Friday, January 29, 2010

Duncan Hunter Interview 1-28-2010 On Obama's "Socialism With A Smile" Speech and More

DH: Hey, Jim, go ahead there friend.

AJM: Sounds like you were doing a little banking.

DH: Yeah, I‘m here on good old North Island. I’m getting a little money for my seed here.

AJM: Do you need my address?

DH: (laughs) Like I said it’s seed money, not feed money.

AJM: (laughs) OK. Well I guess since this is still relatively fresh in your mind, do you want to give your two cents on Obama’s speech?

DH: Yeah, I think the speech last night was classic Obama; and that is socialism with a smile. Apparently, he is not going to listen to the American people, including many people who voted for him in the last election, who don’t want to turn healthcare over to the Post Office. And he’s going to continue to try to socialize, basically, one sixth of the economy.

He also spent an inordinate amount of time blaming the previous administration for his problems. He spoke of inheriting the storm and how he’s gotten us through it. But almost every area he went into he compared himself to the previous administration. And I’m reminded of the fact that probably George Washington was the only American president that didn’t blame all of his problems on the previous administration. But this guy went overboard!!

He was fixated on the Bush Administration. And you can tell that the staff folks who wrote his speech for this thing had a few gaps in their research. For example, he said that they’ve killed, America killed, more Al Qaeda in 2009 than we did in 2008, before he came in. He made that point. Well, that’s true, and the reason is that we won the Iraq War that he attempted to retreat from. We won it in 2008, and the attacks on Americans and civilians in Iraq went down over 90%. The Iraq government matured, their military matured, the war is over and we won it! In 2007, we killed an enormous number of Al Qaeda and destroyed their ability there to attack in force. So obviously the number of Al Qaeda went down because there was no longer a center of gravity in the Al Qaeda organization left to confront the Americans in on the battlefield for much of 2008. And now, in 2009, the Al Qaeda in Afghanistan have flared up, and there is more confrontation and there is more fighting. And as a result we are killing more of them.

But the fact that the Al Qaeda numbers, their casualties, went down in 2008 is a direct result of a successful policy, that is the surge, that Obama foolishly opposed. In other words, not something he should brag about!

AJM: It was spin city in that chamber last night.

DH: He’s like a new sheriff in town claiming he’s gunning down more cowboys now than “Bat” Masterson did in his days. Bat Masterson had cleaned out the entire town.

AJM: (laughs)

DH: That’s what we did with Iraq.

Another thing Obama did which I thought really disserved everybody that has worn the uniform for the United States in Iraq, he said: “Make no mistake, we’re coming home”. He refuses to acknowledge that we’ve won, because he was against the war.

That’s a slap in the face to everybody that’s served over there, because we’ve clearly won in Iraq, by any metric. We stood up a government which is a representative form of government. It’s held. The 1st Iraqi Division has not taken a backwards step since before 2008. They went into Basra and soundly defeated Al Sadr’s guys. They then moved into surrounding areas in southern Iraq like Amarah, cleaned him out there. Then they marched on Sadr City, 4 battalions abreast, cleaned out the Mahdi Army that Al Sadr was leading. The Marines in Anbar province, in the big difficult, dangerous western province, cleaned out Al Qaeda and made a partnership with the Sunni community, which turned on Al Qaeda and helped the Americans in cleaning out Al Qaeda in western Iraq.

So the Iraqi military is stood up, the government is stood up. It’s legislating. It’s casting votes and solving their problems with ballots, not bullets. The Americans are packing up and leaving. I’ve got a son in Iraq right now, they are mopping up, they are packing up. US casualties are extremely low. In fact, I’d wager there were more Americans killed in Obama’s hometown in December than were killed in Iraq.

So we’ve won in Iraq, and Obama refused to acknowledge it, because it’s not politically expedient for him to acknowledge that these great young Americans carried the battle to the enemy and produced a victory for the United States! And it is probably, arguably, the most important victory for our country since Korea. And he won’t acknowledge it.

So I thought that that was something that should disturb the entire community of American veterans and their families.

