War Archives

Friday Link Wrap-up

A verse I found highlighted by a friend on Facebook:

Proverbs 26:18-19 (New International Version 1984, ©1984)

18 Like a madman shooting
   firebrands or deadly arrows
19 is a man who deceives his neighbor
   and says, “I was only joking!”

The Left seems to forget their own hateful rhetoric when they start to point fingers at Sarah Palin. “…a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it.” “I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact.” “Somebody’s going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he’s going to explode like a giant blimp.” Indeed. These and other gems at Q&O.


On the (much) lighter side, I have finally been convinced that you should only put 1 space after a period, not two. I’m endeavoring to do so in this post, but it’s a hard habit to break.

Living up their promises, the Republicans have put forth a proposal for $2.5 trillion of spending cuts. Since it’s that amount over 10 years, it’s still only a drop in the bucket. But it’s more than they have suggested in the past (as far as I know) and certainly more than Democrats ever have. If the Dems want to criticize the choices of where to cut, let’s just see them propose their own.

I grew up in the Salvation Army denomination. (Yes, it’s a denomination.) Representatives from around the world are currently meeting to elect the next General, the administrative head of the Salvation Army. You can follow events on their web page, get e-mail updates, or even follow them on Twitter.

Cutting sugar, sodium and trans fats. Buying more produce locally. Cutting price premiums for healthier food options. That’s Wal-Mart for you. (Yeah, that Wal-Mart).

In Houston, it’s apparently safer for the homeless to go hungry than to get a meal that hasn’t been government certified.

Reason TV asks, what happened to the antiwar movement? It gives a serious look at the disappearance of a group that was so huge while Bush was President. Glenn Reynolds notes, they were useful idiots until they stopped being useful.

Charles Krauthammer:

Suppose someone – say, the president of United States – proposed the following: We are drowning in debt. More than $14 trillion right now. I’ve got a great idea for deficit reduction. It will yield a savings of $230 billion over the next 10 years: We increase spending by $540 billion while we increase taxes by $770 billion.

He’d be laughed out of town. And yet, this is precisely what the Democrats are claiming as a virtue of Obamacare.

Some say that if spending $X saves us $Y down the road(where Y is greater than X), then the government should spend it. But ObamaCare is much more a behemoth than simply judicious spending on road repairs before they get much worse. The claim that repealing ObamaCare will cost us money is ridiculous for Krauthammer’s reason.  Amazing.

And finally:

Yeah, About Those WMDs…

They existed, and probably still exist, though in other hands.  Again, this comes to us from the Wikileaks espionage, but it at least confirms what we already knew (and what the media wouldn’t tell us nor the Left believe).

The release by Julian Assange’s web site Wikileaks of classified documents reveals that U.S. military intelligence discovered chemical weapons labs, encountered insurgents who were specialists in the creation of toxins, and uncovered weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. However, Washington, DC officials and the news media have ignored this information.

One of the WikiLeaks document dumps reveals that as late as 2008, American troops continued to find WMD in the region.

Granted, this was not the huge weapons program that many national intelligence services thought was going on, but it wasn’t nothing, either.

WikiLeaks documents don’t reveal evidence of a massive weapons program by Saddam Hussein — the Bush administration’s leading rationale for invading Iraq — or some enormous stockpile of WMD, but do reveal that chemical weapons did vanish from the Iraqi battlefield.

According to the latest WikiLeaks document "dump," Saddam’s toxic arsenal, significantly reduced after the Gulf War, remained intact. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict and may have brewed up their own deadly agents, according to the WikiLeaks web site.

During that time, former Iraqi General Georges Sada, Saddam’s top commander, detailed the transfers of Iraq’s WMD. "There [were] weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands," Mr. Sada said. "I am confident they were taken over."

The shift to Syria has long been discussed, but now at least we see more evidence that the diplomatic and intelligence communities all believe this.

