It is pretty self-explanatory.
It is pretty self-explanatory.
Under the command of two Commanders-in-Chiefs, our US Armed Forces have performed brilliantly since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The last full combat brigade left Iraq left Wednesday with little of the media coverage that began with “Shock and Awe”, “Baghdad Bob”, and eventually saw Saddam cowering in a spider hole.
When the men and women of Fourth Brigade, Second Infantry Division deployed to Iraq in April 2007 as part of President Bush’s surge, American soldiers were being killed or wounded at a rate of about 750 a month, the country was falling to sectarian mayhem, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had declared that the war was “lost.”
On Wednesday, the “Raiders” became the last combat brigade to leave Iraq, having helped to defeat an insurgency, secure a democracy and uphold the honor of American arms.
The classic lament about the war in Iraq is that it achieved little at a huge cost in American lives, treasure and reputation. That view rests on a kind of amnesia about the nature of Saddam Hussein’s regime, his 12-year defiance of binding U.N. resolutions, the threat he posed to its neighbors, the belief—shared by the Clinton and Bush Administrations and intelligence services world-wide—that he was armed with weapons of mass destruction, the complete corruption of the U.N. sanctions regime designed to contain him, and the fact that he intended to restart his WMD programs once the sanctions had collapsed.
Those were the realities when the coalition marched into Iraq. In supporting the war on the eve of that invasion, we noted that “the law of unintended consequences hasn’t been repealed” and that “toppling Saddam is a long-term undertaking,” while warning that “liberal pundits and politicians are fickle interventionists” who were “apt to run for moral cover” when the going got tough. As they did.
Their opposition might well have led to defeat had not Mr. Bush defied Congress and the recommendations of his own Iraq Study Group in favor of the 2007 surge, which history will likely recall as Mr. Bush’s finest hour. To his credit, President Obama has also delivered on the “responsible withdrawal” he promised in his campaign.
This admirable American effort has now given Iraqis the opportunity to govern themselves democratically. We supported the Iraq invasion primarily for reasons of U.S. national security. But a successful war also held the promise that it could create, in a major Arab state, a model for governance that would result in something better than the secular or religious dictatorships that have so often bred brutality and radicalism—which has increasingly reached our own shores. The fact that Iraq has a functioning judiciary, and that Iraqi voters have rejected their most sectarian parties at the polls, is cause for hope that the country is moving in that direction.
This is true despite the five months of political stalemate that have gripped the country since March’s parliamentary elections resulted in an effective tie between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his principal challenger Ayad Allawi. Political gridlock is frustrating, but it is sometimes a function of democratic politics. We will soon learn if Iraqi politicians can meet the responsibilities of the democratic moment that American and British blood and treasure have given them.
They will have to do so despite the continuing spoiler role played by Iraq’s neighbors—Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran—who fear a democratic, or Shiite-led, state in their midst. The withdrawal of U.S. combat forces will only increase their ambition to create more trouble.
That makes the mission of the 50,000 U.S. troops that will remain as trainers, advisers and special-ops forces until the end of 2011 all the more crucial. It should also provide incentive for Washington and Baghdad to negotiate a more permanent U.S. military presence, both as a balancing force within the country and especially as a hedge against Iran. Having sacrificed so much for Iraq’s freedom, the U.S. should attempt to reap the shared strategic benefits of a longer-term alliance, as we did after World War II with Japan and Germany.
On the eve of war in 2003, we wrote: “About one thing we have no doubt: the courage of the Americans who will fight in our defense.” Along with all of their comrades in arms, the men and women of Fourth Brigade, Second Infantry have fully vindicated that conviction. Somewhere down the road, we trust that August 18, 2010 will be remembered as Victory in Iraq day.
August 18 SHOULD be VICTORY IN IRAQ DAY if for no other reason than to mark then end of the success that our original mission, further supplemented by the brave decision by President Bush to launch the surge in 2007, is complete. Yes, US forces will remain as advisors for another year. But “The War” in Iraq is over.
