September 10, 2014

OK. The Speech

It was not actually an egregiously bad speech

However, I was somewhat perplexed that he wants to use Yemen and Somalia as templates for action against ISIS. Both countries are nightmarish Hobbesian jihadi generators and Somalia is not so much a country as a no-mans land. I suppose that recent successes in killing terrorist leaders there was the point, but neither country has any hope right now of being free of the jihadists in the foreseeable future. I'm a little concerned with the notion of arming "vetted" insurgents in Syria. Our vetting of insurgents has been singularly unimpressive historically, and over the last 5 years in particular. 

It is good that he recognizes the threat, but the proposed actions seems to risk making the same error as Rumsfield's "light footprint" model did. However, close air support and giving those who are fighting against ISIS weapons might have a better than even chance of working in this case. I suspect that ISIS is not adept at winning hearts and minds. If their religious appeal is such that they are, then this is a far greater problem than even the most concerned analysts have supposed.   

I do note that Bush, who already had what some describe as a troublingly broad Authorization of Military Force giving him legal justification, still felt the need to go before the Congress to get approval for going into Iraq. This president does not and I await with bated breath to hear the intense indignation at this factoid from those who considered  Bush's actions to be beyond the pale. 

One last criticism. 
We currently have over 1300 troops in Iraq. Can we PLEASE issue them some boots? Fighting in Birkenstocks cannot be good for morale. 

Finally it should be noted that this is one of the most grave decisions a President can be faced with. While there are legitimate criticisms galore regards the decisions that led us here and the manner in which they were relayed, it is not necessarily a dreadful thing that after previous debacles the president has been very deliberative in coming to this conclusion.  War is sometimes necessary, but it is always a wretched enterprise. That the President has sought to avoid this may not have been wise, but it should not elicit contempt.

I am no fan of the policies of this President,  but I ask that people of faith keep him in their prayers this evening. 

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November 10, 2013

This Will End Well...I'm Sure of It.

It seems that Saudi Arabia, the nation that gave the world Osama Bin Laden and the majority of the September 11 hijackers, has, or is about to, acquire nukes.

Toadstool of slaying is actually the "Upshot-Grable" test firing of the 11 inch nuclear howitzer nicknamed "Atomic Annie".

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September 23, 2013


A dozen well armed fanatics in a gun free zone.
The Daily Mail has pictures of the carnage in Nairobi...lots of very disturbing pictures. This reminds me a lot of the Mumbai raid from a few years ago.

Two suicide bombers slaughtered the congregation at a Pakistani church Sunday.

Al-Quaeda has begun a new phase of attacks, less spectacular but much harder to stop.

As Cdr Salamander notes, it's just a matter of time before we're hit again. Read the whole thing, including the comments.

Remember that a few weeks ago the leader of AlQaeda called for small, scale,  and lone wolf attacks (he specifically praised the Boston Bombings).  Remember the Beltway snipers and what panic that caused. Remember Boston being shut completely down earlier this year.

I expect we're going to see rather a lot of this sort of thing in the future.
Snipers, Pipe bombs, and false threats to wear down the system.

Keep your concealed carry permits up to date and remember that places you are not allowed to carry are the places most likely to be attacked.

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September 11, 2013

12 Years Ago

Via Cdr Salamander: This is the best overview I have ever seen of what it was like that day as the realization gradually set in that something was very wrong...then the awful certainty.

UPDATE: Subur Banbanshee has further thoughts on the various events that occurred on this date in history. Remember that 2001 and 2012 were exceptions to what has generally been an auspicious date for civilization.

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August 29, 2013

False Flag?

Steven Den Beste has thoughts on the Syria problem. I urge you to read the whole thing.  He makes some very good points about how acting fecklessly has made things worse in the past.

Some of his commentors ask a perfectly logical question. 'Who gassed the civilians?' It is widely assumed that Assad did it and indeed he may have. His motivation for doing it on the anniversary of the 'Red Line Speech' would be to show himself to be powerful enough to stand up to the US and gaining the 'badass cred' so important in that part of the world.

However, Al-Quaeda has a more straightforward motivation. They want Assad bombed and his airforce neutralized. We know from painful experience in Iraq that Al-Quaeda is quite capable of using Sarin gas shells to kill (Iraqi nerve gas shells were used as ICWDs). We know that the rebels have overrun some Syrian arms caches. The attack, while horrific was rather small considering the risk. It was not a tide turning attack but an attack on a small group of noncombatants..mostly women and children. This is unlikely to hurt the rebels materially and can only serve to strengthen their resolve and gain them international support. It also could bring about an attack on the Assad regime by the US....which seems to be happening.

The circumstances of the attack are unclear, but it appears to have been confined to a small area in a refugee camp. This is the sort of gas attack the rebels might be able to pull off.

