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Posts Tagged ‘national security’

“By the way, Raoul, do you think you could give us back our missile?”

Posted by Richard on January 8, 2016

Fox News:

An inert U.S. Hellfire missile sent to Europe for a NATO training exercise in 2014 was mistakenly shipped to Cuba and has been there ever since.

Though the missile does not contain any explosives, The Wall Street Journal reports U.S. officials are concerned that Cuban authorites may share the missile’s sensors and targeting technology with countries like Russia, China and North Korea.

May? It’s been there a year and a half. The targeting technology is probably already in the hands of every unsavory regime from the DPRK to Iran and may well be for sale on the darknet.

Several people familiar with the case told the Journal that the incident is the worst example of sensitive military technology falling into the hands of a nation under U.S. sanctions that they can recall.

According to the Journal report, the missile was properly shipped to Spain, where it was used in the exercise. It was then supposed to be taken on a roundabout journey back to the U.S. via Germany. Instead, the Journal reported the missile was loaded onto an Air France truck that took the cargo to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, where it was put on a flight to Havana.

The Journal reported that federal investigators were working to determine whether the shipment was the result of a major error, or the work of international criminals or spies.

A U.S. official told the Associated Press that manufacturer Lockheed Martin was authorized to export the dummy missile for the training exercise. The official attributed the shipping error to Lockheed’s freight forwarders, and said the U.S. was working with Lockheed to get the device back.

I try always to remember Hanlon’s Razor. But in this case, William of Ockham has assured me that “major error” is nowhere near the simplest explanation. A much simpler explanation is that someone(s) perpetrated something similar to the FedEx shipping theft scheme unearthed last year.

And “working with Lockheed to get the device back”? Does Lockheed have some in with the Castro regime that I’m not aware of?

U.S. officials have been urging the Cuban government to return the missile, the Journal said, adding that officials don’t suspect that Cuba will try to develop similar weapons technology on its own. The U.S. and Cuba restored diplomatic relations in July 2015 after more than 50 years of hostility.

Obama is willing to do whatever it takes (constitutional or not) to deprive Social Security recipients and veterans who need help with their finances of their Second Amendment rights. But he wouldn’t make restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba contingent on the return of that Hellfire? Has there ever been another instance of the leader of a country so clearly being an enemy of that country?

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Obama skipped today’s national security meeting on Ukraine

Posted by Richard on March 1, 2014

This news is causing a lot of reaction across the interwebs:

WASHINGTON — President Obama had no public events on his schedule today, yet skipped a meeting of his national security team at the White House today as they huddled over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Seen leaving the meeting at the White House were Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper,  Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, and CIA Director John Brennan.

Vice President Joe Biden reportedly joined the meeting via videoconference, while Obama was briefed later by National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

No biggie. Susan Rice and Valerie Jarrett will tell him what to do and say. As usual.

Besides, they were just talking about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, not any of the really important national security concerns — like obesity, climate change, and an obstructionist Congress.

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Carbon pollution

Posted by Richard on June 9, 2010

Lots of people in the blogosphere are laughing over the latest evidence that Sen. Barbara Boxer is dumber than a box of rocks. Ed Morrissey has the video clip and money quote:

Let’s see how Senator Ma’am’s priorities work in this revealing clip from her speech earlier today in the Senate. We’ve had four terrorist attacks in less than a year, two of which succeeded in killing people and another two which only failed because of the incompetence of the terrorist. Iran is a year or less away from getting a nuclear weapon. Turkey is rapidly sliding towards Islamism. North Korea is doing their best to restart the Korean War.

And what keeps Barbara Boxer awake at night? A raging case of the vapors:

I’m going to put in the record, Madam President, a host of quotes from our national security experts who tell us that carbon pollution leading to climate change will be over the next 20 years the leading cause of conflict, putting our troops in harm’s way. And that’s why we have so many returning veterans who want us to move forward and address this issue, so we can create those new technologies that get us off this foreign oil.

Yeah, claiming that "carbon pollution" and "climate change" are greater threats to our national security than Iran, al Qaeda, or North Korea is pretty silly.

