Hate is Hate … period!

The Unabashed Moderate has a very difficult time making any sense whatsoever from the events in Charlottesville, VA last weekend.  There is no question that the message pushed by white supremacy groups must be countered; shouted down; challenged intellectually at every opportunity.  America has no room for – and certainly should show no tolerance for – the morally corrupt message such groups cling to for whatever misguided and hateful reasoning.

Of that there is no question!

But what does one make of the hate demonstrated by the so-called anti-fascists?

I am an old-fashioned white guy.  I readily admit that.  I will readily admit that our race relations are not where they should be.  I will own up to the fact that racism still exists in this country, although I firmly believe that the actions, speech, and behaviors are much improved over where they stood in the 1960’s and ’70s when I was a much younger white guy.

We aren’t there yet, as was so aptly demonstrated last weekend when the concept of “white  pride” was trotted out under the guise of preserving American History.

Yet the hate we all saw in Charlottesville was hardly one-sided.  Under similar circumstances I do not have a problem with hating the “white pride” message, and the people pushing that message.  To be honest, it’s perfectly understandable that anyone in this day and age could hate white supremacists.

The problem in my mind is that Antifa demonstrated that they are not all that different from the white supremacists when it comes tactics.  Antifa has demonstrated this on numerous occasions.  What happened Saturday was just the latest occasion that their own brand of hate was on display.  They have provided us examples all over the country under the guise of various political, economic, and social causes.

How is WHAT Antifa does any different from that which white supremacists do?  Intimidation, invoking fear and violence, equipping for warfare in the name of protest …

The tragic, unnecessary murder of Heather Heyer was the obvious answer in Charlottesville.  But killing is not generally a tactic of white supremacists in this day and age.  (Please, do not take that as a defense of that heinous act.  It’s simply recognition that in the context of this discussion, what happened on that street in Charlottesville was an aberration of sorts.)

Or put another way … Will anyone be surprised when – not if – Antifa actions, given their current trajectory, result in a death?  I know I will not be surprised.

I must be old-fashioned, because I can remember a day when white supremacists and neo-Nazis were met face-to-face on the public square with nary a punch being thrown.  Arrests and perhaps a scuffle or two, but not wild, pitched battles with pepper spray, human waste as weapons, flame-throwing aerosol cans …

Hate is hate.  Violence is violence.

I do not believe the legitimacy of your stand or the difference in your objective makes the hate any more palatable or acceptable.

It’s easy to spot a white supremacist.  You know what their objectives are; who they hate; and how they will go about expressing that hate.  They want to impose a social order, long rejected by American values even if we still struggle to completely right that boat.

On the other hand, Antifa looks to push several social and political objectives, using not only very similar tactics, but certainly a similar brand of hate as those they purport to reject and work hardily to oppose.  The BIG PROBLEM is they do not hate only white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Antifa – through their very actions – have shown that they also hate Conservatives, Republicans, and people who simply exercised their personal political freedom by daring to vote for and support President Donald Trump.  We have seen this at political rallies, speaker events, world organization meetings, even at local festivals!

In Philadelphia, antifa elements vandalized property simply because they do not like the concept of gentrification.  This despite conventional wisdom that major urban centers depend on the improved tax base to fund important programs like inner city education and municipal services to the benefit of all city dwellers.

Antifa hates people for the way they vote.  They hate people for the way they think.  They hate people for simply assembling in the manner in which they identify themselves as the Portland example demonstrates.

Antifa hate is not limited to those with ancient notions of the relation between the races.  They hate even those with conventional, mainstream political thought.  They hate people simply because they disagree with them.

Their hate is corrosive, violent, and frankly quite deliberate, a political methodology.  And in that regard is no different than racist hate at its basest, most disgusting level.  Antifa may hold higher ground than the racists, but it’s not much higher.

It has always been easy to spot hate grown from the beliefs of white supremacy.  Now we have to be mindful of those whose hate is so easily expressed with violence simply because they disagree.

Tribute to those killed in service at Charlottesville

Why a President might “lose” an Aircraft Carrier Task Force

USS Carl Vinson
USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group

The Unabashed Moderate has been holding onto this one for a few weeks to avoid type-casting the new blog as a Defender of President Trump every time someone develops agita over his unconventional administration.  Whether the President unawares where exactly the U.S.S. Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group was, or “lying” about its whereabouts and movements is immaterial to this discussion.