I dunno who did it, but such ambiguity might be used by the President to not end up being Al-Quaeda's air-force in Syria.


Have at it in the comments.

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August 28, 2013

Hopefully the Final Nidal Hassan Post

Ace links to and comments upon a report that describes how Hassan's violent tendencies were well known and ignored. This is well known...the news here is that it's being covered by Mother Jones. I urge you to read both Ace's post which adds a good bit of context and the full Mother Jones article, which indicates that the dereliction of duty was even worse than was previously known.

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August 24, 2013

Unhappy Saturday

The weekend is opening with CBS reporting that the US is preparing for a cruise missile attack on Syria.

Given that Syria decided to nerve gas a town on the one year anniversary of the President's 'RED LINE' speech this may be the least bad option.

I don't believe that proportional responses are generally advisable or ethical. If one must use violence one should, as a rule, use overwhelming force. Such a policy is more likely to have a deterrent effect and save more lives in the long run (either through quick victory or deterring violence in the first place) than a predictable escalation of response which can be planned for and factored into cost benefit analysis by bad actors.

However, an overwhelming response in the case of Syria might topple the government. This would ordinarily be a good thing, but give that the opposition forces are AlQuaeda and similar groups, such an outcome would result in wast quantities of weapons including nerve gas plus Syria's stock of radioactives to fall into the hands of a bunch of feral crazies who dearly want to kill us and our Israeli allies.

So a painful but not crippling attack may be the least terrible option.

Of course, this supposes that the President, in his zeal to thwart the execrable Assad regime has not allowed himself to become blinded to the threat posed by its collapse, and doesn't actually intend to bring it down...which as we have discussed before would probably make things even worse.


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August 11, 2013

Nerve Gas at JFK?

I just blundered into this story, There's nothing on Drudge as I type this so It may be may be breaking.

A Postal Service mail sorting facility at New York's JFK International Airport has been quarantined today after a suspicious package tested positive for VX nerve gas.

Two Customs agents were sicked Sunday morning after inhaling the strange odor coming from the package, which unconfirmed reports indicate was shipped to the United States from China.

That from this Daily Mail article. I'm quite doubtful the Chicoms are sending us nerve gas. If it IS a terror attack it could just as easily been sent from LA or Savannah.

Interesting times.

UPDATE: Now they're saying it was beauty supplies.

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July 03, 2013

Fingers are Crossed

As the Egyptian military promised,  there has been a coup.

Wait...Those aren't cluster-bombs!

The Egyptian people seem to be taking the military takeover rather well. The Military does not seem to be rolling over the civilians with tanks and the Muslim Brotherhood seems to have lost resoundingly. 

I expected far worse.

The military has suspended the constitution...which is usually an even bigger warning sign than a coup, but in this case the constitution had been recently imposed by Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The military leadership has not established a Junta (yet) but has put the Chief Justice of their Supreme court in charge of a civilian panel  that has been tasked with running the country and organizing new elections.

This is interesting:

A senior opposition figure says pro-reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei, the top Muslim cleric of Al-Azhar Mosque and the Coptic pope are meeting the army chief to discuss a political road map for Egypt

So the Copts and the Muslims are working together with the secularists and the military to hold democratic elections after deposing a democratically elected government that turned out to be oppressive and fundamentalist Islamic .

There's a concise overview of how this came to be here.

This is not exactly Kemalist as there are religious leaders at the table, but it at least looks like the military is trying to avoid having to run things themselves, and is handing it over to civilian civic leaders which is very promising. 

Zero Hedge has some interesting pictures
of the protests that are not making it into most of the news here. They show extreme anger at Obama and the US Ambassador to Egypt for backing the Islamofascistic whackadoodle who just got deposed. This via Instapundit who points out that it's telling that the posters are anti-Obama and not anti-US.

This could still go to worms in a terrible and bloody way, but at this point this is about the least bad outcome one could reasonably expect.

UPDATE: Via Ace, comes video of the celebrations.

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June 30, 2013


This pic from AFP is of the demonstrations in Cairo.

More here and here. Reuters is putting the number of protestors above a million people....almost all Muslims, protesting against Islamism.

This is really a big thing,
There's even a slight chance it might overcome the odds and end up a good thing.

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April 20, 2013

The UK Papers Again

This time The Mirror (via Instapundit).

The Brit paper reports that the FBI are looking for as many as a dozen additional accomplices in association with the Boston Marathon Atrocity. The paper uses the term "sleeper cell".

A source close to the investigation said: "We have no doubt the brothers were not acting alone. The devices used to detonate the two bombs were highly sophisticated and not the kind of thing people learn from Google.

Keep in mind that the news reports around this story have been unreliable to say the least, in part due to the fact that the BPD was deliberately feeding misinformation to the press to mislead the suspects.

