Foreign Affairs (Almost All)

Frank DeMartini
In the past few days, I have been thinking that way too much of this column has been about domestic affairs and the economy. This was not the original plan, but the events of the past few months have dictated it. However, based upon the current events in Thailand and the G20 Summit last week, I think the time is ripe to discuss foreign affairs a bit.

Today in Thailand, the Red Shirts, headed by the lunatic ex-prime minister decided that the Thai way of peaceful solutions to problems should cease. And based upon video and news reports that I have seen, the Red Shirts have gone crazy. At least, two people are confirmed dead and more than 100 are injured in just the last 24 hours.

Since most of you that are not aware of the situation in Thailand, a little background is in order. The Red Shirts are led by the ex-prime minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra. He was ousted in 2006 amid allegations of corruption and political scandal. Since then, there have been two other prime ministers, both of which Thaksin claims are illegitimate “heirs” to his position which have not been democratically elected. The current government, of which Thaksin is in direct revolt, has seized all of his domestic assets and has been trying to extradite him back to Thailand for criminal prosecution.

The government of Thailand is backed and supported by the King whose supporters are called the Yellow Shirts. Since Thursday, the Red Shirts have been staging protests against the government and the Yellow Shirts and are being paid to protest by Thaksin. In fact, a lot of the protestors are not even from Bangkok, but are from small villages outside of Bangkok. They are being lured by small amounts of cash from Thaksin into the city for the sole purpose of causing disturbances.

Before the last two days, the protests were relatively peaceful. Since then, they have become violent. Today, two people were killed and many more injured. The Red Shirts are promising violence until a new government can be democratically elected. The current government is fighting back. Unfortunately, this is only going to get worse. Hopefully, it will not break out into a full on civil war.

Is this where the entire world is heading right now? Are we headed towards mass violence in many more places? Based upon the current state of the world economy, this is entirely possible. In times of economic turmoil, people tend to get more violent as their pockets get emptier.

On another front, today President Obama, displaying some guts, ordered the US Armed Forces to take down the pirates off the coast of Somalia and saved the US Captain of the vessel they boarded last week. Three of the pirates were killed and one was taken into custody. Piracy off the African coast has increased dramatically in the last few years. Again, is this a sign of the current economic situation?

Last week at the G20 meeting, President Obama tried to coerce the leaders of the major economic powers to follow his lead and to spend billions of dollars in additional economic stimulus packages in order to solve this deepening economic crisis. Of course, while he was doing this, he was apologizing to the world for being an American and for American “arrogance”. The liberals in this country seem to think that apologizing is more effective than other types of foreign policy. Of course, none of this kowtowing succeeded and Obama came out of the G20 summit with nothing at all. In fact, other than the UK, most of the leaders, just rebuked his policies. Among them, is the leader of the small Czech Republic. Of course, we are now weaker on the world stage because of his trip.

As you all know from my prior columns, North Korea tested a long range missile last week and is continuing with its nuclear ambitions. Iran is also continuing its nuclear development programs. So much so, that Israel has told President Obama, “Either you take care of (Iran) or we will.”

Amongst all this turmoil, is now the correct time to lower the defense budget by twenty percent? That’s right, twenty percent! With Obama’s record budget passed by Congress last week you would think that military spending would increase as well. But, no! President Obama has decided to disarm at a time when we are in the midst of two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan; when North Korea and Iran are threatening to join the list of nuclear countries; when Pakistan could fall any day to Islamic extremism; and, at a time when any local squirmish could turn into an international incident (Thailand and elsewhere).

Don’t you think that common sense would dictate that military spending should increase? Should some of this economic stimulus go into the military industrial complex? That would create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs. Not the piddly few that the current stimulus plan is going to create.

Maybe, the cuts in the military budget will also increase the unemployment rate? One of the cuts to military spending that already went into effect is the elimination of re-enlistment bonuses. This is unprecedented. I guess President Obama has decided that it is more beneficial to the national defense to have a newly untrained military rather than an experienced fighting force. And, isn’t this counterproductive as well? Doesn’t it cost more to train a new soldier than to re-enlist an older one? Also, couldn’t the older one end up on unemployment when he/she chooses not to reenlist because it is not worth risking your life for people that do not appreciate it?

