Like most military members, I was delighted to hear that James Mattis and Mike Rogers were being considered for key positions in the Trump administration. What you’ll hear the next few days is that Mattis is a blood-and-guts Marine and Rogers is an outgoing spook. The media misses the bigger reasons why Trump would want these men on his team.
First, Trump’s biggest concern is ISIS. Mattis and Rogers have been fighting Islamic terrorism the entire time they’ve worn stars on their shoulders. Both were effective too: Mattis won hard fought victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Rogers retooled the Signals Intelligence system to root out extremist networks.
Words of wisdom to follow
Both men are incredibly smart. Mattis is incredibly well read about history, and in his words “there is nothing new under the sun.” He’s often thought of as a modern day Sulla, or if you want a Star Wars reference, Grand Admiral Thrawn. Rogers has been in cyber and signals intelligence his entire career, and from working with him personally, he can follow any technical discussion thrown at him.
It’s probably true…
Neither man hesitates to shake things up, including firing people. Sadly, our military has grown accustomed to never firing officers unless they drive drunk or surf porn at work. Mattis fired a colonel in Iraq that wasn’t pushing his men hard enough to take Baghdad. Rogers shook up the National Security Agency by redesigning it in the NSA-21 initiative, including identifying poor performing structures and personnel.
Trump can’t go wrong with either of these men. If he gives them the tools to run their respective organizations, including expanded powers to fire people, he’ll be well on his way to winning America’s wars again.
This post solely represents the views of the author and does not represent official views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, National Security Agency, or any other portion of the US Government. It’s also slightly biased because I worked for Admiral Rogers before, and he’s awesome.
I’ve driven by this place before. Image from Wikipedia.
So I’m a veteran. I’ve even participated in a foreign war…well, a conflict really, since declaring war went out of style in the 1940s. I’m relatively young, with a young family, and fairly active in my community, despite moving every few years. While I’m not that good looking, I’ve got enough going to make me a good poster boy for the VFW.
But I’m not a member. It’s not just me, VFW posts around the US are hurtingfornewmembers. As a Rallypoint member, I’ve seen my share of “You should join the VFW!” posts. Unfortunately, my personal experiences, as well as my dad’s (a Cold War veteran), find the VFW has too many problems:
Female Veterans. VFWs still struggle to understand that yes, women in fact serve in the military as more than just nurses and yeomen (sorry, yeo-persons). I’ve served with a number of wonderful female officers and enlisted Sailors, and to have them encounter resistance to entry is appalling.
Action? Besides having a hall to rent out and parades to walk in, most VFWs aren’t exactly places of action. Young vets tend to be healthier and want to be out and about. While most people enjoy throwing back a beer and sharing sea stories once in a while, that can’t be your main draw anymore.
Updating with the times. The VFW was slow to jump on the revolution in social media. The sad part is that while it is now online, it’ll likely be too slow to adapt to whatever comes next. If you want an organization that quickly adapts to it’s younger members, check out the NRA, which keeps it’s core mission while tailoring messages for women, minorities and police forces.
The really sad part of this is that if you look into the VFW’s history, this isn’t a surprise. The VFW struggled to recruit members after the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and only did so when their existing membership began passing away in large numbers. If they didn’t learn then, I can’t say I hold out a lot of hope for them learning now.
This post is the opinion of the author and doesn’t reflect the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or the Veterans of Foreign Wars. All images used were labeled for reuse on the internet.
A woman in the Kurdish military recently shot and killed a senior commander of the self-proclaimed Islamic State who once kept her as a sex slave.
After more than 50 people at a Kurdish wedding died in an attack by Islamic terrorists, Turkey finally decided this week to launch a serious assault against the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
The incidents underline the importance of the Kurds as a key ally in any successful attempt to rid the world of the radical Islamists.
When I arrived in the Middle East nearly 40 years ago, the Armenians and the Kurds were among the most downtrodden ethnic groups in the region. The Armenians have their own country now; the Kurds don’t but should.
In one of the most brutal results of map drawing before and after World War I, more than 30 million Kurds were split among four countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. Keep in mind, most Kurds, who are mainly Sunni, consider themselves Kurds, not Iraqis, Iranians, Syrians or Turks. An independent state would be one of the largest in the Middle East–bigger than Syrian and almost as big as Iraq.
The Kurds have faced adversity many times, including the horrific 1988 chemical attack by Saddam Hussein’s government that left thousands dead in the worst incident of its kind in history.
The Kurds have supported the United States on many occasions, including the Gulf War, the Iraq War and the Syrian Civil War—much of the time later being forsaken by the Americans.
The Kurdish forces are called the pesh merga, which translated means “one who faces death.” This army has driven out Islamists from a variety of their strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
The U.S. government has thrown billions of dollars at a variety of ineffective Middle Eastern armies, but it has only been recently that the Kurds have received money for small arms shipments.
The United States should fund the pesh merga to a much greater extent because it is the only effective fighting force against the Islamic State.
Perhaps it’s time for the U.S. government to consider an independent Kurdish state in at least parts of Iraq and Syria, where it could continue its support of America.
Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at www.mediamashup.org
A note from DaTechGugy: I hope you enjoyed Christopher Harper’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Christopher Harper’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar [on the right] because of it, don’t forget to mention Chris’ post is the reason you did so. In case you missed his other pieces, here they are:
If you are a regular reader of The Other McCain you know that Stacy McCain has been given lately to long essays critiquing feminism and one of his primary antagonists is FemFreq namely Anita Sarkeesian who was instrumental is having hi banned from Twitter for the ultimate crime of critiquing her & quoting feminists in context.
When I say that Feminism Is a Totalitarian Movement to Destroy Civilization as We Know It, some readers may suppose that this is merely hyperbole, just as some readers may suppose that the sources I quote are “extreme” examples of an obscure “fringe” feminism. Yet anyone who cares to investigate further will discover that, however “radical” this anti-male/anti-heterosexual ideology may have been in an earlier era, it has now become so mainstream within academic feminism that no other perspective on human sexual behavior is ever expressed by the faculty in university departments of Women’s Studies.
and he produces the actual word of the actual “giants” of feminism to back it up
It was Mary Daly who celebrated the feminist movement as “the Second Coming of female presence not only as Antichrist but also as Antichurch,” as a “rising woman-consciousness” to destroy the “Christocentric cosmos.” Mary Daly was an influential professor, so if she declared feminism to be the Antichrist, who am I to disagree?
An honest enemy is less to be feared than a false friend, which is why I can at least respect Professor Sheila Jeffreys, who has never attempted to conceal her all-encompassing hatred of men, whereas dishonest feminists like Anita Sarkeesian pretend that they are victims of harassment, misunderstood and misrepresented by “misogynists.”
These are all excellent points and advance his argument in a powerful way but the question becomes Why is he able to make such powerful and effective argument that draw the wrath and fear of Twitter Safety council and Anitia Sarkeesan. The answer is contained the piece also explains why he is such an effective reporter (emphasis mine):
OK, do you suppose the average guy who spends a lot of time playing videogames is going to write a persuasive essay rebutting Sarkeesian? It’s absurd to expect such a thing. You don’t learn to write persuasive essays by logging endless hours playing League of Legends. Well, do we expect these gamers to do what I’ve done, spend upwards of $1,500 acquiring dozens of books of feminist theory and history, then spend hundreds of hours reading these books in order to develop an informed critical analysis of feminist ideology and rhetoric? Of course not.
There is some value to being able to react to an action or a quip, and to produce an effective one liner on twitter and in a culture that moves so quickly and has the attention span of a mayfly one might make an impression if said quip managed to go viral
But that can’t compare to actual knowledge acquired at the expense of personal wealth that has to be earned and expending time which can not be reacquired once spent.
That’s why he has been a target in the past for people like Rauhauser and Kimberlin and it’s also way people like the Twitter Safety council and Anitia Sarkeesan and their feminist allies are willing to continue to take the hit from his banning, because the is nothing more dangerous to the feminist meme than a person who is actually informed of it with 80K followers who might influence others.
And that’s why I spend so much time linking and quoting him and why you should spend your time reading him and listening to the five most important words in the English Language
All the press right now everywhere is focused on the presidential race but in 100 years the event that is going to be considered most significant in the history of the world from 2016 is this one:
Pope Francis and the leader of the powerful Russian Orthodox Church will hold talks in Cuba next week, the first meeting ever between a pope and a Russian patriarch and an encounter that some experts believe may help soothe conflicts in the Middle East.
It isn’t clear what the agenda will be for the meeting between Francis and Patriarch Kirill I, the head of the largest and wealthiest branch of Orthodox Christianity. But experts predict it could be a significant step — if probably symbolic — toward mending a schism that has divided Christianity between East and West for nearly 1,000 years.
At a time when Christians and Christianity are under attack both physically and culturally a show of unity particularly between this pair is huge:
The Patriarchate of Moscow sees itself as one of the few defenders of Christians in the Middle East, and Russia has intervened on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he pointed out. “Just for reasons of self-preservation, the Christians in Syria have mainly placed themselves under the protection of Assad and are discretely supportive of the Assad regime. They do believe the alternative is ISIS or some al Qaeda affiliate that would make their lives short or hellish,” he said.
Pope Francis, he continued, understands that any sort of solution to the problem of persecution of Middle Eastern Christians has a lot to do with ending the fighting in Syria, and that means getting Putin and the Russians committed to ending the fighting in Syria, “to get Putin to consider a political solution to the conflict and recognize that the Vatican and others can serve as honest brokers.”
This is about as unlikely an event as it gets.
Many Russian Orthodox consider Catholics as schismatic and heterodox. They also suspect Eastern Catholics, particularly the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which follows Orthodox rituals and spirituality, as encroaching on what they consider Orthodox territory and hoping to siphon off Orthodox believers.
“The Russian Patriarchate has really carved out a very anti-ecumenical position over the past few decades… as a very strong nationalist Church,” the expert said. “It’s wed itself even closer than other national Churches, like the Bulgarian Orthodox or Romanian Orthodox, to the current regime in its country.
