Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stood up to the enemy in Iraq, where he made an enviable combat record. But at the Pentagon, he appears to have fallen, not on his sword, but on a paperclip, attached to a point of religious doctrine.
When, 18 months ago, apologists for Islamic radicals complained that an instructor at the National Defense University, the military war college, was guilty of the sin of showing insufficient deference to radical Islam, the general first humiliated him, then cashiered him, to appease Muslim critics, some of them radical and no friends of the United States. Now the instructor has been rejected for battalion command and his promising Army career is effectively over.
Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley (a good Irish Catholic name), decorated for valor in Iraq, was an instruction leader at the Joint Forces Staff College in Washington, lecturing on the dangers of radical Islam, when he invited an authority on Islamic extremists to talk to his students about how the extremists operate. You might think that “knowing the enemy” is a good thing in senior Army officers. One passage in the materials used by a guest lecturer, former FBI agent John Guandolo, particularly enraged the critics:
“If Islam is so violent, why are there so many peaceful Muslims? This is similar to asking why there are so many Christians who are arrogant, angry and vindictive, if Christian doctrine requires humility, tolerance and forgiveness.” There were no protests from Christians, or Christian organizations. But one participant in the course complained to the Pentagon, and the witch hunt, led by the thoroughly frightened Gen. Dempsey, began.
Paperclip generals, more politician than warrior, naturally take their cues from the White House, and it’s reasonable to assume that the pressure from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was the prevailing pressure, intense and effective. President Obama bows low in the presence of Muslims, as we all know, and ordered effective cleansing of all references to Islamic terrorists. John Brennan, the hero of Benghazi and the new director of the CIA, insists there is no such thing as an “Islamic extremist.” The al Qaeda terrorists who blew up the World Trade Center had nothing to do with Islam, they were just terrorists trying to make a dishonest living. The Muslim major who shouted the Islamic battle cry, “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great!”) as he killed 13 and wounded 30 at Fort Hood, Texas, was guilty only of “workplace violence,” not “terrorism.” If he’s convicted of murder by court martial, he can apply for workmen’s compensation (and call John Brennan and Gen. Dempsey as supporting witnesses). Paperclip generals have sharp antennae and know who punches their tickets.
They know how to cover the part of their anatomy that most needs covering, too. Gen. Dempsey landed hard on Col. Dooley at a press conference, speaking as an academic and maybe even a theologian: “It’s totally objectionable,” he said of the colonel’s course work. “It was just totally objectionable, against our values, and it wasn’t academically sound. This wasn’t about, we’re pushing back on liberal thought. This was just objectionable, academically irresponsible.”
Such an emotional response was not quite what’s expected of a four-star general. A week later another general, only a two-star, was dispatched to blame the colonel for “institutional failure.” Gen. Dempsey’s spokesman, a Marine colonel, insisted his boss’ public denunciation of the “individual” had not poisoned the investigation. “[Col.] Dooley’s name is never even mentioned,” he told The Washington Times.
We can’t expect paperclip generals to show the fighting spirit of Stonewall Jackson or U.S. Grant, Blackjack Pershing or George S. Patton. They were men of their times and we’re stuck with our own times, and the men who populate the times. But the craven deference to the Islamic lobby, which often makes no distinctions between the millions of good Muslims and the bad Muslims, is a recipe for catastrophe.
The West in general and America in particular has shown remarkable patience and forbearance to the Muslims in our midst, according them, as we should, respect and a welcome into what we once called “the melting pot.” But somebody ought to instruct the paperclip generals that there’s an enemy out there in the dark, and it’s important to know who he is.
With North Korea threatening a nuclear missile attack, it’s nice to know we have an anti-missile defense, thanks to Ronald Reagan.
John Kerry, now Secretary of State, did everything he could to kill the program in its infancy.
In the 1980s, when now- Secretary of State John Kerry was a Democratic U.S. senator from Massachusetts, he criticized the Reagan administration’s plan for a missile defense system — known as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) — calling it a “cancer on our nation’s defense.”
According to an Aug. 5, 1986 storyfrom the Associated Press, then-Sen. Kerry wanted to cut funding for SDI — critically known at the time as ‘Star Wars’– and called the program a “cancer.”
