Humanitarian Imperialism

March 30, 2014

 “The best minds are not in government.” –  Ronald Reagan

Hard to believe that it has been a quarter of a century since Ronald Reagan began to dismantle the ideological wall that divided Europe. Harder still to believe that American politicians, Right and Left, are trying to resuscitate the Cold War – or something hotter.  Recent events in the Ukraine seem to be giving the citizens of Europe and America hot flashes of deja-vu.

At the tactical level, US policy has devolved to “regime change.” At the strategic level, US policy is simply incoherent, if not nihilistic; swapping corrupt oligarchs for neo-fascists or religious zealots.  The logic for supporting recent coups have little to do with common sense – or democracy. And with Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, and now the Ukraine, language needs to be coined to avoid words like coup.

By any other name, a coup is still a coup. And using a post-facto ‘election’ to legitimize a coup is a little like putting a new hat on a dead cat. The Kerry/Obama team is giving subtlety and sovereignty bad names.

When Vladimir Putin, tongue in cheek, says there are no Russian troops in the Ukraine, he mocks John Kerry and Victoria Nuland who orchestrate dissidents in Maidan square, in some cases neo-fascists who did not get their way on the bail-out treaty with the EU.

The auction for the Ukraine is now closed. The price doubled overnight, from 16 to 35 billion dollars and counting. Politicians break it, now the taxpayer gets to pay for it. Kerry is now offering to buy the next Ukrainian election too.

Speaking of elections, Europe and America might need referendums at home on  future bailouts, foreign and domestic.  The EU and US look like the “two broke girls” of Capitalism.  Angela Merkel might be the only European politician with any jingle left in her jeans these days.

When Putin says he protects Crimean Russians, again with a sneer, he mocks Samantha Power’s, now Barak Obama’s,  humanitarian interventions. The fast track to imperialism is paved with words like “humanitarian.”

When Russia sponsors a referendum in the Crimea, the Kremlin pre-empts, indeed ridicules, the EU sponsored presidential election to be orchestrated by Kiev in May 2014.

When demagogues like Hillary Clinton compare Russian behavior to Nazi Germany, she mocks Allied history and the sacrifice of 5 million Russians in WWII. Russian blood chits, we might add, that made the Allied victory over Nazis possible in 1945.

The name of the game in the Crimea is not the Ukraine in any case. Maidan Square and the Crimea are merely board pieces, according to Vicky Nuland at the State Department; moveable parts in another Great Game – Europe versus Russia redux. Back to the future, indeed!

The pillars of Obama foreign policies are now explicit; Russophobia on one hand and Islamophilia on the other. Indeed, a renewed Cold War with Russia, sponsored by a lame duck, allows Media shills to change the subject. With the Ukraine in the headlines, the domestic health care debacle and those failed Muslim wars fade to background noise.


Yes, Russophobia! The pragmatic gains of the Reagan era have been set aside for an irrational fear of all things Russian. Never mind that the difference between Putin’s Russia and Gorbachev’s Soviet Union is like the difference between caviar and carp.

America and the EU have nothing in common with Arabia and greater Islam save oil, debt, and indigestible immigrants. Yet, Americans have much in common with Russia: history, religion, art, literature, sports, dance, dogs, music, science, space travel, adult beverages, recreational sex, and almost all things cultural, including Nureyev in tights and Sharapova in shorts.

Russia, the EU, and America also share a common enemy, that insidious fifth column: domestic and global Islamism.

The Cold War, until a few weeks ago, was over. The Warsaw Pact has been dead now for some two decades. Projections about a new Russian empire are fantasies. It is NATO and the EU that aspire to expand to the Russian border. Putin is no eagle scout, but he’s no chump either.  Unlike European and American demagogues, Putin knows the difference between defense and offense.


Russians are not killing Americans. Putin is not a BFF, but Russia is not the enemy either. The West cannot say the same for Arabs and Muslims. Islamism is the sanguinary enemy whose name we dare not speak.

