Edward W. Brooke Is Dead

3 01 2015

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

He is gone, and it is sad.  He was not a rock star or a celebrity in today’s terms; and most Americans have never heard of him.  But he should be remembered; and I will always remember him fondly.  He was a trailblazer.

Brooke was a black man, and I was a white man, more than 20 years his junior.  He hailed from Massachusetts, and my home was California, on the opposite sides of the continent—and seemingly worlds apart.  We were both lawyers, and we enjoyed laughing together; and perhaps this is what I will remember most about him.  He had a charming, infectious laugh; a wonderful smile; and a good sense of humor.  I believe he tried to do his best, and I did too; and our paths crossed purely by chance.

I was an Army captain—fresh out of the Pentagon during the Vietnam War—when I went job hunting on Capitol Hill.  Before the military, I had worked briefly for a prestigious law firm in San Francisco, after graduating from law school at Berkeley.  They had offered me a job when my two-year Army commitment was finished; and instead, I wanted to work on the Hill, which I thought would be more exciting and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, before I returned to California.

As chance would have it—after having “back-up” offers from the Justice Department and the SEC—I was not hired to work for Senator Alan Cranston of California, which is what I really wanted to do.  His staff was headed by someone from New York, who seemingly cared nothing about my love for California, or my connections and credentials, because apparently he wanted to propel Cranston into the foreign policy arena nationally.  I even offered to work free for a month, so I could demonstrate my talents and enthusiasm, but it came to naught.

In the process of “pounding the corridors” on the Hill, an acquaintance told me that Ed Brooke was looking for someone to staff him on the Senate Banking Committee, which seemed to be an ideal fit.  In college, I had worked two summers as a relief teller at lots of branches of a Southern California bank.  Also, I was in the midst of finishing a second law degree at Georgetown’s law school, the LLM, with emphasis on international trade law that related to the committee’s oversight responsibilities.  I never met the senator nor knew much about him before I was hired by his very talented and superb chief of staff—or “Administrative Assistant”—Dr. Alton Frye.  He and I hit it off; and the next thing I knew, I had been hired.

Officially, I was on the “minority” or Republican staff of the committee—because the Democrats controlled the Senate—and the senator was one of the committee’s ranking GOP members.  Unofficially, I worked for the senator on legislative matters and speeches and dealing with constituents.  It was heady work, and I enjoyed it immensely.  John Sparkman of Alabama was the committee’s chairman; and he had been the Democratic Party’s nominee for Vice President in 1952, running on the ticket of Adlai Stevenson, when Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon trounced them.

Also, Bill Proxmire of Wisconsin was on the committee, who turned out to be one of the finest public servants I have ever met.[2]  Other senators included Ed Muskie from Maine, who ran for the presidency; Walter “Fritz” Mondale from Minnesota, who became Jimmy Carter’s Vice President and ran for the presidency himself against Ronald Reagan in 1984; and Charles “Chuck” Percy of Illinois, who had been president of Bell & Howell before he entered the Senate, and whose daughter married Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia.

On the committee staff, where my official title was “Assistant Counsel,” the first thing that I did was staff the Presidential Commission on Mortgage Interest Rates, which was an education unto itself.  We met in a room off the Capitol rotunda; and it was a joint Senate-House commission, chaired by Sparkman and Congressman Wright Patman of Texas.  Sparkman was 70 and Patman was 76; and both legislators were wily and shrewd like few people whom I had met in my life, up to and including today.  Also, both were delightful human beings.

Ed Brooke had been elected to the Senate two years before I arrived, so he was still very junior in terms of seniority.  However, because he was the first black U.S. senator since Reconstruction after the Civil War—with Barack Obama being the third—he was afforded a certain amount of respect and responsibility.  He had been Massachusetts’ Attorney General, and he was smart and charming; and his colleagues in the Senate seemed to genuinely like him.

I was responsible for the senator’s legislative matters pertaining to banking, securities, international trade, and housing.  The committee’s jurisdiction included oversight of the Federal Reserve Board, the Treasury Department, HUD, the SEC, and the bank regulatory agencies such as the FDIC.  Among other things, I participated in drafting laws, in addition to assorted bills on various subjects such as Standby Letters of Credit.  Most importantly though, I authored the Anti-Tying Provision of the Bank Holding Company Act Amendments of 1970, which remains the only federal antitrust law enacted by Congress that deals specifically with predatory lending practices by banks and other financial institutions.[3]

Also, I authored two pieces of housing legislation as part of the Housing and Urban Development Acts of 1969 and 1970, with respect to which I will always be very proud: the “Brooke Amendment” relating to public housing; and the national “Housing Allowance” program, which morphed into the Section 8 housing program that has helped millions of Americans.  Unfortunately, there is scant mention of the first program in the senator’s book, “Bridging the Divide: My Life”—which is contained in one paragraph.[4]  No mention of the second program is made at all, yet both have helped enormous numbers of poor Americans, many of them elderly.

Others contributed to the writing of Ed’s book; I did not.  Presumably they had no idea about the origins of the Brooke Amendment, nor how many Americans were helped by it and Section 8.  The senator told me one day that he was concerned about the plight of public housing tenants in Massachusetts, especially the elderly.[5]  Hence, I went to work and tried to determine what could be done.  One person who was central to my efforts was a wonderful black man, the late Tony Henry, who headed a group called the National Tenants Organization.

Tony gave me the idea of capping the rents that public housing tenants paid at 25 percent of their incomes, with the federal government picking up the difference; and providing other financial assistance to the crime- and poverty-stricken projects.  This became the Brooke Amendment; and in turn, the Housing Allowance program was an outgrowth of that—without tying the government assistance to particular projects, but providing “vouchers” that allowed the poor to choose.  Literally millions of Americans have been helped; and without the senator, it never would have happened.  Indeed, I used to read handwritten thank you letters to Brooke from the elderly, which moved one to tears.

Members of his personal staff and I established a summer program for disadvantaged kids in Massachusetts—on behalf of the senator, in conjunction with the Pentagon—which involved underutilized military facilities in the State, such as the Boston Navy Yard and Otis Air Force Base.  This wonderful idea came to me from the late Bob Goralski of NBC News; and the program served approximately 100,000 kids during its first year alone, which was impressive.  The senator and I traveled to Massachusetts with then-Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird to review the program and its progress.

Prior to his reelection campaign in 1972, the senator asked me to head his Senate staff, as his Administrative Assistant, which I did—even though I was a Californian.  However, he never really had any serious challengers, so our elaborate campaign plans were truncated, and the job proved to be boring.  I was not happy, because I wanted to work on substantive matters; and it turned out to be a mistake.  The senator was gracious as always; and as we had agreed, I left the Senate in January of 1973 following his reelection, to join a Washington law firm as a partner.

Thereafter, I represented all of the banks in Massachusetts, the Prudential Insurance Company of America and other clients, and came in contact with the senator and his staff on a regular basis.  He was helpful and kind; and I always wanted the best for him.  He had been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate at times, but it never came to pass.  He divorced and remarried; and from all accounts, his second marriage was happy and fulfilling, to a wonderful woman, which pleased me greatly.

In the final analysis, how would I rate the man, based on my years with him—and being around other important figures in contemporary history?  He never reached his full potential politically, although he achieved a great deal.  Among other things, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.  The courthouse in Boston bears his name; he is the only African-American reelected to the Senate; and a school was named in his honor.[6]

Perhaps the most important comparison might be to Barack Obama.  In a sense, Ed Brooke paved the way for Obama’s presidency.  There is no doubt about the intelligence of both politicians.  However, Obama was elected to the presidency when he was 47, while Brooke was elected to the Senate at the same age.  Obama shot into the stratosphere politically, while Brooke never had that chance.  I believe he knew it, although he was flattered when people mentioned him for the national ticket.

Brooke did not try to change America because of any hatred of whites or our capitalist system.  After reading Obama’s “Dreams from My Father,” most Americans will have few if any doubts why he associated with and befriended Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.  Their radical views seemed consistent with his.[7]  Ed Brooke was not a radical, or even close.  He grew up on the American mainland; whereas, Obama grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia, and never set foot on the American mainland until he attended Occidental College in Southern California.

Brooke was an American, and proud to be one.  He did not engage in class warfare like Obama has.  He did not have deep-seated racial anger, nor exacerbate racial tensions and violence.  And he was not a Narcissistic demagogue like Obama is.  Brooke grew up with a stable family life; Obama did not.  I have zero doubts that both men faced unbelievable discrimination because of their skin color, especially Brooke—because of the times when he grew up.  However, I never experienced any racism on his part.  Because he was a U.S. Army officer in Italy during World War II, where he saw combat, there was no anti-military hostility or prejudice like Obama has.

