Category Archives: Afghanistan

Infamy II

Infamy IIInfamy II was my cartoon in the Akron Beacon Journal on September 12, 2001.

Iranian Conventional Arms Embargo

150715-iranian-conventional-arms-embargoAs part of  the Obama nuclear agreement, Iran made a last minute pitch to end the conventional arms embargo.  Grinning Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif got what he wanted and more. The deal calls for the E.U. to also lift sanctions on the Iranian Republican Guard and the Quds Force.

At least 500 Americans were killed in Iraq by Iranian made Explosively Formed Penetrators. EFP’s are a more sophisticated version of improvised explosive devices or IED’s.

Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute explains here “Why They’re Cheering in Tehran”.

 

Not a Terror Group

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The White House won’t negotiate with Islamic State because it’s a terror organization. President Obama swapped five Gitmo terrorists with the Taliban for deserter Bo Bergdahl because the Taliban is not a terror group. It’s an insurgency group. The president does have a strategy.

Name that Enemy

150119-name-that-enemyEli Lake thinks he knows why President Obama won’t name the enemy. In a Bloomberg column Lake says it’s because many of our allies in the Muslim world share the same beliefs but not the violent tactics of Islamic radicals. He cites a 2013 Pew Survey that says 74 percent of Egyptian Muslims favor Sharia law for Muslims and infidels alike.

Three-quarters of Pakistani Muslims support laws banning blasphemy. A majority of Muslim Iraqis said they supported “honor killings” of women who engage in premarital sex or adultery.

All of this gets to a paradox of the war on terror. It has never been a war on the tactic of terrorism, and it has always been a war against networks of radical Islamists. But in order to wage that war, the U.S. has had to ally with Muslim countries and people, many of whom believe the state should punish apostates, adulterers and blasphemers.

Can’t have a War without an Enemy

The administration doesn’t like to call it a war either – try overseas contingency operations. John Kerry in his 2004 run for the presidency called it a nuisance.

That would explain the detainees at Gitmo. If there’s no war they’re not POWs. If they can’t be prosecuted they have to be released.

Here’s a link to Roosevelt’s Day of Infamy speech.

 

 

Bokbluster Weekend NATO Editon

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Last week President Obama assured member nations that NATO would defend them. Meanwhile, terrorists frolicked by the pool at the abandoned American Embassy in Tripoli.

Not NATO

On Friday Ukraine signed a ceasefire agreement with Russian separatists. Ukraine isn’t a NATO member. The only American military assistance it received where Meals Ready to Eat. Still it was making progress against the separatists. That is until Russian tanks invaded.

The beheading of two Americans seems to have concentrated the country’s attention on the use of military force. Even Rand Paul wants to wipe out ISIS. He says he’s always been in favor of war if it’s in the national interest. How far does the national interest go?

Pretty far, according to Robert Kagan and Victor Davis Hanson. They both made the same point that when you withdraw military power bad guys fill the vacuum.

Brett Bair interviewed three CIA contractors who were on the ground in Benghazi when Ambassador Stevens was killed. They say their station chief told them to stand down. Eventually they defied orders and fought the terrorists, some of whom may now be poolside in Tripoli.