Worth a read to see what other things our troops found in Iraq, especially if you didn’t see any of that reported in the media.

Friday Link Wrap-up

Yes, it’s that time of the week again, where I toss out a bunch of links that I was too lazy to do a full blog post on.

Turns out the Iraq war didn’t break the bank.  It’s understandable that you might think that, but that only indicates a need to get your news from more sources.  The MSM loves to parrot DNC talking points.

(Liberal) feminism is dead.  Long live (conservative) feminism!

Jim Wallis said that Marvin Olasky (World magazine editor) “lies for a living” when Olasky noted that Wallis got $200,000 from George Soros.  When it was pointed out that he, in fact, did, then came the abject apology in sackcloth and ashes, “Well, it was so small I forgot.” UPDATE:  Wallis has issued a formal apology.
Three months ago, James Cameron was ready to “call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads”, speaking of those who dispute anthropogenic global warming.  At the very last minute, after changing his demands over and over for how a debate was to be run, he cancelled.  Now that takes guts.  Or something.

In England, teachers are dropping history lessons on the Holocaust and the Crusades, for fear of offending Muslims who are taught Holocaust denial and a different view of the Crusades at local mosques.  They’re afraid of challenging “anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils”.  So much for academia being the standard bearer of truth and free speech.

A back door repeal of the First Amendment by … social workers?  Well, when liberal ideologues get ahold of professional organizations, nuttiness does ensue.  Look at most unions.

And finally, a US district judge put a temporary halt to embryonic stem cell research.  Some believe this will devastate scientific research, but  Steve Breen puts it in perspective.  (Click for a larger image.)

If you had information about local organized crime activities, and were contemplating giving this information to the police, would you be more or less willing to be an informant if you knew your name might be associated with that information?  Would you be willing to take that chance?

Yeah, me neither.

NewsBusters, in a post regarding all the classified information dumped to the public via the NY Times and, more recently, by Wikileaks, noted Jim Miklaszewski discussing this on MSNBC.

Not only are those named put at risk, but those who might potentially cooperate with the Americans are probably not going to do it now. You know, often allies, U.S. allies, have told the Pentagon, State Department, why should we cooperate with you, because whatever we tell you is going to end up on the front pages of the New York Times.

That’s one of the complaints, actually, specifically from Pakistan.  Every time U.S. officials travel to Islamabad to sit down and try to gain increased cooperation from Pakistan, inevitably, we are told, they complain about press leaks that jeopardize anything they’re going to do in conjunction with the U.S.

(Emphasis supplied by NB.) 

While Pfc. Bradley Manning may have had a legitimate beef with how portions of the Afghanistan War have been run, his implication in this massive document dump to Wikileaks far overshadows his initial charges.  If he’d kept the dump relevant to his whistleblowing, I’d think much better of him (aside from the fact that he didn’t go through the normal channels the military has set up for whistleblowers). 

But this dump, purporting to merely foster transparency, has damaged our credibility with potential sources, and given our enemies a boatload of late summer reading.  Just as there were other, proper ways for Pfc. Manning to get his point across, there are better ways to foster transparency than giving aid to our enemies and discomfort to those who might help us defend ourselves.

The Iraqi WMD Question

The question of where Saddam Hussein’s WMDs went that the whole world believed were there has been knocked around since at least 2004, with the most popular answer being Syria.  There was some evidence of it, that the MSM cheerfully ignored, but it’s back in the news today because President Obama’s pick for replacement of the Director of National Intelligence believes this is true

Ryan Mauro of Pajamas Media has an article today about new satellite imagery that is lending new credence to this thought.  Worth a read.

Civilian Casualties: Then and Now

That was then:

We are in a war because the Generals want to play with their toys and don’t give a damn how many people get hurt in the process.  We are in a war without direction, or discipline, led by a disengaged simpleton who will do whatever he is told by the unelected war mongers who are running our government. 

