December 28, 2018

Ending America's "Permanent State of War"

Sounds like a job for President Trump. And it wasn't some knee-jerk response either, as the Democratic Party's Mass Communications branch has been telling us.

Mattis and Dunford were consciously exploiting Trump's defensiveness about a timeline to press ahead with their own strategy unless and until Trump publicly called them on it. That is what finally happened some weeks after Trump's six month deadline had passed. The claim by Trump advisors that they were taken by surprise was indeed disingenuous. What happened last week was that Trump followed up on the clear policy he had laid down in April.

Long ago, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against the power of the "military industrial complex." This month, President Donald J. Trump faced them down, and didn't blink.

[The provocative "permanent war" quote in the post's title comes from the linked article.]

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:56 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

thank you for posting this! I've begun hearing this 'out of the blue' canard enough to initiate the gut feeling it was BS.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 1, 2019 9:27 PM

December 28, 2016

One State, Two State, Jewish State, Democratic State

Please pardon the flippancy of the title. I'm just trying to make some sense of the lame duck leader of Foggy Bottom and his desperate abandonment of the proper statecraft which have led many decades of his predecessors round and round again, ending up where they began - With Israel trying to survive and her attackers claiming the moral high ground.

Kerry appears outwardly desperate when he pleads,

"[The United States] cannot be true to our own values, or the stated democratic values of Israel, and we cannot properly defend and protect Israel, if we allow a viable two-state solution to be destroyed before our own eyes."

Rather selfish and desperate to insist that Israel accept "a viable two-state solution" simply because it is his two-state solution. Perhaps there are other viable two-state solutions that are better. Or, much more likely, perhaps any two-state solution is destined to fail on account of the fecklessness of the other party.

Perhaps instead, Israel should continue to govern the territory it captured during a war of aggression by said other party, and permit individuals of every race and religion to live there on the sole condition that they abide by Israeli law?

Besides, democracy is overrated. Peace and prosperity and liberty are far more important. I wouldn't trade any one of those for democracy, much less all three.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:42 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Ah, it's that time of the decade again; UN rez's denouncing Israel... I suppose Nat'l Geo will have a "End of Cheap Oil" issue coming out soon?

Rather selfish and desperate
Shah, where you been? That and being in love with the sound of his own voice (and seeing himself on TV) are pretty much the only defining characteristics of modern liberals. Perhaps greed... did I miss anything? hmmm, regurgitating yesteryear's ideas for yesterday's problems perhaps?

The question I'd like to see analyzed is: what does a UN resolution mean these days, in terms of "on the ground"?

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 30, 2016 12:02 PM

January 18, 2016

jk Defends Islamic Whackjobs

If you live long enough, you see it all. I think basing a government on the Quran makes as much sense as basing a zoology course on Margaret & H.A. Rey's "Curious George."

But I think media outlets should be fair and that headlines should support the underlying story's content. I may be wrong here, but I have yet to see evidence. Friends on the right, left, and center have pummeled Pakistan over "Pakistan bill aiming to ban child marriages shot down as 'anti-Islamic' and 'blasphemous'"

[CII Chairman Mohammad Khan Sheerani] said: "Parliament cannot create legislation that is against the teachings of the Holy Quran or Sunnah."

The proposed legislation recommended giving out harsher punishments to those entering a marriage with a minor, as well as raising the minimum age of marriage for women to 18-years-old.

The current minimum age for marriage is 16-years-old for women, and 18-years-old for men

I have seen this referenced several times, and I hate to break up the Kumbaya fest. But refusing to raise the marriage age from 16 to 18 is not exactly endorsing pedophilia. There is an ambiguous not-raising-penalties for arranged marriage with young brides but this is never spelled out. I'm guessing I would likely endorse the legislation, but I have yet to see a story with a factual underpinning for righteous indignation.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:24 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2015

Quote of the Day

From a decent article on the Middle East meltdown in the American Interest, which gently pontificates with MSM's best lambent lighting, on how bad things are always Unexpected when a Democrat is found to be at the teller.

President Obama may be the high school principal and Putin nothing more than a juvenile delinquent, but the school walls are covered with graffiti, the principal is being mocked as a loser by both teachers and students, his car has been egged, and he’s got a “Kick Me” sign taped to his back.

The forces of chaos are on the move, Obama is mugging (and prevaricating, like he was on 60 Minutes) and the media are casting about to equivocate (tactically, making smoke so smoking guns can't be found until after the election). In related news, establishment media are citing HRC as the winner of the first Democrat debate, though Byron York isn't so sure.

On top of the MSM's attempt to inflate Obama's increasingly pathetic narrative that he terms leadership (and with credit, some pushback from a normally pushover 60 Minutes)

that [Russia and Iran] had to [send troops to Syria] is not an indication of strength, it’s an indication that their strategy did not work
from "leading from behind" to it's latest iteration "deconflicting." Left unsaid is how Obama wouldn't recognize a strategy if someone put the Marshall Plan in his golf cart seat.