AJM: And he had the gall to preface his remarks on Defense by saying how all Americans should “honor” the troops, not only when they go out to war but when they come home.

DH: Yeah, he used what I call the “Victim Strategy”. That is, all liberals are happy to announce that people who served their country in uniform are “victims”, and that they are going to take care of them.

Alan Cranston, former Senator Alan Cranston - now the late Alan Cranston - who represented California, was a conscientious objector in World War II. And he became, by his leftist notions, the greatest advocate for the veterans. Treating the veterans like victims is the answer for anti-war liberals.

The best thing you could do for veterans is to acknowledge that they’ve won, that they accomplished something, that their lives and sacrifices have value, and what they gave to the United States has great value!

AJM: Yeah, it’s amazing. Did you catch his slap at the Supreme Court over McCain Feingold?

DH: Yeah, I didn’t see it, so I didn’t pay too much attention to that. I thought the other big thing was his announcement that he was going to continue to try to socialize healthcare.

But one other thing on the security front. He gave an extremely weak statement on Iran. Iran is now committed to developing nuclear weapons. And they are refining uranium at the Qoms, at the 2nd site. When they get the uranium refined approximately to the 5 percent level, even though that is far below the 90% that you are supposed to need to make a nuclear weapon, that actually manifests an accomplishment that represents most of the work that goes into refining uranium. You’ve now made it much more difficult for somebody who wants to knock your program out, to eliminate the program, because the large facilities which are big targets, like Natanz, aren’t needed to take the uranium from 5% to 70, 80, or 90%. So the big targets are going by right now. It’s going to be much more difficult in the shooting gallery to find and destroy the small targets, especially if they are deeply buried.

So the President squawked about increasing consequences for Iran, but Iran is not suffering any consequences right now to the degree that they will be deterred from producing a nuclear weapon. So on the Security front, Obama was very, very weak on Iran.

And lastly, he failed to take on China. It’s been a mistake for both Democrat and Republican Administrations. China is still cheating on trade. They are taking the life blood out of the industrial base of this country, which is taking the good wages and good jobs of the middle class that underpins the housing industry in this country, a major segment of our economy.

AJM: One of the reasons he’s not going to be particularly or even mildly bellicose to the Chinese is that he has to fund all of his trillion dollar spending sprees, he needs them to keep buying the securities.

DH: Well, I think that’s the argument made to almost every president. The point is, if you really believe in that argument, and you believe that the red Chinese have an enormous amount of leverage over the United States right now, then by allowing them to continue this drag on the American industrial base you are agreeing to them INCREASING leverage over the United States in the coming decades! Meaning it is going to get much worse, and that China will continue to become an industrial powerhouse, that they will continue to accumulate American assets. And they’ll spend a great deal of those assets on a war machine, which they are building right now!

The Department of Defense’s publication on China’s military power reflects every year increasing military capability that will make it more and more difficult for the United States to carry out what it considers to be the proper foreign policy options in that part of the world.

So by saying “they’ve have a hold on us, they’ve got us by the shorthairs, they’ve got leverage on us, therefore we’re going to allow them to continue to extract America’s industrial base, and build up theirs while weakening ours” is essentially conceding the future to communist China. That’s what Obama is doing. I reject that. I think that’s a huge mistake.

AJM: I do too. And Congressman this is one of the main reasons, one of many I would say, that you have my support. Because you were the only one, the only one in a long time – I think Henry Hyde was a congressman that sided with you on this issue in terms of the future with China – but you’ve been harping on this for a good fifteen, twenty years. And you were the only one to run on that platform in the 2008 race. What you warned about in the early nineties and mid nineties has come to pass. And you’re right, it’s a situation that we need to extract ourselves from, not exacerbate.

DH: Yeah.