The encounter between the two leaders, expected to last roughly two hours, will take place at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, and will conclude with the signing of a joint declaration. No details about the content of that agreement were released.
Those who don’t follow religion don’t realize just how big this is. That would not be an accurate description of John Allen:
Journalism tends to wildly overuse the term “historic,” but when it comes to Friday’s announcement that Pope Francis will meet Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on Feb. 12 in Havana, there’s simply no other word for it.
A friend asked if Afghanistan was Hindu and/or Buddhist before it was Muslim. Well, ‘yes’ would be a safe answer, but two other faiths which were prevalent in Afghanistan before Islam were Zoroastrianism and Christianity.
Legend based on the apocryphalGospel of Thomas and other ancient documents suggests that Saint Thomas preached in Bactria, which is today northern Afghanistan. An early third-century Syriac work known as the Acts of Thomas connects the apostle’s ministry with two kings, one in the north and the other in the south. According to the Acts, Thomas was at first reluctant to accept this mission, but the Lord appeared to him in a night vision and compelled him to accompany an Indian merchant, Abbanes (or Habban), to his native place in northwest India. There, Thomas found himself in the service of the Indo-Parthian (Southern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Northern India) King, Gondophares. The Apostle’s ministry resulted in many conversions throughout the kingdom, including the king and his brother.
Bardaisan, writing in about 196, speaks of Christians throughout Media, Parthia and Bactria and, according to Tertullian (c.160–230), there were already a number of bishoprics within the Persian Empire by 220. By the time of the establishment of the Second Persian Empire (AD 226), there were bishops of the Church of the East in northwest India, Afghanistan and Baluchistan, with laymen and clergy alike engaging in missionary activity.
All of the Afghani faiths resisted conversion to Islam for centuries after the seventh century rise, with varying degrees of success. (In the 15th century, the Church of the East was eradicated in the area by Muslim Mongols; Buddhists held on until the 19th century.) But, eventually, Islam won the battle. The war, of course, continues.
Looking into these things resembled peeling back a huge onion. Therefore, I’m posting this to give myself preliminary markers to investigate as much as to answer my friend’s question. Feel free to offer corrections and insights.
The bard’s immortal words come to mind when one reads about Gitmo alumnus Jihad Ahmed Mujstafa Diyab, (a.k.a. Abu Wael Dihab, a.k.a. Jihad Ahmad Diyab, a.k.a. Abu Ammar, a.k.a. Abu Wail al-Suri, a.k.a. Abu Wail al-Falastini, a.k.a. Jihad Ahmed Mujstafa Dhiab).
A 2008 Department of Defense JTF-GITMO Detainee Assessment (h/t The Tower) shows him as a high value, high risk detainee with affiliations to al-Qaeda, which he served as a recruiter, and who might provide information on Iranian support to al-Qaeda.
Jihad, who counts document forging among his skills, was a member of the “Syrian Group” of terrorists who escaped to Afghanistan, and was later sentenced to death in absentia in Syria. He apparently used his forgery skills at the service of the Global Jihad Support Network.
In short, Jihad lived up to his name.
Born in 1971 in Lebanon of an Argentinian mother and a Syrian father, Jihad was released from Gitmo last December 7, and sent to Uruguay, where he is provided free housing, board, and living expenses at Uruguayan taxpayers’ expense,
“They will be able to bring their families here if they want,” Uruguay’s defense minister, Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro, told a local news station. “They will be accompanied by people to help them adjust to the language and other things. They will have to find jobs.”
They will be able to “live in peace, sit in the stadium grandstand and become fans of some soccer team,” he added.
Cori Crider, a lawyer at Reprieve, a human-rights group that was representing him, went as far as saying that,
Mr. Dhiab once managed a restaurant in Syria and that he pondered opening a restaurant in Uruguay.
The new improved Jihad headed to Argentina, escorted by Uruguayan journalist Nora Fernández Espino, who’s currently working with the Fundación de Ayuda Humanitaria (IHH) (which owns the Mavi Marmara, one of the Free Gaza flotilla vessels).
No makeover and travel are complete without a press conference, so of course, one was arranged. Jihad declared that he was “ready to fight” for his fellow Gitmo detainees. Orange is the new black, so he wore orange in solidarity to Gitmo detainees.
During his press conference with Leftist media, Jihab claimed he was just a regular guy living with his family until the Americans dragged him out of his home and sent him to Gitmo. While he made these statements, the Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas, or DAIA (Delegation of Israelite Argentinian Associations) is worried about the possibility of a new Islamist attack in Argentina, following the theft of a TOW 2 missile and 130 FAL rifles from the armed forces.
Back in my much younger, stupider days, I sent Greenpeace a check for $25 of my hard-earned bucks. That was a couple of decades ago.
Yes, I recycle; yes, I don’t waste water or electricity; yes, I owned a house in a lot that had two dozen trees (which probably more than made up for whatever fumes the house may have generated), and their leaves and branches were mulched. So much for being “green.”
Vandalism is a crime.
Some vandalism is a misdemeanor. Toilet-paper a neighbor’s tree on mischief night, get caught, and you’ll find out what the word means.
The Nazca lines are huge figures depicting living creatures, stylised plants and imaginary figures scratched on the surface of the ground between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago. They are believed to have had ritual functions related to astronomy.
Take a look:
The letters are made of some kind of yellow material and were carried there on foot, and held down by rocks,
The damage caused by Greenpeace’s vandalism is inestimable,
The ground around the site is so sensitive and so sacred that Peru has even forbidden presidents and top officials to walk where the Greenpeace activists went. Peru’s Deputy Culture Ministertold the BBC: “You walk there, and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years.” Tourists generally get to see the site from the air, or, on rare occasions, are equipped with special foot gear.
“They are absolutely fragile. They are black rocks on a white background. You walk there and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years,” said the minister. “And the line that they have destroyed is the most visible and most recognized of all.”
Mind you, anyone even thinking of going to the Nazca site knows you can’t walk on it. Greenpeace willfully engaged in inflicting irreparable damage. In their breathtaking arrogance to say “the future is renewable”, they can’t see that the past is not.
What did Peru and mankind do to deserve this, in Greenpeace’s eyes?
The message was intended for delegates from 190 countries at the UN climate talks being held in Lima.
Sue Greenpeace out of business in countries where you can actually enforce the judgement; ban their activites as terrorism; identify the perpetrators and put them in jail.
Enough. It’s time for change: put Greenpeace out of business.
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.
1. working or acting merely for money or other reward; venal.
2. hired to serve in a foreign army, guerrilla organization, etc.
noun, plural mercenaries.
3. a professional soldier hired to serve in a foreign army.
I have been blogging for years on the current administration’s dereliction of their duty to secure national boundaries at the borders. It comes, however as an unpleasant surprise to find theses stories in today’s Drudge Report:
On the one hand, as many as 1,500 recruits per year (for starters?) may be illegal aliens because of an executive action; on the other hand, 20,000 experienced soldiers will be laid off because of budget cuts in these times of the rise of SPECTRE.
It makes you wonder what the priorities are, but the rule of law is not one of them.
One of the reasons why so many Americans oppose amnesty and a “path to citizenship” for illegal aliens is because, even if one buys it in utilitarian terms, to accept that an honorable American identity can be born from an illegal act seems to mock the very essence of citizenship and allegiance.
Compound that feeling with the news about the dreamer recruits.
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s blog.
It’s a fascinating thing to watch a significant section of the Fundamental Transformation takes place. That section is the United States Armed Force. All the rage—and I do mean rage—right now is the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl was allegedly being held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan. His “release” was reciprocated in that five Taliban leaders, who had been detainees at Guantanamo, were released to the authorities in Qatar. But there’s something about Bowe.
“We were at OP Mest, Paktika Province, Afghanistan. It was a small outpost where B Co 1-501st INF (Airbone) ran operations out of, just an Infantry platoon and ANA counterparts there. The place was an Afghan graveyard. Bergdahl had been acting a little strange, telling people he wanted to “walk the earth” and kept a little journal talking about how he was meant for better things. No one thought anything about it. He was a little “out there”. Next morning he’s gone. We search everywhere, and can’t find him. He left his weapon, his kit, and other sensitive items. He only took some water, a compass and a knife. We find some afghan kids shortly after who saw an american walking north asking about where the taliban are. We get hits on our voice intercepter that Taliban has him, and we were close. We come to realize that the kid deserted his post, snuck out of camp and sought out Taliban… to join them. We were in a defensive position at OP Mest, where your focus is to keep people out. He knew where the blind spots were to slip out and that’s what he did. It was supposed to be a 4-day mission but turned into several months of active searching. Everyone was spun up to find this guy. News outlets all over the country were putting out false information. It was hard to see, especially when we knew the truth about what happened and we lost good men trying to find him. PFC Matthew Michael Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Robert Curtiss, SSG Clayton Bowen, PFC Morris Walker, SSG Michael Murphrey, 2LT Darryn Andrews, were all KIA from our unit who died looking for Bergdahl. Many others from various units were wounded or killed while actively looking for Bergdahl. Fighting Increased. IEDs and enemy ambushes increased. The Taliban knew that we were looking for him in high numbers and our movements were predictable. Because of Bergdahl, more men were out in danger, and more attacks on friendly camps and positions were conducted while we were out looking for him. His actions impacted the region more than anyone wants to admit. There is also no way to know what he told the Taliban: Our movements, locations, tactics, weak points on vehicles and other things for the enemy to exploit are just a few possibilities. The Government knows full well that he deserted. It looks bad and is a good propaganda piece for the Taliban. They refuse to acknowledge it.
(The interesting content excuses the lack of paragraph breaks.)
Did the administration make another mistake? Consider the following about the military and its veterans:
The scrapping of the Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell policy
The VA scandal
The designation of returning veterans as prospective terrorists
The resignation of top generals
The firing of top generals on charges that seem…well…made up.
