Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 4, 2016

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Arnold Bogis on March 4, 2016

William R. Cumming Forum

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21 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 4, 2016 @ 1:04 pm

I have watched all the debates of both parties and they can be characterized IMO as largely ill-informed by their participants including the MSM!

So here are some of my questions relating to HS and EM that need definitive answers IMO.

First, do you believe in either climate change or sea level rise or both or neither?

Second, do you believe in the strategic doctrine of MAD [Mutual Assured Destruction]?

Third, do you believe in the separation of church and state and do you know that the 1st Amendment was designed to protect government not religion from the other?

Fourth, do you understand that the CIA is not under the military chain-of-command but is subject to the Chief Executive function of the President?

Fith do you believe you understand the principles of FEDERALISM in the Constitution and could you identify them?

Sixth, do you understand the SCOTUS interpretive doctrines of ORIGINALISM and TEXTUALISM proffered first by Associate Justice Hugo Black [Congress shall make NO law?]

Seventh, do you understand that deceased Associate Justice Scalia in his HELLER decision on the meaning of the 2nd Amendment did not follow ORIGINALISM or TEXTUALISM?

Eight, do you understand that the SCOTUS decision in BUSH V. GORE made all elections to federal office subject to litigation for the indefinite future?

Ninth, there is no judicial review of monetary claims under the Robert T. Stafford Act?

Tenth, the FEMA and DHS have no domestic crisis management system or Presidential chain-of-command for large-scale catastrophic disaster regardless of causation–natural or manmade?

Eleventh, Presidential Executive Orders are not self-funded and often don’t specify any particular law?

12th, SCOTUS has under review the meaning of the phrase “Faithfully Execute” for the first time ever! What does this mean to you?

Of course one might add tough questions like do you believe in REGIME CHANGE [even if the ruler a dictator?] or R2P [Responsibility to Protect]!

Comment by Vicki Campbell

March 4, 2016 @ 1:36 pm

I would really appreciate it if anyone who is involved with or responsible for this blog would let its readers and commenters know what is going on with it. A great many comments have suddenly simply been “disappeared,” and now only the first 10 comments actually show up in the comments section. Or, at least that’s the case for some of us. Are there those who can see more? For instance, in the previous Friday Forum last week, it says there are 23 comments to the FFF, but only the first 10 show up when you click on the “23 comments” link. What gives? This has been going on for awhile now, and its my understanding that people seem to be aware of it.

Bill, have you found anything out yet? Again, what gives guys?…

Comment by Vicki Campbell

March 4, 2016 @ 1:49 pm

I don’t use a feed reader, but I’ve also been wondering if the rest of the comments that seem to have magically disappeared from the website are nonetheless showing up in the feed or not….

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 4, 2016 @ 2:05 pm

Vicki! All there somewhere IMO!

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 4, 2016 @ 2:06 pm

Presidential oath of office:

Before executing the powers of the office, a president is constitutionally required to take the presidential oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 4, 2016 @ 2:08 pm

Usually if I post a comment after the first 10 more comments show up! IMO another blogging format should be adopted perhaps WORDPRESS?

Comment by Vicki Campbell

March 4, 2016 @ 2:21 pm

Bill, I just posted a test comment on the previous friday forum, and it did change the total comments from 23 to 24, but my test comment did NOT show up, and only the first 10 comments still show up.

Again, what gives?????

Comment by Arnold Bogis

March 4, 2016 @ 3:08 pm

Vicki,

My apologies. I’ve been away from the blog for a little while, but am turning my attention back to contributing on a regular basis.

Right now I don’t have an explanation for the disappearing comments. I too can only see 10 comments for last week’s FFF. The others don’t seem to be caught up in a spam folder or whatnot. I’ll see what I can do about this.

Just know that no one is intentionally getting rid of your comments.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

March 5, 2016 @ 12:56 pm

I believe the following (1957) speech relevant today when we talk about Homeland Security and the Middle East!

