This week on the show we talked about the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden, but are we safer, and is this a big victory for Obama?
Are we really safer?
Are we really safer now that Osama bin Laden is dead? If he had been killed ten years ago, then I would say, yes, I feel safer, but the fact that that is no longer my answer is to me proof in itself that we have made things worse not better. We have taken out the two strongest, secular leaders, Hussein & Gaddafi–whether they were monsters or not, they were strong & they were secular and their deaths have increased instability in the region and caused radical Islam to spread, not to be contained. And we have gained absolutely nothing by our actions in Afghanistan as it looks like the Taliban will return to power there after we leave–as predicted by the courageous (and angry!) Michael Sheuer in his book Imperial Hubris.
Of course the powers that be speak out of both sides of their mouths, telling us that Al Qaeda is largely contained if not close to eradication, and at the same time double down on Homeland Security as if there were an imminent threat to the homeland by some massive invasion of terrorists. (See below.)
Was this really a big victory for Obama?
There’s a new ad out in the Obama reelection campaign that implies that Obama made the courageous decision to give the kill order for Osama and that Romney would not have done so. I just can’t believe there’s any chance any president would not have ordered the mission knowing that there was a 50-50 chance Osama was in there. We spend a trillion dollars a year on defense and do stuff like this whenever we want-often without press. Furthermore, the current administration has shaken off the massacre of 17 Afghanis at the hands of one or more US soldier and would surely have risked fewer American lives in such a glorious operation such as killing Osama without fear of political blow-back–and let’s face it, that is all the pols care about! I posit that the courageous decision would have been if Obama had given a “capture or kill” order–that would have been more in keeping with his campaign posturing of being less barbaric and warlike than Bush. I find it revealing that Obama will pound his chest over this and pander to the baser instincts of the populace despite being one of the limousine liberals who pretend to be more sophisticated than this.
The conversation really took off when we started talking about the latest signals from Homeland Security, including ordering 450 million .40 caliber hollow point barrier-piercing bullets as well as thousands of bullet-proof portable checkpoints. This is Homeland Security, not the military. I ask you, are they expecting an invasion of tens of millions of terrorists? Or are they preparing for civil unrest? The fact is, it is 8x more likely to be killed by a cop than by a terrorist! This and more amazing statistics on the real threat of terrorism can be found here.
I also got a great call from Marco listening online in Mexico City. He pointed out that there is a total gun ban in Mexico and despite that 50,000 Mexicans have been killed in the Drug War in the past 5 years. I then pointed out that only 4,500 Americans die per year from illegal drugs. (As a side note, 15,000 die from prescription pain-killers.) Marco referred to a link he sent me about a truck-driver “accidentally” trying to truck hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammo into Mexico–things are out of control!
Rupert Murdoch & Fox News soft-pedaling for Obama & Holder?
I brought up my suspicions that Fox and its affiliates, including The Wall Street Journal, are focusing on meaningless scandals like the Secret Service Prostitution Scandal rather than serious scandals like Operation Fast & Furious as a kind of quid pro quo between News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch and US Attorney General Eric Holder. Murdoch has been in hot water in the UK for one of his papers hacking a murdered girl’s phone calls & has been accused of similar practices here in the US, particularly against 9/11 victims. In England, Murdoch got cozy with politicians on the left and the right to protect him from trouble and given that Eric Holder does not seem to be pursuing the 9/11 investigation as he promised to do, I suspect maybe similar back-scratching is going on here.
Various & Sundry
I had a great caller who referred to three of the works of my favorite political/economic thinkers: Albert Jay Nock’s Our Enemy the State, Lysander Spooner’s The Constitution of No Authority, and Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action. All three of those authors I highly recommend.
Finally, I got an email from a listener challenging my claim that TARP paved the way for Obama’s stimulus package. My point was that Bush passing a nearly $800B spending bill set the stage for Obama to get a similarly high number for stimulus a few months later. I further claimed that the 2009 spending spike that is attributed solely to Obama must have included some of the TARP money Bush got approval for-this would bolster my claim that Obama is a big spender but so was Bush! 2009 spending was off the charts, but I think Bush is in part to blame. In looking at the chart below it seems that federal government spending is on a steep upward path no matter which party controls Congress or the White House–it’s actually pretty horrifying!
I hope you enjoyed the show, and if you missed it be sure to look for the April 28 show in show archives at wsbradio.com.