by baldilocks

Almost as if it isn’t an accident

I saw this yesterday. Dean Obeidallah is a radio host and CNN contributor.

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For the record. Captain Presson was the recipient of many decorations, including the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts.

I almost feel sorry for Obeidallah. One has to be incredibly stupid to step into that gaping hole.

Obeidallah apologized – with some Trump bashing thrown in for good measure, of course. But we all know that this guy’s ideological forebears would have called the man a NAZI even if they did know that he was wearing the uniform of the US military. That’s what actually happened 48 years ago – and even 13 years ago.

John Kerry’s 1971 testimony before Congress, anyone?

The words of Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) in 2005, anyone?

I don’t even like to think about all the foul words and drawings directed toward GIs during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

It’s just not good publicity to denigrate the memory of a dead GI on Memorial Day weekend. At least not this year.

But I suspect that the tide will turn again and it won’t be long.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

Was taking my kid to school when I heard a news clip on the radio that struck me.

They were reporting the repeal of DADT and that today for the first time in 18 years gay service members could serve openly.

This is a HUGE re-write of history. According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice before DADT a person who was an acknowledged Homosexual would not have been admitted period or would have been ejected when discovered.

You might remember this scene from Stripes:

DADT was considered a reform by the left because it allowed people who were Homosexual to serve without fear of discharge provided they did not announce their orientation. It was overwhelming supported by the left and Homosexual groups at the time. To pretend otherwise is to re-write history.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. My only concerning is the best most effective combat military possible. If it is demonstrated that gays serving openly helps that cause then I’m for it, if it is demonstrated that gays serving opening hurts that cause I’m against it.

If that is not the metric of those who are making military decisions in this country then we need different people making them.

One of the arguments that you hear over and over again in the budget debate is the cost of the US military. Our country spends more on its forces then all of Western Europe combined and in terms of quality and reach we certainly have gotten our monies worth.

Our bases span the world. The sophistication and training of our troops is second to none. On the sea our carrier and submarine forces are in every ocean, our air forces have a global reach and can strike from an ocean away.
This doesn’t even take into account our nuclear deterrence. The ICBM’s from the cold war are still in place and can be targeted or re-targeted in a matter of minutes. Our submarine force is in a position to deliver a devastating strike to any country at any time if we so choose.

In terms of rival military forces on a nuclear level only the Russians with their cold war ICBM’s and subs could conceivably hit us directly. China’s forces and reach are improving but are not yet in a position to threaten the US mainland. Neither of them have the naval reach to bring ground troops to bear directly upon us.

And on our own continent, the difference is even greater. Canada is a friend but even if they were not, their army long ago became a shell of the forces that once stormed the beaches of Normandy. Mexico is a basket case that is having issues controlling its own territory. And no South American country has the navy to reach our shores. Any land force from the south would need to pass through the neck in Panama before they could get anywhere near our border.

In short there is not military in existence that can credibly threaten us on any level short of Mutually Assured Destruction, and with the development of Missile Defense even that prospect is an uncertain one.

All of this being true and given the amount of time and money necessary for any other nation to even conceive of threatening us the question becomes. Is it our interest or even necessary to maintain a military to play defender of the world?

Isn’t it up to Libyans to free Libya and up to Syrians to free Syria? Shouldn’t it be up to South Korea to defend itself from the north? Japan is a technological powerhouse; surely it can develop weapons to defend itself without us. Israel is a military and economic powerhouse that dwarfs their rivals and have never once needed US forces directly and if Europe can spend Billions on welfare states surely they can pony up for their own military well-being? As far as the terrorist threat we are now facing with our technology we can identify and neutralize terrorists without setting a foot on dry land anywhere in the world. And if we DO have to set foot, our special forces and be in and out in minutes with nobody the wiser as was amply demonstrated at the beginning of May.

And really what’s the difference to us if North Korea gobbles up the south, if Israel falls, if Mugabe slaughters his own? When Vietnam fell, when the killing fields took place, what practical effect did it actually have on us? What practical effect did the violence in Rwanda or the killing in the Sudan have on us now?

That’s one side of the argument that we hear a lot from the Ron Paul side of the conservative isle and from many on the left. It’s an argument that has some appeal to Americans who live under the Mr. Rumson principle from Paint your wagon: “You don’t have to love your neighbor you leave him the hell alone.” We’ve got wide oceans and overwhelming power, what do we have to worry about?

It’s a powerful argument, particularly if you are thinking of today instead of tomorrow, but this is not what history teaches us.

Consider the world after 1815; for the first time you had the situation where a single power England, was in a position to not only control their own destiny but project its power independently through their overwhelmingly powerful navy, around the entire world. No power was in the position to rival them. Their naval reputation was so huge that no European power could even consider trying to face them. (A young United States might try, but they were culturally more related to England than they wished to admit).

