Saturday, April 29, 2006
“We are relieved. We just didn’t feel safe any longer in our own homes. Of course, we consider it to be terrible for Hirsi Ali to have to leave her house. The case was not directed at her personally. The point was that the State should not open us to so much danger”Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a hero to all who love freedom. She was one of the first to warn Europe and The Netherlands of the Death Cult of the Moon God that was growing in their home. Her friend was killed, and she is under a death threat. Her neighbors; well, they want to throw her into the cold, dark, night - naked, unarmed, with a bell around her neck. The EU is helping them.
Translation via Andrew Stuttaford at The Corner:
“Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s neighbors have sued the Dutch state in order to get her to be removed from the apartment complex in which she is living under police protection. The request was initially rejected, but following an appeal a higher court has now ordered Hirsi Ali to leave her house within four months, I translate: “The court considers in its ruling that the neighbors have been put into a situation that has contributed to them feeling less safe in their own house. That feeling is extended to the communal living spaces of the apartment complex, but also to their own apartments. The court argues that this is a severe violation of one’s private life (as per Article 8 of the European Treaty for Human Rights).This is about a perfect example of the "I hope they kill me last...." train of thought that has soaked Europe in blood so many times. Peiter Dorsman at Peaktalk puts it very well:
The State may appeal this ruling, in which case it will go to the Dutch Supreme Court. The potential of a ruling that will favor Hirsi Ali and is able to address the upset neighbors may turn out to become a costly adventure for Dutch authorities as it is not just about one outspoken member of parliament. Beyond a number of politicians there is a growing constituency of writers, artists and cartoonists who may rightfully claim government protection. And in most cases their neighbors are equally likely to take a less than charitable view of their right to exercise free speech. This is once more evidence of how Europeans fail to understand the bigger picture and are more than willing to let some short term comfort prevail over the long term survival of core values that built their societies in the first place.There are some great Dutch citizens out there. Will they come to Ayaan's help, or are they willing, again, to passively put someone on a train to their certain death?
So there are no winners here. The neighborhood is unmasked as a group whose shallow self interest is paramount, the State may have made a few mistakes and will have to spend yet more on security and Ayaan, well, she remains the hunted one. It seems that those responsible for threatening her will have the last laugh.
Friday, April 28, 2006
- Unemployment: doing great.
- Consumer confidence: going up.
- Growth: continues to expand.
- Recruiting: up.
- Reenlistment: up.
- Education: military greater than general population.
- Government: forming well.
- Sistani – says its time to end militias.
- Troops levels: down 20% and decreasing.
- Refugees: returning.
- Dutch: fighting.
- Murder: rates down.
- Crime in general: down.
- Teenage pregnancy: down.
- Abortion rates: down.
- Marriage success: up.
There, be happy. Have a good weekend and know that you live in the “good ‘ole days.”
As for Phibian, hey, my HDL is 68 and I weigh the same as I did in 1994 and have only added 1” to my waist since I was 17 (well over 6' and under 200#). My wife still laughs with and at me.
No, I am not medicated. Won’t do it. I want my anger…it just isn’t here today.
Well, kind of. Really lame when you think about it....but fun to blog about anyway.
Vandals staged attacks early Wednesday on the buildings used by the Reserve Officers' Training Corps at N.C. State University and UNC-Chapel Hill, echoing similar assaults on three Triangle recruiting stations last month.
As before, vandals sprayed anti-war slogans and profanity, splashed red paint and claimed responsibility with a mass e-mail message to area media outlets.
I know Chapel Hill. It is kind of like Greenwich Village South, politics wise - so this isn't a shocker. No shocker here....and that is SO lame. Hey kid, no one is asking you to anything money-sponge. I wonder if they know this brings more laughs than respect. Snicker.
Hat tip from Michelle, but EagleSpeak, BLACKFIVE, and Lex are on it too.
Cassella said he believes that the incident grew out of a "misperception" among cadets that they had been tricked into complying with a surprise drug search. They had been awakened around dawn on April 19 for a fire drill, but while they were still outside, police squads entered the buildings with drug-sniffing dogs. Frustration built during the day, and the outburst began at about 10:30 that night and lasted an hour, he said.Good for them.
No narcotics were found in the search, and no disciplinary charges have been brought since the incident.
So, when some at Annapolis make students sit down and be lectured at like they are a bunch of sexually deviant, small, masturbating, rapist, children – as opposed to the adult Midshipmen training to be leaders in combat – what protests may happen?
Hmmmmm. As everyone sits trough the “Can I touch you” <> lecture and then get up to leave when it is over; should each mandatory member of the audience leave a half-dozen condoms on their seat? Should everyone mail a condom to … well … you can figure it out. Just don’t leave any fingerprints…
It is official now (this is coming from a Navy guy): the Army has lovers of freedom and fairness coming down the line; the Navy seems to have nothing but geldings.
...(he) wasn’t perfect. He was quick-tempered and had a big ego. At sea, (he) was invincible ... But he was awkward on land and not good at the office politics ... While these flaws dogged him, they paled in comparison to (his) enormous tactical skill and unshakable will to win.It is always best to let yourself and your loved ones be the judge. More often than not, the truth will come out. Below is the whole story from the IBD.
...(he) never saw the inside of a military academy, (and) nixed spit-and-polish leadership. He was a tough disciplinarian, but he preferred leading through personal example. He often was in the thick of the fighting, urging his crew onward.
...(he)used his own funds to launch or keep his often-leaky warships afloat.
...he’d been outmaneuvered for bigger and better commands by less able, more politically astute rivals. Disgusted, he left the U.S. in self-imposed exile.
...(later in another nation's navy) victory caused jealous ... officers to downplay (his) feat with (the executive). He lost his command and returned to France. He died cash-strapped in Paris ... and was buried in a cemetery that later became a garbage dump.
For John Paul Jones, no deed was impossible. Odds might seem impossible; resources might be impossibly scant. But the way Jones saw it, no action was out of reach if he put his mind toward success.