If Brooke had an Achilles’ heel or more than one, they involved women and possible links to the Mafia, which were unsettling.  His affairs with white women such as Barbara Walters have been documented.  However, most disturbing were his affairs with young white women on his Senate staff, before I arrived in his offices.[8]  Many of their lives were changed forever by the experiences.

The first links to the Mafia apparently arose during his tenure as Attorney General, and continued when he was in the Senate.  I met his “contact”—to whom I shall refer as “Norman”—when he visited the senator on numerous occasions in the Russell Senate Office Building.  Indeed, the man advised me against investing with the senator on the island of Saint Martin (also Sint Maarten) in the Caribbean, where the senator owned a home and came to know Anne, his lovely second wife and the mother of his son.  I always appreciated the advice, and knew it was for my protection and well being.

Perhaps it is these “skeletons” that prevented him from achieving more—or maybe it was simply the racism of the times.  No one may ever know.  Most of the senator’s professional staff was white; and the only black member who worked for him while I was involved became very dissatisfied because the senator was not more “active” on the issues that concerned their race.  However, I will never forget that a black man gave a young white man, me, a chance to work at the highest levels of American government; and I will always be deeply appreciative of this.

I am sad that Ed Brooke is gone.  He is missed.  He was not perfect; no one is.  Yet, he made a difference—in Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and in American politics and life.  He was an American leader before Barack Obama was even born; and he was a conciliator, not a rabble-rouser or racist.  And I will always remember his wonderful smile and laugh.

© 2015, Timothy D. Naegele

Ed Brooke


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search:Timothy D. Naegele

[2] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1799 (“When A Giant Named Senator Bill Walked Through Washington”)

[3] See 12 U.S.C. § 1972; see also Timothy D. Naegele, “The Bank Holding Company Act’s Anti-Tying Provision: 35 Years Later,” 122 Banking Law Journal 195 (March 2005); “The Anti-Tying Provision: Its Potential Is Still There,” 100 Banking Law Journal 138 (1983); and “Are All Bank Tie-Ins Illegal?” 154 Bankers Magazine 46 (1971) (http://www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles).

[4] See Edward W. Brooke, “Bridging the Divide: My Life,” p. 177.

[5] Many of these elderly were black; and they were preyed on and intimidated by young black thugs and hoods in the public housing projects and elsewhere.  Tragically, this happens all too often today; and Ed Brooke wanted to put a stop to it.

[6] See, e.g.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Brooke

[7] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

On most issues, I was politically in tune with Ed Brooke; I am not with Barack Obama.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/is-obama-the-new-nixon/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

[8] One of the women told me that her goal was to bed the senator, which was consummated later—many years before he and Anne were married.

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-2830 (“The Truth About Martin Luther King, Jr. Emerges . . . Finally”)





Is Obama The New Nixon?

1 03 2013

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Barack Obama said recently:

I am not a dictator.[2]

For many Americans who detest him totally—at the very least—this statement is all too reminiscent of Richard M. Nixon’s famous words:

I’m not a crook.[3]

The parallels are emerging rapidly; and Obama may suffer a similar fate.

Both had serious psychological issues: in the case of Obama, stemming from the fact that he grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia without his natural father; and his mother shipped him off to live with her parents in Honolulu, at a very young age, where he remained until he left to attend college on the American mainland.[4]

He is a Narcissist and a demagogue; and his reelection in 2012 merely elevated and reinforced these qualities in him.  Indeed, he has come to believe that he is invincible, politically; and he has set about to change America, much like Nixon did after his landslide reelection victory in 1972.

In an earlier article about Obama, I asked:

In the final analysis, will he be viewed as a fad and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who is forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history?  Will his naïveté have been matched by his overarching narcissism, and will he be considered more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter?  Will his presidency be considered a sad watershed in history?  Or will he succeed and prove his detractors wrong, and be viewed as the “anointed one” and a true political “messiah”?  Even Abraham Lincoln was never accorded such accolades, much less during his lifetime.  And Barack Obama’s core beliefs are light years away from those of Ronald Reagan.[5]

Has Obama reached the apex of his presidency; and will his fall from grace, high atop “Mount Olympus,” be devastating for the United States and the American people?  Only time will tell.

© 2013, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search:Timothy D. Naegele

[2] See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/03/01/obama_i_am_not_a_dictator_im_the_president.html

[3] See, e.g.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh163n1lJ4M

[4] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

On most issues, I was politically in tune with former Senator Edward W. Brooke, for whom I worked; I am not with Barack Obama at all.

See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

[5] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/





The Madness Of Benjamin Netanyahu

8 03 2012

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The recent sober assessment of Arnaud de Borchgrave—the distinguished editor-at-large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—is worth reading and reflecting on:

U.S. three-star generals and admirals, Defense Intelligence Agency and CIA sources, along with three former CENTCOM commanders and the three former chiefs of Israeli intelligence services who retired last year—a formidable array of military and civilian experts who share impressive expertise on the Middle East—are all waving a red flag against unilateral Israeli or bilateral U.S.-Israeli bombing of Iran’s nuclear installations.

They can see such actions triggering a wider conflict spreading to the entire Middle East and the rest of the Arab world.

. . .

A three-star with much recent experience in the Middle East says an Israeli strike could move the entire region in the wrong direction.

Iran can close the Strait of Hormuz, not just for a few hours, as the Israelis say, but long enough to drive oil prices into the stratosphere. An admiral with years of experience in the region at different times of his career said privately Iran can sow thousands of mines in an area that handles one-fifth of the world’s daily oil requirements. They are below the surface and can be detonated by remote control as a warship sails over them. Iran’s shore line, which covers the entire eastern side of the Persian Gulf, is pock-marked with concealed missile sites.

The Iranians would also use hundreds of small boats in a swarming configuration that U.S. warships are prepared to cope with—but one or two are bound to get through a curtain of fire and punch a hole in the hull of a U.S. or NATO minesweeper.

Such a small boat in Aden harbor in October 2000 punctured the hull of the USS Cole, a $1 billion Arleigh Burke class destroyer, killing 17 sailors, and putting the warship out of service for 18 months with a $220 million repair bill. Cost of the operation to al-Qaida: $10,000 plus three volunteer suicide bombers.

The response of Israeli naysayers is that such tactics would hurt Iran far more than any of its intended targets. U.S. generals and admirals respond that the Iranian leadership wouldn’t be averse to cutting off its nose to spite its face.

The Iranians can also absorb temporary belt-tightening far more readily than Western Europeans. And with gas at the pump suddenly selling at $10 to $15 a gallon, U.S. President Barack Obama’s updated resume wouldn’t look too appealing at the ballot box in November.

. . .

U.S. Navy 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain is vulnerable; two-thirds of its population is Shiite Muslim and rooting for Tehran in the current conflict.

. . .

Most Iran watchers in the intelligence community say that one Israeli or U.S. bomb on Iran would push Iran’s youthful protesters right into the arms of the government they despise.

. . .

More important than his meeting with Obama is Netanyahu’s speech to the annual AIPAC convention. The endorsement of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Washington’s most powerful lobby, is tantamount to solid congressional approval.[2]

By attacking Iran, Netanyahu and Israel will stir up a hornet’s nest in the Islamic world, and achieve little or nothing militarily. Israel does not have the means of destroying Iran’s nuclear capabilities; and it is likely that the mission would end in failure. Also, what Arnaud de Borchgrave neglected to mention in his fine article is that in the Middle East, in Europe and worldwide, Israelis and other innocent Jews can be targeted by Islamic fascists; and there is nothing that Israel or its Mossad can do to prevent it.

