Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday, ISIS did what ISIS does – blow up churches full of innocent people. To really break your heart, you can read this story of one of our newest martyrs, and one of the youngest.

I do believe that if someone were to strike me on one cheek, if I were to really follow Christ’s teaching, I’d turn to him the other. On the other hand, if I see someone moving to strike another person, I believe I have a moral obligation to try and stop them. We are not, I believe, to stand aside while evil is being done, if we can in any way prevent it. So, we must battle ISIS. It isn’t a choice. It isn’t about nation building, or defense policy, or foreign policy, of political issues – it is a simple choice to run to ground those who have, in a very real sense, outlawed themselves from civil society.

Before anyone gets all about Muslims on this, do keep in mind that at least several Muslims gave their lives trying to protect those Christian churches. There is a deep problem in Islam: this is something which cannot be ignored and we dare not ignore it. Our lives and the lives of large numbers of innocent people – including Muslims – depends on our facing the truth. The problem will Islam will not go away merely by our fighting ISIS – vital as that task is: it will only go away when the Muslim world, itself, starts to work vigorously against those who spread the poison of ISIS. And that, I think, won’t happen until we stand firmly against ISIS and groups like them, and demonstrate to the world that we will not tolerate their actions…nor tolerate those who turn a blind eye, hoping that ISIS attacks them last.

Ending World War Two

August 6th was the 70th anniversary of the atomic attack on Hiroshima and there was a lot of the usual hand-wringing about the deed from the usual suspects – Arthur K over at Ace has a good round up of counter-arguments to that sentiment. Most notably the fact that those who complain about the bombing aren’t those soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who would have had to invade Japan in November of 1945 if the Bomb hadn’t done the trick. I admit to a bias in this area as one of the Marines who would have had to hit the Japanese beaches was my father. There is a high probability that I wouldn’t exist if the Bomb hadn’t been dropped.

People also tend to just not know how savage the Pacific War was. I recently for the first time watched Flags of Our Fathers. It was a bit of a disjointed movie and I won’t put it down as one of Eastwood’s best efforts, but there is a scene in there which moved me nearly to tears. It is when the son of one of the Marines who raise the flag on Suribachi is talking to his aged, now-dying father in the hospital. It reminded me terribly of the last few days I had my father with me. As the story goes, that son never really knew what his father had done in World War Two – he only really found out by going through his father’s things after he died. I never even got that much.

My father never told me about the war. The only thing I ever got out of him was, “it smelled like blood and shit”. His battle was Saipan. Nearly 14,000 American casualties, including more than 3,400 dead – in less than a month of fighting. Japanese dead ran above 50,000, including around 20,000 civilian dead, many of whom committed suicide rather than fall into our hands, because the Japanese military told them we’d murder them all if captured. That is more than 53,000 dead in less than a month in an area less than 45 square miles. Just try, for a moment, to imagine what the place looked like on July 9th, 1944 when the island was declared secure. There must have been bodies just everywhere – and as it was war, the bodies would have been in quite a horrible state. Even if dad didn’t have to engage in hand-to-hand fighting, what his 17 year old eyes must have seen had to have been grim beyond description. Six months prior he was a high school boy living the sheltered life of the United States. And he carried that with him for 65 years. I wondered why he was so distant at times. But I think, now, I understand.

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A Retired Admiral’s Take on Benghazi

The following is a letter that was re-printed in a military newsletter I get from a retired navy admiral to Bill O’Reilly regarding the entire Benghazi affair.  I originally posted this at the end of the recent Benghazi thread.

Mr. O’Reilly,

I am mad as hell because the truth about how combatant commanders and the department of state can and should protect embassies is not being clearly explained. The fact is that there are policies, precedent, resources and procedures that could and should have prevented the embassy in Benghazi from coming under attack, or defended it if it did come under attack, or vacated it if the threat was too high. The ongoing discussion on your show and elsewhere that centers on the video and subsequent cover up is necessary as is the discussion about whether or not we should have responded during the attack. But those discussions have not brought to light the fact that none of this should have happened in the first place.

Fact: The combatant commanders, in this case AFRICOM, have access to our national inventory of intelligence community resources as well as international resources in order to thoroughly understand the risks and threats in any part of their Area of Responsibility (AOR). The complete picture of what was happening in Libya should have been known by AFRICOM leaders and this should have been briefed up the chain daily.

Fact: The first two cornerstones of AFRICOM’s mission are (1) Deter and defeat transnational threats posed by al-Qa’ida and other extremist organizations and (2) Protect U.S. security interests by ensuring the safety of Americans and American interests from transnational threats… In other words it is the mission of AFRICOM to prevent exactly what happened at the embassy in Benghazi.

Fact: The policy is for AFRICOM leaders to work in-conjunction with the state department’s Regional Security Officer (RSO) to establish the threat and then work with the Joint Staff and inter-agency to quickly provide plans and resources to deny that threat.

