George Sarant

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Posts Tagged ‘CIA

STAY OUT OF THE LINE OF FIRE

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The USA has not been blessed with leaders with a clear-eyed, long-term geopolitical view of the interests of the country for decades, and that record, along with the consistent ineptitude of the present administration, makes inaction preferable to action on a number of fronts. Iraq is descending into a chaotic civil war, due to the precipitous disengagement of the Obama administration and a total lack of strategic vision. There is no question that the blunders of the Bush administration are responsible for instigating these problems, but in that case at least half the blame belongs to Saddam Hussein himself for so successfully faking WMD capabilities in order to be perceived as a more formidable force in the region. That posture backfired, as did his removal. Sadaam was an awful dictator, but he counterbalanced the equally odious Iranian regime, which became the principal beneficiary of his demise. Broader strategic thinking would have made that outcome obvious. 

More importantly, Sadaam was a secular leader who checked religious extremism as long as he was in power. The same dynamic is at work in Syria now, where the US currently has zero credibility or respect, having drawn a  “line in the sand,” which it then ignored.  A wiser, long-term geopolitical understanding would have informed us of the saliency of the religious extremism in the two branches of Islam, and guided our strategic thinking accordingly. This is a long term, historic conflict that could still last centuries. Do we want to be part of that? At this stage, given the bumbling proclivities of our leaders, I think the best course for the US is to use this as an opportunity to get out of the line of fire. By that I mean ceasing to be enemy number one to extremists on both sides of the Islamic rift.  We have managed to fumble our way into that position, and it is now time to extricate ourselves. 

There are many countries in the world with an “Islamic problem,” meaning either a restive minority population or conflict with an aggressive neighbor. The US is not one of them, and a cursory examination of global borders makes that obvious. There is no inherent reason for the US to be at odds with any of these players, but for inserting ourselves into their affairs. Contrary to the beliefs of some on the left, it’s not about oil. We are more self-sufficient in this hemisphere than most other countries, and would be even more so but for the anti-energy policies of this administration, which sooner or later will be undone. The people who depend on mideast oil are the Japanese, the Europeans, and increasingly, the Chinese. Consequently what happens in the area is of far more consequence for them than it is for us. 

As for cultural conflict, Europe has a large, unassimilated Muslim population. Russia, and even China have restive Muslim minorities. Thus, the problems are far more acute for them, so why should the US wind up being the Great Satan? Bin Laden (who primarily targeted the US for stationing forces in Saudi Arabia, which are now gone) is dead and most of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack are accounted for. The Muslims are not our problem, and the more we disengage from conflict with them the less we would be targeted. Their main goal is obtaining power within the Islamic world. They are basically a headache for the existing regimes, who until now have managed to deflect such hostility onto the west. We are not sufficiently ruthless for this kind of conflict.

This does not mean cutting and running, but making a realistic policy that in essence says you don’t bother us and we won’t bother you, for if you do you will be annihilated with overwhelming force.  We would basically make an offer they couldn’t refuse. Let the CIA do its job for a change and come up with accurate information on these movements. Given the nature of the present administration I do not see a better path. 

We have paid dearly for all of this, not just in lives and treasure, but in terms of our own liberties. We now have a massive security state that is adept primarily at inconveniencing us at airports. Yet the end result is a situation no better than it was before, and given the instability in the area, arguably worse. We need to focus on rebuilding strength at home, where our way of life has deteriorated significantly. I am not suggesting isolationism here, but realism, as per Theodore Roosevelt’s axiom, speak softly but carry a big stick. 

 

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ATTACKING THE CIA

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Some congressional Democrats have nothing better to do than harass the CIA. If targeted assassinations of Al Qaeda leaders was planned, so what? This is what we should be doing rather than cancelling the program, as the current director has done. Much of this is attributable to an attempt to protect Nancy Pelosi from getting caught up in her own lies. Only self-hating liberals would attack our national security. Given the complete lawlessness and immorality of the terrorists we should be using any means necessary to destroy them. The Israeli defense force was recently accused of using captives as “human shields.” Good for them! We should be doing the same thing. Consider that most of our casualties are the result of roadside bombs. Apart from the fact that we should have come up with a technical solution to this by now, I see nothing wrong in letting terrorist captives go first. It should also be noted that our casualties are disproportionately from the “red” counties of the country. Liberals have paid no cost in the war protecting them.
For a good take on this see: Liberals vs. the CIA.

Written by georgesarant

July 18, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Posted in government, international

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SURRENDER IN TERROR WAR

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The Obama administration has made a series of rash decisions that will come back to haunt us. Never mind the closing of Gitmo. The restrictions on coercive interrogation, rendition, restrictions on the CIA, etc. are a disaster waiting to happen. This is a surrender in the war on terror in favor of the civilian justice system. It is totally asymmetrical and deprives us of essential weapons to protect the nation. 
Treating terrorists as, in effect, ordinary criminals opens the door to endless legal challenges, including getting the courts to force open national security secrets. CIA interrogators now have to be nice to these people and cannot force any information from suspects. Al Qaeda will have a field day as people worried about their careers and possible prosecution avoid taking any risks.
This is compounded by leftists in the congress who unbelievably want to “investigate,” and prosecute Bush administration officials for “war crimes,” i.e. taking steps to protect our country. Congressmen Conyers and Senator Levin of Michigan should be “renditioned!” If the left proceeds with this war on common sense we must be ready to reciprocate and give fair warning it will cut both ways. 
What we really need is a squad of assassins to go after the terrorists. We should also encourage the CIA and other field officers to ignore these restrictions with the promise that when conservatives return to power they will be absolved of any wrongdoing. This means if a terrorist has information about a pending attack it should be obtained by any means necessary to prevent the murder of innocents. The liberals would treat such people as “war criminals” when they in fact are heroes.
These actions have once again left us vulnerable. Let there be no doubt who is responsible when the next attack occurs and may they pay accordingly.

Written by georgesarant

January 28, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Posted in government

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