My Photo
Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Message from Iraq

Here's a message from the pointy end of the spear to the American-Idol-besotted lemmings back home.

I can hear this Marine easily saying these words:

"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to one who rises and sleeps under the very of freedom I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said, "thank you," and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand to post...

...Either way, I do not give a DAMN who won American Idol or the Oscars."

Damn the traitors and backstabbers. Damn all of them.



Read more
<< Home

Friday, February 23, 2007

Nothing Like a Good Cuppa Joe and a Quagmire on a Friday Morning

Yes, folks, yet another quagmire:

An American Congress has got itself into a war it can’t win. It is stuck. Can’t move forward, can’t move back. And Congress is starting to take casualties. It doesn’t know which way to turn. It’s a quagmire.

The situation is dire, and congressmen everywhere are increasingly beleaguered. They have been unable to come up with any strategy for success, but more seriously, they haven’t been able to agree on a strategy for failure. One of their leading lights, Rep. John Murtha, has already been reduced to an object of derision and the danger is he will drag more of them down with him.

Congress spent four days … four days! … yammering earnestly, and then cast a strong, uncompromising, forceful non-binding resolution with a self-negating caveat. The president of the United States, in reaction to this devastating congressional shock-and-awe campaign, said, “Thank you, that was interesting.”

Since then, the Senate minority, wielding flimsy, antiquated procedural weapons, has tied down the Democratic juggernaut in the Senate.

The situation is increasingly desperate. Americans, who had seen in the Democratic Congress a chance to extricate themselves from an unpopular conflict, appear to be coming to the conclusion that Bush’s war is a more attractive choice than the Democratic peace. Here are some of the ugly facts on the ground:

Public Opinion Strategies found that 67 percent of voters think the country is going in the wrong direction and 60 percent think Iraq has no future as a stable democracy. But 57% believe “The Iraq War is a key part of the global war on terrorism” and that we have to keep our troops there and finish the job.

Hillary Clinton, trying out out-Obama Obama, is playing to the hard left in classic pre-primary strategy. That would be the 17% who favor immediate withdrawal.

A majority, 56 percent of likely voters, say “Even if they have concerns about his war policies, Americans should stand behind the President in Iraq because we are at war.” And 53 percent say, “The Democrats are going too far, too fast in pressing the President to withdraw the troops from Iraq.”

Other recent polls have found support for Bush’s troop surge surging, and while opposition to the war is high, so is opposition to (a) surrender, (b) losing, (c) defeat and (d) compelling the troops do do any of them same.

This poses a frightful dilemma for Dem Cong strategists. How to surrender without giving up? How to compel defeat without being seen to cause us to lose?

How indeed?

The "Dem Cong." Hadn't heard that one. I like it. Note by: Napalm sticks to Democrats.



Read more
<< Home

Monday, February 19, 2007

"Surge" Iraq? Bomb Iran?

Mudville Gazette, an excellent military site, has a good take on late the troop "surge." He says, with greater authority than I have in such matters, that the "surge" represents more a change in tactics than troop numbers:

Prime Minister Maliki has instructed his security forces that there will no longer be any political interference in military operations. Iraqi commanders have also been assured no neighborhood and no target is off limits.

That's a change for the good. Our troops have been operating under too-restrictive rules of engagement and rules for the use of force for most of the last several years. This declaration, coming from the Iraqi senior leadership, represents progress.

General Petraeus is adamant that to win this conflict we have to protect the population. Consequently, Iraqi army, Iraqi police, and coalition forces will actually live together in joint security stations throughout Baghdad in order to be closer to the Iraqi people that they are protecting. The additional forces will also enable us to create more transition teams to assist, teach, mentor and coach the Iraqi security forces. There will be both an increase in the number and size of the teams, and they will reach down to the lower-level units within the Iraqi army and police units.

Another change for the good, straight out of the Army and Marines' excellent (if airpower-ignorant) new manual on counterinsurgency, FM 3-24. .pdf available here. (Thanks, Rant Street.) We are finally doing something other than trying to chase insurgents out of their sanctuaries and then returning to our cantonments. That, and convoying between cantonments, is what most of our troops have spent the last two years doing. Al qaeda, Iran's Revolutionary Guard, and other "interested parties" have chosen Iraq as their place to make a stand and have staked much of their future on hurting us there. This is their fundamental strategic error (just as ours was to assume things would automatically go well once we toppled Saddam). So far, we've let our enemies win by not taking and holding their sanctuaries. Now..."straight out of the book"...we will deny those sanctuaries, stabilize them enough to hand them over to Iraqi security entirely, and then be able to use US forces to seal the borders with Syria and Iran. This represents what has changed much better than the MSM's stories of a "surge" in troops designed to "quell the insurrection" with "brute force."

