Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Foley? Who’s Foley?

In the wake of the news that North Korea became the 8th member of the world’s nuclear club yesterday, Chris Cuomo’s desperate reporting on Mark Foley fell on some deaf ears in my household this morning. Of course, I grant that my house is a bit atypical in some ways. But c’mon!

Do people really care deeply about this stuff except in a freak-show, snickering, train-wreck kind of way? The latest is that a gay congressman may have had a rendevous with a gay 21 year-old former page. Shocking! Just shocking! But so what? The creep is gone. The grown ups have more important matters to concern themselves with now.

If today’s news isn’t news enough to make the "security moms" insecure again then I know not what to say. Bush needs to be sober and hard about this threat and, of course, to connect the dots between this and the other threats we face around the globe.

The party that is suddenly consumed with worry over the sex lives of Congressional pages and one wierdo Congressman from Florida who happens to be a Republican (but conveniently shuts its eyes when gazing upon its own collection of perverts) cannot be trusted to grapple with issues of this magnitude. Perhaps their massive powers of investigation can expose who it is that Kim Jong Il is bedding this week--but if you think they can prevent nuclear proliferation and disaster with the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Charlie Rangel and (God forbid) Hillary Clinton . . . well, goodnight and goodluck.

Discussions - 28 Comments

I read somewhere that a certain Democrat congressman was caught smuggling fissionable materials to North Korea. It was reported to Nancy Pelosi a couple of years ago, but she didn’t do anything about it.

Bush’s response here will make a lot of difference, we can hope. And I agree it would be better to get the focus off perverts, which is why we shouldn’t challenge them to a "who has more" contest.

Does anyone have a clue what the appropriate response to North Korea might look like now? The president will of course be serious and tough when he addresses the American people. Does anyone propose doing more than that, more that is than seeing how the neighbors react and going back to the Security Council for more discussions?

I am, by no means, an expert on these matters but my sense is that SOMETHING other than TALK is necessary at this point. My sense is also that UN Security Council resolutions are no better than tough talk. I have heard arguments for a strongly enforced blockade of North Korea and they sounded persuasive--the argument being that we could, at least, reasonably contain the threat of N. Korea selling off their technology or weapons to other enemies of ours with more capacity or closer proximity in order to reach us. Of course, as far as we know, they can’t reach us themselves. But they can reach our friends promised protection under our nuclear umbrella. We probably have to try to do something to prevent that. I don’t know what--but it is imperative that we hear something about what that might be and soon.

What do any of us really hope for in any of Bush’s responses of late? His entire second term has been flaky. From Meirs to Katrina to his nauseating, debasing diplomatic dance with those dirtballs in Tehran. He’s gone worthless on us, and that’s a sad fact. He’s doing nothing but following the policies of the Washington establishment. Whatever novelty he introduced into our foreign policy following 9/11 has lost it’s salience, and now even his Sec of State is rhetorically backing off the original wisdom of his policy. In short, it’s as if Kerry had won the election. Even his personnel decisions reflect a desire to bring in the establishment. Anytime he’s asked a foreign policy question, he just starts repeating internationalist bromides, and gives us a scorecard of what’s happening at the UN, or the Security Council.

History isn’t going to ask what the UN did to stop nuclear proliferation, but it sure as hell is going to ask what the United States did, what the leader of the free world did, what the champion in arms of the West did.

Bush should resign, he’s lost whatever appetite he ever had to grapple with the foreign policy challenges of the 21st century.

He’s lost his nerve, he’s a verbal cripple, and he’s a political millstone around the neck of the GOP.

We’re watching a disaster slowly unfold in the White House. He’s out of his depth.

Do you have a suggestion about North Korea? (I assume "Nuke the bastards" is off the table, but tell me if I’m wrong.)

Encouraging China to open its border to North Korean refugees would be an important step toward undermining North Korea’s tyrannical regime.

China supplies the North will all of its power and foodstuffs. Moreover, a brief review of history informs us that it is China that is WHOLLY responsible for the continued existence of this state, and this nightmarish situation.

That being the case, responsibility for removing this threat to the nations of the earth should devolve upon the Chinese.

