U.S. Aircraft Carrier to Head to Gulf

I get a strange set of irony in hearing the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier is being ordered to the Persian Gulf due to the rise of the ISIS terrorist group and it’s drive to topple the Iraqi government in Baghdad. This is especially so given the virulence of some pro-Obama anti-war towards the members of the Bush clan (admittedly their mindless ravings mostly aimed at the junior George W. rather than the senior George H.W.).

Perhaps more ironic is Iran, whose nation’s government despises everything that is the United States, has indicated that it is willing to work with the U.S. to combat ISIS.

But on a more serious note, it is concerning to see a regional war potentially cropping up in the region. A regional war that will not have clearly defined borders, opponents, or even objectives:

  • The Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) are reportedly solidifying their hold over the Kurdish region of Iraq as the Iraqi’s military and security forces pull out in the face of the ISIS assault and potential grab for Baghdad. I suspect given these events the Kurds are going to be even more emboldened to maintain or even expand their autonomy and military capabilities from external forces such as ISIS, Iran, Syria and Turkey.
  • Iran’s sudden involvement is not that surprising given they’re a Shia country where as ISIS is a Sunni based group. Other than not wanting the rise of a Sunni run government in Iraq I doubt the Iranian government cares much about their neighbors in anything other than in terms of controlling them for Iran’s benefit.
  • Iraq. I can’t say I’m surprised at the sudden rise of Sunni and ISIS over the discrimination Sunni’s have faced since the fall of Hussein. (Note that I am not too sympathetic to the Sunni’s given their own shoddy treatment of Shia’s and other non-Sunni’s during the Baath Party’s reign.) Ultimately this is a culmination of the hatred Iraqi Sunni and Shia have for one another for centuries, a hatred stoked by more recent decades of abuses aimed at one another. ISIS (a Wahhabi based group) feeds off of this with the idea that they will be victorious; beginning the first leg of their plan to create a new (allegedly sunni) caliphate in the region.
  • Syria. There’s not much really to say other than what’s happening there is a result of decades of the Assad’s and the Baath Party’s manipulation of the region and it’s people. ISIS has been successful in much of its campaign in Syria giving them a strong base from which to launch further attacks deeper into Syria and Iraq.

 

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Russia siezes Crimea

Sadly Putin continues his imperialist intentions towards Ukraine by sending troops into the Crimea region, in essence setting up a de facto puppet state for Russia there ahead of elections that were moved up by Russian nationalists. So the question is: now what?

For the world, it’s about holding Russia accountable for its violation of international law and territorial sovereignty of a foreign state. Those repercussions will likely come in some form of political and economic isolation and estrangement and possibly an increase in negative worldwide popular opinion. Certainly it will prompt some former Soviet states to consider distancing themselves from Russia and furthering ties with other nations and organizations outside of Putin’s sphere like the U.S., China, the EU and NATO. It may even revive efforts by some East European nations to revive plans for their own mutual defense organization to provide their own defensive buffer zones in case of NATO or EU abandonment.

Though Putin himself may care less about such things these repercussions could play significantly into the global political dynamic. For example, China (despite their occupation of Tibet) is a nation that has staunchly staid by its position that all national boundaries and territorial integrity should be inviolate. For Russia to so blatantly have a hand in Crimea via military force may prompt the Chinese to impose economic and political sanctions that would stifle efforts to improve Sino-Russian relations on a host of territorial, economic, and political issues.

For Ukraine, they must decide whether Crimea is worth the effort of trying to oust the Russians via political maneuvering as they would likely not be able to withstand a military conflict with Russia without EU, US, and/or NATO support. Given that Crimea was transferred to Ukrainian control in 1954 from Russia some Ukrainians might be happy to shed off the pro-Russian region. For others, even Russians living in Ukraine it will be a matter of pride to not allow Putin’s military aggression to go unanswered.

For Putin, he has effectively crushed his own efforts to improve Russia’s standing in the world by interfering in such a knee jerk reaction. As one of my Russian associates put it Putin was “interfering too soon”, by which he meant events in Crimea and Ukraine did warrant the disproportionate Russian response and Putin should have waited for a “legitimate reason to invade” (per the same Russian associate). Putin’s action may play well to the blind nationalists and imperialists in Russia but it doesn’t address the nation’s ongoing socio-economic and political problems while likely harming economic and investments meant to address Russia’s woes.

For now, the region is tense but generally calm. It’s now a matter of how each side approaches the events in Ukraine, hopefully with a mind towards not repeating the mistakes of history (i.e. Sudetenland 1938), Russia returning to pre-crisis military deployments and Ukrainian territorial integrity reinstituted.

Russia Flexes Muscle at Ukrainian Crisis

Sadly it appears Russia (and by this I mean Putin and his cronies more than anything) is trying to intimidate its neighbors with its military after Ukraine ousted its pro-Moscow President amid protests over his questionable turn around from the EU in favor of Russia. Sound familiar? (I.e. 2008 Georgia invasion). Whether you support the Ukrainian’s protesters or the ousted President, I think it’s fair to say that no one wants Putin invading another country, especially when it would merely confirm in the eyes of many in the world that he has become nothing more than a dictator.

Do I think he will? Possibly, but only after he foments rebellion and stokes ethnic tensions (as he did Georgia) to justify an invasion to “protect” Russians and get nationalistic pride ramped up at home to quash any who question his actions.  Such measures in the past with the Ossetians certainly didn’t get them what they wanted from the Russian invasion of Georgia – an independent nation combining North Ossetia (which Russia hypocritically refuses to give up) and South Ossetia (which Russia recognizes as an Ossetian independent state).

