Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
This much we pledge—and more. -JFK
Thursday, February 22
Just Plain Ignorant
New plans by Senate Democrats to attempt to micro-manage the Iraq war are, at best, stupid, and at worst, traitorous.
As if our troops haven't had enough problems with the ridiculous rules of engagement placed on them, Democrats now want to give strict limits on what it is they are allowed to do in fighting this war.
Let me be as clear about this as I can be; limiting the actions our troops can take during war is borderline treason. Being a traitor to your country means giving aid and support to the enemy. I think that stopping our forces from actively engaging the enemy, thus removing any chance of winning the war, falls under the category of aiding the enemy.
I don't care who you are, you cannot claim to support the troops and then slowly remove everything they need to do their job. You cannot follow Murtha's plan of slow bleed, you cannot pass non-binding resolutions condemning the action they are in, and you cannot micro-manage the war. If you want to see us win this war (and I have serious doubts about whether the vast majority of Democrats in power as well as a lot of spineless Republicans want to see that), then sit down and shut up. The constant bashing of the war by the Democratic leadership has done nothing but embolden our enemies.
To date we have a little over 3,000 soldiers killed in the war on terrorism, but according to the Family Security Matters report, 2,158 murders are being committed by illegal aliens every year. That's about 15% of homicides reported by the F.B.I., which is about three times the representation of illegal aliens in the general population.
How long till we have weeping mothers of those killed by illegal immigrants being given a national stage to call for the securing of our borders, a la Cindy Sheehan? This doesn't fit in with the world view of those in the MSM, so don't hold your breath waiting on it.
The fight between Clinton and Obama is finally starting to get interesting. David Geffen, a long-time supporter of Bill Clinton, recently threw his money and his support behind Obama, much to the chagrin of Hillary. Geffen also had this to say:
"..said in the interview that Clinton is "a reckless guy" and he doesn't think Sen. Clinton can bring the country together during a time of war, no matter how smart or ambitious she is."
Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson said there is no room in the campaign for such "personal insults". Clinton's camp then went on to say that Obama should return the donation from Geffen.
This begs the question, will Hillary return money to any donor that claims that George W. is more dangerous to the world than terrorists, or who calls him a liar? Because obviously we can't have those kinds of personal insults in a civilized campaign like this.
"Barbers involved in anti-Islamic activities like shaving beards are warned that they would themselves be responsible for any damage to their shops and houses," read the Pashto-language notice on a barber shop at the village of Inayat Kalay.
Islam needs a reformation. The big questions are 1.) is this possible, and 2.) when will the moderate Muslims stand up and say enough is enough? If Islam is a religion of peace that is being hijacked by the Islamo-fascists, then it's about time someone tried to take it back.
I have found my new favorite place to buy Tees. Ranger Up, by military men, for military men and women.
I had already decided I really liked them just from their shirt designs, but then I read this quote from What Ranger Up Despises
2. France. They never support us. They lose all their wars. They break all kinds of UN trade restriction with our enemies. Their “culture department” made using many English words illegal. All this, and they still have De Gaulle (oh, we’re sorry) to try to play the “high moral ground” card as they take a back seat in the world’s struggle to defeat an enemy that threatens the very fabric of western civilization. We understand they’re busy, but how much time does it take to practice weapons dropping and white-flag waving?
I ordered the shirt that is pictured in this post, and will be ordering more in the future.
There is a new WP article out today about the lack of armor upgrades for Humvees. Ever since this war began, I've heard countless people, including people I work with, complaining about the lack of armor on Humvees, how Bush isn't doing enough to protect our troops, etc., etc.
Please allow me to give you a brief lesson in military vehicles. The Humvee is, for all intents and purposes, a glorified Jeep. It was never designed to be an armored vehicle. In fact, most of the Hummers you see whipping around military bases in the U.S. have a piece of canvas covering the back. The first thing they tell you in Basic Training is that it is a "light-skinned vehicle". This means don't hide behind it, because it won't stop a bullet.
The Military has vehicles for just such a purpose; they're called Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) and Infantry Fighting Vehicles (like the M2 Bradley.
The Army began the Iraq war with an estimated $56 billion equipment shortage and has struggled to keep up with demands for new armor to protect against increasingly deadly bombs. In the case of FRAG Kit 5, the Army quickly produced a bolt-on version in limited quantities, while the permanent version has taken longer than expected to develop, test, produce and install.
What they don't point out is why we have that short-fall. I blame two men for this, Bush H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
I know a lot of you are shocked by that statement, because I'm bad-mouthing a Republican President, but here's why.