As a result for almost a century you had the odd regional war, the Crimea in the 1840’s, France vs. Prussia/Germany in 1870, the Boar War in South Africa but no major conflagration. England projected not only their power but their values and culture, ending slavery, advancing science, industry, Christianity and British common law throughout the world. It is no accident that great advances that lifted the human race immensely took place during this period.

The lack of these major wars was not because human nature had changed, the ambitions and ego of man is a part of him. Nor was it because nations were not interested in increasing their power or influence, they were. The problem was to realize these ambitions they would have to challenge the power of England and no nation was positioned to do so and even if they were, the unbroken string of victories on the ocean and the reputation of land forces that had conquered Napoleon that could be delivered anywhere their navy could take them gave even the most ambitious pause.

This reputation has consequences even after war finally broke out. Consider, the great World 1 Naval Battle of Jutland the new and powerful German fleet, acquitted itself quite well against a superior foe, yet the Germans never again challenged the British fleet at sea, not because of inferior sailors or ships, but because there was a history of British naval superiority and a mystique ingrained into the world culture that the Germans were unwilling to challenge. When Admiral Scheer withdrew he was not close enough to see his rival admiral Jellicoe on the bridge of his flagship, but through knowledge of history he and the German Naval command who would not venture out again could still see the shadows of Rodney, Cochrane and Nelson standing behind him.

Although the US land forces played a role in the defeat of Germany in 1918 it was the US supply train that really made the difference. The single most demoralizing event for the German army during their final offensive in 1918 was seeing the supply situation of the enemies they overran. Even without US forces on the ground that ability of the Allies to supply their forces due to England’s Control of the seas spelt the eventual end for Germany.

After the First World War the world saw the United States go back across their oceanic walls, England retreat from its role of International peacekeeper and the rise of The League of Nations. Instead of a firm and powerful England to contend with, ambitious nations would have to deal with an international body of nations all with their own interests. Attempts were made to control arms via treaties and League of Nations resolutions. They fail. The retreat of England meant there was no restraint to Japan in China, to Italy in Africa, or to Germany in Europe until far too late, resulting in a Second World War that was only in the end won by the overwhelming industrial and military might of the United States.

Yet it did not have to be. Consider if a Victorious England after WW 1 decided to resume its role, perhaps helped with the rising star of an allied America. Do the Germans, Italians or Japanese imperial ambitions come to fruition? Are they willing to challenge a willing power as opposed to an international body that needs agreement among different parties?
Or conversely what if England decides to stay out of World War one altogether? It is often forgotten that the Germans nearly reached Paris and it was only a grand counter attack that stopped them. Does that grand counter attack take place if there is no BEF on the ground with the French?

By the end of World War 2 we are left with only the United States on its feet and largely untouched by the devastation. Once again a single nation becomes the guarantor of the world’s peace and the safety of half of Europe and Asia and other than the small wars in Korea and Vietnam (and yes they were small wars) thanks to the Pax America for a second time in two centuries the Human race leaps forward with technological and medical advances undreamed of in history. Yet all of this doesn’t have to happen.

Think of a cleverer Soviet Union that retreats back to its borders defusing an immediate military threat to the west, giving the United States an excuse to withdraw again beyond its salt water borders. Think of an unoccupied Japan or Germany. Do the cultural changes that change two of the most warlike nations on the planet take place, or do they simply re-arm? Does the Soviet Union, with their tanks in easy striking distance of Western Europe and American troops back across the Atlantic project power through the entire continent of Europe?

How lucky is the entire world that the US stays engaged, that Japan is occupied, that Germany is not given the chance to rearm. How lucky is the world that the US position means that only small wars take place over that time. How many people on how many continents remained free because an aggressor feared the potential intervention of American Troops?

And for America, how much of our post war prosperity was fueled by the Pax Americana we have lived under? How many hundreds of thousands of our men did not find themselves in graves all over the world because it was not necessary for the United States to re-arm and come to the aid of a Europe under siege?

Your enemies always grow stronger on what you leave behind. America can at any time choose to retreat from the world, but an ever shrinking world will not retreat from it. American military power, projected on a world stage and the American Soldier sailor and airman well-armed, well-trained and ready to intervene in both humanitarian or military situation wherever it is necessary is the best insurance policy against another Global War that humanity has ever seen.

In tough economic times it is always tempting to cut down on your insurance to save money but everything costs something, and unlike a house fire or an earthquake human nature and history guarantees that an unwillingness to pay the cost now, will mean we will have to pay a higher and bloodier cost later. American military power is not only the right thing to do for the world, it is the smart thing to do for America.

I know the Valerie Jarrett mistaking the 2nd highest ranking man in the US army for a waiter story is an old one, but there are two things worth noting about it.

