Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 22, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 18



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 22, 2012 



There has been a lot of criticism spawned by an article I penned 
last week which argued that the current international situation is 
deteriorating because of Obama’s lack of expertise in this area coupled 
with his surreal belief that he actually is an expert here. The point of 
the article was that appeasement on the part of the United States will 
not bring peace, but will most likely lead to an escalation in tensions 
to the point of a hot war. Reflecting on that criticism, I wish I could 
write today that I was wrong, that events over just the course of the last 
week have proved me wrong and unfair in my criticism of President 
Obama. Unfortunately, events of the last week have only bolstered my point. Appeasement 
always fails; it always emboldens the aggressor, and other would-be aggressors alike, and 
eventually leads to war.

The killing of our ambassador in Libya is now clearly seen to be an act, not of spontaneous 
anger at a B-level YouTube film, but of carefully orchestrated terrorism on the part of Al 
Qaeda to mark the 11th anniversary of 9-11. Our tepid response emboldened other hostiles 
in Egypt to invade our embassy there. That led to further assaults against diplomatic posts 
in Karachi, Pakistan. In Tunisia, several thousand demonstrators set fire to the U.S. Embassy 
there. Obama’s carefully scripted and much trumpeted reset with the Muslim world has 
indeed transformed that region. Before he came along, at least Egypt was our ally, Libya 
made no trouble for us, and Pakistan at least pretended to be our friend. Now, they’re all 
out for our blood.

But let’s grant the Middle East a certain innate level of insanity; perhaps they just cant help 
themselves; perhaps going ape-s**t over cartoons and stupid movie trailers is all they’re 
capable of, and their governments can exercise no control over the citizenry whatsoever. 
Pretty far fetched, but let’s look beyond those shores to see if the contagion is spreading. 
Surely that would be a clear cut indicator of whether our foreign policy reset has prompted 
our enemies to respect us or ignore us.

Turn, if you will, to Asia and the conflict between China and Japan. It hasn’t captured much 
of the media’s attention, but these two countries are on the brink of war. Their dispute 
over the ownership of several islands in the waters between them intensified to the brink 
of open hostilities when China provocatively dispatched several of its warships to assert its 
dominance. The Chinese government has also encouraged Anti-Japanese riots in nearly 100 
cities. Japanese businesses have been looted, and many larger Japanese companies – such 
as Toyota, Honda, Panasonic, and others have closed facilities and repatriated their people.

The U.S., correctly sensing potential trouble to world stability if the 2nd and 3rd largest 
economies of the world go to war, dispatched Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to Bejing. In 
his speech to the brass of the People’s Liberation Army, Secretary Panetta found the courage 
to tell his audience that “[the U.S.’s] rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region is not an attempt to 
contain China”. 

Such strength and resolve in the face of the threat of naked aggression struck something less 
than fear into the hearts of the assembled Chinese military and political leaders – so much 
that within a matter of days, our ambassador’s car was attacked by some of those same pesky 
spontaneous mobs that first appeared in Libya and Cairo. And who said turning the other 
cheek in foreign affairs wasn’t a good idea?

Not to be outdone in demonstrating what a new post-U.S. world order is going to look like, 
Russia just expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development for its efforts to promote 
democracy in Russia. So weakened is U.S. prestige abroad that now the Secretary General 
of the United Nations feels no compunction at thumbing his nose at U.S. efforts to prevent 
Iran from going nuclear.

This is perhaps the area where America’s feckless foreign policy is potentially most dangerous. 
Egypt and Libya may allow our embassies to be violated, and China may simply usurp some 
islands and sink a few Japanese naval vessels, but it is Iran that could start a nuclear war. 
There is only one country on earth that can stop Iran, and that is the U.S. Sadly, it may 
take a military strike to do that, but a peaceful resolution would be possible if Iran actually 
respected U.S. deadlines and threats.

The Obama administration has promised us that Sanctions, negotiations and isolation can 
be finely calibrated to the point of compelling Iran to abandon its nuclear aims. But to 
what has that really amounted. Sanctions have been building “gradually” (to paraphrase 
the administration), and the International Atomic Energy Agency just reported that Iran’s 
efforts have accelerated. Negotiations have been at the “last-ditch” level several times now, 
and yet Secretary Clinton refuses to define a red line in the sand. Iran’s response has been 
to withdraw yet again. Isolation seems to be equally as affective. The U.N. just held a major 
diplomatic conference in Tehran at which the Secretary General made an appearance – this 
even after an impassioned appeal from Obama to honor the sanctions and isolation efforts. 

One keeps hoping that this president will take our international predicament seriously. One 
keeps hoping that maybe, just maybe, this presidential candidate – like candidate McCain 
in 2008 – would suspend his campaign for a little while to attend to affairs of state that if not 
handled properly might get some of our sons killed. Instead, we witness a president joking 
with Letterman, telling a nation that “we don’t have to worry about [$16 trillion in debt] in 
the short-term”, and partying with Jay Z and Beyonce. Rome is burning, the president is 
fiddling, and I’m in trouble because I don’t think this was an example of humble expertise in 
action. May God save the United States of America.

