Burch: Bubba's dilemma, a Clint Eastwood moment

Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 9:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

Like most Nashvillians, I will never forget the terrible events of Sept. 11, 2001. I still vividly remember the carnage that day, as two planes destroyed the Twin Towers, another plane hit and damaged the Pentagon, and a fourth plane crashed into a field on its way to the White House, thanks to the heroics of the passengers of Flight 93.

However, unlike many Americans, I am not content to gullibly believe what I am told to believe, so I have never subscribed to the prevailing fiction that the United States was attacked because some “evil” people hate our freedoms and our values, and attacked us because we are “good,” out of sheer spite. Nor am I foolish enough to believe that Islamic jihadists are trying to “take over the world” when they don’t have the armies, navies and air forces required to conquer Spain, much less military superpowers like Israel and the United States.

So why were we attacked on 9/11?

I think the answer is quite simple, and to understand it requires only a little honest reflection on our part. I call it “Bubba’s dilemma.” Please allow me to have my Clint Eastwood moment and address an invisible American redneck.

“Bubba, think of the biggest, baddest man you know — the one you’d never want to tangle with in a million years. Now, what would happen if you mistreated and humiliated his brothers and sisters on a daily basis?”

“Duh, he’d kick my stupid butt!”

Exactly, Bubba.

Men like Osama bin Laden will never accept the bizarre idea that Jews and Christians should be allowed to harm completely innocent Palestinians because God favors Jews and Christians and it is their “Manifest Destiny” to tell other people where and how to live (and die).

Muslims get it, Bubba, and are able to read the handwriting on the wall. You’re the one with ADD.

So it’s long past time to “get a clue,” Bubba. If you care about your brothers and sisters, tell your stupid, evil government to stop harming theirs.

Please don’t get me wrong. The Americans who died on 9/11 were innocent. But their government and nation were far from innocent. Long before innocent Americans suffered and died, Palestinians suffered and many died, thanks to the policies and actions of the governments of Israel and the United States.

If we want peace, we need to understand human nature. Just as Americans will risk life and limb to defend Americans, so Muslims will risk life and limb to protect their loved ones. There is no way to escape this simple reality. If you want to live in peace don’t allow your government to harm and mistreat others.

Yes, it really is that simple, Bubba.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

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216 Comments on this post:

By: slacker on 9/14/12 at 4:55

Loner, thats right. And the band played on.

By: Loner on 9/14/12 at 4:57

Slack, those would be big shoes....thrown hard by an enraged and muscular hominid....a hit could be fatal.

Thanks Mike, for the reply. I agree, when you back a bully, you might get kicked in the shins...or the crotch.... by the victim's buddies.

By: Loner on 9/14/12 at 5:02

They straightened the deck chairs to account for the list to starboard.....and the DJ kept spinning the platters.....and they danced a listing dance.

By: slacker on 9/14/12 at 5:05

Burch I don't think the white settlers were that naive, they understood why the indians attacked them. The west was settled before you liberals started Kum by yahing.
Taking peoples land is dirty business, you don't scratch your head in amazement when they fight back.

By: slacker on 9/14/12 at 5:06

Gotta go. Hope everybody has a good weekend.

By: Mike Burch on 9/14/12 at 5:09

MusicCity615,

Before the US tried to rule the Middle East, the United Kingdom was the ruling entity. So there is a lot of animosity against the UK, just as there is against the US, for the same reasons.

Spain was a US ally in the war on terror and according to a TIME article, Spain was allowing captured "terrorists" to be transported to Spain prior to them being sent to their final destination. So the attacks on Spain could be motivated by anger against the arrest and torture of Muslims under highly dubious circumstances.

India and Pakistan have been at odds since the nations were formed, so the violence against India can also be explained as primarily political.

So again, most of the major acts of terrorism seem to be more about politics, and resistance to the bullying and domineering ways of nations like the US, UK, Israel and their allies.

No one can explain every act of terrorism. We have nuts who kill large numbers of people here in the US because they hear voices (like the Son of Sam) or because they hate the government (like Timothy McVeigh).

But the main focus of Islamic terrorism against the US and its allies is not religion, or some plan to "take over the world." The main focus has been clearly and repeatedly explained by the terrorists themselves. They strongly object to the injustices of the US and its allies in the Middle East, and they are willing to kill and die themselves to end those injustices.

By: Loner on 9/14/12 at 5:12

...the DJ shimmed up the turntable....and kept the platters spinning.... the listing ship was now unstable....but the dancers were still grinning....the Captain said, "the list is but perception"....every one was quite relieved to hear the skipper's deception.

By: bfra on 9/14/12 at 5:13

Romney wants Gene Hackman to play him in a movie. I think Pee Wee Herman would be much better suited.

By: Loner on 9/14/12 at 5:14

Have a great weekend, Slack...andthe same to everybody else on the board...I gotta go too.....Loner out.

By: Mike Burch on 9/14/12 at 5:16

Slacker,

You make an interesting point. Yes, I'm sure there were some fascists who knew exactly what they were doing, and why, and were honest enough to admit it. But we have to remember that the MAJORITY of white Americans have always been Christians, and Christians are not supposed to rob or kill innocent people.

So what happened to Native Americans and African Americans was against every precept of Christianity, unless the white Christians convinced themselves that they were the "victims" of the "aggression" of people with darker skin.

Were the majority of white Americans HONEST about the fact that they were robbers and murderers? No, I don't think so. I doubt that you can find many newspaper articles that say, "The Indians are attacking us because we are robbing them blind and killing their women and children."

Most white people like to think of themselves as good Christians, which means that they need to see themselves as being victims rather than abusers. We have the same problem in the Middle East today, as most Americans see themselves as the "good guys" and their victims as the aggressors.

By: Rasputin72 on 9/14/12 at 5:20

Mike Burch..........With that much academic knowledge of what the Muslims and their terrorist front people think, you should be able to come up with an academic remedy that will alleviate all of their demonic behavior towards the western world. (U.S.A)

By: Mike Burch on 9/14/12 at 5:22

bfra,

I think whoever plays Bishop Romney should wear a Richard Nixon mask. They're both space-alien creepy, although Romney is more presentable. Here are some of the strange things Bishop Romney has said ...

I bathe in statistics.

