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September 20, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

America in for a world of hurt

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America increasingly is in the triangulating cross hairs of military rivals in Communist China, North Korea and Iran. These nations are all cooperating to develop lethal military assets that are targeting America’s homeland and threatening the destruction of the United States.

In addition, both North Korea and Communist China are destabilizing the far Pacific region by developing weapon systems that threaten Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Nuclear weapons and drone technology are advancing in all of these rival nations, and these technologies target not only the U.S. but also Israel, South Korea and Japan.

China is increasingly stepping up territorial disputes with Japan. As this struggle intensifies, Japan is being forced to ramp up its development of advanced weapons systems to counter the threat from China.

With all of this going on, the stage is being set for a perfect storm of aggression and conflict that could have devastating consequences for America and its allies.

Of immediate concern is the extreme vulnerability of America and its allies to these threats, together with the growing perception that America is increasingly getting weaker, spread too thin to defend its allies and itself, and being plunged deeper into debt from which it does not appear to have the will or ability to recover.

Coupled with these developments is a weak foreign policy, which lacks focus and cohesiveness, and expected defense cuts which combine to create the perception that America is ripe for assertive advances on its global posture by its main enemies who seek to prey on America’s weakening position in the world.

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  1. I suspect that China would not cry very many tears if North Korea were no longer and issue for them, just as we wouldn't cry very much if Israel stopped being a problem.

  2. President Obama, in my opinion, deserves some criticism on fiscal and economic policy. On foreign policy, not so much.

    North Korea and India have nuclear weapons. Iran is likely developing them. China is pushing for more influence in certain regions long dominated by the United states. What did former President Bush and Congress do that worked to mitigate any of that? Very little. Why? Because without military intervention, there is little that can be done that is very effective. Little has changed since the 2008 election of President Obama, except that the situation is even worse. He faces the same obstacles former President Bush did with the same lousy options. He also faces an American public tired of intervention and war after all the time in Iraq and 10 years in Afghanistan plus a very slow economy.

    Michael

  3. Letter writer is correct. Former President Bush coined the "Axis of evil" term initially in his State of the Union Address on January 29, 2002, and often repeated throughout his presidency. He described governments that he accused of helping terrorism and seeking weapons of mass destruction. At the time, specifically Iran, Iraq and North Korea. The term stirred controversy after we learned that Iraq didn't have WMD, but surely wanted them.

    Substitute Communist China now for Iraq. What is President Obama's position on expanding the ICBM program in the U.S. and abroad? He has been against it throughout his presidency. Recall the open microphone incident with Russian PM Medvedev last year when President Obama "promised" to reduce the future ICBM efforts in Europe in his second term.

    What happened? Last month, as one of his first steps as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, as a result of the North Korean nuclear tests, announced new interceptors for Alaska and the U.S. west coast. The very same Bush policy President Obama cancelled in January 2009 after taking office. It takes about 4 years to build and deploy these interceptors. More will be needed for the east coast against possible nuclear attacks from Iran. And more interceptors for Europe.

    Carmine D

  4. "Coupled with these developments is a weak foreign policy".

    So, what would be evidence of a strong foreign policy? Military action? Something else?

  5. With regards to Iran, the Bush administration set conceding the issue to be negotiated (stop uranium enrichment) as a precondition for negotiations to begin. A rather unique approach to say the least!

  6. Bradley,

    I expect that you are going to excoriate me over my last letter, so let me say the following and ask you a question.

    I love history and current events. I never missed a history class in school, got A's and keep up with current events. I saw in Eastern Europe the dictators under Communism that held at bay ethnic hatred for many years. I watched as those dictators fell during the 1990's while President Clinton was in office and ethnic hatred exploded into civil war in Kosovo and many other places.

    It occurred to me that Saddam held ethnic hatred in check in Iraq and if he fell, we would probably see what we saw in Kosovo in Iraq. That worried me when an American war in Iraq seemed likely.

    Do you think that former President Bush, many Republicans and Democrats in Congress, Nancy Pelosi, and others attended their history classes in schools, got 'A's' and paid attention to the current events of the 1990's in Eastern Europe when dictators fell.

    If any of them did, why do you think we were caught so flat footed in Iraq when the same exact thing happened when we removed Saddam?

    Food for thought...

    Michael

  7. Vidi,

    You make an EXCELLENT point about waste in the military. It is tremendous. It would be nice though if you also recognize that the exact same government and the exact same forces contaminate every single other non military government program that exists.

