In the wake of a week of Terrorist attacks in Europe and Asia the administration has decided it’s time to get Americans the hell out of Turkey:

The State Department and Pentagon ordered the families of U.S. diplomats and military personnel Tuesday to leave posts in southern Turkey due to security fears.

The two agencies said dependents of American staffers at the U.S. consulate in Adana, the Incirlik air base and two other locations must leave. The so-called “ordered departure” notice means the relocation costs will be covered by the government.

CNN (via this Jake Tapper Tweet)

has more

“The decision to move our families and civilians was made in consultation with the Government of Turkey, our State Department, and our Secretary of Defense,” Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command, said in the statement.
A U.S. defense official told CNN that the base had been placed under Force Protection Condition Delta for weeks, the highest level of force protection for U.S. military bases. Delta level means that either a terrorist attack has just taken place in the immediate vicinity or “intelligence has been received that terrorist action against a specific location or person is imminent,” according to military guidelines.

Note the key word here “ordered”. Not suggested, not advised ORDERED. It’s reached a point where it is so dangerous in Turkey, a NATO ally, that the families of US personal and their dependents MUST flee for their own safety.

Now in a normal time this would be a huge story. It would be leading the news on every network and people and the MSM, much to their disgust, would be forced to bring in “experts” to explain that his forced evacuation of Americans have nothing to do with the failed anti-terrorism policies of the Obama administration’s foreign policy has led to this.

But fortunately for the MSM Corey Lewandowski committed the 2nd unenforced error for the Trump campaign (the 1st being the “Klan” interview with Jake Tapper) when he encountered Michelle Fields and didn’t take Glenn Reynolds advice about an apology & a drink to end the matter:

Donald Trump’s campaign manager was charged Tuesday in Florida with simple battery for allegedly roughing up a reporter.

Jupiter police said Corey Lewandowski, 41, was charged with the misdemeanor for grabbing and bruising the arm of Michelle Fields, 28, an ex-reporter for the conservative Breitbart News outlet, at a campaign event at Trump National Golf Course on March 8.

A “misdemeanor for grabbing and bruising the arm”. Now even in an election year by any rational standard this would never “trump” the forced evacuation of US personal from the territory of a NATO ally due to the threat of terrorism.

But then again I’m not the media looking for an excuse to change the subject from the utter and absolute failure of the Obama foreign policy (which was led by a woman named Clinton for the first 4 years) and change it to the Trump campaign which not only carries a lot of eyeballs but does so with a story that plays right into the “Trump vs Women” meme that they love.

Now this is an election year and manhandling a female reporter, even if one argues that it was accidental is newsworthy, particularly if it’s done by the campaign manager of the front runner for the GOP nomination.

But if you think for one minute that this is a more important story than US personal being pulled from Turkey, you’re smoking something.


I’m back trying to get that elusive $61 a day for DaTipJar but lately I haven’t reported on my progress. Part of it has been I’ve been busy but the other part being the reports for March would be rather depressing.

If we made our $61 a day my annual Tip jar would come into today at $5185, it currently stands at $2857. That’s a deficit of $2328 an increase of nearly $1000 this month.

Or to put it bluntly As of March 26, we’ve made our goal up to Feb 15th a full 29 days behind our goal.

And it’s not due to a lack of traffic, our number in March remain consistent with the blog’s recovery from our previous doldrums as of today we are over 10,000 visits ahead of last March and on a pace to nearly meet March 2014 the final month before our unexpected traffic crash began.

As I’ve said I’d like to think we do good work here If you’d like to help us keep up the pace please consider hitting DaTipJar

Olimometer 2.52

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If less than 1/3 of 1% of our February readers this month subscribed at $10 a month we’d have the 114.5 subscribers needed to our annual goal all year without solicitation.

If less than 2/3 of 1% did, I’d be completely out of debt and able to attend CPAC

If a full 1% of our February readers subscribed at $10 a month I could afford to travel across the country covering the presidential race this year in person for a full month.

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by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

As Russia continues its grasping, President Obama is in Wales for the NATO meeting . . . but he was “noticeably absent” from the start of the meeting,

Obama was late to the Ukraine meeting because of other meetings on Afghanistan and a meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan, according to a White House official.

Considering that NATO meetings are scheduled months in advance, the conflicting schedule signals incompetence, or, more tactfully, poor management skills.