I love this state. The trees are the right height. The streets are just right.
I had catfish for the second time. It was delicious, just like the first time.
I am learning to say y'all and I like grits, and ... strange things are happening to me.
Morning, ya'll. I got started this morning right with a biscuit and some cheesy grits.
I was going to suggest to you that you serve your eggs with hollandaise sauce and hubcaps. Because there's no plates like chrome for the hollandaise.
These pancakes are about as large as my win in Puerto Rico last night, I must admit. The margin is just about as good.
Look at us in here! We are all nice together, all nice and wet, you know, like a can of sardines. ("Nice"?)
That's a big lava lamp, congratulations!
Davy, Davy Crockett. King of the wild frontier!
I'm an unofficial southerner.
Please give us a big hug, that's the girls. I've been getting hugs from the Southern girls ... from 12, to well, a lot more than 12.
I never imagined I'd be up here like Larry the Cable guy!
I love the hymns of America, by the way.

Corporations are people, my friend ... of course they are ... human beings, my friend.
Banks aren't bad people. They're just overwhelmed right now ... scared to death ... feeling the same thing that you're feeling.

We should double Guantanamo!
Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that.
Let Detroit go bankrupt.
I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back. (Referring to the auto industry he wanted to go bankrupt.)
I'm in this race because I care about Americans.
I'm not concerned about the very poor.
I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed. (Quite a story, indeed!)

[Russia] is without question our number one geopolitical foe. (Not true since the fall of the Iron Curtain and end of the Cold War.)

England is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn't make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. And if it hadn't been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler's ambitions. (The Romneybot insults our closest friend among the nations of the earth, ignoring the obvious fact that the US was protected from invasion by Germany and Japan by two large bodies of water. And what on earth is wrong with small houses? Many Americans live in small houses. Also, some of the most coveted things in the world are made in England, by companies like Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar and Lotus. Mitt Romney's father ran AMC, which produced lackluster cars like the Pacer and Javelin. Perhaps the Romneybot should try computing facts rather than fiction, for a change.)

I must admit, I can’t imagine anything more awful than polygamy. (Not rape, incest, murder, infanticide, matricide or genocide?)
I like the Twilight series. I thought that was fun.(We assume he thinks the Cold Ones are comedians; well, perhaps compared to him, they are.)
Who let the dogs out? Who, who? (During an awkward photo op with a group of African Americans kids.)

By: yogiman on 9/14/12 at 5:37

Loner,

Before you go to bed, tell me, when has Israel ever started a war? I can't remember them starting one since they become a nation in 1948. But the nations around them have been attacking them almost like clock work since they became a nation.

What do you think they should do, give give Israel to their enemies? If your neighbors were thrown stones at you every day, what would you do, give them you home and move away?

By: bfra on 9/14/12 at 5:45

Mike - Romney & that Raspy poster should get along just fine, they both blow a big wind.

By: yogiman on 9/14/12 at 5:46

When did all races become one, Loner? I was taught there was 4 races on this earth.

It's pretty obvious they've been mixed together in different ways, but there can never be only one race unless one race eliminates all the others.

By: MusicCity615 on 9/14/12 at 5:50

Mike,

for you to say that Al Qaeda and the Taliban do not have religious motivations is purely inaccurate. It is their main motivation.

By: Loner on 9/14/12 at 7:10

Nice anthology of Romneyisms, Mike....thanks.

Remember the "Freedom Fries"?

In 2012, loyal Republicans should be eating and promoting Oscar Mayer wieners.... with Grey Poupon....the carnivorous conservatives could call it the, " Willard Wiener".....Paul Ryan, former Oscar Mayer Wiener-mobile Pilot and GOP VP pick, could put on a paper Oscar Mayer Wiener cap and serve the tasty tycoon--tube-steaks at the GOP rallies.....FDR promised a chicken in every pot.....the GOP ticket should vow to stuff a wiener into every bun.....of course, mother's apple pie would be served after the wiener goes down.....and Coca-Cola would wash it all down.....Willard & Wieners...that's the hot dog ticket that America loves to bite....just a suggestion to my Republican friends.

By: Loner on 9/14/12 at 7:18

If Willard & Wieners get in, our buns will be toast...so the Willard Wiener will be served on a toasted bun...and of course, smothered in Grey Poupon.

I'm doing my best to help my GOP buddies out....I hate to see a landslide.

By: Mike Burch on 9/14/12 at 7:27

Loner,

While we're having a bit of fun while waiting for the Republicans to accomplish their secret mission and end life on earth, here are some Romney nicknames you might find amusing, including a few I coined myself:

Bain in the Ass (David Letterman's #1)
King of Bain (Newt Gingrich)
Mitt the Twit (The Sun of London)
Mittler (LGBT community)
Mitt Rotney (Maxine Waters)
Pander Bear
Mitt the Ripper
The Romneybot
Pac-Man (Young Turks, pun on Political Action Committees)
Multiple Choice Mitt
Romney Hood (President Obama)
Mighty Mormon Power Ranger
Book of Moron (Young Turks, pun on the Book of Mormon)
The Mormonator (David Letterman)
Captain Ameri-con (Mike Burch)
Decepticon (Young Turks)
Rigger Mortis (Mike Burch)
Wrong-Way Romney (Mike Burch)
Mitt Robme (Mike Burch)
Med-evil Mitt (Mike Burch, pun on Dark Age thinking and evil medical plans)
Mitt Twitter (Mike Burch)
Willard Fillmore (Mike Burch)
Stuporman (Mike Burch)

Possible Names for Mitt's Band

Romney and the Romulans
The Empty Suits
The Sexless Mittens (Mike Burch)
Mitt the Flopple (Mike Burch)
The Cayman Chameleons (Mike Burch)
Band on the Take (Mike Burch)
The Wheedles (Mike Burch)

Possible Hit Songs

You're So Bain
Nowhere Man
Mr. Roboto
Lawyers in Love
We Don't Need No Education
I Started a Joke
Money ("Money / It's a gas / Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash ...")

By: Mike Burch on 9/14/12 at 7:43

MusicCity615,

You said, "For you to say that Al Qaeda and the Taliban do not have religious motivations is purely inaccurate. It is their main motivation."

I didn't say they have no religious motivations. I simply pointed out that their main reason for attacking the US is not religious, but a response to wild injustices on the part of the US and Israel (and to a lesser degree, their allies). The goal of their terrorism is clearly to get the US and its allies to stop interfering with and bullying Muslim nations.

