On the Lead with Jake Tapper Tuesday Jake talked about the situation in Aleppo and how its fate is pretty much sealed.

He rightly pointed out how awful it was, the implication being that we should (or should have) done something about it.

Forgetting for a moment that the name of the president is still a fellow named Obama and that it wasn’t all that many years ago in the days of the Soviet Union when the media repeatedly expressed the idea that the best way to deal with Russia was diplomacy without military confrontations, there is one overriding fact that matters more than anything else.

 

No Amount of sanctions of any type is going to stop the offensive in Aleppo. If Aleppo is to be saved it is going to involve Air Combat with the Syrian and Russian Air Forces to slow them up long enough for American Ground Troops to get there.

 

Furthermore the only way things are going to change in Syria is if we go in a-la Iraq, Take it over and stay two decades at least rather than cutting and running as we did under Obama.

Now one might debate if the ratio of the cost in cash and lives plus the risk of a military escalation with either Russia and/or Iran vs the benefit of a Syria pried from the Russians and Iranians, the Syrians not slaughtering their own people, putting an army on the flank of both Iraqi and Lebanese militants and the reviving of the flypaper strategy where instead of attacking vulnerable western targets ISIS sympathizers flock to Syria to confront and be destroyed by the best trained, best equipped and most deadly military in the entire history of history.

But none of that matters because of one simple fact.

Even if the conclusion was made that the cost benefit ratio to war justified it The American people do not have the will to fight.

This of course is due to the efforts of the left in the culture wars of the last 30 to 50 years (ironically supported by the soviets). Iraq was only possible because of the 9/11 attacks.

And it’s not like the left and the papers who are hitting Trump for trying make friends with the Russians were going to fight such a war themselves or even support such a war if proposed

Until such a time this changes, and such a change is at least a generation away, the best we can do is make noise to save face however both the Russians and the Syrians will recognize such noise for what it is.

by baldilocks

On Twitter, many people call on others to “do something” about the destruction and mass killing of civilians in Aleppo, Syria. By “doing something,” they mean something other than posting about it on Social Media. Likely, these are the same people that bashed our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, short of taking up arms and hightailing over there to fight on one side or the other—an action which was which was criticized both in the current US administration and the one preceding—what exactly should be done?

One wonders whether the do-something people were the same ones who were eulogizing mass murderer Fidel Castro as a freedom fighter a few weeks back.

Aleppo is how most of the real world operates. A New York Times headline calls it an example of “humanity melting down”—as if no group of humans has ever murdered another group of humans until this week. (Maybe they still believe OG Fake Newser Walter Duranty’s report on Ukraine from the 1930s.)

What it is: an example of true, unconstrained human nature. That nature is thusly described: fallen. When individuals allow their nature to be unconstrained, we see murder, etc. When nations allow their policies to be unconstrained, we see genocides.

And on a biblical note, with Russia and Iran being the main actors in this violent play, I can’t help but think of the Isaiah and Ezekiel prophesies about war in Syria—and the roles that Russia and Iran play in that war and in other wars destined to occur in the Last Days.

Could we be observing a prequel—a staging of sorts? Probably.

Side note: on my old blog, I had a commenter who criticized me for “fear-mongering” when I talked about Bible prophecy. My response was that if she didn’t believe the Bible, then I could not monger fear in her; and if she did believe the Bible, then she should know that there is no reason to be afraid.

Side note #2: Read about the Great Revolt—the fall and sacking of Jerusalem by the Roman Empire, 66-70 A.D. People who don’t read much history and who live in the USA, Canada, etc. are always shocked at how Hobbesian the rest of the world is and always has been.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

asrSo there I was, in a shouting match with one of my Sailors about his latest evaluation.  Suddenly, he pulled out a gun and shot me. Twice. As I fell to the ground and slowly bled out, I watched him proceed to walk through our office and shoot other Sailors.

Except it wasn’t real.  It was our first active shooter drill.

The news tends to sensationalize active shooters, like it devolves into some sort of action video game.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  After the drill, my team watched our security camera footage to see what really happened.  We also had someone following the shooter around and take notes.