This is now:

Now, we seem to be in a fight against a force of vicious murderers, using civilians as human shields, and misleading us at every turn, while taking a high toll on NATO troops.  But the military is not supposed to kill anyone?!!!

(Emphasis hers.)  Same DailyKos diarist, and encouraged in both statements by droves of commenters.  The difference?  The first was written in September, 2008 against the military causing the death of 90 civilians.  The second was written yesterday, against the president of Afghanistan condemning the deaths of 27 civilians.

That was then as well, by another Kos writer, who gets front page access.

One million dead. And each day, a few more. If that isn’t a reason to flood the streets in D.C. tomorrow and in your hometown all this week and next Friday for the Iraq Moratorium, what is?

But this is now, and it looks like the Left is going all warmonger on us in the Middle East.  Hey, it’s their guy doing it, so now they can take credit for it and declare victory. 

The double-standard-bearers are certainly hoping we won’t notice.  They probably don’t really notice themselves.

Afghanistan Surge Roundup

President Obama announced yesterday evening that he’s authorizing 30,000 more troops for Afghanistan.  Reactions to it have been just about what you’d expect. 

The NY Times headline is, "Qualified Support From G.O.P.; Skepticism From Democrats", and the article quotes Democrats upset at it and Republicans with guarded approval, with some concern over a specific timetable. 

Bruce McQuain at the Q&O blog expounds more regarding the timetable.  Bruce is a military man, and so he speaks with some authority on the subject.  When it comes to how quickly they will leave, and how quickly they will come home, he doesn’t quite understand the possibility of the speed going out and the purpose of the speed coming back.

Obama says these troops will deploy by fastest means possible. Additonally he said:

Let me be clear: there has never been an option before me that called for troop deployments before 2010, so there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war.

Well let me be clear – deploying troops to a theater of war takes a long lead time. Preparation and training are key. While it is probably true that there were no calls for deployments before 2010, a 3 month delay means 3 months in which the alerted units are shorted vital training time. And now the deployment cycle is going to be speeded up because he’s trying to cover his tail? Guess who suffers to make him look better?

To this point, I’ve laid out a plausible but complex military mission. But it moves from “plausible and complex” to impossible with this line:

After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home.

Even getting the deployment cycle initiated as quickly as possible, the troops (most likely 3 BCTs, a Marine MEU, 4,000 trainers and a command and control element of 7,000) will take 12 to 18 months to complete their deployment. So how is this a surge if as the last unit arrives in country as the first leaves?

He also notes that, if he were part of the Taliban, who have been fighting since the 80s, holding out for 18 months is a cakewalk.

But going from those who think we need more troops to properly get the job done (especially if you include building infrastructure) to those who want less, we start with a blistering opinion piece in Der Spiegel.

Never before has a speech by President Barack Obama felt as false as his Tuesday address announcing America’s new strategy for Afghanistan. It seemed like a campaign speech combined with Bush rhetoric — and left both dreamers and realists feeling distraught.


For each troop movement, Obama had a number to match. US strength in Afghanistan will be tripled relative to the Bush years, a fact that is sure to impress hawks in America. But just 18 months later, just in time for Obama’s re-election campaign, the horror of war is to end and the draw down will begin. The doves of peace will be let free.

This left-leaning periodical, from one of those countries that was going to love us once we jettisoned Dubya, is more polite than other domestic Democrats who are throwing their guy under the bus.

Well, OK, that last link is to a blog post discussing the chatter on Democratic Underground, a rather bottom-feeding, though very popular, site.  How about the reaction from Christians who are Democrats?  Lemme tell you, Jim Wallis ain’t happy.  And neither are most of the commenters to the post.  But this one comment, from someone disappointed in Obama’s move, puts it best.

Obama supported this war from the beginning. During his campaign, he called it a "good war" and promised to put more resources into it. He has kept his promise.

All of you who supported his candidacy while claiming to be pro-peace should be doing some major rethinking. I hope you don’t make the mistake of supporting pro-war politicians again in the future.