But fret not, he more than made up for being late by making sure you could spot him in the group picture,

This has been a typical week for the Obama administration. Joe Biden, who has been Vice President for almost six years and was Senator for thirty six, gave a speech on Labor Day saying, “It’s time to take back America”,

From whom?

Taking back America is an explicit call to punish the man who’s making this very call.

Too bad Joe doesn’t realize that, just as he hasn’t explained how we’ll follow ISIS “to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice,” considering the plan to reduce the military to pre-World War II levels.

An aside: Am I alone in wondering if following ISIS “to the gates of hell” is part of the leading from behind foreign policy? Shouldn’t it be chasing ISIS “to the gates of hell”? And what about the “until they are brought to justice” part? Whose justice? What kind of justice can there be, besides total extinction, when you’re dealing with a deadly enemy?

But I digress.

Over in Nantucket, Secretary of State John Kerry was kiteboarding while the world burns but took some time to think about global warming, so, on Wednesday he connected the dots:

The Secretary of State pointed to Scripture, claiming it is the United States Biblical “responsibility” to “confront climate change” to help protect “vulnerable Muslim-majority countries.” Kerry did not, however, cite Bible passages to support his argument that this responsibility “comes from God.”

Never mind that John Kerry is as familiar with the Bible, any bible, as he is with the Koran or the Constitution; “Vulnerable Muslim-majority countries” have a heck of a lot more to immediately worry about than climate change.

As the IBD editorial put it,

Great leadership isn’t necessarily about intelligence, expertise or background. It’s more about wisdom and judgment.

Americans should be very concerned indeed.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on US and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s blog.

By John Ruberry

The effects of Russia’s annexation of the Crimea are being felt in the Baltic States–Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The three states were part of Czarist Russia, but they won their independence from the Bolsheviks after World War I. It was not to last–the tiny nations were seized by the Soviet Union in 1940. My wife, who was born in Latvia, was told that the three nations “requested” to join the USSR by her teachers.

Riga, Latvia
Riga, Latvia

Shortly before the collapse of the Evil Empire, the Baltic States regained their independence.

Despite being hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008, the Baltic States are the wealthiest of the former Soviet Republics. The democratic nations are members of NATO and the European Union.

But not all well in what was known in imperial Russia as “our West.” Thousands of Balts were deported to Siberia in the 1940s, Russian speakers took their place. It was an essential part of Josef Stalin’s policy of Russification–one people, one language. Over two decades after the collapse of the USSR, ethnic Russians comprise roughly one-quarter the population of Latvia and Estonia. Lithuania has a tiny Russian population but it borders the Kaliningrad exclave of Russia.

Needless to say, some people are nervous in the Baltics about the Ukraine crisis and Russia. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the former president of Latvia, told NPR earlier this month, “We have to worry every minute of every day.” Latvia and Lithuania suspended the broadcasts of the international service of a Russian government-owned television network for three months because of what they deemed inflammatory broadcasts.

An ethnic Russian member of the European Parliament from Latvia is under investigation by Latvian authorities for being a Russian Federation agent.

I’ve been to Latvia twice. When walking the streets of its capital, Riga, one is just a likely to hear Russian spoken as Latvian.

The most tense situation is in Estonia. Its third largest city, Narva, sits on the border of the Russian Federation. Just four percent of the residents are Narva are Estonian. The two nations have an unresolved border dispute. Estonia was the victim of a 2007 Russian cyber attack.

Pro independence rally in Latvia, 1990.
Pro independence rally
in Latvia, 1990.

To become a citizen of Estonia or Latvia, Russians and their descendants who emigrated there after 1940 have to pass a difficult language test, which is significant challenge for the elderly. Russians born there after 1991 can choose citizenship. In Lithuania Russians were offered citizenship upon independence.

In response to the Crimea crisis, NATO dispatched some F-16 jets to Lithuania and President Obama sent Vice President Joe Biden there. I’m sure the Balts appreciated the former more than the latter.

But if Vladimir Putin uses the same reasoning–the protection of Russians–to seize Narva as he did with Crimea, will President Obama and NATO have the stomach to view such a move as a violation of Article V of the charter of the alliance, “An attack on one is an attack on all?”

Or will Obama simply draw another of his meaningless red lines, as he did in Syria?

Putin has called the collapse of the USSR a “geopolitical tragedy.” 

But now he has Crimea. Is there a next move?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.


