Wednesday, October 31, 2007

HELLO!! You'd Think Laura, of all People , Would know we are at war

We are NOT going to talk about this one!

Laura, Laura, Laura, what were you thinking. "Respecting their culture" Oh plueze, the last time the Saudi Big Shot flew into Texas he had all the female air controllers removed from the airport. How about respecting our culture or is that too much to ask? Caroline Glick will explain the reasons your putting on the burqa was a bone head move.




Our World: Laura Bush's embrace of tyranny





For people around the world, the United States is not merely a country, and not merely a superpower. The United States is also a symbol of human freedom.

Because their country is a symbol, the way that American officials behave is rarely taken at face value. Rather, their behavior is interpreted and reinterpreted by friend and foe alike.

Because she has no statutory power, the American First Lady's actions are wholly symbolic. So when last week First Lady Laura Bush embarked on a visit to the Persian Gulf to promote breast cancer awareness in the Arab world as part of the US-Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer, she traveled there as a symbol. And the symbolic message that her visit evoked is a deeply disturbing one.

As a Washington Post report of her trip to Saudi Arabia from last Thursday noted, there is a dire need in the kingdom to raise public awareness of breast cancer and its treatments. Due to social taboos, some 70 percent of breast cancer cases in Saudi Arabia are not reported until the late stages of the disease. It is possible that the local media attention that Mrs. Bush's visit aroused may work to save the lives of women whose husbands will now permit them to be screened for the disease and receive proper medical treatment for it in its early stages.

And this is where the disturbing aspect of Mrs. Bush's visit enters the picture. During her public appearances, the First Lady limited her remarks to the issue of breast cancer awareness. Yet in the Persian Gulf, it is impossible to separate the issue of breast cancer or for that matter the very fact of the First Lady's visit from the issue of the systematic mistreatment and oppression of women in the Saudi Arabia specifically and throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds generally.

IN THE context of the regional degradation of women, while the consequences of Mrs. Bush's visit remain mixed, the overall effect of her mission was negative.

Women in Saudi Arabia do not have human rights. As Amnesty International puts it, "The abuse of women's rights in Saudi Arabia is not simply the unfortunate consequence of overzealous security forces and religious police. It is the inevitable result of a state policy which gives women fewer rights than men, which means that women face discrimination in all walks of life and which allows men with authority to exercise their power without any fear of being held to account for their actions."

For instance, women in Saudi Arabia cannot choose whom they marry and they have no real power to divorce their husbands. Men on the other hand can lawfully marry up to four women and divorce any of them simply by announcing that they have divorced them. And once they are divorced, they are by law and practice denied custody of their children.

Marital rape and physical abuse are not generally considered crimes and therefore women have no legal recourse for dealing with abusive husbands, or fathers or brothers. Since they are legally barred from serving as lawyers, and Islam weighs a woman's court testimony as worth half the testimony of a man, even if they were able to press charges against their male tormentors, Saudi women are effectively denied recourse in the local courts.

Women of course are not the only victims of the Saudi regime. Non-Muslims are denied the right to worship. Shi'ite Muslims' right to worship is subject to draconian limitations. Jews are officially barred from entering the kingdom. Then too, there are no real elections in Saudi Arabia, no press freedom, no freedom of assembly. Yet even against this totalitarian backdrop the position of women stands out in its severity.

Take education for example. As the State Department's 2006 Human Rights report notes, there is little academic freedom in Saudi Arabia. For instance, "The government prohibited the study of Freud, Marx, Western music, and Western philosophy." Yet women's educational opportunities are even more constrained. Due to gender apartheid, women may only study in all female institutions. There they are prohibited from studying fields like law and engineering and petroleum sciences. In 2005 the BBC reported, "Although women make up more than half of all graduates from Saudi universities, they comprise only 5 percent of the kingdom's workforce."

Saudi women have no freedom of movement. They may not drive. And they may not move around in public unless escorted by their husband, father or brother. Women found in public unescorted by suitable males are subject to arrest and corporal punishment.

The limitations placed on public appearances are mind boggling. As Freedom House reported in 2005, "Visible and invisible spatial boundaries also limit women's movement. Mosques, most ministries, public streets, and food stalls (supermarkets not included) are male territory. Furthermore, accommodations that are available for men are always superior to those accessible to women, and public space, such as parks, zoos, museums, libraries, or the national Jinadriyah Festival of Folklore and Culture, is created for men, with only limited times allotted for women's visits."

TO THE extent that women in Saudi Arabia are allowed leave their homes, they are prohibited from actually being seen by anyone through the rigid enforcement of Islamic dress codes. As the State Department 2006 report explains, "In public, a woman was expected to wear an abaya (a black garment that covers the entire body) and also to cover her head and hair. The religious police generally expected Muslim women to cover their faces and non-Muslim women from other Asian and African countries to comply more fully with local customs of dress than non-Muslim Western women. During the year religious police admonished and harassed citizen and noncitizen women who failed to wear an abaya and hair cover."

Perhaps it is because it is so offensive to the Western eye to see women covered like sacks of potatoes, the abaya has become a symbol of Islamic oppression and degradation of women. Although outlawing their use, as the French have attempted to do in recent years, is itself a form of religious oppression, the sentiment informing their ban is certainly understandable. The fact is that a free society should not be able to easily stomach the notion that women should be encouraged, let alone obliged to wear degrading garments that deny them the outward vestiges of their humanity and individuality.

Due to the fact that the abayas convey a symbolic message of effective enslavement of women, Mrs. Bush's interaction with women clad in abayas was the aspect of her trip most scrutinized. In the United Arab Emirates, Mrs. Bush was photographed sitting between four women covered head to toe in abayas while she was wearing regular clothes. The image of Mrs. Bush sitting between four women who look like nothing more than black piles of fabric couldn't have been more viscerally evocative and consequently, symbolically meaningful.

The image told the world that she - and America - is free and humane while the hidden women of Arabia are enslaved and their society is inhumane.

But then Mrs. Bush went to Saudi Arabia and the symbolic message of the previous day was superseded and lost when she donned an abaya herself and had her picture taken with other abaya-clad women. The symbolic message of those photographs also couldn't have been clearer. By donning an abaya, Mrs. Bush symbolically accepted the legitimacy of the system of subjugating women that the garment embodies, (or disembodies). Understanding this, conservative media outlets in the US criticized her angrily.

Sunday morning, Mrs. Bush sought to answer her critics in an interview with Fox News. Unfortunately, her remarks compounded the damage. Mrs. Bush said, "These women do not see covering as some sort of subjugation of women, this group of women that I was with. That's their culture. That's their tradition. That's a religious choice of theirs."

It is true that this is their culture. And it is also their tradition. But it is not their choice. Their culture and tradition are predicated on denying them the choice of whether or not to wear a garment that denies them their identity just as it denies them the right to make any choices about their lives. The Saudi women's assertions of satisfaction with their plight were no more credible than statements by hostages in support of their captors.

As the First Lady, Laura Bush is an American symbol. By having her picture taken wearing an abaya in Saudi Arabia - the epicenter of Islamic totalitarian misogyny - Mrs. Bush diminished that symbol. In so doing, she weakened the causes of freedom and liberty which America has fought since its founding to secure and defend at home and throughout the world.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gratitude--Compare and Contrast Dutch and Mongolian

This has been a busy month for visitors to DC from abroad. We had the President of Mongolia, Nambaryn Enkhbayar stop by and later on Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee had a visit by a delegation of Dutch law makers from the Netherlands. These two visits afford an opportunity to compare and contrast examples of expressions of gratitude for this nation's expenditure of blood and treasure.

For instance, the President of Mongolia, Nambaryn Enkhbayar, said:
"Mongolia was committed to the Iraq mission, in part because the United States and other allies did not abandon Mongolia when it was struggling."

"When the situation for us was difficult in the 1980s and 1990s, we were not left behind," he said. "Of course, we all want success in Iraq, but we started there together and we have to finish there together."
Compare that response to the delegation from Netherlands who, first of all, arrived fortified with a complaint list that began with expressions of doubts about continuing their 1600 troop contribution serving with NATO in Afghanistan operations. They then suggested to Rep. Lantos, a Holocaust survivor, that the United States should shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Earlier, members of the delegation had been given a tour of the prison and despite finding the place being clean and the Orc's fat,if not happy, most of the delegation said they wanted the prison shut down anyway.

"We have to close Guantanamo because it symbolizes for me everything that is wrong with this war on terror," said Mariko Peters, a member of the Dutch Green Party.

Rep. Lantos, a Holocaust survivor, replied:
"Europe was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay." "You have to help us, because if it was not for us you would now be a province of Nazi Germany".
Up to now Rep. Lantos has not appeared on my radar other than Democrat AKA surrendercrat. After this this exchange, I am impressed that the Democratic Party, for all its' mendacity, still harbors men of true grit and fewer words. Any man, in this age of "sensitivity", who can twist the Netherlands delegation panties with a well placed pithy reminder of debt due is the man to be respected.

Monday, October 29, 2007

New Cleveland Imam Quits Before He Starts--Blames Mean Bloggers!

Imam Ahmed Alzaree, the new spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, announced today that he was resigning his position three days before he was to report for work building bridges of understanding between Islam and Cleveland. He cited "allegations by bloggers that he was anti-Semitic and was associated with individuals suspected of having terrorist ties so poisoned the atmosphere in Northeast Ohio that he and his wife, Marwa, decided to look elsewhere."
Bloggers quote allegations unquote included running his name through google and lifting portions of his antisemitic speeches such as this one found at IPT:

Dear brothers and sisters, the talk about the Day of Judgment is long and full of things that will confuse the human mind and put fear in the hearts of the faithful. Every day that comes is much more Worse than the day before it as we get closer to the hour. Among the signs of the approach of Day of Judgment is what the messenger of Allah PBUH said: "The hour of judgment shall not happen until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Muslims shall kill the Jews to the point that the Jew shall hide behind a big rock or a tree and the rock or tree shall call on the Muslim saying: hey, O Muslim there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him, except the Gharqad tree which will not say, for it is the tree of Jews." Agreed upon. This is seemed to be very soon and close now. We ask Allah SWT not to test us so hardly if we live till this horrible moment insha'allah. (emphasis added)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Muqdadiya Concerned Local Citizens Locate Orc Suicide Jockey

In Muqdadiya yesterday, a group of Concerned Local Citizens (CLC) flushed out a suicide jockey who promptly detonated himself after realizing the he was cornered. The suicide jockey was believed to waiting for large populated area filled with unsuspecting residents when he was exposed by the CLC. In the explosion, the house he was hiding in collapsed injuring one CLC volunteer and the Orc babysitter.

“Today’s discovery is a sure sign the population continues to grow tired of al- Qaeda’s barbaric acts,” said Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of Coalition Forces in Diyala province.

“The local citizens and CLCs are both playing active roles in securing their areas and neighborhoods across Diyala – an important sign that they realize they must be the definers of their own democracy.”

“Because of the actions by the CLCs, many lives were saved,” Sutherland continued. “This is not the first time the CLCs have saved lives in their neighborhoods.

They truly are patriots serving to protect their families, tribes and neighbors.”


The Boyd Invitation: To be or to do. “To be somebody or to do something." and Bueno de Mesquita

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, the New York University political science professor, has been getting a lot of popular mileage, outside the range of scholarly periodicals. Enough attention spilled under my rock that even I finally became aware of his computerized game theory models using mathematics for predicting the future.