Academia has already begun airing out theories to help the Anti-Americaness of Obama seem normal, cool and even, well, intelligent

What neither the Iranians and especially the Russians seem to be taking sufficiently into account is that a commitment to prop up the Assad regime can easily become costly, futile, and counterproductively dangerous

I don't want to mix topics, but York's article on the Bern crowd made me worried about the Millennial buy-in on DAWG ... so let me propose a runner up for QotD:

a weekend from Hell for President Obama’s Middle East policy. Yet the President seems undismayed; he has resolved to stay the course. This is the most unsettling news of all.

Posted by nanobrewer at 11:21 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Obama wouldn't recognize a strategy if someone put the Marshall Plan in his golf cart seat."


In fairness to POTUS though, he would probably recognize it if it also appeared in a Cloward and Piven book.

Posted by: johngalt at October 14, 2015 3:02 PM

September 22, 2015

Our friend Putin

I'm inclined to agree with this assessment by Patrick J. Buchanan:

Indeed, the problem in Syria is not so much with the Russians -- or Iran, Hezbollah and Assad, all of whom see the Syrian civil war correctly as a fight to the finish against Sunni jihadis.

Our problem has been that we have let our friends -- the Turks, Israelis, Saudis and Gulf Arabs -- convince us that no victory over ISIS can be achieved unless and until we bring down Assad.

Once we get rid of Assad, they tell us, a grand U.S.-led coalition of Arabs and Turks can form up and march in to dispatch ISIS.

This is neocon nonsense.

Those giving us this advice are the same "cakewalk war" crowd who told us how Iraq would become a democratic model for the Middle East once Saddam Hussein was overthrown and how Moammar Gadhafi's demise would mean the rise of a pro-Western Libya.

When have these people ever been right?

He concludes:

In making ISIS, not Assad, public enemy No. 1, Putin has it right.

It is we Americans who are the mystery inside an enigma now.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:02 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Ahh, good ole' Pat; as addled as ever.

same crowd who told us how Iraq would become a democratic model for the Middle East once Saddam Hussein was overthrown and how Moammar Gadhafi's demise would mean the rise of a pro-Western Libya

They were two _very_different_ crowds...

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 22, 2015 3:25 PM
But jk thinks:

"Two wings of the same bird of prey!" That's what Mr. Buchanan would say.

Posted by: jk at September 22, 2015 5:55 PM

September 8, 2015

We were warned

Arutz Sheva - Europe Fearful ISIS Set to Invade Europe, Via Refugee Ships

General Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan army, warned that Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists running rampant in the north African state are set to infiltrate Europe and expand their reign of terror into the West. ISIS will "spread in even the European countries if (the West) does not offer real help to the Libyan people, especially the Libyan army," he told the Associated Press. He warned the ISIS terrorists "will head with the illegal migrants to Europe, where corruption and destruction will spread just like Libya. But there it will be hard to confront them."

That quote originally appeared in a March 20th news report.

Maybe they're already there.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:50 PM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2015

A head for a head

Hammurabi lives - Christian beheads jihadist in Syria revenge killing.

According to the monitor, the Christian fighter, a member of the minority Assyrian community, found the jihadist in the local village of Tal Shamiram.

"He took him prisoner and when he found out he was a member of IS, the Assyrian fighter beheaded him in revenge for abuses committed by the group in the region," Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

I find myself in support of the Administration's stance that "we will not be responsible for securing their [Iraqi's] country, but we will support them in doing so." American presidents have fought so many proxy wars since WWII that citizens (and governments) of many nations have forgotten how to defend themselves. Some are now beginning to figure it out, although I doubt that is Barack Obama's intention.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2015

Armchair General

I found this disturbing:

The Syrian government's antiquities chief Mamoun Abdulkarim said he had no doubt that if Palmyra fell to the jihadists, it would suffer a similar fate to ancient Nimrud, which they blew up earlier this year.

'If ISIS enters Palmyra, it will spell its destruction... it will be a repetition of the barbarism and savagery which we saw in Nimrud, Hatra and Mosul.'

But I shall not just complain without suggesting a solution.

These heavily armed aircraft incorporate side-firing weapons integrated with sophisticated sensor, navigation and fire control systems to provide surgical firepower or area saturation during extended loiter periods, at night and in adverse weather. The sensor suite consists of a television sensor, infrared sensor and radar. These sensors allow the gunship to visually or electronically identify friendly ground forces and targets anytime, anywhere.


Posted by JohnGalt at 6:25 PM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

That 130 is a beautiful sight -- unless you're the target. If we only had a Commander-in-Chief who was serious about defeating ISIS...

I do have give a shout-out to another Close Air Support vehicle that I love, though, the A-10. As much as I respect the 130, I can buy seven Warthogs for the same price, and that BRRRRRT sound of her primary weapon is nothing short of iconic. Only a complete traitor would be pushing to decommission the A-10.

