Sunday, December 30, 2007

I've pre-ordered mine

Why, because I now find someone smarter than me has published a book that tells the truth that I have been yelling in unbelieving ears for years; Nazis and fascists are on the Left, not the right. Maybe now folks will believe it. Then again, when you read the Moonbat's "Customer Discussion" section on Amazon, maybe not. It has all the right enemies too.

Listen to an interview with Jonah Goldberg here.

The books of 2007

Still didn't read all I wanted, but I guess I did OK.

As a side-note; you old Cold Warriors might enjoy this reading list. Just like the not-so-good old days.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Skippy's video

Perfectly playing his role of the guy at the end of the bar brooding over his lager with a cigar, rolled up with a little Statler & Waldorf - in a conversation about an article from Victor Davis Hanson, Skippy typed this out,
Hanson and I agree on only one point:
"Our military is too small for our assumed current geopolitical responsibilities. Either increase the former or cut back on the latter — or, better yet, do both."
That is what I would like to see-a return to a pragmatic foreign policy that deals with the world as it is-not as we would wish it to be.
Well Skippy - I ran into something you might find of interest. I don't plan or ordering it, and I have not seen it so can't comment, but there is an interesting "documentary" out there called "The World Without US."

The premise of the movie is something I have warned some of our allies about; be careful what you wish for, the USA is one election and the right candidate away from just coming home. Follow the above link for the video trailers. For some reason, they don't have them on YouTube. Just and interesting "what if." I would exercise caution if you were going to buy it though, seems they might have some RonPaulian trick up their sleeve.

That being said, when it comes to Skippy's video, I think this might be more what he would have in mind.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Fullbore Friday

Time for Part 2 ... of 3 of the story of Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee' glorious and beautiful, but doomed fleet. It is time for a classic story of revenge at sea: The Battle of the Falkland Islands, 8 December 1914. I like to pay a lot of attention to HMS Canopus. If you review Part 1, you will see how you could dismiss this old ship full of Reservists; but it that what a leader does? No, a leader finds a way to make every bit of kit count.
On November 11 1914 the battlecruisers Invincible and Inflexible under Admiral Sturdee left for the Falkland Islands. HMS Princess Royal was dispatched to the Caribbean to guard the Panama Canal. The shock of the defeat at Coronel had made the Royal Navy take decisive action to destroy Spee and the battlecruisers were the chosen means for retribution.

After his victory Spee coaled and then loitered in the Pacific whilst he decided what to do next, little did he realise that this indecision would prove fatal. Eventually he decided to enter the Atlantic and try to make it home. The squadron had passed Cape Horn by December 1 and on the following day they captured the Drummuir carrying coal. They then rested for three days at Pictou Island. Spee wanted to raid the Falkland Islands but his captains were opposed to the idea, however in the end Spee decided to go ahead anyway, another decision he was to regret.

HMS Canopus was now beached at Port Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, as guard ship. On December 7 Sturdee arrived, bringing the British warships at Port Stanley to the pre-dreadnought Canopus, the battlecruisers Invincible and Inflexible, the armoured cruisers Kent, Carnarvon and Cornwall, the light cruisers Bristol and Glasgow and the armed merchant cruiser Macedonia.

On the morning of December 8 1914 Gneisenau and Nürnberg were detached from the main squadron, which followed about fifteen miles behind, to attack the wireless station and port facilities at Port Stanley. At 0830 they sighted the wireless mast and smoke from Macedonia returning from patrol.

They didn't know that at 0750 they had been sighted by a hill top spotter which signalled Canopus which then signalled Invincible, flagship, via Glasgow. The British ships were still coaling and most ships, including the battlecruisers, would take a couple of hours to get up steam. If the Germans attacked the British ships would be stationary targets and any ship which tried to leave harbour would face the concentrated fire of the full German squadron, if they were sunk whilst leaving harbour the rest of the squadron would be trapped in port. Sturdee kept calm, ordered steam to be raised and then went and had breakfast!

0900 the Germans made out the tripod masts of capital ships. They were unsure of what theses ships were but they knew Canopus was in the area and they hoped that these were pre-dreadnoughts, which they could easily outrun.

Canopus was beached out of site of the German ships, behind hills but had set up a system for targeting using land based spotters. At 13,000 yards her forward turret fired but was well short, the massive shell splashes astonished the German ships who could see no enemy warships. The rear turret then fired using practice rounds which were already loaded for an expected practice shoot later. The blank shells ricocheted off the sea, one of them hitting the rearmost funnel of Gneisenau. The two German ships turned away. Canopus didn't fire again but she saved the British from a perilous situation.
Also a lesson on not pressing the attack and getting spooked. Probably remembering what happened when the British pushed the attack against his Squadron and were sunk for it - Admiral Graf Spee was too cautious by half, perhaps with a bit of "get-home-itis," a disease that will get you killed.
By 0945 Bristol had left harbour, followed 15 minutes later by Invincible, Inflexible, Kent, Carnarvon and Cornwall, Bristol and Macedonia stayed behind. The German squadron had a 15-20 mile lead but with over eight hours of daylight left and fine weather the battlecruisers would be in action in a couple of hours.

The German lookouts could now tell that the tripod masts belonged to battlecruisers which at c25 knots were considerably faster than the 20 knots the in need of refit German ships could manage. Spee set course to the South East in the hope of finding bad weather.

At first the British squadron stayed together but the battlecruisers were being slowed down by the other ships and so pulled ahead on their own.

At 1247 at 16,500 yards the battlecruisers opened fire, with little accuracy, taking half an hour to straddle the rear ship, Leipzig. Spee realised he was caught and turned his armoured cruisers to slow the British whilst ordering his light cruisers to try and escape. Sturdee had made contingency plans for this and Invincible, Inflexible and the trailing Carnarvon engaged the armoured cruisers whilst the rest of the force set off after the light cruisers.

The battlecruisers turned onto a parallel course to Scharnhorst and Gneisenau at 14,000 yards. The Germans had the advantage of being in the lee position of the wind, the British gunnery was badly affected by their own smoke. The German shooting was excellent but at this long range their shells did little damage to the battlecruisers. The British also scored a few hits which did more damage but they were unaware of this as the visibility prevented them from seeing these.

