Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Obama's Really a War Hawk

I bet you've never thought of him that way, but Obama is really a war hawk. Or, one would think that based on his pell-mell rush to lead us into a full-scale (potentially nuclear) mid-east conflict. That is the conclusion (one conclusion among many) of the piece,
Lose Afghanistan, Lose Pakistan, Lose Iran, Lose It All, by Jason Lewis in today's American Thinker.

The stakes in the Middle East are higher than they've ever been, and Obama's foreign policy failures just push us closer to the brink of a war we may not be able to avoid. Two particular areas are of particular concern: In Afghanistan, "Gen. McChrystal wants more troops. Obama doesn't want to send them because he needs the money to promote his socialist take-over of America. You can't have both." And in Iraq,"Ahmadinejad will have nuclear weapons too, and he already has enough radioactive materials for a dirty nuke, a low-tech weapon that can spread terror everywhere in the world". Some have speculated (and I believe) that Iran will have a nuke within one year.

Until then, we have a deadlock of sorts:
"If Israel attacks Tehran, the Iranians will try to retaliate, either by a missile strike or by local attacks using Hezbollah and Hamas. If Israel does not attack Tehran, the Iranians will try to attack Tel Aviv anyway, because it is the key plank in their ideological doctrine, the one they have been chanting about for thirty years. For Israel it's just in the difference in the timing of an inevitable war. It's damned if you do, damned if you don't. So it makes more sense for Israel to attack first, and expect to defend immediately against Iranian retaliation. It is far, far better to do that before the Iranians get actual nukes."
[But,] Will the United States back Israel in a preemptive war? If so, and if preemptive strikes succeed, we can keep the rogues in their place. Beating down Iranian nukes will signal to the other rogues that nuclear weapons are not the ace in the hole they think it is.

That is why Afghanistan and its neighbor Pakistan, AfPak, is a historic watershed moment. If we lose in Afghanistan and the Taliban win, and they can combine with their brethren in Pakistan to get control over a nuclear weapon, and we will see an Al Qaeda look-alike with nukes. That's what Cheney and Bush were warning us about. India can't afford that, and they are quickly arming up. China can't afford it either.

The same logic applies to Iran. Ahmadinejad has been threatening not just Israel and the United States, but the Saudis and Gulf States. The Saudis have financed Pakistan's nuclear program to be able import them instantly, as soon as Tehran gets its own.

It is the United States that keeps its finger in this dike. Pull that finger out, and we'll see a flood.

So we lose, and the world does, too, if we don't beat down the threat. If we succeed in defending the world in alliance with other countries, we will survive and the gangster regimes will be held back."

Right now, our best bet is to keep the nukes out of the hands of terrorists like Ahmadinejad, and to defeat the terrorists in Afghanistan. But, Obama's refusal to stand up to anyone on the national scene leaves me with but one conclusion: He's really a war hawk, driving us ever-closer to war with his own ineptitude.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Health (Insurance) Reform is Ill-Conceived

Keith Hennessy, Michael O. Leavitt, and Al Hubbard wrote an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal that supports the assertion I made earlier this week. in my post Health insurance is the problem. Since all appearances currently indicate that the so-called Government-Option is dead, many of our legislators are scraping the bottom of the barrel to find the policies that have broad bipartisan support, in hopes of passing some type of health insurance reform before the end of the year. Unfortunately, because of the urgency of passing something quickly (so that we all have time to forget what they've done to us before we have to opportunity to throw them out on the street), some of the provisions are subject to little debate.

The Op-Ed explains exactly how two of these provisions, Guaranteed Issue and Community Rating, "would create a massively unfair form of income redistribution and create incentives for many not to buy health insurance at all." (Not to mention that they would lead to dramatically higher health insurance rates for all of us!) Since their explanation is clear and succinct, I'll let you get it right from the horse's mouth, instead of repeating it.

In addition to having a number of unintended consequences, these two policies completely fail to recognize that the widespread use of insurance is part of what keeps health care costs increasing. Until we can separate health insurance from the issue of health care, we can not really achieve the goal of making quality health care affordable for all Americans, which is one of very few of Obama's (stated) goals with which I can agree.