A “silent” holocaust might take place globally, which would be unstoppable.  There are 1.3–1.65 billion followers of Islam worldwide, while Iran’s total population is approximately 78 million; and there are 14–18 million Jews worldwide, of which 6 million live in Israel.[3]

It is the Narcissistic demagogue Netanyahu who must be stopped, before he triggers actions in the Middle East and elsewhere that might be truly catastrophic.  His goal is to provoke an American attack on Iran, which is outrageous, reprehensible, and similar to the pressures that were brought to bear before the United States invaded Iraq.  There are no limits to his arrogance, or the extremes to which he will go to provoke the American attack.  He and Iran’s Ahmadinejad and Russia’s Putin are “moral equivalents.”[4]

America is not Israel’s surrogate; the two countries are not tied at the hip; and Iran is not America’s fight.  The American people are bone-tired of fighting wars in the region, and want out.  And our valiant and heroic military forces have been stretched far enough.[5]

The New York Times has reported:

Thomas E. Donilon, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, . . . spent two days [in Jerusalem] recently, along with a team of intelligence and defense officials, meeting with Mr. Netanyahu and his lieutenants. Both sides contended that the meetings were highly successful. The Israelis were told that the administration not only says it would use military force if sanctions against Iran failed, it is also doing the planning for it.[6]

Not a single drop of American blood should ever be spilled to protect or defend Israel, period.[7]  It is on its own, sink or swim.  It is a pariah state worldwide because of Netanyahu, who continually seeks to dictate and distort U.S. foreign and national security policies.  Barack Obama was right in reaching out to the Islamic world—and he must block all warmongering actions by Netanyahu.  An Israeli attack on Iran would undoubtedly draw fury from Islamic nations and the followers of Islam around the world.  America is not at war with Islam; and Netanyahu must not be allowed to provoke this.

On some level Obama views the Israelis as the oppressors, or the “enemy,” and the Palestinians as the oppressed—reflecting his deep-seated beliefs about Apartheid in South Africa, which he viewed as pure evil.  If one has any doubts, read his book, “Dreams from My Father.”[8]  Hence, there is no kinship whatsoever between Obama and Netanyahu; and it is not surprising that Obama would treat him with outright disdain and contempt.  Viewed in this context, one can understand what Obama is doing and why he is doing it.  To him, it is likely that Netanyahu personifies that oppression.

The following bears repeating:

[Netanyahu] was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin—and especially by Rabin’s wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.[9]

Perhaps most surprising—and disturbing—is that the Israeli people have not ousted Netanyahu before now, despite the warnings of Sharon, the Rabins and others.  One of my Jewish friends who follows Israeli politics closely is convinced that the problem lies in its fractured parliamentary democracy. Small splinter groups, such as Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, are allowed to dictate Israeli domestic and national security policies.

It is a case of the “tail wagging the dog,” and Netanyahu has skillfully maneuvered this political system to his benefit.  Indeed, there appears to be little likelihood of change, certainly before he marches his fellow Israelis—and potentially Jews worldwide—to the edge of an abyss, of unfathomable depths.

In advance of Obama’s meeting with Netanyahu, the Los Angeles Times reported:

Obama said he plans to tell Netanyahu that he will order military strikes against Iran’s nuclear program if the current international sanctions are not successful in deterring its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

. . .

“I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff,” Obama said. . . .[10]

This is absurd, and simply political theater.

Obama has cut and run from Iraq, like a dog with his tail between his legs.  He is in the process of doing the same thing in Afghanistan, and losing the Middle East to Islamic fascists.  And he is trying to “gut” our great nation’s military might.[11]  The idea that America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac”—and “Jimmy Carter-lite”—would all of a sudden reverse course and launch the United States into a potentially devastating war with Iran and the Islamic world is nonsensical.

He is a political actor, pure and simple, and not much more.  Any notion that he has “Israel’s back,” and will protect it, must be viewed in the context of how he has protected the Iraqis, the Afghans, and dissenters in both Iran and Syria—which is not at all.[12]

The path on which Netanyahu is leading the Israelis is fraught with peril for their tiny Jewish nation . . . and potentially for Jews worldwide.  He is determined to take the United States and the American people on the “joy ride” with him, which is utter madness.

© 2012, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search:Timothy D. Naegele

[2] See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2012/03/01/Commentary-Geopolitical-maelstrom/UPI-88241330603862/ (“Geopolitical maelstrom”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1880” (“Is Netanyahu’s Next Irresponsible Adventure An Attack On Iran?”)

[3] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_religious_groups” (“Wikipedia: Major religious groups”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-2002 (“New Attacks On Israelis Have Begun, Which May Spread To Other Jews Worldwide”)

[4] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/; see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9125129/2012-is-not-1944-Netanyahu-invokes-Auschwitz-in-warning-to-Obama-over-Iran.html” (“‘2012 is not 1944′: Netanyahu invokes Auschwitz in warning to Obama over Iran”)

[5] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-2027; see also http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/06/opinion/iran-israel-and-the-united-states.html?_r=1” (“[T]here must be no illusions about what it would take to seriously damage Iran’s nuclear complex, the high costs and the limited returns”)

[6] See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/world/middleeast/for-obama-and-netanyahu-wariness-on-iran-will-dominate-talks.html” (“For Obama and Netanyahu, Wariness on Iran Will Dominate Talks”)

[7] Many Americans will never forget the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.  As stated at a memorial to those who died and were injured:

On June 8, 1967, US Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty was suddenly and brutally attacked on the high seas in international waters by the air and naval forces of Israel. The Israeli forces attacked with full knowledge that this was an American ship and lied about it.

. . .

Thirty four Americans were killed in the attack and another 174 were wounded.

See www.gtr5.com

[8] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

[9] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/

[10] See http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-interview-iran-20120302,0,7234351.story (“Obama on Iran: ‘I don’t bluff'”)

[11] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1959

[12] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-2028 and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1959 and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1883





Poverty In America

7 02 2012

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney made one of the dumbest and most insensitive comments that I have ever heard from an American politician since I became involved with politics:
You can choose where to focus.  You can focus on the rich; that’s not my focus.  You can focus on the very poor; that’s not my focus.  My focus is on middle-income Americans.

He went on to explain that “[w]e have a safety net for the poor.”  And “[i]f there are people that are falling through the cracks, I want to fix that.”[2]

However, the fact that America’s poorest citizens theoretically have access to food stamps, Medicaid and housing vouchers[3]—which Romney cited—does not constitute much of a “safety net” at all.  Some Americans, such as senior citizens, are too proud to accept any governmental assistance (other than Social Security and Medicare benefits) or handouts.  They have worked all of their lives; and to find themselves in poverty is embarrassing and deeply depressing.  They and others are often turned away or sanctioned by the government bureaucracy that can be brutal and cruel, especially to people who are truly in need.[4]

Those Americans who had moved into our “Middle Class” will lose their homes and everything else, which is happening already.  The idea that colleges and professional schools were guaranteed pathways to success will also evaporate.[5]  Our society and that of other countries will be upended.  And yes, there will be “class warfare,” which Barack Obama and his surrogates are fanning already.  Leave aside the fact that he will add more debt than all 43 prior presidents combined, demagoguery is in season and full swing.

When I worked in the U.S. Senate as a young lawyer with its Senate Banking Committee and later headed the Senate staff of Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass)—the first African-American in the Senate since Reconstruction following our Civil War, with Obama being the third—the senator and I met with Mitt’s father who was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (1969-1973)[6], and I was very impressed with him.  At that time, I was working on the passage and implementation of the Housing and Urban Development Acts of 1969 and 1970, which included the “Brooke Amendment” relating to public housing; and the national “Housing Allowance” program, which morphed into the Section 8 housing program that has helped millions of Americans.  The senator, George Romney and I talked about these programs at length.

On behalf of Senator Brooke, I also established a summer program for disadvantaged kids in Massachusetts, in conjunction with the Pentagon, which involved underutilized military facilities within the state (e.g., the Boston Navy Yard, Otis Air Force Base) and served approximately 100,000 kids during its first year alone.  Indeed, the senator and I traveled to Massachusetts with then-Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird in his private plane to review the program and its progress.

In making my observations, I am not singling out Mitt Romney for condemnation.  I have believed in Mitt for a long time now, and will vote for him—in no small part because I share most of his positions with respect to the economy and national security issues.  However, lots of politicians and other successful Americans are “tone deaf” when it comes to the needs of the poor.  They do not relate to them at all, and they cannot understand them.  To be poor is a sign of failure in our success-oriented and driven society.  Our advertising touts beautiful bodies and fancy cars and materialistic dreams.  In no way are the poor glorified, much less given dignity.  Shame is heaped on them, which is wrong.

When I was graduating from grade school in Los Angeles, my mother came to the ceremony in a wheelchair, and I was mortified.  No other mothers were present like that.  She had suffered the convergence of two debilitating illnesses, which robbed her of her beauty and almost killed her.  By the time that I was entering high school, her right leg had been amputated, which stopped the onslaught of what she had gone through; and during the Vietnam War, she walked with an artificial leg and was named the “Woman of the Year” by the local chapter of the Red Cross—for her outstanding volunteer work.