Last week I attended a Republican luncheon and was appalled at the comments being made about the attitudes towards military personnel that come from the liberal elite. Liberals actually believe it is shameful to a parent to have a child enlist. If I had a child, I would be proud that he/she was willing to risk his/her life for this country. At times, I am ashamed of myself for not doing that when I could have. But, to have a Liberal tell a parent, “Are you all right with that?” when they tell their liberal friend that their son has joined the military is a disgrace.

It is my opinion that we are on the wrong track on foreign affairs and the military. But, I am sure that you are all beginning to think that I am a broken record in this sense. We should not be apologizing for being American. We should be proud of what we do. We would not be policing the world or helping every problem in the world if some other country would take that responsibility away from us.

And, in these times of economic and worldwide political turmoil, we should not be lowering the defense budget.

I received this anecdote from a reader in Missouri. I think it is very apropos for this current era of big government and socialism:

Catching Wild Pigs

A chemistry professor in a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.
The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government. In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?”
The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. ‘You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence up on one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and y
ou put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat; you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.
The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America. The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. While we continually lose our freedoms — just a little at a time. One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself. Also, if you see that all of this wonderful government ‘help’ is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America; you might want to send this on to your friends. Keep your eyes on the newly elected politicians who are about to slam the gate on America.
“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.” Thomas Jefferson

You should all read a column published on April 10, 2009 by Jack Hunter entitled “States Rights and the Left.” It is an interesting insight into the current state of US Economic Policy and creates and interesting analogy between the current political climate and that of the pre-Civil War period. It was sent to me by Robert Spaeth, a reader from Scottsdale, Arizona. You can find it at: http://www.campaignforliberty.com/article.php?view=44.

In closing I would like to add that I pray vehemently for the civil violence in Bangkok to end. The Thai people have always been a peaceful people. I have many friends there and I don’t want to worry about their health or well being. Until, next time!

©2009 by Frank T. DeMartini. Permission to copy excerpts will be freely granted upon request.

Tags:

6 Responses to Foreign Affairs (Almost All)

  1. Anonymous on April 13, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    So what’s next, sending troops to Thailand to help the Yellow Shirts? No wait, let’s get more soldiers so that we can continue to kick ass all over the world – or at least believe we can deliver democracy through overpowering force. Isn’t that what you really want? Somehow the American white male, and in some cases, the white female, have entitled themselves to being the final say on who shall be free from socialism and who shall not. Forget apologizing! Let’s just bomb people into forgiving us. That’s what that extra billions will get us. Keeps our finger on the trigger man! And in typical Republican/Conservative fashion… making generalized statements of how “liberals actually believe it is shameful to a parent…” – did actual “liberals” at that high society luncheon of yours actually say that? Or did your entitled white Republican friends nod their heads like f*ckin’ seals when the “expert” on liberal values made these remarks between visits to the buffet line! Wait, let’s get more of John and Jane Q Public jobs in the military industrial complex – that’ll sure stimulate the economy. Let’s spend money to make people never stop supporting the troops. It’s a federal offense for us to bear certain types of arms, yet, you want to spend billions on making sure we can kick some Red Shirt or Taliban ass? And I’m sure you can’t wait to tell the parents whose children proudly gave their lives to help some Thai island rice eating motherf’ers how much you appreciate their sacrifice. Even better, tell that to your own child’s gravesite! And when are you making Mad Money 2?

  2. Anonymous on April 14, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Here we go again – blame whitey. I am so sick of this argument. It’s childish and ignorant.

