Balance of Power 2016

Back in the late 1980’s there was a computer simulation game called “Balance of Power” that pitched the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union against the global super power of the United States in a geopolitical contest. The game assumed only two influential countries, a bipolar reality.

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The game was direct; if either country went too far in attempting to influence other countries, DEFCON 4 would be declared and the game would end in global thermonuclear war. Both players would lose, just like the ultimate scenario of the Star Wars missile defense system-inspiring movie, “War Games.”

The algorithms of the game however,  did not even allow for the chance for, East and West Germany to be reunited, or for the Soviet block to dissolve. It was a major flaw in the game, but reflected the bipolar thinking of the time.

In reality, and in hind-sight, it has always been a multi-polar geopolitical scene. Back then there were U.S. satellites and Soviet satellites, but many of our allies were influencers of their own. Today, these influencers make up the complex multi-polar geopolitical reality.

The European Union, OPEC, NATO, China, North Korea, South American countries, African countries, Southeast and Southwest Asia, Australia and the various factions of the Islamic State and al Qaeda, all have regional and/or global influence through words and/or deeds that affect how the U.S. and Russia are perceived.

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s the world moved away from Soviet influence and towards American democracy; multi-polar players gained strength and influence. As we moved through the Clinton years however, our standing in the world diminished. It strengthened again during the Bush years, but then for the past eight years or so we have been driven towards the abyss of geopolitical enigma.

The U.S. is no longer viewed as the single super power, even though on paper we still are. If we are not willing to use our strength, the sharks that smell blood in the water will come nibbling, and if nothing happens to them on the nibble they will take bites.

Lies about a “red line in the sand” (Syria), blowing off a status of forces agreement (Iraq), neglecting security at embassies and consulates (Benghazi), declaring the Global War on Terror “over” (Afghanistan), trading an Army deserter (Bowe Bergdahl) for five high level Taliban leaders, releasing high threat detainees from the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, normalizing relations with Cuba, all combine to let our enemies and non-friends know we are unwilling and unable to respond.

Even seeming innocuous incidents, such as Iranian aggression in the Persian Gulf, and Russian planes buzzing our ships in the Baltic Sea prove to those who would do us harm that we are impotent.

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Bites will turn into a feeding frenzy – see current Syria and Iraq.

Russia has warned the U.S. that attacks on Assad’s Syrian forces will bring a response from them; ball in U.S. court.

What will the U.S. do with the ball? Pass it to the next president? Shoot it at the basket (Russians) and try to score (put them in their place)? Or will we throw it away (ignore the threat) and then suffer the consequences of leaving our fate up to others who decidedly do NOT have our best interests at heart?

One strategy could be to withdrawal completely from Syria, not as a retreat, but as a retrograde maneuver in order to let Russia have Syria all by itself. Russia would have to support Syria and rebuild the decimated country, or risk being expelled or dragged into a further quagmire. The U.S. would not benefit from “victory” in Syria, as there is no consolidated or legitimate force opposing Assad. We would be accused, and rightly so, of neocolonialism and occupation of a sovereign foreign nation.

Let Putin deal with Assad, he can have him, and the headaches and costs associated with meddling in a civil war. Putin would have to do the right thing by Syrian citizens or risk even more international disdain.

The U.S. finally got it right with the surge in Iraq, coupled with aggressive disruption of the human elements supporting al Qaeda. Many daily and nightly clandestine missions in that country, combined with the embedded U.S. soldier approach in the towns, cities and villages of Iraq, worked like magic.

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The bad guys became the hunted. As more of them were captured and interrogated, more information was gleaned that helped us shut them down. Ground was taken, held and rebuilt. Instead of double-agents infiltrating U.S. and Iraqi operations, we infiltrated and killed al Qaeda from within.

The current strategy of droning leaders, bombing small targets, using only Special Forces, and releasing operatives to fight again is ineffective at best and suicidal at worst. Killing one’s and two’s with a weapons system that more often than not also kills innocent civilians is counterproductive. Enemy leaders are replaced in a heartbeat; detainees from Gitmo who become leaders of enemy organizations allows our enemies an advantage we can’t overcome with drones, bombs and hyperbole.