Let’s give a serious consideration to some of what has been stated so long ago and apparently, we are as a global community NOT better off after so, so many years…..(thank you)

Jack Kennedy (1957):

COMITY AND COMMON SENSE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

“It is a rare honor and privilege to be with you tonight upon the occasion of the National Brotherhood Banquet sponsored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the presentation to A.M. Luntz of the National Human Relations Award which he so richly deserves. The National Conference and its annual Brotherhood observances, which I know have a special meaning to Cleveland, have long ago proven to be a permanent, valuable part of American life – enriching our heritage, stimulating our conscience, and overseeing the progress of human relations in our land. We honor here at this dinner tonight a principle – a principle we call brotherhood – in the hope that all Americans will honor this principle in their hearts all year round.

Brotherhood, tolerance, enlightened relations between members of different ethnic groups – these are, after all, simply an extension of the concept upon which all free organized society is based. Some call this concept comity or sodality, or reciprocity. Some find it in the golden Rule, others in the teachings of Hillel, others in Rousseau’s “social contract”. Our Declaration of Independence calls it “the consent of the governed”. Political leaders refer to “the art of compromise, or the concurrent majority”. The ancient Greeks and Romans called it “civitatis philia,” or civic friendship.

It is upon this principle and practice, by whatever name it may be called and regardless of what form it takes, that free societies function, governments operate, and orderly, amicable relations between civilized human beings go on. For although the continued presence of sanctions is a necessary part of any legal structure, we depend, in the last analysis, not upon our police force and our jails for the preservation of law and order, but upon voluntary observance and self-restraint. We all pay taxes to Secretary Humphrey without a court order (with a few notable exceptions); comply with laws we bitterly dislike; and respect the rights and privileges of others even when those rights and privileges necessarily interfere with our own.

The family also functions on this same basis of comity. Sanctions are available in the home, too, as I recall – but obviously a child is is not to be beaten into observing every customary rule of conduct from morning to night. On the contrary, we take it for granted that such observance comes as a matter of course.

What is true in the relations of the family at home can be equally true, I believe, in the family of nations. Without some super-sovereign, some police force, some guaranteed enforcement and punishment, most scoffers say, there can be no such thing as international law and order. But such an attitude fails to recognize that comity, not sanctions, is the basis of law and order among free equals.

Actually we generally overlook the myriad ways in which nations make adjustments and concessions with each other every day, respecting their own obligations and the rights of others, without ever suggesting a resort to war, sanctions, or even litigation. Diplomatic privileges, for example, commercial treaties, international arbitration decisions – all are observed as a matter of course by nations politically antagonistic as well as friendly, even when the result is domestically unpopular.

This world-wide concept of civic friendship or comity, it seems to me, and not war or sanctions or even legalisms, is the true basis of an orderly international community.

A great Secretary of State, Elihu Root, expressed it this way just fifty years ago:
“Just as the true basis of the peace and order in which we live is not fear of the policeman but the self-restraint of people and their willingness to obey the law and regard the rights of others, just as the true basis of business is not the sheriff with a writ of execution but the voluntary observance of the rules and obligations of business life, so the true basis of peace among men is to be found in a just and considerate spirit among the people who rule our modern democracies, in their regard for the rights of other countries, in their desire to be fair and kindly, in their willingness to recognize facts and to weigh arguments which make against one’s own country as well as those which make for one’s own country.”

It seems to me tonight that this nation would do well to bear in mind this concept of civitatis philia as we consider the tense and troubled situation in the Middle East. For it is unfortunate, I think, that our chief concern has been with sanctions and hostilities, with troop authorizations and constitutional powers. In the Senate we have spent nearly two months debating the President’s Middle East Resolution.