“In debate, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., called Star Wars ‘a cancer’ and said ‘what we must do is deny this program the funds that would enable this cancer on our nation’s defense to grow any further,’” the 1986 AP report said.
At the time, the Senate narrowly rejected an attempt to cut SDI funding by $3.2 billion for the upcoming fiscal year.
One year earlier in June 1985, AP reported that Kerry was advocating the same position of limiting funding to SDI, calling it, “a dream based on an illusion.”
Kerry and his Democrat ilk will never acknowledge they were wrong.
The mere threat of an effective missile defense led the Soviets, who could not compete due to their top-down sluggish economy, to cry uncle and hastened the end of the Cold War.
Does Reagan get any credit from the Dem Cong? Hardly.
Just as Margaret Thatcher, who saved Britain from itself, gets no respect from the left.
It’s one thing to disagree with ideology in the abstract. But when the left cannot even acknowledge the historical facts of what Thatcher/Reagan achieved, one despairs of ever reaching common ground.
…This week, an oversedated Elmer Fudd showed up at the Senate claiming to be the president’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, and even the kindliest interrogators on the committee couldn’t prevent the poor chap shooting himself in the foot.Twenty minutes in, Chuck Hagel was all out of appendages.
He warmed up with a little light “misspeaking” on Iran. “I support the president’s strong position on containment,” he declared. Breaking news!
…and now that Hagel has announced “containment” as the official administration position, we can all discuss them.
Unfortunately, as Hillary said the other day, “our policy is prevention, not containment”. So five minutes later the handlers discreetly swung into action to “contain” Hagel. “I was just handed a note that I misspoke,” he announced, “that I said I supported the President’s position on containment. If I said that, I meant to say that we don’t have a position on containment.” Hagel’s revised position is that there is no position on containment for him to have a position on.
Carl Levin, the Democrat chair, stepped in to contain further damage. “We do have a position on containment, and that is we do not favor containment,” he clarified. “I just wanted to clarify the clarify.”
Containment? Prevention? What difference does it make? Could happen to anyone. I well remember when Neville Chamberlain landed at Heston Aerodrome in 1938 and announced the latest breakthrough in appeasement: “I have here a piece of paper from Herr Hitler.” Two minutes later, he announced, “I have here a second piece of paper from my staffer saying that I misspoke.” Who can forget Churchill’s stirring words in the House of Commons? “If, indeed, it is the case that I said, ‘We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall never surrender!,’ then I misspoke. I meant to say that we’re keeping the situation under review and remain committed to exploring all options.”
It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re as expert in all the nuances of Iranian affairs as Chuck Hagel. After he’d hailed Iran’s “elected, legitimate government,” it fell to another Democrat, Kirsten Gillibrand, to prompt Hagel to walk it back. Okay, delete “elected” and “legitimate”: “What I meant to say, should have said, is that it’s recognizable.”
“Recognizable”? In the sense that, if you wake up one morning to a big mushroom cloud on the horizon, you’d recognize it as the work of the Iranian government? No, by “recognizable,” he meant that the Iranian government is “recognized” as the government of Iran.
“I don’t understand Iranian politics,” he announced in perhaps his least-misspoken statement of the day. But the Iranians understand ours, which is why, in an amusing touch, the Foreign Ministry in Tehran has enthusiastically endorsed Hagel.
Fortunately, Iran is entirely peripheral to global affairs – it’s not like Chad or the Solomon Islands or the other burning questions the great powers are currently wrestling with – so it would be entirely unreasonable to expect Hagel to understand anything much about what’s going on over there. So what of his other, non-Iranian interests?
“There are a lot of things I don’t know about,” said Hagel. “If confirmed, I intend to know a lot more than I do.”
He then denied that “I will be running anything.” Don’t let the fact that the Secretary of Defense presides over 40 percent of the entire planet’s military spending confuse you. He’s not really “running” a thing – or, as he was anxious to assure us, “I won’t be in a policy-making position.”
Really? So what’s the job for, then? Just showing up at the office and the occasional black-tie NATO banquet? Most misspeakers loose off one round and then have to re-load, but Chuck Hagel is a big scary “military-style assault weapon” of a misspeaker, effortlessly peppering the Senate wainscoting for hours on end. Late in the day, after five o’clock, he pronounced definitively: “It doesn’t matter what I think.”