If you read what the terrorists have said themselves, you can easily verify this. For instance, when the Seals grabbed Osama bin Laden's computer files, in his instructions to his field commanders, he told them not to discuss local issues, but always the plight of the Palestinians, because this is a unifying theme in the Muslim world. But it is a political issue, not a religious issue.

The religious motivation of Islamic fundamentalists is primarily to create Islamic governments ON THEIR OWN TURF. It is self-evident that no Muslim nation has the navy, air force or troop transports to invade and subdue Spain, much less the UK or USA. So the idea that they are trying to "take over the world" at this moment in time is incredibly silly, although this is what a lot of people in the South seem to believe.

The acts of Islamic terrorism against the West are attempts to force the West to leave the Middle East alone. Again, you can verify this by reading what the terrorists themselves have said.

By: Mike Burch on 9/14/12 at 7:51

Rasputin72,

If you were going to caution white settlers on how to avoid being massacred, what would you remedy be?

If you were going to caution southerners about how to avoid the Civil War, what would your remedy be?

If you were going to caution Germans about how to avoid being destroyed during WWII, what would your remedy be?

In each case, if the aggressors had not made life so miserable and hopeless for other men's loved ones, war could have been avoided. In the Middle East, the aggressors have been the UK, the USA and Israel. The resulting acts of terrorism have been a response to wild injustices by three military superpowers.

The remedy that I propose is for the US to withdraw its troops from the Middle East, to stop providing money and weapons to fascist regimes in the region (like Israel), and let the people in the region work out their differences among themselves. Then if something goes wrong, everyone won't blame us.

This is not an "academic" solution but I think it would have been endorsed by wise men like Will Rogers and Mark Twain, who pointed out that we can hardly manage our own affairs, much less those of other nations.

By: Mike Burch on 9/14/12 at 7:58

Yogi,

When did Israel start a war?

In 1895, long before the Holocaust or any act of Islamic terror against Jews, Theodr Herzl (the founder of modern Zionism) wrote down his plan to ethnically cleanse his proposed Jewish state of Arabs, in his diary. Herzl kept detailed diaries so we know what he was thinking, saying and doing.

Herzl's plan was simple but diabolical. He said that he intended to deny Arabs jobs, which would leave them "penniless." He would then conspire with the landlords to evict them from their homes, and "spirit" them outside the Jewish state to transit nations.

This was a declaration of war against the Arabs, and also a recipe for ethnic cleansing.

When the Palestinian Arabs understood what the Zionists planned to do to them, of course they resisted and fighting broke out. But what would Texans do, if people from another nation decided to move in, and rob them of their jobs and homes? Of course Texans would grab their guns and fight to protect their culture, way of life and families.

So it is vastly hypocritical for Americans to condemn Arabs for doing what we would have done ourselves.

By: Loner on 9/14/12 at 10:18

Very clever, Mike.

If Willard had a band, it would be a 4-man Judeo-Christian heavy metal band ...."Depleted Uranium" would be an apt name for the group. Willard would handle the vocals (screaming) and Wieners Ryan would perform the drumming duties....Bibi Netanyahu on bass....Sheldon Adelson on keyboards.

Depleted Uranium would perform metalized covers like, "Spirit in the Sky" and "Oh come, oh come, Emanuel".....plus their original stuff like "Liberating the Homeland"...."The Jehovah Boogie"...."Jesus was a Zionist"......"Likud Love"...."LSD or LDS?"....."Draft-dodging Blues"....."Canaanites and Lamanites"...."Lost Tribes"...."Nephite Revenge" and of course, "Golden Tablets".

By: Loner on 9/14/12 at 10:26

Willard would do the screaming and play lead guitar while the others bobble their heads violently.....keeping the beat with their skulls. Their costumes would be that of IDF storm troopers...war paint on their faces...lots of smoke and pyrotechnics in their performances....poor Palestinian boys, scarred by IDF white phosphorous, would serve as their underpaid and abused roadies.

By: Loner on 9/14/12 at 10:46

Mike, are you aware of the 2004 Joint Declaration of Buenos Aires?

Here's the story, as reported in an Israeli newspaper, Haaretz:

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/catholic-church-equates-anti-zionism-with-anti-semitism-1.128060

Headline: Catholic Church equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. By Shlomo Shamir | Jul.09, 2004 | 12:00 AM

Snippet:

The Catholic Church condemned anti-Zionism as a cover for anti-Semitism in a joint statement issued by a forum of Catholic-Jewish intellectuals this week. The announcement was made at a gathering of religious, academic and other leading Jewish and Catholic figures in Buenos Aires.

"We oppose anti-Semitism in any way and form, including anti-Zionism that has become of late a manifestation of anti-Semitism," the statement said.

Senior Jewish figures called the announcement a significant, public statement of support by the Catholic Church in the face of anti-Zionism. "In the past, Zionism was equated with racism, and this statement turns anti-Zionism statements to a form of racism," a Jewish leader said in New York. (End snippet.)

Mike, this means that Theodor Herzl was elevated to the status of the Gospel writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul....Catholics are now to believe Herzl, just as they are commanded to believe the Gospel writers, or be guilty of committing the mortal sin of anti-Semtism.

Mike, we should invest in stained glass windows of Theodor Herzl..."Der Judenstaat" in hand....for the Catholic churches.....the market is HUGE.

By: yogiman on 9/15/12 at 7:24

Correct me if I'm wrong, Mike. I've always thought a war was a conflict with arms. So if the Arabs didn't like what Herzi was thinking and fired the first shot, they started a war of physical conflict.

By: Rasputin72 on 9/15/12 at 7:46

Mike Burch.......You know what I would be telling the white settlers and the Germans. "There is a good chance that you are going to be massacred shortly." To the white settlers I would say. "You can hightall it back to Europe or you can run the risk of death for the reward you think you will get with all this "free land" "It is your choice." "The Indians are just trying to hold on to what they have." One other option would be to wait until there are enough of you that the Indians are a minority as press westward." "With your superior weaponry and larger numbers you should be able to reduce greatly the chance of being massacred."

