Tag Archives: Military

Obama’s asinine rules of engagement

Hat tip to Dan Riehl.

Writing over at Riehl World View, Dan has some thoughts on the president’s feel-good but asinine rules of engagement for Afghanistan:

*No night or surprise searches.

*Villagers have to be warned prior to searches.

*ANA or ANP must accompany U.S. units on searches.

*U.S. soldiers may not fire at the enemy unless the enemy is preparing to fire first.

*U.S. forces cannot engage the enemy if civilians are present.

*Only women can search women.

*Troops can fire at an insurgent if they catch him placing an IED but not if insurgents are walking away from an area where explosives have been laid.

Not only is it obvious that Mr Obama’s understanding of military doctrine and strategy is not even up to playing a good game of Risk, it is also pretty clear that like most liberals the president does not have a loved one serving in the military.  It’s all abstract to him, little toy soldiers on a map.

Do these fine Americans in his photo-op backdrop look a little skeptical to you?

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin had another great picture of a cadet sending a message to the commander in chief:

Several readers note the active service campaign ribbons and medals on the man’s chest and identify one of them as the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, showing he has been an Infantry Soldier under Combat. D. O’Brien writes: “The Cadet pictured in your piece on President Obama’s speech at West Point (December 1, 2009) is not a ‘traditional’ cadet. He is a former enlisted man – and an Infantryman who wears the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. This award is given only to Infantrymen who have participated in direct-fire engagements against the enemy.”

Denial is Not Just a River in Egypt

From the very beginning of the Fort Hood shooting story the media went into Muslim Apologist Mode.  After watching reporting on Fox News for a while, I tuned into World News Tonight and was treated to glaring examples, including Brian Ross’ need to pass along the claim that the shooter had been called a “camel jockey”.  Over the course of the next 24 hours we all saw several other reporters lament (and then repeat) that they were sorry that the shooter’s name was not Smith.  In the media’s desperate attempt to call it anything other than muslim-related terrorism we were even introduced to the preposterous notion that the shooter actually had Pre Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

As Stuart Smalley (the only funny thing that so-called comedian ever did) said, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt”.

There is no shortage of people who immediately called this what it was: a terrorist attack.  Lt. Col. Ralph Peters typically did not mince words in his analysis:

Ralph PetersBut to call this an act of terrorism, the White House would need an autographed photo of Osama bin Laden helping Hasan buy weapons in downtown Killeen, Texas. Even that might not suffice.

Islamist terrorists don’t all have al Qaeda union cards in their wallets. Terrorism’s increasingly the domain of entrepreneurs and independent contractors. Under Muslim jurisprudence, jihad’s an individual responsibility. Hasan was a self-appointed jihadi.

Yet we’re told he was just having a bad day.

But too many reporters immediately rushed to treat us all like adolescent potential KKKers.  Proving the old adage about the acorn-finding blind squirrel, even NYT columnist David Brooks got this one right when he wrote of A Rush To Therapy:

David BrooksMajor Hasan was portrayed as a disturbed individual who was under a lot of stress. We learned about pre-traumatic stress syndrome, and secondary stress disorder, which one gets from hearing about other people’s stress. We heard the theory (unlikely in retrospect) that Hasan was so traumatized by the thought of going into a combat zone that he decided to take a gun and create one of his own.

There was a national rush to therapy. Hasan was a loner who had trouble finding a wife and socializing with his neighbors.

This response was understandable. It’s important to tamp down vengeful hatreds in moments of passion. But it was also patronizing. Public commentators assumed the air of kindergarten teachers who had to protect their children from thinking certain impermissible and intolerant thoughts. If public commentary wasn’t carefully policed, the assumption seemed to be, then the great mass of unwashed yahoos in Middle America would go off on a racist rampage.

That patronizing attitude seems to be par for the course from the American media.  But that is not the point that needs making, which is simply that this level of feel-good political correctness has no place in the US Army.  Col. Peters also points out some disturbing affirmative action programs in the Army that could have played a role in this officer’s promotions in the face of obvious problems and bad reviews.

A dirty big secret in our Army has been that officers’ promotion boards have quotas for minorities. We don’t call them quotas, of course. But if a board doesn’t hit the floor numbers, its results are held up until the list has been corrected. It’s almost impossible for the Army’s politically correct promotion system to pass over a Muslim physician.

George Casey - Reuters

From Reuters

But the public statement that shocked me the most and has stayed in my mind came straight from the mouth of Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, who actually said what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here”.  Seriously, he actually said that the deaths of 13 people would be less of a tragedy than damage to the beloved D-word.