About the author: Gregory J. Welborn is a freelance writer and has spoken to several civic 
and religious organizations on cultural and moral issues. He lives in the Pasadena area with 
his wife and 3 children and is active in the community. He can be reached at gregwelborn2@

HOWARD Hays As I See It

“Romney’s comment 
is a country-club fantasy. 
It’s what self-satisfied 
millionaires say to each 

– David Brooks, New York 

 “Romney seems to have 
contempt not just for the Democrats who 
oppose him, but for tens of millions who 
intend to vote for him.”

– William Kristol, Weekly Standard

 “On the Mideast he seemed like a political 
opportunist, not big and wise but small and 

- Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal


 That’s what conservatives say about the 
imploding campaign of Mitt Romney.

 They thought it would be easy - just block 
whatever President Obama proposed and 
keep the masses suffering, knowing that in 
four years they’d have forgotten who caused 
it in the first place. 

 They knew the upper 1% wouldn’t make a 
difference at the polls, so they turned to the 
tea-baggers and Fox News. Dick Armey with 
FreedomWorks, Karl Rove with Crossroads 
GPS and the Koch brothers with Americans 
for Prosperity laid the astroturf of phony 
populism and propaganda. Their pitch was 
protecting against alien notions brought by 
someone clearly not one of “us”.

 We saw a healthcare plan developed 
through the Heritage Foundation, endorsed 
by Republicans as an alternative to 
“Hillarycare” and enacted by Romney himself 
in Massachusetts, labeled a “government 
takeover” with “death panels”. Guns were 
brought to campaign rallies. Tea-baggers in 
Congress vowed to renege on the full faith 
and credit of the United States rather than 
renege on their pledge to Grover Norquist.

 A Republican nominee emerged without 
the baggage of Gingrich, Santorum or 
Trump, but who soon raised concerns among 
party veterans who saw an aide compare his 
image-changing to an Etch-a-Sketch, his 
being ridiculed throughout the British press 
during his London visit, and his claiming 
credit for the auto bailout under President 
Obama, despite his having advised, “Let 
Detroit go bankrupt.”

 Concern that regaining the presidency 
might not be a sure thing grew with the 
Republican Convention, notable not for 
what Romney said, but for what he didn’t. 
First, he said nothing to take anyone’s mind 
off Clint Eastwood. Second, he offered no 
acknowledgment of our 100,000 troops in 

 His response to the embassy attack in Cairo 
left no doubt Mitt Romney was no longer 
being guided by Republican Party grown-
ups, but by tea-baggers and Fox News. This 
went beyond his accusing the president of 
wanting to “sympathize with those who 
waged the attacks” by citing a statement 
that expressed no sympathy and was issued 
before any attacks had been waged. 

 “They were just trying to score a cheap 
news cycle hit based on the embassy 
statement and now it’s just completely 
blown up,” BuzzFeed quotes “a very senior 
Republican foreign policy hand”; “This is 
just unbelievable – when they decide to play 
on it they completely bungle it.”

 Heather Hurlburt of the National Security 
Network adds that Romney’s statement 
“shows not just poor judgment and a 
willingness to use tragedy for political gains, 
regardless of the security consequences — 
but also poor management. He has policy 
people on his team who know better. Clearly 
they weren’t consulted.”

 Romney’s comments in London were 
eyes-rolling funny – but this was serious. 
Cairo embassy officials responded via 
Twitter; “Of course we condemn breaches 
of our compound, we’re the ones actually 
living through this” and added, “Sorry, but 
neither breaches of our compound or angry 
messages will dissuade us from defending 
freedom of speech AND criticizing bigotry.”

 Some remember when, during the 
contest of 1980, an aborted attempt to 
rescue hostages in Iran cost the lives of 
eight Americans, for which President Carter 
accepted responsibility. Candidate George 
H.W. Bush said, “This is not a time to go one-
up politically.” Candidate Ronald Reagan 
asked us to pray and said, “This is the time for 
us as a nation and a people to stand united.”

 Those who remember understand why 
both those men became president – and why 
Mitt Romney never will.

 Dean Heller, Republican candidate for the 
U.S. Senate from Nevada, says, “I don’t agree 
with his statement” - referring to Romney’s 
assertion that the 47% of Americans who pay 
no income taxes see themselves as “victims . 
. . entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, 
you name it”. Heller’s father was an auto 
mechanic, his mother a school cook. Other 
Republicans in close contests, like Sen. Scott 
Brown in Massachusetts (“That’s not the way 
I view the world.”) have sought to distance 

 Reuters quotes “a senior congressional 
Republican aide” as describing Romney’s 
comments as “completely bone-headed . . . 
This builds on the narrative that he’s out of 
touch with struggling Americans.”

