Eastern Approaches: Srdja Trifkovic

http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/2014/April/38/4/magazine/article/13654
In April 1904, Scottish geographer Halford Mackinder gave a lecture at the Royal Geographical Society. His paper, “The Geographical Pivot of History,” caused a sensation and marked the birth of geopolitics as an autonomous discipline. According to Mackinder, control over the Eurasian “World-Island” is the key to global hegemony. At its core is the “pivot area,” the Heartland, which extends from the Volga to the Yangtze and from the Himalayas to the Arctic. “My concern is with the general physical control, rather than the causes of universal history,” Mackinder declared.

At the end of the Great War, profoundly concerned with what he saw as the need for an effective barrier of nations between Germany and Russia, Mackinder summarized his theory as follows:

Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;
Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island;
Who rules the World-Island controls the world.

This dictum helps explain the essence of the Ukrainian crisis, as well as the motivation behind the continuing ambition of some U.S. policymakers to expand NATO eastward.

The model has undergone several modifications since Mackinder. In his 1942 book America’s Strategy in World Politics, Nicholas Spykman sought to “develop a grand strategy for both war and peace based on the implications of its geographic location in the world.” In the 19th century, he wrote, Russian pressure from the “heartland” was countered by British naval power in the “great game,” and it was America’s destiny to take over that role once World War II was over. Six months before the Battle of Stalingrad Spykman wrote that a “Russian state from the Urals to the North Sea can be no great improvement over a German state from the North Sea to the Urals.” For Spykman the key region of world politics was the coastal region bordering the “Heartland,” which he called the “rimland.” He changed Mac­kinder’s formula accordingly: “Who controls the rimland rules Eurasia; who rules Eurasia controls the destinies of the world.”

Spykman died in 1943, but his ideas were reflected four years later in Harry Truman’s strategy of containment. Holding on to the rimland, from Norway across Central Europe to Greece and Turkey, was the mainstay of America’s Cold War strategy and the rationale behind the creation of NATO in 1949. Containment swiftly turned into a massive rollback, however, when the Soviet Union disintegrated. In 1996 Bill Clinton violated the commitment against NATO expansion made by his predecessor, and the alliance reached Russia’s czarist borders. In 2004 it expanded almost to the suburbs of St. Petersburg with the inclusion of the three Baltic republics. All along Ukraine had remained the glittering prize, however, the key to limiting Russia’s access to the Black Sea, and a potential geostrategic knife in southern Russia’s soft underbelly.

US: The Era of Nuclear Neglect by Peter Huessy

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4254/us-nuclear-neglect

Looking at the most recent developments in Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan, as well as North Korea, it would seem urgent that the U.S. end as soon as possible its era of nuclear neglect.

On March 24, 2014 the Energy Department’s Inspector General [IG] determined that many of our nuclear laboratories had not been archiving with care designs used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

According to Inspector General Gregory Friedman, “Over the decades of nuclear weapons development, neither NNSA nor its sites treated the maintenance of original nuclear weapons… information as a priority.[1]

The IG also concluded that the Energy Department leadership concurred with its findings and had taken effective steps to remedy the problems identified.[2]

Problem solved, right?

Unfortunately not.

From Hijab to Jihad By Tabitha Korol

http://righttruth.typepad.com/right_truth/2014/04/from-hijab-to-jihad.html#comments

Did Minneapolis’s democrat Mayor Betsy Hodges not get it? This was no game, not dress-up playtime or Carnival. Then I wondered if she ever found occasion to dress in the ethnic clothing of her city’s other ethnicities – the Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, English, Poles, Irish, French Canadians, Native Americans? Perhaps she had not done her homework about the Somali immigrants, and it took her only 100 days into office to don a hijab for an alliance.

Surely, she has heard all the recent news about the subjugation and severe treatment of women in the Islamic Middle East; the Honor Diaries film that the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is trying to suppress; the controversy over Brandeis University’s bestowing and then rescinding an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the pressure applied by CAIR that forced Disney to cancel a movie that Muslims find “offensive,” and more. Then why would she don the quintessential symbol of inequality and bondage – the shroud of the Islamic woman.

Interestingly, the mayor has a strong admiration for Wonder Woman, the most popular female superstar in figure-hugging, stars-and-stripes regalia, with bracelets that make her invincible. Hodges is a collector of Wonder Woman dolls and has recently hung a photograph of this shining symbol of strength and sexual equality on her office wall. Rather than emulate her heroine, however, she abandoned the image with which she allegedly identifies, this icon of bravery and justice, for cowardice and deceit.

THE INTOLERANCE OF BRANDEIS: SYDNEY WILLIAMS

http://swtotd.blogspot.com/
Intolerance of tolerance is certainly no virtue. But bowing to pressure from the intolerant is cowardly. That is what Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence displayed when he revoked the honorary degree the university had planned to bestow on Ayaan Hirsi Ali at this spring’s commencement.