The first officer to command a warship under an American flag, Jones is considered a founder of the U.S. Navy. A merchant sea captainturned-swashbuckler, he became the first U.S. naval officer to willingly put himself under civilian command. The precedent he set contributed to the nation’s concept of civilian control of the military.
Jones (1747-92) was also the first U.S. military figure to push for a strong Navy. He foresaw long before others that naval power would play a critical role in the rise of the U.S. as a world power.
These lesser-known feats rank beside more famous ones like his capture of the British frigate Serapis in a sea battle off the British Coast in 1779. His surprise victory was one of the shocks that forced Britain to recognize U.S. independence. “His victory was an important strategic accomplishment at an absolutely crucial time,” said Joseph Callo, the author of “John Paul Jones, America’s First Sea Warrior” and a retired rear admiral in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
Jones was born in Scotland, the son of a gardener on a large estate. He spent his youth learning the ways of the sea on merchant ships, crossing the Atlantic many times until the American Revolution.
A Scot with no love for Britain, Jones gravitated early to the American cause. “He embraced that cause and that cause kept him going even when he wasn’t well-treated or frustrated by his superiors,” Callo said. Jones pushed from the start for a regular commission in the nascent U.S. Navy, even though he might’ve made more money seizing British ships as a privateer on contract with the Continental Congress. He got the commission, but not much financial support. Sometimes Jones, who never made much money, used his own funds to launch or keep his often-leaky warships afloat.
Jones wasn’t perfect. He was quick-tempered and had a big ego. At sea, Jones was invincible and never lost a battle. But he was awkward on land and not good at the office politics of his day.
While these flaws dogged him, they paled in comparison to Jones’ enormous tactical skill and unshakable will to win.
A lowborn sea captain who never saw the inside of a military academy, Jones nixed spit-and-polish leadership. He was a tough disciplinarian, but he preferred leading through personal example. He often was in the thick of the fighting, urging his crew onward.
Though he pushed his sailors, Jones was sensitive to their sufferings. He raised a ruckus when petty bureaucrats denied his crew members prize money they were owed for captured ships, and kept lobbying until they received the cash. Such acts earned Jones the loyalty of his men, who eagerly went the extra mile for him in their battles against superior British forces.
Jones, a protege of Benjamin Franklin, would take orders from those he respected — including Franklin and other Founding Fathers. The concept of civilian control of the military stemmed from there, Callo said.
A contrarian in war, Jones preferred to turn difficulty into advantage. If his ship was smaller than the enemy’s, he used it to maneuver faster. If foes were overconfident, he used their smugness to knock them off guard.
His most legendary use of this approach was Jones’ transformation of a worn-out French merchant vessel into the Bon Homme Richard, the ship in which he won his greatest victory.
The leaky ship carried cast-off cannon and was manned by a ragtag crew of Americans and foreigners. Jones used discipline and a commanding presence honed through years at sea to hammer them into an effective fighting force. Repeated drills and rousing speeches helped keep the crew focused.
The Bon Homme Richard was the flagship of a tiny flotilla sent to raid the English Coast. Jones’ small fleet was challenged by the Serapis, a first-class British frigate near Flamborough Head off Britain’s eastern coast on Sept. 23, 1779.
He ordered his flagship to meet the Serapis in single-ship combat The Serapis was one of the most powerful ships in the British navy Jones risked getting close to it so he could bring the martial skills of his crew to bear. He also had a surprise for the British. Aboard the Bon Homme Richard were 140 Irish marines drawn from regiments in the French army Jones knew these Irish exiles had a special beef with England and would fight with extra ferocity. In a magnificent show of seamanship, Jones brought his ship alongside the Serapis before its guns could pound him to pieces. Once the two joined and held fast, Jones had achieved his purpose. The sea battle, to all intents and purposes, had become a land battle.
As Irish marines swept the decks of the British ship with musket fire, hundreds of colonial seamen, freed slaves, Malays and stateless castaways boarded the Serapis with cutlasses and boarding hooks. In the three-hour fight that followed, more than half the Bon Homme Richard’s crew of 322 would be killed or wounded, as cannons on both ships continued to pound each other at point-blank range.
The tenacity of the American assault stunned the British. In the past, they’d triumphed easily over inferior American ships because of better firepower and equipment. At one point in the melee, the Bon Homme Richard began taking on water. The British captain urged Jones to strike his flag and surrender. It was then that Jones gave his famous reply, “I have not yet begun to fight.”
“It was Jones’ doctrine that ‘I will never give up,’ ” Callo said. “(The fight) was long past the point when other commanders would have surrendered. He could have done it and no one would have blamed him. But Jones wouldn’t give up.” An hour later, it was the British who struck their flag and surrendered.
Jones was hailed as a hero. But by the end of the Revolution, he’d been outmaneuvered for bigger and better commands by less able, more politically astute rivals. Disgusted, he left the U.S. in self-imposed exile.
He served a stint in the navy of Czarina Catherine the Great of Russia and helped drive the Turks from a key fortress on the Black Sea. But Jones’ victory caused jealous Russian officers to downplay Jones’ feat with the czarina. He lost his command and returned to France.
He died cash-strapped in Paris in 1792 and was buried in a cemetery that later became a garbage dump. Jones’ remains stayed there until 1905 when they were exhumed on orders of President Theodore Roosevelt. To make up for Jones’ previous 100 years of anonymity, an honor guard of 500 American sailors escorted Jones’ coffin to a waiting U.S. cruiser at a French port.
Seven U.S. battleships formed an honor guard as the cruiser with Jones’ casket rounded Nantucket in Massachusetts and made for the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. Jones now rests there in a guarded, marble tomb beneath the school’s chapel.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Iran has received a first shipment of missiles fromNorth Korea that are capable of reaching Europe, Israel's military intelligence chief was quoted on Thursday as saying.Can you say "Yankee Box?" Yes my friends, it is that SS-N-6 that was carried on the Yankee class SSBN. Here are all the yummy stats - but here is the one to think about if you assume they get the Mod 3: range 3,200km. Spending a little time on my Garmin software, I have roughed out a map.
