I read three books between Christmas and New Year's Day and in one of those unexplained circumstances of life they all are related - especially regarding politics and communism in the mid-1940s. (I didn't start out with that intent.)
Venona, on the deciphering of a series of cables between communist espionage directors in the Soviet Union and America, has been on my list for some time. The National Security Agency operation code-named Venona ultimately verified the identities of a number of communist spies in America.
I also found two surprises from the same era by the late Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Bill Mauldin, who drew the Willie and Joe cartoons that gained widespread fame during World War II. Mauldin was wounded in the Italian campaign and did most of his work from the battlefield in Italy, resulting in his first book Up Front.
After the war, in the year before I was born, he wrote Back Home, detailing his struggles in making the leap from a young, but experienced combat soldier, to a young adult who was totally inexperienced in civilian life. I was literally transfixed by Mauldin's books, but not due to his adjustment struggles.
When he came home Mauldin's natural affinity for the foot soldier, coupled with his animosity toward rear echelon wannabes, overlords and stuffed shirt senior brass resulted in his declarations of leftist tendencies, which he detailed in Back Home. I was pleasantly surprised to see him attack news editors who wrote Page One headlines bashing veterans for being involved in minor infractions, while veteran successes were relegated to one paragraph briefs on the back pages. I thought that was a condition peculiar to the Vietnam vets of my generation, but it is obvious that media condescension and arrogance are a multi-generational issue.
Mauldin also spoke highly of the Russian soldiers and the Russian people in general who fought so many bitterly contested battles against the Nazis - with ultimate losses in the range of 20 million killed. Like many Americans at that time he wanted much better relations with the Soviet Union. America appeared to be only marginally aware of the savage abuses of the Stalin years, and the Iron Curtain had not yet slammed down over Eastern Europe or even Germany. In fact the phrase "Iron Curtain" had not yet been popularized by Winston Churchill when Mauldin wrote Back Home.
Mauldin may have been sympathetic toward the Russian people, but make no mistake, he was no communist. He blasted Soviet Ambassador Andrei Gromyko, who lived in a swank Park Avenue building, while so many of his communist countrymen were living in squalor. Mauldin also exposed Gromyko for walking blithely through a union picket line to attend a function in a New York hotel.
Mauldin disliked communists as much as he disliked Nazis and fascists, but he was brutally honest about America's failures too. He advocated for racial equality, and opposed Jim Crow laws. But he did not favor a welfare state, writing instead that he wanted equality for black Americans so they would have an equal chance at the successes American freedom promises. In today's political parlance Mauldin probably would be labeled a Blue Dog Democrat.
Mauldin's observations on communist responses to the revelations of savagery and slaughter in the Soviet Union remind me very much of the Obama Administration's methodology for dealing with criticism of its myriad failures in its first year. Basically, point the finger of blame at someone else, shift the subject matter to something else, and feign ignorance.
He wrote: "People who are well indoctrinated in communist methods of discussion have a wonderful system for putting their opponents on the defensive ... . Instead of answering questions, they counter with other questions. Instead of defending themselves against accusations, they make counter accusations."
This was written in 1945/46! Now, go to the website of any network or cable news outlet that has a Sunday political talk show and see what Obama's minions had to say today about the failures of Homeland Security Christmas Day; releasing terrorists from Guantanamo and sending them to Yemen; the government takeover of the financial, auto and medical insurance industries; and nearly incomprehensible levels of debt Obama has levied on Americans.
"Bush did it; Bush did it; Bush did it!" And "America Sucks and We Need People To Love Us!"
Look at Obama's response to the successful Christmas Day terrorist attack on an overseas airliner just before it landed in Detroit. The would-be bomber failed only because he didn't know the properties of the explosive he was using. But he did set it off, and it did cause a fire inside the aircraft. Obama took days to speak to the American public about the bombing - after all, he is still on vacation in Hawaii and his golf and tennis games take precedence.
THE BUCK STOPS WHERE?
BUCK YOU AMERICA!
When critics blasted his first speech as being blase and unconcerned he came out a second time - last Tuesday - sternly lecturing the press that he had demanded a full report on the incident and he expected it on his desk by Thursday! What he didn't mention was the obvious - he was in Hawaii and his desk is back in Washington, D.C.
