The big question on the American political scene today is whether former Massachusetts Governor and current GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a Mormon, made a good showing with his speech on religion yesterday.
The short answer is yes.
To elaborate: Romney, due to his Mormon faith, and its differences with mainstream Christianity, has had the religion issue hanging over his head ever since he declared he was a candidate, much as John F. Kennedy, our first Catholic president did back in 1960.
The general question is whether a candidate's religious beliefs will supersede the laws of our country and whether the candidate, if he wins, will owe more allegiance to those beliefs than to the US Constitution.
Kennedy's response to this topic, which was hotly debated during his successful campaign, was that the two are separate issues that by the very nature of our government do not and should not overlap.
Romney's response to this topic, is that the two are separate issues that by the very nature of our government do not and should not overlap. Odd, isn't it, that we have Mormons in the government already, and no one questions their faith?
Kennedy was elected, with a lot of help from dead Democrats in the Chicago area, but from the moment he took the oath of office on Inauguration Day until he was assassinated, I do not recall his religion coming up in any significant way again.
Romney made the point in his speech that our Constitution provides for the freedom to worship without interference from the government - unless the religion you are practicing calls for the overthrow of the US, as in Islamo-fascism.
The Constitution also prohibits the establishment of any religion as the official religion of the United States. Since the very beginnings of this country, under the present Constitution, this has not been an issue. True, from Washington until Kennedy everyone was your basic Protestant Christian. But even so, they had their differences in the political arena.
The way I see it, if religion matters to you in terms of who gets your vote, there are two issues to determine. One, does that candidate's religion advocate the overthrow of the US government and the establishment of a religious state in its place? If the answer is YES, then damn few people are going to vote for that candidate anyway and you shouldn't either unless you are a member of that candidate's campaign staff in which case the FBI should be watching you.
If the answer is NO, then go on to the second question, which is, does this candidate's religion teach that we should be decent human beings, and does the candidate appear to adhere to that teaching? If the answer is NO, then there will be plenty of other signs to show that this is not a worthy candidate and the voters will know it.
If the answer is YES, then you can bet that at least on the issue of decency we have a good candidate and we can move on to determine whether we agree with what that candidate stands for politically. I believe the religion question is not valid in this or any political campaign unless the number one guy in any religion is running and the platform advocates that everyone should think as he does, and he intends to change the government to his way of thinking.
Otherwise, I merely want to know what the candidate thinks of faith and if he practices what he preaches. The rest is window dressing, suitable for discussion in religious forums perhaps, but not in political forums and associated media.
I heard from a close associate early today who asked if I had heard Romney's speech and what I thought of it. I said I had heard excerpts since it never was an issue for me anyway, but that what I had heard sounded fine.
My trusted associate is leaning heavily toward a Huckabee/Thompson choice for our final candidate, but worries that money might become an issue further down the road. He then opined that he listened to Romney's entire speech, liked what he heard, and that if Huckabee or Thompson don't make it, Romney was looking a lot better, since he would rather not vote than vote for Rudy Giuliani.
This trusted associate is in as good a place as I am to hear what a broad spectrum of the non-DC, non-Manhattan public is saying, and what he is hearing is that Romney did very well in addressing this issue. So, you may hear something different from media pundits, who may have their own agendas, but what I hear is that Romney addressed the issue as it should be addressed, used a historically proven approach, and from here on out, I'd rather discuss positions on issues, not religion.
NIE IRAN REPORT FLAWED, CONCLUSIONS INVALID
Another big story this week, which by now we should all be suspicious of, since the mainstream media is using it to continue its drumbeat on President George Bush's head, is that Iran gave up its quest for a nuclear weapon in 2003, according to a just released report from the National Intelligence (?) Estimate.
Based on that intelligence (?) report Democrats and their PR firm, the mainstream media, say that Bush was withholding information, trying to create a false atmosphere for using military force against Iran if necessary, and now we should scrap that, hold hands, touch toes and sing peace ballads.
But wait, there's more!
It turns out that the segment of the program that the Iranians supposedly gave up is the least necessary to create a bomb, and will take the least amount of time to reestablish.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer made this point on Fox News the same day the report was first aired, and elaborated further the next day. Unfortunately, this point was not made as strongly when the president addressed the issue with the White House "press corps," which is actually a prep school for the next generation of leftist propagandists for NBC and the Communist News Network.
Then, as more inquiries were made into the NIE report, it turns out that not every agency which has input on the estimate agrees with this conclusion. In addition, representatives of the agencies that do agree with that conclusion also have political agendas, as well as sources of "dubious character," as has been reported just today.
So, why the rush to cut the legs out from under our foreign policy capabilities? Well, why has there been such a rush all along, specifically in Iraq?