But what strikes me as absurd to the point of being surreal is that a carbon-based life form, standing on a planet full of carbon-based life forms, where carbon is one of the most abundant elements, would speak seriously of "carbon pollution" — as if the fourth-most-abundant element in the universe were some dangerous, unnatural substance being introduced into our environment by those evil chemical companies.

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Dangerous delusions

Posted by Richard on June 1, 2010

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is promoting her new book, Nomad, and recently was interviewed by Tavis Smiley on PBS (HT: Booker Rising). She made the point that she'd recently revised her opinion regarding religions. She previously believed that "all religions are the same and all religions are inherently evil." But she now has a more positive view of Christians and wishes that Muslims would "distance themselves" from the facets of their religion that are "hostile to humanity" as most Christians have. Muslims haven't, she argued:

… I say in the book right now we cannot speak of moderate Muslims because they still cling to the absolute idea that everything in the Qur'an is the true word of God and cannot be changed by human beings, and that the prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, left a moral guidance behind and all we can do is follow it, not question it.

Smiley, somewhat incoherently, expressed doubt that anything needs to be done to change Muslims or "take on Muslims here in the West." Hirsi Ali tried to explain:

… The people who are engaged in terrorist activities look like you and me. They look like everybody else here.

 Major Nidal Hasan, the military guy who in November shot 13 of his colleagues and injured 32, he's going to be on trial pretty soon, I think this week, the young man, Faisal Shahzad, in Times Square who tried to blow innocent people that he doesn't know up, these guys are acting on conviction. Somehow, the idea got into their minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter.

Smiley objected, revealing a profound delusion about the world in which he lives (emphasis added):

Tavis: But Christians do that every single day in this country.

Ali: Do they blow people up (unintelligible)?

Tavis: Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that's what Columbine is – I could do this all day long. There are so many more examples of Christians – and I happen to be a Christian. That's back to this notion of your idealizing Christianity in my mind, to my read. There are so many more examples, Ayaan, of Christians who do that than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that inside this country, where you live and work.

Wow. I guess I haven't been checking the same news sources as Smiley. I wasn't aware of all the bombings and mass killings and aborted terrorist plots in the name of Christianity. No, wait — I'm being too snarky. There's something more seriously amiss here. 

Smiley specifically mentioned Columbine. Does he really think Columbine was an example of Christian terrorism analogous to the Ft. Hood massacre or the Times Square bombing attempt? Apparently he does. That's simply insane.

Occasionally, people who are purportedly Christians shoot up schools or offices, rob banks, or rape and murder people. But here's the thing — they're not doing it in the name of Christianity, to punish, intimidate, or destroy non-Christians, or for the purpose of subjugating all non-Christians and imposing Christian law on all the inhabitants of Earth. That's the difference, Mr. Smiley — can you not understand that??

But Smiley isn't the only person who's delusional regarding Islamists. This administration is full of them. Case in point (emphasis added): 

The president's top counterterrorism adviser on Wednesday called jihad a "legitimate tenet of Islam," arguing that the term "jihadists" should not be used to describe America's enemies. 

During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of "political, economic and social forces," but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in "religious terms." 

"Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children," Brennan said.

As Robert Spencer noted, purifying one's community according to Islamic law is not something the nation's counter-terrorism chief ought to be endorsing: 

Brennan should study the Qur'an and Sunnah in order to discover just how Muslims understand what it means to purify "one's community," and what the Islamic understanding is of the term "innocent." He would find, of course, that a community that is fully purified is one in which non-Muslims live as subjugated dhimmis, and that non-Muslims are never understood in the Qur'an and Sunnah as being "innocent." But he will not undertake such a study, and will never find these things out.

This ignorant son of a bitch is what stands between you and the next terrorist attack, folks. Maybe when a tactical nuke or a "dirty bomb" is detonated in Manhattan, John Brennan will finally understand what Islamists mean by "purifying one's community."

And speaking of dangerous delusions, the U.S. government is actually trying to deport Mosab Yousef. Yousef is the son of the founder of Hamas, the author of Son of Hamas, a convert to Christianity, a one-time Israeli counter-terrorism agent, and a passionate opponent of radical Islam. Check out the interview with Yousef at GQ. It is insane, contemptible, and vile to move to deport this man. Who is responsible for this travesty of justice? 