“It does matter what you think,” insisted New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte…
Here’s a perfect example of what’s discussed in the post below.
According to Tom Ricks at Foreign Policy, the Obama administration is pushing outcelebrated Marine General James Mattis from CENTCOM early because of internal battles over the White House’s Middle East strategy:
Why the hurry? Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way — not because he went all “mad dog,” which is his public image, and the view at the White House, but rather because he pushed the civilians so hard on considering the second- and third-order consequences of military action against Iran.
Some of those questions apparently were uncomfortable. Like, what do you do with Iran once the nuclear issue is resolved and it remains a foe? What do you do if Iran then develops conventional capabilities that could make it hazardous for U.S. Navy ships to operate in the Persian Gulf? He kept saying, “And then what?”
National Security Advisor Tom Donilon in particular was irked by Mattis’s insistence on being heard. I cringe when I hear about civilians shutting down strategic discussions.
The Mattis-Donilon disagreements weren’t just about Iran. Other issues on which Mattis was pushing the White House to think deeper and harder, I am told, were “Afghanistan, concerns about Pakistani stability, [and] response to the Arab spring.”
It does not bode well for the country when the administration is set on eliminating our brightest and best leaders from the military.
Colin Powell, a shrewd political opportunist if there ever was one, came out this week in favor of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.
I guess it takes one to endorse one. Bret Stephens punctured the idea that Hagel was a man of political courage in his WSJ column last week noting several times when Hagel weaseled.
In 2002, also when it was overwhelmingly popular, Mr. Hagel voted for the resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. The lack of political courage is especially noteworthy here, because Mr. Hagel was, in fact, prescient in warning his Senate colleagues that “imposing democracy through force in Iraq is a roll of the dice.”
In 2006, when the war in Iraq had become overwhelmingly unpopular, Mr. Hagel was on the right side of conventional wisdom. “The United States must begin planning for a phased troop withdrawal from Iraq,” he wrote in the Washington Post that November. Still swimming with the tide the following year, he called the surge “the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam.”
The surge turned out to be George W. Bush’s finest hour—a genuine instance of political courage as opposed to Mr. Hagel’s phony ones. It rescued the U.S. from humiliating defeat. It gave Iraq a decent opportunity to stand on its feet. It allowed the U.S. to conduct an orderly withdrawal of its forces. And it might have led to a long-term security relationship with Baghdad had the Obama administration not fumbled the endgame. Again there is no public record of Mr. Hagel acknowledging any of this.
“Hagel was known for turning over staff every few weeks—within a year’s time he could have an entirely new office because nobody wanted to work for him,” said the source. “You have to wonder how a man who couldn’t run a Senate office is going to be able to run an entire bureaucracy.”
Others familiar with Hagel’s 12 year tenure in the Senate said he routinely intimidated staff and experienced frequent turnover.
“Chuck Hagel may have been collegial to his Senate colleagues but he was the Cornhusker wears Prada to his staff, some of whom describe their former boss as perhaps the most paranoid and abusive in the Senate, one who would rifle through staffers desks and berate them for imagined disloyalty,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq. “He might get away with that when it comes to staffers in their 20s, but that sort of personality is going to go over like a ton of bricks at the Pentagon.”
Multiple sources corroborated this view of Hagel.
“As a manager, he was angry, accusatory, petulant,” said one source familiar with his work on Capitol Hill. “He couldn’t keep his staff.”
“I remember him accusing one of his staffers of being ‘f—ing stupid’ to his face,” recalled the source who added that Hagel typically surrounded himself with those “who basically hate Republicans.”
Sources expressed concern about such behavior should Hagel be nominated for the defense post. With competing military and civilian interests vying for supremacy, the department requires a skilled manager, sources said.
“The Pentagon requires strong civilian control,” a senior aide to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told the Free Beacon. “It’s already swung back in favor of the military over the past five years. A new secretary of defense should push it back in its rightful place, but it’s doubtful Hagel would be that guy.”
“It’s not clear that [Hagel] has the standing, the managerial prowess, or the willingness to gore some oxen,” said the source.
