Isis Waning

Tuesday, August 19, AD 2014



As predicted here, it is up fast and down fast for the ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, terrorists.  Strategy Page continues to provide the best coverage of events in Iraq on the net:

August 19, 2014: Kurdish troops have forced ISIL (al Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant) fighters out of the Mosul Dam on the Tigris River. ISIL seized control of the dam on August 3 rd. This is the largest dam in Iraq and because of shoddy construction during the 1980s requires constant maintenance to prevent it from failing. If the dam did come down over half a million Iraqis could die from the flood and subsequent water shortages. The Kurds had been defending the dam since the Iraqi Army ran away in early June. ISIL also seized two nearby Kurdish held towns as they went after the dam.

This ISIL advance was not unexpected because the Kurds stretched themselves thin by trying to replace the Iraqi Army while also building and defending a new fortified border to incorporate Kirkuk and nearby oilfields. The Kurds asked for air support from the United States but did not start receiving it until the 8th. The Americans had already shipped in ammo and light weapons and some additional American trainers and advisors.

ISIL hit the Kurds with multiple columns of vehicles carrying armed men. This force included some suicide bombers and there were more ISIL gunmen coming from more directions than the small Kurdish force could handle. After a day or so of holding off ISIL the Kurds were ordered to withdraw and they did that in an orderly fashion on the 3rd. The Kurds organized a counterattack force and moved to regain the lost territory once the U.S. agreed to resume air support. There are still some ISIL gunmen in the vicinity of the dam, as well as some mines and booby-traps the Islamic terrorists set before they left. Kurdish forces are taking care of this.

In the Euphrates River Valley, near the town of Haditha, local Sunni tribes have rebelled against ISIL to maintain control of another major dam. This is a major setback for ISIL, which expected the Sunni tribes to support them and take care of local security. It’s an old story being replayed. The local tribesmen are not happy with ISIL efforts to force a strict Islamic lifestyle on them. Iraqi and Syria Sunnis have come to prefer educating their daughters and enjoying TV and videos. There is even more tolerance for buying alcoholic beverages from local Christians who have long been allowed to sell this stuff because their religion does not forbid it (and their worship services actually use wine). Also unpopular is the ISIL attitude that anything they do is above reproach. The Sunni tribes that ISIL expected to be allies and take care of administering the newly conquered territories have increasingly refused to go along. While the Sunni tribes like the measure of law and order ISIL has imposed they are not willing to accept all the other features of ISIL rule. The secular Sunnis (mainly the surviving Baath Party organizations) initially believed they could work with ISIL but have since turned against the strict forms of Islam ISIL insists on. Meanwhile ISIL has antagonized many Islamic conservative groups by destroying shrines and even mosques ISIL considers heretical despite the fact that most Sunni Arabs tolerate these places because they are very popular, and bring in a significant amount of tourist business from foreigners and religious pilgrims.

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15 Responses to Isis Waning

  • Pope Francis on his plane trip home seems to be against bombing and war but does want ISIL stopped…I fear he is reading the wonderful Catholics at the pacifist websites who seemed to have grown up in very protected situations…here is Francis answering on the plane home from Korea:

    “In these cases where there is unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor. I underscore the verb ‘stop’; I don’t say bomb, make war — stop him. The means by which he may be stopped should be evaluated. To stop the unjust aggressor is licit, but we nevertheless need to remember how many times, using this excuse of stopping an unjust aggressor, the powerful nations have dominated other peoples, made a real war of conquest. A single nation cannot judge how to stop this, how to stop an unjust aggressor. After the Second World War, there arose the idea of the United Nations. That is where we should discuss: ‘Is there an unjust aggressor? It seems there is. How do we stop him?’ But only that, nothing more.”

    Words fail me. Apparently we can’t use air force bombs but must drop air borne rangers who will sing ” Stop In The Name of Love…before you break my heart…think it ooover”… to men who behead six year old girls and we must do this after the UN evaluates…Is there an unjust aggressor? Does his Holiness have a tv?

  • “…the powerful nations have dominated other peoples, made a real war of conquest.” Pope Francis slanders the United States of America. The U.S.A. has taken only the land needed to bury her dead warriors for freedom. The United Nations, on the other hand, does not acknowedge “their Creator” from the Declaration of Independence and will surely make beasts of burden of the less powerful nations. Only the U. S. has stopped the United Nations from absorbing other smaller nations, as it pursues all mineral rights under the sea and an international court. The U.N has plans to tax American citizens to pay for a standing army and all without God. The victory of atheism. And this is what Pope Francis calls for? Pope Francis needs to buy a tv.
    P.S. Planned Parenthood has infiltrated the United Nations and uses the U.N. to indoctrinate American Children in public school that abortion is their natural right, and all with tax dollars. If Pope Francis is unaware of this, then he really needs to buy a tv.