To the Indians I would say, "It is 1676 and I admire your will to keep your culture and your way of life alive." I must warn you however that over the next 100 years the population of white settlers in north to south from what will be known as Maine to Georgia and east to west for 200 milles from the seacoast will be 13 million." "If every tribe in that region were to unite the numbers would probably be less than 400,000."

"Try to make yourself comfortable as you prepare to die or be forced into an existence that is beyond anything you can imagine."

Since the beginning of mankind,those that are the strongest and most powerful have carved the future of mankind."

Life among humans is not about fairness it is about power, physical power,mental power,human power,sheer numbers power and of the last 100 years financial power.

The Obamas will come and go,Romneys will come and go but "power" will always dicatate the direction of mankind.

Rome fell as the population of freed slaves and slaves outnumbered the citizenry. It was the lack of intellect on the part of this slave group that finally brought Rome to its knees and the empire fell. In the United States we have reached the first plateau of a growing and angry underclass. This population thinks the answer is to behead and remove 1% of the population.. Only an underclass mind would be able to rationalize such bullshit.

Only a fool would believe that any action on the part of mankind could stop 2000 years of hatred between the Muslims and the Jews.

You are right on however about the remedy. The United States should get their behinds out of the middle east and let these people settle it themselves. Now there would be a reaction as there always is to any action and I surmise that oil prices would skyrocket but I am not so sure that this is a bad thing.

By: Mike Burch on 9/15/12 at 10:47

Loner,

I suspect you're right. And the right wing loonies would love "Depleted Uranium."

By: Mike Burch on 9/15/12 at 10:51

Yogi,

Someone who plans a crime and has other people execute it is called a criminal mastermind. So when Herzl plotted and wrote down his master plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, he put the whole thing in motion. It is not wrong to defend oneself and one's family from being robbed of the stuff of life: land, water, homes, etc. So what the Arabs did was a defensive act, and Americans would have done the same thing under similar circumstances.

The Zionists started the war by acting as if Arabs were insects to be swept aside from their path.

By: Mike Burch on 9/15/12 at 11:15

Rasputin, you said:

"Try to make yourself comfortable as you prepare to die or be forced into an existence that is beyond anything you can imagine."

This sounds like what Bobby Knight advised female rape victims: "If rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it." But men are able to control their sexual desire, and they are also able to control their desire to own and control everything they see. What happened to Native Americans did not have to happen. It was no more inevitable than me raping someone you love. I have never raped anyone and am sure that I never will. So I disagree with your logic although the problem of the strong raping and pillaging the weak obviously exists. I just think we can do much better, as individuals and as a nation.

You said, "Since the beginning of mankind,those that are the strongest and most powerful have carved the future of mankind."

This is not entirely true. Gandhi transformed India through nonviolent actions and MLK and Mandela did similar things in the USA and South Africa. Thinking people have been transforming human culture through the power of words for thousands of years. Today people who respect Gandhi, Einstein, MLK and Mandela vastly outnumber those who respect powermongers like Hitler and Stalin. This is largely due to the work of many great poets and singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan and John Lennon.

You said, "Life among humans is not about fairness it is about power, physical power,mental power,human power,sheer numbers power and of the last 100 years financial power."

Again, this is not entirely true. The Hebrew prophets, Jesus Christ and the apostles spoke of the need for compassion and social justice and works of charity. You seem to side with the fascists who believe that might is right. But half the human race, women, would disagree with you, and say that life is about nurturing life, love, compassion, and achieving positive goals.

You said, "The Obamas will come and go,Romneys will come and go but 'power' will always dicatate the direction of mankind."

I disagree. You underestimate the power of culture, of human opinion as it evolves, and of writers, singer-songwriters, artists and actors to change human ideals. Human beings are not as savage as they were during the days of child sacrifice. The human race has clearly been evolving, in terms of ideals and culture. But our governments often fall short of the best ideals. Therein lies the problem. But even so, modern governments are not currently dealing out the carnage that led to 70 million deaths in WWII, or millions of deaths during the purges of Stalin.

You said, "Rome fell as the population of freed slaves and slaves outnumbered the citizenry. It was the lack of intellect on the part of this slave group that finally brought Rome to its knees and the empire fell."

This sounds like something one would hear in a hate group like the KKK. Blaming slaves for the destruction of Rome is like blaming Jews for the destruction of Germany. Rome overextended itself, as did Nazi Germany. No one has enough money and power to control the world, because the world is too big and the more people one conquers, the more they resist and rebel. If Germany had won WWII, it would have still collapsed from the strain of ruling over so many people so unjustly.

You said, "Only a fool would believe that any action on the part of mankind could stop 2000 years of hatred between the Muslims and the Jews."

Was Albert Einstein a "fool"? He pointed out correctly that there had not been 2,000 years of hatred between Muslims and Jews. This is another myth. During long periods of time when the Jews lived under Muslim administration in Palestine, Turkey and other nations, there was peace. It was only when Zionist Jews chose to take over Palestine by hook, crook and wild force that the current hostilities began.

You said, "You are right on however about the remedy. The United States should get their behinds out of the middle east and let these people settle it themselves. Now there would be a reaction as there always is to any action and I surmise that oil prices would skyrocket but I am not so sure that this is a bad thing."

It's interesting that we disagree on everything else, but still agree on the solution. Perhaps that's because the solution is mostly common sense. I don't think the price of oil would go up permanently. Whoever ends up in power will want to sell oil, so it really doesn't matter who runs things, from that perspective. The price of oil shot up when the US invaded Iraq ... if the US hadn't invaded Iraq the resulting 10-year global recession might not have happened.

The idea that might is right, and that the US has the "right" to attack other nations "just because" has been incredibly expensive for Iraq, the US and the world. It is your belief that led to the fall of Rome and Nazi Germany. It is your belief that threatens the collapse of the US through bankruptcy. It is common sense that we ought to not use military power except to defend ourselves, and to avoid harming other people so that they don't want to harm us in return.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/15/12 at 12:08

Mike sure has Rasputin peg.

By: yogiman on 9/15/12 at 12:09

Mike,

You can sit down and draw up as many plans as you wish on any subject, against anyone or anything, but unless you initiate the action, you didn't start it. You only thought of it.

