The Obama Great Depression

16 01 2016

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1][2]

Soon after the presidency of Barack Obama began—on April 8, 2009—the  McClatchy-Tribune News Service published an article of mine entitled, “Euphoria or the Obama Depression?”[3]  In it, I wrote:

Barack Obama is euphorically optimistic, but neither he nor the leaders of other countries can hold back an economic tsunami, just as mankind is helpless to stop the wrath of natural tsunamis in the oceans.

. . .

According to the Rasmussen Reports, most Americans—53 percent, in fact—believe the United States is at least somewhat likely to enter a 1930s-like Depression within the next few years. If so, the repercussions are unfathomable.

. . .

Years from now, economic historians may look back at this era and conclude that the world’s central bankers were overwhelmed and Depression-era “safety nets” did not work; and global market forces ultimately determined the depth and duration of the economic meltdown, not the politicians in Washington or anywhere else.

The tsunami that was released when the housing bubble finally burst may not run its course until about 2017-2019; and its effects will be devastating worldwide. There are no legislative solutions or quick fixes to the problems. The carnage between now and 2019 will approximate the Great Depression. . . .

. . .

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.

It is interesting to reflect on these comments and others contained in the article, as well as those in an companion article that I wrote for the American Banker—the daily newspaper of the U.S. banking industry—and in an interview that I gave on these subjects.[4]  Today, it is as though the economies of individual countries are “careening,” creating a “cascading” effect.

This is not 2008 all over again. It may be much worse, even eclipsing the Great Depression of the last century.  A “perfect storm” has been gathering for a long time now; and when it hits with its full force and fury, 2008 may seem like a “blip” by comparison.  America’s Fed and the other central banks of the world will be overwhelmed; Depression-era “safety nets” will not make any difference; and panics may ensue.

The biggest worry in Washington for many years has been that there would be runs on the big funds, which are uninsured, and that a “liquidity crisis” of unfathomable proportions would occur—which would be unstoppable.  Americans and people of other countries have lost trust in their governments, which will only compound the problems.

Hold on tight. Things will get very scary between now and the end of this decade.[5]  Whatever happens will be attributable principally to Barack Obama’s failed presidency.  Indeed, there are so many tragedies he has spawned that it is impossible to do justice to each of them in a short article like this one.

For example, he has set back race relations in the United States by years if not decades. He has been a divider, not a healer.[6]  With respect to his so-called major policy “accomplishments”—such as Obamacare, limited gun control, and the Paris man-made “global warming” accords—they can and probably will be undone by executive orders on Day One when the next American president takes office less than a year from now.  Americans are clamoring for this to happen.[7]

Obama may go down as the worst president in American history, even eclipsing Jimmy Carter, which is a remarkable feat unto itself.  History may record that Obama became a “transformative” or revolutionary president, which is not what the majority of Americans wanted. Perhaps because he was not raised on the U.S. mainland, his perspective is not that of most Americans . . . even blacks.[8]

With the global economy imploding, and Obama being an impediment to the U.S. growth that has occurred, his place in American economic history may rank next to or below that of Herbert Hoover.

Today, Barack Obama is like a minstrel wandering the land, with respect to whom no one will listen.

© 2016, Timothy D. Naegele

Obama-gone

_______________________________________________

[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 and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/documents/TimothyD.NaegeleResume.pdf). 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 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] Note: This article is an expansion of earlier articles and comments at this blog.  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/ (“The Economic Tsunami Continues Its Relentless And Unforgiving Advance Globally”) (see all of the comments beneath it) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-8016 (“Barack Obama: A Failed American Presidency”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-8011 (“Helter Skelter Is Arriving With A Thud, Sell Everything”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7614 (“Doomsday Clock For Global Market Crash Strikes One Minute To Midnight As Central Banks Lose Control“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/poverty-in-america/#comment-7646 (“The Surging Ranks Of America’s Ultrapoor”) and  https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-8006 (“The EU’s Collapse In 2016?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/ (“Global Chaos And Helter Skelter”)

[3]  This article has been republished by RealClearPolitics, and can be found at the links that follow.

See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html (“Euphoria or the Obama Depression?”) and http://www.naegele.com/documents/Commentary-EuphoriaortheObamaDepression.pdf (“Commentary: Euphoria or the Obama Depression?

[4]  See http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/173_212/-365185-1.html and http://www.naegele.com/documents/GreenspansFingerprints.pdf (“Viewpoint: Greenspan’s Fingerprints All Over Enduring Mess”); see also http://marketshadows.com/2012/05/21/greenspans-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ and http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/2951-market-shadows/31177-interview-with-timothy-d-naegele and http://www.naegele.com/documents/InterviewwithTimothyD.Naegele-ilene–SeekingAlpha.pdf (“Greenspan’s legacy: more suffering to come”)

[5]  Not factored into these comments explicitly are the effects of (1) the terrorist strikes on Paris and elsewhere in the world; (2) the immigration issue that is tearing Europe and the Middle East apart; (3) the military implosion that is taking place in the Middle East, with much worse yet to come; and (4) the effects of our adversaries (e.g., China, Russia, North Korea, Iran) on peace, and on the American and global economies.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/we-are-all-parisians/ (“We Are All Parisians”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/the-next-major-war-korea-again/ (“The Next Major War: Korea Again?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/ (“Human Trafficking”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/islamophobia-is-un-american/ (“Islamophobia Is Un-American”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/is-israel-doomed/ (“Is Israel Doomed?”)

[6]  See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-8016 (“Barack Obama: A Failed American Presidency”)  and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”)

[7]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/a-34-trillion-swindle-the-shame-of-global-warming/ (“A $34 Trillion Swindle: The Shame Of Global Warming”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/ (“Abortions And Autos Kill More In America Than Guns”)

[8]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/#comment-7434 (“Disappointment In Obama Leads Some Blacks To Ask Whether Voting Is Worth It”)





Abortions And Autos Kill More In America Than Guns

20 12 2012

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Tragedies have struck again and again, with women and young students being killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut; at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado; and elsewhere.  The loss of these lives was senseless and unfathomable; and enormous pain and shock waves have been visited upon our great nation.  Advocates of gun control believe it is the solution.  However, the killer at Sandy Hook used his mother’s weapons; and she apparently knew that his mental health issues were a potential powder keg, but she could not stop him and he killed her too.  Also, at essentially the same time as the Sandy Hook killings, 22 children and one adult were injured by a knife-wielding man outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for classes.[2]

Guns do not kill; people do. Criminals and wackos can get their hands on guns and other weapons and commit violence, and there is nothing that can be done to prevent them—except to stop the crimes before they are committed, owing to mental health treatment, better intelligence and law enforcement.  These are violent times, which will only get much worse between now and the end of this decade; and lots of innocent people will suffer globally.[3]  However, such killings must be placed in perspective: abortions and auto accidents kill far more in America than guns do.  Indeed, there is no comparison.  Also, the FBI has reported that all homicides committed using firearms have been declining.[4]

The Second Amendment to our Constitution states in pertinent part:

[T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms [] shall not be infringed.[5]

It is part of the American culture, which is protected; and the Constitution will not be changed in this regard.  Indeed, gun sales have been rising because Americans want the ability to defend themselves as crime increases in our country, which will only get worse as the budgets of law enforcement decline during the balance of this decade.