Evaluations by academics and the CIA concede a 90% accuracy. So far, so much, so what and ho hum material as I had already already concluded, with rare Einsteinian foresight, that a little more math would do precisely what what Bruce Bueno created. However, what instantly straighted my spine and forced me to sit up and reread the article, Math Trek:Mathematical Fortune-Telling, was to discover that Col John R. Boyd, The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War invitation "to be or to do" is incorporated into Mesquita's game theory. The invitation here is explained at the web site Defense and the National Interest:
"Although Boyd associated with many junior officers during his Air Force career, there were a few, perhaps half a dozen, that he had such respect for that he invited them to join him on his quest for change. Each one would be offered the choice: Be someone – be recognized by the system and promoted – or do something that would last for the Air Force and the country."
"Tiger, one day you will come to a fork in the road,” he said. “And you’re going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go.” He raised his hand and pointed. “If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments.” Then Boyd raised his other hand and pointed another direction. “Or you can go that way and you can do something – something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide you want to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won’t have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference.” He paused and stared into the officer’s eyes and heart. “To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do. Which way will you go?

Deciding how some one will answer this question using quantitative models is explained in the Science New Online article as "accommodating the vagaries of human nature":

To accommodate the vagaries of human nature, the players are cursed with divided souls. Although all the players want to get their own preferred policies adopted, they also want personal glory. Some players are policy-wonks who care only a little about glory, while others resemble egomaniacs for whom policies are secondary.

Only the players themselves know how much they care about each of those goals. An important aspect of the negotiation process is that by seeing which proposals are accepted or rejected, players are able to figure out more about how much other players care about getting their preferred policy or getting the glory.
What next?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Is there something about Oct 23 and Mongolia? Back in Oct 23, 2005 I wrote a post about six Marines inside Mongolia. Shock and surprise to me. Come to find out, after talking with a real Marine that the news wasn't such a big deal. The news was all ho-hum been there done that category. This Oct 23,2007 The WashTimes headline news "Mongolia first to qualify for aid program". How's that for timing. President Nambaryn Enkhbayar came to town to attend the signing ceremony at the White House hosted by CMC Bush endorsing the $285 million aid package under the Millennium Challenge foreign-aid program.
Iwould have missed all of this had it not been for
Jammie Wearing Fool who posted Mongolia Joins the American Empire.
JWF reads the Midnight Sun who reads the WashTimes a lot better than I do.

President Nambaryn Enkhbayar, ever the gracious guest, said something real nice which I appreciated. "He said Mongolia was committed to the Iraq mission, in part because the United States and other allies did not abandon Mongolia when it was struggling."

"When the situation for us was difficult in the 1980s and 1990s, we were not left behind," he said. "Of course, we all want success in Iraq, but we started there together and we have to finish there together."

America has been adopted by
Mongolian leaders as its "third neighbor," "looking forward to trade and investment and enlisting as a full partner in the global war on terrorism." This third neighbor thing takes a bit of a quantum leap as Mongolia is surrounded by Russia to the North and China to the South. Read on at JWF and Midnight Night Sun for the undercover nasty bits of wheels and deals and smoke filled rooms details. Liberals will love the return of the Federation.









Wednesday, October 24, 2007

OBL Says Oh, Behave to Orc Troops--

Plans to kick Western tuckas and establish the United Islamic Caliphate of The World are sucking wind and none other than cave fearless leader Osama bin Laden is now lecturing the Orc troops to stop eating their own. The voice of Mr. Kill them all and Let God sort them out is now preaching moderation in extremism. The IBD has the choice must read editorial.

INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY |

Iraq: A leading figure in the war on terror lectures his troops on avoiding the mistakes and brutality that alienate the Iraqi people. No, it's not Murtha lecturing Petraeus. It's Osama bin Laden admitting he's losing.

No one has ever accused bin Laden of being stupid. The architect of 9/11 has seen better days and has admitted as much in a tape advising al-Qaida in Iraq to avoid the "mistakes" that have united the people of Iraq, Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, against him.

"Some of you have been lax in one duty, which is to unite your ranks," Osama advises followers in a tape aired Monday on Al-Jazeera television. "I advise myself, Muslims in general and brothers in al-Qaida everywhere to avoid extremism among men and groups." Bin Laden, the voice of moderation? Who'da thunk it?

He sees, as we have seen, the uniting of Sunnis and Shiites against the mindless barbarism of al-Qaida in Iraq in the days when Anbar province was considered lost. That nihilistic violence, coupled with an American surge where U.S. and Iraqi troops came and this time stayed, have turned the tide in our favor.

A year ago, al-Qaida in Iraq had declared Baqouba the capital of the Islamic State in Iraq, and claimed to control both Anbar and Diyala. As recently as Jan. 30, CNN's Michael Ware, in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, described Ramadi, Anbar's capital, as "the true al-Qaida national headquarters."

That was then. This is now. Anbar was most recently the site of a press conference by the president of the United States.

Suicide bombings have been cut in half since January, and AQI's capabilities have been "degraded" 60% to 70%, reckons Gen. Raymond Odierno, the second-ranking U.S. commander in Iraq. Civilian deaths, excluding natural causes, have plunged 45% in Iraq since December, 70% in Baghdad.

Testifying before Congress, Ambassador Ryan Crocker noted that local tribes in Anbar and elsewhere were rejecting AQI's methods and message, which included "beheading school children or cutting off people's fingers for smoking."

U.S. forces have captured the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, killed or captured almost 100 other terrorist leaders, and killed or captured some 2,500 AQI fighters over the past nine months.

One of those leaders, Abu Osama al-Tunisi, was once a key member of AQI's rapidly dwindling inner circle. Al-Tunisi was responsible for bringing foreign al-Qaida recruits to Iraq and placing them in operational cells. That effort was dealt a significant blow when "Muthanna," the AQI emir for the Iraq-Syria border region, was killed in early September.

Al-Tunisi was involved in a meeting with two al-Qaida operatives in Musayyib, a town about 40 miles south of Baghdad, on Sept. 25, when a motion to adjourn was made and seconded by an American F-16. Later retrieved from the rubble was a copy of a letter that Al-Tunisi had written to al-Qaida chieftains in which he said, "We are desperate for your help."

Sorry, but help is not on the way. We are winning. They are losing. Not even a cut-and-run Democratic Congress or biased and distorted media accounts can help anymore. Al-Qaida has made many mistakes, but its first and greatest was underestimating the resolve of one George W. Bush.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Michael P. Murphy, Navy SEAL Awarded The Medal of Honor

http://www.defenselink.mil/dodcmsshare/newsstoryPhoto/2007-10/hrs_Bush5A.jpg



By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

– President Bush today posthumously presented the Medal of Honor earned by Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a Navy SEAL who sacrificed his life in an attempt to save fellow SEALs during a fierce battle with Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

The Medal of Honor, accepted by Murphy’s parents, Maureen and Dan Murphy, during a White House ceremony, is the highest military decoration. Murphy’s is the first Medal of Honor awarded for service in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

“Today we add Lieutenant Michael Murphy’s name to the list of recipients who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” Bush said. “By presenting Michael Murphy’s family with the Medal of Honor that he earned, a grateful nation remembers the courage of this proud Navy SEAL.”

On June 28, 2005, as Murphy led a four-man SEAL team in search of key terrorist commander, the unit came under attack by some 50 Taliban fighters. The lieutenant is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates, according to a summary of action published by the Navy.

Despite intense combat around him, Murphy -- already wounded in the firefight -- moved into the open where he could gain a better transmission signal and request backup from headquarters. At one point, Murphy was shot in the back, causing him to drop the transmitter. The lieutenant picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy as they closed in.

By the time the two-hour gunfight had concluded, Murphy and two others SEALs had been killed. An estimated 35 Taliban died in the fighting.

As a somber postscript to Murphy’s bravery, the helicopter that he requested crashed after being struck by a rocket- propelled grenade, killing everyone on board. In total, 19 Americans died in what Bush referred to as “the deadliest for Navy Special Warfare forces since World War II.”

The president characterized Murphy as a born Navy SEAL.

“SEALs get their name from operating by sea, air and land, and even as a toddler, Michael could find his way through any obstacle,” Bush said. “When he was just 18 months old, he darted across a neighbor's yard and dove into the swimming pool. By the time his frantic parents reached him, Michael had swum to the other side with a big smile on his face.”

In addition to his physical strength, Bush said Murphy’s strong moral character also was apparent at an early age.

“One day in school, he got into a scuffle sticking up for a student with a disability. It's the only time his parents ever got a phone call from the principal, and they couldn't have been prouder,” Bush said. “Michael's passion for helping others led him to become a caring brother, a tutor, a life guard and eventually a member of the United States armed forces.”

The president welcomed Murphy’s parents and brother, John, who hail from Patchogue, N.Y., to the White House’s East Room, noting that Murphy’s decision to join the U.S. military was not easily accepted by his family. “As a Purple Heart recipient during Vietnam, Michael's father understood the sacrifices that accompany a life of service. He also understood that his son was prepared to make these sacrifices,” Bush added.

Murphy is remembered by fellow SEALs as a wisecracking friend who went by "Mikey" or "Murph," a patriot who wore a New York City firehouse patch on his uniform in honor of the heroes of 9/11, Bush said.

“And they remember an officer who respected their opinions and led them with an understated yet unmistakable sense of command. Together Michael and his fellow SEALs deployed multiple times around the world in the war against the extremists and radicals,” Bush said. “And while their missions were often carried out in secrecy, their love of country and devotion to each other was always clear.”

Murphy is one of three servicemembers to receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for gallantry in action during the war on terror. The president has presented medals to the families of Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith and Marine Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, who died in Iraq.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Where Have All The Vampire Orcs Gone...

The Orc bite is starting to lessen in some areas in Iraq and in others has disappeared all together. Podhoretz sat up and took notice when two of the war's harshest critics stated as much and since they are not fond of the Bush administration it is fair to read their critique.

John PodhoretzNYP

A report in yesterday's Washington Post says flatly: "The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al Qaeda in Iraq in recent months."

This sentence is significant for two reasons.

First, it has not been the habit of the U.S. military to offer happy-talk assessments of our strategic position in Iraq - certainly not since 2003. Politicians, yes. Washington officials, yes. Conservative journalists and pundits (alas), yes. But not the U.S. military itself.

Second, the sentence was written by Thomas Ricks and Karen De Young. They are, respectively, the lead military correspondent and the lead foreign-affairs correspondent for The Washington Post - and they have been the most pointedly pessimistic and negative voices among the informed U.S. media on the subject of the war in Iraq.

Both occupy a vaunted position - though not officially opinion writers, they plainly have wide latitude to write "news" stories that openly reflect their own views as much as they do the views of those they quote.

Ricks is the author of "Fiasco," a powerful and sobering book on the failures of the first two years of the war. De Young's view of the changing U.S. strategy in Iraq has been relentlessly downbeat.

There is," they write, "widespread agreement that AQI has suffered major blows over the past three months. Among the indicators cited is a sharp drop in suicide bombings, the group's signature attack, from more than 60 in January to around 30 a month since July. Captures and interrogations of AQI leaders over the summer had what a senior military intelligence official called a 'cascade effect,' leading to other killings and captures. The flow of foreign fighters through Syria into Iraq has also diminished, although officials are unsure of the reason."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Blair Finds His Balls-Calls Islam "Deadly Ideology" Duh

In his first speech, since his much encouraged retirement, Mr. Blair called Iran an money pot for Orcs and warned that Islam means fascism. Oh double duh. Mr. Blair said Great Britain, America and their allies risk retreat if they don't get a hard on about defending western values that define men of the west. Mr. Blair said that Iran would go to any lengths to destabilize the west in support of the "deadly Ideology" that drives Muslim extremist. As if we didn't already know that one. Mr. Blair continued in his double weasel speak oh gosh, golly are these my balls tone with this oldy but goody:
"Analogies with the past are never properly accurate and analogies especially with the rising fascism can be easily misleading, but in pure chronology I sometimes wonder if we're not in the 1920s or 1930s again."

Oh dear me, Awesome Churchillian speak, don't you think. Just bloody awesome. "
I sometimes wonder if we're not in the 1920s or 1930s again." Just sucks your breath away with blinding stupidity. I sometimes wonder if these are my pants or Harvey's.

Mr. Blair received three standing O's for this one:
"This ideology now has a state, Iran, that is prepared to back and finance terror in the pursuit of destabilizing countries whose people wish to live in peace."

Sonia Henie's Tutu! Did this boy wonder just fall off the turnip truck. Years as Prime Minister and not once did he ever state any thing quite so clearly until now. Not even a year in retirement and already he has the vision and wisdom of Solomon.
Unbelievable. Three standing Ovations from the rich and powerful of New York City who obliviously appreciate a plain spoken man. Heroic men like Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the News Corporation, and mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City. Yes, thats right New York City. The City that just last week turned the Empire State Building green to celebrate the end of Ramadan for a religion that prefers to cut off the clits of little girls and murder wives in the street when "honor" has been insulted.

Mr. Blair, who now makes ends meet, in his retirement, by working as a talking head for the Middle East Quartet said
violent extremism was a "perversion of the proper faith of Islam", which used "demonic skill" to exploite genuine grievances and fears held by Muslims around the world.

"There is a tendency even now, even in some of our own circles, to believe that they are as they are because we have provoked them and if we left them alone they would leave us alone," he said. "I fear this is mistaken. They have no intention of leaving us alone."

Incredible courage from a fearless leader, under whose watch a "conservative mainstream British Muslim" group in Mr. Blair's own back yard now has gained sufficient political strength to "advise" the current government: Melanie Phillips

More very alarming evidence indeed of the attitudes of ‘mainstream’ British Muslims. As the Telegraph reports, the Conservative Muslim Forum, a body set up by David Cameron to advise the Conservatives on Muslim issues and which is headed by Lord Sheikh, has condemned the government’s support for Israel on the grounds that this displeases Muslims and says that Iran has ‘legitimate’ reasons for wanting nuclear weapons. It also argues that preachers who advocate a rejection of democracy and its institutions should not be denied entry into Britain.

In the document, the group says:

Regardless of the foreign policies of the United States, hostility to Iran is not in Britain’s national interest. A constructive engagement with Iran offers many possibilities for progress.

But of course, this inverts the facts. Britain is not hostile to Iran; Iran has declared war upon Britain and the west. There can be no ‘constructive engagement’ with a country that is currently blowing up our soldiers in Iraq. For British citizens to state that although they oppose Iran getting nuclear weapons, it has legitimate reasons for wanting them when it is committed to the destruction of Israel and war against the west, is appalling.

Neglecting his own garden, Mr. Blair is now in Dubya's to supposedly sooth wrecked feelings of acute anxiety after Mr. Dubya's plain spoken announcement: Iran acquires the A-bomb precipitates World War III.

Mr Bush said:

"I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War three, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them (Iran) from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

Sounded plain enough to me and I thought well, at least, the king of the Orcs won't miss this clue but today I find out that the shhh -go back to sleep squad has been quietly and urgently passing out the world"he didn't mean it. He did'n't mean it. It's OK. He didn't mean it" "NOT a threat of War" No worries he was just making a point.

"White House press secretary, Dana Perino, said President Bush was making a "rhetorical point", not a threat of war."

She said:

"The president was not making any war plans, and he wasn't making any declarations. He was making a point, and the point is that we do not believe - and neither does the international community believe - that Iran should be allowed to pursue nuclear weapons."
Oh well, that's alright, then. Isn't it. Everyone can go back to breathing. I mean Dubya was just making a rhetorical point it's not like the king of the Orcs promise to wipe Isreal off the map with the first bomb out the oven. Isn't it.

Haditha:facts and evidence were discarded to fit the antiwar template.

What Happened at Haditha
The massacre that wasn't, and its political exploitation. Opinion Journal


The incident at Haditha--or the massacre, as it is often called--is due for a wholesale rethinking. The allegations are that in 2005 U.S. Marines went on a killing spree and deliberately executed 24 Iraqi civilians. The casualties have drawn an extraordinary amount of political attention, becoming an emblem for everything critics say is wrong with the Iraq war--in the common telling, another My Lai.

Thus Congressman Jack Murtha, a decorated combat veteran, made accusations of war crimes and said the Marines had killed "in cold blood." These are serious charges; and military justice continues to deal with them seriously, though thankfully at a slower pace than politics. Now the prosecutions have mostly unraveled. It seems Haditha, though tragic, was exploited politically, and the allegations were exaggerated, if not unfounded.

Here is what we know. On November 17, 2005, Kilo Company of the First Marine Regiment's Third Battalion was returning from a routine logistics mission in Haditha, a town 140 miles northwest of Baghdad. Haditha is in Anbar province, a heart of the Sunni insurgency with one of the highest U.S. casualty rates in Iraq. The security situation at the time was treacherous.

Shortly after 7 a.m., an improvised explosive device detonated under the last vehicle in Company K's four-Humvee convoy. It instantly killed Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas and wounded two others. Windows were shattered for 150 yards, and smoke and debris were everywhere.

An oncoming white sedan had been waved over near the stalled convoy. Five military-age occupants exited and disobeyed orders in Arabic to halt; at least one began to run. Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, the squad commander, and Sergeant Sanick Dela Cruz opened fire, killing all of them. The men were suspected of being spotters for, or remotely detonating, the IED.

As a quick reaction force arrived, headed by First Lieutenant William Kallop, Company K began taking small arms fire from several locations on either side of the convoy. While taking cover, they identified at least one shooter in the vicinity of a nearby "trigger house." Lt. Kallop ordered SSgt. Wuterich and a makeshift team to treat the building as hostile and "clear" it.

They forced entry and shot a man on a flight of stairs, then another when he made a movement toward a closet. The Marines say they heard the sound of an AK-47 being racked, so threw grenades into a nearby room and fired; they killed five occupants, with two others wounded by grenade fragments and bullets.

SSgt. Wuterich and his men pursued a runner into an adjacent house. They led the assault with grenades and gunfire, in the process killing another man. Unknown to the Marines, two women and six children were in a back room. Seven were killed. It was chaotic and fast-moving in the dark, close-range quarters, and accounts diverge on the chronology and offensive actions.

After the firefight ended, around 9:30, the Marines noted men suspected of scouting for another attack "turkey peeking" behind the wall of a third house. A team followed to find women and children inside (who were not harmed). They moved to a fourth house off a courtyard and killed inside two men wielding AK-47s and two others.

In March 2006, Time magazine broke the story, which erupted in the press. The accounts relied on a narrative that the Marines had gone berserk after the killing of Cpl. Terrazas and murdered Iraqis in retaliation. "Eyewitnesses" reported that the riders in the car had been lined up and executed, and that there had been a rampage through the houses targeting women and children. A coverup by the top brass was also asserted.

After the incident became public, the military was unusually aggressive. It launched at least two exhaustive, months-long inquiries. Four of the enlisted men from Company K were charged with unpremeditated murder--essentially, killings without sanction. Four Marine officers who were not on the scene were charged with dereliction of duty for improperly reporting and investigating.

Before courts martial, all charges are referred to Article 32 hearings, the military equivalent of a grand jury. The senior investigating officer for the infantrymen, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Ware, had a chance to look at all the evidence, not just that selectively leaked or filtered. The result is that the charges are being reduced or dismissed altogether.

In separate Article 32 proceedings, two of the officers have been exonerated; one, the highest ranking, has been recommended for a court martial, and the other case remains pending. Of the four infantrymen, two have seen their charges dismissed (one in exchange for testimony); and charges against a third have been recommended to be dismissed. Ten of SSgt. Wuterich's indictments have been recommended for dismissal, and the seven others reduced to negligent homicide, essentially, accidental or negligent killings. Why?

The first imperative is to understand the complex, asymmetrical combat conditions in Iraq. The Marines were (and are) facing a determined enemy who dress as civilians and use homes, schools, hospitals and mosques as their bases of operation. They try to goad killings among the civilian population because it foments domestic opposition against U.S. troops while undermining them with elite international opinion.

In this environment, accusations of U.S. atrocities against civilians occur after almost every military operation. That partly explains why the Marines did not immediately investigate the Haditha killings. They viewed some Iraqi claims as part of insurgent "information operations" and did not suspect any misconduct. That day also saw citywide violence and multiple combat actions, and the killings seemed, regrettably but realistically, routine.

Perhaps, ex post facto, the officers might have erred on the side of scrutiny, though it is more exactly the duty of commanders to report accurately up the chain of command. Aside from some glitches, such as an erroneous public affairs statement that some of the civilians had been killed by the roadside bomb, they seem to have done so. There are also accusations that the delay in the full probe compromised the case. One indication of affairs in Haditha is that the heavily guarded investigators came under a coordinated insurgent attack.

Still, negligence, if proved, does not constitute a cover-up. Even the most fault-finding Haditha inquiry, conducted by Army Major General Eldon Bargewell, rejected the idea of some upper-level conspiracy. As for the infantrymen at Haditha, Lt. Col. Ware's investigation concluded, in a representative statement, that "No trier of fact can conclude SSgt Wuterich formed the criminal intent to kill." The allegations of a deliberate massacre are entirely unfounded. They are contradicted by credible testimony, and remain a "story unsupported by evidence."

If any of the reduced cases do move to courts martial, as some likely will, they will turn on the rules of engagement. Decisions made in the heat of battle are hard to judge from the outside. At the critical moment, hesitation can result in a soldier or his unit getting killed. Thus military justice usually presumes a benefit of the doubt if decisions that were reasonable in the line of fire appear wrong in hindsight. A bad result does not imply a bad decision.

At Haditha, did the Marines act reasonably and appropriately based on their training? They were in a hostile combat situation where deadly force was authorized against suspected triggermen for the IED, and were ordered to assault a suspected insurgent hideout. In retrospect, the men in the car had no weapons or explosives; in retrospect, the people in the house were not insurgents. No one knew at the time.

Innocents were killed at Haditha, as they inevitably are in all wars--though that does not excuse or justify wrongdoing. Yet neither was Haditha the atrocity or "massacre" that many assumed--though errors in judgment may well have been committed. And while some violent crimes have been visited on civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, overall the highly disciplined U.S. military has conducted itself in an exemplary fashion. When there have been aberrations, the services have typically held themselves accountable.

The same cannot be said of the political and media classes. Many, including Members of Congress, were looking for another moral bonfire to discredit the cause in Iraq, and they found a pretext in Haditha. The critics rushed to judgment; facts and evidence were discarded to fit the antiwar template.

