The decisions that determined the fate of the great nations and empires that failed to survive the 20th century are well known.
For the Kaiser's Germany, it was the "blank cheque" to Austria after Sarajevo. For Great Britain, the 1939 war guarantee to Poland. For the Third Reich, it was the June 1941 invasion of Russia. For the Empire of the Sun, the decision to attack Pearl Harbor.
And for the Soviet Empire, it was the invasion of Afghanistan.
As for the United States, historians may one day concur with the late Gen. Bill Odom. For the lone superpower to survive that century, the decision to invade and occupy Iraq was the most disastrous blunder in its history.
George W. Bush held out the promise of a peaceful Mesopotamian democracy as a magnet for all Arab nations. What we produced is a broken land awash in blood, a country severed by tribe and faith: a Kurdish north, Shia south and a Sunni west controlled by the savages of an "Islamic State" even al-Qaida hates and fears.
In Syria, where the United States has been aiding rebels to bring down Bashar Assad, that Islamic State now controls the northern and eastern half of the country. In Libya, where we delivered the air and missile strikes to smash Col. Gadhafi's forces, Islamist fanatics have gained the upper hand in the civil war for control of that country.
In all three countries, the United States, which claimed to be battling dictatorship to bring democracy, helped to create the power vacuum these Islamists have moved to fill.
We are the enablers of the Islamic State.
How grave is the threat?
ISIS is a "direct threat to our homeland" says Rep. Peter King. "An existential threat" echoes Sen. Lindsey Graham, "I think of an American city in flames." The Islamic State "is beyond anything we've seen," says Sec. Chuck Hagel, an "imminent threat to every interest we have." America is "in the most dangerous position we've ever been in," says Sen. Jim Inhofe, "They're crazy out there. And they are rapidly developing a method to blow up a major U.S. city."
Undeniably, these are bloodthirsty religious fanatics who revel in beheadings and crucifixions and have exhibited battlefield bravery and skill. But are 17,000 jihadi fighters in landlocked regions of Iraq and Syria really an imminent and mortal threat to an America with thousands of nuclear weapons and tens of thousands of missiles and bombs and the means to deliver them?
How grave is this crisis? Consider the correlation of forces. Who are the vocal and visible friends and fighting allies of ISIS?
They are nonexistent. The Turks, Saudis, Qataris and Kuwaitis who, stupidly, have been aiding ISIS in bringing down Bashar Assad and blowing a hole in the "Shia Crescent" of Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus and Hezbollah, have lately awakened to their idiocy and are cutting off aid to ISIS. Moderate Sunnis detest ISIS for its barbarism and desecration of shrines. The Christians and Yazidis fear and loathe them. The Kurds, both the Syrian YPG and PKK, which broke open the exit route for the Yazidis from Mount Sinjar, and the peshmerga despise ISIS.
Lebanon's army, Syria's army, Hezbollah and Iran have been fighting ISIS with Russian assistance. Vladimir Putin himself warned us of the absurdity of our attacking Assad last year, arguing that we would be allying ourselves with the same terrorists who brought down the twin towers. Was Putin not right?
Even al-Qaida and Hamas have repudiated ISIS.
We need no boots on the ground in Syria, for it is the presence of "Crusaders" on Islamic soil that is the principal recruiting tool of the jihadists. What we need is diplomacy beyond the simple-minded, "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists!" a diplomacy that invites old enemies into a coalition for a cause on which we all agree.
If Assad is willing to go in for the kill on ISIS, let us work out a truce and amnesty for the Free Syrian Army and call off that part of the rebellion, so Assad's army can focus on killing ISIS.
George H. W. Bush made an ally of Hafez al-Assad in Desert Storm. Why not make an ally of his son against ISIS?
We should next tell the Saudis, Qataris and Kuwaitis that any more aid to ISIS and they are on their own. We should inform the Turks that their continued membership in NATO is contingent upon sealing their border to ISIS volunteers and their assistance in eradicating the terrorist organization.
We should convey to Iran that an end to our cold war is possible if all attacks on the West stop and we work together to exterminate the Islamic State. Why would they not take the deal?
As for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed successor to Muhammad, my bet is that he closes out his brief career as caliph at an unscheduled meeting with Seal Team 6.
(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00
To The Daily Sun,
Voters have a clear choice when voting for the nomination in the Republican Primary for governor. There is the establishment candidate Walt Havenstein, who seems to have come out of nowhere, and the conservative candidate Andrew Hemingway, who has lived here all of his life.
Andrew has built and sold two businesses in our state. Walt has been the CEO of a company who was hired to help implement Obamacare. Walt is endorsed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who helped get Obama re-elected with his hugs and praise. You can know a candidate by who their friends are.
