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November 2008

NYT's Friedman tries Obama victory in Iraq

I realize this was inevitable, but I will fight it Chicago style.

That is the Iraq that Obama is inheriting. It is an Iraq where we have to begin drawing down our troops — because the occupation has gone on too long and because we have now committed to do so by treaty — but it is also an Iraq that has the potential to eventually tilt the Arab-Muslim world in a different direction.

I’m sure that Obama, whatever he said during the campaign, will play this smart. He has to avoid giving Iraqi leaders the feeling that Bush did — that he’ll wait forever for them to sort out their politics — while also not suggesting that he is leaving tomorrow, so they all start stockpiling weapons.

If he can pull this off, and help that decent Iraq take root, Obama and the Democrats could not only end the Iraq war but salvage something positive from it. Nothing would do more to enhance the Democratic Party’s national security credentials than that.

Screw You Tom, and the same to the near-treasonous bastards you would try to give credit to. They tried their damndest to lose and I don't care what they do from here on out the war was won by the tremendous fortitude of W, the brains of David Petraeus, the fighting spirit of our military and the decision of the Iraqi people to take the chance they have been offered.

Obama and the Democrats will be remembered as the fools who failed to lose.

US & India seal security pact

w/ Pakistan.

Not for real, but we ought to be deep in discussions.

The United States and India announced that an agreement has been reached w/ Pakistan that allows virtually unlimited offensive operations in the Kashmir and Waziristan regions. Pakistan will assume the  Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that dead tango making is going on here!

The US and Indian forces will conduct combined operations sweeping into Kashmir as well as the tribal regions of Waziristan. They will focus on vaporizing the training camps and related support camps, for you who haven't been paying attention that means anybody cooking or cleaning for these murderous swine.

The emphasis will initially be of a "rubble doesn't make trouble" variety as known camps and villages will simply be leveled. After a month or so of this they will switch to dropping leaflets and chow. The leaflets will explain that we have many, many more bombs and if they want to have us drop the food instead, they need to talk to the radicals. They know who these guys are and they can either start a Hindu Kush Awakening, or we can do the one thing we are really good at. Blowing S**t Up!

The torture of things that aren't torture

Strap in for a good old-fashioned scrap as the folks who get weak in the knees at the thought of KSM catching a little nasal-surfing are out in force and we have the ever popular anonymous book to contend with.

Matthew Alexander led an interrogations team assigned to a Special Operations task force in Iraq in 2006. He is the author of "How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq." He is writing under a pseudonym for security reasons.

His team got the tip that nailed Zarqawi so he obviously deserves our praise. The problem is that he seems to think quite an awful lot about himself and his techniques. His game may have worked and it may even be the interrogation equivalent of sliced bread, but that does not mean it should be the only game in town. Now I have long been in favor of all the enhanced interrogation techniques which this person seems to believe go beyond the pale, but the piece I read seems to imply that even the approval of these techniques causes a reign of torture. If that was the case then he had an obligation to expose this and stop it. If he didn't do that and now seeks to write a book about how awful everyone else is, then he deserves condemnation. If he did complain and it was ignored, and I mean filing official complaints that he can prove, then the military owes answers. If his whole complaint is that we used enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorists, then I have no use for him.

I always love when we are mentioned on the Huffington Post and lo and behold Brandon Friedman of VoteVets, who I don't think enough of to disparage,  has a piece up pimping his buddy's book (they share an agent). Once he finishes tongue-bathing Alexander for his moral superiority he decides to use us as the con. Now since most of the links are to things I wrote and I am chief among the pro-torture crowd here I would like to answer back by saying "Relax fellas, the Obama has been annointed and now we will use aromatherapy and riddles to interrogate prisoners".

Continue reading "The torture of things that aren't torture" »

Another reason to love the British Empire

via Ann Althouse.

Nick Hayward, a 37-year-old Brit, describes the "can-do attitude" of the "extremely lucky," "very good bunch of people" who holed up in a restaurant inside the Taj:

"Three or four of us were Brits. There were some Irish as well. Most were Indian.