For the ridiculous details of why Yousef has been declared a terrorist, see this World Net Daily post. And then ask yourself, given the above, whether you think this administration is capable of effectively protecting you from terrorists.

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Heads in the sand

Posted by Richard on May 14, 2010

If you think I was too harsh in Naming the enemy, you need to watch Eric Holder, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, respond to a simple, direct, and non-confrontational question by Rep. Lamar Smith. It's an amazing two minutes of video, at once infuriating and hilarious.


[YouTube link]

This pathological unwillingness to identify the root cause of the problem, to name our enemies, and to acknowledge the seriousness of the threat we face is going to get a lot more people killed. Depending on blind luck and inept bomb-making to keep us safe is a losing strategy. Pretending that the real terrorist threat comes from anti-government right-wing extremists, tea partiers, and opponents of Obamacare is … well, I don't know if it's contemptibly cynical or just self-delusional.

Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn explore this issue in depth in the May 17 issue of The Weekly Standard, noting that "success in the war on terror is not apprehending terrorists after their attacks fail. Success is preventing them from attempting the attack in the first place." I strongly suggest reading the whole thing, but here's an excerpt (emphasis added): 

So, three attacks in six months, by attackers with connections to the global jihadist network—connections that administration officials have gone out of their way to diminish.

The most striking thing about all three attacks is not what we heard, but what we haven’t heard. There has been very little talk about the global war that the Obama administration sometimes acknowledges we are fighting and virtually nothing about what motivates our enemy: radical Islam. 

This is no accident. Janet Napolitano never used the word “terrorism” in her first appearance before Congress as secretary-designate of Homeland Security on January 15, 2009. Shortly thereafter, the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration had dropped the phrase “Global War on Terror” in favor of “Overseas Contingency Operations.” And just last month, we learned that the White House’s forthcoming National Security Strategy would not use religious words such as “jihad” and “Islamic extremism.”

When asked why she did not utter the word “terrorism” in the course of her testimony, Napolitano explained that she used “man-caused disaster” instead to avoid “the politics of fear.” 

The Department of Homeland Security was created after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history to prevent further terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. And the head of that department is worried that using the word “terrorism” is playing the politics of fear.

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Less respected?

Posted by Richard on March 9, 2010

It's not just the President's attempted government takeover of the health care industry that the American public rejects by ever-increasing margins. According to a new poll (sponsored by leftist organizations who no doubt hoped for an opposite result), Americans also reject Obama's foreign policy and national security competence:

A majority of Americans say the United States is less respected in the world than it was two years ago and think President Obama and other Democrats fall short of Republicans on the issue of national security, a new poll finds.

The Democracy Corps-Third Way survey released Monday finds that by a 10-point margin — 51 percent to 41 percent — Americans think the standing of the U.S. dropped during the first 13 months of Mr. Obama's presidency.

"This is surprising, given the global acclaim and Nobel peace prize that flowed to the new president after he took office," said pollsters for the liberal-leaning organizations.

On the national security front, a massive gap has emerged, with 50 percent of likely voters saying Republicans would likely do a better job than Democrats, a 14-point swing since May. Thirty-three percent favored Democrats.

"The erosion since May is especially strong among women, and among independents, who now favor Republicans on this question by a 56 to 20 percent margin," the pollsters said in their findings.

Mind you, I realize that just because Americans believe we're less respected in the world doesn't make it true (although there's been ample evidence in the past year that in fact it is; weakness, as usual, has led to contempt). But what ought to matter to Democrats is that those Americans who believe we're less respected are eligible to vote in American elections — the Euroweenies who may feel differently aren't. 

If independents lean 56-20 Republican on national security, this administration is in serious trouble, and every attempted attack on this country, whether successful or thwarted, will only reinforce their problem. Because with that much doubt about their competence on this issue, even the thwarting of an attack will be dismissed by many as just dumb luck (like the Christmas underwear bomber), not competence.

(HT: Instapundit)

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Targeted killings

Posted by Richard on February 24, 2010

They told me that if I voted Republican, the U.S. government would escalate its use of CIA hit teams and Predator UAVs to conduct assassinations without regard for collateral damage or international humanitarian law, and they were right:

The Obama administration has stepped up these kinds of remote-control bombardments, launching at least 64 drone strikes within Pakistan in its first 13 months; in its last three years, the Bush administration unleashed 41, according to an analysis by the New America Foundation.