Andrew is a vibrant young candidate who has clear and well-prepared plans to make New Hampshire a business friendly state to attract companies here with jobs. He will attract younger voters to the polls because he knows that education is very important and points out that after students graduate college here they usually leave the state for states that have good job potential. Andrew wants to bring jobs back to New Hampshire with a tax plan that will attract companies. He is also against the federal government taking control of our schools through Common Core.
Walt Havenstein said from day one, that he refused to talk about the social issues. He doesn't seem to realize that for every social issue there is a state bureau to deal with. Will he refuse to talk about those issues as governor? We do know that he is pro-choice and in favor of gay marriage. At a 912er's meeting in Rochester (at which Mr. Havenstein was not present) his campaign manager told me that Walt is a social moderate. We would say he is a social liberal. Andrew is a pro-life social conservative.
Walt Havenstein cannot beat Governor Hassan in the general election, but Andrew Hemingway will because he has clear ideas and has made them known. Not so Walt Havenstein.
Republicans and conservatives, if you want to win back the Corner Office in Concord you can do it by nominating Andrew Hemingway in the primary election.
Phil & Chris Wittmann
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 08:25
To The Daily Sun,
Some folks have a problem understanding just what am I doing in the political arena since 1972. As we approach "the most important election ever", which is in November, first we have to have party primaries. My ballot, as it has always been, will be Republican.
When the dust settles after the primary you will not see my name associated with "Republicans for (Democrat's name)" efforts.
Griffin Dalianis, longtime important player in GOP circles, at least in his mind, and his wife Linda, who is a member of N.H. Supreme Court, has such an effort in the works as of yesterday. Four years ago, "GOP Grif", Republican Bernie Streeter, and long-time employee of Judd Gregg, Joel Mailola decided to be "Republicans for Lynch", the Democrat for governor.
GOP Grif has been a big supporter of George Bush, McCain, and Mitt Romney and now endorses Jeanne Shaheen. Obviously, either there is something in it for him, or he wants Extremely un-American Obama to have the votes for his agenda for the next two years.
Last Updated on Monday, 25 August 2014 08:51
To The Daily Sun,
In 2012, three foreign wind developers were pursuing ridge line development, around Newfound Lake, for 75 500-foot-high wind turbines. This coming on the heels of the completion of Groton Wind Farm. It was a "Gold Rush" of sorts.
Many saw it as a government pyramid scheme with federal money and no exit strategy required for developers. It was a sales pitch of all sales pitches.
Imagine pitching an idea to New Hampshire politicians: one that involves ruining New Hampshire's scenic view, jeopardizes watersheds, creates known health problems, lower property values, disrupts the wildlife and only works 15 percent of the time. Then inform them that none of it will be used or consumed in New Hampshire, because it's all going to Southern states. And in closing tell them every New Hampshire residents will pay for it.
Political suicide, right? So how do politicians skirt around these issues? They delay their decisions until after election periods in hopes it will not ruin their chances of getting re-elected.
It's a game to politicians.
We've demonstrated, voted, passed laws and voiced our opinions in hopes of showing everyone, including our elected officials, that our community is "not a willing host" for additional wind turbine development.
As governors from around New England meet — they see Massachusetts has a real energy problem. Do you feel it's your problem? Do you feel you should pay for Massachusetts problems? What other problems will we be expected to pay for in the future?
Last Updated on Monday, 25 August 2014 08:48
To The Daily Sun,
I have read letters from Cindy Cretian-Miller in both the Laconia Citizen and The Laconia Sun. I know nothing about Jeanne Shaheen's business interest, but I know a little bit about the time of the $787 billion stimulus plan.
At that time banks, the insurance companies behind the banks and the U.S. automobile industry were all in trouble. The stock market was below 7,000 and we were losing jobs at an alarming rate.
Today our financial institution are stable, the stock market is flirting with 17,000 and the private sector has been growing jobs every month since the middle of 2009. The U.S. automobile industry is alive and kicking. Thank you Senator Shaheen.
As for the so called "Disastrous Obamacare" please look at the numbers. Thousands and thousands of people without insurance now have insurance. They have a chance at better health care and now have a better chance at early detection of serious illness. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) saves lives.
Seniors should be cheering for the Affordable Care Act. It has extended the hospital care part of Medicare until 2030 instead of 2016. It helps seniors in the so-called donut hole with prescription costs. AARP articles state information about these benefits. There are lots more positive aspects about the successful health care act. Thank you Senator Shaheen.
Cindy, please take a look at the big picture. Take a look at the numbers. I hope you see why I agree with Senator Shaheen even if you have a different point of view. The stimulus plan and the Affordable Care Act really have helped people, and I am all for that.
Last Updated on Monday, 25 August 2014 08:44