My apologies for my scanty participation, by the way -- the day job has really been insistent on having my undivided attention. I've barely had the time to make a nuisance of myself on Facebook, and only during non-paying hours...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 21, 2015 12:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The A-10 is a great aircraft. Her forte is obliterating armored vehicles, however. "Spooky" and "Spectre" and "Ghostrider" (planned deployment in FY2017) are well suited to anti-personnel duty, in bad weather and at night, in addition to obliterating armored vehicles.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2015 2:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Did you click through for the video? It's the best I've ever seen. Not only can they visually differentiate between armed men vs. women and children, they can see weapons being carried. Collateral damage = lower.

But I'd already taken up so much column inch with the still shot I linked it rather than imbed. Never let it be said that I lack humility.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2015 2:57 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

The other thing the C130-based designs have over the A-10 is "linger" time and long-range fire. It can wait anyone out, and I believe with some of it's heavier ordnance (like a 105mm cannon) it can shoot from out of earshot.... giving a whole new meaning of the old term "whispering death."

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 26, 2015 11:58 PM

March 25, 2015

Peaceful Islam?

'Heretic' a new book by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, makes a philosophical case for the reforms needed to make Islam a modern faith, compatible with the rest of the modern world. Writing in the WSJ she listed five critical reforms:

1. Muhammad’s semi-divine status, along with the literalist reading of the Quran. (...) The Quran’s eternal spiritual values must be separated from the cultural accidents of the place and time of its birth.

2. The supremacy of life after death.
The appeal of martyrdom will fade only when Muslims assign a greater value to the rewards of this life than to those promised in the hereafter.

3. Shariah, the vast body of religious legislation.
Muslims should learn to put the dynamic, evolving laws made by human beings above those aspects of Shariah that are violent, intolerant or anachronistic.

4. The right of individual Muslims to enforce Islamic law.
There is no room in the modern world for religious police, vigilantes and politically empowered clerics.

5. The imperative to wage jihad, or holy war.
Islam must become a true religion of peace, which means rejecting the imposition of religion by the sword.

A story in The West Australian quotes AHA from her book:

"It simply will not do for Muslims to claim that their religion has been 'hijacked' by extremists," she said.

A reformation, similar to that in Judaism and Christianity over the centuries, was necessary, Ali wrote.

"We need to hold Islam accountable for the acts of its most violent adherents and to demand that it reform or disavow the key beliefs that are used to justify those acts."[emphasis mine]

I heard a statement in a news report yesterday that sounded possibly like this, and went searching for it today. It was made by the current President of the Islamic Republic... of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

President Ghani stressed, “We have the capacity to speak truth to terror. Terrorists do not speak for Islam -- we do. And it's the genuine Islam that is interested in dialogue between civilizations and cooperation and endeavor forward.”

He added, “These [terrorists] are not classic national liberation movements; these are destructive, nihilistic movements. And it's essential that we confront them with vigor and determination.”

Perhaps not a direct call for "reform" of Islam, but dialog and cooperation, and trade mentioned elsewhere, are some of the end results of such reform.

His true intentions are further revealed in his remarks on an incident in front of a Mosque in Kabul last week:

No individual is allowed to make oneself a judge and use violence to punish others in degrading manners. Launching personal trials and choosing who to punish stands in clear contradiction to Sharia and Islamic justice.

The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan condemns yesterday's act of extreme violence and makes it clear that ensuring justice is only the duty of courts and whoever engages in violent acts outside law will be dealt with strongly.

The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan also condemns in strong terms any action that causes disrespect to the Holy Quran and Islamic values.

We Muslims are all obliged to protect the sanctity of the Holy Quran but only within the instructions and principles of Islam.

Hopeful, perhaps.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:30 PM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2015

Israel shows US an ambassador

Ron Dermer gives an impressive speech in Florida, cited here and noting:

“The Prime Minister’s visit here is not intended to show any disrespect for President Obama,” he continued. “Israel deeply appreciates the strong support we have received from President Obama in many areas – the enhanced security cooperation, heightened intelligence sharing, generous military assistance and iron dome funding, and opposition to anti-Israel initiatives at the United Nations.”

perfect opening moves.... then to answer the WHY doe Bibi wish to address congress:

Th[at] is not just the right of the Prime Minister of Israel. It is his most sacred duty — to do whatever he can to prevent Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons that can be aimed at Israel.”

along the way, saying we have learned from our history that the world becomes a more dangerous place for the Jewish people when the Jewish people are silent

Hat Tip: PowerLine

An impressive stroke; wonder if the Manhattan Media noticed? Why do so many prominent Israeli's have just-across-Mayberry names? And while I'm on a postulating parade: who's the last ambassador we had that was worth a damn?

More Bebi, now.... faster, please.

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:42 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

While we're reading Powerline, let's give this one a look. Perhaps there's another reason the White House doesn't want to be seen with Bibi - they're participating in the Israeli election, and not to Netanyahu's favor. Izzat legal?