Also, violence is glorified on TV and in films worldwide.  If Americans truly want to reduce or eliminate violence (e.g., “copycat” murders), the depiction of violence should be banned. It instills the wrong values in the kids of this world. And there is no question that Hollywood promotes and glorifies violence.

America’s resident, angry Narcissistic Brit, Piers Morgan, has been trying to change our culture—which he does not understand—by crusading for gun control, despite the low ratings of his CNN talk show, which replaced the legendary, unflappable Larry King.  Hopefully Morgan returns permanently to the UK as soon as possible, and stops “preaching” in our country.[6]

As American lawyer, conservative social and political commentator Ann Coulter has noted:

Only one public policy has ever been shown to reduce the death rate from [multiple-victim shootings]: concealed-carry laws.

The effect of concealed-carry laws in deterring mass public shootings was even greater than the impact of such laws on the murder rate generally.

Someone planning to commit a single murder in a concealed-carry state only has to weigh the odds of one person being armed. But a criminal planning to commit murder in a public place has to worry that anyone in the entire area might have a gun.[7]

On a personal note, I was a U.S. Army Infantry Officer during the Vietnam War, and I was trained with guns and know how to use them.  However, I gave away my father’s duck-hunting weapons, and do not like the idea of any weapons being around.  Accidents can and do happen.  However, I understand why so many Americans want them for hunting, and for their own protection.

Lastly, it bears repeating: abortions and auto accidents kill far more than guns do in the United States.  Abortions should be banned, and auto accidents should be curbed, if Americans and others truly want to deal with deaths instead of merely spouting rhetoric as Piers Morgan does.

© 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.enniscorthyguardian.ie/breaking-news/world-news/22-children-hurt-in-knife-attack-3325857.html

[3] Whether it is (1) Elizabeth Smart who was abducted from her Salt Lake City, Utah, bedroom, or (2) Jaycee Lee Dugard who was kidnapped in Northern California at the age of 11 and was found alive 18 years later after having given birth to two children fathered by the man who kidnapped her, or (3) sweet Madeleine McCann who disappeared in May of 2007 when she was on holiday with her British parents and twin siblings in the Algarve region of Portugal, or (4) the attack that took place at the shopping center in Southern California where I bought an Apple laptop that I am using to type this—which is across the road from where my son and his family used to live—this is a violent world in which innocent people (especially women) are preyed on by wackos.

See, e.g.http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/12/shots-fired-at-fashion-island-mall-lockdown-in-place.html; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/poverty-in-america/ (“Poverty In America”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/ (“The Economic Tsunami Continues Its Relentless And Unforgiving Advance Globally”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/ (“Illegal Immigration: The Solution Is Simple”)

[4]  As of the date that this article was published, more than 1.2 million abortions had taken place in the United States this year alone.

See http://www.numberofabortions.com/; see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States

Last year, motor vehicle deaths in U.S. totaled 32,367.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year

By comparison, it has been reported:

[T]he most recent data suggests gun violence is declining in the United States.

The number of homicides committed using firearms dropped from 2006 to 2010, according the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

In 2010, 8,775 homicides using firearms were reported to the FBI. In 2006, 10,225 homicides using firearms were reported to the FBI.

See http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/fbi-crime-reports-show-homicides-using-firearms-dropped-in-usbetween-2006-and-2010

[5] See http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/second_amendment

[6] See http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/12/19/piers-morgan-calls-pro-gun-advocate-unbelievably-stupid-dangerous-you

[7] See http://www.humanevents.com/2012/12/19/ann-coulter-we-know-how-to-stop-school-shootings/

As a lawyer-friend of mine commented, after reading and recommending Coulter’s article:

I think one of the jurisdictions that is pretty satisfied with concealed carry laws is [the District of Columbia, or Washington, D.C.], where a lot of the minority women carry weapons when they live in unsafe areas.

. . .

The bad guys aren’t as likely to bother them as they were before many of them started carrying.





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





Barack Obama Is A Lame-Duck President Who Will Not Be Reelected

3 12 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Like former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson before him, in 1980 and 1968 respectively, Barack Obama will not be reelected in 2012.[2] The twin pincers of a domestic economy in the throes of the “Great Depression II”[3]—which economic historians will describe as such, or by using similar terms 20-40 years from now—and his failed Vietnam-like Afghan war[4] will seal his political fate.  Other factors will contribute mightily too, such as the perception that he is “out of touch” just as Jimmy Carter was; and that Obama is a silver-tongued, narcissistic “foreign born” demagogue who is un-American.[5] Perceptions often become reality, certainly in politics.

We are witnessing the end of Obama as a politician now.  The zenith of his presidency occurred with the enactment of ObamaCare, just as Hillary Clinton’s health care efforts marked the “high water mark” of her influence during Bill Clinton’s presidency.  Obama’s nadir is yet to come, but the 2010 mid-term election debacle represented an important milestone on the slippery downward slope of his presidency.  The domestic economy will get far worse; his Afghan war is a morass that seems unwinnable and inescapable; and national security issues loom—such as North Korea and Iran—which may prove “hazardous” at best.

Barack Obama is a failed politician whose “magic” has come and gone.  He is not merely a bad president. He may have the distinction of going down in history as one of the worst presidents that America has ever had, or perhaps the worst depending on what happens during the remainder of his term in office.  That he is presiding over a failed presidency is not in dispute. The only question becomes: how bad will things get for the American nation, its people and for him, before he leaves public office?[6] It is fair to surmise that we have only seen the tip of an enormous political, economic, social and national security “iceberg”—or nightmare—reminiscent of the one that the RMS Titanic struck in 1912.

It is not beyond the pale to believe that scandals will engulf Barack Obama’s presidency as more and more is learned about who he is and how he has governed, and what he and others in his administration have done during the time they have been entrusted with the presidency.[7] Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton: a “cat” with seemingly nine lives politically. He is a “mix” between Carter who was perceived as cerebral and out of touch, and Johnson who was viciously maligned and prevented from running for reelection.

When I was a young Army officer stationed at the Pentagon, before working on Capitol Hill, I remember bumper stickers on cars in the District of Columbia that asked: “Where is Lee Harvey Oswald now that we really need him?”—a reference to John F. Kennedy’s killer.  Johnson was hated, and such implied threats were real.  There are rising negative sentiments about Obama today, involving large numbers of Americans who are not racially prejudiced or merely disillusioned.  Indeed, two Democratic pollsters and advisers to Presidents Clinton and Carter respectively, Douglas E. Schoen and Patrick H. Caddell, wrote an important op-ed piece in the Washington Post recently, which stated:

[W]e believe Obama should announce immediately that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2012.

. . .

[T]he president has largely lost the consent of the governed.  The [2010] midterm elections were effectively a referendum on the Obama presidency.[8]

However, his raving and overarching narcissism will likely drive his decision making to put his own perceived best interests ahead of the good of the country and his political party; and he will probably fight on to the bitter end.  More and more Americans are concluding that he does not deserve a second term in the White House.[9] Political pundit and former adviser to Bill Clinton, Dick Morris, argues that he will be challenged by both those on his left and right politically.[10]

Barack Obama is an unsuccessful “community organizer” from Chicago—and before that, Hawaii and Indonesia—who became a black man when it suited him, despite the ethnicity of his mother and her parents who nurtured him like no one else in his life.  The best of him, he has readily admitted, is what the three of them gave him; and clearly he cherishes their memories.[11] Yet, it is not such personal qualities that will determine his political fate.  Jimmy Carter was perceived as likable too.