I have supported that Resolution in Committee and will vote for it on the Floor. But once it is passed, signed and proclaimed to the world, we will still not be one step nearer than we were two months ago to a solution of the real problems of the Middle East – including access to Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba, homes for Arab refugees, permanent national boundaries, development of the River Jordan resources, political and economic instability, and an end to continuous border raids and tension. For the Resolution we have been debating has absolutely nothing to do with those problems. It offers guns and money – but guns and money are not the Middle East’s basic need.

Similarly, the invocation of sanctions by the United Nations, or the adoption of denunciatory resolutions, upon which the world’s attention is presently concentrated, will not – regardless of their effect on the immediate crisis in that area – contribute anything to a long-range solution of the major problems of the Middle East.

The U.N. must, of course, take prompt and effective action to meet aggression – but let no one be deceived into believing that the Middle East crisis will be over once Israeli troops are pulled back and the Suez Canal cleared. Little is to be accomplished by merely restoring the muddled and frictional situation out of which the present crisis came.

What we clearly need in the Middle East, and need quickly, in my opinion, is a final entente, a permanent settlement of all major problems which reasonable men and nations can accept – a settlement, in short, based not on armed truce but on comity, accepted not out of fear but out of civic friendship.
Such a settlement cannot and need not give any nation all she would like – each side will have to make concessions. But recall, if you will, the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842 between the United States and Canada – how unpopular it was on both sides of the line; how both Mr. Webster and Lord Ashburton were denounced for sacrificing the rights of their people.

(Indeed, Webster and Ashburton finally convinced the Senate and Parliament respectively, it is said, only after each had used a different map to pretend that he had in reality cheated the other.) And yet the peace and prosperity to both countries flowing from that much abused settlement for more than a century have been worth several thousand times as much as the value of all the territory that was in dispute.

I am convinced that if Arab, Israeli and world leaders can once agree in a spirit of civitatis philia, and endure the obloquy from home that was endured by Webster and Ashburton, a permanent settlement can be reached in the Middle East which will be worth, in terms of peace and prosperity for both sides, in terms of men and money devoted to something more constructive than war, many million times the value of all the disputed points that keep them apart.

It is not enough to say, as our own officials have repeatedly said, that we are willing to discuss long-range solutions once all other current problems have been met. For the two are not unrelated.

In Indo-China and elsewhere Western nations have in the past taken this attitude of delaying discussions for a permanent settlement until after hostilities cease – only to discover that the absence of such an agreement aggravated the hostilities until finally a settlement had to be reached after needless harm to our cause had been done.

We have the responsibility now to deal with basic causes of conflict as well as the conflict itself. We have the responsibility now to approach the problem as a whole, not on a piece-meal basis – to let Israel, Egypt, and all the world know that we look for a solution ending all outstanding differences, not simply Egypt’s current grievances against Israel.

I do not wish to oversimplify endlessly complex problems, or load unnecessary burdens upon our troubled diplomatic officials. But I respectfully urge that the Government of the United States – through its Department of State, its United Nations delegation, and perhaps through a Presidential declaration of a status equal to the less long-range declarations on the Gulf of Aqaba and Communist aggression – promptly set forth, after consultation with Arab, Israeli and other world leaders, a specific and comprehensive formula for a permanent Middle east settlement – a settlement to be offered and accepted in a spirit of civic friendship – a settlement based not upon force of arms or fear of men, but upon common sense and comity.

Permit me to suggest some of the principles and procedures which I believe to apply.

First, let us consider the problem of the Suez Canal. In our concern over the obstruction we have very nearly forgotten what started the dispute in the first place. Whether Egypt’s rights flow from sovereignty, suzerainty or domination is not as crucial as an accommodation by both Egypt and all user nations, by which the Canal will be in full operation, benefitting Egypt through the revenues it provides and benefitting the world by offering free and open transit to the ships of all nations without discrimination or political interference. The Canal can be enlarged and deepened to make its continued operation even more profitable to Egypt. The dues and charges on Canal passage can be mutually agreed upon; the proportion of net income to be allotted to further Canal maintenance and development can be mutually agreed upon; and all unresolved disputes concerning the Canal in the future can be referred for impartial arbitration. Discussions can begin with a clean slate, not on the basis of legal fictions or ancient treaties or aggressive threats, but on the basis of mutual benefits and comity.