“what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.” – Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey

Both articles close with indictments.  Brooks says of America’s initial reaction:

It denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of evil. It sought to reduce a heinous act to social maladjustment. It wasn’t the reaction of a morally or politically serious nation.

And Peters is even more blunt:

Just as we’d expect the Army to get rid of a disruptive white supremacist, we need to cashier anyone who espouses violent Islamist extremism — as Maj. Hasan did, again and again.

We won’t. Because Islamist terrorism doesn’t exist. Just ignore the dead and ask our president.

 Read Brooks’ Op-Ed here and Peters’ Op-Ed here.

Brent BozellUPDATE: Brent Bozell wrote a good article on this as well, reminding me of Bob Schieffer’s attempt at drawing moral equivalency between this act and some nameless Christian “nuts”.  Read Bozell’s take on it here.

Obama: Rhetoric vs. Reality

Liz Cheney, the incredibly sharp daughter of the former VP who was the State Department’s second-in-command on Middle Eastern affairs, has launched a new group called Keep America Safe.  Please watch this short video that compares Mr. Obama’s rhetoric to the reality of his actions.

Check out the Keep America Safe website.

Obama Fiddles While Afghanistan Burns

In March, President Obama gave a speech extolling his new strategy in Afghanistan in which he proclaimed that after a long “careful policy review” he now had a “comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Good morning. Today, I am announcing a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

This marks the conclusion of a careful policy review that I ordered as soon as I took office. My Administration has heard from our military commanders and diplomats. We have consulted with the Afghan and Pakistani governments; with our partners and NATO allies; and with other donors and international organizations. And we have also worked closely with members of Congress here at home. Now, I’d like to speak clearly and candidly to the American people.

Obama wagging his finger at usRemember that Mr. Obama made these bold and typically self-congratulatory statements six months ago, sounding like he actually knew the difference between his posterior and a hole in the ground.  However, after sacking Gen. McKiernan in May and replacing him with Gen. Stanley McChrystal (perhaps naively hoping that he had found a “yes” man), Mr. Obama is delaying a response to the theater commanders’ request for more troops.  The likely reason for this, as outlined in an article in the Weekly Standard, is that he has far higher political priorities than the lives of soldiers fighting in Afghanistan:

General Stanley McChrystal’s classified assessment of the situation in Afghanistan has been obtained by the Washington Post. According to the Post’s report, McChrystal warns that without the deployment of additional U.S. forces, the war “will likely result in failure.” McChrystal has already put together a detailed troop request, but the administration has asked that he delay in submitting that request for fear of complicating Obama’s health care push on the Hill. The Times speculates that McChrystal will ask for anywhere from 10,000 to 45,000 additional troops. I’ve heard rumors the number could be as many as 60,000 additional troops at the high end.

So the president is dragging his feet on providing necessary resources to our fighting men and women because it is a far lower priority than his desire to take over our health care system and morph it into a centrally controlled, soviet-style entitlement program.  This is what you get when you elect the least qualified and most radical president in American history.

Obamas Priorities Do Not Include Afghan War

Rumor has it that Gen. McChrystal may resign if the president does not provide the resources that the commanders are asking for, as he feels that it will mean the difference between victory and defeat.  Again, the Weekly Standard article quotes the leaked McChrystal report:

According to the McChrystal assessment, “Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) — while Afghan security capacity matures — risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.” Yet Obama is slow-walking the troop increase for political reasons, even as it seems likely that he will, in the end, do the right thing and send the necessary reinforcements.

It is likely that many of you reading this do not have relatives in the military, and I am not suggesting that the fact that my brother proudly serves in the United States Army gives me some extra moral high ground, but it does make it a lot more real to me when I think about our troops over there fighting for their lives while their commander in chief plays politics over the war and his domestic politics.

I urged my brother to think long and hard before signing up for another hitch last fall, given that it looked likely that we would soon have a radical empty-suit as Commander In Chief.  Ultimately he decided to reenlist.  He is a fine American who fills me with pride.  Hooah, brother!

AP ‘Cronkiting’ the War in Afghanistan

The Associated Press decided to publish a picture of a wounded United States Marine in the final moments of his life over the requests and objections of his family and Defense Secretary Robert Gates:

Gates wrote to Thomas Curley, AP’s president and chief executive officer. “Out of respect for his family’s wishes, I ask you in the strongest of terms to reconsider your decision. I do not make this request lightly. In one of my first public statements as Secretary of Defense, I stated that the media should not be treated as the enemy, and made it a point to thank journalists for revealing problems that need to be fixed – as was the case with Walter Reed.”

