Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Lessons: unlearned

Or worse: forgotten.

Even before I learned of the killing of the American ambassador in Benghazi and the storming of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, it seemed to me that our commemorations of the 9/11/01 attacks have become exercises in self-deception. Of course it is appropriate to remember victims and pay tribute to first-responders. But did you hear any government official or major media figure say what should by now be obvious: that on a September morning eleven years ago, America lost a battle in a global conflict that began much earlier and continues to this day? On television and in the editorial pages of newspapers there was almost no discussion of who our enemies are, what they believe, what goals they seek to achieve, and what strategies they are pursuing. There was no debate about the policies that can best defend “liberty and freedom.”

On September, 11, 2012, the front page of the New York Times had not a single article on the attacks or the anniversary, but a piece on page 17 described “a growing feeling that it may be time to move on.” The day before, there was an op-ed by former Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald charging that President Bush could have prevented the 2001 assault had he “reacted with urgency” to warnings provided by the CIA — warnings that gave no indication of where or when the attacks would take place. Eichenwald wrote that “Mohamed al-Kahtani, a Saudi believed to have been assigned a role in the 9/11 attacks, was stopped at an airport in Orlando, Fla., by a suspicious customs agent and sent back overseas on Aug. 4. Two weeks later, another co-conspirator, Zacarias Moussaoui, was arrested on immigration charges in Minnesota after arousing suspicions at a flight school. But the dots were not connected, and Washington did not react.” How should Washington have reacted, Kurt? Should Bush have ordered al-Kahtani and Moussaoui arrested and subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques if that’s what would have been necessary to make them talk?

On the morning of September 11, 2012, NBC’s Today show featured Kim Kardashian’s mother discussing breast implants. The producers did not bother to cut away to the moment of silence that was being observed elsewhere in New York City. Even Foreign Policy magazine featured an article by Juliette Kayyem, a former Obama administration official now teaching at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, headlined “Our Foolish Obsession with Stopping the Next Attack.” She argued: “It is time to make [9/11] personal again…The burden of tragedy is private.” Silly me, thinking this had something to do with national security. I guess if I were at Harvard — which, coincidently, has received millions of Saudi petro-dollars — I’d know better.

It’s much bigger than national security. This is a civilizational conflict that has been ongoing, with very occasional pauses for breath, for around a thousand years. When enough of us recognize that, and that the stakes are the highest imaginable, AND that the victory of Western values over barbarism and cruelty is by no means assured and therefore not something that can comfortably be taken for granted (as so many other things are by spoiled Western brats of all ages), then and only then will the battle be well and truly joined. Until that momentous realization occurs, we”ll continue groping blindly and ineffectually along, futzing and fumbling around and accomplishing little of note or worth.


Get out now

Ogabe will wind up doing the right thing just this once–for all the wrong reasons, naturally. Tim Lynch explains, starting with this vivid nugget of an opener:

I’ve been trying to come up with a post for over a month now but don’t have any good pictures because I’m back in America, sans super cool Nikon which got blown up in the Helmand, and without good pictures I don’t seem to be able to write. That camera cost over a thousand bucks and that money is now down the sewer, which is appropriate given the fact that on my last night in Kandahar the poo pond burst its seams and I had to wade through 3 feet of waste water to get to the freedom bird. I’m serious – here’s a picture of that shit, which I hesitate to say because using inappropriate language is (so I have learned) a sign of PTSD.

Uhh, Tim, looking at the pic, I’d say there’s nothing whatever inappropriate about your language there, buddy. Onwards:

But I don’t want to talk about shit, I want to talk about the alarming deterioration I see in this country and our nitwit President. That is proving hard to do, because every time I think I’ve crafted an astute observation or two I read a post by Victor Davis Hanson or Richard Fernandez who say what I was going to say, only they say it ten time better than I ever could. My agent keeps telling me I’m just 12 months of hard work away from a Hollywood blockbuster but I don’t believe a word he says except when he tells me I need to keep the blog going. Keeping the blog going is proving hard because I’m not in Afghanistan and the Afghans are screwed now anyway. I can sum up our ten years in Afghanistan in 3 pictures and then I’m moving on to the President’s new genius plan for the military and (this is going to freak you out) I agree with him. Not his reasoning mind you, he was, is, and will always be an absolute moron, but what he is doing by gutting the ground forces was inevitable. But hey, every once in a while even a blind squirrel will find a nut.

Ten years ago, Afghans were thrilled to see us and thought that finally they could live in peace and develop their country.

Five years ago they watched us flounder – we stayed on FOBs and shoveled cash by the billions into the hands of a corrupt central government that we insisted, despite clear evidence to the contrary, was a legitimate government – one that had to be supported at all costs. We raided their homes at night and shot up civilians who got too close to our convoys, we paid for roads that did not exist and, because of the “force protection” mentality, most Afghans thought our soldiers were cowards because they never came to the bazaar off duty and unarmored to buy stuff like the Russians did. In fact, every bite of food our soldiers consumed was flown into country at great expense, so in a land famous for its melons and grapes our troops ate crappy melon and tasteless grapes flown in by contractors from God knows where.

Now, they want to shoot us in the face. Except for the klepocratic elite who want us to give them billions more and then shoot us in the face.

There it is; Afghanistan is toast, and what the last 10 years has taught us is we cannot afford to deploy American ground forces. Two billion dollars a week (that’s billion with a B) has bought what? Every year we stay to “bring security to the people,” the security situation for the people gets worse and worse, deteriorating by orders of magnitude. Now the boy genius has announced a “new strategy”. A strategy that is identical to the “strategy” that resulted in a hollow ground force getting its ass kicked by North Korea in 1950; a mere five years after we had ascended to the most dominant military the world had ever known.

Was Iraq worth the blood and treasure spent by the United States? If it was, I’m not seeing it. Will the end state in Afghanistan be worth the blood and treasure we have spent and continue to spend? Not a chance in hell. The only lesson to be learned from the past ten years of constant war is that we cannot afford to go to war. At least not in the way we do it now which is, sort of, what I’ve been pointing out in this blog for years.

Tim has it right, I think. Herschel Smith concurs (and why both of these guys haven’t already taken up residence in Ye Olde Blogrolle until now, I surely don’t know):

Listen well. This is no anti-war cry. I have argued virtually non-stop for increasing troop levels, staying the course, and increased (and different) lines of logistics for support of our troops. But I have watched with dismay and even panic over the course of the last six years as we haven’t taken the campaign seriously, and good men have suffered and perished because of it.

Michael Yon applies the KISS principle:

This war is going to turn out badly. We are wasting lives and resources while the United States decays and other threats emerge. We led the horse to water.

Importantly, there is no value in pretending that Pakistan is an ally. We should wish the best of luck to the Afghans, and the many peaceful Pakistanis, and accelerate our withdrawal of our main battle force. The US never has been serious about Afghanistan. Under General Petraeus we were starting to gain ground, but the current trajectory will land us in the mud.

The enemies will never beat us in Afghanistan. Force on force, the Taliban are weak by comparison. Yet this is their home. There is only so much we can do at this extreme cost for the many good Afghan people. We must reduce our main effort and concentrate on other matters. Time to come home.

Again: agreed. The yammering of anti-American, anti-military pseudo-pacifists is not worth heeding. But when you have serious, patriotic, courageous Americans who have been there and seen the elephant up close and personal saying it, it absolutely must be considered carefully.

We started off on the right foot in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and then went off the rails. A nation that lacks the will to not just hold the enemy at bay or pick them off piecemeal from the sky but crush their very spirit and will to resist is not one that has any business going to war at all. That describes us all too well, and the only thing we’re accomplishing now is squandering the lives of our best and brightest, sapping the esprit and reducing the numbers of the kind of men and women we have all too few of to begin with, on a poorly-conceived fool’s errand. Time for that to end, and to rethink exactly what kind of country we have chosen to become, the limitations inherent in defining ourselves as we have, and whether we wish to continue along that dismal path.


Last night’s pack of lies, and how to fight back

Didn’t watch, of course. No real reason to; a King owes no explanation of his actions to his subjects, and this one seems to understand his Divine Right better than most. Ace dissects the lies pretty nicely:

My Mistake: He’s not making the case for war; he’s just “updating” on us on what the Europeans have decided our military should do.

“We Took A Series of Swift Steps:” Oh, you mean after you dithered around with the same basic facts for three weeks.

You mean after all that delay, you finally made a decision, and then the military acted swiftly.

I Refused to Let That Happen:” Ah, okay, just as long as I know who the hero is here.

Hilarious: He says that he’s all about getting other countries to bear the burdens. He says, to that end, that he’s transferred command to NATO.

Um, so, if I’m getting this right, our pilots and seamen are still fighting this war, they’re just being bossed around by a foreign general, right?

And that general isn’t actually in the fight, right?

Seems to me that all Obama is doing is distancing himself from any possible failure while keeping our troops in harm’s way.

Furthermore, the US “cannot sit idly by” while a dictator is slaughtering his own people. Unless a Republican is President, and that dictator has been shooting at our pilots enforcing a no-fly zone for ten years, and has tried to assassinate a former president, and is snuggling up to terrorists, offering them safe haven, and throwing money at them, and Congress has voted overwhelmingly to approve using force against him. Then we must sit idly by. It’s the only morally-supportable thing to do.