Regardless of one’s opinion on any of these topics, it cannot be denied that the combination of these things have and will Fundamentally Transform the general character of the U.S. military, and subsequently, the nation it defends. As promised. Sleep well.
“It gets really hurtful when I think, this guy was worth my son’s life? My son who was patriotic? Who was a true soldier? Who defended his country with his life?” (…) “That guy was worth that? I don’t think so.”
“I bet you anything there were soldiers killed or wounded capturing those five guys[.]” (…)“So what does that do for their sacrifice? They sacrificed for nothing, because they turned right around and let them go.”
11 years after former CIA operative Valerie Plame was deliberately exposed by the Bush administration as the US officials tried to apply pressure on her husband [Joseph Wilson], an American diplomat criticizing the US invasion to Iraq; the Obama Administration’s press service unwittingly put the real name of the CIA’s top spy in Afghanistan on the ‘pool report’ distributed to over 6,000 journalists.
(Emphasis, mine; spin, theirs.)
So Plame was “outed” as she trekked through the wilds of Virginia, but this fellow’s identity was revealed while he served in Afghanistan.
I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby went to jail for the fact that Richard Armitage mentioned Plame’s name in public, even though her name and her employer were well-known and the notion that she was a deep-cover operative was laughable. (In case, you thought misread, Libby went to jail for that actions of someone else.) One wonders if Libby—or Armitage–apologized to Plame for imperiling her missions as she traversed that dangerous territory between Langley, Starbucks, Whole Foods and her home.
Eyes On Target: Inside Stories from the Brotherhood of the U.S. Navy SEALs by Scott McEwen and Richard Miniter, is a gripping read in many ways:
It tells the story of a group of men who will give their all to protect our country, from the point of view of several of the men themselves.
It is the history of the most-feared anti-terrorist force in the world.
And, as the book jacket aptly describes, it
is an inside account of some of the most harrowing missions in American history-including the mission to kill Osama bin Laden and the mission that wasn’t, the deadly attack on the US diplomatic outpost in Benghazi where a retired SEAL sniper with a small team held off one hundred terrorists while his repeated radio calls for help went unheeded.
The book could be divided in three sections: The history of the SEALs, and how they evolved ‘from pirates to professionals’; the missions in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Benghazi (which actually was not a mission); and the Appendix and notes, which includes The US House Republican Conference Interim Progress Report on the events surrounding the September 11, 2012 Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi.
Not to be missed is chapter eleven, “Why the Unique Culture of the SEALs matters,” where McEwen and Miniter make the case for why
We must, as a society, keep a group of warriors free of politics and bureaucracy, free of the distractions that keep them from doing their vital work.
While the Obama administration and its apologists continue to refer to the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi as a fake, phony scandal (a Google search yields 553,000 results on benghazi fake scandal), the details of the attack, as itemized on chapter ten, belie this “fake, phony scandal” narrative.
Authors Scott McEwen and Richard Miniter thoroughly researched the official timelines of the Defense Department, the State Department, congressional reports, Arabic-language newspapers and American media to construct the most detailed timeline of the 9/11 attack in Benghazi. They go back to April 5, 2011 and start with Ambassador Chris Stevens’s arrival in Benghazi, ending with the September 12 arrival of the Marine FAST platoon in Tripoli at 8:56PM, a full twenty-four hours after the attack began.
Eyes On Target is a gripping, well-researched, moving account of a group of heroic men, a book both for history lovers and especially for the general reader who wants to know the facts on Benghazi.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on US and Latin America politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.
Wednesday is here and and we remain $831 away from a paid mortgage with only six days to get it.
$139 a day six tip jar hitters a day at $23 will get us there. Unfortunately this business is as reliable as Justices Kennedy & Roberts you never know day to day what will come.
But you can make it happen if you hit DatipJar below
If 61 of you hit Subscribe at $20 a month subscribers this site will be able to cover its bills for a full year and things will be a lot more like Alito and Kagan around here than Kennedy & Roberts reliable..
Last week, my husband returned from a six month deployment in Afghanistan. So politics haven’t been on my mind much. Mostly, we’ve just enjoyed family time. The separation is hard, but reunion is the reward.
With hubby still cleaning the moon dust off his boots, I got a little curious. How is it going over there? And are they talking about it much in the mainstream news outlets?
My husband and I have lived the military life since before 9/11. Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom have been a constant for us for a long time. Also, we don’t have cable TV, and I don’t turn on the local news unless a hurricane is on the way.
It’s hard for me to get a feel for what is common knowledge and sentiment outside of the military community. Now, President Obama has said for a long time that we were gonna be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. So that is probably common knowledge.
I didn’t find much in the way of antiwar protests against the potential extension of the Afghanistan War. I googled various key phrases, and the best thing I found was a HuffPo article (Amusing sidenote: guess which president is featured in the photo of this 2013 article?) It’s about a handful of diehards that hold weekly protests in Montpelier. Good for them, at least they are consistent.
I also didn’t find many recent official statements about the Afghanistan War, beyond the claim that it is ending soon. Mark Levin recently lamented the lack of a definitive mission in Afghanistan, so I wondered whether that was true.
Whitehouse.gov was my first stop. If you hover the cursor over “Issues,” a list that includes Defense pops up. Oddly, the only specific subtopic is End of Iraq War.
“We will achieve these objectives [by] . . . targeting the insurgency, working to secure key population centers, and increasing efforts to train Afghan security forces.”
“we are focusing assistance on supporting the President of Afghanistan and those ministries, governors, and local leaders who combat corruption and deliver for the people.”
So there is a mission, and maybe it is comprehensive, but it’s awfully confusing. We will defeat Al Qaeda by targeting them? What does that mean? As long as we are going after them, that is a victory? I guess the assumption is that Al Qaeda will give up after we target them long enough. I wonder how long that is.
What’s my conclusion? Oh, I don’t know. I hate forming opinions on policies that place friends and loved ones in harm’s way. Please do share yours in a comment. And remember all the deployed personnel in your prayers tonight. And maybe every night until 2024.
Prepare to be depressed, I’m about to talk about Afghanistan.
I’m one of those people who think we actually have several active and inactive reasons to remain in the country.
1. I think we need to eradicate the Taliban on both sides of the border, they are allies and enablers of Al Qaeda.
2. I think we need to prevent our enemies currently hiding on the Pakistan side of the border from re-establishing a power base in the south of the country.
3. I think we need to prevent clandestine moment of Nuclear expertise and/or materials between Pakistan and Iran through Afghanistan
4. I think we need to have a force next door to Iran as a threat in being in case it becomes necessary to seize nuclear materials if necessary (of course it would have been better to have a threat in being on BOTH side of Iran but that’s a different post).
There is certainly another side to the argument. Assuming the goals I have elaborated are not the goals of the nation it is not an unfair statement to say if we are going to have troops deployed we need to have a defined goals and have rules of engagement to further those goals and if we aren’t putting our troops in a position to be killed is criminal.
That being said if we as a nation decide to pull out of Afghanistan it has to be clearly understood the end result is going to look like this:
A 14-year-old Pakistani student who won international acclaim for speaking out for girls barred from school by the Taliban was critically wounded Tuesday by a gunman who boarded her school bus, asked for her by name, aimed his pistol at her head and fired, officials said.
The Pakistani Taliban asserted responsibility for the attack on ninth-grader Malala Yousafzai, who gained notice in early 2009 when she wrote a diary about Taliban atrocities under a pen name for the BBC’s Urdu service. Yousafzai lives in Mingora, a city in the scenic northwestern Swat valley, where Taliban insurgents imposed harsh Islamic law for two years before being routed by a major military operation in May 2009.
As soon as we are out the Taliban are going to come back in and this will be the fate of Afghan girls and women. Frankly I suspect the government of Afghanistan is not going to be all that upset if it is. WE have to decide as a nation if we intend to do something about the slaughter and subjugation of women over there or not.
The basic fact is Afghan Culture and Islam are not going to modify its beliefs simply because we want them to. Unless we are willing to impose our culture on these people a-la Japan 1946 nothing is likely to change. This is a horrible thing to say but it’s true.
Of course it would not be possible for us to impose our culture on these people even if we wanted to. Even if we had the cultural strength, confidence, or unity we once had (we don’t) we simply don’t have the cultural morality that we had in the 40’s. We can manage some basic things, but without said cultural morality that we once had there is no way to persuade the Afghans to maintain changes we would impose, and we WOULD have to impose them. After all how do we explain to the Afghans this stuff when our best and brightest are doing this:
Later this semester at Harvard, students will pause from studying things like philosophy, history, or the sciences, in order to celebrate something called “Incest-Fest.”
Incest-Fest is, essentially, a campus party where making out and hooking up with as many people as possible is the goal. It gets the “incest” name because the event is open only to residents of Kirkland house–one of Harvard’s undergraduate residences. Thus, students who are living together (as if they were members of the same family, get it?? Incest? So funny, right?) are having sex with one another.
America, this is your best and brightest. Are you proud?
Of course the reality is our best and brightest are the kids IN Afghanistan but yeah we’re so going to convince the Afghans that they should emulate us so their daughters can be emancipated like ours to sleep with as many strangers as possible in a night. That’ll sell.
By all means while we are there we should do our best to persuade and cajole Afghans into the a different way, but unless Afghans decide they want better for themselves and their wives and daughters at best we are buying a penny ticket in a lottery.
It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, but whatever decision we make it should be done with eyes open and a sober realization of the cost of action or inaction.
Before Santorum comes on Michael Steele points out the “revisionist” history “Every establishment republican supported Arlen” and the table pointed out what I’ve said over and over, there is no way you are going to oppose an incumbent in the same party in your own state that is your colleague in the Senate. It’s a simple question of loyalty.
Santorum: If I’m a lightweight, Romney is a heavyweight, big government.