We are in a most vulnerable position now with less than 30 days left before a presidential election that promises either a sea change in American geopolitical strategy or guaranteed uncertainty.

You know the saying that one should do something questionable without asking permission first because it’s better to be scolded than to be told “No?” Our enemies are not asking our permission. They are being as aggressive as they need to be in order to take what they want and then telling us to bugger off if we get too curious.

It is the worst possible scenario come to life.

In war there is less right vs. wrong and more survival, and those who survive live to fight another day.

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At this point in the Global War on Terror – a multi-polar geopolitical morass – we must begin to flex our muscles and play it smart as the one true super power, or the feeding frenzy will take hold and the balance of power will shift solidly to the left.

The Global War on Terror is Here

The recent series of terror events were not perpetrated by “lone wolves” or individual lunatics; they were perpetrated by the enemy in a war, on a battlefield that is our home.

These were not battles so much as probing actions. The enemy, radical Islamist terrorists know we have thousands of cameras and a blood lusting media that will cover their actions in toto.

The enemy knows we will respond, and now they know how we will respond, to Ft. Hood, to Chattanooga, to San Bernardino, to Orlando, and now to Chelsea in New York City and to a train station Linden, New Jersey.

A vigil is seen near the site of the shooting at the Pulse gay night club in Orlando

A vigil is seen near the site of the shooting at the Pulse gay night club in Orlando, Florida, June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young

The enemy is learning about us. They are not in a hurry. They are willing to be plodding, deliberate and insidious.They have no timetable for their goals. They do not think linearly, they think cyclically.

The Caliphate is a century’s old concept, and what’s going on now is just another spot on the spinning globe of terror, not a start or a stop.

Think of radical Islam in terms of a circle. No beginning, no end; a constant continuum.

Radical Islamists care only about the edicts of Sharia law, the killing of infidels, the conquering of Jews, Christians and non-believers. They will not stop, they will not flinch. They are totally committed, mind, body and spirit.

Forgive the analogy for non-Trekkers, but the Islamic State and its followers and off-shoots are like the Borg; automatonic, they are part human, part machine.

They are human, in the sense only that they bleed, eat, sleep and perform other natural human behaviors, from pro-creating to violence. They are machine, in the sense that any connection to rational, compassionate, loving or logical behavior has been severed.

We are left with a poor resemblance of a true human being.

The Borg’s sole purpose in life is to attain perfection through assimilation. The Borg are drones, subservient to the Borg Queen and programmed to defend her at all costs. They share a collective consciousness and can communicate almost telepathically.

Radical Islamists share the oneness of the Koran, specifically the brutality of Sharia law. Radical Islamists believe they are at war with us and anyone who does not think and behave as they do, so, like the Borg, they seek to assimilate the infidels or kill them.

Watch old episodes of Star Trek, especially The Next Generation, or the Star Trek film First Contactand you will see chilling similarities between radical Islamists and the Borg.

Even though the most recently apprehended terrorist, Ahmad Khan Rahami, a naturalized American born in Afghanistan, was part of a family owned business, First American Fried Chicken in Elizabeth, NJ, he had been radicalized by nefarious forces in Islam.

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Rahami grew up American, but succumbed to the call of the Caliphate and to the glory of the afterlife.

Rahami is a soldier, a programmed cybernetic killer, whose motivation and that of his comrades is irrelevant. The only important thing to know about him and all Islamists is that they want us dead.

Until all Islamists are dead or no longer have the means or will to kill us we must defend ourselves.

I don’t own a weapon, although I carried one in the Army for 22 years, including in a combat zone. I respect and will defend the right of Americans to keep and bear arms to my last dying breath.

Now I am thinking, since the Global War on Terror is here, how will I defend my family from radical Islamic terror? What if these probing actions become a street-to-street or house-to-house assault? How would I protect my family?

How would I protect my family during an innocent birthday trip to New York City for my daughter?

For years after 9/11 every time I saw a passenger plane in the sky I would look up with a pinch in my stomach. “Will this one crash into a building, too?”