The U.S. doesn’t like to think of itself as being in the assassination business, which is why the preferred term is “targeted killings.” Either way, this growing practice involves large legal and moral questions that should loom large, but don’t — not compared with the outcry over coercive interrogation or extraordinary renditions.

In fact, the Obama administration has gone well beyond the Bush administration not just in the number of targeted killings, but in their scope. Today, many such hits take place deep inside Pakistan, far from the theater of war. Richard Fernandez, quoting extensively from a paper by Professor Kenneth Anderson and a post at Anderson's Law of War blog, discussed the thorny problems the Obama administration is creating for itself by trying to have it both ways (emphasis added): 

Professor Kenneth Anderson says that President Obama has failed to lay the legal groundwork for acts of targeted killing of “non-state enemies of the United States” and thereby risks impaling itself on the horns of a dilemma of his own making. By relying on “international humanitarian law” instead of asserting its own legal doctrine, the Obama administration will eventually find that it cannot defend the United States without condemning itself by the legal standard it has embraced.


The really interesting thing about the administration’s increase in the use of targeted hits, its unwillingness to take custody of prisoners and indeed to hand them over to people like the Pakistani military; and indeed its declining ability to take any enemy combatant alive at all is that it is rooted not in what Anderson called Dick Cheney’s “brutish, simplistic” determination to defend America, but in President Obama’s desire to live up to the highest standards of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). And although Anderson has no fondness for Cheney’s approach he correctly appreciates that sooner or later the public is going to discover the rank hypocrisy of Obama’s approach. “But journalistic sentiment will swing back again, particularly as the NGO community seeks to peel the CIA from the uniformed military in its use of drones and targeted killing.” An Obama deprived of his Teflon may find himself unable to simultaneously justify the actions needed to suppress the enemy (which he must do to avoid an electoral backlash) and maintain his purity in the eyes of his ideological supporters. He has to square the circle. Faced with the prospect of following the urgings of the Left which don’t work, and following the urgings of his political enemies which do work, his plan is apparently to graft the two halves together. But sooner or later, as Anderson notes, someone will notice.

Some elements of the left have already noticed. See, for instance, here, here, here, and here.

I have no problem with targeting al Qaeda and Taliban leaders. They're monstrous barbarians — "enemies of humanity" under the principle of international law applied to pirates, and fair game for anyone. I worry a bit about the "collateral damage," especially when the enterprise is shrouded in secrecy and the targeting information allegedly often comes from the Pakistanis — perhaps not the most reliable or fastidious source. But it's likely that many of the "civilian casualties" reported by Pakistani villagers are in fact the friends, family, and comrades of the terrorist targets — as are the villagers doing the reporting. 

Frankly, I confess to finding it all somewhat amusing, in a dark-humor sort of way. The Obama administration still hasn't closed Gitmo, has established a "High Value Interrogation Group," has decided military tribunals might be a good idea after all, and has dramatically escalated the CIA's campaign of targeted killings, things that 98.3% of the members of that administration once denounced as contrary to U.S. and/or international law.

Yet the mainstream media and liberal establishment (but I repeat myself), when they do criticize these things, do so mildly and cautiously. Everyone knows that this administration has good intentions, so when it does these things, it's a mistake or unfortunate lapse in judgment. Whereas the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Halliburton cabal was evil, and they did these things because they wanted to make people suffer and die.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

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Where Democrats stand on surveillance

Posted by Richard on July 11, 2008

President Bush today signed legislation expanding intelligence agencies' powers to monitor communications involving foreign terrorist suspects.

If you're planning on contacting a bin Laden-backed, Taliban-supported Deobandi madrassa in Pakistan to see if the sons you sent there to be radicalized have been turned into jihadis and are ready to come home to continue the struggle, consider yourself warned.

The bill was passed by the Senate Wednesday 69-28. Twenty-two Democrats voted for the bill, including Senators Bayh, Casey, Feinstein, Inouye, Landrieu, both Nelsons, Rockefeller, Salazar, and Webb. Oh, yeah, and Sen. Obama, who had pledged during the primary campaign to filibuster the bill.