Mika hits on the contraception did people ask him to back off: Santorum: Doesn’t let her get away with it, its federal mandates not contraception. Left is keen on separation of church and state when they want people of faith out of the public square. Mandate is against 1st Amendment.
Joe hits again on contraception: Santorum: This is gotcha politics. He talks about importance and the integrity of the family. “The principle issue I talk about on the campaign is us losing our freedom.”
Santorum talks about Cap & Trade and notes he’s won 10 states.
Andrea Mitchel asks about Afghanistan: Santorum: “We should commit ourselves to be successful if not then there is no reason to be there.”
Chuck Todd asks about organization: Santorum: Notes he won 10 states outspent 10-1. Notes most people said concentrate on Iowa at the time.
Joe asks about process: Santorum: He talks about running statewide in Pennsylvania, he talks about not using a teleprompter or being scripted. “People know what you’re seeing is what you’re going to get.”
Interesting Michael Steele didn’t get to ask a question.
I think Santorum handled himself very well, of course there aren’t a lot of GOP votes on Morning Joe but it can’t hurt.
“The clerics’ council of Afghanistan did not put any limitations on women,” Karzai said, adding: “It is the Shariah law of all Muslims and all Afghans.”
What can a network do? Well you can run it on the web and hope that people don’t read the story that goes with the headline:
Afghan president backs strict guidelines for women
Oh guidelines, simply guidelines, what kind of guidelines might they be?
Among the rules: Women should not travel without a male guardian and women should not mingle with strange men in places like schools, markets or offices. Beating one’s wife is prohibited only if there is no “Shariah-compliant reason,” it said, referring to the principles of Islamic law.
How about that, wasn’t it just a few days ago when we saw this story at USA Today?
Against a backdrop of heartland fears that U.S. Muslims seek to impose Islamic law on American courts, a leading Muslim group will launch a campaign on Monday to dispel what it called misconceptions about Shariah.
The “Defending Religious Freedom: Understanding Shariah” campaign comes at a time when more than 20 states are considering or have passed laws forbidding judges from considering Shariah in their deliberations.
Here is the real punchline:
Many Americans associate Shariah with the harsh punishments carried out in a few Muslim countries like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, even as U.S. Muslim groups insist they have no desire to introduce Islamic law on themselves or others.
Yeah I can’t see why people might think the folks in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, where Mecca the center of Islam, the place where every Muslim is required to visit at least once in their lifetime, might know a thing or two about how Sharia law works.
I’m sure we will be hearing the Sandra Fluke/Morning Joe/Rush & the GOP are enemies of Women crowd will be condemning Sharia or Shariah law any day now…
Afghanistan’s top religious council has said women should not mix with men in school, work or other aspects of daily life. The Ulema Council has also said that women should not travel without a male relative. The BBC’s Orla Guerin has been hearing reaction to the ruling from people in Kabul.
The comments by senior clerics – which have been welcomed by President Hamid Karzai – were included in a statement outlining the rights and duties of women under Islam.
It’s nice to see people concerned about women who are being mistreated but apparently our friends on the left have a different definition on women being oppressed:
The Rush story is 8 days old now, and it’s apparently international woman’s day, so the left shows it’s solidarity with women worldwide by relentlessly going after Limbaugh, while ignore a full country of actual women actually being repressed, but what’s rules on travel and beating women compared to an activist being called a name.
I don’t know what they think of the women in Afghanistan, but from their actions I can see they have little regard for the intelligence of women in the US.
It was far easier for you as civilized men to behave like barbarians than it was for them as barbarians to behave like civilized men.
Mr. Spock Star Trek: Mirror Mirror 1967
The spreading violence concerning the burning of Korans in Afghanistan for all its death and destruction has a small silver lining, a chance for the International and American Muslim Community and a clarifying moment during the debate about Islam vs Radical Islam.
Let’s stipulate right up front that as both a strategic and a PR matter it was an error for the Army to burn those Korans or to let the news of it come out…
..but having so stipulated now the question comes. What is the proper response for such an act?
I suggest that riots, burning and murder is not. In fact I more than suggest it, I state it as a simple fact that they are acts of barbarism.
I have seen a lot of coverage of the various riots and murders concerning this matter, I’ve seen them in the press and heard them on the radio. I’ve furthermore heard person after person critique the actions of the Army but I’ve heard very few in our media critique the murder and barbarism that have followed it.
This, like the Mohammad cartoon business clarifies things tremendously.
Muslims have naturally condemned the burning of Korans as an insult to their religion. That is certainly not odd. When professor PZ Myers desecrated consecrated communion hosts publicly Catholics were outraged and complained loudly, both in the press and to him employer the University of Minnesota.
Meanwhile while Molly Norris, a US citizen who even after apologizing for her part in “Everybody Draw Mohammad Day” remains in hiding under an assumed name for fear of her life, Professor Myers remains unharmed, unhurt and unafraid in his employment prospects. In fact not only has he not been harmed, but no Catholic Leader, no priest nor Bishop would countenance any type of violence against this man.
Yet during the Mohammad cartoon business we didn’t see the same from our friends of the Islamic faith. We don’t see American Muslim groups calling for the ending of the Fatwa on Molly Norris nor a promise to protect her from violence if she comes out of hiding. In fact one might even point out that the one sect of Islam that has eschewed violence (the Ahmadiyya Muslim community) has not only been the target of discrimination worldwide but has actually been targeted by violence and bombings for their beliefs.
Now the Islamic world has yet another chance to redeem itself. Will we see Islamic groups worldwide condemn the violence? Will they do so in Arabic and in the native languages of the people committing the violence so it will not be just pulling an Arafat, that is saying one thing in English for the west and another in Arabic?
Will Muslims disavow this attacks as mainstream Christians disavowed the actions and tactics Westboro Baptist (regardless of their position on Homosexuality) will they like the Bishops of the Catholic Church be defiant in the face of Administration policy without violence? Or will they decide the reward system that Glenn Reynolds wrote about here is more valuable:
Reader Dustin F writes: “If Colbert did a Zombie Mohammed sketch, Comedy Central wouldn’t even air it anyway, given their censorship of South Park. These folks have zero credibility on the subject of tolerating offense, since Comedy Central’s compliance with threats is a major example of allowing terrorism to work.”
My advice to Mormons and others: If you want respect, behead a few people. It won’t take much violence, as long as the threat is credible. Though it helps if they see you as an enemy of Western civilization. Then they’ll enjoy being intimidated.
That’s the real question, is the ability to intimidate one’s foes valuable enough that barbarism is to remain uncondemned and encouraged. Does western Islam really want to be considered a “religion of Peace” or is it just talk to keep liberals in the media quiet?
Or to be more blunt. While the Muslims rioters are either civilized men behaving like Barbarians due to anger or Barbarians acting like Barbarians. the verdict on the West’s Muslims is still out: Are they Civilized men or Barbarians?
If they are barbarians trying to behave like civilized men we should expect some kind of toothless statement in English, if however they are civilized men as they maintain then the willingness to strongly and forthrightly condemn these actions in languages of those rioting should be there and ought to be done. in fact one might think it should have already been done.
The ball is in your court Muslims of the west, what shall it be?
BTW the reaction of the Mainstream media has already rendered it’s verdict on the question.
They believe the Muslims in Afghanistan are barbarians acting like barbarians. They don’t expect better so they don’t waste their breath to say a word. Meanwhile their unwillingness to question call on the west’s Muslims to speak against the violence coupled with their previous actions concerning the Mohammad Cartoons and their silence on Molly Norris suggests they believe the west’s Muslim’s are barbarians pretending to be civilized men and are afraid of angering them for fear of their own lives.
That makes the MSM by their own standards, both racists and cowards.
Update: While I was writing this Doug Mataconis wrote the following piece that answered one of the questions asked here:
Even without the Koran burning incident, though, I have got to wonder why anyone would think that this “stabilization” mission would succeed to begin with. Dave Schuler puts it best in a post over at his own site:
We’ve done our best to make the Afghans prosperous. Clearly, they would much rather that we leave so they can go back to killing and abusing each other without whatever hindrance that we provide. The difference between us and the Taliban can be summarized succinctly: the Taliban cuts off young women’s ears and noses and leaves them for dead; we restore those noses and ears and try to heal their scars.
And in return all we get is hatred and attacks. Really, what’s the point anymore? Why are we bothering to try to civilize a nation that clearly is either incapable of being civilized or simply just doesn’t want to join the 21st Century?
Read his whole piece
Update 2: Some desecrated Korans are apparently more equal than others.
Update 3: Doug Made a point in his piece but a question, if England pulled out because they considered India “Barbarians” would widows still be thrown into funeral pyres via sutte or sati
Update 4: Tangential, but telling quote from Jay Nordlinger’s latest piece
The U.S. Army, using Black Hawk helicopters, has been dropping food, medicine, and livestock feed to people stranded in the mountains of Montenegro, which have been socked with snow. (Story here.) Nice to know our soldiers have taken a break from killing babies and wiping themselves with Korans to help the hungry.
One of the helicopter pilots compared his work in Montenegro with his work in Afghanistan: “There, we were getting shot at.”
Me, I think the greatest fear of the barbarians rioting over burning Korans is that we successfully educate and empower women over there. Oh and one thing about Nordlinger, I still think he’s awesome even thought he hits Santorum a lot, everyone is allowed a fault or two.
But he also revealed that producers had to consider the possibilities of ‘violent threats’ instead of polite complaints if they pushed ahead with certain types of satire.
Mr Thompson said: ‘Without question, “I complain in the strongest possible terms”, is different from, “I complain in the strongest possible terms and I am loading my AK47 as I write”. This definitely raises the stakes.’
In other words, the BBC considers British Muslims Barbarians and British Christians civilized, does that make them religious bigots? Cowards or both. I’m going with both.
