“Death to UK”

deathtouk.jpgOur friend, Kamangir, reports that the rhetoric from the mullahs has been raised to a fever pitch……

I am not a fan of football but I know that much that when the two top teams, Esteghlal and Perspolis, play together, it is the big event. This time, the Islamic Republic tried to borrow some of that passion for its political agenda. So, as ISNA reports,

The spectators shouted “Death to UK” before the match. A black banner was attached to the entrance of the stadium showing the text “Death to UK”.

In another news, the Friday Prayers’ Imam of Tabriz, the capital city of East Azerbaijan Province, asked for the British sailors to be tried.






The Big Lie

The remembrances of the Cambodian killing fields are, to many people, reduced to photos of neatly stacked bones and skulls for the records of posterity. For the survivors, it is much more. But, being yellow-skinned, and half-way around the world, it is too simple for the demagogues of the Party of Defeat to dismiss them outright, or even blame the deaths on the government of the US, as I noted several weeks ago:

killingfields.jpgWhat do you think about what happened to the three million Vietnamese and Cambodians who died after the U.S. troops left Vietnam?

Jane Fonda: It’s too bad that we caused it to happen by going in there in the first place.


Nor was this the first time the leftist elite managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Algeria in the late ’50s was embroiled in an insurgency (FLN) that was being soundly defeated by the French and loyalist Algerian military.

Led by Jean-Paul Sartre, a campaign of denunciation got under way in which French forces were accused of being the equivalent of Nazis–an especially freighted charge coming only a decade and a half after World War II and the German occupation of France. Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre’s companion, went so far as to say that the sight of a French army uniform had “the same effect on me that swastikas once did.” Although many of the antiwar agitators were communists or leftist fellow travelers, their petitions and demonstrations included enough authentic heroes of the Resistance and eminent liberals like Francois Mauriac to bestow upon the movement a credible public image. The constant message it conveyed was that the true authors of violence in Algeria were not the FLN at all but the French, and that only when the latter departed would Algerians be able to sort out their destiny for themselves.

The French military and political leadership was completely blindsided by the attack. No amount of justification of the selective use of torture, not even the cancellation of the original authorization, could halt the criticism or stem the loss of public support for the war. Even as the FLN took to setting off bombs in France itself, leftist Catholic priests continued to raise funds for it, while those like Albert Camus who harbored doubts about the wisdom of handing victory to the terrorists were derided and silenced. The consensus that had informed French politics as late as 1956–namely, that abandoning Algeria was “unthinkable and unmentionable”–fell apart.

Divisions over Algeria doomed France’s Fourth Republic. For its successor, the price of political survival was handing over Algeria to a totalitarian band that had lost the war on the battlefield but managed to win a stunning victory in France itself. The result was the massive flight of Algerian whites and, at home, a bloodbath as FLN terrorists put to death tens of thousands of Muslim Algerians who had been loyal to the French regime. Soldiers who had fought alongside the French were forced to swallow their medals before they were shot. source

As the democrats plot to not only betray the American military in Iraq, but also the hundreds of thousands of loyal Iraqis who have labored and fought along side the coalition, these all-too familiar consequences seem lost. And, just when you think they can’t get any lower, they hit bottom and keep digging.

Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, Zibigniew Brezinski, is rewriting the history of the fall of Viet Nam in his most recent attempt to prop up the Iranian dictatorship. Speaking at Duke University this week, Brezinski unveiled the THE BIG LIE:

Brzezinski said there’s no reason to think a bloodbath would necessarily follow a U.S. withdrawal (from Iraq).

“We expected that the U.S. leaving Vietnam would result in massive killings and genocide and so forth, and collapse of the dominoes in Southeast Asia,” he said. “It didn’t happen. How certain are we of the horror scenarios that have been mentioned in what will take place in Iraq?” source

I’ve thought for some time that the fellow travelers at moveon.org, and the marxists within the clintonistas, have made complete chumps out of the democrat party. Mainstream democrats are no more. They’ve been replaced by the opportunists and useful idiots who aid and abet the enemy, with the full knowledge and support of the MSM. At least the useful idiots like Fonda, have the emotional honesty to blame America. The complete and utter dishonesty of asshats like Brezinski threatens to balkanize the Republic.

To our Americans serving in Iraq

Kudos to Black and Right

(thanks, Bob. You said it, amigo.)

h/t Yankeedame

Bryan asks, “Where do we find such men?” a must see video at HotAir

Resignation Friday: Should Alberto go?

If you listen to the hue and cry of the Party of Defeat, and their allies in Big News, it’s only a matter of hours before Alberto Gonzales becomes the latest political casualty in the war against the culture of corruption in the Bush Administration. Fortunately for me, I haven’t listened to them since 1988, which coincidentally was the first time I voted Republican.

Should Gonzales resign?

Sandy Berger is not in prison, illegal immigrants continue to flood across the southern border, and Johnny Sutton was not among the eight US Attorneys who Gonzales fired. Gonzales serves at the pleasure of the President, so if the aforementioned problems aren’t enough to get him fired, then obviously they aren’t important problems to the President. I guess I’ll just have to chalk them up to areas with which I have a disagreement with the Administration.

But, there is no way in God’s green earth that Gonzales should resign over the US Attorneys kerfluffle. The following rogues gallery of corrupt democrats should resign before anybody else on the republican side. I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for Big News to demand accountability and honesty from the democrats. And, since they won’t, and because political attention spans are notoriously short, it is my pleasure to bring you this quick look at the top ten current crop of corrupt democrats who should absolutely resign.

By the way, I’ve included a news link with each photo. Just click on the photo to take you to the background story. Enjoy, and have a great weekend, y’all.


How could I forget about Abscam Jack? Sheesh.


see also: Woman honor thyself, Hang Right Politics, In the Bullpen, Redneck’s Revenge, Dr. Bulldog, Velvet Hammer, Righteous Indignation

How to win in Iraq (and how to lose)

Howard points to the commentary “HTWII” that was picked up by Opinion Journal. It is truly an outstanding piece, written by Mr. Arthur Herman.