Secondly, let us consider the inseparable problems of national boundaries and aggression. Instead of devoting our efforts to determining what kind of arms balance at what level will maintain existing armistice lines, permanent boundaries must be fixed, not necessarily along the present lines. This is not an unprecedented problem – the United States and Canada, as boundary disputes time and time again, including those that had caused or seemed certain to cause an outbreak of war. I would recommend consideration in this regard of the familiar device of an International Boundary Commission, staffed by impartial experts in geography, economics and history as well as diplomacy and international law, men who can draw reasonable, practicable lines that both sides can live with, ignoring sentimental claims and giving neither side all it seeks.

Once such boundaries are determined, the United Nations and the United States could sponsor a security guarantee or exchange of treaties formally fixing those lines, and preventing their alteration by force. Such a solution would immediately reduce not only tensions but the need for armaments expenditures both in Israel and the Arab States. The same treaties fixing boundaries could renounce the use or threat of force for aggressive purposes, and provide for progressive limitations of armaments. A Special U.N. Commission on Arms Traffic could be established to prevent outside nations, Communist or otherwise, from renewing the Middle East arms race; and a more permanent United Nations force could police the area, much as it is now, until all threats to peace have vanished. The mutual benefits flowing to the entire area – in terms of a higher standard of living, new economic development, and an end to constant fear and slaughter – would be immeasurable. The achievement of such benefits requires only the spirit of civitatis philia.

Third, let us consider the problems of Arab Palestinian refugees. Their impoverished and tragic existence in makeshift camps near Israel’s borders offers a constant source of national antagonism, economic chaos and Communist exploitation of human misery. Stop-gap solutions are frequently offered – and there is talk of forcing either Israel or the Arab states to take all of them. But let us apply the spirit of brotherhood and comity. Let those refugees be repatriated to Israel at the earliest practical date who are sincerely willing to live at peace with their neighbors, to accept the Israeli Government with an attitude of civitatis philia. Those who would prefer to remain in Arab jurisdiction should be resettled in areas under control of governments willing to help their Arab brothers, if assisted and enabled to earn their own living, make permanent homes, and live in peace and dignity. The refugee camps should be closed. Those who suffered actual losses of property or bank accounts in flight should be compensated by Israel. New water utilization and arable land projects should be instituted to assist their resettlement in Arab countries.

All of this will require financial assistance. Israel will need assistance in making compensation payments; the Arab states will need assistance in developing land and water projects. The means for such assistance I shall mention in a moment. But I want to stress again the mutual benefits that flow from a settlement of comity – the removal of an obstacle to peace, the dispersal of a threat to Israel, the elimination of a condition depressing Arab wages and living standards, the development of Arab resources – such a settlement should not be impossible of conclusion. Certainly this country, populated from the beginning by refugees, exiles and immigrants, should not think it impossible.

Fourth, what about economic and resource development and assistance? Mutual economic benefit is the key I have stressed with respect to Suez, boundaries, disarmament and refugees. But these benefits are not limited to the Middle East alone. The entire world, and certainly the United States, will obtain considerable economic advantage in the prevention of war and the end of an armaments race in that area. Thus all nations, led by our own, should be willing to invest the funds necessary to attain this goal.