“They are creatures of that miserable sort who loudly proclaim that torture is too good for their enemies and then give tea and cigarettes to the first wounded German pilot who turns up at the back door. Do what you will, there is going to be some benevolence, as well as some malice, in your patient’s soul. The great thing is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus becomes wholly real and the benevolence largely imaginary.” Screwtape Letter 6
I love humanity, it’s people I can’t stand!
Lucy Van Pelt
If you’ve been following the coverage of last night’s debate you;ve seen the left beating their breasts on the cruelty of the tea party republicans based on a Wolf Blitzer’s hypothetical question concerning a sick person who didn’t buy health insurance.
Talking Points memoand Morning Joe have both run with the clip contrasting the callous tea party people with their own love of humanity. Joe Scarborough and Mika made it a point to be shocked and disgusted the crowd’s reaction while scoffing at Congressman Paul’s assertion that community not government would take care of this imaginary person.
Strangely enough in all their self righteous bleating, they managed to ignore a more direct question concerning life and death posed by an Afghan Immigrant named Sahar Hekmati:
“As the next president of the United States, what will you do to secure safety and protection for the women and children of Afghanistan from the radicals?”
“Death, destruction, disease, horror. That’s what war is all about, Anan. That’s what makes it a thing to be avoided.” Capt James T. Kirk via a Taste or Armageddon
Throughout parts of Libya under rebel control, people are frustrated with NATO. Between its slow pace of attacks and the errant strikes that have killed rebel fighters, the speculation now is that the Western coalition lacks the resources and resolve to help the rebels topple Gaddafi. NATO and Libya’s Rebels Don’t JibeYahoo News June 21st
One of the biggest changes in American Political life since the mid 20th century has been the demise of the liberal Hawk. The people who believed that War though horrible when fought is for a purpose is sometimes necessary and should be fought to win.
For a long time Democrats, particularly in the south were strong proponents of national defense. The attitude was best illustrated by an exchange between Senator William Russell of Georgia and Senator Milton Young of North Dakota:
Sen Young: “You people of the South are much more militarily minded than in the North.”
Sen Russell: “You’d be more military minded too, if Sherman had crossed North Dakota.” The Years of Lyndon Johnson Master of the Senate pp 182
Slowly democrats changed or as they might say progressed. It was sometime between the last few years of the Vietnam war and the beginning of the Reagan Era that the political landscape altered. Democrats who had learned the lessons of World War 2 died out and were replaced by those whose school were marches and protests. It is from that template that a democratic party that once supported the cold war, found themselves advancing the Soviet positions ,calling for weapons freezes, defending the Sandinistas etc. It from them that the modern anti-war democrats descend intellectually.
It created a philosophy that was as comfortable and without risk as a mansion in a gated community. A strong and happy place where those who would never serve and didn’t know friends or family who did could be assured of their own self-righteousness. It was a place where the warlike west was the cause of most of the problems of the world, where utopia could be reached if only we listed to the words of John Lennon. It was a place where the US soldier was a strange creature who joined the Army simply to get an education due to poverty or because of poor upbringing. It was a place of bumper stickers about bake sales vs bombs, where the enlightened could gather convinced that the age of the warrior was soon to pass.
It was in this place that a community organizer was weaned and taught to look at the world and see the beauty of an America that was merely one cog in the great circle of nations.
Then came September 11th and realities of the world slapped the face of a slumbering US. For the left it was disaster to all they built up. It was bad enough the attackers were all of a particular religion but there were images of some of their allies celebrating the attack. Many who followed the left abandoned them and even worse the American soldier was transformed from a victim trapped by events to a hero, the symbol of power and strength, commanded by a leader who didn’t see shades of grey, who saw good and evil and was not afraid to define them.
The Democratic left in congress was faced with a quandary; those who actually saw intelligence knew what the threat was but their supporters weaned on a different brand of history could not and did not acknowledge the threat. So Democrats in congress took a page of the European playbook from the 80’s. They publicly denounced the President and seemingly fought his policies while making sure he had just enough votes to advance them. This gave them the best of all possible worlds, preventing a disaster while keeping the support of their base until the mood of the nation could change.
Such resolve is hard to maintain and as the decade neared it end the nation was facing economic troubles and when given the choice between an old warrior and a young leader who promised hope and change, they choose the young leader.
The president inherited two wars, one winding down in Iraq and the 2nd in Afghanistan in need of attention. They would both be challenges but no matter what decisions were to be made, he could fairly say neither war was his own and although he would be responsible for fighting them, he could not be held responsible for starting them. When the prospect of a new conflict might arise, the world could see the difference between the old simplistic way of fighting and the new era of smart diplomacy.
Which brings us to Libya.
With the Arab spring dawned in Egypt the Obama administration supported the Egyptian people against our onetime ally Mubarak. The US trained Egyptian army showed restraint (perhaps warned by their US advisers) and the government fell.
When the movement spread to Libya the situation was different. Like Egypt Libya was ruled by a dictator supported by a military, but unlike Egypt the US influence was minimal and the dictator had no compunction about killing thousands to retain power.
At first events seems to favor the rebels. The closed on the Capital of Tripoli. The world sat back seeing the success. Western Reporters descended on the Capital determined to report the end of Gaddafi as the end of his rule seemed imminent.
Meanwhile a former governor of Alaska suggested a NATO no-fly zone to preserve Rebel gains around Tripoli and hasten the fall of a man responsible for the death of Many Americans.
But the president of the United states would not be pressed into a war when none was necessary. He was sure it was the interference of the west that caused the worlds problems and despite the strength of the still Loyal air force Gaddafi was sure to fall any day. He declined to involve the US militarily but stated emphatically that “Gaddafi must go”.
Alas nobody told Gaddafi. With the time allowed him to recruit mercenaries from the south he counterattacked. With no air cover and no heavy weapons the rebels were routed. They poured back the length of the country and found themselves besieged with Gaddafi warning of slaughter if they didn’t surrender.
This was the moment of crisis. There was no strategic objective for the United States but the president had declared “Gaddafi must go” and if nothing was done then Gaddafi would take Benghazi and slaughter and the rebellion would be over with the Gaddafi regime firmly in power.
We could instead support the rebels. With American Air-power and military might Gaddafi would not be able to stand. True the rebels were not friends (in fact there was evidence that many were enemies) but there was no question that Gaddafi was a foe and his fall supported by the US forces would be a message to any enemy that the US had a long memory.
But such a strategy would involve the direct use of US power by the Obama administration on their own behalf. All that he was, all that he was taught, all he came from told him that such US power to overthrow an enemy was an abomination, but could he stand by and let the rebels die? Would not that blood be on his hands?
And here was the mistake, the mistake that Johnson made in Vietnam, the mistake that the left has always made in war. The belief that you can fight a war without fighting to win.
The president choose to go the route of NATO and the UN. A resolution was voted on and passed and within a week US planes where destroying Gaddafi’s ability to strike from the air and the Rebels on the verge of defeat once again pushed forward.
But the west was not willing to commit to a fight to the finish. Gaddafi’s forces adapted and over the last several months the war has seesawed with the Gaddafi alternatively pushing forward and being thrown back.
The President had two choices, both bad, both involving risks and neither attractive for America. A strong cold war leader would have made a choice and lived with the consequences but instead president Obama tried to compromise, to vote “present” if you will and now rather than a single friend or a single enemy we now have a stalemate and two sides who don’t trust us.
At the beginning of this mess I saw three possible conclusions. Where we are is where I expected us to be. If we had either stayed out, or fought the war to win, it would have been over in March or April. Instead there is no end in sight.
If the democratic party was the party of the past they might have taken James T. Kirk’s advice:
unfortunately for the world, that Democratic party is gone forever.
Make no mistake, however. The entire military leadership believes the president’s decision is a mistake, and especially the decision to withdraw the remainder of the surge forces by September 2012. They will soldier on and do their best, but as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, put it, in characteristic understatement, they believe the decision will increase the risk to the troops and increase the chance that the mission will not succeed. It bears repeating that the deadline imposed by the president has nothing to do with military or strategic calculation. It has everything to do with an electoral calculation. President Obama wants those troops out two months before Americans go to the voting booth.
,,,gives me a pain in my gut. The thought that a decades worth of fighting is managed based on which way Pennsylvania and Ohio might go in 2012 is obscene.
I may be a naive fellow, but I assumed that we are in Afghanistan to achieve objectives: Off the top of my head I’m thinking a few of those might be:
1. Kill any Al Qaeda/militants who might threaten or be capable of global jihad
2. Neutralize the Pakistan madrassas that are sending further terrorists in training
3. Keep the Taliban that sheltered and aided Al-Qaeda from re-establishing a foothold in Afghanistan
4. Establish relationships with local leaders within the country as intelligence sources for future reference
5. Keep pressure on Iran by having functioning bases and an army on their eastern flank
6. Keep pressure on Pakistan whose support for our operations against terror is based solely on their fear of us
These are worthy and worthwhile goals, however this report suggests the president’s objectives in Afghanistan might be described as more condensed:
1. Keep Afghanistan from being a political liability in 2012
When it seemed that a defeat in Afghanistan might be laid at his feet, he supported a surge in order to keep the pressure on and show himself to be a strong leader.
I applauded this move. For me this is a political rather than a religious issue so his motives were as irrelevant as Lyndon Johnson’s for advancing the civil rights act of 1957 I wanted the right thing done and he was helped by first-rate troops and officers who have done their job well.
Now with his election prospect faltering and the media unable to pretend otherwise, he is desperate to secure his base already angered by flips and flops of various natures.
So he is trying to divide the baby with a series of pull-outs before the election with a promise of full pullout after the election (Very Nixonian btw).
The left and the Morning Joe crowd who have been crying: “Afghanistan is Vietnam” have it entirely wrong. Afghanistan is not becoming Vietnam, the proper parallel is Libya
Libya is a war we entered for political reasons. Our combat strategy appears to be totally dependent on the political calculations of the White House at any given time.
It appears that we have moved to the Libya model in Afghanistan. If this is correct than God help us and God help our troops.