Now, when walking the streets of Manhattan, where I worked for 8 ½ years, mostly in the Chelsea neighborhood, what will I feel when I see a trash bin full of trash? Normally at every corner, these items are a necessity. How can they be managed safely?

Is terrorism working? How can we stop it/them? Who will stop it/them? Do we have to do it ourselves, and if so, how?

Someone in authority needs to come up with some answers and fast, or the third world we see on TV will be us.

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I am the author of “Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior,” and three times mobilized U.S. Army Reserve Major (Retired). Author web page: http://sbpra.com/montgomeryjgranger/ Twitter @mjgranger1

Lee Zeldin, Keeping American’s Safe

“In today’s world, it is so important that we do everything that we can to keep Americans safe.” Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1) is a family man, veteran, and dedicated citizen. In his work as U.S. Representative for New York’s First Congressional District on Long Island, he prioritizes the safety of his constituents and all Americans.

When it seems like the current President and his administration are more concerned with a kinder, gentler and even apologetic global image for the United States, Lee Zeldin believes in keeping America strong and safe.

That’s why last December, Lee introduced the Protect America Act (H.R. 4237), which will “prevent terrorists from being able to purchase firearms or explosives while protecting the due process rights of law abiding citizens.”

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The bill’s mantle is that terrorists should “absolutely not” not be able to purchase firearms or explosives. The bill goes beyond that to also protect the Second Amendment rights of Americans.

In denying a gun purchase, Zeldin believes the burden of proof should be on the Federal government to show probable cause. Citizens have a constitutionally supported right to due process, and the bill protects that right within the context of purchasing fire arms.

“Additionally, citizens deserve their right to notice, counsel and a hearing related to the presentation of this evidence justifying the denial of the purchase [of a firearm],” according to Zeldin.

The bill also addresses the need for diligent vetting and updating of terrorist watch lists to “remove all erroneous entries” on such lists. Americans deserve protection from both potential attacks and from being falsely identified as a potential threat.

Shortly after the terrorist attack on innocent Americans at a night club in Orlando, Fla., Lee Zeldin made a statement that hit home and demonstrated his commitment to protecting Americans:

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“The handgun and Sig Sauer rifle used in this terrorist attack did not march itself into the nightclub and discharge itself. There was a shooter who was a radicalized Islamic terrorist pledging allegiance to ISIS, who violently hated the LGBT community and yelled “Allahu Akbar” while killing 49 innocent Americans. There is a whole lot more going on here beyond the gun control debate and attempts to narrow this issue so glaringly is alienating the rest of our country who understand the bigger picture.”

Guns aren’t the problem; unrestricted access to guns by terrorists is part of the problem. Denying reasonable access to lawful American citizens is not a solution.

The Protect America Act is a solution.

If concerned Americans contacted their Representatives and urged them to support the bill more lives could be saved. A deterrent today is always better than a reaction too late.

Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., said, “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”

H.R. 4237 doesn’t to pretend to fix everything that could be better about terrorists and guns in America, but it would bring us that much closer to the perfect plan.

“In order to form a more perfect Union,” from the preamble of the U.S. Constitution, means that we as Americans strive for perfection in everything we do, while recognizing that we are not perfect.

The Judeo/Christian ethic of following the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule help guide our decision making and form the basis of our values. These principles also guided our founders and offer illumination on our struggles today.

Lee Zeldin appreciates these American values, which is why he introduced the Protect America Act. He walks-the-walk as an American soldier, is a loving husband and father, and keeps his faith as a practicing religious American.

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Just past the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, are we any safer today than we were on September 12, 2001?

Supporting Lee Zeldin for Congress and encouraging your Congressmen and women to support the Protect America Act would be a big step in keeping all Americans safer in a stronger U.S.A.

 

Montgomery Granger is a veteran, retired U.S. Army major, and author of “Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior.

Abu Zubaydah: Obama’s Crucible

If the current review board approves Abu Zubaydah for release, President Barack Hussein Obama will have won his struggle to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Even Khalid Sheik Mohammad is not as valuable as Zubaydah.

