelessness. Meanwhile, the mainstream media praised him endlessly for his “restraint,” while 52 Americans were held in captivity without even news of what might be in process to free them. If not for the accession of Ronald Reagan to the White House, those Americans might never again have been free.

    Two Democrat administrations, who wrung their hands as Americans were held and abused by hostile totalitarian powers. Each of those administrations faced immediate replacement by a Republican one. Stretches the mind, doesn’t it?

    • Reality Observer

      Almost makes one wish the Ayatollahs had been stupid enough to hold onto those Navy people as long-term hostages.

      (“Almost” because, while we can ask for sacrifice from our military people, it should never be necessary to use them as a lever to dislodge a treasonous domestic regime.)

      • It does make you wonder what might have happened. But, as you said, we shouldn’t ever have to use our military in such a manner and for such a goal.

      • So, what would happen if an Iranian gunboat entered US erritorial waters without permission?

        • with the current president, we’d take the gps out of the boat and not give it back in order to support their story that they were never in our territory.

        • Depends. If there’s a Republican in the WH, they would be met by a warship and escorted back out. If they refused to leave (which option our sailors were not given), they would be fired upon until they complied or were sunk.

          With the Democrats? Whatever aid and comfort to the enemy they could manage.

      • I agree that we should not have to. The possibility is in the oath however.

        • Reality Observer

          Yes, it’s in the oath. But I would consider it a breach of the oath (even if unspoken) that a civilian owes in return to them.

          Yes, yes I am very old-fashioned… Regime change is our responsibility.

    • Thank you for the reminder about the Pueblo. I knew there was something about the Johnson administration I wanted to bring up and couldn’t remember what it was.

    • “Those failed. As did the one attempt by the military to rescue our people. In April 1980, Operation Eagle Claw was launched. We lost 8 servicemen, an Iranian civilian was killed and we also lost two aircraft.”

      And Mr. Carter was told by those with experience in the region that the attempt would (not might. would) fail and why. He really was the perfect intersection of overweening self-regard and incompetence

      Hence the automatic Pres. Obama comparisons with Mr. Carter, even thokugh policy-wise Pres. Wilson is more appropos.

  6. Flashback…

  7. I apologize for the nitpick, but Carter’s vote total appears to be missing the leading digit, presumably a 3 (“…Reagan received 43,903,230 votes to Carter’s 38,423,115…” vice “…Reagan received 43,903,230 votes to Carter’s 8,423,115…”).

  8. The shocking thing for me has always been the simple lack of effort. On 9/11 the first two aircraft in the air were completely unarmed. But they were all there was. If UA 93 hadn’t fought back that flight had already agreed between themselves where they would ram the airliner. Same with the events of Libya. Even if you can’t get heavy ordnance on scene, just doing something like low altitude supersonic runs could not have made things much worse.

    But now it seems we simply sit on our hands. Meanwhile we have blinding speed in the US whenever something that could advance a domestic agenda happens.

    • To Obama the only enemies he faces are domestic. The world outside our borders falling apart is just a matter of reaching equilibrium after removing America’s pernicious influence. I agree with Rubio on this, Obama is not merely incompetent.

      • Radical Muslims believe with all their souls that America truly is the Great Satan. President Obama was taught to believe the same at his mother’s breast and all through his life both abroad and here.
        There are but three competing factions in the world today: communism, Islam, and what Sarah calls USAians. First two seek world domination, the third just wants to be left the hell alone.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          We will only be left alone if it we are willing to kill the people we need to kill to make it happen.

          • And neither those others or our own politicians seem at all aware of how many of us USAians are perfectly OK with that.

            • It is my thesis that a lot of the initial poll number drops for W when the Iraq war started going bad (basically when The Donald came out against the war) was not due to “growing antiwar sentiment” as the media reported, but was in fact due to growing disappointment that a$$ was not being kicked nearly hard enough over there.

              I have yet to see any of that periods pollng detail that disproves my thesis.

              • They weren’t interest WHY you were no longer supporting the war, only that you didn’t. Narrative Uber Alles.

              • This is why the polling questions were framed as “Do you approve of the president’s conduct of the war” with nothing asking whether you thought he was doing too much or too little. That wasn’t the droids news lead they were looking for.