I lived in Europe during Bush 41's tenure. I lived through military budget cuts, base closings and troop reductions. The cold war had just "ended" and Democrats were everywhere declaring victory and spouting how we no longer needed such a large standing army. We were, after all, victorious. Why should we waste all that money of defense when there was no one left to attack us?
So Bush took this normal route of appeasement and gave them pretty much anything they wanted. The base where I lived in Germany reverted back to the Germans in 1993. The base where I graduated from High School assimilated the personnel from four or five surrounding bases, all of which closed.
Under Clinton the budget cuts got worse. Here are some of the cuts under Clinton's watch:
709,000 regular (active duty) personnel.
293,000 reserve troops.
eight standing army divisions!
20 Air Force and Navy air wings with 2,000 combat aircraft
232 strategic bombers.
9 strategic ballistic missile submarines with 3,114 nuclear warheads on 232 missiles.
When George W. Bush took office, the military was 40% smaller than when Clinton took office. We were attacked, and we responded.
Unfortunately, when you go to war you don't go with the army you wish you had, you go with the army you have.
Bush could have sat and waited, increasing military funding and building the military before making a move. But how many more attacks would have happened in the mean time?
So next time you're sitting around the table at lunch, listening to people complain about the lack of protection for our troops, you can be the source of enlightenment for them.
I could try to summarize it here for you, but If you care about whether you should be for or against this surge, then you should go read the whole thing for yourself.
Also of note:
The day that Anna Nicole Smith died, the headlines were dominated by her death, and the the numbers of troops killed in Iraq. Did anyone read of the success stories released by CENTCOM the same day? I know I didn't. Read them all here.
It seems that the enemy possesses that which most of our esteemed congressmen do not; the will to fight.
"We [hereby] inform the Sunnis of a [new] plan called the Plan of Honor, which is more comprehensive and more perfect [than the existing plan] and includes not only Baghdad but all parts of the Islamic State [of Iraq]... [This plan] will end with Bush announcing the failure of his [security] plan and signing an agreement of defeat... The goals of the plan are: to defend our people and our honor; to rout out the invaders and eradicate the remaining pockets and bases of heresy; to butcher the wounded Crusader tyrant and take advantage of the collapse of morale among [the Crusader] soldiers and commanders; to unite the ranks of the mujahideen and to strengthen the foundations of the Islamic State [of Iraq].
While the chicken hawks in the Senate dick around trying to find the most efficient manor in which to lose this war, the enemy is making plans for victory.
Smith, 39, collapsed and was unresponsive while staying at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe Hotel and Casino, said the attorney, Ron Rale. She was rushed to a hospital.
In related news, Trim spa has been sued under allegations of deceptive business practices.
First her son dies under mysterious circumstances, then the paternity of her 5-month old daughter comes into dispute, then the company she endorses is sued, and finally she drops dead under mysterious circumstances.
Anyone else smell the makings of a conspiracy theory / movie of the week?
When I first saw this headline, it was right under a headline about fires killing 14 in Kentucky and Tennessee, so I thought they may be somehow connected. I mean, if the Easy-Bake Oven is a fire hazard, then by all means, please take it back and fix it. Who knows how many have been maimed or killed by this fiendish toy.
Oh wait, what's this?
About 985,000 Easy-Bake Ovens sold since last May have been recalled because children can get their hands or fingers caught in the oven’s opening, which poses an entrapment or burn hazard.
The ovens are manufactured by Easy-Bake, a division of Hasbro Inc. The company has received 29 reports of children getting their fingers or hands caught in the product, including five reports of burns. (Emphasis mine)
So let me get this straight. Hasbro is recalling nearly 1 million toys because 29 kids have gotten their hands stuck in them, and five have gotten burned. Five kids. Seriously?
We are collectively raising a generation of pussies. When I was a kid a lot of my friends received wood burning kits for Christmas. It was a metal rod that got hot and you used it to intentionally burn wood. Can you imagine a product so fiendish, so vile, that it's intended use is to overheat to a point that you can scorch a piece of wood?
And we're recalling the Easy-Bake Oven because five kids got burned. That seems like a sound business practice.
Now you kids go play. And put on your helmets. And shin guards. And gloves and elbow pads. And sunscreen. Oh, and here's your mosquito repellent. Deet free, of course. Never mind, come back in here and play some more PS3. It's safer.
Who overpaid for copiers by $900,000 and whose cousin owns that office supply company?
Why has it taken three decades to notice a dead employee?
Where is the outrage? If this had been a large corporation, Michael Moore would already be making a documentary. Since it's the hallowed institution of public school, we'll slap a few wrists and increase the budget even more to hire more people to watch the budget to make sure it's not being wasted.
Why are the parents of students in Camden, N.J. not asking for a refund? $130,000 per year could have sent a dozen or so of their children to private schools each year, where they would most likely have received a much better education.