In another post, Ace makes a most excellent proposal for inducing some cracks in the dictator’s protective wall of propaganda:

It seems to me that if exposing and denouncing violence-tinged remarks is intended to forestall the possibility of political violence, then whitewashing and excusing actual death threats is intended to increase the possibility of political violence. So long as the right people are targeted.

The media is of course a nonresponsive institution; they are fond of saying “X Corporation declined comment on our allegations,” and let the reader draw from that silence the intended conclusion Therefore they confess them by silence, and yet the media itself will not respond to detailed questions on its systematic and deliberate left-wing propaganda.

There is no way to compel them to answer questions. However, there is a way to spur them to do so, and it frustrates me that it’s not done.

Every week, when McConnell or Boehner or whoever is being interviewed on a Sunday talk show, they should have a plan in agreement to ask their questioners about any unaddressed bias in reporting, preferably something entirely off-topic (so there can be no charge made that they are attemtping to dodge the question on whatever they’re being asked about).

I know what the answer will be, because it’s the answer the media always gives– “We covered that fairly and spent resources on that” and et cetera. It’s a lie. They haven’t. When Boehner goes on to ask George Stephanopolous why ABCNews hasn’t covered the death threats in Wisconsin, he should come armed with detailed numbers of how many minutes of reportage were spent on blaming the Tea Party and Republicans for Gabbie Giffords versus how many were spent on death threats in Wisconsin. And, like a reporter, Boehner should then force Stephanopolous to commit to a yes or no answer — is he disputing these figures or not?

He must be made to commit to an answer. That’s what reporters do — they will badger you into taking some position, one way or another, so that you can be proven wrong or dishonest. Allowing someone to vaguely say “I don’t know” or whatever is letting them escape unharmed.

And every major Republican should do this on every show. And yes, it should be coordinated.

It most certainly should. This is a damned fine idea, and if the Repubs are serious about fighting back against these regime puppets, they ought to jump all over it immediately. It’s an excellent way of seizing the initiative and undercutting The Narrative — something they badly need to do — and I’d bet you any amount of money there are many, many people out there who would respond enthusiastically to it. No need to limit the topic to the Wisconsin death threats, either; there are any number of easily identifiable examples of liberal-media propagandizing for regime lies that can be hurled back in their teeth, and should be.

A lot of us have been waiting a very long time for the GOPers to do something positive, firm, and proactive along these lines; it’s one of the reasons Palin is as popular as she is. This is their chance, and there’s no better time than right friggin’ now to get started.

So of course, they won’t.


American power, like it or not

King Barky I may dislike American power, and he may be perfectly willing to let the UN or some other hapless, tough-talking Euro-weenies command American forces in his illegal not-war for European oil. He certainly wants to pretend that he has a big, broad coalition of fully-engaged partners for his little adventure. But reality bends the liberal fantasy over and has its way with it every time.

Indeed, the Libyan war (and an attack on a sovereign country is a war, no matter how many times the White House says it isn’t) illustrates perfectly the proposition that there are no multilateral armed forces any longer. Other countries may contribute a bit of ordnance or a handful of planes, but, in truth, only the United States can project power over any distance for any length of time. Nobody else can even come close.

Although the media keep reporting the Libyan war as though the U.S. is some sort of junior partner, the truth is the other way around. It is an American war, with a bit of support from other players. Here the data are instructive. Remember the opening salvo of the war, those 124 cruise missiles launched against the Libyan air-defense systems? According to the headlines, they were fired by American and British warships. Indeed they were. The Americans fired 122. The British fired two. Many of the U.S. Tomahawks fired so far—probably most, possibly all—were evidently the Block IV model, the latest generation, smart and maneuverable in midair, and a weapon possessed by no other member of the coalition. (Cruise missiles cost over $1 million apiece, and the newer models as much as $2 million. Are we likely to run out? According to National Journal, the Defense Department buys 200 Tomahawks each year—more than any other country has in its entire arsenal.)

The cruise-missile attacks were aimed largely at degrading Libya’s antiaircraft defenses, which were considerable. As several observers have pointed out, no member of the coalition aside from the U.S. possesses the expertise and munitions to accomplish that goal. The U.S. has supplied nearly half the aircraft involved inOperation Odyssey Dawn, including the B-2 Stealth bombers that flew all the way from Missouri to join the war, and has flown the great majority of the actual combat missions. Although the Defense Department insists that this week the allies will begin to take the lead, flying most of the sorties, it is not clear whether they have the money. The U.S. spends more than 40 cents of every defense dollar spent on the face of the earth. The Libyan war is likely to cost well in excess of $1 billion a week. Nobody else can afford it. Thus, the longer the war drags on, the more likely it is to become an all-American show.

France, for example, possesses only one aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, currently stationed off the Libyan coast. Britain has none. The British do have a single carrier under construction, but it will carry only helicopters. Remember the Harrier jump jet, the vertical takeoff and landing craft the British designed and Hollywood made famous? They are a mainstay of the U.S. Marine Corps, but Britain no longer operates any; the next delivery is scheduled for 2020.

Already the countries involved in Odyssey Dawn are sniping at each other over who should head the ridiculous command structure—at the moment, an unwieldy triumvirate—but their battle is really about credit, not about responsibility. The U.S. is running the war, and will continue to do so. The internal battles are a sideshow. Italy, for example, does not want its pilots to fire, except at aircraft that are actually airborne. But Italian pilots have flown no combat missions yet, and the Libyan air force, in practical terms, no longer exists.

There is a lesson here for those who support what are known in international law as humanitarian interventions. Unless the intervention is very small or very swift or both, no country in the world but the U.S. can do it. We alone have the money, the technology, and the trained personnel. We alone have shown the willingness and ability to project power over long distances for a sustained period. Many people, both in America and abroad, are uneasy with this preponderance. But it cannot be wished away.

Oh, they wouldn’t want to wish it away; deep down, they know they can’t afford to. Like Barky himself, they just want to deplore and complain about it, until they want to turn around and make use of it for their own ends.

Update! The liberal way of war: disorganization, chaos, fiasco, and, ultimately, defeat. The sub-hed bullet points really tell the dismal story:

Who’s in charge? Germans pull forces out of NATO as Libyan coalition falls apart

  • Tensions with Britain as Gates rebukes UK government over suggestion Gaddafi could be assassinated
  • French propose a new political ‘committee’ to oversee operations
  • Germany pulls equipment out of NATO coalition over disagreement over campaign’s direction
  • Italians accuse French of backing NATO in exchange for oil contracts
  • No-fly zone called into question after first wave of strikes ‘neutralises’ Libyan military machine
  • U.K. ministers say war could last ’30 years’
  • Italy to ‘take back control’ of bases used by allies unless NATO leadership put in charge of the mission
  • Russians tell U.S. to stop bombing in order to protect civilians – calls bombing a ‘crusade’

The worst part of it: the stupid fucking moron masquerading as our “president” and “commander in chief” has gratuitously put American troops in harm’s way for no good reason, with no plan, no national security interest at stake, under foreign direction, to achieve foreign goals. If even one of our military personnel is killed as a result, he ought at the very least to be impeached for this.

On the bright side, this maladroit misadventure ought to finish him for good as far as 2012 is concerned. His motivations are transparent. His allegiance is clearly to the UN, not the US. He has neither the vaguest clue as to how to properly run a military operation, nor the slightest regard for the rule of law, the will of the American people, or the lives of their sons and daughters who serve as soldiers. He is beyond any doubt the worst president this country has ever been foolish enough to allow itself to be hoodwinked by. He is, in sum, a serious, dire mistake, one that needs to be corrected as soon as is humanly possible. To hell with him and his illegal war.


Going left is the right answer for once

Several excellent points from Wretchard:

Wired argues that the problem with a “National Opt Out Day” is that it might actually work. “Some travel writers have expressed concern that the protest, called for the busiest air-travel day of the year, could cause backups and delays for all travelers.” If it works, not only will it short out the air traffic system but it will a message. The problem is: what message is that? That the public is willing to accept some amount of risk for the privilege of hassle free flying? Or the message that the government is going about security in the wrong way?

Policy wonks may answer to the third decimal place, but “National Opt Out Day” is probably less about making a statement of cost/benefit preference than expressing the inchoate view that government is going about airline security all wrong. The scanner brouhaha highlights as no other issue, the effectiveness, or lack thereof,  of the strategy of going after the bomb, not the bomber or the bomber instead of the bombing network.

The process of stopping the bomb before it was emplaced is called “left of the boom”. It is a term used to describe the process of going downstream of the IED emplacement process. According to the Washington Post it was “vernacular developed by the Army in 2003: that is, to attack the bombmaking construct well before IEDs are emplaced. That involves understanding the financiers, bombmaker cells, and other aspects of this, long before a bomb appears at the roadside.”

Going even slightly Left of the Boom brings enormous benefits. The famous Israeli system of airline security which focuses on interviews of passengers by trained profilers is an example of a strategy which frankly goes after the bomber, not the bomb. But Americans in far away places and political “pariah states”  like Israel have the option to act semi-rationally. Washington, on the other hand, is under the obligation to be politically correct, which means it must by definition behave irrationally. In the case of airline security all acceptable countermeasures must avoid the appearance of going after the persons and pretend to go only after the thing.

But the TSA security theater is fooling no one except the New York Times.

They damned sure ain’t fooling the Muslims who wish to kill us, and who are laughing their asses off at us over all this. The simple fact that we’re focused so completely on airport security — as Fernandez says, last-ditch point defense — while allowing wet-brained political correctness to cripple our efforts to even name the enemy, much less defeat him, makes clear that we’re losing this fight…and we’re doing so on purpose.