My objective is to take to task the notion that The Media, our Allies, South Korea, or even the American Public has a right to know the deployment details of forward-deployed combat forces.  Yes … Combat Forces … in the sense that such units must always be prepared for hostile operations at the direction of the Commander-in-Chief.

At times like this, the realization sets in that many people have little appreciation for how military operations have been executed throughout history … be it during conflict or peacetime.  At the very least, they display a lack of appreciation for Strategy and Tactics.

My own personal bank of knowledge on such subjects is based entirely upon readings and civilian experience in the employ of the Department of the Navy.  No direct military experience.  Hopefully, my professional contacts within my little slice of the U.S. military establishment provides a rudimentary understanding for the objectives and reasoning of what you reveal; how you reveal it; why you reveal such things; and why you might not.

korea_peninsula1For the purposes of discussion, I refer to an article, How Did the Trump Administration Lose an Aircraft Carrier, appearing in The Atlantic on April 18, 2017 during the peak of the “lost carrier” controversy.  The article, written by David A. Graham, starts off  acknowledging “A certain amount of unpredictability is a virtue in foreign policy.”, then quickly devolves into an excoriation of the Trump Administration and The President for either lying, incompetence, or being unpredictable …

That very same quality lauded as being “a virtue”.

The really unpredictable ones in this equation however are the North Koreans.

When the tin pot dictators from Korea’s North end start clamoring for attention, …

You can almost predict North Korean what-about-us tantrums, which seem to sprout up whenever the Head TinPot there decides the North is not getting its fair share of attention from the rest of the world!

… it’s common practice for the U.S. to send a second carrier strike group into the seas around the Korean Peninsula.

That goes for China too, by the way.  In June 2016, President Obama sent the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) to WestPac to sail – along with 7th Fleet mainstay USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) – through international waters where China was attempting to claim disputed islands in the South China Sea.

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North Korean missiles

Recently, the Vinson was touted as a significant part of the U.S. reaction to North Korean missile tests seen as a threat to local allies (Japan, South Korea) and eventually – should experimentation result in ultimate success – the west coast of the U.S.!  The President made much of the decision to move the U.S.S. Vinson, which was scheduled to participate in fleet exercises with the Australian Navy, to Korean waters in a show of strength in the face of North Korean agitation.

The problem was a garbling of the way the Commander-in-Chief’s order was to be carried out.  It was difficult timing for the U.S. Navy and The President, since Australia is a strong ally and there was no desire to cancel naval exercises whose opportunity might not occur again for years.

Some people interpreted the order to mean the immediate re-routing of the Carrier Strike Group.  Many had little appreciation for the importance of peacetime drilling with favored allies.  The Navy itself compounded the issue by announcing the cancellation of Shore Leave scheduled while the Group was in Australia.  (A big letdown for the sailors, no doubt!)  The Vinson Group’s Commander felt the imagery of U.S. sailors enjoying shore visits during a crisis to be counter-productive and inappropriate.

Kim Jong Un
Let’s remember who the REAL danger is here!

Good call by the CO.  But the messaging back home, which filtered to The Media via the Department of Defense suggested the planned exercises with Australia had been canceled, not just the port visit.  Undoubtedly, the communications snafu complicated the Big Picture; but it was the overly dramatic reactions by a media establishment that’s very, very, very quick to excoriate the Trump Administration over anything not fitting their Generally Accepted Rules of Oval Office Operation was – frankly – hysterical … both in the emotion and the reaction by those with little appreciation for Strategy and Tactics.

A. One view suggested The President did not know where his Carrier Strike Group was.

But The President does not need that information short of a bullets-flying, aircraft scrambling scenario.  When that time comes, any President would simply turn to his Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs-of-Staff to discern the wheres and what-fors of an escalating conflict,

Japan+Map+1B. One view suggested that portraying the Vinson Carrier Strike Group as heading away from the Korean Peninsula at such a time left Korea 3500 miles removed from carrier protection.

Fact is, there is a substantial U.S. military presence in Japan, less than 600 miles from Korea, and home to the 7th Fleet.  Given that the USS Ronald Reagan was down for scheduled maintenance, South Korea was hardly left naked and afraid.

C. Another view even suggested that The President was lying about the movements of the Vinson Carrier Group.  An astonishing claim, not because obfuscation seems a preferred tactic by an unorthodox President, but more so the suggestion that Openness, Transparency, and Honesty should be hallmarks of military operations!