Pandering Americans, Europeans, and now the Chinese, are complicit in the spread of Islamic political terror. Non-Muslims are killed with such regularity, world-wide, that the civilized world has come to accept each new atrocity as a fair price for assuaging the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Indeed, European social democrats and the American Left now seem to believe that even Israel itself might be a small price for submission.

Russia has no illusions about militant Muslims. Indeed, you could argue that Putin has literally rebuilt the Russian Orthodox Church as an ideological barrier against the spread of toxic Islam in Russia. Would that Europe or America support Judaism and the rest of Christianity with such unapologetic aplomb.

The objective threat to the West and Asia comes from religious fascism.  Cultural arrogance does not allow the West to admit that political Islam and freedom, irredentist Islam and democracy, are mutually exclusive ideas. And sadly, a misguided sense of humanitarian imperialism rationalizes interventions in the Ummah, expeditions that usually fail. The West cannot save Islam from itself. Nonetheless, westerners seem willing to sacrifice a host of Enlightenment values and young lives on the altar of good intentions.

Manufactured crises, like the Ukraine, are studies in weak or incompetent leadership. Alas, the Obama/Kerry cocker spaniel is no match for the Putin/ Lavrov Rottweiler. NATO leaders have not been the equal of ayatollahs and imams since 1979 either. Jimmy Carter’s ghost still haunts the American Left. Putin should send a case of vodka as a thank-you to Foggy Bottom for providing the Kremlin an excuse to return Sevastopol to Rodina.

John Kerry is the daffiest US administration duck, scion of the Jane Fonda wing of the American Left. Who sends an anti-war “activist” to a Mid-East fracas or East European brawl? Nobody wins a real street fight with their mouth – or frequent flyer miles.

And the American Right is not blameless; excusing terror, regime change folly, the recent litany of imperial failures. In the 2012 US election campaign, there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between candidates, Right and Left, on US foreign or military policy. Indeed, Mitt Romney and most Republicans couldn’t say “me too” fast enough. And neo-conservative sycophants are led by foreign policy loose cannons like John McCain who believes Moscow might be “sanctioned” into submission.  As if sanctions were working with true pariahs like North Korea or Iran!

McCain seems to be the captain of a latter day light-headed brigade; oblivious to what Russians already have; legitimate border concerns, a compliant Crimea, a comparatively robust economy, and a space bus for American astronauts – and a choke-hold on all of Ukrainian and a third of European energy supplies. Demonizing Putin here only strengthens his hand there. The Russian president enjoys genuine popular support like no politician in the West.

The Outlook

The Cold War is making a comeback; this time without deterrence. The nuclear threshold is lowered when conventional capabilities are reduced to a level of assured impotence. Secretary of Defense, Charles Hagel, has unveiled a plan to abandon tactical missions like A-10 close-air-support in favor of unproven and costly technology like the F-35 problem child. Wishful thinking is a poor substitute for facts, performance, or experience. Cyber warfare (see STUXNET) and global drone strikes blur the lines between limited and general war.

Such contractions are not lost on Islamist tacticians or strategists. For the Pentagon, all recent combat is tactical where Islamist motives are defined as local (see almost any RAND Corporation report on the subject).  Ironically, those tactical resources for future fights are on the chopping block. As with speculations about Russia, American myopia fails to accommodate the Islamist world view. For too many Muslims, the struggle, indeed the jidad bis saif, has been global since 632 AD.

With a future US Army under 500,000 troops, America should have just enough soldiers to get into a fight, but not enough to win. And with a small all-volunteer force, every trooper should have enough rotations in the Ummah to get maimed or be killed – in vain.  A small Army in isolated cantons, like air travel, is another target rich environment for terrorists.

Let’s end with a question. How long will it take for the Oval Office, the Intelligence Community, or a complicit Media to acknowledge that the latest airliner “mystery” over the Indian Ocean might be an act of terror, probably another atrocity in the name of jihad, the prophet, or Islam?

The future is Malthusian. The nuclear threshold has been lowered, small war humiliations are more likely, and Islamic terror will continue to be ignored or excused. Politicians care little about how many lives it takes to lose. Yet, the glyphs of the Barak Hussein Obama era are not just appeasement, retreat, and defeat.  The real handwriting on the wall is unilateral disarmament in the world of tactical and strategic ideas.