                The MSM deserved to be tried in a court martial for cowardice in the face of the enemy and desertion under fire. As for the disloyal opposition, there were reasons so many of us historically literate persons referred to them as Copperheads.

                • This. I remember that exact polling question. Infuriating because you knew the answers were being misconstrued.

        • Yep. Both our greatest strength and our weakness vs. the crusaders of the perennially-aggrieved.

      • It’s not just Obama. The more (I want to say extreme, but I’m not sure that’s really the right word) on the right and the left, as well as among the libertarians all believe that almost nothing that goes on outside our borders is relevant to our national security.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Not everyone is interested in national security issues. There is a long history of isolationism in this country, encouraged in part because it had been fairly feasible for well over half of the life of our country.

          It is true that few, if any, other powers have the ability to land infantry on our shores against our will. Yet. At least not in numbers we can’t handle.

          Certainly nothing compared to all the illegals from Mexico, and all the cartel stuff that happens inside our borders.

          To some extent we are victims of our own success. Since foreign affairs became vitally important to our nation, we’ve prevented our population as whole from having a ‘vae victis’ experience. Some people cannot see abstract theory as real possibility. Especially when the ‘smart’ people they trust do not.

          • Yes.

            I really don’t understand the people who, in the 21st Century think that isolationism, in any of its flavors, is a viable policy. It may be true that no one can land infantry in our country, but there are way too many that can (or will able to in the near future) detonate an EMP weapon over our heartland.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              We’ve had generations of peace domestically speaking. We’ve largely forgotten the Indian wars, as they’ve become overshadowed by the Civil War. Aside from stuff that doesn’t spread because only local media covers it, the most recent thing of that flavor is segregation, which is most strongly remembered by a small fraction of the population that often does so through a lens colored by ideology.

              We mostly don’t want to set dogs on the rest of world, and we bring that deficiency of vicious hatred to foreign policy. This isn’t entirely a bad thing.

              Many of us at ATH read science fiction and fantasy. We are accustomed to pretending imaginary things are real. This may cause us to underestimate how hard it is to grok war or the weapons of the future for someone who is not wired or experienced that way.

          • Transport is faster and more far-reaching. And we’re too rich to be isolated. we’re the old lady with a lot of jewels walking through a dicey neighborhood. If you don’t have a gun, you’re lost.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Yup. Also, our druggies have been causing trouble for the folks across a language barrier from us who have easiest access.

            • Wise rich old ladies don’t go walking through dicey neighborhoods. And they certainly don’t break into other peoples’ houses and stir up trouble.

              • You seem to believe that we aren’t actually living in the dicey neighborhood.
                The fire that burns your neighbor’s house, absent a real fire brigade, will burn yours as well.

              • wise rich old ladies DO try to run marauders from their neighborhood, so they can go to the park and the grocery store. Sorry.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          You may not be interested in national security, but national security is interested in you.

  9. A great part of the problem is a president and Foreign Secretary (I know – the job title is Secretary of State, but John Effin’ Kerry is a foreign secretary) who think that international terrorism is a condition to be endured, a chronic condition of little importance which can be managed through police activity. Of course, they abjure Broken Windows pro-active policing but promise us they will show up on television whenever these attacks occur, ritually express sympathies for the victims and their families (always including the perpetrators) and recommend Americans sacrifice more of our inalienable rights. They would have us take aspirin for a growing cancer because it isn’t them, nor their families nor coworkers being killed.

    Afterwards they will fly off to some international meeting to swill champagne and suck down caviar in very highly secured surroundings while plotting ways to bring more of the economy under socialist control so that the temperature of the world doesn’t rise another degree.

    • Well said, RES, and spot on.

    • A tale I read when residing in the fun-sized state of Delaware concerned the early DuPonts and their powder works. They built *their* home near the powder works, as their employees did, even though they could afford a carriage to commute out of the blast radius if something went wrong. They put their own lives and goods on the line, developed a reputation for safety rules, attracted good employees.

      Let’s have these bozos vacation on the border with Mexico, without security details, fly commercial and get the TSA gropascope treatment–you know, live like the little people do. Give them a strong reason to do the right thing even though they are idiots. Even slugs learn to avoid a painful stimulus.

      • What she said. No more Air Force taxi service with open bar.