If Zubaydah is released from Gitmo then the only rationale that makes sense is that the President considers all detainees to be victims and should be released.

If this is the case then the enemy has won and the Global War on Terror is over once and for all. The Obama administration’s philosophy of fighting alomst-wars with bombs, drones and Special Forces will continue only as “overseas contingency operations.”

When one reads the Guantanamo Docket on Zubaydah chills run down the spine.

The docket for Zubaydah, easily accessible online via the New York Times, is 14 pages long, and documents his background. Captured in early 2002 and then transferred into U.S. custody, Zubaydah was sent to Gitmo in 2006 after intense interrogation by the CIA. The docket was published in November 2008 and carries the classification label of “SECRET.”

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According to the documents, Zubaydah was “equal to and not subordinate to UBL (Usama bin Laden),” founder and leader of al Qaeda. Zubaydah was a parallel associate who coordinated activities and support operations, including planning and training for various terrorist activities, some successful, some failed.

Among other things, Zubaydah is a master forger and ran a fake and stolen document clearing house from which al Qaeda operatives could obtain myriad forged documents. Everything from false claims of torture to passports.

Zubaydah’s connections, associates and comrades ran the gamut and is a virtual who’s who in the world of terrorists, listed in his docket. From dirty bomb plots to planning the bombing of U.S. Embassies, Zubaydah always seemed to be in the thick of it.

A Palestinian by heritage, born and raised in Saudi Arabia, Zubaydah wished to carry out attacks on Israel, a sticking point between himself and Usama bin Laden, who favored American targets.

According to documents revealed in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, CIA officers concluded that Zubaydah, “Should remain incommunicado for the remainder of his life.”

Worst of the worst? Understatement.

Obama’s challenge to detractors will be: if he can let the absolute WORST detainee go, why not all the rest? He’s going for a grand slam home run, a 99 yard Hail Mary pass and the Triple Crown all at once.

If Obama fails he will probably blame it on former President George W. Bush for picking a fight with the bad guys in the first place.

If he wins, he gains his legacy, and he is vindicated. One big victory will erase all the other blunders, mistakes and missteps included, all in an instant. Why not go for the hardest point on the dice? Making the roll would wash away the stink that’s been covering him for nearly eight long years since he made the promise to close Gitmo in the first year of his presidency.

This president is beyond desperate. He simply MUST make good on his word and Zubaydah, his crucible, is his key to victory.

The question is, will Congress continue booing from the peanut gallery or will they actually do something to stop this insanity?

Gitmo is not playing a top roll in presidential politics, and the recent release of 15 high risk detainees to the UAE caused only a ripple in the mainstream media’s white wash of the released Gitmo terrorist threat, even though 30 percent of released Gitmo detainees return to terrorism.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he would “fill up” Gitmo if elected in November. His position is one of the sheep dog, the protector. Hillary Clinton, if elected, would probably continue the current policy of emptying Gitmo to the point of critical mass, hoping to close it on the basis of economics. Is it really too expensive to protect the safety and security of the American People? She is the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Lacking center stage or any real attention from the mass media, Gitmo remains an enigma, a mysterious and notorious singularity in a sea of chaotic confusion.

From my view, Gitmo is the finest military detention facility on earth. It is a small but necessary piece in the big puzzle of how to keep America and Americans safe in the Global War on Terror. Closing Gitmo would give great momentum and strength to our enemies, and betray the promise of doing whatever it takes to protect the United States and its citizens from the scourge of terrorism.

I am the author of “Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior,” and three times mobilized U.S. Army Reserve Major (Retired). Author web page: http://sbpra.com/montgomeryjgranger/ Twitter @mjgranger1

Answering the Jihad: Did Someone Say ‘Crusade’?

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What’s the difference between the Crusades, the Barbary Wars and the Global War on Terror?

As far as jihadist Islamists are concerned absolutely nothing.

These conflicts were and are simply an excuse to murder anyone who is not like them. Like an obsessed teenager high on caffeine and sugar playing marathon rounds of Mortal Kombat, Islamists murder for sheer pleasure, the terror effect is just a pleasant byproduct for them.