Pain in the Ukraine

March 27, 2014

“He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” –Winston Churchill

Say what you will about Vladimir Putin. Some of worst may be true. Say what you will about Kremlin policy. A totalitarian history might still have some traction in Moscow. And say what you will about the Russian majority. They still seem to prefer a strong man at the helm, chaps like Vladimir Putin. But whatever you believe or say about Putin or Russia, you also have to ask; compared to what?

And don’t kid yourself about the Ukraine. The issue there is not right or wrong; legitimacy or illegitimacy. Neither side has a sovereignty argument.  And the dispute isn’t about democracy or freedom either. The real danger in east Europe is nuclear chicken – a dangerous game with a short fuse. Ukraine has 15 active nuclear reactors.

The Ukraine dispute has no moral high ground either.  US foreign policy folly has done much to undermine personal sovereignty, national sovereignty, and the good name of democracy worldwide. America has been slicing and dicing polities in East Europe, Africa, the Arab world, and elsewhere for decades pretending that the default setting is democracy.  Distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate are now arbitrary, in the end, a function of power. And the first democratic election is often the last.

When US State Department sends Assistant Secretary of State Vicky Nuland to Kiev to stir the pot, posing with neo- Nazis, supporting a pro-EU coup; no one should be surprised when Lavrov gives Kerry and Kiev a bloody nose. Any US ‘diplomat’ who flirts with fascists, or plays with nuclear matches, is looking for trouble.

Victoria Nuland is now the central figure in both the Libyan and Ukraine fiascos. Indeed, she was promoted to Assistant Secretary of State by Barak Obama after the Benghazi charade, a cover-up which tried to whitewash the Islamist role in the murder of diplomats. The irony doesn’t end there; Ms. Nuland claims to be a Jew of Russian descent. She and American foreign policy now enable a neo-Nazi coup and regime in Kiev. With Hillary Clinton in the presidential wings, American policy probably hasn’t heard the last from Nuland.

The American Right and Left now share common ground. Hillary Clinton and John McCain  now occupy the same foreign policy turf, sod with more than a whiff of imperialism and anti-Semitism. Strange bedfellows indeed! One of the few sober voices on today’s crisis is Jack Matlock, former ambassador to the USSR. Matlock fingers NATO’s ham fisted interventions and expansion as the source of Kremlin angst. Progressive imperialism marches under a “humanitarian” flag these days.

The Ukraine, like Georgia, is a political cesspool cum economic basket case; civic train wrecks with ready nuclear potential. Loose lips in Kiev are already talking about banning the Russian language, “scorching” the ground under Russians, and rearming opportunists with nuclear weapons.  With luck, the Ukraine no longer has any nuclear warheads on hand, but Kiev still has a very sophisticated nuclear infrastructure, a support system for 2000 weapons until a few years ago.  Half of Ukraine’s electric power comes from nuclear plants.

A dirty bomb might be had in six months or less. Putin and his colleagues, predictably, will not tolerate a hostile, unstable, nuclear armed border state. The possibility that NATO would rearm or fortify a regime sharing power with crypto-Nazis in Kiev is every Russian’s worst nightmare – indeed, an open invitation for Moscow to secure all of Ukraine’s infrastructure in the name of nuclear sanity.

Russian can no more live with a hostile nuclear border state than the United States could tolerate nuclear weapons in Cuban, Venezuelan, or Mexican cartel hands. The crucial distinction between Moscow and Washington at the moment is not policy, however.  The difference at the moment is adult leadership.

Russia has been a relative success since the demise of the Soviet Union, because the Kremlin has had a modicum of political stability and just enough natural resources not to mortgage its national integrity to creditors.  In the same two decades, America and the EU have done their best to flirt with cross-border chaos, default, and bankruptcy.

The chickens of proliferate social democracy are home to roost too.  Political acedia, apathy, and incompetence are ever the ingredients for failure. Domestic malfunction is often the source of manufactured political distractions abroad.

All of this leads to a larger strategic question. Does the EU and America still have game?

