Is NATO the New Bully in Town?

by Mustang

My argument (for quite some time now) is that the U.S. State Department is not only inept, but it has also been so for a long time — and is only getting more so over time.  I’m not sure I understand it — other than to suggest that our universities have so embraced the leftist ideology that they no longer produce anyone destined for the foreign service capable of independent thought.  Does it matter?  In light of the current situation in Ukraine, I think the answer is yes.

New Nato Headquarters

NATO Headquarters

In early July 1997, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) admitted three former Soviet satellite states: the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland.  I can understand why these countries would want to join NATO; I’m not sure why our past presidents and cabinet secretaries would wish to increase Russia’s natural paranoia by actively recruiting NATO members from former Soviet states.

It is as if President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright, neither of which was exceptionally bright in the performance of their duties, wanted to recreate post-World War II (Cold War) instability.  If that was their goal in 1997, it’s worked 25 years later — but to no one’s advantage.  Nor can we credit Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman as particularly gifted diplomats.  Since then, no President or Secretary of State, and I include Ronald Reagan, seems to know how to answer the question, “What is power and how should we use it?”

Did anyone after 1992 stop to consider that the Russian Federation lost half of its human population, that its economy was in shambles, and that every Russian leader after Gorbachev would have to spend a great deal of their time addressing these and related issues?  Should the “free world” have welcomed Russia to their new era rather than blame them for the 72 or so years of communism?  Isn’t that much like living in the past at the expense of the present and future?

In 1945, the power club consisted of London, Moscow, and Washington.  That later changed to London, Moscow, and New York (the UN).  Now the power club includes Brussels, Berlin, and Washington … and only Washington because that’s where the money comes from to sustain the UN and NATO.  At a time when NATO was keeping its eye on a post-communist Russia, the Russian Federation had to keep its eye on NATO and China.

One criticism of the U.S. military between 1960 and 2001 was that it had lost sight that Russia was no longer the global threat that it once was under the Soviet Union.  One may understand why the military lost its focus when they realized that the State Department and Depart of Defense, the two senior-most cabinet officials, continually provided lousy advice to the chief executive (among whom few have an adequate understanding of global power politics).

Let’s review: The Soviet Union (Reagan’s Evil Empire) collapsed in 1991.  Why, then, has NATO continued to treat Russia as if it were still a massive communist juggernaut?  Why has the U.S. State Department pushed NATO into ignoring its primary mission statement: to foster an alliance of democracies?

Can we say that the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland were democracies in 1997?  No.  They were working in that direction, but democracy takes time.  It took Spain 40 years to achieve that status, yet NATO put these three former Soviet client states on the fast track.  Why?  And can we see an effect of this today as we mull the Ukraine vs. Russia?  Has NATO migrated from an advocate of collective security to a gang of bullies?

Let’s not confuse ourselves.  Several former Soviet states have achieved capitalism; few have achieved democracy.  Has NATO’s focus on the Balkan states reduced stress in that region or created more of it?  Did NATO learn any lessons at all from the Bosnian Civil War?  Where is Ukraine just now?  It may not be pure capitalism, but it’s working on it.  It has corruption down well enough.  But is Ukraine a democracy?

We may need to stop swimming and tread water for a while … to get our strength back.  NATO today is not too far off the mark from Otto von Bismarck’s Austro-Hungarian apparatus that led us into World War I … with the tables turned.  Rather than NATO, it has become the European Treaty Organization and a damnable bully.  Is this what we Americans are happily paying for?  If the answer is yes, then none of us should be surprised by the perilous situation in Ukraine.  Russia has legitimate concerns — and we ought to at least listen to what they are.

Photo credit: “New Nato Headquarters” by NATO is licensed under (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

Romney’s adviser revealed as a Burisma board member

 

All roads lead to Ukraine. Looks like it is now time to have a look at Romney and his connection to Burisma? Romney states “it is critical for the facts to come out.”

“I did read the transcript. It remains troubling in the extreme. It’s deeply troubling,” said Romney to reporters on Wednesday. “Clearly what we’ve seen from the transcript itself is deeply troubling.”

“If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme,” Romney tweeted, adding that it’s “Critical for the facts to come out.”

Interestingly, however – Romney’s 2012 national security adviser sits on the board of Burisma.

Now read this from Thomas Lifson via The American Thinker

Well, this is certainly an odd coincidence! In fact, when you dig in, you find an amazing series of coincidences. If you believe in coincidences when the CIA is involved, that is.

Mitt Romney’s national security advisor in his 2012 campaign — a career CIA spook who rose to its top levels — sits on the board of directors of Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company that formerly paid Hunter Biden $50k a month despite his complete lack of credentials or qualifications.

And it also an odd coincidence that Mitt has as CNN puts it “been a lone Republican voice expressing concern about President Donald Trump’s July phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asked Ukraine’s President to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his family.”

Back on October 6, 2011, presidential candidate Mitt Romney proudly announced that Joseph Cofer Black (listed as “Cofer Black”) was among the people chosen as “special advisers”:

… to advise Governor Romney on foreign policy strategy, defense issues, intelligence matters, counterterrorism, and regional policy. These advisers will assist Governor Romney as he presents his vision for restoring American leadership in the world and securing our enduring interests and ideals abroad.

Mr. Black brought to this role his extensive background at the CIA, which he joined in 1974 and where he trained for covert operations

A great read and worth the trip: American Thinker
More at Zero Hedge

What is getting apparently clear is that what we thought was the State department running our foreign policy in fact is the CIA. I ask why is the CIA transcribing what happens with phone calls the President makes. Why not the State department?

Whistle blower? This is no whistle blower. This is a Coup.

All is very well in the swamp.

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Court grants new Discovery on Clinton E-mails – Hillary may be deposed!

 

No thanks to the Trump DOJ or State Department the investigation into Hillary’s Emails continues. Fighting it all the way. Still it plods along.The court ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”

Thank one honest judge U.S. District Court Judge Lamberth who has ordered Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers and Clinton aides to be deposed or answer written questions under oath.

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced on Friday that a federal judge granted seven additional depositions, three interrogatories and four document requests related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private, unauthorized email server.

Hillary Clinton and her former top aide and current lawyer Cheryl Mills were given 30 days to oppose being deposed by Judicial Watch (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)).

Hillary clinton

The court rejected Justice and State Department arguments to protect Clinton and the agencies from additional discovery and ordered agency lawyers to respond to Judicial Watch’s questions about their knowledge of the Clinton email issue.

The court granted all of Judicial Watch’s requested discovery but gave Clinton and Mills 30 days to file any opposition to the requests to question them in person under oath.

The new court-ordered discovery allows Judicial Watch to take testimony and gather evidence of Clinton’s handling of emails, specifically in an “after action memo” drafted by Heather Samuelson, Clinton’s senior advisor at State and White House liaison.

The memo was created in December 2014 to memorialize the Clinton team’s processing of the Clinton emails. The discovery also asks when Justice and State Department attorneys learned about Clinton’s private email use; and what senior records-keeping officials at the State Department knew about Clinton’s emails and when they knew it.

This past Friday, Judicial Watch submitted the document request to Hillary Clinton’s attorneys for the “after action memo” that Samuelson created.

More at Judicial watch

One has to wonder why Judicial Watch has to do all the heavy lifting concerning government scandals but I guess we do know the answer.

For more background JUDICIAL WATCH VICTORY: COURT GRANTS SIGNIFICANT NEW DISCOVERY IN CLINTON EMAIL CASE

Other than that all is well in the swamp.

Welcome Whatfinger News readers..thanks for the link..

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State Dept: ‘U.S. not being run out of town’ – (Third Embassy down)

State Dept: U.S. Not ‘Being Run Out of Town’ Despite Abandoning 3rd US Embassy in Middle East

Here is the chuckle clip of the day. Everything A-OK. Arab Spring? No problem. Here is our Valley Girl with her assessment, especially of Yemen where our Marines were ordered by the State Department to leave without support of our military and non-functional weapons.

Corker and Chaffetz at hearings and socks it to the government- Video

After watching yesterday’s various hearings, I have attempted to put together three of my favorite hits. Guaranteed to give you a lot of fireworks, display the contempt this government has for us, and to otherwise be worthy of your time.  First, the most explosive with our man Kerry. (This is a duplicate that I offered as well with the vote to arm the Syrian rebels today). What would be a hit without Lerch. Lerch suggests that ISIS has been put on their heels by the Free Syrian Army. Then Chaffetz gives it to DHS, and finally a rather obscure clip when this DHS fellow is shown mocking us. Put your feet up and Enjoy!

Wednesday at the Senate Foreign Relation Committee hearing on U.S. strategy for combating ISIS, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) criticized President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry as “three senators” exercising “terrible judgment” on the U.S. strategy against ISIS. A written portion follows.

Kerry got into a heated exchange with Corker who said, “I want to say as I said personally, we have three senators, president, vice president, secretary of state, that are exercising terrible judgment right now. And to say that you’re going to do this regardless of what we say, you’re not going to ask for buy-in by the United States Senate or House of Representatives on behalf of the American people in a conflict that’s going to be multiyear. Some people say a decade. Taking us into another country with a different enemy, is exercising the worst judgment possible.”

“I’ve said this to you as strongly as I can personally, that in essence what you’re saying to the chairman right now, saying if Congress wants to play a constructive role, we would welcome that, to me, this is a political game and I’m disappointed that you as secretary of state, being chairman of this committee, espousing the views you have espoused,” he added.

Chaffetz to DHS Sec.: Do you know of any known terrorists apprehended at the southwest border.

Hearing: “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland”
House Homeland Security Full Committee
Sept. 17, 2014

 

 

During a House Homeland Security Committee hearing today focused on worldwide threats to America, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), asked DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson whether he is “aware of any apprehensions of suspected or known terrorists” who have attempted to enter the U.S. illegally during his tenure as homeland security chief.  Johnson was sworn in as the fourth DHS secretary on December 23, 2013. When asked if he was aware of that situation, Johnson said, “I’ve heard reports to that effect. I don’t know the accuracy of the reports or how much credence to give them, but I’ve heard reports to that effect.”

“I do agree with you that the challenge of those coming from countries other than Mexico particularly into the Rio Grande Valley sector [in Texas] is one I’m very concerned about. It’s something I’ve been concerned about since I took office in January,” the DHS secretary told Rep. Chaffetz. “I’ve seen it myself at our detention center in Brownsville when I visited there in January, there was something like 80 nationalities of illegal migrants present there.”

The congressman from Utah, citing an “internal” DHS document as the source, said that so far this fiscal year (Sept.1 thru October 30), the U.S. has apprehended aliens from 143 different countries trying to illegally enter the U.S., including 13 individuals from Syria, 6 from Iraq, and 4 from Iran. 

Those countries have been identified by the U.S. government as having ties to terrorism.

Rep. Chaffetz noted that although nearly 466,000 illegal aliens have been apprehended so far in fiscal 2014, an estimated 157,012 have been identified as “got-aways” and 142,630 as “turn-backs.”

Finally this clip where we are mocked.

During this interview, Mr. Johnson opines that everyone here illegally will willingly come forward and that will make for a safer America. Mr. Barletta takes him to task and asks whether drug dealers will come forward as well. Note the smirk.

 

Published on Sep 17, 2014 

Boko Haram steals hundreds of more school boys in Nigeria

More children taken by Boko Haram. So time to go back and see what our savants in the government were saying about the group just a few months ago. Here is the latest:

Via NY Post:  August 15, 2014

Suspected Islamist Boko Haram fighters have abducted dozens of boys and men in a raid on a remote village in northeast Nigeria, loading them onto trucks and driving them off, witnesses who fled the violence said Friday.

The kidnappings come four months after Boko Haram, which is fighting to reinstate a medieval Islamic caliphate in religiously mixed Nigeria, abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok.

Several witnesses who fled after Sunday’s raid on Doron Baga, a sandy fishing village near Lake Chad, said the militants had burned several houses and that as many as 97 people were unaccounted for.

“They left no men or boys in the place; only young children, girls and women,” said Halima Adamu, sobbing softly and looking exhausted after a 110-mile road trip on the back of a truck to the northern city of Maiduguri.

Keep reading…

 

U.S. urged Nigeria restraint earlier in striking back at Terrorists

Hillary Clinton not only refused to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist group, despite an unparalleled record of terror, but the Obama regime actually even urged Nigeria to show “restraint” against them, as reported a year ago:

Via Breitbart:

On May 18, 2013 Nigerian war planes “struck militant camps in the northeast” in an attempt to stem the growing tide of Islamic terrorists in the area. The U.S. quickly warned that Nigeria needs to be sure “to respect human rights and not harm civilians.

Reuters reports that Nigerian troops used “jets and helicopters to bombard targets in their biggest offensive since the Boko Haram group launched a revolt almost four years ago.”

But three days after President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the northeast, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a strongly worded statement saying: “We are … deeply concerned by credible allegations that Nigerian security forces are committing gross human rights violations, which, in turn, only escalate the violence and fuel extremism.”

The situation in northeast Nigeria has become so bad that President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency there days ago.

Since that time, as Nigeria has used jets and helicopters to try to rein the Islamists in, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he has “credible evidence” that Nigeria has committed “human rights violations” in retaliating against the Islamists.

Kerry said he condemns “Boko Haram’s campaign of terror in the strongest terms,” but he wants Nigeria to show “restraint” in their response.

Commie Blaster: Obama Regime Rebuilt Mosque in Boko Haram Area

In 2011, the State Department even provided funds to restore the 15th century Gobarau Minaret in Katsina State in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north, an area which has become a virtual killing field for Christians at the hands of Boko Haram.

Since 2009 over 288 Christian churches in Nigeria have been burned, thousands of Christian-owned homes destroyed, and over 2,000 Christians killed, including in July 2012 when fifty members of a northern Nigerian church were burned to death in their pastor’s house.

And how about what Carson has to say on the matter?

Religion Is Not Driving violence in Nigeria After Islamists Slaughter 39 Christians April 11, 2012 — bunkerville

Another Dangerous Team Obama Idiot: State Official Says Religion Is Not Driving Extremist Violence in Nigeria – After Islamists Slaughter 39 Christians, reads the headline.

Asst. Secretary of State Johnnie Carson

 “ I want to take this opportunity to stress one key point and that is that religion is not driving extremist violence either in Jos, or northern Nigeria,” Assistant  Secretary of State Carson said Monday at a forum on U.S. policy toward Nigeria held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. ED. (So much fo his insight)

 

State Department ‘No evidence Hamas plays any roll in Palestinian Government’

But then again, the State Department doesn’t know anything about China’s Hypersonic Missile Test either. Good news, no one home for the 3:00 am phone call. Apparently not for any phone call. As Hamas blasts away at Israel.

Hey Jan, here is a heads up:

Via Guardian: Palestinian unity government of Fatah and Hamas sworn in

….The new government will reunite Gaza and the West Bank under a single political authority for the first time since 2007, when Hamas – which won Palestinian legislative elections in 2006 – asserted control over the Gaza Strip, forcing out Fatah….

Psaki must’ve missed this article.

How else to explain this exchange, from yesterday?

Via Free Beacon: State Dept: ‘No Evidence That Hamas Plays Any Role’ in Palestinian Government

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki claimed again Tuesday that “no evidence” existed that the terrorist organization Hamas “plays any role” in the Palestinian government.

A reporter asked Psaki if President Mahmoud Abbas bore any blame for the current fighting between Israel and Hamas, saying, “at one point, yes, it was a conflict between just the U.S. and Hamas, and Abbas had no real kind of skin in the game, because it was between the two parties even though it was affecting the Palestinian people directly. But now, he’s part of a unity government and has some influence with Hamas now, wouldn’t you say?”

” Well, we have no evidence that Hamas plays any role in the interim technocratic government, and as far as we know, there have also been no steps taken for the implementation of the reconciliation,” Psaki said…

How else to explain this exchange, from yesterday?

 

Bonus time. Just to get the old laugh-o-meter rolling. Note the laughter from the journalist. From Deputy Spokesperson, Marie Harf who knows nothing about nothing:

Marie Harf on China’s Hypersonic Missile Test

Marie- here is a head’s up as well.