Still, this report, of an Islamist cell is exactly the kind of thing that a lot of us have been expecting for 12 years. I'm frankly surprised we haven't seen more of it before now.  I think that something along the lines of the Mumbai attacks is very likely.

If you have a CCP...utilize it, stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.

Also, take everything with a grain of salt, and above all do not despair.

(I'm moving all Boston posts to the Long War Category, where they now belong)

UPDATE: Note that Robert Stacy McCain is highly skeptical of the Mirror's alleged scoop.

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I Find it Interesting

...that we need to go to the UK press to find this out.

The two men arrested last night in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings drive a car with the licence plate that reads: ‘Terrorista #1’


They are thought to be from Kazakhstan and had not been seen since the bombings until last night when their ground floor apartment in New Bedford, MA, was raided by a dozen FBI agents at gunpoint.


Later on in the article there is a mention of the very odd confrontation the Daily Mail reporters had with two gentlemen who entered the apartment and with thick Russian accents claimed to be Boston Globe reporters.....and later that they were friends of the people in custody.

In the comments of an earlier post Steven predicted that it ".... ain't over yet." I think he may be right, or at least that this may be a somewhat larger group than we are being led to believe.

On a lighter note I think we may have to entertain the horrifying possibility that David Sirota could very well be a magical girl now. 

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April 15, 2013


By far the best post on today's atrocity has been by by Moe Lane.

After all the reporting and speculation today, we don't know much except that much of what was initially reported was inaccurate, this was carefully planned, and the person or people behind it are wicked, clever and apparently at large.

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September 16, 2012


My contribution to the quickmeme of the moment.

This whole thing makes me rather madder than I've been in a long time.

For those of you who don't watch the news or tend to write in a vote for Davros just to show how hip you are, here is a brief review of what's going on.

On September 11th The US Embassy in Cairo and a US Consulate in Benghazi Libya were overrun by Islamists. The Cairo staff fled to safety but the ambassador  to Libya was among 4 US personnel murdered in Libya.

Ostensibly they were protesting a preview for a low budget, poorly crafted film mocking Islam.

It makes Troma films look like Citizen Kane

The film had been on Youtube for months, and just happened to go viral in the Middle East just in time to put angry Islamic rage boys out in the streets on Sept 11.  In actuality the mob seems to have been stirred up by Al-Queada or similar operatives to give cover to the attacks.

Since then the Arab world has exploded into violence directed at US, UK and German embassies. The protests concerning the film have even reached Sydney (Via Pixy, who is OK)

Fortunately for our Australian friends the Sydney police are dealing with this more forthrightly than our executive branch.

You see, Ambassador Stevens bloody handprints had not yet dried when the Cairo Embassy issued an apology for the film. They've 'memory holed it' so here it is the copypasta

U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement

September 11, 2012

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

We ought'a condemn those who go on a wilding spree when somebody publishes something that offends them.

Shortly after that apology was issued, Mitt Romney, who was not my first...nor my third choice for the Republican nomination issued a tweet condemning the above press release.  Romney is being castigated for this despite the fact that Secretary Clinton issued a concurring condemnation.

It gets worse...

There was then a huge hue and cry to shut down this mans film because it got a bunch of violent nasty troglodytes angry.

Romney has been clear that his criticism is directed at the blinkered notion that this idiotic film is an abuse of free speech and should be censored.

On the other hand, The Obama administration actually told YouTube to pull the film. Remarkably, YouTube suddenly chose this moment to develop a spine regards such matters and is refusing to pull the clip.

Now the Obama administration has hauled in the filmaker for questioning because he made a video that offended people.

This is because those people blow up things and slit throats when they are offended.

Well, that is exactly the behavior they are rewarding.

And then there is the whole troubling precedent of hauling people away and censoring art because a vocal constituency finds it offensive.

 Glenn Reynolds, a constitutional law professor has an unusually long post on this that I urge you to read in full. Here's a key bit though...

When taking office, the President does not swear to create jobs. He does not swear to "grow the economy.” He does not swear to institute "fairness.” The only oath the President takes is this one:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Ann Althouse has thoughts, and a sobering corollary to Sturgeons Law.

"90% of everything is crud," said Theodore Sturgeon. It's Sturgeon's Law... to which I humbly offer the Althouse Corollary:

If there's a crud exception to freedom, we are only 10% free.

Ace of Spades responds to Will Saletan's idiotarianism and nails it in  a post that defies excerpting.

Through all this, Romney, who has a well deserved reputation as a political weather-vane, has been remarkably firm and consistent on this matter. He has repeatedly said that we do not apologize for our nations tradition of free speech...even if that speech is offensive. Indeed it is the offensive speech that is rather the point. He's taking a hell of a lot of flack for stating this simple truth, which is disheartening...but not as disheartening as seeing the White House and DOJ haul a uy away in the middle of the night for making a film that is considered blasphemous.