The religion of fascist murder

What mainstream Islam is, and what it does:

Qur’an (47-4) – “When you encounter the unbelievers on the battlefield, strike off their heads until you have crushed them completely; then bind the prisoners tightly.”

Qur’an (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

Qur’an (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

Qur’an (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”

Qur’an (9:29) – “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” 

Bukhari (52:177) – Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.”

Bukhari (8:387) – Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.”

Tabari 7:97  The morning after the murder of Ashraf, the Prophet declared, “Kill any Jew who falls under your power.”

Ibn Ishaq: 327 – “Allah said, ‘A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. Muhammad, you craved the desires of this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But Allah desires killing them to manifest the religion.’”

Ibn Ishaq: 992 – “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.”

“The strangest and most untrue thing that can be said about Islam is that it is a Religion of Peace. If every standard by which the West is judged and condemned (slavery, imperialism, intolerance, women’s rights, sexuality, warfare…) were applied equally to Islam, the verdict would be absolutely devastating.  Islam never gives up what it conquers, be it religion, culture, language or life. Neither does it make apologies or any real effort at moral progress. It is the least open to dialogue and the most self-absorbed. It is convinced of its own perfection, yet brutally shuns self-examination and represses criticism.”

needless to say, if you ever saw the Towers…

…you know how dire things must have been up there to make anyone think the better solution was “jump”

…I try never to grumble about a slow news day because the alternative is horrifyingly worse

Never forget. Never forgive. Never surrender.

It’ll take way more than you lot of vile, barbarian scum to defeat us. Count on it, fuckers.


More questions

Harsanyi asks some good ones:

Our long-term presence in Iraq, in fact, is likely to impede any ability to react militarily to genuine threats. Americans don’t have the appetite for it. So if the Islamic radical leadership of Iran — which many experts believe filled the vacuum left by toppling of Saddam Hussein — is, as many believe, an imminent nuclear threat, we are powerless to stop them.

And if every military action in defense of U.S. interests now comes with an obligatory 10-, 20- or 40-year Marshall Plan, you’ve made it even more politically unpalatable.

Doubtlessly it is Islamophobic to bring this up, but Americans are dying, not only in the war on terror, but also to codify Sharia law. Brooks claims that, in Iraq, “The role of women remains surprisingly circumscribed.”(Surprisingly?) Actually, that’s just a polite way of saying — and I quote directly from the Iraqi Constitution — “Islam is the official religion of the State, and it is a fundamental source of legislation.”

That’s one reason many of us regret our support of the Iraq war. Though I am not reflexively isolationist, I am reflexively suspicious of social engineering. And nation-building is social engineering on the grandest of scales.

Decent people, no doubt, are pleased to hear that the Iraqi people are doing well. If war makes us more secure, why only Iraq and not Yemen? Or Iran? Or Cuba? Doesn’t everyone deserve to live in freedom? Do not all people deserve to own cellphones and have a decent garbage disposal system?

Or do we reserve those perks for those who pretend to have WMDs?

The question isn’t whether nation building can work. It probably can. The question is was it worth it.

On the other hand

Let us assume that Mr. Obama’s “smarter” view had prevailed, that we had left Saddam in power in Iraq. What would the world look like today?

Mr. Obama and others believe that Saddam and his nuclear ambitions could have been contained. I think exactly the opposite was likely.

At the time of Mr. Obama’s 2002 antiwar speech, three other significant, non-Iraqi events were occurring: Iran and North Korea were commencing toward a nuclear break-out, and A.Q. Khan was on the move.

In short, the nuclear bad boys club was on the move in 2002. Can anyone seriously believe that amidst all this Saddam Hussein would have contented himself with administering his torture chambers? This is fanciful.

It’s worse than that; it’s feckless, foolhardy, and a dangerous line of thought for anyone who aspires to leadership of a strong and secure nation to follow. While I’m not nearly as sanguine about the whole nation-building attempt as I once was — that was also foolish, as events have borne out — removing Saddam was unquestionably the right and prudent thing to do.


Riding the weak horse

Not-So-Smart Power, and where it gets ya:

Hamid Karzai has just fired his two most pro-American cabinet ministers and is making more and more pro-Taliban noises. This is a man who for the last nine years has been kept alive only by U.S. military protection. A throne in Kabul may not be much, but, such as it is, he owes it entirely to his patrons in Washington. Why would Putin, Ahmadinejad or the ChiComs take Barack Obama seriously when even a footling client such as Hamid Karzai can flip him the finger?

“When people see a strong horse and a weak horse,” said Osama bin Laden many years ago, “by nature they will like the strong horse.” The world does not see President Obama as the strong horse. He has announced that U.S. troop withdrawals will begin in 12 months’ time. Karzai takes him at his word, and is obliged to prepare for a post-American order in Afghanistan, which means reaching his accommodations with those who’ll still be around when the Yanks are over over there. The new government in London takes him at his word, too. Liam Fox, the defence secretary, wants as rapid a British pullout as possible. When Obama announced an Afghan “surge” dependent on such elements as mythical NATO trainers and then added that, however it went, U.S. forces would begin checking out in July 2011, he in effect ruled out the possibility of victory. Over 1,000 American troops have died in Afghanistan, 300 British soldiers, 148 Canadians. What will our soldiers be dying for in the sunset of the West’s Afghan expedition? What is Obama’s characteristically postmodern “surge” intended to achieve? More Afghan police sleeping in fields? Greater opportunities for women? Take Your Child Bride to Work Day in Kandahar? British troops, said Liam Fox, are not in Afghanistan “for the sake of the education policy in a broken 13th-century country.” And, even if they were, in certain provinces “education policy” seems to be returning to something all but indistinguishable from Mullah Omar’s days. The New York Post carried a picture of women registering to vote in Herat, all in identical top-to-toe bright blue burkas, just as they would have looked on Sept. 10, 2001.

Osama bin Laden’s strong horse/weak horse shtick is a matter of perception as much as anything else. On Sept. 12, 2001, the United States of America had just as many cruise missiles and aircraft carriers as it had 48 hours earlier. The only difference is that the world understood that, for once, America was prepared to use them. That’s why Moscow acceded to Washington’s “request” to use its old bases in Central Asia for northern access to Afghanistan. That’s why General Musharraf took seriously the Bush administration’s “shockingly barefaced” threat to bomb Pakistan “back to the Stone Age” if it didn’t get everything it wanted out of Islamabad. By contrast, a couple of days before, Mullah Omar and the Taliban appear to have agreed to let their al-Qaeda tenants strike America with nary a thought for the consequences to their own country.

The toppling of the Taliban was an operation conducted with extraordinary improvised ingenuity and a very light U.S. footprint. Special forces on horseback rode with the Northern Alliance and used GPS to call in air strikes: they’ll be teaching it in staff colleges for decades to come. But then the Taliban scuttled out of town, and a daring victory settled into a thankless semi-colonial policing operation, and then corroded further under the pressure of the usual transnational poseurs. After 2003, Afghanistan became the good war, the one everyone claimed to have supported all along, if mostly retrospectively and for the purposes of justifying their “principled moral opposition” to Bush’s illegal adventuring against Saddam. Afghanistan was everything Iraq wasn’t: UN-approved, NATO-backed, EU-compliant. It’d be tough for even the easiest nickel ’n’ dime military incursion to survive that big an overdose of multilateral hogwash, and the Afghan campaign didn’t. Instead of being an operation to kill one of the planet’s most concentrated populations of jihadist terrorists, it decayed into half-hearted nation-building in which a handful of real allies took the casualties while the rest showed up for the group photo. The 2004 NATO summit was hailed as a landmark success after the alliance’s 26 members agreed to put up an extra 600 troops and three helicopters for Afghanistan. That averages out at 23.08 troops per country, plus almost a ninth of a helicopter apiece. As it transpired, the three Black Hawks all came from one country—Turkey—and within a year they’d all gone back. Those 600 troops and three helicopters made no practical difference, but the effort expended on that transnational fig leaf certainly contributed to America’s disastrous reframing of its interests in Afghanistan.

The problem isn’t with our military. It isn’t even entirely Obama, truth to tell; he’s a symptom, rather than the disease. At the end of the day, the problem is…us, specifically our squeamishness and lack of will. It’s gonna cost us. In fact, it already has.

Update! Via Ed: Obama’s “enemy-centric” foreign policy. Another most excellent Palin rip, that’s what. The Atlantic’s in-house deranged lunatic is probably weeping bitterly over it even now.


Questions for Petraeus

On the failed War on Something or Other, currently floundering to a dead standstill in Afghanistan:

Question 2: In his classic text, “Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice,” the late David Galula writes that for an insurgent to succeed, he must have a cause – political, religious, economic or social – that the counterinsurgent cannot also espouse.  The Taliban’s cause is Islamic fundamentalism, seeking to reimpose what existed in Afghanistan before 2001 and which is a dominant force in neighboring nations such as Iran and perhaps Pakistan.  That cause is apparently succeeding in Afghanistan.  The April ISAF report says, “[Taliban] organizational capabilities and operational reach are qualitatively and geographically expanding…The strength and ability of [Taliban] shadow governance to discredit the authority and legitimacy of the Afghan Government is increasing.”