How goes it? Powerlinehas a good take:

The sense is that the Sunni insurgents (or at least elements thereof) are choosing to stay and fight, while the Shia militias are mostly biding their time. This was proabably to be expected. The Sunni killers are the more desperate of our two adversaries. Moreover, to the extent that the Shia militias melt away, the role of the Sunni insurgents becomes increasingly problematic even within the Sunni community because they no longer can claim to be providing protecting against said militias. If the insurgents leave, it's unclear that they can return. If they stay but don't fight, they probably will be hunted down with increasing efficiency as their support erodes. Thus, their best option is probably to stay, blow things up, and hope that the Democrats can find a way promptly to abort our effort.

The Domocrats aborting our efforts? Say not so! A token example: John "Marine" Murtha is looking to hamstring our troops in Iraq, in order to ensure we can't win. This accords well with the aims of the left. If this isn't (or doesn't beome) Vietnam, how can the left congratulate itself for its romantic heroism, standing astride The Man's evil plot, yelling, "stop"? Allowing our troops fewer, not more, restrictions might actually create conditions that permit victory -- and US-Iraqi victory is the last thing the Democrats and the left want.

Back to Mudville: our friends there did make one intriguing comment that warrants touching on--

I suspect the media - in spite of vigorous denials by the administration - is trying to portray the US as on the brink of war with Iran. This allows Democrats - and Hillary Clinton in particular - to vociferously oppose this non-existent war. (To be fair, this also gets some conservatives very excited over the prospect of "taking out" Iran - their hopes will be dashed.) [emphasis added]

Astute, in the main...but I must address the issue of conservatives' "hopes being dashed." This comment may result from a perfectly understandable ground-pounder's misunderstanding of how we would go to war with Iran, should that become necessary. As I've pointed out elsewhere, we are able to take effective military action against both Iran's ruling regime (to isolate, not "decapitate") and its atomic infrastructure. However, the other way to read that comment is, I think, the correct way: their (our) hopes will be dashed because there is no reason to attack Iran right now. In fact, military effectiveness right now might be politically counterproductive -- and thus counterproductive in terms of producing the desired end state -- because Ahmandinechimp is not particularly popular in his own country right now. He came out of the political woodwork promising housing and riches for his country's poor population. Mismanagement and socialism-lite in the country have led to extremely high inflation and unemployment. This report does a good job of showing the situation Iran's leaders are facing -- and things have only gotten worse since it was published. It's so bad, you'd think Jimmy Carter was in charge of the country. Iran's large middle class is very discontented and may yet make things untenable for Iran's "elected" government and the Mullahs that really rule. Ahmandinejad is already routinely heckled at public appearances where he is actually in front of the public, rather than before a field of Revolutionary Guards goosestepping past ballistic missiles, or in front of a crowd of adoring savages at the UN. Much of Iran's atomic bluster is designed to rally the country around what the regime wants the public to believe is a foreign threat. This is also why Iran is playing its hand so openly in Iraq. It's always the way with failing dictatorships: rally the country around the flag to take their minds off of crappy conditions at home.

No...right now we should let events take their course in Iran. We can always bomb later if the regime does not bog down in its own "quagmire." Still, despite Mudville's opinion on the matter, we can do what we need to with bombing, should the time come.

links to a good summary of the situation in Iraq and Iran from Steve Natschke:

I recently de-mobilized after spending a total of three years at CENTCOM HQ beginning in Feb 2003. I didn't work on the OIF plan but I do know something about it. Phase IV was the least planned (by CENTCOM) part of OIF since nobody knew what would happen after the end of major combat activities and the Organization for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) was supposed to do the planning and carry out many of the activities. In the end, there was little humanitarian assistance to be carried out and little reconstruction due to combat. Declaration of Phase IV has many legal implications in regard to the Geneva Conventions, the Law of Land Warfare, etc... I also believe that it is the demarcation of when the Department of State takes the lead. In any case, the slides, if they show anything, show that the enemy has a vote in how things turn out.