    If we'd enact term limits, public financing of campaigns and lobbying reform, 'perhaps' we could elect members of Congress tat would actually take some real action to trim back all the waste, duplication and fraud in both military and non military government programs.

    Michael

  8. I think that the "growing perception" written of in this diatribe is one promulgated by tin-foil-hat-wearing tea party types rather than one given credence by rational persons.

  9. Vidi,

    I am sure there are ' intelligent, knowledgeable, and ethical politicians' but they don't act that way because of the Congressional system that is in place. You can vote them in and out all you want but they are trapped in this 'system' that revolves around money, powerful interests, lobbyists and the money required to be elected and retain office.

    To want that system changed is not rationalizing. It is being rational.

    Michael

  10. Propaganda Techniques

    Name calling: This techniques consists of attaching a negative label to a person or a thing. People engage in this type of behavior when they are trying to avoid supporting their own opinion with facts. Rather than explain what they believe in, they prefer to try to tear their opponent down.

    Glittering Generalities: This technique uses important-sounding "glad words" that have little or no real meaning. These words are used in general statements that cannot be proved or disproved. Words like "good," "honest," "fair," and "best" are examples of "glad" words.

    Transfer: In this technique, an attempt is made to transfer the prestige of a positive symbol to a person or an idea. For example, using the American flag as a backdrop for a political event makes the implication that the event is patriotic in the best interest of the U.S.

    False Analogy: In this technique, two things that may or may not really be similar are portrayed as being similar. When examining the comparison, you must ask yourself how similar the items are. In most false analogies, there is simply not enough evidence available to support the comparison.

    Testimonial: This technique is easy to understand. It is when "big name" personalities are used to endorse a product. Whenever you see someone famous endorsing a product, ask yourself how much that person knows about the product, and what he or she stands to gain by promoting it.

    Plain Folks: This technique uses a folksy approach to convince us to support someone or something. These ads depict people with ordinary looks doing ordinary activities.

    Card Stacking: This term comes from stacking a deck of cards in your favor. Card stacking is used to slant a message. Key words or unfavorable statistics may be omitted in an ad or commercial, leading to a series of half-truths. Keep in mind that an advertiser is under no obligation "to give the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

    Bandwagon: The "bandwagon" approach encourages you to think that because everyone else is doing something, you should do it too, or you'll be left out. The technique embodies a "keeping up with the Joneses" philosophy.

    Either/or fallacy: This technique is also called "black-and-white thinking" because only two choices are given. You are either for something or against it; there is no middle ground or shades of gray. It is used to polarize issues, and negates all attempts to find a common ground.

    Faulty Cause and Effect: This technique suggests that because B follows A, A must cause B. Remember, just because two events or two sets of data are related does not necessarily mean that one caused the other to happen. It is important to evaluate data carefully before jumping to a wrong conclusion.

  11. "America increasingly is in the triangulating cross hairs of military rivals in Communist China, North Korea and Iran."

    Jack -- I see you neglected to mention the several countries the U.S. military machine has invaded in the past decade. Until you do you're just doing your usual saber-rattling.

    "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902--1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents." -- Major General Smedley Butler, a Marine and one of only 19 people to be TWICE awarded the Medal of Honor, from a 1935 issue of the socialist magazine "Common Sense"

  12. Bob Jack, of North Las Vegas,

    You must be a salesman for the Military Industrial Complex.

    One just hope your not really in the decision making room. Oh, but then again, We did have Donald Rumfield and Dick Chaney.

    Fear and lies from top decision makers have place this country in this perilous position you have described, or one you want.

    Really! Is this what you want?

  13. Abandon hope, all ye who read Bob Jack's letter, little more than a collection of neocon push points. Other than the underlying hint that our military is dangerously underfinanced this missive provides nothing but dystopian doom with no solutions. Let us, however, take this to a logical conclusion. The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have cost us $2 trillion plus approximately $260 billion in interest to date. Counting the cost of health and disability care for vets the total estimated cost is $4-6 trillion. Who pays? It certainly won't be from the sale of Iraqi oil although I suppose a case could be made for the sale of Afghani has and heroin. So Bob, this military that you imply we should have ready to defend with.....who pays? You have a track record of comments citing waste, fraud and abuse in public institutions and the expenditure of public funds. You routinely denigrate the public sector. Who can be trusted to carry out defense of the country. Perhaps privatization would work. But again, who pays?

  14. Now what is Bob Jack's expertise again? From the letter it would appear to be fear mongering. Rational readers can apply the extensive list by Vernos Brancos of a synopsis of logical fallacies to Bob Jack's letter and most of the conservative nonsense that passes for thought.