Therefore, I would suggest a complete removal of all U.S. Armed Forces from the Korean peninsula; I would further recommend the immediate arming of the Japanese Armed Forces, and I would further suggest the symbolic renaming of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, to the older and more robust term, the Imperial Japanese Navy; I would further recommend that we find several recently decommissioned Carriers, that we Service Life Extension Program them, {SLEP} and that after fully overhauling these Carriers, we GIVE THEM to the newly renamed and growing Imperial Japanese Navy; I further recommend that we imitate our policies pursued in Europe during the Reagan years, which saw the deployment of Pershing IIs to Soviet SS-20s, thus I would immediately confer upon the Japanese nuclear weaponry; I would further recommend that we publicly urge the Taiwanese to go nuclear, thus enabling Taiwan to become independent without ever having to go through the diplomatic niceties; and LASTLY, I would strongly suggest that we pass legislation enabling the immediate disavowance of all outstanding U.S. notes held by STATES that have done business with states that have been designated state sponsors of terror by our State Department, over the last twenty years. That final suggestion, would mean the ability of our government to disavow all notes held by China. That’s almost a trillion dollars worth of notes. And that ability, to disavow all debt held by states that continue to commerce with terror sponsors, should surely get their attention. And oh by the way, as part of that legislation, we should state that any attempt to dump such debt on the liquidity markets of the world, would mean the immediate disavowal of such debt, and that any attempt to privatize such debt, or to move such debt to third parties, without the express permission of the American Treasury Department, would likewise mean the total disavowal of the debt held by that state.

China is trying to hold an economic pistol to our head, and we need to get real imaginative in dealing with that.

But these suggestions hardly exhaust the responses available to American statecraft. People who cry out what should we do, have been too long marinated in the passive attitudes that have become regnant since 1968.

And John, I don’t know if you are aware, but right now, both the Chinese and the South Koreans have an operative policy of RETURNING refugees who flee from North Korea. It doesn’t get much attention, but those that flee and are caught, get returned, where I’m sure they’re promptly dispensed with, in the typical totalitarian manner. So encouraging the Chinese to open their borders for Northern refugees is simply an exercise in futility, and a demonstration of feckless statecraft.

The situation is FAR BEYOND merely urging the Chinese to act in a more humanitarian manner. The entire situation is a contrivance of Chinese foreign policy, if they wanted this problem solved, they could do it in days, with hardly a shot fired. China is getting a sense for us, by their observations of how we cravenly crawl to their doorsteps, begging and pleading for them to solve a problem, that is wholly of their creation.

If China desires to cause problems for us along the Pacific rim, then we should respond likewise, by rearming the Japanese, by intensely training and preparing them for war, by weaponing up the Taiwanese, by reopening Clark Air Field on Luzon, by making a strategic gambit towards the Vietnamese government, by strengthening and intensifying our military interactions with India, and in short, acting like the foremost power on this planet, possessed of imagination and confidence, and a certain seemly ruthlessness.

BUT THE FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS, which will go a long way towards procuring a lasting security for this country, for our friends, and for the West, is a COMPREHENSIVE purge at the State Department and CIA.

We, the United States, the West, Christendom for that matter, can no longer afford a diplomacy and statecraft hindered by the utter unseriousness and incompetence of liberals, pervaded by the errors of liberalism.

"Condi" has revealed herself to be an abject failure, a sick joke, thoroughly unequal to the challenges of her time, likewise her hyped predecessor. We need somebody like Gingrich at State. And we need him desperately.

I agree that we need a purge of the CIA and State Deptartment... but as for the rest, I sincerely hope you’re joking.

Well, there are some good suggestions in there Anon Prime, but since we don’t live in an absolute dictatorship all of them will take time. The Japanese can’t build a navy over night, and pulling out of S Korea until the other friendly powers in the region are ready for the responsibility is entirely imprudent. A nuclear Taiwan wouldn’t be out of the question, especially since that’w what we pretty much just did with India. And while it’s easy to say that we need to liquidate the CIA and State Department, again it’s easier said than done. We just need to be patient as America gradually adopts a less naive and a more practical and imperial outlook on the rest of the world.

Who is Chris Cuomo?

Condi is not a sick joke. I really like her a lot.

I think NK is the 9th state: U.S. Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Great Britain, France

Here’s a TCS link that should put the NK tests in a less dire perspective. One might also scroll down to the bottom of NRO today for the heartening rumor (via Russians who claim to have seen it) that their weapon is gargantuan, impossible to mount on a missle, and perhaps impossible to ship out of the country. The TCS link also suggests many of the reasons we have to make the Chinese fear that we’re giving up on the six-way diplomacy, and are ready to encourage Japanese nukes. In this poker game, unlike Iran, my sense is we have a lot of cards in our hand. I say this as a big fan of Stanley Kurtz’ work on the nuke issue.