If economic, military, and foreign policy performance of the past two decades is evidence, the answer is no! If progress with terror and associated Islamism is a measure, the answer is no! If courageous, moral, or innovative leadership is a metric, the answer is still no!

Does NATO really want to raise the ante with Obama, Kerry, Power, Hagel, Clapper, and Brennan at the helm? A chronically weak American politburo might not be the best team to field in a spat over Ukraine. And a government, nay an administration, which cannot manage a web site in the digital age, is not one likely to persecute a successful economic or shooting war, one with atomic potential.

Also, remember that any US general who might be a tad independent or think for himself has been put out to pasture. There isn’t a serving Obama flag in the Pentagon with a winning record, won a war, anywhere.

The US may have had variety of military adventures globally since the Korean War, but America hasn’t prevailed since 1945. And with general officer honor, measures of military effectiveness, and quaint notions like victory off the table; who wants to double down?  Or worse, hazard an economic or shooting war with Russia with team Obama at the helm – “leading from behind?” Remember any pain from a conflict over the Ukraine will be European; and there, Russia has a home field advantage.

Before the White House raises the stakes, or puts another ‘bailout’ on the table, in East Europe; America might want to wait for regime change in Brussels and Washington. At the moment, Europe and the US are playing with bush league coaching and very little game.

Or as a doomed Scottish politician of another day might put it: “Something wicked this way comes … It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and furysignifying nothing.” In the classic tale of regime change, a king literally loses his head. But in the end, Macbeth’s failure, like Barack Obama’s, is metaphorical; a self-inflicted wound. Hubris is a terrible thing to waste.


G Murphy Donovan is a former Intelligence officer with tours at USAF, NSA, DIA, and CIA. He now writes about the politics of national security



Nuland with neo-Nazis;

John McCain with Tayhnybok (center) in Kiev;

Kiev street scene;




The Obama Girls

March 16, 2014


Where are the angry American women? – Leymah Gbowee

Bimbos are drawn to powerful men like moths to the proverbial flame. Like courtesans, some women will humiliate themselves for power or personal loyalty. Politics is better than sex because power may get ugly but, unlike sex, power never gets old. All the same, sex and politics are literally joined at the hip.

Indeed, intern programs in Washington, DC provide an endless supply of young girls (and boys). Political predators may age but the prey is forever young – and predictably naive. Politicians, like professors, frequently see sex with youngsters as a perk of office or tenure. New talent every year is the fountain of youth for aging politicos.

Naomi Wolf’s brilliant essay, The Silent Treatment, described her predator experience at Yale University as “a soft spot of (female) complicity.” The G-spot of collaboration might have been a better metaphor.

Wolf is no bimbo. Maybe she’s just a satin suit of contradictions. Reading a fashionista on the superficiality of beauty or fashion is a little like hearing from Warren Buffet on the perils of capitalism. Wolf served as one of William J. Clinton’s female “advisors.”

The tone of political culture is set at the top. Jack Kennedy and Bill Clinton are the modern standard bearers for exploitation. The irony here is that so-called “feminists” and predators come from the same political stable. Surely, the political Right is no model of probity, but no politician a droit comes close to the iconic stature of Kennedy and Clinton – or their abuses. Indeed, Clinton freely admits that John F. Kennedy was an idol, a role model.

Such icons are pregnant with contradictions. If wife and children can’t trust a man, why should a voter – or the nation for that matter?  American feminists claim that the personal is political, yet seldom apply that axiom to their idols.

Liberal cynics might point to La belle France where ministers flaunt their liaisons. Such chauvinism is not without consequence or cost. The first casualty of modern French history was loyalty. When confronted with the Nazi menace, “liberte, egalite, and fraternite” were jettisoned.  The Jewish population of Paris was the burnt offering that sealed the affair with Berlin. Collaboration is a dear price to pay for personal or national virtue.

Withal, the average hussy and the political bimbo are different doxies. The everyday tart is willing to give up the goods just to be close to power. The political bimbo is more ambitious. Her virtue has a higher price. A political bimbo might be defined as any women willing to sacrifice her personal or feminist integrity on the altar of expediency or venal ambition. Collaboration captures the thought.