The first is as Glenn Reynolds pointed out, the difference in how the MSM is playing it:

It’s a good thing Sarah Palin didn’t make this mistake. Because if she did, it would be a univerally reported indicator that she’s an idiot and should never be allowed anywhere near issues of public policy. Luckily, since it was Valerie Jarrett, it’s all in good fun.

This is so axiomatic that it’s almost not worth saying but we’re going to KEEP saying it to make the lie out of the “Sarah Palin stupid” , “Sarah Palin ignorant”, “Sarah Palin evil” nonsense that we are bombarded by regularly that one has to call them on it.

The second it the part of the story that nobody is talking about. The class of the general, Four-star Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli, to wit:

“The guy dutifully went up and got her a glass of wine, and then came back and gave it to her and took a seat at the table,”

No objections, no ranting about rank, not even an: “Excuse me I’m not a waiter but I’ll find you one.” By going and getting the wine for Ms Jarrett not only did the General act with humility but he deliberately acted in such a way to keep from embarrassing Ms Jarrett.

Imagine just for a moment if we replaced General Peter Chiarelli with John Kerry? Let’s quote an old Howie Carr piece:

One off the surest ways to get the phones ringing on any Massachusetts talk-radio show is to ask people to call in and tell their John Kerry stories. The phone lines are soon filled, and most of the stories have a common theme: our junior senator pulling rank on one of his constituents, breaking in line, demanding to pay less (or nothing) or ducking out before the bill arrives.

The tales often have one other common thread. Most end with Sen. Kerry inquiring of the lesser mortal: “Do you know who I am?”

I’ll never forget one of my most embarrassing moments. I was at a dinner with a bunch of military and ex military a couple of years ago. I was sitting at a table with two genuine heroes, one from WW 2 and one from Vietnam. It came up in conversation that the gentleman from Vietnam had earned 3 purple hearts in his tour, I absent-mindedly said “Just like John Kerry”. You could have heard a pin drop, his wife coldly commented: “No not like John Kerry”. I felt a real fool, particularly being one who never served.

It is that humility that makes the military one of the most respected institutions in the nation and the congress and the white house not.

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.”

an opinion I share to Vodkapundit

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.

Update: Oh Brother!

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?

If you only listen to the MSM you might not realize that long before anyone was talking about open homosexuality in the military universities on the left were banning ROTC. Those on the left used DADT as a convenient mask to justify such bans on grounds other than “I hate the US military” In the Washington Post today Colman McCarthy takes the mask of outrage off and puts the face of the left out there for all to see:

It should not be forgotten that schools have legitimate and moral reasons for keeping the military at bay, regardless of the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” They can stand with those who for reasons of conscience reject military solutions to conflicts.

Yeah I’m sure the British would have given us independence without a fight, the slaveholders would have freed their slaves without a battle, Saddam would have left Kuwait in his own good time, the North Koreans really weren’t planning to say in the south and of course there’s the guy with the silly mustache would have gotten sick of Paris or at least run out of Jews to kill.

The kicker however is this:

I admire those who join armies, whether America’s or the Taliban’s: for their discipline, for their loyalty to their buddies and to their principles, for their sacrifices to be away from home.

Because of course we know deep down aren’t the US Soldiers and the Taliban just two sides of the same coin!

This Washington Post pinata has already been smacked by Jonah Goldberg, booted by Allahpundit and dismembered by Victor Davis Hanson mocked by Blackfive, denounced by the moderate voice (yes you read that right), and analyzed by Glenn Reynolds who notes:

Looking at Colman McCarthy’s language drawing equivalence between U.S. soldiers and the Taliban, I don’t think he’s just a dreamy peacenik. And I’ve grown increasingly skeptical of the good intentions of “dreamy peacenik” types anyway, since, somehow, they always seem to promote things that help the other side. At best, they’re oikophobes.

I would suggest that US elite universities have been on the other side of US wars and interests since the 60’s, they supported the NVA, backed the soviets at every chance, opposed fighting against communism in central America, fought against Star Wars, opposed the gulf wars and the current wars that we are fighting. To them a weak, demoralized and defeated United States is not a bug…its a feature.

The problem for them is those same elites no longer have the exclusive access to disseminating the message, the internet, social networking, and conservative media provides an effective counter to this nonsense.

The tactical mistake of the left in turning DADT, which was meant as a compromise to allow gays to serve (but was apparently used as a quick way out for many who didn’t want to serve) into THE public reason for opposing ROTC meant that once repeal did come, the moral urgency of keeping soldiers away, was now gone.

This op-ed is the first salvo for the left to find a new excuse to bar the military from campus. If this meme is picked up by leftist blogs in support of banning ROTC we will know that this has been plan B from the get go.

I call on blogs on the left to denounce this comparison and the argument of this “gentleman”. Their actions will answer a lot of questions about whose side the left is actually on. I know a lot of people on the left of good faith who won’t stand for this nonsense, it’s time for them to say it loudly.