THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
The Hiroshima Speech Obama Won’t Give
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
The Hiroshima Speech Obama Won’t Give
Victor Davis HansonVictor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. | Jun 18, 2015
Adolf Hitler started World War II by attacking Poland on September 1, 1939. Nazi Germany moved only after it had already remilitarized the Rhineland, absorbed Austria and dismantled Czechoslovakia. Before the outbreak of the war, Hitler’s new Third Reich had created the largest German-speaking nation in European history.
Well before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese government had redrawn the map of Asia and the Pacific. Japan had occupied or annexed Indochina, Korea, Manchuria and Taiwan, in addition to swaths of coastal China. Attacking Hawaii, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia was merely the logical 1941 follow-up to more than a decade of Japanese aggression.
Fascist Italy, by the outbreak of World War II in Europe, had already been remaking the map of the Mediterranean region in imitation of ancient Rome. Strongman Benito Mussolini had annexed what is now Ethiopia, Albania and most of Libya. He promised Italians that the Mediterranean would soon be mare nostrum, “our sea.”
All of these hegemonies had arisen without triggering a global war. Had Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese just been satisfied and consolidated their winnings, there was no evidence that the tired Western democracies would ever have stopped them.
The contemporary world is starting to resemble the 1930s, and maps again must be redrawn.
The Islamic State plans to take Baghdad to make it the capital of a radical Sunni caliphate from what is left of Syria and Iraq. (more…)
Rear Admiral Robert Broussard ErlyRear Admiral Robert Broussard Erly, a resident of Coronado, California, and a highly decorated military veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict died Thursday, July 31, 2014, at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California, at age 100.Admiral Erly was born in Washington, D. C., on June 12, 1914, to the late Alfred Angus and Beatrice Erly. He entered the United States Naval Academy in 1933 with an at-large appointment and graduated in 1937.On the morning of December 7, 1941, while Japanese planes were bombing his destroyer, the USS Cassin, the destroyer USS Downes, and the battleship USS Pennsylvania (the three ships were together in dry dock), then Lieutenant Junior Grade Erly organized the turning of water hoses on the burning ships. As the bombs continued to fall, Lt. Erly, with the help of two members of the ship’s crew, water hosed the torpedoes and depth charges to prevent them from exploding and further damaging the Pennsylvania and the two destroyers. All three ships were later repaired and returned to service. Erly received the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V.During the remainder of the war, he served on various destroyers in the Pacific and Atlantic and commanded the destroyer USS Phelps. During the war and after, he also served many years on numerous missions to Cuba and Venezuela and received many medals and commendations.During the Korean conflict, he commanded the USS James C. Owens, and in May l952, the Owens dueled with enemy shore batteries, hitting and destroying at least two enemy guns, rail lines, trains and storage yards in Songjen Harbor. He was awarded the Bronze Star with a Combat V.Erly served tours of duty at the Pentagon and was a commander of amphibious forces. He was Deputy Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief U.S. Atlantic Fleet. He received the Legion of Merit and three Gold Stars for meritorious service. He served as Director of Pan American Affairs and received medals and commendations from several South American countries.His final tour of duty was in Portugal as Commander of Iberian Forces Atlantic Fleet and Chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group to Portugal.After his medical retirement as Rear Admiral in l974, he moved permanently to Coronado, California, where he was active in the Navy League, Community Playhouse, American Cancer Society, Navy Yacht Club of San Diego, San Diego Cruiser Association, and other civic associations. An avid boater, Erly, also a member of the Coronado Yacht Club, continued to race and win races through this year.He was a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, the Retired Officers Association, a former trustee of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation and a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.Admiral Erly was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife of 60 years, Lois Richards Erly; his sister, Clare Erly Wootten; and his brother, John K. Erly. He is survived by his wife, Thea H. Wallace Erly of Coronado and numerous nieces and nephews.Burial services will be conducted at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland, at a later date.
Where do federal government reports go once they’ve been published and (lightly) chewed over by second-tier officials, congressional staffers and think-tank wonks? I picture them being packed into crates and stored in some vast warehouse, like the Ark of the Covenant in the last scene of “Indiana Jones.”
Every now and again, however, some of these reports are worth rescuing from premature burial.
So it is with the “Assessment of Nuclear Monitoring and Verification Technologies,” the soporific title given to a report published last month by the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board. The report is long on phrases like “adaptable holistic methodologies” and “institutionalized interagency planning processes.” But at its heart it makes three timely and terrifying claims.
First, we are entering a second nuclear age.
Second, the history of nuclear proliferation is no guide to the future.
Third, our ability to detect nuclear breakout—the point at which a regime decides to go for a bomb—is not good.
President Obama came to office in 2009 promising to negotiate with America’s enemies and create a world without nuclear weapons. Four years later, North Korea is threatening America with nuclear attack, Iran is closer to its own atomic arsenal, and the world is edging ever closer to a dangerous new era of nuclear proliferation. The promises and the reality are connected.
The latest talks between the West and Iran failed this weekend, with no immediate plans for another round. The negotiations by now follow a pattern in which the U.S. makes concessions that Iran rejects, followed by more concessions that Iran also rejects, and so on as Tehran plays for time.
Associated PressNorth Korean vehicle carrying a missile.