Hat tip: KHOW's Mandy Connell.

Posted by: johngalt at January 27, 2015 11:58 AM

August 22, 2014

Quote of the postwar era

I do not feel that my choice of title is overwrought.

The whole questionable debate on American war weariness aside, the U.S. military is not war weary and is fully capable of attacking and reducing IS throughout the depth of its holdings, and we should do it now, but supported substantially by our traditional allies and partners, especially by those in the region who have the most to give - and the most to lose - if the Islamic State’s march continues.

From a must read article by General John R. Allen, USMC retired. He gives the President great credit for actions taken in the theater thus far, but makes a profound plea for his annihilation of Islamic State immediately.

For its part, the White House has finally unleashed the "t-word."

"When you see somebody killed in such a horrific way, that represents a terrorist attack," White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters. "That represents a terrorist attack against our country, against an American citizen, and I think all of us have the Foley family in our thoughts and prayers."
Posted by JohnGalt at 4:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2014

"Never Again..."

A Facebook friend compared the Islamic State movement [ISIS] to Nazism in 20th century Germany. Given the wholesale mass murder that both ideologies engaged in, I think the comparison is a good one, and completely leaps over Godwin's Law. I replied with the following comment:

The analogy between "ISIS" (Islamic Statists) and NAZI Germany is apropos, but I think there is a more timely analogy for IS - namely, the Ebola virus. Islamism is an ideological virus comparable to the biological virus. Both viruses kill or make carriers of the majority of people which they contact. Both are merciless, and have no goal but their own propagation. Both pose a threat of spreading to every nation on Earth. They are impervious to reason or "negotiation." - So why does Ebola warrant emergency efforts by our NIH and deployment of our latest experimental "weapon" the ZMAPP drug, while the rapidly spreading Islamic Statist movement is met only with "limited airstrikes?"


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:09 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Michael Moynihan deliberately mentioned and then contravened Godwin's Law on The Independents last night, saying "This is Babi Yar."

Strong but undeniable words. There are no examples contradictory to equivalence.

I would certainly back the President on a forceful response, but I mistrust his judgment sufficiently to hope for caution. "Limited Air strikes" have been somewhat effective. A clandestine arming of the Kurds could be good politics and good policy.

Posted by: jk at August 21, 2014 5:31 PM

September 6, 2013

Quote of the Day

"The genius of you Americans," the Arab-nationalist and one-time president of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, once explained, "is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them which we are missing." -- via Jonah Goldberg
Posted by John Kranz at 10:34 AM | Comments (6)
But AndyN thinks:

I just got a mental image of Obama and Assad sitting across a makeshift table from one another, two goblets between them, one supposedly containing iocane powder. Unfortunately for us, I'm afraid the President doesn't understand which one of them is Vizzini.

Posted by: AndyN at September 6, 2013 12:46 PM
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at September 6, 2013 1:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

How is that scenario unfortunate for us?

Posted by: johngalt at September 6, 2013 3:43 PM
But AndyN thinks:

Because Vizzini thought he was clever enough to figure out which goblet had been poisoned, but The Man in Black knew that both goblets had been.

Our leader having a dizzying intellect is only beneficial to us if it results in our enemies letting our muddled approach scare them into behaving the way we want them to. I haven't seen any indication that that's the case.

Posted by: AndyN at September 6, 2013 4:29 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Unfortunately, in our world, our man at the table has Vizzini's mouth, Fezzik's brainpower, and Humperdinck's integrity - all the while getting ready to start a land war in Asia.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 7, 2013 10:27 AM
But Jk thinks:


Posted by: Jk at September 7, 2013 4:53 PM

August 30, 2013

Restoring America's Standing in the World

We can thank President Obama for showing the peoples of other nations that Americans are "sophisticated" and not mere reckless "cowboys."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:47 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2013

Friends like U.S.

As the pro-western Egyptian military declares, through its actions, that it is with George W. Bush and not the terrorists, America's government treats them like pariahs. If I didn't know better I'd think our President was with the terrorists. But there is scant evidence to the contrary. IBD editorial:

In 2009, his grandiose speech in Cairo apologized for America's historical role in the Middle East and snubbed Mubarak, setting the stage for the Egyptian president's overthrow by the mob.

When the worst-case scenario happened and an operative for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Morsi, was elected president, Obama's secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, went to Cairo and personally coddled him.

President Obama's foreign policy is reminiscent of his domestic economic policy, where he uses the power of government to punish winners and reward losers. With friends like him, Egypt (and American business) don't need enemies.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:18 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

I certainly agree it was bungled. And I'm not above blaming the President's ego. (Too bad Egypt had to try and get by for 5,000 years without his awesomeness).

But now that we're in the soup, I'm not sure fulsome support of the Military is a slam dunk. Bret Stephens presents it as the least-worst option, which I might buy. But al-Sisi as sort of a Dick Cheney with better aim . . . I'm not sure I'm buying that.

