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June 2014

The Army's racist helicopters

It is damn near impossible to tell parody from reality as the grievance mongers of the left constantly whinge at the top of their lungs- Sexist! Islamophobe! and the perpetual favorite, RACIST! The only good thing is they are going so far around the bend that it becomes easier to tell them to hush. This screed is a classic as the author goes from hating on the Redskins to an assault on the Army’s entire fleet of assault helicopters (and the cargo, troop carriers and recon birds). It seems that we imperialist warmongers can't even show respect without oppressing someone.

In the United States today, the names Apache, Comanche, Chinook, Lakota, Cheyenne and Kiowa apply not only to Indian tribes but also to military helicopters. Add in the Black Hawk, named for a leader of the Sauk tribe, the Tomahawk (a low-altitude missile), and a drone named for an Indian chief, Gray Eagle.  Let’s not forget Operation Geronimo was the end of Osama bin Laden. So we named some of our powerful weapons of war after some of our most powerful foes as a nod to their warrior spirit and strength. Kinda cool right? Oh wait.

Identifying our powerful weapons and victorious campaigns with those we subjugated serves to lighten the burden of our guilt. It confuses violation with a fair fight.

Dang, I hate it when I confuse violation with a fair fight. I even thought that these powerful foes won some of the battles we fought; Custer sure would say they did. But that sentiment must be a manifestation of my imperialist mentality.

Now it is only proper to grant that our westward expansion included some horrific and dark treatment of many of these tribes. But, is the answer for us to cringe and grovel forever? The tribes themselves celebrate their warrior spirit; they glorify their brave (not Braves, of course) fighters. Somehow the requirement is budding that all victim groups be sole controllers of their message and this means even well meant and decent signs of respect are just another means of oppression. 

Well, enough! Seriously STFU! Or don't, this being America, free speech and all. But understand that those of us who can tell the difference between respect and abuse will not be cowed by the perpetually aggrieved looking for leverage. Liberal guilt is a disease that could be fatal to the strong and vibrant country we live in. The desire to tear down America because it was not always perfect is dangerous and should be opposed. The bad that was ever done in this country's name is overwhelmingly outweighed by the good. To quote one of the leaders of the grievance industry, Move On.

That should mean both sides need to “Move On” but that’s not the Liberal Left’s interpretation.  They seem to think everyone else should bow and cater to their seriously   sensationalized sensitivities while they clobber the crap outa anyone opposing their opinion.  Last time I checked, tolerance was a two-way street not the one-way route reciting by the Liberal Left’s intolerants.

The last sentence of the WP editorial drivel is the one that bears the most scrutiny:

So, sure, rename the football team. But don’t stop there.

True dat. They will not stop...EVER! There is no way to satisfy people who can take offense at the drop of a name and take taking offense as their raison d'être. So let's stop trying to satisfy the non-satisfiable.  Move On!

Photo - Night Ops

Hires_140620-N-WD757-374cU.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Darin Kent signals to pilots in an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter as it picks up supplies from the flight deck during a vertical replenishment aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke in the Persian Gulf, June 20, 2014. The Arleigh Burke is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. The Seahawk is assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Carlos M. Vazquez II

Book Review - "Out of Range" by Hank Steinberg

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right sidebar.

9780062080530_p0_v4_s260x420Hank Steinberg the creator of the hit TV series Without a Trace has written an action packed novel, Out Of Range. Similar to the television show this thriller keeps people guessing until the final page. Unlike other authors famous for their visual media credentials, Steinberg created a plot that is fast-paced with likeable protagonists and nasty antagonists. He even gets this point across in a subtle way by referring to the good guys with their first names and the bad guys by their last names.

Steinberg commented to blackfive.net, “Yes, the book feels like the biggest episode of Without A Trace. After working all those years on the TV show my brain subconsciously had the main theme.  The heart of every episode is that when someone went missing they had a secret that they were keeping from someone.  Inevitably it was what they kept from others that were the key to why they were taken.”