  • Mary,
    We pay 25% of the UN budget though we are 4% of the earth’s population.
    The UN which Pope Benedict said needed more teeth in section 67 of “Caritas in Veritate” has blasted Ireland and other countries for banning abortion a month ago…so Popes are not thinking when they wish it teeth:

  • Pat,
    Hyperbole is big over there. Gaza’s Hamas just before the last fighting warned Israel, ” We will bring the gates of hell against you.” That became the worst prediction of the decade. But ISIS will get here but I suspect, being users of media, it will be the same old, same old flashy targets…Manhattan, DC, and Boston and I’m in the NY harbor perimeter so it does make me wonder about dirty bombs which they could well afford. There are stirrings in the Congress about ISIS being more than about Iraq and that we should be fighting then as wherever they are…as we had sought Al Qaeda. Their two greatest sources of income are oil fields in Syria and Iraq. We should begin there with cruise missiles programmed for all equipment at the sites.
    If we don’t do it now, we will do it in reaction to their first act here. I suspect this aim of Obama’s will broaden with Congressional urging.

  • The huge shame and sadness of this is, that if O’Bumbler had responded to Maliki’s request six months ago, the ISIL and the carnage they have brought to the region would not exist – USAF and attack drones could have eliminated ISIL at the Syrian border.
    Obama has blood on his hands, through refusing to act on the request of an ally. The US still has a major reponsibilty to Iraq, but Obama would not act because he didn’t like the way Maliki was running the country – political considerations outweigh humanitarian ones to this totally inept president.
    If anyone had doubts about this guy’s competence previously, there can be no doubt now – its there for the world to see – except perhaps for his sychophants who are his bootlickers.

  • if a particular manifestation wanes, it seems the monster grows another head or takes a different form > PLO or al qaeda or HAMAS or ISIS

  • Don the Kiwi wrote, “Obama would not act because he didn’t like the way Maliki was running the country…”
    Why would anyone want to shore up the pro-Shia, pro-Iranian government of Nouri al-Maliki? The real enemy in the region is Iran, for only Iran, with its nuclear programme, can threaten the existence of Israel. Iraq, destabilised and divided can only be a good thing.
    For the same reason, if Syria is turned from an Iranian ally (with strong armed forces and artillery positions on the Golan Heights) into a battle-ground for rival militias, that, too, increases Israel’s security, especially as Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, will no longer be able to operate freely there.

  • The point remains Michael, earlier action could have saved people from some if this. Not because anybody esteemed Maliki.
    . You just can’t have a fixed template that you won’t digress from when fighting these evil forces. We can’t even call them an “axis” they are Disordered and Chaotic. When one is killing snakes one must be flexible and fast.

  • Maliki was our guy until Obama decided he wasn’t. The US still has troops in Germany, Japan, and Korea. There is an American military presence in Djibouti, E. Africa. Why didn’t we keep similar bases in Iraq?

    What is the body count of us run up by Iran and the Shia?

    Almost all the world’s terrorsists are Arabs and/or Sunni.

    But, MPS is correct.

    Obama aided and abeted the mass-murderers and now they’re killing Christians, and undoing what thousands of GI’s died to achieve. Collateral damage. They were expendable. Those losses cannot be considered severe. You needs to break some eggs to make an omelet. And, that’s what the zero and Hillary have done: made more of a bloody mess of the ME.

    The only guy that’s happy about all this is Jimmy Carter. He’s no longer the worst Prez in history.

    If Hillary and her enablers can convince the sheeple that she was never Secy of State . . .

  • bill bannon: One stipulation of becoming a citizen for the illegal alien is to serve two years in the military, not by choice, but by draft.
    Eradicating human existence cannot be a human right. Equal Justice requires that my freedom ends where your freedom begins. Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights. The human being acknowledges God by being a human being.
    It goes without saying that the human being denies God by becoming a liar and a murderer.
    It is being whispered about in the eastern European nations that Pope Francis is a communist. Who else would know better than those oppressed by communism?

  • T Shaw wrote, “Almost all the world’s terrorsists are Arabs and/or Sunni.”

    Hezbollah is a Shiite organisation and a state proxy of Iran, a country about 60% Persian and 25% Azeri. Only about 2% of the population is Arab. We seem to have forgotten the 15-year civil war in Lebanon.