What is the competing cause offered by the Afghan Government, and how can it be made more attractive than the Islamic fundamentalism that has existed in Afghanistan for decades or even centuries?

And how can you ever hope to counteract an appeal based on Islamic fundamentalism when you’re prohibited by idiotic PC Progressivist civilian leadership from even saying the words?


Marjah Salute

Military Times:

MARJAH, Afghanistan — Marines and Afghan troops cleared the last major pocket of resistance in the former Taliban-ruled town of Marjah on Saturday — part of an offensive that is the run-up to a larger showdown this year in the most strategic part of Afghanistan’s dangerous south.

Although Marines say their work in Marjah isn’t over, Afghans are bracing for a bigger, more comprehensive assault in neighboring Kandahar province, the birthplace of the Taliban…

The Marjah offensive has been the war’s biggest combined operation since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to topple the Taliban’s hard-line regime. It’s the first major test of NATO’s counterinsurgency strategy…

On Saturday, after a four-day march, Marines and Afghan troops who fought through the center of Marjah linked up with a U.S. Army Stryker battalion on the northern outskirts of the former Taliban stronghold.

“Basically, you can say that Marjah has been cleared,” said Capt. Joshua Winfrey, commander of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines.

Lima Company’s more than 100 heavily armed Marines, along with nearly as many Afghan army soldiers, spent days advancing north, searching every compound for possible Taliban holdouts.

There were no Taliban in sight, and the Marines didn’t fire a shot during the final advance— except at a couple of Afghan guard dogs who threatened the unit.

The Marines hookup with the Army battalion means the operation is somewhere between the clear and hold phases, although suspected Taliban fighters remain on the western outskirts of town.

Marine spokesman Capt. Abe Sipe said that while armed resistance has “fallen off pretty dramatically” in the past four to five days, the combined forces expect to face intermittent attacks for at least two more weeks.

“We are not calling anything completely secure yet,” Sipe said.

Capt. Abdelhai Hujum, who spent two decades with various Afghan militias before joining the nascent Afghan National Army, said he suspected most of the local Taliban buried their guns and blended with the civilian population.

“They’re not stupid. I’d do the same if I saw a company of U.S. Marines coming my way,” said Hujum, commander of an Afghan unit.


KABUL — Recent military successes in killing and capturing top Taliban leaders have rattled the jihadist movement, deprived it of its most experienced men and raised doubts among recruits, the top allied leader in Afghanistan said Thursday.

“You see a weakening of the organization’s confidence,” Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal told USA TODAY.

His comments come on the day that a provincial government was officially installed in the Taliban stronghold of Marjah, where Marines and Afghan soldiers are still clearing out enemy fighters after 12 days of fighting. …

McChrystal said that when leaders are taken out, “one of the things you want … is the survivors … to hear footsteps. You want them to think it is always one day before they’re the next leader that gets picked up.”

Congratulations, troopers, thank you and keep up the good work. And know that you all are not forgotten or taken for granted, at least not around this joint. We’re proud of you.

(Via Mudville Gazette)


The Nuclear Frozen Deer in the Headlights-Movement, starring Barack Paul and Ron Obama

“Speech delivery counts for little on the world stage unless you have convictions and, yes, the vision to see beyond the front row seats. The Democrats may remember their lines, but how quickly they forget the lessons of the past. I have witnessed five major wars in my lifetime, and I know how swiftly storm clouds can gather on a peaceful horizon. The next time a Saddam Hussein takes over a Kuwait, or North Korea brandishes a nuclear weapon, will we be ready to respond?

In the end, it all comes down to leadership. That is what this country is looking for now. It was leadership here at home that gave us strong American influence abroad and the collapse of imperial Communism. Great nations have responsibilities to lead, and we should always be cautious of those who would lower our profile because they might just wind up lowering our flag.”–Ronald Reagan, 1994


It seems clear that the administration of US President Barack Obama never will use force against Iran, despite the Iranian regime’s open contempt for Washington and the international community. US Secretary of State Clinton this week responded with a direct “no” – not “all options are on the table” – when asked if America was planning a military strike. …

Israel has a strategic problem broader than the immediate issue of Iran’s possible acquisition of nuclear weapons: it is an American ally at a moment when America has effectively withdrawn from strategic leadership. That leaves Israel at a crossroads. It can act like an American client state, or a regional superpower. Either decision would have substantial costs. To remain in Washington’s pocket is to show weakness and invite the contempt of its adversaries; to ignore Washington’s demands would incur the wrath of its most important financier and arms suppliers and possibly result in a reduction of aid. …

Iran’s perceived attempt to acquire nuclear weapons, though, is not Israel’s problem as such; the problem is that Israel is the ally of a superpower that does not want to be a superpower, headed by a president with a profound emotional attachment to a nostalgic image of the Third World. If America were in fact acting like a superpower, the problem would not have arisen in the first place, for the United States would use its considerably greater resources to destroy Iran’s nuclear program.

Rather than focus on the second-order effect – the consequences of Iran’s possible acquisition of nuclear weapons – Israeli analysts should consider the primary issue, namely the strategic [contraction] of the United States.

Mark Steyn:

It is certain that Tehran will get its nukes, and very soon. This is the biggest abdication of responsibility by the Western powers since the 1930s. It is far worse than Pakistan going nuclear, which, after all, was just another thing the CIA failed to see coming. In this case, the slow-motion nuclearization conducted in full view and through years of tortuous diplomatic charades and endlessly rescheduled looming deadlines is not just a victory for Iran but a decisive defeat for the United States. It confirms the Islamo-Sino-Russo-everybody-else diagnosis of Washington as a hollow superpower that no longer has the will or sense of purpose to enforce the global order. …

However, even without launching a single missile, Iran will at a stroke have transformed much of the map – and not just in the Middle East, where the Sunni dictatorships face a choice between an unsought nuclear arms race and a future as Iranian client states. In Eastern Europe, a nuclear Iran will vastly advance Russia’s plans for a de facto reconstitution of its old empire: In an unstable world, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will offer himself as the protection racket you can rely on. And you’d be surprised how far west “Eastern” Europe extends: Moscow’s strategic view is of a continent not only energy-dependent on Russia but also security-dependent. And, when every European city is within range of Tehran and other psycho states, there’ll be plenty of takers for that when the alternative is an effete and feckless Washington.

Speaking of Soviet dupes, where are all the “Nuclear Freeze”-ers now, when they’re finally needed?

Do they really think that competitor nations such as Egypt and Soggy Arabia won’t run an arms race if they see Iran down at Sports Authority buying Nikes by the truckload? Do liberals and isolationists think these nations would trust Obama to hold their nuclear umbrella if the weatherman is saying “cloudy with a chance of missiles”? Would you?

Spengler again:

The Saudis have done everything but take out a full-page ad in the Washington Post to encourage the Obama administration to attack Iran. Prince Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, warned on February 15 that sanctions were a long-term measure while the world faces a short-term threat from Iran. Egypt reportedly has allowed Israeli missile ships to pass through the Suez Canal en route to the Persian Gulf.

Steyn closes:

So Iran will go nuclear and formally inaugurate the post-American era. The left and the isolationist right reckon that’s no big deal. … I think not.

Did CPAC crowds realize they were signing on to this agenda when they applauded Ron Paul and gave him the straw poll victory?

I don’t think so. I think they were affirming his Limited Government views. But Paul also believes in Limited Defense and Limited Strength.

Here’s what another conservative once said at CPAC:

To this day, America is still the abiding alternative to tyranny. That is our purpose in the world — nothing more and nothing less.

To carry out that purpose, our fundamental aim in foreign policy must be to ensure our own survival and to protect those others who share our values. Under no circumstances should we have any illusions about the intentions of those who are enemies of freedom. …

Too many in positions of importance believe that through generosity and self-effacement we can avoid trouble…

But, like it or not, trouble will not be avoided. The American people and their elected leaders will continue to be faced with hard choices and difficult moments, for resolve is continually being tested by those who envy us our prosperity and begrudge us our freedom.

America will remain great and act responsibly so long as it exercises power — wisely, and not in the bullying sense — but exercises it, nonetheless.

Leadership is a great burden. We grow weary of it at times. And the… administration, despite its own cheerful propaganda about accomplishments, reflects that weariness.

But if we are not to shoulder the burdens of leadership in the free world, then who will?

The alternatives are neither pleasant nor acceptable. Great nations which fail to meet their responsibilities are consigned to the dust bin of history. We grew from that small, weak republic which had as its assets spirit, optimism, faith in God and an unshakeable belief that free men and women could govern themselves wisely. We became the leader of the free world, an example for all those who cherish freedom.

If we are to continue to be that example — if we are to preserve our own freedom — we must understand those who would dominate us and deal with them with determination.

Not challenging them to a townhall meeting as Hillary proposes. They’re not going to tear themselves away from busting students’ heads to provide her with a photo op. The students’ revolution provides the one sword that could possibly cut the Gordian Knot–but Obama reflexively and timidly bows to Islamist authoritarians instead.

If Reagan was right about Peace Through Strength, then what will the Obama/Paul Doctrine of Limited Strength produce?

A: Limited Peace.

Let’s see how that polls at CPAC.

Update: Paul believes America is too “good” to be involved in defending freedom in the world. Obama believes that America is too “bad” to be involved in defending freedom in the world.

But the result is the same:

“I am unwavering in the belief that this has been a strategic mistake and that this war has to end. It would be a further strategic mistake for us to continue with an open-ended occupation…”

“They’re terrorists because we’re occupiers.”