As for our own politicians, I have no idea if they’ll continue to support Ukraine or if they’ll allow Putin to do as he pleases. Given the recent weak willed and limp wristed approach of our government to world affairs, I do not think things bode well for Western support for Ukraine.

Ultimately I would prefer Russia and the West (and honestly, everyone) alike stay out of Ukraine’s affairs and let them work it out internally.

Misc News Comments

Sarah Palin Resignation

So Palin has decided to resign, for whatever reason, be it media harassment, financial problems, etc., it does not matter. It’s not surprising given the viciousness of attacks against her and her family. One would think that those who blithely dismiss her are in fact terrified of her given their venom towards her in everything she does.

Some think she’s starting her run for President in 2012 or a Senate seat in 2010 and already attacking her in case this is true. It’s funny though how the attacks play out by calling her a quitter by not finishing her term considering how Mr. Obama became President doing the exact same thing as the junior Senator from Illinois. Again it doesn’t really matter.

Personally I don’t think she’s electable as a President even with the ongoing train wreck of the administration’s policies. While she gets points for generally being a State’s Rights Federalists, she loses that federalist brand on a number of social issues being far too conservative for the comfort of many Americans fed up with their lives and nation being run into the ground by the extremists. She and many other self style federalists forget that true federalism doesn’t allow for them to impose their conservative social agenda on America any more than hard left liberals can impose their statist social agenda.

China and the Uighurs

Any hope China has in the Xinjiang region for peace is slim to none given riots there. You can’t keep oppressing the ethnic Uighurs in their own land and not expect to have trouble, especially when Han are brought in to try and dilute the Uighur population and actively practice ethnic discrimination against the Uighurs. Of course the Chinese are planning another crackdown.

TEA Parties

The Tea Parties across the nation appear to have done well despite the holiday and associated weather. The Phoenix Tea Party seems to have done well despite the relatively quick planning. Naturally small given the weather here and the fact that it was a holiday.

Honduras Update

Things appear to be heating up down in Honduras with Zelaya apparently heading back and Chavez’s ALBA puppets in Nicaragua are making Chavez’s threat to invade Honduras a possible reality:

Ousted Honduran leader departs on flight for home – washingtonpost.com

Honduras says Nicaragua has troops moving on border | Markets | Bonds News | Reuters

The OAS suspended Honduras from their membership, though Honduras claims they withdrew. Regardless, it’s good Honduras is out as it clearly tells the OAS that Honduras will not accept the ALBA leftist thugs imposing their Bolivarian nonsense on Honduras and turning them into another poor puppet state under Chavez’s local lieutenant, Zelaya.

Amusingly enough the OAS is saying only “legitimate” governments can withdraw from the OAS. Well that rules out Zelaya. That aside, the OAS is not a dictatorship despite it being controlled by would be despots, and it’s members can choose to leave or stay as they see fit. Otherwise it’s just another dictatorial organization that needs to be annihilated out of existence as a threat to freedom and sovereignty.

Of course CNN and other MSM are still portraying this as an evil plot against a poor innocent victim with reports that CNN refusing or cutting off those who try to tell the Honduran side while prattling on about Zelaya supposed “mass” popularity.

An interesting blog to check out: Honduras Abandoned In effect, a first hand look at what’s going on, good, bad, and indifferent, without the leftist media spin.

Another of interest:
Honduras News,

Honduras

Some posts and analysis of Honduras and assorted political interpretations of the events there.

PoliGazette » Update on Honduras: Just Words, Just Speeches?

Matthew Yglesias » A Smart Take on Honduras

Roberto Lovato: Obama Has the Power and Responsibility to Help Restore Democracy in Honduras

Honduras crisis shows Latin America’s weaknesses – Americas – MiamiHerald.com

Personally I disagree with Obama’s (and other world leaders) public calls of support for Zelaya and suspect that behind the scenes many are grateful that Chavez’s ALBA faces a setback in their attempt to expand their influence through out the Americas. As for the world, foreign nations not involved (e.g. everyone) need to stay out of Honduras’ political affairs and let them sort it out. They don’t have to like how things went down but they should not support a politician that was repeatedly defying his nation’s own laws either.

The MSM also needs to start reporting the facts instead of supporting political agendas and lying about events in Honduras with wild claims of riots, military junta, and so on. Even better, maybe try something fresh like telling the entire story. (Ha! Yeah I know that’s not going to happen.)

The truth will out eventually.

Honduras Update

Obama and Clinton continue to perpetuate the myth that Zelaya is the victim in this past weekend’s Honduran coup and that said coup was unconstitutional. The Administration has been playing it fast and loose with its words hoping to garner outrage by implying it is now a military dictatorship in control of the country. My suggestion remains that Obama and Clinton remain silent as far as trying to dictate what happens in Honduras. Condemn the use of military force all you like but respect the Honduran Constitution and laws, which Zelaya clearly did not. Such action is always disturbing but sometimes is necessary. The irony is that it seems the Honduran military was trying to avoid being accused of a takeover by deporting Mr. Zelaya in the first place.

The US Administration and MSM naturally hasn’t been reporting the facts about Mr. Zelaya and is ongoing efforts to in fact undermine the Honduran constitution with the help of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez that led to him being deposed. Fortunately, these facts are being kept alive, well, and circulating on the Net for those who want to get a better understanding of the whole situation, not just the leftist perspective.

Fausta’s Blog continues to provide ongoing coverage and background to the situation:  Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » Honduras defends its democracy