Known in the West as BM-25s, the Russian-designed missiles have a range of around 1,500 miles, giving them a longer reach than the Iranian-made Shihab-4 missiles which are capable of hitting Israel.
The intelligence chief, Major-General Amos Yadlin, was quoted by Israel's Haaretz newspaper as saying in a lecture on Wednesday that some BM-25s had arrived in Iran.
The BM-25 was originally manufactured in the Soviet Union, where it was known as the SSN6, a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, Haaretz reported.
As you will see, the 'ole Serb isn't quite the ICBM, but if I were an Iranian planner, I would look at a few launch sites in the mountains SE of Tabriz around Soleyman Darreshi to cover as much of Europe as I can, and perhaps another site in the mountains of NE Iran near Siah Kuh.
This is Iran's start. This is mostly about Israel, but they can handle themselves. Iran can't quite threaten London or Paris right now, but they have most of the rest covered. Happy with this? You know Germany, the US doesn't cover you with nukes anymore. France, the U.K.? Hello? We are still taking partners. The Japanese are on board. The Poles are on board.....
I encourage my fellow Americans and free people everywhere to see "United 93."The review is by David Beamer, Todd Beamer's father. If it is good enough for him, it is good enough for me.
Be reminded of our very real enemy. Be inspired by a true story of heroic actions taken by ordinary people with victorious consequences. Be thankful for each precious day of life with a loved one and make the most of it. Resolve to take the right action in the situations of life, whatever they may be. Resolve to give thanks and support to those men, women, leaders and commanders who to this day (1,687 days since Sept. 11, 2001) continue the counterattacks on our enemy and in so doing keep us safe and our freedoms intact.
May the taste of freedom for people of the Middle East hasten victory. The enemy we face does not have the word "surrender" in their dictionary. We must not have the word "retreat" in ours. We surely want our troops home as soon as possible. That said, they cannot come home in retreat. They must come home victoriously. Pray for them.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
India is to open its first overseas military base this year in the impoverished central Asian country of Tajikistan - a testament to its emerging status on the world stage.As others have said, each year India is coming more and more into her rightful place; a strong player in the Anglosphere. Yes, it is a good thing. I feel at peace. Time to think about a good Hoegaarden.
The Indian air force will station up to two squadrons of MiG-29s at the refurbished former Soviet airbase of Farkhor more than 60 miles from the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, Jane's Defence Weekly said, citing defence officials.
Hat tip Captain's Quarters.
The American public is being lulled into a false sense of insecurity. And insecurity, constructed or real, is what gives those in power - our purported protectors - their self-righteous aura of indispensability.I can’t believe this guy is a professor at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at National Defense University; well actually I do. He is a smart guy, West Point Class of ’69 and all, but beyond this article from the Baltimore Sun, you see a classic Leftist Militarists along the lines of Les Aspin. Nice smart guy, but just stuck in the Carter Administration. Well, lets get back to the Fisking.
President Bush; Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld; the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace; the head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. John P. Abizaid; and the recently released Quadrennial Defense Review, among other authoritative purveyors of received wisdom, all warn us that we're embroiled in - and destined to be further subjected to - what is to be known as a Long War....and your counter argument is…..
It would be one thing if such semantic legerdemain reflected revelatory strategic insight or a more sophisticated appreciation of the intrinsic nature of postmodern conflicts and enemies. But that is not the case. In fact, it's hard to avoid the cynical view that America's senior military leaders are willfully playing public relations handmaiden to their political overlords at the expense of a naive, trusting citizenry.Oh, if everyone was as wise as you, or better yet, all power was in the hand of you and like minded men and womyn, then all decisions would be right, correct, perfect, and the world would break out in Perpetual Peace.
The intent of the message is to dull our senses, to dampen our expectations, to thereby deaden the critical, dissenting forces of democracy that produce political turbulence and impede autocratic license. Being warned here amounts to being disarmed - intellectually and civically.Anyway, down the hill from here is a standard issue Howard Dean stump speech. Yawn.
I would really expect more from this guy, but you have to give it to him, he is consistent when you read a lot of his work. The thing that bugs me about this article is it could be pasted together by bits-and-pieces by clipping The Village Voice, The Nation, DailyKos, and DemocraticUnderground. Yes, I read/visit them.
Having read this for the 3rd time, I have realized why this seems so tired and stale; not only did we read all of this tripe in 2004, you could almost take this word-for-word from a lot of the junk written at the end of the Cold War during the Reagan Years.
America's ruling elite has once again opted for rhetorical contrivance and the politics of fear over the bold, creative strategic leadership expected of the world's self-proclaimed only superpower.Professor Foster, you left this at the last A.N.S.W.E.R. meeting.
Mesmerized by their own illogic, they have failed to recognize that perpetual war can never lead to the ideal state of perpetual peace that Immanuel Kant spoke of over two centuries ago. It can only drain us of all we are and possess.
BTW, you really have to watch this PowerPoint presentation he gave at the Canadian Forces Symposium. 14 January 2003. I want you to at least get to the slide titled to “Path to Perpetual Peace” to see where this guy is coming from, but you need to see the whole thing. Just a bit of warning, with statements like, “The future is where we are destined to spend the rest of our lives,” you might worry about what your tax dollars are paying for.
This guy has some solid ideas that are good things to argue about. I am not saying he is right, as a matter of fact, about 50% of his stuff is just goofy, but that is OK. One doesn’t hone one’s opinions in an echo chamber. Then again, if I read "Post-Modern" in one more product from him......
He is seriously waiting for the next Democratic administration.....