        “But, but, security!”
        You keep telling us its perfectly safe and the [three-letter-agency] has everything under control, so why are you worried?

        • President Harry S Truman walked about the streets of the District of Columbia unattended while going about his daily affairs.

          In one of his memoirs he mentioned being annoyed by citizens who accosted him; he was on his personal time, not Presidential time.

          Contrast that with Obama’s insane and costly “security” detail, shutting down airspace and highway traffic for miles around any place he moves about.

          I’m reminded of how the USSR would clear the highways for the motorcades of high officials. They weren’t worried about assassination attempts, it was just a show of power over the citizenry.

          • To be fair, Truman was in office well before a washed-up Communist loser made a name for himself by assassinating Kennedy. How many Presidents since then haven’t been shot at? And as far as I know, only POTUS gets the road-clearing motorcades, so it’s not really a power play.

            • The Other Sean

              How many of them deserved to be?

              • No one deserves to be assassinated.

                Publicly humiliated and soundly defeated in open court is another thing altogether.

            • IIRC Puerto Rican nationalists tried to assassinate Truman when he was staying at Blair House in 1950, while the White House was being repaired. But that’s still 49 years since the last assassination (McKinley).

              • Correct. When the Manchurian Candidate (1962) was made once again available for watching there were comments from reviewers over what it displayed about presidential security. Since then we had a half-dozen or more* successful or near-successful assassination attempts on political leaders in a twenty-year period.

                Which isn’t to say that the presidential entourages are not a contribution to the president’s isolation, nor an expression of his grandiosity.

                *JFK, MLK, RFK, Wallace, Ford (twice, IIRC) and Reagan. That we know of.

                • Reality Observer

                  Giffords. (I assume we’re not just talking POTUS or candidates, with MLK in there?)

                • All of which want that question – why does the president not carry a weapon?

                  • The Other Sean

                    D.C. handgun laws. 😛

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    Honestly, if I was head of a President’s Security Detail, I would try to convince him to not carry.

                    If he’s carrying, then he might be tempted to put himself into the line of fire in order to shot at the people trying to kill him.

                    If he’s killed, I’ve failed in my number-one job, keep him alive.

                    There may be rare cases where an armed President might be necessary but IMO (not an expert) in the majority of cases he doesn’t need to be armed.

                    • Which makes me think of the scene with the President in Gust Front.

                      If there was ever an Alldenata tv series, that scene should be kept intact.

                  • Reagan did. I gather it is difficult to bring it to bear when the Secret Service are hurling themselves atop you and bundling you into a car.

            • When BJC was lame duck, they still shut down a good bit for him to move about. When GWB was Flying and Driving about, just after 9/11 things were a bit overly secure, but tapered back a bit in the years after until he became the lame duck. Once that happened and those last two years were entered, when he fllew into N.O. we went from lock down, closing the interstate and service roads, many side streets etc to me driving down the service road and watching AF1 land a few yards away.

              BTW, the press hated flying with GWB because he cared little about the ride and just wanted to get there . . . The plane landed in maybe, but I think less than, 2500 feet, from touchdown to turn off. Look at a map of MSY/New Orleans International/Louis Armstrong, and flying in from the south, they touched at the crossing runway and turned onto the angled runway and parked at what is now the FBO private plane area (at that time they were not operating from there yet) on the north side of the field. If I had not watched it myself, I’d doubt a plane that size could land that short just on reverse thrust alone. Granted even “full” it is empty compared to a packed flight, but still.

          • He wasn’t unattended, although he told his Secret Service detail they didn’t need to accompany him if they didn’t want to. He walked the streets of Washington every morning, and was somewhat approachable although he didn’t invite long conversations. The morning after the Puerto Rico Liberation Army shot up Blair House and killed some guards — Truman was staying in Blair while the White House was being renovated — the Secret Service tried to get him to forgo his walk.
            “Comes with the job,” he told them, and started out the door.

    • I would love to see our next president cite the science on CO2 fertilization and decide that the US should increase CO2 to make the deserts bloom. Coal fired power plants would get a bonus over gas-fired plants as the contribute a higher percentage of CO2 and are therefor greener. After all the Paris agreement states that each country set its own standards.

  10. In a possibly related thought, you can’t file Chapter 11 on a war or economic crisis. Sooner or later, it follows you home regardless.