In terms of advancing conservatism the single best tool we have is the willingness of the left to self identify. We saw three examples of this lately:
Item SEIU and Communist Party USA.
Zombie blog and Ringo photos have an extensive collection of photos of the SEIU and American Communists proudly marching together for open borders etc. Of course this was not done without opposition…to the taking of the photos that is:
The young Communist in this picture did not like me photographing him and his group so he came over and draped his red flag over my camera lens. He told me that he would confiscate my camera if I took another picture
I walked away, switched my camera to ‘movie’ mode and went back and filmed him. He came straight back at me and said, “I told you not to take photos”, as he waved his flag in front of my face. I told him, “I can take photos of whoever I want”. Just then his Communist overlord came over and told him to “stop wasting energy”.
Until recently, the average American has regarded fascists and communists as equally noxious and equally malignant. As well they should have. But the drive these days by the left side of the spectrum is to make communism and socialism somewhat less remarkable and more palatable. For two years they angrily denied the Tea Party accusation that Obama’s policies and supporters had a socialist bent. But in recent months, as the accusation had started to gain traction, the new leftist tactic has become: “What’s so bad about socialism after all? You’re demonizing a very popular and respectable ideology!”
I think that when you are losing the ideological battle you have to find allies where you can and that 11% of Americans who think Communism is superior to Capitalism is a lot of people. So if teachers unions want to march with Avowed communists and groups that call for revolt and/or the annexation of the American Southwest to Mexico, hey that’s the way it is.
Will the MSM cover this? Of course not, it violates the narrative. But in an internet age it can’t be hidden.
Item. Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky on the Bin Laden “Assassination”
Slightly different flavors of the same kool aid. Lets start with Noam Chomsky who has always attacked America from his comfortable perch in American Academia:
There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them. In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress ‘suspects.
This is the kind of thing that Barack Obama might have said before he became President. (Or do we only imagine that he used to say things like that?) A great benefit to having Obama as President is that he is not available to say things like that and very few mainstream Democrats or liberals feel tempted to say things like that.
The amusingly named “reality based community” unwilling to defend Chomsky (although his commentators take up the slack) chooses to attack the messenger.
So before resorting to haldoperidol – which has some nasty side-effects – perhaps Prof. Althouse should just stop getting her news and views from wingnut blogs and the Murdoch/Breitbart media.
Note the tactic, lets not refute the statement, lets delegitimize the messenger and possible sources. Much easier than trying to refute the president’s past associations with ideological soul mates to Chomsky like Bill Ayers and Wright.
However Chomsky is still niche enough that it doesn’t cause a lot of grief for the left, but Michael Moore that’s a different story.
Moore (who lets not forget boasted a bunch of high ranking democratic pols for his Fahrenheit 911 movie and was up in front in Wisconsin can’t be so easily denied
Michael Moore thinks Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. Navy Seals is a conspiracy. In more than 40 Tweets over the past several days, the controversial filmmaker made his case in 140 characters or less. A few are excerpted below
And apparently all he knows about the laws of war and Nuremberg is what he saw in the movie
And you know after World War II, we just didn’t go in and put a bullet to the head of all the top Nazis. We put them on trial. We took them to Nuremberg and we put them on trial, and we said, no, this is important for the world to see these criminals and it’s important for history to have a record of what they did. And so we’re going to do this in a courtroom and we’re going to show these Germans how we do it – with fairness, with justice. You’re going to get to have your own attorney. You get to have your day in court. That’s how we do it. That’s what separates us from you, Nazi scum.
Now this one the left can’t count on the media ignoring so at Daily Kos they are running away
Back away now from your nutty OBL statements while there is still time because you’re making us look bad..
Alas the left they never look worse than when they are unedited.
I note here at the end that Chomsky concluded the question and answer session by arguing that Osama Bin Laden was assassinated, “murdered,” so that the U.S. could avoid putting Bin Laden on trial, because “they have no evidence against him.”
That final jab at the U.S. went over extremely well with the crowd of anti-Americans and Arafat-styled student-cum-terrorists.
Yup and we should make sure that everybody knows that crowd agreed.
My last post yesterday talked about how the media would be ignoring Palin’s appearance in Wisconsin yesterday. Since Politico had an article on the subject I thought there might be a chance that Morning Joe would bring it up in their Politico playbook section.
They managed to play a link clip of Donald Trump hitting Mitt Romney going into it but Politico story or no not only is the Palin speech not to be found, but her appearance in Wisconsin was not even worth mentioning.
As a said media Bias is mostly made up of sins of omission, but even more amazing to me was Joe and Mika’s second omission in that same politico segment.
They talked about Democrats having confidence in Texas and the candidacy of General Ricardo Sanchez for the Senate and how he would appeal to so many groups and even included a photo.
Yet the Abu Ghraib connection that as Ed Driscoll points out was worth 32 straight NYT front page stories is not mentioned once.
Morning Joe has hit the Afghanistan War over and over again, (mostly trying to push Rolling Stone stories that have gotten no traction) yet the idea that the democrats are going to run the highest ranking general involved in Abu Ghraib is not a story? How can you tell that story and leave that out? If they’re not ashamed they ought to be but I guess they prefer to paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt like so:
Journalism be damned, Democratic electoral prospects have to be protected for the good of the country.
Joe spends a lot of time dismissing bloggers on that show, now I know why. They have to, after all what would they do if their viewers knew that people like Ed Morrissey were reporting facts that they were ignoring?
Update: It’s worse than I thought. Politico mentioned the Abu Ghraib connection in their story yet they still didn’t touch it on air? Even I’m amazed.
Looking at thesestories I can’t help but think of this poem:
Take up the White Man’s burden–
Send forth the best ye breed–
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild–
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child. Kipling 1899
What else can one think when you see headlines like this:
Think about what that headline implies, AVENGE. Words mean things. AVENGE suggest a just retaliation for an act. This suggests that the New York Times finds their acts a legitimate response to the burning of a Koran.
I don’t have a lot of respect for Jones but I wonder, would those same people who blame him for the killings blame the “artist” who put up the painting of Christ/Palin and Christ/monkey up if he was attacked by a violent Christian Cult?
What’s the bottom line, both the Times, and the Guardian have concluded that we can’t expect better from the people and those who are busy blaming Jones for these murders consider the Afghans inferiors “half devil and half child”. We CAN’T expect civilized behavior from such people.
How is such an attitude by these papers any different that Kipling’s?
I’m not outraged over the burning of the Koran, I’m outraged at the murder of innocent people and the Fatwa against an US citizen for free speech, and if you consider yourself civilized you should too.
As you know by now Tim Scott won that primary and is now one of two black republicans serving in congress. Katherine Jenerette however is also serving, at a different location:
Scott was on his way to Baltimore-Washington International Airport to see ooff 35 troops to Afghanistan. Most of the men and women are from Arizona, California and Oregon, but two were from South Carolina, Capt. Katherine Jenerette of North Myrtle Beach and Sgt. 1st Class Marticia Maxie of North Charleston.
The country is lucky to have both of these fine Americans serving them and on a personal level Katherine stay safe.
Hastings apparently took the word of LTC Michael Holmes as the premise and theme of his article. In fact he sets it up with a quote from Holmes:
“My job in psy-ops is to play with people’s heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave,” says Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, the leader of the IO unit, who received an official reprimand after bucking orders. “I’m prohibited from doing that to our own people. When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you’re crossing a line.”
Except LTC Holmes job wasn’t “in psy-ops” (Psychological Operations) nor is LTC Holmes trained in PsyOps. That is a very specific Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) that requires school training. The place in which PsyOps is taught is the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Ft. Bragg, NC. According to Special Operations Command, the Special Warfare School has never heard of LTC Michael Holmes.
In short Hastings was gulled by Holmes. If anyone was a victim of “psy-ops” here, it was Michael Hastings. His lack of knowledge about the command plus an apparent desire to put another general officer notch in his journalistic belt left him open to a sob story from a disgruntled officer that may have sounded good to him, but appears to have little or no basis in fact. A story from an officer who had already been reprimanded for making a false official statement.
Go and read the whole thing. Joe Scarborough? Better luck next time, will be interested in how you will report on this stories crash and burn. As for Rolling Stone…I suggest you stick to Bieber manina.
Morning Joe was breathless today reporting that the well-known bastion of journalistic mud-racking on government issues Rolling Stone magazine is reporting that our troops were using “psi-ops” against US senators.
Joe breathlessly reported this as a turning point, Norah O’Donnell subbing for Mika talked about it breathlessly and then when the panel started talking about it, the one person who had actually read the article, found very little there there:
So I figured I’d take a look at rolling stone, to see what that pillar of serious news had to say.
The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in “psychological operations” to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war
WOAH! sounds nasty! No wonder they hate soldiers at Columbia. Did they bug their hotels looking for dirt, plant hot blonds to snooze them and take pictures? Maybe they waterboarded or drugged them? What nefarious methods did Rolling Stone uncover that the Evil US army used against senators:
According to Holmes, who attended at least a dozen meetings with Caldwell to discuss the operation, the general wanted the IO unit to do the kind of seemingly innocuous work usually delegated to the two dozen members of his public affairs staff: compiling detailed profiles of the VIPs, including their voting records, their likes and dislikes, and their “hot-button issues.” In one email to Holmes, Caldwell’s staff also wanted to know how to shape the general’s presentations to the visiting dignitaries, and how best to “refine our messaging.” emphasis mine
…WOW that’s absolutely positively…ordinary, but I’m sure that it gets worse because in the very next paragraph it says:
According to Holmes, the general wanted the IO team to provide a “deeper analysis of pressure points we could use to leverage the delegation for more funds.” The general’s chief of staff also asked Holmes how Caldwell could secretly manipulate the U.S. lawmakers without their knowledge. “How do we get these guys to give us more people?” he demanded. “What do I have to plant inside their heads?”
Wow he wants to find pressure point, he want to plant stuff inside their heads, boy this sounds a lot like…..lobbying.