One statement was Barack Paul, the other, Ron Obama.

Update with a Lady:

“They would never be influenced by sweet reason. However, if they saw that the United States had the will and the determination to build up its defences as far as necessary, the Soviet attitude might change because they knew they could not keep up the pace. He believed that the Russians were now close to the limit in their expenditure on defence: their internal economic difficulties were such that they could not substantially increase the proportion of their resources devoted to the military. The United States, on the other hand, had the capacity to double its military output. The task was to convince Moscow that the only way it could remain equal was by negotiations because they could not afford to compete in weaponry for very much longer. The President recalled a cartoon which had Mr. Brezhnev saying to a Russian general, “I liked the arms race better when we were the only ones in it”.”–Maggie Thatcher


Richard Reid: “I am at war with America.” Eric Holder: “You win!”


Democrats and leftists lawyers forced Bush against his will to try Richard Reid in civilian court. They now cite Bush’s action as justification for giving the Crotch Bomber full American rights, as Ann Coulter explains on O’Reilly.

There’s another difference in Bush’s treatment of Reid: Eric Holder just rolled over for Reid and removed all prison restrictions on him after Reid went on a hunger strike.

Reid will get to attend prayer services with Ramzi Yousef, Zacarias Moussaoui and Jose Padilla and speak privately to Muslim clerics, while sending propaganda letters out worldwide. Reid may even get out of Supermax!

Debra Burlingame:

On June 17, at the Administrative Maximum penitentiary in Florence, Colo., … inmate number 24079-038, began his day with a whole new range of possibilities.

Eight days earlier, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Denver filed notice in federal court that the Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) which applied to that prisoner—Richard C. Reid, a.k.a. the “Shoe Bomber”—were being allowed to expire. SAMs are security directives, renewable yearly, issued by the attorney general when “there is a substantial risk that a prisoner’s communications, correspondence or contacts with persons could result in death or serious bodily injury” to others. …

According to court documents filed in a 2007 civil lawsuit against the government, Reid claimed that SAMs violated his First Amendment right of free speech and free exercise of religion. In a hand-written complaint, he asserted that he was being illegally prevented from performing daily “group prayers in a manner prescribed by my religion.” Yet the list of Reid’s potential fellow congregants at ADX Florence reads like a Who’s Who of al Qaeda’s most dangerous members: Ramzi Yousef and his three co-conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui; “Millennium bomber” Ahmed Ressam; “Dirty bomber” Jose Padilla; Wadih el-Hage, Osama Bin Laden’s personal secretary, convicted in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing that killed 247 people.

In December 2008, the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss Reid’s lawsuit. It cited the example of ADX inmate Ahmed Ajaj as an illustration of “the dangers inherent in permitting a group of inmates, of like mind in their opposition to the United States, to congregate for a prayer service conducted in a language not understood by most correctional officers.”

Reid’s own SAMs on correspondence had been tightened in 2006 after the shocking discovery that three of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers at ADX, not subject to security directives, had sent 90 letters to overseas terrorist networks, including those associated with the Madrid train bombing. The letters, exhorting jihad and praising Osama bin Laden as “my hero of this generation,” were printed in Arabic newspapers and brandished like trophies to recruit new members.

When setting restrictions on inmate religious practice, the Bureau of Prisons need only meet a reasonableness standard, a very low bar in the case of Muslim terrorists. Justice would easily have prevailed against Reid’s lawsuit; nevertheless it dropped the security measures on Reid after he missed 58 meals in a hunger strike that required medical intervention and forced feeding in April.

On July 6, Justice Department lawyers informed the court that Reid will be given a “new placement” in a “post-SAMs setting.” Whether that entails stepped down security in a different unit or transfer to a less secure facility, the Bureau of Prisons won’t say, and Justice refuses to comment.

From Reid’s trial:

REID:…I am at war with your country.

JUDGE WILLIAM YOUNG: The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need not go any further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and a just sentence. It is a righteous sentence. Let me explain this to you.

We are not afraid of any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here. And I say that to everyone with the utmost respect.

Here in this court where we deal with individuals as individuals, and care for individuals as individuals, as human beings we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or that happens to be your view, you are a terrorist.

And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not treat with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists.

We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You’re a big fellow. But you’re not that big. You’re no warrior. I know warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal guilty of multiple attempted murders.

In a very real sense Trooper Santiago had it right when first you were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were and you said you’re no big deal. You’re no big deal.

What your counsel, what your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today? I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing.

And I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you. But as I search this entire record it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose.

Here, in this society, the very winds carry freedom. They carry it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely.

It is for freedom’s seek that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their, their representation of you before other judges. We care about it. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties.

Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms.

Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. Day after tomorrow it will be forgotten. But this, however, will long endure. Here, in this courtroom, and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done.

The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged, and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That’s the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag still stands for freedom. You know it always will. Custody, Mr. Officer. Stand him down.

REID: That flag will be brought down on the Day of Judgment and you will see in front of your Lord and my Lord and then we will know. (Whereupon the defendant was removed from the courtroom.)

YOUNG: We’ll recess. All rise.

As good of a judge as the former Army captain and Reagan appointee is, Reid should have been tried in a military tribunal. There are just too many federal judges who are salivating at the chance to free these beasts, give them more “rights” than you or me and seize the war power for themselves, all in defiance of the Constitution.


Obama’s single “achievement” just another failure

Iraq unraveling:

The victim was a Sunni man in the mostly Shiite neighborhood of Hurriyah, in northwest Baghdad. The death and the aftermath were reminiscent of the prelude to the sectarian war, which began in late 2005 with a smattering of killings and threats and culminated with 100 bodies a day being dumped in the streets of the capital. With the imminent departure of American forces and fierce competition for power ahead of general elections on March 7, many here say sectarian strife is reigniting.

But this time, there will be no outsider acting as a buffer between the warring sects. U.S. military officials acknowledge that as Iraq regains sovereignty, their influence is waning. A senior U.S. military official who has spent years in Iraq said he fears that as the drawdown begins, American forces are leaving behind many of the same conditions that preceded the sectarian war.

“All we’re doing is setting the clock back to 2005,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer a stark assessment. “The militias are fully armed, and al-Qaeda in Iraq is trying to move back from the west. These are the conditions now, and we’re sitting back looking at PowerPoint slides and whitewashing.”

I’ll admit my egregious error again: nation-building was a mistake. Putting our fists into the Muslim-nation tarbaby is a prescription for endless military commitment, a slow-mo exsanguination of both blood and treasure. Islamic states and American-style democracy and liberty are antithetical to each other, and allowing Iraq to enshrine shariah as the basis for law in their constitution was perhaps the biggest mistake of all, the source from which much misery must inevitably flow. Religion-based governments can only ever result in tyranny and strife. We ought to leave primitive, 12th-century religious fanatics to the despotism and instability they clearly prefer. Yes, that’s tough on the many decent and more independent-minded Iraqis out there, but when has any contemporary jihadist state been a haven for enlightenment, tolerance, freedom, and prosperity for any but the ruling class? If antediluvian zealots are baying in the streets for the blood of their savage brethren, it isn’t the business of the US to prevent them from spilling it. it’s the business of the US to prevent them from spilling ours.

Which is not to argue for isolationism, mind. It would seem that the only way to deal with Islamic-terrorist rogue states is to flatten them, and leave them to pick up the pieces as and how they will — to devastate them so completely that no matter what kind of two-bit kleptocracy they wind up with, the idea of attacking us is too horrifying to contemplate. To hell with trying to get them to like us; let them fear us instead. Let the mere notion of supporting attacks against us freeze their blood to the very marrow. That’s the best we can hope for. It might sound inhumane, but meekly suffering thousands of US casualties again and again without effective, crushing response is a lot worse. Let them squat in the ruins of whatever failed oligarchy they manage to create and contemplate whose fault their gruesome reality actually is.

Almost needless to say, that won’t happen either; we no longer have the fortitude or self-respect to wage total war, for any reason whatsoever. Muslim terrorism is a plague that we’ll never rid ourselves of. We will continue to beclown ourselves with ass-backwards indignities and loss of freedom in the name of “security,” none of which will do a damned thing to prevent ever-increasing attempts to attack us. Our leaders will smugly pat themselves on the back for each thwarted plot, and we’ll all recoil in horror from the occasional spectacular success. And the angry cries of “never again” after each one will ring more hollowly each time, and the scorn of our enemies burn more bitterly in the hearts of those of us who don’t spend our time smarmily rationalizing that we “had it coming.”

It’s plain enough with King Obama’s grasping overreach that we have enough trouble holding onto liberty and Constitutional government ourselves; we’re not going to be able to guarantee it for troglodytes who demand slavish, absolute submission to a pedophile warrior-prophet and his bloodthirsty god, and whose only real interest is in corruption, sectarian rivalry, and endless bloodshed.

Update! Via Glenn: For once, I am speechless. Truly, truly incredible, and all part of the change idiots voted for. The war is over. We lost.

Updated update! Did someone say “beclown ourselves?” Because sadly, it was an understatement.


Brennan to criminals: “Why can’t you be more like terrorists?”


No–it’s all too believable.

People sometimes use that figure, 20 percent, say ‘Oh my goodness, one out of five detainees returned to some type of extremist activity’. You know, the American penal system, the recidivism rate is up to something about 50 percent or so, as far as return to crime. Twenty percent isn’t that bad.