  • One stipulation of becoming a citizen for the illegal alien is to serve two years in the military, not by choice, but by draft.

    Is that really such a good idea – a drafted foreign force? How well did that eventually work out for the Romans?

    As for ISIS, ebb and flow is the MO of these types of groups – a flash of victories, then receding, but never quite disappearing, only morphing into something else. Conquest through a thousand cuts. They are like weeds- need to be destroyed to the root or they come back, and even then it requires constant vigilance.

  • MDV said: “One stipulation of becoming a citizen for the illegal alien is to serve two years in the military, not by choice, but by draft.”

    Spoke with a National Guard recruiter at the high school where I teach 2 days ago. He said that 6 weeks into their National Guard basic training that recruits who do not have American citizenship are sworn in as US citizens. So the process can be expedited much quicker than 2 years.

  • Barbara Gordon

    In France, aliens may apply for naturalisation after three years military service. However, this period is waived for those wounded in action – « Français par le sang verse » [French by the shedding of blood], as is the usual one year’s delay between the application for and granting of citizenship.

    For many years, universal suffrage and universal conscription were seen as two sides of the same coin and men were only eligible to vote or hold office after completion of their military service. Under the ancien regime, the three “estates” of the realm were the nobility, the clergy and the Third Estate – those who fought, those who prayed and those who paid taxes and the sword was the badge of the gentleman. It was the Revolution that ushered in the principle that no one should be denied the right, nor be relieved of the responsibility of defending the nation under arms.

Everything You Need to Know About ISIL in Iraq

Thursday, June 26, AD 2014



Media coverage of events in Iraq is by and large pretty poor, reporting day to day events without giving much needed context.  Strategy Page performs a public service by giving briefings that provide a fantastic overview of just what is going on.  In their latest briefing they explain who the Sunni terrorists are who have grabbed so much of Iraq:



ISIL began as ISI (Islamic State in Iraq) after 2004 and was one of many Sunni Islamic terrorist groups operating in Iraq back then. By 2010 ISI was almost destroyed due to U.S. efforts, especially getting many Sunni tribes to turn against the Islamic terrorist groups. But after U.S. forces left in 2011 the Iraqi government failed to follow U.S. advice to take good care of the Sunni tribes, if only to keep the tribes from again supporting the Islamic terrorist groups. Instead the Shia led government turned against the Sunni population and stopped providing government jobs and regular pay for many of the Sunni tribal militias. Naturally many Sunni Arabs went back to supporting terror groups, especially very violent ones like ISI.

After 2011, as the Iraqi Shia were turning on the Sunni Arab minority, there was a rebellion against a minority Shia government in Syria, led by the Sunni Arab majority there. The Sunni tribes of western Iraq were linked by culture and sometimes family links with the Sunni tribes of eastern Syria. The rebellion in Syria got ISI thinking about forming a new Islamic Sunni state out of eastern Syria, western Iraq, Baghdad (historically the seat of Sunni power in the area, despite it now being half Shia) and Mosul. Actually this also includes Lebanon and all of Iraq, but this was kept quiet initially. This decision had ISI spending a lot more time and effort recruiting in western Iraq after 2011. ISIL was created in 2013 when ISI sought to become the dominant rebel group in Syria by persuading men, especially foreigners, from other Islamic terrorist groups fighting in Syria to join a new, united Islamic terrorist group called ISIL. This caused problems because of the harsh way ISIL treated civilians and anyone who opposed them. ISIL relished the publicity their atrocities received. But al Qaeda knew from bitter experience (in Iraq from 2006-2008) that the atrocities simply turned the Islamic world against you. The bad relations between ISIL and all the other Islamic radicals in Syria reached a low point in June 2013 when the head of al Qaeda (bin Laden successor Ayman al Zawahiri) declared the recent merger of the new (since January 2013) Syrian Jabhat al Nusra (JN) with ISIL unacceptable and ordered the two groups to remain separate. That was because the merger was announced by ISI/ISIL without the prior agreement of JN leadership. Many JN members then left their JN faction to join ISIL. JN leaders saw this as a power grab by ISI/ISIL and most of the JN men who left to join ISIL were non-Syrians. Many of these men had worked with ISI before and thought they were joining a more powerful group. A month later al Qaeda declared ISIL outcasts and sanctioned the war against them. By January 2014 this had turned into all-out war between ISIL and the other rebel groups in Syria.