TCR: Link Fixed.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
One thing I want to focus on is something in the beginning. A quote from:
Thorbjørn Jagland is a former Foreign Minister and Prime Minister of Norway from the Labor Party. He is now President of the Storting, the Norwegian Parliament, and thus technically speaking the highest ranking person in the country, next to the King. He recently wrote an essay to Aftenposten newspaper entitled Islamofobi vårt nye spøkelse? (Islamophobia our new ghost/specter?) where he warned against the dangers of Islamophobia. According to Jagland, seemingly paraphrasing the Communist Manifesto, a specter is haunting Europe – the specter of Islamophobia. Between the lines, Jagland seems to hint that the situation in Europe is now similar to that of the 1930s: We are very close to a new world war and the downfall of European democracy, a conclusion I wholeheartedly support.Islamophobia. Hmmmm. Really? OK, here we go. “The Salamander Conjecture.” – Europe is actually racked by Islamic Anti-Semitism and a smaller naceant native Anti-Semitism – not Islamophobia.
Here is how one can test my conjecture. Over a 33 day period, on different streets at different times (summertime it is warm enough in Scandinavia to do this, late-JUN to go prior to holiday season) a 10-minute walk will be conducted through three different neighbourhoods: (1) Predominately Muslim, (2) Predominately indigenous Northern European, (3) Predominately Jewish (if one can be found). The walks on Friday and Saturday must take place between 2100-2359 local time.
The four test subjects of neutral ethnic appearance, but of similar sex/age/size will wear one of four white t-shirts; one with a large Norwegian Flag, one with a large American Flag, a large Israeli Flag, a large Turkish Flag – front and back.
Each day each subject (and therefore each flag) will go on a neighbourhood walk. With a hidden camera in a carried bag, and followed by other hidden cameramen to record reactions, the subjects will casually walk without making eye contact and record afterwards any hostile action/comments.
At the end of test period, build a grid and statistical breakdown of reactions. I don't know, something like this.
Hostile act/hostile words.I don't know about you - but I don't think Islamophobia would be your result. Similar thinking by the Left did not quite turn out to their thinking here.
Hey, if I lived there, I would run this. Anyone here know some brave, open minded college students in Norway/Denmark willing to give this a run?
Monday, April 24, 2006
For the past 137 years, a mysterious wreck has emerged at low tide each day on a beach off the coast of Panama. Researchers now know that it's the presumed lost "Sub Marine Explorer," one of the world's first submarines and a vessel that would ultimately kill its German inventor.
"I have been extremely troubled by the efforts of a group of retired generals to force the resignation of our Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld," Ford, 92, wrote. "President Bush is right to keep him in his post. It is the President's decision -- and his alone."'Nuff said.
Ford wrote that retired generals should not decide the nation's war policies and leadership lest it set "a dangerous precedent that would severely undermine our country's long tradition of civilian control of the military."
"It would discourage civilian leaders at the department from having frank and candid exchanges with military officers," Ford wrote. "And, today, at a time of war, such an effort sends exactly the wrong message both to our troops deployed abroad and to our enemies who are watching for any signs of weakness or self-doubt."
Wilkerson was responsible for the one-week review of information from the Central Intelligence Agency that was used to prepare Powell for his February 2003 presentation to the United Nations Security Council. His failure to realize that the evidence was faulty has been blamed on the limited time he had to review the data. The subsequent developments led Wilkerson to become disillusioned: "Combine the detainee abuse issue with the ineptitude of post-invasion planning for Iraq, wrap both in this blanket of secretive decision-making . . . and you get the overall reason for my speaking out."Since then he has been in high-dungeon - so bad that last year even Colin Powell has disowned him.
He has a rather strange OP-ED bit that gets history wrong, quotes wrong, and, well, is getting all frothy.
Mr. Perle do not represent the bulk of Americans, who are anything but radical. Instead, they represent the Robespierres and Napoleons of this world, the neo-Jacobins of today. Robespierre was a leader of the reign of terror.I'll leave you scratching on that, here are a vew things speckled through...
We can turn back; moreover, we must if the world is to continue on a trajectory of more freedom and more prosperity for increasing numbers of people. Without American leadership - the good America - the world cannot progress.
If we are in some way the indispensable nation that a few Americans have said we are, then that is why. And it is no arrogance of power to say it; rather, it is to admit abiding reverence for the way the world works.
Such awesome responsibility generates not the swaggering ineptitude of which we have witnessed so much of late, but the abject humility that should flood us when we confront such unprecedented responsibility. I imagine the feeling to be something akin to what Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower felt moments before the invasion of Normandy began June 6, 1944.
From the Kyoto accords to the International Criminal Court, from torture and cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners to rendition of innocent civilians, from illegal domestic surveillance to lies about leaking, from energy ineptitude to denial of global warming, from cherry-picking intelligence to appointing a martinet and a tyrant to run the Defense Department, the Bush administration, in the name of fighting terrorism, has put America on the radical path to ruin. ... Unprecedented interpretations of the Constitution ... fiscal profligacy of an order never seen before .. put in motion a conflict in Iraq that in terms of colossal incompetence, civilian and military, and unbridled arrogance portends to top the Vietnam era, a truly radical feat. ... All we need do, in reality, is return to our roots. Never in our almost 800-year history since the Magna Carta have we been radicals.Let's just pick five from the pile: Revolution against the world's superpower, taming of the west, The Civil War, Treaty of Versailles, throwing Japanese Americans in camps.....can I stop now?
More medication, less DailyKos and DemocraticUnderground. Oh, BTW, know what put him over the edge? Why We Fight.
You know Col., it isn't all about you. If you want to pick your belly-button, do it in private. We weren't refighting North Africa '42 in '45. Help push now or get better meds.
Fill up on the the background from the Kerry/DNC supporter and Berger appointee Mary O'Neil McCarthy, and what she is accused of:
In a rare occurrence, the CIA fired an officer who acknowledged giving classified information to a reporter, NBC News learned Friday.Though the NYT tries to cover for her, but there is no excuse for what she did. None. There better be some jail time.
The officer flunked a polygraph exam before being fired on Thursday and is now under investigation by the Justice Department, NBC has learned.
Intelligence sources tell NBC News the accused officer, Mary McCarthy, worked in the CIA's inspector general's office and had worked for the National Security Council under the Clinton and and George W. Bush administrations.
The leak pertained to stories on the CIA’s rumored secret prisons in Eastern Europe, sources told NBC. The information was allegedly provided to Dana Priest of the Washington Post, who wrote about CIA prisons in November and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for her reporting.