  11. We are constrained to fight a civilized war, something that is an oxymoron at best and, at worst, the slow surrender of our country to an enemy the powers that be don’t want to defeat.

    I do believe that there is such a thing as a civilized war. Not using gas to poison the general populace would be an example. (There is a reason for the Geneva Convention — when both sides adhere … which many of our present enemies do not.)

    But, to get up once more on my hobby horse, I do not think that what we are doing in the name of civilized is civilized. Our leadership is afraid to take decisive action because it might make for uncomfortable headlines. Civilized is not wasting the lives of soldiers or civilians by piddling about.

  12. What I remember is that on WHIO Radio here in Dayton, Bill Roysters on the news side called up the US Embassy long distance and talked to the “students” who had our people. At first he talked to them in French, but by the time I heard him they had found somebody who had taken English. He was very good about not kowtowing while getting them to calm down.

    The State Department ended up using WHIO’s line to keep tabs on the hostages’ status. The WHIO talk show guys managed to call back several times in the next few days and get updates, while asking to talk to the hostages. After a while the State Department asked them not to call anymore, which was a shame because they seemed to do a good job at finding stuff out.

    I hate to think what the phone bill was like, but it was great local news reporting. It was something I have always remembered on the Internet: we all have the right to ask questions and investigate, wherever we live.

    • WHIO! I remember them. Loved Lou Emm and Bob Sweeny. Wish I could say I remembered them doing this, but I think I was in school at the time.

  13. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Wait, freedom isn’t easy?

    Next you’re going to tell me I can’t become an infantryman by sitting on my rear, keep a car running forever just by putting in gas, or have employment beat a path to my door by getting a degree.

    • Where is the Fool registry? I need to get registered myself.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        You’ll have to wait in line. And it’s a long line.

        • Is there a test, does one have to qualify? (I was told there would be no math.)

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard


          The number of people who know that they are Fools is very small compared to the number of people who are Fools but don’t know it. 😈 😈 😈 😈

          • It isn’t simply the number of people waiting to register, there is also the fact that many of them have very poor line management skills. Frequently people in the queue get involved in discussions with others and fail to move up, often they line up at closed registration windows and wait for days on end, and sometimes they forget they are in a line and simply stand around obstructing traffic.

            And then there are those who insist on pushing on the gate through the registry railing even though the sign says “Pull.”

      • We’re afraid the Bob broke the pen when he registered, and nobody knows how to fix it. Can you come back tomorrow? I’m sure that somebody will have figured out how to put the pen back together by then…maybe.

  14. I remember those days– Really those fools want to bum-rush us back into that hole.

  15. Will return later (DANGER, Will Robinson!), but just found this at Lileks today : “When I come across an old sci-fi pulp mag, I turn to the letters. Years ago I found one of these fellows and emailed him; he was amused that his youthful enthusiasms had survived. It really was a unique place in the culture – the comments section, limited to a few, featuring the same fans over and over again, complaining about other fans. You get the sense of a community of nerds dispersed by geography, bound by dreams of rocketships and rayguns and BEMs. Like this:” Goest thou there (or get thee hence) and read the rest.

    • Another fun thing for us to do with those old, pulp lettercols: See how many names you recognize. A number of 50s and 60s pros got their start as letter-hacks in the 1940s. The lettercols thinned out after the 1940s; so, it ios harder to do with the later pros.

  16. Minor nitpick – Uncle Sam didn’t start issuing BDUs ’til the early ’80s. I remember when they were first issued, my buddies and I did a side-by-side sight test, and the BDU shirts actually stood out *more* prominently than the straight Olive Drab) shirts in heavy woodland cover..

  17. Re: 9/11

    “Unfortunately, our leaders in Congress and in the Pentagon – and, yes, in the White House – didn’t have the guts to do the job that needed to be done.”

    I’m unconvinced that this is strictly true. The job that needed to be done was not one that Nation could do. We need say, and be believed, “The next time anything remotely like this happens you can kiss Mecca goodbye. Unless you like making pilgrimage to a large sheet of faintly glowing glass.”