That was not the first time al Qaeda has had to slap down misbehaving Iraqi Islamic terror groups and won’t be the last. But it’s not a problem unique to Iraq. It is a problem for Saudi Arabia because the Saudis finance al Nusra and some of the other Islamic terrorist rebels in Syria that are now at war with ISIL. To the Saudis such support is the lesser of two evils as ISIL is crippling rebel efforts to overthrow the Assad government. This is also part of the ideological war the Saudis (and most other Sunni Moslems) are fighting with Shia Iran (and its Shia allies the Assads and the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon). Meanwhile the Saudis continue crushing the Sunni Islamic terrorists that try to attack them at home. This includes local members of ISIL. All this sounds somewhat bizarre, with Saudi Arabia funding missionaries that create Islamic terrorists who become uncontrollable and seem to overthrow the rulers of Saudi Arabia. Absurd it may be, but it is a familiar pattern in this part of the world where religion and politics have long been intertwined in absurd and tragic ways.

The Saudis have been dealing with Islamic terrorism within their borders since the kingdom was formed in the 1920s and were able to quickly defeat the 2003 al Qaeda offensive. At first al Qaeda terrorists appeared capable of doing some serious damage in Saudi Arabia. In 2003-4, they made four major attacks. These killed 68 people, including twelve Americans. But most of the dead were Saudis, and this turned the population against the terrorists. All the planned terror attacks since then have been aborted by security forces, usually via tips from Saudi civilians. Most Islamic terrorists have now fled the kingdom. Despite this a large minority of Saudis still support al Qaeda, but it’s the majority who do not and that makes it nearly impossible for the terrorists to operate in their “homeland.” Killing civilians will do that, and al Qaeda has not been able to figure out how to fight without shedding the blood of innocents. So the innocents are taking their revenge. Meanwhile there is still support for groups like ISIL inside Saudi Arabia and ISIL has been recruiting for Saudi men to go fight in Syria and Iraq.

Taking Mosul was crucial to the ISIL plan for regional and world conquest. Mosul was part of Turkey until 1918, when the victorious Allies took Mosul province, and its oil, away from Turkey (to prevent the Turks from financing an effort to rebuild their empire) and gave it to the newly created Iraq. In the 1980s Saddam Hussein, again feuding with the Kurdish majority in northern Iraq, killed or drove Kurds out of Mosul and invited poor Sunnis from the south to move in and take over. After 2003 the Kurds came back seeking to regain their stolen property and control of Mosul. The Sunni Arabs there did not want to give up their new homes as they would be destitute if they did so. So the fighting was vicious and the Mosul Sunnis were glad to get help from ISIL and other Sunni terror groups. But now most Mosul residents are feeling the impact of the ISIL take over as new lifestyle rules have been issued forbidding many things Westernized Iraqis take for granted.

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5 Responses to Everything You Need to Know About ISIL in Iraq

  • One of the really stunning things about this ISIL resurgence in Iraq is not mentioned by Strategy page history: the fact that the success of the American military surge in Iraq in 2007-8 was caused in part by the Sunnis turning against ISI. ISI attempted to coerce the Sunnis into giving them more support, and their preferred methods were terror and atrocity. Eventually many Sunnis turned on the ISI and gave the American military enough support to root them out.

    So here we have, less than a decade later, the very people who were traumatized by these terrorists now welcoming them back. It is absurd and obscene. It just goes to show that the ‘shifting sands’ metaphor for Mid-East politics is very apt, and we all know that nothing solid can be built upon such a foundation.

  • Yes We Can!

    Hope and Change!

    The New World Disorder.

  • No average voter that I know, who has paid attention to the situation in the Middle East in the last 20 years, is the least bit surprised that the Iraqi defense forces have turn tail & run from their enemy once the USA pulled out of Iraq. I have a hard time believing that John Kerry, having lived through the Vietnam war, is the least bit surprised by these turn of events either. However, he must tow the politically correct line for the Osama Administration & act as if we had not predicted this very thing (name misspelled on purpose.)

  • Pingback: The Ecumenical Laboratory of Ukraine -

Election 2012: One Last Argument for Mitt

Thursday, November 1, AD 2012

The election is almost upon us, and many of us have made up our minds as to whom we are going to vote for, or whether we will even bother to vote at all. On the slight chance that someone from the ever-shrinking pool of undecided voters in a critical county in a vital swing state stumbles upon this blog post, the even less likely chance that they are Catholic, and the even less likely chance that their Catholic faith informs their political conscience, I’ll make one last appeal for a GOP vote.