What all of this taught me was that her faith in God had sustained her, and given her courage, hope, joy and great love.[7]  And that stigmas and discrimination attach, especially in Southern California, to those people who are physically or mentally “challenged” or handicapped, the poor, and to those who are not “beautiful.”  Hollywood has gone nationwide and worldwide since then, with a vengeance; and life-threatening illnesses and poverty are not part of the “American dream,” which has been embraced by people globally.  As the U.S. economy declines more between now and the end of this decade—which will happen to an even greater extent in countries around the world—poverty, human suffering, misery and anger will increase dramatically.[8]

The core issues will be how Americans adjust to their poverty and hopelessness, which will be just as rampant in this decade as during the Great Depression of the last century that did not end until the onset of World War II, at the earliest.  There are no easy solutions to losing one’s job, home, car and everything else.  As State governments scramble to avoid bankruptcy, programs that might have helped the poor will no longer exist.  For example, in California, State parks are being closed; and the nightly price for staying at those that remain open equals the cost of a cheap motel already.  Where will the poor stay, especially if they have no family members who can—or are willing to—take them in?  How will they afford food to eat, and find transportation to get from one place to another (e.g., looking for work)?  When inclement weather sets in, how will they survive?

The published numbers of “poor” do not begin to tell their tragic stories; and the human suffering will increase and become unfathomable during the balance of this decade, whether Romney is president or not.  Pure economics will dictate this; and there is nothing that can be done governmentally, by any politician.[9]  And yes, many of those poor will be “middle-income Americans” or those who had been members of our Middle Class.  They will be devastated; suicides and divorces will increase[10]; and families will be torn asunder.  Mitt Romney and the wealthy of the United States—which includes Obama and most members of Congress—need to wake up now, and begin to demonstrate real compassion.  The problem is that they have no earthly idea of what it is like to be poor.

In Greece today, parents are giving away their children because they cannot afford them.  Kids are being dumped in streets or abandoned at shelters with notes attached to them, saying that one or both parents are at wits’ end.[11]  Poverty breeds inhumanity on a scale that is unknown to most Americans; and it also breeds crime (including massive Internet fraud[12]), which will increase in the United States as money for law enforcement declines and as our prisons are overcrowded and prisoners are released.  Reality is crashing down with a thud like never before in our lifetimes.

As I wrote almost three years ago:

America and other nations are in uncharted waters; and their politicians may face backlashes from disillusioned and angry constituents that are unprecedented in modern times. Also, the limits of godless secularism and paying homage to the false gods of materialism may become self-evident.[13]

The chickens are coming home to roost, in spades; and the “good times” are ending for vast numbers of Americans and their counterparts around the world.

Others will remain rich, or attain great riches[14]; and I do not begrudge it to them at all.  I do not envy or covet what another has.  I have never done so.  My parents taught me that, by their own words and actions.  In my lifetime thus far, I have had lots of money, and none.  I have friends with many millions, and one with several billions; and others who have nothing.  I have treated them all the same—with love, respect, dignity and compassion.

I lived in a tent for months at a time—with water everywhere inside it, during the rainy season—because that was all I could afford.  I have had two cars repossessed, as well as a boat.  I have been evicted; and lost my dream house, as well as most of the possessions that were important to me, including priceless family items that had been handed down over generations.  When I was in law school, I had a pair of shoes resoled so many times that I was told it could not be done anymore; and I have struggled to make ends meet for food.

I do not wish any of this on others.  However, I realize that many Americans have experienced losses, pain and suffering that are far worse than I ever have; and this is true today of people abroad who are dying of wars, diseases and malnutrition, and are being forced into slavery and prostitution.[15]  I have great faith in God, the United States, all Americans[16], and people everywhere.  I believe we will survive like my mother did.  However, we will be tested like never before.

© 2012, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search:Timothy D. Naegele

[2] See http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/02/politics/campaign-wrap/?hpt=hp_t1

[3] As discussed later in this article, “housing vouchers” are an outgrowth of the national “Housing Allowance” program that I crafted as a young attorney with the Senate Banking Committee—which was complementary to the “Brooke Amendment,” and morphed into the Section 8 housing program that has helped millions of Americans.

[4] As I have written:

[L]awyers who are prosecutors are often less interested in fairness and justice than they are in winning at all costs, and exercising their raw power and hurting others in the process—such as those who are innocent but are convicted anyway.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/the-american-legal-system-is-broken-can-it-be-fixed/

And I added:

A federal official with reason to know told me that between 15-20 percent of the indictees in federal courts are probably innocent.  Some are seniors who have been charged with cheating the Social Security program, and they are scared to death, so they agree to plea bargains rather than fight for their innocence.

See id. at n.8.  This is truly frightening, and cruel.  Also, those who are engaged in prosecutorial misconduct are “sheltered” by the government, which is a travesty unto itself.  Aside from any civil remedies against them, such prosecutors should be prosecuted and disbarred.

See, e.g.http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2012-02-06/ted-stevens-prosecutors-justice-department/52922922/1 (“Taxpayers pay to defend prosecutors in Ted Stevens case”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/the-american-legal-system-is-broken-can-it-be-fixed/#comment-1700 (“Perhaps the best remedy for such abuses is to have the ‘guilty’ prosecutors incarcerated; and let justice be meted out with respect to them, by those in prisons”)

[5] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/the-american-legal-system-is-broken-can-it-be-fixed/#comment-1977 (“Law School May Amount To The Worst Investment Of Her Life!”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/are-colleges-dinosaurs/ (“Are Colleges Dinosaurs?”) (see also the footnotes and all other comments beneath the article)

[6]  See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Romney#Secretary_of_Housing_and_Urban_Development

[7] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?”) (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

[8] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1960 (“Global Economy Could Endure Disaster For a Week”) (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and all of the other comments beneath it)

[9] See, e.g., http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/173_212/-365185-1.html (“Greenspan’s Fingerprints All Over Enduring Mess”) and http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html (“Euphoria or the Obama Depression?”); see also http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan’s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ (“Greenspan’s legacy: more suffering to come”)

[10] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/divorces/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

[11] See, e.g., http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2085163/Children-dumped-streets-Greek-parents-afford-them.html (“Children ‘dumped in streets by Greek parents who can’t afford to look after them any more'”)

[12] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/lawyers-and-internet-scams/ (“Lawyers And Internet Scams”) (see also the footnotes and all of the comments beneath the article)

[13] See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html

[14] See, e.g., http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2012/02/02/the-youngest-and-richest-people-in-america-from-mark-zuckerberg-to-sean-parker-photos.html (“The 10 Youngest Richest, From Sergey Brin to Mark Zuckerberg”)

[15] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/ (“Human Trafficking”) (see also the footnotes and all of the comments beneath the article)

[16] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”) (see also the footnotes and all of the comments beneath the article)





Are All Tea Partiers Wackos, Misfits And Extremists?

29 01 2012

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Many in the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd are over the top[2], and so too are members of the Tea Party movement.  The only difference is that the two groups occupy opposite—and extreme—ends of the American political spectrum.

After all of the fuss about the Tea Party, and in the wake of its political successes in the 2010 American elections, I decided to visit and follow (to some extent) one of its Web sites, the Tea Party Nation.  What I found were intelligent, thoughtful comments by many people.

However, the group also consists of way-out, over-the-top, intolerant, totally certifiable, card-carrying “wackos” and misfits.  Their acceptance of anyone who does not agree with them is somewhere between zero and minus-one.  They engage in personal attacks that are beyond the pale, and legally actionable; and they may be operating illegally.[3]

Former House Speaker and Georgia congressman Newt Gingrich has been their man; and if one goes to the Web site of the Tea Party Nation, one will come in contact with “Neanderthals” aplenty.  Originally I thought they were a combination of Independents and moderates, like yours truly, or “disenchanted” Republicans and Democrats. But no, they are over-the-top wackos who embrace Gingrich as if he was Ronald Reagan incarnate.

Character does matter, and Gingrich is “evil” personified, and despicable.  Why would any American in his or her right mind want this man as President of the United States?  Ronald Reagan was and is a national hero[4], yet Gingrich had the gall to spew insulting rhetoric at Reagan when he was alive.[5]  Gingrich is a pathetic, petty, raving Narcissistic demagogue.

