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The Hand Writing is on the Wall July 10, 2010

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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In a Bible passage so powerful even those who don’t believe the Bible unknowingly quote it an arrogant young ruler is so enamored with his exalted position he thinks he can disregard the traditions of his predecessors with impunity. In the midst of a celebration of his greatness the proud young man calls for the sacred vessels captured when his father conquered Judah so that he can drink toasts to himself. Suddenly before a stunned king and his smug courtiers a hand appears in mid-air writing on the wall of his palatial palace. Never having seen a teleprompter the king had no idea these words would come to define his reign. He called for the wisest man in his kingdom to tell him what they meant.
When Daniel arrived he told the haughty king, “The writing reads: ‘Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin.’ The meaning of the words is this: Mene: God has measured your sovereignty and put an end to it; Tekel: you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting; Parsin: your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.” That same night through an unperceived chink left by neglect in their previously impregnable defenses Babylon was conquered, the king was overthrown, and the rest is history.
If History doesn’t help us in the world today it’s useless. We might as well study tea leaves if we can’t learn from the past to live in the present and shape the future. There are numerous old sayings which attempt to pass this wisdom along to the oblivious young who always act as if youth was a new invention or something clever they have personally devised instead of a fleeting possession most of us squander. These sayings include; “Those who fail to learn from History are doomed to repeat it.” “The past may not repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme.” Or, my personal favorite, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” However you say it if we fail to do it we’ve sown the wind and will reap the whirlwind.
History tells us that on New Year’s Eve 1991 the Soviet Union ceased to exist. A Cold War which had often blazed hot ended in the unequivocal demise of one super-power and the undeniable triumph of the other. What lesson did we learn? What truth did we walk away with that would allow us to avoid the dust-bin of history which had devoured them?
Before the dust had a chance to settle the joy of victory over the agony of defeat was turned to political maneuvering, military mission creep and economic chicanery. The same people who wanted us to unilaterally disarm during the darkest days of the fifty year confrontation, since it was obviously our belligerency causing the Soviet dictators to follow their oft announced plan to bury us, wanted to cash in the peace dividend the people who had ignored their previous advice had earned. After George the First shot himself in the foot by going back on his no new taxes pledge the man from Hope was only too eager to comply since he had been one of the people marching in the streets and leading the charge to disarm in the face of aggression. Cutting defense and expanding government, the Clinton administration partied its way across the stage of history leaving us weaker then they found us. George the Second rallied the world to punish the terrorists who assaulted us on 9-11. Then instead of declaring victory and coming home he opened a second front, and frittered away the admiration and allegiance of the world and our truncated military capacity in a pre-emptive war he knew how to win but didn’t know how to conclude. Now ignoring the fact that it was in large part a humiliating defeat in Afghanistan that set the stage for the collapse of the Soviet Union our current commander believes we can win a war by dispatching more troops with a pre-announced date of departure.
Recalling the “Those who fail to learn from History are doomed to repeat it” truism here’s a history lesson. Great Britain led the world into the Industrial Revolution becoming the number one manufacturer on earth by 1780. This led to over a century of British ascendancy. The United States over took Britain and became the number one manufacturer on earth after Europe committed suicide on the Fields of Flanders and assumed the acknowledged lead of Western Civilization after Europe administered the coup de grace in World War Two. If current trends continue, China will become the number one manufacturer on earth by 2011 while at the same time America is seeking a cure through bleeding itself in two hot wars with no end, open borders and one-way free trade. Is there something we should learn here? Is there some remedy we could apply?
We must stop the hemorrhaging. We must stop the invasion. We must insist on fair trade. We must rebuild our industrial base. If we don’t, one day we’ll wake up to hear a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen, Babylon the great is fallen!”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net

Half Their Brain Tied Behind Their Back January 18, 2010

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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Every day to the amazement and delight of more than 20 million people across the fruited plain Rush Limbaugh performs his host duties flawlessly with half his brain tied behind his back. Anyone who has ever spent an objective hour listening to his program knows that Rush has a brain the size of a planet. The Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media assure we now have a president who is always the brightest guy in the room instead of one who didn’t have enough brains to tie his shoes.
In addition, with the exception of his Chicago handlers, casino capitalist cronies, and union dons our photogenic president is surrounded by academics eager to implement theories that worked in their labs and computer models with the American people as guinea pigs. The Cavalcade of Czars is filled with the best and brightest liberal education has produced since the Summer of Love. On the Hill Nancy Pelosi rules the house with an iron fist while Harry Reid runs the Senate with parliamentary tricks and his legendary eloquence. Together they preside over the best Congress money can buy. The question is can Alinsky’s dream team fight a war on multiple fronts with half their brain tied behind their collectivist back?
Someone might ask, “What makes you think they are operating with half their brain tied behind their back?” If they aren’t then they aren’t half as smart as they think they are. They may be legends in their own mind and secular saviors of a lost humanism but if what we’ve seen so far is their A game we should exchange the IQ scores for psychological evaluations. Because doing all the wrong things for the right PC reasons only turns into victory in Michael Moore documentaries and on MSNBC.
Let’s look at some particulars. Back in the Dream Time the Hippies used to ask “What if they gave a War and nobody came?” When our first Boomer President took office he elevated this to a national policy. The Islamists declared war on us and he sent in CSI and LA Law instead of Patton and a Band of Brothers. Someone might ask, “How’s that working out for you?” In 1993 we had the first World Trade Center bombing, in 1996 the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, in1998 the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed and in 2000 the USS Cole was attacked in Yemen.
Enter George II who cruises along keeping Clinton’s counterterrorism chief Richard Clark. 9-11 changed everything. Bush found a bullhorn and told us he heard our cry of anguish and anger and he promised us, “the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!” They did when we invaded Afghanistan knocked down the Taliban and chased Al Qaeda into the wilderness. Then the neo-cons convinced him to invade Iraq squandering the support of the world. Clinton never woke up. George II did but then saw a shiny object and wandered off. However, the last two administrations before the dawn of Re-Made America weren’t operating in a vacuum whistling in the wind hoping a war would just “Go away!”
For political reasons Harry Truman called Korea a police action. This new-speak mind bending never registered with the heroes who fought or the families who sacrificed. It didn’t register with the people or the historians. No one refers to the Korean Police Action. There are no monuments to the Korean Police Action. Everyone knows this was a war.
President Johnson charged into Vietnam promising guns and butter, a war in Asia with guns and a war against poverty with food stamps. America won the War in Vietnam even if the Watergate Congress later threw it away. After multiple trillions of dollars and social decay we now have the same poverty level as when we started. Burying your head in the sand is never a good way to see the path to victory.
During the campaign Mr. Obama promised the troops would come home from the wrong war in Iraq and concentrate on winning the right war in Afghanistan. Now the troops are going into garrison mode in Iraq, the generals are not getting what they say they need in Afghanistan while the enemy has moved to Yemen, Sudan and the Internet. Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security Secretary never mentioned terrorism in her confirmation hearing instead referring to man-caused disasters. Like police action these verbal gymnastics aren’t fooling anyone.
We aren’t engaged in a debate we’re in a war. Slick talk may win debates but when it comes to wars actions speak louder than words and if our leaders won’t talk the talk how can they possibly walk the walk? While Mr. Obama’s immediate response to disaster abroad is laudable his slow motion response to multiple terrorist attacks on his watch makes it appear as if this smartest of all administrations either just doesn’t get it or they’re fighting a war with half their brain tied behind their back.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2009 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net

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