It was another significant victory by the purportedly incompetent and unpopular lame duck:

Even as his political stature has waned, Mr. Bush has managed to maintain his dominance on national security issues in a Democratic-led Congress. He has beat back efforts to cut troops and financing in Iraq, and he has won important victories on issues like interrogation tactics and military tribunals in the fight against terrorism.

Debate over the surveillance law was the one area where Democrats had held firm in opposition. House Democrats went so far as to allow a temporary surveillance measure to expire in February, leading to a five-month impasse and prompting accusations from Mr. Bush that the nation’s defenses against another strike by Al Qaeda had been weakened.

But in the end Mr. Bush won out, as administration officials helped forge a deal between Republican and Democratic leaders that included almost all the major elements the White House wanted. The measure gives the executive branch broader latitude in eavesdropping on people abroad and at home who it believes are tied to terrorism, and it reduces the role of a secret intelligence court in overseeing some operations.

The bill also made it clear just where many leading Democrats — including the presumptive presidential nominee — stand on this "privacy rights" issue: They're unalterably opposed to any compromise on communications privacy, even for foreign terrorists, and even if their opposition threatens national security and the safety of Americans … but not if it threatens their political future. 

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Failed policies of the past

Posted by Richard on June 21, 2008

Republican and right-wing pundits are beside themselves because Sen. Obama broke his earlier promise to accept federal matching funds and abide by the campaign spending limits that go with them. I applaud him for rejecting the failed policies of the past: government funding of candidates and campaign finance restrictions.

It's a shame he doesn't reject more of the failed policies of the past.

Like the failed policy of treating Islamofascist terrorism as a law enforcement problem — which, contrary to Obama's attempt to rewrite history, convinced our enemies (according to bin Laden himself) that we were weak and could be destroyed, and led to a series of ever bolder attacks culminating in 9/11.

Like the failed policy of pouring billions in subsidies down "alternative energy" ratholes, while prohibiting drilling in ANWR, prohibiting drilling in the outer continental shelf, prohibiting drilling on 85% of federal lands, and erecting a mountain of regulatory barriers — enough to make a New Delhi bureaucrat blush — that prevented the building of even a single new refinery for the past 31 years.

Like the failed policy of socialism, which more and more Obama supporters are now embracing openly, and which appears to be the ideology embraced by every person who has had a significant intellectual influence on Obama, starting with his father and mother.

Regarding the Democrats' recent clamor for nationalizing the oil industry, Stop the ACLU had the best comment I've seen: "It’s starting to feel like I’m in an Ayn Rand novel for real!" Does that mean if Obama's elected, we should just shrug?

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Declaring war

Posted by Richard on August 24, 2007

Whenever the legitimacy of some U.S. military action comes up, libertarians and leftists generally bring up the issue of a congressional declaration of war, arguing that in the absence of a formal declaration of war, war-fighting is unconstitutional.

(Libertarians at least have standing to make this argument. Leftists do not. When they complain that something goes against a strict interpretation of the Constitution, leftists should be laughed at and dismissed as the unprincipled hypocrites that they are.)

Gabriel Malor, posting at Ace of Spades HQ, tackled declarations of war in three recent installments of his "Law Lessons" series. He looked at the Constitution, U.S. history, 18th-century international law, and case law, and he concluded what I've thought for a long time: Congress doesn't have to use specific "magic words" in order to constitutionally declare a state of war. And in fact, it usually hasn't, beginning with the Barbary Wars, as Malor noted in his first installment:

Indeed, the U.S. Constitution says that Congress has the power to declare war. It doesn’t say that to exercise that power Congress must perform an arcane ritual of words and actions. There is no constitutional requirement that Congress use the specific words “Declaration of War.” Nor has the use of such language been the usual practice when the U.S. goes to war.

The U.S. has formally declared war only five times. The other 10 or so times a state of war existed between the U.S. and another country or countries, Congress simply authorizes the use of military force. For example, to authorize the First Barbary War, Congress directed President Jefferson “to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify.”