One might admire Anon’s spirit, if not his mean streak, but as usual his recommendations are the height of imprudence. However, he is sooo right about the desirability of doing #10-"FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS", even though it’s probably impossible.

Lest I spread rumors myself, I take back saying "according to Russians who claim to have seen it." It’s more subtle than that. Go to NRO for the relevant links on the Russian source of info.

Remember people, the purpose of the test isn’t to set off the biggest KABOOM that you can. The purpose of the test was to see if they could successfully trigger a nuclear device. It seems they can. NOW, they can enlarge the explosion by INCREASING the size of nuclear material. So all of those suggesting that because the explosion didn’t seem very large, we can somehow rest easier, are preaching false words of comfort. And they’re just like those who leaked various CIA findings suggesting the North Koreans were years away, or that the Iranians are a full decade away. It’s nothing but dispensing sominex to an electorate that should be roused up, worked up, before..., well, before a real live nightmare looms before them, in the shape of a mushroom cloud.

And Andrew, sure it would take time, but this nation, as well the Japanese nation needs a sense of urgency. We need the urgency that the dock yard workers at Pearl Harbour had during the summer of 1941, when they were given 72 hours to make the USS Yorktown sea worthy. We’re in a war, and we need to cut the crap, and start producing the mechanical contrivances for that war. For ourselves, and for our allies, in this case, Japan and Australia. We should plan on putting FIVE full fleet carriers to sea within 2 1/2 years, three to be given to the Japanese, and one each to the Australians and the British. We need to make the Pacific rim an allied lake, and we need to present the Chinese with an overwhelming display of military dominance, and a rock solid diplomatic array against them.

We need to make sure that any Chinaman who suggests military action will be viewed as either insane or suicidal. That’s the type of military force we need along the Pacific rim.

And as for dictatorial powers, the President enjoys ENHANCED wartime authority, and he could begin a REAL energy policy overnight, if he but had the will and the vision to do so. But alas, he does not...........

Anon secondus, the suggestion that China stands behind North Korea, and is playing a profoundly mischievous role with Iran and Venezuela in addition, is a truly sobering thought. Which is why the issue is dodged. Just like our stylized war on terror, which is really a civilizational war with islam, it’s the type of thing nobody likes to think about, but for that fact, it doesn’t make it any the less real. Nobody wants to ask themselves what if osama’s version is the REAL version, what if instead of being a marginal interpretation, it’s mainstream, and wholly orthodox. It’s the type of suggestion that carries with it such a nightmare, that we banish it from our thoughts, and reach for a cocktail.

But if you can handle nightmares, if you aren’t the type to tremble before the unknown, I’ll portray for you a real nightmare.

We enter a prolonged cold war, as GW describes with it, with islam, WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY entering a cold war with China. Now don’t you think that those two powers would see a community of interest existing between them, don’t you think that they might see it in their interests to make common cause, forge a common alliance. And while that’s going on, we see South America once more lurch to the far left, due to the money that Chavez is tossing around. And during that, we see Europe increasingly swerving from a Christian continent to an islamic one, and we see individual states, as they’ve done before in their long history, individual states seeking out ways to cut private protection deals for themselves.

Of course I haven’t even begun to do justice to that scenario, but even it’s broad outline, should give cause for shivers.

But Gertz is reporting that it might have been a dud.... So I suppose we shouldn’t worry about it.... And the fact that the Chinese haven’t done anything during the last SIX YEARS to help us contain this lunatic, nothing but place obstacles in our way, and thwart us in our attempts to defang this nutcase, I suppose we can all overlook that too. Because as Bill Clinton told us, China is a "strategic partner" of the United States.

"Do people really care deeply about this stuff except in a freak-show, snickering, train-wreck kind of way?"

Did you care deeply about Clinton and Lewinsky’s naughty business?

Anyway, maybe if FoxNews can keep getting pics of Foley onscreen and put a "D" next to his name in parenths, as they’ve already done, and maybe if people get the idea that Hastert is also a Dem, THEN people should start to care deeply about PredatorGate, right, Julie??

