Tuesday, June 22, 2010

McChrystal's Mouth

I keep hearing that, McCrystal made a very poor choice, but I'm not so sure. I think BlackFive has the best round up of some of the better blog discussions.

He quotes Daniel Foster on the thought that McChrystal is tired of the whole mess and is falling on his sword about the Afghanistan mess struck me as having some probability. I guess I don't know enough about McChrystal to make that judgement,

Blogs of War have a discussion as well with loads of quotes.

I guess my biggest push to believing that McChrystal is either trying to shove the administration of amateurs into doing the right thing comes from comments by the press moron for the POTUS.

PETER MAER, CBS RADIO: Robert, you spoke a couple of times about what's owed to the people who are serving over there. What should people put in harm's way make of their commander taking these kinds of shots at the commander-in-chief and -- and the comments made by his close aides about the vice president, about General Jones, about Ambassador Eikenberry, and others?

GIBBS: Look, we -- I think anybody that reads that article understands, as Secretary Gates talked about, what an enormous mistake this was, given the fact that mothers and fathers all over this country are sending their children halfway across the world to participate in this. They need to know that the structure -- the structure where they're sending their children is one that is capable and mature enough in prosecuting a war as important as Afghanistan is to our national security. I think that is one of the things that the president will look to discuss tomorrow …

TAPPER: Can I just follow up on a question? You've said that -- you've said that the -- the parents of soldiers need to be sure that the command structure in Afghanistan is capable and mature enough to lead. Did I hear you correctly? You're -- so you're questioning whether General McChrystal is capable and mature enough to -- for this job he has?

GIBBS: You had my quote right.

Wow. I'd have to say putting them on a scale comparing maturing and capability would find the President and his amateurs wanting.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Wasting Our Time in Afghanistan

This is from a George Will piece in the WaPo that I caught linked at VodkaPundit.

Torrents of uninteresting mail inundate members of Congress, but occasionally there are riveting communications, such as a recent e-mail from a noncommissioned officer (NCO) serving in Afghanistan. He explains why the rules of engagement for U.S. troops are "too prohibitive for coalition forces to achieve sustained tactical successes."

Receiving mortar fire during an overnight mission, his unit called for a 155mm howitzer illumination round to be fired to reveal the enemy's location. The request was rejected "on the grounds that it may cause collateral damage." The NCO says that the only thing that comes down from an illumination round is a canister, and the likelihood of it hitting someone or something was akin to that of being struck by lightning.

Returning from a mission, his unit took casualties from an improvised explosive device that the unit knew had been placed no more than an hour earlier. "There were villagers laughing at the U.S. casualties" and "two suspicious individuals were seen fleeing the scene and entering a home." U.S. forces "are no longer allowed to search homes without Afghan National Security Forces personnel present." But when his unit asked Afghan police to search the house, the police refused on the grounds that the people in the house "are good people."

This is obviously not the way to run a counterinsurgency. Someone is missing the basics, and that someone in the President. The timeline is a joke and complete proof that he has no intention of actually finishing the job. I doubt his military commanders agree with him on that one, and I'd bet most counterinsurgency experts do either.

You do have to be more cautious with collateral damage, but this is ridiculous. There are other examples in the piece that are frankly quite sad. I wonder how many deaths can be easily attributed to playing too soft on such events.

I have to say the conclusions that George Will comes up with are farcical at best:
Obama has counted on his 2011 run-up to reelection being smoothed by three developments in 2010 -- the health-care legislation becoming popular after enactment, job creation accelerating briskly and Afghanistan conditions improving significantly. The first two are not happening. He can decisively influence only the third, and only by adhering to his timetable for disentangling U.S. forces from this misadventure.
First, there is no way to get out of Afghanistan by the time of the mid-terms. Sticking to the time table will just have the US pulling out of the situation as an assured failure. He's setting the US up for another guaranteed Vietnam scenario. The Taliban know and understand that he's bailing out of the counterinsurgency and so do the Afghan people. The attrition that the Taliban fighters are seeing may have some minor effects in the short term, but they do nothing in the long term. A secured and stable Afghanistan is what is needed.

