Suddenly we’re inundated with images of pitiful refugees.  A human wave has washed up on Europe’s shores and everyone asks how did this happen?  What’s the plan?  Actually this crisis has been building for quite awhile. The Syrian Civil War started back in 2011 and in the ensuing years over 7.6 million Syrians have been internally displaced and 4 million are now refugees.  The turmoil has spilled over into Iraq, while bordering Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon have pretty much reached their humanitarian limits. Israel seeing the trend is building a fence to deter any movement in their direction.  This river of refugees is being further fed with new streams from the now failed Libyan State and North Africa.  Afghanistan facing western withdrawal is another growing tributary. Europe having difficulty dealing with the immigrants they already have is faced with the real possibility of destabilization.

It didn’t have to be this way.  We pointed out in in our “SSSSHHHH” posts going back to November of last year and expanded on in our “But Admiral the Wind has Changed”  post, that there were things that should be done and the time was ripe to do them.  First, the Arab league as a whole needs to allow open immigration and  civil rights to all Arabs.  For centuries Arabs considered themselves as one people.  They share language, customs, history and to a large part religion.  We may never comprehend how Arabs  ignore the plight of their fellow Arabs, but maybe nobody pushed them to live up to their humanitarian obligations.  Now is the time to do just that.  The main players in the Arab World need us more than we need them.  Oil now is a limp club.  On the other hand Iran looms as a monster threat. Our protection or not is a stick, but Europe could provide the carrot with financial help in settling the refugees.  This has to be cheaper and far less disruptive than taking them all into Europe.  It’s simply too expensive for these welfare states to take in vast number of refugees. Syrians, Palestinians and Iraqis released from wasted lives in refugee camps could actually invigorate their new host countries to the benefit of all.  History surely points in that direction

Second, aid the Kurds in setting up buffer zones around their territory for displaced minorities such as the Christians and Yesidis.  Some progress has been made in this endeavor  but much more can be accomplished.  Every person who finds safety and protection under the Kurdish wing, is one less refugee in a camp in the adjoining nations or ending up in Europe.  It is well past the time that we realize the opportunities possible in a closer relationship and quiet alliance with the Kurds.

Talking about France and Britain taking in thousands of refugees when the problem is in the millions,shows the futility of the cries for Europeans and even the U.S. do more.  Even those thousands are politically unsustainable and could result in governmental upheavals.  The rise of extreme parties in  Europe parallels the increase in migrants.  Donald Trump’s rise in the polls is hardly a signal that the U.S. can do a lot more.  Our position always has been that it is essential to solve a Mideast Problems in the Mideast and Muslim Problems in the Muslim World.  Never has this been more true than it is today.

Victory Lap

There was Secretary of State John Kerry taking a much deserved Victory Lap as he announced that the administration had achieved the two thirds majority required to pass the treaty with Iran that the vast majority of Americans craved.  Oh wait, they only got 34 votes in the Senate out of 100.  According to the latest Q-Poll 55% of Americans oppose this agreement vs. 25% support.  We’re confused.  How does something like this happen?  Well the administration says it’s just an executive agreement, but aren’t really major agreements between the U.S. and other countries by definition treaties?  More importantly who gets to decide?  The President says he gets to decide just like he could tell the congress when it is in session or not.  That’s his opinion but that’s all it is.  The courts for instance held that congress not the President determines when it is in session.  So why didn’t Senate just tell the President that it is a treaty and he needs two thirds?  Surely they are on solid constitutional grounds.  As we read Article II, Section 2, Clause 2. it basically states

The President… shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur….

Could anyone imagine Wilson telling the Senate that he bound us to the League Nations because it wasn’t a treaty so he didn’t need their two thirds majority.  Reagan doing the same with Nuclear Arms deals with Russia.  How about Clinton and NAFTA?  Sure would’ve made a president’s job a lot easier.  The Senate had the right to demand the deal be presented as what they thought it was, a treaty.  We are told by our betters that couldn’t happen, but why not?

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The Long Journey to “More”

In the Musical “Oliver” the title urchin asks simply for “More”.  Over our long history the vast majority of humanity, having “More” than the bare basics of food, clothing and shelter was a dream.  Sometimes they didn’t even have even those and failed survive.  Anatomically modern homo sapiens  appeared in Africa  about 200,000 years ago. If we go by the introduction of The Big Bang Theory, we think mankind’s progress was  pretty straight line march from there.   Actually it wasn’t till 12,000 year ago that we got around to domesticating plants and animals to have agrarian societies.  It it is only in the last few centuries a good part of humanity has risen beyond subsistence.  Given the history of mankind, is this real and sustainable progress or just an aberration.  If we use as a baseline our earliest forebears we can determine what constitutes “More.”  Even though being blessed with a better brain and opposable thumbs, they spent their time much like the rest of the animal kingdom, finding food and  shelter, resting and procreating.  All they had to work with was their own physical abilities.  In order to actually have more required first of all was taking time from there basic pursuits and investing it thinking of new ways to improve and physically putting it into practice.  Better hunting and gathering tools and practices, fire, domesticating dogs and then other animals and finally agriculture to name some milestones on the way to “More”.

Unfortunately, it took enormous amounts of time to achieve to these breakthroughs.  Even though our ancestors had some tools 2.6 million years ago, it took another 800,000 years just to get to fire or 400 times the the birth of Christ to the present.  Given this timeline major innovation was a rare occurrence.  Even when it happened it often was lost and had to be reinvented again and again.  Just because something was discovered or invented in one place didn’t mean was duplicated elsewhere.  Innovation was hardly early on the path to more. Continue reading