Well, I’ve already pointed out the substantial differences between going after minors who maintain permanent residences with their parents and Clinton having a pathetic affair with a young woman, but in contrast to this:

"The party that is suddenly consumed with worry over the sex lives of Congressional pages and one wierdo [sic] Congressman from Florida..."

consider this - The party that brought sex scandal down to new, gutter-dredging, impeachment-worthy (!!) lows is suddenly indifferent and blase about adult men from their party pursuing and sexually harrassing kids and considers it to be their "sex lives" and not a dangerous, immoral (and quite likely illegal) transgression, because they seek to protect their party’s dominance at any cost...

And what’s up with your use of the Edward R. Murrow sign-off? Yes, Keith Olbermann doesn’t fully fill those shoes, but do you really think you ought to even ATTEMPT it?

Craig Scanlon raises a good point. Here’s a post that exposes the utter hypocrisy of Julie’s post.

http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/

The two anons talking to each other about lunatics was worthy of Paleologus!

"Shocking! Just shocking! But so what? The creep is gone. The grown ups have more important matters to concern themselves with now."

So when Republicans impeach a Democratic President, he’s to blame for not doing enough to catch bin Laden, but when Democrats make noise about a Republican Congressman who was trying to hook up with minors, then they’re distracting the nation from the real issues. That doesn’t really make sense to me, Julie. And Foley didn’t just "happen to be a Republican," ok? No, he was a member of a party that is OBSESSED with what people do in the bedroom, except when its own members are caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing. Sorry, when you claim to be the party of "family values," you get more egg on your face when one of your members gets busted for something like this.

Please let’s remember why Clinton was impeached: he was convicted of perjury and obstructing justice. Not because of he had sex. Foley didn’t lie about it ("it" being lewd emails); he was caught and resigned. Clinton was being invested for the Whitewater deal as well as sexual harassment charges. He was caught lying under oath. He remained president for two more years.

This whole debacle shows the big difference between the Right and the Left: for the Right the greatest sin you can commit is that of moral relativism, or claiming there is no absolute right or wrong. For the Left the worst thing a person can do is be a hypocrite - which is why their solution to not being a hypocrite is simply to avoid condemning the actions of others.

"Please let’s remember why Clinton was impeached: he was convicted of perjury and obstructing justice. Not because of he had sex."

Andrew (Braun, perhaps?) - Not that I’d expect you to receive correction on the matter from any of the NLT bloggers or loyalists here, but the fact is that Clinton was NOT convicted of perjury or obstruction of justice - he was acquitted by the Senate on February 12, 1999. As for why he was impeached (but, again, not subsequently convicted), that was, in essence, because he engaged in extramarital sex. Both charges related to the Lewinsky scandal, and were not related to Whitewater (if that was your intended implication). Incidentally, the Clinton impeachment process also served (to abuse the meaning of serve) to reveal the marital infidelities of two Republicans - Henry Hyde and Bob Livingston - and I also felt that those revelations should have been kept strictly between the involved parties and the philanderers’ wives. As for the Whitewater investigation itself, "Kenneth Starr’s successor, Robert Ray, released a report in September of 2000 that stated ’This office determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that either President or Mrs. Clinton knowingly participated in any criminal conduct.’ Ray’s report effectively ended the Whitewater investigation, with a total cost to American taxpayers of nearly $80 million dollars." (from Wikipedia) I’m not sure if you wrote all that (in your comments) simply because you lacked even a Wikipedia-level knowledge of the events, or if you thought you’d just help out the GOP by tossing it out there, FoxNews-style (a la "Foley is a Dem") to be believed by whoever might be passing through, but you’re just factually wrong. Moving onto your last comment...

"For the Left the worst thing a person can do is be a hypocrite - which is why their solution to not being a hypocrite is simply to avoid condemning the actions of others."

Andrew, please see comment 23 by me, wherein I describe Foley’s behavior as a "dangerous, immoral transgression." I believe that qualifies as "condemning the actions of others," no? And you can feel free to categorize me as a member of The Left. And my personal "solution to not being a hypocrite" is to not engage in any behavior even similar to that of Foley (and, to make it even more crystal clear, that would include such behavior with girls). I think this matter reveals that the Right has committed its own biggest sin of moral relativism, although there’s no chance it will recognzie it as such. The actions committed by Foley would have been (rightly) considered immoral and outrageous if committed by a Democrat, but are not worth "caring deeply about" when committed by Republicans, and should be dutifully minimized as "a freak-show, snickering, train-wreck kind of" incident. I am curious how many on the Right will be willing to allow their own kids to serve as Congressional pages in the offices of anyone even hinted at in the current scandal (at least without 24/7 access to their kids’ cellphone and PC). My guess is very few.

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