    There was nothing we could do that year that would have that result. Bush seems to have known that what was required was a multi-decade effort to come down hard on carefully selected object lessons. The Liberal/Progressives didn’t want to hear that, and undermined it as soon and as completely as they could. Obama either doesn’t understand the idea, or has some faint grasp and is incompetent to implement it, which is why he keeps stumbling into every third-world piss-up going, and somehow never does any good. He has the military acumen of a brain-damaged spaniel.

    Sooner or later we ARE going to be provoked into total war, and it ain’t gonna be pretty and it ain’t gonna be good for anyone involved. For one thing, why would we WANT to be stuck administering the pesthole that is the middle-east. It’s ungovernable, unprofitable, and smelly.

    I’ll like living in Imperial America. I’m on the downhill side of 50. white , and male. Things won’t fall apart so badly that it effects me for a lot longer than I’m likely to live. but it won’t be good for anybody, and it will be worst for the idiots who interfered with Bush providing the camel-pesterers with nice car object lessons on how nasty life can get when you piss us off.

    • The Other Sean

      Please stop insulting brain-damaged spaniels.

    • Bush’s problem was he expected moslems to think like westerners. They absolutely DO NOT. Moslems only understand their narrative as expressed in the koran and hadith. He also did not understand the doctrine of abrogation. You can find peaceful passages early in the koran. He used those to say Islam was a religion of peace. Abrogation means that bloodthirsty later passages trump the early passages.

      Another failing is people who state that ISIS is not real Islam. Islam treats their holy books the way protestants treat the bible. Everyone should read the Holy Book and find their way to Christ. A bit of guidance from fellow Christians is expected. The Saudis have funded Wahabi sect fundamentalist Madrasas around the world churning out moslems guided to believe that Western Civilization is decadent and evil. The only text books are the koran and hadith. Fifty years ago Islam was an arguably failing religion being buried by the West. Oil changed everything.

      • I think that Bush DID understand that Islam is only dangerous when the rulers of its countries feel they can use it to advantage for little risk. He followed a policy of demonstrating that war with the west is unprofitable. Sadly, this is not a policy the Progressive idiocracy understands.

        • Bush’s biggest mistake was he was unwilling to recognize how much of a Disloyal Opposition he was facing and clean it out FIRST.

          • My thought, too. When the Democrats said they had his back he should have known it was only to be able to stick a knife into it. He should have campaigned in 2002 for Republicans in the House and Senate to support the war, and played hardball with any Democrats undermining it.

          • Not a real possibility.

            • Then we will either make it one, or start praying to Mecca. That’s reality: no nation has ever survived with open treason in its’ government and populace.

            • Hence the “cuckservative” derogation. At some point tge “Fool me once” kicks in, and folks start thinking, “how many times do we gave to watch them stab you – supposedly representing our political will – in the back, before we start suspecting collusion.

              It’s the “three times is enemy action” rule.

              • This is not without cost.

                For example, it has been noted that the better strategy vis-a-vis replacing Scalia would be to express willingness to work with the president, welcome his nominee and hold hearings exposing the fallacies and dangerous rip currents of modern liberal jurisprudence — defeating Obama nominees seriatum while making the public case for Scalia’s original text thinking.

                But few in the base trusted McConnell and the Senate Judiciary Committee to successfully follow such a course, not Obama to send an actual worthy nominee, therefore it is necessary for the “dog in the manger” strategy currently deployed — and to bear the MSM & Democrat (BIRM) opprobrium that carries.

          • Agreed. Like a lot of older conservatives (and this is where our hostess is spot on) he was a new-media dinosaur. He hadn’t figured out that politics is downstream of culture. By the time he brought in Tony Snow it was far too late to do any good.

            Even today quite a lot of the so-called “cucks” as, well as those tossing out the epithet simply haven’t figured out “it’s the culture stupid”

    • Problem with long wars is the disloyal opposition has time to work in opposition. Hit hard, hit fast, hit BIG, and keep asking the disloyal oppos why they want our soldiers to die and not the other guys.

      • “How dare you question my patriotism!”

        “Well, if you didn’t act like you were on the other side, there wouldn’t be any questions.”

        • “I’m not questioning anything; I’m saying you’re a treasonous SOB.”

          Actually said that to a particularly egregious example of Leftard.