By: govskeptic on 9/15/12 at 12:10

What a disgusting bunch of garbage and antisemitism. That story should
headline:: I am bubba because I have my head up my @ss . The original
portion attempts to state factual simple reason as the one and only
truth, but does not. Then it takes multiple additional postings from the
author to state the too often: I'm right, you are right, and all will be OK
in the world if our foolishness sticks. Forget it, this country will never
swallow the Obama-Burch mentality or methods if survival means anything.

By: Mike Burch on 9/15/12 at 1:15

Yogi,

If no one associated with Hitler had ever acted on his ideas, you could make the case that Hitler was just another zany thinker, not a criminal mastermind. But once people associated with Hitler began to rob Jews of their land, houses, property, freedom and human rights, both Hitler and his henchmen were guilty of terrible crimes that in the end led to WWII and the Holocaust.

in the same way, the people Herzl brought together and persuaded to invade and conquer Palestine (the Zionists) did commit terrible crimes, acting under the plan devised by Herzl. The plan was to deny Palestinian Arabs jobs, leave them penniless and so rob them of their land, houses, property, freedom and human rights.

Herzl and the Zionists did EXACTLY what Hitler and the Nazis did, operating under the same racist, fascist idea that they were "superior" to their victims, and therefore were entitled to rob, embezzle and even murder them, when they got it the way.

If you came up with such a plan and people in your family tried to implement the plan, endangering the lives of my loved ones, I would have every right to defend myself and my family. I would not be the criminal, even if I fired the first shot. All I would have to do is prove that I was the target of a criminal mastermind and his henchmen.

By: Rasputin72 on 9/15/12 at 1:24

Mike Burch, I do not disagree that mankind should be gentler and fairer. I do not side with fascist,negroes,,jews,christians,nazis,muslims or anyone else. I only look at History.If there was a period of peace in the middle east it was because one party had acquired more power. Underneath that period of peace was a group of people seething with anger.

By the way,you asked me what I would have told the Germans when they were being bombed into temporary oblivion. "You fellows picked a bad horse to ride." (Hitler) The next two or three decades are not going to go your way."

I realize that among your items of expertise is "holocaust poetry. I am surprised that you have not recognized that human behavior has not changed very much in the last 2000 years. Atrocities,greed and mayhem have become more sophisticated I would agree but never the human desire for more and more and more at whatever loss of conscience dictates.

I actually wish that we all had your attitude towards fairness but you are nothing but a voice in wilderness of the human desire for "power".

The underclass in this country is hungry for what the productive class has and the productive class is becoming a minority. You are going to see some real change in the culture of this country but it is certainly not going to be like your vision of the future.

"There were those of my generation who lived their entire lives in Camelot" I was fortunate to be one of them."

I attribute this epitaph strictly to power. The power of the United States to have escaped WWII with the spoils of victory. All of the middle class jobs and the rise of a depression based populace could not have been possible without power.

The people of the world and the growing underclass in this country are hungry for what the productive class of the world has. You are too bright not to see what is coming in the future.

You are young enough that you very likely will experience a thug with the morals of a June Bug and an IQ of a gerbel will do harm to you or someone dear to you. It may be physical or it may be through discrimination or even public humiliation but if you live long enough the people you defend shall stick it up your do-good well intended butt.

I am sure you remember the road signs as a child "Jesus Christ is coming be ready,"

Well, The Vile,the Angry and the Underclass are coming be ready" Right now people like you are an ally to their anger and the envy. You really don't have anything in common with these people and when your rhetoric for fairness is no longer of value to them you will become nothing but cannon fodder and ridicule.

I have become a cynic through experience but it may come as a surprise to you but I wish with all my heart that you are correct about the future. I may not be around to give you any plaudits but being proved wrong will be just fine.

By: Mike Burch on 9/15/12 at 1:26

govskeptic,

I think it's just common sense that if you want peace with ANY other man, you should't humiliate and abuse his loved ones on a daily basis. But that is what Israel does to Palestinian women and children. The US funds and supports this new Holocaust, the Nakba, earning the enmity of the Muslim world, for completely understandable reasons.

Is it "garbage" and antisemitism to say that Americans should not provide billions of dollars and advanced weapons to a nation that denies millions of completely innocent Palestinian women and children equal rights, freedom and the stuff of life?

Gullible Americans believe Israel's ludicrous claims that it is only "defending" itself. But the facts prove this is a lie. What is the military purpose of destroying tens of thousands of houses, olive trees and chickens OUTSIDE the borders of Israel?

What is the military purpose of building "defensive walls" and then, instead of bringing Jewish civilians inside the safety of the walls, instead exporting hundreds of thousands of Jews outside Israel's borders, as "settlers," where they need a huge military force to protect them while they steal land and water from poor Palestinian farm families, and destroy their olive groves and their houses, and divert their drinking water to Jewish swimming pools and lawns?

There is no "defensive" purpose to such things. Israel is clearly and blatantly continuing its methodical ethnic cleansing of the West Bank, while keeping the refugees in Gaza at bay by strafing them if they protest being treated like animals.

By: Mike Burch on 9/15/12 at 1:49

Rasputin72,

I'm glad to hear that you don't side with the racists and fascists.

One of the problems we have in the US is this strange idea that we can evolve in terms of racism and the anger it produces, but other people can't. Not so very long ago, we had people of both colors seething with anger against each other. Today there are still some people like that, but most of us are happy to get along better as long as just, nonracist laws maintain order.

It turns out that it was the unjust system, moreso than the nature of the seethers, that was the main problem all along. I think this is also true in Israel/Palestine. As you pointed out, during periods of time when there was law and order, and some degree of justice, there was less racial violence. But when the government of Israel began its pogrom of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, of course violence erupted. I have nothing against Jews, but if the Jews of Tennessee tried to ethnically cleanse non-Jews, I and nearly all Tennesseans would oppose them.

Racism is obviously a factor, but the far larger factors is the fairness of the system of government, laws and courts.

What you would have told the Germans is basically what I have been saying in my articles: the GOP is a bad horse to ride, because it has the same racist, fascist sentiments and passions as Hitler and the Nazis.

I think we disagree in that I maintain that human culture has changed dramatically over the last 2,000 years. Most of the world has abolished child sacrifice, slavery, the burning of women as witches, the burning of heretics at the stake over items of religious dogma, etc.

If we study facts, we can see that human culture has been evolving, and quite rapidly. In 1776 the US was the only nation founded on the principle that the common man was as good as any king or lord. Today most of the world embraces this idea to some degree.