One senior Bush administration official warned that Hagel is ill informed about many critical foreign policy matters.
“He’s not someone who’s shown a lot of expertise on these issues,” said the source, referencing a recent Washington Post editorial excoriating Hagel’s record. “That [op-ed] was extraordinary.”
“Only in Washington,” the official added, “can someone like [Hagel] be seen as a heavy weight. He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer.”
He’ll be right at home with Biden, Kerry and Obama.
Via Michael Yon, a raw scene of combat as soldiers in Afghanistan try to get a wounded comrade evacuated.
Yon guesses the footage was shot with a helmet camera.
If intense scenes and profanity offend you, don’t watch.
Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard
Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, who was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, reveals details of meeting Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at the publically broadcast memorial service for the slain Americans at Andrews Air Force Base only days after the attack. And, in a recent radio appearance, Woods publicly questions who made the call not to send in back-up forces to possibly save his son’s life, as well as the three other Americans killed in Benghazi (which includes the American ambassador to Libya).
“When [Obama] came over to our little area” at Andrew Air Force Base, says Woods, “he kind of just mumbled, you know, ‘I’m sorry.’ His face was looking at me, but his eyes were looking over my shoulder like he could not look me in the eye. And it was not a sincere, ‘I’m really sorry, you know, that your son died,’ but it was totally insincere, more of whining type, ‘I’m sorry.’”
Woods says that shaking President Obama’s hands at his son’s memorial service was “like shaking hands with a dead fish.”
“It just didn’t feel right,” he says of his encounter with the commander in chief. “And now that it’s coming out that apparently the White House situation room was watching our people die in real time, as this was happening,” Woods says, he wants answers on what happened—and why there was no apparent effort to save his son’s life.
“Well, this is what Hillary did,” Woods continues. “She came over and, you know, did the same thing—separately came over and talked with me. I gave her a hug, shook her hand. And she did not appear to be one bit sincere—at all. And you know, she mentioned that the thing about, we’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the (more…)
When our prez thinks Marine Corps sounds like corpse, what do you expect?
The Democratic Party’s national convention in Charlotte, N.C., may have doubled down on insulting the U.S. military community.
The Democratic National Committee has already apologized for using a photo of four Soviet-era Russian warships in a giant stage backdrop intended to illustrate the party’s support for military personnel and veterans.
That huge image, visible in the Time Warner Cable Arena during speeches by Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and retired Admiral John B. Nathman, also depicted a synchronized formation of jet aircraft that convention-goers assumed were American fighter planes.
But the F-5 fighter planes in the photo are part of the air force of Turkey, a nation whose government is now jailing journalists and establishing Islam as a state religion.
Brad Woodhouse, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, did not respond when the The Daily Caller asked why the convention planners displayed Turkish-flown aircraft alongside Russian warships while seeking support from the American military community.
Victor Davis Hanson discovers it’s okay when you’re dissing the right.
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, has spoken out in criticism of various retired officers, many of them from special forces, for drawing on their military bona fides in voicing displeasure over the Obama administration’s serial leaks (the details of the Osama bin Laden raid, the drone protocols, the cyberwar against Iran, the Yemeni double agent, etc.). Dempsey makes a good point (e.g., “If someone uses the uniform, whatever uniform it is, for partisan politics, I’m disappointed by that, because I think it does erode that bond of trust that we have with the American people”). Or at least he would have made a good point, had the political horse not long ago left the military barn.
By that I mean, the military has already broken precedent by allowing serving personnel to march in uniform in overtly politically inspired parades, such as the recent gay-pride parade in San Diego (will we see soldiers in uniform at tea-party marches protesting uncontrolled federal spending or the takeover of health care?). And we should not forget the recent so-called revolt of the generals when retired officers such as Major General Paul Eaton, Lieutenant General Gregory Newbold, Major General John Riggs, Major General Charles Swannack, General Anthony Zinni, and Major General John Batiste variously blasted the Bush administration, the ongoing strategy in Iraq, the idea of a surge, and called for the firing of the sitting secretary of defense — while we were in the midst of both a war in Iraq and a polarized political debate over it at home. All were canonized by the media as sincere patriots who were speaking truth to power. Perhaps — but many of them outranked those who appear in the anti-Obama-administration-leak video, and their anger at the Bush administration in some ways was even more overtly political than the current video critique of the administration’s damaging leaks.