I am an Independent and have been for almost 20 years, after being a Democrat and then a Republican. Today, Independents constitute approximately 35 percent of American voters, and they swing our elections.[6]  I disagree vehemently with Barack Obama regarding just about every issue, and have been outspoken in my criticism of him, as many Independents are.[7]

I did not vote for Obama in the last presidential election, and plan to vote against him this year too. However, I would give serious thought to voting for Obama, just to make sure that Gingrich never becomes our president.  If the Republicans nominate him, they run the risk of being ostracized, isolated, boycotted and marginalized nationwide.

Obama would win in a landslide and “bury” Gingrich politically—akin to George McGovern’s loss in 1972, albeit at least McGovern was an honorable man. It would be political suicide for the GOP, which would be decimated, thanks in large part to Tea Party extremists.

© 2012, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search:Timothy D. Naegele

[2] See, e.g.http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-01-28/occupy-oakland-protests/52852280/1 (“About 300 people were arrested Saturday during a chaotic day of Occupy protests that saw demonstrators break into [Oakland’s] City Hall and burn an American flag. . . .”)

[3] For example, after reading the gibberish about Gingrich at the Web site of the Tea Party Nation, I posted some provocative, semi-“tongue-in-cheek” comments that were purposely intended to elicit debate and arouse discusson:

Let’s hope that Gingrich “dies” politically, once and for all.  His win in South Carolina is a dark day for the Republican Party and for America.

Since his election win in South Carolina, I have been pondering how best to describe him.  He is a relatively “benign” version of Adolf Hitler.

I do not make that statement lightly. Gingrich is pure evil, like Hitler was. He must be driven out of American politics, before he pollutes it anymore.

As bad as Obama is, and he is terrible, Gingrich is far more sinister.

The first response was a personal attack by some woman who was trying to silence dissent and label as an “anti-Semite” anyone who disagrees with her, much less mentions Adolf Hitler:

Excuse me sir, do not use Hitler as a comparison to anyone. You are belittling the Holocaust and the memory of all those who were exterminated. You personally offensive and have very evil thoughts, sir.

Instead of being incensed by Gingrich’s treatment of his first two wives, she was taking aim at me.  I have encountered similar attacks and knee-jerk reactions before—and so have many other non-Jews and Jews alike—from those who seek to silence dissent through intimidation, fear, invective, division and discrimination.

See, e.g., http://www.amazon.com/review/R2KIT50GPQDUMR/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm-

Thus, my response was as follows:

Thanks . . . for your comments.

They are totally absurd. I can say whatever I want to say. This is a free country, even though you may not realize that.

Trying to silence freedom of speech and intimidate people is Hitler-esque. Shame on you.

This was followed by messages from the “gate keeper” who runs the Tea Party Nation’s Web site, the first of which was entitled, “Hasta La Vista!”—and I was banned from the Web site:

Your comments have become offensive to many on this site. I have received dozens of complaints concerning your anti-Semitic rantings and use of invoking Adolph [sic] Hitler in comparison to Newt Gingrich. Further research shows you have a long history of inflammatory remarks similar to this.

This may be a country built on Free Speech, but this website is privately owned and we do not have to tolerate your type of nonsense.

Go crawl back in the hole in the ground that you came out of. You disgust me and most of the true patriots that participate here.

You are simply another liberal Paultard spreading your filth and hate and you are no longer welcome here.

Goodbye and good riddance!

I have never made anti-Semitic comments, much less at the Tea Party Nation or any other Web site; and in fact, I take umbrage at such comments.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/

Also, I am not a Liberal.  However, the next personal attacks by the Tea Party Nation’s “gate keeper” were equally outrageous:

You are nothing more than a Nazi. Are you typing with your sheets on?

There was no question that this person speaks for the Tea Party Nation because I then received a series of private e-mail messages from “the attorney for [the] Tea Party Nation” in Tennessee.  In the final analysis, she apologized for the last personal attacks made by the group’s “gate keeper,” but the apology was personal and the attorney made it very clear that she was not apologizing on behalf of the Tea Party Nation.

Next, I reviewed documents from the State of Tennessee, and learned:

1. The Tea Party Nation Corporation was chartered as a “For-Profit Corporation” on April 21, 2009, by Judson Phillips. Its principal officers were Judson and Sherry Phillips who were its president and secretary, respectively.

2. On October 5, 2011, “Articles of Dissolution” were filed with the State of Tennessee, which were signed by Judson and Sherry Phillips.

3. Neither the Tea Party Nation nor the Tea Party Nation Corporation is registered with the State of Tennessee today—or authorized to do business in Tennessee.

4.  Tennessee requires the registration of both domestic (i.e., Tennessee-chartered) and foreign corporations (i.e., corporations chartered in other States or countries); and under the laws of Tennessee, it is illegal if they fail to do so, yet continue to operate in the State.

The issue is whether the Tea Party Nation is operating illegally today.

[4] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/ronald-reagan-and-john-f-kennedy-a-question-of-character/ (“Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy: A Question of Character”)

[5] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1965

[6] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ (“The Rise Of Independents”)

[7] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (“Barack Obama Is A Lame-Duck President Who Will Not Be Reelected”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”) (see also the footnotes and all of the comments beneath both articles)





China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That

13 01 2011

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

While it would certainly be nice to think of China as a benign, friendly, democratic nation, if not an ally of the United States—which makes the computers and cellphones that Americans use, and provides most of the products sold in Walmart stores—the fact is that China is our enemy, now and in the future.  A failure to recognize this fact has serious national security implications for our great nation.  Those who cavalierly dismiss this and similar assessments, as nothing more than the rantings of “Cold Warriors,” may be condemned to repeat and relive the world wars of the past.

Does this mean that we will be in a shooting war with China any time soon, or that we should gird for war in the future?  No, but it means that we must maintain and strengthen our military might, and do nothing to diminish it.  We face deadly challenges elsewhere in the world too: for example, from North Korea, Iran, Russia and terrorists.  However, we must never underestimate the threat from China, America’s rising Asian rival globally.  Among other things, there is a “disconnect” between China’s civilian and military leaderships, which may grow dramatically—and it does not bode well for the future.

As the Wall Street Journal reported:

China conducted the first test flight of its stealth fighter just hours before U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates sat down with President Hu Jintao here to mend frayed relations, undermining the meeting and prompting questions over whether China’s civilian leadership is fully in control of the increasingly powerful armed forces.[2]

In early 2001, at the beginning of George W. Bush’s presidency, China’s military tested his metal by forcing down one of our spy planes near the island of Hainan. There were serious questions raised then—as they are being raised now—about whether China’s civilian leadership was fully in control of the country’s military.

Also, the New York Times had a fine article recently, which stated in part:

Older Chinese officers remember a time, before the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 set relations back, when American and Chinese forces made common cause against the Soviet Union.

The younger officers have known only an anti-American ideology, which casts the United States as bent on thwarting China’s rise.

. . .

Chinese military men, from the soldiers and platoon captains all the way up to the army commanders, were always taught that America would be their enemy.[3]

Viewed in its starkest terms, China has threatened a nation-ending EMP Attack against the United States already—which went largely unnoticed by most Americans, even though such an attack might kill all except 30 million of us.[4] In addition to its submarine forces that have been expanded greatly in the past decade, China’s military is deploying new ballistic missiles that can sink U.S. aircraft carriers, and are potentially game-changing, unprecedented threats to our supercarriers and their carrier battle groups.[5]

Also, China is preparing to build an aircraft carrier, which symbolizes the ambition to move far beyond its own shores[6].  Its growing anti-satellite capabilities and quite soon its fifth-generation fighter, not to mention its ongoing Cyberwarfare and economic warfare, are alarming to say the least.

Barack Obama manipulated the 2010 lame-duck session of Congress to ratify the “90 percent useless and 10 percent problematic” New START Treaty with Putin’s Russia—from which the next Republican administration should withdraw[7], just as George W. Bush withdrew from the ABM Treaty, which had expressly prevented major American advances in missile defense.  However, the United States’ focus must be on China, not on an essentially-Third World, backwater country like Russia.[8]

As one China military-affairs specialist put it:

Clearly, China’s communist leadership is not impressed by the [Obama] administration’s ending of F-22 production, its retirement of the Navy’s nuclear cruise missile, START Treaty reductions in U.S. missile warheads, and its refusal to consider U.S. space warfare capabilities. Such weakness is the surest way to invite military adventurism from China.[9]

On the positive side, China represents an enormous consumer market.  Yet, even on that front, caution is advised and prudence is required.  As the Wall Street Journal noted:

It’s tempting for U.S. companies to believe they can rely on access to hundreds of millions of new consumers in China and other emerging-market countries for the lion’s share of future profits. But they had better be prepared for a wide variety of unforeseen barriers.[10]

The United States has other issues and problems with China, including but not limited to Chinese adoption policies that foist “sick” children on unsuspecting, needy American adoptive parents, leading to tragic human suffering and other consequences[11]; China’s human rights abuses, including political prisoners who often serve their terms in an archipelago of labor camps scattered across the country called Laogai[12]; North and South Korea—and their respective international protectors, China and the U.S.—which might be heading for a showdown in the future[13]; and China’s expanding influence in the world, such as its willingness to bail out debt-ridden countries in the euro zone[14].