“I cannot imagine the pain and suffering Lance Corporal Bernard’s death has caused his family. Why your organization would purposefully defy the family’s wishes knowing full well that it will lead to yet more anguish is beyond me. Your lack of compassion and common sense in choosing to put this image of their maimed and stricken child on the front page of multiple American newspapers is appalling. The issue here is not law, policy or constitutional right – but judgment and common decency.”

How did the Associated Press respond?

The AP reported in a story that it decided to make the image public anyway because it “conveys the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it.”

That smells like bullshit to me.  I submit that they are pulling a Cronkite on us, deliberately trying to undermine the effort just as newsman-turned-editorialist Walter Cronkite did in 1968.  Given the constant reports and the knowledge that last month was the deadliest month of the conflict for American servicemen, their justification does not hold water.  They are using images to manipulate public opinion.

Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard is an American hero and takes a place in American history with all of the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country.  That the Associated Press felt the need to publish that photo shows that the people who made that decision do not respect that sacrifice.

An American Hero

An American Hero

Honoring SFC John Beale

SFC John Beale

SFC John Beale

I had seen the story on the local news, but they did not do it justice.  Sergeant First Class John Beale paid the ultimate price on June 4th near Kapisa, Afghanistan, from an IED attack and small arms fire.  Also killed in the same action were Maj. Kevin M. Jenrette and Spc. Jeffrey W. Jordan.  The story that I saw on the local news reported that a lot of people turned out down in Peachtree City (a suburb south of Atlanta) to honor Sgt. Beale when his body was returned from Afghanistan.

Then I got a tweet today from @KarlRove that linked to a YouTube video taken from inside a vehicle in the procession through Henry county.  The streets were lined with people for miles, showing their respect and support for Sergeant Beale and his family.  Beale was was serving our state and our country in the Georgia National Guard.  Please watch this video, it is long but that is part of the impact.

I am not surprised at this turnout, certainly not in Peachtree City, Georgia.  I will always proudly say that these are my people.  I grew up in this very culture, only a county or two away from Peachtree City, and people like the ones lining these roads made me the patriot that I am.  The little towns up in the foothills where I live put up white crosses with American flags at every opportunity, and not just on Independence Day and Memorial Day and Veterans day, including the name of a local who served, sometimes including the letters POW or KIA or MIA.

I supported the mission and continue to support it, independent of the fact that I have a brother serving in the military who will likely get another combat deployment soon.  I love my fellow Georgians for their love and support of this fine patriot.  John Beale served his state and his country and would have been a hero even if he had come home without a scratch.

Let us never forget patriots like SFC John Beale.

Mourning real heroes

I was sick of the Jackson coverage well before his over the top memorial service and I changed the channel every time that they got back into any discussion of the guy.  He truly was a good entertainer and more than a little bit of a troubled freak, and like everyone ultimately will, he died.  I think that the celebrity worship is a little crazy.

Michelle Malkin wrote an article called Let’s Mourn the Real American Heroes in which she points out some people who died on the same week as Jackson who deserve more mention.  No, I am not talking about Billy Mays or Farah Faucett or Ed McMahon.

It is very likely that the names Justin Casillas and Aaron Fairbairn and Brian Bradshaw don’t ring a bell with you and the truth is that I also did not recognize those names.  Last week these three American men gave their lives for their country and for their fellow soldiers in Afghanistan, but you could likely name Michael Jackson’s doctor before any of these heroes.

According to the Department of Defense, both Fairbairn and Casillas died from “wounds suffered when insurgents attacked the outpost using small arms and indirect fires.” The Taliban claimed credit for the complex rocket and mortar attack involving a reported 8,000 kg of explosives.

A local Georgia Marine gave his life on July 2 as well, Charles Sharp of Adairsville, while in combat in Afghanistan.  These men and many others like them consistently demonstrate the courage and devotion that we have come to expect from our amazing military, paying the ultimate price in their service.  These are the people I point out to my sons as examples of strength and courage and duty and honor, men with character who stood for something.  We owe them and their proud but grieving families a debt of gratitude and remembrance.  These sons of America died for you and me and one of them is worth a thousand Michael Jacksons.

Michelle goes on to relate the story of Brian Bradshaw, who died on the same day as “the gloved one”:

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