Posts Tagged With: Putin

NEW VICTIMS…SAME OLD HATREDS

It is said that hate is so insidious, that it hollows out from the inside, the container it’s held in. Once a person invests his or her soul in hatred, it’s virtually a bottomless pit that one can rarely crawl out of. That person then becomes a mere shell of a human form, with his or her insides totally corroded and eaten away. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Mid-East, which has become an all-encompassing cauldron for the most deep-seated of hatreds and revenge-seeking. And it’s not just Arab versus Jew. It’s also one sect of Islam trying to destroy a different sect of Islam although both sects pray to Allah with the same level of devotion. For example, in Syria, almost a quarter of a million inhabitants have been slaughtered in an on-going 4 year old civil war pitting the Sunni faction of Islam against the the Shia faction. Yet both sects pray to Allah and generally follow the same Islamic trappings and customs. Similar mortal combats between Shia and Sunni are also occurring in Yemen, Iraq, and Libya. Sadly, when such hatred spills over the top of the vat, people are fated to die. Nowhere, however,  is the lust for hatred and vengeance more pronounced than in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Between Arabs and Jews. As we all know, this has led to an outbreak over the last few weeks of mostly young Palestinians mindlessly attacking  and killing Jews with knives and guns, and in turn, usually being shot dead by Israeli police. The attacks are mainly on civilians peacefully going about their business. So far the death tolls have been about 10 Israelis and 25 Palestinians; but there seems to be no end in sight. The attackers are sometimes as young as 15 or 16. Teenagers willing to so recklessly throw their lives away in an act of delusional fantasy about achieving vengeance against the hated Jews, and martyrdom before Allah. And why not? Arab children are brainwashed from their earliest age to despise Jews, and that their greatest glory would be to become martyrs by killing as many Jews as possible.

The head of the Palestinian territories, Mahmoud Abbas, recently stated that he cherishes every drop of blood spilt in Jerusalem. Arab children from ages 2 or 3 are taught that Jews are to be despised as beasts. That Hebrew rabbis seek to slit the throats of Arab children and drink their blood. That Jews are desecrating Arab holy lands by their occupation, and must be killed or otherwise be driven into the sea in order to re-purify those lands. That Allah’s greatest wish is for martyrdom to be achieved by spilling Jewish blood, and if these children succeed in that objective, a special place in heaven will be set aside for them. Virtually all Moslem political and religious figures throughout the Mid-East preach this same message; and it’s been ongoing since the end of WWII, when the state of Israel was created by the United Nations. Almost 70 years of pure, undiluted hatred and vengeance-seeking that has resulted in nothing but death, destruction and misery for both sides. Almost 70 years of a failed policy that Arab leaders refuse to disown.

The United States position in this long conflict has come to be known as the two-state solution. Have Israel give the Palestinians total control over the West Bank and Gaza, and let them form their own nation. The trouble with that premise is, that in this realm of pure hatred, it’s plainly unworkable. Israel did just that in the Gaza Strip and the result has been 3 wars and the loss of thousands of lives. As soon as Gaza was free of Israeli occupation, the people living there turned over the reigns of government to Hamas, a terrorist organization. Hamas’s first priority was to acquire thousands of rockets that could be launched against Israeli civilian population centers. As I said, they did this 3 times with the same resulting death, destruction and misery for both sides. Hamas’s second priority was to dig 30 mile long tunnels into Israel so their terrorist thugs could sneak across the border and murder Israelis sleeping in their beds. It would appear that there is just too much hatred for a two state solution to be a feasible option.

Nevertheless, the Obama Administration, with the most timid foreign policy objectives of any administration since WWII, continues to push for a two-state solution. It doesn’t seem to matter that under this administration, U.S. foreign policy objectives have been a total disaster. Obama’s failure to act in Syria, when Assad, the butcher, crossed Obama’s red line in the sand, has let to the loss of the 250,000 lives I mentioned earlier. It has led to Russian entry into that war, in behalf of Assad, with virtually no U.S. complaint. It has led to ISIS, Al-Qaida and other assorted terrorist organizations establishing an Islamic “caliphate” in huge chunks of Iraq and Syria, with the most minimal of U.S. counter-actions. To the most brutal and barbaric killings of innocents by these terrorists.To on-going civil wars in Yemen and Libya with no U.S. counter-action. To allowing Russia’s tyrant, Vladimir Putin, to slowly but surely chew up the Ukraine with hardly a peep from U.S. officials. To a deal with Iran that would supposedly prevent it from achieving nuclear bombs, in return for unfreezing about $150 billion of Iranian assets held by U.S. banks. A deal which looks more and more flawed with each passing day. And so it goes.

