Admiral Mullen addresses CVA and Weekly Standard, receives a healthy dose of skeptism
Posted By Blackfive
Commander Salamander has a write up about a recent speech that Admiral (ret) Mullen made to Concerned Veterans of America. I think most of you will agree with his assessment (not just that the Admiral needs to take a break).
Anyway, at a breakfast hosted by Concerned Veterans for America and The Weekly Standard, Admiral Mullen has put a few thing out there that are a strange mix of being off the track and making a good point...
...I started this blog with the intent of being a minor nuissance. I think I've done that here. It's a low bar, I know, but this is a blog. A web log. A personal diary of my thoughts and the thoughts of a few of my friends. I never expected it to last 10 years. I never expected to do anything more than amuse myself and maybe a few of my friends. The fact that I've been able to do any good with it and have any impact at all means I've exceeded all of my hopes and expectations for it...
First, welcome to the 10 Year+ Club!
Second, the Jawa Report has taken on terrorism and terrorists head on. Extreme risks have been taken. In order to simply fight evil. Period. We here at BlackFive salute you guys.
For starters, this retired LTC living in England is embarrassed by our country when among the Brits. There's plenty to be embarrassed about - first, I'd start apologizing to Her Majesty for Bruno Mars, the POTUS, and what we did with plaid in the 70s. But they owe us because that bumbling idiot, Piers Morgan, lives here. Anyway, I digress...you should read the Esquire piece, but keep in mind that I have never met anyone who claims to manage violence for a living that actually did so.
a. Smoothbore or Rifled muzzle-loading blackpowder muskets. No 7-11 in history has ever been held up with one of these.
b. Double-barrel breech-loading shotguns. Hunting with these is valid.
c. Bolt-action rifles with a magazine capacity no greater than five rounds. Like I said, hunting is valid. But if you cannot bring down a defenseless deer in under five rounds, then you have no fking reason to be holding a killing tool in the first place.
2. We will pry your gun from your cold, dead, fingers. That is because I am willing to wait until you die, hopefully of natural causes. Guns, except for the three approved categories, cannot be inherited. When you die your weapons must be turned into the local police department, which will then destroy them. (Weapons of historical significance will be de-milled, but may be preserved.)
3. Police departments are no longer allowed to sell or auction weapons used in crimes after the cases have been closed. (That will piss off some cops, since they really need this money. But you know what they need more? Less violence and death. By continuing the process of weapon recirculation, they are only making their jobs -- or the jobs of some other cops -- harder.)
4. We will submit a new tax on ammunition. In the first two years it will be 400 percent of the current retail cost of that type of ammunition. (Exemptions for the ammo used by the approved weapons.) Thereafter it will increase by 20 percent per year.
5. We will initiate a nationwide "buy-back" program, effective immediately, with the payouts coming from the DoD budget. This buy-back program will start purchasing weapons at 200 percent of their face value the first year, 150 percent the second year, 100 percent the third year. Thereafter there will be a 10 year pause, at which point the guns can be sold to the government at 10 percent of their value for the next 50 years.
6. The major gun manufactures of the United States, less those who create weapons for the federal government and the armed forces, will be bought out by the United States of America, for our own damned good.
Northwestern Wildcats "Honor" Wounded Warriors With Controversial/Bloody Uniforms
Posted By Blackfive
Eh, not really a big deal to me, but there is some controversy brewing up over the Northwestern University deal to wear different uniforms in their next game to support the Wounded Warrior Project. I just wonder who over at WWP decided that the blood effect was a good idea...seems REALLY kind of off to me - especially in College sports.
...Ace termed it Shutdown Theater, I believe. That's an appropriate moniker but doesn't address the profound bullshit that is happening. From one of the B5 authors:
Everything from blocking off scenic parking overlooks to forcing businesses to close simply because the business was on federal property, to closing down lifesaving web pages like the Amber Alert yet keeping Michelle's "Drink Water" web page up and running to that absolutely imbecilic idea that thinking closing the WW2 memorial top Honor Flight vets would be a good idea. The same way that religious ideology extremism in the Taliban manifested itself in the destruction of those beautiful statues, the political ideology extremism in this Obama administration manifests itself in these petty, childish and hurtful moves.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Warrior Princess....