The plot takes off from the very first page when journalist Charlie Davis and his wife, Julie, an aid worker, barely escape a riot in Uzbekistan six years ago. Their friend Alisher Byko, a leader of the demonstration sees his wife and son shot to death by the government’s police.  Vowing never to put himself or his family in harm’s way Charlie accepts a position at the LA Times while Julie becomes a stay at home mom, raising their two children. They appear to be enjoying the life of a normal suburban family, which must include taking the children to Disneyland. On their return trip from the happiest place on earth, Julie and the children get stuck in typical LA traffic. She is on the phone with Charlie, discussing alternate routes, and agrees to call him as soon as she escapes the traffic jam. But the call never comes. Fearful for her safety, Charlie races to the area he sent her to. There, he finds police surrounding her car. The kids are both safe, but Julie is nowhere to be found. As with his TV show Julie vanishes unexpectedly without any rhyme or reason. As he searches for her, Charlie discovers secrets Julie has been hiding. Determined to find his wife and get answers from her, Charlie sets out on an international investigation that leads to the dangerous world of espionage and terrorism.

As with most thrillers the protagonist becomes an action hero to save the day. At times believability is suspended but this in no way distracts the reader from the fast-moving and intense plot.  There are a number of fascinating subplots from the motivations of the characters to understanding the conflicts within developing countries in Eastern Europe.

Steinberg explained to blackfive.net, “The character relationship is an essential part of the book.  Julie has an emotional connection with the antagonist Byko from their college days.  She is yearning for something from her past.  The spine of the book is about Julie and Charlie’s marriage and will they be able to reclaim their love.  These three characters have a unique and tangled relationship from the very beginning.  After the tragic event in Uzbekistan Charlie went into hiding; Julie yearned to be a part of something that would make a difference; and Byko succumbed to his rage and vengefulness. That is why I choose the setting of the Eastern European country of Uzbekistan. I wanted a place that would be greyer in terms of the moral pallet, and would create some complexity for the protagonist.  I was able to use the setting to emphasize the theme where there are these three people that must deal with the fear, guilt, and tragedy of an event that started in this country.”

One of the most interesting parts of the book is the portrayal of Julie as a discontented stay at home mom.  These feelings appear to drain the spark from their marriage, to the point that Julie contemplates leaving Charlie. The tension in their marriage has Julie searching for something more than just being a housewife, which is why she decides to help British intelligence find a terrorist whom she knows from her college days. This subplot is a great story about people who just want to make a difference in their own small way.

Steinberg explained he created Julie’s character, “To reflect the modern day woman. Even though she was a kidnapped woman held in a fortress she never cried for help but courageously dealt with the interrogation and the circumstances.  She knowingly refused to give up.  She has big ambitions and wants to do more with her life than just being a housewife.  A lot of women contemplate giving up their career to raise their children.  There is the internal conflict of being engaged, involved, and doing something more with your life.  There are these yearnings and secrets within Julie that I hope women can relate to.  I wanted to explore the dynamics between two people and how the relationship changes when the circumstances shift. Julie felt disconnected to the outside world while living in Los Angeles.  There are not very many more places you can go to where you feel that you are living in a bubble.”

Out Of Range is an intriguing story with many twists and turns.  Readers will be kept on the edge of their seats with this suspenseful plot.  There is non-stop action from beginning to end with fascinating characters.

Iraq and its allies

Iraq had suffered some major setbacks in its ongoing fight with the Islamist extremists ISIS, but they have also gained some stronger alliances. No, not with the United States which is still leading from so far behind as to be irrelevant, but with Iran, Syria and now Russia. 

The Iranians sent Revolutionary Guard combat forces quite a while ago and they have been actively battling to keep their good friend, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, and his government afloat. The Syrians joined in and got a big thank you from Maliki when they hit ISIS both in Syria as well as Iraq. But the truly sad news is that since Obama withdrew all of our forces in his Quixotic pursuit to end wars, what he ended was our influence in this vital region. And a true strong horse, well a Russian bear, has stepped in to take our place.

The first delivery of Russian Sukhoi fighter jets arrived in Iraq on Saturday, the country’s Defense Ministry said. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is hoping the jets will make a key difference in the fight against ISIS.