I say a GOP vote, and not a Romney vote, because a) the most important issue at stake in this election really only depends upon which party, not individual man, is in power, and b) many people on the fence probably aren’t very enthused about Romney the man. I’ll admit that even as someone who has made up his mind, I am still not enthused. Granted, Romney isn’t as awful as many of us imagined him to be before he took Obama to the woodshed in the first presidential debate, it still isn’t easy to joyfully rally to his banner. He lacks the consistency and commitment to principle of the enigmatic Ron Paul, a pretty old guy who manages to get thousands of  modern American 20-somethings to care about things other than themselves, which is nothing short of miraculous in its own right. Still, he has emerged as a capable enough candidate for the highest office in the land. But let’s return to the issues.

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18 Responses to Election 2012: One Last Argument for Mitt

  • Permit me to say:

    Contrary to what Muslim apologist Obama, the progressive liberal agenda, and their adoring media want you to believe America is still a Christian nation in spite of all their ill begotten and somewhat successful efforts to lead us away from the God we proclaimed in our founding documents and in whom we have placed our trust for two hundred and fifty years making us the most generous defender of freedom and champion of peace in the history of the world.

    It has taken an electorate, deceived by media hype and the slick talk of a community organizer with a snake oil political platform built on the sand of Marxist social justice and constructed with inverted racism packaged as hope and change for a better future, four years to realize their tragic mistake but we are there now and the curtain of corruption has been lifted revealing the true and obvious nature of the beast of bureaucratic socialism set to use the next four years to finish the destruction of our country by virtual dictatorship of the most anti-Christian regime ever to occupy the White House. It must not happen.

    Over the years we have gone to every corner of the globe giving every ounce of blood sweat and tears it took to rid the world of tyrants in the name of freedom. Many of those were by all means monsters of madness which sprang up on distant shores but the one we face today has had the audacity to raise its ugly head from within our own house by cleverly deceiving the trust and compassion of, yes¸ the Christian majority of the nation wanting to show the world how tolerant and unbiased we had become. We were foolishly betrayed. That will not happen again this November, we have learned our lesson Christians.

    Bill Sr.

  • Watching the movie “The Hope and the Change” last night gives me some comfort in knowing that those who thought they were voting for a messiah have taken off their rose-colored glasses and faced reality. Let it be Lord, that with the wake up call of Sandy and Benghazi we may vote our consciences, informed and conformed, by the Truth.

  • Bill Sr.

    You Are Permitted!
    Awaken the sleepers.
    Blow a trumpet.
    Defend our freedoms.
    By God let the poles resound with a cry; “In this Nation we serve God by living the ten commandments and giving testimony that Jesus Christ is King!”
    It is and will always be…Our Father who art in Heaven / Not our father who art in Washington.
    We have reached the precipice.
    We will change direction and repent. Or we will fall.
    Lord have Mercy.

  • I disagree about the missile shield comment. We have a right to defend ourselves. That being said, I have no objection to sharing missile defense technology with the Russians. After all, it’s not an offensive weapon system. Why can’t we work together to defend our individual countries against rouge states like Iran? Hey, if we’re not supposed to engage in wars of adventurism in lands of Islamic fascism for access to mineral slime (otherwise known as oil), then why can’t we defend ourselves from the weapons that these mad men will eventually and inevitably get?

    BTW, want to stop wars in the Mid-East? Go nuclear and stop buying their accursed oil! Stop financing them! We can generate plenty of our own liquid fuels from our own American coal using the heat of nuclear energy from our own uranium and thorium, or alternatively switch over to cleaner hydrogen from nuclear energy. Stop the corporate socialism! Stop financing Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Gulf and all the rest! Treat all energy companies the same: just like nuclear, you don’t get to dump your trash into the environment, and just like nuclear, you get to finance your own self in the free market. This is simple: no more govt loans for anything. No more govt protection for anything. Just common sense regulation applied equally to everyone to protect the public. OK – enough of my diatribe. I am waaaayyyyy off track.

    Overall, good post, Bonchamps, even though I disagree about a few things.

  • “We have a right to defend ourselves”

    The missile shield doesn’t defend us. It eliminates Russia’s first strike capability, which puts it in a weaker geopolitical position and increases the potential for a conflict with NATO. Really it is time to dismantle NATO.

    Even with oil out of the equation, there are still self-righteous imperials who believe that the majority of Muslims harbor a secret wish to live in a Western-style democracy and eat at McDonalds, and that it is our duty to ensure that they are able to do so.

    “Go nuclear and stop buying their accursed oil!”