Sources said the CIA believes McCarthy had more than a dozen unauthorized contacts with Priest. Information about subjects other than the prisons may have been leaked as well.
On this subject, if you want to be the best informed on this you need to read The Belmont Club and Mark Levin's blog.
I don't know if it is an issue for the Republicans in the fall, but from National Security to the civilian/military relationship - what log is the Left NOT willing to throw on the fire of the '06 election? Is power that important?
Anyway, here is what I have...theory wise. When you have a government that refuses to protect its people, outlaws legitimate political actors simply because of their ideas (and that party grows in popularity as its leaders are taken out one by one), and a governing elite shows total disrespect for its citizens, while taking the interests of a sub-sect of society that attacks the majority - eventually the people will say, "Enough." Because all the pent-up anger, grievance, and sense of entitlement of the side in power that prevents them from taking steps to adjust to the will of the people - much blood flows - or a complete "How the hell did that happen..." seismic shift takes place.
From Brussels we have a series of interrelated bits that illustrate this trend quite well. I wonder what Michael thinks?
First the death:
Last Wednesday Joe Van Holsbeeck, 17 years of age, was murdered in Brussels Central Station. He was stabbed five times in the heart by North African youths. They demanded that he give them his MP3 player. When Joe refused he was savagely murdered. The atrocity happened during the evening rush hour on a crowded platform. Though there were hundreds of people on the platform, no-one interfered...Then the elite reaction...
Joe’s murderers escaped and have not yet been traced. The murderers were filmed, however, by security cameras. Today, one week later, the Brussels police released the pictures. The police say they are looking for two youths aged between 16 and 18 years old. Joe’s murder has shocked the Belgians. For an entire week the police, the authorities and most of the media have tried to downplay the fact that the killers are Muslim youths. Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and Cardinal Godfried Danneels addressed the indignation, but gave it a spin of their own. How was it possible for such an atrocity to take place in a crowd with no-one interfering, they asked. Both Verhofstadt and Danneels said that Joe was a victim of “indifference in Belgian society.” “Where were you last Wednesday at 4 pm?!” the Cardinal asked the congration in Brussels Cathedral during his Easter sermon on Sunday. The Cardinal blamed the murder on the materialism and greed of Western society...Even the poor, lost parents are doing their best to unilaterally surrender their (from the American point of view) Natural Law right to freedom of religion:
Joe’s parents opted for a memorial service instead of the traditional funeral Mass. The parish priest of the Catholic St. Elisabeth Church of the Brussels borough of Haren told Belgian radio this morning that the parents wanted to ensure that “immigrants would not feel excluded at the funeral service.” The priest did not hand out the Holy Eucharist to the mourners, but the immigrant neighbours of the Van Holsbeeck family distributed home baked bread. This, the priest explained, was “a sign of fraternity” between Belgians and immigrants.No help from their political leaders trusted with providing basic security:
….The authorities are worried that more and more Belgians are arming themselves because they feel they are no longer adequately protected by the police. It is illegal to carry arms in Belgium, where even a pepper spray is considered to be an illegal weapon….Governor Denys retorted: “I am the Governor of East Flanders, not of Texas. […] I do not want to live in such a society [where citizens are allowed to possess arms].”In the same country, even the Walloons are starting to shift right; their government does not like it - but the people are starting not to care.
Meanwhile, yesterday, a Belgian court sentenced Daniel Féret, the leader of the Belgian anti-immigrant party Front National, to 250 hours of public service “helping immigrants to integrate.” Féret, a 61 year old medical doctor and a member of the Brussels regional parliament, was found guilty of publishing racist pamphlets. He will face 10 months in jail if he does not accept the ruling. The Brussels Appeals Court has also barred him from standing for election for the next 10 years. The FN’s webmaster, Georges-Pierre Tonnelier, was fined and also banned from public office.And, from the shadows, a spine emerges.
In 2003 the FN won 5.6% of the vote in Wallonia, the French-speaking southern part of Belgium. A recent poll indicates that it attracts 9.4% of potential Walloon voters today.
Jean-Marie Dedecker, a senator for Verhofstadt’s Liberal Party, writes in an op-ed article today that the first thing the police officers who investigated the murder wanted to know was whether Joe had made “racist remarks” whilst refusing to hand over his MP3 player. In Belgium, the senator says,Healthy Hat tip to The Brussles Journal (twice), Right, Wing-Nut, and The Emperor Darth Misha I.“you will sooner get punished for riding a bike without the lights on than for stealing a bike. [...] Policemen look the other way in order to avoid being accused of racism – because nothing is more detrimental to their career – and also to signal that they hold no prejudices. They behave in exactly the opposite way when they suspect decent citizens of some misdemeanour.”
Equally harsh for Cardinal Danneels, one of the leftists amongst the “princes of the church,” was journalist Luc van Balberghe on his blog:The cardinal did not condemn the culprits. He made no reference whatever to the policy makers who allowed things to get so bad. Instead, he launched an attack on the whole of society. A totally unjustified attack: that society is thoroughly fed up with the dominance of murdering, thieving and raping Vikings from North Africa, and is not responsible for it.
“Where were you on Wednesday at [4 o’ clock!]” the cardinal asked, pointing his aged finger in the air. I am not accountable to someone who has contributed absolutely nothing to our society, who has looked on and allowed his own church to disintegrate and thereby surrendered a considerable part of our culture, our rules and values. […]
Where was he himself, that Wednesday at [4 o’ clock]? Would he have pitched his lonely strength against a gang whose number increases exponentially at one whistle and who have no regard for a man’s life? Has he not seen the interviews with Magreb youths on TV? “Terrible? Well, people die every day…,” one of the vermin said on TV. You could see him think: another infidel dog less! […]“Where was I, on Wednesday at [4 o’ clock]?” Well, here is my answer: it’s none of your business, old faggot! But I ask you the same question: where were you when the laws were passed that allowed the killing of innocent children (abortion) and the slaughtering of the terminally ill (euthanasia)?