Where are the homecoming parades? Where is the outpouring of love of nation toward our brave men and women who were thrust out of their lives when this phase of the Global War began on September 11, 2003?
We’ve made mistakes. We found no WMD that the entire world’s intel apparatus said we would. As in past wars, America leaves no imperialist governance behind. We helped formed a democratic state in the Middle East that now must continue to bloom on its own. We stole no oil. We will only leave Americans in Iraq at the behest of its people, or where the blood of the brave have fallen into the hot sand and are never to be returned to the homeland.
We should be celebrating this week. But we are not. There are many reasons why. But when you see a uniformed member of our Armed Forces this Summer and Fall — please stop them and thank them for their and and their families sacrifices. They are our Greatest Generation and will most likely be called on again to defend and protect the United States of America.
BE PROUD AMERICA: We liberated a nation of 18 million oppressed people from a satanic dictator who hijacked the Muslim faith for his own glory and power. BE PROUD!
Thank you to President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretarys Rumsfeld & Gates, and General Petreaus. You won the war as our leaders.
I saw this news item yesterday…
Venezuela has sent extra troops to its border with Colombia “in case of attack”. Colombia has emphatically denied it plans to attack Venezuela. The denial follows accusations by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that his Colombian counterpart, Alvaro Uribe, is “capable of anything”. A spokesman for the Colombian government called President Chavez’s remarks “deceptive” and said Bogota had never even considered an attack.
On Friday, President Chavez said he had sent extra forces to the border to boost Venezuela’s defences. In a phone call to Venezuelan state television, he said the deployment included soldiers, air units and special forces.
Colombian government spokesman Cesar Velasquez said claims that Bogota was planning to attack its “brother nation” were an attempt by President Chavez to deceive his people.
And everything going on in the world at this moment gelled in a scary thought: What if, in a coordinated manner, Venezuela attacks Colombia, Iran attacks Israel, and North Korea attacks South Korea. There have been very scary ties between all three of those potential aggressor nations.
If that three-pronged attack happened, how would Obama respond? Not to mention the rest of the world.
I hope this is just a scary passing thought by a crazy blogger and nothing more. I also hope war-gamers at the Pentagon have had the same thoughts.
I’m not sure what is more disturbing.
As part of “Inspire,” a 67-page English-language Al Qaeda magazine, Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki — who has been linked to the botched Times Square bombing and cited as inspiration for the Fort Hood massacre and the plot of two New Jersey men to kill U.S. soldiers — targeted the Seattle cartoonist for “assassination,” along with others who have participated in her campaign.
“The large number of participants makes it easier for us because there are more targets to choose from in addition to the difficulty of the government offering all of them special protection,” wrote al-Awlaki, who is an American citizen. “But even then our campaign should not be limited to only those who are active participants.”
He warned that “assassinations, bombings and acts of arson” are all legitimate forms of revenge against the creators of blasphemous depictions of Muhammad.
The woman created her version of “Everybody Draw Muhammad” in late April, days after a Seattle cartoonist launched the online campaign to protest Comedy Central’s censoring of an episode of “South Park,” in which the Prophet Muhammad was depicted wearing a bear costume. The Canadian woman said she will no longer act as the administrator of such a page.
“I just want to be quiet now,” she continued. “I wish I didn’t do this.”
The 27-year-old Facebook page creator — a Canadian woman who asked not to be identified due to fears of reprisal — told FoxNews.com that she was visited at her home last week by Royal Canadian Mounted Police officials who advised her to remove her page and not to talk to reporters.
Ah, the chilling effect of the death threat is alive and well here in The West… thanks to Islamists. I think that’s their goal. Oh yeah, and beheadings too.
In one of the most ostrich-in-the-sand dissent in American history, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer articulates how liberals live in their own fantasy world. The case decided today by a 6-3 majority (thank God!) “upheld the constitutionality of a federal law that makes it illegal to teach members of a foreign terrorist group how to use peaceful means to pursue political goals.” This was part of the USA Patriot Act.