We have reached a sad state when an American, Jewish-sponsored college founded in 1948, when the Holocaust still cast its genocidal shadow over a world reeling from five years of world war, denied a promised honorary degree to a black woman who dared take on one on the cruelest elements of religious bigotry the world has ever known – radical, theocratic Islamism, with its inhumane treatment of women through genital mutilation, forced marriages and “honor killings.” Multiculturalism should not mean accepting the unacceptable.

Ms. Ali is now an American citizen, married to historian Niall Ferguson, yet she still lives under persistent threats of death. She left her native Somalia at the age of eight and was forced to leave her adopted country of the Netherlands when she was told, despite her prominence as a human rights activist and the fact she was a center-right member of Parliament, adequate security could no longer be provided. Death threats intensified following the release of the film Submission, for which she wrote the screenplay, and after the shooting death of the film’s producer Theo van Gogh by a member of Hofstad, an Islamic extremist group. Pinned to Mr. van Gogh’s chest by the knife that had been stuck in his dead body was a note promising similar retribution to Ms. Ali.

In contrast, the only pressure Brandeis president, Frederick Lawrence experienced was from student and faculty activists, motivated by a perverted sense of multiculturalism and political correctness, and from CAIR, the Council of American-Islamic Relations.

DANIEL GREENFIELD: THE PARANOID PARTY

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/

The Democrat may no longer believe in God, the Constitution or even motherhood and apple pie, but he devoutly believes with all the faith of a 9/11 Truther in the impermeability of steel and of a Neo-Nazi in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion that somewhere out there Republicans are sitting in a sealed room and plotting to bring back the 50s.

And if not the 50s, then at least the early 60s.

The left accuses the right of being deeply paranoid. Meanwhile the left is convinced that every Republican sneeze is a racial putdown of America’s first black president since Bill Clinton.

Forget about looking for Communists under every bed. The proper progressive never lies down with his or her partner of choice and their government mandated birth control from the Catholic institution with no choice in the matter without first checking their privilege and checking for conservative bigotry.

Sometimes, somewhere in Kentucky or Alaska, a minor Republican functionary forwards an email depicting ObamaCare as the work of a voodoo witch doctor and the first lefty to discover it dines out on that triumphant accomplishment for a year before writing a book about it. The rest of the time, the McCarthyists of the left have to work hard to unpack the subtext of the overlay of the puzzle box of a random remark.

When Mitch McConnell complained that Obama plays too much golf, MSNBC’s chief late night lunatic, Lawrence O’Donnell, barked that “Well, we know exactly what he’s trying to do there. He is trying to align to Tiger Woods and surely, the lifestyle of Tiger Woods with Barack Obama.”

The famously Calibnasian Woods didn’t actually identify as black, but that was probably because of the way Republican racism stigmatizes black people. Will the right-wing bigotry never stop?

After its collapse under Reagan, the reinvented Democratic Party runs entirely on outdated conspiracy theories about Republican bigotry. It complains that Republicans secretly believe that they’re a secret Communist conspiracy to destroy America, while their entire platform is an accusation that the Republican Party is a secret conspiracy to enslave black people.

Or as the famous admirer of articulate, bright and clean-looking African-Americans, Joe Biden said, “He is going to put y’all back in chains.”

ALAN CARUBA: CELEBRATING PASSOVER AND SURVIVAL

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/celebrating-passover-and-survival?f=puball

At sundown on Monday, April 14, Jews around the world will celebrate Passover with the traditional Seder dinner. Passover is about the exodus from Egypt and a reminder that they were slaves until led to freedom by Moses. Passover is an annual reminder of the survival of Jews and Judaism against extraordinary odds.

Conquered and exiled people in the past often disappeared. As Wikipedia notes, the first appearance of the name “Israel” was an Egyptian inscription dated around 1200 BCE. The term “Land of Israel” is found in the Torah, also called the Old Testament. Around 722 BCE it was conquered as was Judah in 586 BCE. Later, in 165 BCE the Jewish Hasmonean Kingdom was established, lasting 99 years and destroyed after the Romans captured Jerusalem in 66 BCE.

Until the State of Israel was reestablished in 1948, a constant Jewish prayer was “Next year in Jerusalem.” When Israel’s independence was declared, it was immediately attacked by five neighboring Arab nations who were to various degrees defeated.

In 1967 Israel was attacked by Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, but they were again defeated. 1n 1973, the Yom Kippur war took its name from having been attacked on its most holy of days by Syria and Egypt. While other nations are granted the lands they capture in war, particularly a war of defense, Israel continues to be accused of “occupying” them.

Israel has never really enjoyed peace with the nations that surround it and others in the Middle East. These days it is continually under attack from the Palestinians who protest their refugee status, but nothing is ever mentioned of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who became refugees when they were forced to flee from Middle Eastern nations in which many had lived for generations; double the number cited for Palestinians displaced in 1948.

CBS, Colbert and Contempt for America By Daniel Greenfield

URL to article: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/cbs-colbert-and-contempt-for-america/

Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives have expressed bewilderment over CBS’s abandonment of the “American Heartland” by choosing Colbert to replace Letterman.