  3. Steve Ivey on April 14, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Why don’t you have the balls to not be anonymous? I served on the front line of this country’s middle east wars, and I can tell you this: the average CNN/MSNBC whore has no idea what is really going on in the world today. You have no idea the number of plots that are foiled every day to kill YOU and YOUR CHILDREN for no crime other than the fact the your country has more wealth, or that you don’t believe it’s OK to turn a blind eye as men stone women for marrying someone from another tribe. And, frankly, many of these plots are due to the perception that America is a “land of sin and corruption” because of the VERY RIGHTS THAT THE POLITICAL LEFT IS SO PROTECTIVE OF: Homosexual rights, abortion, the right to free speech, the right to express yourself as you choose, the right to choose your own religion (or to choose no religion). And whether or not you believe that our wars have been right or wrong, I have actually stood in between a brutal dictator and the people that he chose to terrorize – I know what it’s like to give someone their home back after they were driven out at gunpoint. I have a much more in-depth perspective of war becuase I’VE ACTUALLY BEEN IN ONE. You know what it’s like to watch actors “play war” on TV. I guarantee you that it’s not the same thing. I, and all of the brave men who served along with me, knew exactly what we were risking and made that choice voluntarily (remember: there is no draft). And you come along with your sanctimonious claims behaving as though we had no idea that we were putting ourselves in danger. But some of us would rather risk our lives rather than risk living in a world where we learn to bow down to the dictators of the world. You, apparently, don’t know about much of anything other than being a reverse racist brat, blaming phantom problems on “white males”, while not embracing the personal responsibility that is required for a capitalist democracy to function properly. But how quickly the left forgets the hard-learned lessons of World War I and World War II, when the world saw exactly what happens when you simply put your head in the sand and claim that the rest of the world’s problems “don’t concern you”, and that violent dictators will “just go away if we ignore them.” Are you ignorant of the fact that Hitler grew to such heights of power because the rest of the world spent years trying to ignore his threats? Or are you simply naive enough to believe that, after a mere 60 years, humankind has completely changed and that never again will anyone attack us in order to gain power or wealth?

  4. michaeldsellers on April 21, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    “And, they do it under the scrutiny of the liberal media and liberal extremists that basically do not even want the military to exist.”

    Frank, that’s just not so. No one within the entire spectrum of “mainstream” politics denies the need for the military. Nor do we liberals disrespect the soldiers and airmen and seamen and marines who are in harms way. What we do object to is misguided, inappropriate use of American power — we object to the deployment of brave young Americans on missions that are unclear or in causes that are unjust. We are 40 years on from the days when US GI’s were scorned when they returned from Vietnam. Not happening anymore. People understand the difference between the soldiers and the political leadership that gives them their mission. And you know, Frank, that I’m not an armchair liberal — I spent 10 years serving in the front lines of democracy at a time when we were truly under threat. So — my bottom line is that you don’t have a monopoly on the feeling of patriotism that you describe. And you know what — here’s the other side of it. I lost my ability to swell with patriotic pride during the Bush years. I felt I was robbed of my ability to feel good about America but guess what — it’s back. I can feel it again and that’s good. Having said all of that, thanks for writing a provocative piece! Yer bud, Michael.

  5. Anonymous on April 21, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    So, if this is the line of reasoning – how the hell do you explain Obama’s brilliant plan to send troops and start a new war in Afghanistan? The liberals can kiss that man’s ass enough and you are looking the other way as he starts another war and asks you and I to foot the bill. . .

  6. Ira Schwartz on April 24, 2009 at 9:00 am

    No government is always right in what it does. That includes ours. That just comes with being human. Having said that I believe this country needs to be careful about how it uses our military. It’s been said before and I’m going to say it again..we can not be the world’s police force. That’s what that joke in NY, the UN, is supposed to do. We need to treat the military like the precious commodity it is. We need to increase their budgets so they can get better housing, better medical care and better pay. Military families should never have to go on welfare to survive ever especially while their husbands or wives are laying their lives on the line for this country. We should be embarassed by that. No President, republican or democrate, really tried to rectify this except in election rhetoric. We need to stop thinking like republicans or democrates, liberals or conservatives and start thinking like Americans. It’s hard to do but it is the only real way we will ever get anything done that will truly help this country. One more thing..McCain is a good and honorable man and probably would have made a good president but the minute Sarah Palin became his run ning mate the dye was cast. We need to give Obama a chance and see what he does. Regardless he could never be as bad as Bush.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Feature

Avi Lerner Rips President for Piracy

Chairman of Millennium Films, Avi Lerner says that POTUS is afraid of Google and other internet companies that profit from motion picture piracy.

Epilog C An Immoral Jihad

“Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological or...