Congratulations to Mr. Herman for such a well-written article, and thanks to WSJ for giving it the audience that it deserves. And, special thanks to Howard for beating WSJ upside the head with a 2 x 4 until they relented and decided to publish Mr. Herman’s article.

Here are a few excepts:

In fourth-generation warfare, whoever seems to own the future wins. To this day, thanks to Gille Pontecorvo’s celebrated and highly propagandized 1967 film, most people assume that “the battle of Algiers” was an FLN victory when in fact it was anything but. Similarly, most people believe that the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam was a major setback for the United States, for so it was successfully portrayed in the media; in fact, it crippled the Viet Cong as an insurgency. The same happened more recently in the battle of Falluja in 2005, where our eradication of a vicious jihadist network was presented almost entirely in terms of too many American casualties and too much “collateral damage.”

Thus far, the antiwar forces in both the United States and Europe have been greatly successful in presenting the Iraqi future in terms of an inevitable, and richly deserved, American defeat. Not even positive results on the ground have deterred them from pressing their case for withdrawal, or from winning influential converts in the heart of the U.S. Congress. If they succeed in their ultimate goal of forcing a withdrawal, they will take their place in another “long line,” joining the shameful company of those who compelled the French to leave Algeria in disgrace and to stand by as the victorious FLN conducted a hideous bloodbath, and of those who compelled America to leave Vietnam under similar circumstances and to similar effect.

Unlike the French in Algeria, the United States is in Iraq not in order to retain a colony but to help create a free, open and liberal society in a part of the world still mired in autocracy and fanaticism. Will we stay long enough to defeat the jihadists, to engage Iraqis in the process of modern nation-building, and to ease the transition to a free society? Or will we quit before the hard work is done, leaving this vital part of the world to become an al Qaeda sanctuary, bathed in chaos, anarchy, and blood? As the polls suggest, a large constituency at home is waiting to learn the answer to this question, and so is a much larger constituency abroad. But time is running short.

“Act quickly,” Gen. Petraeus wrote in January 2006, “because every army of liberation has a half-life.” This is true not only in the field but at home. James Thurber once said that the saddest two words in the English language are “too late.” Terrible as it is to think that our surge may have come too late, it is much more terrible to think that feckless politicians, out of whatever calculation, may pull the plug before the new approach is fully tested.

And terrible not only for Iraqis. For the French, the price of failure in Algeria was the collapse of one Republic and a permanent stain on the next–along with the deep alienation of the French military from the political establishment that it believed (with considerable justification) had betrayed it. Here at home, it took the American military almost a decade and a half to recover its confidence and resiliency after the failure and humiliation of Vietnam. How we would weather another and even more consequential humiliation is anybody’s guess; but the stakes are enormous, and the clock is ticking.

Read it all

Al Gore (pbuh™) to run?

Al Gore (pbuh™), the prophet of climate change, is reportedly giving serious consideration to taking a major job demotion from Global Savior to POTUS, as the candidate for the Green Party.

“Al Gore has been energized by the attention he’s been receiving as America’s leading environmentalist,” a political source close to Gore said. “He believes this might present an opportunity to become president or at least try again.”

Sources close to Gore said Ralph Nader has sought to recruit the former vice president to run as the candidate for the Green Party. They said Gore has not rejected the offer and was consulting with family and friends to determine the feasibility of such a candidacy.

At this point, Gore stands behind Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama in any race for the Democratic presidential nomination. But the polls report that many Democrats who support Clinton could switch their support to Gore. source

The Clinton machine can’t be too happy with this development, so I wouldn’t be very surprised to see someone trying to sneak a snuke into this developing candidacy.

update:  California Yankee has the definitive answer from Gore:  It’s definitely maybe, but probably not.

More from Michael

I’ve spent the better part of the day doing my taxes, a chore that for some reason I insist on doing by myself each year. People look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them, I’m doing my taxes, like I’m deciphering some ancient hieroglyphic tablets or something. But, generally, it’s not too hard, it’s just time consuming. And, once everything is organized into the proper stack, it’s just a matter of plugging in the numbers, and letting Turbotax work its magic.

So, what’s so difficult about that?  Another 5 or 6 hours, tops.

Anyway, earlier today, I linked to Gen McCaffrey’s report on Michael Yon’s blog. A little while ago, I checked my pageflakes reader (in the sidebar) and noticed a new post on his blog. It’s another of the “Rubs” posts, which are an interesting way of writing on the fly. Here is an excerpt:

If I might insert a personal opinion, I think Petraeus’ plan has a serious chance of working despite heavy odds. In fact, within my first three days with 1-4, talking with Iraqi families and police, there were strong indicators that for this little neighborhood, local people and Iraqi police are definitely encouraged. This doesn’t extend to the terrorists, however, and 1-4 Cav has been under fire. Our soldiers showed amazing fire discipline, not even knowing I was just feet behind them with a video camera. (I’ve seen it many times, but finally have got video proof that our guys will go far not to shoot the wrong people.) I saw the 1-4 in a situation where I was certain that they were cleared to fire under the ROE (Rules of Engagement: in this case they were taking fire), yet soldiers with fingers on the triggers held off pending PID (positive identification) of the targets, something I hope to describe later in a non-RUBS format, time permitting.

And, here is a link to the original. Read it all.

McCaffrey’s after action report

Michael Yon has published Gen Barry McCaffrey’s military assessment of the current military and political situation on the ground in Iraq, and the progress that has been made since General Patraeus assumed command. It is longer than most posts that are published at N&V, but it is well worth the time. The font at Michael’s website was very small, so I have re-published most of the assessment here.