I also disagree that "power" is the only factor that matters. Power is an important factor. But if it was the only factor, the strongest men would still be taking their pick of the most attractive women, and raping them. Human culture has a lot to do with what is permissible, even for the strongest men.

If the GOP continues its plan to essentially free the top 1% of earners from all federal income taxes, by eliminating taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends, then I think the 99% may soon be rioting in the streets.

If we establish a system that is more economically just, and allow everyone a chance to share in the national bounty, then I think those riots may be avoided. In other words, it is the stupidity and evil of the people with the most to lose that endangers them, and us. If the lower income classes have more money to spend, the people who own the businesses they buy from will flourish, and the stockholders will benefit too.

I think Bill Clinton is right that it all boils down to math. The GOP's math doesn't add up, which isn't surprising because its leaders are morons. The Democrats have a better plan, which is to stop the transfer of all the nation's wealth to the top 1%. This means somewhat higher taxes for the richest Americans, which they can easily afford, sensible investments to stimulate the economy, and reduced spending on our already-bloated military, while ending trillion dollar wars and not starting new ones.

No one can say if such efforts will succeed, or to what degree, but the GOP "plan" is a recipe for disaster.

By: Mike Burch on 9/15/12 at 1:53

Nemo,

I think I and Rasputin72 may not be so far apart, in what we hope for. Where we seem to disagree most is that he thinks power is everything, while I think human culture and opinion put limits on power. In other words, he is more cynical and I am more optimistic. But in any case, I'm glad to hear that he doesn't side with the racists and fascists.

Mike

By: yogiman on 9/15/12 at 3:04

Mike,

I agree with you to a point, but not all the way. The people of Germany didn't just read about Hitler's idea and put it in action. They operated on his orders after he took over the government.

As I've said, ideas are just thoughts until put into action, but the one who thinks of the ideas, those ideas are just thoughts.

Now, looking at the facts, Mike, the USA is following Germany's path of destruction today. Hitler was not a German citizen but the people picked him to be their leader because he convinced them he was the "man for the job". He formed his personal army by the ignorance of the people before he took over the government as dictator.

Barack Obama is not Constitutionally eligible to serve in our President's office, but the people accepted him by vote even though he could not be legally elected. Following his inauguration speech, he is quietly building his army today.

The biggest difference between Hitler and Obama is the people actually knew Hitler. The people on the USA do not know Obama. They don't actually know his legitimacy, they don't know where he was born, they don't know if he's an American citizen or a citizen of another nation and he has refused to present any proof to date.

I know you and your "poster buddies" on this site see me as a damned old fool but I'll say again, If he follows up and usurps that office again, you can kiss the USA goodbye.

By: yogiman on 9/15/12 at 4:21

Well, well. As truth has prevailed throughout history, it looks like Barry Soetoro aka Barack Obama exposed himself more yesterday.

He made a comment in a campaign rally in Golden, Colo. yesterday when he said; "Let's face it, a mixed kid from Hawaii born to a single mom is not likely to become president of the United States. But in America it can happen because of education, because somebody gave me the opportunity."

I'm wondering who gave him that opportunity. So hang in there, folks, the truth will prevail, but it might be too late to be sorry when the truth does prevail.

By: Ask01 on 9/15/12 at 4:31

I understand the point you are attempting to make Mike, but I have some reservations.

The problem is, even if actions by the US government, corporate America, and wealthy industrialists have handed the middle east the crappy end of a very short stick, the vast majority of American citizens had, and likely still have, no clue as to why the Islamic world hates us.

The reason being the average citizen has no input regarding government, corporate and private actions exploiting Middle Eastern nations and no effective mechanism to realistically alter the designs of those orchestrating the actions.

What "Bubba," the middle and lower income classes, do see and understand, is average America, not government officials, corporate executives, and wealthy entepreneurs, is under attack. "Bubba" feels, I believe, as much a victim of the Big Three I named as co-conspirators as anyone else. All "Bubba" wishes is to be left alone and not have to worry about people attacking him for the actions of others over whom he, in reality, has little control.

While some in the Middle East may feel justified in attacking common Americans in retributive strikes for real or perceived wrongs, they are not acheiving their goal, as the average American feels anger and a need to strike back with equal or even greater force, thus perpetuating the cycle of violence.

I propose the dilemma is not "Bubba's" as it is "Achmed's." While committing acts of terror such setting off bombs to kill those unconnected with wrongs may work in their culture, in the "Bubba" culture such just riles up people, making them even less concerned with how mistreated you believe you were.

Which, in the final analysis, is why there will never be peace in that region, and the average "Bubba" believes we need to bomb them out of existance or isolate them until they wipe each other out.

In other words, this is one of those problems with no solutions.

By: Mike Burch on 9/16/12 at 2:06

Ask01,

What you seem to be saying is that Americans should not have gone to war with and killed Germans, because most Germans didn't fully understand why Germany was attacking and killing people of other nations.

But that makes no sense. It is the aggressor who needs to stop acts of aggression. Achmed didn't come to the US to control our government and oil fields. If it were not for US interference in the Middle East, there would have been acts of terrorism against the US.

The US acted first. The US became involved in the internal affairs of Middle Eastern countries, and provided money and weapons to a series of despots. The US was the aggressor.

So it makes no sense to blame Achmed for not putting up with things that Americans would not put up with.

When the German people elected Nazis and allowed the Nazis to start attacking other nations, the German people bore the brunt of the retaliation. Now the American public is paying the penalty for putting warmongers like GWB, Cheney and Rumsfeld in positions of power. Nor has the American public learned its lesson, because Romney has the same neocon advisers who launched the attack on Iraq, and they clearly want to do the same thing to Iran.

By: Ask01 on 9/16/12 at 3:22

I believe you are comparing apples and oranges, Mike.

In the case of Germany, the average German knew exactly what was happening as far as the invasion of Poland, the annexation of Austria, and other overt actions undertaken by their government. They knew when Allied bombers flew overhead why they were there, and why Allied forces were taking over their cities

Additionally, we sent military to engage military, and for the most part, tried to avoid civilian populations at least in the initial stages. (Yes, civilians were targeted during bombings of cities, but we were engaged in a declared war at that point.)