Malor noted some interesting parallels between the First Barbary War declaration and the 2001 AUMF (authorization to use military force) declaration under which we invaded Afghanistan. Both targeted specific actions and their perpetrators rather than identifying a specific enemy. Furthermore:

Even more noteworthy is the fact that both war authorizations leave it up to the President to determine just which individuals or nations fall into the enabling language. (Think of this the next time you hear a hysterical ninny gulping about how the discretion Congress gave to President Bush is simply unprecedented.)

In the second installment, Malor tackled the 2002 AUMF (Iraq War Resolution) and looked at what little case law exists regarding declarations of war. I was surprised to learn that Attorney General Gonzales claims there's a difference between authorizations to use military force and declarations of war. I wonder how many libertarians and leftists realize that they're perilously close to agreeing with Gonzales on this issue.

In the third installment, Malor expressed some further thoughts about informal versus formal declarations of war and looked at 18th-century thinking about the nature and purpose of war declarations.

If you're interested in this topic, read all three posts, and don't overlook the comments; there are some thought-provoking ones. For instance:

Federalist #23 reasoned that the CinC could face an infinite variety of threats and as such, "no constitutional shackles can wisely be imposed on the power to which the care of [national defense] is committed." Madison went further noting that ''The sword is in the hands of the British king, the purse in the hands of Parliament; it is so in America, as far as any analogy can exist." I'm thinking Madison may know a thing or two about the Constitution.

It can't be true! Madison wouldn't say that, would he? It must be a Rovian trick to justify the imperial presidency, perpetual war, and the BushCheneyHalliburton police state! Aaaargh!

Hmm, that little Google search confirming the Madison quote that I tossed into the previous paragraph led me to an interesting Heritage Foundation article by John Yoo about the war-making power. Among other things, Yoo argues that the Constitution deliberately and with good reason gives Congress the power to "declare" war, not the power to "engage in" or "levy" war (verbs it uses elsewhere regarding war). There is much more, well-buttressed with specific examples from the Constitution and contemporaneous documents. I'm going to have to read it more carefully and give it some thought.

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Ron Paul doesn’t speak for all of us

Posted by Richard on July 18, 2007

A great big thanks to Randy Barnett for informing the readers of the Wall Street Journal (and OpinionJournal.com) that not all libertarians subscribe to a "blame America first" foreign and national security policy virtually indistinguishable from that of Dennis Kucinich. The war against Islamofascism is, as Barnett spelled out quite even-handedly, a subject about which libertarians disagree:

Many libertarians, and perhaps most libertarian intellectuals, opposed the war in Iraq even before its inception. They believed Saddam's regime neither directly threatened the U.S. nor harbored or supported the terrorist network responsible for Sept. 11. They also feared the risk of harmful, unintended consequences. …

Other libertarians, however, supported the war in Iraq because they viewed it as part of a larger war of self-defense against Islamic jihadists who were organizationally independent of any government. They viewed radical Islamic fundamentalism as resulting in part from the corrupt dictatorial regimes that inhabit the Middle East, which have effectively repressed indigenous democratic reformers. Although opposed to nation building generally, these libertarians believed that a strategy of fomenting democratic regimes in the Middle East, as was done in Germany and Japan after World War II, might well be the best way to take the fight to the enemy rather than solely trying to ward off the next attack.

Naturally, the libertarians who supported the war in Iraq are disappointed, though hardly shocked, that it was so badly executed. …

Still, there are those pro-invasion libertarians who are now following the progress of Operations Phantom Thunder and Arrowhead Ripper. … They hope this success will enable American soldiers to leave Iraq even before they leave Europe and Korea, and regain the early momentum that led, for example, to Libya's abandonment of its nuclear weapons program.

These libertarians are still rooting for success in Iraq because it would make Americans more safe, while defeat would greatly undermine the fight against those who declared war on the U.S. They are concerned that Americans may get the misleading impression that all libertarians oppose the Iraq war–as Ron Paul does–and even that libertarianism itself dictates opposition to this war. It would be a shame if this misinterpretation inhibited a wider acceptance of the libertarian principles that would promote the general welfare of the American people.

What he said.  

 

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26%

Posted by Richard on May 25, 2007

According to a new Rasmussen survey of American voters, only 26% support passage of the bipartisan immigration bill currently being debated in the Senate. But that's OK, say many Washington insiders and media experts — 26% is a solid base to build on, and the fact that so many people don't like the bill at this stage is a virtue. Lots of people are undecided or just don't yet understand the bill. As they become more educated about the issue, that 26% will grow.