Here is what Justice Breyer said in his from-the-bench-audible dissent (via SCOTUSblog):
Breyer’s opinion argued that the majority’s requirement for “coordination” of speech activity with a terrorist group was not a limitation in any real sense. “There is no practical way,” he wrote, “to organize classes for a group (say, wishing to learn about human rights law) without ‘coordination.’ “ Moreover, the dissent said, the Court had accepted the government argument that even support for a group’s peaceful aims could help “legitimate” that group, and thus further its violent acts, too. “Once one accepts this argument, there is no natural stopping place,” Breyer concluded.
Breyer was joined in the dissent by (not surprisingly) Justices Ginsberg and Sotomayor.
Breyer said that the majority’s broad reading of the statute raises “grave” doubt about its constitutionality.
“… I would read the statute as criminalizing First-Amendment-protected pure speech and association only when the defendant knows or intends that those activities will assist the organization’s unlawful terrorist actions,” Justice Breyer wrote.
Now these three are insane because they trust that a terrorist organization will separate funds, advice and other material goods from their advocacy arm. WTF? This on the face of it is sheer madness. If an organization is deemed a terror group by The State Department — the quickest way to receive humanitarian aid is to STOP and RENOUNCE TERROR ACTIVITIES. Then the US will take you off the list, and the bleeding heart liberals can give you all the damn advocacy support you want.
So the three dissenters either think coordination is okay for the safety of We, The People… or they think that terror groups will put up firewalls in their Terror, Inc. operations. Either conclusion is completely devoid from reality.
Luckily, Chief Justice Roberts brings sanity (and the majority vote) with his opinion:
Roberts quoted a congressional finding in support of his broad reading of the statute: “[F]oreign organizations that engage in terrorist activity are so tainted by their criminal conduct that any contribution to such an organization facilitates that conduct.”
I am finding it increasingly hard to debate and discuss with Progressive Liberals who live in a world that solely exists in their mind and Starbuck-dotted neighborhoods.
Unicorns are not an effective anti-terror strategy. What is truly frightening is that three members of SCOTUS, the President and the Congressional leadership all are Unicornists.
I must admit, I’m stunned….
CNN.com Cover Story: “My Take: Everyone chalk Mohammed?”
There is a difference between making fun of religious or other ideas on a TV show that you can turn off, and doing it out in a public square where those likely to take offense simply can’t avoid it. These chalk drawings are not a seminar on free speech; they are the atheist equivalent of the campus sidewalk preachers who used to irk me back in college. This is not even “Piss Christ,” Andres Serrano’s controversial 1987 photograph of a crucifix in urine. It is more like filling Dixie cups with yellow water and mini crucifixes and putting them on the ground all over town. Could you do it legally? Of course. Should you?
In Muslim culture, there is a longstanding tradition that to put something on the ground, where people step on it, is “the ultimate diss,” indicating “I hate you, you disgust me,” as I was told by Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America
To this add the fact that after 9/11 hate crimes against Arabs, Muslims and “those perceived to be Muslim” increased 1,700 percent in the United States, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. Large numbers of innocent Muslims in the U.S. have been harmed or intimidated simply because they share a religious tradition with extremists. Can we reasonably suggest they not be reminded of this upon seeing their prophet, the most revered and admired person in their cultural tradition, underfoot?
There is a huge fight on the internet especially facebook about May 20th Draw Muhammad Day. I have thought long and hard about whether to draw Muhammad and I have decided that I will. I do not think people of certian religions should be able to tell other people not of that religion what they can and cannot do. I do not draw Muhammad out of malice but out of protest because I do not think it is acceptable for our artist to recieve death threats over cartoons. I understand that drawing Muhammad is offensive but many things in America are offensive. Republican and Democrats make signs all the time that are offensive too each other this is free speech to be able to say and expression our opinions to people we do not agree with. Drawing Muhammad does not constitute hate. I am doing this neither out of Malice or hate. If there are terrorist acts because of people drawing pictures I hope that America will wake up and see that people are killing over cartoons and that we should not give up freedom for security.
Maybe Nick was right — if CNN wakes up, perhaps today did change history. Time shall tell.
