Post Paris Reset. In an odd way there isn’t much to add to the observations in Podcast 437. Almost everything predicted regarding coverage of and reaction to the Paris Attacks has come true. In the aftermath of ‘Paris’, an hour or two spent with cable news yields little new information, but provokes an emotional response with viewers. This emotional response is intensified hour after hour as the same footage is replayed, the crawl at the bottom of the screen details the statements of politicians, while ‘experts’ argue on screen. Conversely, in ten minutes spent on line, one gets an idea of the contours of new developments with the story. Yet, people sit staring at Cable TV News for hours expecting some new development, getting more and more frustrated and angry, or afraid and concerned. This doesn’t advance the story, and doesn’t make it any easier to understand what has happened and what can be done about it. The media is complicit in creating an all-or-nothing, right-left, up or down orientation to every story, especially big stories that get covered and discussed hour after hour. The results are predictable; Politicians are already urging we send hundreds of thousands of troops into Iraq, or to ‘declare war on ISIS’. The only reasonable conclusion that has been drawn is that the Syrian refugee program in the US should be suspended until Congress can determine whether the vetting process is effective or not and even that has become a contentious issue to be argued ad infinitum. Meanwhile we’re no closer to developing a foreign policy that addresses Russia, the Rise of China and Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and terrorism. Politically, we don’t seem to have any idea where we want to be as a country in fifteen or twenty years. Given this philosophical vacuum, the same voices that got us into Iraq twice in the last 20 years are already advocating a continuation of the same failed policies, with predictably negative results. Is this what you want? Best be sure, because you’re about to vote for it. Again. Sponsored by Hydrus, Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate.
The Gathering Storm. Updating the big stories, starting with foreign affairs. While people in the Upper Midwest and Boston are slipping and sliding through their commute, so apparently is the foreign policy of the Obama Administration. A president who said in September ‘there will be no boots on the ground’ when he announced a bombing campaign that would ‘degrade and destroy’ the Islamic State, now wants a new authorization from congress to use force in western Iraq. Is this an admission that the policy of airstrikes has not been successful? While the White House version of the force authorization only calls for special forces, and troops for specific purposes and not a general invasion, wait’ll we see what Congress ends up adding. In the Eastern Ukraine, a president who claimed economic sanctions would eventually force the Russians to end their misadventure there, now is reportedly considering arming Ukrainians. Putin has played the economic sanctions, which have hurt the Russian people, to gain public support for his effort in the Donetsk region. Moreover, whether right or wrong, Russians regard Ukraine as Russia. Kiev was the origin of Russia going back to the 10th century. When Ted Cruz, John McCain and Robert Menendez agree, its very possible so called ‘lethal aid’ will be shipped to Ukraine. Is this wise? What was the start of the current stand off. When did the US lose its way in Europe? Now what? Seems like the President may just decide to pull back and run out the clock, leaving all of this to the next President. Meanwhile, the Europeans are in conference with Ukrainian leadership, and Russian diplomats and they don’t want any arms shipments messing up their deal with Putin, in which Putin pretty much gets what he wants; The federalization of Eastern Ukraine, giving him the ability to destabilize a Ukrainian rump state whenever he chooses. Let’s not forget the province in question also has some pretty valuable natural resources and a land bridge to Crimea. Is this a good recipe for world economic growth? What if foreign policy turns out to be the big issue of 2016? Do you know what the Republican and Democrat foreign policy will be? It’s really important people start talking to each other about their values, working to knit those values together into some kind of political idea that can then be worked into concepts that are more than just rhetorical flourish. Don’t expect others to do your work for you. And if people do vote for someone with simply emotionally appealing ideas; they will get the so called leader they deserve. Sponsored by X Government Cars.
A US-Iran alliance in the works? What happens now in Syria if the US works with Iran to stop ISIS, while we work against Iran in Syria. The confusion only gets worse. Did the US capture the instigator of the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi to draw attention from the debacle in Iraq? Illegal alien ‘children’ are coming into the US fleeing drug violence? Really? Is that why the White House announced yesterday amnesty is not part of the equation in current law or proposed reforms. And Medtronic announced it is moving its headquarters from Minneapolis to Ireland. Medtronic. When will the statists (Republican and Democrat) learn that steadily increasing taxes and regulation is not good for a state’s — or the nation’s — economy? Finally, buy a citizenship in a tax free haven with BitCoin? Sounds like a deal! Sponsored by X Government Cars!