Reading comments from the Left today, you’d think they expected that he would break that promise; that it was just made to get enough votes to win.  Is that the way to get more honesty in Washington?  Hmmm.

But when all is said and done, I’m with Don Surber who says that, since politics stops (or, well, should stop) at the water’s edge, we should support the President’s decision, and pray for the troops who will be deployed.  We should anyway, of course, but an event like this can bring more attention to this need. 

Can Diplomacy Fail?

The answer is "Yes", but when it does, this is not necessarily a failure of those trying to prevent conflict.  At times, this is simply a result of the motivations of the belligerent. 

In response to my post on the blog "Stones Cry Out" about the delusions of negotiating with Iran, commenter Dan Trabue responded with why negotiation and pressure should be able to convince Iran not to go nuclear, and if it didn’t then it was a failing on our part.  If we go to war, it is an admission of failure on our part "that we’ve failed to outsmart this particular unreasonable leader."

I disagree.  Let’s look at some major cases.

Saddam Hussein had been negotiated with for decades.  Not even the first Gulf War was enough to keep him back.  Iraq regularly fired at coalition planes enforcing the No-Fly zone after the liberation of Kuwait (a country, by the way, that we liberated even though they had been a close ally of the Soviets and were extremely anti-Israel).  The UN and most Western governments (and in the US, both Democrats and Republicans) believed that Hussein was hiding WMDs.  He hindered UN weapons inspectors.  The threat of war from the US didn’t even move him.  This was a madman bent on both personal power and funding anti-Semitism.  There was nothing to give him that would take away those desires. 

Let’s go back a little further…

Read the rest of this entry

The Forgotten War … Protestor

Remember Cindy Sheehan?  Well if you don’t, that’s OK.  Neither do here one-time comrades-in-arms who sat with her outside Bush’s Crawford ranch trying to get an 2nd meeting with the Commander-in-Chief.  She’s up in Martha’s Vineyard protesting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but she doesn’t have much company.

And neither does the media, who covered her so extensively, remember her, either.  It’s so bad that in order for the Huffington Post to even link to a story on her, it had to resort to quoting that stalwart national news organization the Cape Cod Times.

It was a media circus during the Bush years.  Now, suddenly, it’s gotten very, very quiet.  What a difference an administration makes.

Not So Much Anti-War As Anti-Bush

That was then.

Remember the anti-war movement? Not too long ago, the Democratic party’s most loyal voters passionately opposed the war in Iraq. Democratic presidential candidates argued over who would withdraw American troops the quickest. Netroots activists regularly denounced President George W. Bush, and sometimes the U.S. military ("General Betray Us"). Cindy Sheehan, the woman whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, became a heroine when she led protests at Bush’s Texas ranch.

This is now.

The news that emerged is that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have virtually fallen off the liberal radar screen. Kossacks (as fans of DailyKos like to call themselves) who were consumed by the Iraq war when George W. Bush was president are now, with Barack Obama in the White House, not so consumed, either with Iraq or with Obama’s escalation of the conflict in Afghanistan. In fact, they barely seem to care.

As part of a straw poll done at the convention, the Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg presented participants with a list of policy priorities like health care and the environment. He asked people to list the two priorities they believed "progressive activists should be focusing their attention and efforts on the most." The winner, by far, was "passing comprehensive health care reform." In second place was enacting "green energy policies that address environmental concerns."

And what about "working to end our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan"? It was way down the list, in eighth place.

Perhaps more tellingly, Greenberg asked activists to name the issue that "you, personally, spend the most time advancing currently." The winner, again, was health care reform. Next came "working to elect progressive candidates in the 2010 elections." Then came a bunch of other issues. At the very bottom — last place, named by just one percent of participants — came working to end U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The only principle it seems that the vast majority of the Left stood for was partisan politics.  Their righteous indignation was so much veneer for their simple hatred of Dubya. 

 Page 3 of 11 « 1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »