Tag Archives: CBS

A GREAT AMERICAN WEAKNESS

Hillary and Gates

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates was interviewed yesterday on CBS’ Face the Nation.   He clearly does not think much of current and prospective presidential candidates, most of whom are, like Mr. Gates, Republicans.

The big problem is that foreign policy is set to play a big role in next year’s presidential election, sharing priority with the economy.

And this is the problem – none of the Republican candidates have had any experience in foreign policy.   The Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was a former Secretary of State and, therefore, has had more experience.   Mr. Gates and Mrs. Clinton overlapped so know each other well.

This has always been a big weakness in the American political system, that somebody can come from seemingly nowhere, with little or no experience, and become “the leader of the free world” and is immediately eyeballing world leaders who have had twenty or more years experience in government, including foreign affairs.  The current president and his two predecessors illustrate this well.

A prominent US politician in the 1950’s put it well when he said:  “It is true that, in America, any boy can grow up to become president. This is something we’re going to have to learn to live with!”

What makes it matter more this time is that the US and its allies are facing greater danger now than ever before.   This is the warning from former Deputy Director of the CIA, Michael Morrell, whose book The Great War of Our Time has just been published.   Mr. Morrell writes about the danger from ISIS, but also warns that there are three terrorist groups in the Middle East that are an even bigger threat to the West.   It’s only a matter of time, warns Mr. Morrell, before a major attack is launched.  We have already seen relatively minor attacks.

In the 1930’s Great Britain was constantly being warned by Winston Churchill of what was happening in Germany and the threat it posed to Britain and the rest of Europe.   When war came, Churchill was asked to lead the country in its long struggle for survival.   Today, there is no Churchill.

Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas wrote on May 8th that steps should be taken immediately to halt immigration from Iraq and Syria, home to ISIS.   People from those countries pose a huge security risk to the US and other western nations.   You can guarantee that not one presidential candidate will touch on this issue.  If immigration is discussed at all, it will be to fast track the path to citizenship for illegals already in the country, so that they will be ready to vote for the Democrats in time for this or the next election.   Nothing will be said about keeping people out, especially those from ISIS influenced areas.

Politicians lack knowledge and understanding of the rest of the world.   Some time ago, it was revealed that less than one third of US Congressmen even had a passport.   Perhaps this is why candidates, trying to make up for this, are already starting to fly around the world spending a day in London, 12 hours in Paris, 6 in Berlin, etc., etc.   This is in order to impress, sending a not-so-subtle message that “I understand the world – I’ve been there, done that!”

But, under pressure, they show little if any understanding. Republicans Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are the two latest to put their foot in their mouth and say the wrong thing.

When Mr. Bush was asked a few days ago whether he would have chosen to send troops into Iraq like his brother did, he answered in the affirmative, also claiming that Mrs. Clinton would have done likewise.  Shortly afterward he backtracked, claiming he did not understand the question.  Later still he said he would not have sent troops into Iraq.

Surely the correct answer should have been to say, “Based on the intelligence we had at the time, I would have chosen to go into Iraq; but now, in hindsight, it was clearly a big mistake.”

Marco Rubio went a bit further claiming that the world is a better place with Saddam Hussein gone.  It is???  I would not have liked to have lived under Saddam, but I would have preferred living there under him than living there now.   And that goes for hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have fled the country.

The bigger picture is even worse – by invading Iraq, we set off a chain of events that have given us ISIS and a growing Shia-Sunni conflict that threatens the peace and security of the world.

These two men are no more ignorant than many others.  John McLaughlin of the McLaughlin Group (PBS) read a statement at the weekend from a senior member of the Obama Administration justifying an agreement with Iran.  The statement expressed the hope that, through the pending agreement, Iran would be able to return fully to the family of nations and would turn its back on terrorism and conflict.  The spokesman added the hope that it would lead to a healing of the historic schism between Shia and Sunni Islam.

What?   Did somebody really write that?   Are they serious when they think that a short-lived US Administration can bring about peace between Shia and Sunni and end a 1400-year-old conflict? Next, they will be thinking they can resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — oops, I forgot, more than one Administration has already tried that!

Doesn’t anybody know history any more?  Don’t they stay awake during history class at school?  Come to think of it, history and geography are hardly taught in schools.   Perhaps that explains everything – presidential candidates went to school like everybody else.  It’s not surprising they know so little about history and can’t even find most countries on the map!

 

ONE-SIDED NEWS

Zemir Begic
Zemir Begic

Zemir Begic will never be as famous as Michael Brown. Yet both men died on a Missouri street and both deaths were likely connected.

“Zemir Begic, a 32-year-old man who emigrated from war-torn Bosnia almost two decades ago in search of a better life, was bludgeoned to death Sunday, allegedly by a group of hammer-wielding teenagers, one of whom has been charged as an adult. Begic was driving with his fiancée, Arijana Mujkanovic, and a male passenger at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday in St. Louis when five teenagers began pounding his vehicle with a hammer, according to police. When Begic confronted them, he was struck in the mouth, face, head and body with hammers and died at a nearby hospital.” (Fox News website)

The five teens were black while Begic was white. The 70,000-strong Bosnian community in the St Louis area is convinced the murder was a hate crime, an indirect consequence of the racial tension in and around nearby Ferguson.