These are the facts.
Iraq is ripped by a low grade civil war which has worsened to catastrophic levels with as many as 3000 citizens murdered per month. The population is in despair. Life in many of the urban areas is now desperate. A handful of foreign fighters (500+) — and a couple of thousand Al Qaeda operatives incite open factional struggle through suicide bombings which target Shia holy places and innocent civilians. Thousands of attacks target US Military Forces (2900 IED’s) a month—primarily stand off attacks with IED’s, rockets, mortars, snipers, and mines from both Shia (EFP attacks are a primary casualty producer) —and Sunni (85% of all attacks—80% of US deaths—16% of Iraqi population.)
Three million Iraqis are internally displaced or have fled the country to Syria and Jordan. The technical and educated elites are going into self-imposed exile—a huge brain drain that imperils the ability to govern. The Maliki government has little credibility among the Shia populations from which it emerged. It is despised by the Sunni as a Persian surrogate. It is believed untrustworthy and incompetent by the Kurds.
There is no function of government that operates effectively across the nation— not health care, not justice, not education, not transportation, not labor and commerce, not electricity, not oil production. There is no province in the country in which the government has dominance. The government cannot spend its own money effectively. ($7.1 billion sits in New York banks.) No Iraqi government official, coalition soldier, diplomat, reporter, foreign NGO, nor contractor can walk the streets of Baghdad, nor Mosul, nor Kirkuk, nor Basra, nor Tikrit, nor Najaf, nor Ramadi—without heavily armed protection.
The police force is feared as a Shia militia in uniform which is responsible for thousands of extra-judicial killings. There is no effective nation-wide court system. There are in general almost no acceptable Iraqi penal institutions. The population is terrorized by rampant criminal gangs involved in kidnapping, extortion, robbery, rape, massive stealing of public property —such as electrical lines, oil production material, government transportation, etc. (Saddam released 80,000 criminal prisoners.)

The Iraqi Army is too small, very badly equipped (inadequate light armor, junk Soviet small arms, no artillery, no helicopters to speak of, currently no actual or planned ground attack aircraft of significance, no significant air transport assets (only three C-130’s), no national military logistics system, no national military medical system, etc. The Iraqi Army is also unduly dominated by the Shia, and in many battalions lacks discipline. There is no legal authority to punish Iraqi soldiers or police who desert their comrades. (The desertion/AWOL numbers frequently leave Iraqi Army battalions at 50% strength or less.)
In total, enemy insurgents or armed sectarian militias (SCIRI, JAM, Pesh Merga, AQI, 1920’s Brigade, et. al.) probably exceed 100,000 armed fighters. These non-government armed bands are in some ways more capable of independent operations than the regularly constituted ISF. They do not depend fundamentally on foreign support for their operations. Most of their money, explosives, and leadership are generated inside Iraq. The majority of the Iraqi population (Sunni and Shia) support armed attacks on American forces. Although we have arrested 120,000 insurgents (hold 27,000) and killed some huge number of enemy combatants (perhaps 20,000+) — the armed insurgents, militias, and Al Qaeda in Iraq without fail apparently re-generate both leadership cadres and foot soldiers. Their sophistication, numbers, and lethality go up— not down— as they incur these staggering battle losses.
US domestic support for the war in Iraq has evaporated and will not return. The great majority of the country thinks the war was a mistake. The US Congress now has a central focus on constraining the Administration use of military power in Iraq —and potentially Iran. The losses of US Army, Marine, and Special Operations Force casualties in Iraq now exceed 27,000 killed and wounded. (Note: The Iraqi Security Forces have suffered more than 49,000 casualties in the last 14 months.) The war costs $9 Billion per month. Stateside US Army and Marine Corps readiness ratings are starting to unravel. Ground combat equipment is shot in both the active and reserve components. Army active and reserve component recruiting has now encountered serious quality and number problems. In many cases we are forced to use US contractors to substitute for required military functions. (128,000 contractors in Iraq—includes more than 2000 armed security personnel.) Waivers in US Army recruiting standards for: moral turpitude, drug use, medical issues, criminal justice records, and non-high school graduation have gone up significantly. We now are enlisting 42 year old first term soldiers. Our promotion rates for officers and NCOs have skyrocketed to replace departing leaders. There is no longer a national or a theater US Army strategic reserve. (Fortunately, powerful US Naval, Air Force, and nuclear capabilities command huge deterrence credibility.)
We are at the “knee of the curve.” Two million+ troops of the smallest active Army force since WWII have served in the war zone. Some active units have served three, four, or even five combat deployments. We are now routinely extending nearly all combat units in both Iraq and Afghanistan. These combat units are being returned to action in some cases with only 7-12 months of stateside time to re-train and re-equip. The current deployment requirement of 20+ brigades to Iraq and 2+ brigades in Afghanistan is not sustainable.
We will be forced to call up as many as nine National Guard combat brigades for an involuntary second combat tour this coming year. (Dr Chu at DOD has termed this as “no big deal.”) Many believe that this second round of involuntary call-ups will topple the weakened National Guard structure— which is so central to US domestic security. The National Guard Bureau has argued for a call up of only 12 months instead of 18 months. This misses the point—DOD will without fail be forced to also extend these National Guard brigades in combat at the last minute given the continuation of the current emergency situation.
Iraq’s neighbors are a problem— not part of the solution (with the exception of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait). They provide little positive political or economic support to the Maliki government.
Our allies are leaving to include the courageous and well equipped Brit’s—by January 2008 we will be largely on our own.
In summary, the US Armed Forces are in a position of strategic peril. A disaster in Iraq will in all likelihood result in a widened regional struggle which will endanger America’s strategic interests (oil) in the Mid-east for a generation. We will also produce another generation of soldiers who lack confidence in their American politicians, the media, and their own senior military leadership.


This is the situation.
Since the arrival of General David Petraeus in command of Multi-National Force Iraq— the situation on the ground has clearly and measurably improved.