I think the matter of retired (or currently serving) senior officers weighing in on contemporary politics (if condemning leaks is, in fact, that) — including advocating the firing of their immediate civilian superiors — is a complex issue (cf. the earlier 1949 “revolt of the admirals” against Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, General MacArthur’s politicking following his 1951 dismissal, Eisenhower’s 1952 campaigning, Curtis LeMay’s VP nomination on the 1968 Wallace third-party ticket, and the brief 2004 presidential run of Wesley Clark)…
Hero in his own mind, Barack Obama continues to mangle things military, as when he criticized the 22-minute film “Dishonorable Disclosures.”
‘You’ve got one who was a candidate, a Republican candidate for office. And a proud card carrying member of the Tea Party. So this is obviously a partisan film.
‘I’d advise that you talk to General McRaven, who’s in charge of our Special Ops. I think he has a point of view in terms of how deeply.
I care about what these folks do each and every day to protect our freedom.’
He just doesn’t care enough to master the services’ ranks and branches.
The difficulty with this is that William McRaven is and admiral not a general. As a SEAL, he is member of the US Navy, not US Army or US Marines.
Obama has made mistakes with military terminology before. In February 2010, he mispronounced ‘corpsman’ – as ‘corpse-man’ instead of ‘core-man’ several times.
Look for Obama to take the stage at the Democrat convention with a salute and a “reporting for duty.”
That was in Fort Hood, where an Islamist Army major went on a rampage. Does anyone else wonder why it’s taking so long to try this creep?
After a more-than-two-year review, a report released last week accuses the FBI of having dropped the ball when it investigated the Fort Hood jihadist before the 2009 massacre.
So — how many people will be fired?
Exactly . . . none.
That’s right: The agency might have been able to prevent the killing of 13 people by a home-grown Islamic fundamentalist, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan — but failed to do so.
And yet, not a single FBI official will lose his or her job.
“We do not find, and do not believe, that anyone is solely responsible for mistakes in handling the information,” concluded former FBI Director William Webster, who conducted the probe.
“We do not believe it would be fair to hold these dedicated personnel . . . responsible for the tragedy that occurred months later at Fort Hood.”
How convenient for the agency and its staff.
And what a blow to the victims’ families — and the rest of America.
Webster’s report determined that the agency’s probe of Hasan in the run-up to his shooting spree was “belated, incomplete and rushed” — and influenced by an unhealthy dose of political correctness.
Indeed, the FBI had caught on to the fact that Hasan was in regular e-mail contact with (the now happily deceased) radical Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki nearly a year before the mass shooting.
That included messages in which Hasan expressed support for suicide bombers — and one in which he said: “I would assume that [a] suicide bomber whose aim is to kill enemy soldiers or their helpers, but also kills innocents in the process is acceptable.”
Yet the FBI — like the Army — concluded that Hasan had contacted the cleric merely “to research Islam.”
Agents in Washington, alerted to the e-mails by the FBI’s San Diego office, expressed fears that questioning Hasan might jeopardize his military career.
And one in San Diego said he was told the matter was “politically sensitive” and that the FBI’s Washington office “doesn’t go out and interview every Muslim guy who visits extremist Web sites.”
Yet Americans are supposed to accept that nothing in all this FBI bungling rises to a level that (more…)
A new Gallup poll released on Memorial Day shows male veterans breaking strongly for Mitt Romney over President Obama.
The presumptive GOP nominee receives support from 58 percent of all veteran registered voters surveyed to Obama’s 34 percent. Among non-veterans though, Obama holds a four point edge, with 48 percent to Romney’s 44.
Gallup says veterans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population.
The breakdown of the veteran vote also mirrors the gender gap seen among all voters and male voters are seen giving Romney a solid block of support. Romney has the backing of 60 percent of male veterans to Obama’s 32.
…or should I say, “who” they’re fighting for: Obama the Orator:
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”
Did he mean “behest?”
Nah, with his ego he meant what he said. It’s all about him.
