Foreign Relations

Korn Takes on Obama, the NSA, and the MSM in New Music Video

Jonathan Davis

Full disclosure: This author is a fan of the metal genre in general and has been a Korn fan since their first self-titled album released in 1994 featuring their hit songs “Blind” and “Shoots and Ladders.”

Its nothing new or surprising that most entertainers, to the extent they weigh in on political issues at all, usually come down in favor of the Left. In the world of rock music (of all varieties including metal, punk, classical, 80’s hair bands, etc.), most acts promote anti-establishment or anarchistic themes.

But even these rebels, with or without a cause, all too often favor the Left or at the very least, save their harshest criticisms for the Right. Its easy to be critical of a politician and political party the MSM already hates (often assuming the public and the MSM have the same values). Being critical of President George W. Bush at the height of the unpopularity of the undeclared wars in  Iraq and Afghanistan, the USA PATRIOT Act, the signing statements, torture, Gitmo, takes very little courage. But being critical of a President Barack Obama, who the MSM loves, even as he continues and expands upon many of the same policies of Bush? To me that takes more courage*.

While these concerns may still be present among these artists, it seems that their criticism of these policies is much more muted since Obama became president. With the raising concerns about how President Obama has abused power, it seems that at least a few bands like Megadeth** and now Korn are telling the music world that it’s okay to attack Obama through their art.

Venezuelans Are Fed Up With Socialist President Maduro

Nicolás Maduro

Since February 4th, students have been protesting in San Cristóbal, Venezuela. Protesters have been strongly opposed to current President Nicolas Maduro and his heavy-handed interventionist government and have decided to take it to the streets, which ended up triggering waves of violent attacks that are mostly perpetrated by paramilitary forces. At least 6 people have died so far.

Before the protests, Venezuelans were experiencing soaring crime rates, an annual inflation rate of 320 percent and shortage of basic goods, which are all mostly due to protectionist policies and Hugo Chavez’s National Bolivarian Guard’s crack down on the ‘over-pricing’ the government accuses producers and merchants of practicing.

Product shortages range from vegetables to toilet paper.

In Venezuela, food is subsidized. The government has instilled an idea among its citizens that cheap gas is every Venezuelan’s right, so oil is heavily subsidized as well. The president of the Venezuela’s national oil company is also the vice president in charge of the country’s economy, has also acted as the government’s energy minister.

Euromaidan Protests in Ukraine Turn Deadly

Halfway across the globe, a political protest known as Euromaidan continues into its twelfth week in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. As an emerging free market, Ukraine is a pivotal trade partner with the US, the EU, and Russia. As of this morning, 25 have been killed, and as the death count rises, the West tunes in.

Kiev

As a quick review, the public protest began late last November when more than 100,000 Ukrainians filled the streets of Kiev in response to President Viktor Yanukovych’s rejection of trade agreements with the European Union in favor of continued bailouts from Russia. As Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute, states:

“It is now apparent that Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovich, had no effective strategy to resist intense pressure against the EU deal from Moscow. The Kremlin promised big cash loans, a gas discount and debt forgiveness, while explicitly threatening to block Ukraine’s access to the Russian market and implicitly threatening to stoke separatism in regions of the country.”

For more on Euromaidan, click here for a more in-depth background, here for a livestream from Kiev, here for a liveblog of events, and here for photos of the riot taken yesterday.

Susan Rice defends Benghazi interviews and NSA spying

We know things are much worse than we could have ever imagined once we learn that even mainstream media is having a hard time swallowing anything National Security Advisor Susan Rice has to say about Benghazi, NSA or Edward Snowden.

Rice was interviewed for CBS’s 60 Minutes where she talked about what she thought were then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s reasons for not appearing for interviews following the attacks against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, which resulted in the deaths of four people, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

When asked about the Sunday talk shows she appeared on following the attacks to defend the White House’s line, Rice responded by saying that she doesn’t have time to think about the “false controversy.” The line she repeated throughout that Sunday after the attacks was later confirmed as, at best, misleading.

“In the midst of all of swirl about things like talking points, the administration has been working very, very hard across the globe to review our security of our embassies and our facilities. That’s what we ought to be focused on.”

During the Sunday shows, Rice defended the White House’s original talking points by claiming that the attacks had occurred spontaneously as a response to an anti-Muslim video. At the time, Rice confirmed that the attack wasn’t aimed at the United States or its policies.

Declassified: CIA Aided Iraq’s Chemical Weapon Attacks on Iran

Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein

Bashar al-Assad has allegedly crossed what President Obama called a “red line” using chemical weapons against up to 1,000 people. The threat of chemical weapons and other WMD by such unsavory characters as Saddam Hussein was the major pretext for “preemptive” war with Iraq.

President George W. Bush argued that regime change was necessary due to the fact that Hussein used these awful weapons in the Iraq-Iran war and against the Kurds. In this post 9/11 world, “outlaw regimes,” particularly those he dubbed the “Axis of Evil” (Iraq, Iran, and North Korea) were a threat to the civilized world which could no longer be tolerated. Chemical weapons are so taboo, after all, even the Nazis opted not to use chemical weapons on the battlefield!*

But as this article in Foreign Policy points out in analyzing declassified CIA documents, the use of these weapons was not so taboo inside the CIA at the time when Saddam Hussein used them against Iran (yes, the very same event which would later be cited as a reason to attack Iraq about a decade and a half later):

In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.