The first thing that jumped out at me was the difficulty realizing you were in an active shooter situation before it was too late. The shooter has ALL the advantages. Even though we used a cap gun that simulated the sound and smell of a 9mm pistol, the sound doesn’t always carry down a hallway. Plenty of people heard popping, but only a few realized it was a shooter.  By the time they realized it, the shooter was pointing a gun at them at close range.

notsureifgunshotI can validate Fry’s thoughts on this…

The Department of Defense provides active shooter training.  Once you realize there is an active shooter, if you can’t escape your goal is to barricade yourself into a room, lock the door and stay quiet.  That works surprisingly well.  Our shooter, intent on finding easy victims, got bored banging on doors that wouldn’t open.  It also delayed him, giving base security more time to respond.

Stopping the shooter because you’re Superman?  Unlikely, at least in the initial moments.  The shooter already has the aspect of surprise. Unless you catch him reloading, he can kill you in a fraction of a second.  Watching our surveillance footage, any Sailor that came within arms reach of the shooter was shot before he could react. When I go back and read other people’s accounts of active shooters, the ones that tackled the shooter typically did so while the shooter was reloading, or it was after the initial shock was over.

active_shooter_exercise_aims_to_strengthen_response_160401-z-bc699-098If you don’t have a gun, you wind up like the guy on the floor. Image from Wikipedia

An active shooter is absolutely terrifying to contemplate, but inside the situation it’s actually more confusing than anything else.  I’m glad to see the DoD is now allowing personnel to carry weapons on base, because it is frightening how quickly someone can kill multiple people before the police show up.  Our shooter was only walking and had to reload manually, yet he managed to kill a lot of people before the police response time.  Luckily, we identified areas we can fix, and I think the body count the next time won’t be so high.

My only wish at the end was that I share my experiences with non-military members, so that if they found themselves facing an active shooter, they could learn from my drill mistakes and perhaps save their life.


This post represents the views of the author and does not represent the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy or any other agency.  Please pray for the victims of active shooters, including the knifing victims recently at Ohio State.  And if you’re in the military, take your Active Shooter training seriously…it might just save your life!


If you liked this article, check out my blog.

obiwanLike 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.

mattisWords 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.

uncryingIt’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.


If you want more memes of Admiral Rogers as a total cyber badass, try checking out my website.

640px-vfw_post_2408_ypsilanti_2I’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 hurting for new members.  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:

frontchoke

  • 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.

youdohere

  • 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.

emailthanksgiving

  • 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.


If you’d like to read about how I’d change the VFW to be better, check out my blog.

While the US media obsesses over the Trump Access Hollywood tape over in Israel the real world consequences o the Obama/Clinton foreign policy continue to be felt:

A Palestinian terrorist shot and killed two Israelis and wounded six others in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem on Sunday.

The Palestinian terrorist, sitting in a car, drove up to a light-rail station and opened fired on the commuters, seriously wounding one woman in her 60s.

Fresh off of attending the funeral of Shimon Perez the Palestinian authority has acted decisively

The Fatah movement, headed by that alleged moderate Mahmoud Abbas, has declared a strike and a day of mourning today for the terrorist who murdered two Jews, including a 60-year old grandmother.

The Palestinian Authority gave this day of mourning a stamp of approval by reporting it on the official Wafa website, saying that the terrorist was being mourned along with all of the other “martyrs of Jerusalem.”

I’m sure on US campuses where Hillary Clinton is favored they approve of this move.  Meanwhile Donald trump had this to say about it:

The Palestinian terror attack today reminds the world of the grievous perils facing Israeli citizens. In a split second today, the streets of Jerusalem, Israel turned calamitous, shattered by gunfire as a Palestinian motorist trained his sights on Jews, killing two and wounding six others.