China has a violent history, which is of recent vintage.  Indeed, the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin and China’s Mao Tse-tung were the most ruthless killers of their own people in the 20th Century, and perhaps in the entire history of mankind.  Mao was directly responsible for an estimated 30-40 million deaths between 1958 and 1960, as a result of what his regime hailed as the “Great Leap Forward.”[15] Even though human rights activist Liu Xiaobo won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize—after having been sentenced to prison for putting his name to the “Charter 08″ human-rights manifesto, which says that the Chinese people “see clearly that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal values”—he was denied the right to have a representative collect the prize for him.[16]

Perhaps the best hope for a democratic China at peace with the world rests with the expansion of human rights in the country, as well as consumerism and capitalism; and greater civilian control over the country’s potentially-renegade military.  Whether this hope comes to fruition, or ends up as a pipe dream, remains to be seen.  Will China’s bluster and swagger lead to war, or dissipate over time; and are the United States and China on a collision course in the Western Pacific and elsewhere?[17] Only time will tell.  However, one can never forget that China’s violent past was only a short time ago, and its human rights abuses continue to this day.

© 2011, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2] See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704428004576075042571461586.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsTop

[3] See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/12/world/asia/12beijing.html?_r=3&hp=&pagewanted=all

[4] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

[5] See, e.g.http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/27/china-deploying-carrier-sinking-ballistic-missile/

[6] See, e.g.http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fa7f5e6a-09cc-11e0-8b29-00144feabdc0.html#axzz18PUuKHZh

[7] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1014: see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1167 and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1245

[8] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

[9] See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/27/china-deploying-carrier-sinking-ballistic-missile/

[10] See, e.g.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704852004575258541875590852.html?mod=WSJ_hp_editorsPicks

[11] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/problems-with-foreign-adoptions/; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-348 and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-434 (“[B]oth Russia and China have used the U.S. as dumping grounds for their ‘sick’ children”)

[12] See, e.g.http://www.naegele.com/documents/BretStephens-FromAthenstoBeijing.pdf (“How strong can China be if it is terrified of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo?”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-824

[13] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/the-next-major-war-korea-again/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1012

[14] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1177

[15] As I have written:

Like Stalin, Mao’s crimes involved Chinese peasants, many of whom died of hunger from man-made famines under collectivist orders that stripped them of all private possessions.  The Communist Party forbade them even to cook food at home; private fires were outlawed; and their harvests were taken by the state.  Those who dared to question Mao’s agricultural policies—which sought to maximize food output by dispossessing the nation’s most productive farmers—were tortured, sent to labor camps, or executed.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/

[16] See infra note 12; see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liu_Xiaobo#Nobel_Peace_Prize

[17] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1188





The Next Major War: Korea Again?

22 12 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

A series of events has been unfolding for some months now, which may culminate in another shooting war on the Korean peninsula that might prove devastating.  North Korea has warned that a war with South Korea would go nuclear[2]; and the ramifications are enormous.  In discussing this potential tragedy of epic proportions, it is useful to review recent events that have brought us to the present state of affairs:

  • The Sinking Of A South Korean Navy Vessel In March Of 2010—The facts were unknown when it happened, except that an explosion took place aboard the ship, and efforts were underway to save as many of the crew members as possible.  Whether this would turn into an international incident, testing the South Koreans and President Barack Obama, remained to be seen.[3] However, the Wall Street Journal noted:

The possibility of a violent, potentially apocalyptic regime collapse in North Korea within the decade is one that all countries with an interest in the region should keep in mind.[4]

The Journal added:

The latest incident comes days after a conference in which some experts described the Kim dictatorship as being in the first stage of collapse.  Americans should be paying attention: If North Korea decides to go out in a blaze of nuclear glory—and its current penchant for kamikaze rhetoric suggests it might—the enormous number of casualties would likely include many of the U.S. troops stationed on the peninsula.[5]

  • South Korean Ship Was Hit By North Korean Torpedo—Among other publications, the London Times reported that North Korea had launched one of the worst military acts of provocation since the Korean War, killing 46 South Korean sailors, which had amounted to a deliberate and unprovoked attack by North Korea.[6]
  • Finally, In May Of 2010, South Korea Blamed North Korea For Launching The Torpedo At Its Warship, Causing The Explosion That Killed 46 Sailors[7]—The Wall Street Journal reported that South Korea had convincing evidence.[8]
  • There Is Reason To Believe That North Korea’s Dictator Kim Ordered The Sinking Of The Cheonan, To Help Secure The Succession Of His Son—The New York Times reported that an American intelligence analysis of the deadly torpedo attack on the South Korean warship concluded that Kim Jong Il, the ailing leader of North Korea, must have authorized the torpedo assault.[9]
  • China Shields North Korea—Bloomberg News reported that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was likely to resist pressure to acknowledge that North Korea had torpedoed the South Korean warship.[10]
  • North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warned.[11]
  • North Korea Fired At South Korea As It Prepared To Host G-20 Summit Of Wealthiest Nations.[12]
  • North Korea Fired On South Korean Island.[13]
  • China Warned U.S. About Joint U.S.-South Korean Military Exercise As Korea Tensions Rise[14]—In turn, North Korea responded angrily to the maneuvers: “The situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war.”
  • America’s Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Admiral Mullen, Rebuked China For Failing To Curb North Korea.[15]
  • Firing Drill Increased Korea Tensions—South Korea test-fired artillery from the island that North Korea attacked, defying North Korean threats of another attack and asserting its rights in a maritime area it has controlled since the Korean War of the 1950s.[16]
  • North Korea Said It Would Not Strike Back—As the Wall Street Journal noted, North Korea stood pat after a South Korean artillery drill, easing fears of armed conflict and suggesting that the North Koreans might be using provocations to seek economic inducements.

The Journal added:

Fighter jets patrolled the air and destroyers sailed in nearby waters ready to counter another North Korean attack.

. . .

[F]or decades Pyongyang’s power has been tied to its ability and willingness to surprise Seoul. Analysts say it is more likely to stage another provocation when the South’s guard goes down in the months ahead, depending on its need to further its broad goals of securing economic assistance and security guarantees for its authoritarian regime.

For now, the episode appeared to take its place in a long series of provocations South Koreans have gotten used to.

. . .

Earlier in the day the North made another conciliatory gesture—announced by a visiting U.S. dignitary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, making an unofficial visit—to let the international nuclear inspectors it kicked out last year come back to the country.

. . .

For longtime North Korea watchers, Pyongyang’s official statement and offer to Mr. Richardson showed that it continued to operate in a familiar pattern: heating things up with provocative actions that draw attention, and then cooling them down with peace-making gestures in hopes of winning economic and security favors.[17]

  • WikiLeaks Cables Reveal China Ready To Abandon North Korea—The UK’s Guardian reported:

China has signalled its readiness to accept Korean reunification and is privately distancing itself from the North Korean regime, according to leaked US embassy cables that reveal senior Beijing figures regard their official ally as a “spoiled child”.[18]

North Korea’s latest series of provocations might prove little more than that, even as deadly as they were.  However, miscalculations may take place, which could be catastrophic.  While America is tied down militarily in Iraq, and its forces are mired in the Afghan War, North Korea may feel emboldened to strike against South Korea and set the Korean peninsula ablaze.  Similarly, other trouble spots around the world may flare up, such as a war in the Middle East involving Israel and Iran or its surrogates.

Given Barack Obama’s perceived weakness and naïveté, as well as global economic problems confronting the United States and other countries, its enemies may choose now or in the not-too-distant future as an opportune time to strike.  The use of nuclear weapons, or the ultimate EMP Attack[19], would send America and its allies reeling.  Let’s hope and pray it never happens.

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2] See http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.4fb1629dc68392c48ffbd287f0cd9a66.931&show_article=1

[3] See, e.g., http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7077655.ece and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704100604575146940411764282.html?mod=WSJ_newsreel_world

[4] See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704100604575145672974954144.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLEForthNews

[5] See id.