Olimometer 2.52

The time has come to ditch the weekly goal to focus on the monthly figure, that’s where the real action is at.

In order for this to be a viable full-time business this blog has to take in enough to make the mortgage/tax payment for the house (Currently $1210 monthly) and cover the costs of the writers writing here (another $255)

As of now we need $1278 to meet this goal by April 30th.

That comes out 51 people kicking in $25 over the rest of the month or basically three people a day.

I think the site and the work done here is worth it, if you do too then please consider hitting DaTipJar below .

Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 61 more subscribers  at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.

Consider the lineup you get for this price, in addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit) and Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Sunday  Linda Szugyi (No one of any import) on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?


by baldilocks

Only soft-handed Marxists natter on about the “right” or “wrong side of history.” Countries like Poland, however, have been battered by real Marxism and proceed accordingly.

NATO allies will hold emergency talks on the crisis in Ukraine on Tuesday, for the second time in three days, following a request from Poland, the alliance said on Monday.

In calling the meeting, Poland, a neighbor of Ukraine, invoked a NATO rule allowing any ally to consult with the others if it feels its security, territorial integrity or independence are under threat, the so-called Article 4.

“The developments in and around Ukraine are seen to constitute a threat to neighboring Allied countries and having direct and serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area,” the alliance said in a statement.

Emphasis mine; Poland knows Russia well.

There’s the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, under which Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Stalin’s USSR agreed to split up Poland.[i]

There’s the Katyn Massacre. Originally attributed to the Nazis, it was actually perpetrated by the NKVD (Soviet Secret Police); the USSR admitted to the massacre in 1990.

And there’s the Warsaw Pact. Allegedly it was formed counter as counter to NATO and as a “Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance” between the USSR and eight other eastern European countries, including Poland. But, as is well-known,  it was de facto enslavement of those countries by Soviet masters.

But Poland doesn’t even have to look to the previous century find reasons to be suspicious of Russia and its goals.

Recall the scrapped agreement for the missile shield technology  for Poland and the Czech Republic. It had been promised by George W. Bush, opposed by Vladimir Putin, and, in the end, was reneged on by Barack H. Obama.  And recall that the turnabout was announced on September 18, 2009—the seventieth anniversary of the day on which Hitler and Stalin carried out their designs on Poland.

And let’s not forget what happened to the Polish leadership in 2010.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski and some of the country’s highest military and civilian leaders died on Saturday when the presidential plane crashed as it came in for a landing in thick fog in western Russia, killing 96, officials said.


Russian and Polish officials said there were no survivors on the 26-year-old Tupolev, which was taking the president, his wife and staff to events marking the 70th anniversary of the [Katyn] massacre of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police.

This grimly ironic accident is still being questioned.

Our leadership and many other observers may not be taking into account—or even be familiar with—the history of this abusive relationship, but it would be safe to bet that the Poles had it in mind when they decided to make their appeal to NATO.

This is not to say that the United States should intervene on behalf of Ukraine. Even if our mandate to do so were morally and politically clear-cut, in the wake of the hollowing out of this nation–militarily, economically, socially, and, most importantly, in the leadership sphere–we are simply not able to help Ukraine or any other nation.

But while the President of the United States continually provides negative examples of an observation made by King Solomon in Proverbs, Poland looks at Ukraine, scrutinizes its own history and soberly ponders reality. Please, God, let there be a few more sober realists in the USA!

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Lithuania invokes Article 4 as well.

[i] In his actions concerning Georgia and Ukraine, Russian president Vladimir Putin has borrowed a strategy from both Stalin and Hitler: both claimed that their attack on Poland was to protect ethnic Ukrainians, Belarusians and Germans in the country—a pretext, to be sure.

Putin used a similar justification, with respect to ethnic Russians living in the Republic of Georgia, for the Russo-Georgian War of 2008, which resulted in the “independence” of formerly Georgian provinces Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Both provinces “had been functioning for 15 years outside Georgian control, their de facto independence guaranteed by Russian peacekeeping troops.” Putin is using this same strategy at present as justification for Russia’s incursion into Ukraine–an old form of ethnic cleansing.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

Yet another story that doesn’t inspire me out of Syria:

A plan to provide military training to the Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime and support them with air and naval power is being drawn up by an international coalition

This is a bad idea

The head of Britain’s armed forces, General Sir David Richards, hosted a confidential meeting in London a few weeks ago attended by the military chiefs of France, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE, and a three-star American general, in which the strategy was discussed at length.

this is a Very bad idea

Britain, France and the US have agreed that none of their countries would have “boots on the ground” to help the rebels. The training camps can be set up in Turkey. However, the use of air and maritime force would, in itself, be highly controversial and likely to lead to charges that, as in Libya, the West is carrying out regime change by force.