Islamists have used the Crusades (four major armed Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land from 1095-1289) as a recruiting tool with low-information Muslims, who are easily radicalized, especially if they are of meager means and background. Improving one’s standard of living or social status through joining radical terrorist movements is tough to counter if we are not in a position to do so, and are in fact running away from the fight.

Even Pope Francis seems to be calling for a Fifth Crusade, saying in response to the crisis in Iraq, over which he said he was “dismayed” and in “disbelief,” that there was a need for “a professional, well-equipped army” because “the situation is going from bad to worse.”

But the United States can’t seem to get out of it’s own way with regard to foreign policy chaos. It’s as if we’re drunken gamblers betting our shirts after losing all our money, watch, shoes, boat and home!

Politically, all the death and destruction is bad for business in the Obama camp, especially after seemingly endless foreign policy mistakes, from red lines in the sand to putting five big time Taliban bad guys back in the fight in trade for a suspected U.S. Army deserter. Trying to figure out the thinking behind these and other incredible missteps drives one to distraction!

After the bloodshed in Orlando, with over one hundred injured including at least 50 dead, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility. Their crusade continues.

If an enemy is bold enough to shoot high quality video of the beheading of an American journalist (Daniel Pearl by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, February 2002; and James Foley, August 2014) in the Middle East then they are able to do so in the streets of America, and have now done so.

Radical Muslims from around the world have answered the clarion call to join the Islamic State in their caliphate, including those from the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, Asia and parts of Africa.

What will be our answer now?

For too long we have resisted the fact that Islamists are at war with us. We have responded with force and resolve during certain times and then responded with our heads in the sand at other times. The result? Nightclub bloodbaths in American cities.

And now? Nearly 100 dead innocents on the streets of Nice, France. 130 dead in Paris. Europe is on fire with “migrating” jihadist’s. “Home grown” or refugee, student visa or immigrant. Islamists who believe in Sharia Law are incompatible with the Judeo/Christian ethic or even socialist. Muslim theocracy is the antithesis of democracy.

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American patriot Thomas Paine once said:

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must . . . undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

That “fatigue” has weighed heavily on us, especially on the victims of terror and on our military community, who have borne the brunt of the burden.

President Barack Obama’s and his cabinet’s lack of military background are handicapping their decision-making regarding military action to protect and defend the interests of the United States. Barack Obama has even been recently exposed for not meeting even once with his Defense Intelligence Chief, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn.

The modus operandi of this naïve group is to grossly politicize every single crisis after putting their proverbial licked finger in the air to determine the direction of the politically correct wind before making a statement or tenuous commitment.

The result is a weakened and vulnerable United States at the mercy of barbarians. But how we got here is not nearly as important as where we’re going and how?

It is imperative that we begin and then sustain a planned and committed offensive against the tyranny of Islamists. There should be no safe haven, no quarter given, and no mercy for the members of the murderous caliphate. But if we call it a “Crusade” what could possibly be the down side? It might even inspire a new generation of committed anti-Islamists.

In the early days of the 19th century this country battled and then defeated a former Islamist caliphate in the Barbary Wars. Barbary pirates of Northern Africa demanded tribute for captured merchant and military ships and the merchants, sailors and Marines on them. President Thomas Jefferson refused to comply, as did President James Madison. Instead, the United States sent warships and Marines to rescue our ships and personnel, and to destroy the pirates, and their will and means to terrorize us on the high seas.

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In the end, our resolve and resources won the day, and after our example was set, European countries followed suit, building and then deploying some of the world’s fastest and most powerful ships at the time in a combined effort to suppress the pirates.

For Islamists to be defeated, once and for all, a combined effort is necessary. But this combined effort needs a leader.

If not us, who? If not now, when?

At home we  need better vetting and/or a moratorium on immigrant and other Muslims entering the country. It sounds xenophobic, but enough is enough. We’re not being killed by little old lady Catholics, Protestants or Jews. We’re being targeted and killed by Muslim men (mostly). Enough already!

Deploying the 82nd Airborne Division and United State Marines to the Middle East may seem a drastic and painful choice, but we must stabilize the area of Islamist infiltration with a physical presence and then invoke a Middle East Marshall Plan when the dust settles and all Islamists are either dead, or no longer have the means or will to kill us.