1st: The Maliki government has given the green light to prune out elements of the renegade Sadr organization in Baghdad. More than 600+ rogue leaders have been harvested by US and Iraqi special operations forces with the explicit or tacit consent of the government. Sadr himself has fled to Iran and many of his key leaders have escaped to the safety of the Shia south. His fighting cadres were ordered to go to ground, hide their weapons, take down their check points, stop the terrible ethnic cleansing and terror tactics against the Sunni population, and ignore (not cooperate) with US and ISF forces.

2nd:The US and Iraqi Forces have now dramatically changed their operational scheme. More then 50+ Iraqi Police/Army and US Army Joint Security Stations (JSS) are now being emplaced across the city and extended into the suburbs. The pre-operation planning and rehearsals were superb. The presence of these joint military elements is now becoming ubiquitous across the urban areas. Although many of these small outposts have been attacked—none has yet been seriously jeopardized. The Iraqi people are encouraged —life is almost immediately springing back in many parts of the city. The murder rate has plummeted. IED attacks on US forces during their formerly vulnerable daily transits from huge US bases on the periphery of Baghdad are down— since these forces are now permanently based in their operational area.

3rd: The Iraqis have finally committed credible numbers of integrated Police and Army units to the battle of Baghdad. The strength of IA, IP, and NP units has steadily gone up aided by clever monetary and troop leader incentives. The ISF formations are showing increased willingness to aggressively operate against insurgent/militia forces. Although there is continuing political interference by politicians of both the Iraqi Administration and legislators— this is clearly a serious urban security operation.

4th: There is a real and growing ground swell of Sunni tribal opposition to the Al Qaeda-in-Iraq terror formations. (90% Iraqi.) This counter-Al Qaeda movement in Anbar Province was fostered by brilliant US Marine leadership. There is now unmistakable evidence that the western Sunni tribes are increasingly convinced that they blundered badly by sitting out the political process. They are also keenly aware of the fragility of the continued US military presence that stands between them and a vengeful and overwhelming Shia-Kurdish majority class— which was brutally treated by Saddam and his cruel regime. There is now active combat between Sunni tribal leadership and AQI terrorists. Of even greater importance, the Sunni tribes are now supplying their young men as drafts for the Iraqi Police. (IP). AQI is responding with customary and sickening violence. Police are beheaded in groups; families of IP officers are murdered (or in one case a 12 year old boy was run over multiple times by a truck in front of his family)—all designed to intimidate the tribes. It is not working. The Takfiri AQI extremism of: no music, no photos, no videos, no cutting of beards, etc does not sit well with the moderate form of Islam practiced among the western tribes. This is a crucial struggle and it is going our way—for now.

5th: The equipment and resources for the Iraqi Security Forces has increased dramatically. The ISF has planned 2007 expenditures of more than $7.3 billion. The Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of the Interior are the only two of 27 Iraqi Ministries that have executed their budgets at 90% plus satisfactory rates. (General Petraeus is now putting US military liaison officers in ten additional civilian Ministries to jump start their budget process.) PM Maliki has pushed to create a larger security force of more than 100,000 Iraqi Army troops. Thousands (3500) of armored Humvee’s, Cougar and BTR-80 light wheeled armored vehicles (500+) , and other equipment (3500 RPG’s, 1400 heavy machine guns, 900+ mortars, 80+ helicopters) are now flowing into the force. To my great surprise, the Iraqis are using FMS Sales to execute their capital expenditure program with great effect. This includes transition to all US small arms for M4 Carbine and M16A2 rifle. (They will continue to use Soviet type machine guns.) The ISF training system is beginning to work effectively with their own trainers. (However, there are still requirements for the more than 5000+ US military and contract police trainers). The Iraqi training base is cranking out 24,000 soldiers a year from 5 Regional and two national training bases. More than 12 Police Academies are producing 26,000 new police a year. The end goal will be an Iraqi security force of more than 370,000 Police and Army— organized in 120 battalions.

6th: Reconciliation of the internal warring elements in Iraq will be how we eventually win the war in Iraq—if it happens. There is a very sophisticated and carefully integrated approach by the Iraqi government and Coalition actors to defuse the armed violence from internal enemies and bring people into the political process. There are encouraging signs that the peace and participation message does resonate with many of the more moderate Sunni and Shia warring factions. Of course, there is no intent to negotiate with either the extreme Bathist elements or the Al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists. The UK three star Deputy MNF-I Commander – (LTG Graeme Lamb) has done a superb job with this process.

7th: US Combat forces are simply superb. The Army and Marine brigade, battalion, and company commanders are the most experienced and talented leaders in our history. Re-enlistment rates are simply astonishing. The joint integration of combat power is extremely effective — but is deemed unremarkable by the involved units. (I found a Marine battalion—with all three of its fighting companies attached from an Army battalion.) These Marine and Army combat units rapidly employ synchronized air and ground combat power, use enormous fire discipline, are compassionate with vulnerable civilians, and move with explosive energy and courage when they pin a target.

The command and control technology, training, contractor support, and flexibility of Marine and Army combat formations are magnificent. Digital data, integrated feed of all live sensors to include persistent “eyes on target” UAV’s, immediate recovery of data in formats that promote decision-making, and enormous technical competence of battle staff personnel are hallmarks of the system. The downside is that at division and brigade level these C3I command posts are not movable. I do not believe that division or brigade commanders have developed, equipped and rehearsed Assault CP teams. They simply are not prepared to effectively fight a war of maneuver. (For example, against the Syrians or Iranians.)