There is no denying this fact: After 9/11/2001 up until the day President George W. Bush left office, there was no successful effort or attempt to attack the United States homeland by Islamic terrorists. Yet since Jan. 20, 2009 — there have been MULTIPLE successful Islamic terror attacks.
Here they are — the ones we know of:
6/1/2009 Little Rock, AR: A Muslim with ‘religious motives’ shoots a local soldier to death inside a recruiting center. (1 killed, 1 injured)
11/5/2009 Ft. Hood, TX: A Muslim psychiatrist and Army captain guns down thirteen unarmed soldiers while yelling praises to Allah. (13 killed, 31 injured)
12/25/2009 Detriot, MI: An Nigerian Muslim man attempted to ignite an explosive device on a Northwest Airlines Flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. The would-be terrorist was subdued by passengers and crew. (No death, minor injuries)
It is critical to note, that the Ft. Hood and Christmas Day bombings are linked through Al-Qaeda in Yemen and through Anwar Awalkai, an Islamic cleric and spiritual advisor to a number of the 9/11 plotters.
Today, the White House admitted that the weekend near disaster in Times Square is another part of the post-Bush terror pattern.
The failed car bombing in Times Square increasingly appears to have been coordinated by more than one person in a plot with international links, Obama administration officials said Tuesday. Another U.S. official, recounting a conversation with intelligence officials, said: “Don’t be surprised if you find a foreign nexus. . . . They’re looking at some telltale signs and they’re saying it’s pointing in that direction.”
If you think strategically (as you should) and realize that Afghanistan and Iraq are part of the Global War on Islamic Terror, then 2009-10 are not good ones for President Obama on those fronts. US casualties are up in both war zones since President Bush left office and AQ has become increasingly brazen in their attacks on civilians and military targets alike in both countries.
Now the question is “why”? The answer is obvious. Our enemies (not just Al Qaeda) see President Obama as weak and they are trying to test him repeatedly to see how (or if) he responds. So far, his response is eerily similar to the quid pro quo missile attacks of the Clinton era. We know what that led to.
The more scary thought is how Obama’s weakness is being exploited by rogue nations. Iran has become increasingly defiant. And now the FOREIGN media has reported this gem over the past few days (Katie Couric, where are youuuuu?)
A grim report circulating in the Kremlin today written by Russia’s Northern Fleet is reporting that the United States has ordered a complete media blackout over North Korea’s torpedoing of the giant Deepwater Horizon oil platform owned by the World’s largest offshore drilling contractor Transocean that was built and financed by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., that has caused great loss of life, untold billions in economic damage to the South Korean economy, and an environmental catastrophe to the United States.
This definitely feels like a much dangerous world since Bush and VP Cheney left Washington.
…the president of France makes more sense on national security than the president of the United States.
Why this comment on The Corner? Because of this statement of reason by French President Sarkozy today.
WASHINGTON – France will not give up nuclear weapons because doing so would “jeopardise” its security, President Nicolas Sarkozy said this morning as global leaders gathered for a summit on nuclear security.
“I cannot jeopardise the security and safety of my country,” Sarkozy told CBS News here hours before US President Barack Obama opened the landmark summit of 47 nations in Washington.
The French leader said he could not abandon his nation’s nuclear weapons programme “on a unilateral basis in a world as dangerous as the one in which we live today”.
The Corner reader added to Jonah Goldberg that, “Sarkozy’s announcement on nukes demonstrates that we’ve crossed some sort of line, and not a good one.”
Obama is no Reagan.
In general, U.S. presidents see the world through the eyes of four giants: Alexander Hamilton, Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson. Hamiltonians share the first Treasury secretary’s belief that a strong national government and a strong military should pursue a realist global policy and that the government can and should promote economic development and the interests of American business at home and abroad. Wilsonians agree with Hamiltonians on the need for a global foreign policy, but see the promotion of democracy and human rights as the core elements of American grand strategy. Jeffersonians dissent from this globalist consensus; they want the United States to minimize its commitments and, as much as possible, dismantle the national-security state. Jacksonians are today’s Fox News watchers. They are populists suspicious of Hamiltonian business links, Wilsonian do-gooding, and Jeffersonian weakness.
