Fox News Ticker

Monday, May 24, 2010

Act of war

On March 26, it is becoming more apparent, a North Korean torpedo fired from a submarine detonated under the keel of the ROKS Cheonan, a corvette of the South Korean Navy, breaking the ship in half and killing more than 40 crew members.

This happened in South Korean waters and, did not a technical state of war exist between the two Koreas already, would have been an act of war.

That immediate action was not taken against the North is perhaps understandable. The cause of the sinking had not been determined with certainty at the time and action that could set the peninsula on fire was something to be avoided if at all possible.

It seems unlikely the attack took place without at least the tacit approval if not the outright order of the north’s increasingly erratic dictator Kim Jong-il — indeed New York Magazine is reporting Kim ordered the attack in order to secure the succession for his son Kim Jong-un. Kim Jong-il is not well and is apparently concerned about his dynasty.

The problem I see here is the administration’s response. President Barak Obama has only recently ordered the 28,000 plus American troops in South Korea to high alert.

The south over the weekend cut off all trade with North Korea in response to the attack and will bring the issue before the United Nations Security Council to ask for punishment of the north. You know, because that’s worked so well in the past.

Leaving aside the fact North Korea’s only real ally China has a veto on the Security Council and is unlikely to vote for more sanctions, there has yet to be one case of sanctions effecting change in any nation.

Fox News reports Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the situation is “highly precarious.”

No kidding?

We have in North Korea one of the last communist nations on Earth, led by an erratic, if not outright insane man, who impoverished his people to, among other things, amass a large collection of Looney Tunes cartoons and has nuclear weapons at his control.

Precarious?

That may be the understatement of the century.

The problem here is that once again the West is worried about not overreacting to what is under international law an act of war.

We could have stopped North Korea’s nuclear ambitions years ago, with quick targeted strikes. Instead first under President Bill Clinton, again under President George W. Bush and still more under the current administration we have negotiated.

Never mind Kim has violated every agreement ever made with him, and done so with near impunity. We have simply continued to make agreements with him.

I grant that the alliance with China and the Chinese history of interventionism in North Korea must give us pause. I cannot believe however, the Chinese are comfortable with a nuclear armed madman on their southern border.

The problem is, we continue to appease, kowtow and bow to every third-world dictator we come across.

Which only does what appeasement always does — embolden them to demand more.

Anyone who ever dealt with a bully on the school yard knows begging and trying to talk to said bully never did anything but make him more likely to torment you the only way to stop him was to hit back.

History has taught us this is also the only thing the dictators of the world truly understand.

It seems, however, the current administration has not learned this simple lesson — I question their grasp of history in general.

The Obama administration is painfully learning — or ignoring — the lessons of history first hand. Meanwhile the world is going up in flames while Caesar fiddles.

All IMHO of course.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Borders important, must be controlled

There has been a lot of rhetoric thrown around lately concerning the new Arizona immigration bill — charges of racism have been hurled from both sides.

While I will agree there is definitely at least the potential for trouble with the law that requires Arizona law enforcement officers to inquire about the immigration status of people, there are provisions in the law to at least mitigate racial profiling.

The law requires first, that an officer must have a legitimate reason to stop someone before checking status. It is not legal to pull someone over because they are brown and then ask for their immigration papers.

Those papers have been the source of some of the rhetoric, many have been screaming the provision of the law requiring immigrants to have their immigration documents on their person is redolent of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.

In reality federal law requires a resident alien to keep their green card or visa on their person and to produce it when asked by law enforcement.

And there’s the rub — this new law simply requires officers to enforce — federal law.

This isn’t a small problem, Arizona is literally being overrun by illegals. According to a story on stateline.org federal border officials arrested nearly 500,000 people trying to enter the state between October and July of 2005.

In mid-August of 2005 then Governor and current Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, made the highly unusual move of declaring a state of emergency freeing up money for more law enforcement along the border.

She is of course, currently criticizing the law.

The real concern here is not that Arizona police are actually enforcing the law, but that Arizona was forced to this because the federal government would not do it’s job.

A law was passed just a few years ago requiring the feds to build a border fence along the entire Mexican border. Congress then failed to appropriate the needed funds, and few miles of fence were ever built.

As the violence between rival drug gangs escalates on the south side of the border, it is important also to note those cartels have taken virtual control of most of the border states on the Mexican side of the border — and the violence has spilled over.

In 2008, six Mexican men dressed as Phoenix cops shot another man to death in his home, firing more than 100 rounds into the home of one Andrew Williams. It was widely believed the hit was drug related, and it was suspected the assassins were Mexican special forces recruited by the drug cartels to be their hit men.

This incident, and others like it, underscore the need to secure the border.

It’s really quite simple, we need to know who is here, we need to control who gets in and we need to keep out those who would do us harm — and there have been terrorist caught coming over the Mexican border.

In the end history is replete with stories of what happens when a nation does not control its borders — the fall of Rome is just one example.

A nation which does not control its borders does not remain a nation for long.

All IMHO of course.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Worry about lives, not words

A little over a week ago a suburban Connecticut dad named Faisal Shahzad, parked his SUV in times square and attempted to detonate a bomb loaded inside on one of the busiest thoroughfares in the nation — Times Square in New York.

That the bomb was more Rube Goldberg than IED is beside the point.
The purpose of terrorism is to create terror. In this the Pakistani-born Shahzad succeeded.

For the terrorist, the operation is a success even if the bomb fails to go off so long as it scares people and causes governments to make changes in policy and procedure.

What is saddest in this case is how long it took anyone to admit this was terrorism.

Shortly after an alert t-shirt vendor of all things noticed Shahzad’s SUV smoking and called the cops, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said “If I had to guess, 25 cents, this would be exactly that. Somebody homegrown, maybe a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something. It could be anything.”

Then MSNBC host Contessa Brewer said “I get frustrated — there was part of me that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country ... there are a lot of people who want to use terrorist intent to justify writing off people who believe in a certain way or come from certain countries or whose skin color is a certain way. I mean they use it as justification for really outdated bigotry.”

It’s not bigotry to point out that the vast majority of the people trying to kill us are of Arab decent.

So far during this administration we’ve had four attempts at terrorism on our soil — two of them successful. A young muslim man, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad — a 24-year-old Little Rock resident formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe, killed one soldier and wounded another in June of last year. We all know about the Fort Hood shooter and the underwear bomber.

We’ve now had two unsuccessful bombing attempts in less than a year.

I grant many more attempts have probably been stopped before they started by our intelligence services. I also grant that not everything is going to work every time and there will be leakers such as these two recent bombing attempts.

But in both cases it has been sheer luck and bad design that has saved lives.

As the Irish Republican Army pointed out to Queen Elizabeth when they were trying to assassinate her in the 1980s — we may be lucky once or twice, they only have to be lucky once.

We’ve got to shed the mantle of political correctness before it kills us all.

This man Shazahd was a naturalized citizen, despite having been on and off a terrorist watch list for years. He nearly got away because instead of picking up the phone and calling the airlines to say he was on the no-fly list, someone sent an email.

When lives are on the line we’ve got to quit worrying about offending people and start doing what we have to do to protect our citizens.

All IMHO of course.