The wariness, adherence to ROE, and discipline of the involved air and ground forces are awe-inspiring. I watched with fascination the attack video of an Apache whose pilots held fire at absolutely the last second —when what they suspected (correctly) was an innocent farmer appeared in the foreground of a pending Hellfire launch against 5-6 armed insurgents. The pilot painstakingly changed his attack angle— and sailed the Hellfire over the farmer’s head and successfully nailed the insurgents.
The attention to detail of US Army and Marine units on Entry Control Points (ECP’s) makes me enormously proud as a former combat platoon leader and company commander. Week after week—in unbelievably adverse weather (near freezing to 125 degrees Fahrenheit—the ECP troops man these controlled access areas which require extreme vigilance if their buddies are to be protected. I watched several chilling tapes of the instant death suffered by these brave troops (US or Iraqi) when a suicide bomber actual detonates himself in the position.
8th: The US Tier One special operations capability is simply magic. They are deadly in getting their target—with normally zero collateral damage—and with minimal friendly losses or injuries. Some of these assault elements have done 200-300 takedown operations at platoon level. The comprehensive intelligence system is phenomenal. We need to re-think how we view these forces. They are a national strategic system akin to a B1 bomber. We need to understand that the required investment level in the creation of these forces demands substantial dedicated UAV systems, intelligence, and communications resources. These special operations formations cannot by themselves win the nation’s wars. However, with them we have a tool of enormous and decisive strategic significance which has crucial importance in the global war on terrorists.

9th: The US Armed Forces logistic system is successfully providing 100% of required supplies, services, maintenance, medical support, and material for battle. Never in the history of warfare has a military force been more generously and effectively supported than in Iraq. It is also a house of cards. We need a Joint Logistics command. We need to provide additional resource muscle to create a more robust LOC thru Jordan to Iraq. We are overly dependant on civilian contractors. In extreme danger—they will not fight.

We are overly dependant on Kuwait for logistics. If Iranian military action closed the Persian Gulf—the US combat force in Iraq would immediately begin to suffocate logistically. We cannot depend on a Turkish LOC in the coming five years.

We need 500 USAF C17’s and the tanker fleet required to support them. The Air Force flew 13,000 truck loads of material into Iraq for pinpoint distribution last year. The two USAF Squadrons of C17’s now in-theater make a gigantic contribution.

The support of Kuwait has been absolutely vital to our war on terror. The presence of 22,000 US Army Forces, 6000 US contractors, and 1800 Air Force personnel is crucial to the continuation of military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf. Kuwait is the lynchpin of the entire logistics effort. We send a thousand trucks a day up into Iraq from Kuwait. It is impressive how effectively we have lowered our signature and footprint in Kuwait. We have come down from twenty-three bases –to four. Camp Arifjan has been reduced in size by more than 1/3rd. We need strong continued diplomatic support and recognition of Kuwait’s courageous support of the war effort.


In my judgment, we can still achieve our objective of a stable Iraq, at peace with its neighbors, not producing weapons of mass destruction, and fully committed to a law-based government. The courage and strength of the US Armed Forces still gives us latitude and time to build the economic and political conditions that might defuse the ongoing civil war. Our central purpose is to allow the nation to re-establish governance based on some loose federal consensus among the three major ethnic-factional actors. (Shia, Sunni, Kurd.)

We have very little time left. This President will have the remainder of his months in office beleaguered by his political opponents to the war. The democratic control of Congress and its vocal opposition can actually provide a helpful framework within which our brilliant new Ambassador Ryan Crocker can maneuver the Maliki administration to understand their diminishing options. It is very unlikely that the US political opposition can constitutionally force the President into retreat. However, our next President will only have 12 months or less to get Iraq straight before he/she is forced to pull the plug. Therefore, our planning horizons should assume that there are less than 36 months remaining of substantial US troop presence in Iraq. The insurgency will continue in some form for a decade. This suggests the fundamental dilemma facing US policymakers.

The US Armed Forces cannot sustain the current deployment rate. We will leave the nation at risk to other threats from new hostile actors if we shatter the capabilities of our undersized and under-resourced Army, Marine, and special operations forces. The Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs must get Congress to provide emergency levels of resources, manpower, and energy into this rapidly failing system. If we do not aggressively rebuild —the capability of the force actually deployed in Iraq will also degrade— and we are likely to encounter a disaster.

The primary war winning strategy for the United States in the coming 12 months must be for Ambassador Ryan and General Petraeus to focus their considerable personal leadership skills on getting the top 100 Shia and Sunni leaders to walk back from the edge of all-out civil war. Reconciliation is the way out. There will be no imposed military solution with the current non-sustainable US force levels. Military power cannot alone defeat an insurgency—the political and economic struggle for power is the actual field of battle.

A sufficient but not necessary condition of success is adequate resources to build an Iraqi Army, National Police, local Police, and Border Patrol. We are still in the wrong ball park. The Iraqis need to capacity to jail 150,000 criminals and terrorists. They must have an air force with 150 US helicopters. (The US Armed Forces have 100+ medevac helicopters and 700 lift or attack aircraft in-country.) They need 5000 light armored vehicles for their ten divisions. They need enough precision, radar-assisted counter-battery artillery to suppress the constant mortar and rocket attacks on civilian and military targets. They should have 24 C130’s—and perhaps three squadrons of light ground attack aircraft. I mention these numbers not to be precise—but to give an order of magnitude estimation that refutes our current anemic effort. The ISF have taken horrendous casualties. We must give them the leverage to replace us as our combat formations withdraw in the coming 36 months.

Finally, we must focus on the creation of a regional dialog led by the Iraqis with US active participation. The diplomatic process in the short run is unlikely to produce useful results. However, in the coming five years—it will be a prerequisite to a successful US military withdrawal —that we open a neutral and permanent political forum (perhaps in Saudi Arabia) in which Iraq’s neighbors are drawn into continuing cooperative engagement. A regional war would be a disaster for 25 years in the Mid-East. A continuing peace discussion forum may give us the diplomatic leverage to neutralize these malignant forces that surround and menace Iraq.