Fact: There are units specifically designed to bolster security in embassies. The USMC has three companies of Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams (FAST) and one of these companies (or units from it) could have been deployed to FASTEUR in Rota, Spain, as the risk materialized. Each company has six platoons of 50 men each.

Fact: In July 2003 when I was the J3 at European command (AFRICOM had not been created yet) we had a similar situation develop in Liberia whereby two warring factions were threatening the embassy in Monrovia. The EUCOM team began planning for embassy support PRIOR to Ambassador Blaney’s request. When he did ask for help, we responded immediately, worked with his staff and received SECDEF approval to deploy a single FAST team platoon from Rota to the embassy to provide security. We worked with the Joint Staff and created the mission and structure for Joint Task Force Liberia, an anti-terrorism force based upon USS Iwo Jima and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

Fact: Elements from the MEU arrived and relieved the FAST platoon. The warring parties signed a cease fire, the embassy in Monrovia was secured, no Americans were hurt.

So, the questions are:

1. What was the assessed level of threat in Libya prior to the September attack?

2. If it was not considered high then what were the intelligence failures that lead to that wrong conclusion?

3. If the threat was considered high then why wasn’t a FAST team or other resource deployed?

4. What did Ambassador Stephen’s see as his threat and what did he ask for? If he asked for help and was not provided it, that is inconceivable to me. My two bosses at EUCOM, General Chuck Wald (USAF) and General James L. Jones (USMC) would have bent over backwards to provide anything the ambassador asked for and more. They would have leaned on the Joint Staff to provide the authority to deploy and, in fact, during the Liberian situation described above, they were pushing me every day to provide solutions for the Joint Staff to approve. And should anyone forget, this was July of 2003. We were already in Afghanistan and had invaded Iraq just four months before. We were busy but not preoccupied.

Very Respectfully,
Hamlin Tallent
RADM, USN, retired

The admiral raises a lot of good points.  I guess we’ll see where this goes.  At least the right guy is chairing the select committee.  If Congressman Goudy doesn’t have the cajones to get to the whole truth in this matter, then I doubt that anyone can.

 

 

 

White House is Staging A Bloodless Coup!

OK, folks–here’s the deal- I don’t think too many people are realizing this:

1. We currently gather TEN TIMES the amount of revenue required to service our debt, EVERY MONTH.

2. The 14th Amendment states that WE MUST honor and service our debts; meaning that paying and servicing debt MUST COME FIRST.

3. Barack Obama has been threatening that we WILL DEFAULT on our debt if the debt ceiling is not raised in two days.

4. The ONLY way this can happen, is if Barack Obama IGNORES the 14th Amendment and REFUSES to service the debt. This means that Barack Obama MUST OPENLY DEFY the Constitution to bring about what he threatens will happen.

5. Understand also that I believe that Barack Obama FULLY INTENDS to carry out his threat. I believe that Barack Obama MEANS, in direct opposition to the 14th Amendment, to ALLOW the United States to go into default. Like a terrorist with his finger on the button of his suicide vest, he is threatening to DESTROY THE FULL FAITH AND CREDIT OF THE UNITED STATES, placing our economy in RUIN, unless Congress meets his every demand.

6. In effect, Barack Obama is staging what amounts to nothing less than a COUP– a complete usurpation of the power of the purse that IS EXCLUSIVELY THE PURVIEW of the duly and locally elected United States House of Representatives.

7. In completely and WILLFULLY ignoring his Constitutional responsibilities with respect to the 14th Amendment, Barack Obama has effectually denounced the primacy of the U.S. Constitution. He is effectively governing by EXECUTIVE FIAT.

In other words, Barack Obama HAS THROWN AWAY THE CONSTITUTION and is in effect GOVERNING AS A DICTATOR!

UNDERSTAND THIS, PEOPLE–THIS IS NOT HYPERBOLE!

An Open Letter to NBC

I wrote this to NBC news earlier today, but it could be easily applied to any of the fellow-traveler networks:

Dear NBC News:

You no doubt have now heard the news that the Obama administration’s Situation Room had received word of the terrorist nature of the Benghazi attack no later than two hours after it began. They did NOTHING to protect the lives of those in the Embassy compound. President Obama went to sleep, then jetted off to Las Vegas to raise campaign cash, meanwhile, relying on a manufactured cover story of some locals being riled up over a YouTube video that wasn’t seen.

There wasn’t any report in the cables or emails about a protest preceding the attack. The attack lasted over 7 hours before the final two occupants of the compound were murdered. And the Obama administration did NOTHING to help. Instead, they continued their COVER-UP of the video story, for WEEKS afterward and they even got to the point where they buy youtube views to make the video popular.

I listened to the NBC news top of the hour radio broadcast. Not ONE WORD of the above. Just Obama giving his “Romnesia” line, and something about his jetting 5000 or so miles today campaigning.

What– somehow you don’t think that these developments in Benghazi are NEWSWORTHY? That the administration not only knew of the attack, but refused to take action to protect the embassy occupants? And then, COVERED IT UP, LYING about the nature of the attack, and making his underlings spread his propaganda, FOR WEEKS, until the cover story collapsed under the weight of contrary evidence?