As I see it, things are turning out better than we expected from a GWOT point of view. Al Qaeda's decision to make a stand in Iraq has provided us with an opportunity to deal them a significant blow. They have invested many resources - there aren't that many suicide bombers out there - and much of their reputation counts on defeating us in Iraq. All we have to do is stay and we win. Iran is over-playing its hand and will see just as much trouble on their side of the border as they instigate in Iraq. All we have to do is stay and we win.

On the down side, of course, is our inability to play in the information war. I think this is part of the reason that the terrorists and the Democrats are natural allies - they are willing to say the most outrageous things and no one holds them to account. The truth may be on our side but it is not enough - it needs to be marketed. Unfortunately that is easier said than done and we, as a government, are not set up to do it. In fact, we are not set up to win wars efficiently. The very structure of our government prevents us from prosecuting wars efficiently and I doubt a change would be politically feasible. Aside from DoD, no one prepares for their part of the war fight and they don't train for or fund any activities that contribute to war time success. For now we will have to settle for less efficient war fighting

he's right about losing the "strategic communication" campaign (the doctrinally correct name for what he's talking about), but his central paragraph is the most important: things are better because our enemies have decided to make a stand in Iraq, Iran is overplaying its hand (because it has to for domestic consumption), and "all we have to do is stay and we win."

True. Unfortunately, we live in 2007, not 1957. There is no broad, bipartisan consensus about how to deal with the enemies of the West. And that is our greatest strategic weakness, one our enemies within islam and on the left are counting on.



Read more
<< Home

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On Iran: A Disease and its Cure

Andrew Sttaford at National Review Online quotes some "straight talking from Anne Applebaum" concerning the possiblilty of military action against Iran. It reperesents a fairly good summary of the "we can't hit Iran and do any good" school of thought, so it deserves some serious attention.Here's most of the article, along with my comments:

Fact Number One:Iran is a large country containing 75 million people, in possession of a large and competent army.

The idea that Iran possesses a comptent army, born of communist/fascist-like images of troops goose-stepping before the Mullahs and Monkey Man in Tehran does not equal a competent miitary. Four well-placed, well-guided Mark-84s, followed up by a few CBUs to catch the stragglers, would take care of the complete parade. The ability to look good on parade does not equal military competence, at least against the US and UK. Besides, taking out large, competent armies is an American specialty.

We don't have the men, we don't have the machines and we don't have the money to stage an invasion.

Who, I might ask, has expressed any inclination to invade Iran on the ground? Where does this (prevalent) idea come from? Certainly not from competent military sources, who know what has to be done and how to do it. The mere question proves ignorance of how the military works and of the capabilities of air and space power.

If we were even to contemplate such a thing, we would have to reduce force levels
elsewhere, but where? In Iraq, the policy is to send more troops, the war in Afghanistan isn't going away anytime soon,

Of course we would have to move troops from somewhere else; one of the reasons we will not seriously contemplate putting "boots on the ground" in country. American ground forces in Iraq present a much more credible threat as a coercive presence -- implying that we can invade if the need arises. Implied pain is often a much more powerful convincer than actual pain. Military action against Iran will come from the air (and from sea-based air, of course).

...and, just as diplomacy there is starting to produce results, this isn't a great time to start monkeying about with the military balance on the Korean peninsula either...

No...a different situation presents itself there, because the DPRK possesses the ability to reduce Seoul to rubble -- causing millions of casualties -- even if we do succesfully take down their atomic infrastucture and national leaderhship from the air. The tens of thousands of gun tubes sitting in caves, pointed south, already have their orders. We can't act from the air there without incurring horrendous friendly civilian death and chaos. Iran presents no such difficulties -- its atomic capabilities are more dipersed, but still accessable, and its leadership/command-control infrastructure is just as contralized. AND...a vital difference...Iran does not present a credible conventional threat to us, in Iraq or elsewhere, and they know it.

This is one of the most unpopular presidents in recent memory, and he is already fighting an unpopular war.

Who better to launch further miltary action? His popularity has already tubed. What are the Demos and the people going to do -- vote him out of office? The Senate cannot vote to impeach, because it only takes 41 senators to fillibuster and, last I looked, the Repubs had 49 (and possibly Lieberman). It wouldn't be popular, but it would be effective and his actions might go down in history as equivalent to Truman's policy of containment, roundly criticized from both sides of the aisle back then. It may also contribute to a postive legacy and make his successor's job, Demo or Repub, easier.