[6] The Times article added:

[South Korean President Lee Myung Bak]’s government appears to be struggling to find an appropriate response that would demonstrate its resolve in the face of aggression but stop short of a costly and unpredictable war.

. . .

The speculation is that this was an act of retaliation for a naval skirmish in November last year in which the North came off worse.

. . .

Some security officials favour a tit-for-tat response to any North Korean aggression. But the risk is that this could escalate into a war, which might result in eventual victory for the South and its US allies, but could be ruinously destructive and expensive.

A limited war might be exactly what the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, is hoping for. After decades of economic decline and famine in the 1990s which killed as many as a few million people, his economy is in chronic decline.

A military adventure against the routinely demonised “imperialist” US and its South Korean “lackeys” could serve as a welcome and unifying distraction.

. . .

“No one wants to say it out loud,” wrote Song Ho Keun, a professor at Seoul National University in the Joong-Ang Ilbo newspaper.

“We told ourselves to be patient and cool, not to jump to conclusions as there is no definitive evidence implicating the North. But if we find one little piece of evidence pointing definitely at North Korea, the rage we have forcibly suppressed will gush forth.”

See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7104498.ece

[7] See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/18/AR2010051803094.html?hpid=topnews

[8] For example, the Journal noted:

[W]hen the South Korean joint military-civilian investigation team presented their findings at a nationally-televised news conference, they unveiled a surprise: virtually the entire unexploded portion of the torpedo that destroyed the ship.

Searchers found the torpedo parts—including its propulsion system, steering section and propellers—last Saturday in the waters where the ship was destroyed. A marking inside the propulsion system reads “No. 1″ in Korean lettering and, investigators said, is consistent with markings in a North Korean torpedo that the South Korean military obtained several years ago.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703691804575255162754594880.html?mod=WSJ_hps_SECONDTopStories

[9] See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/23/world/asia/23korea.html?_r=1&hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1274612566-rHxXHrx8DGOehpG3vtFz9Q

In an editorial entitled, “Lessons From a Torpedo”—and subtitled “Placating Kim Jong Il doesn’t change North Korea’s behavior”—the Wall Street Journal stated explicitly:

President Obama . . . sent Kim a personal letter spelling out a “future vision” for the two countries, including the promise of a peace treaty, a guarantee of regime security and economic aid in exchange for the North’s denuclearization. The North’s response arrived by torpedo.

. . .

Engaging Kim has done little to improve his behavior, except in brief intervals, and if anything that behavior has become worse since Mr. Obama took office.

. . .

The larger strategic insight is to recognize that North Korea won’t change until Kim dies or his regime falls. The goal of the West should be to increase pressure on the North toward the latter goal, especially given signs of increasing discontent in the North.

. . .

[T]he long U.S. attempt to persuade Beijing to control its client has nothing to show for it.

. . .

If Kim and his generals can sink a South Korean ship without serious consequences, they might well conclude that they should escalate. The proper response is to give up the illusions of engagement, and methodically and coolly treat the North as the rogue state it is.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/LessonsFromaTorpedo.pdf

In an article entitled, “Kim Jong-il ‘laying the ground for succession’ with military attacks”—and subtitled, “Palace power-struggles between North Korea’s new-generation political leadership and its hawkish military establishment could spark off a full war on the Peninsula, South Korean and US authorities are warning”—the UK’s Telegraph reported:

Last week’s attack on Yeonpyeong island, a senior South Korean defence official told The Daily Telegraph, was personally approved by North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-il and his son and heir-apparent Kim Jong-un, in an effort to curry favour with hostile military hawks.

“I fear we’re going to see much more fighting in weeks to come,” the official said.

. . .

Kim Jong-il, US government sources said, is determined not to rejoin talks aimed at curbing North Korea’s nuclear programme in return for aid, fearful of upsetting military leaders. He hopes precipitating a crisis will lead the generals to rally behind his son and compel South Korea and the West to engage in dialogue on his terms.

Kim Jong-un was made a four-star general and named vice-chairman of the country’s National Defence Commission in September—even though the Swiss-educated 27-year-old had no military experience. “The generals saw Kim Jong-un as a puppy who wasn’t even lavatory trained,” said Kongdan Oh Hassig, a North Korea expert, “not a credible leader. There was lots of fuming.”

Bruce Bennett, another North Korea specialist, said the succession left generals “asking themselves how much longer they would have a role in government”. He noted that replacements of officials in North Korea “usually occur as the result of a purge or a ‘traffic accident,’ so that could be cause for some instability.”

“Every time there’s been a succession in North Korea,” Dr. Hassig noted, “you’ve had trouble, because the leadership has needed to reassure the military.”

Kim Jong-il ordered the bombing of a Korean Air plane in 1987, killing all 115, and an attack on officials which left 17 dead.

Little noticed in the West, tensions with the military have often threatened North Korea’s ruling family. In 1991-1992, there were reports that a group of generals had been planning to assassinate Kim Il-sung, in order to implement a programme of radical modernisation. Later, in 1995, elements of North Korea’s VI corps in famine-hit North Hamgyong province almost revolted.

“The Kims are playing the Crazed Fearsome Cripple Gambit,” a US military official told The Daily Telegraph, referring to a term coined by the strategic analyst George Friedman.

North Korea’s regime, Mr Friedman argued, wilfully chose to be an economically-crippled state to make itself unattractive as a target for intervention. Then it sought to inspire fear by developing nuclear weapons.

Finally, Mr Friedman argued, “having established that they were crippled and fearsome, the critical element was to establish their insanity”. Since no one would wish for a nuclear-armed North Korea to engage in a crazed military adventure, it would give the regime what it wanted.

Both Koreas are now holding out threats of further fighting. North Korea’s official news agency warned on Saturday that the “situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war”.

Lieutenant General Yoo Nak Joon, commander of the South Korean Marine Corps, meanwhile, called on his troops to “put our feelings of rage and animosity in our bones and take our revenge on North Korea”.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/8166343/Kim-Jong-il-laying-the-ground-for-succession-with-military-attacks.html

[10] Specifically, Bloomberg reported:

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is likely to resist pressure to acknowledge that North Korea torpedoed a South Korean warship when he flies to Seoul tomorrow to meet South Korean President Lee Myung Bak and Japan’s Yukio Hatoyama.

. . .

China wants to avoid a conflict on the Korean peninsula, and is concerned that taking South Korea’s side may provoke North Korea into further escalations and even lead to war, said Shen Dingli, vice dean of the Institute of International Affairs at Shanghai’s Fudan University.

“North Korea is dying, and we can make things worse,” Shen said. “We have assumed North Korea is not a rational actor.”

See http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-05-26/china-may-shield-north-korea-as-lee-clinton-seek-action-over-ship-sinking.html

[11] See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/8020972/North-and-South-Korea-on-the-brink-of-war-Russian-diplomat-warns.html

[12] The AP reported:

North Korea fired two rounds toward South Korea at their tense border and South Korean troops immediately fired back, an official said Friday.

The exchange of fire at the heavily armed border highlights the security problems faced by Seoul as it prepares to host the Group of 20 economic summit next month.

North Korean troops fired at a South Korean guard post in the Demilitarized Zone, said an official at the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul.

. . .

The guard post is 73 miles (118 kilometers) northeast of Seoul.

. . .

The spike in tensions Friday came two weeks ahead of a global economic summit in Seoul to be attended by President Barack Obama and other leaders.

. . .

In May, a multinational investigation led by Seoul concluded that a torpedo fired by a North Korean submarine sank the 1,200-ton Cheonan warship. North Korea has denied involvement in the sinking, which killed 46 South Korean sailors.

The sinking heightened tensions between the rival Koreas, which remain technically at war because their 1950-53 war ended with a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

See http://apnews.myway.com/article/20101029/D9J5B8OG0.html; see also http://www.naegele.com/documents/NorthKoreaFiresShotsAcrossBorder.pdf and http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2010-10-29-north-south-korea-fire_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

[13] The Los Angeles Times reported:

North Korea on Tuesday fired dozens of artillery rounds onto a populated South Korean island, killing two and injuring 19 others after Pyongyang claimed that Seoul was readying for “an invasion,” officials said.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak called an emergency session of his national security-related ministers in an underground bunker at the presidential residence late Tuesday to devise a response to the attack, which occurred near the disputed western border between north and south.

The Seoul government later called North Korea’s artillery attack a “clear military provocation” and warned that the secretive regime would face “stern retaliation” should it launch further attacks.