Not to mention that there remains an INNOCENT man still sitting in jail! Los Angeles Bail Bond offices voiced their opinions over this injustice in a collective voice that had almost no ear from the government. (Don’t tell me it had nothing to do with Obama’s cover story!!))

WHERE ARE WOODWARD AND BERNSTEIN????

Are you SO enamored, so infatuated with this president, that you, the press, are willing to be derelict to your Constitutional First Amendment duty and to cover up for his abject malfeasance? They did that with State-Controlled media in Soviet Russia. They do that in China. They have no choice. YOU HAVE A CHOICE!!

Are you that devoid of conscience???

DO YOUR JOURNALISTIC DUTY

******UPDATE******

It took long enough, but ABC News is finally beginning to grow a pair:

NBC still doesn’t have word one about this story on their website.

abcnews.go.com

Congressional Republicans ask why Obama described attacks as response to film.

Teetering on the Precipice

I suspect more than a few within the Obama campaign and inner circle are in the midst of an Oh, crap moment. I’d have to think they were hoping to get to November 6th without any significant Arab Spring fallout or monetary crisis events. Turns out they have both, only 53 days out from the election.

With the Middle East on fire and both the Fed and the European Central Bank setting in motion virtually unlimited monetizing of the massive debt that Progressive policies have created, Obama’s chances of getting re-elected are growing slimmer by the day.

The premise of the lead article at MarketWatch this morning is that if Spain can just be bailed out, the world is home free.  Happy days are just around the corner.

I don’t know if the first commenter to the MarketWatch article realizes how prescient his comment is:

Fred is taking a tractor-trailer driving test. They come to the crest of a big hill and as they head down the instructer askes Fred “now what would you do if your brakes gave out right here?” “Why I’d call my friend Willie.” “And why would you call your friend Willie?”  “Caws he ain’t never seen a wreck like this one’s gonna be!”

Mark Hulbert’s column pretty much nails it:

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (MarketWatch) — It’s somehow fitting that the stock market would celebrate the fourth anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy by staging a huge rally in the wake of the Fed announcing more quantitative easing.

That’s because both the events of mid-September 2008, as well as those on Thursday, underline just how inscrutable — and, therefore, ultimately unpredictable — the markets can be.

Just take the rationale given for the market’s huge rally on Thursday. In essence, we’re told, the market rallied because the Federal Reserve concluded that the economy is in such horrible shape that it must be put on even more remedial life support.

Got that?

Far from seeing any irony in any of this, however, many investors have evidently decided that happy days are here again.

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.20%  now a couple of thousand points higher than where it stood when Lehman Brothers went belly-up, many investors are commemorating the fourth anniversary of that bankruptcy by telling themselves that any Lehman-like danger has passed.

If only.

Go read the whole thing.  The comments he posts from supposedly astute market analysts in September, 2008 are interesting.

UPDATE, by Mark Noonan:

Instapundit has an excellent run-down on reaction to the “questioning on a probation matter” of the maker of the film the Administration absurdly blames for the riots.  Here’s what gets me:

Reader Jack Moss writes: “Probation is not a law enforcement function, it’s under the court. If his probation officer wanted to question him about the use of a computer, that broke his probation fine. But that wouldn’t include questions about making an anti-Islamic movie. It’s irrelevant. That means that the FBI showed up outside their jurisdiction for a reason given by their superiors. The question then is who ordered them there.”

Suppose this guy was in violation of his probation – ok, fine:  how often do probation violators get an after-midnight knock at the door?  Especially violations of a probation on a non-violent crime?  With a huge string of MSMers there to film every second of it?  The whole thing stinks – partially of intimidation but mostly of appeasement…Obama and Co are convinced (or at least are trying to convince us) that the film caused the riots.  In defense of his twaddle they have now swung the law enforcement power of the United States against the man who made the offending film and it appears that they are doing it to show the Muslim world that they’ll crack down on “blasphemy”.  All this will do is convince the radicals that we can, indeed, ban “blasphemy”…and that if they murder Americans, we’ll go ahead an do it.  So, guess what?  We’ll shortly get more murdered Americans…

Ignoring The Scorpion..At OUR Peril.

Forgetting the Parable of the ScorpionThey pander and walk on egg shells, ever so careful not to affect Muslim “sensibilities” (while trampling roughshod over everyone else’s) and then sit back in wide-eyed, befuddled wonderment as Muslims turn on their benefactors.

The answer, of course, is simple. Those who follow the Koran, who choose to live in the 14th century, and who perform mayhem and murder in its name are evil. Treating them as moral equals (as their doctrine moral relativism dictates) doesn’t work, because they are NOT moral equals.

But as long as these liberal loons are in power- as long as they continue to think that these attavistic freaks will all of a sudden sing kumbaya if only we can convey our good intentions, expect to get stung again.

And again.



And again.