UPDATE: Yesterday, 80,000 people marched in Brussels, PEACEFULLY, ... but my RSS newsfeeds from the MSM ignore it. Here is a good video of the march. Notice, no buring flags or calls for cutting off anyone's head.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Oh, it was/is a festival of military self-hate and doubt. Just a PSYCH101 dream project on motivations. I mean, just look at their history. Look at their parallel organization, World Security Institute and its Russian/Cuba fetish. These guys belong in a 1970s theme part, or a "Where are the anti-Cruise Missile protesters now..." thingy on VH-1.
To the point; guess who is listed as a CDI Distinguished Military Fellow? Why, Tony is!
...and who is he hanging out with now days? Lawrence J. Korb (but he can bash, he was in the Reagan Admin...yawn), Mr. Anti-nuke Bruce G. Blair, along with Coyl, Newhouse and assorted other unemployed Left leaning defense folks. But here is where the good parties come from, check out his new golf partners on the Board of Advisors. We have Ben Cohen - Founder, Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc., Alan H. Fleischmann Managing Director, The ImagineNations Group, Paul Newman (I think he makes salad dressing), Joanne Woodward, the Ungerleider twins Andrew (Earthstone International Ltd) and Steven (Psychologist), and my favorite military advisor - Barbara Slaner Winslow, Ph.D., School of Education and Women's Studies Program, Brooklyn College/City University of New York, N.Y.; just to name a few.
This is getting fun. I feel like I should be reviewing my Echo II sub-characteristics again. Lets see, how many teeth in the ring gear on a Type 1 nuc again......
It is all clear now. Yes, oh yes. Much clearer. Nice new friends you have there. They should all come to the next Marine Corps Birthday Ball.
Oh General, how are the pre-sales on the book going?
I'm going to have a good weekend all. You do the same. See you for the Sunday Funnies.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
This month is Sexual Assault Awareness Month across the nation. The Brigade Sexual Assault Victim Intervention (SAVI) GUIDEs (which stands for Guidance, Understanding, Information, Direction and Education) have conducted activities throughout the month designed to educate members on issues concerning Sexual Assault as well as it's prevention and support structure. This month's theme is "It's Our Issue, So Let's Take a Stand."Beyond parody.
The first week was dedicated to releasing statistics associated with sexual assault.
The mission of the second week was to broadcast resources in the unfortunate instance of a sexual assault. Several midshipmen met with reporters from the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, Capital and Virginia Pilot explaining the multiple routes a midshipmen can take if an assault occurs.
Last Thursday there was an open forum with the Brigade SAVI Liaison LT Lydia Doye, the Sexual Assault and Prevention Specialist Karen Gentile, the Commandant's Legal Advisor LCDR Roper, SJA LT Anne Marks and several SAVI GUIDEs fielding questions about the process.
Friday, 21 April, the SAVI program is sponsoring the showing of North CountryCharlize Theron) in Mitscher Hall Theater. While the movie primarily focuses on the harassment of women working in coal mines, there are many themes that are similar to sexual assault cases. Other women put extreme pressure on each other not to report. Those who are victims work in an environment where they constantly fear what will happen next. They are overwhelmed by out of control rumors contrived to ruin their reputations and drive them out. There are a couple sexual assaults that are pretty graphic and may be traumatic if someone has personal experience with this topic. SAVI GUIDEs and staff are available to discuss any concerns.
Monday, 24 April, the English Department is sponsoring " (with Under Covers 2006: Midshipmen's Perspectives on Gender," at 2000 in Mahan Hall. This is a midshipman-written, midshipman-performed event that uses theater to examine and openly discuss gender issues at the Naval Academy. This is an excellent opportunity to glimpse what the Brigade thinks the culture actually is with respect to gender, sexuality and to a smaller extent, alcohol and discipline.
Thursday, 27 April "Can I Kiss You" by Mike Domitrz will be presented to all 1/C in Alumni Hall from 1830 - 2000. Mike Domitrz is revolutionizing the entire educational approach from "No Means No" to now teaching "Do You Ask?" -- putting the responsibility where it belongs -- on the person taking the action of touching another person. This presentation deals with adult issues which may not be appropriate for children under the age of 16.
Finally, SAVI is sponsoring a poster contest with the theme "It's Our Issue, So Let's Take a Stand." The top three finalists will get prized of $100, $50, and $25. Winners will be selected from 20-23 APR and announced at noon meal on 24 APR. Posters are in various locations in the hall.
CAPT Allison Wxxx-Gxxx, USN
Deputy Director, Officer Development Division
Navy Women's Crew Officer Representative
U. S. Naval Academy
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Multiculturalism and uncontrolled mass-immigration destroy the internal cohesion of the decadent West, which will slowly fall apart as it has lost the will to defend itself and the belief in its own culture. The wars in the Balkans in the 1990s will in hindsight be seen as a prelude to the Multicultural World War. Rather than a Westernization of the Balkans, we get a Balkanization of the West.We are on the same sheet of music. Read the whole thing to read what he thinkd are the possible options. I vote Option 1.
Then go to Bruce Bawer's bit at Hudson Review, "Crisis in Europe."
...the next day I understood that it was the most important issue of our time.Sure, we have a border issue and too many Mexicans here illegally than is good for full assimilation...but they are Catholic, hard working Latins. Then pat you US Passport, and say thanks to all the loosers of the world (that includes your ancestors) that ran away from the rest of the world to come here.
It happened in Amsterdam, a city I flipped for in 1997 and moved to a year later.1 But it wasn’t till 1999, when I lived briefly in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood, that I took in the fact that the city was divided into two radically different and almost entirely separate communities. One of them, composed mostly of ethnic Dutchmen, was secular, liberal, and (owing to a very low birthrate) dwindling steadily; the other, composed of immigrant Muslims, lived in tradition-bound, self-segregating enclaves whose autocratic leaders despised democracy and whose population (thanks to high birth and immigration rates) was climbing rapidly. This division, I soon realized, was replicated across Western Europe. Clearly, major social friction—and more—lay down the line.