This particular news item did not make it to network news. I saw it on the Fox News website.

Sadly, it remains the case that mainstream media ignores most cases of blacks murdering whites, while, as Ferguson shows, dwelling for inordinate lengths of time on blacks being the victims of whites (Michael Brown and Eric Garner are two classic examples of this).

The media is largely to blame for the riots that engulfed Ferguson and other cities the past few days. If ABC, CBS and NBC had given as much time to the death of Michael Brown and subsequent developments as they did to Zemir Begic, we would have had no riots.

The deaths of both Michael Brown and Zemir Begic are tragic.

It’s also tragic, in a different way, to witness what has become of most television news. The bias is clear.   And nothing will be done about it, unless we all, en masse, stop watching until they clean up their act.

NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

News

“Based on current trends China’s economy will overtake America’s in purchasing power terms within the next few years . . . The US is now no longer the world’s sole economic superpower and indeed its share of world output . . . has slipped below the 20% level which we have seen was a useful sign historically of a single dominant economic superpower.” (“America is very close to losing its place in the world as #1.” Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid is quoted.)

Rapidly gaining on the US is China. “Reid offered this prescient quote from Napoleon Bonaparte: ‘Let China sleep, for when she awakes, she will shake the world.’”

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Turkey is key to dealing with ISIS.

This Middle Eastern nation is the second biggest military power in NATO and is a long-term US ally.   But its new president, former prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is not the secularist his predecessors have been.   Rather, he’s a more religious Sunni Muslim. As ISIS is Sunni, Erdogan’s loyalty to the US is now in doubt. This is serious for the United States – American nuclear missiles are based in the country.

Turkey was also a long time friend of Israel. Erdogan is now comparing Israel to Hitler.

CBS’s security expert, Michael Morrell, said Monday that there are four Islamic terrorist groups that seriously threaten the West. He said that ISIS is not the greatest threat. That accolade goes to ‘Al-Qaeda in the Yemen.’

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Scotland votes tomorrow on breaking away from the United Kingdom. According to opinion polls, the two sides are running neck and neck. If the “Yes” vote wins, there will likely be a financial upheaval.   Already, the Royal Bank of Scotland, once the world’s biggest bank, is saying it will move its HQ from Scotland to London. Other big companies have also said they will head south.

Scotland depends on London for roughly 10% of its spending, money that will no longer be forthcoming. Additionally, breaking away from the UK will leave Scotland with no currency – it will have to join the eurozone, giving Germany effective control over government spending.

Assuming a “yes” vote, there will be eighteen months of discussions aimed at a manageable divorce, before the new country receives its independence.

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The Obama Administration is sending 3,000 US troops to West Africa, mainly Liberia.

The same administration reluctantly agreed to send 500 military advisers to Iraq to train Iraqis to fight ISIS.

Which poses the greatest threat to the United States, ISIS or Ebola?

SEE AMERICA DESTROY ITSELF – EVERY NIGHT ON NETWORK TELEVISION

streaming-network-image

If you want to know what’s wrong with America, spend an evening watching network television!   After years of not watching any network TV shows, I spent some time Monday evening checking out some of the “highly recommended” shows on CBS.

After watching a documentary on how World War II affected Alaska, part of the “Victory at Sea” series being shown on TCT, I changed channels in time for “We are Men.”  This comedy show is about four men who have all failed when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex.  It’s not surprising when you see their level of maturity.  Added to which, in their juvenile minds, the word “relationship” simply means sex.  I doubt any one of them has any knowledge of the way things used to be – back in the “ancient” world when a man married a woman and they had children and all lived together in one household, the norm in my childhood.

The next show “2 Broke Girls” was indescribably awful.  Thankfully, I was saved from this show by a sick ten-month-old who needed some attention.  Reality, even when it’s challenging, is always preferable to Hollywood’s fantasy world.

At 9.30, “Mom” came on, another comedy about three generations of single mothers.   The grandmother and daughter have a toxic relationship and are far too open about the sins of their respective pasts.  Meanwhile, the teenage daughter, alone in the bathroom, was taking a pregnancy test, which turned out to be positive, which means next season there will be a fourth generation single female.  And so the retreat from traditional family values goes on and on!

At 10pm, CBS switched from comedy to violence, with a new thriller called “Hostages.”   The premise of this show is quite a good one.  A doctor’s family is being held hostage while she has to kill the President of the United States during surgery she is set to perform.  At the last minute, she turns the tables on them, losing a close friend in the process.  As the second episode progressed, it turned out that the operation (terrorist operation, that is) is an inside job, with people in the FBI and even the White House intent on a palace coup.

One obvious question here – could people get any ideas from this show?  After all, terrorism and hostage taking are becoming the norm all over the world.

And, if people are getting ideas about taking hostages to bring about a desired end, could they also be getting ideas about the alternative lifestyles on the other shows mentioned above?

After all, the idea behind all these shows is to sell products during the commercials.   The ads pay for the programs.  Commercials pay or companies wouldn’t advertise.

If ads are that influential, then surely the programs are, too?

In which case, perhaps we should all be more careful not to allow programs like these to influence us?

As the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:8:  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”  (NIV)

This verse clearly doesn’t allow for much television.

One evening was enough with network TV (the main television channels).  Tonight, if I watch anything, it will be on PBS!