    After Fukushima, the after-effects of which still threaten all life on Earth, I’m a little less enthusiastic about the prospect of building more nuclear power plants. However, I think Palin had it right when she said “drill baby drill.” Drill it all up, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Fukushima happened because the plants were built next to the shore line without sea wall protection for the air intakes to the emergency diesel generators. So after the tsunami struck, the diesel intakes were flooded and AC electricity was lost. The plants were on the batteries that last only 8 hours. When the batteries died, the power to the governor controls for the steam inlet valves to the High Pressure Coolant Injection was lost. Those valves went shut. The HPCI steam turbines stopped, making their pumps stop. That resulted in a loss of core cooling. Eventually core heatup resulted in a zinc water reaction that produced the hydrogen gas which subsequently detonated. In spite of ALL of this, only SIX people died outright from Fukushima, and they were plant employee volunteers. NO MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC DIED FROM FUKUSHIMA. But a nearby town of 17000 people was completed flooded by a failure of the hydro-electric dam that cracked and crumbled from the Sendai Earthquake that caused the tsunami. And the natural gas and oil refinery tanks in the Chiba Prefecture burned for TEN DAYS, spewing their never ever to decay away toxic carcinogens into the environment. Tens if not hundreds of thousands of people died, but NOT from nuclear. Additionally, the NEW Westinghouse AP1000 and GE ESBWR passive safety designs obviate this ENTIRE failure scenario. These designs have 72 hour submarine type batteries and do NOT require electricity for emergency core cooling. Additionally, their spent fuel pools are located BELOW grade unlike the Mark 1 BWR containments at the Fukushima plants. I personally KNOW this because I worked on ESBWR and at a BWR and at a PWR for 30 plus years. One last thing: the safety upgrades that US plants did in the 1980s were offered to the Japanese, but they decided not to implement them. Now they got Fukushima, and your suggestion is no nukes, making them MORE reliable on dangerous fossil fuel failures like one that happened in the Chiba Prefecture. Kindly stick to Ron Paulism. it’s what you’re good at. I am a nuclear engineer and know what I am talking about. The Japenese screwed up – period. God help them. And donate to the nuclear workers at Fukushima instead of complaining.

  • Sorry for the spelling / grammar errors. Hate this I- Pad. Neverthless, I know what I am talking about. 30 years of training and experience. I am not lying. I am not misrepresenting the facts. I am a nuclear professional. AndI will defend the safest and cleanest form of energy God gave man with the same vigor that Inapply to other topics here at TAC or anywhere else for that matter.

  • Folks,

    Now that I have calmed down – there is very good information on the response of the US commercial nuclear industry to Fukushima here:

    Please click on the various daughter links to learn more.

    For the passive safety features of the new GE-Hitachi ESBWR design, please go here and use the media gallery to view an interactive video:

    For the passive safety features of the new Westinghouse AP-1000 design, please go here and use the on-screen instructions to view the various animations:

    A Fukushima event in the US is very, very, very unlikely, but failures from hydro-electric dams that can threaten millions are likely, as are explosions of natural gas pipelines. We should also note that 30,000 people die annually in the US from fossil fuel pollution due to particulate emissions from coal-fired power plant plants and other fossil fuel emitters.

    I can provide more information on spent fuel if need be, but the answer is the same: it’s safe – use spent fuel in fast neutron burner reactors like the GE-Hitachi PRISM or the Carlo Rubbia Energy Amplifier to consume the long lived actinides and leave only short lived ash residue. But waste from fossil fuel – including oil and natural gas – kills.

  • One last thing, Folks:

    Ash and other residue from coal fired power plants that supply 50% of US electricity releases more radioactivity into the environment in the form of naturally occurring uranium, thorium and radium than any US nuclear power plant does.

    But in spite of that, the amount of radiation released to the public does NOT constitute a danger. What does constitute a danger are the carginogens that burning coal, natural gas and oil release, but Bonchamps motto is, “Drill, baby, drill.” My motto is: “Recycle the spent nuclear fuel and stop dumping your fossil fuel excrement in the air that I breath.”

  • You don’t have the right to insult me on my own blog, so your offensive comment was deleted.

    Look, I’ve read what I’ve read about Fukushima. I’m sure your expertise is extensive and your opinions educated and valid. There are others who are equally if not more experienced and educated who disagree. My positions on energy aren’t set in stone and final – its not really a moral issue like abortion – and I am able and willing to change my views as new information comes to my attention.

    Now that you know this, kindly refrain from insults, hysterical CAPITAL LETTERS, and multiple postings on posts of mind that mention energy in passing.