But it’s not like Holmes the source for this story had a grudge. After all any soldier could be the subject of an Ar 15-6 investigation. And I’m sure many Colonials and their female Majors under them get reprimands over an “inappropriate relationship”. After all Rolling Stone covers stuff like this all the time and married or no they understand that as Holmes wrote: “Gimmee a break a man has needs you know.”
So this is the breathless story that Morning Joe started the show with and Norah O’Donnell in their first hour. It flew like a lead balloon and made such an impact that they followed up with their 2nd hour to go long with the crank call to Gov Walker before trying once again to sell this story as the template for the anti-war left, this time without Jamie Rubin who had popped their bubble in the first hour as MSNBC runs with the story.
The real problem lately has been reports out of Afghanistan have been encouraging and the agenda of the left when it comes to Afghanistan is the opposite of Reagan’s “We win they lose”.
One of the people who I ran into CPAC was the young lady who last year worked for Joe Scarborough who had given me the high compliment of saying I was tough but fair on him. When she greeted me I mentioned that I was even harder on him lately, she approved and it was suggested that he was more concerned these days with being accepted by the cocktail set.
When I talk about Morning Joe these days I’m often teased that I follow it because so few people watch it. The more I see of it lately the more that critique seems justified.
As a person who follows the war on terror and radical Islam, I have read many stories like this:
In the weeks before the New Year’s Day suicide bombing of an Egyptian church, al-Qaida-linked websites carried a how-to manual on “destroying the cross,” complete with videos on how to build a bomb and the locations of churches to target — including the one that was attacked.
They may have found a receptive audience in Alexandria, where increasingly radicalized Islamic hard-liners have been holding weekly anti-Christian demonstrations, filled with venomous slogans against the minority community.
This is not news to me, but the fact is this story didn’t come from my normal haunts. This story comes from MSNBC. What a shocker. I don’t know how much they are promoting this story but it is quite a change.
A glimpse of the world of education in Sur Baher in East Jerusalem was recently made available by Hamas TV. A broadcast showed how the Jerusalem children in the Islamic Riyad (Gardens of) Al-Aqsa School were taught to sing about desiring death: “May our blood be shed.”
They also sang the following in front of the cameras:
“How strong is the army of Al-Aqsa.
I am a soldier, defending its protected area.
How precious is the land of Al-Aqsa.
I shall give up my life for its sake.”
This footage of young children singing and being taught these lines in the Islamic Riyad Al-Aqsa School in Sur Baher appeared in a documentary program entitled “The Shahids’ (Martyrs’) Wedding” on Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV.
Hundreds of Facebook users welcomed the killing of liberal Pakistani politician Salman Taseer as a strike against reformers of the country’s tight blasphemy laws. The Punjab governor was shot on Tuesday by one of his guards, 26-year-old Mumtaz Qadri, who confessed to the murder because of Taseer’s vocal opposition to the law that was recently used to sentence a Christian woman to death.
You might remember that story, the woman got water for a group of people who refused to drink from the bucket because it was fetched by a Christian and therefore unclean. After the woman’s objection she was arrested and sentenced to death for blasphemy.
But that’s only facebook, it’s not as if the papers were backing this guy up:
Pakistan’s leading Urdu-language newspaper, Jang, ran a front-page story declaring: “There should be no funeral for Salman Taseer and no condemnation for his death.”
“A supporter of a blasphemer is also a blasphemer,” said a sub-heading, reporting that 500 religious scholars and clerics had paid tribute to Qadri.
Islam never preaches for one Muslim to kill another Muslim, then why are all these atrocities happening?
The worst part is that his own guard killed him, after seeing this, how is one suppose to trust another, how is one suppose to have a sense of security.
Apparently Sarah hasn’t been paying attention. These guys have a history of going after their fellow Muslim’s if they preach peace:
Taseer lamented the power of the religious mob in an interview last summer following bombings of mosques belonging to the Ahmadi sect, whose members identify themselves as Muslims but are barred by the constitution from “posing” as such.
The Ahmadi sect has a mosque in Fitchburg, I’ve interviewed the Iman and visited his Mosque, he is a good man and they are a credit to both the city, their religion. Then again I suspect they would be targeted for the very things we celebrate about them.
Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti condemned Saturday the recent announcement of a reward for killing the jailed Christian woman on death row for blasphemy.
Bhatti said the call is unjust and irresponsible and should be discouraged in the strongest possible manner because no one has the right to issue a decree to kill someone else, according to Pakistan’s Daily Times newspaper. He also added that Pakistan is a civilized country and violation of the rule of law is not allowed.
“Every legal and constitutional means will be adopted in the Asia Bibi case,” assured Bhatti, who was in charge of investigating the case and reported that Bibi was innocent to President Asif Ali Zadari.
If the media is starting to notice this then there is hope, now if they can only make the connection between this stuff and the people we are fighting (and the voices in Islam we should support such as the Ahmadiyya Muslim community) then the worm may finally be turning!
Listening to Joe Scarborough and company prophesying defeat in Afghanistan after reports of US Casualties Let’s imagine Morning Joe as it reports on US wars throughout the ages:
Nov 1776: There is no polite way to say it: The Continental Army is in full retreat despite the heroic efforts of Washington and his troops
Dec 1780: There is no polite way to say it: The British are in full control of the south despite the heroic efforts of Continental troops
Oct 1803: There is no polite way to say it: The pirates of Tripoli have captured the USS Philadelphia and there is no way we can suppress them despite the heroic efforts of Commodore Preble
Aug 17, 1812: There’s no polite way to say it: the USS Nautilus has been captured and the USS Constitution has barely escaped a British Fleet, there is no way we can compete with the British Navy despite the heroic efforts of our sailors
Aug 1814: There’s no polite way to say it: The British have burned Washington and despite the heroic efforts of Mrs. Madison to save national treasures.
March 1836: There is no polite way to say it: The Alamo and the Goliard forces have fallen to a man and Sam Houston is in full retreat despite the heroic efforts of the Texans who fell.
July 1862: There is no polite way to say it: Our armies are in full retreat before General Lee despite the heroic efforts of the troops in the peninsula.
Sept 1863: There is no polite way to say it: Despite the heroic efforts of General Thomas the south has driven and besieged our forces in Chattanooga and we have to rethink if we can win this war.
June 1864: There’s no polite way to say it: with 40,000 more casualties Grant is no closer to Richmond that McClellan was two years ago despite heroic efforts on the part of the Army of the Potomac
June 1876: There’s no polite way to say this: The Sioux have destroyed General Custer’s command despite the heroic efforts of the 7th cavalry.
Dec 1917: There’s no polite way to say this: With the Russian surrender the war has turned despite the heroic efforts of the AEF
Aug 1942: There’s no polite way to say this: After Salvo Island we just don’t have the ability to cope with the Japanese fleet at Guadalcanal, despite heroic efforts of the Navy and Marines
Feb 1943: There’s no polite way to say this: Kasserine pass show there is no way for us to defeat the Desert Fox despite the heroic efforts of US troops.
Sept 12 1950: There’s no polite way to say this: The North Koreans and their allies have us in a pocket and our troops are exhausted after World War 2 despite heroic efforts of our men.
and could you imagine them after Thermopylae? There’s no polite way to say this but the Greek city states can’t cope with the Persians despite the heroic efforts of the 300 Spartans
It’s the old “we love our troops but they can’t win.” meme of the left.
If only he could talk to an expert on military history like Victor Davis Hanson to give them some perspective that is if Jeffery Sacks can give him permission to have an extremist like him on the show.
As I been reading the continuing commentary on the Washington Post piece that has really got the attention of bloggers and readers from the daily pundit
“DADT as the reason for ROTC’s banning was always a sham. Now the mask is finally off. The elite professoriat doesn’t hate ROTC because of DADT, they hate ROTC because they just can’t stand “the warrior ethic”. That’s code for courage, honor, and duty, ethics all anathema to Leftist indoctrinators. They prefer us supine, afraid, and dependent on them.”
“See there, Mr. U.S. Marine Captain — McCarthy doesn’t hate you. Why, he thinks you’re every bit as respectable as a Taliban.
who adds a graphic that says it all to this post at Ace of Spades HQ that compares the course requirement for ROTC at Sienna College and woman and gender studies at Columbia guess which one is more challenging academically?
While all of these are first-rate there is a thought that hit me this morning that hasn’t been touched on. Namely that the McCarthy’s of the world actually bring about the results they claim to deplore.
Consider; our media tends to reflect the views of people like McCarthy and the movies and media we put out there tend to show our troops in a very poor light, particularly over the last 40 years that has been exported as American Cultural and elite opinion to foes all over the world that the Saddam’s, Bin Ladin’s and Chavez’s et/al have bought into. It is precisely believe they have bought into the weakness of American culture and the people opposition to the military and the troops as uneducated rabble that they have been bold enough to make war figuring we can’t defeat them or oppose them.
Hundreds of thousands of idiotic and fanatical followers of these fools have learned the hard way that this is not true (in fact it was the last thing they ever learned), yet their fanatical leaders who are not hiding in caves manage to convince them that America will simply roll over. Why don’t they believe the evidence of the empty chairs where their predecessors have been? Because men like McCarthy promote the idea of a military unwanted and supported, because our media is so focused on the number of our casualties in war that they ignored the losses of our foes that dwarf ours.
These men are the enablers of the very wars they claim to oppose, and even more ironically are only able to be such enablers because our military is precisely NOT like the Taliban or any of these guys.
The secret here is that the McCarthy’s on the left’s position is really less about their hatred of the military, but more about convincing themselves of their own moral superiority. They can’t match the courage or the honor or the sacrifice of these men and women so they denigrate them in a vain attempt to convince themselves that it is their words and good wishes, dare I say it their faith in their own love for their fellow-man that outweighs the works of the military in risking their own lives to save others.
That’s liberalism in a nutshell belief and good intention trump works and results every time.