Most despicably, they created and stoked a political atmosphere that exposes American soldiers in the line of duty, risking and often losing their lives, to criminal liability for the chaos of war. This is the deepest shame of Haditha, and the one for which apologies ought to be made.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Acquiring weapons (WMD) for the defense of Muslims is a religious duty: OBL

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen is go to guy about al Qaeda and the nuke bomb. He is the man trying to sound the alarm that the El Kaeda Orcs are trying to buy the bomb and blow it up in America. "As the Energy Department's director of intelligence, he's responsible for gathering information about the threat that a terrorist group will attack America with a nuclear weapon."


Mowatt-Larssen argues that for nearly a decade before Sept. 11, al-Qaeda was seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction. As early as 1993, Osama bin Laden offered $1.5 million to buy uranium for a nuclear device, according to testimony presented in federal court in February 2001. When the al-Qaeda leader was asked in 1998 if he had nuclear or chemical weapons, he responded: "Acquiring weapons for the defense of Muslims is a religious duty. If I have indeed acquired these weapons, then I thank God for enabling me to do so."

Even as al-Qaeda was preparing to fly its airplane bombs into buildings, the group was also trying to acquire nuclear and biological capabilities. In August 2001, bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, met around a campfire with Pakistani scientists from a group called Umma Tameer-E-Nau to discuss how al-Qaeda could build a nuclear device. Al-Qaeda also had an aggressive anthrax program that was discovered in December 2001 after bin Laden was driven from his haven in Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda proclaimed a religious rationale to justify the WMD attacks it was planning. In June 2002, a Kuwaiti-born cleric named Suleiman Abu Ghaith posted a statement on the Internet saying that "al-Qaeda has the right to kill 4 million Americans" in retaliation for U.S. attacks against Muslims. And in May 2003, at the same time Saudi operatives of al-Qaeda were trying to buy three Russian nuclear bombs, a cleric named Nasir al-Fahd issued a fatwa titled "A Treatise on the Legal Status of Using Weapons of Mass Destruction Against Infidels." Interrogations of al-Qaeda operatives confirmed that the planning was serious. Al-Qaeda didn't yet have the materials for a WMD attack, but it wanted them.

Most chilling of all was Zawahiri's decision in March 2003 to cancel a cyanide attack in the New York subway system. He told the plotters to stand down because "we have something better in mind." What did that mean? More than four years later, we still don't know.

After 2004, the WMD trail went cold, according to Mowatt-Larssen. Many intelligence analysts have concluded that al-Qaeda doesn't have nuclear capability today. Mowatt-Larssen argues that a more honest answer is: We don't know.

So what to do about this spectral danger? The first requirement, says Mowatt-Larssen, is to try to visualize it. What would it take for al-Qaeda to build a bomb? How would it assemble the pieces? How would the United States and its allies deploy their intelligence assets so that they could detect a plot before it was carried out? How would we reinvent intelligence itself to avert this ultimate catastrophe?

Marine Corps In Danger of Getting Little Big Army Fat

Marines, have you been feeling a little thick around the gut. Has the twinge of guilt from sucking down that extra brewski kept you from total brew enjoyment. Do you find your self skipping your morning mile run and finally--since you returned you really haven't trimmed off those extra pounds you were allowed in Orc country. Have you, Marines.

Now, Marines, don't feel bad. Help is on the way. You've got company. The entire Marine Corps is Danger Fat. And that spells trouble. A-r-m-y F-a-t. Army Fat means the Green Machine is no longer able to ride hard, fast and light like the Sioux on a Mustang galloping on the wind chasing Evil Vampire Orcs. No sir, the legendary lean mean Green Machine, is rear tuckas heavy. Dragging around so much heavy equipment that you're in danger of becoming - Little Big Army. Unable to turn and burn on Orcs with out bruising your tuckas you are a drawf size Image:Gimli With Axe.jpgGimli second land Army. This what comes from killing Orcs in Iraq. The CMC is not amused.

He's got a diet plan for you. Afghanistan. Afghanistan is the all time weight reduction program for the a fat Green Machine. Guaranteed to restore expeditionary fitness to your mission or your money back. The CMC Plans to ship the Corps to the big A and put everyone a foot. Less mischief and weight gain that way, he says.

"I'm a little bit concerned about us keeping our expeditionary flavor. ... We are much heavier than ever before," he said at a lunch sponsored by the Center for New American Security.

Commandant Gen. James Conway said Monday he is concerned about the Marines Corps' ability to respond to security flare-ups around the world on short notice because of the demands put on it by the Iraq war.

In recent years, the Marine Corps has emerged as a "second land Army" tasked with securing Iraq and must buy heavy equipment, including a fleet of 3,700 mine-resistant vehicles, to protect its personnel from roadside bombs, Conway said. link

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

WWIII Will Commence When The King of the Orcs Gets the B.O.M.B.




So what part of serious did you not comprende?

The Role of the Sheikh From Coin and Irregular Warfare In a Tribal Society

Mike Totten has a fresh post up at Contentions onThe Shia Awakening

Totten's take on the recent events in Anbar and his observations include this nugget on sheikhs. I matched this with the chapter on the role of sheikhs from William S. McCallister's COIN and Irregular Warfare in a Tribal Society.

It’s hard for Americans to appreciate just how much power sheikhs have in Iraq. What they say goes. I spent a week in the Graya’at neighborhood of Baghdad, where every sheikh had come around to the American side. Earlier this year they insisted that not a single shot shall be fired at American soldiers, and not a single shot has been fired since. When they say it’s time to join Moqtada al-Sadr, or it’s time to join the Americans, nearly every person under their authority does what they say.

In the parts of Iraq where the locals turn against the insurgents en masse, it is only a matter of time before the insurgents are finished. Civilians phone in actionable intelligence on the locations of safe houses, weapons caches, IED’s, and everything else. Michael Totten contentions

The Role of the Sheikh SWJ

The traditional sheikh – tribe relationship is based on consensus not force. A
given sheikh can only do what the people wish. Leadership in the tribal
system is based on the sheikh’s “ability to attract and keep followers” vice
“ability to enforce”. This in turn is based on an individual sheikh’s
legitimacy and credibility. Legitimacy and credibility is based on the
following criteria:
  • • Years to grow a sheikh. It takes many years to learn, gain experienceand wisdom.
  • • A sheikh’s standing based on consensus of the tribe.
  • • A sheikh’s legitimacy is based on lineage and bloodline.
  • • A sheikh’s credibility is based on his ability to mediate and attract
  • followers; he does not rule nor enforce. This is also a function of
  • experience and wisdom (ability to manipulate and perception
  • management).
  • • Tribal sheikhs are key communicators. Their basis of power is persuasion rather than the exercise of force.
  • • The majority does not rule in the tribal house. All decisions are based on consensus. If seven out of ten sheikhs agree; no sheikhs agree.
  • • Tribal members are free to challenge the sheikh. In a federation, a
  • dissenting tribe may vote with its feet. SWJ

CNN Scrubs Islam From D.C. Sniper Attacks Story --Child Abuse-Spousal Revenge Motives

CNN, the networks that knows how to suck up, did a 5th anniversary story about the D.C. snipers, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo who held the D.C. area hostage for days as police scrambled to run the murderous pair down. The IBD correctly assays their efforts as:Its "special investigation" is nothing more than a politically correct whitewashing of the truth aimed at pleasing Muslim groups like CAIR, which has argued that "there is no indication that this case is related to Islam or Muslims."

In its special marking the fifth anniversary of the sniper attacks, (CNN) downplays the religious angle to the story in a reprise of its original shameless coverage.

When news of the snipers' identity first broke, CNN anchors were so determined to avoid making the obvious connection to radical Islam that they called the lead sniper, a Muslim convert, by his old name. Police were looking for John Allen Muhammad, but CNN insisted on referring to him as John Allen Williams.

Jailhouse sketches, including this one containing references to "jihad," "holy war" and "infidels" were entered into evidence in the 2003 trial of convicted D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo. His attorneys said they were evidence of indoctrination by Malvo's accomplice, John Allen Muhammad. But the only drawing shown in a new one-hour special on CNN shows Malvo shedding tears.

Jailhouse sketches, including this one containing references to "jihad," "holy war" and "infidels" were entered into evidence in the 2003 trial of convicted D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo. His attorneys said they were evidence of indoctrination by Malvo's accomplice, John Allen Muhammad. But the only drawing shown in a new one-hour special on CNN shows Malvo shedding tears.

Now the network has completely scrubbed Islam from the picture, offering child abuse (boo-hoo) and spousal revenge as alternative motives for the snipers' bloody rampage.

Nowhere in its one-hour special — promoted as "The Minds of the D.C. Snipers" — is Islamist brainwashing even hinted as a motivating factor behind their serial assassinations. Yet the evidence is overwhelming that they were on a jihad.

In their own words, Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo traveled across the country to terrorize Washingtonians on the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — first by picking off random people and then by blowing up school buses using plastic explosives loaded with ball bearings.

Their plan was to ramp up their shootings to 25 a day before moving on to explosives, killing scores of children. Thankfully, they were caught before they could put phase two into effect.

Muhammad and Malvo, now in prison in Virginia, still managed to kill 10 and wound three — including an elementary school kid shot in the back — while paralyzing the nation's capital for three full weeks.

The jailhouse drawings of the younger sniper, Malvo, tell it all:

• One sketch of Osama bin Laden exalts him as a "Servant of Allah."

• A self-portrait of him and Muhammad is captioned: "We will kill them all. Jihad . . . Allah Akbar!"

• A sketch of the burning Twin Towers has as its caption: "America did this. You were warned."

• A poem scribbled alongside an American flag and star of David drawn in cross hairs reads: "Our minarets are our bayonets, Our mosques are our baracks, Our believers are our soldiers."

• The Quran (Surah 2:190) is quoted as follows: "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you and slay them wherever ye catch them." Also: "Islam the only true guidance."

• The White House is drawn in cross hairs, surrounded by missiles, with the warning: "Sep. 11 we will ensure will look like a picnic to you," and "you will bleed to death little by little."

• Another warning reads: "Islam. We will Resist. We will conquer. We will win."

Somehow CNN's "special investigations unit" managed to overlook this pile of courtroom evidence. It showed only one drawing — a self portrait of Malvo shedding tears.

CNN maintains that Malvo, an alleged victim of negligent parents, now has remorse for his victims — even though he wrote in one notebook: "They all died and they all deserved it. We will not stop. This war will not end until you are all destroyed utterly."

CNN also omitted the fact that while Muhammad and Malvo were in county jail awaiting trial, their lawyers insisted they be fed Islamic "halal" meals, such as veggie burgers, instead of ham sandwiches. They also got copies of the Quran.

According to Knight Ridder and others reporting at the time, the director of a shelter where the two men stayed for a spell in Washington state tipped off the FBI that Muhammad "might be a terrorist."

That incident mysteriously disappeared from an interview that CNN host Soledad O'Brien conducted with the same source for the special.

The revisionism and sanitization of Islam continued with O'Brien's interview with Muhammad's ex-wife, who insisted that jihad and hatred of America had nothing to do with her husband's cold-blooded killings.

Her head covered with a hijab, Mildred Muhammad claimed that she and she alone was the target of his attacks, and that the dozen-plus victims were an attempt to cover up the real target. CNN bought her story, even packaging it as an exclusive.

But a simple check of local news stories at the time would have revealed that neighbors reported seeing Muhammad visit with his former wife and children at their Maryland town house before and during the shootings. One neighbor said he even jogged with him.

Police even staked out her house in the hope he would visit again.

By leaving out all these facts — never even mentioning that the subjects of its investigation had converted to Islam — CNN committed professional malpractice.