  15. When there is leadership at the top, there are leaders at the bottom. Criticize them all you like, but the truth is Reagan and Thatcher were leaders. And the world followed them. It was a better place for doing so. Who do we have now? No one and we get the Middle East, South China, and the Korean peninsula. Atop an ongoing European financial crisis in which a small island like Cyprus almost brought down the mighty Euro. A world in disorder does not produce peace and prosperity. It produces evil, discontent and turmoil. Along with dictators intent on doing bad.

    Carmine D

  16. Mr. Jack worries weigh too much. The Chinese labor force sits at over 700 million workers. We are probably China's biggest trading partner. Americans buy billions of dollars worth of stuff that is manufactured in China. That keeps millions of Chinese working.

    We are the best friend China has and they know it. Without us the unemployment rate in China would explode and the leaders would be out of a job. As it is strikes are a daily occurrence and the Chinese are scoring double-digit wage increases year after year. Much of that is due to America and the American way of life. Every day the Chinese become more like us.

  17. Gerry:
    I have a name for you to get familiar with if you are not already and I suspect you aren't. President Xi Jinping of China, the latest head of the world's oldest Communist party. Read what he and the Communist China navy did this week. Hardly, if at all, covered by any news written or aired so far.

    Then add that name and country to Kim Jung Eun in North Korean and you know the devil in Iran already who is likely to get nuclear weapons capability by this summer.

    Recall your history Gerry, or we are bound to repeat it.

    Carmine D

  18. When I was walking around with my draft card they told me that if Vietnam fell that would be it for Asia. Well, Vietnam fell, the last time I checked Asia is still there. I was in Vietnam a while back. Beautiful hotels, great food, they are building huge water parks and amusement parks.

    These so-called communist countries aren't really communist countries anymore. They encourage business, wealth building and robust economic growth. Citizens can own property and pass that property to their children.

    North Korea is a classic example of a communist model. Unemployment is skyhigh and the entire economy has collapsed. The whole country is starving and countless numbers are being killed off in concentration camps. They talk about war but if they started one the country would collapse and 20 minutes.

  19. Gerry:

    Viet Nam have nuclear weapons?

    Carmine D

  20. No, but that didn't stop the government from sending 2.5 million US soldiers there. There is one country in the world that is constantly either at war or preparing for war. Us!

    Nehru once said something to the effect that "America will go to war with anyone for any reason at any time at the drop of a hat." He was absolutely correct! Research how many times this country has been attacked by foreign countries versus how many wars we've been involved in.

    Many countries have nuclear weapons. What makes the rest of the world nervous is that we actually use them.

    During the Cuban missile crisis Kennedy asked the joint Chiefs for casualty estimates if a war broke out. I think it was LeMay that said, "if there's two Americans alive and one Russian when it's all over we will have won the war." If I were living outside the United States that kind of idiotic attitude would make me nervous.

  21. Countries don't attack their major business partners. That's why Switzerland has managed to stay neutral throughout the worst wars in history.

    When President Bush met with Chinese leaders he asked them what kept them up at night. The leader of China said trying to put millions of people to work every year.

    American businesses like Starbucks, General Motors The Gap and many others have a huge exposure in China and it is growing exponentially. You see American businesses opening up every day in China. In some ways the Chinese capitalist model is closer to pure capitalism then the American model. The margins are higher in China than they are in the United States.

    The Iranian people love Americans. There is a substantial underground economy in Iran that caters to American goods. Kids spend a fortune for American goods in Iran even though the unemployment rate among the young is skyhigh.

    Iran and North Korea will collapse in good time. Neither country has an economic model that's capable of providing for the people. We constantly talk about going to war with the people that like us and we kiss the rear ends of people that hate us like the Pakistanis. I think we should just mind own business and let these countries tend to their own affairs.

  22. "Many countries have nuclear weapons. What makes the rest of the world nervous is that we actually use them."

    And drones. What will we do when other countries get drones and use them?

    BTW, in case you don't know, I'm against the U.S. use of drones. I was against the U.S. dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For the same reason. Both [nukes and drones] kill innocent people. I'm against that even when President Truman said he had to prevent the loss of lives of additional Americans. He didn't. Once Russia entered the war, the Emperor of Japan said he had no choice but to surrender. The boms were dropped in August. Right before Russia declared war on Japan. Did Truman know this? According to his diaries and journals Truman did. Did he trust Russia to do what it said? I don't know but Russia, Stalin, did.