Posted By Deebow
UPDATE: link to the original essay here (my opinion remains unchanged).
I try not to spend my time poop-hammering veterans that don't need it. Everyone's experience is different, and the fact that you served is 99 percent of all I need to hear.
But that being said, I, along with my combat MOS/Combat Service brothers and sisters, am a bit of an elitist. The guys that have spent their time living in places with light, noise and litter discipline with Death not only tuggin at their elbow, but tying off on it with a swiss seat are more likely to be the people that I tend to bond with. People who have seen the elephant are my people.
Long days in the Finance Office at Camp Phoenix or scheduling aircraft maintenance at Bagram are likely to get me shoveling a mountain of well deserved poo-poo on you.
So I don't feel bad for what I am about to do.....
Obama Adminstration Specifically Denied Exception to Permit Veterans to Attend WWII Memorial
Before we go any further, let us note once again how contrived it is to shut down entryways to a wide open space out in the middle of a park.
This is not a building, like a museum, that has doors and staffers and guides. This is f#cking scenery.
And yet the erected artificial barriers to block people from walking through outdoor scenery.
Also, here's a twitter photo of the NEW barricades being put into place at about 0800
Due to the government shutdown, National Park Service police put up barriers preventing access. According to Leo Shane III, White House and Veterans Affairs reporter for Stars and Stripes, the veterans knocked over those barriers.
Not that I haven't had a sickening feeling from politicians in both parties whose spine has an elemental consistency that ranges somewhere between gelatin and mannecoti since about 2008 (ish), but the blood pressure machine was about to spontaneously combust after I saw this about the testimony of the parents of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods and then read this list of the people who walked out that hearing.
And one name stuck out to me because her hackitude is epic; Rep. Tammy Duckworth.
I have searched for a way to say this, but I can think of no other way: You madam, are an epic POS.
You, Representative Duckworth, of all the people who sat on that esteemed panel, should be acutely aware of what must have been running through the minds of Tyrone and Sean as they waited on the ground for a rescue force while enduring hostile fire. A rescue force, that it turns out, the President in Name only was of no mind to send, because he had something pressing in the morning and he wanted to get his rest.
You, having endured being grievously wounded and fighting to land an aircraft that was falling out of the sky in hostile territory probably can tell the story of how the minutes felt like hours until you saw a QRF that had IR "U.S." tabs on the chest plates of their IBAs coming to secure your aircraft, help treat you and your crew for your wounds, and evacuate all of you to safety at the risk of their lives so that you could be treated and returned to your families.
I bet you are glad that the QRF did their duty November 12, 2004 huh? Couldn't be bothered to do yours though right? Didn't you want to hear how those men and those families deserved the same response you received? For you to walk out on those families and not even give them the common courtesy to listen to their story speaks to the epic hackery that is your career in politics and speaks volumes of your (in)ability as a leader.
You have insulted those families by refusing to hear their concerns, as elected representatives are duty bound to do. "Leave No Man Behind" evidently means nothing to you, along with your oath to protect and defend the Constitution.
My bet is that you don't know this, but when you are a leader, you can't just take the easy ones, you have to take the hard ones too. And sometimes, you have to do the hardest thing and take the lead when you are in the wrong and make something right, that in this case, has your political party's fingerprints all over it.
But evidently, that is just a bridge too far for you because your allegiance to your party trumps your humanity, integrity and common sense. You dishonor your service to this country as a member of the US Army and as a Congresswoman and your dereliction of duty is noted.
I would like to know if anyone has seen my unicorn? It must be around here somewhere. Hang on.... I got it. I know where it went. It must be the same place the Anti-War Left has been hanging out, because I can't find either of these these mythical beasts anywhere.
Wasn't it awesome when the Anti-war Left actually had the courage of their convictions to protest both LBJ and Nixon instead of just protesting a Republican president who went to war in a Middle Eastern country based upon a brutal dictator suppressing his own people, using and possessing chemical weapons, using them on innocent people, using "hard intelligence" about WMD and terrorism as justification and getting approval from Congress and making his case to the American people.