Well, they will certainly make more of a difference than the complete lack of any combat support the United States is providing. No offense to my special ops compatriots who were sent there as advisers, but at this point they should probably advise the Iraqis to look for help elsewhere. We are not going to provide it.

At the same time, Maliki criticized the US for taking too long to deliver on its own contract after Iraq purchased F-16 jets from America.

Good people fought and died to free Iraq from the rule of a tyrant.  We persevered long enough to pacify the country and give them a shot at freedom then our naif of a President with his grad school, dope-smoking, bull session understanding of national security and power threw it all away. Their blood is on his hands and so is the blood of the innocents being slaughtered all across the region.

Secure Freedom Radio- The many problems of Iraq

I did a segment on Frank Gaffney's radio show on the mess that is Iraq. I will also be guest hosting the show next week Monday through Wednesday. I will keep you up on the details of that.

JIM HANSON, of Blackfive.net:

    • Frustration as hard-fought gains from the Iraq War dissolve as ISIS surges across Iraq
    • Call for the US to show its strength, as it did with the “Road of Death”
    • Inconsistencies with US requirements for legal protections of US troops in Iraq between 2011 and 2014
 Hanson [ 10:00 ] Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download 

Elephant in the Room- The Wolf or Diplomatic Notes

Now that Obama finds it politically expedient to have troops in Iraq, they no longer need the same legal protections he used as an excuse to pull them all out. Matter of fact all they need is a diplomatic note. Problem is he can't even remember his excuse or his plan at the time. 

President Obama surprised a few people during a news conference Thursday by claiming that the 2011 decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq, a politically popular move on the eve of an election year, was made entirely by his Iraqi counterpart. The implication ran counter to a number of claims that Obama has made in the past, most notably during a tight campaign season two years ago, when he suggested that it was his decision to leave Iraq and end an unpopular war.

He must have forgotten there is video of him from 2012 contradicting his current tale. When the WaPo is throwing a BS flag you really have problems. 

My opinion is if you are sending troops anywhere, you ought to be prepared to take care of them just as well as Marsellus Wallace took care of Jules and Vincent in Pulp Fiction. You gotta be ready to send the Wolf.

The Mouse that roared

This is a guest post from a Marine who has been deeply involved in our many fronts against radical Islam and all the other folks who make our planet dangerous. We have been corresponsding for quite a few years of that. Here he goes, it is a lively ride.


Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it…Edmund Burke

Know the enemy as you know yourself, win 100 of 100 battles…Sun Tzu

While Jimbo knows that I hold him in the highest esteem, even if he failed to travel to Camp Lejeune and watch my last ride into the sunset, I am about to rip a few contentions in his column here. 

First, wars.  We have been at war, but have not fought multiple wars in the last 13 years.  Afghanistan, Iraq, the Southern Philippines, Djibouti, Somalia, Nigeria, Libya and Yemen are part and parcel to a single war.  They are multiple separate campaigns, only that we ourselves have not really connected the dots.  We say that we understand, but from witnessing the press coverage and the opinions from the so-called experts continues to baffle and aggravate me.  Just today, a gentlemen on Fox declared we are seeing the redrawing of lines in the Middle East.  NO, we are seeing the erasing of lines in the Middle East.  There is only one line that matters to the islamists and that is the line that separates Dar ul Islam (land of islam) and Dar ul Harb (land of war).  Right now in Iraq and Syria, we are seeing the new Dar ul Islam bloom, in the heart of the original caliphate, and it will bloom quickly.  While Baghdad prepares a token defense, Iran prepares to insert military support to the embattled Shia government, the truth is the sheer brutality, and ruthless efficiency of ISIS will quickly overwhelm, as the Shia run for their lives and the Sunni will surrender and pledge allegiance to their new masters, and the new Caliphate.  Once Baghdad falls, the rest of the house of cards that is the middle east will fall in short order.  If the combat trained and experienced Iraqi military, with our weapons and modern training cannot stand to the fury that is the jihad, who do we honestly suppose would?  The Kurds perhaps, but the last home of the caliphate, Ankara will not allow an independent Kurdish state.  The Peshmerga will die by the sword or surrender to the caliphate, they are Sunni afterall.