    Tis better to suffer evil than to do evil [Socrates].

    BTW, I was against the war in Viet Nam.
    Carmine D

  23. "Iran and North Korea will collapse in good time. Neither country has an economic model that's capable of providing for the people."

    Gerry:

    If you believe your crystal ball, then both countries have nothing to lose by using nuclear weapons on their enemies. Right? What's to prevent them?

    Carmine D

  24. Mr. Jack simply has no idea of what he is talking about when it comes to China today and am surprise you would print such inaccuracies of his. China, like all countries including the U.S., has some border disputes with neighbors. However, in their entire history China has NEVER attacked nor based soldiers in any country outside of its own borders. Certainly something that the U.S. cannot say. China is the most peaceful major country in the world who believes, at their very core, of every country minding their own business and leaving others to mind their own. You need to learn about China before commenting. Read "Red Star Over China" for historical perspective and "China: In My Eyes" for contemporary. Both written by Americans and you might be surprised at what you learn.

  25. Carmine... Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Look at the before and after pictures. You think North Korea and Iran want that! Why did Russia not launch the nuclear arsenal they had in Cuba? The fear of ending up looking like those two Japanese cities.

    What the crazy leaders of some of these countries may want and what the people are willing to put up with are definitely not one and the same.

    Some of my family members stayed in Germany during the Hitler regime and some fled to England. The family members that stayed in Berlin and Essen paid one hell of a price.

  26. VernosB (vernos branco) 7:28 a.m.: Very good list and brief summary of various propaganda techniques, but you forgot one: BIG LIE: The repeated use of a lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.

  27. Russia had nothing to prove and more to lose if it went the nuclear option.

    The leaders in North Korea [30 year old Kim Jung Eun whose best friend is former basket ball star Dennis Rodman], the devil in Iran, and Xi in Communist China, have something to prove and nothing to lose. History proves those are evil combinations. Think Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany.

    Carmine D

  28. Zippert1 (gerry hageman): at 10:39 a.m. you quoted Nehru as saying something to the effect that "America will go to war with anyone for any reason at any time at the drop of a hat." Agreed - but add the phrase "and may drop the hat if no one else will." (See Iraq - 2003.)

  29. with all the comments I thought it was a good topic to discuss but what it really is a couple of commentators going back and forth at each other ,,, as usual.

  30. Earth to Houston: keep that war mongering going maybe we won't recognize our real enemies the corporate totalitarians.

  31. hookershaky - "Earth to Houston: keep that war mongering going maybe we won't recognize our real enemies the corporate totalitarians."

    Odd isn't it? Those defending capitalism are the ones taking the most in coporate welfare, while the purchase power and wages of the middle class declines.

  32. America isn't he only ones in a world of hurt. The whole world in hurt stage, take a good look at what is happening around the world. There is no more good news on any networks about anything, except for a few human interest stories. The world as a whole is in a hurt ,period.

  33. From the appearance of the overreactions of those who conclude that this letter was authored by a neocon,you'd be better served if you'd read the warnings that are spelled out in the articles and general newcasts that are universal in nature regarding North Korea, China and Iran. To wisely assess these risks and brace for the consequences,even defend against them, seems like an intelligent plan. I can understand why some of the comments above reflect a real fear of the truth--these are difficult things to deal with but reality and facts are stubborn things. Rather than view the Communist China regime as a friendly trading partner it seems more plausable that it is a preying mantus which is rapidly building its military in large part by stealing American industrial and government military secrets that will be used against America and its allies. The facts regarding North Korea and Iran objectives are more than clear,and threaten the peace and stability of the global community. Ignore these warnings and facts at your own peril. You may not feel comfortable with the message,but only ignorance and stupidty would cause a number of you to crucify the messenger.

  34. Bob Jack: I second your motion. I would like to add that the "ostriches" spend a few dollars and view "Olympus has Fallen" currently in movie theaters. If they think it can't and won't happen, I'd remind them the same was said before 9-11 too.

    Carmine D

  35. Carmine--thanks--I saw the movie. It was a riveting and revealing experience.

  36. Bob:

    I was in DC on 9-11. Just blocks away from the White House with a clear view of it {White House]. I thoroughly agree with you. What shocked me was the lack of urgency and outright denial by some in government leadership positions as we watched the events and news unfold before our eyes. I'm not surprised by what I read by some here that I call "ostriches." They would make excellent government bureaucrats. "See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil."
    Carmine D