With respect to the economy, we are in the midst of the “Great Depression II,” and there is nothing he can do about that fact.  The economic tsunami that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan unleashed has been rolling worldwide, with no end in sight. At most, government policies can affect it at the margins—because it will run its course, essentially oblivious to government intervention. Where and when it stops, no one knows; however, Obama’s actions to date have only made it worse.[12] His so-called “stimulus package” has done little or nothing to help the economy; and his reform of the financial markets is akin to shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic[13].

His signature legislation, ObamaCare, was opposed by a majority of the American people, but that did not stop Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from arrogantly shoving it down their throats, as if to say that the two of them knew what was best for their wards.  ObamaCare is likely to be a tragedy for Americans who need health care the most, such as senior citizens; and according to a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, 58 percent of American voters favor its repeal, while 37 percent are opposed.[14]

His policies with respect to Russia’s “dictator-for-life” Vladimir Putin are a travesty to say the least, which simply reflect his almost-total naïveté that is stunning—America’s “Hamlet” on the Potomac.  His negotiation and endorsement of the New START Treaty is a perfect example.[15] Also, he stood by helplessly while those Iranians who advocated freedom were tortured or killed.  His positive contributions with respect to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians are essentially nonexistent, at a critical juncture in the history of the Middle East.[16] And the list goes on and on.

Writing for Germany’s Der Spiegel, Klaus Brinkbäumer stated bluntly:

[N]obody in the US understands [the Afghan] war any more.  The conflict long ago ceased to be Bush’s war, and is now Obama’s.  Worse still, it will inevitably end with an inglorious withdrawal.  Why, then, should the US send in yet more troops?  Why spend $100 billion a year waging war when train stations and schools back home are falling to pieces, and the money would be better spent on other American projects and research?  Congress refuses to approve extra spending on renewing America: The money has already been spent.

. . .

The problem is simply that Obama is smaller than the promise he made, and tiny in comparison to the hopes an entire nation placed on him in 2008. There’s one thing that Barack Obama failed to do. That was his real failure, the big mistake he made, back when everything seemed possible.

. . .

[H]e didn’t even try.[17]

The fact is that Barack Obama is a professional politician and nothing more.  And Americans have come to loathe such creatures, not love them.  So “out of touch” is he that when the BP oil spill was polluting the Gulf of Mexico, Michelle Obama and their youngest daughter flew to Spain—and she was described as America’s “Marie Antoinette.”  More importantly, Obama is not fit to serve or govern, and he never has been.  He is a demagogue and a liar[18], and an embarassment to this great nation and its people.  He is incompetent[19]; and yes, he is evil.[20] Before his presidency ends, he is apt to do even more irreparable damage to our national security, our economy, and with respect to a whole host of critical areas.

He should be relieved of command, and end his political career with dignity like his former military commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley A. McChrystal.  This is what Democrat pollsters Schoen and Caddell have urged Obama to do.  The good General McChrystal, who was forced by Obama to resign his command, might be the first public official (or former-public official) to call for Obama’s resignation.[21] He knows, better than most people, about Obama’s ineptitude and recklessness with the lives of U.S. military personnel and America’s honor—which are at stake and on the line each and every day in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world.

The fact that Obama named General David Petraeus to replace McChrystal as commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and that Petraeus was willing to accept the job and step down from his position as Commander of the U.S. Central Command—which oversees American military efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and parts of Africa—speaks volumes about the character, talent, loyalty and integrity of Petraeus.  However, it does not change the verdict with respect to Obama and his failed presidency.

There is nothing positive about his administration or what he has done to date, nothing.  Despite projecting an upbeat, positive, personable image on the campaign trail, which enthused millions of voters and gave them hope, at best he has proved to be an “empty suit.”  If Americans read his book, “Dreams from My Father,” they will realize that his radical beliefs are in tune with Indonesia where he lived—or perhaps some other foreign country—but not with the United States.[22] The “change” he espoused has not been consistent with the beliefs and goals of mainstream American voters.

The critical words that General McChrystal and his staff spoke in a Rolling Stone interview[23] were true and needed to be said—even though lots of Americans might have preferred not to hear about the acrimony and dissension between our military and the Obama Administration.[24] We have a president who is a far-Left neophyte and wrong for America; and he is presiding over a presidency that almost surely will get dramatically worse with the passage of time.  And we have a lovable but utter buffoon for vice president, who is a pathological liar and the laughingstock of the world, and who makes former Vice President Spiro Agnew look brilliant by comparison.[25]

With respect to Afghanistan, at the same time that Obama announced the deployment of an additional 30,000 American troops, he said the U.S. would begin pulling out by July of 2011—just before his anticipated reelection campaign begins in earnest[26], and only one year after our forces will have been deployed fully.  If implemented, it would be tantamount to conceding the country to our enemies sometime in 2011; and it would result in the shedding of American blood and that of our allies for nothing, like Vietnam.

While Obama may be in the process of jettisoning that unrealistic timeline, his thought processes are not surprising because he is an anti-war politician who never served in the U.S. military, and he knows nothing about running a war.  His goals—which never refer to the possibility of “victory” in Afghanistan—are designed to appease his political soul mates and constituency, America’s anti-war far-Left.  He is focused on an “exit strategy” instead of winning.  He has not been successful at running anything, ever[27]; and it is unlikely that Afghanistan will be an exception.  Since when does a failed, anti-war, far-Left “community organizer” from Chicago, who was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, know how to run a war, much less successfully?

Independents and Republicans helped elect Obama and Democrat candidates in 2008; and they  joined with “disenchanted” Democrats and members of the Tea Party movement in November of 2010 to produce an opposite result.  The combination of Afghanistan—which is apt to be Obama’s Vietnam—and growing economic problems may doom his presidency, just as similar issues converged to deny Lyndon Johnson’s reelection in 1968.  Like John F. Kennedy before him, who inspired so many people and caused legions to enter politics, Obama has feet of clay and is dashing Americans’ dreams and political fantasies.[28]

In the final analysis, it is increasingly clear that Obama is a fad and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who will be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history—unless he tragically alters the course of American history.  His naïveté is matched by his overarching narcissism; and he is more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter.  Indeed, it is likely that his presidency will be considered a sad and tragic watershed in history; and the American people are recognizing this more and more with each day that passes.[29] Hopefully he chooses to end his political career with dignity by not running for reelection in 2012, instead of continuing to drag this great nation down with him.[30]

© 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 https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama [Please note: the postings beneath this article are important as well]; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/sarah-and-todd-palin-the-big-winners and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/the-speech—is-barack-obama-smoking-pot-again/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/barack-obama-america’s-second-emperor/

[3] See, e.g., http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/173_212/-365185-1.html and http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html and http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan’s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/the-great-depression-ii/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/is-financial-reform-simply-washingtons-latest-boondoggle/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/will-the-eus-collapse-push-the-world-deeper-into-the-great-depression-ii/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally

[4] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/are-afghanistan-iraq-and-pakistan-hopeless-and-is-the-spread-of-radical-islam-inevitable-and-is-barack-obama-finished-as-americas-president/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/

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

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

[7] In his book, “Dreams from My Father,” Obama wrote:

Junkie.  Pothead.  That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.