More questions:

Counting Zacarias Moussaoui, there were 20 hijackers on Sept. 11. If four of them managed to survive and commit more terrorism, would that be a success?

Shouldn’t Dep. Sec. Brennan be busy setting up the HIG, the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group we were promised months and months ago?

What is the recidivism rate for the detainees who don’t get a “Get-Out-of-Guantanamo-Free” card? I’m guessing “zero”.

When we start capturing these same detainees for a second time, will Brennan then brag about their recidivism rate when they’re released again?

Why do we need a “Three Strikes”-law for terrorists?

UPDATE: The Taliban’s #2 man in Pakistan has been captured and Mirandized within an inch of his life.

Times Online:

Baradar was highly effective, but the loss of other senior figures has had a limited impact inside Afghanistan. His dominance within the Quetta Shura, however, could create a power struggle to fill the vacuum. A likely successor will be Mullah Abdullah Zakir who, since his release from Guantánamo Bay, has emerged as the coming force within the insurgency.


Tony and Linda Blair: The Spinning of The Bloody Heads


Steyn at Macleans on Tony’s Phony Trial:

“[F]or an advanced Western nation in the 21st century, war is only legitimate if you have no conceivable national interest in whatever war you’re waging. Kosovo meets that definition: no one remembers why we went in, who were the good guys, or what the hell the point of it was. Which is the point: the principal rationale was that there was no rationale. The Clinton/Blair argument boiled down to: the fact that we have no reason to get into it justifies our getting into it. Whereas Afghanistan and Iraq are [considered] morally dubious if not outright illegal precisely because Britain and America behaved as nation states acting in their national interest. And we’re not meant to do that anymore.

The cultural relativism of the dopier university campuses is to be applied globally.

That suits the enemy just fine.”

Highly Recommended non-horror shows: The new Ricochet podcasts with Mark Steyn, Rob Long and a cast of millions.

Also Kathy Shaidle’s new Talk Radio Watch column. Good stuff!


Brennan: “al Queda has the right to remain silent…but you people have the duty!”

“Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda.”–Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan, doing his best impression of “Things Dick Cheney Was Constantly Accused of Saying But Never Actually Said”


…and it’s still an unflattering look on you.

It would take an International Harvester to plow through all the strawmen Sec. Brennan sets up here, so I’ll just touch on one:

“The most important breakthrough occurred after Abdulmutallab was read his rights…”

In other words, if you want to know a terrorist’s secrets…Mirandize him!

That’s just crazy. The only reason his family was brought in to make him talk was because he was foolishly and unnecessarily Mirandized in the first place.

One other thing: Bush administration officials took unrelenting abuse from about noon on Sept. 11 to noon on Jan. 21, last Inauguration Day. But the first time this guy gets criticized, he flop-sweats like Andy Kaufman at an all-girls wrestling match.

Isn’t there somebody up there who knows how to play this game?


“Allah, I Was Born a Pre-Ramblin’ Man…”


“We the People of the United States, in Order to…provide for the common defence…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”–the Pre-Ramble to the Constitution

The Undie-Bomber is singing like an American Idol contestant being chased by mob loansharks. Allegedly.

Which is odd; we were told he had already provided every scrap of information that could possibly be of use. Byron York:

Robert Gibbs said that “FBI interrogators believe they got valuable intelligence and were able to get all that they could out of him.” When host Chris Wallace asked, “All they could?” Gibbs answered, “Yeah.”

On January 31, top White House adviser David Axelrod told Meet the Press that Abdulmutallab “has given very valuable information to the government about activities in Yemen and some of his experiences there.” To emphasize the point, Axelrod said, “We have not lost anything as a result of how his case has been handled.”

So just a few days ago the Obama administration claimed that Abdulmutallab had given up everything he knows. Now, they claim he is giving them fresh, useful intelligence.

Obviously his father cares for him, trying to prevent his suicide terrorism. So someone got the bright idea to bring his family here and have them convince him to co-operate. Good work–but it doesn’t change the fact that he should not have been Mirandized to begin with.


Remember when Cheney first started coming after The One last year on national security and 60 Minutes asked him to respond? March 23, 2009:

“Well, there is no doubt that we [i.e. “Bush”] have not done a particularly effective job in sorting through who are truly dangerous individuals that we’ve got to make sure are not a threat to us, who are folks that we just swept up.”

The few detainees who were pure little Innocents Abroad, “swept up” by the vacuous vaccum of the Bush/Cheney/Hoover junta were released long ago. This is pure liberal hug-a-thug-ism.

“The whole premise of Guantanamo promoted by Vice President Cheney was that somehow the American system of justice was not up to the task of dealing with these terrorists. I fundamentally disagree with that.”

You fundamentally disagree with your own strawman argument? Good.

“Now, do these folks deserve Miranda rights? Do they deserve to be treated like a shoplifter down the block? Of course not,” Obama said.”

Sounds like you’ve been disagreeing with yourself.

Obama will say anything to win an argument, but in their heart of hearts, he and his bomber-coddling terror pals believe the Constitution was written to extend rights to foreign enemies.

However, the plain words of the Preamble tell us we wrote the Constitution to protect our lives and our rights.

All men brothers? Maybe–but they’re not all Americans.

UPDATE: The state doesn’t owe you a remedial civics lesson just because you were daydreaming about Suzy Jenkin’s pigtails in Mr. Owen’s American Government class. As a Constitutionalist, I don’t believe even Americans are entitled to Miranda Warnings, let alone foreign illegal enemy combatants.

Regardless, we shouldn’t even know about this, because if we know, the enemy also knows. It helps our enemies. Abdulmutallab’s cooperation has been leaked to provide political cover for Obama even though it helps Osama. Pathetic.


Everybody Sing: Happy Gitmo Closure Day To You


…Happy Gitmo Closure Day, Dear Leader…

Happy Gitmo Closure Day to youuuuuu!

And many more.

The detention facilities at Guantánamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order.

January 22, 2009.

Sure, we’re all a little groggy from celebrating the other anniversaries–the passage of health care, the new Climate Change Treaty and the Iranian nuke deadline, all of which were supposed to be done deals by the end of last year.

But some unknown high-ranking White House official is openly defying Obama’s iron-clad order to have Gitmo closed by today. Maybe it’s the same “unknown high-ranking White House official” who decided to give Miranda Rights to the Panty-Bomber and approved of Major Hasan’s civil rights classic, “E-mails to a Pakistan Cave”.

In other news, Obama released two more terrorists to Algeria.

One is an armed-robbing, drug-dealing, bail-jumping terrorist who plotted the LA Airport bombing. The other is a church-burning, assassination-plotting, IED-building Taliban translator.

At the Battle of the Bulge, German soldiers dressed as Americans and were able to trick and kill our soldiers. When we captured them, we shot them on the spot–and filmed it. How is it all these terrorists are entitled to more?

Can you imagine FDR in 1944 running on a platform of getting POW German and Japanese boys safely home as soon as possible? Instead, he concentrated on winning in order to get our troops home safely and as soon as possible.

Speaking of “safely home”, the Algerians aren’t noted for their delicate treatment of terrorists. This would of course be called a “war crime” had Dubya done it. Not to mention another “recruiting tool”. But since it’s O, everything’s cool, tool.

Now if only we could shut down the real torture camp on the other side of Gitmo’s barbed wire by next year…that would be a Closure Day finally worth celebrating.


“When HIGs Fly”: in which Dep. Barney Fife reads Abdulmutallab his Precious, Sacred Miranda Rights?


“You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney from Eric Holder’s law firm. You have the right to internet access–and not just dial-up, but high-speed internet access like they have up in Mt. Pilot. You have the right to a slice of Aunt Bea’s award-winning yet culturally-inappropriate pickle pie. You have the right to be put into a cell with Otis, unless the alcohol on his breath offends you, in which case the keys are hangin’ on the wall there…”–Mayberry, DNC: the Lost Episodes

Allah Akberry:

Should the FBI have questioned him or the CIA? Should he have been treated as a criminal or an enemy combatant? Should he get a civilian trial or a military tribunal?

Don’t worry. Someone somewhere in the chain of command will figure it out.

“So the decision was made by agents on the ground based on some protocol or some policy that they understood?” Sessions asked.

“Based on an ongoing, very fluid situation,” Mueller answered…

“System Failure: The Christmas Day bomber was never asked specific questions based on the intelligence the U.S. government had already collected on him.” by Stephen Hayes:

Four top counterterrorism officials testified before a congressional committee that they were not consulted about how to handle the interrogation of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the al Qaeda operative…:Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security; Michael Leiter, chairman of the National Counterterrorism Center; and Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence. It also included FBI Director Robert Mueller.

With surprising candor, Blair, the nation’s top intelligence official, explained that these officials were not deliberately excluded from the decisionmaking process in the immediate aftermath of the attack. Rather, he told the Senate Homeland Security Committee, there was no process at all.

“I’ve been a part of the discussions which established this high-value interrogation unit, [HIG] which we started as part of the executive order after the decision to close Guantanamo. That unit was created for exactly this purpose — to make a decision on whether a certain person who’s detained should be treated as a case for federal prosecution or for some of the other means. We did not invoke the HIG in this case,” he said. “We should have.”