 Of that 47%, two-thirds pay federal 
withholding taxes, supporting families 
on $30,000 a year. Of those paying no 
federal taxes at all, more than half are on 
Social Security. A third makes $20,000 a 
year. Many serve in the military on tax-free 
combat pay.

 Romney says, “My job is not to worry 
about those people. I’ll never convince them 
that they should take personal responsibility 
and care for their lives,”, but he doesn’t mean 
those avoiding taxes by socking assets in the 
Cayman Islands or, like himself, paying a 
14% rate on investment income rather than 
up to 35% paid by those who work for it. 

 Romney’s 47% line didn’t come from 
Republican operatives; it came from 
Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly and Fox and 
Friends. Party veterans are now giving up 
on the White House and focusing instead on 
capturing the Senate, and hanging onto the 

 Those who know Mitt Romney complain 
that his appearances before the camera as 
stiff, scripted and humorless don’t show who 
he really is.

 At that $50,000-a-head event where he 
wrote off those living on Social Security, 
supporting families on $30,000 a year, 
taking the night shift at Denny’s to pay for 
community college and serving our country 
overseas, reports are that he was relaxed, 
spontaneous and had a good sense of humor.

 At that $50,000-a-head event where he 
demeaned and dismissed with contempt half 
the American people, Mitt Romney showed 
who he really is.

TINA Dupuy We Are All ‘Dependent On Government’

Last year when I was covering the Occupy movement, 
I crashed a “teach-in” at the Cal campus 
(a public—meaning—government university) 
where an activist announced they didn’t need 
government. “We can govern ourselves!” She declared. 
Now the problem with a group of people 
governing is they essentially become (wait for it) 
a government.It’s a bit like saying, “We don’t need 
food—we can just eat pizza!”

This is a confusion the right wing revels in. It’s 
why during the health care debate there were protest 
signs demanding the government stay out of 
Medicare. “We’re here, we’re misinformed—get 
used to it!”

“Sometimes, even presidents need reminding, 
that our rights come from nature and God, not 
from government,” says GOP VP nominee Paul 
Ryan on the stump.

It’s a hefty statement that has yet to get a follow up 
question. Which rights do we get from God, exactly? 
The right to choose another religion? Isn’t 
Free Speech an affront to a couple Commandments? 
Has anyone ever checked out a theocracy 
like Saudi Arabia and thought, “Look at all those 
civil rights!”?

Ryan is bastardizing the battle cry to establish 
self-governance against the divine right of kings. 
Prior to the French and American Revolutions, 
in the Dark Ages, kings were assumed to be kings 
because it was thought god wanted them to be 
kings—therefore everything they did was God-
like. Rights, they said, came from God and nature 
and not kings. So thinkers—and this country 
was founded by thinkers—came up with a way 
to separate the powers of God and rulers—self-
governance: Three branches of self-government; 
a bill of rights; checks and balances. Specifically, 
a secular government made up of regular citizens 
and not kings. This government framework being 
a design to secure individual rights (life, liberty, 
pursuit of happiness etc. etc.)

Is the right wing denouncing self-governance? 
Well, yeah, pretty much. If rights, according to 
Mr. Ryan, come from whichever purely subjective 
interpretation of God is en vogue this week 
and not from the body of democratically elected 
leaders adhering to a constitutional guide, it’s a 
position the Tories or the crown loyalists would 
have supported.

And the alternative to self-governance? The alleged 
free market? Privatized tyranny is still tyranny 
to its subjects.

Personally, Time Warner is not my idea of 

Which leads me to the question: Since corporations 
are people according the Romney/Ryan 
ticket, does God give them rights? We’re talking 
about the divine right of Exxon-Mobile here: this 
is important.

“There are 47 percent who are with him [Obama],” 
said Romney on a recently verified tape made last 
May. “Who are dependent upon government, 
who believe that they are victims.”

There’s something very telling about a dude 
sneering at those dependent on the government 
while being under Secret Service protection.

What of this remaining 53 percent Romney is 
trying to woo? Who’s independent of the government? 
Walmart depends on the government 
to feed their workforce via food stamps. Nearly 
all other businesses depend on the government 
for law and order so they can conduct business. 
Wealthy people have property. Government protects 
property rights. Banks got bailed out—by 
the government. Roads are maintained by the 
government. Air travel, regulated by the government. 
Also our elderly, disabled and yes our poor, 
assisted by the government.

If you’re voting for a president, you’re voting for 
a government worker. Your vote means you have 
some confidence in government as to its legitimacy 
and efficiency. If you’re donating to a presidential 
candidate (or some sympathetic super 
PAC) you’re putting your faith in Government.

Which means, in short, you are depending on 

We are all the 47 percent.

Tina Dupuy is an award-winning writer and the editor-in-chief 
of Tina can be reached at tinadupuy@