A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinan conflict will never materialize because there is just too much hatred, rancor, despair, vengeance-seeking, etc. to allow such a solution. Over the next couple of decades a one-state solution may occur, with Israel absorbing the West Bank with its large Arab population. Jews would still have a narrow majority of the population in such a nation, but with Arab births exceeding the Jewish rate, that majority could easily slip away. When that happens, it would well behoove Israeli Jews to immigrate to the U.S., and move into the vast, unpopulated areas of Nevada, Montana, and other similar states.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DISUNITY

You would think that after inhabiting this planet for at least tens of millions of years, man would learn to live side-by-side with each other in peace and harmony. You would think that the evolutionary process that has supposedly brought man to a more advanced, civilized existence, would also produce enough wisdom to promote a more cooperative and benign state of affairs among the world’s nations. You would think. Sadly, however, as we all know, just the opposite is more likely the norm. Rather than living in a spirit of peace and cooperation, we live in a world populated by terrorists thirsting for the blood of innocents on a massive scale. We live in a time where tyrants and despots cause the wholesale slaughter of their own people, or threaten other countries with war or military aggression. If there’s an evolutionary process going on, it seems to be one of regression rather than advancement. So let’s examine some of the cases and causes of major disunity among the 7 billion people that currently populate this planet we call Earth.

Libya might be a good place to start. Libya was the one instance where our current Administration was willing to use force to assist the Libyan people in overthrowing one of the world’s worst despots who had ruled them for more than 3 decades. His name was Muammar Gaddafi, and he was a really, really bad guy. When the Libyan people finally rose up against Gaddafi, it looked like the rebellion might be doomed to failure until the U.S. began bombing Gaddafi’s military forces, thereby ensuring the success of the uprising. Gaddafi was killed and there was great cheering and celebration as the Libyan people tasted freedom and liberty for the first time in decades. Now fast forward to today when there’s no more celebrating in the streets. A very weak central government has resulted in Libya being broken down into a series of tribal fiefdoms, with each tribe having its own tribal dictator. Some are despotic Islamic terrorists and all the tribes appear to be at each other’s throats. There’s no more dancing in the streets, as the the hopes and dreams of the rebellion have turned to dust. Add to that the murder of our Ambassador to Libya and 3 of his aides that occurred a few years ago, and you have a prime example of a country in an advanced state of devolution.

Another prime example of disunity is the fiasco in Iraq. George W. Bush ordered our invasion of Iraq in 2003 because Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein could not be allowed to have weapons of mass destruction in his arsenal, including nuclear bombs. Now, unquestionably, Saddam Hussein was another really bad tyrant who had slaughtered tens of thousands of his fellow citizens if he felt they, in any way, opposed him. But the trouble was, no weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq. We did remove Hussein from the world stage, but at a terrible price. Over 6000 American military and civilians were killed during this 10-year war. Another 30,000 Americans were so severely injured that their lives are effectively over. Things like brain injuries, blindness, lost limbs, etc. About 150,000 Iraqis also lost their lives during the war. And we also spent close to a trillion dollars, chasing WMDs that never existed. So what is the result of investing so much blood and treasure to pursue phantom WMDs and remove Saddam Hussein from office.

Similar to Libya, Iraq is totally fractured today. Different factions of the Iraqi populace, (Shia versus Sunni) are at war with each other. Almost daily occurrences of terrorist bombings kill scores people. Going shopping at the local market means literally risking one’s life. More than likely, a car bomb is set to go off. Al-qaeda terrorists now occupy large sections of the country. So once again, all the joy and celebration of of ridding the country of Saddam Hussein and his thugs have totally evaporated. Afghanistan is another country where the U.S. is involved in a similar war that is still on-going. So far, about 2200 Americans have lost their lives in that never-ending debacle. We’re scheduled to remove most American forces by the end of this year, at which time Afghanistan will likely, once again, devolve into a state of tribal dysfunction. The beat goes on.

In Syria, another tyrannical dictator named Assad has already murdered (sometimes with the use of chemical warfare) about 150,000 of his own people in order to maintain power. He supposedly crossed the red line in the sand that this Administration established when his forces used chemical acids to to destroy his opponents. Nevertheless, there was no American military response. Just a lot of finger waving an indignation. The problem is that the American public is too weary and drained by the prolonged military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has absolutely no desire for further military adventurism in Syria. So the killing continues there unabated.

Also on the current world stage is another murderous tyrant named Vladimir Putin who has achieved the first military annexation of European territory since the end of WWII. I’ve written extensively about Putin’s thuggish actions, so I won’t rehash previous entries, except to say that he is obviously getting away with the occupation of chunks of the Ukraine, with virtually little response from the U.S. or its European allies. In the Pacific, a brutal, murderous regime in North Korea terrorizes its citizenry. The dictatorship in China continues to militarily threaten Japan, South Korea, and other Asian countries. And, of course, the most dangerous regime of all, the Islamic fanatical tyranny in Iran, is inches away from acquiring nuclear weapons.  And Iran’s leaders are just fanatical and crazy enough to launch nuclear bombs against its perceived enemies such as Israel and the U.S. Kind of makes you tingle all over, doesn’t it.