Air operations in Libya made it clear that European-made missiles and smart bombs were every bit as good as the American stuff. As a result, the major European arms manufacturers (mainly BAE, EADS, and Finmeccanica) suddenly have billions of dollars in new orders.
While some of this business comes from existing customers replacing all the missiles and bombs they used in Libya, a lot of new customers have shown up. These European weapons are now “battle tested” in a highly publicized and successful operation. Many countries are glad to see credible competition for American weapons. Competition means the buyer can negotiate a better deal.
The air campaign over Libya also demonstrated that one European missile, the Brimstone, was unique and superior to anything the U.S. had. Brimstone also demonstrated, once more, that smaller is often better.
Via Michael Yon, former Marine Tim Lynch in Afghanistan:
“The Taliban killed 13 women and children today with an IED in Uruzgan and I think they got 8 yesterday – but that’s all cool here because they’re the Taliban and we’re the big fat retarded kid on the block who gets bullied everyday but still shows up to fork over even more lunch money while assuming at some point everyone will like us because we’re so xxxxx generous.”
Leif Babin, rips Obama for exploiting the work of the Navy SEALs, and putting further missions at risk.
America’s premier Special Operations force is once again in the headlines after a team of Navy SEALs rescued two hostages from captivity in Somalia last week. Elite U.S. forces have carried out such operations periodically over the past decade, always with skill and bravery. The difference in recent months is that the details of their work haven’t remained secret. On the contrary, government officials have revealed them for political gain—endangering our forces in the process.
The floodgates opened after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last May, and the Obama administration’s lack of discretion was on display again at last week’s State of the Union address. As President Obama entered the House chamber, in full view of the cameras, he pointed to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and exclaimed: “Good job tonight, good job tonight.” Clearly something had happened that he wanted the world to know about.
After delivering his speech, which included multiple references to the bin Laden raid, the president again thanked Mr. Panetta. “That was a good thing tonight,” he said as if to ensure that the viewing public, if they missed it initially, would get it a second time around.
Sure enough, shortly thereafter, the White House announced the successful rescue of the hostages in Somalia by U.S. Special Operations forces. Vice President Biden appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to highlight the success the next morning, and Mr. Panetta also publicly praised it. Then came the “anonymous U.S. officials” to provide extensive details of who conducted the raid and how. As with the bin Laden operation, the top-secret unit that carried it out was again front-page news, as were its methods and tactics.
Our special operators do not welcome this publicity. In fact, from conversations I’ve had in recent days, it’s clear they are dismayed by it.
Adm. William H. McRaven, America’s top special-operations commander, wrote in his 1996 book “Spec Ops” that there are six key principles of success in special operations. Of paramount importance—especially given the risk and sensitivity of the missions and the small units involved—is what the military calls “operational security,” or maintaining secrecy. If the enemy learns details and can anticipate the manner and timing of an attack, the likelihood of success is significantly reduced and the risk to our forces is significantly increased.President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta before the State of the Union address in Washington on Tuesday.
This is why much of what our special-operators do is highly classified, and why military (more…)
Context: Bill Clinton fondled women in the White House and had his, ahem, “nonsexual” fling with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. That was explained away as indiscretion.
The bad judgment exercised by a handful of Marines should be treated like an ND: a Negligent Discharge. In the US military, if you “accidentally” pull the trigger and launch an unplanned bullet downrange, you should not even bother trying to explain away the “accident.” If that bullet kills someone, it’s called Negligent Homicide. The bullet did not fire accidentally; it was fired negligently. Bottom line.
This should be treated like a negligent discharge of the penis, and of the video camera, and then of common sense. What a dumb thing to do. And super dumb to video tape it. And ultra-dumb to then let the video make it to the Internet.
Those few Marines should be busted, but they don’t deserve prison. They made a big-league mess up, but they did not commit murder. They were young men in combat who committed stupid. But how many of us who have reached the age of 30 cannot look back and find at least a dozen instances of major league stupidity that we committed? Most of us are lucky that our dumbness did not make it to the Internet.
And that commander… Sheesh. He should be busted for all the distraction this has brought.
Punish them, but do not tar them. Do not send them to prison.