Hat tip LGF.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
I should have explained earlier that I was embedded with three units in First Division, Fourth Brigade. It's commanded by an Iraqi and comprises mostly Iraqis with American MITT advisors. That stands for Military Transition Teams. Their purpose is to transition the Iraqis into an independent fighting force. It's actually an Army Special Forces job, but the Green Berets are essentially being used in what's supposed to be their secondary job as commandoes.Hat tip The Corner.
So MITTs are pulled together from conventional units. In this case, most were from an Army Reserve unit based in Richmond, Virginia. That was actually rather nice for me because it meant a lot of these guys were essentially neighbors of mine. One lived one city over in Alexandria, a couple lived in nearby Fairfax where my German classes are, and one had a condo in my own town of Arlington. One of the Fairfax guys knew about a bar called "Dr. Dreamo's" that's about a block from my townhouse, so he knew exactly where I lived. But we also had Marines mixed in, so your typical patrol would be about half Iraqi, one-fourth Army, and one-fourth Marine.
Yes, the Army guys badmouthed the Marine Corp sometimes. The usual complaint is that the USMC is too big on brawn, to little on brains and finesse. In this case, there was some definite bad blood. Marines were given orders to come through the area and shoot stray dogs and ended up plugging the cute little camp mascot. The soldiers said they knew it was a pet but killed it out of spite. I don't know. But certainly the soldiers completely respected and got along with the Marines who served alongside them.
...in Sunday's Washington Post the very smart, very well-connected former Clinton Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke published an article entitled "Behind the Military Revolt." In this article he predicts that there will be increasing numbers of retired generals speaking out against Sec. Rumsfeld. Then, shockingly, he writes the following words: "If more angry generals emerge -- and they will -- if some of them are on active duty, as seems probable . . . then this storm will continue until finally it consumes not only Donald Rumsfeld."He goes into the legal side of the house of this as well; I'm not qualified to speak to that - but I think he is wrong.
Mr. Holbrooke is at the least very well-informed -- if he is not himself part of this military cabal intended to "consume ... Donald Rumsfeld." Mr. Holbrooke sets the historic tone of his article in his first sentence when he says this event is "the most serious public confrontation between the military and administration since . . . Harry Truman fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur."
Hey, I spend most of my time on the Navy side of the house. If there is an Active Duty group of SIGNIFICANT Flag Officers who are looking at doing this at this stage of the game; they should standby. They are out of step with the Flags that ignore me in the back of the room as they talk: things will get bloody. Look how history treats MacArthur vs McClellen. This is an election year. Close to the election. I don't care if they have the best of intentions - it is going to be looked at as domestic politics - because that is what it is. If such a thing exists outside Holbrooke's nogg'n, and Holbrooke knows about it, I know it is nothing but election year politics.
Bring it on, sirs (if you are out there....). Bring it on. If in the likely event this doesn't happen, it just adds more proof that Holbrooke is a putz. If it does happen, he is conspiring with Flag Officers on Active Duty to impact and election. He is still a putz....or worse. Yea, I called him that. I have my reasons. Nuff said.
But now that a galaxy of flag officers' stars are raining down on Rumsfeld demanding his resignation, no one seems to have bothered to ask which, if any, of these generals had ever submitted his own resignation in protest against the conduct of the Iraqi war, or the bumpy transition we are locked in now.Ahhhh yes General, heal thyself.
After listening to subtle and not-so-subtle digs at national defense policy by the guests of honor and appreciative sniggers from the audience, I jotted a question down on the back of a card and passed it to former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, who was at my table.Being a Flag Officer, or combat veteran does not make it immune. Also, after awhile, Flag Officers really don’t know how to react to a direct question.
"If you have so many significant disagreements with national defense policy, what have you done about it?"
Lehman wrote back that if I asked that question, he'd buy me lunch, and passed it to me with a smile. So I asked it.
"What do you expect us to do?" a senior Marine general replied.
"Resign," I said. "Cyrus Vance did. And he was Carter's secretary of state."
"You are questioning my cojones, and I am a Marine!" the general shot back as the millionaire fan club gasped at my disrespect.
He was right. I was. I still am, his and any general officers' who apparently decided discretion was the better part of a nice retirement parade with a medal or two and a couple of offers of board positions.
Gens. Gregory Newbold, John Batiste, Paul D. Eaton, Charles H. Swannack, and others apparently have believed Rumsfeld's policies so dire that they are calling for his resignation. Yet their opinions would have carried far more weight if they had been stated at some personal cost, if the generals had resigned in protest while on active duty.Lead, follow, or fade away. Right now, many of you are engaging in little more than book flogging, Bitter-boy recriminations, or self-fluffery.
That action might have also carried some evidence of the moral as well as physical courage Americans expect of the highest-ranking officers of their uniformed services.
As a book-publishing executive for many years, I have always welcomed the opportunity to make a buck by publishing "now it can be told revelations" from those formerly in power. And timing those "revelations" to promote a forthcoming book is one of the oldest tricks in the trade.Ahem. Always follow the money. Ahem. Oh, when is General Zinni going to write his self-criticism about his wonderful success as Middle East envoy?
As the author of a "forthcoming book," Zinni will have the additional burden of having to explain how we are expected to tell whether he is more committed to the best interests of the American people or his own pocketbook.
Hey, I guess it isn't just me and a few loonies. Not a Bush flacking organization, the BBC has a few things to say as well - I think it smells something...
Shifting blame?Oh, the other loonies? Great commentary over at Chester's, CounterColumn, and RofaSIX.
Some former officers go even further, attacking the generals who are calling for Mr Rumsfeld to go.
Douglas Macgregor, a retired Army colonel who now works as a military analyst, says the critics are trying to pin blame on the defence secretary for their own errors of planning and execution.
"The generals see it as everyone else's fault other than theirs," he says.
He says Mr Rumsfeld set goals for the military to accomplish and left the generals to make the battle plans - as he should have done.
Their failures, not the defence secretary's, have got the US bogged down in Iraq, he argues.