It marks yet another in a string of terrorist incidents targeting Israeli civilians in 2016. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ recent attendance at the funeral of Shimon Peres, the late Israeli president and prime minister, should have marked a new chapter in Israeli-Palestinian relations. Instead, the streets of Jerusalem tragically flow once more with the blood of innocents.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the survivors and the families of the victims. We must work to defeat terror once and for all. I wish everyone in Israel and the Jewish community around the world a meaningful Yom Kippur and peace.

I’m sure Hillary will have something to say, carefully scripted to make sure she loses none of those BDS supporters on campus, but given her reputation for honestly they likely know any words in support of Israel are as meaningless as her statement about her email server.

by baldilocks

Yikes!
Yikes!

While some of us gawk at the first of the October Surprises in Circus Circus 2016–aka the presidential election cycle–Immigration and Radicalization Theater continue.

House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) wants Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson to provide information about Nelash Mohamed Das, a citizen of Bangladesh and a lawful permanent resident of the United States arrested by the FBI and charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization by conspiring to murder a US military member in Prince George’s County, Maryland on behalf of ISIS.

Goodlatte told Johnson in a letter Thursday he wanted Das’s immigration and criminal history to determine if there were indicators of his radicalization that the Department of Justice should have been aware of prior to his arrest.

The FBI alleges that in late 2015 and early 2016, Das used social media to express his support for ISIS, including support for the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, France and San Bernardino, California.

“It is important for the committee to understand how Das became radicalized and to determine whether there were indicators of his radicalization that DHS should have been aware of prior to his arrest.”

I would love it if someone could explain this radicalization concept using layman terms, because, as it stands, I think it’s a phantom—one conjured to drive out the notion that Islam is a violent religion by nature…

…or to drive out the notion that “radicalization” really means that a given Muslim has begun to take his faith seriously.

(Thanks to Weasel Zippers)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

I must say nothing amazes me more than this meme that we keep hearing after very single attack by an Islamist:

The CNN report itself — the written report, not the clip above — is another marvel, making the story about everything else but the terrorist attack. Paragraph after paragraph of quotes appear in the article about religion of peace, worries about backlash, members of the Somali community worried that their families may have been victimized, before it actually gets to the attacks. It barely mentions that Adan demanded to know the religion of his victims, noting only that he “made a reference to Allah” and “asked at least one person if they were Muslim.” That sounds rather … polite, no? Well, except for the whole attempted-mass-murder thing.

The big story here isn’t the “potential for backlash.” It’s the terrorist attack that nearly took nine or more lives in the sleepy community of St. Cloud. Maybe other outlets will focus on the real story.

The “concern about a backlash” meme is so often repeated that it’s rarely questioned by the left, but two words illustrate how idiotic it is:

Emmett Till

For those of you who don’t know your history Emmett Till was a 14 year old chicago boy who was lynched during a visit to Mississippi in 1955 for the horrible crime of supposedly flirting with a white woman which apparently upset the sensibilities of certain folks.

It’s worth noting that Emmett Till’s murder was not unique in the era of Jim Crow:

From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States.  Of these people that were lynched 3,446 were black.  The blacks lynched accounted for 72.7% of the people lynched. 

That works out to about 1 black man lynched every ten days during that period of time.

What does this have to do with Islamic Terror?  Think about it for a second.

Ask yourself how you would react to local police after a lynching during the days of Jim Crow stating:  “They were unclear on the motivations for the attack” and local and national newspapers gave credence to such a statement?

Ask yourself how you would react if after a lynching local and national media in unison said the primary thing to worry about would be a backlash against whites over lynchings of blacks?

Ask yourself how you would react if local and national media insisted that the Jim Crow culture had no bearing on the decision of groups of “lone wolfs” who lynched blacks or that any connection with the culture of Jim Crow to lynching was illegitimate?  

Because when you claim that we are unsure of the motivations on Islamic Terror, when you go on about a potential backlash against Islam over terror attacks and you insist that the culture of Islam has nothing to do with the motivations of terrorists & that moderate Islam has no obligation to help the FBI weed out potential terrorists, you sound just like an apologist for Jim Crow circa 1930.