I’d like to see the same outrage expressed at the Taliban for burying women up to their necks and stoning them to death as entertainment during soccer intermission.
Obama has been taking a victory lap over the end of the Iraq war, as if he had anything to do with it.
On the contrary, he opposed every policy that led to this conclusion.
Bush negotiated the agreement that foretold the end. You may remember the signing of that agreement — it’s when some Iraqi OWS-type hurled a shoe at him. (That’s Dubya, ducking in the photo.)
Likewise, Obama continued the policies of Bush that led to the killing of Osama bin Ladin. Then he took credit for making a bold, daring decision.
Meanwhile, Obama sat pat when the US lost a drone to Iran. He was given options by the military to keep the Iranians — one of the nuttiest regimes on earth — from getting our sophisticated stealth technology. One option was to blow it up with a missile, but he demurred.
Time will tell how big a blow this is to the US, as Iran undoubtedly will sell the technology to the Russians and Chinese.
The Obama administration has sent a formal diplomatic request asking Iran to return the radar-evading drone aircraft that crashed on a CIA spying mission this month, but U.S. officials say they don’t expect Iran will comply.
“We have asked for it back,” Obama said Monday at a news conference in Washington with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki. “We’ll see how the Iranians respond.”
That’s just too pathetic to be funny.
A government that can’t face reality is doomed.
Sen. Susan Collins on Wednesday blasted the Defense Department for classifying the Fort Hood massacre as workplace violence and suggested political correctness is being placed above the security of the nation’s Armed Forces at home.
During a joint session of the Senate and House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, the Maine Republican referenced a letter from the Defense Department depicting the Fort Hood shootings as workplace violence. She criticized the Obama administration for failing to identify the threat as radical Islam.
Thirteen people were killed and dozens more wounded at Fort Hood in 2009, and the number of alleged plots targeting the military has grown significantly since then. Lawmakers said there have been 33 plots against the U.S. military since Sept. 11, 2001, and 70 percent of those threats have been since mid-2009. Major Nidal Hasan, a former Army psychiatrist, who is being held for the attacks, allegedly was inspired by radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in late September. The two men exchanged as many as 20 emails, according to U.S. officials, and Awlaki declared Hasan a hero.
The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, said the military has become a “direct target of violent Islamist extremism” within the United States.
The greatest violence here is to common sense.
Toward the end of 2006, comedian Dennis Miller made these interesting comments regarding the upcoming 2008 presidential election:
“Let’s see, maybe it’s time for a Democratic president. Stay with me. Because the next step in the inevitable escalation in this war with radical Islam is going to involve us being appreciably more brutal and ruthless than we have been to date. And I think the left’s cronyism with the mainstream media will provide cover for someone on that side of things to up the ante.”
It was a thought-provoking statement that really caught my attention. Miller of course wasn’t endorsing a Democratic president, as some blog websites speculated at the time. He was making the point that a Democratic president would have an easier time prosecuting the War on Terror because the media would not plague the administration’s actions with the same intense scrutiny they gave to George W. Bush.
It appears that Miller is not only a brilliant political observer, but also a prophet.
By the time Bush left office, his post-9/11 foreign policy initiatives had been completely and utterly excoriated by the media. The mainstream media had invested years into building the narrative that everything Bush had done had only damaged our nation’s image and invited more violence upon our country. That theme resonated with our war-weary nation, and the Democratic candidate who most disassociated himself with those policies won the presidency.
But something interesting happened once that new president took office. Barack Obama, one of the most outspoken critics of everything Bush, continued on with many of those very same Bush policies. Even more interesting was that the media really didn’t seem to mind all that much.
The contrast in reactionary media analysis has been nothing short of remarkable.
Let’s look at some examples:
It’s hard to think about the Iraq War without thinking about Abu Ghraib. After all, the story of prisoner abuse committed by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison in 2004 had a profound impact on our country’s mission in Iraq. The disturbing images of naked Iraqis forced into humiliating positions by smiling members of our military sparked waves of violence and served as a recruitment tool for the insurgent groups committed to keeping the country in a state of chaos.
The story of Abu Ghraib was featured more than 50 times on the front page of the New York Times. The national news networks followed suit, (more…)