Helping to rebuild the infrastructure and self-esteem of people exploited and terrorized by Islamists will win hearts and minds, as it did against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

We still have troops in countries we defeated in World War II over 70 years after the end of that war. These countries are now among the most peaceful and prosperous in the world, not in spite of our presence, but because of it.

Peace and prosperity should be enticing rewards for those who currently choose violence and destruction. The alternative we are living now is unacceptable, the price already paid by our military members and their families and loved ones too great.

So, if our enemies call it a Crusade, why not at this point fulfill their dreams of 72 virgins and play along? Nothing else is working.

While the President Honors the Enemy, Americans Honor Americans

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President Barack Obama has visited the Peace Memorial Park at Hiroshima, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has no intention of reciprocating with a visit to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The U.S. president said he visited Hiroshima to “honor all WWII dead.” All, Mr. President? Kamikaze’s? Nazi’s? Pearl Harbor bombers? Bataan Death March Imperial Japanese? Murderous SS troops who massacred defenseless American POW’s? All Mr. President?

On the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, President Ronald Reagan said: “We must never forget what nuclear weapons wrought upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki, yet we must also remain mindful that our maintenance of a strong nuclear deterrent has for four decades ensured the security of the United States and the freedom of our allies in Asia and Europe.”

Nearly 22 years ago, Emperor Akihito visited a war dead cemetery just a few miles from Pearl Harbor on a stopover on his way to North America. His original itinerary included a visit to the memorial at the site of the capsized U.S.S. Arizona, still entombing 1,100 sailors, but protests from right wing Japanese altered his plans. The right wingers claimed Japan was provoked by a United States’ embargo at the time.

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No sitting American president should ever visit Hiroshima or Nagasaki, until or unless a sitting Japanese Prime Minister or Emperor visits Pearl Harbor. Apologies aside, showing up is an act of support and sympathy.

Embargo or not, a true act of war such as the killing of 2,400 people at dawn on a Sunday should rate a full and sincere apology. If not, stay far away from even the slightest perception of sympathy for those who caused over 100,000 U.S. casualties in the Pacific after the sneak attack on December 7, 1941.

Absent the nuclear attacks by the U.S. on Imperial Japan in the summer of 1945 it is estimated that over one million Americans would have lost their lives fighting conventionally to subdue the Japanese. The Imperial Japanese had already mobilized women and children in its defense.

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In war, right and wrong can be overcome by what is necessary. Survival is necessary.

Apologies without sincere repentance are mere political gestures. Obama may have gotten away with both. After laying a wreath at the Peace Park and “honoring all war dead,” he lamented nuclear weapons, the very things that have secured relative peace and prosperity in Europe and Japan for over 70 years.

The President’s biggest mistakes have been withdrawing from victories and stability, only to find himself in a quagmire not seen since the Vietnam War. Iraq and Afghanistan were pacified and peaceful before draw downs and withdrawals were ordered by the President.

Now we find ourselves still losing heroes in pointless and ineffective military missions that dishonor theirs and the lives and ground lost previously.

All WWII dead, Mr. President? On this Memorial Day weekend? Not on your life.

 

One Nation, Under God, Except in Florida

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Atheists and liberal anti-Christians are at it again, this time successfully supporting legislation in the Sunshine State to make it unlawful to force a student in the public schools there to stand at attention or say the Pledge of Allegiance.

A previous law required only that students stand at attention during the pledge if they didn’t want to recite it. Now they may sit.

It’s a shame that every school in Florida can’t have a wounded veteran appear in a wheel chair in front of the students and then tell them about how he or she CANNOT stand to honor the flag that represents the reason they sacrificed their ABILITY to stand for it.

It’s a shame that legislators in Florida no longer hold dear the values that created this nation and made it free in the first place.

Communists and socialists and atheists will tell you it’s bad to swear oaths and make pledges, but in an instant would turn around and have you promise your individuality and creativity away with state sponsored dogma limiting your ambitions and directing your energies to the “common” good.