I could go on about more instances of humans behaving very badly; but I’m sure you all get the picture. Perhaps I should have titled this entry as the devolution of the human spirit.

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

NO REMEDY FOR ACTING STUPID

There was an article, a little over a year ago, about a woman in Minnesota, in her early 60s that was suffering from a heart condition. One morning she woke up and had great difficulty breathing. She managed to arrange to shortly see her cardiologist, who was able to bring her breathing difficulties under control.   But it was the beginning of July and the woman mentioned that she and her husband had been invited to a neighborhood outdoor party for the Fourth of July holiday. Under no condition, the doctor warned her sternly, was she to eat any hot dogs or other similarly fatty foods. If she did, he admonished, she would likely wind up in the hospital. So did this woman heed the doctor’s clear warning and wisely choose her food selections at the neighborhood party? Of course not. That would have been too rational. Instead, she let her weakness for consuming hot dogs gain the upper hand, and knocked down two extra large ones in the blink of an eye. And sure enough, the next day, she suffered a mild heart attack and had to be rushed to the hospital. After all, what was more important-continued living, or the few minutes of pleasurable taste attained in eating those hot dogs.

It’s too bad that medical science has not been able to develop a pill, or a therapy, for curing stupid. For example, almost 43 million adults, or near a quarter of the adult population 18 years or older, continue to smoke in this country. This, despite over 50 years of harsh warnings from the Surgeon General on down to the local councilman, about the destructively ill effects resulting from smoking. Despite the fact that over 400,000 Americans die a painful death each year as a result of smoking. Millions more develop life-long debilitating illnesses. It is also interesting to note that all these millions of smokers, at one time or another, manage to wind up in Las Vegas casinos. Because casinos are the one place in America where smoking is not only not demonized, it is, in fact, welcomed. Because casino owners know that as eager tourists start shoveling their life savings into slot machines or the craps tables, smoking is the one outlet left to help soothe the nerves of people that have just lost a bundle. They also get free drinks, as long as they’re gambling, to further calm their anguish.

This is sort of a long way around to discuss the situation in Crimea, where over 90% of the Crimean population just voted to align themselves with Russia instead the Ukraine which they are actually part of. To put themselves under Vladimir Putin’s boot, so to speak. Because life in Russia is so peachy. I discussed last time, the thug and tyrant that is Vladimir Putin, so I won’t rehash that again. Suffice to say that the Russians themselves are not quite as enthralled as the Crimeans. An interesting detail is the fact that Russia is slowly but steadily losing population. Even Putin has decried the seriousness of this problem. In the early 1990s, Russia’s population stood at 148 million people. Today, it has declined to 143 million, and continues to fall at a rate of 700,000 to 800,000 per year. It’s like watching a catastrophe unfolding in slow motion. By 2050, it’s estimated that the Russian population will be down to 110 million.

Apparently the Russians themselves don’t believe they are quite living in the Garden of Eden, as their death rate continues to outstrip their birth rate. Russia’s death rate is 15 people per 1000, each year. That’s far higher than the world average of 9 people per 1000, per year. In the U.S. it’s 8 per 1000.   In Russia, people die at an earlier age than in most countries, mainly because of rampant alcoholism. For example, the average longevity for men in Russia is 59, versus about 76 for men in this country. The primary reason for the difference is alcoholism, especially among men. As I mentioned last time, Putin’s cronies get all the capital, and the rest of the peasants, who generally experience great economic hardships, are left to drown their sorrows in Russian vodka.

Coupled with the high death rate in Russia, is an exceedingly low birth rate. Due to poor economic conditions, freezing weather, and a general lack of freedom and liberty, Russian couples are becoming less inclined to bring new off-spring into the world. The Russian fertility rate stands at only 1.3 births per woman during her lifetime. A replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman is required for the population to just stay even. In overall numbers, this amounts to about 10 births per 1000 people, versus the 20 deaths per 1000 that is currently occurring in Russia. Doesn’t look to me like there’s a lot of sustainability there.

Other European countries who also have low birth rates, (not as low as Russia’s birth rate, however) are experiencing a considerable influx of immigrants, which helps them maintain a sustainable population rate. However, the amount of immigrant migration to Russia is virtually nil, primarily because of the poor economic outlook. In fact, the emigration out of Russia, especially for the best and brightest who seek better economic opportunity in other European countries, often exceeds immigration into Russia. The Russian economy is built around one product, which is energy. It does have considerable deposits of oil, gas and coal. But due to the crony capitalism inherent in operating the Russian energy system, there is great waste, fraud and mis-management which results in low productivity. In any event, it’s difficult to achieve a high functioning economy with just one product. Oh, and there’s vodka manufacturing, also.

So congratulations to all those that voted in Crimea to cast their lot with the Russian bear. You’re joining a system that most people with brains are running away from. But as I said at the beginning, science has yet to develop a remedy for stupid. That’s the one freedom that no one can take away-the freedom to act with stupidity.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.