In an attempt to gain the lee (smoke free) position Sturdee made a sharp turn to starboard towards Spee's stern. Whilst performing this turn the British were shrouded in their own smoke and Spee took this opportunity to turn south, pulling out of firing range. It took the British another 45 minute stern chase before they could resume firing.

At 1450 the battlecruisers turned to port to bring their broadsides to bear. Spee decided that his only chance was to close the range and use his superior secondary armament but his change of course made the smoke much less of a problem for the British. Their firing became much more accurate and both German ships, but especially Scharnhorst suffered severe damage and casualties. By had received over fifty hits, three funnels were down, she was on fire and listing. The range kept falling and at 1604 Scharnhorst listed suddenly to port and by 1617 she had disappeared. As Gneisenau was still firing no rescue attempts were possible and her entire crew including Spee were lost. Invincible had received 22 hits, over half 8.2 inch, but these caused no serious damage and only one crew member was injured.

Gneisenau kept on alone, zigzagging to the south west. At 1715 she scored her last hit on Invincible before her ammunition ran out. The British stopped firing soon afterwards and the burning German ship ground to a halt, her crew opening the sea-cocks and abandoning ship, 190 crew from a total of 765 were rescued but many of these died from their wounds. Inflexible was only hit 3 times and had 1 killed and 3 injured.
The brutal facts of war at sea. There is little room for caution or pause.
Whilst the big ships were fighting the smaller cruisers were having their own battles. The German light cruisers were in the order Dresden leading followed by Nürnberg and Leipzig whilst the British were led by Glasgow with Cornwall and Kent trying to keep up with her.

At 1445 Glasgow opened fire on Leipzig, Leipzig turning to port to reply, scoring two early ships whilst Glasgow's fell short. Glasgow had to turn away, allowing Leipzig to resume her earlier course. The other German ships had not turned to help Leipzig but had carried on their escape attempt.

Glasgow fired on Leipzig again, but this time the other German cruisers changed course, Dresden to the South West and Nürnberg to the South East. Glasgow's ploy of forcing Leipzig to turn and fire succeeded in slowing her so that at 1617 Cornwall had her in range, Kent setting off after Nürnberg.

Leipzig's firing was good but she didn't hit Glasgow and her shells didn't do much damage to Cornwall. By 1900 Leipzig's mainmast and two funnels were down and she was on fire. When her ammunition was exhausted she made an unsuccessful torpedo attack on Cornwall and then her crew prepared to abandon ship.

Glasgow closed the range to finish her off as her flag was still flying, stopping when two green flares were fired by the crippled German cruiser. At 2120 she rolled over and sank leaving eighteen survivors.

Cornwall had received eighteen hits but no casualties. Glasgow had received no damage after the two early hits which killed one and four wounded. Her boilers were damaged which reduced her speed enough for there to be no chance of catching Dresden which escaped.

Nürnberg had a 10 mile led on Kent and was, on paper, faster, but Nürnberg needed an engine overhaul and Kent's crew worked so hard that the old cruiser exceeded her designed horsepower, reaching 25 knots, being forced to burn all available wood on board and causing the whole ship to vibrate violently.

By 1700 the range was down to 12,000 yards and Nürnberg opened fire with the by now expected superb accuracy. When Kent returned fire ten minutes later her shells fell short. Once the range had fallen to 7,000 yards both sides started to score regular hits and Nürnberg gave up her escape attempt and turned to bring her broadside to action.

By 1730 the range was down to 3,000 yards and Kent's heavier shells and thicker armour gave her the upper hand. An hour later, just as bad weather arrived which may have saved her, two of Nürnberg's boilers exploded, reducing her speed. Kent was now able to easily outmanoeuvre her opponent and within half an hour Nürnberg was dead in the water, at 1926 she rolled over to starboard and sank with only twelve survivors.
Kent had received thirty eight hits but only sixteen casualties.

Whilst these battles had gone on Bristol and Macedonia had sunk Spee's colliers Baden and Santa Isabel, the other collier, Seydlitz escaped, eventually being interned in Argentina.
Even in victory, you will be second guessed by those who don't know; they just don't know but their petty concerns.
Sturdee searched for the Dresden before returning to the UK with the battlecruisers. There was some criticism (mainly from the 1st Sea Lord Fisher) of him for letting Dresden escape and for the heavy ammunition expenditure of his battlecruisers (Invincible 513 12 inch rounds, Inflexible 661 12 inch rounds fired) but generally his clear victory was welcomed. He had destroyed Spee's squadron without any serious damage to any of his ships and their shooting (c.6.5%) was considerably better than was managed by British (and German) battlecruisers at Dogger Bank and Jutland.
Ah, the SMS Dresden. That will be Part 3, with a twist. See you there in March.

Wars have started for less

Every nation has its limits. You can almost taste the fact that the Serbs don't want to go down that road of war - but they are being painted in a corner. This from the last week in DEC.
Serbia's parliament overwhelmingly adopted a resolution Wednesday that threatens to halt the country's integration into the European Union and cut off diplomatic ties with Western countries if they recognize Kosovo's independence.

The resolution — passed with 220 votes in favor, 14 against and three abstentions — also obliges Serbian officials to reject Kosovo's statehood and denounces NATO for allegedly supporting the separatist Kosovo Albanians.

Ethnic Albanians, who account for about 90 percent of Kosovo's 2 million people, have said they would proclaim independence early next year.

The U.S. and several EU states have said they would recognize Kosovo's independence because it has not been under Serbia's control since 1999, when NATO intervened to stop former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's military crackdown against the separatists.

Serbia, backed by Russia, insists Kosovo — considered the cradle of Serbia's medieval state and religion — should remain part of its territory, and has urged more negotiations with Kosovo Albanians.

During a fiery debate in Parliament, Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica accused the U.S. of blocking efforts to find a compromise with ethnic Albanians by its open support of Kosovo's independence.

"America is openly striving for the destruction of the international order," Kostunica told the parliament. "America, which once seemed like a symbol of freedom, now advocates the policies of force."
The Kosovar Albanians want independence. They have been emboldened. They won the war of the cradle, now they want their own bit of land. Malmö, call you office. The Serbs now feel they have the backing of Russia. This whole soup is thick. Do you know what the Kosovo flag is? Ahem; it is the Albanian flag. The precedent this sets should make all stop and think; is the USA, Canada, and the EU ready go to war over this - again?