But to hear his apologists Sunday, take for instance John Brennan, Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser who appeared on FOX News Sunday, Obama is the model of an engaged, aware, determined Chief Executive. Yeah, and I'm Mother Teresa.
According to Brennan, everything is complicated, and no one is to be held accountable for their actions or words - except George Bush. Terrorists being released from Guantanamo are going right back to the battlefield? Hell man, Bush did it!
Closing Guantanamo is desirable because it is a great propaganda tool for the terrorists? Aside from the fact that as long as terrorists are in Guantanamo they aren't attacking us, it is no secret that the reason we are being attacked is that our whole, entire, top-to-bottom lifestyle and set of beliefs are propaganda tools for the terrorists. They hate us, they hate our government, they hate our religious freedoms, they hate that women have rights, they hate everything we do! Wouldn't the lousy security response at the airports be used as propaganda? How about 9-11? Wasn't the success there a nice recruiting tool?
Propaganda? If we want good propaganda that will put a crimp in these continuing attacks we can put Guantanamo out of business by shooting all the jihadists on the battlefield so we don't need a place for POWs.
Meanwhile we are running away in Yemen, closing our Embassy because someone made a threat! Brennan says we shouldn't be making national security a political issue but then we learn that top Republicans on the Intelligence subcommittee aren't even being briefed on matters of immediate concern.
Hell, if we have threats on our embassy, we should evacuate dependents and non-essential personnel, and load the place up with sharpshooters and pork innards. Let the SOBs attack and get sent to jihadist hell. Shoot every damn one of them and then smear them with pig guts. Allah will love them for that.
One last item on the Obama view of the New Year. Want to see what the media was purposely ignoring over the Obama Hiatus? Check this out from my Internet friends.
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AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER 12425 DESIGNATING INTERPOL
AS A PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION ENTITLED TO
ENJOY CERTAIN PRIVILEGES, EXEMPTIONS, AND IMMUNITIES
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288), and in order to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), it is hereby ordered that Executive Order 12425 of June 16, 1983, as amended, is further amended by deleting from the first sentence the words "except those provided by Section 2(c), Section 3, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act" and the semicolon that immediately precedes them.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 16, 2009.
In the dead of night on December 17, 2009, President Barack Hussein Obama placed the United States of America under the authority of the international police organization known as INTERPOL, granting the organization full immunity to operate within the United States.
By removing language from President Reagan's 1983 Executive Order 12425, this international law enforcement body now operates on American soil beyond the reach of our own top law enforcement arm, the FBI, and is immune from Freedom Of Information Act requests.
What, exactly does this mean? It means that INTERPOL now has the full authority to conduct investigations and other law enforcement activities on U.S. soil, with full immunity from U.S. laws such as the Freedom of Information Act and with complete independence from oversight from the FBI.
For informational purposes: Interpol was founded in Austria in 1923 as the International Criminal Police. After Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938, Interpol became a Nazi terrorist unit, and its headquarters were moved to Berlin in 1942. From 1938 to 1945, four heads of Interpol included Nazi generals who headed the Secret Police - the SS, which included the dreaded Gestapo. One of their primary functions was ferreting out people of Jewish descent or religion, and sending them to the concentration camps and gas chambers.
After the end of World War II in 1945, the organization was revived as the International Criminal Police Organization. Its headquarters is located in Lyon, France. It is supposedly politically neutral and its constitution forbids involvement in crimes that do not overlap several member countries or in any political, military, religious, or racial crimes.
However, it does investigate, arrest and apprehend people on crimes involving public safety, terrorism, organized crime, crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. You know, all the stuff that the Obamanation has accused the Bush Administration of committing.
I really don't see Interpol overpowering the Secret Service guards protecting the former president and vice president and hauling them off to The Hague to stand trial on War Crimes charges over the war in Iraq.
But for the rest of the American populace Interpol also involves itself in drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, child pornography, white-collar crime, computer crime, intellectual property crime and corruption. There should be plenty to keep Interpol busy for the remaining three years of the Obama dynasty. In fact, I bet Interpol agents can find a lot to keep them busy without ever leaving the Obama Administration!
Are we all breathing easier now?
Sunday, January 03, 2010