See Obama, “Dreams from My Father” (paperback “Revised Edition,” published by Three Rivers Press, 2004), p. 93; see also pp. 120, 270; https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/.

Regardless of whether he has taken illegal drugs or not since his college years, he is occupying our White House; and sooner or later, stories will trickle out about the time he has spent there.

[8] See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/12/AR2010111202846.html; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-974

[9] See http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1295.xml?ReleaseID=1538; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-999

[10] See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/obama-may-face-left-wing-primary/; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-968 and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/sarah-and-todd-palin-the-big-winners/ (“[I]t is not beyond the pale to believe that two women might face off for the American presidency in 2012, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, which would be historic!”)

[11] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ and Obama, “Dreams from My Father” (paperback “Revised Edition,” published by Three Rivers Press, 2004).

[12] Paul Krugman has written a New York Times’ article entitled, “The Third Depression,” which states:

Recessions are common; depressions are rare. As far as I can tell, there were only two eras in economic history that were widely described as “depressions” at the time: the years of deflation and instability that followed the Panic of 1873 and the years of mass unemployment that followed the financial crisis of 1929-31.

. . .

We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost—to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs—will nonetheless be immense.

. . .

[T]he recession brought on by the financial crisis arguably ended last summer.

But future historians will tell us that this wasn’t the end of the third depression, just as the business upturn that began in 1933 wasn’t the end of the Great Depression.  . . .  [B]oth the United States and Europe are well on their way toward Japan-style deflationary traps.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/opinion/28krugman.html

This conclusion is consistent with the thesis of articles that I have written and interview responses that I have given; namely, we are in the midst of the “Great Depression II”—certainly in terms of the 20th and 21st Centuries—which will continue to unfold during at least the balance of this decade.  See infra n.3.

Krugman added:

As far as rhetoric is concerned, the revival of the old-time religion is most evident in Europe, where officials seem to be getting their talking points from the collected speeches of Herbert Hoover, up to and including the claim that raising taxes and cutting spending will actually expand the economy, by improving business confidence. As a practical matter, however, America isn’t doing much better. The Fed seems aware of the deflationary risks—but what it proposes to do about these risks is, well, nothing. The Obama administration understands the dangers of premature fiscal austerity—but because Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress won’t authorize additional aid to state governments, that austerity is coming anyway, in the form of budget cuts at the state and local levels.

Why the wrong turn in policy? The hard-liners often invoke the troubles facing Greece and other nations around the edges of Europe to justify their actions. And it’s true that bond investors have turned on governments with intractable deficits. But there is no evidence that short-run fiscal austerity in the face of a depressed economy reassures investors. On the contrary: Greece has agreed to harsh austerity, only to find its risk spreads growing ever wider; Ireland has imposed savage cuts in public spending, only to be treated by the markets as a worse risk than Spain, which has been far more reluctant to take the hard-liners’ medicine.

It’s almost as if the financial markets understand what policy makers seemingly don’t: that while long-term fiscal responsibility is important, slashing spending in the midst of a depression, which deepens that depression and paves the way for deflation, is actually self-defeating.

So I don’t think this is really about Greece, or indeed about any realistic appreciation of the tradeoffs between deficits and jobs. It is, instead, the victory of an orthodoxy that has little to do with rational analysis, whose main tenet is that imposing suffering on other people is how you show leadership in tough times.

And who will pay the price for this triumph of orthodoxy?  The answer is, tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again.

Amen.  Where I differ with Krugman is that his solution is more Keynesian governmental spending, with the goal of spending our way to prosperity.  As stated in articles that I have written and interview responses that I have given, the economic tsunami that Alan Greenspan unleashed has been rolling worldwide, with no end in sight.  At most, government policies can affect it at the margins—because it will run its course, essentially oblivious to government intervention.  Where and when it stops, no one knows.  Originally I predicted the 2017-2019 time frame, but it may take longer than that because of misguided and wasteful government “tinkering.”

In an editorial entitled, “The Keynesian Dead End,” the Wall Street Journal concluded that spending our way to prosperity is going out of style—and the editorial essentially rebuts the solution that Krugman recommended:

For going on three years, the developed world’s economic policy has been dominated by the revival of the old idea that vast amounts of public spending could prevent deflation, cure a recession, and ignite a new era of government-led prosperity. It hasn’t turned out that way.

. . .

The response at the White House and among Congressional leaders has been . . . Stimulus III. While talking about the need for “fiscal discipline” some time in the future, President Obama wants more spending today to again boost “demand.” Thirty months after [Obama economic adviser Larry] Summers won his first victory, we are back at the same policy stand.

The difference this time is that the Keynesian political consensus is cracking up. In Europe, the bond vigilantes have pulled the credit cards of Greece, Portugal and Spain, with Britain and Italy in their sights. Policy makers are now making a 180-degree turn from their own stimulus blowouts to cut spending and raise taxes. The austerity budget offered this month by the new British government is typical of Europe’s new consensus.

To put it another way, Germany’s Angela Merkel has won the bet she made in early 2009 by keeping her country’s stimulus far more modest. We suspect Mr. Obama will find a political stonewall this weekend in Toronto when he pleads with his fellow leaders to join him again for a spending spree.

Meanwhile, in Congress, even many Democrats are revolting against Stimulus III. The original White House package of jobless benefits and aid to the states had to be watered down several times, and the latest version failed again in the Senate late this week.  . . .  Mr. Obama is having his credit card pulled too—not by the bond markets, but by a voting public that sees the troubles in Europe and is telling pollsters that it doesn’t want a Grecian bath.

The Journal adds:

The larger lesson here is about policy. The original sin—and it was nearly global—was to revive the Keynesian economic model that had last cracked up in the 1970s, while forgetting the lessons of the long prosperity from 1982 through 2007. The Reagan and Clinton-Gingrich booms were fostered by a policy environment for most of that era of lower taxes, spending restraint and sound money. The spending restraint began to end in the late 1990s, sound money vanished earlier this decade, and now Democrats are promising a series of enormous tax increases.

Notice that we aren’t saying that spending restraint alone is a miracle economic cure. The spending cuts now in fashion in Europe are essential, but cuts by themselves won’t balance annual deficits reaching 10% of GDP. That requires new revenues from faster growth, and there’s a danger that the tax increases now sweeping Europe will dampen growth further.

President Obama’s tragic mistake was to blow out the U.S. federal balance sheet on spending that has produced little bang for the buck. . . .

With the economy in recession in 2008 and 2009, we argued that some stimulus was justified and an increase in the deficit was understandable and inevitable. However, we also argued that permanent tax cuts aimed at marginal individual and corporate tax rates would have done far more to revive animal spirits, and in our view would have led to a far more robust recovery. . . .

What the world has now reached instead is a Keynesian dead end. We are told to let Congress continue to spend and borrow until the precise moment when Summers and Mark Zandi and the other architects of our current policy say it is time to raise taxes to reduce the huge deficits and debt that their spending has produced. Meanwhile, individuals and businesses are supposed to be unaffected by the prospect of future tax increases, higher interest rates, and more government control over nearly every area of the economy. Even the CEOs of the Business Roundtable now see the damage this is doing.