Anyway, that’s my take on the speech. So don’t put me down as “undecided” (laughs)

AJM: (laughing) I certainly won’t. Speaking of China, the Obama administration has agreed to sell Taiwan the package of armaments that the Bush Administration agreed on, with the exception of the advanced F-16 fighters. In the article that I read it said we didn’t want to sell them the advanced F-16 fighters because China said “no”. What is your take on the Taiwan situation, and how would you advise, how would you recommend that we treat Taiwan? It seems like a bastard child right now, and I think that is extremely unwise.

DH: Well I don’t think you need me for that discussion. (laughs)

AJM: (laughing) Well, I want your ideas, that’s my 2 cents on it but I ….

DH: I agree with you! (laughs)

But here’s what I’d say. To effectively blunt a Chinese assault on Taiwan, the Taiwanese department of defense needs what I would call ‘distributive fire’. That means they need to have ability on a sustained basis to take out platforms that are crossing the Taiwan Straights. That is naval platforms. And at the same time to handle incoming medium range ballistic missiles and ship fired missiles.

Now the reason they need to have distributive fires is because China is putting together a fairly effective air force. They’ve been watching the United States ‘knock down the door’ in theatres like Iraq and Afghanistan, but especially Iraq, where you go in and take out the anti-air capabilities of the country you are hitting. Then you can go in and work your will with superior air power. So the Taiwanese need to have survivable, distributive fires, meaning they can handle wave after wave of attacking aircraft coming over from mainland China.

I haven’t looked at the package proposed, to see whether or not that can happen, if they can handle that. They can’t do it simply with fighter aircraft. And China has an anti-air missile capability which is becoming increasingly sophisticated, which will be effective against a lot of the tactical aircraft the world has and the United States has. So without looking at that package, it’s hard to tell whether or not it is essentially symbolism involved. But I would say anything the Taiwanese do to build up their defenses is good. Whether or not it is sufficient to handle growing capability of China to cross the straights of Taiwan is questionable, at best.

AJM: What about this notion of not selling them particular items because of China’s protests?

DH: If we really want to defend Taiwan, obviously we should deliver to them what it takes to defend them. I don’t know what other systems we can give, but we don’t give our most advanced F-16s to anybody. There are some American components of F-16s that we hold back from everybody. There’s some high end equipment that we don’t want anybody to get their hands on. So you have plain vanilla F-16s, you’ve got some that are somewhat sophisticated, and then you’ve got some that are extremely ‘high end’. Without looking at the particular equipment package, I can’t give you a real good answer on whether or not we are giving Taiwan the right thing. Obviously, we need to give to Taiwan what it takes – or we need to sell to Taiwan, they need to pay for it. They haven’t been spending much of their Gross National Product on defense, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, because they are an industrial powerhouse.

But they need to build the ability to maintain distributive fires that are survivable and effective against aircraft, missiles and naval vessels.

AJM: And are we not, with the Taiwan Relations Act, committed to helping defend them, not only with weapons sales but with our miltary?

DH: Well, certainly. Obviously, the Obama administration is parsing the term ‘defense’. They are giving them something, while trying not to upset the Chinese.

And I simply haven’t looked at the package to be able to tell you that even if they gave them the more sophisticated F-16s, that’s going to do the trick. Because I’ve looked at Taiwan’s armaments and their military force structure, and China is advancing so rapidly. Chins is building roughly 100 medium range ballistic missiles a year, many which are being staged in the Taiwan area. Now whether they get early on, to what I would call the point of being able to overwhelm Taiwan’s defensive systems, that’s a question that requires more analysis.

AJM: But the Hunter Doctrine is: We give them what it takes to beat back the chicoms?

DH: Yes. If we really want to defend Taiwan, and I believe we need to help Taiwan defend itself, they should have the equipment that is necessary to defend against a burgeoning defense capability in communist china.

Listen, I’m just about ready to go into a canyon. So I’ll have to sign off.

And in answer to your question, I think Obama gave a great ‘Socialism with a Smile’ speech. (laughs)

AJM: Good enough. Have a great day.

DH: Same here, Jim. How’s your weather up there, you guys getting any rain?

AJM: It looks like it’s coming in now. We should get some more snow pack in the mountains. We need it.

DH: OK. Looking good. Thanks for calling.



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