Like Carter in the 1970s, Obama comes from the old-fashioned Jeffersonian wing of the Democratic Party, and the strategic goal of his foreign policy is to reduce America’s costs and risks overseas by limiting U.S. commitments wherever possible. He’s a believer in the notion that the United States can best spread democracy and support peace by becoming an example of democracy at home and moderation abroad.
At their best, Jeffersonians provide a necessary element of caution and restraint in U.S. foreign policy, preventing what historian Paul Kennedy calls “imperial overstretch” by ensuring that America’s ends are proportionate to its means. We need this vision today more than ever: If Obama’s foreign policy collapses — whether sunk by Afghanistan or conflicts not yet foreseen — into the incoherence and reversals that ultimately marked Carter’s well-meaning but flawed approach, it will be even more difficult for future presidents to chart a prudent and cautious course through the rough seas ahead.
Since the Christmas Day terror attack (it was 99% successful, by the way), I’ve been having a recurring thought. Has President Obama’s “worldview” been shattered? After all, the election of Obama alone was supposed to endear the world to the USA and cause those pesky “man-made disaster” creators (aka – Islamic Terrorists) to throw up their arms and praise Obama’s name.
But more than one-third of all terrorist plots since 9/11 transpired in 2009 — despite loud chest-thumping about rejecting the idea of a war on terror, reaching out to the Muslim world, and apologizing for purported American sins. A non-impoverished Major Hasan or Mr. Mutallab (or Mr. Atta or KSM) does not fit with the notion that our enemies act out of poverty or oppression or want.
Clearly, Obama fell for his own hype and he has been governing like that for a year. But maybe — just maybe — the 12/25 attack on America has shattered his extreme naivety. Perhaps he will wake from his arrogance and realize that no matter how nice he is, no matter what gestures he gives — America has enemies bent on killing civilians and destroying our way of life.
Perhaps. But I’m not holding my breath.
I think it was John (AverageGayJoe) who asked that question in the comments a few days ago. The Hill took that question to a variety of political pundit-types.
I agree with Tom Fitton from Judicial Watch:
The Obama administration’s anti-terrorism policies have made the United States less safe.
Obama’s decision to end the use of the enhanced interrogation techniques prevents us from gaining intelligence that can save lives and prevent terrorist attacks (like the recent attempt to blow up the Detroit-bound airliner).
Obama’s decision to prosecute 9/11 terrorists in civilian court is a public relations victory for Al Qaeda that will lead, among other deadly dangers, to the release of intelligence data that will help terrorists.
Obama’s decision to prosecute the recent airline bomber Abdulmutallab in the civilian system prevents our defense and intelligence agencies from gaining access to timely information that might prevent future terrorist attacks. And it will encourage more terrorism by suggesting leniency can be had by terrorists in plea bargain negotiations with civilian prosecuters.
Obama’s decision to close Gitmo will result in terrorists being brought to the United States, with all the attendant risks to the homeland – which include the outright release of terrorists in the United States.
Obama’s decision to release terrorists from Gitmo and elsewhere will lead to more terrorism from recidivist terrorists. [GP Ed. Note — Released Gitmo terrorists (under Bush) already have returned to the battlefield.]
But the real question is…. what do you think? What do your neighbors think? What do the majority of Americans think? Is America Less Safe Under Obama?
I’d like to see Gallup ask that question. The best part of this whole conversation is that Dick Cheney began the discussion with that very point. Hooah.
Thanks to Obama, the terrorists know they have nothing to fear — and thus have no incentive to talk. And even if they did face some enhanced techniques, the techniques would no longer work — because the terrorist would know from the memos that there are limits to what they would face. The effect of the techniques is psychological, not physical. They trick the terrorists into thinking what they are enduring is worse than it really is.
It’s like the show Magic’s Biggest Secrets Revealed — once you know how the magician saws the woman in half, you’re not fooled. The same goes for enhanced interrogation.
Obama’s policies themselves are making our nation less safe.