Category Archives: national security

Yearning for GOP return

Am I allowed to declare that I am yearning for a significant political revolution?

I am going to do so anyway. I want the Republican Party to return to what it used to be: a party based on principle and ideology, not one that is fused to the personality of a cult leader who threatens real Republicans with retribution if they don’t profess blind loyalty to him.

Let’s stipulate something up front. I have no intention of endorsing whatever ideology a newly reborn Republican Party endorses. I remain a proud member of what I prefer to call the “good government progressive movement.” My politics tilt left, but I am not above endorsing compromise when and where it serves the greatest good.

The GOP today doesn’t adhere to the good government notion of anything. It is wedded to this nut job who occupied the presidency for a single term before he got drummed out of office by President Biden.

Why lament the absence of a real, honest-to-goodness Republican Party? Because I long have favored a strong two-party system that keeps both major parties alert. We don’t have that kind of political process at work at this moment. We have one party of ideas — the Democrats — doing battle with a cult following that operates under the Republican Party banner.

For starters, I now shall declare (for the umpteenth time) my intense desire for the leader of that cult — the aforementioned single-term, twice-impeached POTUS — to be kicked off the political stage.

Then we might see a return to some sort of political debate over ideas. Let the two parties argue without fear of being defamed, denigrated and defiled by a former POTUS who — if he had any sense of decency — would acknowledge that he lost the 2020 election … and then disappear.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Unity: Is it impossible to find?

Political unity shouldn’t be this hard to find; it shouldn’t be this elusive.

It most certainly is, however.

The nation is honoring the sacrifice we endured on 9/11. Part of the honor has been to salute the unity we felt when President Bush called on us to fight the terrorists who hit us hard, who killed all those Americans.

We answered the terrorists with one clear and forceful voice.

That was then. The unity we felt in the moment didn’t last long. Bush eventually decided to expand our war against terror by invading Iraq in March 2003. The president lied to us. He told us the Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction; they didn’t. He also sought to tell us that the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein played a role in the 9/11 attacks; he didn’t.

We’ve been divided ever since.

Two decades later we are now fighting an even more insidious enemy. It’s a pandemic that has killed more than 600,000 Americans, far more than who died in the 9/11 attacks.

President Biden is seeking to unify us against the pandemic. He can’t find the formula. Our divisions have been cast along partisan lines. Democrats push for vaccine and mask mandates; Republicans resist them both. Think of this for a moment. Our entire nation is being struck by a virus, yet the president can’t unify us.

Surely we don’t require an attack from a foreign enemy to bring us together. Or do we?

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Bolton discounts POTUS 45 return

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It is no secret to anyone who reads this blog that John Bolton is far from my favorite public official.

He served for a time as national security adviser to the one-time Liar in Chief. Then he got fired, or he quit, or something in between happened.

He now says that the 45th POTUS won’t run make another run for the White House in 2024. He also said recently that the former Imbecile in Chief is “unfit for public office.”

Hmm. Really? Do ya think?

Of course Bolton is correct on that presumption. He found out the hard way, I suppose, when he took the job as national security adviser. He sought to give advice to the POTUS on threats to the nation, only to be rebuffed for reasons no one can quite grasp.

I am inclined under normal circumstances to wonder why Bolton didn’t declare his former boss’s unfitness for office in real time, while he was serving in the White House. Then it occurs to me: It wouldn’t matter to the base of Republicans who continue to hang onto POTUS 45’s every hare-brained pronouncement.

Whatever, Bolton’s view today of the ex-POTUS is worth more than a bucket of spittle.

Border madness must be handled

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I am going to concede that conditions on our nation’s southern border need attention, they need serious repair, they need an administration that is willing to get tougher than it has been so far.

A neighbor of mine is a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who is leaving soon for a temporary-duty assignment southeast of Laredo.

He describes the situation on the border as “an out of control mess.”

My neighbor blames President Biden’s administration for it. He didn’t say so directly, but I believe he endorsed the Donald Trump administration policy of rounding up undocumented immigrants, fast-tracking their status while being held and then sending them back to the country from which they fled.

The Biden administration approach is more an “open border” matter. I reminded him that the border isn’t “open” and that Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are stopping illegal immigration every single day.

He acknowledged that but said that the Biden administration’s more tolerant policy is enticing people to flee to this country.