More to the point, his credibility on intelligence matters was damaged - perhaps the better word is "eviscerated" - by the Iraq intelligence debacle, so no one is likely to believe his claims about Iranian nuclear prowess or Iranian anything, whatever the evidence. shows the danger of believing what the opinion of the beaurocratically mired, consensus-oreinted, and politically hostile intelligence "community" thinks about threats. Much of the information on Iran's atomic and missile threats come from what the Russians used to call "national technical means" -- factual inteligence that is subject to very little analytical interference. Much more credible stuff.

More to the point, Iran is not Saddam Hussein's Iraq, which had been under UN surveillance for a decade. It is a sovereign state which has relatively normal relations with America's allies, not to mention China and Russia.

America, with respect to this war and future military action anyway, has no real allies save within the Anglosphere, and even if it did, China and Russia would certaily not be among them (even though Russia is fighting much the same fight we are.

If we were even to contemplate such a thing, we would have to reduce force levels elsewhere, but where? In Iraq, the policy is to send more troops, the war in Afghanistan isn't going away anytime soon, and, just as diplomacy there is starting to produce results, this isn't a great time to start monkeying about with the military balance on the Korean peninsula either.

Again, no one in his or her right mind is considering a ground campaign in Iran. It's a huge country with naturally defensable approaches to its interior cities. Its population would probably be less hospitable to our invasion than Iraq's was. It might wind up a lot like Spain did to Napoleon, even through his troops were vastly superior in quality for most of that campaign. Our commanders know this.

Fact Number Two: even if we were to contemplate a more limited military strike - the bombing of Iranian nuclear facilities, for example - there are some pretty serious obstacles to overcome. The most serious is the fact that we don't know where all Iran's nuclear facilities are located, which is not a minor problem if we are contemplating their destruction. Even if we could hit a few of them, which we probably could, that would merely delay Iran's nuclear programme by a few years.

You underestimate the airpower of the dark side. Were not talking about a few cruise missiles thrown casually at empty training camps, as the Clinton Administration did. We're talking a full-blown campaign to destroy fixed infrastructure, command/control mechanisms and missile facilities (along with, most likely, attempted regime decaptation and suppression of Iran's air defense system). President Bush is making the case for regime take-down by connecting the al-Quds brigade's cadres in Iraq directly to its national government -- Achdumminimonkey and Mullah al-Shaitan are valid and legal miltary targets only if they are directly tied to command of military operations. Further, it won't matter if we don't get everything in Iran's atomic program. Setting them back ten years is a still a laudible goal. Ask the Israelis about bombing the Osirak atomic complex in 1981 about the validity of such a "limited" objetive.

What's more, we will have demonstrated that we have the capability to do this, which will create significant coercive power -- over Iran and other nations -- and our capability will only be better in ten years. An atomic bomb program is a big industrial enterprise and is much harder to hide and harden than chemical and, especially, biological capabilities are. This will not change with time. Even if Iran locates its atomic infrastructure below ground, we have a) weapons capable of reaching them, and b) can seal them underground for a long time (we're pretty good at finding air vents, for example).

Such a limited result hardly justifies either the political fallout or the (literal) environmental fallout which would follow. Even the Israelis, who do indeed believe that Iran's nuclear programme is designed to create the bomb that could destroy their country, appear unconvinced, at least for the moment, that selective bombing can succeed.

Bullshit. Much of the immediate political fallout will sound negative, but the real impact will be for governments around the world -- even our "friends" -- to rock back on their heels and say, "holy f&*K. The US can do this and they're serious." This will yield considerable coercive power and that is ultimately more important than popular opinion, despite what the chattering class thinks of the matter. Also, a campaign conducted from the air would take down much more than just the atomic program's indutrial infrastructure: air defense systems, Revoltionary Guards command/contol (C2) systems, central government C2 systems, making Tehran dark without killing anybody (an old Star Trek tactic) just to show that we can, and, if the right opportunity presents itself, perhaps taking down the regime's leaders as well.

Fact Number Three: neither at home, nor internationally, does the Bush Administration have a shred of support for military action of any kind.

And this is relevant because......?