China has successfully tested its first hypersonic missile delivery vehicle capable of penetrating US missile defense system and delivering nuclear warheads with record breaking speeds, Pentagon officials have confirmed.

The new hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), dubbed the WU-14 was allegedly spotted flying at record-breaking speeds during a flight test over China on January 9, an anonymous Pentagon official told the Washington Free Beacon.

The new weapon delivery system is reportedly designed to be launched as the final stage of China’s intercontinental ballistic missile, which would approach its target at a velocity of up to 10 times the speed of sound. Hypersonic speed range lies between Mach 5 and Mach 10, or 3,840 to 7,680 miles per hour.

The Chinese are “actively seeking global military power to challenge the United States, and it is not yet in any mood to talk, or engage in arms control, about it,” Fisher said.

In May, the Pentagon’s assessment of Chinese capabilities suggested that China built the world’s largest shockwave hypersonic wind tunnel capable of generating test flying conditions of up to Mach 9 speeds.

Two Chinese technical papers from December 2012 and April 2013 revealed that the country is developing precision guidance systems designed to be directed via satellite. The second Chinese paper concluded that hypersonic weapons pose “a new aerospace threat.”

Read more  Here

H/T: Tammy Bruce

State Department Warns Congress Not to ‘Derail’ Iran Diplomacy

What universe does our State Dept live in? While looking for the clip of our gal Harf who gives the inside view as spokesperson for the States Dept, I found this clip while looking for the even more bizarre comments as to why perhaps one of Iran’s hostage takers of our citizens should be allowed to come to the U.S. as Ambassador to the United Nations. We sure let the world stick it to us these days, don’t we.

Published on Jan 14, 2014

State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf told the press Monday that Congress “shouldn’t take any steps” to exacerbate the “very delicate diplomatic situation” with Iran.

“This is the best chance we’ve had for a diplomatic resolution forever to the Iranian nuclear program. And who knows when we’ll get this chance again?” Harf said. “We need to give our team and our experts the space to get this done.”

(Hint): We having been down this road a millions miles before Ms Harf. Let’s lift all the sanctions. That will work. I am sure of it.

 

Mr Kerry? Whose side are we on?

As we reflect back on this day of September 11, this day that changed our world forever, I could think of no better tribute then to honor a Representative who was willing to pull out the full stop on John Kerry. One won’t find this clip in the media, but it is as meaningful an analysis of the Kerry/Obama non strategy you will find anywhere. So hats off to Jeff Miller from Florida.

What is fascinating to me is that the House has been pulling the weight in various hearings that have been held recently. Unfortunately, these relatively unknown Congressmen get precious little press. Many of them are there because we, as Tea Party folks put them there. As much as Boehner would like to dismiss them, it is they who have the cojones to stand up to the likes of  John Kerry,

GOP Rep. challenges Kerry on Syria: “Whose side are we on?”

Published on Sep 10, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry had a testy exchange with Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, about President Obama  s request for a limited military strike in Syria.

State Dept clears Benghazi Officials “These are real people with real lives”

First A clip of Charlene Lamb’s testimony before Issa’s House Committee.She declined the requests for improved security. She says it was not a budget concern that denied additional funding. No matter, the orders came from higher up no doubt. Hillary and her pals will skate on this one. The sad part is that no one at all will pay any consequence for this fiasco that cost lives and maimed who knows even how many. In the second clip Marie Harf appears in the video at about 1:00 minute in. Note the petulant arrogant mouth piece who apparently is the new face of the State department.
State Department Clears Benghazi Officials: “These Are Real People with Real lives” she says. How about those who will never again be real people with real lives?

Four State Department employees put on leave after terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi have been cleared, the department says.

The group had been put on administrative leave in December by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after the September attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

“After consideration, he reaffirmed its findings that no employee breached their duty or should be fired but rather that some should be reassigned.”

The decision to move the Benghazi consulate workers to other areas within the department was made to “continue to turn the page and shift the paradigm inside the department,” the official said. Yes indeed, let us turn this nasty page. GOP USA

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