A better economic policy will have to await a new Congress, which we hope at a minimum can prevent punishing tax increases. But for now the good news is that voters and markets are telling politicians to stop doing what hasn’t worked.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703615104575328981319857618.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

Thus, economic “thinkers” continue to flail around, while the Great Depression II takes its toll in terms of horrendous human suffering worldwide, with no end in sight.

[13] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/is-financial-reform-simply-washingtons-latest-boondoggle/

[14] See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/health_care_law

[15] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1014

[16] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/ [Please note: the postings beneath this article are important as well]

[17] See http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,723814,00.html

[18] In his announcement with respect to McChrystal, Obama stated:

I don’t make this decision based on any difference in policy with Gen. McChrystal, as we are in full agreement about our strategy. Nor do I make this decision out of any sense of personal insult.

See http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/06/23/obama-on-mcchrystal-nothing-personal/

It has been said before, and it bears repeating, that if one wishes to watch Barack Obama lie, all one needs to do is watch his lips move.

[19] See, e.g., http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/2010/07/28/leaked-report-hurts-obama/#more-1230 (“Having already lost all Republicans and almost all independents, Obama is shedding Democrats these days.  . . .  [W]hile liberals have increasing reason to question Obama’s performance on their litmus-test issues, they also have increasing cause to wonder at his competence”).

[20] He is not evil in the sense of being the “antichrist,” as some would suggest, but evil in the sense of leading the United States in the wrong direction and having lied to the American people in the process of doing so.  As stated previously:

It has been said: “Jimmy Carter may be heading to #2 on the [list of] all-time worst presidents in American history, thanks to ‘O.’” This is an understatement.  When history is written, Barack Obama may be hated more than George W. Bush has been by the Democrats, more than Bill and Hillary Clinton have been hated by the Republicans, more than Nixon was hated by the Democrats, and even more than Johnson was hated by a broad swath of the American electorate . . . and the list goes on and on.  Obama may emerge as the most hated president in history.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama

[21] With McChrystal’s military career at an end, there will be nothing to prevent him from lashing out at Obama and telling the truth (e.g., in memoirs released shortly before the 2012 presidential elections, which tell the unvarnished truth about Obama’s handling of the war in Afghanistan and sear Obama in explicit terms):

Obama seemed to suggest that McChrystal’s military career is over, saying the nation should be grateful “for his remarkable career in uniform” as if that has drawn to a close.

McChrystal left the White House after the meeting and returned to his military quarters at Washington’s Fort McNair.

See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37866754/ns/us_news-military/

Former adviser to President Bill Clinton and political pundit Dick Morris adds:

Relieving the general of command sends a message that Obama is thin-skinned, arrogant, and easily offended.

Coming at the same time that the failure of the Obama Administration to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf is already rankling liberal voters, the McChrystal comments will add to their doubts about Obama. They already are against his decision to send additional troops there and have long believed that we should not be fighting in Afghanistan. By calling attention to how badly the war is going and the disarray in the president’s foreign policy apparatus, the McChrystal interview can only highlight and underscore these concerns and further dampen liberal enthusiasm for Obama.

Neither the oil spill nor the Afghan War will drive any liberals to vote for conservatives or induce Democrats to vote Republican. But they both will hold down Democratic turnout and reinforce cynicism about the Obama presidency on the left. Those initially attracted by Obama’s charisma will be driven away by these twin failures.

The Democratic Party is really a synthesis of environmentalists and peace advocates with a few gay rights activists and public employee unions thrown in. Now, Obama has alienated both the green and the anti-war segments of the party. And the continuing spillage from the Gulf oil well and from the General’s mouth will further damage his standing with his political base.

Whatever the fate of General McChrystal or of the American involvement in the war, the mounting casualty lists will drag down Obama’s prospects in November still further and depress his ratings in the days ahead.

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/2010/06/23/mcchrystals-attack-hurts-obamas-left-wing-base/#more-1096

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

While some of his far-Left “true believers” may have read the book and agreed with his core beliefs, the majority of Americans did not; and they had no idea how much his future policies would differ from what they perceived as the mainstream views that he was espousing on the campaign trail.

[23] For example, the author Michael Hastings writes:

The general’s staff is a handpicked collection of killers, spies, geniuses, patriots, political operators and outright maniacs . . . , and they pride themselves on their can-do attitude and their disdain for authority.

. . .

[McChrystal] also set a manic pace for his staff, becoming legendary for sleeping four hours a night, running seven miles each morning, and eating one meal a day. (In the month I spend around the general, I witness him eating only once.) It’s a kind of superhuman narrative that has built up around him, a staple in almost every media profile, as if the ability to go without sleep and food translates into the possibility of a man single-handedly winning the war.

See “The Runaway General” by Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone (June 22, 2010), http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236#

Barack Obama is quoted by the national media as having said that the article showed “poor judgment,” and that he wanted to talk with McChrystal before making any decision about whether he should remain the U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

See, e.g., http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38837.html and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704853404575322354071542896.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsTop

While it was surprising that McChrystal gave the Rolling Stone any access, much less seemingly unfettered access to his innermost thoughts and beliefs—especially given the Rolling Stone‘s reputation—the fact is that he did, and he and his staff spoke their minds, and their words are now part of American history.

The article adds:

After arriving in Afghanistan last June, [McChrystal] conducted his own policy review, ordered up by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The now-infamous report was leaked to the press, and its conclusion was dire: If we didn’t send another 40,000 troops—swelling the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan by nearly half—we were in danger of “mission failure.” The White House was furious. McChrystal, they felt, was trying to bully Obama, opening him up to charges of being weak on national security unless he did what the general wanted. It was Obama versus the Pentagon, and the Pentagon was determined to kick the president’s ass.

. . .

Obama has quietly begun to back away from the deadline he set for withdrawing U.S. troops in July of next year. The president finds himself stuck in something even more insane than a quagmire: a quagmire he knowingly walked into, even though it’s precisely the kind of gigantic, mind-numbing, multigenerational nation-building project he explicitly said he didn’t want.

It is reminiscent of “Brer Rabbit And The Tar Baby,” and Afghanistan is becoming Obama’s “tar pit.”

See, e.g.http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Uncle_Remus%3A_His_Songs_and_His_Sayings/The_Wonderful_Tar-Baby_Story

The article continues:

In private, Team McChrystal likes to talk shit about many of Obama’s top people on the diplomatic side. One aide calls Jim Jones, a retired four-star general and veteran of the Cold War, a “clown” who remains “stuck in 1985.” Politicians like McCain and Kerry, says another aide, “turn up, have a meeting with Karzai, criticize him at the airport press conference, then get back for the Sunday talk shows. Frankly, it’s not very helpful.” Only Hillary Clinton receives good reviews from McChrystal’s inner circle. “Hillary had Stan’s back during the strategic review,” says an adviser. “She said, ‘If Stan wants it, give him what he needs.'”

. . .

 

At one point on his trip to Paris, McChrystal checks his BlackBerry. “Oh, not another e-mail from [Special Representative to Afghanistan Richard] Holbrooke,” he groans. “I don’t even want to open it.” He clicks on the message and reads the salutation out loud, then stuffs the BlackBerry back in his pocket, not bothering to conceal his annoyance.

“Make sure you don’t get any of that on your leg,” an aide jokes, referring to the e-mail.

. . .

When it comes to Afghanistan, history is not on McChrystal’s side. The only foreign invader to have any success here was Genghis Khan—and he wasn’t hampered by things like human rights, economic development and press scrutiny.