. . .

The South Korean military was placed on high alert, with fighter jets sent into the air, after officials confirmed that two Marines were killed and 19 others—including three civilians—were injured.

. . .

The White House . . . said the U.S. would stand by South Korea. “Earlier today North Korea conducted an artillery attack against the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. We are in close and continuing contact with our Korean allies,” said a statement.

“The United States strongly condemns this attack and calls on North Korea to halt its belligerent action and to fully abide by the terms of the Armistice Agreement.” It added that the U.S. “is firmly committed to the defense of our ally, the Republic of Korea, and to the maintenance of regional peace and stability.”

See http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-korea-shelling-web-20101124,0,958943,full.story; see also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703904804575631763523837910.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories and http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101123/wl_afp/nkoreaskoreamilitarynuclearweapons_20101123092327

A USA Today article added:

The skirmish came amid high tension over North Korea’s claim that it has a new uranium enrichment facility and just six weeks after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il unveiled his youngest son Kim Jong Un as his heir apparent.

. . .

The existence of North Korea’s new uranium enrichment facility came to light over the weekend after Pyongyang showed it to a visiting American nuclear scientist, claiming that the highly sophisticated operation had 2,000 completed centrifuges. Top U.S. military officials warn that it could speed the North’s ability to make and deliver viable nuclear weapons.

See http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2010-11-23-korea-artillery_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

[14] The Wall Street Journal reported:

Beijing [has] lodged its first official protest of a joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise planned for Sunday, even as the aircraft carrier USS George Washington steamed toward the region.

North Korea also responded angrily. “The situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war,” the state controlled Korean Central News Agency responded Friday to the maneuvers, which are set to take place in the Yellow Sea between the Koreas and northeastern China.

The strong talk was the latest fallout from North Korea’s hour-long artillery attack of a South Korean island on Tuesday that killed four people. The next day, the U.S. and South Korea said planned joint exercises would go ahead over the weekend, heightening fears in some quarters that already-tense relations between North and South Korea—and their respective international protectors, China and the U.S.—could be heading for a showdown.

Yet China’s outwardly defiant response belies a more delicate political reality: Beijing’s continued support of North Korea’s erratic, martial regime is beginning to extract real costs. China’s statement Friday included a face-saving formulation that appeared to open the door for a scenario China has long sought to avert—a U.S. aircraft carrier, a potent symbol of U.S. military might, plying the edge of Chinese waters.

. . .

China has long frustrated U.S. efforts to bring its nuclear-armed neighbor to heel, fearing any radical change could sow chaos in the region and potentially lead to a unified Korea with a U.S. military presence directly on its border. Beijing refused this week to blame North Korea for Tuesday’s attack. Privately, its officials maintain, the weekend’s exercises could be a grave mistake that risk further provoking the North.

But current and former U.S. officials who have worked on North Korea said Friday that they saw China in a growing quandary in how to square its support for Pyongyang with the regime’s continued provocations.

Beijing has sought in recent months to deepen its economic and strategic relationship with North Korea, despite U.S. objections, arguing it would help contain leader Kim Jong Il’s nuclear work and military provocations. As Pyongyang has continued to challenge the international community, however, China has been placed in an increasingly weakened position to protest U.S. military action.

“China is having a much harder time in defending its policy, but they only have themselves to blame,” said Michael Green, who oversaw Asia policy for the White House during George W. Bush’s first term. “You talk to any Chinese official, and they’re furious with the North Koreans.”

Beijing is also facing renewed criticism from Chinese foreign-policy experts, journalists and Internet activists who question whether unqualified support for North Korea is still in China’s interests.

China’s apparently softened stance on Yellow Sea exercises appears to demonstrate a concern that the North Korean crisis will overshadow a planned trip to Washington in January by President Hu Jintao. It may also reflect an acknowledgment that China would be unlikely to prevent the U.S. and South Korea from staging their drills following the week’s attack, requiring a compromise to avoid appearing weak before an increasingly nationalist and demanding Chinese public.

“The very recent developments put China in an awkward position,” said Jin Canrong, an international relations professor at Renmin University in Beijing. “China’s not pleased to see that, but it has to face it. So its immediate concern is to contain the crisis.”

U.S. military officials insisted Friday that the exercise scheduled for this weekend shouldn’t be interpreted as anything but an attempt to deter North Korea from further attacks on the South.

“This exercise is not directed at China,” said Capt. Darryn James, a Pentagon spokesman. “The purpose is to strengthen the deterrence against North Korea.”

U.S. officials on Friday said the Obama administration continues to focus its diplomacy in Northeast Asia on gaining China’s cooperation to exert more pressure on North Korea.

. . .

[In] a speech by [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton[,] she said that the U.S. had a national interest in protecting freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Ever since, China and the U.S. have been engaged in a tussle for influence in the region, where many Southeast Asian nations that have territorial disputes with China are looking to beef up defense relations with the U.S.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704008704575638420698918004.html

[15] The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the chairman of America’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in Seoul that Beijing’s inaction gives tacit approval to its ally North Korea’s aggression:

The most senior U.S. military official delivered a sharp rebuke to China on Wednesday, blaming Asia’s top power for failing to rein in its North Korean ally in the escalating dispute over the fate of the Korean peninsula.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, blasted China for refusing to condemn North Korea over the Nov. 23 artillery barrage that killed four people on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. He spoke in Seoul, where he met with his South Korean counterpart in a public display of resolve to deter any North Korean aggression.

But Mullen directed some of his most pointed criticism at Beijing.

“The Chinese have enormous influence over the North, influence that no other nation on Earth enjoys,” said Mullen at a press conference at the South Korean Ministry of National Defense. “And yet, despite a shared interest in reducing tensions, they appear unwilling to use it.”

“Even tacit approval of Pyongyang’s brazenness leaves all their neighbors asking, ‘What will be next?’ ”

At the joint news conference Wednesday, Han Min-koo, South Korea’s own top commander, said that rules of engagement are being strengthened to allow commanders on the ground to fire back immediately in case of another North Korean attack.

. . .

“It is not just that China is turning a blind eye to what North Korea is doing, they are enabling North Korea,” [L. Gordon Flake, a Korea specialist with the Mansfield Foundation] said. ” China’s overt support for North Korea is blunting the effectiveness of diplomatic measures to curb their behavior.”

. . .

The U.S. administration has also signaled that it is not ready to return to the previous diplomatic path of the six-party talks, a position Mullen reiterated Wednesday.

“We first need an appropriate basis for the resumption of talks,” he said. “There is none so long as North Korea persists in its illegal, ill-advised and dangerous behavior. I do not believe we should continue to reward that behavior with bargaining or new incentives.”

See http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mullen-china-korea-20101209,0,6920379.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fmostviewed+%28L.A.+Times+-+Most+Viewed+Stories%29

[16] See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704138604576029240348016046.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories; see also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304879604575582343372934982.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories (“A History of Korean Tensions”)

[17] Also, the Journal article stated:

With its Nov. 23 attack on Yeonpyeong Island and in statements since, North Korea has tried to effectively redraw a maritime border in the Yellow Sea that it has long disputed with South Korea. Four South Koreans, including two civilians, died in the attack.

North Korea claimed that waters around the island, into which South Korea has test-fired artillery since the mid-1970s, belong to it and that any South Korean military test amounts to an attack on its territory. South Korean officials insisted on continuing the drill on the island to assure that North Korea’s attack wouldn’t create a de facto change of its territory in the maritime border area.

. . .

North Korea’s statements caused more alarm in other countries than they did in South Korea, where North Korea’s rhetoric is part of the daily noise. Analysts in Seoul over the weekend noted that Pyongyang’s threats were issued by lower-level sources than the agencies affiliated with its dictator Kim Jong Il. As well, military officials said they saw no unusual preparations by the North’s military over the weekend.

As a result, no special precautions were ordered on South Korea’s mainland and in the capital city of Seoul, just 30 miles from the border, and business proceeded as usual Monday.

. . .

North Korea’s offer to restart international nuclear inspections may have less impact now after its announcement last month of a uranium enrichment program. When the North’s nuclear-weapons development work was confined to plutonium reprocessing, it was easy for inspectors to monitor.

But, analysts note the uranium program Pyongyang revealed last month is likely housed in multiple locations and easily hidden, making the inspections process less reliable as a means of holding North Korea to disarmament agreements.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703886904576031232770698532.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsForth

[18] See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/29/wikileaks-cables-china-reunified-korea

[19] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/#comment-1170








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