I would propose, therefore, a Middle East Regional Resources Fund, under the auspices of the United Nations and the World Bank, for assisting in the stimulation, initiation, and financing through loans and grants of resource development and other projects in the area. Soil projects could include harnessing the waters of the Nile for the benefit of the Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda as well as Egypt; coordinated development of the resources of the Jordan River Valley for the benefit of Israel and the three Arab states through which it flows; the development of arable land and irrigation projects for the resettlement of refugees, and a loan to Israel to help her make compensation payments to refugees; and a Middle Eastern Nuclear Center, similar to the Asian Nuclear Center already proposed, which could bring untold benefits in energy utilization to former deserts and wastelands. These projects would be developed and administered under the auspices and control of the nations in the region, who would also participate in their financing wherever feasible (and many of these nations are not poor), much as our states participate in Federal grant programs which assist and stimulate them to greater action. The burdens would once again be shared – the benefits would once again be mutual. Conflicting rights would be involved, of course, just as they are in disputes between our states over the rights to our great rivers – but such disputes can always be resolved.
The problems I have discussed tonight – Suez, boundaries, arms, refugees and economic development – are all closely inter-related. It is to be expected that one or both sides will find objections to one or more of the solutions outlined. But I am convinced that as a permanent “package”, there is no single obstacle to the achievement of a comprehensive Middle East solution, based upon comity and common sense. It is time for this nation to take the lead in seeking such a solution, instead of devoting all of our efforts to warnings and debates about temporary, symptomatic crises that cannot be ended apart from the whole pattern.

I realize the danger of idealizing hard, practical problems or discussing bitter national emotions. I realize we have been talking in grandiose terms about comity and civic friendship and reasonable men.

It is easier to propose than to implement a new start on Suez, an International Boundary Commission, a United Nations security guarantee, a special commission on arms traffic, a permanent United Nations police force, repatriation and resettlement of refugees, a Middle East national resources fund and an Asian Nuclear Center, to mention some of the specific proposals I have offered tonight. But these concepts which we have been discussing are no more unrealistic than the concept of American brotherhood – the task is no more insurmountable than that once facing the National Conference of Christians and Jews – and if we dedicate ourselves to that task with the same kind of determination and patience and understanding, we can achieve in that troubled Middle Eastern area the permanent peace that every man and nation desires” –

Comment by Tom Russo

March 5, 2016 @ 3:58 pm

Vicki

I experienced the same with last week’s comments. I contributed and it did not show. I thought I failed to save so the next day entered the same…it then showed up twice! Now it shows, as you describe 24 comments but only nine are displayed

Comment by Vicki Campbell

March 5, 2016 @ 7:17 pm

Thanks Anthony and Tom (although you may not be able to see this, since it will be the 11th comment. Now that I know that its not intentionally happening internally, I’d like to suggest that the blog may have just experienced a political hacking…… (or not…).

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 6, 2016 @ 6:15 am

Thanks Chris for the JFK memory! I was too young to vote in the 1960 election!

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 7, 2016 @ 4:37 pm

Saw the movie San Andreas on TV. Amazing graphics. Hope it misses during my lifetime.

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 8, 2016 @ 1:05 am

Did you know Google permanently collects blog posts and comments?

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 8, 2016 @ 1:06 am

Perhaps Blogspot.com?

Comment by Christopher Tingus

March 8, 2016 @ 9:47 pm

A great poet, John Boyle O’Reilly, once wrote these timeless words:

“The world is large when its weary leagues
two loving hearts divide;
But the world is small when your enemy
is loose on the other side.”

Comment by Tingus / Concerned Citizen

March 8, 2016 @ 9:48 pm

A great poet, John Boyle O’Reilly, once wrote these timeless words:

“The world is large when its weary leagues
two loving hearts divide;
But the world is small when your enemy
is loose on the other side.”

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 9, 2016 @ 3:06 am

So Donald Trump owns a municipal water business?

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 9, 2016 @ 9:32 am

A contested Republican Convention in Cleveland?

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 10, 2016 @ 3:22 am

Has it been 3 years since confirmation of Jeh Johnson as DHS Secretary?

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 10, 2016 @ 9:52 am

FP link of week-re: Rise of Isis

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35695648

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