. . .

The very people that [McChrystal’s military strategy known as counterinsurgency, or] COIN seeks to win over—the Afghan people—do not want us there.  . . .  There is a reason that President Obama studiously avoids using the word “victory” when he talks about Afghanistan. Winning, it would seem, is not really possible. Not even with Stanley McChrystal in charge.

The media and politicians like Barack Obama said the same thing about George W. Bush’s—and David Petraeus’—”surge” in Iraq, and they were mistaken.

[24] The highly-respected Rasmussen polling organization found in results that were released on June 25, 2010:

Forty-seven percent (47%) of U.S. voters agree that it was appropriate for President Obama to fire America’s top commander in Afghanistan this week, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree and say the president should not have removed General Stanley McChrystal from his command. Another 17% are not sure.

Just 32%, however, believe it was appropriate for McChrystal to criticize the president and other top U.S. officials in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. Fifty percent (50%) feel the general’s public comments were not appropriate. Nearly one-out-of-five voters (18%) are undecided.

Publication of that interview prompted the president to call McChrystal back to Washington and, during a private White House meeting, to accept his resignation. Obama then announced that General David Petraeus, who commanded U.S. troops in Iraq in 2007 and 2008, will take his place.

Forty-seven percent (47%) view the naming of Petraeus as the new top commander in Afghanistan as good for the U.S. war effort there. Only nine percent (9%) say it’s a bad move, while 30% think it will have no impact. Fourteen percent (14%) aren’t sure.

Voter confidence in the course of the war in Afghanistan has been falling in recent weeks. Just 41% of voters now believe it is possible for the United States to win the nearly nine-year-old war in Afghanistan. Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree and say it is not possible for America to win the war. Another 23% are not sure.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/june_2010/47_support_obama_s_decision_to_fire_mcchrystal_36_oppose

[25] In an editorial entitled, “The Petraeus Hail Mary,” the Wall Street Journal pointed out the divisive effect that Biden has had with respect to American policies and their implementation in Afghanistan.  Biden has been a “loose canon,” who was fully capable of fabricating facts if not engaging in outright lies.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704629804575325073086949444.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop (“Mr. Obama said yesterday that no one individual is indispensable in war, but if any single person is, it is a President. Mr. Obama too often gives the impression of a leader asking, ‘Won’t someone rid me of this damn war?'”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/#comment-169

Former President Bill Clinton was reluctant to take on the military politically, and wisely so—much to the chagrin of his far-Left constituents, some of whom believe America does not need to be strong militarily.  As I have stated before: “America’s economic and military strength go hand in hand. Both are indispensable ingredients of our great nation’s future strength.”

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

[26] If Obama’s presidency does not end before 2012, it is likely that he will not run for reelection, just as Truman declined to run in the midst of the Korean War, and Lyndon Johnson declined to run in the midst of the Vietnam War.

[27] See, e.g., http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=1FF04086-18FE-70B2-A8502AE14AB8C592 and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

[28] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/ronald-reagan-and-john-f-kennedy-a-question-of-character

[29] Also, there is the issue of personal Obama family extravagances at the expense of U.S. taxpayers, especially at a time when so many Americans are suffering.  See, e.g.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1298063/Michelle-Obama-takes-daughter-Sasha-Spanish-getaway–leaves-birthday-boy-Barack-behind.html (“Michelle Obama is set to holiday with daughter Sasha on Spain’s Costa del Sol.  . . .  Mrs Obama . . .  has reserved 30 rooms at a five-star hotel”)

[30] Lyndon Johnson chose not to run for reelection in 1968; and Obama advised New York Congressman Charles Rangel to end his political career with dignity as well.  Hopefully he follows his own advice.

See http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0710/Obama_Time_for_Rangel_to_end_career_with_dignity.html





Sarah And Todd Palin: The Big Winners?

12 11 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The biggest winners in the 2010 American elections may prove to be former Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and her husband Todd.  She became the darling of the Tea Party movement, which energized the moribund Republican Party and may decide its future—and that of its “establishment.”  While there is a long list of other potentially-strong GOP candidates, the often-outspoken Sarah Palin has “caught fire” and connects with her audiences like few politicians can.[2] Barack Obama did this prior to the 2008 elections, but he has lost his luster and credibility, and faded.[3]

Palin has established herself as a force to be feared and reckoned with in Republican politics, and is formidable.  As Michael D. Shear noted in the New York Times:

Ms. Palin wasn’t on any ballot. But the self-described “Mama Grizzly” had plenty at stake  . . .  as she sought to bolster her credentials as the Republican Party’s most powerful kingmaker and the voice of the newly empowered Tea Party movement. Ms. Palin was anything but timid in the midterm elections, endorsing dozens of candidates, including in some of the most high-profile races.[4]

Indeed, most candidates won whom Sarah Palin had endorsed—resulting in “plenty of victories that Ms. Palin and her allies have already begun to point to as evidence of her political prowess and her ability to shape and direct the unwieldy frustration that is fueling American politics.”[5] A political analyst for CBS News, Nicolle Wallace, stated: “My observation of Sarah Palin is that she is one of the shrewdest political figures in our country at this moment.  She’s also one of the most electric.”[6]

Germany’s SPIEGEL ONLINE observed:

“If there was one true victor on election night  . . .  it was the Tea Party movement. . . .  What matters now is whether the Tea Party can manage to establish itself as an independent power in Washington, as a voice of dissent next to the Republicans—in order to profit even more from the wave of dissatisfaction that is sweeping the land.”

“Then anything would be possible in two years. Even the prospect of the former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, as the first female president of the United States.”[7]

If Sarah Palin is a winner, one might ask: why include Todd Palin too?  Because he is a man’s man; and for many men such as yours truly, the Palins are running as a team—as they did in Alaska—and Todd adds legitimacy to Sarah Palin’s candidacy and potentially brings in male voters.  For far-Left and mainstream Democrats alike, especially women, Hillary Clinton provided legitimacy to Bill Clinton’s runs for the presidency, amidst almost non-stop allegations of peccadillos, adultery and worse.

As the 2012 elections loom, and as Barack Obama’s presidency effectively ends[8], Hillary and Bill Clinton represent a team to which many Democrats may flock once again.  For members of the Tea Party movement and Republicans and “disenchanted” Democrats, the Palins represent a breath of fresh air too.  Indeed, it is not beyond the pale to believe that two women might face off for the American presidency in 2012, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, which would be historic!

© 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., http://www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2] Right after the 2010 elections, the Rasmussen polling organization released the following results, looking ahead to the 2012 elections:

On the Republican side, it’s a dead heat between the ex-governors—Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Sarah Palin of Alaska, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely GOP Primary voters.

Asked who they would vote for if the Republican presidential primary were held today, 20% say Romney, 19% Huckabee and another 19% Palin. . . .

Romney and Palin are tied among male GOP voters, while Huckabee has a slight edge among female voters.

In October 2009 when Likely Republican primary voters were given a choice of five potential presidential nominees, Huckabee led with 29% support, followed by Romney with 24% of the vote and Palin at 18%.

Rounding out the list of seven candidates chosen by Rasmussen Reports for the question, with their levels of support, are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (13%), Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (6%), Texas Congressman Ron Paul (5%) and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (3%).  Seven percent (7%) prefer some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/november_2010/gop_voters_like_three_candidates_best_for_2012

Thus, Sarah Palin has moved up in the polling results; and the full effects of Tea Party-supporter voting in the GOP primaries may not be reflected in the Rasmussen polling data.