So who does that leave?  Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain or the Emirates?  None of them have the fortitude to stand up, the Royals will run and the islamists will assume control.  That would leave 3  holdouts,  Egypt, Damascus and Israel.  Safe to assume, the Egyptian military will put up some token resistance, but the reality is, they are fully infiltrated by islamists and the muslim brotherhood.  Gen al Sisi’s brief victory will be that indeed. The growing jihad will cause Assad to flee with his Iranian peers, and Israel will very soon find itself surrounded as Dar ul Islam prepares to commit the final purge, pushing the Jews into the sea.

We have seen this happen before.  We just failed to appreciate the history of islam.  The only difference between the 7th Century and the 21st Century is that warfighting capability and transportation are greatly improved.  While we may not understand what is happening, the key leaders in the muslim brotherhood, al Qaeda, Turkey and ISIS do and are driving the war as they have envisioned it. 

Continue reading "The Mouse that roared" »

Book Review - "The Southern Son: The Saga of Doc Holiday" (trilogy) by Victoria Wilcox

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category on the right side bar.

Author Victoria Wilcox has written an epic trilogy, Southern Son: The Saga Of Doc Holliday, about this legendary western hero.  After committing eighteen years of her life she has peeled away the “legend” to inform readers about the true facts surrounding John Henry, also known as Doc Holliday.  The first book published last year, Inheritance, delves into his early years while the second novel, released this year, Gone West, chronicles his Western days up until his arrival in Arizona.  The mystery throughout this series has the reader wondering what will happen to Holliday as he attempts to find himself.

After reading these two novels anyone living in or traveling to the South should stop off at the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House Museum, (http://www.hdfhouse.com/) about a half hour out of Georgia.  It is there that they will discover the relationship between Melanie in Gone With The Wind and Doc Holliday from the OK Corral.  Mattie, Holliday’s cousin and love, is also the cousin of the author Margaret Mitchell.  Another cousin, Annie Fitzgerald, is the supposed model for Scarlett O’ Hara while her father, Gerald O’Hara is based on the real life Phillip Fitzgerald. Within this Museum are a lot of fascinating tidbits of these legendary figures. (http://victoriawilcoxbooks.com/family-tree.pdf)  But before going to visit people should read these two fascinating books to understand Southern and Western society.

Early this month the Georgia Writers Association announced Wilcox as Author of the Year for the first book in the trilogy, Inheritance. Although each book can be considered stand alones it may be preferable to read them in order to understand the early events that contributed to Holliday’s persona.  Wilcox strongly suggests this since “the first book sets everything up.  It is an integral part of his story surrounding his Georgia roots.” This first volume explains his origins as a son of the Old South, a sensitive and hot-tempered young adult.  The author wrote this as a historical novel for dialogue purposes, but insists that the events are realistic and fact-based.  What influences John Henry is his mother’s death from consumption, his father’s coldness and too-sudden remarriage to a pretty neighbor; and John Henry’s touching yet hopeless love for his Catholic cousin, Mattie Holliday, a sweet and passionate young woman. But even more importantly, readers will be enlightened as to how historical events also shaped Holliday’s life from the Civil War to the Federal Government’s imposition of martial law in Georgia until the 1870s.

The next book, Gone West, finds Holliday starting over in Texas after engaging in a violent act in his home state of Georgia. He attempts to remake his career and win back the respect of his family and the love of the girl he left behind. But his life in the West doesn't turn out the way he has planned, and soon he's in trouble with the law again. This book has a number of different western settings from Dallas to Dodge City, from Denver to Trinidad and the Santa Fe Trail to Las Vegas, New Mexico. Wilcox traveled to these towns, attempting to “show his world as he sees it.  I wanted to highlight the differences between these western towns.”

It is in this book that Wilcox starts examining the Doc Holliday legend and breaks down fact from fiction.  Readers will be astonished to learn he became one of the first practitioners of what is now considered cosmetic dentistry, and he wasn’t the drunk and mass murderer history has painted him to be. Unlike Jesse James, Holliday either killed in self-defense or to save someone’s life. Wilcox describes him as “handsome, stubborn, selfish, and arrogant.  I discuss his long time affair with Kate Elder, a former Prostitute.  He was addicted to gambling and supported himself through card playing and dentistry.  He overcame his mother’s moral teachings, living in sin and hardly feeling any guilt. Holliday was not very troubled about being unfaithful to Mattie because, as I write in the book, ‘Kate had his body, Mattie still had his heart.’”