This is one of the most unpopular presidents in recent memory, and he is already fighting an unpopular war. More to the point, his credibility on intelligence matters was damaged - perhaps the better word is "eviscerated" - by the Iraq intelligence debacle, so no one is likely to believe his claims about Iranian nuclear prowess or Iranian anything, whatever the evidence. More to the point, Iran is not Saddam Hussein's Iraq, which had been under UN surveillance for a decade. It is a sovereign state which has relatively normal relations with America's allies, not to mention China and Russia.

To quote one the great generals of the 20th century, Vo Nugyen Giap, "that fact, while true, is also irrelevant." The fact that Bush is in negative popularity numbers and is still digging gives him an advantage a first-term Repub or any Demo won't have: leeway -- the weather guage. Who cares? He's a fascist, jack-booted imperialist, evil, evil, evil cow-monkey (did I mention evil) to the netroots crowd already. Military action now may give moderates the same opinion, but who cares if action now makes the next president's job much easier?

Further, the UN's opinion? No longer relevant or credible. Thanks, Kofi!

Fact Number Four: contrary to some other British press reports, America is "talking" to Iran, or at any rate using diplomacy to deal with what is a nasty regime. In fact, the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has pretty much staked her reputation on her belief that diplomacy, in co-operation with Germany, France and Britain, will produce results in Iran, just as it now appears to have done in North Korea. So far, it is true, these results - a weak UN Security Council resolution and some huffing and puffing - are thin.

I hope Condi Rice understands that negotiation and treaties can at best delay the use of force when that becomes inevitable. In the worst cases, it becomes a vehicle that a weaker power can use to strengthen itself while hamstringing a superior power. The Washington Treaties between World War I and II come to mind, as does SALT I. Diplomacy never works unless it involves a power with demonstrated unlimited power over a defeated adversary using it to hold knife to the defeated enemy' throat while going to concentrate on something else. (Most of Napoleon's diplomacy comes to mind.)

Nevertheless, President Bush on Monday night repeated his preference for diplomacy, calling the Iranians a "good, honest, decent people" with a "government that is belligerent, loud, noisy, threatening". America's, objective, he went on to explain, "is to keep the pressure so rational folks will show up and say it's not worth the isolation". For those who need a translation from Texan dialect, that means: "We really do hope they'll remove Ahmedinijad as rapidly as possible."

Standard presidential boiler plate. Maybe ahmedinisimian will be overthrown by his people. Maybe pigs will learn to fly while it begins raining beer. He has to throw around this kind of bullshit.

Of course it is true that American rhetoric about Iran has lately taken on a harsher tone, and that America is using some of what one Middle East expert, Tamara Wittes, calls "coercive diplomacy".

The administration has started to apply selective sanctions - restricting Iran's access to hard currency, for example - and has pointed out, rather late in the game, the fact of Iranian support for Iraqi militias and terrorists. They've sent a few ships in Iran's direction, and have also tried to get other Arab states to push back against Iranian intervention in Iraq as well as Lebanon.

There is some evidence that this sort of thing is working. It does indeed seem as if the good, honest, decent people of Iran are getting sick of their loud and noisy leaders, at least if election results can be believed.

Last weekend, Iran's nuclear negotiator also sounded more conciliatory when he offered to re-open the stalled Iranian-European negotiations. Iran's president has also gone out of his way to say that his country poses "no threat to Israel", despite earlier promises to "wipe Israel off the map".

Whatever. An aggressive will always tell a weak-willed adversary what it wants to hear.

But it is also true that at least one of Iran's tactics is also working. For some time now, the Iranians have been trying to play America off against Europe, so as to relieve the pressure on themselves. After all, if there aren't joint American-European sanctions, then the Iranians will find it that much easier to ignore them. Thus do the "war in Iran" headlines - guaranteed to stir up fear and loathing of the American government - feed right into Iranian interests.

Which matters: for we are at an unusual juncture in history. If Britain, France and Germany go along with America's "coercive diplomacy", that diplomacy might stand a slim chance of success. If they do not, then yes, the distant, but not completely unthinkable military option might begin to loom larger in the minds of politicians in both Washington and Tel Aviv.

Having started an unpopular war already, having no prospect of being re-elected to anything, President Bush might decide that, in the absence of allies, there is no other way. For the first time in a long time, it really is up to Europeans to influence what comes next.

Like I said before, Bush has the weather guage becuase he has nothing to lose. That's why his rhetoric is becoming more "coercive" (how can rhetoric "coerce" without force or its implied use? Go back and read your Schelling) as the planning goes on...