  • Fine, Bonchamps, but when something is said wrong about Fukushima or the US nuclear industry, I will correct it. Kindly read the link to NEI that I provided. One goes to a brain surgeon for brain surgery and to a rocket scientist for a rocket. One should go to the nuclear engineers at NEI and the NRC for Fukushima and not the news media or the anti-nuke kooks (didn’t say you did). To get back to the topic of this post, Mitt Romney is a viable candidate in part because he does support a sane energy policy that includes nuclear as well as fossil energy. Nuclear is best. Fossil is better than no energy, but not nearly as good as nuclear. Mitt Romney is sane about these things. Obama and his support for useless wind and solar energy is not. And yes, energy policy can be a moral issue when tens of thousands die from fossil fuel pollution every year and those deaths can be prevented or minimized by increasing the percentage of nuclear used in the energy mix, which Romney will do. It is one of many reasons why I support Romney, which is the topic of this post. But wheverever nuclear is mentioned, people cite Fukushima, Chernobyl and TMI, and the explanations on these are complex and involved and difficult to understand to a person who knows nothing about radiation, nuclear engineering and related sciences. Too often the people making the initial comments don’t know anything about what they are commenting on – not their fault, they just haven’t been trained in science properly, thanks to our school system (a different topic for a different day). That said, Romney for President!

  • PS, I should not have used the word ignorant in a previous comment, Bonchamps. I apologize sincerely. It would have been better to have said misinformed instead of using emotionally charged terminology that is now regretted.

  • I’d say anything that can defensively eliminate Russia’s first strike capability, or any other nation’s with which we do not have aligned interests, is in the best interest of the US and its citizens.

    But as to the thrust of the post, Amen.

  • As a former nuclear submarine reactor operator, I agree with Paul D. Defense against aggression is always moral. I recommend Dr. Jerry Pournelle’s “The Strategy of Technology.” He was Ronald Reagan’s science advisor on the Strategic Defense Initiative. And Romney’s support for SDI is another reason to vote for Romney. He won’t sell out to the Russians.

  • One thing that can be said about Mitt Romney is that he will almost certainly and hopefully immediately eradicate these policies.

    Almost and hopefully. How reassuring. That said, I suppose it’s better than the persecution full steam ahead by the O.

    I am almost as PaulBot as one can be, but I agree w/ Paul on the nukes. France is what, 70-80% nuke, and I don’t recall hearing anything about them. Why look to Japan rather than France as the model, particularly given that the US has far more geographical choice about placing the plants than Japan does?

  • and by the second Paul, I meant Paul Primavera, obviously.

  • Thank you, C Matt. The new French socialist President is against nukes – no surprise there. He wants to de-nuke France to 50%. Foolish. I will write about this whole thing on my blog and post the link here to that discussion, but that’s not the topic of Bonchamps post and we should respect that. However, the statement Bonchamps made – “After Fukushima, the after-effects of which still threaten all life on Earth…” – is an example of anti-nuclear propaganda (no offense against Bonchamps intended) and unsubstantiated by web links to reputable nuclear engineering resources. As a nuclear engineerof 30+ years and a former submarine reactor operator, I know the statement to be demonstrably incorrect. I posted web links to reputable sources. Science is science and not open to public opinion. Not Bonchamps fault. He isn’t a nuclear engineer. We can’t expect an expert in one area to be an expert in all. And I should respect him and not use terms like “ignorant.” Confession time for me. But I can’t discuss more here since it’s not on topic. Romney for President and a sane energy policy that embraces nuclear power! OK, gotta go to Neutrons ‘R Us and keep your lights on and your refridgerators running!

Ronald Reagan on Foreign Policy

Friday, May 4, AD 2012

We in America have learned bitter lessons from two world wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We’ve learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.

Ronald Reagan


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13 Responses to Ronald Reagan on Foreign Policy

  • This is the correct response to Ron Paul’s foreign policy.

  • Pretty words. But if I recall correctly, wasn’t taking shelter across the sea, and rushing to respond after freedom was lost exactly what we did in WWII, and we won that one? Seems the lesson we can take is that responding ONLY when necessary is the prudent course. Of course, one’s man’s optional is another man’s necessity.

    I also recall another great statesman warning that we should not go about the world searching for monsters to slay. His name currently escapes me.

  • I would note that I posted this merely to make my own views clear and not as a critque of Bonchamps’ post on Ron Paul’s foreign policy. We obviously differ in our views, but commenters should address our posts as separate and not attempt to engage us in a duel which is not my intention. This is a group blog and contributors are occasionally going to have different viewpoints, not a rarity actually at TAC.