Posted by: jk at August 20, 2013 5:25 PM
But jk thinks:

OTOH: Ambassador Marc Ginsberg was on Kudlow last night and made a solid case for this.

Posted by: jk at August 21, 2013 2:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"McCain and Graham, the little Bobsey twins..." LOL! He walked it back, but still.

I'm not sure, but it sounded like Ambassador Ginsberg said the Egyptian army is racist. Isn't that what "displeasure with the Obama Administration" means?

Posted by: johngalt at August 22, 2013 3:14 PM
But jk thinks:

Damned Egyptian Army Racist Teabaggers!!!

Posted by: jk at August 22, 2013 3:48 PM

August 16, 2013

Quote of the Day

ADDENDUM: Egypt's pro-Morsi protesters announce today will be a 'Day of Rage' . . . raising the question of just what the heck we call Wednesday. -- Jim Geraghty
Posted by John Kranz at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

July 3, 2013

Otequay of the Ayday

"Do as I say, not as I do" edition-

"MS. PSAKI: Well, he was reiterating what the President has said publicly and what was also in the readout, which is that this is -- democracy is about more than just elections. It's about ensuring that people can have their voices heard -- peacefully, of course, is always the goal. And he -- and you saw that the President urged President Morsy to take steps to show that he is responsive to their concerns, and the Secretary agrees that that is an important step for the government to take."

From the State Department Daily Press Briefing today.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:32 PM | Comments (0)

May 9, 2013

Otequay of the Ayday

The common denominator of most of these examples is that they are failures of diplomacy, which is precisely what this administration had promised to be better at.

Barack Obama came into office partly on the basis of criticism of George W. Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the claims he and his supporters made was that diplomacy and "smart power" would be more effective than military force. But having championed diplomacy over war, Obama doesn't really seem to be all that interested in diplomacy, either.

That is the big picture that the Benghazi scandal reveals. -- Robert Tracinski in The Daily Debate

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:43 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2012

Benghazigate Boiling Over

A Washington Times column by James S. Robbins, dated October 28 (Sunday) shortly after midnight EDT, describes the October 18 announcement by SECDEF Panetta: "Today I am very pleased to announce that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command."

After remarking on the unusual timing of the leadership change, the column then reports an October 26 blog post by someone who cites an anonymous "inside the military [source] that I trust entirely."

The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.

General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.

The story continues that now General Rodiguez would take General Ham's place as the head of Africom.

Later the same day, October 28, a pentagon spokesman wrote Mr. Robbins and said, "The insinuations in your story are flat wrong."

Monday, October 29, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, released a statement:

"The speculation that General Carter Ham is departing Africa Command (AFRICOM) due to events in Benghazi, Libya on 11 September 2012 is absolutely false. General Ham's departure is part of routine succession planning that has been on going since July. He continues to serve in AFRICOM with my complete confidence."

And yet, at 3:30 pm EDT that same day James Robbins reported General at center of Benghazi-gate controversy retiring

The questions concerning General Ham's role in the September 11 events continue to percolate. Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, said that General Ham told him during a visit to Libya that he had never been asked to provide military support for the Americans under attack in Benghazi. Former United States Ambassador to the U.N. John R, Bolton also mentioned Mr. Chaffetz's account, and contrasted it with Mr. Panetta's statement that General Ham had been part of the team that made the decision not to send in forces. "General Ham has now been characterized in two obviously conflicting ways," Mr. Bolton concluded. "Somebody ought to find out what he actually was saying on September the eleventh."

More here in a 5-hour old Hot-Air post:

A blistering critique of the administration by retired Commander in Chief of the US Pacific Fleet that ends, "for our leadership to have deliberately ignored the pleas for assistance is not only incomprehensible, it is un-American."

And the following conclusion about General Carter Ham's "retirement."

James Robbins notes that the White House insisted that Ham took part in the decision not to supply assistance to the consulate, but Ham told Rep. Jason Chaffetz that no one had asked him about it. Ham’s retirement could mean that the Pentagon had some sort of disciplinary action pending against him over the incident (also the subject of much speculation, but little in the way of direct sourcing), or it could have a different meaning altogether. It would be inappropriate for Ham to criticize his Commander in Chief while still in uniform, although he could go to Congress to report any perceived malfeasance at any time.

Emphasis mine.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:39 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Your favorite blog optimist imagines a worst case scenario. That's what optimists do, right?

Benghazigate is boiling over on ThreeSources, Fox News, Instapundit, and probably Michelle Malkin. It got zero minutes on any non-Fox Sunday show. And any mentions in MSM (I hate to use that term but must here) refer to how the Romney camp is politicizing the deaths of four Americans.

In short, the media firewall will hold through the election. If President Obama wins, however, this will erupt, Watergate-like prosecuted in a GOP House.

But instead of Gerald Rudolph Ford, we get...