Its "special investigation" is nothing more than a politically correct whitewashing of the truth aimed at pleasing Muslim groups like CAIR, which has argued that "there is no indication that this case is related to Islam or Muslims."IBD

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Captain Dudes! Your essay is soooo History....Like reading a weather report from two years ago to check weather today

An indictment essay The Real Iraq We Knew by the 12 former Army Captains about they saw in Iraq two years ago, 2005, is so history and so much what I did last summer that has nothing pertinent to say about right now, right fricking now, now that Petraeus has taken over. But, of course, the brain dead media devoted, as they are, to writing propaganda would not let a minor detail such as an expiration date of relevance get in the way of twelve angry captains upset about Iraq. That was then and this is now and while the captains article is relevant to war stories it has nothing, nothing to say about now. They are being used by the Brain Dead Media to drive home one more irrelevant point that will only aid and abet the Orcs. Comprede?

Of the twelve captains that wrote this article, not one of them has served in Iraq since General David Petraeus took over command of the mission. Not one of them served with the higher force levels that have been deployed to Iraq. None of them served during the Anbar Awakening. Most of them last served in 2005, two years ago.Captains Quarters blog

Captains, Dudes, it has been two years. It's time to make a choice. Your pull date has come and gone.


This column was written by 12 former Army captains: Jason Blindauer served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Elizabeth Bostwick served in Salah Ad Din and An Najaf in 2004. Jeffrey Bouldin served in Al Anbar, Baghdad and Ninevah in 2006. Jason Bugajski served in Diyala in 2004. Anton Kemps served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Kristy (Luken) McCormick served in Ninevah in 2003. Luis Carlos Montalvรกn served in Anbar, Baghdad and Nineveh in 2003 and 2005. William Murphy served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Josh Rizzo served in Baghdad in 2006. William "Jamie" Ruehl served in Nineveh in 2004. Gregg Tharp served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Gary Williams served in Baghdad in 2003.

The Real Iraq We Knew

By 12 former Army captains
Tuesday, October 16, 2007; 12:00 AM

Today marks five years since the authorization of military force in Iraq, setting Operation Iraqi Freedom in motion. Five years on, the Iraq war is as undermanned and under-resourced as it was from the start. And, five years on, Iraq is in shambles.

As Army captains who served in Baghdad and beyond, we've seen the corruption and the sectarian division. We understand what it's like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it's time to get out.

What does Iraq look like on the ground? It's certainly far from being a modern, self-sustaining country. Many roads, bridges, schools and hospitals are in deplorable condition. Fewer people have access to drinking water or sewage systems than before the war. And Baghdad is averaging less than eight hours of electricity a day.

Iraq's institutional infrastructure, too, is sorely wanting. Even if the Iraqis wanted to work together and accept the national identity foisted upon them in 1920s, the ministries do not have enough trained administrators or technicians to coordinate themselves. At the local level, most communities are still controlled by the same autocratic sheiks that ruled under Saddam. There is no reliable postal system. No effective banking system. No registration system to monitor the population and its needs.

The inability to govern is exacerbated at all levels by widespread corruption. Transparency International ranks Iraq as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And, indeed, many of us witnessed the exploitation of U.S. tax dollars by Iraqi officials and military officers. Sabotage and graft have had a particularly deleterious impact on Iraq's oil industry, which still fails to produce the revenue that Pentagon war planners hoped would pay for Iraq's reconstruction. Yet holding people accountable has proved difficult. The first commissioner of a panel charged with preventing and investigating corruption resigned last month, citing pressure from the government and threats on his life.

Against this backdrop, the U.S. military has been trying in vain to hold the country together. Even with "the surge," we simply do not have enough soldiers and marines to meet the professed goals of clearing areas from insurgent control, holding them securely and building sustainable institutions. Though temporary reinforcing operations in places like Fallujah, An Najaf, Tal Afar, and now Baghdad may brief well on PowerPoint presentations, in practice they just push insurgents to another spot on the map and often strengthen the insurgents' cause by harassing locals to a point of swayed allegiances. Millions of Iraqis correctly recognize these actions for what they are and vote with their feet -- moving within Iraq or leaving the country entirely. Still, our colonels and generals keep holding on to flawed concepts.

U.S. forces, responsible for too many objectives and too much "battle space," are vulnerable targets. The sad inevitability of a protracted draw-down is further escalation of attacks -- on U.S. troops, civilian leaders and advisory teams. They would also no doubt get caught in the crossfire of the imminent Iraqi civil war.

Iraqi security forces would not be able to salvage the situation. Even if all the Iraqi military and police were properly trained, equipped and truly committed, their 346,000 personnel would be too few. As it is, Iraqi soldiers quit at will. The police are effectively controlled by militias. And, again, corruption is debilitating. U.S. tax dollars enrich self-serving generals and support the very elements that will battle each other after we're gone.

This is Operation Iraqi Freedom and the reality we experienced. This is what we tried to communicate up the chain of command. This is either what did not get passed on to our civilian leadership or what our civilian leaders chose to ignore. While our generals pursue a strategy dependent on peace breaking out, the Iraqis prepare for their war -- and our servicemen and women, and their families, continue to suffer.

There is one way we might be able to succeed in Iraq. To continue an operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best option is to leave Iraq immediately. A scaled withdrawal will not prevent a civil war, and it will spend more blood and treasure on a losing proposition.

America, it has been five years. It's time to make a choice.


Innovate, Adapt, Innovate, Adapt, Turn And Burn

In chess, the truism is whoever makes the last mistake wins-in war a similar truism could be whoever stops, or hinders innovation will be on the losing side.




MacGyvers in the Desert
Geeks in combat.

By Mario Loyola who is a fine fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

As soon as the U.S. military invaded Afghanistan to hunt al Qaeda down in its caves, it starting running into the improvised explosive device. Just a few months after September 11, IEDs had become major killers — in the caves that U.S. soldiers were now scouring in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Just as quickly, the military started to devise ways of inserting eyes and ears into the cave without also putting life and limb in with them. One solution was a remote-controlled robot. It proved too heavy, too expensive, and not entirely practical for use in caves. But it was a step in the right direction and it taught the military an important lesson. The U.S. needed a force specifically designed to counter — quickly and cheaply — the lethal innovations of an exceedingly creative enemy. That is how the Rapid Equipping Force was born.

Its commander, Colonel Gregory Tubbs, is an imposing figure who doesn’t take kindly to people who waste time. When discussing a new problem that the troops are facing, he gets anxious to “initiate movement,” as he puts it, and fast. “Wasted time,” he says, “means wounded soldiers and lost lives.”

The Rapid Equipping Force is headquartered at the improbably idyllic Fort Belvoir, a long stone’s throw from George Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon on the Potomac River. But its eyes and ears in Iraq are what Colonel Tubbs calls “the Ph.Ds in theater” — engineers in Iraq such as those who work for Exponent, Inc., a company with a core competency in “catastrophic failure analysis.”

I visited the Exponent workshop at Camp Victory just outside the Baghdad International Airport. Staffed by bright young engineers in their 30s, the Ph.Ds are in constant touch with frontline troops. They not only develop cheap and user-friendly solutions to the novel problems the troops constantly face, but also escort their solutions through the problems that invariably arise in implementation. It’s called “spiral development.”

Colonel Tubbs is eager to reach outside the military for many ideas, because, as he explains, “It’s hard to solve a problem with the mindset that you created it with.” That sounds like something Rumsfeld might say, and indeed the “REF” is an example of Rumsfeldian transformation at its best.

The initial effort to develop a robot for the caves of Afghanistan ran up against many of the same obstacles that Rumsfeld constantly railed against — top-heavy bureaucracy, needlessly demanding specifications, and needless expense — and all of that, to produce a product that in the end was impractical from the common soldier’s point of view.



But the REF has come a long ways in the few years since it started life as a special project. Many of the REF’s initiatives start life as a ten-point form that can be used to interview soldiers about a particular problem. The form asks the soldier to “summarize the problem that the lack of the widget causes”; “describe what it is that you want the widget to do, be, look like”; and to suggest existing “off the shelf” products that might be used as part of the solution.

One “widget” of which the REF is particularly proud is the MARCbot — a robot used to inspect possible IEDs on the roadways of Iraq. As one of the Ph.Ds at Exponent’s workshop in Iraq explained to me, he and his colleagues were horrified at the number of soldiers maimed and killed simply because there was often no way to inspect a possible IED other than to give it a good kick and see what happened next. Surely there had to be a way of getting a machine to do that kind of simple inspection.

The MARCbot is fiendishly simple. It uses the chassis of a common toy truck and turns that into a military lifesaver. Current models run little over $6,000 per unit (the original robot for Afghanistan was more than ten times as expensive). And what is most impressive is how quickly the team had units out in the field after they started development. Careful monitoring of the MARCbot’s performance led to a rapid improvement of the basic design. Now hundreds are in daily use.

Another crucial technology is the green laser light designed for use at military checkpoints as an alternative to lethal force. The new counterinsurgency manual posits that protecting the population a higher immediate priority than protecting the force. The manual urges troops to carefully calibrate their response in an Escalation of Force that may culminate it, but will not start with, deadly force. But in practice, deadly force is pretty much all a soldier has at his fingertips — and the in those cases the new strategy often requires that the soldier fatally do nothing instead.

For the REF, this represents a “capability gap” — there has to be something between deadly force and doing nothing. One way to get traffic to stop — other than firing warning shots (Iraqis are inured to gunfire and often don’t notice it) — is to use an unbearably intense green laser. It is another example of a device so fiendishly simple and strange that only a “Ph.D.” could have thought of it.

This video is a simulation of how the strobe/laser works, from the point of a view of a driver approaching from 300 meters. First the strobe lays down a repeating pattern at a rate shown in research to be optimal for getting noticed. Second, as the driver keeps approaching, the laser kicks in — a blindingly intense green light that makes it nearly impossible to give driving in the direction of the light source.

Some of the problems that the REF solves are things you would never think of. For example, Joint Security Stations and Combat Outposts are increasingly common in Iraq because of the new strategy of pushing out from the large bases and into the neighborhoods of Iraq. JSSs and COPs are often just large houses or police stations ringed with concrete barriers and concertina wire — and they are very exposed.

I would have thought that any off-the-shelf surveillance-camera system — such as those used at banks — would be sufficient for providing a minimum of security to a JSS or FOB. But actually, such systems are totally impractical for military use. Most important is the lack of capability. In order to be useful a military surveillance system has to have reach. In order to be effective in a tactical counterinsurgency context, the system has to be able to peer a thousand yards down alleyways, and track remote moving objects — and it has to be simple enough and rugged enough to be installed by common soldiers working in small teams in a combat environment.

I edited this “preview” from a 30-minute training video that explains how to install and use the perimeter surveillance system developed by Exponent for the REF.

The entire system — from the hardware architecture to the software tailored to it — was put together by a small team of engineers and their REF counterparts from readily available consumer technologies, in a matter of months. In fact the REF’s informal motto is “three weeks to three months.” It is an elegant and cheap life-saver.

The Ph.Ds installed the first several iterations of RDISS at JSS and COP where they were most needed — in the most hostile environments of Iraq. Working at night with night vision goggles, and often under fire, the REF’s engineers in theater have become integral parts of the military. Contractors are not always a good thing — the recent problems of Blackwater have shown, contractors that are not part of the counterinsurgency strategy can often work against it. But the collaboration of the REF and contractors such as Exponent is a model of how to advance both the counterinsurgency strategy and the broader goal of defense transformation: a force that is more agile, more lethal, and more safe.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Everything you ever wanted to know about COIN and Tribal War

COIN and Irregular Warfare in Tribal Society Pamphlet
is up at Small Wars Journal. Everything you ever wanted to know about tribal relationships and then some. I've only read it once, so far, but it reads like the perfect annotation for reading Seven Pillars of Wisdom, or any Arab history apart from the mission of communicating with the tribal leaders. Places tribal actions in context sorely needed for Westerners. Marines planning on being in the thick of Iraq or Afghanistan should read and reread until the info becomes part of their genetic code.

This pamphlet provides a general overview of tribal society and behavior to gain an appreciation of the cultural operating environment. The pamphlet is based on the premise that the key component of COIN and irregular warfare is to effectively communicate intent within the cultural frame of reference of the target audience.SWJ


"The ultimate goal is to assist the warfighter to make sense of the behavior patterns and trends inherent in tribal politics and diplomatic conventions. It hopes to serve as a guide to gauge the effectiveness of COIN or irregular warfare tactics,
techniques and procedures (TTP) and a cultural baseline to determine why
certain approaches succeed or fail."SWJ

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Doris"Oh Christ " Lessing Wins the Nobel Prize In Literature





Never could get through her novels. Yet, I totally admired her ability to work. When I was coming up through the ranks, it seemed as though there was something from Doris every year. So much so that I believed, at one time, that we were the same age. Not.

Sanchez Speech to the Grand Poobahs of the Orc Enabler Press Is Censored--

Members of the Brain Dead Media are embarrassed to be at the receiving end of so much hell from a retired general that they have all refused to covered his scathing remarks and focused on Sanchez's critical comments on the Bush Administration. He is the full speech. The selections in red are the nasty bits left out of the extensive coverage by the members of the Brain Dead Media! Delightful reading!

MILITARY REPORTERS AND EDITORS LUNCHEON ADDRESS WASHINGTON D.C.

LTG (RET) RICARDO S. SANCHEZ

12 OCTOBER 2007

MILITARY REPORTERS AND EDITORS ADDRESS WASHINGTON D.C.

12 OCTOBER 2007

GOOD AFTERNOON LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

SOME OF YOU MAY NOT BELIEVE THIS BUT I AM GLAD TO BE HERE. WHEN SIG ASKED ME IF I WOULD CONSIDER ADDRESSING YOU THERE WAS NO DOUBT THAT I SHOULD COME INTO THE LION'S DEN. THIS WAS IMPORTANT BECAUSE I HAVE FIRMLY BELIEVED SINCE DESERT SHIELD THAT IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE STRENGTH OF OUR DEMOCRACY THAT THE MILITARY AND THE PRESS CORPS MAINTAIN A STRONG, MUTUALLY RESPECTFUL AND ENABLING RELATIONSHIP. THIS CONTINUES TO BE PROBLEMATIC FOR OUR COUNTRY, ESPECIALLY DURING TIMES OF WAR. ONE OF THE GREATEST MILITARY CORRESPONDENTS OF OUR TIME, JOE GALLOWAY, MADE ME A BELIEVER WHEN HE JOINED THE 24TH INFANTRY DIVISION DURING DESERT STORM.

TODAY, I WILL ATTEMPT TO DO TWO THINGS - FIRST I WILL GIVE YOU MY ASSESSMENT OF THE MILITARY AND PRESS RELATIONSHIP AND THEN I WILL PROVIDE YOU SOME THOUGHTS ON THE CURRENT STATE OF OUR WAR EFFORT. AS ALL OF YOU KNOW I HAVE A WIDE RANGE OF RELATIONSHIPS AND EXPERIENCES WITH OUR NATIONS MILITARY WRITERS AND EDITORS. THERE ARE SOME IN YOUR RANKS WHO I CONSIDER TO BE THE EPITOME OF JOURNALISTIC PROFESSIONALISM - JOE GALLOWAY, THOM SHANKER, SIG CHRISTENSEN, AND JOHN BURNS IMMEDIATELY COME TO MIND. THEY EXEMPLIFY WHAT AMERICA SHOULD DEMAND OF OUR JOURNALISTS - TOUGH REPORTING THAT RELIES UPON INTEGRITY, OBJECTIVITY AND FAIRNESS TO GIVE ACCURATE AND THOROUGH ACCOUNTS THAT STRENGTHEN OUR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND IN TURN OUR DEMOCRACY. ON THE OTHER HAND, UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE ISSUED ULTIMATUMS TO SOME OF YOU

FOR UNSCRUPULOUS REPORTING THAT WAS SOLELY FOCUSED ON SUPPORTING YOUR AGENDA AND PRECONCIEVED NOTIONS OF WHAT OUR MILITARY HAD DONE. I ALSO REFUSED TO TALK TO THE EUROPEAN STARS AND STRIPES FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS OF MY COMMAND IN GERMANY FOR THEIR EXTREME BIAS AND SINGLE MINDED FOCUS ON ABU GHARAIB.


LET ME REVIEW SOME OF THE DESCRIPTIVE PHRASES THAT HAVE BEEN USED BY SOME OF YOU THAT HAVE MADE MY PERSONAL INTERFACES WITH THE PRESS CORPS DIFFICULT:

"DICTATORIAL AND SOMEWHAT DENSE",

"NOT A STRATEGIC THOUGHT",

LIAR,

"DOES NOT GET IT" AND

THE MOST INEXPERIENCED LTG.

IN SOME CASES I HAVE NEVER EVEN MET YOU, YET YOU FEEL QUALIFIED TO MAKE CHARACTER JUDGMENTS THAT ARE COMMUNICATED TO THE WORLD.
MY EXPERIENCE IS NOT UNIQUE AND WE CAN FIND OTHER EXAMPLES SUCH AS THE TREATMENT OF SECRETARY BROWN DURING KATRINA. THIS IS THE WORST DISPLAY OF JOURNALISM IMAGINABLE BY THOSE OF US THAT ARE BOUND BY A STRICT VALUE SYSTEM OF SELFLESS SERVICE, HONOR AND INTEGRITY. ALMOST INVARIABLY, MY PERCEPTION IS THAT THE SENSATIONALISTIC VALUE OF THESE ASSESSMENTS IS WHAT PROVIDED THE EDGE THAT YOU SEEK FOR SELF AGRANDIZEMENT OR TO ADVANCE YOUR INDIVIDUAL QUEST FOR GETTING ON THE FRONT PAGE WITH YOUR STORIES!
AS I UNDERSTAND IT, YOUR MEASURE OF WORTH IS HOW MANY FRONT PAGE STORIES YOU HAVE WRITTEN AND UNFORTUNATELY SOME OF YOU WILL
COMPROMISE YOUR INTEGRITY AND DISPLAY QUESTIONABLE ETHICS AS YOU SEEK TO KEEP AMERICA INFORMED
. THIS IS MUCH LIKE THE INTELLIGENCE ANALYSTS WHOSE EFFECTIVENESS WAS MEASURED BY THE NUMBER OF INTELLIGENCE REPORTS HE PRODUCED. FOR SOME, IT SEEMS THAT AS LONG AS YOU GET A FRONT PAGE STORY THERE IS LITTLE OR NO REGARD FOR THE "COLLATERAL DAMAGE" YOU WILL CAUSE.
PERSONAL REPUTATIONS HAVE NO VALUE AND YOU REPORT WITH TOTAL IMPUNITY AND ARE RARELY HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR UNETHICAL CONDUCT.


GIVEN THE NEAR INSTANTANEOUS ABILITY TO REPORT ACTIONS ON THE GROUND, THE RESPONSIBILITY TO ACCURATELY AND TRUTHFULLY REPORT TAKES ON AN UNPRECEDENTED IMPORTANCE.
THE SPECULATIVE AND OFTEN UNINFORMED INITIAL REPORTING THAT CHARACTERIZES OUR MEDIA APPEARS TO BE RAPIDLY BECOMING THE STANDARD OF THE INDUSTRY
. AN ARAB PROVERB STATES - "Four things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past, the neglected opportunity." ONCE REPORTED, YOUR ASSESSMENTS BECOME CONVENTIONAL WISDOM AND NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO CHANGE. OTHER MAJOR CHALLENGES ARE YOUR WILLINGNESS TO BE MANIPULATED BY "HIGH LEVEL OFFICIALS" WHO LEAK STORIES AND BY LAWYERS WHO USE HYPERBOLE TO STRENGHTEN THEIR ARGUMENTS.
YOUR UNWILLINGNESS TO ACCURATELY AND PROMINENTLY CORRECT
YOUR MISTAKES AND YOUR AGENDA DRIVEN BIASES CONTRIBUTE TO THIS CORROSIVE ENVIRONMENT. ALL OF THESE CHALLENGES COMBINED CREATE A MEDIA ENVIRONMENT THAT DOES A TREMENDOUS DISSERVICE TO AMERICA.
OVER THE COURSE OF THIS WAR TACTICALLY INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS HAVE BECOME STRATEGIC DEFEATS FOR AMERICA BECAUSE OF THE TREMENDOUS POWER AND IMPACT OF THE MEDIA AND BY EXTENSION YOU THE JOURNALIST. IN MANY CASES THE
MEDIA HAS UNJUSTLY DESTROYED THE INDIVIDUAL REPUTATIONS AND CAREERS OF THOSE INVOLVED
. WE REALIZE THAT BECAUSE OF THE NEAR REAL TIME REPORTING ENVIRONMENT THAT YOU FACE IT IS DIFFICULT TO REPORT ACCURATELY. IN MY BUSINESS ONE OF OUR FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS IS THAT "THE FIRST REPORT IS ALWAYS WRONG." UNFORTUNATELY, IN YOUR BUSINESS "THE FIRST REPORT" GIVES AMERICANS WHO RELY ON THE SNIPPETS OF CNN, IF YOU WILL, THEIR "TRUTHS" AND PERSPECTIVES ON AN ISSUE. AS A COROLLARY TO THIS DEADLINE DRIVEN NEED TO PUBLISH "INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OR OBSERVATIONS" VERSUS OBJECTIVE FACTS THERE IS AN ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE FOR US WHO ARE THE SUBJECT OF YOUR REPORTING.
WHEN YOU ASSUME THAT YOU ARE CORRECT AND ON THE MORAL HIGH GROUND ON A STORY BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT RESPOND TO QUESTIONS YOU PROVIDED IS THE ULTIMATE ARROGANCE AND DISTORTION OF ETHICS. ONE OF YOUR HIGHLY REPECTED FELLOW JOURNALISTS ONCE TOLD ME THAT THERE ARE SOME AMONGST YOU WHO "FEED FROM A PIG'S TROUGH."
IF THAT IS WHO I AM DEALING WITH THEN I WILL NEVER RESPOND OTHERWISE WE WILL BOTH GET DIRTY AND THE PIG WILL LOVE IT. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOUR STORY IS ACCURATE.

I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS IS WHAT OUR FOREFATHERS INTENDED. THE CODE OF ETHICS FOR THE SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS STATES:
...PUBLIC ENLIGHTENMENT IS THE FORERUNNER OF JUSTICE AND THE FOUNDATION OF DEMOCRACY. THE DUTY OF THE JOURNALIST IS TO FURTHER THOSE ENDS BY SEEKING TRUTH AND PROVIDING A FAIR AND COMPREHENSIVE ACCOUNT OF EVENTS AND ISSUES. CONSCIENTIOUS JOURNALISTS FROM ALL MEDIA AND SPECIALTIES STRIVE TO SERVE THE PUBLIC WITH THOROUGHNESS AND HONESTY. PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY IS THE CORNERSTONE OF A JOURNALIST'S CREDIBILITY

THE BASIC ETHICS OF A JOURNALIST THAT CALLS FOR:

1. SEEKING TRUTH,

2. PROVIDING FAIR AND COMPREHENSIVE ACCOUNT OF EVENTS AND ISSUES

3. THOROUGHNESS AND HONESTY

ALL ARE VICTIMS OF THE MASSIVE AGENDA DRIVEN COMPETITION FOR ECONOMIC OR POLITICAL SUPREMACY. THE DEATH KNELL OF YOUR ETHICS HAS BEEN ENABLED BY
YOUR PARENT ORGANIZATIONS WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO ALIGN THEMSELVES WITH POLITICAL AGENDAS. WHAT IS CLEAR TO ME IS THAT YOU ARE PERPETUATING THE CORROSIVE PARTISAN POLITICS THAT IS DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY AND KILLING OUR SERVICEMEMBERS WHO ARE AT WAR.


MY ASSESSMENT IS THAT YOUR PROFESSION, TO SOME EXTENT, HAS STRAYED FROM THESE ETHICAL STANDARDS AND ALLOWED EXTERNAL AGENDAS TO MANIPULATE WHAT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SEES ON TV, WHAT THEY READ IN OUR NEWSPAPERS AND WHAT THEY SEE ON THE WEB. FOR SOME OF YOU, JUST LIKE SOME OF OUR POLITICIANS,
THE TRUTH IS OF LITTLE TO NO VALUE IF IT DOES NOT FIT YOUR OWN PRECONCIEVED NOTIONS, BIASES AND AGENDAS.


IT IS ASTOUNDING TO ME WHEN I HEAR THE VEHEMENT DISAGREEMENT WITH THE MILITARY'S FORAYS INTO INFORMATION OPERATIONS THAT SEEK TO DISSEMINATE THE TRUTH AND INFORM THE IRAQI PEOPLE IN ORDER TO COUNTER OUR ENEMY'S BLATANT PROPAGANDA.
AS I ASSESS VARIOUS MEDIA ENTITIES, SOME ARE UNQUESTIONABLY ENGAGED IN POLITICAL PROPAGANDA THAT IS UNCONTROLLED.
THERE IS NO QUESTION IN MY MIND THAT THE STRENGTH OUR DEMOCRACY AND OUR FREEDOMS REMAIN LINKED TO YOUR ABILITY TO EXERCISE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS - I ADAMANTLY SUPPORT THIS BASIC FOUNDATION OF OUR DEMOCRACY AND COMPLETELY SUPPORTED THE EMBEDDING OF MEDIA INTO OUR FORMATIONS UP UNTIL MY LAST DAY IN UNIFORM. THE ISSUE IS ONE OF MAINTAINING PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND STANDARDS FROM WITHIN YOUR INSTITUTION. MILITARY LEADERS MUST ACCEPT THAT THESE INJUSTICES WILL HAPPEN AND WHETHER THEY LIKE WHAT YOU PRINT OR NOT THEY MUST DEAL WITH YOU AND ENABLE YOU, IF YOU ARE AN ETHICAL JOURNALIST.

FINALLY, I WILL LEAVE THIS SUBJECT WITH A QUESTION THAT WE MUST ASK OURSELVES--
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING THE ETHICAL STANDARDS OF THE PROFESSION IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT OUR DEMOCRACY DOES NOT CONTINUE TO BE THREATENED BY THIS DANGEROUS SHIFT AWAY FROM YOUR SACRED DUTY OF PUBLIC ENLIGHTENMENT?


LET ME NOW TRANSITION TO OUR CURRENT NATIONAL SECURITY CONDITION.

AS WE ALL KNOW WAR IS AN EXTENSION OF POLITICS AND WHEN A NATION GOES TO WAR IT MUST BRING TO BEAR ALL ELEMENTS OF POWER IN ORDER TO WIN. WARFIGHTING IS NOT SOLELY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MILITARY COMMANDER UNLESS HE HAS BEEN GIVEN THE RESPONSIBILITY AND RESOURCES TO SYNCHRONIZE THE POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND INFORMATIONAL POWER OF THE NATION. SO WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DEVELOPING THE GRAND STRATEGY THAT WILL ALLOW AMERICA TO EMERGE VICTORIOUS FROM THIS GENERATIONAL STRUGGLE AGAINST EXTREMISM?

AFTER MORE THAN FOUR YEARS OF FIGHTING, AMERICA CONTINUES ITS DESPERATE STRUGGLE IN IRAQ WITHOUT ANY CONCERTED EFFORT TO DEVISE A STRATEGY THAT WILL ACHIEVE "VICTORY" IN THAT WAR TORN COUNTRY OR IN THE GREATER CONFLICT AGAINST EXTREMISM. FROM A CATASTROPHICALLY FLAWED, UNREALISTICALLY OPTIMISTIC WAR PLAN TO THE ADMINISTRATION'S LATEST "SURGE" STRATEGY, THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS FAILED TO EMPLOY AND SYNCHRONIZE ITS POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND MILITARY POWER. THE LATEST "REVISED STRATEGY" IS A DESPERATE ATTEMPT BY AN ADMINISTRATION THAT HAS NOT ACCEPTED THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC REALITIES OF THIS WAR AND THEY HAVE DEFINITELY NOT COMMUNICATED THAT REALITY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. AN EVEN WORSE AND MORE DISTURBING ASSESSMENT IS THAT AMERICA CAN NOT ACHIEVE THE POLITICAL CONSENSUS NECESSARY TO DEVISE A GRAND STRATEGY THAT WILL SYNCHRONIZE AND COMMIT OUR NATIONAL POWER TO ACHIEVE VICTORY IN IRAQ. SOME OF YOU HAVE HEARD ME TALK ABOUT OUR NATIONS CRISIS IN LEADERSHIP. LET ME ELABORATE.

WHILE THE POLITICIANS ESPOUSE THEIR RHETORIC DESIGNED TO PRESERVE THEIR REPUTATIONS AND THEIR POLITICAL POWER -OUR SOLDIERS DIE! OUR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP IGNORED THE LESSONS OF WWII AS WE ENTERED INTO THIS WAR AND TO THIS DAY CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT VICTORY CAN BE ACHIEVED THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF MILITARY POWER ALONE. OUR FOREFATHERS UNDERSTOOD THAT TREMENDOUS ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL CAPACITY HAD TO BE MOBILIZED, SYNCHRONIZED AND APPLIED IF WE WERE TO ACHIEVE VICTORY IN A GLOBAL WAR. THAT HAS BEEN AND CONTINUES TO BE THE KEY TO VICTORY IN IRAQ. CONTINUED MANIPULATIONS AND ADJUSTMENTS TO OUR MILITARY STRATEGY WILL NOT ACHIEVE VICTORY. THE BEST WE CAN DO WITH THIS FLAWED APPROACH IS STAVE OFF DEFEAT. THE ADMINISTRATION, CONGRESS AND THE ENTIRE INTERAGENCY, ESPECIALLY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, MUST SHOULDER THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS CATASTROPHIC FAILURE AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MUST HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.

THERE HAS BEEN A GLARING, UNFORTUNATE, DISPLAY OF INCOMPETENT STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP WITHIN OUR NATIONAL LEADERS. AS A JAPANESE PROVERB SAYS, "ACTION WITHOUT VISION IS A NIGHTMARE." THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT AMERICA IS LIVING A NIGHTMARE WITH NO END IN SIGHT.

SINCE 2003, THE POLITICS OF WAR HAVE BEEN CHARACTERIZED BY PARTISANSHIP AS THE REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC PARTIES STRUGGLED FOR POWER IN WASHINGTON. NATIONAL EFFORTS TO DATE HAVE BEEN CORRUPTED BY PARTISAN POLITICS THAT HAVE PREVENTED US FROM DEVISING EFFECTIVE, EXECUTABLE, SUPPORTABLE SOLUTIONS. AT TIMES, THESE PARTISAN STRUGGLES HAVE LED TO POLITICAL DECISIONS THAT ENDANGERED THE LIVES OF OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS ON THE BATTLEFIELD. THE UNMISTAKABLE MESSAGE WAS THAT POLITICAL POWER HAD GREATER PRIORITY THAN OUR NATIONAL SECURITY OBJECTIVES. OVERCOMING THIS STRATEGIC FAILURE IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARD ACHIEVING VICTORY IN IRAQ - WITHOUT BIPARTISAN COOPERATION WE ARE DOOMED TO FAIL. THERE IS NOTHING GOING ON TODAY IN WASHINGTON THAT WOULD GIVE US HOPE.

IF WE SUCCEED IN CRAFTING A BIPARTISAN STRATEGY FOR VICTORY, THEN AMERICA MUST HOLD ALL NATIONAL AGENCIES ACCOUNTABLE FOR DEVELOPING AND EXECUTING THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INITIATIVES THAT WILL BRING ABOUT STABILITY, SECURITY, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC HOPE FOR ALL IRAQIS. THAT HAS NOT BEEN SUCCESSFUL TO DATE.

CONGRESS MUST SHOULDER A SIGNIFICANT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS FAILURE SINCE THERE HAS BEEN NO FOCUSED OVERSIGHT OF THE NATIONS POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INITIATIVES IN THIS WAR. EXHORTATIONS, ENCOURAGEMENTS, INVESTIGATIONS, STUDIES AND DISCUSSIONS WILL NOT PRODUCE SUCCESS -THIS APPEARS TO BE THE NATION'S ONLY ALTERNATIVE SINCE THE TRANSFER OF SOVERIEGNTY. OUR CONTINUED NEGLECT WILL ONLY EXTEND THE CONFLICT. AMERICA'S DILEMMA IS THAT WE NO LONGER CONTROL THE ABILITY TO DIRECTLY INFLUENCE THE IRAQI INSTITUTIONS. THE SOVEREIGN IRAQI GOVERNMENT MUST BE COOPERATIVE IN THESE LONG TERM EFFORTS. THAT IS NOT LIKELY AT THE LEVELS NECESSARY IN THE NEAR TERM.

OUR COMMANDERS ON THE GROUND WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE PROGRESS AND PROVIDE TIME FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A GRAND STRATEGY. THAT WILL BE WASTED EFFORT AS WE HAVE SEEN REPEATEDLY SINCE 2003. IN THE MEAN TIME OUR SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN AND MARINES WILL CONTINUE TO DIE.

SINCE THE START OF THIS WAR, AMERICA'S LEADERSHIP HAS KNOWN THAT OUR MILITARY ALONE COULD NOT ACHIEVE VICTORY IN IRAQ. STARTING IN JULY 2003, THE MESSAGE REPEATEDLY COMMUNICATED TO WASHINGTON BY MILITARY COMMANDERS ON THE GROUND WAS THAT THE MILITARY ALONE COULD NEVER ACHIEVE "VICTORY" IN IRAQ. OUR SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN AND MARINES WERE DESTINED TO ENDURE DECADES OF FIGHTING AND KILLING PEOPLE WITHOUT THE FOCUSED, SYNCHRONIZED APPLICATION OF ALL ELEMENTS OF NATIONAL POWER. THIS WAS A NECESSARY CONDITION TO STABILIZE IRAQ. ANY SEQUENTIAL SOLUTIONS WOULD LEAD TO A PROLONGED CONFLICT AND INCREASED RESISTANCE.