[3] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama (see postings beneath the article as well)

[4] See http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/palin-proves-that-mama-grizzly-has-bite/

[5] See id; see also http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2010-11-12-1Apalin12_CV_N.htm

[6] See http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/03/earlyshow/main7017707.shtml

Among the winners whom Palin endorsed: John Boozman of Arkansas for the U.S. Senate; Rand Paul of Kentucky for the Senate; Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire (which holds the first presidential primary) for the Senate; Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania for the Senate; Susana Martinez of New Mexico for governor (who may prove helpful with the growing block of Hispanic voters); and Nikki Haley of South Carolina for governor (who may be helpful when Palin’s presidential campaign moves to South Carolina).

As the New York Times’ Michael D. Shear points out, there were losers too:

In Delaware, Ms. Palin all but created the Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell, helping thrust the young woman onto the national political stage over the strenuous objections of the Republican elite in Washington. And in the end, Ms. O’Donnell never had a chance, handing what most likely would have been a Republican Senate seat to Democrats.

And in Nevada, Republican celebration was muted when their top target—Harry Reid, the Senate’s majority leader—handily defeated Ms. Palin’s chosen candidate, Sharron Angle, to return to Washington.

In Ms. Palin’s home state, Alaska, political turmoil still reigns thanks to her support of Joe Miller, the Tea Party favorite who defeated Senator Lisa Murkowski in the state’s  Republican primary this year. But with “write-ins” leading Mr. Miller, Ms. Murkowski may retain her seat.

Still, as potential 2012 presidential contenders begin lining up support and cashing in chits, Ms. Palin will have plenty of places to look for support. In addition to the Senate and governors’ races, there are dozens of lesser-known House candidates who had earned her blessing.

See http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/palin-proves-that-mama-grizzly-has-bite/

[7] See http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,727235,00.html

[8] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama (see postings beneath the article as well)





John F. Kennedy: The Most Despicable President In American History

4 10 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Gannett’s USA Today began publishing its daily newspapers in Washington, D.C., and I have always been proud of the publication and have praised it.  I believed it was one of the finest newspapers in the United States, if not the world; and I have been pleased with its success.  I have encouraged friends, business associates, and acquaintances to read it because of what I believed was objective reporting, or certainly very close to it.

However, I was rudely awakened by its recent series of articles about John F. Kennedy and his family, which were a travesty and a lie.[2] Sadly, USA Today has become a participant in the deliberate distortion of history.  There was not merely one isolated article about the Kennedys, but it was an unprecedented series—which made matters far worse and even more irresponsible.  Whoever approved the series should be fired immediately.  Wholesale distortions of history by a mainstream publication such as this one warrant and, in fact, demand nothing less.

John F. Kennedy was a fraud, pure and simple. When he died, his “image” was frozen in time, but the truth is grotesque. To lionize him like USA Today has done is a crime, and unconscionable.  The once-excellent and seemingly objective USA Today has reached new lows by publishing this series about Kennedy—which is the moral equivalent of running a praiseworthy series of articles about Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.

USA Today failed to mention that John F. Kennedy was possibly the most morally corrupt and reckless president in American history, who came tragically close to bringing about a “nuclear winter” that might have destroyed the United States and other parts of the world.  Also, he plunged America into the Vietnam war.  USA Today’s entire series would fall like a “house of cards” if the truth about Kennedy and his family had been told, instead of repeating the factual distortions that have been spun since he was assassinated in Dallas.

There have been two outstanding books written about Kennedy and his life, and that of his family: American historian Thomas C. Reeves’ “A Question of Character: A Life of John F. Kennedy”[3] and Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour M. Hersh’s “The Dark Side of Camelot.”[4] First published in 1997, Hersh’s book is a companion to Reeves’ equally fine book, which was published in the same year.  To have two truly outstanding books introduced at the same time, on the same subject, is interesting unto itself.

Like Reeves, Hersh laid bare the myth of “Camelot” for all to see. The Kennedy family and its sycophants have attempted to perpetrate that myth since the day Kennedy was shot—as well as myths surrounding the entire family, which is surely the most dysfunctional family ever to achieve significant political power in American history. Indeed, after reading both books, one wonders whether there was anything decent or moral about the family, certainly the male Kennedys.

Unlike Reeves, Hersh does not mention Ted Kennedy’s culpability in the tragic death of Mary Jo Kopechne in 1969, just as she was about to celebrate her 29th birthday, and the ensuing Kennedy cover-up.  Similarly, Hersh makes scant mention of Marilyn Monroe, with whom both JFK and, after him, Bobby Kennedy had affairs, nor does Hersh discuss the possibility that she was murdered. Instead, he discusses JFK’s long-time relationship with Judith Campbell Exner, as well as his affair with an East German “prostitute” by the name of Ellen Rometsch.

Kennedy’s reckless affairs with women were only outdone by his irresponsible and dangerous relationships with mobsters such as Chicago crime boss Sam Giancana. These two character flaws merged when both Kennedy and Giancana had sexual liaisons with Exner, who was used as their go-between. Indeed, it is doubtful whether Kennedy would have become the president-elect in 1960 if the Mob had not helped him in Illinois and West Virginia—and Giancana claimed credit for that.  Kennedy was the son of a bootlegger, and the apple did not fall far from the tree, with respect to all three Kennedy brothers who entered national politics.

The thread that runs through the writing of Reeves and Hersh, and through JFK’s life, is utter recklessness—which not only endangered his life, but the lives of those with whom he came into contact, and every American. Perhaps the most vivid example is the “Cuban Missile Crisis” that Hersh documents in considerable detail, which might have been averted if JFK and Bobby had used their back-channel communications effectively with the Soviet Union’s Nikita Khrushchev and the Kremlin.

Instead, the two Kennedy brothers turned the crisis into a grand display of American military might—to further JFK’s political ambitions—which constituted recklessness that might have brought about a “nuclear winter.” Hersh states emphatically: “[Jack] Kennedy did not dare tell the full story of the Soviet missiles in Cuba, because it was his policies that brought the weapons there.”[5]

Those Americans who believed in JFK, as yours truly did[6]—and to a lesser extent in Bobby—were deceived and disillusioned with respect to almost every issue. The public perception bears almost no relationship to the actual facts. Indeed, thirty-four years after his death, the American people finally learned the truth about JFK (and his “hatchet man,” Bobby) from these two books and other sources. Even then, as Hersh describes in considerable detail, Kennedy operatives may have destroyed large amounts of historically-important documents.

Vast numbers of documents are still held by the Kennedy Library with respect to both JFK and Bobby, which have never been made available to the public.  This is a scandal unto itself.  Not the least of these are medical records about JFK’s health, which have only been reviewed by a handful of Kennedy “sycophant-like” writers.  Almost 50 years after Kennedy’s death, the full extent of his life-long medical problems is still being withheld from the American people and conservative scholars, and Reeves recounts many of those problems.