Posted by: jk at October 30, 2012 3:28 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Yeah, but before GRF we had Spiro Theodore Agnew.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 30, 2012 3:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Fair analysis. Let me offer a flicker of hope:

9News Questions President Obama on Libya Attack

Posted by: johngalt at October 30, 2012 3:42 PM

October 29, 2012

Benghazigate Update

The Washington DC CBS affiliate reported today this statement by Senator John McCain on Face the Nation yesterday:

"Nobody died in Watergate. But this [handling of Ambassador Stevens' murder by terrorists] is either a massive cover-up or incompetence that is not acceptable service to the American people," McCain told "Face the Nation." "The American people may take that into consideration a week from Tuesday."

In Why did Obama choose to “stand down” in Benghazi? a Powerline blogger expounds on the General Petraeus revelation that "No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need" as was posted here in a comment on Friday.

Voters, then, must assess the administration’s handling of Benghazi with limited information. But we do know this: (1) the administration erred grievously by leaving open our mission in Benghazi while turning down requests for more security, (2) the administration made the wrong decision on the day of the attack by not bringing our military to bear, a decision consistent with Obama’s instincts, and (3) the administration has not been forthcoming or honest in its discussion of Benghazi after the fact.

These facts, without more, present a serious indictment of Obama.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:59 PM | Comments (0)

October 4, 2012

America: Frack Yeah!

How many times have we heard the left make baseless claims that Big Oil uses its money and influence to stamp out competition wherever it can, and thereby maximize their own profits? Investors Business Daily printed an editorial yesterday that now, finally, substantiates that claim. But it's not what you might think. In this case "Big Oil" equals Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Russia's state-owned oil monopolies.

Venezuela's state Foundation National Cinematheque has been financially linked to "Gasland," a 2011 anti-fracking documentary whose aim was to paint fracking in the U.S. as dangerous.


This week, the Heritage Foundation's Lachlan Markey found that United Arab Emirates-owned "Image Media Abu Dhabi" financed "Promised Land," a Matt Damon film that shows U.S. oil and gas companies as greedy behemoths out to poison America's small towns.


Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has been accused of financing radical environmentalist groups through foundations to undercut oil sands production in Canada, which is America's top supplier.

If you have to ask why they oppose American energy production, here is the answer:

All this signals something big is at stake in global power politics: fracking, which threatens petrotyrants as no nuclear weapon ever has. The Gulf states, Venezuela and Russia derive their power solely from their dominance in energy production, not by their economies.

If fracking and the combination of investment, high tech, expertise and geography enable the U.S. to produce natural gas at $3 a unit, while Russia can only do it at $10, the threat is obvious.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:56 PM | Comments (3)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Yes, yes, YES. American inexpensive energy explosion coming even if Obama gets reelected...he'll try to stop it, of course, but I don't think he can. Private land still exists!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 4, 2012 3:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ah, the idealism of private property. Don't bet that he can't stop it. Private property owners don't own the air, don't own the underground water, don't own the snail darters and wooley amoebas.

Good NED man, have you not read the book? (He asks, knowingly.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2012 3:36 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

I will revise and expand my remarks...I don't think Obama in his second term will have the political capital to kill the American energy revolution. Congress won't let him and a lot of union folks are counting on it. His theoretical Gaiaean Marxism will clash too much with reality. Objective reality!

Thankfully, I think we have a good chance of a different President who will be pushing the car DOWN the track instead of putting on the brakes as hard as possible. But as in "the book," there is the possibility that Wesley Mouch will be appointed "Czar" with the power to screw things up. I don't totally discount that.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 4, 2012 3:51 PM

September 12, 2012

There's Still a War Going On

Mideast popular opinion, we were told by candidate Obama, is anti-American because they see us as meddlers in their local affairs. We based our troops in the land of Mecca, which was supposedly the final motivation for Osama bin Laden to found al Qaeda and target America, Americans and the World Trade Center on 9/11. President Obama promised to change all of this by bringing home the troops and extending an olive branch to Islamic states and shadow groups alike.

As long ago as 2010, when General Stanley McChrystal was recalled from the effort to "liberate" Afghanistan, the president sought to apply his strategy to the mideast conflict:

Barack Obama, apparently frustrated at the way the war is going, has reminded his national security advisers that while he was on the election campaign trail in 2008, he had advocated talking to America's enemies.


Some Afghan policy specialists are sceptical about whether negotiations would succeed. Peter Bergen, a specialist on Afghanistan and al-Qaida, told a US Institute of Peace seminar in Washington last week that there were a host of problems with such a strategy, not least why the Taliban should enter negotiations "when they think they are winning".

At the same time he offers to "talk to America's enemies" he has intensified efforts to eliminate terrorist leaders, including a top al Qaeda leader, Abu Yahya al-Libi. Killed by a U.S. missile in June, Senator Ben Nelson today suggested that Ambassador Christopher Stevens' killing yesterday in Libya may have been meant as revenge.