Closing thought as I’ve already said during Jim Crow you had one black man lynched every 10 days. As of this writing it has been 5488 days since Sept 11 2001 and in that time there have been 29,258 attacks by Islamic terrorists worldwide, an average of one attack every 4 1/2 HOURS a rate over 53 times the rate of lynching in the US during Jim Crow.


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It was a bad sunday for the MSM.

After Hillary Clinton’s health scare just after the Sunday shows last week there was a distinct change in the polling as Jazz Shaw reports:

The hated conclusion that Trump may actually be winning is showing up in a variety of unusual places, such as the LA Times daily tracking poll. This one has bounced around quite a bit, but Trump hasn’t had a solid lead in it since the GOP convention. Now he’s up by seven, well beyond the margin of error.

Trump has been leading there since 9/11. Is this a coincidence or does it have something to do with public perceptions of Clinton’s health after that ill fated “stumble” (read: collapse) outside the memorial service? She’s taken a nose dive since then and the latest report from Morning Consult finds that voters have been paying attention. They increasingly believe that Clinton is sick and are worried about it.

This could not be allowed to stand and the MSM was desperate to change the subject. They decided the plan was to bring back the birther issue that nobody was talking about or even thinking about because even if you think that Barack Obama was born in Kenya (or as I think he was born in Hawaii but pulled a Elizabeth Warren for personal advantage.) he has only 4 months left in office so who cares?

But the MSM, trying to energize the black vote that doesn’t like or trust Hillary Clinton and desperate to persuade millennials that Donald Trump is so beyond the pale that they MUST turn out to stop him, decided the birther business was the way to go and suddenly it became the subject of the week.

Yeah Donald Trump managed to rick roll them a few days ago but the Sunday shows belong to the left and they were ready to go all out on Trump the Birther, Trump the Bigot and Trump the inciter of violence or as Reliable Sources played it Trump the con man. The press was chomping at the bit and Dem VP Candidate Tim Kaine was ready to hit every show to emphasize that meme.

And then this happened in NYC:

Police are hunting for answers on what caused an explosion that injured 29 people in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, shortly before a second suspicious device was found nearby.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters early indications are that the explosion at 23rd Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan at about 8.30 p.m. Saturday “was an intentional act.”

And this happened in NJ:

In addition to the bomb that exploded about 9:30 a.m., some authorities reported finding as many as three other intact devices along the runners’ route on Ocean Avenue. The blast occurred in a trash can at the corner of D Street. Authorities later said the reports of additional devices were not verified.

Homeland Security, FBI, and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives agents joined New Jersey State Police, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and Seaside Park Police, blocking access to Seaside Park while an intense search was conducted.

And this happened in Minnesota:

Mass Stabbing at Mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota: Suspect Asked Victims if They Were Muslim

And of course ISIS celebrated:

Supporters of the Islamic State rushed to celebrate Saturday night’s powerful explosion in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood that injured at least 29 people, even as no group or individual has been arrested or claimed responsibility.

“The lions of the Caliphate roar in New York, we cause you pain inside your house, the carrier of the Cross,” wrote one Twitter user who went by the name “I am ISIS, come and block me.” The account was soon suspended. Another, called “The Lone Wolves,” tweeted with the Arabic hashtag #ExplosionManhattanNewYork “Oh God burn America, take revenge in the name of your oppressed slaves and believers’ blood.”

Undaunted and unbowed every single sunday show talked the birther stuff (most conveniently ignoring the Blumenthal angle) and kept pushing a “Trump off the rails again” meme while giving a few minutes during their opening about the NY & NJ bombings and Meet the Press did mention the stabbings in Minn.  Doing their best to stress that they don’t know if it’s terror.

The people’s Cube answered them well:

I’m sure the MSM was very pleased with themselves with their digs on Trump, in fact Brian Stelter did a whole self-righteous segment on “Why doesn’t the public trust us” that was all about hitting Trump. Alas for him Jake Tapper who started the day challenging Tim Kaine on Blumenthal and birtherism, followed him on cnn talking terror including the attacks in Minnesota, #ChelseaNYC continues to trend on twitter, a live press conference on the NY Bombing was carried by the networks reducing the Birther stuff to irrelevancy.