Seriously … Thus my biggest concern in all of this emotional hullabaloo.

Are there people who really believe “Honesty is the best Policy” when it comes to moving military assets on the three-dimensional global field?  I sure hope not …

220px-Loose_lips_might_sink_shipsNo Commander-in-Chief, Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs, or star-studded Admiralty owes Truth to either the American people or its watchdog Media when it comes to these sensitive, life-or-death movement of assets where so much is at stake!  Dishonesty is a time-tested tactic when it comes to War or the potential for its outbreak, as is Unpredictability, Diversion, Obfuscation, etc.

And let’s not lose sight of the fact that there was every intention of routing the Vinson CSG to Korean waters as soon as the Australian Navy exercises were completed!

In wars past, there has been the saying, “Loose lips sink ships!”

When you have no control over the Loose Lips of Society … Be it the open-kimono Media, shipyard workers loudly enjoying post-workday libations, home-bound families sharing pride in their homegrown sailors, etc., then you must clamp down on the flow of information.

To suggest Truth in such situations provides benefit to anyone other than The Enemy is precisely why NO FOUL was committed in the way the USS Carl Vinson “incident” was handled, regardless of how such miscommunication comes about.

 

 

 

 

 

When is a ban not a ban?

uc06330One thing my friends here will learn is that my stances on social issues are much more liberal, compared positions on National Security, military preparedness, government economics and interpretations of the U.S. Constitution, which tend to be a tad more conservative.  National Security is at the top of that list for a reason.  You simply cannot enjoy the Freedoms to which we are promised and otherwise accustomed … those inherent Natural Rights set forth in The Declaration of Independence (Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, etc.) without Security.

Now, I will be the first to acknowledge our current President has made the issue much more complicated by calling for a “Muslim ban” during his campaign.  A true Muslim ban would betray our country’s values and our compassion for those displaced by conflict.  But red-meat sound bites aside, the hold enacted by Executive Order did not address Islam as the reason for the actions.

As Commander-in-Chief President Trump is responsible for the safety of all citizens, be they natural-born or naturalized.  Should he determine that confidence is low in the adequacy of vetting immigrants from certain countries, his duty is to make sure potential threats from those areas will be properly screened to reduce the chances of violence here!

A 3-4 month hold on high-risk immigrants – even refugees … especially refugees from these areas – is not a ban; it’s a temporary halt.  Such a hold certainly makes sense where the efficacy of vetting prospective immigrants – particularly in dangerous parts of the world – is called into question.  Better to allow the experts to analyze and evaluate the processes of immigration in failed nation states; establish additional safeguards and vetting procedures as necessary; then lift the hold and allow the new processes to take root.

fdr-gi-top
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

A walk through American history shows that bans of a much longer tenure have been implemented by past Presidents.  And if you think a U.S. ban on those of a specific religion is unprecedented, you need look no further than Progressive hero Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who banned those of Jewish persuasion during World War II, while they were being liquidated throughout Europe.

Why did he ban the Jews?  Because FDR was concerned that spies and saboteurs might hide among those thousands of refugees expected from war-torn Europe!

Now ask yourself whether immigration from those seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya) poses a threat.  Certainly they do … just ask the European Union!

A confederation of nations organized around – among other things – the principle of free trade and free travel across borders, the EU – particularly those on the southern border – spent a good chunk of 2016 restoring fences and barbed-wire to stem the unrestricted migration of hundreds of thousands from those same seven countries after Germany’s Angela Merkel indiscreetly threw open the doors of the EU to unlimited huddled masses.

refugees-623651

The lessons of Paris, Brussels, Nice, Charlie Hebdo – along with the unending parade of un-vetted refugees – compelled the EU to alter its view on the desirability of borders opened to all who could survive the trip across the Mediterranean Sea.

Is it a “Muslim ban”?  In essence perhaps, but only in the practical sense that the seven countries named are largely Muslim.  That’s indisputable.

Yet Muslims from all other countries with largely Muslim populations are not affected.  If truly a “Muslim ban”, then why are Muslims outside the seven designated countries still allowed to enter the US of A???

If you look at the size of Muslim populations world-wide, you find Indonesia (205 million Muslims), Pakistan (178 million), India (172 million), Bangladesh (145 million), and Nigeria (76 million) unaffected by this so-called “Muslim ban”. Each country has a Muslim population larger than any of the seven countries where immigration will be held in abeyance.

A Muslim ban???  No … not even close …