We have brilliant military and civilian leadership on the ground in Iraq. General Dave Petraeus, LTG Ray Odierno, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker have the country’s treasure and combat power at their disposal. Our cause is just. The consequence of failure will be severe.
The American people hold that the US Armed Forces are the most trusted institution in our society. The polls also show that domestic opinion is not calling for precipitous withdrawal. However, this whole Iraq operation is on the edge of unraveling as the poor Iraqis batter each other to death with our forces caught in the middle.

We now need a last powerful effort to provide to US leaders on the ground —the political support, economic reconstruction resources, and military strength it requires to succeed.

Barry R. McCaffrey
General USA (Ret)

Adjunct Professor of International Affairs

Judicial Review

Jeff Quinn at gunblast.com reviews The Judge (h/t FR)

thejudge.jpgTaurus has introduced a handgun that may just be the ideal trail gun for those of us who live, work, and play among timber rattlers, cottonmouths, copperheads, and diamondbacks. It should also prove just as useful for our Western friends who must contend with the sidewinder and the Western version of the diamondback. I don’t know which I hate more, as all are ornery when cornered, but the cottonmouth is the only snake that I have ever had personally come after me. Most snakes will slither off if they can, except for maybe the copperhead, who just lies there quietly grinning and waiting for your approach. At least the rattlers will sound off and give you a chance to soil yourself just before he sinks those fangs into your flesh. However, in my experience, the cottonmouth is downright mean….

I always carry a handgun, unless I am flying what was once termed the “friendly skies”. When out deeper in the woods or down by the creek, I carry one loaded with shot loads if I am wandering around there during the itching season. This new Taurus is chambered for the .410 shotshell, and packs a pretty good payload of shot to reliably dispatch crawling vermin. For the vermin that walk upright on their hind legs, it also chambers and fires the .45 Colt cartridge, making this a very versatile handgun. Taurus calls this five-shot revolver “The Judge”, which seems appropriate, even if the name will most likely offend the type of person referenced in the preceding paragraph. It weighs in at just under 36 ounces, and packs rather comfortably holstered on the hip or across the chest in one of Rob Leahy’s Grizzly Tuff holsters, with the latter preferred if any riding or wading is anticipated.

Patterning the .410 shotshells proved that this revolver is, as I expected, a close range proposition, which is just fine. Any farther than twelve feet away, the pattern opens rather quickly. The number 7-½ shot at that range is pretty sparse. I would have liked to have some number 9 shotshells for testing, but none was to be found. Anyway, the 7-½ penetrates better, and at normal “A SNAKE!!!” range, it does just fine. The spread is wide enough to assure a good hit, and the pattern tight enough to assure a quick kill….

I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the Judge, with both shotshells and solid bullet .45 Colt ammo. It offers a lot of versatility in snake country, and can be carried for urban defense loaded with shotshells, heavy .45 Colt hollowpoints, or a combination of both. A number four shot load followed by four hollowpoints might be just about ideal for social work.

For the location of a Taurus dealer near you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR icon at: www.lipseys.com.


Tuesday Open

For your commenting and link-posting pleasure…..The Tuesday Open thread.

Campaign ’08 hat-tip, Doug Ross.


Repeal the 22nd.

More signs that the surge is working

Got two very bad guys in Iraq….

U.S. forces captured two leaders of a major car bomb cell responsible for attacks that killed around 900 Iraqis, mostly in the Shi’ite district of Sadr City in Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.

It said in two separate statements that the two men were caught during operations in Adhamiya, a mainly Sunni Arab area in northern Baghdad, on March 21.

“It is estimated that since November, the car bombs from this cell have killed approximately 900 innocent Iraqi citizens,” one of the statements said.

It said another 1,950 had been wounded.   Great work, gentlemen.  Congrats.


Monday nite Tull


Research breakthrough for fighting superbugs

Kudos and props to the research team at The University of British Columbia and Inimex Pharmaceuticals with the announcement of a stunning new breakthrough in the ongoing struggle against drug-resistant bacteria. Principal investigator Robert Hancock commented, “Antibiotics are now under threat because of the explosion in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A third of all deaths on this planet are the result of infection so there is an urgent need to create new therapies.”

The new therapy? Instead of having an antibiotic which acts directly on the bacteria, the researchers have identified a peptide that can fight infection by boosting the body’s own immune system.

The team found that a peptide, or chain of amino acids, they have dubbed innate defense regulator peptide (IDR-1), can increase innate immunity without triggering harmful inflammation, and offer protection both before and after infection is present.

The discovery, in animal models, will be published March 25 in the journal Nature Biotechnology

“We now have a powerful new tool that will allow us to stop infection before it starts — it’s a new concept in treating infection,” says Hancock….

Researchers expect it will be about 12-15 months before the discovery is introduced into human clinical trials.


Doing the Crocodile Rock

JERUSALEM (AP) – A woman with three crocodiles strapped to her waist was stopped at the Gaza-Egypt border crossing after guards noticed that she looked “strangely fat,” officials said Monday.

The woman’s shape raised suspicions at the Rafah terminal in southern Gaza, and a body search by a female border guard turned up the animals, each about 20 inches long, concealed underneath her loose robe, according to Maria Telleria, spokeswoman for the European observers who run the crossing.

“The woman looked strangely fat. Even though she was veiled and covered, even with so many clothes on there was something strange,” Telleria said.

The incident, which took place on Thursday, sparked panic at the crossing.

“The policewoman screamed and ran out of the room, and then women began screaming and panicking when they heard,” Telleria said. But when the hysteria died down, she said, “everybody was admiring a woman who is able to tie crocodiles to her body.”

In her defense, the woman said she “was asked” to carry the crocodiles, said Wael Dahab, a spokesman for the Palestinian guards at the crossing.

Source: breitbart.com

Hehehe, it’s ok — they weren’t really her crocodiles. She was just holding on to them for somebody else.