VDH on the Long War

Simply superb. Required reading to get the "big picture."
The debate, since 2003, has hinged on our own culpability, and postfacto, on our reasons for going into Iraq in the first place. It has focused almost solely on American lapses, not recognition of either the capability, or zeal, or brutality of the enemy. Acrimony instead arose over our inability to stop the looting, the dissolution of the Iraqi army, the laxity in patrolling ammunition dumps and borders, the first pull-back from Fallujah, and our naiveté in allowing Shiite militias, particularly those under the control of Moqtada Sadr, to act as destructive surrogates for an ascendant Iran.

Rarely did anyone remind the American people — nor would they have desired to hear — that in all of America’s major wars such tragic errors of commission and judgment were commonplace, or that our present lapses were not in that regard at all unique. The initial victory had raised expectations so high that such reflection would have been seen as little more than morbid fatalism.

Rarely also did we hear that our missteps were not only correctable (as for example the recapture of Fallujah or the reconstitution of the Iraqi army attest), but also did not imperil the ultimate goal of stabilizing the Iraqi government. And almost none suggested that in a televised war of the postmodern age, it is difficult for a liberal Western society to defeat and humiliate an enemy — at least to the degree necessary for it to accept a radical change of heart.

Also forgotten was any appreciation of the magnitude of the undertaking — going 7,000 miles into the ancient caliphate to foster constitutional government where it had never taken root, among outright enemies like Iran and Syria, and duplicitous allies such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan. In that regard, to suggest the tragic loss of lives and money in Iraq were, by standards of our past major wars, a reflection of American competence and concern was paramount to blasphemy.
...The felony of untruth and distortion against a war counts far less than any misdemeanor in support of one. Photoshopped pictures, fraudulent documentaries, printed lies about flushed Korans, or bogus published stories about atrocities turn off the public less than a single untruth or hedge by a military officer or government official.

While the success of a war hinges on the military’s destruction of the enemy and our ability to win the hearts and minds of the population, critical time and support for those efforts are won only by non-stop explication, not periodic assertion.

In an age of glitzy graphics, e-mail, instantaneous blogs, and minute-by-minute news updates, there is still no substitute for wartime oratory and brutal candor. We should assume in any future war, those in the media, the universities, and the arts will ipso facto oppose the use of force, which in turn can only be supported by arguments that are as moral and ethical as they are logically, honestly, and elegantly presented.
That is why MilBlogs are so important. Think how the war reporting would have been without them. Just ponder. Sure, we argue and snipe - but in the main, I think we self-police very well. Except for the fringe that manage comments like a Potemkin Village - if you make and error or shade a truth, the smart readers (which thankfully I have legion at CDR Salamander) will always point it out quickly - and usually with a very sharp flaming point. Honest mistakes, if corrected, are accepted and welcome as a natural event in an imperfect human medium; blatant lies and embellishments bring down a he11fire. As it should be.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Nice game there Dhimmi .....

With the, ahem, assassination of Bhutto today, this game sounds just dandy.
Assassin's Creed is a video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It was released worldwide in November 2007.[1] On September 22, 2007, Ubisoft announced the PC version has been delayed until early 2008.[7] The game features highly detailed and interactive environments from the time of the Third Crusade – the game's developers claim these environments are historically accurate.

Assassin's Creed is a third-person stealth game in which the player assumes the role of Desmond Miles, an average bartender who is also the most modern member of a long family line of assassins. Desmond has been taken to a facility where he is forced to use the Animus, a machine that traces and recreates the memories of his ancestors during the Third Crusade. Through these memories, the player controls Altaïr (الطائر, Arabic, "The Flying One"), a member of the Hashshashin sect (the original "assassins"), whose objective is to slay the nine historical figures propagating the Crusades in the year 1191.
Guess who the final target is?
...Robert de Sable (Grand Master of the Knights Templar), his last assigned target, and defeats him. Robert de Sable reveals in his dying words that Altaïr's master is also a member of the Templars,
By all means, let's celebrate and play Muslim assassins. Big fun, and what a life lesson! Like their website says,
Be an agent of change. Execute assassinations to impact the world around you.
Google it yourself. You can't make this stuff up. Check out their own imagery.

Bhutto killed

In nation short of leaders that do not have a beard and funny hat, this is just plain bad news. Not perfect, but she was a friend to the USA by comparison to many options.
Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated in a suicide attack.

Ms Bhutto had just addressed an election rally in Rawalpindi when she was shot in the neck by a gunman who then set off a bomb.
Dust off that Branch Plan for review. The Long War (as I still call it) isn't going anywhere.
UPDATE: Looks like shooting at a Sharif rally as well.
At least four supporters of Pakistan's former premier Nawaz Sharif were killed and another 12 wounded in the capital, Islamabad, when gunshots were fired on an election rally.

People ``fired on our workers who were gathering for an election public rally,'' Siddique-ul-Farooq, a spokesman for Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, said in a phone interview today. Farooq said supporters of Nawaz Khokar, a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam, the party backed by President Pervez Musharraf, fired at the rally.

Shore duty for CAG Paddles?

Looks like they might need him.

Raise your kids in Singapore

Not just so Skippy will teach them how to drink properly, but because after watching to good M.J. McDermott give gun'munt schools the smack down - it almost looks like that is the only thing left to do besides going the Private School route if you happen to be in the clue-voided school districts - either that or hire Anne to help you set up homeschooling.

Hat tip Chap.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

France, I hardly knew you

How do you say "Cowpoke" in French? Not quite "Democracy-Whiskey-Sexy" - but it will do.

Hat tip No Pasaran!

AFG: when to take back the keys?

As always, history is a big help. When do you think this quote was made?
The Afghan president says his country is improving -- schools and hospitals are being built and the economy is stronger, but problems remain with insurgents.

"The construction of new schools and hospitals ... are the characteristics of our social policy," he says. "Our brave armed forces have significantly developed ... carry out combat operations, smash extremist bands."
Well, things didn't quite turn out like President Najibullah wanted.
But the time is is not 2007, it is 1987, and the president is Soviet-backed Najibullah, not the Western-backed Hamid Karzai. Yet 20 years later, Karzai is delivering a similar message.

Just two years after Najibullah made that speech his Soviet backers, worn down by constant casualties, withdrew their troops and abandoned the Afghan government to its fate.
Why bring this up? Well, more and more 2010 is looking about the time that the great NATO experiment may be up. Remember my comment about culmination back in SEP 06?

About the time I made my "culmination" statement om '06, I told Papa Salamander that, even at that low point in Iraq, that I was more worried about AFG than Iraq. I stand by that statement, and it is becoming clear with each passing month that the Strategic Risk in AFG grows larger. I would feel better if the trend lines were going the other way, but they aren't.
Now diplomats and the military fear unless something is done to revitalise strategy against the Taliban, Western governments will also lose their will and pull out their troops. Without Western backing, Karzai's government may not last very long.

"If we cannot show progress in the next year or two, or at least show we are moving in the right direction, we will have serious difficulty in keeping some of our partners engaged in Afghanistan," said one senior Western diplomat.

Six years after the Taliban were ousted following the Sept. 11 attacks, support for the war is waning and Canada, Germany and the Netherlands could withdraw troops by 2010, leaving a big hole that other NATO nations may be unwilling or unable to fill.

The 38-nation NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan is already hobbled by restrictions that mean most European nations only allow their troops to fire in self-defence and bar them from the more violent south.

U.S. appeals for 3,500 more military trainers, more helicopters and ground troops have largely fallen on deaf ears.

The shortage of troops means NATO, in the words of one analyst, "is left chasing the pieces round the chess board".

Some now question the validity of an alliance that won the Cold War, but is struggling against a rag-tag lightly armed militia. Failure in Afghanistan might damage NATO beyond repair.
It was good to give NATO the chance, but we need to start talking about "Plan-B;" re-Americanize AFG. The hard work will be how to do this diplomatically and politically without totally killing NATO and AFG in the process. The Dutch will leave in 2010. The Canadians may follow. Who will take their place? The Little Red Hen has more volunteers now than NATO does - but then again, can you keep something alive that does not want to make the effort to live? Shouldn't we open our eyes that the window will not stay open forever?
..the Bush administration has deflected Kabul's request for a bilateral relationship into a much more nebulous and less effective relationship with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A relationship with NATO is not what the Afghans want or need.

The transition of the Afghan security and reconstruction missions from U.S. to NATO control was undertaken more with an eye on what is good for NATO than for what is good for Afghanistan, and the Afghans have not benefited from it. They still want an American commitment. Given their centrality in the fight against al Qaeda and their determination in the face of our common enemies, they deserve it.
AFG knows the USA is reliable, the Brits almost as much. They know that to win they need to get their troops up to speed, but until then we need the same ability to operate in the North and West that we now do in the South and East. We need to accept that NATO will not supply the number and types of equipment needed to win. Just as one small example is the helicopter challenge. Watch that as we move towards FEB - that may be the next canary in the coalmine.
In addition to fears that Canada night waver in its commitment, the Bush administration is concerned that other members of NATO are not stepping up to do their fair military share in Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been pressing for months — without success so far — to get 16 more helicopters into southern Afghanistan to relieve a U.S. helicopter unit that will be leaving soon. He is also looking to fill other needs, including 3,500 NATO trainers for the Afghan police as well as a minimum of three battalions of ground troops.
Can the West win, albeit slower, in AFG with NATO in the lead? Just like the kid who couldn't help but keep denting the fender on the BMW, we may just have to take back the keys.

America not so alone

Still need to read Steyn's book, but I know one thing. Americans aren't all that alone. We are at least hanging out in twos.
For the first time in 35 years, the U.S. fertility rate has climbed high enough to sustain a stable population, solidifying the nation's unique status among industrialized countries.

The overall fertility rate increased 2 percent between 2005 and 2006, nudging the average number of babies being born to each woman to 2.1, according to the latest federal statistics. That marks the first time since 1971 that the rate has reached a crucial benchmark of population growth: the ability of each generation to replace itself.
As Europe fades and Islam expands - at least our corner of Western Civilization is breaking even.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

On Christmas Day

Walking the walk.
On Sept. 6, 2003, halfway through his 13-month deployment, Southworth and his military police unit paid a visit to the orphanage. They played and chatted with the children; Southworth was talking with one little girl when Ala'a dragged his body to the soldier's side.

Black haired and brown eyed, Ala'a spoke to the 31-year-old American in the limited English he had learned from the sisters. He recalled the bombs that struck government buildings across the Tigris River.

"Bomb-Bing! Bomb-Bing!" Ala'a said, raising and lowering his fist.

"I'm here now. You're fine," the captain said.

Over the next 10 months, the unit returned to the orphanage again and again. The soldiers would race kids in their wheelchairs, sit them in Humvees and help the sisters feed them.

To Southworth, Ala'a was like a little brother. But Ala'a — who had longed for a soldier to rescue him — secretly began referring to Southworth as "Baba," Arabic for "Daddy."

Then, around Christmas, a sister told Southworth that Ala'a was getting too big. He would have to move to a government-run facility within a year.

"Best case scenario was that he would stare at a blank wall for the rest of his life," Southworth said.

To this day, he recalls the moment when he resolved that that would not happen.

"I'll adopt him," he said.
Read it all.
Southworth's decision was cemented in spring 2004, while he and his comrades watched Mel Gibson's film, "The Passion of the Christ." Jesus Christ's sacrifice moved him. He imagined meeting Christ and Ala'a in heaven, where Ala'a asked: "Baba, why didn't you ever come back to get me?"

"Everything that I came up with as a response I felt ashamed. I wouldn't want to stand in the presence of Jesus and Ala'a and say those things to him."
Hat tip PowerLine.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Christmas Eve thought

Interesting how the mind works. During and unfortunately down tempo Christmas service yesterday, something caught me during this part of We Three Kings.
Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes of life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light
I thought of the sacrifice of Jesus, and all that His sacrifice has brought me and man in general. I looked down at my family and realized how blessed I am to have the honor of the responsibility of being their father, husband, brother and son. Then, in a flash, my mind when to what I read about the Lee family last weekend.
A military working dog wounded in Iraq during a rocket attack that killed its Marine handler was adopted Friday by the slain Marine's family.

Cpl. Dustin Lee's family planned to take home the bomb-sniffing dog — named Lex — on Saturday after the 8-year-old German shepherd was granted early retirement. It was the first time a working dog was granted retirement to live with the handler's family, officials said.

"Nobody can do anything to replace the void in this family," said Col. Christian Haliday, commander of the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, where Lee and Lex were assigned.

"We hope Lex can bring a small piece of his spirit and help maintain his memory," he said.

On hand for a ceremony at the base were the Marine's parents, Jerome and Rachel Lee, his sister, Madison, 16, and brother, Camryn, 12, of Quitman, Miss.

"It's not going to bring back my brother, but it's something close to it," said Madison Lee as she played with Lex after the ceremony.

Military officials initially told the family that Lex had another two years of service before he could be adopted. But the family lobbied for months — even enlisting the aid of a North Carolina congressman — and the adoption came exactly nine months after the 20-year-old Marine was killed and his dog wounded on March 21 in Iraq's Anbar Province.

2nd Lt. Caleb Eames, spokesman for the Albany base, said Lee and Lex were sitting outside at a forward operating base in Karmah when they were hit by shrapnel from a 73mm rocket explosion.

"A part of Dustin is in Lex," said the fallen Marine's father. "To have Lex at home is a part of having Dustin at home."

Rachel Lee said she believes her son's spirit will live on through the dog because of their close bond and because they were together during the final moments of her son's life.

"It was blood on blood," she said. "We can't get Dustin back, but we have Lex."
As a dog person, what more can I say?

Sunday Funnies

Hat tip LBG.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Army follows Navy

At a minimum, they are following Lex, Chap and myself.
Given Apple's marketing toward the young and the trendy, you wouldn't expect the U.S. Army to be much of a customer. Lieutenant Colonel C.J. Wallington is hoping hackers won't expect it either.

Wallington, a division chief in the Army's office of enterprise information systems, says the military is quietly working to integrate Macintosh computers into its systems to make them harder to hack. That's because fewer attacks have been designed to infiltrate Mac computers, and adding more Macs to the military's computer mix makes it tougher to destabilize a group of military computers with a single attack, Wallington says.
Yes, diversity is very good.
The Army's push to use Macs to help protect its computing corps got its start in August 2005, when General Steve Boutelle, the Army's chief information officer, gave a speech calling for more diversity in the Army's computer vendors. He argued the approach would both increase competition among military contractors and strengthen its IT defenses.

Apple (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) computers still satisfy only a tiny portion of the military's voracious demand for computers. By Wallington's estimate, around 20,000 of the Army's 700,000 or so desktops and servers are Apple-made. He estimates that about a thousand Macs enter the Army's ranks during each of its bi-annual hardware buying periods.

Fullbore Friday

Hey, the first week of the deployment of the Great White Fleet. 100 years ago! Go to that link - good stuff. Watch the video there in addition to the one below, and say hi to my buddy Jerry.

I still think it is a crying shame he was given a Special Mission vice and Operational Command.

Hat tip Tim.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Who should Phibian vote for?

Well, based on the pole on the right side of this blog - there are a lot of FredHeads out there in the readership, so I don't think I will lose too many of you.

I didn't game the system, and still have not voted, but ABC has a short questionnaire that will pick your Top-3, and this is what it told me. Interesting.

Rummy in his own words

On 14 DEC, former SECDEF Rumsfeld did something he has not done a whole bunch over the last year - he sat down for an interview. This time with Bill Bennett. I will let Rummy speak for himself.

The cluelessness of Kerr(e)y

UPDATE: You know, I did this once during the '94 election. An earlier version of this post had me blaming this on the Junior Senator from Mass. - my bust. It is the other Kerrey, this one with the "e" in his name. Can't keep my Democrats straight - the point remains - as does the unchangeable or open to interpretation Koran and Hadith....unlike my post that I have changed to remove, booger like, my mistake.

Well, former Senator Kerr(e)y, time to get an adviser on comparative religious studies.
While announcing his support for Clinton on Sunday, Kerrey told The Washington Post in an interview that while he hopes Clinton is the nominee, he would like Obama to have a role - especially because of his ability to reach out to black youth and Muslims around the world.

"It's probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim," said Kerrey, a former governor and the current president of the New School in New York City. "There's a billion people on the planet that are Muslims, and I think that experience is a big deal."
Ummmm, actually Senator Kerrey - all the above combined with the fact he studied the Koran as a kid in Indonesia and is now a Christian and his raising his kids as a Christian makes him ---- drum roll please ---- and apostate!

And to a Muslim, being an apostate is a big deal. He should have called the State Dept.
Under ... Shari'a ... law, children born to a Muslim father are Muslim, regardless of the mother's religion.
Oh, and for you knee-jerkers out there, this is not an anti-Obama post. Your email is funny.

Why we work hard...

Your best Sailors work hard - and work to overcome the mistakes of others WAY up the totem pole from them - because they get it. They understand - and they give a d@mn.
“As long as you’re awake, you have something to do,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Lucien Gauthier, who arrived on the San Antonio, his first ship, in August 2006.

Gauthier, a 25-year-old from Brevard, N.C., said the crew has kept a positive attitude through the failed trials and chronic problems. He called the experience “a painful way to learn.”

“It forced us to learn how to adapt.” he said. “Are we supposed to learn how to deal with this off the coast of Virginia, or are we supposed to learn how to deal with this off the coast of Somalia?”
You train hard and you do all you can to get your ship ready to go in harm's way. To do less is professional malpractice. Read the whole of this article on how LPD-17 is now up to speed. It provides a great overview of what we have always known - no matter how many screw-ups by PEO Ships' Flags and SES and others - extra loads of tax-payer money and Sailor sweat will fix it. Bravo Zulu Sailors, and well put Petty Officer Gauthier.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

An IG to watch

This could be very interesting.
After months of congressional pressure, the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General has opened an investigation of an Army general who tried to bring murder charges against U.S. troops.

The investigation, requested by Rep. Walter B. Jones, North Carolina Republican, will probe whether Lt. Gen. Francis H. Kearney III overstepped his bounds and/or compromised legal proceedings in two Afghanistan incidents, one involving Marines and the other involving two Special Forces soldiers.

The general's orders, to redeploy a Marine unit and probe the soldiers, were first reported in The Washington Times in October.

"I am troubled by the premeditated-murder charges levied against Master Sergeant Troy Anderson and Captain Dave Staffel" of Special Forces, said Mr. Jones, in an October letter to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. "Based on his own statements, Lieutenant General Frank Kearney directed that charges be brought against these two American heroes despite the fact that the two soldiers were exonerated by the Army's Criminal Investigation Command.
There is a lot more to this. Let's just watch, some more, for now.

First Brussels ... then ....

The whole UK. Got to keep up with the folks in Brussels, I guess.

The top 20 boys names

  1. Jack (-)
  2. Mohammed (+10)(or a variation)
  3. Thomas (-)
  4. Oliver (+1)
  5. Joshua (-1)
  6. Charlie (+4)
  7. Daniel (+2)
  8. William (-1)
  9. James (-3)
  10. Alfie (+6)
  11. Samuel (-3)
  12. George (+2)
  13. Joseph (-1)
  14. Benjamin (-3)
  15. Ethan (+4)
  16. Lewis (+4)
  17. Mohammed (+5)
  18. Jake (-3)
  19. Dylan (+4)
  20. Jacob (+1)
Curious, I don't see an obvious female Muslim name.

Navy football - the right answer

It amazes me that I still get email from the unbalanced fans of that tax-payer money sponge, former Ensign Eckel, defending him as such a great "man," but in the end, he just doesn't matter.

What you need to do is to keep a sharp eye to see a real leader - a man who understands those things in life that are important - and football isn't it.
Even with NFL scouts coming to practices to observe his abilities as a fullback, Adam Ballard remains grounded and loyal.

There’s no denying the thought of playing professional football has crossed his mind, a time or two. He’s even been invited to show off his talents at the 2008 East-West Shrine game in Houston.

But Ballard, a Marcus graduate and senior at the United States Naval Academy, is driven by deeper convictions and beliefs. His desire to be an officer in the United States Marine Corps, possibly leading a combat platoon in Iraq or Afghanistan, is greater than his love of football.

“When I’m older, I want to be able to look at my kids and tell them why they can go to any church and why your mom doesn’t have to wear a burqa,” Ballard said.

In a few weeks, Ballard will learn if he will become a Marine officer after graduation in the spring.
This man is well grounded - and is one heck of a ball player.
This season, he has carried 102 times for 456 yards and four touchdowns. He is averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He is eighth all-time on Navy’s career rushing list with 1,916-career rushing yards and needs 34 yards to pass Craig Candeto to reach seventh place.

Ballard had 11 carries for 24 yards in Navy’s 46-44 triple overtime victory against Notre Dame on Saturday that snapped a 43-year losing streak.
See 'ya in the Fleet.

Can't even watch Nickelodeon

Those of you who have young girls know all about Zoey 101. Those of you who can't help but watch a train wreck happen know all about the Spears Clan. For those who fit both, you just knew this would end pretty.
Another Spears baby is reportedly on the way — and it's not Britney's. Jamie Lynn Spears, the 16-year-old "Zoey 101" star and sister of Britney, tells OK! magazine that she's pregnant and that the father is her longtime boyfriend, Casey Aldridge.

"It was a shock for both of us, so unexpected," she says. "I was in complete and total shock and so was he."
And the winner father? Aldridge is 18. Yep, 18. Check out his page on I would feel a little less sad if he was 16.
Spears broke the news to her mother, Lynne, just before Thanksgiving, the magazine says.

"She was very upset because it wasn't what she expected at all," Spears says. "A week after, she had time to cope with it and became very supportive."

Lynne Spears, already grandmother to Britney's young sons, says: "I didn't believe it because Jamie Lynn's always been so conscientious. She's never late for her curfew. I was in shock. I mean, this is my 16-year-old baby."

She says her actress daughter, the telegenic heroine of the popular Nickelodeon series "Zoey 101," has known Aldridge for years and began dating him in high school.

Jamie Lynn plans to raise the baby in her home state of Louisiana — "so it can have a normal family life."
Goodness knows you didn't have one Jamie. See if you can raise the bar - but you have one heck of a hill to climb.

I think it was Patrick Swayze who once said that if you did not watch out, Hollywood would do anything in its power to turn you into a whore. That is a little strong for Jamie, but when you take her immediate family and roll it up in Hollywood - it was just a matter of time.

I will give her kudos for bringing a life into the world - but a 16 yr old who looks 11 getting pregnant by a 18yr old acting like he is 15 is just something I don't feel like explaining to my pre-teen girls right now.....and why isn't Casey in jail?

Oh, that is right - can't judge. No, not at all. I don't think Jamie's mom has any other daughters to sacrifice to the Hollywood gods - so at least we have peace.

BTW, when you look at what Hollywood spits out of what used to be the Spears and Olson girls - why oh why would any father want to encourage their daughters to be in the acting field? Ever?

Jamie, go back to Louisiana and have Gary Kaltbaum manage your money. Lock out your parents. Find a good church and get an education. Also, give Danica McKellar a call. You need new friends that know where you come from - and aren't after your money, fame, or underage pants.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Message for the detailer

Hat tip MilitaryMotivator.

P-3 fleet - almost 1/4 grounded

Good news: this isn't happening after one falls out of the sky - with the expected results. Right call.
The U.S. Navy has grounded 39 of its surveillance, anti-submarine planes like those flown from Maine's Brunswick Naval Air Station due to concerns about possible structural failures in the wings.

Ten of the four-engine propeller planes are currently deployed overseas, and Navy spokesman Cmdr. Jeff Davis said they will return to the U.S. for repairs and it has not yet been determined how or if they will be replaced.

"We are acting early, based upon engineering analysis and fleet inspections, to ground these aircraft before a problem arises," said Davis.
It will take 18-24 months to repair each of the planes, for a total of about three years to complete the process. Those that cannot be repaired will be pulled from service.

The Orions are some of the oldest aircraft the Navy has, and they are set to be replaced in coming years by the new P-8A Poseidon jet plane. The Poseidon are expected to be operational in the Navy fleet in 2019.

Davis said it is not clear yet whether the rest of the Orions will also have to eventually be taken out of service for repairs.

The 39 were chosen based on their age, number of hours flown and other computer analysis that showed they had exceeded the amount of fatigue on the wings that the Navy considered a concern.

The Naval Air Systems Command issued a bulletin announcing the grounding on Monday, saying it was determined that the 39 aircraft were "beyond known structural limits on the lower section" of the wing.
Hey it's our buddy Jeffy again. Good thing nothing is "ludicrous" this time.

This isn't a shock to the P-3 Bubbas. The condition of their aircraft has been a poorly kept secret since early mid-decade. I bet this makes Anne happy PalmPilot is ashore.

Lesson? When you need a new aircraft, don't wait till the last minute to get one.

The P-3 Fleet is already short of aircraft for both operational and training missions (just ask them for support......) Now they almost lose 25% for at least 18 months? Ungh. 2019 is a looonnnggg way away.

Oh, China noticed!

....and no - I will not pass up the chance.

Worst symposium title of the quarter

Can we please get some more people on Staff that have a Communications or Public Relations degree? Heck, we don't need that - just a solid English major that took a few courses in logic and debate.

From the, "If you have to tell them...." school, I give you, - well - , ....

Soooooo, we're not "READY" and "RELEVANT" right now? If we are, then who do we and why do we need to remind? Awwww heck; everyone should read the below for two reasons:
  1. The only time "ENTERPRISE" should be used in the USN is when "USS" goes in front of it. "Enterprise" this and that is getting reaaaaallllll old.
  2. Why travel is such a red@55. I also note, with glee, the complete non-DTS nature of the discussion.....
Hat tip Fleet LT.

Monday, December 17, 2007

That helps explain the Intel failure

Here we are over six years into this war. I think from both Left and right, I can think everyone can agree that the CIA leaves a lot to be desired WRT actually functioning as a Central Intelligence Agency that is focused on those who would do this nation harm. No excess focus power - their dance card should be quite full.

The CIA more and more just looks like a self-serving bloated gov'munt bureaucracy. In case you didn't think that was the case, Gabriel Schoenfeld, provides us all a great service.

Equal Opportunity and Diversity
The Equal Opportunity and Diversity Office held an IC Diversity Strategy Implementation Workshop on 2 and 3 October. This was an important step in the accomplishment of the IC-wide EEO and Diversity Cross-Cutting Emphasis Area Plan (CCEAP) by providing each of the IC Agencies with the mechanisms and direction, consistent with Section 102A of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act (IRTPA), to “ensure that the personnel of the Intelligence Community are sufficiently diverse for purposes of the collection and analysis of intelligence through the
recruitment and training of women, minorities, and individuals with diverse ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds.” It sets the stage to ensure that the members of the Intelligence Community not only reflect America, but also have the cultural backgrounds of our threats. In addition, the office held a “Second Affinity Group and Special Emphasis Program Leadership Colloquium” on 1 and 2 November which broadened outreach techniques to IC human resource offices, businesses, and others interested in minority recruitment for the IC. The Colloquium also included mentoring and coaching techniques for minority individuals and communication of EEOD issues to senior leadership members.
That is from the testimony to Congress by Donald Kerr, the PDDNI, that is, the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence - as part of his "500 Day Plan" to, I guess, make the CIA do something that might actually confuse the enemy more than the USA? Asking too much I guess.

Priorities for a nation at war.

So, now the CIA has been sucked into the reality distortion myth of the Diversity Bullies. The pathetic thing is that they have lumped their self-important, Balkanizing, grievance farming with what we should be focused on, real diversity that has to do with linguistic and cultural training. I pass as a fairly good "High Yellow" Lebanese or Syrian myself, not to mention Circassian or Chechen - but hey, I guess I am just Whitey to the CIA.

Might as well be the Ed'u'ma'ca'chun Dept. Gut it and start over. I like what SECDEF Gates said about the CIA over 26 years ago.
As a result of the lack of innovative and creative personnel management, I believe this agency is chock full of people simply awaiting retirement: some are only a year or two away and some are twenty-five years away, but there are far too many playing it safe, proceeding cautiously, not antagonizing management, and certainly not broadening their horizons, especially as long as their own senior management makes it clear that [risk-taking] is not career enhancing. How is the health of CIA? I would say that at the present time it has a case of advanced bureaucratic arteriosclerosis: the arteries are clogging up with careerist bureaucrats who have lost the spark. It is my opinion that it is this steadily increasing proportion of intelligence bureaucrats that has led to the decline in the quality of intelligence collection and analysis over the past fifteen years — more so than our declining resources . . . or congressional investigations or legal restrictions. CIA is slowly turning into the Department of Agriculture.
Harumph. Makes we want to start chanting "Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!"

Hat tip Cliff May at The Corner.

List the people you need to yell at ...

C-dore 14 just yells at one, how about the rest of you?

Oh, you silly JAGs.....

While reading up on the LOST post on Saturday, something caught my eye. Now, throughout my entire Navy career, emphasized repeatedly by Senior Leadership, I have been very focused on "Diversity." I have been constantly reminded, both officially and unofficially, that for NJP, time-to-qual, FITREP rankings, assignments, and recruiting that I need to do all "I can" to ensure that the Navy looks just like America! So, of course, being that as an institution Big Navy is only interested in the geographical source of people's geneome - not such discriminatory things as performance, education, or preparation to succeed - I make sure and take note of Diversity in my everyday work environment.

It is amazing when you adopt the Diversity Bully's sectarian view of the world, what that world - Potempkin like - begins to look like.
Did you know that the JAG Corp is 52.5% female, 47.5% male, and perhaps (depends on how you define it) 22.5% "Americans of a significantly Sub-Saharan African genome." Check here, here, and here to count melanin yourself - though I think we missed some of their other priorities.

Wow. I feel just so inclusive looking at their site. Mmmmmmmm; happy feelings. How unprofessional of myself to initially only see people as Officers, Members of the Chief's Mess, and Junior Enlisted. I feel much better now being more in line with the 1930s Deutsche Hygiene-Museum. Much better, don't you? After all, it is part of my FITREP.

21st Century Lynch Mob

This is how it starts.
MPAC now wants to find out exactly who these Sufis are, who are working for the Zio-Con think tank. There were 8 Sufis who worked for them, and all apparently have gone abroad to hide while the storm is raging. They worked, according to Policy Exchange for over a year on the project, so some Muslim out there must have come into contact with them.

Who are they, what are their backgrounds … MPACUK will dig deeper and expose every last detail of the Sufis who tried to destroy their own community.

If you know who they are – please write in and we will expose these men and women for all the Muslim community to see. Write in now and let us do what the incompetent idiots in the Mosque should be doing, protecting our community.
That is not a subtle threat. What is their "crime?"
Over the summer, Policy Exchange produced the most comprehensive report so far on the extent to which extremist literature is available in British mosques and Islamic institutions. It is called The Hijacking of British Islam.