But no word yet on the march to Washington by the mythical Anti-War Left against a Democrat President who wants to start a war in a Middle Eastern country based upon a brutal dictator suppressing his own people, using and possessing chemical weapons, using them on innocent people and using "hard intelligence" about WMD and terrorism as justification and trying to get approval from Congress and making his case to the American people.
What about it Anti-War Left? Gonna get your march on? Cat got your tongue? I know, it must be hard to criticize the President you voted for based upon his ability to stop the seas from rising and heal the planet, what with everyone who speaks out against his policies being called a racist for just opposing him on principle.
And it was nice to see that Code Pink got their act together enough to show up to protest both this Secretary of State when he was giving his statements to both houses of Congress, and the first black woman to hold the post as well when she was talking abou the last great Persian Excursion. Must have been hard to protest a fellow traveler who was for it before he was against it, especially since many in this administration spent the last administration talking about how bombing dudes with WMDs was wrong and immoral, and getting the help of Code Pink in their government funded publicity stunts.
"It is for me, but not for thee" I guess....
And why in the world has the smartest president EVAH! decided that we should become AL-Qaeda's Air Force in their hour of need? This fight between the "Crips and Bloods" of the Middle East is best left to them, so that we can reduce the number of people we are going to drop some more Tomahawk missiles on to a more reasonable number after a winner is decided. I mean, really, who would not want to watch Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda shoot each other in the face?
But if our plan is to launch some missiles so that we can hopefully hasten the downfall of the Assad regime, so that Al-Qaeda can get their hands on a country with WMD, then Bravo! Mr. Nobel Peace Prize winner, your plan is working perfectly. It is not lost on many of us the irony of a Nobel Peace Prize winner bombing a country further into the Stone Age.
The Russians and the Chinese know the Preezy of the United Steezy is a scared punk who is trying desperately not to look spineless after talking about "red lines" and then spending these many months not rushing to judgment over Assad high jumping them. I mean, Arabs killing each other without WMD involvement is all kinds of copasetic with him, and destabilizing an entire region and flipping the bird to our only ally in the region are just a serendipitious benefit of what this administration does.
"Red Lines" mean something, and the hypocrisy over the issue of dictators who have WMD and use them on their people would be laughable at this point, except those on the Democrat side of the fence fail to see it, so that just makes it sad that anyone with two functioning brain cells would vote to have any of the current players in this administration run anything more complicated than the Fry Station at Mickey D's.
This collection of mental midgets and their RINO enablers have no idea what words like "Commander's Intent" mean; let alone simple words like "Objective," "End State," or even "Victory."
Can you imagine what the rough draft of that Commander's Intent statement looks like?
Commander's Intent:To destroy Syria's ability to use WMDs (Oh wait, that sounds too aggressive). To hinder Syria's ability to fight off Al-Qaeda (hang on, can't talk about Al-Qaeda, people might think they are not "on the run" like I told the Media everyone). To harass and hinder Assad's lines of communication (wait, harassment is something I should check with HR about). To look strong in the face of adversity and confirm our belief in red lines and how they should not be crossed. (looks like a winner).
The fact that Bella Pelosi has a 5 year old grandson with a greater intellect and understanding of foreign affairs than she has was among the most unsurprising things I have encountered this year. Even he understood that becoming decisively engaged in this region of the world was a bad idea. I was even less surprised when she wasn't able to make the case to him. I guess her plan is to vote on the resolution and then read it.
Liberal Trolls are going to hate me (more), but that doesn't leave me sleepless, because liberal trolls aren't scary people. I don't give two poops in a pocket if Assad kills his own people or kills Al-Qaeda while he eats halal goat and sings the chorus of "There is Nothing Like A Dame" because when there are two groups of people deciding they want to kill each other, and you don't like either one of them and they certainly don't like you; you don't offer charity to either of them in the form of Close Air Support and weapons so you can look "strong." You pop some corn, order a pizza and watch the show.
It will not all of a sudden be a world that includes all of the warm fuzzy's in the title once the Tomahawk missiles and Mark 82 Rockeyes stop raining down, it will be much messier, much more complicated and galactically more dangerous.
It will not be another Iraq. It will be much worse. This is a bell that cannot be un-rung. It is dangerous ground Mr. President, and your hubris is showing...
Leading from Behind isn't and Campaigning is easy, it is the governing that is hard; but I bet you knew that already....
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.