Why does this story not talk about anyone going to jail? Again, if this were Enron or Haliburton there would be people calling for blood.
Is the answer to a government institution wasting taxpayer money really to create another government institution to make sure the first doesn't waste money? See Department Of Redundancy Department
I used to work for a school system, and while I've never seen waste quite that egregious, I have seen some absolutely ridiculous expenditures. Usually it's in the name of having to get rid of excess cash at the end of the year so you don't lose that funding the next year.
But just think how much money our schools would have if we weren't spending so much on the war. I mean, these poor, cash-strapped institutions can barely afford to keep paying employees for three decades after their demise. With the proper funding, this employee could have been paid for decades longer.
There are a lot of Democrats lately who would like to pretend that they never thought this war was a good idea. They use phrases like "the President misled us" or "Bush lied, soldiers died". The truth is that when we went to war, the vast majority of Americans supported the war, and the vast majority of Democrats supported it as well.
They will now claim that they only supported it because Bush lied to them about Iraq's WMDs, but I think it's about time for a little history lesson.
Did you catch the new fearless leader of the House in there? On November 17, 2002 on Meet The Press, Nancy Pelosi said,
"Saddam Hussein certainly has chemical and biological weapons, there's no doubt about that.
Also be sure to catch Harry Reid, also from 2002, as he says,
"..I think the President is approaching this in the right fashion."
"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
Since Hillary is the current Democratic front-runner, let's take a look at her specifically and what her views were about the U.S. going to war and doing it with or without the support of the rest of the world.
There is a very easy way to prevent anyone from being put into harm's way, and that is for Saddam Hussein to disarm. And I have absolutely no belief that he will. I have to say that this is something I have followed for more than a decade. If he were serious about disarming, he would have been much more forthcoming. I ended up voting for the resolution after carefully reviewing the information, intelligence that I had available, talking with people whose opinions I trusted, trying to discount political or other factors that I didn't believe should be in any way a part of this decision. I would love to agree with you, but I can't, based on my own understanding and assessment of the situation. (emphasis mine)
Notice that last line. Her decision to vote to authorize the President to go to war had nothing at all to do with Bush misleading her, it had to do with her own knowledge and research.
SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES. (a) AUTHORIZATION.—The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to— (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
Notice the relevant term here, he may use the Armed Forces as he determines to be necessary and appropriate. That means he can order a surge in troops and congress can take their non-binding resolution of condemnation and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.
We've seen what happens when congress tries to micro-manage a war; you get footage of the U.S. Embassy being evacuated off the roof as the flag is lowered. I don't think America is ready for another defeat, and the best way to avoid that is to let Bush's plan work.
Look, I haven't drank the Bush Kool-Aid. But for as much that has gone wrong in Iraq, there is just as much that has gone right.*
At least 263 Shiite fighters were killed and 502 arrested during fierce fighting with Iraqi forces near Najaf, according to an Iraqi defence ministry spokesman.
"The final toll in the military operations north of holy Najaf totalled 263 killed, and 502 arrested including 210 injured," spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said Tuesday.
If you read the article, you will see that the raid was carried out by Iraqi forces backed up by American and British forces. This is exactly the kind of operation everyone has been whining about. Everyone bitches and moans that the Iraqi's aren't doing enough for themselves, and we need to set deadlines to motivate them. I think this is a fair indication that they are pretty damned motivated.
Let me wrap this all up for you. Saddam was a bad man who thumbed his nose at the international community for far too long. He actively pursued chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, while at the same time doing all he could to thwart U.N. inspectors. Given a last chance to cooperate and prove that he had either disarmed or did not possess WMDs, he chose again to ignore the Security Council and all pertinent resolutions. As a result, the United States Congress voted to give President Bush the authority to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam.
Whether you agree with it or not, that is what happened. Now we are there, we have destabalized a country and we cannot just go "oops, sorry about that" and jerk our troops out just because some of them have died. Believe me, there is no one in this country who hates the thoughts of troops dying any more than I do. I have known hundreds of soldiers over the years, and still have friends serving. I don't want to see any of them die, but more than that I want to see this action succeed.
You want to say you support the troops? Then write your Senator and tell him/her to vote down this damn non-binding resolution and get behind the President on increasing the troops. We have fresh leadership in Iraq and a new National Security Advisor, lets allow them to do their job.
I decided that I was putting too much of the politics into the personal blog. We have a decidedly split readership, with half coming for the drama and half for the politics, so I split and started this new site for those of you who are more interested in the politics than how many times we had sex last weekend.
For the record, it was a lot. And it was damn good. But that's beside the point.
Welcome to my new spot to rant and rave about all things political. It's going to be fun.