Hitler could have been waited out. He might have been overthrown by his own government. Who knows? To have 50 million people killed: Hitler would have died within 10 years no matter what he did.
Oh and Lincoln was wrong to fight the civil war too. Moe Lane nails it:
Whichever editor approved this Washington Post article should be ashamed of him- or herself. I do not expect shame, but it’s long past time that we started telling these people when they’ve done something foul.
He certainly has the right to free speech but did he have the right to a Washington Post op-ed?
Christmas is getting closer, I’m not all that excited about a lot of things today but I have a lot of things I’m thinking about:
Watch Hugo Chavez slowing take absolute power is like watching a horror movie for the 27th time. Every single time you shout don’t open that door” but you know it’s going to be opened. No comment from the Sean Penn’s of the world.
The fact is that the first rule of being a good leftist is the enemy of the US is my friend.
This is one of the reason why Obama drives some on the left nuts, by deciding not to lose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan he has betrayed them.
And Julian Assagee is driving ultra feminists nuts too, there is a conflict between their belief that America is an evil patriarchy and the idea that almost all sex is rape. It’s for this reason that the left confronted by this conundrum choose to attack…Robert Stacy McCain .
Do you remember the conventional wisdom that Pat Toomey couldn’t win a general election? I do. Conventional wisdom is correct until it isn’t.
Then again I thought that three Massachusetts seats would flip, turns out the answer is 1, that is we have lost a democratic seat that will likely end up Red elsewhere.
If I live to be 77 I expect to see Massachusetts with a six seat delegation or less unless we change. I can’t help but think this is good for America as a whole.
I plan a longer post on the subject but someone needs to explain to the left that you can’t vote the dead unless they’ve been born first.
Bill Whittle is a national treasure, and I need to get him on my show.
Yesterday on O’Reilly there were comments on what people gave to charity. I don’t like this. I itemize my taxes but claim no charity, not because I don’t give but because I don’t believe it taking a tax deduction for it. I’ll wager there are a lot of folks like me.
They also played the flash mob Hallelujah choir, I absolutely love that and the silent monk one too. Both are creative.
Considering the geological age of the Universe in general and the earth in particular how arrogant is it that our current “climate” IS the climate that we must maintain?
And another thing, if man is just another animal why is don’t we simply accept that it is our “nature” to “change climate” just like it is like a lion’s nature to eat antelope?
The anniversary of one of stupidest things that elites in this country every came up with Secession was this week. I see a direct line from this to liberals today. I also think that if it hadn’t been for secession and the civil war slavery in America would have continued well into the 20th century in the US until perhaps World War 2.
That deserves a longer essay that I will write later.
Am I the only guy who was not surprised when the North Koreans did nothing after days of bluster over South Korean war games etc?
How exactly does a story end up on memeorandum? It can’t be just hits or Instapundit would be there every day?
I’ve given Hallie Miller a lot of my time lately, she is now in the top 10 (8th in the Explore Modeling contest) in the Savvy Magazine modeling contest. I’ve been fascinated on how close the vote is. There are 351 votes separating the current 12th place lady and the 6th place spot. With under 10 days to go in my opinion no spot outside the top 3 or 4 is safe and I expect a lot of movement in the last few days of the contest to get those 10 winning spots.
Hallie was in the 100’s when she first left a comment on the blog. The irony is that I would have likely help any person who had asked first. Half the battle is showing up.
Barney Frank went on about what did the children of the rich do to deserve their parents money? Tell me Barney what did YOU do to deserve it?
One of the things about blogs that is wonderful are the things we notice that nobody picks up on. A great example is this NYT piece of the iCasualties site and this line that I noticed right away:
Also, donations have dried up — less than $1,000, far short of the costs and down from $8,000 to $10,000 in a typical year. And no more people volunteer to enter the data and free Mr. White to improve the design of the site.
I’m shocked SHOCKED. Why would money suddenly have dried up for Mr. White? Also he is confused by another thing.
These days, Mr. White finds himself more frequently in the role of media critic. He says he is continually amazed at how little attention the war in Afghanistan has generated.
Mike Mike Mike, don’t you get it? As long as a democratic congress is there with a democratic president there is absolutely no way the left is going to support you. You may have started this on your own, but your external support is directly proportional to your propaganda value for the left.
Have no fear, if the Republicans take over in 2012 you will find the money and help will suddenly reappear like magic.
“Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”
I agree with General Sir David Richards that al-Qaeda “cannot be beaten” but not for the same reasons. Clearly if we are afraid to freely discuss the ideology and motives behind this global war on the West then surely we cannot beat it.If we dare not speak its name, surely we cannot defeat it. If, instead, those that speak to the religious ideology that compels war against the “non-believers” are the ones demonized, surely it will defeat us.
First rule of survival, when someone says they are going to kill you, take them seriously.
Back in Aug of 2009 I ran this chart of Vietnam vets against the war on Google news in a story of how Vietnam vets against the war decided not to back up Cindy Sheehan’s protest against the Obama administration:
Funny how they dropped off the radar in Jan of 2009.
Several factors — war fatigue; a deep, lingering recession; and the presence of a Democratic president they helped elect — have drained the energy from organizations that led the fight against the Iraq war. Some of the most influential anti-war activist groups that once summoned half a million people to march against the Iraq war and the policies of former President George W. Bush are straining to raise the money and attention to fight what they see as Obama’s military entrenchment in Afghanistan.
“We don’t have a very vibrant anti-war movement anymore,” lamented Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Codepink, one of the anti-war movement’s most visible organizations. emphasis mine
If George W. Bush becomes president, the armies of the homeless, hundreds of thousands strong, will once again be used to illustrate the opposition’s arguments about welfare, the economy, and taxation.
George Bush is no longer president, those who oppose him politically who provided finances and manpower and media coverage in an attempt to bring him down will absolutely not do the same with Barack Obama.
BTW I figured I’d update my check of Vietnam Vets against the war on Google News since last year.
A blip, we have a blip! Is it a press release, is it a march, is it a national event, no? What can that one blip be?
This is defiantly NOT the time to get out of politics. Some people feel threatened by the Tea Party movement. While I don’t subscribe too many of their viewpoints, I welcome them to the political fray. Their movement is probably the best thing to happen in politics since the Vietnam Vets against the War staged a million person demonstration in West Potomac Park in March of 1973.
One mention in a side article on the tea party in February. That’s it?
Don’t despair Cindy, Medina, it takes time to create true believers. Come November 2012 I’m sure many on the left who decided that American Military power is not something to protest will suddenly come around. Rest assured that you will have all the support and manpower George Soros and the Democratic party can buy.
Iran is paying Taliban fighters $1,000 for each U.S. soldier they kill in Afghanistan, according to a report in a British newspaper.
The Sunday Times described how a man it said was a “Taliban treasurer” had gone to collect $18,000 from an Iranian firm in Kabul, a reward it said was for an attack in July which killed several Afghan government troops and destroyed an American armored vehicle.
The treasurer left with the cash hidden in a sack of flour, the newspaper said, and then gave it to Taliban fighters in the province of Wardak. In the past six months, the treasurer claimed to have collected more than $77,000 from the company.
While the south was seceding and President Buchannan dithered the cry of unionists was: “Oh but for one hour of (Andrew) Jackson”. When I read this knowing my president; my cry is “Oh but for one hour of Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan”!
If this isn’t a causis belli to at least take out the Iranian Nukes I’d like to know what is!
The Taliban has executed a pregnant widow accused of adultery in western Afghanistan, provincial and district officials said Monday.
The 47-year-old woman, Sanam Gul, also known as Sanam Bibi, was killed in Badghis province Saturday morning, said Ashrafuddin Majidi, the provincial governor’s spokesman.
The district governor of Qades, Hashim Habibi, confirmed the execution. He said the woman was accused of adultery that left her pregnant. The Taliban shadow district governor, Mullah Abdul Hakim, and his judge ordered the woman to be executed, he said.
It is true we can’t be everywhere and change everything but we ARE there. If we leave before the Taliban is crushed we will condemn thousands like her to death.
(btw in case you don’t understand the reference, in other countries a “shadow official” refers to a member of the political opposition who would in fact be in that post if they had power.
On Morning Joe again today Joe Scarborough brought out his favorite number “50 Al qaeda” when talking about Afghanistan and if we should be there. (it was not the most ridiculous statement of the show as a guest talked how it costs $1 mil per GI there saying we should spend it on their people instead as if a ten man medical team was not just slaughtered there two days ago) Every time the subject of Afghanistan is brought up the 50 al-Qaeda number is trumpeted by Joe in his argument that we should cut and run withdraw.
By an odd coincidence I was re-reading about the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House this weekend. It was a seminal moment in the war because Grant after being defeated soundly at the Wilderness instead of retreating as other Union generals did raced for Spotsylvania to get around Lee by the left. Grant’s troops raced for the courthouse in the hope of getting there first.
James Longstreet had been badly wounded and his division was now under the command of the unexciting Richard Anderson. Anderson’s division, not renowned for speed, raced for the same point on a road that was being cleared even as he marched
At Spotsylvania the Cavalry of course got there first. There was a clash at a rail pile where Confederates defended against the Union Cavalry trying to dislodge them but the infantry was just behind them. When the first Union elements arrived General Warren (one of the heroes of Gettysburg told his Brigadier John Robinson to attack informing him that there was nothing but dismounted cavalry ahead of him.
It was true at the time he said it but between that moment and the time of attack, the first infantry brigades made it to the line, beating the union troops there by less than a minutes and insuring that the massive bloodshed that the country had gone through for 3 years would be prolonged for at least one more.
Under the Joe Scarborough theory of warfare there will never be anything more than Fitz Lee’s dismounted cavalry in front of the rail piles and all decisions to be made should be on that basis. There will always be just 50 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the Taliban are not our business.
I like Joe but lucky for us the tactical and strategic decisions in Afghanistan are not his.