Read more
<< Home

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Outrage, a Bit Late

I've met Bill Arkin. He did some fine reporting back the '90s concerning Iraqi WMD and UNSCOM's failures to adequately monitor Iraqi programs. When he held a colloquium with some of us back when I taught at Air University, he did not seem anti-military, especially for a self-proclaimed liberal.

So it came as something of a surprise when, week before last, he delivered one of the most egregious anti-military screeds yet heard from the left. It has taken me a week to calm down enough to respond in a relatively reasoned manner. Thursday before last he wrote:

I'm all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army. But I also hope that military commanders took the soldiers aside after the story and explained to them why it wasn't for them to disapprove of the American people...
...[NBC reporter] Engel relayed how "troops here say they are increasingly frustrated by American criticism of the war. Many take it personally, believing it is also criticism of what they've been fighting for."

...These soldiers should be grateful that the American public, which by all polls overwhelmingly disapproves of the Iraq war and the President's handling of it, do still offer their support to them, and their respect...

...Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform, accepting that the incidents were the product of bad apples or even of some administration or command order...

...So, we pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?

...But it is the United States, and the recent NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary - oops sorry, volunteer - force that thinks it is doing the dirty work...

...I'll accept that the soldiers, in order to soldier on, have to believe that they are manning the parapet, and that's where their frustrations come in. I'll accept as well that they are young and naïve and are frustrated with their own lack of progress and the never changing situation in Iraq. Cut off from society and constantly told that everyone supports them, no wonder the debate back home confuses them.

America needs to ponder what it is we really owe those in uniform. I don't believe America needs a draft though I imagine we'd be having a different discussion if we had one.

Outrageous. I have never seen a more insulting swipe at the military and their families.

Last week, I wrote a fisking of his column, using language that was very insulting to the public, to those elements of the public who don't support the war, to Mister Arkin, and to members of his lineage. I will not repeat it here. However, decent wage? That's why half of the enlisted in my previous squadron were on food stamps. We are not robots, we are not idiots, we are not baby killers...and, Mister Arkin...the public owes us, we do not owe the public.

Preventing the kind of stab in the back we recieved from the mainstream media and the anti-war crowd in Vietnam is one of the main reasons I joined the military...voluntarily Mister Arkin, not as a mercenary...and I vowed then that I would never see my country go through this again -- taking whatever means are necesary to prevent it..."all enemies, foreign and domestic" the oath we swear. Those are words Mister Arkin would do well to remember. He would do well to remember these words as well:

Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? ...I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for [the public] and curse the [military]; you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that [a trooper's] death, while tragic, probably saved lives and that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use them as the backbone of a life trying to defend something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you," and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest that you pick up a weapon and stand to post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think...

...Mister Arkin. 'Nuf said.


Update 23 Feb 07: Further Bill Arkin sophistic treason:

The troops need a little re-education...

As Stalin did in his "re-education" camps, presuably.

...I'm also critical of these troops' commanders, who indoctrinate these troops and teach these troops about the nature of American government, about the war, about the struggle they're involved in...

Mindless automatons and blank slates, which the evil officers inclucate war-kill-war, like the clone armies in Star Wars.

...Ultimately, those young men are our servants, we are not thier survants...

Yeeze. True as far as it goes, but I do not serve those who represent domestic enemies, per the sacred oath I swore so many years ago. There is a superiority to our domnestic enemies, Mister Arkin, and thus there is a Rubicon to be crossed when more of the public opposes the troops than support it. We may be pretty f&ckin close to that line now, you son of a bitch. Closer than you realize.

Okay, I'm getting emotional again. Hard not to when the issue of "the public" vs.the "miltary" comes up.

Arkin also offered a non-apology in a CSpan press conference the day following the blogstorm of reaction to his orinal screed. Apology most certainly not accepteed Mr Arkin.

Mr Arkin also responded with a condescending Wapo column a few days after the controversy over his remark started to boil (albeit the MSM didn't pick it up for about a week after the original comunm):

The Arrogant and Intolerant Speak Out

These are opinions about the war in Iraq and the "war" against terrorism. They aren't facts. I understand people need to believe that the United States is engaged in a grand and noble mission to continue to support the deaths and sacrifices being made by American forces. Nonetheless, there is also an equally valid opinion that not only is the United States NOT involved in some fight for our lives in Iraq but that our military actions merely increases and complicates our insecurities tomorrow.