  • “Pretty words. But if I recall correctly, wasn’t taking shelter across the sea, and rushing to respond after freedom was lost exactly what we did in WWII, and we won that one?”

    400,000 dead Americans later cmatt, with a world wide death toll of around 62,000,000, not to mention of course that we could have lost that War if events prior to our entry had played out differently. If we had been isolationist for a few more years we might well have ended up confronting Nazi Germany, victorious over the Soviet Union, armed with nuclear tipped ICBMs. We and the world were quite lucky as to how WW2 turned out; history could have very easily taken a much darker path.

  • With all due respect, Donald, you were the one in previous posts here at TAC who called Ron Paul “Dr. Delusional.” Now you say that yours and Bonchamps’ are simply different points of view. The derisive term “Dr. Delusional” (with which I happen to agree) bespeaks of more than simply a different point of view.

    Either your point of view is correct and Bonchamps incorrect, or vice versa. Either Reagan is correct in his speech above and Ron Paul incorrect, or vice versa. This “ain’t no dictatorship of relativism.”

    I guess now my comment is going to get me in trouble. Again, no offense is intended towards either you or Bonchamps (who is indeed a great writer). But one can’t discuss Reagan’s foreign policy in today’s post without considering Ron Paul’s foreign policy in yesterday’s post (and vice versa – darn, used that word too much!). That the two are published so close together means something.

  • One of the purposes of TAC Paul is to allow each contributor to write about whatever issues they wish to write about and to proclaim their views. Too much back and forth between contributors in the comboxes can negate that purpose. Bonchamps has set forth his views ably on foreign policy in his thread, and I have given my agreement with the views espoused by Reagan. Contributors are free to comment on each thread, but it is not my purpose to debate Bonchamps on his views on foreign policy but rather to merely assert my own.

  • In fact, Hitler wanted to wait until he had defeated Great Britain to draw the U.S. into the war. For this reason, Germany had mixed feelings about the Japanese attack n Pearl Harbor. Having split the alliaince between would ahve been devastating for the U.S.

  • Sounds like a walk softly but carry a big stick president. What countries did Ronald Reagan create more perpetual occupation? How about W? I rest my case.

  • Rest your case? You haven’t even made your case! Try again.

  • Indeed, we hurt for another Gipper to appear; our present political landscape is sadly bereft of anything larger than the occasional bump in the plain.

    He was absolutely right. The Soviet Union (and its puppets) was our enemy and it had an overt and stated goal of World Communism. Our backs were against the wall and 15 years of Liberal Democrat appeasement had cost us a war, 52,000 needless deaths and brought us to near desperation. Thank God – literally – that RWR, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II were where they were. We would not be here had they not been there.

    But that threat in that form is gone today, for the same reason. Strategies wrought in the Cold War dichotomy aren’t needed today. So, read his words carefully: “We’ve learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.”

    To obviate: “tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent”

    Which government best fits that description today?

    Again, which government – including the one that attacks religious liberty at home, exports $70 billion a year to Mexican criminals as well as millions in taxpayer funded weapons, supports its cronyist supporters through whole-cloth fiat bailouts, abandons freedom fighter abroad, appoints “czars” and wages intrusive wars while ignoring Congress, supports Social Fascist protestors who occupy and destroy private property, puts its own ideology before Constitutional process and perpetuates generations of poverty and ignorance through redistributionist programs, just to name a handful of egregious crimes – which government best fits that description today?

    Ironic, no?

    “We have met the enemy, and he is us!”

  • “Which government best fits that description today?”

    Iran. Next question?

  • “Which government best fits that description today?”

    “Iran. Next question?”

    Perhaps a better question would be “which governments [plural] fit that description”

    In addition to Iran, you can add China and Russia and a few others to that list, all of whom are dictatorships that have Obama’s lips surgically implanted on their backside.

    What isolationalists/non-intervetionist like to throw around the “The U.S. cannot be the world’s policeman” fail and/or refuse to understand is that is we are not, these tyrannical regimes would be more than happy to step into that breach. In fact, they are trying to do just that. I shudder to think of what the world would be like if they are ever successful in that endeavor. A United States willing and able to unapologetically defend its own vital interests is the only thing that stands in their way. Reagan understood this very well.

    In his “Shining City on a Hill” speech, Reagan quotes Pope Pius XII:

    “The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind.”

  • What isolationalists/non-intervetionist like to throw around the “The U.S. cannot be the world’s policeman” fail and/or refuse to understand

    Is that the sums readily attributable to the ‘world police’ function are a modest fraction (~6%) of total military expenditures since 1953.