I get that Joe Biden has taken a dramatically different approach to undocumented immigration than the one used by his immediate predecessor. However, I will not accept the notion that our borders are “open” and available for anyone to enter this country.

My neighbor, though, is joining other DPS troopers to assist local and federal law enforcement officials in doing their job. He believes this DPS involvement will last a while, that the situation along our border is too grave to clear up over the short term.

He is a bright young man. I will accept his diagnosis of the problem.

However, I am going to swallow the hook that contends that an “open border policy” is to blame for it.

This matter needs a concerted federal and state effort to resolve. I am going to hold out hope that Gov. Greg Abbott will resist the temptation to hurl blame and insults and will get to working with the president and his team to resolve this matter.

Yes, open a Jan. 6 probe

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – to the surprise of no one who reads this blog regularly – is someone I admire greatly. She demonstrated it again today.

Why? She declared her intention to ramrod the creation of a blue-ribbon, bipartisan, independent commission to examine thoroughly the events that led to the insurrection that occurred on the Sixth of January.

She intends to find out who was responsible for it, why the rioters/terrorists did what they did, on whose instruction, their purpose … all of it.

Pelosi aims to have this commission follow the lead of the 9/11 commission that President Bush created after the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. That panel, led by former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, formulated a detailed response to what went wrong. It also recommended the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. I also should add that we haven’t been hit by foreign terrorists since that dreadful day.

We have, though, been plagued by domestic terrorists, the likes of whom stormed Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 intending to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election, which produced a winner not named Donald John Trump. FBI Director Christopher Wray said in 2019 that domestic terror groups posed a greater threat to our national security than monstrous outfits such as ISIS or al-Qaeda.

Must we get to the root of what happened? Must we find out whether the rioters were answering some nefarious call to arms by the then-president of the United States, who told them he would be among them as they marched on the Capitol Building, only to watch it unfold from the White House?

Yes, the speaker of the House is seeking answers to questions that are troubling many millions of Americans.

Time for thorough examination

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald John Trump’s impeachment trial is over.

The ex-president will walk away and hole up in his luxurious resort way down yonder. Fine. Good riddance.

However, the wreckage that befell the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 needs a careful examination. Recall that in the wake of 9/11, President Bush formed a blue-ribbon, bipartisan commission to look carefully at how to eliminate the kind of national security breach that occurred on that terrible day. The commission, led by Republican former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean and Democratic former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton of Indiana, resulted in — among other things — the creation of a new Cabinet department, Homeland Security.

The results? We haven’t been hit in that fashion in the two decades after that attack.

Why not form a similarly constituted commission now to take a deep dive into the myriad causes of the riot that erupted on the very day that Congress was meeting to certify the 2020 presidential election? As bad as the event unfolded, it could have been much more tragic.

We need to examine how the security broke down and search for remedies to repair it. We need to examine carefully reports of its pre-planning, who was involved, and seek to root out their motives. There needs to be a careful, thorough and unvarnished accounting for all the factors that led to this monstrous attack on our democratic process … and on the very free-election foundation of our government.

President Biden has many contacts associated — past and present — with the federal government. Surely he can find competent, reasonable, fair-minded individuals to serve on this committee to start peeling away the conspiratorial layers that produced this heinous attack.

We need answers and solutions to how we can prevent a recurrence of this monstrous act.

Fight the home-grown terrorists

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Domestic terrorism has entered the current political debate.

It is about damn time!

For the past four years, we have paid too little attention, or exerted too little emotional capital on the scourge of domestic, home-grown, corn-fed terrorists who hide in plain sight in our midst.

They presented themselves in full force on the Sixth of January when they marched to Capitol Hill, smashed their way into the Capitol Building, killed five human beings and threatened to stop the democratic process of certifying the results of a free and fair election.

President Biden has introduced the term “domestic terrorists” to the current lexicon, reviving it in the face of what the entire world witnessed early this past month.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told congressional committee members in 2019 that domestic terrorists posed an exponentially greater threat to Americans’ security that foreign terrorists working for, say, ISIS or al-Qaeda.

Did the Donald Trump administration act on that statement? Did it call out the proverbial cavalry to answer the call to root out the terrorists? No. It didn’t. Instead, we heard the president of the United States say in 2017 that there were good people on “both sides” of a dispute that erupted in Charlottesville, Va., between counter protesters and — get this — the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis and assorted white supremacists.