Stirewalt: Ho’s regime not particularly Jeffersonian

When I saw the headline to this Chris Stirewalt piece, I thought it would be something a bit lighter and slightly humorous to take us into the weekend.

Then I read it.

It still qualifies as absurd, just not in a funny way. There’s really nothing funny after all about our increasingly diminished reputation on the world stage. It wasn’t funny when our President bowed to the Saudi king, nor when he offended England, nor when he behaved like an uncouth boor to Israel.

Now this:

It may come as some unwelcome news to the families of the nearly 60,000 Americans who died in the Vietnam War that the whole thing was just a misunderstanding.

That was the impression President Obama gave on Thursday when he spoke to the press after his meeting with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang. Sang brought Obama a copy of a letter sent to President Harry Truman from Ho Chi Minh in which the communist dictator spoke hopefully of cooperation with the United States.

Obama, striking a wistful tone, observed that it may have taken 67 years, but the United States and Vietnam were finally enjoying the relationship that Ho once wrote of. After all, Obama said, Ho had been ‘inspired by the words of Thomas Jefferson.’

Did Senator McCain Violate NDAA by Hanging Out with Syrian Rebels?

In case you missed it, Senator John McCain took the opportunity this Memorial Day to cross the Turkey-Syria border and hang out with Syrian rebels. These are the same rebels with ties to Al Qaeda. These are the same rebels cutting out and eating the hearts of dead soldiers. According to reports, Senator McCain wanted to go further into combat but was not allowed.

And he calls us wacko-birds.

The consequences of Senator McCain’s calls to intervene in Syria and meddle further in a civil war could be quite grave, as Russia is sending anti-aircraft missiles to the Syrian regime. The use of chemical weapons has been reported – although it’s unsure which side is using them – with more attacks reported over the weekend.

Tax Day: Time To Pony Up Your Dollars To Subsidize Other Countries

Usually, when people bleat about spending money on other countries, it’s about humanitarian aid. But we spend far more money on other nations than just humanitarian aid; we also spend billions and billions of dollars subsidizing other nations’ military defense.

So when you file your tax return today to your overlords at the IRS, just remember, you’re paying not only for our military, but for the military of NATO, of South Korea, of Japan, and many other countries, and letting them freeload off of you. Every time a liberal points to European socialism and says we should be more like that, just know a lot of that socialism comes because they don’t have to spend on their military—we do it for them.

Here’s the infographic and the blog post from the Cato Institute to prove it:

cato_defense_infographic_2

 

Sen. Lindsey Graham to South Korea and Japan: “We Have Your Back.”

Senator Lindsey Graham

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham stopped by NBC’s Meet The Press (MTP) Sunday morning to discuss U.S. foreign relations with North Korea. In the wake of recent threats made by the North, Graham expressed support for President Obama’s recent flexing of military strength as a warning saying,

“I think the North Koreans are over-playing their hands. And this [President Obama’s] administration’s acted responsibly. I’m glad we’re not doing the ballistic missile test. I’m glad we had the B-2’s in the theater where they could see ‘em.I’m glad we’re telling our allies South Korea and Japan, ‘We literally have your back’ and the North Koreans need to understand if they attack an American interest or an ally of this country, they’re going [to] pay a heavy price.”

When asked by MTP host David Gregory to give his thoughts on American interests in the region where nearly 30,000 US troops are stationed, Graham replied,

“We’re in the middle. I’m glad we’re there with our allies but the big difference to me is the politics in South Korea are changing by the day regarding North Korea. So if there’s some provocation, it won’t be business as usual by South Korea. I could see a major war happening if the North Koreans overplay their hand this time because the public in South Korea, the United States and I think the whole region is fed up with this guy.”

Gregory probed further saying, “But what happens if there is some kind of conflict between the North and South? That becomes a conflict with the United States doesn’t it?”

To this Graham responded, “The North loses and the South wins with our help, that’s what happens.”

Graham: “No Confirmation Without Information”

On Sunday’s Face the Nation, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he will attempt to block Obama’s nominations of both John Brennan to CIA Director and Chuck Hagel to Defense Secretary over the Obama Administration’s failures in Benghazi.  As it is Bob Schieffer’s job to “wring news out of his guests,” Graham, emerging as the new head of the Neocon Right, certainly obliged.

The full transcript is here, video is here, and key moments from the exchange are as follows:

GRAHAM: “I don’t think we should allow Brennan to go for forward the CIA directorship, Hagel to be confirmed for secretary of defense, until the White House gives us an accounting. Did the president ever pick up the phone and call anyone in the Libyan government to help these folks? What did the president do? …What did he do that night? That’s not unfair. The families need to know. The American people need to know…”

SCHIEFFER: “But let me — I’m not sure I understand. What do you plan to do if they don’t give you an answer? Are you going to put a hold on these two nominations?”


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