So we have a group of people now heavily influenced by Islamists, with Chemical weapons that we are teaching them to “secure” chemical stockpiles and now we are going to train them, arm them and provide air and navel power for them?

I’m sure folks think this is going to mean that the “New Syria” is going to be a much better place where Islamists will be weak, Sharia law will not be enforced and religious minorities will thrive.

And it goes without saying these fighters when the war is over certainly will not be a threat to the west or to our people on the ground when all is set and done. In fact I suspect it will be so safe we won’t even have to arm state department security there.

I imagine these same folks that brought you the “New Libya” have consulted with many experts who have assured them this it will work out. It unfortunate former Ambassador Chris Stevens in unavailable to give them a pointer or two.

We’ve seen this movie before, it doesn’t end well.

Update: Just a reminder, we only learned post election and post Benghazi that our administration was sending arms to the Libyans who eventually killed Stevens. If this goes where I think it will, I suppose we’ll hear the full story after the 2016 election when it can’t hurt the current Sec of State.

How did Steve MacDonald of the Grok put it?

“Only the News that’s fit to print, when it’s fit to print it.”

In Shelby Foote Magnum Opus The Civil War he tells the following story of Confederate General Braxton Bragg that is repeated online here:

“Grant recalled a story about Bragg when he was both company commander and quartermaster. “As commander of the company he made a requisition upon the quartermaster-himself-for something he wanted. As quartermaster he declined to fill the requisition, and endorsed on the back of it his reasons for so doing. As company commander he responded to this, urging that his requisition called for nothing but what he was entitled to, and that it was the duty of the quartermaster to fill it. As quartermaster he still persisted that he was right. Bragg finally went to the post commander for resolution of the problem who declared “My God, Mr. Bragg, you have quarreled with every officer in the army, and now you are quarreling with yourself.””

I could not help but think of that when I saw this story, after many days of delays and false starts NATO (a military organization that the US is the primary member and chief sponsor) finally took over the Libya mission from the US. Today was Day 1 of the NATO led mission. So what is the first thing “they” do?

NATO has asked the United States to continue participating in airstrikes over Libya through late Monday, ABC News has learned.

This was done to make up for the bad weather earlier in the week that had hampered targeting of Gadhafi forces and allowed them to push the rebels back to Ajdabiyah.

I suspect that NATO will have an easier time talking to themselves than Bragg did.

That anyone is taking this farce seriously is an indictment on the gullibility of mankind.

Let’s take a peek around the blogroll and see what we can see:

Dan Collins notes a double standard on gaffes:

But despite all of the available evidence that so easily destroys the meta-narrative of Obama’s brilliance, we still have yet to see him get the same treatment that Gerald Ford, Reagan, Quayle, or G.W. Bush did; where are all of the jokes about his educated idiocy? About Hirohito signing the surrender aboard the Missouri? About him listing the 57 states? No one seems to see the humor in any of this.

This reminds me a bit of why I think Obamacare is such a priority for this administration.

On the left side of the aisle Dissenting Justice takes issue with John Sheehan and his opinion of Gay Soldiers in the Dutch army:

Sheehan’s comments are absolutely bankrupt. 23 of the 26 NATO members allow out gays and lesbians to serve in the military. Only the US, Turkey and Portugal do not. Under Sheehan’s “logic,” NATO itself is ineffective due to the presence of gay soldiers.

There is no question however that the Dutch certainly didn’t cover themselves with glory in Bosnia. I’ve given my opinion on gays in the military here.

And Finally Peg at What if notes that both the administrations dealings with Israel and her showing in the North American Bridge association championships leave much to be desired:

his kind of excessive and weirdly paternalistic attitude to the state of Israel, directed so clearly from the top, seems to come out of a kind of unexamined personal animus. The long record that Obama has of friendship with virulent enemies of Israel has not gone unnoticed.

As the old saying goes; only time will tell. Let’s hope that the rest of the time this week is kinder to my bridge performance, too!

Hey Peg, at least you never played with a partner who liked to bluff when bidding. It really changes the game.