Muslim undercover researchers visited nearly 100 mosques. In 26 of them, they found extremist material - titles such as Women Who Deserve to Go to Hell (for answering their husbands back), virulent insults of Jews and homosexuals, puritanical attacks on moderate Muslims, calls for the complete rejection of Western society etc.
Well, the BBC did weigh in - by attacking the Policy Exchange and the brave British Muslims that helped investigate the issue.
Policy Exchange researches all sorts of public policy - police reform, school choice, housing, as well as on Islamist extremism. Next week comes its big report on improving philanthropy. I find it repellent that the might of the BBC is deployed to threaten and bully a charity in this way.

More important, however, is the fate of Muslims in this country.

It is not often realised that the British citizens most persecuted by Islamist extremism are Muslims themselves.

The researchers that Policy Exchange used to find the extreme literature were all Muslims - no one else could pass unnoticed in a potentially hostile environment.

Because their safety was and is threatened, the think-tank protects their anonymity. On air, Newsnight revealed where some of them were.

Yesterday an Islamist website repeated this and called for supporters to help hunt them down. The BBC has unintentionally exposed them to the risk of harm.

What these brave Muslims undeniably found was evidence of widespread, obnoxious material that is a risk to decent Muslims and to British social order.

The BBC chose, in effect, to side with their extreme opponents and to cover up the report, because of an obsession about a few pieces of paper.
Oh, the pi55ing contest is over a few, not all, of the receipts - not a memogate like issue, much smaller and harder to prove.

The UK has a huge problem that we in the US just cannot comprehend - and the problem in the UK will get worse and worse until the British confront the beast they have allowed to exist within. Sure, we have our own Islamists issues, but they haven't attacked the US public with SVBIED and VBID in our own cities; yet. MPACUK, BTW, makes C.A.I.R. look like the Daughters of the American Revolution in comparison.

See Europe while it is still there - but go to London first, it is pretty much gone already insofar as it being a British city. Last time I was there, the neighborhood where we were staying (outside of Paddington of all places), at the local playground about 70% of the women with children were wearing head scarves. Walking around the neighborhood, it was only about 40% or so. In Istanbul it is about 5-10%. Go figure.

That is a professional threat

At least the way I read it. This helps explain why Fred Thompson got so much millage out of his NEA line, and why you take your children's future in jeopardy when you send them to gov'munt schools. Sure, some are good - but on balance....
"If you are not passing more than 65 percent of your students in a class, then you are not designing your expectations to meet their abilities, and you are setting your students up for failure, which, in turn, limits your success as a professional."
Can't some teacher sue? It is NYC, you can sue just about anyone for anything there.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lost on LOST?

Me? Not anymore - let me explain.

First, the closest you can find to where I stand is the 12 DEC 07 article in The Washington Times by Ken Adelman.
The tranquil-sounding Law of the Sea (LOS) treaty somehow prompts lots of waves. The first storm arose 25 years ago, when President Reagan had the U.S. virtually stand alone against it.

The issue is back. It's still controversial, as Senate Republican leaders oppose ratification. Conservative stalwarts Ed Meese and Bill Clark feel its approval would betray the Reagan legacy.
Would it really?
The LOS accord, just sent out of committee, stands before the Senate for a vote this month. The Senate should ratify it — partly on the merits, but also to reinforce Reagan's biggest legacy, that standing alone on principle can pay off. If you stand right on the merits, eventually others come around.

In 1982, Reagan turned the tide on the LOS effort, under way by some 150 countries over the previous 10 years. During a few National Security Council meetings — which I attended as deputy to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick's — Reagan called the deep-sea mining provisions global socialism.
Good enough reason for me, but....
In his Jan. 29, 1982, document on LOS, Reagan listed these very issues in six bullets. He explicitly pledged that, if the LOS negotiators "find ways to fulfill these key objectives, my administration will support ratification."

Subsequent administrations have found ways. The first Bush administration began fixing Reagan's biggest bugaboo, the deep seabed mining provisions, which the Clinton team deftly completed. This Bush administration devised critical understandings to clarify and protect U.S. national interests.

The LOS convention has already been joined by 154 nations. Companies from members Canada, Australia and Germany have licenses for deep-sea mining while U.S. companies wait and support ratification here.

Reagan's "key objectives" have been met, as free market principles now apply to deep-sea mining. Private firms can mine the minerals, with the legal assurances they need for large-scale, long-term investments. American firms would have their claims protected.

Gone is any mandatory technology transfer. Gone is any bulk-up of multilateral institutions. Gone is key decisionmaking without U.S. participation. With ratification comes a permanent U.S. seat on the decisionmaking body, with veto power on all key issues.

Again, don't just take my word for it. Because Reagan's fixes were made, both his secretaries of state — Alexander M. Haig Jr. and George P. Shultz — switched from opposing to backing LOS ratification. As has Reagan's Chief of Staff and President H.W. Bush's Secretary of State James Baker. Likewise for this President Bush's two secretaries of state, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
More good reasons in the article - you should read it all.

Once a skeptic, now I think it is time to "..listen to the JAG." Go to the bottom of their page, follow the links, and do a little reading.

In general, those who are most aggressive in their opposition fall into four different groups:
  1. Just plain don't like multi-lateral treaties. Sam-I-Am, do no like them
  2. Are stuck on the '83 treaty and are not fully up to speed on the '94 changes.
  3. Have only had the chance to read stuff written by those wrapped up in #1 and #2, because they have not read the primary source information.
  4. General all around cranks that hate everything after the Spanish-American War.
I was in group 3. There is some clever advocacy out there, so read carefully - but read fully. I am not a believer in dark conspiracies - and 99.9% of the time the DoD has some very smart, good people doing hard work for $.20 on the dollar. Lean on those people for the tough questions.

In the end, my concerns has always been national security and our ability to do what needs to be done without Lawfare getting in the way of the right thing. To that end, Article 298.1.b - at least for me, answers the mail.
1. When signing, ratifying or acceding to this Convention or at any time thereafter, a State may, without prejudice to the obligations arising under section 1, declare in writing that it does not accept any one or more of the procedures provided for in section 2 with respect to one or more of the following categories of disputes:
(b) disputes concerning military activities, including military activities by government vessels and aircraft engaged in non-commercial service, and disputes concerning law enforcement activities in regard to the exercise of sovereign rights or jurisdiction excluded from the jurisdiction of a court or tribunal under article 297, paragraph 2 or 3;
Th'ar's yer veto. 51% - it tilts to the JAGs.