Did the president really believe he could conduct covert operations throughout the middle east without incurring the same kind of backlash his mentor Jeremiah Wright claimed to be the cause of 9/11? Whether it is better to fight terrorists or talk to them is less at issue with this administration than the schizophrenia that leads them to attempt both at the same time.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:17 PM | Comments (0)

Playing Israel's cards

As The Refugee watched Egyptian protesters burn the American flag on 9/11, he muttered, "Sooner or later, we're gonna have it out with these guys." And that was before our ambassador to Libya was killed.

Then, this morning's WSJ carried a front page article concerning a rift between President Obama and Our Bibi. It got The Refugee to thinking. How should Israel proceed in the face of existential Iranian nukes? If Israel attacks before the election and Obama does not support them, he loses in a landslide. If he does support them, he wins in a landslide. On the other hand, if Obama wins and Israel attacks after the election, there's a strong possibility that the preznit hangs them out to dry. Netanyahu is no idiot and neither is Obama. (Well, Obama may be an economic idiot, but you know what The Refugee means.) Of course, Romney could win, but can Israel take that chance in a very tight election? The Refugee expects an attack within two weeks after the upcoming UN goat rodeo.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 8:15 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Carrying your analysis to its logical next-step, if Israel attacks before the election and Obama supports them and wins in a landslide, there's a strong possibility that President Obama hangs them out to dry for 'four more years' after the election.

It seems to me that Israel's fate, like America's, hangs in the balance of the coming election. I expect Israel to do nothing that might aid the re-election of America's first anti-capitalist, anti-Zionist president. After all, if I know the Israelis at all, I'm sure they intend to be "on the face of the map" for at least another 4 years and 2 months.

Posted by: johngalt at September 12, 2012 11:53 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Yes, but once the US is engaged, it's much more difficult to disengage without repercussions.

The Refugee would also point out there are orders of magnitude difference between our shared interest in a Romney win. If Obama wins, we are faced with higher taxes and varying degrees with a welfare state. Israel is faced with the possibility of seven million citizens having their bones ground into nuclear dust.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 12, 2012 6:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

A valid first point BR. On your second, every student of Rand understands that without freedom of action and choice a man is not fully human. Whether one's body is destroyed or one's mind, in either case his human life is ended. Granted, a nuclear detonation is essentially instantaneous and therefore irreversible - but the egalitarian fascist state which by most indications Mr. Obama desires for America is no less deadly.

Posted by: johngalt at September 12, 2012 7:26 PM

June 19, 2012

Tweet of the Day

And we have a winner. . .

Posted by John Kranz at 6:33 PM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2011

Remember the Sudetenland

President Obama addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference this morning, days after giving away Israel's most valuable bargaining chip in a negotiation that Israel's "peace partner" has no interest in negotiating over. As is usually the case, his error lies in his premise.

Now, I have said repeatedly that core issues can only be negotiated in direct talks between the parties. (Applause.) And I indicated on Thursday that the recent agreement between Fatah and Hamas poses an enormous obstacle to peace. (Applause.) No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction. (Applause.) And we will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace, including recognizing Israel’s right to exist and rejecting violence and adhering to all existing agreements. (Applause.)

I suppose this has never been tried before. Nobody ever thought to "demand" that Israel's enemies not attack her. It does seem so simple doesn't it? Perhaps a written agreement not to invade, signed by the recognized leader of the portending aggressor would be of more value if it included such a "demand." What a different world it might be if only Neville Chamberlain had thought of this.

Instead, Chamberlain presided over an agreement that handed over the The Sudetenland to the Germans. "The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans" and "was of immense strategic importance to Czechoslovakia, as most of its border defenses were situated there, and many of its banks were located there as well."

History repeats.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:45 PM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2011

He Said, He Said

Osama bin Laden:

But he urged Muslims to seize the moment. “A delay may cause the opportunity to be lost, and carrying it out before the right time will increase the number of casualties,” he said. “I think that the winds of change will blow over the entire Muslim world, with permission from Allah.”

President Barack Obama:

The world looks at a conflict that has grinded on and on and on, and sees nothing but stalemate. Indeed, there are those who argue that with all the change and uncertainty in the region, it is simply not possible to move forward now. I disagree. At a time when the people of the Middle East and North Africa are casting off the burdens of the past, the drive for a lasting peace that ends the conflict and resolves all claims is more urgent than ever.
Posted by JohnGalt at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2011

A Liberal Who Gets It?

Mike Littwin, a liberal columnist at the Denver Post, is normally a reliable mouthpiece for Democrat talking points. But, in an apparent effort to prove the broken clock theory, Littwin expresses one of the most realistic views regarding Libya in today's edition.

If this is a humanitarian mission, we can't leave until Khadafy is gone. That much is obvious. Pull out the missiles and the bombs, and if Khadafy's still there, he can do whatever he likes to whomever he pleases.