No individuality or capitalism in their small mental world of what’s good and what’s bad. That translates to “no incentive” to excel or invent a better way.

I remember a friend in elementary school, Danny, who would not say the pledge. His religion forbade him from celebrating or pledging allegiance to anything. We respected and liked Danny, who would just stay home rather than be exposed to holiday parties in class. No Christmas or Halloween or Easter. We felt sorry for him, too.

What’s more than just passing legislation that says students no longer have to stand for the pledge, atheist groups are threatening lawsuits against any person who violates the law. Every student has now become an informant for the overseers: another Communist ploy that conjures memories of the child murderers of the Cambodian Khmer Rouge who would round up teachers and kill them.

I had a teacher colleague of mine from my New York City teaching days get a one year suspension for refusing to take down a poster with the Ten Commandments on it. It was in his classroom along with posters with the religious edicts from other religions on them.

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Back then we had many known and even proud Communist Party U.S.A. members among the faculty. C.P.U.S.A. headquarters was just a few blocks away on 23rd Street, Manhattan, disguised as a bookshop. They ratted out my friend and forced the principal to write him up and then get him suspended.

My friend argued that since he had come to the portion of his ESL (English as a Second Language) history class where they discussed world religions that it would be OK to post the Ten Commandments. Not so fast, the atheists said! And they got their way.

Of course the charges had nothing to do with the myth of “separation of church and state,” but everything to do with insubordination, one of the few deadly sins in the tenured teacher world. My friend was eventually fired.

The myth of “separation of church and state” is perpetuated by Pagan, utilitarian, humanist atheists and liberal progressives. Too many descriptors? Too few probably, but operatively, Pagans do whatever feels good; utilitarian’s believe that if it’s useful to them it is good; and humanists feel that they should be able to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t hurt another politically correct minion (it’s OK to hurt those who believe in the Judeo/Christian ethic).

Contrast that with Judeo/Christians and most other law abiding, respectful Americans, practicing religions or not, who believe in the Golden Rule, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Here you have the classic dichotomy that represents our current Great Cultural Struggle.

Social engineering abounds in these troubled times with gays openly serving in the military, transgenders pooping and showering wherever they please, legalized gay marriage, and the nation’s first openly gay Secretary of the Army. It’s an end to “live and let live;” it’s open season on the Judeo/Christian values that founded and perpetuated our society.

The Constitution provides the answer to the question of whether or not there is such a thing as the separation of church and state. You have the Establishment Clause:  Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion – which means no state sponsored religion forced on the People. The Puritans and other original colonists from Old World Europe left to establish religious freedom, not to make a theocracy.

And then you have the Free Expression Clause: Congress shall make no law . . . prohibiting the free expression [of religion]. Nowhere does the Constitution say anything about separation of church and state.

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In fact, above every Federal Court bench “In God We Trust” can be found in gold shiny letters. On our currency you’ll find the same, on coin and paper. A taxpayer-funded chaplain recites an invocation in Congress before each session. “One nation, under God,” is in our Pledge.

We are a nation of believers. The Pledge and the “Star Spangled Banner,” our national anthem, are tools of our patriotism. They help to bring us together in a country where the founders wanted government out of our religion, but NEVER intended for religion to be out of our government.

According to our founding document there are many references to a deity. Many founders were religious if not Christian. And those who weren’t respected those who were. They wanted a free nation, not one in which the non-religious set upon the religious with pen, paper and intimidation.

I say, shame on the Florida legislature, shame on the atheists bullying educators and children, and shame on the United States of America for allowing it to happen. What’s next, banning the crucifixes on Christian churches?

It would be wonderful if Florida legislator’s would reverse their decision, but like the Boy Scouts of America, who changed their philosophy of not allowing openly gay boys or leaders to join because they could no longer bear the financial burden of fighting LGBT zealots in court, I fear the legislators in Florida have succumbed to the same foul sources of anti-establishment fanaticism.

I hope and pray that the youth of Florida rise up and stand for and then say the Pledge. And while they do, looking at the Stars and Stripes, remember those who fought and/or died for the rights of others not to say or stand for it.