Coincidentally, 26% just happens to be the percentage of young American Muslims who support suicide bombings in defense of Islam. In this case, though, the media experts think that the 26% are  trivial and unimportant. We should focus on the fact that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are assimilated and don't want to subjugate or kill us infidels.

Meanwhile, the Wahhabists who, with Saudi support, fill American mosques and schools with extreme Islamist literature and teachings are noting with satisfaction that 26% is a solid base to build on. Younger Muslims are much more radical than older ones, they no doubt note, and lots of young American Muslims just don't yet understand their obligation to spread Islam and extend the ummah. As they become more educated about jihad, that 26% will grow.

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Timetables are bad

Posted by Richard on March 15, 2007

At least on one issue, one Republican leader is showing a bit of spine and spunk. Sen. Mitch McConnell, speaking on the Senate floor yesterday, forcefully rejected the Reid Resolution (which calls for troop withdrawals to begin in 4 months, with all combat troops out of Iraq within a year). McConnell reminded the Democrats that they once rejected as foolish the course they now want to impose (emphasis added):

"This is the memo our enemies have been waiting for.

"Osama Bin Laden and his followers have repeatedly said that the U.S. does not have the stomach for a long fight with the terrorists. Passage of the Reid Joint Resolution will be the first concrete sign since Sept. 11, 2001, that he was right on target.

"Timetables are bad. But don't just take my word for it.

"Speaking at the National Press Club in 2005, my good friend the Majority Leader himself said this: ‘As for setting a timeline, as we learned in the Balkans, that's not a wise decision, because it only empowers those who don't want us there, and it doesn't work well to do that.'

"Six months after that, the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Biden, said this: ‘A deadline for pulling out … will only encourage our enemies to wait us out' … it would be ‘a Lebanon in 1985. And God knows where it goes from there.' That was our friend, Joe Biden, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"And three months later, Senator Clinton made the same point when she said, ‘I don't believe it's smart to set a date for withdrawal,' said Senator Clinton. ‘I don't think you should ever telegraph your intentions to the enemy so they can await you.' "That's the Majority Leader, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and a prominent Democrat presidential candidate.

"Surely Senators Reid, Biden, and Clinton have not changed their minds about who would benefit the most if we set a date certain for withdrawal. They know just as well as I do that this is what the terrorists have been waiting for – and just what our allies in Iraq, and the entire region of the world have feared.

"Setting a date certain for withdrawal will send a chill up the spine of every Iraqi who has dared to stand with America. Millions of good men and women have helped us in this fight. Since we arrived in Iraq, nearly 120,000 Iraqis have volunteered to serve in their army. More than 8,000 Iraqis have died in uniform to defend the fledgling Democracy over there. And recently, in Anbar province, we're told that roughly 1,000 Sunnis volunteered for the police force over a period of a couple weeks.

"These brave men and women, Mr. President, are watching what we do here: They know, as we do, that chaos will engulf Iraq and the rest of the region on that day. They know they and their families will likely face a firing squad soon after we leave. And the message we send them with this resolution is this: good luck. 

Thank you, Sen. McConnell, for reminding your colleagues that there are many, many lives at stake.

If the Democrats have their way on Iraq, not only will U.S. interests and the long-term prospects for world peace be severely damaged, but — just in case it matters to the self-styled humanitarians on the left — there will likely be a bloodbath in Iraq to rival what happened in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge.

Of course, the left pretty much tried to ignore that one, too.

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Alternate reality

Posted by Richard on December 8, 2006

One little excerpt from the Iraq Surrender Group report told me everything I needed to know about it and confirmed the fears and suspicions I had: "No country in the region wants a chaotic Iraq." Ahem. In what alternate reality do these tired old political reprobates reside? In this reality, Iran absolutely, positively does want a chaotic Iraq, and is working 24/7 to create one! And it’s client, Syria, is doing its share!