BY NEGLECT AND INCOMPETENCE AT THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL LEVEL, THAT IS THE PATH OUR POLITICAL LEADERS CHOSE AND NOW AMERICA, MORE PRECISELY THE AMERICAN MILITARY, FINDS ITSELF IN AN INTRACTABLE SITUATION. CLEARLY, MISTAKES HAVE BEEN MADE BY THE AMERICAN MILITARY IN ITS APPLICATION OF POWER BUT EVEN ITS GREATEST FAILURES IN THIS WAR CAN BE LINKED TO AMERICA'S LACK OF COMMITMENT, PRIORITY AND MORAL COURAGE IN THIS WAR EFFORT. WITHOUT THE SACRIFICES OF OUR MAGNIFICENT YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM, IRAQ WOULD BE CHAOTIC WELL BEYOND ANYTHING EXPERIENCED TO DATE.

WHAT AMERICA MUST ACCEPT AS A REALITY AT THIS POINT IN THE WAR IS THAT OUR ARMY AND MARINE CORPS ARE STRUGGLING WITH THE DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULES. WHAT IS CLEAR IS THAT THE DEPLOYMENT CYCLES OF OUR FORMATIONS HAS BEEN TOTALLY DISRUPTED, THE RESOURCING AND TRAINING CHALLENGES ARE SIGNIFICANT AND AMERICA'S ABILITY TO SUSTAIN A FORCE LEVEL OF 150,000(+) IS NONEXISTENT WITHOUT DRASTIC MEASURES THAT HAVE BEEN POLITICALLY UNACCEPTABLE TO DATE. THE DRAWDOWN OF THE SURGE TO PRESURGE LEVELS WAS NEVER A QUESTION. AMERICA MUST UNDERSTAND THAT IT WILL TAKE THE ARMY AT LEAST A DECADE TO FIX THE DAMAGE THAT HAS BEEN DONE TO ITS FULL SPECTRUM READINESS. THE PRESIDENT'S RECENT STATEMENT TO AMERICA THAT HE WILL LISTEN TO MILITARY COMMANDERS IS A MATTER OF POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY.

OUR ARMY AND MARINE CORPS WILL EXECUTE AS DIRECTED, PERFORM MAGNIFICENTLY AND NEVER COMPLAIN-THAT IS THE ETHIC OF OUR WARRIORS AND THAT IS WHAT AMERICA EXPECTS OF THEM. THEY WILL NOT DISAPPOINT US. BUT AMERICA MUST KNOW THE PRESSURES THAT ARE BEING PLACED ON OUR MILITARY INSTITUTIONS AS WE FIGHT THIS WAR. ALL AMERICANS MUST DEMAND THAT THESE DEPLOYING FORMATIONS ARE PROPERLY RESOURCED, PROPERLY TRAINED AND WE MUST NEVER ALLOW AMERICA'S SUPPORT FOR THE SOLDIER TO FALTER. A CRITICAL, OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT OF OUR NATION'S ABILITY TO EXECUTE OUR NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY MUST BE CONDUCTED. IF WE ARE OBJECTIVE AND HONEST, THE RESULTS WILL BE SURPRISING TO ALL AMERICANS. THERE IS UNACCEPTABLE STRATEGIC RISK.

AMERICA HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO CONTINUE OUR EFFORTS IN IRAQ. A PRECIPITOUS WITHDRAWAL WILL UNQUESTIONABLY LEAD TO CHAOS THAT WOULD ENDANGER THE STABILITY OF THE GREATER MIDDLE EAST. IF THIS OCCURS IT WOULD HAVE SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE EFFECTS ON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. COALITION AND AMERICAN FORCE PRESENCE WILL BE REQUIRED AT SOME LEVEL FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE. GIVEN THE LACK OF A GRAND STRATEGY WE MUST MOVE RAPIDLY TO MINIMIZE THAT FORCE PRESENCE AND ALLOW THE IRAQIS MAXIMUM ABILITY TO EXERCISE THEIR SOVERIEGNTY IN ACHIEVING A SOLUTION.

AT NO TIME IN AMERICA'S HISTORY HAS THERE BEEN A GREATER NEED FOR BIPARTISAN COOPERATION. THE THREAT OF EXTREMISM IS REAL AND DEMANDS UNIFIED ACTION AT THE SAME LEVELS DEMONSTRATED BY OUR FOREFATHERS DURING WORLD WAR I AND WORLD WAR II. AMERICA HAS FAILED TO DATE.

THIS ENDEAVOR HAS FURTHER BEEN HAMPERED BY A COALITION EFFORT THAT CAN BE CHARACTERIZED AS HASTY, UN-RESOURCED AND OFTEN UNCOORDINATED AND UNMANAGED. DESPERATELY NEEDED, BUT ESSENTIALLY IGNORED, WERE THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC COALITIONS THAT WERE THE KEY TO VICTORY AND STABILITY IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF THE CONVENTIONAL WAR. THE MILITARY COALITION WHICH WAS HASTILY PUT TOGETHER IN THE SUMMER OF 2003 WAS PROBLEMATIC GIVEN THE MULTITUDE OF NATIONAL CAVEATS, INADEQUATE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS ON THE FORCES DEPLOYED. EVEN SO, THE MILITARY COALITION WAS THE MOST EXTENSIVE, PRODUCTIVE AND EFFECTIVE DEPLOYMENT OF FORCES IN DECADES. TODAY, WE CONTINUE OUR INEPT COALITION MANAGEMENT EFFORTS AND, IN FACT, WE ARE FACING EVER DECREASING TROOP COMMITMENTS BY OUR MILITARY COALITION PARTNERS. AMERICA'S "REVISED" STRATEGY DOES NOT ADDRESS COALITION INITIATIVES AND CHALLENGES. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO CONTINUE THIS STRUGGLE WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF OUR COALITION PARTNERS ACROSS ALL ELEMENTS OF NATIONAL POWER. WITHOUT THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ELEMENTS OF POWER COMPLEMENTING THE TREMENDOUS EFFORTS OF OUR MILITARY, AMERICA IS ASSURED OF FAILURE. WE CONTINUE ON THAT PATH. AMERICA'S POLITICAL LEADERSHIP MUST COME TOGETHER AND DEVELOP A BIPARTISAN GRAND STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE VICTORY IN THIS CONFLICT. THE SIMULTANEOUS APPLICATION OF OUR POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, INFORMATION AND MILITARY ELEMENTS OF POWER IS THE ONLY COURSE OF ACTION THAT WILL PROVIDE A CHANCE OF SUCCESS.

ACHIEVING UNITY OF EFFORT IN IRAQ HAS BEEN ELUSIVE TO DATE PRIMARILY BECAUSE THERE IS NO ENTITY THAT HAS THE AUTHORITY TO DIRECT ACTION BY OUR INTERAGENCY. OUR NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL HAS BEEN A CATASTROPHIC FAILURE. FURTHERMORE, AMERICA'S ABILITY TO HOLD THE INTERAGENCY ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR FAILURES IN THIS WAR IS NON-EXISTENT. THIS MUST CHANGE. AS A NATION WE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT THE ENEMY WE FACE IS COMMITTED TO DESTROYING OUR WAY OF LIFE. THIS ENEMY IS ARGUABLY MORE DANGEROUS THAN ANY THREAT WE FACED IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. OUR POLITICAL LEADERS MUST PLACE NATIONAL SECURITY OBJECTIVES ABOVE PARTISAN POLITICS, DEMAND INTERAGENCY UNITY OF EFFORT, AND NEVER AGAIN COMMIT AMERICA TO WAR WITHOUT A GRAND STRATEGY THAT EMBRACES THE BASIC TENETS OF THE POWELL DOCTRINE.

IT SEEMS THAT CONGRESS RECOGNIZES THAT THE MILITARY CANNOT ACHIEVE VICTORY ALONE IN THIS WAR. YET THEY CONTINUE TO DEMAND VICTORY FROM OUR MILITARY. WHO WILL DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE FAILURE OF OUR NATIONAL POLITICAL LEADERS INVOLVED IN THE MANAGEMENT THIS WAR? THEY HAVE UNQUESTIONABLY BEEN DERELICT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTY. IN MY PROFESSION, THESE TYPE OF LEADERS WOULD IMMEDIATELY BE RELIEVED OR COURTMARTIALED.

AMERICA HAS SENT OUR SOLDIERS OFF TO WAR AND THEY MUST BE SUPPORTED AT ALL COSTS UNTIL WE ACHIEVE VICTORY OR UNTIL OUR POLITICAL LEADERS DECIDE TO BRING THEM HOME. OUR POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADERS OWE THE SOLDIER ON THE BATTLEFIELD THE STRATEGY, THE POLICIES AND THE RESOURCES TO WIN ONCE COMMITTED TO WAR. AMERICA HAS NOT BEEN FULLY COMMITTED TO WIN THIS WAR. AS THE MILITARY COMMANDERS ON THE GROUND HAVE STATED SINCE THE SUMMER OF 2003, THE U.S. MILITARY ALONE CANNOT WIN THIS WAR. AMERICA MUST MOBILIZE THE INTERAGENCY AND THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ELEMENTS OF POWER, WHICH HAVE BEEN ABJECT FAILURES TO DATE, IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE VICTORY. OUR NATION HAS NOT FOCUSED ON THE GREATEST CHALLENGE OF OUR LIFETIME. THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ELEMENTS OF POWER MUST GET BEYOND THE POLITICS TO ENSURE THE SURVIVAL OF AMERICA. PARTISAN POLITICS HAVE HINDERED THIS WAR EFFORT AND AMERICA SHOULD NOT ACCEPT THIS. AMERICA MUST DEMAND A UNIFIED NATIONAL STRATEGY THAT GOES WELL BEYOND PARTISAN POLITICS AND PLACES THE COMMON GOOD ABOVE ALL ELSE. TOO OFTEN OUR POLITICIANS HAVE CHOSEN LOYALTY TO THEIR POLITICAL PARTY ABOVE LOYALTY TO THE CONSTITUTION BECAUSE OF THEIR LUST FOR POWER. OUR POLITICIANS MUST REMEMBER THEIR OATH OF OFFICE AND RECOMMIT THEMSELVES TO SERVING OUR NATION AND NOT THEIR OWN SELF-INTERESTS OR POLITICAL PARTY. THE SECURITY OF AMERICA IS AT STAKE AND WE CAN ACCEPT NOTHING LESS. ANYTHING SHORT OF THIS IS UNQUESTIONABLY DERELICTION OF DUTY.

THESE ARE FAIRLY HARSH ASSESSMENTS OF THE MILITARY AND PRESS RELATIONSHIP AND THE STATUS OF OUR WAR EFFORT. I REMAIN OPTIMISTIC AND COMMITTED TO THE ENABLING OF MEDIA OPERATIONS UNDER THE TOUGHEST OF CONDITIONS IN ORDER TO KEEP THE WORLD AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE INFORMED. OUR MILITARY MUST EMBRACE YOU FOR THE SAKE OUR DEMOCRACY BUT YOU OWE THEM ETHICAL JOURNALISM.

THANK YOU FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA.

PRAISE BE TO THE LORD MY ROCK WHO TRAINS MY FINGERS FOR BATTLE AND MY HANDS FOR WAR.



THANK YOU.