Here we shouldn’t confuse floozies with professionals. Unlike political bimbos, sex workers provide a real service and honest economic incentive in the best tradition of capitalism; a gross national product indeed.

Without hookers; ugly, fat or liberal men might have to make do with the Internet, other men, or the Irish clergy. Compared to modern feminist politics, prostitution is a higher calling – and a freer market. With ‘working’ girls and boys, unlike political bimbos; talent, performance, and accomplishment are real job requirements. Hard to believe that recreational marijuana is now legal while selling commercial shag is still a crime.

So much for bimbo theory. Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Huma Weiner, and Samantha Powers, just to name a few, provide the evidence.


Everyone knows Hillary’s back story; loyal wife to a governor and president. Once serial betrayal became too public, Mrs. Clinton assumed the defensive crouch of victim and stood by her man. By any feminist logic she could, or should, have kicked Bill to the curb but, instead he gave her an IOU. Feminist virtue is pricey indeed!

Payback came on two coattails; an open senate seat followed by an appointed cabinet post. Obama was no fool. Keeping the Clinton circus on a short leash was prudent. Hillary did little or nothing as senator or Secretary of State save maintain her political viability. She did nothing so well that Bill’s wife is now poised to have the 2016 Democrat nomination for the asking. Say what you will about Hillary, she got more out of Bill’s bimbos than did her husband.


National security advisor Susan Rice is a Hillary doppelganger, hewing to the party line at all costs. The Benghazi stonewall is vintage Clinton; deny, deny and apologize only if you have to. Throw a political appointee, like Jim Clapper, or the Intelligence Community under the bus if necessary. Alas, Susan’s mendacity is not as profitable as Hillary’s. Rice will never see a confirmation hearing. Catherine Sebelius is the domestic edition of Susan Rice, a party apparatchik who defends any program failure with ideological relish.


Huma Abedin Weiner makes the list here because she and husband Anthony (aka Carlos Danger) are living proof that sexual predators and political bimbos are generational phenomena; Kennedy to Clinton to Weiner, an unbroken line of protégés and predators. And we haven’t heard the last from Mr. and Mrs. Weiner. They are sure to be rehabilitated in Clinton III.


Samantha Powers is the most dangerous of the Obama girls; dangerous for many reasons. The most worrisome of which is her world view, the ambition to subordinate American national interests to some vague, select, if not warped, notion of global humanitarianism. She laments the fate of Bosnian Muslims, yet seldom speaks to 1400 years of backwardness and brutal social pathology, including lethal misogyny, in the larger Arab and Muslim worlds.

She has little to say about clerical child abuse in Ireland or America either. Nonetheless, Ms. Powers has the ideological chops to make policy. Indeed, historians may come to know Ms Power’s theories as “humanitarian imperialism.” The Obama/Clinton apology tours in the Muslim world are examples. Samantha’s affection for Jane Fonda’s politics also speaks volumes. Indeed, you could do worse than think of Powers as a politicized Barbarella.

Powers’ Islamic tilt comes with burkas, aggressive zealotry and outspoken anti-Judaism; the kind of anti-Semitism that invests contemporary Irish and French politics. Both countries have histories of sympathy with, first political and now religious fascism.

Powers has suggested that Israel should be occupied and coerced to sign what would be a death warrant with unstable Arab neighbors. Ironically, the American Judenrat supported her appointment to the UN. Powers’ more recent comments about Daniel Pearl resurrect the ancient slander that Jews deserve what they get. Samantha Powers’ ambition and world view are echoes of the Internationale, Orientalism, and all self-anointed prophets for globalism, chaps like Harry Dexter White.


Bimbo activists are joined by several threads: weaponized mendacity; selective if not contradictory feminist or humanitarian values; rhetoric or writing that trumps achievement; and a willingness to jettison virtue in a heartbeat at the first whiff of political aftershave. In doing so, distaff chippies make men like Kennedy, Clinton, Obama and the post-Communist social patriarchy possible.   

Alas, the political bimbo phenomenon in America may also explain why the feminist Left in America has yet to produce an Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Margaret Thatcher, or Angela Merkel.