"We’d never met each other but I have to say, it was a true British stiff upper-lip situation. Together, the Brits helped to keep up morale. ...

"We all decided that even though we had alcohol within reach we wouldn’t touch it because it seemed like a bad idea to get drunk.

"But come 5am, we were fairly confident the police were going to get us out, so I marched over to the bar and found a bottle of vintage Cristal champagne and opened it and began pouring it into glasses.

"Then the head waiter came rushing across to me and said, 'No, no, you can’t do that!' and I said, 'Well we’re going to' and he said, 'No sir, those are the wrong type of glasses. I shall find you champagne flutes.'

"And he did. The service was immaculate."

Note that first they barricaded themselves in as well as they could. But the stiff upper lippedness of both patron and head waiter is sorely missed most places.

Mumbai- The Usual Suspects?

Gunmanwalking It appears they have captured the fat, little bastard (to quote Shawn Bryan) who you have seen pictures of. As it turns out lumpy didn't have that full 72 goat commitment to martyrdom that his buddies did. The Indians have released a whole lot of info purported to be from him about the planning, training and execution of the attacks. The story tracks almost exactly with most of the conventional wisdom as soon as the attacks began.

The only terrorist captured alive after the Mumbai massacre has given police the first full account of the extraordinary events that led to it – revealing he was ordered to ‘kill until the last breath’.

Azam Amir Kasab, 21, from Pakistan, said the attacks were meticulously planned six months ago and were intended to kill 5,000

Continue reading "Mumbai- The Usual Suspects?" »

Spiritual Warfare- CPT Yllescas

A couple of folks have sent this along and you guys know what to do.

A little while ago I had to make the toughest decision of my life. They found a huge blood clot in the main part of Rob's brain. I could either let it be and let him die a peaceful death or I could choose to do an emergency craniotomy on him. However, he has a huge chance of dying on the operating table and if he makes it, he has a huge chance of no quality of life. Rob told me specifically that he does not want to be a vegetable. However, I cannot believe that God got him this far to let him die now or let him live the rest of his life as a vegetable. The neuro dr said that the majority of the outcomes are not good but he has seen some cases where the person made it through fine. He said we may not know how much damage he's suffered for a year or more. After talking it over with his parents and my mom, we felt that we had to give Rob a fighting chance. I decided to have them do the craniotomy. I mean the odds were not good for him to have survived the IED but he did. So he will survive this and he will be cognitively ok. That's what I've got to have faith in. God is working through the dr's. He knows that Rob has 2 little girls that need him very very much. So all I can ask for right now are more prayers than you've ever prayed before.

I got a note from Rej that Rob made it through the surgery, now for a serious recovery and a long life.

Mumbai Masterminds? Not Necessarily

Odds are that Pakistani Intelligence was involved in these attacks. I am arguing that this was not that complicated and could have been done by any reasonably bright wannabe terrorist, and the breathless accounts of cadres of highly-trained terror squads may be a bit over-blown.

"They were firing from their hips. Very professional. Very cool," says D'Souza, the newspaper's photo editor.

I hate to bust your bubble, but shooting from the hip is the perfect sign they were not professionals. It is inherently inaccurate, and also makes you very likely to shoot over people's heads as the muzzle climbs. Pros of any flavor, or even marginally trained chimps would be firing from the shoulder. Remember again that other than the police station most of these were soft targets and they were simply walking around spraying rounds and tossing grenades. Once again not much more than chimps with an evil purpose.

Podcast of Masterminds video is here.

I stated initially that the attacks in Mumbai were not actually as sophisticated as the analysis seems to be stating. They get an A+ for effectiveness and pure ballsiness, but I still maintain they do not represent evidence of any major expertise. Once a decision to commit terror is made, the actual function is pretty easy. They have an inherent advantage since free societies can't secure everything or even most things, and have no rules to obey. Add in the willingness to die in the act and you have a nearly impossible event to prevent.