    • I’ve had this quote from SDB floating in my head ever since I read it years ago:

      I know my nation. I know my people. We don’t want to destroy you all. But if you (I mean “Muslims”) place us in a position where only you or us can survive, it’s going to be us, and you’ll all be dead. We can do that; we’ve had that capability for a very long time. We don’t want to, but we will if we must.

      But it would be better, for you and for us, if it did not come to that.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I’d forgotten how much an influence he was on me. I think that may have been where I first understood that.

        If you’d asked me in recent years, I might’ve remembered John Ringo’s option zero essay.

    • Obama just plain doesn’t care. I heard a guy from USC talking about the president a while ago to the local group of Republicans. His belief – and everything he said that night supported it – is that Obama only cares about the world outside of the US insofar as it helps him build support among the members of his party back home. If it weren’t for that support, he’d never pay any attention to what was going on outside the borders of the US.

  18. Pingback: Yes, I DO Remember Those Days « Right As Usual

  19. I posted a link to this – hope it helps to spread the word.

  20. In defense of Nixon — I wrote some policy papers for him in 1968, and was supposed to be appointed an Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for R&D, except that I was apparently not acceptable to Haldeman — he was faced with the Cold War and rather unscrupulous opposition, as well as questionable assistants — why anyone would want to bug that Watergate office is beyond me. Even in Congressional and Mayoral campaigns I always told my staff to assume the offices were bugged, and go to a randomly chosen restaurant for a confidential talk.

    When a lot of people really are out to get you, it tends to turn you paranoid.

    Carter looked good; he was a Southernor and believed in the states having Constitutional rights, he had been a competent Naval officer, but somewhere along the line he lost a screw.

    The Cold War was real, there were 26,000 warheads deliverable to the US, and young men and women sat in silos on Christmas Eve hoping they wouldn’t hear those klaxons. EWO. EWO. Emergency War Orders…

    For those who don’t remember things before Reagan it’s hard to imagine that world.

    In 1980, after the election and before his inauguration, he asked Bennie Schriever to write his space defense policy. Schriever turned that over to his former Chief of Plans, Col Francis A Kane. Kane and Possony and I had written Strategy of Technology which was a USMA and USAFMA textbook for a while. and Kane asked Possony and me to set up some kind of advisory group. I ended up as chairman and we held it at Niven’s house; California millionaires have houses big enough to have 80 people including astronauts and sf writers and rocket scientists and Livermore and Los Alamos people and generals and aerospace engineers and executives and feed them gourmet dinners. We developed what became known as Star Wars and Reagan adopted that plan: Strategic Defense Initiative.

    Interesting weekends. Reagan actually understood the Cold War, and won. Of course the day after he took office Bush the First fired every Reagan man in the White House — except Quayle whom he couldn’t fire and who by law was chairman of the National Space Council, which was an equal to the National Security Council, so Star Wars lived on, just barely.

    We don’t have SAC any more, but we’re trying to have a new Cold War. Interesting times again.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Thank you.

      I barely remember the end of the cold war. I certainly didn’t really understand what was happening at the time.

    • SAC was dissolved when the “Age of Aquarius” descended on us in 1992. Then we discovered it was an illusion and was re-established as Air Force Global Strike Command in 2009. From 1947 until 1992 SAC dominated the Air Force, all AFCOS were Bomber pilots. Space was unnecessary, fighters were second class and Missiles were “Not the Real Air Force.”

  21. Yes, men in silos all the year round, and now women on missile crews.

    • Bibliotheca Servare

      In modderpocking SUBMARINES no less! Jebus on a fricking pogo stick, will they (our enlightened rulers and bureaucratic overseers) ever run out of stupid? Is there an infinite national supply of that substance (stupid/stupidity) or something? For crying out loud…

      • short answer: no.

      • You’re being short-sighted. Consider the fond feelings for home that will be engendered for our sailors as men are reminded of all they defend whenever they climb into a hot bunk still redolent with the aromas left by fertile young women. Think how heartening it will be to the women to live in an environment laden with the scents of our brave pheromonic lads! Surely that will stiffen morale and encourage close attention to their duties.

  22. I grew up in Lubbock Tx. Even went to Texas Tech for a while. Still have family there. I remember all the events you referred to.

    Happiness is Lubbock Texas in the rearview mirror! 😀

  23. I didn’t, I just don’t feel that way about it. 😀