We have had China and Russia opposing us on Iraq ever since the Bush Administration tried to get the United Nations to support our military efforts there in 2003. Members of the UN Security Council were taking bribes from Saddam Hussein's regime in the Oil For Food scandal, and would not vote with us on anything that was going to interrupt the cash flow.
Other countries' representatives also were on the take, including representatives of the former governments of France and Germany - voters in those countries have taken care of that - and trying to get UN support for the Iraq invasion was a waste of time at best, even as Democrats in Congress were saying Bush was alienating our allies.
So, when we are starting to see major movement on the Iran front, especially in Iraq where there has been a noticeable drop off in use of shaped explosives made in Iran for attacks on our troops, what do we see from Congress and the communist news network? More efforts to undercut successful foreign policy initiatives.
In addition to the fact that the part of the quest for nuclear weapons that supposedly has been suspended will take at most four months to restart, there is no evidence that the main pillar of Iranian nuclear objectives, the efforts to create bomb grade nuclear fuel, has even slowed.
In fact Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims those efforts are escalating. He also says the NIE report is a victory for his country! Why? Propaganda obviously. He succeeded in giving American Democrats and the mainstream media another issue to lie about, which gives him more time to continue his efforts to build a nuclear bomb.
Why should this report forestall any military response from the US if Iran continues to attack and kill American troops in Iraq? You have to ask the Democrats that question because it makes no sense to me. They tried the same tactic in Iraq, which has failed miserably, but that hasn't stopped them from moving over to Iran, issue-wise.
If Iran continues on its present course to build a nuclear bomb, and this NIE report doesn't change my mind one bit that Iran is not only continuing, it is speeding up, then we are going to be in a much worse battle in a few short years, facing exponentially more casualties, both in the military and at home.
So what gives?
There are things you can learn from circumstantial evidence even if you don't have an eye witness to back up your beliefs. For instance, if I go outside right now and see fresh deer tracks in the snow, I know a deer has been in my yard. I may not know exactly where that deer is, but I know that it is nearby.
I also know that by looking at the history of our intelligence services and State Department going back to the 1960s and earlier, that we have been sabotaged on numerous fronts over the decades, at the cost of huge numbers of American lives lost and successful policies abandoned.
The State Department, citing flawed intelligence, pushed US negotiators to agree to communist terms at the Paris Peace accords in 1973, even as the North Vietnamese military had been decisively beaten twice, once by US forces and again by South Vietnamese forces.
We saw president jimmy carter withdraw support for the Shah of Iran, who might not have been an angel but sure was better than the Islamo-fascists who have been in charge since the Shah's government fell during carter's administration. Our embassies have been attacked, America was humiliated when our personnel were taken hostage, servicemen were killed by the hundreds in Beirut, Saudi Arabia, in Africa and elsewhere.
Our country has been directly attacked twice, with thousands of lives lost, and indirectly many times more, also with loss of life.
Every time we initiate an effort to keep our enemies at bay, we find ourselves inundated with advice to the contrary, flowing from the State Department and our intelligence services, primarily the CIA. It was in the CIA where desk jockey Valerie Plame, using her Democratic operative husband as an accomplice, started three years of political theater in DC as a diversion while our troops were fighting in Iraq.
Those are just the highlights, but now we have yet another scandal brewing, again coming from the State Department and CIA among other agencies.
You don't need a PhD in International Studies from an Ivy League college to know when someone is feeding you false information and setting you up for embarrassment at the least, or real damage up to and including overthrow of the government at the worst.
There are deer tracks in the snow in my yard, and the tracks of spies, collaborators and saboteurs are all over the latest National Intelligence (?) Estimate. It is high time for the Bush Administration to grab hold of this issue and deal with it.
Start with lie detector tests in every agency and for every individual that signed on to this misleading report. If the operatives under scrutiny have figured out how to deceive this method, go on to other methodology. If that doesn't work, get back to good old-fashioned eyes-on-the-subject surveillance.
Something stinks in our intelligence community. It has since before the carter presidency, actually all the way back to the Truman years, and it seems to have been escalating since then. Anyone brought on board by carter who is still there, deserves intense scrutiny. Anyone brought on by those people gets the same.
Appointees during the Clinton years also should be suspect. Do we really think the Chinese getting their hands on our guided missile technology was just bad luck?
Someone is trying to hurt our country and it isn't just short-term despots like Hugo Chavez or Saddam Hussein. This is a long-term, inside job, that pops up at odd times, whenever we are close to being successful in our policies and objectives, both domestically and internationally.
It is time to root out the traitors, and bring them and their accomplices before the American people to be judged. It is my opinion that once discovered, if left to mainstream America, justice will be swift.
Friday, December 07, 2007