What we have happening regarding Middle East terrorism is not a government attacking us openly, with at least a facade of some sort of rules of engagement guiding the selection of specific military targets, but a group of thugs terrorizing civilians who have no idea why they are being attacked, and who actually harbored no ill will towards the peoples of the Middle East.

As far as providing aid to various groups, I will point out that throughout history, nations have frequently aided other nations or groups when such actions served their national puposes.

The bottom line for me is, if a specific nation has an issue with America, they need to openly declare war and conduct operations openly against military targets. Sneaking around, hiding in shadows, hiding behind skirts and baby carriages, attacking civilians who, as I said before have no idea why they are being targeted.

I personally would love for America to get out of the Middle East where we are not wanted, taking all of our money and everything we have built with us. Of course, we don't want them to run rampant so we would need to keep an eye on the undisciplined, often despotic rabble, but we have technology allowing us to do so from afar. I would love to see us develop alternative energy sources so the oil producing countries could drown in their own oil since no one wanted the stuff.

We do need to learn from past countries experiences dealing with these people. For the most part, every Western nation which has become involved in this region has had problems. I knew when we first deployed to the area during Desert Storm we were opening a can of worms and even when I retired, I feared we were not finished, nor would be for decades to come.

If Middle Eastern terrorist engage in random acts of sensless terror against the American people who have no idea why they are being attacked, I do advocate retaliation, escalating force until they decide the cost is too high.

Sorry Mike, I normally agree with you, but this time, I must respectfully disagree.

By: Rasputin72 on 9/16/12 at 8:29

Mike Burch,

I am delighted but befuddled that you see an evolving scent of goodness,fairness and mercy among mankind. As I stated earlier I am hopeful but not optimistic that you are right.

Let me tell you what I see on a descending side of morality and civiized behavior in my lifetime.

As a child of the 50's and 60's here in Nashville I remember that no one locked their doors at night. I remember people leaving their keys in the car without a thought of what might happen. I remember hitchhiking to town perhaps as many as 60 to 70 times from age 10 to 16 without ever being refused a ride or having been picked up by someone that I could think of today as a pervert. (Town in those days was the center of the local universe.) nine movie theaters,museums,toy stores and ice cream stores,the orange bar and of course Candyland and the old black & chrome Krystals. Never remember having any trouble at any of these places.

I went to a public school one of the toughest in town for several years. I never saw a policeman in the halls nor do I ever remember seeing a police car drive up to that school. I never remember having to have policemen at a football or basketball game.A 5ft 6inch Principal could bring the toughest of the tough to his seat with the tone of his voice. An "old maid" school teacher could control a class of 25 testosterone driven teenage boys with the ease of a master horsewoman. Being sent to the Principals office for any student was the equivalent of the :Green Mile" in terms of embarrassment for every student.

I never saw a gun in school, I never heard a conversation about a gun. I never saw dope and drugs. I never saw anyone with an interest in drugs or dope. I never saw anyone that was not dressed appropriately and cleanl. I never heard of head lice.
Less than 2% of our school population was on the free lunch program. Our school probably had the second highest percentage in the City school system, Today I understand that it runs close to 63% throughout the Davidson Count school system.

I ,in my wildest imagination could not imagine sending my children or grandchildren to a MNPS. My apologies to Hume Fogg and Julia Green

By the way I do not advocate power as my criteria for success I only see it as the historical manner in which mankind evolves. Power as I stated comes in many forms and while I salute you for having faith in mankind I will continue to think that you are looking at the future through either a induced haze or rose colored glasses.

What you are seeing in Libya with the burning and pillaging is less than 25 years away from happening in this country as the underclass becomes the majority. Once they find out that their wants and needs can no longer be provided adequately by the taxation of the productive class you are going to see mayhem in the highest order.

This vision for myself is nothing new and creative. History has over and over again proven that the power of the majority good and bad shall dictate their fate.

By: yogiman on 9/16/12 at 11:01

Mike,

Are we to presume the attack (war) Obama ordered on Libya without congressional approval was [Bush and Cheney] faults?

By: Mike Burch on 9/16/12 at 12:57

Ask01,

It seems you are saying that Germans were better informed about what their government was doing, and why, than most Americans are about their government's actions in the Middle East. That may well be true, but does it matter? If you kill people by sheer evil or stupidity, does it matter to the people who are dying. I tend to agree with Oscar Wilde, who said that the only sin is stupidity. Evil is just one form of stupidity. So I don't think Americans get a free pass to cause other people to suffer and die unjustly, whether they do so knowingly or out of ignorance.

I believe more than 500,000 children died in Iraq BEFORE the invasion, due to economic sanctions, and that more than 100,000 people died after the invasion, with millions being displaced. If the US tried not to harm civilians, it didn't succeed.

And there are 6 to 7 million Palestinian refugees who were ethnically cleansed from their homes in Palestine, and the US has provided more than $130 billion in aid to the Jewish neo-Nazis who robbed them of their land, homes, human rights and freedom.

The US gave money and weapons to Saddam Hussein, which he used to attack Iran, resulting in more than a million deaths.

So it is hard to credit the idea that the US government is concerned with civilians in the Middle East.

Do we have any room to complain about "a group of thugs terrorizing civilians who have no idea why they are being attacked, and who actually harbored no ill will towards the peoples of the Middle East" when our government is a group of thugs who fund and support terrorism on a massive scale in the Middle East?

Yes, "nations have frequently aided other nations or groups when such actions served their national purposes." That doesn't make funding and supporting terrorism by fascists regimes right, or without consequences. What you are saying is like saying, "In the past other nations allowed slavery, so there was nothing wrong with American slavery." That makes no sense to me. Other men in the past have beaten their wives, but I don't use their bad behavior as an excuse to beat my wife. I try to treat her the way she deserves to be treated. I think our government should treat Muslim women and children the way they deserve to be treated, not like pawn in a game of Cosmic Chess.

You said, "The bottom line for me is, if a specific nation has an issue with America, they need to openly declare war and conduct operations openly against military targets. Sneaking around, hiding in shadows, hiding behind skirts and baby carriages, attacking civilians who, as I said before have no idea why they are being targeted."

That seems astonishingly naive to me. Muslim nations do not have the military capability to take on Israel and the US in head-to-head combat. When the American founding fathers were fighting the superior British forces, they sometimes hid behind trees and shot British troops in the back, rather than meeting them face-to-face on the battlefield. If our ancestors had marched army against army in open warfare, they would have lost and we would still be part of the United Kingdom.