North Korea, meanwhile, has moved medium-range missiles to its east coast in preparation for what is expected to be another launch as early as this week. This follows its third nuclear test and an explicit government authorization to strike U.S. targets with nuclear weapons. South Korea and Japan are in the direct line of fire. (more…)
Guns and Pensions
By Thomas Sowell – February 19, 2013
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:American warplanes were not updated to match the latest warplanes of Nazi Germany or imperial Japan. After World War II broke out, American soldiers stationed in the Philippines were fighting for their lives using rifles left over from the Spanish-American war, decades earlier. The hand grenades they threw at the Japanese invaders were so old that they often failed to explode. At the battle of Midway, of 82 Americans who flew into combat in obsolete torpedo planes, only 12 returned alive. In Europe, our best tanks were never as good as the Germans’ best tanks, which destroyed several times as many American tanks as the Germans lost in tank battles.
A nation’s choice between spending on military defense and spending on civilian goods has often been posed as “guns versus butter.” But understanding the choices of many nations’ political leaders might be helped by examining the contrast between their runaway spending on pensions while skimping on military defense.
Huge pensions for retired government workers can be found from small municipalities to national governments on both sides of the Atlantic. There is a reason. For elected officials, pensions are virtually the ideal thing to spend money on, politically speaking. Many kinds of spending of the taxpayers’ money win votes from the recipients. But raising taxes to pay for this spending loses votes from the taxpayers. Pensions offer a way out of this dilemma for politicians.
Creating pensions that offer generous retirement benefits wins votes in the present by promising spending in the future. Promises cost nothing in the short run — and elections are held in the short run, long before the pensions are due. (more…)
Adopted in 1997 and in force since 2005, the U.N. compact was intended to lock its signatories into curbing or cutting their greenhouse-gas emissions relative to 1990 levels. It didn’t work out as planned.
Japan promised a 6% reduction relative to its 1990 levels, but instead saw a 7.4% increase, despite 20 years of economic stagnation. Australia, where growth has been more robust, pledged to let carbon increase by no more than 8%. Instead its 1990-2010 emissions rose 47.5%.
The Netherlands promised a 6% cut but wound up with 20% higher emissions by the end of 2010. Canada, one of the pact’s most enthusiastic early backers, committed to a 6% cut but saw a 24% emissions increase above 1990 levels. In 2011 Ottawa announced it was withdrawing from Kyoto to avoid the penalties it would have owed for missing its target.
On paper, the EU as a whole looks set to meet its overall 2012 emissions target. But that’s mainly thanks to economic stagnation and the closure of inefficient Soviet-era industries. Europe’s cap-and-trade system also encourages industry to move production abroad while pocketing payments in the form of “carbon credits.”
As for the U.S., it saw an emissions increase of only 10.3% between 1990 and 2010, despite economic and population growth that outpaced most of the industrialized world. Some of the thanks here go to the shale-gas revolution, which uses technology that still hasn’t gotten past most European regulators. This triumph of American ingenuity might never have happened if Al Gore had managed to drag the U.S. into Kyoto 15 years ago.
So is that it? Not precisely. In December, the U.N. announced a last-minute “extension” of the protocol until 2020, though this is life-support by press release. New Zealand, Russia and Japan have followed Canada’s lead and are now officially out of Kyoto’s carbon strictures, while the world’s largest emitters in China and the U.S. were never in. Now only Australia and the EU remain.
In its day, the Kyoto Protocol did its share of economic damage by distorting energy markets and encouraging job-killing legislation. Some of that damage will remain. Still, count this as another eco-cure that arrived with a bang and departed, as so many of them do, with a whimper.
The world is heading for demographic catastrophe. Fertility rates have been falling across the globe for 40 years, to the point where, today, Israel is the only First World country where women have enough babies to sustain their population. The developing world is heading in the same direction, fast. Only 3 percent of the world’s population live in a country where the fertility rate is not dropping.
As fertility falls, populations shrink. As populations shrink, economies will sputter. Western countries will struggle to support too many retirees without enough workers, and the rest of the world (particularly places such as China and Russia) will be challenged just to maintain order as societies change in unprecedented ways: Most people will have neither brothers, sisters, aunts, nor uncles, and there will be no such thing as an extended family.
This forecast may sound apocalyptic, but it’s nearly conventional wisdom among the demographers and economists who study such things. However, the conventional wisdom also sees a silver lining to the world’s demographic decline: a “geriatric peace.” As fertility rates decline, and babies become relatively scarce, the average age of societies increases. In many countries the median age is already over 40, with geezers outnumbering children. And once the entire world looks like Florida, the thinking goes, we’ll all be more peaceable, because countries full of old men don’t go to war. (more…)
By Adm. James A. Lyons Retired Adm. James A. Lyons was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations
The Washington Times
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
As we mark the 70th anniversary of Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor of Dec. 7, 1941, America is on the verge of committing the same mistakes that helped plunge our nation into its most grievous war.
The first mistake then was to impose the strategic restraints of “political correctness” on our Hawaiian military commanders. Adm. Husband E. Kimmel, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, was ordered by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Harold R. Stark to prepare the fleet for deployment but not do anything provocative that might offend the super-sensibilities of the Japanese. Lt. Gen. Walter G. Short, commanding general of the U.S. Army Force in Hawaii, who was responsible for the air defense of the Hawaiian Island including Pearl Harbor, was ordered not to take any offensive action until the Japanese had committed an “act of war.” Does it sound familiar? (more…)