Sadly this represents a clear danger for us, and one we can only hope our armed citizens could help prevent. But as many folks have pointed out, that puts a bullseye on the areas where the government has disarmed the populace. I read the Constitution in English and so as per the Second Amendment I recognize no government's right to disarm me. But if you are Ahmed the soon to be dead terrorist, wouldn't you rather shoot up a mall full of unarmed victims, or do you want to pull your AK and catch a .357 round to the temple joint as soon as you start spraying? Ahmed is dead either way, but the body count will be significantly different.

Mr D'Souza added: "I told some policemen the gunmen   had moved towards the rear of the station but they refused to follow them.   What is the point if having policemen with guns if they refuse to use them?   I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera."

Amen to that Brother.

Gandhipin_2 Yes it is a Gandhi pin and it reads "Practice Nonviolence", I believe it is more difficult. But I also think you should "Practice Violence". Gandhi and I both call ourselves pacifists, we just differ on what that means. He was more passive and I am more pacifying. But in the end we all end up pacific.

Valour-IT: It Isn't Over

In the immortal words of our founder:

What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Er, sorry, wrong founder.

The fact is, the fundraiser is now over. Well, no, only a part of it is. The friendly competition between the services is indeed over, with more than $78,000.00 showing right now. That total is not final, however, as I believe a few more checks have come in/are coming in and the final total is still some days away.

No, we didn't make our goal, but we knew we wouldn't from the start. There were a number of factors in play that meant we would not make the $250,000.00 goal. While I wish we could have raised more, I am glad we raised what we did, and I point out cheerfully that Team Army is -- so far -- leading the way. While it would have been nice to make the goal, I think we are all glad for what we did raise and I want to thank each of you that contributed.

It doesn't matter if you sent a dollar or many dollars -- each of them goes fully towards hardware that helps wounded and disabled service members cope, adapt, and overcome. Each dollar has a direct and tangible positive benefit. A sticker on the car makes you feel good, the money here makes one of those warriors feel good about themselves and their abilities at what has to be one of the most uncertain times of their lives.

To quote another, "Ya done good." You did, and what you did is appreciated by us all.

Keep in mind that it really isn't over. Funds can be donated any time of the year for this important project. Right now, we have enough to meet -- I think -- the immediate requests from caseworkers and therapists. With your continued help, we can do more. So, whether it's literally change or an end-of-year donation for tax purposes, please do look to Valour-IT.

Now, I'm going to break a rule here and bring up another charity. According to said rules, one should never mention another charity anywhere near your own. Rules, however, are made to be broken -- especially in a creative and productive manner. Years ago, I met Pat Tallman -- better known to many here as Lyta Alexander on Babylon 5 -- and helped raise some technology and other donations for her cause, Penny Lane. Penny Lane often deals not just with children who've had it rough, but with some of the most abused children out there. As Pat put it to several of us, they work with the kids no one else can or will. Penny Lane is/was the charity of the Hollywood Stunt Professionals (which is how Pat got involved I believe) and it was a pleasure to do something for this cause.

During the recent fundraiser, I accepted a cause request on Facebook from Pat. I challenged in return and while I haven't had a chance to check to see if said challenge was taken, I am pointing this out this cause and suggesting strongly that you should check it out. Fact is, the rules are wrong: I will cheerfully scratch Pat's back on this, because I am confident that said scratch will be returned by her or by another. In times tight or otherwise, we need to work together. So, please do check it out and do what you can for them as well.

I know times are tight, but keep in mind that there are ways to be sure your dollar does something truly good. Not just a feel good for you, but something that can and will have a positive impact on another and make them feel not just good right now, but in the future as well. You can make that difference with as little as a dollar. Please do what you can, keep Valour-IT in mind, and accept my thanks for all you HAVE done.

Once again, you've stood up and made a difference. Thanks.


A general mobilization?

Andrea Shea King has asked if we can verify a story she has turned up. The guy is Hal Turner, I know him not, but he has a letter he says was sent to a retired E-6 recalling him after 22 years. He claims this is part of a larger mobilization. I don't believe it's true, but I invite our audience to add any light you can shine on the topic. Scroll down at Andrea's site and she has another piece on the guy talking about external influence causing the financial crisis. That is two conspiracies already, so my alarm panel is lit up. But let me know if anyone has other info.