What makes Wilcox’s book fascinating is that readers are able to understand the origins of issues important today. She skillfully examines racial tensions of the time in Inheritance, without pre-judging the characters, as well as the agrarian society versus the commercial business society. With Gone West she explains how and why western towns had gun control since most required guns to be checked in a hotel or saloon upon arrival and were not allowed in the town itself. 

Although introduced in the first novel, Wyatt Earp is a prevalent figure in this second book.  Readers will learn Earp was not a famous lawman, Holliday was not a notorious outlaw, and that these men became legends only after their deaths. Wilcox also explores how these two figures, although different as day and night, became close. Holliday is seen as committing his whole heart and soul to the Earps.  Why? Wilcox explained to blackfive.net, “He was attracted to the Earps because he wanted a family life.  Wyatt was seen as a fatherly figure and Morgan as a brother.  He lowered himself to be in the Earp world. Holliday was a Southern gentleman with a Southern background while the Earps were just frontiersmen.”

Due out next year, book three, The Last Decision, will further explore Holliday’s relationship with Elder and the Earps.  It will discuss how Holliday believed that he and other Western pioneers brought law and government to this part of the country.  As with the previous two novels Wilcox will also examine an issue relevant today by showing how border security issues may have caused the “Shooting at the OK Corral.”

Anyone who likes to read historical fiction or westerns will enjoy this trilogy.  These novels are more than just the story of Doc Holliday but also explain how the Old South meets the new western frontier. Wilcox writes an intriguing story that brings the characters to life. 

SSG Ryan Pitts to receive Medal of Honor- He talks about Wanat

Ryan Pitts
SSG Ryan Pitts is an amazing person and an exemplary paratrooper. He is the first to credit others and as disinterested in publicity as anyone you may ever meet. He will be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Wanat in the Waygul Valley, Afghanistan 13 July 2008. 

Wanat was a victory and should be remembered as one, but the cost was high and that should not be forgotten. The following is a list of the men we lost:

– Jonathan P. Brostrom, 24, of Aiea, Hawaii
– Israel Garcia, 24, of Long Beach, California
– Jonathan R. Ayers, 24, of Snellville, Georgia
– Jason M. Bogar, 25, of Seattle, Washington
– Jason D. Hovater, 24, of Clinton, Tennessee
– Matthew B. Phillips, 27, of Jasper, Georgia
– Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River, North Carolina
– Gunnar W. Zwilling, 20, of Florissant, Missouri
– Sergio S. Abad, 21, of Morganfield, Kentucky

There was also some controversy about the battle and I wrote about that for the Washington Times.

The Battle of Wanat, Afghanistan, in July 2008 was a tough pill to swallow. We lost nine men and 27 wounded at a remote outpost in Nuristan province when a platoon from the 2nd Battalion (Airborne) of the 503rd Infantry Regiment was attacked by more than 200 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters as they were constructing a new combat outpost (COP). It was even more painful as the unit was less than two weeks from finishing a brutal 15-month deployment that saw an average of three troops in contact incidents daily.

There have been multiple investigations and reports on the battle, including one that just finished. The interest is understandable, given the loss of life, but it appears that what once was a hunt for lessons to be learned has turned into a search for scapegoats. 

Several officers in the 2/503rd chain of command were given potentially career ending letters of reprimand and many members of the unit felt that was wrong. SSG Pitts and SGT Mike Denton decided to speak out and discuss the truth about events leading up to the battle as well as the fight itself. I had the privilege of leading them through that discussion in a one-hour plus episode of the Veteran Defenders of America show with Yankee Mom and Twana Blevins. Ryan and Mike did not want to be on the radio or talk about this at all, but they also did not want good officers punished unfairly so they told the story. It was spellbinding and in the end an amazing tale of bravery and brotherhood. It also helped tip the scales and get the letters of reprimand rescinded. There is some good music etc. at the beginning of the show and Ryan and Mike start about 9:30 into it.