Or you would have…if only the HIG was ready; Bill Burck:

Director Blair, to his credit, testified that it was a mistake to treat Abdumutallab like a common criminal, rather than a terrorist detainee, and lose the opportunity to interrogate him. […]


I’m hearing from intel and WH people that the WH went berserk over the testimony and forced Blair to issue statement of clarification pasted below. Note that Blair does not “clarify” that he wasn’t consulted, only that the FBI got some info before the underwear bomber lawyered up. Intel/DoJ/WH world is abuzz about all of this…


My remarks today before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs have been misconstrued. The FBI interrogated Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab when they took him into custody. They received important intelligence at that time, drawing on the FBI’s expertise in interrogation that will be available in the HIG once it is fully operational.

Clearly Blair was waterboarded into making that false confession!

If a Detainee Interrogation Group is so “High Value” to Obama, why is it not fully operational after a year?


Director Blair testified that the decision to charge Abdulmutallab was made “on the scene.” …

In other words, the Justice Department treated the failed terrorist attack like a typical criminal law-enforcement case and did not bother to consult with anyone outside the department, including the intelligence services and maybe even the White House, about whether Abdulmutallab should be interrogated as an enemy combatant. It may have all been decided by the prosecutor taking emergency calls on Christmas and his or her boss in Detroit, without much, if any, input from headquarters or the White House.

If this scenario or some variation of it occurred, we should all be very worried. Either the White House and Justice Department have set up a system that deliberately cuts the intelligence services out of the loop on interrogating captured terrorists, or it was a big screw-up and someone failed to alert the right people up the chain before running off and charging Abdulmutallab as a criminal. I’m not sure which explanation is more frightening.

Andy McCarthy:

“…[I]t is a drastic overstatement to call it a “decision” since that implies that actual thought went into it…”

I don’t usually find myself disagreeing with pros like Burck and McCarthy, but this wasn’t some non-decision made by some county commissioner Boss Hogg and his inept county sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane.

This was a purposeful decision taken by Barack Obama and Eric Holder.

They have chosen to treat terrorists like citizens and citizens like terrorists. They have chosen to gut the interrogation capabilities of our intelligence services before an attack in favor of securing convictions after an attack.

Why should our top counter-terrorism officials be consulted? They don’t have any say in the answer.

That decision has already been made.


Hasan and Abdulmutallab, visas and e-mails, cats and dogs


TIME, Nov. 11:

Whether or not the FBI might have intervened depends on what, exactly, was in the e-mails between Hasan and al-Awlaki.

No, it doesn’t. The very fact that a military officer was communicating with an al Qaeda recruiter is enough to intervene. The problem is the very mindset that says “Well, maybe there’s an acceptable way for Army officers to chat with al Qaeda.”

Besides, some officials point out, there’s nothing illegal about writing to al-Awlaki: the Yemeni American is not under any kind of indictment in the U.S. But even if the exchanges were innocuous, should the fact that Hasan was a serving military officer not have set off some trip wires?

These “officials” should step forward.

The FBI’s defenders say investigators would, at any one time, have been monitoring hundreds, possibly thousands of exchanges between al-Awlaki and interlocutors in the U.S. Many of them would be disaffected young men, expressing rage against the West and support for the activities of jihadis everywhere. Then along comes this communication from a senior military officer. It’s innocuous, and well within the scope of the officer’s legitimate area of interest and research. Rather than raise any alarm, say intelligence officials, the communications from Hasan would have seemed “safe” and been put aside, while FBI monitors to focused on al-Awlaki’s other, potentially more worrisome correspondents on these shores.

Given that al-Awlaki was in contact with both Maj. Hadsan and the UnderBomber–not to mention the 9/11 bombers–can we say yet that EVERYBODY who has been in contact with him is a suspect? Or would that be rude?

Intel experts say if, in fact, there’s any blame to be assigned for missing danger signs, it should be focused on the military. They say that some of Hasan’s flaky behavior at Walter Reed should have alerted his superior officers — especially his fellow psychiatrists — that something was amiss.

So the FBI is blaming the military and the military is blaming the FBI–but what about administration officials who were supposed to be overseeing the whole mess?

It is true however, that military command were are acting like a battered housewife in denial; officers knew if they blew the whistle on Hasan, they would be the ones to get in trouble, not Hasan.

The FBI on Monday issued a statement, saying “there is no information to indicate [Hasan] had any co-conspirators or was part of a broader terrorist plot. The investigation to date has not identified a motive, and a number of possibilities remain under consideration.”

That motive-thing–a real mystery, all right.


According to that still-classified report, the terrorism task force responsible for determining whether Hasan posed a threat never saw all 18 e-mails he exchanged with that radical Yemeni cleric Awlaki whose communications were being monitored under a court ordered wiretap.

Why didn’t they see all 18? And who did?

After the Washington task force decided Hasan was not dangerous, it never asked to see his subsequent communications with Alwaki. …

None of the e-mails specifically mentioned Hasan’s plans for a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, but because he was a member of the military the FBI showed them to a Pentagon investigator with the note “comm” written on it. To the FBI that meant “commissioned officer.” The Pentagon investigator thought it meant “communication.”

And to me, it means “Communist”. And speaking of, that’s why you have an administration official to oversee these things. Sorry; not buying.

As a result, there were no red flags that an army officer was e-mailing a radical cleric suspected of being a talent spotter for al Qaeda.

Michelle Malkin:

Take a look again at what the White House 6-page summary report says about Foggy Bottom’s foul-up:

“…A misspelling of Mr. Abdulmutallab’s name initially resulted in the State Dept. believing that he did not have a valid U.S. visa [to cancel].”

Another grammatical error?

“A determination to revoke his visa, however, would have only occurred if there had been a successful integration of intelligence by the Counter Terrorism community, resulting in his being watchlisted.”

Translation: “It’s not our fault!”

The focus on visa revocation completely (and deliberately) misses the point about who bears responsibility for approving the visa in the first place. And that responsibility rests entirely with U.S. consular officials gambling on our national security. … Young, single, rootless foreign Muslim Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should never, ever have received a temporary visa into our country in the first place. No visa, no plane ticket. No ticket, no passage to airline jihad. …

Under federal law (section 214[b] of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act to be precise), State Department consular officials must determine that foreigners applying for temporary visas (students, tourists, and businessmen) will in fact return to their home countries as required and will not abuse their visa privileges.

Then they are doing a terrible job, since millions and millions of people are wandering around this country on expired visas.

Before the September 11 attacks, countless visa applicants – including 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers – skipped personal appearance requirements and bypassed the interview process as a convenience provided by Foggy Bottom panderers. This was supposed to change. …

Like Abulmutallab, not a single one of the unmarried, rootless, Muslim male nomads who secured student and business visas to commit mass murder on American soil [on 9/11] should have ever obtained a temporary visa in the first place.

But the reckless customer-service mentality prevails under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The department continues to operate the dangerous “Diversity Visa Lottery” program – handing out permanent residency visas (green cards) randomly to some 50,000 foreigners from “underrepresented” regions. …

State Department flacks are busy pointing fingers at other homeland security bureaucracies, namely the National Counterrerrorism Center, for failing to revoke the UndyBomber’s visa. Foggy Bottom held a press conference earlier this week to boast that it had finally taken responsibility and stripped Abdulmutallab of his golden entrance ticket. But where does the buck stop for granting the visa in the first place?

Colin Powell fought to keep the visa power at State instead of being moved to Homeland Security. Problem is, at State it’s a low-level function, not a priority. And State tries to look at things from the point of view of foreign countries, and what is “nice” and diplomatic.

And once someone gets a visa, it’s like pulling teeth to take it away.

More from CBS:

The largest, the Terrorism Watch List, has about 400,000 names, a population that would more than fill four Rose Bowls. People on this list have raised “a reasonable suspicion” of terror connections. They can still fly but are carefully checked.

Names that trigger even more red flags are moved to a second, more restrictive category, the Selectee List. It numbers about 14,000, enough to fill the end zone of one Rose Bowl. A “selectee” must undergo more thorough screening and pat downs.

The highest priority, the no-fly list, has just 3,400 names, enough to fill one stadium section. Those on the no-fly list have established terror ties and cannot fly into the U.S.

Since the Detroit attack, the White House has ordered a review. Sources say the National Counterterrorism Center has now sent hundreds of new names to the FBI, and the FBI has upgraded “hundreds of names” from the master watch list to the Selectee category.

Why are we handing out invitations to people we think are dangerous? Here’s a thought; since nobody is entitled to enter the USA, how ’bout we ban them all?

Maybe J-Nap was right; maybe the “system worked”. Maybe Hillary is right, that State followed all the rules. Maybe the military, the FBI and the administration all did their jobs properly, as they all claim.

Maybe we need to change the definition of what that job is.

Maybe instead of protecting turf, protecting budgets, protecting careers, protecting access, protecting the 24-hr. news spin, protecting foreigners and protecting the rights of defendants, maybe we could make protecting Americans Job #1.

There is a huge network of radicals and extremists who believe this;

they’re called “the American people”.


White House: “Sure, he paid in cash for a one-way ticket and had no baggage, but in our defense, he had lots of emotional baggage.”


RUSH: Here. Just to show you that I wasn’t making it up, Tuesday night on MSNBC, Richard Wolffe — author of a book about Obama and his campaign who is working on another book with Obama, presumably with close access — goes on this network to talk about the attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack, and he’s asked this question: “Mr. Wolffe, where is the focus right now?”