If this is a tactical mission — reinforcing the Arab Spring by springing Libyans from 40 years of tyranny — we can't leave until Libyans are, in fact, free of Khadafy because otherwise the mission would be, yes, unaccomplished.

No matter what Obama says, this is necessarily a regime change effort. The Refugee recommends that you read the whole thing. Mark the event on your calendar.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 6:35 PM | Comments (0)

Bachmann on Libya: Hell no I wouldn't go

In the continuing dialog over the judgement and temperment of 2012 candidate Bachmann the congresswoman has given me another reason to sing her praises. Michele Bachmann appeared on the Today Show with Matt Lauer Wednesday. The full transcript and video are here on Newsbusters, including a few times when she seemed to be the experienced interviewer and he the neophyte candidate. But the bottom line was this:

"And we also have not identified it an American vital international interest. That must be done before the United States can intervene in another nation's affairs."

Principled strength. Our armed forces are not at the world's beck and call but she's also not calling for a Libertarian's Fortress America. By implication she would be willing to intervene in another nation if there were a vital American interest.

I'd excerpt more for the entertainment value but I don't want to dilute the message: This woman makes decisions based on objective principles, not emotion and feelings. Or for the cynics among you, she's at the very least trying to make it look that way, which is more than you can say about the President of the United States.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:11 AM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2011

Summarizing Libya

Here's the situation with our involvement with Libya:

No clear mission
No clear leadership
No strategic objective
No clear rules of engagement
No definition of success or victory to indicate when we can get out

Thus, we have an indefinite engagement. Sure glad we got rid of the Cowboy Bush.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 10:26 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

But it is a multi-lateral morass!

Posted by: jk at March 29, 2011 10:57 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

An expensive multi-lateral morass at that. Good thing we're so flush with cash that we can afford to pay for it all. By the way, the costs of this multi-kinetic Charlie Foxtrot are being shared multi-laterally on a pro rata basis, right?


And by the way, where are all the Young Socialist Alliance sign-wavers with their "No Blood For Oil" signs, the way they were there against Bush's war in Iraq. One simple edit - "No Blood For EUROPE'S Oil" - and they should be ready for the streetcorners...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 29, 2011 12:59 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Keith, what would a Charlie Foxtrot be without kinetics??

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at March 29, 2011 2:18 PM

March 28, 2011

Could it Work?

This morning, via email:

Solution to the problem in Libya:

They want a new Muslim leader.....

I say, give them ours.

Solves 2 problems.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:49 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'll see, and raise. I hear tell the Iranian mullahs have announced the imminent arrival of the Twelfth Imam. What say we send Sir Golfsalot over to take on that role? That worship-starved ego might get sufficiently stroked by being offered a caliphate.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 28, 2011 8:30 PM

March 24, 2011

Could someone please enlighten The Refugee?

The Refugee has become confused lately and is in need of enlightenment. Liberal talking heads have justified the current military action in Libya as "sanctioned by the international community." Just who the hell is the "international community?" When GWB entered the second Gulf war with three UN resolutions behind him and the support of the UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, Poland, The Netherlands, the Czech Republic and others, he was a "cowboy" acting alone and without support of the "international community." Now that Obama is bombing Libya after a single UN resolution and in concert with a half-dozen nations, he is doing so with the support of the "international community."

As near as The Refugee can tell, the "international community" is "other liberals who think like we do." Perhaps that's what they meant when they said Obama was a "community organizer." Please help.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 11:54 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

It's like this: Western moral judgement is, far too much, a relative notion. Said moral judgement is, far too much, adjudicated by the establishment press (my new, untested, term for whom is "dinosaur media.") The dinosaur media loves traditional feminists in general, and Hillary Clinton in particular. The action is Libya is not Obama's war, but Hillary's. Therefore, the dinosaur media approves and everything is cool.

Posted by: johngalt at March 24, 2011 1:53 PM

March 23, 2011

Revenge for Vietnam?

Under the original headline Obama Has 'No Doubt' US Can Transfer Command to Coalition
Bloomberg reports that President Obama is intent on "transfer[ring] control of this operation" in Libya to someone else. This isn't the only tacit admission that the intervention in Libya's civil war is an American operation. "Obama said the U.S. took command at the start of the campaign because of the "unique capabilities" of its military for the attack on Libyan air defenses." "We did it because we could" he seems to be saying. And what is the "coalition" that the President wants to dump this responsibility upon?

The allies are considering a proposal, backed by France, to create a political steering committee that would oversee military operations using NATO's command structure. It would consist of the 12 nations that have committed to participating, according to a Western diplomat familiar with the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Sarkozy, one of the most vocal proponents of the no-fly zone, said full command by NATO risked prejudicing non-NATO Arab forces. Germany and Turkey, two NATO members, have opposed putting the alliance in charge.

In the 1960's France succeeded in handing off its war in the French colony of Vietnam to the United States. This may be America's revenge with a similar shameful abrogation.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:43 AM | Comments (0)