There is more wisdom, insight, judgment, and sense of history in the head of one young American soldier than in the entire preening, self-congratulatory, self-aggrandizing Baker-Hamilton commission — as evidence, consider the reaction of T.F. Boggs, a 24-year-old Sergeant in the Army Reserve who returned from his second tour in Iraq just last month (emphasis added):

The Iraq Survey Group’s findings or rather, recommendations are a joke and could have only come from a group of old people who have been stuck in Washington for too long. The brainpower of the ISG has come up with a new direction for our country and that includes negotiating with countries whose people chant “Death to America” and whose leaders deny the Holocaust and call for Israel to be wiped from the face of the earth. Baker and Hamilton want us to get terrorists supporting countries involved in fighting terrorism!

What the group desperately needed was at least one their members to have been in the military and had recent experience in Iraq. The problem with having an entire panel with no one under the age of 67 is that none of them could possibly know what the situation is actually like on the ground in Iraq. …

We cannot appease our enemies and we cannot continue to cut and run when the going gets tough. As it stands in the world right now our enemies view America as a country full of queasy people who are inclined to cut and run when things take a turn for the worse. Just as the Tet Offensive was the victory that led to our failure in Vietnam our victories in Iraq now are leading to our failure in the Middle East. How many more times must we fight to fail? I feel like all of my efforts (30 months of deployment time) and the efforts of all my brothers in arms are all for naught. I thought old people were supposed to be more patient than a 24 year old but apparently I have more patience for our victory to unfold in Iraq than 99.9 percent of Americans. Iraq isn’t fast food-you can’t have what you want and have it now. To completely change a country for the first time in it’s entire history takes time, and when I say time I don’t mean 4 years.

Talking doesn’t solve anything with a crazed people, bullets do and we need to be given a chance to work our military magic. Like I told a reporter buddy of mine: War sucks but a world run by Islamofacists sucks more.

HT: Hugh Hewitt, whose assessment of the report is spot-on, including an apt historical comparison:

The report combines an almost limitless condescension towards the "Iraqi sovereign government," even going so far as to lay out a timetable for its exact legislative program for the next six months, with a cavalier indifference to the Syrian death squads operating in Lebanon, and the certain nature of the Iranian regime –still, on this very day, hosting the anti-Holocaust conference.

It is a wonder, this bit of appeasement virtuosity, and I think it will gain for its authors all the lasting fame that has attached itself to the name Samuel Hoare, and his brainchild, the Hoare-Laval Agreement.

I think Dean Barnett may have correctly identified the mindset of these morons:

Yesterday, the self-esteem movement reached its zenith. A nation and a government, eager to feel better about themselves, rounded up a passel of political has-beens to offer policy prescriptions that we could all support. And, other than the brain-dead nature of its policy prescriptions, what’s there not to love about the Iraq Study Group’s report? It’s the foreign policy equivalent of “a chicken in every pot.”

If this vacuous and venal piece of tripe isn’t dismissed and ignored — if its policy recommendations are actually followed, and the United States commits itself to appeasing terror states into being a bit nicer — then a few short years from now, when the nuke takes out Tel Aviv, we should refer to it as the Baker-Hamilton Holocaust.
 

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Bush on the important issues

Posted by Richard on October 31, 2006

On Hannity & Colmes last night, Sean Hannity interviewed President Bush, and of course, the election was the first topic (emphasis added):

HANNITY: All right, so there you are. You think the GOP holds both houses. You’re confident. You made the statement that your opponents, Democrats, are picking out the drapes a little bit too early.

BUSH: That’s right.

Well, you know, in 2002, a lot of the pundits didn’t get the off-year elections right. In 2004, a lot of people thought I was going down eight days before the election. And in 2006, there is a lot of predictors saying that, you know, the Democrats will sweep the House and maybe take the Senate.

And I just don’t see it that way, because I think most people, when they take a look at the candidates and the positions of the candidates, realize that protecting this country and keeping this economy going are the two most important issues. And you can’t protect the country if you retreat from overseas, and you can’t keep the economy growing if you raise taxes. And that’s exactly what the Democrats in the House would like to do.

That’s the case for voting Republican about as clearly and succinctly stated as it can be.

You could fill a book with all the things wrong with Republicans (and match it page for page with one on the faults of Democrats). But when all is said and done, it’s hard to deny the importance of national security and taxes — and on those two critical issues, the Republicans get it mostly right, while the vast majority of Democrats are completely, utterly, and dangerously wrong.
 

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