The failed “Bay of Pigs” invasion of Cuba, where Fidel Castro humiliated JFK and “the Kennedys,” led to almost 50 years of enslavement for the Cuban people, and repeated attempts by the two Kennedy brothers to have Castro assassinated. This fiasco has potential relevance today—with respect to the presidency of Barack Obama—because, as Hersh describes, there was a “prevailing sense that Kennedy could do no wrong.”[7] In fact, the Kennedy brothers ignored advice from the CIA and the military; and like Lyndon Johnson vis-à-vis later stages of the Vietnam war, they ran the “show” themselves and then tried to blame others when it failed colossally.

Ample mention has been made of JFK’s perpetual “thirst” for women.  Indeed, the three Kennedy brothers, Jack, Bobby and Ted, trashed what was sacred in their Catholic religion, such as the sanctity of marriages.  For them, nothing seemed sacred, ever.  Hersh uses statements from Secret Service agents to describe the president’s penchant for prostitutes, and how they and other women were “procured” by Dave Powers and some of Kennedy’s other “New Frontiersmen.” Jackie Kennedy’s travels were carefully monitored so that she would not return to find the president and women “frolicking” in the White House swimming pool or in the family quarters.

What went on in hotels and private homes, wherever JFK traveled, is described as well. The book also discusses JFK’s venereal disease(s)[8]; and the risks that he and Powers took by cavorting with women who had been waived through routine Secret Service checks without prior clearances, and who might have carried weapons, listening devices, drugs or something similar.

There is no question that Kennedy launched this nation into Vietnam; and his secretary of defense, Robert McNamara, was the architect of that lost war and the enormous suffering that it produced. Almost 60,000 brave Americans died, some of whom were my friends; and it impaled this nation’s honor on the horns of a tragedy that still haunts policy makers and citizens alike. What was not known generally until Hersh’s book is that JFK “had a chance in 1961 to disengage from an American involvement in South Vietnam.”[9] Instead, he chose to go to war, and to spend the blood of young Americans. Hersh states, again emphatically: “Whatever Jack Kennedy’s intentions were, Vietnam was his war, even after his death.”[10]

Hersh describes the constant pressure especially on CIA operatives, which was brought by JFK and Bobby, to have foreign leaders such as Castro killed.  Mob operatives were used with Bobby’s knowledge and involvement, even though as the U.S. Attorney General he was ostensibly prosecuting the Mob. The family patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy’s ties to the Mob are detailed, as well as his ruthlessness and penchant for women.  JFK’s first marriage to Durie Malcolm is also described, and his father’s efforts to expunge the record.

Hersh discusses how Bobby and Jackie believed that JFK was struck down by a “domestic conspiracy,” probably involving Mob boss Giancana or others.[11] However, Hersh states: “Robert Kennedy did nothing to pursue the truth behind his brother’s death [in 1963]. . . . The price of a full investigation was much too high: making public the truth about President Kennedy and the Kennedy family. It was this fear, certainly, that kept Robert Kennedy from testifying before the Warren Commission.”[12] Aside from prostitutes and other women, and close Mafioso ties and health issues, and the presidential election in 1960 that was stolen from Richard M. Nixon, Hersh details “cash payments” that JFK requested and received—which monies were ostensibly used to buy Ellen Rometsch’s “silence.”

A footnote in history, perhaps, but a very important one is that JFK hurt his back cavorting in a West Coast swimming pool. He was “forced to wear a stiff brace that stretched from his shoulders to his crotch.” As Hersh concludes: “The brace would keep the president upright for the bullets of Lee Harvey Oswald.”[13] Hence, JFK’s sexual escapades may have contributed to his tragic death.

Today, Kennedy is not someone to look up to, much less deify, as many of us thought when he was president. That conclusion was reached reluctantly by lots of Americans, years ago, with a sense of sadness rather than anger.  Like the potentate in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the myth about Kennedy and his feet of clay have become clear for all to see with the passage of time.[14]

Greatness is often achieved in times of war, and Kennedy never won the war with Cuba, much less the Vietnam war that he started, nor did he win the Cold War—which Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush won.  Kennedy was a tragic Shakespearean figure who may be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history, in no small part because of the question of character that both Reeves and Hersh described brilliantly in their terrific books.

USA Today’s series of articles extolling the virtues of Kennedy and his family are shameful, and constitute the gross distortion of history.  Indeed, they seem to represent yet another attempt by America’s discredited Left to glorify its politicians, regardless of how corrupt and immoral they may be.

Few young Americans even know who John F. Kennedy was—or care about him—because less than a handful of his positive accomplishments had any lasting significance.  Like former President William McKinley before him, the fact that an assassin cut short Kennedy’s life and presidency might be all that Americans recall about him 50 years from now.[15]

© 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., http://www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2] See http://specials.usatoday.com/jfk/

[3] See http://www.amazon.com/Question-Character-Life-John-Kennedy/dp/0029259657/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0 and http://www.amazon.com/Question-Character-Life-John-Kennedy/product-reviews/0029259657/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending#R2SDUMI20EEA8Z

[4] See http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Side-Camelot-Seymour-Hersh/dp/0316359556 and http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Side-Camelot-Seymour-Hersh/product-reviews/0316359556/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending#R3Q8NBIYKP5W01

[5] See Seymour M. Hersh, “The Dark Side of Camelot,” p. 343.

[6] Although I was not old enough to vote for him, I was in the Los Angeles Coliseum and watched while he delivered his acceptance speech at the close of the Democrats’ convention in 1960.  Also, despite growing up in a “devoutly” Republican family, I registered to vote as a Democrat when I was able to do so, largely because of him.

After law school at Berkeley—where I had walked out of one of my classrooms to learn that he had been shot in Dallas—I spent two years at the Pentagon and had an excellent offer to return thereafter to a wonderful law firm in San Francisco, for which I had worked briefly before entering the Army.  Instead, I went to work on Capitol Hill, in no small part because of Kennedy and the call to government service that his words engendered (e.g., “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country”).

In short, Kennedy had changed the course of my life, which is why the truth about his life—and the fraud that was “Camelot”—needs to be exposed, not covered up or papered over as USA Today has done so irresponsibly.

[7] Id at  202.

[8] Id at 230.

[9] Id at 265.

[10] Id at 437.

I know an outstanding reporter with impeccable, world-class credentials who is based in Washington, D.C.  This person covered the Vietnam war and other wars up to and including the present day.  I admire and respect the person’s experience, opinions and judgment greatly.  In an e-mail message that I received on July 29, 2010, the person wrote:

Tim, [w]e won the Vietnam war – and Congress lost it.

Let me explain.

Last US soldier left Vietnam March 29, 1973.

Saigon fell April 15, 1975.

ARVN – South Vietnamese army – did very well on its own for two years with US military assistance, but no US soldiers, not even as advisers to ARVN.

Then Congress, in its infinite wisdom, cut off all further military aid to Saigon.

ARVN saw no point in continuing to fight, stabbed in the back by the US Congress.

Gen. Giap, in his memoirs, says Hanoi was taken by surprise by what Congress did because they thought that taking Saigon would not be within their reach for two more years.

So Giap improvised an offensive – and Saigon fell without a fight.

I have no reason to believe that this person’s assessment is inaccurate in any respect.  I will not disclose the person’s identity while he or she is alive, certainly without permission to do so.

[11] Id at 450.

[12] Id at 456.

[13] Id at 439.

[14] See, e.g., http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Emperor’s_New_Clothes

[15] See also Timothy D. Naegele, “Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy: A Question of Character”—https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/ronald-reagan-and-john-f-kennedy-a-question-of-character/