WOLFFE: Well, I was speaking to White House, uh, folks earlier today and — and it’s clear the President is still, uhhh, deeply concerned and troubled, ahh, even angry at — at the intelligence lapses. But they see this more as an intelligence lapse, ah, more than a situation of airport security faults. So the question here is: Why didn’t the centralized system of intelligence that was set up after 9/11…? Why didn’t it work? Is this conspiracy or cock up? The president is leaning very much towards thinking this was a systemic failure by individuals who maybe had an alternative agenda.

RUSH: … So it’s all about him. It’s all about him. That’s why he gets mad. He thinks somebody tried to make him look bad, The One, The Messiah.

This Cult of Personality narcissism is actually a step backwards for liberals. They’ve gone from the already-backwards “Why Do They Hate Us?” to “Why Do They Hate Him?”

It’s not about Leader and it’s not even about us. It’s about them. Short of converting to Islam and submitting, there is nothing we can do to appease them.

William Tate:

Apparently, even this White House realized they had taken liberals’ animus against the intelligence community too far. Wolffe, their unofficial spokesman, immediately began walking back the allegation. Wolffe had “just checked in” with his masters, and he told Maddow by phone that the storyline he and The Sportscaster had spun was, in reality, “ten steps ahead of where the White House is right now,” and that “this comes down to human error more than this is some willful withholding.” Granted, Wolffe added that the conspiracy “questions are being asked.”

In other words, this White House trial balloon went over about as well as the Balloon Boy stunt.

So let me get this straight:

First, Bush and the Evil Establishment blew up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon so they could build an oil pipeline through Afghanistan (which no one is building), and now, just to keep in practice, the Rogue Intel Establishment let Mr. FruitatheLooma get on that airplane just to make Obama look bad.

Makes sense to me.

Who are these shadowy “Establishment” guys, anyway? Are they pals of Bill Ayers, frustrated because they didn’t get to blow up enough stuff back in the ’70’s? Besides, I thought Democrats liked Rogue Intelligence Officers who make their own foreign policy, like Valerie and Joe Plame.

Maybe all these journalists who keep bringing up Hofstadter’s “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” were right, after all.


The Isolated Extremist Smoking Gun System Worked


Even terrorists have the right to wait until April 15 before declaring their annual income, don’t they?

But just for the record:

Q: What is Michael Yon’s annual income?

A: Whatever we say it is.

Andy McCarthy has helpfully republished his 2005 essay on security today:

I was on a panel some months ago with a top official from the Department of Homeland Security. After reeling off three now-infamous but manifestly non-Arabic names — Richard Reid (the “Shoe Bomber”), John Walker Lindh (the “American Taliban”), and Jose Padilla (allegedly a would-be “Dirty Bomber”) — the official offered to that room full of idealistic law students the cheery lesson our government has drawn: You can’t construct a terrorist profile because the monsters come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. As I listened to this absurdity, I couldn’t help but think of Muggsy Bogues, the five-foot-three-inch dynamo of a point guard who lit up pro-basketball arenas for years. I hope that if some exigency ever impels the Transportation Safety Administration to put together an NBA team, the agency will not think “Muggsy” and scour the land for Lilliputians.

There’s one already living in the White House:

Given the unsettled situation, I’ve spoken to the attorney general and we’ve agreed that we will not be transferring additional detainees back to Yemen at this time.

The terrorists are “unsettled”, not the “situation”. And there will never be a good time to return them to their High Command.

And he says he’s going to close Gitmo because they told him to:

But make no mistake. We will close Guantanamo prison, which has damaged our national security interests and become a tremendous recruiting tool for Al Qaida. In fact, that was an explicit rationale for the formation of al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Why don’t you command the terrorists rather than taking commands from them?

And as I’ve always said, we will do so — we will close the prison in a manner that keeps the American people safe and secure.

Only a liberal thinks emptying prisons is a safety measure.

McCarthy again:

He’s spent the last year allowing intelligence officers to be investigated criminally, portraying them as rogues, accusing them of war crimes, removing them from the interrogation equation, and rebuffing calls to disclose to the public how effective their post-9/11 intelligence gathering was. If you create a climate in which pursuing and connecting dots is likely to get you in a heap of hurt, how surprised should you be that we’ve become lax in dot pursuit and connection?

Krauthammer sums it up:

It is beyond disconcerting. It’s insane. … The idea that you give him his rights is simply unbelievable.


Believe…the System.


The Spy Who Came in from the Cold…and Then Filed a Report on It!


The CIA is no longer allowed to ask terrorists questions, so it has plenty of time to interrogate glaciers.

Capt. Ed on The New Cold War:

“The nation’s top scientists and spies are collaborating on an effort to use the federal government’s intelligence assets — including spy satellites and other classified sensors — to assess the hidden complexities of environmental change. They seek insights from natural phenomena like clouds and glaciers, deserts and tropical forests.”

The CIA has a specific mission, which is to gather intelligence to enhance American national security and to conduct covert operations against our enemies. Right now, we are at war in Afghanistan and attempting to defeat a resilient network of terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen. The latter network came within a reliable detonator of killing hundreds of people and wreaking havoc on our transportation system — again. …

Maybe — just maybe — the CIA and its political-hack director should be more focused on its mission than on watching ice melt, or freeze, depending on the time of year.

We already have multiple agencies dedicated to protecting polars bears; let’s focus on protecting the Endangered American species for a change.

Besides, if we need more weathermen, the president can always ask his co-author Bill Ayers.


Blast from the past

Via canuck49 comes what ought to have been a rallying cry and sure statement of intent, but what sounds now more like a sad harbinger of doom:

For over a decade, there was another guarantee of American impotence: the notion that a terrorist is alone responsible for his actions, and that each, therefore, must be tried as an individual before a court of law. This viewpoint, thankfully, is fading; most people now understand that terrorists exist only through the sanction and support of a government.

We need not prove the identity of any of these creatures, because terrorism is not an issue of personalities. It cannot be stopped by destroying bin Laden and the al-Qaeda army, or even by destroying the destroyers everywhere. If that is all we do, a new army of militants will soon rise up to replace the old one.

The behavior of such militants is that of the regimes which make them possible. Their atrocities are not crimes, but acts of war. The proper response, as the public now understands, is a war in self-defense. In the excellent words of Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense, we must “end states who sponsor terrorism.”

A proper war in self-defense is one fought without self-crippling restrictions placed on our commanders in the field. It must be fought with the most effective weapons we possess (a few weeks ago, Rumsfeld refused, correctly, to rule out nuclear weapons). And it must be fought in a manner that secures victory as quickly as possible and with the fewest U.S. casualties, regardless of the countless innocents caught in the line of fire. These innocents suffer and die because of the action of their own government in sponsoring the initiation of force against America. Their fate, therefore, is their government’s moral responsibility. There is no way for our bullets to be aimed only at evil men.

And somehow…here we are: mired in futility, scratching our heads over why it is our nice new Homeland Security bureaucracy fails to do much year after year, beyond inconveniencing ordinary travelers while straining mightily to avoid giving offense to the terrorist demographic; running up the national debt; and providing cushy government-union employment to incompetents.

And here we shall remain, for as long as we lack the wherewithal to deal with the rogue states like Iran and Saudi Arabia that breed and nurture Muslim zealots and send them out into the civilized world with utter impunity, to wreak their horror and destruction.

Dubya had it right, with his “you’re either with us or the terrorists,” Axis of Evil formulation. His biggest mistake was backing off from it. It’s a mistake we’ll all be paying for for years to come. And anyone looking for the real root causes of our current dilemma need look no further than this article. Meanwhile, Bill says it for me:

I don’t care if every Muslim in the world hates us, as long as they fear trying to kill us.

And that’s the long and short of it.


Brennan: “No Smoking Gun”?–You’re joking, son!


First, “The system worked”, despite failing miserably.

Then, he was an “isolated extremist” despite being a well-connected jihadist.

Now were told there was “no smoking gun”, despite telegraphing everything but an engraved invitation.

Bill Kristol:

We let him lawyer up, and right now he’s probably thinking, “Gee, maybe I could use that information to bargain with to get a reduced sentence.” That’s what Brennan seemed to indicate when he kept talking about how, “Well, we’re going to work with his lawyers, and we have some incentives to offer him.”

But this is operational intelligence in real time, and we are not treating it as a war. I mean, if this — incidentally, when he said there’s no smoking gun, this is the smoking — he is the smoking gun. Right?

His father comes, gives the CIA station chief in Africa his name. He — a month later, he goes to Yemen, says he’s in Yemen. He’s in Yemen. He’s with this cleric whom we’re monitoring in Yemen, trying to kill in Yemen, Awlaki, who’s the same guy who’s been in touch with Major Hasan.

He goes to an airport using his own name, no disguise, no alias, buys with cash a one-way ticket to the U.S. …No luggage. That — he is the smoking gun. And frankly, for Mr. Brennan to say, “Well, no smoking gun,” that itself shows a kind of not-serious-about-the-war mentality.”

We already know that some mystery official in the administration decided that Major Hasan’s emails to Awlaki in Yemen did not constitute a smoking gun either.

Presumably that official is still in place making those same dangerous kinds of poor judgments.

Q: Did that same official also decide that there was no smoking gun when the UnderBomber trained with Awlaki just like in Maj. Hasan’s case? And was Brennan that official?

Talk about your smoking guns…what if one official (besides the president, I mean) were responsible for bungling both the Hasan case and the UnderBomber?




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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