Yep. Donald Trump sought to elevate the Klansmen and Nazis to the same moral level of those who fought against them.

That cannot continue. Thank goodness we now have a president, Joe Biden, who knows better than to utter such moronic rhetoric out loud. You see, words have consequences and it is time this nation deal forthrightly with the terrorists who live among us.

The leadership required to commence that fight has just taken office in Washington, D.C. I believe the battle must be fought at least as long and hard as we are fighting the overseas enemies … and we mustn’t back away from calling what they are.

Terrorists.

No briefings for Trump

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

“I’d rather not speculate out loud. I just think that there is no need for him to have the intelligence briefings. What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What impact does he have at all, other than the fact he might slip and say something?”

That about sums it up. President Biden has declared that Donald J. Trump, his immediate predecessor, won’t get intelligence briefings.

Biden says Trump shouldn’t get intel briefings (msn.com)

Indeed, what is the point of giving this information to someone who placed so little value on the daily presidential briefings to which he was entitled when he held the office? None, as far as anyone can tell.

It’s usually customary to give immediate past presidents these briefings. It is meant as a courtesy to the individual who had immediate access to the most sensitive information in the country until the moment he left the presidency.

Trump, though, has engaged in some of the most hideous behavior imaginable since losing his re-election bid in 2020. He has not — and may never — accepted the results of the election. He has not yet congratulated President Biden specifically.

And, of course, he egged on the terrorist mob to storm Capitol Hill on Jan. 6. We know what happened on that terrible day.

Give him presidential intelligence briefings? No way, man.

No briefings for ex-POTUS

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Millions of us are aware of all the norm-busting practices of Donald Trump’s administration, starting with Trump’s refusal to receive “daily presidential briefings” aimed at alerting him to national security needs and potential crises.

Here’s another norm that needs shattering into a million little pieces. Former presidents often are given national security briefings from their successors. Donald Trump should not get anything of the sort from President Biden’s administration.

Trump has demonstrated repeatedly, through his reckless use of Twitter — prior to it being yanked — to say things that could jeopardize our national security. He had that infamous meeting in the Oval Office with Russian visitors and blabbed about security issues relating to Israel’s defense posture.

I have noted several times that Trump is unfit to be president. He’s only got two days left before he hightails it to Florida. He will stand trial in the U.S. Senate for the second time. This allegation deals with incitement of insurrection.

Does this clown need to know the nation’s top secrets once he becomes a private citizen? Not a chance!

Giving former presidents intelligence briefings is not a requirement. It has been a common practice. Former presidents at times are given those briefings to alert them of what might lie ahead and also to solicit advice on how they might handle a situation that could arise.

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Trump is untrustworthy and must not be allowed access to anything regarding national security.

I could not agree more. Keep this individual as far out of the loop as one possibly can do.

A ‘new America’ awaits?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Take a long look at the picture contained in this brief blog post and I fear you are going to presume that this is the look of the new America.

It came to my Facebook page via Nancy Seliger, whose husband — Kel Seliger — reported for duty the other day as a state senator serving in the Texas Legislature.

The heavily armed individuals you see are on guard against potential violence at the Texas Capitol Building in Austin, where 181 members of our Legislature are meeting for the next 140 days to enact laws that govern us.

The riot that erupted Jan. 6 in D.C.? The one that killed five people and damaged the nation’s Capitol Building? The attack on our democratic system of government?

The terrorists who conducted that calamitous attack are vowing more of the same at capitols across the nation. That includes ours in Austin, ladies and gents. Thus, we have heavily armed security personnel on guard.

This is disgusting, reprehensible and is a vile statement of the nature of our political discourse in the Age of Donald Trump. Thankfully and not a moment too soon, that age is about to end. Trump will be gone from the White House.

I am saddened to presume that the anger he stoked for four years isn’t likely to subside just because Trump is no longer in power. Oh, how I hope to be wrong on this matter, but my fears continue to be fueled by FBI reports of alarm bells sounding. They could be hailing further spasms of uncontrolled violence.

Just as 9/11 spawned a new era of travel in this country and around the world, I fear that the Jan. 6 attack on our democratic system has produced a new era that requires such deterrence against those who would take political protest to these deadly extremes.

Let us pray for a return to sanity.