Tags: Telleria | stock | screamed | looked | GUARD | crocodiles | border | Vista | rafah | Place | MAURITANIA | Magazine | Jerusalem | Iran | Gaza | Egypt

Sunday Open

I received this email from my sister-in-law:

A couple of weeks ago I was unfortunate enough to get stung by both a bee and hornet while working in the garden. My arm swelled up so off to the doctor I went. The clinic gave me cream and an antihistamine. The next day the swelling was getting progressively worse so off to my regular doctor I went. Infected arm needed an antibiotic. What was interesting is what the Dr. told me. The next time you get stung put a penny on the bite for 15 minutes. I thought, wow next time (if there ever is one) I will try it.Well, that night Shelley’s niece got stung by two bees. When she came over to swim I looked at the bite and it had already started to swell. So off I went to get my money. Taped a penny to her arm for 15 minutes. The next morning, there was no sign of a bite. Wow were we surprised. Her niece we decided, just wasn’t allergic to the sting.

Well, guess what happened again on Saturday night. I was helping Shelley deadhead her flowers and guess what? You are right I got stung again two times by a hornet on my left hand. Was I ticked. I thought, here I go again having to go to the doctor for yet another antibiotic. Well, I promptly went into the house, again got my money out, and taped two pennies to my bites and then sat and sulked for 15 minutes. The penny took the string out of the bite immediately. I still wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

In the meantime the hornets were attacking Shelley and she got stung on the thumb. Again the penny. The next morning I could only see the spot where he had stung me. No redness, no swelling. Went over to see Shelley and hers was the same. Couldn’t even tell where she got stung. Then Shelley got stung again on Monday night on her back—cutting the grass. This penny thing is going to make us money at school. Again it worked.

Just wanted to share the marvelous information in case any of you are experiencing the same problem at home. We need to have a stock of pennies on hand at school and at home. The Dr. said somehow the copper in the penny counteracts the bite. I would never had believed it. But it definitely does work. So remember this little bit of wisdom and pass it on to your friends, children, grandchildren, etc.

Have any of y’all ever heard about this before?

Cheney joins the fray

cheney.jpgMANALAPAN, Fla. — Vice President Dick Cheney accused the Democrat-led House of Representatives of not supporting troops in Iraq and of sending a message to terrorists that America will retreat in the face danger.

“They’re not supporting the troops. They’re undermining them,” Cheney told a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition at the oceanside Ritz-Carlton hotel in Manalapan, Florida, about 60 miles north of Miami.

On Friday, the House voted to clamp a cutoff deadline on the Iraq war, agreeing by a thin margin to pull combat troops out by next year.    source

With the President’s statement on Friday, and VP Cheney’s gut-punch in Miami, perhaps we’re finally seeing an end to the bushchency-08.gifvery one-sided “new tone in Washington.” And, it’s about time.

And, just to throw a little gasoline on the fire, here’s a little something to get the tin-foil hats going…heh™

Religion of misogyny

In the Magic Kingdom™, sharia is the law of the land. It is cruel, barbaric, and backwards, and enforced by the Wahabi police with the full backing and support of the royal family. It is a system designed for the elite, by the elite, to protect the elite, and is being exported across the world, supported not only by by petro-dollars, but by multicultural Western liberals as well. Here is an example of what the Wahabists want to impose on the world:

Riyadh – A Saudi court sentenced a 20-year-old Saudi woman to 6 months in prison at a foster house for girls for running away from her family’s house, Saudi al-Watan newspaper reported Sunday.

The woman – who said she ran away due to the pressures she was facing at home – will also receive 60 lashes as punishment for the same offence, al-Watan added.

In Saudi Arabia, every woman must be accompanied by a responsible male guardian – either a close relative or her husband. source

/Nothing to see here…..back to sleep, America.

Eat more chocolate

mmmchocolate.jpgNEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (Reuters) — Chocoholics were given further reason to rejoice Saturday when a small clinical study showed that dark chocolate improves the function of blood vessels.

While the researchers cautioned against bingeing on bon bons, they said the findings of the trial were clear and called for larger such studies to confirm the results.

“In this sample of healthy adults, dark chocolate ingestion over a short period of time was shown to significantly improve (blood vessel) function,” said Dr. Valentine Yanchou Njike of Yale Prevention Research Center, a co-investigator of the study.

The results, presented at the annual American College of Cardiology scientific meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, add to mounting evidence of the health benefits of dark chocolate.

During the six-week trial, 45 people were given 8 ounces (227 grams) of cocoa without sugar, cocoa with sugar or a placebo each day.

An upper arm artery’s ability to relax and expand to accommodate increased blood flow — known as flow mediated dilation, or FMD — was measured using high-frequency ultrasound before and after daily cocoa or placebo consumption.

Of the 39 subjects who completed the trial, FMD improved significantly in both cocoa groups — by 2.4 percent among those who had it without sugar and 1.5 percent among those who had it with sugar. It dropped 0.8 percent in the placebo group.

“While the findings from this study do not suggest that people should start eating more chocolate as part of their daily routine, it does suggest that we pay more attention to how dark chocolate and other flavonoid-rich foods might offer cardiovascular benefits,” Njike said.   source

Well, that settles it.  Chocolate:  Breakfast of Champions.   Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.


Mmm… Suicide Bombers – How Do They Know?


Hi all, vimto calling. Looks like the UK got a problem on it’s hands with 15 of our sailors criminally abducted by Iran destined to be pawns in a high stake game I guess. They better treat them well.

Meanwhile Bob Woolmer the cricket coach of Pakistan and veteran England batsman of the 1970’s lies dead in Montego Bay. Murder most foul – the newspapers reporting he was drugged and strangled after Pakistan lost to Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s being linked to betting scams – perhaps he had information that some people didn’t want made public? Tragic.

The words it’s only a game will ring a little hollow from now on. So a tip of the hat and fond farewell to a very good cricketer and great coach.

Late Nite Stevie Ray

Dirty Pool

have a great weekend y’all.