As Jazz Shaw put the meme changing nature of these attacks in perspective

None of these stories taken by themselves are going to generate the sort of headlines that a major terror attack produces, primarily because we got lucky and nobody died. But if we examine the pattern and put it in the context of the times we live in, it’s not exactly a stretch to imagine that there’s a connecting thread. That’s not to say that everyone involved in each incident was coordinating their efforts. In fact, that seems highly unlikely. But if the word was put out on the terror gossip lines that this would be a good weekend to kill some Americans, it doesn’t take all that much for someone to grab a knife or load up some steel pipes with gunpowder and head on out.

But what was the message the media wanted to take from all of this? When Donald Trump was kicking off a planned rally he used the phrase “a bomb went off” at the beginning of his remarks and reporters went ballistic over how he was rushing to judgement. For the record, I was also holding out for the possibility that it might have been a gas line or steam pipe explosion in New York last night, but was it really such a crazy idea to suspect it was a bomb? Particularly when it turned out to be a bomb?

And we didn’t even talk about the ambush of police in Philly.

Bottom line, The MSM and the Hillary Campaign had a bad Sunday because reality once again undermined the message they wanted to advance.


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Sept 11 is here again and once again America is going to spent it with solemn remembrance of our dead of that day, listing names, ringing bells and generally being sober.

In other words once again we are doing it wrong.

If the war on terror was over. If the states that sponsored terror were defeated, humiliated, their armies destroyed, their leaders overthrown. If the groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda were just memories, their fighters reduce to dust and ash, their madrassas rubble and their imams laid to rest in pigskin coffins, THEN all of these ceremonials would be appropriate. Then it would be time to mourn our dead with the knowledge that the war was won and that when we say “never forget” we meant it.

But until that is done, the only thing all of our solemn tears do is enable our enemies thus encouraging them to launch the next Benghazi attack, to tell their youth that America is weak, to encourage every single lone wolf that you can be remembered as a hero and bring a nation to its knees.

All we are doing today is giving our foes an easy propaganda victory.

This is a huge mistake, and it’s a bipartisan mistake, George W bush made it, Barack Obama made it and I suspect whoever wins in November will make it too.

In 1836 Texans remembered the Alamo by defeating those who attacked it.

In 1941 Americans remembered Pearl Harbor by declaring war and eventually bringing Japan to it’s knees.

We should remember 9/11 the same way, by destroying these enemies and making them an object lesson to any who would consider following in their footsteps.

Once that’s done, then we can memorialize the dead all you want and I’ll be right behind you,

Update:
Glenn Reynolds was right, unfortunately his predictions have held up really well and closes with this line:

God bless America. We need it.

Alas I think these days the most significant line of scripture for America is this one:

Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.

Matthew 10:32-33

Every single day I pray the 4th sorrowful mystery of the Rosary and ask Mother Angelia & Justice Scalia to pray it with me for our country.  I suggest you do the same.

Update two here is a prediction of Glenn’s that wasn’t correct:

And the TV footage of jubilant Palestinians just proves what I’ve always suspected — they just don’t get it. They’ll learn. Oh, how they’ll learn

What they’ve learned is there is no penalty for celebrating the death of Americans and they’ve learned that lesson well.

Update Three:  Jazz Shaw and uncomfortable truths

As much as I refused to admit it for years after the attacks, there is no separating out the bad apples from the rest of the basket… at least not entirely. We’re fighting an evil ideology which has deep roots in Islam. This is not to say that every Muslim in the world – and certainly not every one in America – supports terror. But it’s equally foolish to deny that this is the fountain from which the poison water flows. I don’t particularly like the look of the guy in the mirror who makes a statement like that, but it would be dishonest to deny it.

Or as I put it to answer Catholic turned Muslim Rep Keith Ellison who today talks about beating “Islamophobia”

Every day that doesn’t happen brings us a day closer to the necessity of us convincing them in a more forceful way because it’s going to come down to either our submission or their defeat.