Ed Driscoll has contrasted the pick with the Letterman and Leno succession battle. But the real lesson of that battle is that while Leno won on performance, beating Letterman in the ratings, Letterman won on image, retiring as an honored figure, despite his abusive behavior, while Leno was booed out the door

Leno is no conservative, but he left with the baffled bewilderment familiar to many on the right of being the better man who is despised for his success, while his rival who failed miserably as a boss, a human being and a comedian, is leaving with a media ticker tape parade.

The issue wasn’t The Late Shift or Conan’s nervous breakdown; it was cultural. Leno appealed to a more middle class audience, while Letterman, like Conan, was the darling of a trendy wealthy liberal crowd.

NBC entertainment president Warren Littlefield picked Leno over Letterman after asking the guys he played basketball with which of the men they wanted to watch. It was a practical move that wouldn’t be repeated today.

Nobody would ask the basketball guys if they would rather watch Colbert or someone funny, because they don’t matter.

Putin’s ‘Russian Spring’ The West’s Betrayal of Ukraine is Playing into his Fascist Game Plan. By Robert Zubrin

http://www.nationalreview.com/node/375673/print

On April 6, Eurasianist storm troopers operating under Kremlin coordination launched assaults, seizing government buildings in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Lugansk, and several smaller cities in eastern Ukraine; declared themselves to be the assemblies of independent governments; and immediately invited Russian troops to invade and annex their respective fictional statelets.

There can be no doubt that many of the thousands of invaders involved were in fact Eurasianist storm troopers, and not, as reported by some media outlets, “pro-Russian protesters.” They carried the outward-radiating eight-arrowed flag of Putinist ideologue Aleksandr Dugin’s fascist Eurasianist movement and shouted and displayed its slogan for the operation, “Russian Spring.” There can be no doubt that their moves were made in coordination with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, because he, for his part, has positioned 50,000 Russian troops just across the border, armed and equipped to carry out the requested invasion.

None of this should have been a surprise. Dugin actually published the plan for the current operation under the name “Scenario Russian Spring” on his Facebook page March 9. But no action was taken by Western leaders to prevent the invasion. Far from it; the Obama administration and its European counterparts have been rolling out the red carpet.

It’s hard to say which Western government has been the worst betrayer of Ukraine’s hopes for freedom, but my vote goes to our very own, which has mocked the Ukrainians’ desperate plea for arms by offering them $3 million worth of prepackaged Meals Ready-to-Eat instead. This comes after a series of stern threats of strong sanctions (if Russia invaded Crimea, if Russia annexed Crimea, if Russia began to destabilize Ukraine, etc.), followed by actions so weak as to be utterly risible when Putin went right ahead and took each forbidden step in turn. Thus, following the “absolutely unacceptable,” “illegal,” “intolerable,” etc. annexation of Crimea, the administration’s primary response was to freeze the U.S. bank accounts of eleven midlevel Russian officials who do not have U.S. bank accounts, leaving hundreds of other Russian officials who also do not have U.S. bank accounts to cheekily demand the same treatment.

The Influence Merchants of Venice Tony and Heather Podesta Represent a Culture of Rich Vulgarity. By Kevin D. Williamson

http://www.nationalreview.com/node/375629/print

Political Washington is having a great deal of fun following the contentious divorce of “super-lobbyist couple” (as the Washington Post put it) Tony and Heather Podesta, which should be organized under the headline “Lifestyles of the Rich and Odious.” Matthew Continetti and others have chronicled the usual assortment of high-class problems — skirmishing over the multimillion-dollar Kalorama mansion, allegations of unauthorized lock-changing at the couple’s home in Venice, questions about the disposition of their 1,300-piece art collection (“I don’t know why it is, but I have artworks where the women have no heads,” he says), her new relationship with the cinematic auteur behind the fourth installment in the Griswold family’s “Vacation” franchise (Vegas Vacation, in case you’re wondering), and a great deal more.

Divorce is always a little bit sad, though its sting is diminished by repetition — it is his second marriage, her third — and by the absence of children. The nastiness is sometimes delicious: Mr. Podesta, who brought to the relationship wealth that included not only homes and art but overseas vineyards, archly notes that before taking his name the future Mrs. P. was earning only $55,000 a year: “Ms. Podesta has used Mr. Podesta’s name and reputation to advance her own business and interests,” his legal filings argue. Her own lawyers, not content for her husband’s legal team to make her look like a scheming climber, declared that the two “strategically cultivated their public image, and worked to build the ‘Heather and Tony Podesta’ brand for the success of their shared enterprise.”

GOOD ADVICE FROM JOHN FUND FOR THE GOP…. Sometimes the Tea Party Picks the Best Candidates, but Sometimes the Establishment Does.

http://www.nationalreview.com/node/375671/print PRIMARY CHALLENGES SERVE THE GOOD PURPOSE OF KEEPING INCUMBENTS HONEST TO CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES….THEY SPARK DEBATE AND HIGHLIGHT ISSUES….BUT FUND IS RIGHT…SOME TEA PARTY CHALLENGES HAVE BEEN DISASTROUS….RSK Tea-party conservatives have become so suspicious of the primary recommendations of establishment GOP figures such as Karl Rove that they dismiss them out of hand. That’s wrong. […]