The fact that Afghanistan appears now to have vast mineral resources should be an encouragement to the administration to actually try and succeed. If they can even marginally clean up the Afghan government they could get the world to invest in Afghanistan's resource development and provide the people with wealth and stability. With those two together they would likely stand firmly against the Taliban. Especially if they are given security while the resources are developed. Many have lived under the Taliban and understand that there will be no wealth if they return to power. Poverty can be a strong influence to stand against an oppressive power.

Well, unfortunately, the President doesn't seem to think about those things. He's just out there to push a political agenda that has reached all time unpopularity and he's slowly sinking below the Jimmy Carter level of incompetence.

Being a realist I won't say Obama is the worst president ever, but he certainly is much worse than Bush ever was.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Groucho Politics

Why isn't there a modern day Groucho?

Steve Green (vodkaPundit) isn't Groucho, but his drunk blogging definitely helps you get through the LOUSY speeches by the ONE. Green embedded the above clip in his drunk blogging of Obama's speech and all his comments made me hear Groucho.

Pathetic speech, but at least Green made it a bit easier to listen too. I'd enjoy seeing him do an MS3K version of the President's speeches. I'm betting it would be pretty difficult, but still would be hilarious.

Oh, and while watching that Marx Brother's clip, I realized that they were far ahead of their time. Groucho would make a killing today as a political satirist.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

D-Day Memorial and Stalin

Stunning. I pretty much don't get this. Usually you put up memorials to honor the dead, don't you? If this had been a memorial to the Stalinist atrocities it would be one thing, but this is a memorial to the veterans of Normandy.

From a link seen at Instapundit:
Eastern Europeans in embassies and communities around the capital region are upset today that Virginia's new D-Day memorial monument, unveiled in a ceremony this past week, contains a statue of the head of notorious Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.
I'm just not sure of why the designer of the monument, not to mention those who approved and paid for the damn thing, would think Stalin should be enshrined in a monument in the USA.

From the header link:
The president of the D-Day Memorial Foundation, William McIntosh, did not return three calls from The Washington Times. He has told reporters that the foundation merely sought to mark Stalin's role in the war.

Joe Fab, who co-directed and wrote a recent documentary on the story of the soldiers of Bedford, titled "Bedford: The Town They Left Behind," said he understood from an artistic standpoint why one might include a Stalin icon, adding that he likes to "try to keep an open mind" about such things.

"All kinds of art have dimensions and complexity," he said. "If it leads to thoughtful reflection and provokes discussion, then it may have a purpose."

Mr. Edwards said the foundation tried to deflect some of the criticism by installing the bust at a private ceremony last week and by adding a plaque that describes Stalin both as a wartime leader and as a genocidal dictator.

Thoughtful reflection? Yeah, I'm pretty sure most of that thoughtful reflection regards "who the hell was the moron that thought this was a good idea?" You want to incite thoughtful reaction about the monsters of the world? How about doing it on its own and not desecrate the memorial to our veterans and the sacrifices they made?

But hey, we're the country that is letting a Mosque be placed at the site where the largest terrorist act in the USA was performed, by people who were Moslems. It almost seems like the US is run by people who want to rub our faces in the feces of our enemies contempt.

Good Bye Helen, We Won't be Missing You

The Hag Harpy of the POTUS news room has shuffled her way to the edge of the roof, stumbled and fell off. No doubt she intended to continue her anti-Semitic rants except for the little issue of her opening her mouth and proving she was an idiot.

From Mark Steyn:
The departure in ignominy of Helen Thomas has been commented on below, and I don't have much to add, except how pathetic is this?

The Hearst website is temporarily down, thanks to the traffic hitting the site.

Helen Thomas was an unreadable and unread columnist, and the only time she generates so much traffic that it crashes the site is the announcement that her career's self-destructed. That tells you a lot about American newspapering right there. Good thing two columnists didn't say something dumb or the site could have been out for weeks.
A guy with a flip camera just took out one of the most storied names in American journalism. Presumably US newspaper managements have been assured by Obama, Pelosi, Frank et al that that bailout's a-comin' any day now. The alternative is that they're inept timeserving mediocrities too dullwitted even to know they're going over the falls.
I love my flip camera. I love the existence of them. It allows people to prove that things actually happened and that idiots really did say stupid things. Oh and for the Liberals out there, it lets people prove things didn't happen, you know like all those racist tea-partiers screaming nigger at black congressmen.

Well I'm glad she's gone. Her incoherent rants during press conferences was something that was tolerated for far too long.