Online Military Radio at Blog Talk Radio with No Surrender Princess on BlogTalkRadio

We can best honor those killed and wounded by treating the Battle of Wanat as another in the long and storied history of brave American paratroopers holding their ground against overwhelming odds. Airborne! All the way!

Obama flip flops on legal protections for troops in Iraq

The troops Obama is sending to Iraq now will have even less legal protection than we could have had in a deal to keep them there three years ago. You could savor the hypocrisy if people weren't dying over his mistake in not keeping troops there as we have done after every victory in the past 70 years.

Yet this time around, Obama is willing to accept an agreement from Iraq’s foreign ministry on U.S. forces in Iraq without a vote of Iraq’s parliament. “We believe we need a separate set of assurances from the Iraqis,” one senior U.S. defense official told The Daily Beast. This official said it would likely be an agreement or exchange of diplomatic notes from the Iraq’s foreign ministry. “We basically need a piece of paper from them,” another U.S. official involved in the negotiations told The Daily Beast. The official didn’t explain why the parliamentary vote, so crucial three years ago, was no longer needed.

The official didn't try to explain it, because it is unexplainable. The crisis Iraq currently faces is due to our abrupt exit after Obama torpedoed negotiations to stay there and help the Iraqis. And he refused that deal over the exact same issue he is currently ignoring. The only thing that has changed about this is the political consideration. Obama is not running for reelection so it is just fine for our troops to go back without a Status of Forces agreement to clean up the mess he caused. 

The Obama folks in charge of that debacle are scrambling to cover their butts for failing to foresee the most likely outcome of cutting and running.

“The notion that Syria would completely fall apart and become this major staging ground for Nusra and ISIS, which wasn’t even ISIS at the time, I don’t think people anticipated and I don’t think could have been anticipated,” said Colin Kahl, who was the Pentagon official in charge of Iraq until the withdrawal.

That is one way to spin it, but ISIS is simply a new name for the same Sunni extremists who have been infiltrating from Syria for about a decade now. Well, not the whole decade because with the Surge and the Anbar Awakening, we shut them down and brought peace to Iraq. Yes, Peace, right up until Mr. Kahl and the Obama war-enders sent us scurrying for the exits and sent a clear message to the extremists that it was time for them to start re-forming, re-surging and re-beheading. As far as seeing it coming, well, we here at BLACKFIVE sure did.


Iran and Syria are already actively engaged with Iraq destructively.


Those "networks providing advanced weaponry and training" certainly are based in Iran and Syria. It sounds like he said we are going after terrorist training camps and the IED assembly facilities, doesn't it?


Actions by neighboring states compound Iraq's challenges. Syria has taken some steps to reduce the flow of foreign fighters through its territory, but not enough to shut down the key network that supports Al Qaeda-Iraq.


Crocker alternated between a sense of accomplishment for a state of relative calm that he deemed almost unthinkable 18 months ago and repeated caveats that progress could still unravel, particularly with a quick U.S. withdrawal. 

He warned that Iran and Syria could perceive a vacuum and carry out their "less-than-benign intentions,"


Iraqi and US forces dealt al Qaeda in Iraq a major blow last week during a raid in Mosul that killed the terror group's top facilitator, who was based out of Syria.


Iraq is free to choose its own path in a dangerous region and that is a good thing. But they do not act in a vacuum. Iran and Syria and others attempt to influence them and not in ways that are good for peace-loving people. We sacrificed the lives of thousands of US troops to allow millions of Iraqis to taste freedom. Now that they have had the barest sip at that nectar, our naif in chief will dash their hope.

Syria has been one the main facilitators of foreign jihadi infitration to Iraq where they killed hundreds of American troops. They housed, fed, equipped and transported thousands of these suicide cultists


The Syrian Christians to a man told me that the “freedom fighters” where nothing more than Sunni Jihadists looking to take advantage of the various “Arab Spring” movements that had been successfully overthrowing stable dictatorships throughout the region in favor of radicalized Muslim groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda.


I don't believe I can add much to this beyond, too late jackass.

One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity "just muscular enough not to get mocked"