An army Major with the 1st Cavalry in Baghdad writes: "there is no way to accurately opine about the war unless you've been on the ground."

KJ (and many others) adds that I am just "sitting in the lap of luxury that is the United States."

Again, I understand the frustration of those in uniform and the supporters of the war. But these are not the only people who have a valid opinion, and there is great danger for the nation - as Bush-Cheney and company have already demonstrated - when people arrogate to themselves the sole determinant to make a judgment about national security.

The Army Major goes on to say that "soldiers -- unlike journalists -- have values inculcated from the very beginning of basic training."

D speaks of "last week's leftist freak show in D.C." to describe anti-war protest.

"Sitting in the lap of luxury" hits the nail on the head. There are many in the US who perform vital and noble roles -- firemen, doctors, ministers, etc. -- and perform them well. This group most certainly does not include journalists -- the chattering class -- nor does it include those Americans who care more about the next episode of "American Idol" and when their next shit is coming -- and who disregard thier right to vote -- than it does about those with the vocation of defending our way of life. And it is a vocation, Mister Arkin. Make no mistatke about it. Most every member believes he is defending that "wall."

Further...if understand you correctly, Mister Arkin, those with pro-war sentiments -- especially those in the mindwashed military -- don't have the right to defend the war, because they are members of the poplation living under the delusions created by our Evil Masters, while you and your noble Resistance are the only ones with the moral right to speak out against the war, precisely beause you don't support it. Am I getting this right? And those who believe we are engaged in a larger war than Afghanistan and Iraq entail are equally mindwashed and have similarly pathetic beliefs.

For you and those like you, Mister Arkin: there are only two types of opinion, valid and invalid. Generally, those closest to the source on which the opinion is based have the advantage of being bolstered by facts.


Read more
<< Home

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Global Balding

Via Pajams Media, England's daily mail has an interesting story about how (human caused! -- Al Gore) "global warning" (junk science! -- reputable scientific community) has caused hedgehogs to "go bald" -- losing their prickles:

A nice, soft fluffy coat is of little use to a hedgehog.

But poor old Glen is having to make do without any prickles - apparently thanks to global warming.

Vets believe his freak appearance was caused by the stress of missing out on his winter hibernation.

Alison Pearson, who runs the nearby Border Beasties hedgehog sanctuary, said: "A lot of creatures miss out on hibernation. They don't recognise it is autumn because the weather is too warm or they hibernate and wake up after a few days of mild weather.

"We believe this little fellow missed out on his hibernation altogether and the stress of still being awake and trying to fend for himself has caused him to shed his prickles."

What could be the cause of this except the SUVs and cow farts that Al Gore -- now up for an Oscar and the Nobel Peace Prize -- has identified as the source of the, 3... no, 350-degree heating that the surface of the Earth is melting under. If the bourgeoisie only stopped driving its gas guzzlers and quit exloiting cowdom, all would be put right (or left).

Never mind that this is junk science. There has been a one to two degree rise in surface temperatures over the last few decades, but there is no direct evidence that this is solely, or even partly, due to human activity.

Meawhile, the sheeple have been stirred into a froth of global warming worry due toAl's and the MSM's / leftist establishment's uncritical effort to undermine any form of Capitalism that does not directly benefit them (like the small private jet and mansion (say...28,000 square feet) industries).

It was amazing to me back in the early '90s how quickly the left turned from support for communism and the Soviet Union to support for the anti-Capitalist green movement. They didn't miss a beat. The fringes of the environmental movement want nothing short of an enviromentally / Veganish new Dark Age to "bring us back to year zero." They would, of course, running the dictatorship of the envronmentally-aware bourgeoisie. Only now, however, are they wielding significant influence through the global warning scare.

To do my part, I drive a large SUV (and before that drove a high-top van that got 10-11 MPG), a fast sedan, and next year am contemplating buying a large diesel truck to better pull my dual-gas-engine 24-foot boat. As a conspicous consumer and polluter, it's all I can afford for now, sadly. But I drive a gas-powered ridding lawn mower. Might buy some cows too and feed them burritos laced with jalapenos.

Ahh, the sweet smell of bovine flatulence... Next to afterburned jet fuel, it's the best smell of freedom I know!


Read more
<< Home