Yes, I Care

afghan hoax

One day last week my dander was raised by a post I found on my Facebook newsfeed. (I pause here wondering if this whole post is just an excuse to use the phrase “my dander was raised”).

I see a lot of these on Facebook and usually, after an enthusiastic huruumph, I move on. Now, I know that 99 times out of a hundred, these didn’t originate with the “friend” who shared it. Still, it’s pretty smug and presumptuous to put something on a friend’s newsfeed saying, in effect, if you don’t share this post, you care nothing about the people who suffered the tragedy described therein. The phrase “I bet no one cares enough” is particularly galling, because it basically tells me that, “You’re a friend of mine on Facebook, I know you and I’m thinking you’re a dirtbag who won’t post my ode the fallen heroes.”

What makes this particular post idiotic is that, even though I received it just last week, the event it describes occurred two years ago. I found this out when I went to my normal online news sources for information on the tragedy.

It would have been nice if the poster had mentioned the seven Afghan commandoes killed in the incident. After all, they were fighting for their country.

Maybe my irritation stems from the fact that guilt has always been a powerful motivator for me. People who know me know it’s an effective tool to use on me. So I certainly don’t need it from some nincompoop on Facebook. Also, f you’re going to guilt me, get your facts right, if nothing else out of respect for the dead.



No Lesser Evil

syria-92012For the past two years, Syrian leader Bashar Assad has engaged in a brutal crackdown against his own citizens. What had started as spontaneous popular demonstrations against the government’s response to drought and for civil rights has morphed into a full blown civil war.

The conflict pits Assad’s Alawite Shi’a (backed by Russian arms), Iran and Hezbollah against a conglomeration of rebels who fight under the banner of the Syrian Free Army and who are funded and supplied by Sunni Arab states and, to a lesser degree, the West. Since the war started, over 90,000 Syrians have died (some as a result of chemical attacks) and millions have been displaced.
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Zero Dark Thirty


Went to see Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty last week. The movie is about the search for Osama Bin Laden and the raid that resulted in him becoming fish food. It’s basically the story of “Maya”, a CIA analyst who pieces together the puzzle of where Bin Laden had been hiding since perpetrating 9/11.

I very much enjoyed the movie. Having a bit of first hand knowledge of how our nation’s intelligence apparatus functions, I’ve always been a bit peeved at how the intelligence community is portrayed in movies and on TV. According to Hollywood, the FBI, CIA, NRO and NSA are all interchangeable. The people working in these organizations have unlimited information instantly available to them. They all work in pristine, sleek state of the art operations centers, chock full of the latest communications equipment and thirty foot high high definition monitors. Bad guy on the PA Turnpike? The Hollywood CIA agent can instantly bring up the guy’s photo at a toll booth, order a drone strike on him and, when the missile misses, board a helicopter and take the terrorist down in a shootout somewhere outside Harrisburg.
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Death of an American

Anwar al-Awlaki enjoying a smoke after breakfast

First, let me just say that I have absolutely, positively no problem with the way Americans Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Kahn died last week. One minute they’re eating breakfast by the side of the road, the next they are countless crispy pieces littering the bleak Yemeni desert landscape. One hopes that as al-Awlaki was cramming the last date he would ever taste into his mouth, he heard the whine of the falling Hellfire missile and was able to put two and two together.
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The Oaken Balls of Barack Obama

It is exceedingly rare that a victory for Barack Obama is a victory for the whole of the American people. The first of May was just such a day. Special operators and intelligence personnel carried death from the skies and delivered it to the doorstep of one Usama Bin Laden. I tip my hat first to the men who actually executed the mission and continue to tip it all the way up the chain of command. Well done, Mr. President. Very well done indeed.
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A Mosque at Ground Zero

Debate continues to rage about plans to build the Cordoba House, a mosque and community center, some 600 feet from the Ground Zero site in New York. Many consider these plans a gross act of insensitivity. Some question motives of the project’s chief booster, Abdul Rauf, who refuses to recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization and who, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, stated that he did not think the US “had it coming”, before implying that it did. Even the proposed name of the site stirs up controversy. Cordoba was the capital of Muslim occupied Spain. Some suggest the name symbolizes 9/11 as a victory in Islam’s war over the corrupt West. Proponents of the mosque say it is an act of outreach by the moderate Muslim community; an attempt to heal the wounds caused by 9/11.
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An Empire State Of Mind

I’m going to make a couple predictions:

1) Gitmo won’t be closed by the time Barack Obama is defeated in his bid for a second term. (Actually that’s two predictions)

2) At this very moment, somewhere in Yemen or the tribal regions of Pakistan, there is a man who will, in the next three years, find himself in U.S. custody with information we very badly need. That man will be waterboarded (although it won’t be called waterboarding…it’ll be called something like “Man Caused Aquatic Annoyance Therapy”).

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Soft Power In Action….Part Deux

George W. Bush flashes a picture of Saddam climbing out of his spider hole. Muammar Qaddafi soils his burkha, halts his nuclear weapons program and pays up for the Lockerbie murders.

Barack Obama admonishes Qaddafi to treat released Lockerbie mass murderer Abdel Baset al-Megrahi with some firm “house arrest” after Scottish eunuc..I mean officials release the terrorist. Qaddafi responds to this awesome display of soft power by treating Megrahi to a hero’s welcome and embracing the man who has the blood of 270 people, including 180 Americans, dripping from his hands.

Oh, yeah, and we’re letting the Colonel into the country next month to attend a session of the U.N.

I’ll give Qaddafi one thing…he’s got bigger balls than the Scots and Barry Obama combined.

Idiot of the Week – Leon Panetta

leonpanettaThe difficulty of trying choose an Idiot every week is not the dearth of candidates, but the surplus of them. This week there was no difficulty in making the selection.

Leon Panetta, (appallingly) the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency says that Dick Cheney’s defense of the Bush Administration’s national security policy suggests that the former vice president wishes that our country would be attacked again. Panetta says that, in Cheney’s eyes, such an attack would vindicate the former vice president’s positions.
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Well Well Well

According to this report from the Wall Street Journal, Congress has dealt a setback to the president’s plan to close Gitmo by next January. Well, that’s not quite true in that President Obama has no plan to close Gitmo. He has only, thus far, decreed that it be closed. Congressional Democrats are a bit skittish about authorizing funds to close the prison without knowing whether or not the Obama plans on housing the terrorists in Bismark or Terre Haute or Flagstaff.
Its yet another example of reality hitting the Changemeister in the jaw. While campaigning, Obama had no problem deriding the Guantanamo Bay prison because he’d never had to deal with the problems surrounding the detention of the types of prisoners held there. Now that it’s his problem, he hasn’t put forth a politically viable alternative. Could it be, perhaps, that the solution in place was the best one all around??