Website of the week

Continuing on the preparedness theme, not long ago, I came across an interesting link over at BGG’s place. Since then, I’ve spent quite a bit more time looking at the different pages, and realizing the gaps in my own personal preparedness plan. The proprietor of the site explains it this way:

Our goal has been to make this web site a complete, illustrated survival guide for the New Millennium. The text and photos on this site should be enough to convince you of two things: (1) Preparation for future catastrophes is necessary; and (2) it should be obvious that I take the self-reliant lifestyle seriously. What is presented on this site is not an exercise in theoretical concepts, but rather the representation of what we do ourselves.

Those of you who are prepared can survive power outages, unemployment, and natural disasters. In the event of civil disobedience, or the alternative (or corollary?), Martial Law, you won’t have to go out of the house for supplies. You will be ready for most anything.

And, with that introduction, it is my pleasure to present this selection for Website of the Week:

Miles Stair’s ETR–A Guide to Self-reliant Living. Enjoy.


Be prepared

New Orleans artist Vivian Westerman, 64, needed two things to prepare for the next storm season:

“I got a 6,000-watt generator and the cutest little Smith & Wesson, snub-nose .38 you ever saw.”

The number of permits issued to carry concealed weapons is running twice as high as it was before Katrina – this, in a city with only about half its pre-storm population of around 450,000. Attendance at firearms classes and hours logged at shooting ranges also are up, according to the gun industry.

Gun dealers who saw sales shoot up during the chaotic few months after Katrina say that sales are still brisk, and that the customers are a cross-section of the population – doctors, lawyers, bankers, artists, laborers, stay-at-home moms.

“People are in fear of their lives. They’re looking for ways to feel safe again,” said Mike Roniger, manager of Gretna Gunworks in Jefferson Parish.

Citizens, the tourism industry, police and politicians officials have been alarmed by the wave of killings in New Orleans, with 162 in 2006 and 37 so far this year. A Tulane University study put the city’s 2006 homicide rate at 96 slayings per 100,000 people, the highest in the nation.


Ms. Westerman added, “I’m a marksman now. I know what I’m doing. There are a lot of us. The girl next door is a crack shot.”


Are you prepared? Do you need training? Click here for a NRA firearms safety course near you, or call NRA Training Department at 703-267-1430.

President Bush cowboys up

THE PRESIDENT: Today I’m joined here at the White House by veterans, family members of people serving in combat, family members of those who have sacrificed. I am honored that they have joined me here today.


Here in Washington, members of both parties recognize that our most solemn responsibility is to support our troops in the war on terror. Yet, today, a narrow majority in the House of Representatives abdicated its responsibility by passing a war spending bill that has no chance of becoming law, and brings us no closer to getting our troops the resources they need to do their job.


The purpose of the emergency war spending bill I requested was to provide our troops with vital funding. Instead, Democrats in the House, in an act of political theater, voted to substitute their judgment for that of our military commanders on the ground in Iraq. They set rigid restrictions that will require an army of lawyers to interpret. They set an arbitrary date for withdrawal without regard for conditions on the ground. And they tacked on billions for pet projects that have nothing to do with winning the war on terror. This bill has too much pork, too many conditions and an artificial timetable for withdrawal.


As I have made clear for weeks, I will veto it if it comes to my desk. And because the vote in the House was so close, it is clear that my veto would be sustained. Today’s action in the House does only one thing: it delays the delivering of vital resources for our troops. A narrow majority has decided to take this course, just as General Petraeus and his troops are carrying out a new strategy to help the Iraqis secure their capital city.


Amid the real challenges in Iraq, we’re beginning to see some signs of progress. Yet, to score political points, the Democratic majority in the House has shown it is willing to undermine the gains our troops are making on the ground.


Democrats want to make clear that they oppose the war in Iraq. They have made their point. For some, that is not enough. These Democrats believe that the longer they can delay funding for our troops, the more likely they are to force me to accept restrictions on our commanders, an artificial timetable for withdrawal, and their pet spending projects. This is not going to happen. Our men and women in uniform need these emergency war funds. The Secretary of Defense has warned that if Congress does not approve the emergency funding for our troops by April the 15th, our men and women in uniform will face significant disruptions, and so would their families.


The Democrats have sent their message, now it’s time to send their money. This is an important moment — a decision for the new leaders in Congress. Our men in women in uniform should not have to worry that politicians in Washington will deny them the funds and the flexibility they need to win. Congress needs to send me a clean bill that I can sign without delay. I expect Congress to do its duty and to fund our troops, and so do the American people — and so do the good men and women standing with me here today.


Thank you for your time.

The White House

The Roll-call vote

More missing Iranians

[Report by Gad Shimron: “Foreign reports: Five Iranian officers kidnapped”]At least five senior Iranian officers disappeared over the past few days during a visit to Turkey. The report, which is based on reports in the Turkish press, said it is believed that the five defected to the West. According to the information, which has so far not been confirmed by any official source, among the Iranians who have disappeared are officers with the rank of brigadier general. [Passage omitted]

Anyone care to speculate?

related:  Frontpage 

NY set to join Super-Duper Tuesday

The super-duper Tuesday 2/5/08 primary elections just got bigger, with the passage of a primary election bill in both NY houses, and Gov Elliot Spitzer on board as well…

New York “is jumping on the bandwagon and joining what is shaping up as the presidential mega-primary next Feb. 5,” the New York Times reports.

“A bill moving the state’s presidential primary to Feb. 5 from March 4 passed both houses of the State Legislature on Wednesday, and with Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) pledging support for the idea, the measure seemed almost certain to be signed into law.”

h/t political wire

This election will be different than anything we’ve ever experienced. With NY and CA both having 2/5 primaries, Election ’08 will favor those candidates who are extremely well-financed, and can wage an expensive TV ad campaign in the most expensive ad markets in the country. Whoever wins Super-Duper Tuesday could have the nomination sewn up.


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