He dismisses the oft-heard judgement that the Americans have too few troops on the ground.
"One would expect a more enlightened view from those who were in Vietnam, since we poured hundreds of thousands of troops into Vietnam and we lost.
"The bottom line is that many of these general officers are being both dishonest and hypocritical. Removing Rumsfeld isn't going to change anything."
But not all the generals calling for Mr Rumsfeld to go were serving during the invasion of Iraq, experts point out. At least two retired the year before it and presumably do not see their personal reputations as being on the line.
And sources say as many as two dozen other retired top-ranking officers may be on the verge of coming forward to join the public critics - some of whom have been retired for 15 years.
Mr Disch of the Center for Media and Security lists many possible reasons the Rumsfeld critics have come forward at this point, ranging from true belief in what they are saying to fears that the US military will be caught in a civil war in Iraq.
Ultimately, however, he says the reason - or reasons - for their actions may be irrelevant.
"By weighing in, regardless of their intention, it will help to shape opinions, particularly to those who are still sitting on the fence."
And - as he points out - this is an election year.
Whether George W Bush's Republican party retains control of Congress will have much to do with American opinion about the war in Iraq - a factor he will have to take into account as he considers Mr Rumsfeld's future.
Monday, April 17, 2006
UPDATE and BUMP:See bottom for update
One of the best responses to the Battle of the Bitter-boys (I just use that because it makes some people so angry - just kidding Shipmate) is out there on the streets; an Editorial at National Review Online, “The Army’s Revenge.”
As a political matter, Rumsfeld’s leaving at this moment, under this kind of fire, would play as an admission that the critics who say the Iraq war was fundamentally botched have been right all along. The White House realizes this, which is one reason President Bush made such a strong statement in support of Rumsfeld on Friday. That retired generals are criticizing a Defense secretary is not, per se, the threat to civil-military relations that some of Rumsfeld’s defenders seem to think. Retired flag officers are citizens after all, and they’re free to say whatever they want. But there is something unseemly about it, especially considering that most of them apparently kept conveniently quiet about their misgivings while in uniform.It would have been better if they had been like General Shinseki, though I didn’t agree with him, he did it the right way if he had a different idea. Anyway, read the whole thing, but I like the editorial because it points out a few glass houses that need review.
More important, the criticisms of Rumsfeld don’t have much force. Some say he is too imperious. This charge isn’t hard to believe of the strong-willed Rumsfeld, but it is disappointing that generals are apparently so easily cowed that their only recourse when dealing with a muscular Defense secretary is to whine about it after the fact. Others complain about his “micro-management” of the war. It is true that Rumsfeld has exercised a remarkably strong hand in dealing with the military. In planning for the initial Iraq invasion in particular, he was relentless in challenging the work of CENTCOM commander Tommy Franks, driving him to come up with a plan that wasn’t just an unimaginative repeat of Desert Storm. The plan didn’t suffer from Rumsfeld’s intense attention; in fact, the opposite was the case. Even such Rumsfeld critics as Cobra II authors Michael Gordon and Gen. Bernard Trainor credit the innovation and effectiveness of the invasion.
As a matter of principle, micromanagement from a Defense secretary is not a bad thing, even if Robert McNamara gave it a bad name during the Vietnam War. Our system is based on the U.S. military’s taking direction from civilian leadership. There is no reason to think that the assumption behind the micromanagement criticism of Rumsfeld — that if only the generals had been left to their own devices, things would have turned out fine — is true. Rumsfeld should actually be faulted for not micromanaging Tommy Franks enough when it came to planning for postwar operations, in which the general had little or no interest.
Retired Army Major General John Batiste has faulted Rumsfeld for insufficient postwar planning. Given that almost all of the administration’s major postwar assumptions proved to be wrong — especially about the continued existence of an effective Iraqi army and police force to provide security — that is a fair criticism. But Batiste was at one point the top military aide to then deputy secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. He seemed to share the vision of the Pentagon’s civilian team, and so was awarded a second star and, ultimately, command of a division in Iraq. Once there, he gave every appearance of supporting the strategy and talked of the progress we were making. It’s his prerogative to change his mind, but doing so should involve some humility and the admission that he too was wrong about postwar Iraq. Instead, he suggests every mistake was Rumsfeld’s alone.They also say, very well, what I have been trying to say (not very well) about the dump Rumsfeld movement.
There is, finally, a root-and-branch criticism that some of the retired generals make, especially Gens. Zinni and Newbold. They say the Iraq war was a foolish endeavor to begin with, and, in a mind-numbing recitation of all the conventional Arabist beliefs, insist that there is nothing wrong with the Middle East that can’t be fixed by cracking down on Israel. This isn’t a criticism of Rumsfeld, but of President Bush and his entire foreign policy. They surely would be no happier with any replacement Defense secretary who is equally committed to implementing Bush’s vision.
The debate over Rumsfeld is disappointing in its simplistic assumption that the long, hard slog in Iraq is the doing of one man. There were plenty of mistakes made in Iraq, and there is blame enough to go around. The important questions now have to do with how to prevail in the current conditions in Iraq, and on this the retired generals have little to say, exposing their own lack of seriousness.Yep, about right.
UPDATE: I think even Skippy will say the last bit on this from OpinionJournal.com is "fair and balanced," though he may not like the tone.
...The anti-Rumsfeld generals have a right to their opinion. But there's a reason the Founders provided for civilian control of the military, and a danger in military men using their presumed authority to push elected Administrations around. As for Democrats and their media allies, we can only admire their sudden new deference to the senior U.S. officer corps, which follows their strange new respect for the "intelligence community" they also once despised. U.S. military recruiters might not be welcome on Ivy League campuses, but they're heroes when they trash the Bush Administration.You may also want to read my post from Saturday, that has fallen into archive.
Mr. Rumsfeld's departure has been loudly demanded in various quarters for a couple of years now, without much success, and on Friday Mr. Bush said he still has his every confidence. We suspect the President understands that most of those calling for Mr. Rumsfeld's head are really longing for his.