Those of you who told me that you were going to once again write in a vote for Davros because both the candidates remind you of early '30s Germany or early 20's Italy...well, I'll concede something that I would not have a short time ago.

Namely, that you are half right.

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September 11, 2012

More Pointed Reflections on the 11th Than I Would Have Liked

The US Embassy in Cairo was stormed today and the black flag of Al-Quaeda was raised in the place of Old Glory. Our consulate in Benghazi has been stormed and burned with one of our personnel murdered.

That these savages did this on THIS DAY is no accident.

 UPDATE 9/12:This statement now is being disavowed by the President and was strongly rebuked by Secretary of State Clinton. It seems to have preceded the Benghazi attack but that is not entirely clear as everything over there is still higgly piggly. Here it is behind a spoiler tag in case the State Department memory holes it.
Ponder that..

We are still at war.
Kow-Towing to our assailants is unlikely to persuade them to leave us alone.

Den Beste has thoughts.

UPDATE 2: At our embassy in Libya, 4 personnel including Ambassador Stevens were murdered. Stevens is only the 6th US Ambassador to have been murdered on duty.

With the death of our Ambassador the President has issued a much more appropriate response.

"I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens,” Obama said. "Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.”

More here, here, here, here, and here.

This is still in a state of flux, but for what it's worth, as I type this Libya has issued a strong apology and condemnation of the attack on their soil and Egypt has said nothing.

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11 Years

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August 16, 2012

Oh Joy...

...oh wait. This isn't joy that I'm feeling...this is that other thing. It appears that Taliban forces have stormed and entered a Pakistani air-force base....but not just any base...

Worryingly, the militants may have good reason to attack the base. W.araich says that the site is home of Pakistan's nascent drone program, and a Telegraph report from 2009 said the site was thought to house Pakistan's nuclear weapons 

This report is 18 hours old as I type this but at the time it was posted the battle was apparently ongoing.

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December 16, 2011

The Mighty Hitch has Passed

   Christopher Hitchens has died. More here. (via)

   Whatever disagreements one may have had with him on matters of philosophy, there was no one who was a stronger, more articulate advocate for the value of western civilization.

   He was a great mind and he passed far too early. He was only 62.

 UPDATE: Very thoughtful missives on his passing from CDR Salamander, R.S. McCain, Michelle Malkin, and The Anchoress.

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September 11, 2011

10 Years On

10 years on Bin Laden is dead. AlQuaeda is scattered. Young girls in Afganistan go to school where they once would have gone to the soccer stadium for execution.

...and yet.

Here at home our greatest fear seems to be offending the murderers. PC Quislings ensured that no one from the clergy or first responders is going to be allowed at the place the buildings fell, for it is a secular place....except for the mosque that is to be erected.

Our oikophobic, orientalist ruling class condemns anything that might "offend". They then congratulate themselves on their sophistication and tolerance, and in their implacable ignorance expect reciprocity. What these smug provincial sophisticates cannot comprehend is that our enemies are not sophisticated, or tolerant...or even literate for the most part.

 These savages are not the Muslim dentists or professors we know who came here to escape the terror under which they once lived. Our enemies are that terror.   For 1432 years they've adhered to a creed that explicitly says to look for any signs of weakness and then attack. They do not appreciate nuances beyond signs of strength and weakness, and the signs they see are overwhelmingly of the latter. They see a people that back down and censor themselves to avoid a potential riot. They see a people that allows them to build a victory marker at the site of their greatest victory.

10 years on we pause to remember the 2,996 people who died that day.
We should also reflect on how best to remember them.
I would suggest that taking pains not to offend those who celebrate their passing is not it.

UPDATE: To wit...


The Anchoress has a roundup of links here.

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August 22, 2011

VL Day?

It looks like the rebels in Libya have overrun Tripoli.

Whatever ones thoughts on this adventure we can all rejoice that having staked our reputation on this, the US has achieved a proxy victory. Really, we ALL can come together on this  which is rare in these partisan times. The reason for this happy convergence is that those of us who thought this was a dumb idea understand that once the nation has crossed the rubicon to war then we damned well better win the thing for the good of the country. Those that don't understand this...supported this war kineticism. (Bipartisanship FTW!)

Perhaps I'm being unfair. I mean its not like there was a vote in congress or anything.

Oh well, lets call out the purple suit cheerleaders and rejoice at a NATO victory together in a bipartisan fashion. 


(Also, lets have a big bipartisan thank you to the crews of HMS Liverpool and FS Charels De Gaul. )

Galrahn has thoughts.

Update: Oh dear.

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