The Price Of Uncertainty
In the aftermath of the brazen dismemberment of Ukraine by Russia, many pundits have evoked the image of the annexation of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia by Germany in 1938. There is some truth in this though the occupation of the Rhineland and the anschluss with Austria are more appropriate as Crimea is obviously the first step in Putin’s strategy and clearly is not the last | Read More »
And the setup of a Russian client state in Crimea continues apace.
Told you this would happen. Meet the new boss, taking orders from the old bosses: The newly installed, pro-Russia prime minister of Crimea declared on Saturday that he had sole control over the military and the police in the disputed peninsula and he appealed to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia for help in safeguarding the region. [snip] In his statement Saturday, the Crimean prime | Read More »
The Ukraine, America and The GOP
A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery. Mao Zedong Every crisis contains two facets. There is, of course, the problem. This is why risk-averse, beneficent individuals would prefer that crisis periods occur as infrequently as possible. A crisis will also present an opportunity. This is why risk-hungry, non-benevolent individuals never want to see one | Read More »
Obama on Iran: Give Peace A Chance
“My preference is for peace and diplomacy, and this is one of the reasons why I’ve sent a message to Congress that now is not the time for us to impose new sanctions; now is the time for us to allow the diplomats and technical experts to do their work. We will be able to monitor and verify whether or not the interim agreement is being followed through on, and if it is not, we’ll be in a strong position to respond. But what we want to do is give diplomacy a chance and give peace a chance.”
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Barack Obama Hangs Iraq Out To Dry Like The Wash
“We will need to retain some forces in Iraq and the region,” Obama said. “We’ll continue to strike at al-Qaeda in Iraq.” Obama made the point repeatedly: “In ending the war, we must act with more wisdom than we started it,” he said a month earlier. “That is why my plan would maintain sufficient forces in the region to target al-Qaeda within Iraq.”
The quote above was a strong position held by Candidate Obama during the 2007-2008 Democratic Presidential Primary. We now flash forward to 2014, because President Obama now has a golden opportunity to honor that pledge he made while he sought to establish himself as a credible steward of America’s commitments to the world. You see, Al Qaeda is still very much in Iraq and has taken up dominion over the City of Fallujah.
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The Monster In The Mirror: Dark Enlightenment On Why People Hate The West
I can see the merit of gaining a reasonable comprehension of why people would willing let themselves be subjected to vile indignity until more explosives could be inserted as a suppository for when they blew themselves up in our general vicinity. The unsentimental former Soldier in me considers the mundane obvious. More explosives equals higher P(h)*P(k)*. Quaint; but this doesn’t quite give us the whole story.
Somebody has to actually be willing to accept a truly uncivilized level of personal depravity and denigration to earn that higher P(h)*P(k). Can you think of anyone that you actually know and interact with that you hate that much? Can you imagine any enemy of non-biblical proportions that you would hate that much on general principles? When our enemies are willing to suffer vile and repulsive things so that they can blow us up; then they see something terrible when they look upon us. I can only reach the logical conclusion that we have quite the image problem. When you are given the gift to see yourself as others see you, you will quite probably encounter The Monster in The Mirror.
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The Borg, The Draft And Dana Milbank
I was fortunate enough to spend several years as an officer in The United States Army Reserve. You could say I was a nice enough guy, but never quite made it to Colonel.* Even given that somewhat limited background, I feel I learned sufficiently what an army does well and what an army should not be used for. Suffice it to say that the true purpose of an Army is to blow up our nation’s enemies or be powerful enough to command the respect of others to the point where they check their animosity towards us at the door. An army is not an institution that should ever be used for social engineering. Thus, a recent article by Dana Milbank** had me imagining an American version of Pinochet. Milbank opines below:
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As I make my rounds each day in the capital, chronicling our leaders’ plentiful foibles, failings, screw-ups, inanities, outrages and overall dysfunction, I’m often asked if there’s anything that could clean up the mess….But there is one change that, over time, could reverse the problems that have built up over the last few decades. We should have mandatory military service for all Americans, men and women alike, when they turn 18. The idea is radical, unlikely and impractical — but it just might work.
10 Nov 1775
“The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight!” MGen. Frank E. Lowe, USA; Korea, 26 January 1952 Today is the 238th Marine Corps Birthday. Below, the Commandant and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps wish a Happy Birthday to Marines everywhere: A message from the Secretary of the Navy: And here is the official Birthday | Read More »
Obama’s Syria Speech Shows What We Haven’t Learned From 9/11
So what can we learn from all this going forward?
1) Don’t draw a Red Line unless you’ve got a nice “or else” ready if the other guy snorts it up off the floor.
2) People outside the constraints of Judeo-Christian morality will resort to WMDs, terrorism and anything else if force pays off better than Pacifism.
3) Military action of too small an order of magnitude to enter into the risk-reward mathematics of a would-be terrorist will only piss them off instead of deterring them.
President Obama failed all three of these lessons. As long as our nation remains this ignorant of the lessons of 9/11, we can expect more terrorism. It works like Hell.
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Where I Was On September 11
Until September 11, 2001, I worked in the World Trade Center, halfway up Tower One. I wasn’t doing political blogging at the time, but was writing “the Baseball Crank” as a weekly baseball column for the online edition of the Providence (R.I.) Journal. Here’s my account of that day, written for ProJo two days later while it was all still fresh. We run this every | Read More »
Hammer’s Slammers and Secretary Kerry
Science Fiction Novelist David Drake wrote a long series of novels about a future mercenary band called Hammer’s Slammers. If the price was right and the planet was within reach, you too could hire your very own column of armored vehicles to rearrange the terrain to something that better suited your personal tastes. Our present leadership in Washington, DC isn’t that crass and won’t be funding NASA quite enough to make that happen. Yet Secretary of State John Kerry made a comment to the US Senate that makes me wonder if our venal national leadership isn’t travelling that road in its hopes to get their Syrian adventure approved by a balking and angry Congress.
You see, Secretary of State Kerry was attempting to get people to stop worrying about the cost of all the ordnance and OPTEMPO required to bomb targets spread throughout Syria. So he uncorked some comments that made me think he was a character from one of David Drake’s old pulp military sci-fi novels. Unless he was committing the Mother of All Gaffes, I’m now less worried about Syria than I am about how we intend to finance it.
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Why GOP Leadership Is Going Along With the Syrian Misadventure
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If you have been wondering why Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor have decided to support Obama’s request to use military force in Syria, despite it being bad policy and being opposed by about 80% of Americans, the answer is easy. They are idiots.
If You Want To Send A Message Use Western Union
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In today’s Washington Post, two conservative congressmen, Mike Pompeo and Tom Cotton, attempt to make the case for supporting Obama’s Syrian adventure. Their defense is based on a religious experience that has led them to conclude Obama will do in Syria what he has already said he will not do.
Kerry was for boots on the ground before he was against them
During yesterday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the possible authorization of U.S. military action against the Syrian government, Secretary of State John Kerry got tripped up once again with his tendency to be consistently inconsistent. Kerry was asked by the Committee Chairman, New Jersey’s Democrat Senator Bob Menendez, whether the administration would accept a prohibition against having American boots on the ground. In response, | Read More »
Obama Re-enacts Bay of Pigs Invasion
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In 1961, John F. Kennedy went along with a harebrained scheme to liberate Castro’s Cuba with a small force of expatriates without air or artillery support. One would have thought we would have learned a lesson. Apparently not.