28 April 2015

Uncommon Commentary #454: Turks Who Are Jerks

As this year marks the centennial anniversary of what has become known as the Armenian Genocide, there has been discussion, much of it pointless and even detrimental [v.i.], as to whether what took place in the northeast Ottoman Empire in 1915 can rightly be deemed genocide.  What happened was as follows.  During World War I, the Russian army invaded Ottoman Turkey across the border between the two countries, in which area lived the Armenians of the Turkish realm.  The Turkish authorities feared that the Christian Armenians would give aid to the Christian Russians, and so they ordered the massacre of Armenians serving in the Ottoman army and the deportation of the empire’s remaining Armenian population to places like the Syrian Desert, where these women, children, and male civilians perished in enormous numbers from exposure, thirst, starvation, and depredation.
“Genocide” was coined to describe the National Socialists’ “Final Solution” to the “Jewish Problem”, which solution was to attempt to exterminate all the Jews of the world.  The Ottoman leadership, by contrast, did not care whether the Armenians died so long as they were in no position to help the enemy.  What the Turks did to their Armenians may not, therefore, truly qualify as “genocide”, which my dictionary defines as “the systematic killing of, or a program of action intended to destroy, a whole national or ethnic group”; note the word “whole” in this definition.  It must also be acknowledged that the term “genocide” has been used far too loosely by many ethnic groups who have grievances against other nationalities.  To question whether there was an Armenian “genocide”, however, basing one’s question on a legal definition thereof, is to serve the purpose of the deniers who control Turkey’s government, which still refuses to acknowledge that what has been called genocide even took place. (The official lie is that the Armenian deaths were caused by their fellow Armenians in a civil war.) Nearly everyone outside Turkey admits that this country’s atrocities of a century ago count as war crimes, and so: Why quibble about words?

23 April 2015

Uncommon Commentary #453: Doctrinal Error

Ever since the present US administration commenced its disastrous intervention in Libya, various persons have endeavored to define an “Obama Doctrine”.  The latest, presumably official effort came from President Obombast himself: “We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.”  What the *&^%$#@! does that mean?
Here’s the real Obama Doctrine: “I’ll make any ad hoc foreign-policy decisions necessary for the sake of appeasing public opinion or for what I want my legacy to be, even if they are detrimental to the country and the world.”

18 April 2015

Uncommon Commentary #452: UC #450 Follow-Up

A bill is under congressional consideration which is intended to assert (to some degree) the Senate’s right to reject or to ratify our de-facto treaty with Iran.  A news article reads (with some corrections):
Under the bill, Obama could unilaterally lift or ease any sanctions that were imposed on Iran through presidential executive means.  But the bill would prohibit him for 60 days from suspending, waiving, or otherwise easing any sanctions that Congress levied on Iran.  During that 60-day period, Congress could hold hearings and approve, disapprove, or take no action on any final nuclear agreement with Iran.  If Congress passed a joint resolution approving a final deal -- or took no action -- Obama could move ahead to ease sanctions levied by Congress.  But if Congress passed a joint resolution disapproving it, Obama would be blocked from providing Iran with any relief from congressional sanctions.
Theoretically, he would be blocked; but what would prevent Emperor Nerobama [see the list of domanisms] from simply disregarding this law, just as he disregards the already-existing constitutional provision to which I alluded in the first sentence of this posting?  (This demonstrates the hopelessness of again trying to use legislation to enforce the Legislature’s prerogatives against an overweening president, and it further reveals a basic flaw in our political system.  The authors of the US Constitution seem to have proceeded from the assumption that those whom the people elect as their leaders will have no much respect for the workings of the government that they will obey the rules laid down by its founders.  But what if they don’t have such respect?  What if they’re abusers of authority, like the man who has turned the Oval Office into the Evil Office?  There is, of course, the potentiality of impeachment, as I mentioned in UC #450; but, were a president convicted of impeachment charges, how would we respond if he simply refused to relinquish his power?  We don’t have a federal police force that we could send in to arrest him.  Would civil war break out?)

10 April 2015

Uncommon Commentary #451: Why Should Anyone Called “Hillary” Be Cheerful?

(“Cheerful” is what “Hilary”—this being the correct spelling—means.  “Hillary” is the surname of the conqueror of Mount Everest.)
Some brownskirt (see the list of domanisms, below) alleges that it’s “sexist” to call Hillary [sic] Clinton by her first name (as has been done by, for example, the past-and-future-candidate’s own “Ready for Hillary” [sic] campaign).  “Clinton”, though, is her married name; isn’t it “sexist” to use that?  I suspect that the tendency to refer to the former First Lady by only her first name is either the result of a desire to avoid feminism-incited controversy, or a subconscious acknowledgement of the fact that (as I noted in a previous uncommon commentary), in our patrilineal culture, there really is no such thing as a feminine surname.  In any case, I have the solution to this pseudo-problem: Let’s start referring to her by a title instead.  I propose “Supreme Hag of the USA”.

06 April 2015

Uncommon Commentary #450: A Treaty, but Not a Treat

And so, we’ve negotiated with Iran the "framework" of an arrangement that evokes Neville Chamberlain’s “peace in our time” proclamation from 1938, and Emperor Nerobama’s administration still insists that said arrangement does not qualify as a treaty and therefore is not subject to approval or disapproval by the US Senate, contrary to the US Constitution. (If it’s not a treaty, what is it?)  The defects of our deal with the Deil (this latter word being the Scottish dialectical variant of “Devil”) have already been adequately discussed by pundits at reliable media like FoxNews.com, and so there’s no need for me to add my opinions here.  My primary purpose in this posting is to speculate: What can the Senate do to enforce its right to ratify, or reject ratification of, what obviously is a treaty?  The only option that I can see is to impeach Obama; this ought to have been done long ago, and may be feasible now that the Senate majority comprises Republicans, who, however, are undoubtedly haunted by the political consequences of their attempt to bring another abuser of presidential power, Bill Clinton, to justice.  Our congressional leaders may, therefore, lack the fortitude to do anything more than protest impotently against this latest, and perhaps most egregious yet, instance of executive overreach.