As with Rasputin, it's interesting that we disagree on everything else, but agree on the solution.

I would, however, question your use of the word "rabble." We have millions of war-hungry people here in the US. At the Republican debates, when Ron Paul spoke about avoiding war he was booed, and when the other candidates talked tough about war with Iran, they were cheered. I think our "rabble" is more dangerous than any overseas rabble, because our rabbles controls much more money, power and nukes.

I also disagree with your use of "these people." If Americans went anywhere else in the world and tried to use money, influence and military power to bully other people, we would see the same results. We tried such tactics in Vietnam and they didn't work there either. The problem is not that Muslims are so different from other people. The problem is that they sit on top of most of the world's lowest-cost oil, and this makes our government long to control the region and its people.

If the oil was in China and we tried to control China and its people, we would have acts of Chinese terrorism against Americans. This is not a "Muslim thing," although many Americans want to believe that, because it makes them feel better about themselves and their country.

I disagree that Middle Eastern terrorists "engage in random acts of sensless terror against the American people."

It is not "senseless" to defend one's women, children and way of life from invaders. Sitting Bull did the same things for the same reasons. He and his people were victims of white supremacists. Now you sound like a white supremacist, ignoring the real reasons for the conflict and suggesting that the real victims should either submit or meet us on the battlefield, to be quickly wiped out. Perhaps that isn't what you mean, but I think that is where your suggestions lead.

You say, "I do advocate retaliation, escalating force until they decide the cost is too high."

Gandhi pointed out that "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."

If you are abusing my wife and children, should you keep escalating the force until I decide the cost is too high, and submit to your abuse? Or should you stop the abuse, in which case we might be able to live in peace?

I think your logic falls apart, because it is fascism to say that "might is right" and the victims of abuse must submit to their abusers. That is what Hitler believed. Most people today believe that equality and justice are better than fascism. But our government has been practicing fascism in the Middle East, and funding and supporting fascist regimes. So the people in the region have every right to be angry with the US, and they have limited ways to respond because we have so much more military power.

I'm sorry that we disagree, but I believe in cause and effect. I know that if I abuse your wife and children, we are going to be enemies, and vice versa. The same thing holds true for nations. To me it makes no sense to blame other people for fairly small acts of terrorism, when our government has been involved in the deaths and displacement of millions of people, in a region of the earth where we don't have any right to tell other people how to live and die.

By: yogiman on 9/16/12 at 1:00

"Them wuz the good old days", Rasputin72. As I've commented before, if you got your a$$ whipped at school, you didn't want your parents to hear about because your dad whipped you a lot harder than that principal, or teacher.

But then the "guvmunt" started taking over as the masters of the general public. They don't "work" for the tax payers anymore, they're working for their sponsors that tell them what laws they want them to pass.

Once they get in office, all a politician does in run for re-election. Their employees (staff member we're pay for) do their office work.

How many times have you talked to a Senator personally unless they was looking for your vote?

By: Mike Burch on 9/16/12 at 1:05

Yogi,

You asked, "Are we to presume the attack (war) Obama ordered on Libya without congressional approval was [Bush and Cheney] faults?"

No, and I disagree with President Obama's use of American money and weapons in the Middle East. However, President Obama didn't launch an invasion of Libya. Nor did he try to use our military to "create a democracy." Nor will what he did cost American taxpayers trillions of dollars.

So while I disagree with what President Obama did, at least he didn't start another ten-year, full-scale, trillion-dollar war.

Cheney said that deficits don't matter. Bush declared that the mission was accomplished with remarkable brio. Rumsfeld promised that the wars wouldn't last more than a few weeks or months.

We have heard no such wild promises from President Obama. If Libya emerges in better condition, he deserves our thanks. If Libya doesn't emerge in better condition, at least the US won't owe trillions of dollars and have thousands of dead US soldiers.

I would rather stay out of all such wars whenever possible, but I would much rather have a sane, sober president like Obama, rather than a loose cannon like Romney or GWB, when such things face us.

By: Mike Burch on 9/16/12 at 1:23

Rasputin72,

We seem to remember two different Nashvilles. What about the racially segregated Nashville? My grandmother owned a grocery store in downtown Nashville, and when my family moved back to Nashville, I went to an all-black school for a few weeks while my parents looked for a house. Needless to say, the pleasant things you remember were not true for millions of black Americans who lived in virtual serfdom.

Your use of the word "underclass" is interesting. Rather than accepting the fact that the upper classes have rigged the system to favor themselves, and thus have kept the lower classes from achieving their potential, you seem to suggest that there is something inherently "flawed" about the people you call the "underclass." But modern science has shown that human DNA is virtually identical.

You seem to think that everyone wants a handout, when most people are willing to settle for a level playing field. Why are more and more Americans slipping from the productive middle class to the "underclass"? Is it because no one wants to work, or is it because so much wealth being controlled by so few people robs people who want to work of the opportunity?

What we are seeing in Libya and around the world is the anger of people with unjust systems that favor the 1% over the 99%. At one time the large American middle class made us different from much of the world. But today the 1% control as much wealth as the bottom 90% combined. That means the middle class has shrunk tremendously in recent years.

We seem to disagree on cause and effect. You seem to be saying that it is the human nature of the underclass that is causing these problems. I am saying that it is a radically unjust system that is primarily at fault. If more people were able to work, make decent livings, and spend more money on their children's education, many of our problems with poverty and violence would diminish, because all around the world educated people are more productive and less violent.

I think we could avoid catastrophe if we had a more just economic system. And at least I propose a solution. The only solution that I can see in what you have written would be to somehow get rid of millions of people in the underclass. That would mean genocide or ethnic cleansing. Any attempt at either of those would result in the US becoming like Syria or Israel or apartheidist South Africa ... a prison state where the ruling class lives in eternal fear that the underclass will rebel and overthrow their rulers.

So I think creating a more just economic system is the ONLY real solution to our present problems.

I would hate

By: yogiman on 9/16/12 at 2:15

Mike,

Any conflict our president orders without consent from congress is a violation of power unless its a response to an attack on our nation. Even if he's responding to an attack he must get congressional approval within a time frame. So why did Obama order the action before conferring with congress? We had not been attacked.

Self appointed power, perhaps?